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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 07, 1912, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-08-07/ed-1/seq-18/

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By Edith Livingston Smith.
Vladimir Valinoff reached the
grand stand and scanned the faces
before him. His own ' regular
features were set in sterner mold
than those of most of the merry
makers present, but he was calm.
He enjoyed horse races. What
man does not? But he would not
enjoy this one. Each individual
of the little secret band of which
he was -a member (and there were
so few of them that the fingers of
both broad hands would almost
do to count them upon) would
look upon that laughing, gay, ex
pectant crowd this afternoon, all
knowing- he shuddered slightly.
Ah well ! the lot had not fallen to
him this time and he was thank
ful. Yes, they were all present
that was to avoid suspicion. He
knew without looking Loman
stoff and Luswig, keen, shrewd
old Pantli, the others who count
ed not so much, and Paul Raulan
ki. It was terrible that it should
be Paul, he had so much of life
yet to live if one of the others
could have taken his place, and
then there was his sister, Alex
andria !
As he looked across to the op
posite side of the grandstand he
could see the grand duke's box,
and outside the enclosure sat
Paul, talking gayly to a man be
side him a chance acquaintance
. it seemed. Why didn't Paul warn
him? Vladimir wondered, and
then in his heart he laughed at his
folly. Warnings meant betrayal,
apd yet, w.as it right that the in-.
nocent sightseer should be, per
haps, murdered? Vladimir did
not like the thought of the word
and put it away from him, but he
shifted his gaze. To his keen,
sensitive nature the whole pro
ceeding suddenly took on the as
pect of the cruel, the repugnant,
the grotesque. Whar. had the
grand duke done save be born
into a royal family? Were the
principles in which his creed was
so well versed mistaken perhaps,
after all? His head swam a lit
tle and the crowd danced before
his eyes. Ah, well ! these were
troublous times, though horses,
were to run for a stake and wom
en were laughing, their gay scarfs
fluttering in the breeze, their flags
waving and the toy balloons of
childhood nodding merrily. Paul,
too, had balloons in his hand, a
whole bunch of them, and the
people riear him were smiling at
his enthusiasm. Vladimir knew
that one of those balloons it was
within the others had a short
handle. It would not float as
lightly as the others ah, no !
Suddenly there were cheers. In
the midst of the excitement he
thought of Alexandria. How she
had wanted to come to the races !
It had taken all his powers of per
suasion to convince her that the
desirable seats were all taken, and
that she could go to the more im
portant races that would follow
later in the season. She did not
understand why he had not
thought of taking her with him.
How could she? Such secrets
were not for women like her
thank God I
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