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if J-f n,e ^'^WWSjWg liik The Almost Tragic Tale of AnEasterHat Bu MARION C. SMITH Copyright, 1908, by C. Smith fR. ARTHUR AVERY was in a bad humor He glared suspi ciously at his coffee, tasted it as if he suspected it of being poisoned, scowled, viciously at his boiled egg and pushed it from him. "Hard as a brickbat," he snapped "Can't you get a cook who can read the clock?" He was one of those men who are always in a bad humor when their consciences are out of order. He had Just refused his wife the money for an Easter hat, and she had borne the dis appointment with becoming meekness. She did not know the reason for the refusal, but he did, and that was the trouble He wanted to join another club. Mrs. Avery surmised that his con science was uneasy and took heart She hoped that he would come around There were still four days to spare, and even if he did not come around until after Easter she could bear it if only the one hat she wanted had not been sold in the interval. It was a hat worth waiting for, and it matched her new spring suit to perfection. Nothing else would do. The hats that year were monstrosities. Mrs Avery was a woman of excellent taste and knew what she wanted. She also knew that her husband was very much in love with her. Surely he would come around! He did not come entirely around that day, however. He went so far as to telephone to his friend in the new club, asking him not to propose his name just yet. There was a little un certainty. He would let him know in a day or two. The next day at lunch time he went uptown and flattened his nosefigurativelyagainst one of the show windows at Mercer '& Milner's He couldn't remember the price she had mentioned. Was it 15 or $20? Ab surd, of course, but not extravagantly high, as hats go. He would just go in and price them "It must be blue, because she said it matched her suit, and I know that's blue," he said helplessly to the sales woman "Blue'' Oh, we have a model hat in blue," said that astute young person, "AND THEY DON'T EXCHANGE HATS!" going up to one of the many huge glass cases which were dazzling the bewildered eyes of Mr. Avery. "This is a Parisian hat," she said, with a grand manner that disarmed criticism. "And a wonderful bargain, only $25!" Twenty-five! Well, the dues and initiation fee of the club would amount to more than that. If Edith liked it "Isn't itrather large?" he faltered. "I'm sure this is the right thing," she said, with increased confidence "I think I remember a lady of that description admiring this hat and say ing she might come back and buy it if her husband was willing." That didn't sound like Edith, but it furnished a clew, and Mr. Arthur Avery was tired and felt very helpless There really seemed nothing to do but to order the hat sent home. Mrs. Avery came in with a friend that afternoon and saw the box, which the maid had placed in the middle of the bed. "Laura, look at that!" she exclaimed apprehensively. "He's bought me a hatbought it himself!" "Oh, how lovely!" cried the friend. "I don't know about that! II'm afraid to look at it. There was just one hat I wanted, and I never allow any one, not even Arthur, to choose for me." "Oh, Edith, hurry and open it! I'm sure it's all right. It's so good of him! I wish my" But she stopped short as Edith suddenly opened the box and stood transfixed in horror. "Laura Glenn, will you look at that! And they don'texchangehats!" She slowly drew it from its tissue paper wrappings and held it up in all its blue and pink radiance. "Itwhy, Edith," faltered Laura, "It Isn't so very bad. It's in the very lat est style." "I wouldn't be found dead in it!" broke out Edith. "Latest style! This i^Lh&MiM^^^^ik^M J.. ,-3 1-J -_- blue will fairly shriek at my new suit. My hat was a toque with the most exquisitely delicate flowers, and only $15! What poor Arthur must have paid for this horror! What ehall I do? I can't tell him his gift didn't suit me. He'll never forgive me, and it was a sacrifice on his part too. Poor dear Arthur! O-o-oh!" Meanwhile Mrs. Glenn had been try ing on the hat. She was short and dark, and the effect upon her was ap palling. "There, you see!" exclaimed Mrs Avery. "No one could wear it! It's a monstrosity." "But, my dear," said Mrs. Glenn calmly, **the hats this year are mon strosities I've got one myself." "Well, I don't care what you've got I won't wear a monstrosity! The one I chose was a dear, and they don'fc ex change hats!" "Perhaps they will this time. I can testify that you didn't try it on. They will never think of my having tried it on." "Oh, do you think I can persuade them? Come with me at once!" "Very well," said Mrs. Glenn resign edly. "I suppose I'll have to see you through." Suddenly Edith dropped into a chair, with a tragic gesture. "I can't, Laura!" she exclaimed. "I can't change Arthur's choice! He will be wounded. He'll think I don't love him." "My dear, don't be any more foolish than you absolutely have to be. Men are not like thatonly women. Arthur won't care a button if only you're pleased "You don't know Arthur." "I know men, and I don't mind say ing that I'm older than you, for you know it already. You can trust me." "And you think he won't be hurt?" "I know he won't." "But I'm not sure!" "Oh, well, wear the hat, then. It's the only alternative." Edith shuddered. "Unless," pursued Mrs. Glenn, "you can make him think they sent the oth er by mistake." "What, deceive him? How can I? And yet better deceive him than hurt him. How can I tell him I despised his choice?" "Oh, come along, Edith there's no time to waste. Telephone