By Harold Carter
The hotel register had her name
Madame Alloni, but-the hotel stood
two miles from the village and the
moment she had passed the patch of
woods that separated its grounds
from "Meadowdale she became Cyn
thia Dale again. Insensibly she
seemed to shake off the cosmopolitan
airs that had attracted attention at
the hotel the moment she set foot
inside it Her gait grew free, her step
assumed the elasticity of a girl's. And,
in fact, at 30 the famous opera singer
had resolved to become a girl again,
"just for one day," as she phrased it
Nobody in the village would recog
nize in her any one but the Cynthia
Dale who had gone to New York and
then to Munich to study music ten
But a year later her father had died
a bankrupt; his wife had followed him
within three morilhs, and Cynthia
had found herself upon the world,
She had never permitted herself to
think of those dreadful days of pov
erty and temptation. Gradually she
had won out For two years she had
oeen one of the most famous of Muz
zini's opera singers-. His companies
were already famous throughout Eu
rope. Muzzini she had never met, but
he had persuaded her to come to
America at a fabulous salary. The
contract had been signed abroad and
she was to meet him in New York in
two days' time.
Suddenly homesick, the girl had de
cided to pay a visit to her native
town. It had changed little. How
every recollection came back to hei
as she set foot within its limits. Cy
Warner, the blacksmith, was still at
his forge. He looked up. as the styl
ishly dressed woman passed him, hes
itated, and then beamed on her as
she stopped to shake hands with him.
"It's Miss Dale," he roared, grasp
pin her iiands gently in "his huge,,
hammer-hardened paws. "Well, Miss
Dale, this is a pleasant surprise. Whajt
brings you back? Looking proSper
out, ain't you, now?"
"Yes, thank you, Papa Warner,"
answered Cynthia, and the blackj
smith roared with delight. '
"But I guess you're married now'
"Not yet," said Cynthia.
"Really, now? Well, that's a pity
I'm sorry for some one, Miss Dale." .
He beamed and smiled after her
and she found the welcome of the lit-
"I am Signor Muzzini," said Joe.
Lie town grateful to her after the hol
owness of European cities. If I could
eally be a girl again!" she thought.
"If I hadn't signed that contract with
Muzzini, I'd I'd settle down here and
perhaps get married," she ended
iih a blush.
Somehow Cy's words had reminded
er of her earliest sweetheart, Joe
Jyrnes. How many times she had
lined to marry him when they
Bwung upon the gate together, or.
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