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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 21, 1902, Image 1

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their best days; and their career gave
the Impression of never/having had any
"best days'"— in a virtuous sense — at all.
"Horrid person! How dare he stand
there ogling us?" Miss Morley mentally
exclaimed, finding some satisfaction • In
the plural, vthough, as a matter of fact,
the man had never once removed his eyes
from Cecily Grant's face. . -.
Cissy had not yet noticed him. She was
talking wi£h Dorothy Lane, the girl with
whom she was most intlrnate-^-If she
could be said to be Intimate witn ah/'one
In the school: but Just as Miss Morley
glanced toward the pair to see what Cissy
was doing, Dorothy Lane's, eyes roved to
the window.' She saw the man ' lh~ the
shabby frock coat and- once shining tall
hat, who was walking slowly past the,big
window, and she saw, too, what was 'the
attraction. Turning to her friend, she
said something in a low voice.-, But Miss
Morley had trained her ears to abnormal
shaapness— or where would have been one
of her chief qualifications as a chaperon
for giddy schoolgirls?— and she heard the
words: . ;"-'¦'... I .. \,..'
' "There's a' tail "dark man- outside the'
window very much Interested In you, my
dear." ' -¦ '¦¦....'¦
• A sudden rush of color streamed to
Cecily's forehead, making even her pretty
ears' pink; as rose petals. "The little
flirt!" thought MIsb Morley. ' "She's not
offended at all. She's actually pleased."
Cissy did not look out at the window.
On the contrary, she lowered her long
lashes and took the opportunity of drink
ing some tea; but there was a half-smile
on her lips, and certainly It appeared for
a- moment as if Miss Morley. were, right
Then 'Dorothy Lane spoke again. ,j
1 "Do Just take >a . glimpse, my .- child.*
He's .got .a -horrid -face.". ¦ • . ' ' •
: At this Cls'sy ' seemed . ; surprised. . Bh«
even forgot to set down her teacup, but
balanced It 'absent-mindedly in the sir. .
,"A horrid, face?'*; she 'repeated, -as if -she
had hardly been able to believe her own
ears'. . - - ¦ ". • ¦ ¦ : .'.'¦ -'' ; : "•:; - .- ,::.., i ¦
. And slowly she turned her eyes to the
window, Miss Morley covertly watching
all the. Mm©. ; j. . ;, ; ;.;, j.,,.: . ,
-. Crash!, went the Japanese teacrjpflrito
its saucer. , It did not . break, ; but the tea
spilt over, and all the girls at the three
.tables put close together for th* party
from Ashburton House gave little Jumps
or exclamations. .• '- ¦ ,, ¦ , . '
'.'What Is the^ matter. Miss Grant?" in
quired Miss Morley,. with -^verity.
"Oh, nothing— nothing at all," Cissy as
sured her, hastily. ''Didn't you ever have
a funny; give-away ibrt of feeling in your
wrist? What a crash "the poor cup made.
Luckily It didn't break. ,J suppose I don't
deserve any more ' tea : after that, do I?"
She' rattled on quickly in a confused
way, as was Indeed ; quite natural,' since
the noise * of the f v.cup m coming Into such
violent .contact^ with . her;, saucer had at
tracted* irio're; attention- to her than ever.
But instead of '.blushing aa most normal
girls would have vbluBhjed* for their awk
wardness, this abandoned girl had turned
deadly white. 7v, \. v -;; ".-;,•"•. ,.-'-." ; -^
.Often Miss' Morley had thought of lat«
that Cissy, Grant was; not looking as
bright as she had when, she first came
to Ashburton House, but never had 6h»
seen her as pale • as now. - t . . vj .^
/.'.'Aren't you : ,well?". conscientiously Inl
qujred'the ¦ chaperon.;... -.'. : ¦' ... . ,' ¦
. "Quite well, \tbank' you," replied -Cissy,
trying to smile. "Only— I daresay 'it':
coming into this warm place and drink,
ing hot tea after the. cold out of doors'
I think I must have been a little- gidd.
fd,r a minute.;, Please don't mind." ..
, "You'look ready, to faint, dear," ex
claimed f Dorothy Lane. . .
¦ "I think,", went on , Miss Morley, "thaY
if you are all ready wo had better go
home." ; .v ¦ :*\ ¦'•'.'.. ¦' _•..;-¦¦ . : J . .'.;.,--'. ¦ ;
,_ "Oh, ~ no!" ejaculated Cissy. \ "Surely
nofyet. We've been here no time at all.
and— and 'It's 'my last day." 'V • I • ;
*. ¦ '.'Your, last day*.but two/" Miss Morley
corrected her., .: ';..¦;;*; ''I-:.;-*"..::'"':
>„ "That's what^I meant,**, meekly. "It's
my last. party.""- "¦ " '-
Afterward 'Miss •' Morley remembered'
those words" against Cissy. >ItV my las:
day." But at the . moment ; she was al
most ready, to give way and allow the
girls to finish out their hour at;-the Bond,
street tea-rooms, when Cissy herself hal.
rose,' nervously. And^ if, the 'girl had beer
white i -a; few seconds before, she was reo
enough now to atone for it.' >v-. '
'.'Does she want to go 'after all?" ; Miss
Morley was wondering. In amazement, at
so abrupt a change of . mind, j when her
No, Miss Cecil Grant had no, thought ott
1 1 « > l.lT.g***Sh£ > ."Kau orwy given that* start. as'
' if .to rise, either in sheer nervousness or
"Obnoxious"! was precisely the term for
the man. He was of a type which Miss
Morley In her character of chaperon par
ticularly repudiated.
