Newspaper Page Text
b the Deu Byndicato,Ino.
(Continued from Last Week.)
"You 'think soine one told' you!"
Noble groiijed. "Ol. Julia, Julia!
And here it is, all down in black and
white. In my pocket!"
"I haven't the slightest idea what
you're talking about." Julia's tone,
wams coid. and she drew herself up
linughtily, though the gesture was in.
effective, so far as Noble was em
verned. in the darkness of the quier
Ing interior. The qulyering stoppetl
u.isI then. however, as the taxicah
luiited liefore her house.
"Will you come iff with me a mo
ment, please?" Julia said as she got
out. "There are some things I want
to ask you-and I'm sure patpa hasn't
C'41nle home from downtown yet.
Thero's no light in the front part of
There was no light in any other
(,art of the house, either, as they dis
-overed after abandoning the hell for
no excursion to the rear. "That's dis
henrtening to a hungry person," Julia
remarked ; and then remembered that
she hit a key to the front door in
her purse. She opened the door, and
lightedI a hall luster while Noble
bronight In her bags from the steps
where the taxicab driver had left
"There's nobody at home at all,"
Julia said. thoughtfully.
"No. Nobody," her sad companion
agreed, shaking his head. "Nobody at
all, Julia. Nobody at all." Rousing
himself, he went back foi thj golf
tools, and with a lingering gentleness
set them in a corner. Then, dumbly,
he turned to go.
"Wait, please," said Julia. "I want
to ask you a few things-especially
about what you've got 'all down in
black and white' in your pocket. Will
you shut the door, if you please, and
go into the' library and. turn on the
lights and wait there while I look
over the house and see if I can find
why it's all closed up like this.
"It's chilly. The furnace seems to
be of'," she said. "I'll-" But instead
of declaring her intentions, she enact
ed them; taking a match from the lit
tle white porcelain trough on the mati
telpiece and striking it on the heel of
her glittering shoe. Then she knelt
before the grate and set the flame to
excelsior beneath the kindling and
Coal. "You niustn't freze," she said,
with a thoughtful kindness that killed
"I'm Robinson Crusoe, Noble," she
said, when she came back. "I suppose
I might as wvell take off my furs,
- though," She did so, first unfasten
ing the great bouquet she wore and
tossing it upon a table. Noble was
standing close to the table, but moved
atway from -it hurriedly. This revulsion
she failed to notice; and she wvent on
to explain, as she dropped her cloak
-and stole upon a chair. "Papa's gone
away for at least a wveek. He's taken
his 'udster. It doesn't make any dlf
ferenees what the wveather is, he never
wears his ulster in this town, b~t
when poe's going away for a week, or
longer, he always takes it with him,
except in summer."
"I suppose," said Noble huskily, "I
Suppose you'll go to some of your
*aunts or brothers,or cousins or some
"No," she said.. "My trunk may
come up from the station almost any
time, and if I close the house they'll
take it back. The servants are hay
ing a holiday, not expecting me
"You needn't bother about that
Julia, I'll look after it."
"I could sit on the porch till it
came," he said, "I'd tell 'em you
wanted 'em to leave it." He paused
painfully. "I could wait out on the
porch with it, toisee that it was safe,
until you came back tomorrow morn
She looked full at him, and he plain
tively endured the examination,
"Nob~le I" She' had undoubtedly a
moment'b shame that any creature
should come to such s4 pass for her
sake. "WVhat lovely Aeonsensel" she
said; and sat upon a stool before the
crackling fire. "Do sit down, Noble
m191ess your dinner will be waiting for
you at -home?"
"No," he murmured. "They never
wifE for me. Don't you want me to
look after your trunk?" ,
"Not by sitting up all night with it
on the porch," she #aid. "rm going
to- stay hero myself. I'm not going
out; I dont wgint to see any of the
"I thought you said ydu were hun.
"I am; but there's enough in the
pantry. I looked."
"Welt, if you flop't. want to see abty
ot 'em," he suggested, "and they know
your father's away and think the house
is enmpty, they're liable to notice. th#
lights and come in-.-and then you'd
havo to see 'em I" . .
"No; you can't see the lights of this
room from the street, and I lit the
lamp at the other end of the hall. The
light near the front door," Julia added,
"I put out."
"1 can't se4 any of 'em to-night,"
she said resolutely. "Besides, I want
to find out what you meant in the tax
icab before I do anything else."
