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Newspaper Page Text
to become permanent and to produce
their rich crop of results. The experi
ment had been performed many times
since man emerged from barbarism,
but less and less often as he became
enlightened, and of recent years so
seldom that its very infrequency was
John Barton's greatest asset of
It was on the 'fifth morning after
his arrival that he received a letter
"My dearest John," she wrote, "I
am becoming very uneasy about
your going up to that out-of-the-way
place in the Adirondacks, where you
are all by yourself. Mother wants you
to come back at once and spend the
rest of the month with us at Atlantic
Beach. I am afraid you have been
working too hard, and are now going
to overdo things up there, tramping
and fishing, instead of remaining ab
"I am greatly concerned about you,
dear, and unless you write me that
you are coming on the next train, I
shall begin to think you do not love
The sight of Lucy's delicate hand
writing brought back to him with a
rush all the memory of their love.
How fond they had been of each oth
er! How the knowledge that she
loved him had temporarily driven the
thought of his purpose out of his
mind. And how miserably he had
striven to avoid that Insistent tempta
tion that came knocking at his heart!
But the experiment was under way,
and, more, it was succeeding. There
was no' doubt of that. Science was in
fallible, and her laws absolute. And
he had used only a tenth part of the
clay-colored chemical, with its faint,
aromatic smell, so subtle an agent
in his great task, and yet apparently
John answered Lucy's letter, ex
ing himself on the ground that he
needecLperfeet rest, and remained in
his cottage. In his daily strolls he
sedulously avoided those districts,
whe.re the few lumbermen and guides
had their humble abodes. The mental
strain and the physical effects "of his
experiment were beginning to be-J
come plainly visible in his counten-
ance. John Barton shrank from con
tact with his fellow-man.
Two weeks passed, and now there'
was no longer a doubt. Barton could,
even determine the shape and scope
of the result of his great undertaking.
Yet, as success became assured, he
grew more and more conscious of a
passionate desire not to lose Lucy be
cause of it.
She had not answered his perfunc-'
tory letter. John was afraid she was
offended with him. He knew that
sooner or later she must learn the
truth. How would 'It affect Eer.and
her love for him. Could Lucy remain
faithful to him when Jghn bore the
stamp of his crime upon his face, as
Cain was sealed upon the forehead.
Then the day of decision dawned.
There was a letter from Lucy. John
could hardly steady his fingers to tear
"My dear John," it began, "since
L receiving your last letter I have felt
very much hurt at your refusal to
spend your holiday with us. I hoped
that you would write again, and I
have waited everyNday to hear from
you. I was too proud to answer you.
"But now, dear John, I have come
to the conclusion that you could not
have treated me thus unless some
thing serious were the matter. And
so mother and I are coming up to
see you. We shall start tomorrow
and the day after you receive this,
we shall be at your station. I hope
you will meet us there, John, and
remove my suspense and mother's."
And now the die was cast, and the
man's struggle between love and the
dreadful task to which he had set
himself was renewed more acutely
than ever. None can know what a
mental struggle he endured during
the rest of that day. For, if he de
stroyed the results of his experiment
ie knew that he could not nerve liim
self to .begin anew.
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