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Oh C ynthia ? s / Q S By lORMil K1IGHT © Copyright by th« Bobba-MerrlU Co. WND Servie» CHAPTER X—Continued Cynthia looked vague, but Ben as visual had It all planned. Shopping this morning; he wanted to buy Benjy an Indian suit and some Wild West fixings. Lunch down town, a matinee, a festive dinner at home—Ben looked significantly at Marguerite and she looked back and grinned—and evening with his sweetheart In the library. Cynthia told herself that she never felt more of a fool In her life than when she stood there listening to Ben's suave voice outlining this senti mental day. She lifted her head Just once and caught Geoff's eyes upon her. Pitying eyes, they seemed to her, and yet with a conprehendlng twinkle In their depths. "What the deuce makes you stand there and let that fellow plan for you like that?" they seemed to say. She gave his glance back haughtily. Then the door-bell rang and two minutes after she was reading the night letter from Tenny's father. Mr. Montague had married suddenly, It seemed ("Marriage seems to be In the air," Geoff observed), and was leaving for India to be gone two years. He and the new Mrs. Montague would stop off to see Tenny and to make ar rangements for her care while they were gone. "While they are gone?" It was Ben Button's surprised voice. "You mean to say they won't take the child with them?" Cynthia In her turn looked sur prised. "To India? Why, It would be the ruin of Tenny's health, Mr. Montague knows better than that." "But"—he was genuinely puzzled— "does he expect you to make arrange ments for her school?" "School? What school?" "If her father doesn't take her with him she'll have to be put In a board ing school, won't she?" * At that Tenny gave a cry of anguish and ran to Cynthia, clutching her madly, shaking from head to foot. Cynthia soothed her with han$ and voice. "There, darling, there! Mrr~Sutton just doesn't understand, that's all." But Tenny was beyond reasoning with. With a child's unerring Instinct ehe had caught Sutton's real meaning. Cynthia was going to live with him and he didn't want Tenny to come, tool Cynthia bent over her distress fully. "Tenny—can't you trust Cynthia? Tenny, darling—" It was Geoff who came to the res cue. He picked Tenny up bodily and carried her into the parlor. "Now listen, Tenny ! You're not go ing to a boarding school, do you get that? Not—under—any—circum stances !" She flung her arms about his neck, bedewed his collar with her tears. "Cynthia promised—Cynthia prom Ished," she sobbed. "If Cynthia promised, then you're all right," he assured her. "She's never broken a promise yét, has she? And here's mine to add to hers. You'll go to a boarding school only over my dead body! You see," he went on con versationally. "I've been in 'em my self and I know what they're like. All right for children that haven't any fathers or Cynthlas or Geoffs, but ut terly out of the question for you." Her thin arms held him in a strangling embrace. "If—If Cynthia goes to live with— with Mr. Sutton—you—you'll keep me with you?'' He took her face between his hands and looked straight in her eyes. "I give you my word of honor I will, fenny I" Meanwhile Ben had touched Cyn thia's am and motioned with his head toward the library. "Shall we go in there and talk this over?" She followed Çdm, almost as excited and frightened ">3 Tenny. It had never once entered her mind that Ben might consider he was acquiring a family quite large enough without adding this child. But to let Tenny go I Cynthia said, and honestly believed, that she could think no more of the child If she were her own. Somehow those months of battling with the disease which threat ened the frail body had seemed to make her Cynthia's, how false was the security In which ehe had rested. She saw now Anything might threaten It: Mr. Montague's remar riage, her own prospective one, torn of the long condition which had so frightened them when Tenny first came. a re It would be bad enough to take her away from Denver, from the pure air In which she thrived. It was out of the question to take her to India, fact Mr. Montague apparently recog nized from what he had said In hla telegram. "Ben, you wouldn't—wouldn't let her stay with us?" "Cynthia, dear—think f Tenny Is nothing to me—cannot be very much to you, though I know you're fond of the child I We're—I don't mean to remind you of this unduly, sweet, but ■till It must be considered—we're plan ■lag a pretty big houseful as It Is." a "I know!'' she said proudly. "Cynthia, don't speak like thatl I'm glad to have them all—gladder than I can say. But there's Benjy—I must consider Benjy." She looked at him piteously. "I was thinking what a nice playmate Tenny would be for him !" He shook a smiling head. "Cynthia, Tenny's not a child I'd want Benjy to be with very much! She'sremo tlonal, excitable. Look at that lacune this morning, for example. She^' "But, Beni The child was frantic! She thought she was going to be put back In a school—" "And that's exactly where she ought to be, If you'll forgive my saying so, dear. She needs discipline." "She needs no such thing! She's had altogether too much of it In her short life now. She needs love and care and a home. Shi "We'll get nowhere talking like