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year is true -I fear I am-.going to be
' the object of some annoyance."
For three .days Burton did not go
home to dinner. For three eveliings
he went without a light in his room
and barricaded the door. His "veiled
lady visitor" did not appear againr,
' however. He r began to feel relieved
when a' letter reached him.
and l!he handwriting was exquisitely
aainty. J. is sentiments were ounuug,
professing "the' ardent admiration of
a longing soul seeking' a life ideal,"
and finding it in him. It promised
further episodes. It suggested that he
wear'a pink carnation in his coat the
next day in order that his correspon
dent might know that he continued
attentions might- not be distasteful
That especial morning Burton but
toned up his coat tightly and reached
his" office by unfrequented' byways.'
He stayed away from the club, he
had serious thoughts of taking a va
cation.! When one day a bouquet
was delivered, he decided that affaiiS
had reached the limit He was so
disturbed that he decided, to take ja.
day off. - " -
- Burton made lor the outskirts
craving for a day's solitude in
woods. As .he passed a certain house
he gaje one startled glance 'behind
him and quickened his pace. -His
blushing glance had caught sight of
a faded lady of uncertain age waving
her hand at him and calling his name.
-He feigned not to hear. He saw her
throw, a light wrap over er, should
, -ers. He saw her run out of the front
"Gracious!" gasped Burton, "I do
believe she is going to follow me.
" Yes, she is, and. leap year say! she
may be . the one who sent me those,
Indesperation Burton edged off the
street Arow of bushes protected
"him. How Was he to know that Miss
Celia- Dempster was pimply seeking
from him a contribution to, the town
"relief fund for the poor
Then as he glided through the open,
doorway of a great barn and realized
where he was, Burton flushed to the.
roots ofhis hair. Why! he had in
vaded the precincts of the Morton
home, and Ruth Morton was a very
dear name to him, although1- he had
never told anyone so no one,- not
even Ruth herself, who would have
been pleased to learn the fact.
. Twice he had been Ruth's escort to
a town entertainment -Then he had
been too bashful to calL Often he
had thought of her. Now he dodged
ba,ck farther into the barn. Ruth,
four of her little sisters and brothers
accompanying her, - were making
straight for his retreat
"Why,- Mr. Burton (" exclaimed
Ruth, and she looked really pleased,
though. flustered, as she came upon
him "is this yourJong-looked-foi-call?"
"Er why, yes," declared Burton
in stumbling tones, feeling that he
was acting like a dUnpe. "That is, I
well, I'm taking a day off and you
see, sort of .putting in the time "
"Whicli you can do to decided ad
vantage to us," chirped the sprightly
Ruth. "Myself and this brood have
about ten bushels of apples to pare
the land. cut. for evaporatidn. 'You shall
string. Will it please you?"
"Please me?. It .will be delight
ful!" declared Burton.
"Thencome, sir, you must be
aproned like the rest of us!"
What a thrill pervaded his sensi
tive being as Ruth tiedTa big kitchen
apron around him! What a novelty
to be seated amid the'gayly chatter
ing group, doing his share of the
Then there was a grand lunch,
then a' ramble in, the orchard; Mrs.
Morton inslsted-Mipon his staying to
tea, and then there' Was moonlight,
and a , feverishly delicious critical
moment at the garden gate, his own
face close closer to the charming
one of Ruth. v
What ever possessed him? What
put new courage into his timid soulZ