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By C. N. and A. M. WILLIAMSON,
Authors of "Rf? Light nlntf Conductor." "Rose
mary In Search of ? Father," Etc. J? ->??
COPYR1CHT. 1907. BY
Through the gate of dreams
lies the fair land of romance in
to which you would travel, find
ing welcome relief from the daily
grind. Now you are invited to
accompany the Princess Virginia,
who determines that the royal
personage who would honor her
with his hand must fall in love
with her and woo her as any other
man would a woman. Therefore
she travels incognito in his realm,
meeting adventures strange and
full of excitement. You will
learn with pardonable pride that
the American blood in her veins
gives her an independence un
heard of in the presence of kings,
but most of all you will want to
know how she succeeds in her
bold undertaking. That you will\
enjoy every minute of the read'
ing is assured by the verdict of
thousands who declare "The
Princess Virginia" to be a most\
fl?flfo^^fr ()." said tho princess; "no,
i n. dnahcd If I do."
"My darling child,"
CXC'laln\ed tho grand
duchess, "you're Impos-'
sllile. If any one should
"It's lie who's Impossible," the prin
cess amended. 'Tm Just trying to show
"Or to shook mo. You are so like
"That's the best compliment any one
can give mo, which is lucky, ns it's
given so often," laughed the princess.
"Dear, adorable Virginia!" She cud
dled into the pink hollow of her hand
the pearl framed Ivory miniature of a
beautiful, Binding girl which always
hung from a thin gold chain around
her nook. "They shouldn't have named
mo after you, should they, if they
hadn't wanted me to bo like you?"
"it was partly a question of money,
dear." sighed the grand duchess, "if
my mother hadn't left a legacy to my
llrst daughter only on consideration
that her own extremely American
name of Vlrgluta should be perpetuat
"It was a delirious way of being pa
triotic. I'm glad she did it. I love
being the only royal princess with
American blood in my veins und an
American name <>n my handkerchiefs.
Do you believe for an Instant that If
Grandmother Virginia were alive she
would lot Granddaughter Virginia mar
ry Prince Henri de Touralne?"
"I don't see why not," said the grand
dm hens. "She wasn't too patriotic to
marry an English duke and startle
London as the first American duchess.
Heavens, the things she used to do If
one could believe half tho wild stories
my father's sister told me In warning!
And as for my father, though a most
charming man, of course he could not
? or- have been called precisely es
timable, while Prince Henri certainly
is. and an exceedingly good match
even for you--in present circum
"(.'all him n match If you like, moth
er. Ho'r undoubtedly n stick. Hut,
no; he's not a match for me. There's
only one on ourth." And Virginia's
eyes wore lifted to the sky as If, in
stead of existing on earth, tho person
in her thoughts were placed as high
as the sun that shone abovo her.
"I should have preferred an Kng
llshman for von," nnld the grand duch
ess, "if only there were ono of suitable
rank free to"
"I'm not thinking of an Englishman,"
murmured her daughter.
"If only you would think of poor
"Never of him. You know, I said 1
would be dash"?
"Don't repeat it! Ob, when you look
nt me in that way, how like you aro to
your grandmother's portrait at home?
the one iir white, painted Just before
her marriagel One might hove known
you would he extraordinary. That sort
of thing Invariably Hklps over a gen
The grand duchess laid down the the
ory as a law, and, whether or no she
were right, It was nt least sure that
she had Inherited nothing of the first
Virginia's daring originality?some of
her radiant mother's beauty perhaps,
watered down to gentle prettlness, for
the hereditary Grand Duchess of Ilnu
menburg-Drlppc at fifty-one was still
a daintily attractive woman, a middle
aged Dresden china lady, with a per
fect complexion preserved by an al
most perfect temper, surprised eye
brows, kindly dimples aud n conven
tional upper Hp.
She was not by birth "hereditary."
Her lord and (very much) her master
had l>eoii that and had selected her to
help him reign over tho hereditary
grand duchy of Huumenburg-Drlppe,
not only because her father was an
English duke with royal Stuart blood
In hin veins, but because ber Virginian
mother bad brought much gold to the
Northmorolund exchequer. Afterward
he had freely spent such portion of
thut gold os had come to his coffcrB in
trying to keep his little estates intact.
