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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 05, 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/sn83045487/1914-06-05/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE GRAY MASK.
By Mildred Caroline Goodridge.
(Copyright -hy W. G. Chapman.)
When Robert" -Crandall and his
pretty wife adopted little Dot, an or
phan child thrown on the world
without a friend or relative, good old
Dr. Bross, the minister, told them
that a blessing would surely come to
them.
Certainly pleasure and happiness
did. When the prattling, lovable lit-
The Strangely Mated Twain Would
Wander Over the Garden.
tie tot was five years of age she had
become the light and joy of the child
less couple. She was odd, but this or
iginality lent a charm to her unusual
personality. She would talk to a rose
or a toad an hour at a time, inter
ested and fearless, weaving some
pleasant ideality about each object.
The Crandalls had a pleasant
home, but it had been left to Robert
with a heavy mortgage on it. Work
had been slack and they were forced
to economize. They never grudged
the little darling who had crept into
their hearts so winningly what she
cost them, but they hoped prospects
would grow better, so they might cal
culation giving her an education" as
she grew up.
A high stone wall separated the
humble Crandall homestead from the
grand Thorne mansion next door.
Grand as was the spacious palace,
however, with its beautiful garden
space, it was a mere sepulcher in
fact, the home of an afflicted and
lonely recluse.
Reuben Thorne was the mystery of
Brocton. He was known as "the
man with the gray mask." He had
come to the village about two years
'before the present time in a closed
carriage and had immured himself in
the place he had bought, as if glad to
find a remote and safe hiding place.
Thorne lived entirely alone. Once
a week a man came from the village
to set the place in order. Otherwise
Thorne performed the duties of cook
and housekeeper individually. He
never left the walled-in grounds un
til after dusk. Then he wore a gray
silk mask that completely covered
his face.
Those who met him, even when
darkness partially obscured his
strangeness of appearance, were,
startled. Nervous women watched
him as they would a bogie. Children
shrank from him. Then the story
came out that his face was a mass of
disfiguring scars. It was told that
in another part of the country, hand
some, young, rich, he had loved a
"beautiful girl. A dark beauty, whom
he had never encouraged but who
was mad after his love, in a fit of
jealous rage precipitated a frightful
tragedy. She stabbed his poor love to
the heart, flung a bottle of corrosive
liquid in his face, "and then drowned
herself.
, There waspity ia the .minds o
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