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imnuuuiyii) in. unjim
said. "You are at liberty to go to see
her. "You are at liberty to take her
away,, to marry her. But let me tell
you that, from th moment she be
comes your wife, she shall never
cross our threshold again or " she
hesitated. "I do, not want to wrong
4 you in my thoughts, Mr. Lester, but
she shall never inherit a penny of my
The young man rose. "May I ask
why, Miss4 Amanda?" he inquired
The memories of old days flushed
. the old maid's withered cheek. "Be
cause," she answered slowly, "your
father was engaged to me. He left
me, a few weeks before" the wedding
day. He never deigned to tell me why.
And the insult you have put upon me
remains to this generation, sir." .
She started. Mary stood at the
door. She had overheard alL She
stood looking at .Ralph,-and he saw
-on her face that her love had never
died. He started toward her.
"Mary, are you going to let the
shadow of the past generation pre
vent our happiness?" he asked.
The girl went softly to her aunt
and placed her hands upon her shoul
ders. ''Aunt, are you going to ruin
our lives because you own was ruin
ed?" she asked.
The old woman's face was like a
.mask. "As his father did to me, so
you shall do to him,"vshe answered.
"You can marry him but ray anger
will never be assuaged. I warn you
both now that I shall never relent. I
have reared you, Mary, to be a daugh
ter ta both of us. If you thuik it right
to marry the -son of the man who
made my life barren and profitless,
you are free todo so. 'But never
come to me again never "
,Mary turned away. "You see,
Ralph; it is impossible," she answered
- "Is there nothing can induce you to
relent, Miss Amanda?" inquired
Ralph Lester quietly. -The old wo
man saw how bravely he bore" the
shock, and. the thought of his suffer-1
ing added fuel to her ancient hatred.
"Yes,1" she answered, "if Robert
Lester sends me a messa"ge from the
dead, explaining his actions, his cruel
behavior to me, then I can forgive."
Through the door came little Doro
thy, leaning upon a stick, She was
holding a- package in her handg. She
crossed the floor to where her sister
stood and kneeled down at her side.
"Amanda " she began.
"It is useless to plead for him, Dor
othy," answered the old woman.
"You know who should know so
well as ydu, when Robert Lester came
to woo you before he courted me?"
."And you tooli him from me. Was
that no wrong; Amanda?" pleaded
her sister. T
Miss Amanda frowned impatiently.
"That is between you7 and me, Doro
thy,' she answered. "If I have wrong
ed you injthat, you have never borne
me hate for it. You do not know the
meaning of a ruined life; nor a hot
pillow wet with tears for a frustrated
"Miss Dorothy rose to her feet, andf
her face was ashen pale. She held out
the package toward her sister Slow
ly, with trembling fingers, she un
fastened -the ribbon which bound it,
and the scent of faded perfume dif-fused-itself
through the room. y
"These letters explain all," she
Miss Amanda uttered a gasp of
fear. There were half a. dozen: un
opened letters, in faded ink, and the
handwriting .of them, addressed to
her, was that of Robert Lester.
"That is why," "said Miss .Dorothy.
"I was jealous of you, Amanda. I
hated you with -a hatred which was.
to yours as wine is to water. When,
Robert's letters came for you I hid
them away. And your own letters,,
which you gave meto maili I destroy
ed unopened. Now acquit Robert and
turn your anger upon me, Amanda.''
The mask had fallen from Miss
Amanda's face. Her eyes" were wet
"Let the past bury its dead, sister,"
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