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For Dulcie loved Ridgely. She had
loved him from the beginning and
now more than ever before her heart
went out to this blind man, doomed to
be dependent throughout his life
upon the help of others.
The first day he had murmured:
"Julia, somehow I always associated
you with mirth and gayety; I did not
think of you as an ideal nurse." And
" once he had made Dulcie's heart
throb when he asked: "Where is Dul
cie. Tell her that I should like to see
But afterward he had grown more
silent. And wheA he knew that he
would never see again he would lie
' for hours upon his bed, deep in
thought. Duleie, seeing his blind eyes
fixed upon hers as though he saw,
would shiver and cover her face with
" her hands, as if he could -see the
starting tears. ..
"I have been a foql," he said on one
occasion. "I have thought that
pleasure was all in life. I did not
know that life is tribulation. What
should I do without you, my dear?"
The Dulcie ran out of the room to
cry. And the confession seemed the
hardest thing in the world, and yet it
had to be made.
Ridgely had been brought itno the
Crothers home simply because he had
no one to care for him. Old Mrs.
Crothers, a gentle old lady, alternate
ly dominated and petted "by Julia, had
assented to the nlan, with alacritv.
But when she understood Julia's inr
tentions she shook her head mourn
fully. "He thinks I am Julia", mother,"
Dulcie whispered to her. "I don't
know how to tell him."
. The old lady flared up for the first
time in many years, "i" you ask me,"
she said, tossing her head, "I think
that Jim is well rid of ner."
JjMother!" exclaimed Dulcie, in
"Look there!" answered the old
lady, pointing to the garden gate.
Downthe street came Julia, and a
youhg man walked at her side. Dul
cie knew the boy; she did not blame t
him for seizing the opportunity to re-1
gain his former flame ; but Julia 1
"In my day we didn't change like
that m time of trouble," said old Mrs.
"Will you tell him, mother?" asked
"No, my dear. That is for you," j
said the old lady.
"But I can't I can't," said Dulcie; '
wringing her hands.
And then, resolved to end a situa-3
tion which had become unbearable,
Dulcie ran upstairs and into Jiin's'2
room. He was lying on the sofa, look-
ing out of the window with his sight-
less eyes. 9
"Do you know, dear, that I have
neither asked nor received a kiss dur
ing the whole of my illness?" asked !
Dulcie blushed painfully.
"Jim, there is something that P
must tell you," she stammered, seat-J
ing herself at his side. t
Jim took her hand and held it in '
"Ib it something terrible?" he?T
asked gayly. "Teh me, Julia, and let'
me see whether I find it as bad as yoii r
think it is."
"Oh, you don't understand," the1,
girl burst out. ,lAnd yet I aon't know
how you can have been so bli so;
unable to .understand. I am not Ju-'
lia. I am Dulcie, and Julia Julia -r
oh, Jim, how can I manage to tell'
you that she does not care for you'
any more and has not been near you,
since the second day of your illness? '
Oh, Jim, she doesn't care for you and
never did care, and it is hard to have '
Jo tell you, and and " l
And Dulcie broke into, a storm of
passionate tears. '
Jim's hand fell lightly upon her1
own. "I knew it was you, Dulcie,''
he said softly. r
Dulcie raised her tear-stained face
"You see, ilear, you only deceived
me for a few hours' he said. "Ypji
see Dulcie, love opens one's ears '