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.Chester had sown "wild oats," but
only in patches. Always at his side,
kind, brotherly, extenuating, there
had been Storm. Older than his pro
tege, generally strict and solemn, he
had won the confidence, the regard,
the love of the impetuous lad.
( Chester, with genuine sadness as
iney sac logeiner. uear oia inena,
how I shall miss you! To tnlnk of how
you have guided me, shielded me,
made a man of me! And at what ex
pense! Old fellow, there is a long
score to settle."
"Not of money," responded Storm
"That has been supplied by an
"You mean?" exclaimed the mysti
Then Hayden .Storm recited a
'strange story. He told how, a month
after the father of Chester had
placed Chester at the college, a veiled
lady had called upon him. It was,
Mrs. Burridge. She spoke of the im
placable obstinacy and rigorous rules
of her husband. At the first boyish
outbreak of Chester he would spoil
his life by chiding him. A nature like
that of Chester, galled by suppression
and censure, would revolt She had
begged of Mr. Storm to become his
guardian, and gave him money to see
that the boy did not feel like a beggar.
"My mother!" breathed' Chester
intensely. "How I have misjudged
her oh, where is she?"
"She will soon come to see you,"
pronounced the subtutor. "My dear
boy, it has been a labor of love to
help you. I am proud of you!"
He led the talk into other chan
nels. He spoke of Miss Erna Win
sted, whom Chester loved, and won
dered how his stern, exacting father
would take the announcement of
Miss Erna Winsted, dainty, petite
and lovely, trembled with suspense
and then thrilled with delight when
the graduation exercises began the
next day. She had selected a shad
owed corner of the great auditorium,
to be alone and shielded from obser
vation, so she could enjoy the rap
ture of seeing her brave lover receive
the first prize.
Near to her was seated a lady well
dressed and deeply veiled. She, too,
seemed to be intensely interested in
the main orator of the occasion. Erna
could not fail to observe evidences of
the deepest emotion.
The stranger breathed tremulous
ly, once she seemed to sob and weep.
Then some incoherent words, appar
ently of joy, left her lips.
And then, with a slight moan she'
swayed to one side, and, her head
sinking directly into the lap of the
astonished Erna, she lay there in
sensible. Miss Winsted did not wish to create
any commotion, for just then the
presentation of the oratorical prize
was being made. She tactfully
'brushed aside the veil and pressed a
phial of smelling salts to the nostrils
of the unconscious lady.
Slowly the latter revived. She
stared wonderingly at her gentle
nurse. Just then Chester Burridge,
radiant with the excitement and tri
umph of the occasion, sought out his
He was all smiles as he extended to
the girl he loved the jeweled recogni
tion of his ability. Then his eyes fell
upon the face of her companion. In
9. vast gasp the word left his lips:
She lifted her two pleading hands
toward him. They nestled in his lov
ing, welcoming, grafep. Erna sat
spellbound at the unusual scene.
"I am weak," murmured Mrs. Bur
ridge. "Get me to my hotel. I am
sorry I disturbed you, young lady."
Hayden Storm saw them as they
went away in the automobile. His
lips puckered queerly. He forgot his
dignity sufficiently to utter a low