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face. And all the while the young
fool, watching her, was taking men
tal notes for his big story.
"And deep down in his mind a hor
rible idea was growing. The girl he
loved had given him back his ring.
They were to have been married
within three months. What a chance
to pour out his injured feelings in
one irrevocable act.
"Chivalry, I called it? Rather chiv
alry turned inside out Madness,
cruelty, "a hideous jest at fate. He
spoke to the court
"I am willing to become this wom
an's husband,' he said.
"There were no other reporters
present What a story, if there had
beeri ! The court laughed at him, and
then, realizing that he was actually
in earnest, scolded and almost threat
ened. It was all ih vain. The longer
he talked, the more hardened and
resolute he grew. He would marry
her, that she might enter America.
"They sent her away; he followed
her. He insisted on his right to speak.
He bribed an official to let him talk,'
and bribed an interpreter to trans
late. She listened in apathetic won
der. She agreed to marry him. She
only knew that by going through this
ceremony she could gain the en
trance to the land of her heart's de
sire. And so they were married.
"After the ceremony he left her,
stipulating only that a brief notifica
tion should be sent out He himself
printed a paragraph in his paper,
which explained nothing.'save that he
.was married. When the news appear
ed he did not know where the woman
"But his fiancee read it and came
to him came to him, gentlemen, one
morning, to his apartment, and was
shown in. What passed between
them was never revealed, but for a
year the young man was not heard -of.
He had simply disappeared. Then
he turned up again on Broadway and
resumed his work.
"He had gone down into the dust of
..humiliation. I told you what a sweet ,
girl his fiancee was. They realized
too late the intensity of their love
They promised to be true to one an
other through life. The question of
divorce was never bruited. It was
contrary to the girl's faith. That was
"You can see the picture, gentle
men," continued Norris. "Here was
the man, married to a woman of
whose whereabouts he was ignorant
He would not even know it when she
died. But a more startling event was
to follow. For, about three years
after the marriage, an Italian man
came to see him. He had married the
girl, he explained in broken English.
Yes, he knew all about her marriage
to the young man, but he regarded it
as a joke, for he was a Catholic, and
of course considered any ceremony
by theivil power as worthless. He
was happily married, and they had a
"The fool went with him to his
home, out of curiosity. The peas
ant woman, who could already speak
English after a fashion, laughed 'and
blushed and made him welcome. She
thought aslittle of the ceremony with
him as her soi-disant husband did.
To them it had been a pretext to en
able her to beat the incomprehensible
law of America. That they were big
amously married meant absolutely
nothing to either.
"The young fool kept in touch with
them, for he felt that if ever the
woman died he could go to his sweet
heart, whom he saw only very rare
ly, and claim her as his wife. But
the years passed and the children
came, and nothing developed. Noth
ing! She grew stronger and buxom,
and after a while the Madonna face
had become a placid, stolid, motherly
one. That's all. And that's how it is
today. What a young fool! What a
I think our faces must have re
flected the horror we felt; and then
the voice of the man in the corner
broke the silence.
"Youjve got one fact wrong, Nox-
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