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By Margaret McDougall.
(Copyright by W.-G. Chapman.)
"Know Madam Ricardo?" inquired
one of the group on the hotel porch.
"Well, I should smile at that! I know
her intimately intimately!" and
"They Say There Was a Dreadful
Scandal About Her."
Mrs. Bellowes tossed her head and
smiled at the naivete of the question.
"They say there was a dreadful
scandal ' about her last summer,
wasn't there?" inquired little Miss
Jones. "Not that I want to hear it if
it is true, you know."
Miss Jones played a part not un
known at summer hotels. Posing as
a hater of scandal, she liked to driw
out the worst of everybody, and then,
having revelled in what she heard, as
sume indignant virtue.
Mrs. Bellowes and Miss Jones were
the leaders at the hotel. Nobody had
made them so, but they had -assumed
that role. Therje was plenty of gos
sip on the veranda, while the needles
clacked. The only woman who did
not join in it was the shy, quiet little
, woman of thirty or so, who sat alone
and unfriended at the other end of
Nobody had ever troubled to take
any interest in dowdy little Miss
Wentworth, and nobody was likely
to. What aroused the antagonism
of Mrs. Bellowes and the rest was
that she didn't seem to mind being
ostracised. In fact, she had been
overheard to say that she had come
to The Pines for a long rest.
"Well, to begin, Ricardo isn't her
name," said Mrs. Bellowes. "She's
some common American woman
masquerading under an Italian name,
they say. And it wasn't a scandal.
No, no, I could hardly say that."
"I. am so relieved to hear you say
so, Mrs. Bellowes," said little Miss
"It was about young Alpenstock,
the millionaire's son, you know,"
Mrs. Bellowes pursued. "He wanted
to marry her. Of course his father
got furious, and threatened to cut
him off. The end was that the wo-
man disappeared bought off, I
suppose. Those stage women are
clever at getting hold of money."
"Indeed they are," replied Miss
Jones. "But still, we mustn't say un
kind things, you know. She may have
left him of her own accord, for jus't
"My dears, you are "hopelessly at
sea," purred Mrs. Higginsan, the
pork contractor's relict. "Now I hap
pen to know the whole story. That
Ricardo woman was already married.
That's how she got her name. Ri
cardo was some player in a cheap
theater,-an Italian, of course. When
she discovered that she had a voice
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