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Newspaper Page Text
at the portraits. It made her very
happy to think she had had ancestors
like those from John Lamont, a col
onel in Washington's army, to Fanny,
her father's beautiful cousin "who was
supposed to have broken his heart
when he was a young man by marry
ing an obscure and worthless French
man, who took her to his own coun
try and there deserted her, and to her
father, the hero of twenty battles and
the honored governor of his state.
Then "the day came when Joyce
and John quarreled. No need to give
the cause of lovers' quarrels. They
are inevitable; but it is only when
pride intervenes that they become
important. Both Joyce and John
were proud, especially Joyce. Bitter
words were spoken and more bit
ter answers given; then came the
time when Joyce sent back his ring
to John and cried her eyes red that
evening on the deserted porch, wish
ing that he could come back to her
and that everything could be unsaid.
Days went by they slipped into
weeks. John never came back. Joyce
was heartbroken. But she was too
proud to speak. She sat upon the
porch, waiting hopelessly for John to
At last she determined to go
abroad. She would shut up the old
house and never return to it She
would do it tomorrow. She would
Alight footfall made her start up,
her heart beating wildly. Then de
spair and terror seized her. It was
not John. It was the "hideous old
woman next door, crawling along the
porch toward her. Yet when she
spoke Joyce was amazed to hear the
tones of an educated woman, and a
voice as sweet and melodious as her
"Well4, young lady, so he has not
come back," began the old creature.
Joyce was too terrified of her old
neighbor to resent her strange fami
liarity. "I've watched you," continued the
witch. "I know who you are and who
he Is. I know you've quarreled. And
both- are sony and botharo tQot
proud. Come here, my dear!"
She laid her skinny fingers upon
Joyce's arm and, to the girl's amaze-
ment, opened the door and led her
into the hall, passing from portrait toj
portrait until she stood beneath Fan
ny Lamont's. r
"You know who that is, my dear?"r
she asked. "But you wouldn't know
that she was I, would you"? Look J" i
She thrust her old head out until it
came into the light beneath the 'por
trait. To her amazement Joyce per
ceived the unmistakable likeness.
LTbe proud, beautiful young woman
was uie Biunny oiu crone.
"I loved your father, mydear,", said
the old woman, "but .we quarreled
and I made a fool of' myself and
ruined my life. Ah, well, I thought
when he was dead I could come back
and nobody would know me. But
flow I've told you. Do you understand
a little better what life is, my dear?
Do you see Jhatwe have our own
lives to make or mar, and that we
shall mar them if we let pride stand
in the way of our happiness?"
The old creature released her hold
upon the girl and slipped out on,the
porch again, leaving Joyce faint and
helpless under the shock of the dis
covery. Life was not' all beautiful, then.
Life was not a stroll in a pleasure
garden, but something to be laid hold
of before old age.came on. Joyce un
derstood better now. Only love could
bind up the separate links of life.
One must live, one must be true, one
must cast out pride like a serpent
She hurried out upon the porch
and stood under .the stars, and Tfer
whole heart went out to John. If only
he would forgive!
A step upon the gravel, a footfall
on the porch. Joyce was running,
with arms outstretched. She felt her
self clasped in her lover's embrace.
He bent his lips to hers. And she
knew that life .was Eden"still.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.) ,