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'"". ..' "' ' itt mif th hnt dutrn Kli rlhl iiAt IrwiTt
Benny imumBiiT, wnen int -fimy pun i - T ,
of the Riddle
WILLIAM ALLEN WHITB
Copjrlibt, 1922, bf lh. Macmillu C.
"Dar, wa It realty you or IT
til truth th. rldill.'a III to read.
Bo many ar. the deaths w. die
B.for. w. can h. dead Indeed."
. W. t. Henley.
TUB town of Willow Creek lips
nt the Junction of a rivulet of
that name, with the Dig Mud
dy. But the people of Hint column
nlty being born seolTers, hnve changed
the OMtne .of the Dig Muddy In com
mon purliince to "Mud Crick," nnil,
transformed by the alchemy of popu
lar depreciation, tlie iintne of the town
Itself Iin Hlirlveled Into "Wilier
Creek.' It Might have been some
thing of a town, as towns so In the
Ver, lint Instead of pulling with Id
neighbors for flic success ol the town,
each of lis founder spent his lime
tnakinu tun of Hit- pretension of nth-f-rs.
When there w:i tnl't n tie l :irt
of "old hum" Me:id, the iritnenl pot
liiasler, of Ne.'i:i'lnu the povcrn:i-e.,t
l:inl olllctt for W'llow Creek, the In
'llnli trader, iiml tlie saloonkeeper, uinl
the hlacl: -milli, made rci.t i-poii i
tlie old man's I'ulMiion. A ! .. vi r.
lalor, when civilization had crowd-!
in with a hotel, n .lumber yard, it n-s'
si. loon, and a harder shoo, sou emu'
spoke of K'lirt.im a iiewsjinncr: hut
the laticli tluit wenl up 1": -n Willed
Creek was the only tiii:mi.i:!ty that
greeted Editor .Mel 'ray when I is I ;:.-';
was turned, i'.ut the iic.;v or 'vie,
mid no illd the people, and the;.- k"pf
coming, imlil, v.hen the "!;.i '!' !!:'
Infer eighties struck Kunm.'. 't l-n-nl
Willow Creolt with idinut two l:i
sand scntlln-j Inhabitants.
Itut, In one way or niiothe:-. the
"boom" soeni(-l to bring vea'lii In
Widow 'ri-i-K. At'd irl!) -..-..!!::,
came some attempts lit the or-ruil-KHllou
of polite M-'i-iety. T!-" r. w ere
liitiuincrnlili- you:'.,' rt ;d o.--,aie a-'ins,
young doctors, young lawyers, and
clerks, all from the Kust, in the vil
lage; and these, with the daughters o.'
the. early .settlers and such friends as
they chanced to make In the lii;!i
school, coustiluh d tlie arlsloi-iaey of
the town. It was a vulnerable :m-1
tociuey, and the scoffers made sad
havoc with it.
It Mts said if lliua Met 'ray, who
v.-enf to iai.triiin - scIiimiI i.nd c.inie
Jack, timid, retiring, and distinctly
unsocial, that, "She needn't held h"i
gelf so l.lh. I;' I cr father won!- only
pay buck the money he stole in the
s bool hind fraud she would be in
'omiuoii as anyliody." I'.ut i lie girl
paid no heed to these rumors. If she
heard in-:ii. Sin- tpiictly tilled her
miiiill spin-.",-. t...;i,;de,l on one s ii-r by
her tiiee::-vo'-ed n ; - t ! .,-r mid her buy
f:it':ei o-: tt.e'-..-r side by her church
and in r "cliur- li Moini." on a third
side by a very brief j;iiiiip.-e of a very
blK world iind i.- r itieiieuy of It, and
on the I'oiiiTli side by ocuishimd day
dreams and ni-'ht t!iou:;lils, pretty
liiu- ii tiie same .1- tlins" ubicli come
to tiny you!:,- ;;;rl of y-ioil health, (.imm)
spliitH, and tw-iity-o:ip years, who Ims
iiev'-r had a sweetheart.
