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Newspaper Page Text
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THE ABYSS '
By Victor Redcliffe
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
Judge John Hampden, portly,
pleasant-faced, great-heartedj point
ed his finger at a select corner of the
"Fish out those three for fifty," he
ordered in his genial, expansive way.
"Do up a couple of dozen."
"Birthday anniversary, judge?" in
sinuated a legal acquaintance.
"Nothing of the sort just going
to meet an old friend."
"Must be a favored one."
"He is. I never married and he
did. Sony for him, but he's true
blue. That's why I love him. Noth
ing too good for him. Twenty years
square as a sentry to a faded, dicta
torial scold. I fancy my twenty on
the bench has been less irksome. Ah,
me! so it goes, but I respect him for
Judge Hampden was speaking of
an old and dear friend, indeed Mar
tin Overton. They had been school
boys together. Both had fallen in
love with the same girl. Neither had
gotten her. The judge had never
married. Overton had wedded a
spoiled beauty. Within a year he
had learned his mistake. Hers was
a cross, crabbed nature. She became
a tyrant. For five years regularly
Overton had come to the judge to
relate his troubles. During fifteen
yeaft, however, they had drifted
apart. Now a telegram had come
from a distant city where Overton
lived. It ran: "Must see you on ur
gent business. Will be with you at
3 p. m."
And at 8 p. m. promptly in 'his
handsome bachelor apartments the
judge sat at a groaning table await
ing his guest. Everything he could
tVnk of from favorite cigars to odd
uioj he recalled Overton used to
like was on the table. There was a
ring at the door. The judge fairly
hugged the thin, haggard man who
was shown into the room. Then he
regarded him more closely and his
face fell a trifle. If he had spoken
out his real mind he would have said,
"Overton, you make me feel old," for
his guest seemed to have advanced
years since last he had seen him.
He was reserved and his, lips
twitched when the judge asked him
about his family. The judge did not
Sat Bolt Upright.
pursue the subject, but with a sup
pressed sigh .decided that Mrs. Over
ton had not improved in her ways
with the years. Overton threw off
his, shell of weariness as the meal
progressed, however. No one could
be long with jovial Judge Hampden
without feeling the influence of his
"You spoke about business, Over
ton." observed the judge finally,.