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Newspaper Page Text
Barnabas rectory was only a few
steps from the car line, and presently
Lucy found herself standing among a
crowd of girls who looked at her with
But she had little thought of their
envy when she met Tom. resplen
dent in his white shirtfront and black
evening clothes. She saw Tom look
at her in amazement, and when he
took her by the hand and put down
his name for no fewer than six
dances Lucy knew that her innocent
scheme was on the highway to suc
cess. It was after the third dance that
Lucy became conscious of a pair of
basilisk eyes transfixing her from
across the room, where, on a raised
dais, the lady patronesses of St Bar
nabas social were watching the danc
ers with complacent interest. Lucy
raised her eyes to meet the glare. She
saw Mrs. Cramer staring at her
through her lorgnette.
As she looked up she saw the wom
an beckon to her. Lucy went mis
erably toward her; she had not known
that Mrs. Cramer was a patron.
"Young woman, I know you and I
know that gown you are wearing!"
snapped Mrs. Cramer.
Lucy hung her head. She did not
know what to say.
"I've heard of such things hap
pening," continued Mrs. Cramer,
growing more and more indignant
as she thought over the insult. "But
upon my word, I never dreamed
that such a thing could be possible
with Worth's. Do you know what I
am going to do, young woman?"
"No, ma'am," stammered Lucy.
"You will tomorrow," said Mrs.
Cramer,- now red as the wattles of
a turkey rooster. "I am going to
have you discharged. And now you
will go straight home and take off
that gown or you shall be arrested."
Shamed as she was, Lucy felt a
spark of resentment within her
breast. Did Mrs. Cramer guess, she
who spent her money so lavishly
upon her clothes, what such a gown
as that meant to a working girl?t
Could she picture the thrill, the hap
piness, the brief hour's wearing of
it had given her?
Before she could answer, however,
Tom was at her side and Lucy was
conscious that the band had begun to
play again. Tom offered her his arm
and the two glided away. And Lucy
tried to forget everything in that
short dance, to live her heaven until
the denouement. That must come
soon, for the look on Mrs. Cramer's
face boded no good; even now she
seemed to be speaking with the rec
tor. The dance over, Tom led Lucy to a
seat beneath an overhanging palm.
"Dear," he said, takiing her hand,
"my salary is going to be raised to
twenty-five beginning witn the New
Year. And, Lucy "
There was no possibility of misin
terpreting the look in her sweet
heart's eyes. Only an instant the
girl hesitated; then she let her head
fall upon her lover's shoulder and the
"happy tears blinded her. And Mrs.
Cramer was clean forgotten.
Until Lucy, aroused by Tom's hur
riedly withdrawing the arm that was
around her waist, started up to see
Mrs. Cramer and the rector passing
them. The look on the rector's face
was a mixture of amusement and at
tention; it was easy to see that Rev.
Mr. Harris at least understood some
thing of the tribulations of a work
ing girl's life.
As they passed, the rector turned
and spoke to Lucy.
"Miss Enroll," he said, "I believe
Mrs. Cramer would like to speak to
you in a few moments."
"Yes, I will go to her," murmured
the girl mechanically. And after
Tom had led her back to the ball
room Lucy went over again to where
Mrs. Cramer was seated majestically
upon the dais again.
Perhaps Lucy, on her part, erred
in her interpretation of a rich wom
an's heart, for into Mrs. Cramer's
there had come a sudden realization