the hardest battle of his political ca-1
reer. There was a split in his party
and bitter strife with his direct ad
versary. Two days before election
Driscol, buoyant, optimistic, forceful
as usual, burst in upon him.
"You're there !" he announced con
fidently. "We've won! It will be a
landslide!" and proceeded to detail
a bargain with the disaffected once
whereby their votes would he cast en
masse for his candidate.
There" was something in struggle
and victory after all, Morrison de
cided, and he tried to take solace in
the high sense of usefulness and
honor that had always attended his
political preferment It was pleas
ant to realize that from nothing he,
a stranger five years ago, had won
his way to the highest position in the
gift of the community. There was
no one near and dear to him to share
the glory, but all the same he had
gained the pinnacle, he had demon
strated truly that "men might rise
from their dead selves to better
things." ' f
There was a tap at his office door
and he said: "Come in," and a'man
passed through the unlit reception
room and confronted him. Somehow,
a glance at -his shrewd sinister face
caused Morrison to experience a cer
tain uneasiness. His visitor remind
ed him of some dark forbidding ra
ven. A nameless chill struck his
heart. The impression deepened as
the stranger extended a card. It read:
"Abner Doylan, Attorney at Law,
Creston." Creston! Two thousand miles
away, yet a menace. Creston, from
which remote city he had fled as from
a pestilence. Creston, the abiding
place of his faith, hope and love, and
later the sepulcher of all his fondest
In an instant Waldron Morrison
comprehended this man's mission.
He straightened up, his lips set grim. I
He waved the man to a chair.
' "You have come a long wy to see
me?" he observed steadily, I
"You are familiar with the city,
Mr. Morrison?" insinuated his visitor
"Yes, I once lived there."
"That admission made, I can treat
with you plainly," observed the other.
"There were some incriminating pa
pers left behind by you at Creston."
"I know all about them, proceed,"
directed Morrison in a harsh dry tone.
"They have come into my posses
sion," went on the unblushing knave.
"Published M the present moment
"here, they would blast your hopes of
office and possibly force a second he
gira." "Blackmail, eh?" propounded Mor
rison with brutal frankness.
"Call it that, if you choose," was
the bold response.
"I am used to that," scoffed the
lawyer. "It's a plain, dead-open-and-shut
case. Here are the papers," and
he produced a sealed envelope. "It's
either you or your political opponent
He'll pay well. My price- to you is
five thousand dollars."
"Return those papers, which you
have stolen or I will shoot you dead
where yon sit!"
Like a bolt from a blue sky the
words were spoken. An unsuspected
intruder stood in the doorway a
woman. There was tragedy in her
face, menace deadly and inevitable in
her dainty white hand, which clasped
a gleaming revolver directed square
ly at the heart of the blackmailer.
The lawyer sat like one thunderstruck-
He arose to his feet trem
bling all over. His hand extended the
package as he shrank from the gleam
of angry eyes and the threatening
"Go, you serpent!" spoke the wom
an and he slunk from the room. The
woman sank to the seat he had aban
doned, she faced the wondering,
wrought-up Waldron Morrison. She
placed the envelope before him.
His eyes were fixed on the glorious
ly beautitul face. Innate strength and
force of character, perchance suffer
ing had lined it about the eyes and
jd. --j. . ,
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