THE FALSE FRIEND
By Alvah Jordan Garth
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
"Oh, why did you" bring me here
why did you ever tell me?"
Mrs. Lura Davenal, two years a
bride, moaned and wept and drew
back from the window whither sus
pense and suspicion and the subtle
plotting of a woman she should nev
er have trusted led her.
She deemed Minna Burton a friend.
She should never have placed faith
in this false counselor. She knew
she had been one of a group of ad
mirers of her husband before his
marriage, who had been particular
never to go out with her, for her
reputation was not a clean one, but
he had been courteous to her. Min
na had not seen much of him until
the last month. Then a lady friend
of hers had intimated to Lura that
Minna had told her secretly that she
felt sorry for her because her hus
band was deceiving her.
The lady friend had brought about
a meeting between the two. Lura
had demanded to know the occasion
of Minna's insinuation. The latter,
crafty, jealous schemer that she was,
had hemmed and hawed and feigned
embarrassment. Then, when firmly
pressed by Lura, she had spoken of
her deep respect for her, her desire
to shield her and spare her sorrow
and then had declared that her hus
band was false to her.
"He goes to see a certain lady
every day," said Minna. "Dear Mrs.
Davenal, spare yourself grief. Men
are all alike. It can do no good to
unmask him. Let the episode pass."
"Iever!" Lura was aroused and
then Minna had said: "Very well, I
will take you tomorrow where you
shall see for yourself," and she had
kept her word, for looking across a
court between two hotel buildings in
a room Lura saw her husband and a
woman she did not know. The latter!
smiled at Sydney Davenal. She play
fully stroked his face, she even
Lura was heartbroken. Viewing
her with a crafty eye, Minna began
to give advice. Why not abandon
this false husband? At "least, teach
him a lesson, disappear, if only tem
porarily. From a distance bring him
to his feet in humiliation and contri
tion! And to all this poor, distressed
Lura listened, never dreaming that a
Glanced About Her Apprehensively.
woman at heart a wicked plotter was
bent on separating her from a man
she, had once loved.
"Yes, yes," she sobbed, "take me
somewhere away from this heart
break and sorrow!"
"I have a cousin, a Mrs. Lavery, a
widow, living about a hundred miles
from here, who will be glad to give
you a temporary home," suggested
the specious Minna, and Lura half
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