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You have taken the best of me and
destroyed it, and I shall have no hesi
tation in accepting alimony t from
John nodded. "I will give you half
my income," he said, and an amused
smile crossed his features. His wife
saw it, and it infuriated her.
"Do you want a divorce?" he
"I hope so!" she cried. "I don't
want to be tied to you one minute
longer than I can help. You are
laughing at me, after all these years
of misery. It has been anything, but
amusing to me."
"And to me," answered her hus
band. "I don't know why you married
me," she pursued. "You have never
given me care, love or attention. You
have sat all day in your office, work
ing, leaving me to mope alone."
"You haven't seemed to mope very
much of late, Winifred," said her hus
band. "No! Thank heaven, my friends
rallied around me when they under
stood," she -flashed back at him.
"They have long, been urging me "to
get a divorce."
"So I suspected," answered John
"Oh, they were actuated solely in
my best interests," she answered.
They saw how unhappy I was. They
knew that I was a bird in a gilded
cage. They wanted me to make
something of my life. And I am go
ing to. I am going to study art "
"You could have made something
of your life, Winifred," said her hus
band, sharply, and his voice was
stirred with the first trace of feeling
that he had shown. "You could have
devoted your life to motherhood. It
is a profession that has fallen upon
evil days, I know," he added, "sneer
ingly; "but still, believe me, you will
never know how much you missed
when you decided "
"To have brought him up to be like
you!" she said, with, withering scorn.
The man was -stirred as he had not
been before. "Winifred, I have been
to blame, I know," he cried. "But if
I devoted myself so hard to work, it
was in the hope of retiring with fc
"Oh, yes, I know! To some beau
tiful country spot, where we could
emulate the rural rustics!" she cried.
"That was the life I was meant to d
lead, John, not this life here amid a
luxuries I never chose " ?
"Winifred," said her husband quiet
ly, "I don't want to urge you to
change your decision. But I want you
to realize that your decision will be
irrevocable. I am ready to try to
atone for the past."
"No atonement is possible," she an
swered. "Then I shall tell you now " he
"Tell me!" she cried. "What more
is there to tell? What can you have
to tell me, except about your bank
ing business, as always, your sole
topic of interest "
"It is about my banking business,"
answered John Sharpless. "You have
hit the nail on the head very accur
ately, Winifred. In fact, I should
have told you weeks ago, had you
seemed to have any interest beyond
spending the money. I am ruined
and bankrupt, and my assets are
"What!" she cried, coming toward
him. "Are you speaking the truth!"
"The absolute truth. So, I am
afraid your projected trip will have
to be deferred, at least, so far as I
am concerned. I shall probably be
able to command $50 a week, how-d
ever, and, when that happens, if you
think you can live on $25, 1 can grati-
fy my country tastes on as much. To
be frank, Winifred, I am unfeignedly A
glad that this has happened. I see-
what a will-o'-the-wisp I was pursu- i
ing. I hope to accumulate enough
to support me in my old age, and "v
"John! Don't!" There was pain in
her voice. She came beside him. a
"John! You have, lost everything?
You are going to begin life again?