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Walton. The intelligence fairly
stunned her. She had gone to the
hotel, crushed, sick at heart, unde
cided what to do. Her impulse was
to leave the place at once. Some ir
resistible influence, however, led her
now that she would not meet her
recreant lover to see her friends.
There was present also a sad fascin
ation about the Witherell home
where her successful rival had lived,
where Clyde Walton had been. It
might -wrench her heart, but she
would hear from Miss Neltnor all the
details of the wedding. She would
hear spoken the name of the man
she loved, and she would be within
the atmosphere of the event of the
hour. Nella dried her tears, took up
her traveling bag and started for her
"Oh, my dear! Why did you miss
the wedding?" were the first words
of Miss Neltnor, as Nella was wel
comed into the Witherell house.
"Have you been ill? -You look
wretchedly pale and depressed?"
Nella made some evasive reply. She
was glad when Miss Neltnor, having -i house which so reminded her of her
chatted over the pleasant month of
comfort and companionship before
them, left her to herself, having a lot
to do, she expressed it, in getting
things to rights after the fuss, flurry
and confusion of the wedding.
Nella sat down, wearied, yet with
her nerves on a high tension, in the
drawing room where the reception
had taken place. The litter of the
event was everywhere-;-here a crush
ed rose; ah, her poor heart; there a
fallen rain of bonbons and confetti.
The air seemed, still to sway and vi
brate with the echoes of joy, laughter,
Here the man she had loved had
plighted his troth to the usurper! She
could not help but despise the traitor
and feel bitter toward her supplanter.
Over the piano was a large-framed
portrait Nella faced it, studied it with
brimming eyes and aching heart the
bride, doubtless, and very beautiful..
The contrast of her happiness and
her own woe overcame Nella. She
shrank into a shadowed corner as
Miss Neltnor entered the room
"I shall have to leave you alone,"
she announced, vbut the house
keeper will attend to things while I
run down town to send a telegram
after the honeymooners. They have
forgotten one suitcase and it will
have to be sent on at once. Then we
will have a quiet lunch, you and I, all
undisturbed, and a nice, comfortable
chat Mr. Walton's cousin may call.
You know he was best man at the
wedding. They are like two broth
ers." Idly a few moments later Nella sat
turning over the leaves of an album.
She allowed it to remain open at a
certain picture. It was a photograph
of Clyde Walton.
Her old lover, her false lover how
natural the counterfeit presentment!
And here in this very room. he had
gone forever out of .her life! Nella
could not endure thepoignant an
guish that assailed her mind. She
arose, half determined to flee the
The blinding blur of tears prevent
ed Nella from clearly making out a
form suddenly appearing at the hall
doorway. It was that of a man, she
made out, and his entrance without
summons indicated that he was 110
stranger to the house.
"I saw them off went ten miles
down, the line," he announced breez
ily. "Well, Miss Neltnor, I shall have
to get back home and out of the gay
ety whirl to practical life once more."
Nella thrilled, shrank back, was
overwhelmed. The man who spoke
was Clyde Walton!
She tottered and clutched fdr sup
port at a chair. The newcomer noted
her sudden weakness, and, coming
nearer to assist Her, he saw her face
clearly for the first moment
"Not Miss Neltnor!" he uttered.
"You, Nella! Oh, my lost love!"
" He had seized her In a fervent em
brace. She wrenched Tierself free with
M&SA&&S& -.m&o .
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