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saw her as far as the Durham home
and left her there. "I suppose some
body will fetch you back."
"I can come in the company of tn"e
Websters," reminded Winifred. She
had never known a beau and did not
count on any break in the usual rou
tine. Winifred was radiant, and every
body at the function seemed pleased
to note the fact and emphasize it
with admiring compliments. There
was a young man present, a stranger
to all He came with a friend, Harry
Lane, and was introduced as Walton
BelL From the first his atentihons
were confined td Winifred. She was
proud but fluttered at this partiality.
She was still more pleased, but em
barrassed, when he insisted on es
corting her home. It was the greatl
event in her life. She thought of him
longingly as she left him at the gate
and she wondered if she were really
pretty and attractive, as she glanced
in her mirrqr later, flushed and ex
cited. "Jt won't do, but I've met my fate'"
murmured Walton Bell, as he wend
ed his way to the home of his friend.
,No, it would not do at all and he set
his lips and the beauty of the even
ing seemed spoiled by the memory
of what had brought him to Ridge
ton, for it was to call upon Miss Nor
ma Elsler the next day,-who, accord
ing to his fond mother and the ma
neuvering mother of Miss Elsler, he
was te wed in due time.
They had been engaged since child
hood. He had seen Norma only twice.
She had appeared "well enough," but
now love, real love, had sprung up in
his heart and he balked!
"What is that?" inquired Winifred,
coming into the house from a neigh
bor's the next afternoon and glanc
ing at a box on the table.
"It's the dress Uncle Bryce really
bought for you," explained her m6th
'er. "There has been a dreadful mis
take and the, delivery man left you
the wrong bundle. I returned it. This
Is what really belongs to you."
Winifred neither pouted nor abused
Uncle Bryce as she opened the box.
A neat house dress was revealed. She
could not repress a sigh at the vivid
contrast, the more so when she,
thought of the party and Walton
Walton quickened his steps later
that same afternoon as he caught
sight of a seemingly familiar figure
I on the street That pretty blue dress
only nan conceaiea Dy an opera
cloak was in view. He looked blank
as he reached the side of its wearer,
its real owner, Miss Elsler. He was
wholly surprised and showed it, and
disappointed, and showed that, too.
Miss Elsler was civil, but rather
cool and repelling in her manner.
Walton walked on with her toward a
house where she was to engage in a
social function with a friend recent
ly married. Turning a corner Norma"
flushed hotly as they passed a young
man who spoke to her, and in his eye
had an expression that told of deep
interest and emotion. She; too, was
perturhed. However, she concealed
her feelings, and when Walton left
her she was her old self haughty
There came a shock for Walton
Bell the next day when he called at
the Elsler home. It was to be met
by Norma's mother in tears, and,
presenting a letter found in the un
tenanted room of Norma that morn
ing. "It will break your heart as it has
mine," she wailed. "Norma has
eloped with Cecil Raybourne."
"What a hypocrite I am," solilo
quized Walton as he left the house.
His face was grave, in consonance
with the occasion, but his heart was
welling with a secret joy." Norma's
act has set me free and has set me
aside to follow 'the dictates of her
love. Why not I?"
It was in the desecending dusk of
eventide that he ventured to the vi
cinity of Winifred's home. His ca
pitulation was complete as lie came
across her in the little garden. If
, wgesL. v3tfgt m
v, . . . .