for a cab." In due course of time Edith was re lieving her feelings by reproaching the head saleswoman in the millinery de partment at Mercer & Milner's for having persuaded Mr. Avery to buy such a hat. The girl looked abashed She had not believed that the gentle man wanted it for any one like Edith But she sulkily persisted that it was a Parisian model! "It's a Parisian horror!" cried Edith. The head of the department was called, and, with a man's susceptibility to a pretty woman's distress and upon Mrs. Glenn's testimony that Mrs. Av ery had not ever tried it on, he con sented to effect the change, provided that the difference in price was not re funded by the firm. Edith accepted the condition and joyously carried off her first choice. "Thank goodness that's over!" cried Laura as they dismissed the cab and guiltily brought in the box. "It's over, but Fve deceived him, and I'm miserable," bewailed Edith. "Tell him all about it, then!" "Never! I must suffer In silence!" That night upon Arthur's return Edith flung her arms about him and with her face buried in his coat collar, thanked him almost tearfully for the loveliest hat she had ever had. "The very one I chose!" she gasped "Good! Let's see it on." With trembling hands she drew from the box a hat of moderate proportions and graceful arrangement a very symphony in blue and whiteand set it upon her golden locks. The effect was magical "Butbut," stammered Arthur, "it's not the one I bought!" Edith turned her back and busied herself with the hatpins. "N-not the one you bought?" she faltered "No that was much larger and more expensive, I'm sure. This won't do at all! They've sent the wrong one, and they must give me the other or refund the money. It was much handsomer!" "Oh, Arthur, I want this one! I must keep it! You see yourself" "But it isn't worth $25." "Twenty-five dollars! Dear, did you pay all that? How extravagant, but how lovely of you!" "I'll go tomorrow morning" "No, no! Leave it to me. Men al ways muddle such things. I'llI'll set tle it. Arthur, please! I'm afraid of losing this hat." "Very well, but they must refund the difference. Stupid fools! It's lucky they hit upon the hat you liked, but the other was so much handsomer." "This is ideal," said Edith, but her voice trembled. "I must get the $10 out of my sav ings bank fund," she thought. "Oh, what a tangle of deceit! He'll find it all out and never love me again!" The next day was Good Friday, and Edith went to church, but she came home with a headache. On Saturday morning she could not get up He Was seriously troubled about her. "I'll send up Dr. Moore, dear," he said. "You must get well and wear that Easter hat tomorrow. I've set my heart on it" Upon that, to the poor man's utter amazement, she burst into a torrent of tears and sobs. "I'll never, never wear it!" she cried. "Oh, I'm a wicked, wicked woman!" "Edith, my love! For heaven's sake! Wicked? Absurd! You're nervous and worn out. I told you you were going to church too much this Lent and working too hard over Deedy's new clothes. Darling, don't cry so. I've got to leave youbusiness ap- Jb pointment at 9 o'clock. I can't put ft off, and I can't bear to leave you like this. That's right! Try to smile and tell me it's all nonsense "It'sit's all nonsense," she qua vered piteously. But after he left her he was not so sure of the nonsense theory. Why should Edith call herself wicked? Was it only the effect of religious excite ment or was it anything tangible? He recalled the fact that John Dent had talked to Edith quite a good deal of late whenever they had been out to gether Could it be that her fancy had turned that way? Arthur turned cold with horror. As ill luck would have it he met John Dent in the street. "Hello! Changed your mind about the club?" called out the unconscious object of his wrath. "No, confound it, and I won't change it!" snapped Arthur. "Can't you take a man's word for it that he knows his own mind?" "Wheweeee!" whistled Dent. "What's the matter with you, old man? Want to take my head off?" But Arthur was off, muttering in audibly, "I'd do it for 5 cents!" Meanwhile Edith knew that she had made disclosure inevitable, and she despairingly prepared herself for the THIS PliiyCETON UNION: THUBSDAY, MAY 13, 1909. r-*,/ "AND SO ABE TOU!" sacrifice. Arthur came home the evening, pale and ferocious of mood, to find her sitting in an armchair looking equally pale, clad in a long white tea gown, her hair parted over her ears, her eyes strained and wist ful. She looked up piteously, but Arthur did not smile. He set his teeth hard, drew up a chair and sat down in front of her with stern and tragic mien "Edith," he said, "what is the mean ing of all this despair, of your self ac cusation? I have been thinking of it all day. I have been a wretched man. I am determined now to sift this thing to the bottom!" She broke down and sobbed, but he did not waver. "You have called yourself a wicked woman," he proceeded sternly, "and here and now you must tell me why!" She clasped her hands hard together and drew in her breath. The moment had come. "IIhavedeceived you!" she gasp ed. His face whitened, and a terrible look came into his eyes. "Deceived me?" he repeated mechan ically. "Yes. Oh, you'll never forgive me! You bought the hat You made a sac rlfice. That horrid John Dent said you wouldn't join the club." Hat! Horrid! What was this? A strange revulsion of feeling came ovei him. "You don't like John Dent?" he in terrupted, with seeming irrelevance. "I never liked him! I don't see whj you do. He doesn't like me, I know He talks to me, but he makes fun ol