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.1 1^ & Masquerade That was Loder's attitude and action on the night of his jeopardy and his success, and the following day found his mood unchanged. He was one of those rare individuals who never give a promise overnight and regret it in the morning. He was slow to move, but when he did the movement brushed all obstacles aside. In the first days of his usurpation he had gone cautiously, half fascinated, half distrustful. Then the reality, the extraordinary tangibility of the position had gripped him when, matching himself for the first time with men of his own caliber, he had learned his real weight on the day of his pro test against the Easter adjournment. With that knowledge had been born the dominant factor in his whole scheme the overwhelming, insistent desire to manifest his power that desire that is the salvation or the ruin of every strong man who has once realized his strength. Supremacy was the note to which his ambition reached. To tram ple out Chilcote's footmarks with his own hand had been his tacit instinct from the first. Now it rose paramount. It was the whole theory of creation the survival of the fittestthe deep, egotistical certainty that he was the better man. And it was with this conviction that he entered on the vital period of his dual career. The imminent crisis and his own share in It absorbed him ab solutely. In the weeks that followed his answer to Fraide's proposal he gave himself ungrudgingly to his work. He wrote, read and planned with tireless energy. He frequently forgot to eat and slept only through sheer exhaus tion. In the fullest sense of the word he lived for the culminating hour that was to bring him failure or success. He seldom left Grosvenor square in the days that followed except to confer with his party. All his interest, all his relaxation even, lay in his work and what pertained to it. His strength was like a solid wall, his intelligence was sharp and keen as steel. The moment was his, and by sheer mastery of will he put other considerations out of sight. He forgot Chilcote and forgot Lillian, not because they escaped his memory, but because he chose to shut them from it. Of Eve he saw but little in this time of high pressure. When a man touches the core of his capacities, puts his best Into the work that in his eyes stands paramount, there is little place for and no need of woman. She comes before and after. She inspires, compensates or completes but the achievement, the creation, is man's alone. And all true women understand and yield to this unspoken precept. Eve watched the progress of his la bor, and in the depth of her own heart the watching came nearer to actual living than any activity she had known. She was an onlookerbut an onlooker who stood, as it were, on the steps of the arena, who, by a single forward movement, could feel the sand under her feet, the breath of the battle on her face, and in this knowledge she rested satisfied. There were hours when Loder seem ed scarcely conscious of her existence, but on those occasions she smiled in her serene wayand went on waiting. She knew that each day before the aft ernoon had passed he would come Into Very sloxoly and attentively Loder read the letter. his sitting room, his face thoughtful, his hands full of books or papers, and, dropping into one of the comfortable, studious chairs, would ask laconically for tea. This was her moment of tri umph and recompensefor the very unconsciousness of his coming doubled its value. He would sit for half an hour with preoccupied glance or with keen, alert eyes fixed on the fire, while his ideas sorted themselves and fell into line. Sometimes he was silent for toe whole half hour, sometimes he com mented to himself as he scanned his notes, but on other and rarer occa sions he talked, speaking his thoughts and his theories aloud, with the en joyment of a man who knows himself fully In his depth, while Eve sipped her By KATHERINE CECIL THURSTON, Author of "The Circle/* Etc Copyright. 1905. 1904. Harper &- Brothers tea or stitcTietTpeaceTully at a strip of embroidery. On these occasions she made a per fect listener. Here and there she en couraged him with an intelligent re mark, but she never interrupted. She knew when to be silent and when to speak, when to mexge her own individ uality and when to make it felt. In these days of stress and preparation he came to her unconsciously for rest he treated her as he might have treated a younger brotherrelying on her discre tion, turning to her as by right for sympathy, comprehension and friend ship. Sometimes as they sat silent in the richly colored, homelike room Eve would pause over her embroidery and let her thoughts spin momentarily for wardspin toward the point where, the brunt of his ordeal passed, he must of necessity seek something beyond mere rest. But there her thoughts would inevitably break off and the blood flame quickly into her cheek. Meanwhile Loder worked persistent ly. With each day that brought the crisis of Fraide's scheme nearer his ac tivity increasedand with it an inten sifying of the nervous strain. For if he had his hours of exaltation he also had his hours of black apprehension. It is all very well to exorcise a ghost by sheer strength of will, but one has also to eliminate the idea that gave it existence. Lillian Astrupp, with her unattested evidence and her ephemeral interest, gave him no real