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hollow of his hand, absconded with
eight million dollars.
His gold mines, fifty miles away on
which Freelands had lived, which
alone had justified its construction in
that arid desert, had never had gold
in them except for a few pockets
here and there. It had all been a co-
lossai irauQ irom me Deginning. au
W the prosperity of Freelands was built
upon Germaine's mythical gold. Ev
eryone lost nearly everything. There
was no store, no saloon, even, but
suffered in the crash. The six banks
closed their doors.
The anger of Freelands blazed out
white-hot against Germaine. Men
gathered in the streets and talked of
lynching. The man was reported hur
rying east, hurrying west; the police
of every western city were watching
for him. And, of all who suffered,
none suffered more than Lucia Ger
maine, who had known nothing of
her husband's business affairs.
All day she sat in the big house,
weeping, trying to revive her hope
that the monstrous story was a lie.
But a dozen little things told her that
it was true. He had deceived her, too,
as he had deceived everybody.
And yet Bhe loved him. She loved
him better now that he was down.
She wanted only to find him, to go
with him somewhere where they
could start life anew. Etta La Monte,
who had been her keenest incentive
to anger in the old days, was forgot
ten. On the fourth night the young
clergyman called on her. At first she
refused to see him. When he per
sisted she came down.
i am going to taKe you to your
husband." he said. "Mrs Germaine.
he himself was deceived by his asso
ciates. It will all come right But
now, to give himself up means death
at the hands of a mob. He is going
to the state capital at midnight on
board the express by special arrange
ment. It will stop for him at the
water tank. Pack a suitcase and
He led her along the streets remot
est from the central thoroughfares,
where she would not be recognized,
into a neighborhood where she had
never been. But she did not know
that the little shack they entered was
Etta La Monte's until Lucia Germaine
saw and recognized the girl who
stood nervously before her. Then her
anger flamed her.
"My husband is here?" she cried.
"How dared you bring him here?"
But before the girl could answer
the curtains at the back of the room
parted and Andrew Germaine enter
ed. He was the wreck of the former
buoyant, jaunty, prosperous business
man, at whose appearance all hats
But Lucia Germaine cared nothing
for that With a sob she ran forward
and fell into his protecting arms.
"Andrew, why did you come here?"
she wept "What is this woman to
Etta La Monte answered that ques
tion. "I'll tell you why he came here,"
she answered. "Because he didn't
have time to get away and was afraid
for his life. Because they all come to
me when they're in trouble, when
they don't dare to go to their own
families. He was steered to me by
just about the only man friend he's
got in the world. And when he knew
where he was he was afraid all the
time I was going to betray him.
Weren't you, Andy?"
"But I'll tell you why I took him in
and sheltered him," continued Etta.
"It was because I thought he was Jim
Smith, the man who shot his pal over
a game of cards. After I found out
who he was
A keen-faced old woman stood in
the room, wrinkled and avaricious-looking.
"Now you be quiet, ma." She turn
ed to Lucia again. "After I knew who
he was I pitied him and let Mm stay.
But do you suppose I'd have had him
in my house if I had known from the