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had his hand on an open bible. The
mother was a simple country wom
an, 'with a kind face that reminded
Anderson of his own mother.
Anderson felt his blood run thick.
Then he felt both ashamed and mor
tified. "Pleased to meet you, sir," said the
old man. "My girl has often told me
of your kindness to her."
"Don't mention it," said Anderson,
wondering what sort of trick Lily
Holmes had played on him, and how
soon he could escape.
"My daughter was fortunate to
find so kind a gentleman as your
self," said the mother warmly. "It
isn't often in these times that an em
ployer takes it upon himself to look
after his stenographers like you do.
Lily has told m how you took her
out to lunch last week."
"Yes yes," said Anderson nerv
ously. Presently, after a little further con
versation, the old couple rose. "And
now we'll leave you, sir," said the fa
ther. "We may be a little behind the
times, not being long resident in New
York, but I guess we know enough
not to be in the way when our girl'
And with a shrewd look that was
almost a wink the old man left the
room, his wife upon his arm.
Anderson sat staring foolishly at
Lily. It was true, then. She was
really entirely unsuspicious of the
part he had expected her to play!
She had really thought that he was
interested in her welfare. And she
had led him into this preposterous
situation! Anger surged up in his
"I'm afraid you will find us a little
dull, Mr. Anderson," she said. "You
must forgive my father for supposing
that you had come" she colored
""out oMnterest in me. I know your
kindness. Oh, Mr. Anderson, every
body in the office knows It," she add
"And my reputation?" inquired
The color flooded the girl's face.
"Please don't " she began.
"You have heard of it, then?" he
"I don't care!" exclaimed the girl.
"I don't believe half the things that
they say about you. I know you are
kind and good. I know how I have
valued your friendship, that friend
ship which you, a great publisher,
showed me, a penniless girl, with
nothing to recommend me."
It was Anderson's turn to color.
She had thought that of him, then,
while he ... he had a wild impulse
to confess to her the nature of, his
interest. But with her eyes fixed on
his in innocence and gratitude he
He rose. "Good night, Miss
Holmes," he said, holding out his
hand and taking her own.
The door had closed behind him,
but he remained in the hall, unable
to stir, thinking deeply. He had never
been so moved. He had thought all
women worthless and- selfish, and
here was a girl who had given the
he to all his theories. The shock was
a revelation to the man.
' And there came to him the memory
of far-off days when he was a young
man struggling in New York. He
had married a hard, shrewd, worldly
woman. She had had money, and
she had helped him to success. The
she had taunted him with it She
had loved him for little longer than
the duration of the honeymoon. She
had wished to be free and he had
given her her way, enduring all the
opprobrium that followed.
And then, cut by all decent people,
like a dog with a bad name, he had
played the part assigned him. And he
saw the wretchedness of those years,
and how little happiness they had
If only some woman such as Miss
Holmes had come into his life!
Suddenly he was aware that,,tht
door behind him has remained open.
He turned, to see Lily Holmes com
ing toward him, alarm upon her face,