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Newspaper Page Text
A CASE FOR EUGENICS
'By Thomas Crawford.
"And cousins can't marry," ended
Miss Jones, the village gossip, tri
umphantly. That was the law in that particu
lar state, but it was more than a law;
it was becoming public sentiment.
Arthur Davis believed in eugenics
with all his heart. He was sure that
the marriage of cousins was undesir-
' She Lay Unconscious on the Bed
able and entailed physical disaster
upon the children. But he loved
Nancy Reeves as much as twenty-five
ever loved twenty.
, The Reeves and Davis families
were the leading ones in the town.
Hiram Reeves had been a ne'er-do-well
in his youth, and had brought
unhappiness on his pretty young
wife. At last he took her West, to re
turn ten years later with a fortune
and a pretty little girl, Nancy, who
had come to them when they had
given up all hope of having children.
The Reeves family had reestab
lished itself. As Nancy grew older,
Arthur Davis was her constant com
panion. He loved her before he had
ever heard of eugenics indeed, be
fore anybody else had.
Then came the avowal of love, and
all the village was shocked. There
had been a eugenics lecturer there
that summer, and he had painted in
lurid words the awful consequences
of an inter-marriage between cousins.
And Arthur and Nancy, seated in the
second row from the front, felt their
hands relax and their hearts beat
slowly with horror.
Silently they went home. They
parted with averted faces. Next day
Nancy wrote her sweetheart an im
passioned letter, saying that they
must never meet again. In any event,
she said, she could" not marry, be
cause, now that her father was dead,
and her mother growing old, she
must devote herself to the old wo
"I reckon Mrs. Reeves will set her
foot down hard on that engagement,"
said Miss Jones. "Nancy's the apple
of her eye, as she ought to be con
sidering how many years it was be
fore she had her."
Her childlessness had been a bitter
thing for Ada Reeves to bear. Soft
ened though it was by the realization
that her worthless husband would
not be likely to prove a good father,
it had cost her manj- a tear. And
when she had come back from Idaho
with Nancy, and with Hiram, rich
and a reformed man, there was a certain-triumph
in her manner that had
exasperated the gossips who had
formerly sneered at her.
And just as Arthur Davis was pre
paring to leave his native town for
ever, an incredible rumor came to his
ears. Nancy was an adopted child!
It was whispered very furtively by the
gossips, for gossips are always cow
ards, but it was hinted that Nancy
did not resemble her mother any
more than she had resembled her