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Newspaper Page Text
By Harold Carter
Jean Rae was still thinking over
the proposition thatTom Varcoe had
put to her on her way'uown to Can
non's, in the snbway. That to ac
quiesce would be wrong hardly trou
bled her. What did trouble her was
faking the plunge. Instinct and
trainrag were both against her; but
then at thirty one 'becomes very
lonely and Urea of life on $10 a. week
in a boarding house.
She had two dozen girls under her.
She was considered an eminently re
spectable young woman. She had
been in Cannon's department store
for nine years. If Cannon could have
dreamed of what was in her head he
would undoubtedly have discharged
her on the spot.
She had knqwn Tom Varcoe for
two years. He had a position at $35
in the buyers' department and looked
forward with confidence "to getting
the assistant buyer's position, soon
to be vacant, at $50. His wife was
in the asylum, an almost hopeless
,imbecile. Yet, since there was a re
mote chance of her recovery, a divorce-was
impossible for him. Even
before her affliction they had proved
an ill-assorted couple. Her fits of
frenzy, the prelude to the disease,
had made their married life anything
but a happy one. And Tom. who was
Jean's best friend, whose loyalty to
her had never faltered, had asked her
to accept his protection through life
without the impossible ceremony.
"You see, Jean, dear," he said the
night-'before, "it is the law of the
state that is to blame. You will be
the same as my wife to me forever.
And I'll take you to Europe when I
get the position and we can live ele
gantly You know me well enough
to trust me, Jean."
She had promised to think it over
and give him his answer later.
Tons, was, indeed, the sort of man
of whom any woman might be proud.
Not all men in Cannons were like
that. There was Dodsleigh, for in
stance, the floorwalker of the perfum
ery department, whom Jean had
warned away often enoligh when she
saw him ogling some of her newcom
ers. Dodsleigh was a married man
and the type' known as a ."good fel
low." He was the type that would
appejtf, in its cheap. fla;sninessi to a
gh-Ijflke little Maggie Pryce, for in
staaR. Maggie had been in the de-
"I Guess I Know What I'm About."
partment store four-weeks and her
little empty head was-swimming with
romance. Her knowledge of life was
at the zero point.
It was only the day before that Jean
had seen Maggie talking eagerly to
Dodsleigh during her luncheon time.
She had taken the opportunity to
speak a few words to her seriously
"I guess I know what I'm about,"
answered .Maggie pertly,, with a toss
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