Hut now It was all gone, and long ago
he had died of grief and bitter disap
pointment. The hereditary grand duchy
of Buunienburg-Drippe was mied by
a cousinly understudy of the German
Emperor William II.: tho one son of
tho marriage had been adopted as heir
to his crown by ttie childless king of
llUUgarla; tlie handsome and lamenta
hly extravagant old Duke of North
luorelund was dead; his title and vaat
estates had passed to a distant and dis
agreeable relative, and the widowed
grand duchess, with her one- fair
daughter, had dved for years In a pret
ty old house with a high walled gar
den at Hampton Court, lent by the
generosity of the king and queen of
For a long moment the Dresden
china lady thought in silence and some
thing of sadness. Then she roused her
self again and asked the one and only
royal princess with an American name
what, in the way of a match, sho real
"What do I expect?" echoed Virginia.
"Why, I wish for the moon?no, I
mean the sun. But I don't expect to
"Is that a way of saying you never
Intend to marry?"
"I'm afraid It amounts to that," ad
mitted Virginia, "since there is only
one man in the world I would have for
"My dearest! A man you have let
yourself learn to care for, a man be
neath you? How terrible! But you see
no one. I"?
"I've ncrcr seen this man. And?I'm
not 'In love' with him. That would be
too foolish, because, Instead of being
beneath, he's far, far above me."
"Virginia, of whom can you be talk
ing? Or Is this another Joke7'
Virginia blushed a little and, instead
of answering her mother's look of help
less appeal, stared at the row of tall
hollyhocks that blazed along the ivy
hidden garden wall. She did not speak
for an instant, and then she said, with
the dainty shyness of a child pinned to
a statement by uncomprehending eld
ers: "It isn't a joke. Nonsense, maybe,
yet not a Joke. I've always thought of
him?for so many years I've forgotteu
when it first began. He was so grout,
so?everything that appeals to me.
How could I help thinking about him
and putting him on a pedestal? I?
there's no idea of marriage in my mind,
of course, only- there's no other man
possible after all the thoughts I've
given him-no other man in the world."
"My dear, you must tell me his
"What! When I've deserllied him?al
most?do you still need to hear his
name? Well, then, I?I'm not asham
ed to tell. It's I^oopold."
"Leopold. You're talking of too em
peror of Rhaetla."
"As If it could have been any one
"And you have thought of him.
you've cherished him, for years as an
Ideal! Why, you never spoke of him
"That's lieenuse you never seriously
wanted me to take a hiiBband until this
prim, dull French Henri proposed him
self. My thoughts were my own. 1
wouldn't have told you only?you see
"Of course, my precious child. How
extremely Interesting and?and roman
tic!" Again the grand duchess lapsed
Into silence, yet her expression did not
suggest a stricken mind. She merely
appeared astonished, with an astonish
ment that might turn into an emotion
Meanwhile It was left for Virginia
to look vexed?vexed with herself. She
wished that she had not betrayed her
poor little foolish occrot?so shadowy a
secret that it was hardly worthy of tho
no me. Yet it had been precious? pre
cious since childhood, precious as the
immediate jewel of her soul because
It had been the jewel of her soul, and
no one else had dreamed of its exist
ence. Now she had shown It to other
eyes, almost flaunted It Naver again
could it be a Joy to her.
In the little room, half study, half
boudoir, which was her own there waa
a desk, locked in her absence, where
souvenirs of the young emperor of
Rhaetla had been accumulating for
years. There were photographs which
Virginia had contrived to buy secret
ly?portraits of Ix>opold from an early
ago up to the present, when he was
shown as a tall, dark, cold eyed, warm
lipped, firm chinned young man of
thirty. There were paragraphs cut
from newspapers telling of his genius
ns u soldier, his prowess as a moun
taineer and hunter of big game, with
dramatic anecdotes of his haughty
courage In time of danger, his impul
sive charities, his well thought out
schemes for the welfare of his subjects
In every walk of life.
There were black and white copies
of bold, clever pictures ho had painted.
