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Newspaper Page Text
MIDDLE-AGED ROMANTICS .
By Charlotte Cobbett
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
There comes to every middle-aged
man a time when he feels that his life
has been a failure. .At forty-seven
John Gardiner was beginning to feel
A successful architect, with a
charming wife and four children,
earning enough money to give him
a comfortable home and send the
boys through college, he looked hack
on his high hopes and felt that the
promise of youth had been fallacious.
The little village where he had been
born, the early sweetheart whom he
had not, married, his boyish friends,
all assumed a rosy halo in the past.
Forgotten were the hard knocks, the
early struggles, the eagerness to get
away to the big city, where he had
at last succeeded.
"Ella," he said to his wife, "I be
lieve I'll auto down to Gravehurst
next Saturday, spend the night at
the little place and return on Sunday.
I want to look up some of my old
friends and see how they have been
doing. There's Tom , Elmer, the
model boy, who was cut out for a
successful preacher. And Will Jones,
who used to black my eye once a
month as regular as clockwork no
doubt he's come to a bad end. I want
to read the epitaph on his tombstone
and see if it lies about him."
"You'll enjoy the trip, dear," an
swered his wife, beaming fondly on
But John Gardiner has remained re
ticent about the chief purpose of his
trip. He wanted to see Lucy Bates.
He had thought a good deal about
her of recent months. It was not that
he would really have exchanged his
wife for Lucy, if the opportunity had
been his; but he felt that the promise
of young love had failed to blossom.
He remembered fragrant summer
evenings when Lucy and he had
strolled arm in arm across the mead
ows 'listefiifag fo tfcesdngdf the -hob-:
olink. What a world of romance they
had lived in! But he had gone to
New York and had only heard once
or twice from her.
Had she waited for him, as she had
sworn to do, remaining a solitary old
maid in the old-fashioned home
stead? It was a sentimental journey
that the man planned; and yet he felt
that it would give him the answer to
much that had perplexed him.
It was a mellow afternoon when
his automobile stopped at Gravehurst
IPS p OhiS
iffiSSl m M
"I'm Behind With the Rent This
John had some difficulty in recogniz
ing the place at first. A huge fac
tory was vomiting smoke all over the
landscape; however, it was a mile out
of town, and the old-fefchioned vil
lage itself was little changed, al
though an. annex of cheap frame
houses to supply the needs of the
factory hands had sprung up.
John put up at the little shabby ho
tel and made himself known to the