As tbo lea- ti-'ii, caused by the de
CH'lcm u of r--.il esiaie jiriu-j set In,
Willow Crei-k became poorer. As the
yotuc; men. v. Iio paid for the orclies
ti'iu, and I:a:l :, and lion ets, rmlually
left town, 1 1 j i yo-im; v.viuen, who for
meily tre-i---:.- reeepi ions, ,;,rt:cj,
find bails, ue:.- se, n more and mora
ut'a i. ;n tb socials.' AI'ti r
a t wo years' I . iiml siiule Wil
low I 're, !; v- ' c.i. the town could
no baiy-r .- .' . - ! two lii-iiiiclii k .f
soeiei--. ;,ad i ' e "eliiirdi i-rowd" and
0 "l:'..'e ri4-c:-,-ft il:io one.
Wbcn it v. ai.noiinccd that the
entire I .-.. ( Willow Creel:
V.lis ,'.'ii,e. L" Ii:bili.-on'a J'er H
"taffy pud" o: S- iurday tiiiit, the
l tsl of WI'I-.w i 'reel; iaiuheil. The
town ;-b- -:."i-r-.-l at the yoiinf.' wom
en wb - bad i be c 1 tin.- party, and In
tinu led ilcii tiie i b.ht ride out to Itob
iiiM.n' i a.i , .a-'ii .as a lierob- aieas
nie; and !; iaolied at old mall
l!ob;:.-.n a:'.. I bis t'atnily for tolerutlni;
people - ho v oi.'d Miuh them If they
can.e to tort n, ami lastly tliey laic-bed
at the ; ouie.' men lio would have to
pay i lie liver, bibs.
aiinday crime.', John Howard,
Mr. Alct.'iui'.i partner in tlie stock
business, came up trom the farm oU
In-y r el; and alter colliu over some
details i.l bu-ia- ss, McCray iel.ei his
partner to Su-; lay dinner, as was bis
custom, when tin- youui; mail was ill
to.vu, niid I in- ln nation vus accepted.
Inirii.,- ibe "I in'' Howard bad liiade
muiiey. lb- laid mingled with wluit Is
klioun as the -.vill Ml" of Willow
Creek, ami tlni:uii not a I'livorlle ut
tUe I1im.iI of tin. "bonm." the very fact
that lit) bad the social instinct, made
bliii a iiecessiiy in society nl lis ebb.
Soon utter leaving bin partucr'n of
fice, he bad burned of tlie plana lor
the "lalfy pull." thai i venlm;. lit- was
Ui'lfcil lo i;o, ynd Ibidlni; that all the
"rl;;s" were full, mid that nil the i;lrl
nf bU "set" wet-e provided with es- 1
cons. In M moment of despairing In- I
spliatlon tlie yotiinf man went a note I
to liln partner' daughter, asking for I
"the pliahiire of her company." I IIm !
Invll.it inn was accepted, an J late that
aftrnoon, Kbirn McCray atepped Into
t'UKKy with the first beau aba had
ever bad. and beaded a long- proce I
alun for Itoliliuou's. I
Someone bud Nlopped tlie clock that j
lilkdit. and tlie yount! women, puitini
uuitl..r wiui.tt, fciioood il.al it una.
: i - . -l'
I at Roblnnon'i broke up. Aa Flora Mo
iCrajr sat alone In tlie Roblnnon parlor
'waiting to hear the grlnillnit of wheel
croa the graveled path that would
I herald her eworfa buggy, she went
:over the evening'! Imprenslona In her
! mind. - She decided that It had been
) very pleamnt evening. She had nev
er before found hernelf mirrounded by
the niaHterful attentloria of a,jroung
I man. She waa pleased with hi" busl-neM-llke
devotion to her eoffee cup,
and was amused, yet a little atartled,
'when he piled a monument of cuke
'upon her plate and called on every-
one to pasa thine down hia wny a
;Ml McCray wna very hnntfry. It was
a new aenmitlon to find herwdf a pnrt
of tlie nierrlinent. Heretofore, she had
been only a spectator at such scenes.
And thus, with a mind Isolnted from
the vain world by such refleetlons, she
started with Jloward on their home
at It again, but blew out the light and
went to bed with her face turned from
the guilty reminder. And all nlttht
long Flora McCray lashed herself for
the folly of the Girl In the Dark. As
she remembered It, she had made all
the advances; be. had only been kind
and good to her.
Tlie next morning, all of Willow
Creek knew that John Howard had
taken Flora McCray to Robinson's the
night before, and that he waa going
to eat Hunday dinner with the Mc
Crays that afternoon. But the town,
as usual, waa divided. One-half
claimed that the McCrays had to have
all of Howard's money, or they would
fall; and the other half that John
Howard, wna going to marry Flora Mc
Cray to keep the old fnnn from prose
cuting him for pinning off mortgaged
cattle and reporting them as dead.
