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Newspaper Page Text
A LEAP-YEAR ROMANCE
By George Elmer Cobb
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
There were two predominating
features, dread -and timidity, in the
thoughts and actions of Ralph Bur
ton as the leap year came in and he
was made the target of organized
menace and raillery on the part of
thpse who fancied they could play
upon his weaknesses.
"Yoil're a selected victim, Bur
ton!" declared more thanne of the
little town club of which he was a
"Oh, he'll never escape through
the month!" insisted others. "You'd
. better keep away from the trap of so
"I. rarely favor them," observed
"And have a bodyguard;" was the
furter advice. "I understand that
the girls' clubs laid out a regular pro
gram with dates and victim's. Not
an unmarried man in the town will
"Yes, and. a well-fixed individual
like Burton will be the especial ob
ject of persecution!"
Ralph Burton smiled, but it was
not a natural smile. Nature had
awarded him a shrinking, self-deprecating
element and he had never bat
tled it At 28 he found himself a re
served young bachelor with an in
born veneration for all womankind,
yet bashful and retiring. If he had
ever loved he had never been able to
summon up the courage ttf confess
the fact to the objecf of his adora
"A confirmed woman hater," was
the snappy ultimatum of. more than
one of those disappointed, for in in
telligence and fortune Burton was a
most eligible party.
The "boys" at the club were fond"
01 j?kes and the arrival of the month
with days in it favored their wick
"Now, then, you want to rush the
program hot and heavy!" was the de
cision of Ned Walton, a tireless mis
chief maker, and therefore ithe plot
to give Burton, a period of misery was
set in motion.
"A young la,dy called twice,, sir,"
was the announcement of his land
lady, two evenings later, when Bur
ton came home from the office. ,
He colored and fidgeted. "Visits
from young ladies comprised a pro-,
peeding to which" Burton was an ut
ter stranger. He could not even re
call where recently he had. joined
company with a member of the op-
"Er That Is Strange."'
posite.sex so far as a single block on
the .public streets.
"Er that is strange. Leave any
name? Ah, perhaps my sister from
"Oh, no, sir I know, her," dis
closed the landlady. "She was veiled.
Your visitor was -young and graceful
and acted very anxious to see you..-It
struck me she was-quite mysterious
and when she left I noticed she
joined two other ladies in the street"
"Witnesses!" gasped Burton to
himself. "If all the. crowd tell about
the outlandish, exercise of the leap
year privilege- by ,the female sex this