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haired poets trampled uppn him,
metaphorically speaking, and made
love to Nita under guise of sympa
thy. There was worse than that. Nita
had grown tired of him. SHe had
hinted at divorce. She said that she
wanted to find her soul.
The quarrel was renewed on suc
cessive days. It was the old story of
the drudging husband and the bril
liant wife.- Nita knew, that she must
take the step he never would.
- "You ought to leave that man. He
is just dragging you down," said
Miss Tasseler, author of "The Con
quering Sex?" a delicate satire,
which some had pronounced vindeli
cate. "Come, with me to the lecture
tonight, by Mildred Burns. ' She' has
been married five time3, you know,
and she says there is no possibility
of a real woman living happily with
a man. It will open your eyes."
Nita went George stayed at
home, smoking and dreaming of the
babies Nita refused to have. He did.
not want literature in his home; he
wanted a pair of childish arms about
The lecture had been advertised
extensively, and, to the disgust of
Miss Tasseler, the' back seats were
filled with a motley crew who had
come to scoff. They were not at the
rear, exactly, but behind the elite,
and the seats about them were filled
with the soulless crowd, who passed
audible remarks about the lecturer
- and the company.
Presently, to her intense indigna
tion, two fat men in the seat behind
began talking of Nita.
"That's the woman, sitting in front
of us," said one, in a loud whisper,
which Nita heard perfectly. "She
writes,' you know, arid leaves her
husband to stay home and nurse the
"I guess there aren't any," said
the other fat man. "That sort of
woman don't, have 'em. Say, that
husband of hers is miles' too good forx
her, anyway.' J - j
Nita wanted to -turn around and
glare, but an insatiable curiosity held
her silent and motionless.
"She's just a fake," said the fat
man. "Do you know what her hus
band does? Buys all her books, by
heck! Pays for their publlcajtion, has
an enormous edition brought out and
hires the critics to write puffs about
"Lord, I'd send her to the dishes
with a flea in her ear!" said the oth
er fat man. "How do you know?"
"Her publisher told me. Anyway,,
it's an open secret Banks said he
hesitated to bring out her latest
book, 'The Sentinel of Lone Peak.? "
Said it was the worst rubbish he had
ever read, and that to publish it
meant , the ' literary disgrace of his
firm. He made George Latham
come across stiffly, I hear. Made
him put up the price of 20,000 cop
ies." "Lord, ain't he a fool," muttered
the other. "What's that woman say
ing about influencing men? The
only "way to influence men is ,to feed
Nita sat horrified in her seat. She
glanced at Miss Tasseler, but that
lady was leaning forward, .intent s
upon Mildred Burns' speech, and had
not heard a word of the dialogue be
1 Nita felt a sense of disgus thrill
her. So that was what the covert
sarcasm of the criticism had meant
George had put up the money and
the publishing world was laughing at
her! George, staying at home, had
effaced himself, to become the hus
band of a celebrity whom he him
self had made. t
The tears came into her eyes, and
at that moment the real soul of Nita
Latham was born.
She slipped out of her seat "I am
going home," she whispered. "I
don't feel well."
"She certainly is overpowering,"
answered Miss Tasseler.
Nita hurried home. As she neared
the apartment house she realized