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Newspaper Page Text
A HIDDEN LOVE
n By Mary Grace Bennett
"Don't be rash, Rivers, think it
over. Surely, I have treated you
"More than fairly, Mr. Esmond!"
declared Paul Rivers, gratefully and
earnestly. , ."
"Hit is a mater of increased com
pensation I will gladly treat with
"Oh, no sir. It isn't that"
"You have a better prospect, per
haps, sugegsted Mr. Esmond,, anx
ious to secure the confidence of an
employe he valued and respected.
"I have nothing in view, sir," ex
plained Paul, "but I that is, I feel
the need of a change. My mother,
who lives in another state, is old and
failing rapidly. I feel it a duty to be
Thus, in a halting way, wretched
at heart, hiding a deep secret, Paul
Rivers bade farewell to the two
brightest years of his young life.
He had come to Taunton a strange
er and had secured work in the large
mercantile establishment of Robert
Esmond. Erom the start the wealthy
business man had admired his energy
and efficiency. At the end of a yeae
he had advanced his favored employe
to a managerial position.
Then he had made a vast mistake,
so far as Rivers was concerned. He
had invited Paul to his home and had
Introduced him to his daughter,
Eloise. She was a queenly, undemon
strative girl, and although to Paul she
seemed far, far above him, he be
came a frequent visitor at the palatial
home, and a secret worshiper at the
shrine of her fascinating influence.
Miss Esmond stood high socially..
The family friends were of the elite.
She was courted by men who had
thousands where Paul had hundreds.
The self-deprecating Paul finally ar
rived at a conclusion. To confess his
love to her was sure to meet with a
haughty rejection, Mistrusting his J
own sterling value, misjudging a.
woman's heart, Paul -Rivers resolved
to go arwuyaTjd;forgeEEloIseEsmond.
"Blind -doubly blind;" commented
a close lady-friend of Miss Esmond to
herself fdr she had discerned what
lay hidden under thevmask of calm
ness worn by Eloise. v
At all events, Patfl went to his
mother's home to begin a new life.
He found there a patient, unpretenr
tioue young girl who had tenderly
nursed ihis age&relatlveJor threlong
"I Want Yeu te Join Me." "1
years. "WhencWfs. Risers died her
forlorn pooWwtwhedthe generous
heart of Paul r
"She ik "notrajetty nor educated,"
reflected Paul, '"but'shcfe true as
steeL She jnay caaee me to forget
He'pbropoeed to Harriet Green-and
she was proud and iajpy. A little,
child, Adeline, was born to them."
Then Harriet faded slowly away,
blessing heaven, to the last for the
husband whose gentleness and care
she had mistaken for kv,