And In the whole town no one could
have been so thoroughly surprised as
was Mr. McCray, when bis duuuliter
said to him, "Father, If Mr. Howard
associate her recollection or tlie
familiar fare of her father's pnrtner
with the smooth-shaven face so near
her In the nls-ht. Her repeated efforts
It was blustering, cloudy night.
a Una, 1iaw i-hnttori nn ahnur. the
commonplaces of Willow Creek. Flora anything to you about me, you
T'P.,. n.i BChI.. to 'will tell hlm-that-I cannot marry
McCrny and hla daughter were walk
ing along the narrow, rough sidewalk
townrd the church, when these words
were tantalizing. Little by Utile, did were spoken. The mother had dropped
the wizard of the night wenvo her
fancies, and then herself Into the woof
of his uncanny spell. Not only was
she with a stranger, Unt she was her
self a stranger lo herself. It may have
been the utter lonesonieiipss of the
night that drew her close to him, but
she came, and was not afraid.
Again be reached over lief, nnd
again tucked the wraps closer than
ever about her, and the fumbling
touches of his hands awakened (he
girl's new self to a delightful reali
sation of the fact that a new being j
liail coine lo nor oui oi uiu uiiikiu ss.
She came even closer to Ibis new-found
presence, and almost cuddled ncnlnst
the man's great coat, and snuggled un
der bis ai nil, that rested loosely upon
the cushions behind her. Their talk,
which bad been growing more and
taoro serious, gradually stopped.
"Are Jon cold dear; tlie young
man "asked, wbcn he felt her c u
close to him. Ills words mid his tone
startled the girl nnd almost broke the
spell. Flora .MeCiuy struggled a mo
ment with the (ilrl in the Dark, and
back, and was not In hearing distance.
McCray coald not And voice for a few
exclamatory "whys" and "whats" be
fore his daughter had said flrnily, "You
will be sure, won't you, father!" nnd
wus waiting for her mother to catch
up "with them. After the service, the
women, Flora and her mother among
them, hurried home to otTend to the
feast of the day.
At the dinner table the young peo
ple met for the tlrst time that day.
Flora McCray felt keenly, and with
a twinge of anguish, that the young
man's cordial suavity In greeting her
was only Inspired by gratitude for her
generosity In releasing him from any
She met his eye, and thought she
read there n recollection of every
thing thut bad been. Then, as she
luokeil down nnd nwnv. all the sweet-
nesi nnd unreality of the night's ride
was made rcul to her.
After dinner the men went luto the
parlor, where they smoked nnd talked
Dlone, while the women put away the
best china, afraid to trust It to the
shuddered in despair us a voice from j 'hired girl.'
" Finally, young How ard l a
Almobt Cuddled ;
"She Came Even Clone r to This New Found Presence, and
Against the Man'a Grent Coat."
simile arm unlet nnd Mr. McCray thought that the eve-1
irl, ". ho felt a
answered: "A little."
As the 1 i :: 1 1 1 s of the town came ill,
sight lio- yoi.ng couple grew silent. A'
turn In the road brought the hmry j
under Hie whin- glare of an elect rle
light. I-lorn Mi ray was sitting up-,
rigid with her hands folded under tl.e,
robe, and lio.vurd, with the whip audi
the bias In his bauds, was consciously
clucking nt tbe horses. Kach saw the.
other' face clearly, and us they
crossed the circle of light the mun
"It must be two o'clock."
Tbo girl Hi I not reply, mid the ynung
mill leaned ocr to look out of i lie
bug;y, us if to scan the clouds The
prospect did not altogether sallsl'y lilia
and be said :
"It's going lo be a pretty gloomy
Sunday. I gin r-."
As Howard put out Ids anus to
help her from the huugy she hiuvly
'ouclied his out st i etched hand, and her
decided shyness surprised him. In
bewlbb-i'iiient of confusion he said:
"You have made me very happy to
night, Miss McCray, Shall I speak to
your father when I come our to din
ner tomorrow 7"
The girl did not reply, but went up
the steps utid Into I lie house, while
the yount mun climbed Into Hie buggy,
and beat time with the whip to the
tuue he was whistling, as ho gave the
horses the reiu for the stable.
