lied its owner, if, as it seemed from
the clear- eyes, .a prompting heart,
true and lovable, inspired that at
tractive friendly gleam.
At length the arduous quest of the
investigator was rewarded. At a
quaint little country town Vance
Merton located the missing heiress.
He spent several days in making in
quiries. He watched from a distance
the modest young girl, who was
working as a seamstress. He had
fancied fn the past that he loved a
woman. He knew better now, for
real affection filled his soul and glor
ified his nature.
Then Vance Merton did a selfish
thing. He neglected his mission, he
forgot all about his duty to Lawyer
Doyce. Here was a fresh, charming
girl, unspoiled by experience, content
and happy in a humble sphere of life.
What might not the possession of
wealth andJuxury and idleness do to
change that sterling nature?
Vance secured an introduction to
the object of his esteem. He courted
her, he learned that her modest, sen-,
stble tastes were akin to his own. He
proposed' and was accepted.
Wp fpnnrpri T,awvp.r Dovne arf thor
oughly as though he were totally for
gotten. Vance managed to get his
savings together! He bought a sweet
little home and they settled down to
love m a cottage.
Perhaps six months had gone by
when something occurred. This
"something" was Lawyer Doyce. The
old skinflint had not heard a word
from his young agent and had won
dered at the fact. He had started
others out to try and locate the young
heiress. All had failed. He about
gave up the search and the case
Some business one day took him to
Verden. This was the town where
Vance was now employed in the local
bank. Doyce did not chance to run
across him there, but, by a chance
persistency of fate he did happen to
Blunder right up to the doorway of
the Merton home. . ,
He was not, tired and thirsty, and
he politely asked the young mistress
of the place to give him a drink of
Kind-hearted, hospital Eunice in
vited him into the cool, shady parlor.r
She brought him a glass of water ancL,
a fan and invited him to sit downC
and rest himself. l$
"Hello," suddenly exclaimed Doyce,
and his eyes goggled.
"Why what " began the startled
Then she noted that the eyes of her
random guest were fixed upon aj
framed portrait On the wall that ofj
her husband, Vance Merton.
"Who may I ask who is that?";,,
inquired Doyce, desperately excited.
"My husband," answered Eunice,
flushing prettily and proudly.
"Why, I know him!" cried the law
yer. "It is Vance Merton." j-
"Yes, sir," replied Eunice. "If you
are a friend of his he will certainly T
be glad to see you."
"H'm!" muttered Doyce, musing-a
jy, ana men a suaaen conjecture as- 3
sailed his shewd mind. He gradually f
led the unsuspecting Eunice to talk
of her history and marriage. J Tr $
"Eunice Purcell I've found her!"
"he gloatejd to himself. That rascal J
Vance captured the prize on the sly, x
eh? And left me in the dark! I'll bet i
he's collected the estate from the law- '
yers in the east withdut letting me
know a thing about it. Clever scheme
aha!" ' q '
Doyce arose to his feet as Vance j
himself entered the house. a
"Why hello!" half started, half j
smiled the discomfited Doyce. - a St
"Yes, it's me," observed Doyce. "I r W
say, young, man, I see you've got the j
"Why what does he mean?" mur- " W
mured Eunice, clinging to her hus-j,J?
band, vaguely bewildered. l
"I mean the $20,000 estate left tb &
you" jj A
There Vance sprang forward and
clapped his hand across the -lips of ?
the rude speaker. " " xi
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