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knew the intelligence would grieve
her. He was sorely mystified himself,
for he could place no reason why his
employer should borrow money, un
less for some secret purpose. Then
- twice he saw Mr. Drake come from
the direction of the Drew farm, each
time looking broken and depressed,
P and once, as Drew drove by, not ob
serving Reuben standingdn the shad
ow of some bushes, the latter 'saw
him shake his whipMn the 'direction
of the house and grin and chuckle
as though" vastly enjoying soine
spiteful triumph over the man who
in the far past, it was said, won his
wife against the efforts of his rival.
Reuben went into the siting room
late one" afternoon, to find Drake at
. his desk counting over a great heap
of banknotes, his face colorless and
drawn with; some .mental anguish. He
-uttered a deep groan and Reuben
caught the muffled words:
"In the grasp of that villain and I
dare not defynim. No, no, for Net
ta'asake I will make the sacrifice.'
"Mr. 'Drake," spoke- out 'Reuben,
startling the farmer with his 'sudden
and unexpected appearance-afddn-tensely
moved t the old-man's deep
o. , distress, "I must speak out."
"What about, lad?" questioned
Drake, trying to disguise his emotion
"with the friendly hail.
"You are in trouble, sir," respond
ed Reuben, manfully. "I have no
ticed it;, your niece has, too. Let me
- help you,' if 1 can, and Netta "
"Netta!" repeated Drake, with a
"She's-that to me," declared Reu-
- ben staunchly, "for I love her? Oh,
5. sir, do not fear! I have not told her
ji So: You have known it first Leav- I
" ing that aside, you have made of m,e
a loyal friend and my heart aches for
A quick moisture came into the
eyes of Drake. He made an impul
. sive movement and his lips moved
. T aB though he was about to' award
some confidence. ' Then they com
"Thank you, Black,'-' he said husk
ily, "but you can be of no service to
me in this case. 1 must bear my bur
den alone. Maybe later I wUl tell
you; Just now all you can do is to
drive me over to the Drew farm after
Reuben bowed and retired. Two
hours later Drake got up on the seat
beside him. KeitEer -spoke during
the dreary journey It had begun to
rain and? as Drake alighted Reuben
drove the horse under the shelter of
He watched Drake enter the house.
Then he made him out through the
open window of a lighted room, seat
ed at a table opposite Drew. -Reuben
got down from the vehicle and
crossed the farmyard. For a mo
ment he stood in the shelter of a hay
stack, watching the two men in the
. hpusel Then, almost-irresisQbly, he
was drawn toward the" open, window.
He had lighted his pipe. This he set
on the ground, so that no taint of to
bacco jjjinoke might arouse the sus
picions of "the wily Drew. Within
the room Drake, stern, pale, a des
perate look in his eye, was saying:
"I've brought the money'
Hand it over," pronounced the
evil-eyed Drake, glibly.
"Not until I know I am going to get
the notes in return."
"Oh, I've, got those in a safe place.
Don't get saucy, Drake, or I'll call
tjie deal off. I 'owe you something
' for marrying the only woman I ever
cared for. Revenge might be sweet
er than moneyT
"You are a monster!" spoke Drake.
"And you are a forger," was the
"Yes," admitted Drake, "to save
the farm years ago I forged some
notes, but I paid them like a man and
no one knew saye you, through theft
of those papers.'1-
"I'll go and get them," said Drew,
and he arose and then with a stare
outside uttered a sharp cry. Some .
sparks from the pipe carelessly
placed on the ground near the hav-