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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 25, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-05-25/ed-1/seq-18/

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DARK DAYS
By Walter Joseph Delaney.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Hal Barrett oLthe mounted police
of the Canadian Northwest sat on the
sandy ,reach of the river shore behind
the small log cabin that was desig
nated as. "Mile Post 24" of the Bully
Shoop district
Beside him was a narrow, burrowed
hole in the dirt, and he himself had
"I' Take You But You Pay Me!"
dug it. There were three emotions
depicted on his bronzed, handsome
face as he removed from the inside of
his khaki coat an old worn wallet
recklessness, determination, despair.
"The old life lost, never to be re
gained," he said solemnly, as he drew
from the wallet some letters, the last
,he had received from his home folks
' "k in the states. I am dead to all
1 friends, ,so there goes!"
ped the letters into the
trench he had dug. They bore not
the! new name he had resolved to
adopt, but his own tame, his true
name, Gerald Pierce.
Then slowly he took from- his
breast a little packet. It was contain
ed in tissue paper, and as he opened
it the fading perfume of dead rose
leaves swept his face, and the. photo
graph upon which they lay, bearing
the name "Beulah," smiled up at him.
Only for a moment, however. His
cheek flushed, then paled, his glance
heightened then died down to the
rugged endurance of secret pain.
"I have no right to hope!" he whis
pered blankly. "I failed miserably, and
she must know. Heaven send her a
better man!"
He began pushing the sand over
these momentoes of a past life and a
past love, as if anxious to forever hide
them from his sight. Then slowly,
with a whimsical smile, he built up
the heaping dirt mound-like, with the
words: "Sacred to the memory of the
man who couldn't make good!"
The past he had buried embraced
three years of wild, adventurous rov
ing. At his home village his reckless
career had estranged him from a fond
relative, -his dead mother's brother.
Then had come the worthless, wasted
days of the Far West. He had been
the daring spirit of many a mushroom
mining camp. He had caroused long
and deeply. Then Canada and love,
and he had seen a new light under
the soulful influence of Beulah.
Honest toil, decent companions,
ambition to excel had come to him.
Then one evil day, at a farmers' gath
ering, he had been tempted back to
the ruby cup. There had been a great
broil and arrest When he awoke in
a prison cell he realized how false
he had been to his sacred pledge to
Beulah, never to touch strong drink
again.
He had written her a tear-blurred
note releasing her from all future in
terest in his unworthy self. Heart
broken, spiritless, he had dashed into
the wilderness. To the farthest edge
ESfcSfasttfe

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