this, Cynthia," he told her gently. "I don't consider the child an advisable com panion for Benjy. She's not related to you, you're under no obligation whatever to look after her." "But It's not a question of obliga tion. It's a question of Tenny! She needs me. I'm so glad her new moth er won't be back for two years. By then Tenny'll be older, she can bear the separation from me better—" A stubborn look settled about his mouth. "The separation Is going to be at once, Cynthia. I'll put off going back to New York until this Mr. Mon tague comes, and I'll explain to him that you and I are to be married In April and he must make arrange ments for his child now—" For almost an hour the discussion went on. Ben was patient, tolerant, but unyielding. At the end of the hour Cynthia handed him back his ring with the brief announcement that if It came to choosing between Tenny's health and happiness for the next two years and marrying him, she chose Tenny. If she had expected this announce ment to move Ben from his position she was disappointed. "You're showing me a side of your nature that I haven't seen before," he said. "Cynthia, my dear !" His eyes softened and he took a step toward her. "I do love you, even If X can't let you have your way In this. It's Im possible for us to take the child." "I know." She gave a quick nod. She was a little breathless as though she'd escaped from some unknown danger. "It's all right, Ben. It's much, much better to have found this out than to wait until we were mar ried. Why, I'd even planned to send Benjy and Tenny to dancing school together; to give him the responsi bility of being a brother to her." His month set again. "But I couldn't allow Benjy—" "Of course you couldn't 1 That's Just what I'm saying. Isn't It lucky we found out how we both feel? I must go to Tenny now. She won't be fit to go to .school today after all that crying. slipped out, nor turned to give him a backward glance as she went In search of Tenny. She found the child asleep In Geoff's arms, completely exhausted with her recent emotion. Cynthla'a heart beat a little faster as she stood there look ing at the two. Tenny's arms were still clasped about Geoff's neck, his Ups touched her hair. Her relaxed little body rested against him trust fully, mured : She opened the door and Once she sighed and mur "You promised, Geoff!" and he said clearly : "I promised, Tenny !" and she sank back Into tired slumber. CHAPTER XI Christinas. The Christmas rush was on In earnest The extra clerk Cynthia had engaged.to help while Ben Sutton was In Denver stayed on. Cynthia, busy with a querulous woman heard a familiar voice behind her. "Certainly, madam! This Is gen uine Sandwich glass, priced this low for today only. Two plates? I doubt If we can break the set, but I'll In quire. Rather a pity not to take the six, don't you think?<*s So few people own six Sandwich glass plates.—Ah! I think you're very wise, madam ! Thank youl" She deserted the querulous woman and came quickly to him. "Geoff Ensloe, what are you doing here?" belling Christmas goods," he said serenely. "Please go home, Geoff. You're not needed here," "You never were more mistaken In your life 1 Don't bother me, Cynthia. I'm busy. Got to sell that fat woman a couple of paper knives and a cal endar." Dinner time came and went and no one dared to leave for the meal. Last minute customers dashed In and out In breathless haste. One frantic man had a long list and confessed that be had forgotten all about his shopping until this minute. "Anything—give me anything!" he begged Cynthia. "Here's a list of their name«—sister, nieces, nephews— the whole lot Just wrap up anything you think might be suitable." "How much had you thought of spending?" Cynthia inquired. He took a billfold from his pocket and handed her two twenty-dollar bills. "Make 'em go as far as you.,can, will you?" Then he drifted away to the armchairs by the book table, re lieved at the shifting of responsi bility to other shoulders. "Geoff, what have we that a boy of fourteen would like?" Cynthia asked presently. "This animal book?" He gave a hasty glance at the artist's whimsical portrayal of a spot ted giraffe "Not thatl Wrap him up that kodak over there It's a de cent one for the money." The Christmas card supply ran out and Geoff took his car and dashed hastily downtown for more. A child was separated from his mother and howled lustily. Cynthia's face grew whiter, her eyes bluer and bigger. Elsie's volubility had long ago sub sided Into the necessary "Yes, we have," or "No, we're completely out. I'm sorry 1" Closing time came when proprietor and clerks had reached the limit of 11 I I I I II Ô V/ I'm Looking Forward to the Pack age« and the Turkey and the Flower« and Candy Tomorrow." their endurance. Geoff tucked Cyn thia Into his car. "You've had no dinner," she said. "Nêîther have you." "I don't want any. I'm too tired to eat' He made no answer but presently he had stopped the car before a tiny fe. "I can't eat, Geoff—truly I can't" "Try It," he begged. "Just to please me. I've earned a favor from you to night, haven't I" So she forced herself to taste the broiled steak he ordered; another bite and another, until the color came back to her cheeks and her eyes looked less tired. "Cynthia, I wish you didn't keep a gift shop. It takes all the Joy out of th© holiday for you." "Not quite." She smiled at him across the little table. Tm looking forward to the packages and the turkey and the flowers and candy tomorrow as much as any of you." 