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By Victor Redcliffe
(Copyright by W. Gr-Ghapman.)
Life seemed at its fullest and sweet
est for Cynthia Russell. She sat be
fore a blazing grate, the curtains
drawn, the door locked, a great paper
basket at her side, filled with old let
ters, old photographs, all the wreck
age of her girl life.
Wreckage was the correct term.
There was happiness supreme in face
and heart now, yet at some tender
suggestion of the past, some vivid re
minder of a guarded, stifled career,
brow and lips drew close, more in se
cret pain than in resentment.
There came a soft tap on the pan
els of the hall door. Cynthia threw
a drapery over the tell-tale basket
She Stirred up the crisp, blackened
mass that crowned the glowing coal
like a funeral veil. Then she went
to the door and challenged:
"Who is it?"
"Leila, dear," came the prompt re
sponse, and Cynthia admitted her
dearest friend and present guest, Miss
A madcap unrestrained, keen, in
quisitive and loyal, Leila's keen eyes
and alert mind soon surmised the in
terrupted occupation of her hostess.
She deftly uncovered the basket, Bhe
glanced knowingly at the brittle mass
in the grate, she moved toward her
a photograph lying at Cynthia's el
bow. "Ghosts of the past an actual
hero of the present," she said softly.
"Now, then, Cynthia, tell me all
about it." Cynthia flushed as she
concealed the tell-tale photograph
and her devoted friend sank to a stool
at her side and clasping her hands
prettily looked straight up into the
eyes of her friend.
"Well," faltered Cynthia, "as you
have seen the photograph "
"Yes, of Richard Graydon go 6u,
dear," pleaded Leila eagerly.
"We we are engaged.' ,
Leila sprang up with a wild shriek
of joy. She clasped her arms about
Cynthia, her eyes dancing with sin
cere approbation of the announce
ment. "Oh, my dear, I am so delighted!"
she said. "I was afraid you were go
ing to fade away into a settled old
"I have been one fpr two years, you
know," intimated Cynthia, nd there
was a species of anxious entreaty in
Had Cynthia Forgotten Him?
her voice, "and, Leila I was starve
mg for love! love! love!"
Her inmost soul burst the leaden
trammels of years at this wild out
burst Cynthia fell to weeping in the
arms of her pitying and loyal friend.
"No wojnan was ever a truer wife,"
said Leila' earnestly, "your new hap
piness is your reward."
It seemed true. Four years pre
vious, through the arts of a maneu
vering mother, Cynthia had given up
her girlhood's fondest dreams and