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Newspaper Page Text
FACING HIS FATE
- Bylner Lucile Botkin
"Lost something?" f - .
"Yes, a small memorandum "book."
"Is. that it?"
"Thanks," bowed Nelson Page, but
there was no fervor in his gratitude.
Less than from any person in the
world was he inclined to accept fa
vor from or be under obligation to
the man who restored to him his lost
property Cyrus Moore.
Six months previous, a stranger, in
need of work and with a dead past
to which he never alluded, Page had
drifted into the little mining town of
Parato and had remained there since.
A rich, but close, old fellow owned
the hotel and the two principal stores
in the place and saw In the intelli
gent and well-appearing stranger the
person he needed to act as book
keeper and manager of his varied in
terests for a reasonable compensa
tion. Page was industrious, reticent
and entirely satisfactory to his em
ployer. He was regarded as a man
with a hidden history, glad to buy
himself from past mistakes or mis
fortune in this isolated corner of the
It was, indeed, true that Page had
a dark secret in his young life, and
that he was an exile in hiding on that
account He was fully content with
setling down into obscurity. He was
even more satisfied when he became
acquainted with Ruth Mortimer. She
taught a district school a few miles
from her home and lived near it with
her father. The latter had a mining
claim which brought in small and
spasmodic returns, was in debt to
Moore for money borrowed on his
home, and but for the help of Ruth
could not have eked out a living.
It was the first dawning of love for
these two souls. To the earnest, in
nocent girl it was all happiness and
faith. With Page, however, a dull
cloud shadowed. He felt that he was
a traitor to gentle, loyal Ruth in con
cealing from her the secret of his
life. To enlighten her, however, was
to place a heavy burden upon her,
and would she understand?
Moore had been his rival, but, more
latterly, plainly discerning the pref
erence of Ruth for Page, he had
seemingly accepted the circumstanc
es philosophically. He feigned to be
courteous, but there was a sinister
gutter in his eyes at times that
warned Page that there was deadly
"The Inference Is Plain You Are
purpose and enmity back of the sub
dued manner of the man.
Especially on that day when Moore
returned the lost memorandum book
did Page observe an expression of
crafty, sinister meaning cross his
face. Page glanced within the book.
His lips quivered as he recognized
that some folded newspaper clippings
had been disturbed. His lips set firm.
He hastened after Moore and halted
"I wish to ask you," he spoke in a
steady but constrained tone "you
looked over this book?"
"Its contents only," returned