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"Now, there's the Princes," contin-
i ued his visitor. "That Prince woman
is a regular nagger. She was telling
..Mrs. Bates, her sister, only yester-
day, that if ever the chance came
lagain she would never marry a man
who smoked. She said tobacco was
? worse than liquor."
John Curtice listened in pained si-
"And the Howards dont get along
together at all," continned Miss Ben-
fBett. "Nor do the Bangers. But, as
l was saying, nobody can blame you."
She left him, well satisfied with her
morning's work by seeing Rev. John
Curtice in a condition approaching
Two days later the locum tenens,
Mr. Halford, arrived. There was
much to be done before the pastor
could depart. Mr. Halford was in
troduced to a number of the parish
ioners, and was made acquainted
with the condition of the various so
cieties. Then came, the debacle, which was
to create more excitement in Staple
ville than a presidential election or
an earthquake, or the fall of the Met-
h ropolitan Life tower if it could fall.
Miss Bennett was the retailer of this
choice piece of news.
"I heard him with my own ears
last night," she told the excited listen
ers at the Dorcas meeting. "I had
gone to his house to ask him whether
he had told Mr. Halford about that
new altar cloth we were to have next
Sunday, but seeing Mr. Halford sit
Lting with Mr. Curtice by the window,
I naturally hesitated to go in, being
a single woman. And then I heard
Mr. Curtice say, in a most solemn
1 Yes, I have' deceived everybody.
I have lived a lie all these years, but
bow I can live it no longer, and I am
going away to hide my head from
these good people whom I have
wronged. I have never been ordained
tit minister. I am an impostor.' "
'Sakes alive, you must have been
dreaming, Bessie f" exclaimed Mrs.,
Bates. "I met him on his way to the
depot this morning, and I never saw
a cheerier man or one with the look
of a better conscience on his face."
But the excited chatter was inter
rupted by an unusual circumstance.
Two ladies had fainted. One wasd
Mrs. Prince. The other was Martha :i
"Bessie, Bessie!" gasped Mrs.
Prince, when at last she had been re-a
stored, "can you look me in the faces
and ten me that?" $
"Yes, my dear, it is true gospel t
true," answered Miss Bennett, with
an inward sense of playing a pro-o
phetic role. j
"And do you know what it means?" i
gasped Mrs. Prince. r
"That Jack and I have never been J
married, that's all." And Martha
Dunn, who was in the process of re-r
turning to consciousness, promptly!
The consternation in Stapleville
can be better imagined than de
scribed. The whole town was buzzing
about Mr. Halford's ears. In vain he
protested that, to the best of his be-f
lief, Mr. Curtice was an ordained.
clergyman; he told how highly he'
was esteemed in the diocese. Finally)
a telegram was sent to the pastor
urging him to return at once.
He came on the next tram, sensing
misfortune. He was met by an ex
cited crowd. They surrounded him,'
accusing, clamoring; they followed
him to his home, and it was only
when he laid his proofs of ordination
before them that they turned upon
Miss Bennett, who had prudently fled
as soon as she saw that Mr. Curtice
had Justified himself.
"You can't think what a relief it
has been to us, Mr. Curtice," sobbed
Mrs. Prince, clinging to her embar
rassed husband. "We've lived a hap
py married life so long and it seemed
so cruel to be told '
"And James and I," wept Martha
Dunn. "After our years of love and
mutual sacrifice to have such a