Flora McCray locked the door and
lipped the bolt as quietly aa she.
could. She blew out tha light lu the
pur lor und stole noiselessly upslulrs.
Just before going to bed she started
to put away her hut. Klie picked It
up. The velvet und the , rthhonl
seemed crashed. Shu put out her
hand to smooth them. A hot flush of
recolliciiou i-pi over her, ami aiie
niiig ii in 11 would be in and distributed.
Tlu'.v put on their overcoats, and wete
In the hall, when the elder inuh
opened the dining-room door and suid:
"Mother, John thinks it's time to go,
and I nm going to walk down to the
post -Ulrica with him."
When Ibn front door closed Sirs. Mc
Cray said :
"What a nice young uiun Johu How
ard Is, Isn't he?"
"Oh, yc.s, be is nice enough, I guess,"
answered the dsul.ter, rising to go
to her room.
As she uenred the top of the stairs,
Flora McCray quickened her pace.
She ran through tlie upper ball. Once
In her room, she went straight to the
dresser, where the rumpled hat was
still lying. Tlie lonely girl stood be
fore It a moment, 'and Hk-ii. stooping
aw'kwurilly, touched the crumpled vel
vet with pursed, uncertain Hps, as one
ashamed, It may have been the dusk
in the room, or It may huve bceu-lbe
apuliost of mi odor froiiiH--rlgar, thut
iaiiisporicd tills unschooled licurt
l u k to the darkness, and the Joy of
a first caress. Rut dusk, or ghost,
or something, ciiine to this shy girl
there, and nerved her whole being, ao
thai she was no longer atvkwui'd, no
ioi. i- iioieiiuin, nor in uuy wise
!is:.n;.i".l. V.w pruily velvet toy she
: tin!-) 1 cr Via Ine, and In her .worship
. v, i-'ei H It. nibbed It with her burn
in; i l ie';. Hint burled her face In Its
siieied f ol, Is. .. '
In Wiliow Creek where they acolT
and biggie o,ci- sordid tilings, In Wib
!.i.yv ,.tV.: tli) hard, the arid, the bur
:,'. M : .- sjy-r-tio lilnlter ubnt, but In
n . - , r 'ji-p n-A-i-iiw ways, tvrnlna
Copyright 1922 Hart Schifiner & Marx
No mans so busy
Ke can afford
to neglect clothes
Maybe you think you're judged by
what is in your head. It ought to be
that way but it isn't. You are judged
more often by your clothes.
Do yours show that you have good
taste? That you take pride in your
clothes? That you value your person
Those things deserve a lot of.-youjr
thought we've given it a lot of ours
and we're ready to help you with the
best clothes made Hart, Schaffner &
Beaver Dam, Ky.
II EM it V FORD IX HIO
' DEAL FOK COAL (IXE
rittbburg, Nov. 1. More thuu I
SO.000 acres of coul luud, containing
approximately 180,000,000 tons of
bituminous coul, was the prlvo lu-!
volved lu a deal which, It was suld
here today, was In proct-gg ot nego
tiation lift ween Henrv Ford. Detroit
manufacturer, and the Wayne Coal
company, ot Pittsburg.
Otticlul figures were not obtaina
ble, . but well-Iuformed coal, men
placed the price' In excess ot $15,-
' II fill all n . Thul-j waa nn Inttmntlnn
tin f:-'! i-o-i'-i-s'with the 'rest, "with
r!-isl feet, nnd timid, unsure ' IihikIs.
i --jr" ." a aoinaii wiioae woiuanbooU
. i....j i.i ..i- ttt a ilieam iu the nlgiit.-
as to-whun the deal would be closed.
r HOW'S VlIIS?
HALL'S CATAK11H MKDICINE will
do what w. claim for It rlJ your syst.m
of Catarrh or ltoa.(nsa vauawl by
HAUV8 CATARRH MEDICINE eon
slats of an - Oimuuiit wblcb Uulckiy
Relieves tti. catarrhal' lnflumniattun. ana
111 Int.raul Metllcln. Tonic, wtiic-U
I-ts throuicli t). lSnod on tti. Mucous
'Urfaces, thus sasiatlng to rt.tor DOT
Sold bv druaKlRts for evr 40 T.ara. .
V. J. Cli.u.y Co., ToUd, O.
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