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Newspaper Page Text
THE LOST YEARS
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman)
"You can't do better. I've handled
dozens of men in your "fix. Look here,
you owe society a grudge. The -world
has rohbed you of name, fortune, the
best years of your Me. Pay them
back. I offer you the chance."
"Thank you, no," said John Thurs
ton, simply, and turned on his heel.
The tempter, a man who financed
criminate and made them his slaves,
sneered decidedly. John Thurston
went on his way, dejected, unhappy,
A month to a day he had been re
leased from the penitentiary after
serving a five-year sentence. The
man he had just left had sought him
out, had tried to induce him to join
his colony of burglars and petty
thieves whose services he would re
pay with money and protection.
It was the injustice of his punish
ment that had galled the proud spirit
of John Thurston, clerk of a country
bank, all but engagel to sweet Alice
Lesle, life all before him, the abstrac
tion of a package of money had been
laid to his charge. He had been ar
rested and sentenced.
When he came out of prison he
found that a relative had left him a
small legacy. He secured this and
came to the city to begin life all over
again. He had learned that Alice
Lisle had long since left the little
village where they had once both re
sided. Of course she had forgotten
him. Even if not, what would she
have to do with a convicted thief.
And now, wherever he had applied
for work his record had come to the
front Even the criminals had lo
cated him and strove to influence him
as one of their hateful guild.
"I am a marked man," breathed
Thurston bitterly, "I give up the
Dark thoughts came into his mind
and they ended in the resolve of
suicide. He reached a pawnshop and
viewed with brimness its array of
weapons. A veiled woman was bar
tPirinsr at the counter inside. He wait
ed until she had left. Then he enter
ed the place.
Thurston was about to state his in
tended purchase of a revolver, when
he happened to notice the article
upon which the pawnbroker had just
made a loan. He started. His whole
It was a locket. It bore two por
traits. One was himself, the other of
"Thank You, No," Said John Thurs
ton Simply, and Turned on His Heels.
the only woman he had ever loved.
Six years since he had given that
keepsake to Alice Lisle.
The- pawnbroker stared strangely
as he noticed his emotion, for Thurs
ton had reached out and had seized
the locket and was inspecting the ini
tials upon its outer case.
"Tell me," he spoke, his voice in
a tremor, "did the woman I noticed
just leave this here "
"She did," responded the pawn
broker. "What is your interest in