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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, November 17, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-11-17/ed-1/seq-19/

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him, now that he was Baron Linfield
and they would neither know nor
care about Natusha.
Benson resolved to run away. He
could walk to the nearest port and
catch the morrow's boat. He would
leave everything to Natusha. She
would doubtless go back to her own
people.
He saw her watching him silently
that night. Like a faithful hound
she knew his moods' her lord's
moods. Natusha watched him with
a, dumb aching at her heart. She
had seen the scrap of paper and she
had learned that he would be moody
on the rare occasions after a scrap of
paper came.
At midnight, when he thought Na
tusha was sleeping, Benson arose
noiselessly from his couch. He had
his mackinaw and overshoes ready,
for the nights were cold and there
was a long walk before him. Silent
ly he pushed open the door went into
the starry night.
When he had disappeared Natusha
kneeled at the bedside a moment in
prayer. She prayed to the God of
whom the missionaries had told her
as she had never prayed before. Then
she slipped out after him.
As Benson strode along the trail
all memory -of Natusha seemed to
slip from him. He was a boy once
more, in the Sussex lanes, heartfree.
He was at school, winning the cap
taincy of the football eleven. He was
at the university, stroking his boat,
and it raced home a length ahead of
the rival one, amid the plaudits of
the crowd. Benson was living in the
past. But the future might outrival
the jast What could not Baron Lin
field accomplish, when so much had"
been done by Benson?
He remembered the final angry
scene .with his father, the old man's
"lutile wrath at the .son who had dis
honored his name.
It had been the act of a goaded
man, desperate for money, but Ben
son could only hang his head before
the old man's scathing words.
I "If ever temptation comes to you
again, sir, remember what you might
have dqne and try with all your
might to conquer it," he had said. "'
And temptation had come many
times, but Benson had never tried to
conquer it. What was the use, so
long as he had whisky? And, later
what was the use when he had Na-
tusha? f
Suddenly he stopped dead. Why,
this was the temptation of which his'
father had spoken. He was doing
now a thing still more dishonorable
than that which he had done before.
What was the use of being Baron
Linfield if he was a scoundrel to boot.'
Benson sat down and fought his"
battle out. And with her woman's in
tuition one who watched him from a
near hiding place knew that the God
of the mission people was wrestling
with his adversary for Benson's soul.
The agony on the man's face was
stronger than the suffering on hers.
Forgetting all, daring his wrath, Na:
tusha glided up to him. She kneeled
at his side and put her arms around
him.
And, in this position, she whispered
something to him, a woman's secret,
that made his heart leap as hers was
beating then.
Benson rose to his feet. " The hag
eardness was gone from his face.
He saw his duty. He saw the years
of ease and dishonor stretching be
fore him, on the one hand, and, on
the 'other, years of hbnor. He could
make himself respected. If he could
not win recognition for Natusha, he
could for his daughter or his son.
And the heir would be Baron Lin
field, if it was a boy. If a girl
well-
Natusha drew his arm through
hers and together they went back in
silence toward the cabin. They en
tered, and Benson, taking out the
letter, deliberately tore it to pieces.
He would not answer Dench &
Bench. He would not even take the
money from the estate. Let the dead
past got

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