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Newspaper Page Text
even allowed her to handle the old in
strument, but tenderly, as though it
were an infant in arms. There was a
large intrinsic value to the instru
ment on account of its maker, age
and power of melodious expression.
Natalie, however, never thought of
selling it, especially when the violin
duly arrived with a note from the law
yers of the estate, saying that Mr.
Warren had expressed the hope that
the cherished instrument would nev
er go out of the family.
There, ensued a period of rare de
light for Natalie after that The
sound of the violin made Kate angry
every time it struck her ear. There
was a little, old, vine-covered bower
at one end of the garden. Thither Na
talie would go, and for hours would
draw sweet, plaintive melody from the
She was dreamily playing a caden
za one lonely afternoon when she
looked up, startled. On the other side
of the low fence stood a young man,
raptly listening to the echoing strains.
His eyes were lit with devotion to
art, his lips trembled, his whole being
seemed permeated with the plaintive
yet thrilling appeal of the old instru
ment "Oh," he cried, forgetting that he
was a stranger; "the divine music!
That instrument! It came surely from
one of the great masters. May I look
at it? May I hold it, to know that for
a moment at least that I have' had
possession of the very soul of ravish
His fine, statuesque face inspired
Natalie with confidence. She opened
the little garden gate. She welcomed
him as a brother in art He took up
the violin with an air of rare devo
tion and reverence. Then he began
to play. Natalie sat fascinated. He
was a master in his line.
After that he came often to the
quiet rendezvous. He was a member
of a local orchestra, he told her; his
life wasNdevoted to one devouring
theme music. Their preferences
were, identical; they grew to be
friends. One day Victor Dalzell came
to Natalie in a state of great trepida
tion. "Oh, Miss Prescott," he said, anx
iously, "I have a creat favor to ask!
They have placed me on a program
for a violin solo at the great sym
phony concert The leader says it
will settle my admission to his circle
at high compensation. Oh, if I had
only the Carero for a single fifteen
minutes the great, glorious Carero
I know I would succeed !"
She regarded him with a tender ,
light in her eyes.
"You will very careful of the in
strument?" she said.
"I will guard it with my life!" cried
the delighted enthusiast "Oh, how
can I ever repay you? And with your
presence at the concert I will bring
the very soul out of the violin !"
Natalie sat entranced when Victor,
at the concert, began -his solo num
ber. All about her tense, strained
faces told of the general effect of the
beautiful music. The gifted player
Was given an ovation, and the pleased
face of the orchestra leader told that
the fortune of the young violinist was
Natalie had gone to the waiting
room when the program was finished.
Victor was to join her there and ac
company her home. Suddenly a
scream startled her. The next in
stant, followed by excited members of
the orchestra, the young musician
reeled into the room with bloodless
face and staring eyes.
"The Carero!" he shrieked. "It is
stolen !" and fell senseless at her feet.
A doctor was summoned. He looked
grave as he felt the pulse and opened
the eyelid of the insensible young
"Get him to a hospital at once!" he ,
ordered. "If the strain he is under is
not soon relieved he will lose his
Natalie heard the others tell of how
Victor Tiad left the violin unguarded
for a moment to find it gone five min
utes later. She sat softly crying to