uneasiness, but Chilcote and Chilcote's possible summons were matters of graver con sideration, and there were times when they loomed very dark and sinister. What if at the very moment of fulfill ment But invariably he snapped the thread of the supposition and turned with fiercer ardor to his work of prep aration. And so the last morning of his pro bation dawned, and for the first time he breathed freely. He rose early on the day that was to witness his great effort and dressed slowly. It was a splendid morning. The spirit of the spring seemed em bodied in the air, in the pale blue sky, in the shafts of cool sunshine that danced from the mirror to the dressing table, from the dressing table to the pictures on the walls of Chilcote's vast room. Inconsequently with its dancing rose a memory of the distant pasta memory of long forgotten days when, as a child, he had been bidden to watch the same sun perform the same fan tastic evolutions. The sight and the thought stirred him curiously with an unlooked for sense of youth. He drew himself together with an added touch of decision as he passed out into the corridor, and as he walked downstairs he whistled a bar or two of an inspirit ing tune. In the morning room Eve was al ready waiting. She looked up, colored and smiled as he entered. Her face looked very fresh and young, and she wore a gown of the same pale blue that she had worn on his first coming. She looked up from an open letter as he came into the room, and the sun that fell through the window caught her in a shaft of light, intensifying her blue eyes, her blue gown and the bunch of violets fastened in her belt. To Loder, still under the influence of early memories, she seemed the em bodiment of some youthful idealsome thing lost, sought for and found again. Realization of his feeling for her al most came to him as he stood there looking at her. It hovered about him, it tipped him, as it were, with its wings then it rose again and soared away. Men like himmen keen to grasp an opening where their careers are concerned and tenacious to hold it when once graspedare frequently the last to look into their own hearts. He glanced at Eve, he acknowledged the stir of his feeling, but he made no attempt to define its cause. He could no more have given reason for his sensations than he could have told the precise date upon which, coming downstairs at 8 o'clock, he had first found her waiting breakfast for him. The time when all such incidents were to stand out, each to a nicety in its ap pointed place, had not yet arrived. For the moment his youth had returned to him he possessed the knowledge of work done, the sense of present com panionship in a world of agreeable things above all, the steady, quiet con viction of his own capacity. AH these things came to him in the moment of his entering the room, greeting Eve and passing to the breakfast table then, while his eyes still rested con tentedly on the pleasant array of china and silver, while his senses were still alive to the fresh, earthly scent of Eve's violets, the blow so long dreaded so slow in comingfell with accumu lated force. CHAPTER XXIV. (HD letter through which the blow fell was not voluminous. It was written on cheap paper in a disguised hand, and the contents covered only half a page. Loder read it slowly, mentally articu lating every word then he laid It down, and as he did he caught Eve's eyes raised in concern. Again he saw something of his own feelings reflected in her face, and the shock braced him. He picked up the letter, tearing it Into strips. "I must go but," he said slowly. "I must go nowat once." His voice was hard. Eve's surprised, concerned eyes still searched his. "Nowat once?" she re peated. "Nowwithout breakfast?" "I'm not hungry." He rose from his seat and, carrying the slips of paper across the room, dropped them into the fire. He did it not so much from cau tion as from an imperative wish to do something, to move, if only across the room. Eve's glance followed him. "is it bad news?" she asked anxiously. It was unlike her to be insistent, but she was moved to the impulse by the pecu liarity of the moment. "No," he said shortly. "It'sbusi- ness. This was written yesterday I should have got it last night." Her eyes widened. "But nobody does business at 8 in the morning" she be gan in astonishment, then she sudden ly broke off. Without apology or farewell Loder had left the fireplace and walked out of the room. He passed through the hall hurried ly, picking up a hat as he went, and. Loder stood shocked and spellbound by the sight. reaching the pavement outside, he went straight forward until Grosvenor square was left behind, then he ran. At the risk of reputation, at the loss of dig nity, he ran until he saw a cab. Hail ing it, he sprang inside, and as the cabman whipped up and the horse re sponded to the call he realized for the first time the full significance of what had occurred. Realization, like the need for action, came to him slowly, but when it came it was with terrible lucidity. He did not swear as he leaned back in his seat mechanically watching the stream of men on their way to business, the belated cars of green produce blocking the way between the Strand and Cov ent Garden. He had no use for oaths his feelings lay deeper than mere words. But his mouth was sternly set and his eyes looked cold. Outside the law courts he dismissed his cab and walked forward to Clif ford's