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Newspaper Page Text
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olute lips and disdainful eyes and she
deliberately proceeded to the light
skiff moored near by.
"My word!" uttered the daunted
Morse as she set adrift with a con
temptuous toss of her head.
"You'll have a master, I can tell
you, when you many me!" he shout
ed after her, nettled and unwise.
"tXTViflT T ArW rofrtrfoH TTnlono V-
W ly, and she wrenched the engage
ment ring from ner finger and scorn
fully cast .it into the water.
The blackness of dusk and storm
overtook her where the stream was
widest Then there was chaos. She
drifted, the oars were wrenched from
her grasp. The frail bark struck a
rock and collapsed like a cockle shell
and she crept to shore drenched and
Soon Helena knew the spot where
she had landed Barren island, just
below the town where the river
broadened out to the dimensions of
a lake. She shuddered as she recalled
its loneliness. Many a time she had
i passed its uninviting length. It was
I arely visited by the townspeople.
i Helena crouched down beside the
tree. Even the pelting, rain reached
her there. She moved over to a thick
clump of underbrush. Suddedly she
paused and stared waveringly.
"A light!" she breathed fluttering-!
ly. "It must be on the island, it is
so near. I never heard that anyone
lived on the island. Oh, I hope it
She was shivering from head to
foot She stumbled as she Started
in the direction of the strange spark
of light It was to come up to a rude
hut built of odds and ends of old
boards, bark and logs. It had a win
P dow. Helena staggered up to it
"It is he oh, the cruel mockery of
fate!" she moaned.
She clung to the window frame,
half fainting. Then her senses reel
ed. Her shoulder bore a pane of
glass inwards. A man reading at a
rude table looked up Rodney Pres
ton. Then he rushed outside to
catch in his arms the collapsing form,
of his strange visitor.
She swayed into insensibility. She
opened her eyes to find herself on a
broad settee encased in warm cover
ings, a blazing fire in the rude fire
place, her rescuer pacing the floor to
and fro in anxious perplexity. Never
had he seemed so strong, so noble,
so dignified. He hastened to press
to her lips a strengthening cordial.
She shrank from his frank but kind
"You are safe here, Miss Wal
tham," he spoke at last "It may be
an hour or two more, but I must get
to the mainland and make some ar
rangement to take you back to your
friends for your sake.
She understood the rare delicacy of
his words. She could have screamed
outright from anguish as he strode
from the hut to swim to the main
land. No craft could be guided
through those boiling waters.
Within two hours Preston had re
turned. He wrapped his guest up
carefully in a great blanket He car
ried her through the storm to the
beach of the island. There was a
boat and reaching from a great tree
to the mainland was a rope. And,
holding to this, Preston dragged the
tipping, tossing yawl across the rush
An old ferryman led herjto'a car
riage in waiting.
"You will come to me oh, prom
ise!" she pleaded, but Preston shook
his head sadly.
"Then I will go to him!" she whis
pered tumultously to herself three
days later, and she did. ,
For she now knew of Rodney Pres
ton's fearful battle with the flood
that eventful night of her young life
of how he had sought out Gerald
Morse to assist him in removing He
lena to her home, of the selfish re
fusal of the latter to venture into
such peril, of seeking other help and
placing her in the hands of her fam
ily within the hour.
Rodney Preston, who had soucht