There was martial music composed by
Mim und plaintive folk songs adapted
by htm, which Yhgiata bad tried soft
? ly to herself on h.-r I (Hi* plauo when
nobody was near. There were reports
of speeches made by him since his ac
cession to tho throne, accounts of Im
provements in guns nud an invention
of a new explosive. There was a some
what crude yet witty play which ho
had written and numerous other Jrec
ords of the accomplishments and
achievements and even eccentricities
which rta.i bum up the l'rh icess Vir
ginia's ideal of this celebrated young
man, proclaimed emperor after the
great revolution eight years ago.
"You are worthy to be an empress."
Her mother's voice broke intq^ Vir
ginia's thoughts. She st- 'od and
found herself under inspect.. by tho
grand duchess. At first she frowned;
then she laughed, springing up on a
quick Impulse to I n earnest into jest
and so perhaps . further cate
"Yos, would I not mal empress?"
she echoed, stepping out roui the
shadow of her favorite ein ?iito the
noontide radiance of Bunitnt .
The sun poured over her hair as she
stood with uplifted head and threaded
It with a netwo '" of living gold, gleam
ing into the du.U gray eyes rimmed
With black lashes and turning them to
Jewels. Her fair skin was as flawless
in the unsparing light us the petals of
lilies, and her features, though a repe
tition of those which hail made a Vir
ginia girl famous long ago, wore carved
with royal perfection.
"There Is no real rcasou why you
should not make an empress, dearest,"
sjdd her mother, in pride of the j.'rl's
beauty and desiring, womanlike, to
promote her child's happiness. "Stran
ger things have happened. Only last
week at Windsor the dear queeu was
saying what a pity poor Henri was not
moro. Hut, no matter; he is well
enough. However, if? And when one
comes to think of it, it's perhaps not
unnatural that Leopold of Uhaetia has
never been mentioned for you, although
there could be nothing against the mar
riage. What a match for any woman -
a supreme one! Not a royal girl but
would go on her knees to him If"?
"I wouldn't," said Virginia. "1 might
worship him, yet he should go on his
knees to me."
"I doubt if those proud knees of his
will ever bond in homage to man or
woman," replied tho grand duchess.
"Hut that's a mere fantasy. I'm seri
ous now, darling, and I very much
wish you would be."
"Please, I'd rather not," smiled Vir
ginia uneasily. "Let us not talk of the
emperor any more?and never again
after this, mother. You know now.
That's all that's necessary, and"?
"Hut it's not all that's necessary.
You hnve put the Idea into my head,
and It's not an unpleaslm; idea. Be
sides, It has evidently been in your
head for a long time, and I should like
to see you happy?see you in a position
such as you're entitled to grace. You
nre a very beautiful girl (there's no dis
guising that from you, as you know
you are the image of your grandmoth
er, who was a celebrated beauty), and
tho best blood in Europe runs i 1 your
velna. You are royal, and yet?ami yet
our circumstances are such that?In
fact, for the present we're somewhat
"We're beggars," said Virginia,
laughing, but it was not a happy
"Cophetua married the beggar maid,"
the grand duchess reminded her, with
elaborate playfulness. "And, you
know, all sorts of tilings have hap
pened In history?much stranger than
any one would dare put In llctlon if
writing of royalties. My dear husband
was second cousin once removed to tho
German emperor, though he was treat
ed? Hut we mustn't speak of that. The
auhjeet always upsets mo. What 1
was lending up to Is this?though there
may be other girls who from a worldly
MFe?, would 1 not make an cinprcsnt"
point of view are more desirable, still
you're strictly within tho pale from
which Leopold is entitled to choose his
wife, and if"?
"Dear little mother, there's no such
'If.' And, as for mo, I wasn't thinking
of a 'worldly point of view.' The em
peror of Ithaetia barely knows that I
exist. And even If by some miracle ho
should suddenly discover that little
Princess Virginia Mary Victoria Alex
andra Hlldograde of Hnumcnhurg
DrlppS was the one suitable wife for
him on earth I wouldn't have him want
me because I was 'suitable,' but?be
CAUSe I was Irresistible. I'd want his
love- nil his love-or I would say. 'No;
you must look somewhere else for your
"Hut that's nonseus., darling. Hoy
al people seldom or never havo the
Chance to fall lu love," said tho grand
"I'm tired of being royal," snapped
tho princess. "Being royal does noth
ing but spoil all one's fun and oblige
one to do stupid, boring things which
"Noverthelcsfl noblesse docs oblige,"
went on the Dresden china prophetess
of conventionality. "When alliances
are arranged for women of our posi
tion, we must content ours-^es witli
the hope that love may t/nc after
marriage, or, If not, wo must go on do
ing our duty in that state of life to
Which heaven has graciously called
"Bother duty!" broke out Virginia.
