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Newspaper Page Text
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popped into his stepmother's housej.
breezy, jolly, stout, rubicund and niid-T
die aged. The women received him
coldly. They did not like that type of
man. They moved in the best circles
of the limited society of Louisport
and looked down upon John.
Molly, back for the first time in two
or three years, began to renew ac
quaintance with the fashionable folks
of her home town. After John's de
parture she felt an unaccustomed
sense of relief. She perceived what
the years' of travel had made her for
get John was not exactly a gentle
man. His boisterous, good-natured
manners; his effuse friendliness were
singularly at variance with the calm
repose of Louisport's four hundred.
All her old friends had married and
were doing well. She looked at their
comfortable little homes and a sense
of bitterness began to stir her heart.
And Sayles, her old sweetheart,
was still unmarried. He was man
ager of the local bank now and was
reputed to have been slated for the
command of the metropolitan head
office. He had an automobile and.
often took Molly out driving. Her
stepmother, who hated John with an
implacable hatred, seemed to approve
of this friendly interest on Sayles'
part, as did her stepsister.
"Mamma," said the little girl one
afternoon, "is Mr. Sayles going to be
my new papa?"
Molly, startled at the childish
query, turned upon the little girl
"Because," answered the child, "I
heard stepmother talking with the la
dies at the tea yesterday about your
"My what?" cried Molly.
"Isn't that the right word, mam
ma? They said you were going to get
a divorce and that Mr. Sayles was
going to be my new papa. And I will
not have him," she continued, stamp
ing her little foot. "I want my old
Molly looked at her aghast. But
before she had time to collect her
wits Mr. Sayles drove up in his auto
mobile and the, two went out along
the streets and into the country.
Sayles turned and saw that Molly
was crying into her handkerchief.
"Why, Mrs. Garrett," he exclaimed,
"what is the matter?"
That was too much for Molly. She
felt that she had always been neg
lected and misunderstood. SJje told
him the child's remarks. Sayles lis
tened, and, when she had ended, he
put his arm about her and drew her
head down upon his shoulder.
"I guess the child had about the
hang of it, didn't she, Molly?" he
"You mean "
"Why, dear, everybody knows tha
John Garrett isn't worthy to blacken
your shoes. You've had a miserable
life since you married him, and and
I've always loved you, Molly. Now
let me tell you something. I have a
chance to open a branch of the firm
out west It isn't as good as some
thing else I have my eye on, but I
can wait six months while you are
getting the legal preliminaries set
tled. Come out with me and you can
get the divorce afterward."
He took her in his arms, and Molly
frankly abandoned herself to this new
lovethat had come into her heart.
Slie was to tell her family that John
had sept for her to Kansas City.
They would never know. Then she
was to slip off to New York and mee
Sayles there. There was only a weifk
of waiting before he could wind up
his affairs. But on the fifth day Doris
developed a feverish cold, on the sixth
she was down with pneumonia, and
on the seventh she was apparently
"I want my papa!" moaned the lit
tle girl, as she fought for breath.
Molly telegraphed for John. Sayles
was a constant visitor at the house.
When Doris' illness deevloped into
pneumonia he seemed like a man dis
tracted. He could not bear the
thought of postponement He came
into the sickroom and stood, looking