Once he might "have been handsome, but
life had carved telltale lines on the dark
features, making his one of those "con
cave faces beaten in ,and marred by the
cloven hoof of sin." His clothes had
been good, and might have been, traced
back to the hands, of a smart tailor in
whose books they were very likely written
4own as a bad debt. But they had seen'
Even Miss Morley liked and admired
Cissy in her way. But Cissy was not yet
IS; all life was before her, and every thing
that was best, in life was at her com
mand. Miss Morley was 40. had never
had any "life" worth speaking of, and
had nothing less gray than her past to
look forward to ; so that her f eeLng to
ward the girl was touched with bitter
ness, like some poor fruit half-spoilt by
frost before It has been given a chance
to ripen. Somehow she often found her
self watching the "beauty of the school"
with scarcely acknowledged suspicion, as
if waiting, almost hoping, fur some un
tttractive trait to develop. f
To-day, although Cissy was going away.
¦o soon, was no exception to tne rule.
Bho knew that only nature's hand' had
painted the piquante, sparkling face, with
blstnc db perle and vividly contrasting
rose, or darkened the curling lashes and
the penciled arch of brow which, gave so
•haunting an expression to the. hazel eyes;
the was aware that the young gold of th*
girl's wavy hair had never known bleach,
or dye, or curling contrivances; but as she
saw how every one looked' at her cnarge,
scarcely resisting a temptation to siare,
she could not help hoping in her starved,
¦pinster heart that those people thought
the girl owed' her charms to artificial
tueans. "She is really,*oo striking," Miss
Morley said to herself. "She ought to
dress more pla'nly ana wear a veil. Why,
even at the window/ there's somebody
staring in at her." £
As the ch&peron made this discovery she
frowned at the big*; plate-glass window a
few feet distant, -wishing that she had
placed the party Partner away form it;
but it was too late to think of thaj. now.
And so intently. was the obnoxious some
body gazing at the girl In gray cloth, with
k gray "picture** hat. that the magnetism
4f Miss Money's frown failed to take ef
fect upon him,'
The mystery was why she had ever
come to the school at all; for she had
been nearly 18 when she arrived a year
ago, older than any of the other pupils,
and she had been apparently "finished"
already by a governess at home. She was
a great heiress, altogether' a much more
Important young person than the rest of
her companions,, and was not at all the
•ort of girl who Is usually sent to a
boarding school— even so eminently -'se
lect" a one as Mrs. D'JEsterre's.
She had appeared suddenly and Miss
Morley, who was a resident teacher of
several lower branches and chaperon to
the girls in most of their daytime expe
ditions, had never heard va reason as
signed for Cecily Grant's coming, nor had
one been assigned now for her going. All
that anybody, not excepting those high
In authority at Ashburton House, knew
about the matter was that after next
Monday the most beautiful face ever seen
there would be seen no more.
This was Cecily's special day. It was
Saturday, and on Monday she was to. bid
good-by to Mrs. D'Esterre's school. To
be sure, It was nearly Christmas time,
and on the next Thursday all the girls
would be leaving for the holidavs. But
Cissy was going with her father's frienti
and hers. Lady Stanton, in advance of the
others, and she was never coming back.
That was the reason why she had been
allowed the privilege of giving a "fare
well tea" td the girls (there were only
ten) at this favorite place on Bond street.
Cecily Grant was really embarrassing
ly pretty.- from the chaperon's point of
view. Every one In the tearoom was look
ing at her, and It was always so wherever
¦he went. Miss Morley. sipping her tea,
which was very hot and made her nose
red. wondered whether Cissy ¦ was con
•cious that she was the center of attrac
tion. A man. seeing 1 the girl laughing
and talking with her friends, would in
stantly have decided that she was not;
but women know each other's little sub
tleties, and Miss Morley was not so posi-
WHAT NELLA KYNASTON OVER-
HEARD AT NO MAN'S.
Copyright. 1902. by The National Presa Asency.
CHAPTER L
"Alice of Old Vincennes," Maurice
Thompson's greatest work; "When
Knighthood "Was in Flower," the
strongest story Charles Majors ever
wrote; "The Autocrats," by C. K.
Lush, a popular tale of to-day; "The
Leopard's Spots," by Thomas IWxon
3"r., a book on the race problem that
has been the sensation of the season,
etc., etc.
Stark the books that are to follow:
This is only the beginning in The
Call's great fiction list that will be
offered to its readers.
The first book published wss "Nore
But the. Brave"; then came "La
sarre" — both extremely popular books
—and now comes "The Mystery Box,"
a strikingly dramatic novel that will
hold yoar attention from start to fin
ish.
This publishing of complete novels
tn two, or at the most three, issues of
a newspaper, works a revolution in
the matter of giving the public the
beat literature at a minimum price;
moreover it do«s away with that ex
asperating delay so tantalizing to the
reader of serial fiction where the
¦tory is dragged along from week to
week and month to month.
TtilS issue of The Sunday o
marks the publication of th
third novel in the series of
standard books of up-to-date fiction.
In this edition is published the first
half of one of the most thrillingly in
teresting books of the day, "The Mys
tery Box." Next Sunday the second
half of the story will be given, there
by completing the book in two issues
and making it possible for readeis
to obtain one of the best books of the
day for 10 cents.
THE MYSTERY BOX

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