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Newspaper Page Text
Fearfully the girl leaked at the
three lions, seated upon their
haiuiches and regarding them, in
turn, with melancholy interest. Then
Harry stepped boldly in, and, as the
lions took-very little notice of him,
the girl followed.
Up came Rev. Eliphet book in
hand, and took his station just in
side the door. Harry watched the
lions out of the corner of his eye
while Eliphet was mumbling. Not a
hair of any beast stirred.
"Fine! Fine!" exclaimed the fat
man. "Now we shan't be long. The
real thing will go off just as well."
They stepped, out of the cage, the
girl smiling pitifully at Harry. He
imagined that she was more humil
iated than alarmed. There was half
an hour to wait before the real per
formance. -Seated side by side be
fore the cage, which had been
wheeled just outside the arena, they
Her,name was Lucy Vernon, and
she had come to the city three
, months before- When her money
was gone s"he got a position in a de
partment store. Her country man
y ners and unsophisticated ways were
not what that particular store want
ed. She was laid off at the end of
the busy season. And then had come
the awful struggle with temptation.
She had been at her. last gasp when
she sajy the advertisement in the
women's Columns. And she, too, was
to receive $25 for the night's wprk.
"You'll go home with it," pleaded
She shook her head. The little
country place would scorn her as a
failure. No, she would renew the
fight It would give her a month's
leeway. Harry could not shake her
in-that determination. " ,
He almost wished that the mar
riage was to be a real one when the
time came for the ceremony. This
time the girl entered the cage with
out a tremor, and as for. Harry, he
i" was looking at her so hard that he
hardly thought about the Hons at all.
, "Ladies and gentlemen," an
nounced the fat man, "allow me to
present to you Signor Giovanni and
Madame Libertina. This young and
handsome couple, having long loved
one- another, have decided to plight
their troth at the hands of Rev. Eli
phet, within the den of famous man
eating lions. Signor Giovanni comes
of an ancient Italian family. The
Madame Libertina is of the best con-
tinental stock. Ladies and gentle
men, keep your eyes on the lions,
The ceremony will now begin."
It seemed like sacrijege.ohly it was
so like a .happy dream, when Harry
placed the gold ring upm the finger
of the girl beside him. And present
ly he was escorting her from the
cage and bowing to the applauding
' Only one thing jarred the cere
mony the Rev. Eliphet had very ,
plainly taken a drop or two 'of some
thing stronger than water.
''Fine! Fine!" shouted the fat man,
running up to them and handing
them their money. "Beat it now, be
fore any of them guys gets wise to
Harry felt happy enough to shake
hands with the fat man. He also
shodk hands with the Rev. Eliphet,
who came up to the pair in a rather
zigzag fashion to say farewell.
"I guess you don't you you're real
ly married, do you?" he leered.
"What's that?" cried Harry.
"Fact I used to be a real minis
ter. That was years ago, but I got
the right to perform marriages still,
under state law. You're tied up all
right But I won't give you away."
He leered and, with profound bow,
tooked his unsteady departure. Har
ry and the girl looked at each other.
She was white and trembling.
"Do you think it's -true?" she
"I don't know," answered Harry.
"What shall we do if It's true?"
cried the girl. "It's terrible. If we
are really married, we'll have to get
divorced, I suppose "