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Newspaper Page Text
THE EVIL SPELL
By Grace B. Wharton.
(Copyright by. W. G. Chapman.)
Verne Tyson roirsed up with a
start. He rubbed his eyes, he shook
himself. Then he stared across the
table where his club acquaintance,
Colonel Reeves so-called, should
have been. No colonel. Then beyond
that at the spot where last he had
seen the volatile, never-to-be-forgot-
"How Long Have I Been Here?"
ten Madame Hortense Vassour. Gone.
A discreet waiter, napkin on arm,
approached. His well-trained face ex
pressed a mild inquiry, a strong sug
gestiveness of being of service.
"How long have I been here?" ask
etd Verne abruptly.
"Three hours, sir."
"And the others?" demanded
Verne, with a sweep of his hand.
"They joked about your siesta and
seeded to think it sport to give -you
the surprise of waking up alone."
"So," muttered Verne, and his face
showed that he did not like the sit--uation.
He arose. The waiter helped
him to his hat and gloves, bowed his
thanks for the careless, liberal fee,
and Verne walked from the cafe gar
den into the street.
"It wasn't the wine I didn't touch
it," he ruminated. "It was not ennui,
for the colonel and his lady friend
were positively brilliant this evening.
It was that woman's eyes!"
Verne knew little of the colonel,
less of the woman. The former lived
a mysterious existence at the club.
The lady was his cousin, he had said.
From the first her eyes had repelled
Verne, because every time they spar
kled they gave him an unaccountably
uneasy feeling. She was pretty, wit
ty, winning in her ways. She was
intelligent, too. The conversation
had drifted towards the occult, hyp
notism and all that during the little
refection. Then then
"I went to sleep," reflected Verne,
"and I remember my lady's glowing
eyes the last thing. Brr-rr! it is un
canny. Perhaps she tried the art mes
meric on me. I'll go and see Leila
and forget all about it."
To .Leila he was affianced. Society
saw an ideal love match in their pros- '
pective union. The Boyds were
wealthy and Verne was the heir of
his uncle, the richest man in the dis
trict. The wedding had been set for
two weeks ahead.
It was fortunate that Leila had
some other callers that evening, for
Verne felt dull and uncompanionable.
He could not shake off a certain apa
thetic, lethargic feeling that oppress
ed him. Leila noticed it, and when he
left she whispered softly:
"We shall be alone tomorrow even
ing come early."
But something prevented. The fol
lowing morning Mr. Tresham,
Verne's uncle, sent his nephew away
on a business mission to a city a
day's journey distant. It covered a
stay of some weeks, where attention