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Newspaper Page Text
sound came from the room. When
at last he returned she was lying on
the floor asleep.
He placed her on the couch and
she did not awaken. Her sleep was
of profound exhaustion. All night
Cray sat up, waiting. Sometimes he
stole in to look at her, but she never
stirred. It was not till the sun was
well up that he heard her moving.
She came forward unsteadily and
looked in at him as he sat by the
"Where am I?" she cried. "Who
Cray rose and took her by the
hands. "I am a friend," he answered.
"You are safe here safe to come or
She burst into hysterical sobbing.
When at last he had quieted her the
girl told Cray her story!
'She had met a man in her home in
Virginia, three months before. He
had asked her to be his wife. Her
parents mistrusted him; she followed
him stealthily, to learn too late that
all that had beensaid about him was
true. He was a gambler, a swindler,
She remembered those three months
with loathing. Her horror of him had
grown. He had deceived her with a
mock ceremony, lied to her at last
she had learned that he had a wife
She htad written home, but her let
ters were returned unanswered. She
had nowhere to turn, she was igno
rant of any trade, and the man held
her by his lying promises. He had
almost got his divorce, he said; he
loved her; for her sake he would re
form, if only she would trust him.
She had waited for him the evening
before; then there was a dreadful
blank in her mind, and she had re
covered to find herself standing over
the body. And she had fled wildly
Cray patted her hands. "You stay
with me until the trouble blows
over," he said. "I want a housekeep
er. You will be quite safe here. I
shall let it be known that you an-
1 swered an advertisement When all
is ready I will help you to a new life.
You trust me?"
She looked at him helplessly. "I
am so ignorant," she wept. "I must
trust you. I have nobody else."
"You will not regret it," said Cray.
And he knew the girl was safe there.
Nobody came to call at his little
The murder occupied two columns
of his morning paper, but the only
clue was that afforded by a negro
janitor, who had seen a woman as
cending the steps a few minutes be
fore the tragedy. And he stated that
her hair was fair. The unknown
woman's's was ebony dark. Cray
The poniard was found, but gave
no clue. And gradually the interest
waned. Nobody knew the murdered
man, who had very gqod reasons for
disguising his identity.
As the days passed Helen Ware
came to trust Cray absolutely. Shev
cooked for him, mended his clothes,
resolutely refused to take the money
he pressed upon her. "I can never
forget what I owe you," she would
say. But sometimes there would be
spells of weeping. "I did not mean
to kill him," the girl would moan. "I
do not remember anything except
sitting at home waiting for him with
bitterness of heart; then I heard him
come in and went to him and I was
standing over him with the dagger
in my hands."
"You don't recall the dagger?"
"Yes. It was a curio of his; some
friend from a savage country had
given it to him. I must have snatched
it from the wall and stabbed him."
As the weeks turned into months
Cray found himself torn between
two impulses. He wanted to let the
girl go to some scene where she
would be able to take up her life
anew. And yet he knew that he
loved her. Her helplessness, her
charm, the bond between them had
created an intimacy that was Infin-
ltely sweet. He had been offered a