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BEST MAN OUT
By George Munson.
"Till tomorrow, dearest"
"And then forever-!'
A parting kiss, the last that was to
be for a parting, and Harry Grant
went reluctantly down the steps of
the Forster home, while Madeleine,
his bride of the morrow, gazed fondly
after him from the doorway.
It was not late the Forsters had
insisted on Madeline retiring early for
a good rest, in anticipation of the
morning ceremony. It was, in fact,
a httle after nine, and Harry had
hardly disappeared from sight when
Jim Bennett came up to the door.
"Good evening, Mr. Bennett," said
the girl, rather coldly. One may be
cold, even on one's wedding eve, to a
Jim Bennett was in no way abashed
by his reception.
"Just came in to wish you luck,"
he said. "Why. Miss Forster, your
watch is coming off the chain. Let
me tighten that link for you!"
"I don't see anything wrong with
it," answered the girl. But Jim,
without answering, deftly began to
tighten the link with his pocketknife
and a thumbnail, stooping before the
girl, who waited, rather offended.
"That's all right," said Jim cheer
fully. "Is the old man to be seen?"
"Mr. Forster is in his library, but
if you go into the parlor you can wait
for him," said the girl coldly.
"Thanks, I will," said Jim. He did
not go straight into the house but
passed round the back through the
kitchen. Two minutes later he met
Mr. Forster in the parlor.
"Just come in to wish you all luck,"
"Thank you, my boy," said the old
man with emotion. He knew that he
had been one of Madeleine's numer
"Don't you think Mr. Bennett act
ed rather strangely?" asked the girl
of her father, a little later, coming in
after she heard the young man leave.
"No, my dear; I acted the same way
when Lilith Gay turned me down
bless her for that!" answered her fa
ther. "Gracious!" said Madeleine, glanc
ing at the clock. "It's half-past nine.
I had no idea it was so late. Let's go
to bed, father."
At half-past nine the Rev. Spur
geon Beecher, who was to perform
the ceremony on the morrow, at ten,
was surprised to see Jim Bennett at
the door. Mr. Beecher was an old
Stared in Amazement
widower, and always welcomed
guests. He was glad of the meeting,
for Jim had not attended church for
"Glad to see you, Mr. Bennett," he
said. "I wanted to see you, in fact I
was afraid you had been ill."
"I'll come next Sunday for sure;"
answered Jim, leading the way into
the parlor more quickly than the old
man could follow. He lost sight of
Jim in the passage, to find him in the
parlor, standing before the mantel. "I
know I haven't been punctual, Mr.
Beecher, but I'll be regular in attend
ance in future. In fact, I'm going to
see the ceremony tomorrow."
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