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not do at alL Come with me. I want
to talk something over with you."
John was nothing loath, for he was
wearied, disheartened, in fact, quite
prostrated with the sudden shock of
sudden loss. There was a neat, lit
tle candy shop where they served
soda water. The workers in the vari
ous offices were wont at times to eat
their lunches there. Mabel led her
companion to a table, ordered two
cups of steaming coffee and was quite
the sisterly comforter.
"I want to ask you to allow me to
try and show how I appreciate all
you have done for me," she said. "Ev
erybody has seen how you have been
working yourself to death at the of
fice. This new trouble has crushed
you. Please let me plan a little way
into the future, will you not?"
The invigoratpig beverage, the
wistful, pleading eyes, the friend in
need, brought a rare sense of comfort
to tired, temptest-tossed John Davis.
"You see, down home I have a mar
ried sister who lives near us and
keeps boarders. Her husband has de
serted her. She, too, has heard of
you, and you would be a welcome
guest until you get rested up. Then
there is a place for such a good busi
ness manager as you are in some of
the plants in our home town. I am
sure you can do well there. If it is
only to get your mind off from your
troubles and make a new start in life,
follow my advice, won't you, Mr.
What balm for his wounded spirit
in the gentle, earnest interest of this
land, grateful girl! He allowed her to
influence his mind and will for the
time being. With the first scent of
country flowers coming throough the
open car window as the train sped on
its way, it seemed to John as though
all the servitude and complications of
his city career had drifted away into
a lost memory.
The reception which Mrs. Stone
gave him, the homelike, heartfelt wel
come of all those close to Mabel, op
ened a new chapter in the lonely life ,
of John Davis. Within a month he
was a fixture at the home of Ruth,
the married sister of Mabel. He, too,
had secured a pleasant, reasonably
John saw a great deal of Mabel.
She came to her sister's daily and he
would call at her home several times T
a week. They attended choir practice t
together, for both were good singers.
Companionship and time were mak-'
ing an ideal life for those two con-i
"I love her! Oh, can it be possible '
that the great happiness of her love
in return is to be mine?" he began
to ask himself ardently.
Then came a rude shock. Coming
from at dusk one evening, he saw
Mabel meet and talk hurriedly, just
as though they were close friends,
to a tall, handsome man, who hur
ried away as John approached. This
was near the Stone home.
The incident worried John, for Ma
bel made no explanation, and, he fan
cied, acted troubled, as though con
cealing something from him. A week
later, one night, crossing the space
between the two homes ie almost ran
upon Mabel and the stranger. She
was holding his hands and looking
earnestly into his face. John heard
her speak the words: "Roland, dear!"
After that John evaded MabeL She
loved another, that was evident John
decided what he would do. He went
to her sister one evening as she sat
alone in the little parlor of the board
John could not refrain from pour
ing out his soul to her. He bound her
to secrecy. Then he told of his grow
ing love for Mabel; of his discovery
that she loved another. He was going
away, he said, and he pledged Ruth
never to tell Mabel of his soul-to-soul
"On account of Mabel and because
she prefers some one else non
sense!" cried Ruth.
"But I have seen Mabel with this
stranger more than once," explained
John. "And once oh, there can be
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