inn. As he passed through the familiar entrance a chill fell on him. In the clear, early light it seemed more than ever a place of dead hopes, dead enterprises, dead ambitions. In the onward march of life it had been for gotten. The very air had a breath of unfulfillment. He crossed the court rapidly, but his mouth set itself afresh as he passed through the doorway of his own house and crossed the bare hall. As he mounted the well known stairs he received his first indication of life in the appearance of a cat from the second floor rooms. At sight of him the animal came forward, rubbed demon stratively against his legs and with af fectionate persistence followed him up stairs. Outside his door he paused. On the ground stood the usual morning can of milkevidence that Chilcote was not yet awake or that, Kke himself, he had no appetite for breakfast. He smiled Ironically as the idea struck him, but it was a smile that stiffened rather than relaxed his lips. Then he drew out the duplicate key he always carried and, inserting it quietly, opened the door. A close, unpleasant smell greet ed him as he entered the small passage that divided the bed and sitting rooms a smell of whisky mingling with the odor of stale smoke. With a quick gesture he pushed open the bedroom door. Then on the threshold he paused, a look of contempt and repulsion pass ing over his face. In his first glance he scarcely grasp ed the details of the scene, for the half drawn curtains kept the light dim, but as his eyes grew accustomed to the ob scurity he gathered their significance. The room had a sleepless, jaded air the room that under his own occupation had shown a rigid, almost monastic se verity. The plain dressing table was littered with cigarette ends and marked with black and tawny patches where the tobacco had been left to burn itself out. On one corner of the table a carafe of water and a whisky decanter rested one against the other, as if for support, and at the other end an over turned tumbler lay in a pool of liquid. The whole effect was sickly and nause ating. His glance turned involuntarily to the bed and there halted. On the hard, narrow mattress, from which the sheets and blankets had fall en in a disordered heap, lay Chilcote. He was fully dressed in a shabby tweed suit of Loder's his collar was open, his lip and chin unshaven one band was limply grasping the pillow, while the other hung out over the side of the bed. His face, pale, almost earthy in hue. might have been a mask save for the slight convulsive spasms that crossed it from time to time and corresponded with the faint, shivering starts that passed at intervals over his whole body. To complete his repellent appearance, a lock of hair had fallen loose and lay black and damp across his forehead. Loder stood for a space shocked and spellbound by the sight. Even in the ghastly disarray the likenessthe ex traordinary, sinister likeness that had become the pivot upon which he him self revolvedstruck him like a blow. The man who lay there was himself, bound to him by some subtle, inexplic able tie of similarity. As the idea touched him he turned aside and step ped quickly to the dressing table. There, with unnecessary energy, he flung back the curtains and threw the window wide. Then again he turned toward the bed. He had one dominant impulse, to waken Chilcote, to be free of the repulsive, inert presence that chilled him with so personal a horror. Leaning over the bed, he caught the shoulder nearest to him and shook it. It was not the moment for niceties, and his gesture was rough. At his first touch Chilcote made no responsehis brain, dulled by indul gence in his vice, had become a lag gard in conveying sensationsbut at last, as the pressure on his shoulder increased, his nervous system seemed suddenly to jar into consciousness. A long shudder shook him he half lifted himself and then dropped back upon the pillow. "Oh!" he exclaimed in a trembling breath. "Oh!" The sound seemed drawn from him by compulsion. Its uncanny tone chilled Loder anew. "Wake up. man!" he said suddenly. "Wake up! It's ILoder." Again the other shuddered then he turned quickly and nervously. "Lo- der?" he said doubtfully. "Loder?" Then his face changed. "Good God," he exclaimed, "what a relief!" The words were so intense, so spon taneous and unexpected that Loder took a step back. Chilcote laughed discordantly and lifted a shaky hand to protect his eyes from the light. "It'sit's all right, Loder! It's all right! It's only that Ithat I had a beastly dream. But, for heaven's sake, shut that window!" He shivered in voluntarily and pushed the lock of damp hair from his forehead with a weak touch of his old irritability. In silence Loder moved back to the window and shut it. He was affected more than he would own even to him self by the obvious change in Chilcote. He had seen him moody, restless, nerv ously excited, but never before had he seen him entirely demoralized. With a dull feeling of impotence and disgust he stood by the closed window, looking unseeingly at the roofs of the opposite houses. But Chilcote had followed his move ments restlessly, and now as he watch ed him a flicker of excitement crossed his face. "God, Loder," he said again, "'twas a relief to see you! I dreamed I was in hella horrible hell, worse than the one they preach about." He laughed to reassure himself, but his voice shook pitiably. Loder, who had come to fight, stood