thrown over a man whom she loves
very dearly, for your sake."
"I don't believe you," stormed Ned.
"Will you believe me if I show you
proof?" asked Bessie.
Ned nodded and Bessie handed him
"It was written to May and was
signed with the name of Philip "Whit
ing. "You say you love me, May,"
it ran, "and cannot marry me because
I have nothing to support you. But
is that any reason why you should
throw yourself away on a man for
whom you care nothing? May, we
love each other, and have learned to
care more truly for each other since
your unhappy engagement Pluck up
courage to tell Mr. Ward. He will
release you. Adoringly'yours forever."
Bessie looked into Ned's haggard
face as he finished reading the letter
and handed it back to her.
"I thought this was my duty as a
mutual f nend, Mr. Wardr" she said.
"I thank you, Miss Reid," answered
Ned, raising his hat and leaving her.
It was an hour later that Ned stood:
before May Earle in the garden and
asked tor be released from their en
gagement He said no more. A week
later he had resigned' his position and
Three years passed. It would be
absurd to say that no' other woman
entered the young man's life. He had
love affairs btitwith each successive
disillusionment he. returned to May
Earle in his hearf feal.ty. He had
known that she would aever tell him
her love had changed. He had done
the only thing possible, in his opinion.
He thrust the recurring image away
and strove to forget in the wild fron
tier life he led.
Ned was one of a posse that had
set out to capture a band of notori
ous outlaws which had terrorized the
region for several months. A general
battle ensued after tne gang was
sighted in the hills. Ned found him
self in a duel with one of the outlaws.
He emptied his revolver. While her
wWhastily recharging it the fellow,
T with a triumphant shout, raised his
Winchester at a distance of fifty pac
es and covered him. An instant later
the weapon fell from his hand; he
spun around and felL
A bullet from another part of the
field had pierced him through the
Ned ran to him. He could see at a'
glance that the man was dying. But
to his astonishment he seemed to
know his face. And the dying man
"You're Ned Ward!" he exclaimed.
"Of the bank back in what was that
'Tes," said Ned.
"Often I thought of holding up that
place. Wish I'd done so now and made
a haul Don't you know me?"
"Not by name," answered Ned.
"My name's Whiting Phil Whit
ing," mumbled the outlaw. "Say!
Am I dying?"
Ned bowed his head. The bitter
shame overcame him and robbed him
of all power of speech; added to this
was the horror that May's lover
should be such a man as this one.
"If my time's come I can stand for
it," mumbled the bandit philosophi
cally, after a coughing spell which
racked him. "But you don't bear no
malice? You'll send a message for
me to the only girl I've ever thought'
"Your wife?" Ned burst out impet
uously. "Lord, no! I never married never
had the coin, worse luck. But she was.
a dandy girl, back in what was our
little burg's name? and I want her
to know I I hadn't forgotten her.
You see, I've been living on her for
months past years, now I come to
"Living off her?"
"Yes. She thought I was going to
marry her when I got a job. She
didn't know the life I was leading.
She kept sending me money. And
honest I did mean to marry her just
as soon as I could pull off another
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