A DEAD PAST
By George Elmer Cobb
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
f "Blind, deaf, dumb that's Mar
vin Thearle!" "- -
"Why, the man seems to possess
all his natural senses."
- "I mean socially and morally.
'Hard as nails' is his shibboleth. I
think he glories in the distinction. It
has come about that his eyes seem
closed to all human misery, his ears
sealed lest one word of pity or sym
pathy appeals to him. As to a kind
word he begrudges it even to the
clerks he employs."
Thus two men at the club dis
cussed the member who performed
his social functions as though they
were a penance, and cast a chill over
all those with whom he came in con
tact. The first speaker went on:
"It was 15 years ago, when he ar
rived at age. He lived in a town sev
eral hundred miles from here and
was engaged to marry a beautiful
igirL Her name was Elsinore Day
ton. There was another suitor. His
jname, too, was Dayton Horace
jbayton, but he was no relation to the
fiancee. Young Thearle had inherited
isome money. He had built a rare
nest of luxury for his bride-to-be.
Jt was filled with the costliest fur
nishings. Life never seemed more ro
seate to a man. One night Elsinore
.Dayton disappeared, Horace Dayton,
too. They have never been heard
"Presumably so. Prom that hour
sof perfidy and heart-break Marvin
Thearle has been as you now see him
shunning all womankind, a tyrant
las an employer, not a real friend in
1 "And the residence he built?"
- "With all its rich belongings went
-up in smoke one night, and the next
day he left his native town forever."
i Into the store of this misanthrope
.there cam two days later a tall, slen
der boy of tender age. He was neat
and clean, but his shoes were patched
and his well-brushed suit was thread
bare. Mr. Thearle gave him a mere
passing glance. The manager hired
the boy, who became known as PauL
A week later the lad was called
into the office of Mr. Thearle. The
latter barely nodded to him.
"Hang those pictures of the new
factories," he ordered gruffly.
Paul obeyed. As he stepped from
the chair after hanging the last pic-
"And Your Father?" Demanded
ture, however, he stumbled. His
pencil, a knife and a cheap silver
watch he wore fell from his pocket
With a murmured apology of embar
rassment the lad started to pick up
the scattered articles.
The case of the watch had opened.
It had landed directly against the
foot of the employer, who stooped to
pick it up. As he did so he could not
help but notice the -photograph of a
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