'Tve got a present for you, Cynthia." "Have you, Geoff? Well, I have one for you, too. A nice one." "I hope you'll think mine Is nice." He hesitated then said swiftly: "Cyn thia, why can't we always be friendly like this? I—I hate quarreling with you." "We haven't quarreled since Ben left, have we?" Her voice was very soft and her eyes were friendly. "You were good to us both then, Geoff— Tenny and me." "Was It"—be knew he was tread ing on dangerous ground but he had to know—"was It wholly on Tenny's account that you—sent Sutton away?" "I'm too tired to pretend tonight," she answered. "I wouldn't have given Tenny up, of course, but I was glad— not to be engaged to Ben Sutton. I learned once and for all time, Geoff, that I can never marry a man except for one reason: not for financial ease, not because he's kind, not because I like and respect him. Those things, I discovered, aren't enough. When I marry—If I marry," she amended with a faint smile, "It will be because I love my man so deeply, so truly, so entirely, that I can't live without him." The words thrilled Geoff. The little cafe became to him a place of drama. He felt humble, this young man who was learning for the first time what love meant. He had thought he knew when Cynthia came home from the hospital, but now he realized with a touch of awe that to love and be loved by Cynthia Aylesbury would be an ex perience so different from the super ficial, ephemeral emotion which went by the name of love with moat of hla generation that It would set a man apart from his kind. With this knowledge came depression. His self confidence, hla light-hearted plans to storm the castle of Cynthia's heart vanished. If he was ever to win this sapphire-eyed girl he must fight for every step of the ground he worn He accepted the challenge doggedly. Only his mother could have told Cyn thia the fiery ambition combined with stern determination which lay behind that acceptance. Christmas Day—Geoff's first Christ mas In the Cary house—passed off merrily. They were having breakfast. Marguerite's fluffy biscuits and tiny brown sausages were neglected while the piles of daintily wrapped packages at each plate were opened. Cynthia's present to Geoff was the hook he had coveted In the Odds and Ends along with a companion volnme which he had long sought. Both were now out of print and Geoff was de lighted with them quite apart from his pleasure In Cynthia's thoughtful ness toward his needs. He had selected his own gift for her with much care, deciding at last on a necklace of carved coral, trusting that she would not realize the costliness of Its exquisite work. That she did realize it. her first glance of protest attested; but she thanked him prettily and that evening he had the Joy of swing it around her throat In com bination with the simple white dress she wore to a Christmas party. Miss Nona as usual was deluged with gifts. Over one of them Cary raised derisive brows. Doctor Big ham had sent her a wicker basket filled with blooming begonias, their honest pink somewhat resembling the color Tn his own cheeks. "Aha! We have a romance brew ing," said the graceless Cary. "I thought Doc was making a good many calls while Cynthia was sick, and that It was odd he always timed them to coincide with your visits at the hos pital r "Hush, you bad boy!" Miss Nona was unperturbed. The doctor's flow ers were amply supplemented by roses, polnsettlaa and scarlet carna tions from other friends. To Tenny the day was something out of a fairy tale. From that first waking moment when she reached for the stocking Cynthia had filled and hung on her bedpost, to the other mo ment. when exhausted with sheer felicity she fell asleep In Geoff's arms and was carried upstairs and un dressed by Cynthia without waking, she existed In a delirium of joy that Geoff found Infinitely touching. It spoke so loudly of other Christmases spent In the forced cheer of deserted schools or In bare hotels with a puz zled and anxious father. The child seemed to carry about with her the realization of what had threatened the gladness of this day. Once she paused with her arms full of the gifts she was hugging to her heart and said to Cynthia: "If you'd sent me back to boarding school, Cynthia, I'd be crying now Instead of laughing. Did you know that?" "But I never thought of sending you away, dear." "And If you did send me," the child Insisted, "Geoff would have come and got me, wouldn't you, Geoff?" "You know I would," he replied with significant emphasis, and reas sured, she went back to her play. At dinner Flossie and Cary made an announcement. "Look here, folks," Cary began ab ruptly. "This wife of mine insists that we've honeymooned here long enough. She thinks It's high time we set up housekeeping for ourselves." "Leave here?" Miss Nona exclaimed In dismay. "Cary, you can't—you sim ply mustn't!" Cynthia laid her hand over her mother's. "Wait, dear, and hear what Flossie says about It." Flossie's cheeks flushed brightly. "We've figured It all out, Cary and I. We can get a one-room and kitchen ette for