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Newspaper Page Text
housed'in the midst of the fast set
of his office. -
The "happy water" had gotten
hold of an eager victinfv and would
not let go. It came to be that Reade
was impatient to reach Saturday
evening and the giddy round of visits
to cafe and cabaret. Always the
"happy water" was on tap, always
9 the Sunday headache, but remorse
was now a weak imitation and the
letters to fond, loyal Judith less and
Then one night, one hateful, never-to-be-forgotten
Monday morning had found Reade
Adams nervous 'and irritable as a re
sult of the routine Saturday ''cele
bration." He resented something his
employer said. There was a row.
He waited about the building all
day long, he grouped his convivial
chums after working hours.
"I'll give you a joyfu extra, fel
lows,"'he boasted. "It's another city
and a new job for me tomorrow, so
we'll have a good-by supper."
It turned out more than that, and
worse an orgy, a reckless, brawling
occasion. The happy water" had
wrought its insidious blight to a point
where Reade and his companions
lost all control of themselves.
"Pardon me," spoke a gentleman
courteously, as, passing the chair
' which held Reade, he joggled it
"What do you mean by that?" cen
sured Reade. He was at a high -pitch
of recklessness. He arose to his feet
The man passed on and up the
& steps to the street.
9 "I'll bring the scoundrel to terms!"
cried Reade vaingloriously. "He in
"Hold on, Adams!" remonstrated
one of the party at the .table.
"Not until he apologizes the 'ruf
fian!" declared Reade.
The others were too far gone to
halt him. As he passed a table Reade
snatched up a knife. His foolish wits
drove him to frenzy. He dashed up
the steps after his fancied enemy.
Then a blank.
Where was he? His cleared senses
took in stone walls, a hideous iron
gate. He tried to clear his unsteady
gaze. Then he realized the truth
he was the inmate of a prison cell!
What had happened? How had he
come there? He strove to recall the
last fading scene of the previous
night the fancied insult, his mad
desperate pursuit of the man "who
had aroused his animosity, the knife!
his blood chilled.
He sat up on the hard plank where
he had slept He heard voices in the
"Yes, he killed his man." .
"How was it?"
"Oh, the usual program too much
of the 'happy water,' a blow. He had
a knife. A young man, too, well con
nected, they say the electric chair."
Reade Adams crouched back on
the plank. His soul was frozen with
horror, the overheard words had sup
plied jthe missing link in the clouded
evenfs'of the night previous.
"The electric chair the knife
then I am a murderer!" he moaned
and buried his face in his hands.
He must have fainted, for there
was lethargy, a daze and then he
heard a key rattle in the lock.
"Can you walk steady?" was chal
lenged and a turnkey swung back the
grated door. "Young mail," he added
sternly, "I hope this will be a lesson
to you. For the sake of your friends
don't Repeat last night They picked
you up lying in the road where the
first chance auto might have""dashed
out your life. Go up to the office, get
your valuables and cut out the
'happy water.' "
"But but the murdered man?"
"Oh, that's the fellow "in the next
cell killed a man last night Let
that be a warning for you."
Reade Adams fairly reeled from a
revulsion of emotion. He was not,
then, a murderer! Ah, the relief,. after