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Newspaper Page Text
spirits over his success. .Chester was
a studious, sedate young man, but he
could not help but smile at some of
the shrewd witticisms of the actor
Stranger who suggested an inex
haustible wav e of jollity.
There came a letter for Dalzell
while he was in the midst of an up
roariously comical recital of the woes
of a stranded Thespian. Dalzell's
face grew instantly grave, but he fin
ished his story, and then with a last
gay remark excused himself and went
a secluded corner of the lobby.
Chester was fairly astonished as he
secretly but intently observed Dalzell.
The latter opened the letter. Across
his expressive face there came a sol
emn change. It seemed as if he had
thrown off an irksome mask. Care,
anxiety, grief traversed his features
in rapid and poignant succession.
Tears coursed down his cheeks.
"A mystery?" reflected the young
lawyer. "Why, he looks ten years
older than he did five minutes since."
But inside of an hour Dalzell had
rejoined the group which so admired'
him and enjoyed his ceaseless fund of
merriment Only, ever and anon the
watchful Chester noted that Dalzell
placed his hand against the pocket
where he had deposited the letter,
just as though Underneath it there
was a keen pain in his heart. -
The two performances took place.
They were a grand success. The
Wordens and all their friends worked
like beavers to make it so. The en
tire county attended, and, after pay
ing off his dramatic assistants and
other expenses, Dalzell left the town
the happy possessor of $200.
Crowds waved him a friendly adieu
as the train departed. No one noticed
the young lawyer, closely enfolded, in
a huge coat, quietly take a place in a
rear seat of the coach in which Dal
zell was also a passenger.
Faithfully following out instruc
tion given by the Wordens, the attor
ney kept close track of Dalzell un
suspected on the train, and in the
Tnext morning. He followed Dalzell
wherever he went. About noon he
telegraphed to the mayor's sons.
They met him at a hotel three hours
"I thought it best to have you come
on," explained Chester. "This strange
man, Dalzell, is indeed a true man,
and you can help him in a signal
"We will certainly be glad to do
that," spoke the brothers in sincere
"When Dalzell came to the city I
followed him to his home. It was pit
iful. He occupies a cheap, bare apart
ment and eats at the poorest restau
rant Then he went to a bank and
deposited a hundred dollars. Then
to his wife.
"He is married, then?" inquired the
elder of the brothers.
"Yes. It is a sad story. A year ago
Dalzell wedded a lovely, sprightly
young girl who had acted with him
on the stage. 'They went from the
house of the officiating clergyman
straight to their duties on the stage.
Alas! in the second act of the play in
which they took part a heavy stage
platform fell upon the bride of an
hour, crippling her for life and partly
paralyzing her. She has since lain
"Not in the squalid home you de
scribe?" exclaimed the other of the
"No, and there is demonstrated the
true nobility of the man. He has
placed her under the care of a trained
nurse in comfortable, almost luxuri
ous quarters. He has made her be
lieve that he has important dramatic
engagements out of the city which
employ all his time and bring in large
money returns. She suffers for noth
ing, while he at times has barely
enough to eat. I had a stolen gliiqpse
of the pair she fairly worshiping
him and he devoting his life to her
- A tear came into the eye of the
practical-minded lawyer. Then he resumed:
-city "all that day and well into the
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