me I deceived you about the hat. 1 changed the one you bought for me!" "You did? So the mistake wasn't theirs? But what does that matter? Why didn't you tell me?" "Tell you that I had rejected ^lPROPOSALS tyour choice! Oh, Arthur, when you thought you were pleasing me! But I couldn't. Iit didn't match my suit. Anda smaller one seemed better. You know the hats this year are But, oh, I deceived you! I've destroyed your love for me!" Arthur had been walking up and down, trying to control a feeling of mingled anger and relief. To think that he had suffered so all day for nothing! And she had made herself JU for nothing! But now, at her last words, he turned and took her in his arms. "Oh, Edith, you dear, foolish little girl!" he cried. "You don't know what you've put me through, accusing your self for nothing" "For nothing!" Her tone was tragic, but thrills of bliss were running all over her. "As if I cared about the hat, only so you were pleased," he said "If you'd told me I would have had it ex changed gladly. I didn't like it much myself, but the girl said it was just the thing, and I supposed the hats this year were all monstrosities and it couldn't be helped. Was this all your trouble?" "I should think it was enough! I did deceive you. I thought" "I know what you thought, foolish child. But you don't know what Well, never mind. Now you'll sleep well tonight and wear the hat tomor roweh!" "Of course I will," she answered happily. "I don't deserve It, butit really is a perfect dear, you know, Arthur. And so are you!" 4 FOR STATE PRINTING Proposals are hereby solicited for doing the following described print ing and binding of the State of Min nesota, for the period of one year, commencing the first day of August, 1909, and ending the thirty-first day of July, 1910. Such proposals will be received at the office of the Secre tary of state in the Capitol in the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, until the hour of 1 2 o'clock noon, on Fri day, the fourth clay of June, 1909, and will be thereat, immedi ately thereafter, opened in public by the Printing Commission of the State of Minnesota. Said printing and binding consists of that" required by the third and fifth classes of the classi fication of state printing, and is as follows: Glass 3 All other reports and documents ordered printed in pamph let or book form by either branch of the Legislature, or authorized or re quired by law to be so printed, except the Legislative Manual. Class 5 All blanks, circulars and stationery required by the executive or other departments and all other necessary state printing not included in the foregoing class nor otherwise provided for by law. Such proposals for printing must state the fixed rate of composition, press work, ruling and bind ing, respectively. Such rates must not exceed the maximum rates established by said Print ing Commission, and must include the furnishing of paper stock and all material required to complete the work. Each bid must be in writing, sealed and addressed to the Secretary of State of Minnesota, may be for one or both of the foregoing classes, as hereinbefore set forth, and must be accompanied by a bond in the penal sum of at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each class included in such bid, approved as to form and execution by the Attorney General, executed by the bidder, with sufficient sureties to be approved by said Print ing Commission, conditioned among other things, that the bidder will, within ten days after the accecptance of his bid by said commission, enter into a written contract with the State of Minnesota in accordance therewith, and thereafter perform suah contract according to its terms and in ac cordance with the specifications here after mentioned. Bids unaccompanied by bonds will not be considered. The right to reject any and all bids is hereby reserved. Upon the rejection of any bid the bond accompanying the same will be returned. Blank bonds, proposals and copies of ^said specifi cations are now on file in the office of the State Expert Printer at the Capi tol, in the City of St. Paul, and may be had upon request. Dated St. Paul. May 5th, 1909. THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, By the Printing Commission. JULIUS A. SCHMAHL, Secretary of State. SAMUEL G. IVERSON, State Auditor. CLARENCE C. DINEHART, State Treasurer. JOSEPH T. MANNIX, State Expert Printer. Farmers. I have two 80-acre improved farms at Long Siding, five miles north of Princeton, that I would like to sell this spring on long time and easy pay ments, or will make a big discount for half cash. L. J. Chadbourne, 4014 Sheridan Ave. S., 11-tf MinneaDolis. Minn. It coaxes back that well feeling, healthy look, puts the sap of life in your system, protects you from dis ease. Hollister's Rocky Mountain Tea has no equal as a spring tonic for the whole family. 35 cents, tea or tablets. C. A. Jack. I MIRICK BROS. Can do you an up-to-date job of paperhanging. We make a spe 2 cialty of paint work and hard- 1 wood finish, also wall decorations in water colors, stencil work, etc. We guarantee satisfactory work and fair prices. Work out of town promptly attended to. Call up Dan C. Mirick, Rural 'phone. tr MIRICK BROS. FOR SALE OR RENT 120 Acres Southeast of Princeton Cheap for Cash. Address riAURICE UTTER illddletown Iowa A Fresh Start Ground Floor Prices HOW'D YOU LIK TOWN LOTS*TTHAE BUSINESS CHANCES In new railroad terminal town in beautiful hardwohd section of Central Minnesota ATQ :LANDS UNEX AL.O\J ANYWHERE ELSE FOR DAIRYINGA FRUIT RAISING A. 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