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There was no doubt that in joining
the cult her lover had improved so
far as an ability for petty drawling
high art ideas was concerned. He had
grown immaculate in Ms dress. To
pick a flower, he would have been
horrified to vulgarly snip it from the
stem without a napkin or a handker
chief to protect the tips of his spot
less lemon colored gloves. He never
smiled. To laugh outright would have
disturbed his aesthetic ideas for
hours. He became a drone and acted
"A balanced serenity," was the way
Miss Irwin described the tired, blase
pose of her inestimable suitor. "And,
oh, he has such poetical ideas! He
gave me a bunch of violets last even
ing with a deliciously apt sentiment!
'They seemed to kiss with a hundred
fairy, delicate lips, their beauty spoke
like a song.' "
At which Jerome gritted his teeth
and almost snarled, and commented
in an undertone: "Rot!"
Twice Ada asked her lover to ac
company her to the city and attend
one of the readings at the "soul
shop." The high priestess of the cult
was to preside. She was described
to Jerome as some rare princess of
light, beauty and brains, but he re
sisted the magnetic Influence.
"I understand that she collects two
dollars a head in advance at these
aesthetic seances," he advised Ada.
"Barnes inherited his money; I have
to earn mine. I'm savinglt for a little
home for you and I, one of these
days. We won't waste time and
money listening to a lot of mushy
trash. We'll take a right royal spin
on the; river, dear. Bracing air, the
invigorating skate glides they are
worth all the stuffy, idealistic non
sense of your clever 'high priestess
of the soul shop,' believe me!"
And Jerome looked so strong, so
noble, so intensely humanly perfect
that Ada began to think that there
was a force and meaning to his self
reliant ways, that promised some
thing better of a future, than the
azure-tinted, pearl-tipped pictures
painted by the impressible Miss Irwin.
Certainly it was a jovial, inspiring
scene to participate in, that of the
following evening. All the village was
out on the river, it seemed. Laughter,
exercise, health the atmosphere was
pungent with their influence. Miss
Irwin appeared for a moment to look
on, shrugged her dainty shoulders at
"the common herd" and went home.
Her escort, Barnes, shivered- It hurt
his sensitive- feelings to see people
enjoying themselves in this crude
"Wait wait!" spoke Jerome, half
an hour later, as amid the rare ex
hilaration of the sport, Ada dashed
away from him with a gay, trilling
laugh of defiance.
"Now, catch me if you can!" was
the quick challenge.
They had skated beyond the center
of sport. Ada, was away like a sprite.
She managed to get a fair start in ad
vance of Jerome, and glided along
"Stop! Turn quick!" shot out
Jeronie. "A danger sign, Ada!" and
his shout was a thrill as he noted
what had happened. i
Heedless of the sign Ada Bad
swung past it There was a warning
crackle and then a crash. She fell as
a break in the ice tripped her up.
Then, half engulfed in the chilling
flood, her head struck a projecting
spur of ice.
Just in time, but not until Ada was
half submerged, Jerome reached her
side, lifted her while his skates were
fairly dancing over the swaying sur-
face, and bore her out of the peril
"Darling, speak!" he breathed in
love and alarm, but "a dark bruise'
showed on Ada's forehead. She lay
limp and senseless. , '
With a jerk Jerome tore off his
overcoat. He wrapped Ada within it.
Then with a strength and vigor that
was not born of the "balanced seren
ity" of the "soul shop," he darted
away like an arrow.