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almost reverently upon the fair be
ing at his side.
''There is some special place you
wish to go?" David Pierce asked.
"Yes, at Acton I have a distant rela
tive living. If she does not take me
in and protect me I don't know what
I shall do."
"You shall be protected, you shall
be cared for, replied the young man
with such a strange emphasis, his
whole being aroused, that Anabel
gazed at him in marveling wonder.
The machine finally halted before
an humble cottage. Anabel left the
auto. She entered the house. In
about five minutes a sad-faced, aged
lady came out to- the machine.
"My cousin has told me of your
kindness," she spoke in a troubled,
tremulous voice. "Sir, I do not know
you, but your face bids me ask you
for counsel, for sympathy, for ad
vice. Will you come into the house
while I tell you of the grievous, al
most dangerous environment of this
poor young girl?"
"I should have insisted upon it,"
replied David gravely, as was his
wont, but with decision. "Madam,
you must tell 'me all. Then I will dis
close to you why Miss Leigh is to me
as a most cherished friend, as a sis
ter." Seated within the humble parlor, it
was a remarkable story that Mrs.
Emmons told. Of its details she had
known nothing until just now, when
Anabel had come to her home as a
last possible place of refuge.
An orphan, Anabel. had lived for
years with a half-sister, a selfish,
heartless girl. A man named Dens
low had persecuted her with his at
tions. Her half-sister had plotted
with him to have Anabel agree to
marry him. Their persistency, her
forlorn friendless condition, had final
ly weakened her will until she had
given a reluctant consent- to the
Now, attired in her bridal array,
the very appointed hour of the "wed
ding arrived, a full realization of the ;
'unscrupulous nature of Denslow, a
thougnt of a lost lover, had caused
her to flee.
"I fear for her, I fear'the wiles and
plots of Denslow and her sister," said
Mrs. Emmons. "She is broken-hearted
over her lost lover. He is Ray
Westlake. A year ago he went to
Alaska to win a fortune for her. She
has received no word from him. Her
half-sister has almost convinced her
that he is dead. What shall we do?"
Mrs. Emmons was amazed at the
reply strange, incomprehensible.
"There is one sure way of affording
Miss Leigh protection, safety; com
fort. As my wife I can provide for
her for the future so she can defy her
enemies. Ask her to marry me. Do
not be startled," he proceeded. "One
month ago my mother died. She left
me a fortune and a mission to exe
cute. It seems that twenty years ago
the mother of Miss Leigh did for my
mother's family a kindness that saved
a weak member from disgrace, and
suicide. It is strange, perhaps provi
dential, that 1 come to seek the
daughter the day she is in her deep
The wearied-.spirit of Anabel gave
way to advice of her cousin. There
was a quiet marriage. At the end
of the ceremony David Pier.ce placed
a large amount of money in the
charge of Mrs. Emmons. Then he
bent toward Anabel and kissed her
reverently on the brow.
"You are safe now," he said. "I
am a dying man. You will never see
me again, but I pray I may live long
enough to find the man you love, Ray
Westlake," and then he was gone.
It was like a dream it had all
transpired so abruptly, so swiftly.
Her heart glowing with rare grati
tude towards the husband gained and
lost, Anabel saw her baffled enemies
only once, and then settled down to
a life of peace.
It was six months laterj one even
ing;, when she opened the cottage
door in answer to an eager knock,
to face Ray Westlake.