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Newspaper Page Text
She did not hear the door open, nor
was she aware that she was not alone
until she started up, to see the bishop
standing at her side. Through eyea
blinded with tears she discerned the
kindly man, who looked inquiringly
"You are in trouble?" asked the
She nodded desolately. She could
not speak. She buried her head in
her arms-and sobbed.
Then suddenly she found herself
pouring 'out her story. It was a tale
of pride and punishment, but the pun
ishment had been out of proportion to
Fifteen years before, almost to a
day, she was to have married Upton
Vane. The marriage was only 12
hours away. Upton was in her moth
er's home, when a messenger came
to the door.
An old colored woman who lived
eight miles away was dying. She had
something to confess before she died.
She wanted a minister any minis
ter. The message had come to Upton
because the Methodist minister was
"But you can't go, dear!" exclaimed
the girL "Mr. Barrett will be back
in a few minutes and he is her min
ister. At least, all the colored people
about here go to his church."
"I'll have to go, Madeleine," the
minister answered. "The call has
come to me."
"Well, I think it is outrageous," an
swered the girl, hotly. "Remember,
if you keep me waiting .tomorrow I'll
not marry you."
"Why, my dear, I'll be back by mid
night," Upton answered.
She suffered him to kiss her, but
her manner was distinctly aggrieved
as he took his departure. And when
he reached the miserable shack he
found further cause for delay.
The old woman's son was expected
hourly from the south. He had com
mitted a crime. He had confessed to
his mother, and when he arrived she
yrished him to unburden himself of 1
his secret and suffer the penalty. IJ
would mean a dozen years in the pen
itentiary. She could not die leaving
him with his crime unatoned. r
The minister waited. Hours crept
by. It was morning before the son
appeared. He was just in time, to say
good-by to his mother, to listen to--her
plea and to make his confession.
The woman died and the minister
took the man to the police station.
By the time these formalities were
ended at was 10 o'clock. And he had
half an hour to go home and dress
for the wedding.
There were no telephones in those
days. At a furious pace he drove his
horse up the hill, to encounter the
bride's carriage going to the church.
Madeleine saw him. He pulled up
and tried to speak to her.
"Take us home!" cried the girl to
Those were the last words of hers
the Upton heard. Arrived at the ma
nor she shut herself up for days. She
would not receive iim. She returned
his letters. A week later the young
man left Clayton and his successor
was installed. A few weeks after that
Mrs. Driscoll died and Madeleine soon
closed the house and disappeared.
She had lived in the world, she had
tasted the sweets and bitterness of
life, and now, at 35, she had returned
to her native town. And those mem
ories which she thought she had for
gotten came back to her with poig
That was the story she told the
"What can I do?" she cried. "I
have been punished. Heaven knows
I have suffered. I have ruined two
"You have never seen or heard of
Upton Vane since the?" the bishop
asked gravely. -
"No. I don't know where h.e went.
How could I seek him out after
"But you knew at the time the
cause of his late return?"
"Not for weeks,' 'answered Maae-i,
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