silent and inert. "It was horriblebeastly," Chilcote went on. "There was no fire and brim stone, but there was something worse. It was a great ironic scheme of pun ishment by which every man was chained to his own viceby which the thing he had gone to pieces over, in stead of being denied him, was made compulsory. You can't imagine it." He shivered nervously and his voice rose. "Fancy being satiated beyond the lim it of satiety, being driven and dogged by the thing you had run after all your life!" He paused excitedly, and in the pause Loder found resolution. He shut his ears to the panic in Chilcote's voice, he closed his consciousness to the sight of his shaken face. With a surge of de termination he rallied his theories. Aft er all, he had himself and his own in terests to claim his thought. At the mo ment Chilcote was a wreck, with no de sire toward rehabilitation, but there was no guarantee that in an hour or two he might not have regained con trol over himself and with it the incli nation that had prompted his letter of the day before. No he had himself to look to. The survival of the fittest was the true, the only principle. Chilcote had had intellect, education, opportu nity, and Chilcote had deliberately cast them aside. Fortifying himself in the knowledge, he turned from the window and moved slowly back to the bed. "Look here," he began, "you wrote for me last night." His voice was hard. He had come to fight. Chilcote glanced up quiokly. His mouth was drawn and there was a new anxiety in his eyes. "Loder!" he ex claimed quickly. "Loder, come here! Come nearer!" Reluctantly Loder obeyed. Stepping closer to the side of the bed, he bent down. The other put up his hand and caught his arm. His fingers trembled and jerk ed. "I say, Loder," he said suddenly, "'II've had such a beastly nightmy nerves, you know" With a quick, involuntary disgust Loder drew back. "Don't you think we might shove that aside?" he asked. But Chilcote's gaze had wandered from his face and strayed to the dress ing table there it moved feverishly from one object to another. "Loder," he exclaimed, "do you see can you see if there's a tube of tab loids on the mantelshelf or on the dressing table?" He lifted himself nervously on his elbow, and his eyes wandered uneasily about the room. horribly jarred, and I thought think" He stopped. With his increasing consciousness his nervous collapse became more marked. At the first moment of waking the re lief of an unexpected presence had sur mounted everything else, but now, as one by one his faculties stirred, his wretched condition became patent. With a new sense of perturbation Loder made his next attack. "Chilcote," he began sternly. But again Chilcote caught his arm, plucking at the coat sleeve. "Where is it?" he said. "Where is the tube of tabloidsthe sedative? I'mI'm oblig ed to take something when my nerves go wrong." In his weakness and ner vous tremor he forgot that Loder was the sharer of his secret. Even in his extremity his fear of detection clung to him limplythe lies that had be come second nature slipped from him without effort. Then suddenly a fresh panic seized him, his fingers tightened spasmodically, his eyes ceased to rove about the room and settled on his companion's face. "Can you see it, Loder?" he cried. "I can't the light's in my eyes. Can you see it? Can you see the tube?" He lifted himself higher, an agony of apprehension in his face. Loder pushed him back upon the pillow. He was striving hard to keep his own mind cool, to steer his own course straight through the chaos that confronted him. "Chilcote," he began once more, "you sent for me last night, and I came the first thing this morn ing to tell you" But there he stopped short. [TO BE CONTINUED.] Are you tired, fagged out, nervous, sleepless, feel mean? Hollister's Rocky Mountain Tea strengthens the nerves, aids digestion, brings refresh ing sleep. 35 cents, tea or tablets. C. A. Jack. PROFESSIONAL CARDS. R. D. A. McRAE PRINCETON?l R. F. L. SMALL, Q.ROSS MI I had a beastly night my nerves are CALEY, M. D., PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON. Office and Residence over Jack's Drugstore Tel.Rural. 36. Princeton, Mirm JLVERO L. MCMILLAN, LA WYES. Office in Odd Fellows* Building. Princeton, inn. J. A. ROSS, ATTORNEY AT LAW. Office in Carew Block. Main Street. Princeton. BUSINESS CARDS. I*!. KALI HER, BARBER SHOP d- BATH ROOMS. A fine line of Tobacco and Cigars Main Street, Princeton. P A. ROSS, FUNERAL DIRECTOR. Will take full charge of dead bodies when desired. Coffins and caskets of the latest styles always ,n stock. Also Springfield metalics. Dealer ID Monuments of all kinds. E A. Ross Princeton, Minn. Telephone No. 30. E. LYNCH, RELIABLE WELL DRILLER. Twenty years in the well business. Can give perfect satisfaction. If you want a good well call on or address ,_ R. E. LYNCH, Zimmerman, Minn. NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL AND SANITARIUM. PRINCETON, MINN. Long Distance 'Phone 313 Centrally located. All the comforts of home life. Unexcelled service. Equipped with every modern convenience for the treatment and the cure of the sick and the invalid. All forms of Electrical Treatment Medical Baths, Massage. X-ray Laboratory, Trained Nurses in attend ance. Only non-contagious diseases admitted, Charges reasonable. Trained Nurses furnished for sickness in private families. 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