thirty-five dollars. It isn't In such, a grand neighborhood but that won't matter. It's near to Cary's work. And after we pay our first wife's alimony, we'll still have enough to live on If we're careful. We've loved staying here. Miss Nona, but after all we're married and we ought to keep house for ourselves," she finished reasonably. Geoff was chuckling over the refer ence to "our first wife." From the very beginning Flossie had accepted that almost mythical person with com Her common-sense attitude posure. toward life In general delighted Gooff. Cary's sensitiveness received no en couragement from Flossie. The grace ful avoidance of money discussion which was the rule In the household simply didn't exist for her. Miss Nona and the Captain never ceased to be shocked by her direct speech, but Cynthia had recognized It for the fine thing It was and upheld her sister-in-law at all times. She approved now of her plan, "Flossie's right, Mias Nona. It's time the bride and groom retired to their own domain." Mias Nona's handkerchief came out. "Have you actually selected an apart ment, Cary dear?" "Selected It? We've paid the first month'a rent," he said proudly. "Trust this hard-boiled wife of mine to clinch a thing before I can slide out from under!" That, Geoff told himself, would be the keystone on which the Cary Aylesburys happiness would be built Flossie would always be there to keep Cary from sliding out from under. "It was a lucky day for Cary when he married his 'Baby,' '' he said to Cynthia when they were driving back from the Inspection of the new home. Miss Nona refused to accompany them and the Captain had stayed home to keep her company. Flossie and Cary rode In the latter's disreputable car. "I shouldn't wonder at all If she turns matchmaker, marries off 'our first wife' and so rids Cary of the alimony." Cynthia assented soberly. "Flossie Is a dear! It's smart of her to move Cary Into a home of his own, even If It's only one room. It'll give him some responsibility for the first time In his life." "Will Miss Nona be upset about It long, do you think?" he asked a little anxiously. "Oh, no. It's the first break In the family and naturally It hurts her. But she'll get over it. Miss Nona's dis position is so sweet," said her daugh ter, "that nothing upsets her very long." The dreary and uneventful January that Cynthia had feared was broken by two events: the arrival of Mrs. Ensloe for a visit, and the Captain'« death. The one preceded the other by ten days. Miss Nona looked up from her morning mall with an exclamation of pleasure. "Eunice Is coming to Denver! Geoff, your mother Is coming! But of course you have a letter, too. She says her book Is finished and she'« rather at loose ends now and she wants to see Geoff—and all of us—" She was quite flushed with delight over the announcement. She told them several Incidents of her child hood, and Cynthia smiled to recognize In Geoff his mother's own decisive ness and quick formulation of plana. Geoff himself was divided between delight and apprehension at the pros pect of his mother's presence in the Cary house. He longed to see her, but he feared her accurate analysis of the situation here, the blunt frank ness of her speech. He need not have worried, Mrs. Ensloe knew Miss Nona of old and only listened with Indulgent amuse ment when her friend's gentle Im practicability was to the fore. She arrived early one bitter Jan uary morning. Geoff, who had gone to the train to meet her, endeavored to prepare her on the way home for what she would find. "I wrote you Cary and Flossie hava left," he said. "Miss Nona hasn't got over It yet But Flossie's a sensi ble little thing and It was the wisest possible action—taking an apartment of their own." Mrs. Ensloe looked at him and smiled. "You're head-over-heels In the family affairs, aren't you, Geoff?" He grinned. "They have sort of got me," he acknowledged. "Their prob lems anJ conversation are as Inter esting as a play. You wait—you'll find yourself Involved, too!" And soon Eunice Ensloe was ad mitting the truth of this. Whether ft was the Cary charm, or the unusual ness of the household, or the sus ceptibility of the onlookers, sooner or later most people who had anything to do with the Cary-Aylesbury con nection found themselves swept Into the current which moved them. Doctor Blgham was an Interesting example of this, A widower of two years' standing, he had known Miss Nona all her life. Cynthia's Illness had shown him her mother at her best. He still drew down his bushy eyebrows and frowned at her help lessness In money matters, but It wa* a frown now tempered by a smile which was almost tender. He made Tenny an excuse to call frequently at the house. To be sure, he was as likely as not Jo drop In when the child was at school, but neither he nor Miss Nona appeared to regard that as Important. Elsie Dunsraore was another who thought of the family's affairs as her own. "Cynthia," her anxious voice might say over the telephone, "I see where those Dedham bowls your mother was wishing for are on sale at that little pottery shop on Arapahoe street to morrow at an awfully low price I Shall I come down half an hour early and get her one?" The first time Mrs. Ensloe found herself knitting her brows over the problem of Marguerite's habit of leaving the milk on the back porch nntll it froze and burst the bottle, ahé lay back In her chair and laughed. "You Garys," she said to Miss Nona. "There's something about you that makes everything you say and do Im portant. I really came out here to see what you'd done to Geoff. He's a folksy person, a kind one, but I've never known him before to get all wrought up over little girls' school shoes or early closing hours on Sat urday for gift shops !'