"Thank goodness, in these days not all
(ho king's horses and all the king's
men can make even a princess marry
against her will. I hate that everlast
ing cant about 'duty in marriage.'
When people love each other they're
Iiiud and good and sweet and true be
cause it's a joy, not because It's a
duty. And that's the only sort of loy
alty worth having between met! and
women, according to nie. I wouldn't
accept anything else from a man, and I
should despise him if ho were less or
"Virginia, the way you express your
self is almost Improper. I'm thankful
that no one hears you except myself."
said tho grand duchess. But ct tills
moment, when clash of tongues and
opinions seemed Imminent, there oc
curred a happy diversion in the arrival
Virginia, Who was a neglectful cor
respondent, had nothing, hut two or
three Important looking envelopes
claimed attention from tho grand duch
ess, and as soon as the ladies were
once more alone together in tho sweet
scented garden she broke tho crown
Stamped seal of her son Adalbert, now
by adoption crown prince of lluiigaria.
"Open the others for me, dear," she
demanded excitedly, "while 1 see what
Dal lias lo say." And Virginia leisure
ly obeyed, wondering whether Dai's
news would by and by be passed on
to her. It was always an event when
a long letter came from bim, and the
grand duchess invariably laughed and
exclaimed and sometimes blushed as
she read, but when she blushed the
letter was. not given to tho crown
There was a note today from an old
friend of her mother's of whom Vir
ginia was fond, and she had just be
gun to be Interested In the third para
graph, all about an adorable Dandy
DiuuiO'.lt puppy, wheu an odd, half
stifled ejaculation from tho grand duch
ess made the girl lift her eyes.
'lias Dal been having something be
yond the common in the way of adven
tures?" she inquired dryly.
Her mother dld-not answer, but she
had grown pink and then pale.
Virginia began to be uneasy. "What
is the matter? Is anything wrong?"
"No -nothing in the least wrong, far
from it, indeed; but, oh, my child!"
"Mother, dear, what Is it?'
"Something so extraordinary, so
wonderful?I mean as a coiuelder.ee?
that I can hardly speak. I suppose I
can't be dreaming. You are really
talking to ine in the garden, aren't
"I am, and I wisli you were telling
nie tlie mystery. Do, clear. You look
awake, only rather odd."
"It would lie strange if I didn't look
odd. Dal says?Dal says"?
"What has ho been doing?getting
"No. It is?your emperor, not Dal,
Who talks of being engaged."
"(Hi," said Virginia, trying not to
speak blankly, trying not to Hush, try
ing not to show in any way the sudden
Sick pain in her heart.
Of course she was not in love with
him. Of course, though she had been
childish enough long ago to make him
her ideal and foolishly faithful enough
to keep him so, she bad always known
that he would never be more to her
than a shadow emperor. Some day ho
would marry one of those other royal
girls who were? so much more suitable
than she. That won'1 bo natural and
right, as she had more than once told
herself with no conscious pang, but
now that the news had come, now that
tho royal girl was actually chosen and
she must hear tho letter and rend
about the happy event In the newspa
pers. It was different. She felt sud
denly cold and sick under the blow
hurt and defrauded and even jealous.
She know that she would hate the girl
some wretched, commonplace girl,
with stick out teeth, perhaps, or no fig
ure and no idea of tho way to wear her
clothes or do her hair.
But she swallowed hard and clinch
ed her fingers under the voluminous
letter about Dandy DIninont. "Oh, so
our friend Is going to lie married'/" she
"That depends," replied tho grand
duchess, laughing mysteriously, with a
catch In her voice as if she had been a
nervous girl?"that depends. Yon must
guess. But, no; I won't, tense you.
(Continued on Page seven)
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