"What ,meant in the taxicab?" he
echoed. "Oh, Julia, Juliff I"
She frowned, first at the fire, then,
turning her head. at Noble. "You
seem to feel quite reproachful about
something," she observed.
"No, I don't. I don't febl reproach
ful, Julla. I don't knQw what I feel,
but I don't feel reproachful."
Shc o'niled faintly. "Don't youl
Well, there's something perhaps you do
feel, and that's hungry. Will you stay
to dinner with me-if I go and get
"You can have dinner with me-if
you want to?-and stay till ten o'clock
-if you want to? Wait I" she said,
and jumped up and ran out of the
She came back and called softly to
him from the doorway, half an hour
later; and he followed her to the din
ing-room. "It isn't much of a dinner,
Noble," she said a little tremulously ; be
Ing for once (though strictly as a cook)
genuinely apologet!c-but the scram
bled eggs, cold iamb, salad and cof
fee were quite as "much of a dinner"
as Noble wanted. To him everything
on the table was hallowed, yet shred
ded through and through with an ex
"Now we'll talk !" said Julia, when
she had briought him iback to the fire
again, and they were seated before it.
"Don't you want to smoke?" H-e
shook his head dismally, having no
heart for what she proposed. "Well,
then," she said briskly, but a little rne
fully, "let's get to the bottom of things.
Just*what did you mean you had 'in
black and white' in your pocket?"
Slowly Noble drew forth the his
toric copy of the North End Daily Or
lole; and with face averted, placed it
in her extended hand.
"What in the world I" she exclaimed,
unfolding it; and then as its title and
statement of ownership came into
view, "Oh, yes l I see l Aunt Carrie
wrote me that, Uncle Joseph had given
Herbert a printing press. I suppose
Herbert's the editor?"
"And that Rooter boy," Noble said
sadly. "I think maybe your little niece,
Florence, has something to do vith it,
"SolithiiF to I1 Wifh Ir She
usually has all to do with anything she
gets hold of I But what's it got to do
"You'll see I" he prophesied accu
Site began to read, laughing at some
of the items as site went along; then
she suddenly became rigid, holding the
small journal before her in a trans
"Oh I" she cried. "Oh, oh l"
"That's-tnat's what-i meant,"
Julia's eyes grew dangerous. "The
little fiends!" she cried. 'Oh, really,
this is a long-suffering family, but It's
time these outrages were stopped l"
She jumped up. "Isn't it frightful?"
she demanded of Noble.
"Yes, it is," he said, with a dismal
fervor. "Nobody knows that better
than I do, Julia I"
"I mean this I" site cried, extending
the Oriole toward him with a fine
sweep of gesture. "I mean this dread
ful story about poor Mr. Cruin I"
"But it's true, though," he said,
"That's what hurts me, Julia I"
"Noble Dill I'
"Do you dare to say you believed
He sprang up. "It isn't true?"
"Not'one word of iti I told you
Mr. Crum is only twenty-six. Ho's
not been out of college more tihan
three or four years, and it's the most
terrible slander to say lhe's over been
married at all I"
Noble dropped back into his chair of
miseryi '"I thought y'ou meant it
"I've just told you there isn't one
word of tr-"
"But you're-engaged-to him,"
Noble -gulped. "You're engaged to
him, Julia I"
She appoared not to hear him. "I
suppose it can be lived down," she
said. "To think of Uncle Joseph put
ting such a thing into the hands of
those awful children I"
"But, Julia, you are eng--"
"Noble I" she said ,sharply.
"WVell, you are eng-"
Julia drew herself up. "Dif'ferent
people mean different things by that
~ord," she said with severity, like an
annoyed instructress. "There are any
number of shades of meaning to
words; and If I used the word you
mention in writing home to the fanilly,
I may have used a certain shade and
they may have th9ught I intended an
"Mr. Crum is a charming young
man," she continued( with the same
primness, "I liked him very much. I
liked him very much indeed. I liked
him very, very much, I liked him
"I understand," he interrupted,
''Don't say it any more, Julia,"
."No; you don't understand. At first
I liked him very much-in fact I still
do, ot 'courhe-I'm sure he's- ove of the
bpst and most attractive young men in
the waQ'ld. I think he's a -man aty girg
ought ;o be happy with, it be were
only to be considered by hitnself,
don't deny that I liked him very much
jndeed, and I don't deny that for sev
erat days after. he.-ate he npropse
oini: don't denzyT th-iigt Wmibi
thing serious might possibly come of
it. But at that time, Noble, I hadn't
hadn't really thought 'of what it meant
to give up living hee at home, with all
the family and everything-and friends
-friends like you, Noble. I hadn't
thought 'what it Would mean to me to
give all this up. And besides, there
was something very important. At the
time I wrote that letter mentioning
poor Mr. Qrum to the family, Noble, I
hadn't-I hadn't-" She paused, in
some distress. "I hadn't-"
"You hadn't what?" he eried.