* (TO BB OONTI.WBD.1 OUR CHILDREN æ By ANGELO PATH! YOU DO IP' «< W HAT are you making all fuss about, Dick? You can tie your shoe If you want to." "I can't I did try. It's too bard for me." "It Isn't hard. It's easy enough once you set your mind to it" "Is It easy?" "Yea. Easy as can be." "Then you do It It's hard for me." Things that are easy to ns are diffi cult for children. They have to make an effort to adjust their muscles for the task. They nave to think about and direct every move. A wrong motion, and It Is easy for a child to make one, sends a whole series of movements the wrong way. Dick was passing his shoe string over Instead of under and that made it Im possible for him to tie the knot As soon as that one motion had been set right he tied the knot easily. Some children tire sooner than oth ers. For them effort Is annoying. They will escape It If they can and If they form the habit of calling for help at the first sign of trouble they will not gain power. Let the child try to do his Job. When be cries for help hold your hand. Watch what he does and find the difficulty. Set that right, encourage him to go ahead. He needs help over the hard place but he needs to go the rest of the way himself. It helps a child to see grown-up people do the things they expect little ones to do. What you would have the children do and think easy to do, you should do yourself. If you want them to speak softly and go gently you must speak and move with gentleness. If you want them to be well mannered you must practice being good man nered on all occasions. Little children the « are not ready to take over grown-up people's manners. They have to hear T am yon say. "How do you do?' sorry to disturb you." "Won't you have this chair? I think you will be more comfortable," before they say It. Telling or showing once is not enough. Yon must show many, many times for the one telling. Show by your own conduct that the thing you wish the child to do Is easy for you to do and he will have more faith In Its being possible for him. Then make U easy for him to do by providing the right atmosphere. A child cannot be patient In an atmosphere of Impa tience. He cannot be gentle and well mannered In an environment that Is neither the one nor the other. Make things easy for him and he will find them so. • • THE CONTRARY CHILD C HLDREN who are contrary and stubborn are a great trial to their mothers and teaehera When one comes along the best thing to do la to study him to learn the secret of his affliction, for an affliction It cer tainly Is. When a child says, "I won't," wheth er In words or actions does not matter —he doses his mind and sits Inside In the darkness of his anger and fear. You never meet the one without the other. Anything that brings fear brings anger with It They are twins. Until we can help the child free him self of the fear he cannot come out and play. He la a prisoner to bla fear, or as we are terming It now, bla stubbornness. Children who are not certain about their power to do what is asked of them are likely to balk. . They hava not the power of language to tell us all they are feeling. We have to win him to trust and confidence before ha will venture another step. We cannot accomplish thl* by scolding and shaking and slapping. All that adds to the difficulty. You can't expect a child to féel free and brave when yon are raging at him and slapping him. Instead of that wait a minute until your wrath cools and your reason takes hold. Walt until you can see this fear ridden, obstructed child, closed In the darkness of hla nn formed mind, wait until you are sorry for his plight and desire to help him. before you speak or move. Then, take a good look at him. If he seems to be enjoying his contrary disposition say. very calmly, with as sumed Indifference, "Very well You needn't," and occupy yourself to the exclusion of him and hla deeda Find something Interesting to" do so that his eyes follow you and he longs to be at It too. When he sidles along to you and says, "Let me, let me," be gracious, but not too effusive, and 'If yon like," and let him. say. In his Interest aid enthusiasm he will be released from bis bonds and go merrily for a tlnje. When you find him In a confiding mood, talk to him gently. Tell him If he wants to be glad and happy he must find a way of saying "Yea." Don't rub It In. Touch It gently and pass on, for there are other times coming. If he has an attack at a dangerous time, when he wants to do what will hurt him, or refuses to do what will save him, and your hands and heart are full, hold on to your reason, pick him up firmly, without anger, and put him where you want him to be. If he has a tantrum reach for a bowl of cool water and douse him with It until his mood changes. But never lose your I own control. 1 e Ball Syndicat*.— WNTJ Servie*.