"I hadn't niet his mother !"
Noble leaped to his feet. "Julia I
You aren't-you aren't engaged?"
"I am not," she answered decisively.
"If I (nr was, in the slightest, I cer
tainly am not now."
Poor Noble was transfigured. He
struggled; maling half-formed ges
tures, speaking half-made words.
"Julia-Julla-" He choked: "Julia,
promise me something? Julia-prom
ise to promise me something."
"I will," she said quickly. "What do
you want me to do?"
"Give me your word," he said, still
radiantly struggling. "Give me your
word-your word and sacred promise,
Julla-you'll never be engaged to any
body at all I"
At six minutes after four o'clock of
the second afternoon following Julia's
ieturn, Noble Dill closed his own gate
behind him as lie set forth upon the
four-minute walk that would bring him
to Julla's. le wore a )it of indoor
geraniumiin the buttonhole of his new
Passing the foot of an alley which
debouched upon the street, he was
aware of a commotion, uf missiles
hurled anld voices clashed.
Casting a glance that way, Noble
could see but one person ; a boy of
thirteen or fourteen who looked
through a crack in a board fence,
steadfastly keeping an eye to this aper
ture, and as continuously calling
through it, holding his head to one
level for this purpcse, but at the same
time dancing-and dancing tauntingly,
it was conveyed-with the other parts
of his body. His voice was now sweet,
now piercing, and again far too
dulcet with the overkindness of bur
lesque; and if, as it seemed, he
was unburdening his spleen, his spleen
was a powerful one, and gorged. He
appeared to be in a torment of tor
menting; and his success was proved
boy the pounding of bricks, and rocks
of size, upon the other side of the
"Oh, dolling I" he walled, his' tone
poisonously amorous. "Oh, dolling
Henery I Oo's dot do mos' booful eyes
in a dray bid nasty world, Henery I
Oh, has I dot booful eyes, dolling Pat
tywatty? Yes, I has I I has dot
pretty eyes I" Ills voice rose to an
unbearably piercing climax. "Oh, what
prettiest eyes I dot I Me and Herble
,Atwater I Oh, my booful eyes I Oh,
But even as he reached this apex,
the head, shoulders and arms of Her
bert Atwater rose momentarily above
the fence across the alley, behind the
tormentor. Herbert's expression was
implacably resentful,. and so was the
gesture with which he hurled an ob
ject at the comedian pre-occupied with
the opposite fence. This object upon
reaching its goal, as it did with more
a splash than a thud, was revealed as
? tomato, presumably in a useless
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state. The taunter screamed in aston
ishmnent, and after looking vainly for
an assallant, began necessarily to re
move his collar, as Noble went on his
How blindly we walk our waysl As
Noble flourished down the street there
appeared a wan face at a prison wii
(low and the large eyes looked out
upon 1in11 wistfully. But Noble went
on, ts unwitting that he had to do
with this prison as lie was that he
had to do with Master Torbin's to
The face at the window was not like
Charlotte Corday's, nor was the win
(low barred, though the prisoner knew
solace in wondering if she did not sug
gest that famous picture. For all pur
poses, except during school hours, the
room was certainly a cell; and the
tern of imprisonment was set at three
days. Florence had finally been
obliged to' face questions awaiting
her; and it would have been better
for her had she used less imagination
in answering them.
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Yet she was not wholly depressed
as her eyes followed the disappearing
ilgure 'of Noble Dill from over the
fence of Uie yard whence she had
ventured for a better view of Noble,
thereby risking a heavier sentence.
Noble passed fron her sight, but
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fragrant, unending. Ile saw it as a
flower-strewn sequence of calls on
Julla, walks with Julia, talks with
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