.would escape with his life if the two
happened to meet
Now the Btrange and sinister part
of the story is that they did meet.
Emmett was as bad as ever, and if his
years had added discretion- that had
only mellowed his vices. On the
third night of Minna's appearance I
saw him-watching her from the box
in which he was seated with some
'flashily dressed women and a couple
of fellow "rounders." He stared and
stared, and his face grew white. Was
this Minna this the country girl
whom he had tricked into d spurious
uiarnuge auu uusl uu ukc a uiaca.ru
ed garment as soon as he grew tired
ParentheticaUy I may say that Min
na herself told me what I did not see
.for myself; she told it to -me after
ward, when we had become friends
Minna and I and "Pop."
He wrote a hasty note and sent it
to her by the usher. I did not know
then that he had written to her; but
I was watching Minna through my
glasses, and I saw that when she
danced that night for the secopd
time, instead of a smile, her face wore
the aspect of tragedy.
And was there anything worse a
good woman could experience than to
have this wretch come into her life
again? That is, if Minna was good.
And there are always tongues ready
to slander a woman who earns her
living on the stage.
As she left the theater Emmett was
standing beside her auto. "Pop" Kup
fel was" lumbering along, a little in
front of her. He had no manners. -He
just got into the auto and waited
for his wife to join him there.
Miriha knew the fellow instantly.
He put his hand on her arm. "Min
na don't you know me?" he asked.
"Hushl" she answered swiftly.
"That is my husband. Don't let him
see you talking to me."
"Aw, say!" burst out Emmett im
petuously, "that fat man isn't your
husband. I'm your husband. Who
is he millionaire or duke?"
"I can't see you now," whispered
Minna in agitation.
"When, then?" he asked dully.
"Sunday afternoon." She gave
him her address quickly. Then she
went on. And Emmett, though he
was scowling, had to remain content.
The memory of her, the reflection
that he had lost her through his own
crowning' folly burned in his brain.
But he meant to win her again this
divine woman who had given herself
to him, whose life he had wrecked.
How easy it would be, he thought,
to feign repentance, to tell her he had
Bobght her. . . . His mind was busy
during the next -three days.
Minnaihad not said a word to
"Pop.' Why? , Well, I think there is
an instinct in tne'bestv women to want
to test their tiusbahds. I mean that
all the advantages ot the union, in
this case, were- onJCupf el's side. Min
na had money, beauty,' youth and
health, and he was only a bald and fat
old Dutchman who had once been
kind to her when she was In distress.
He had-picked her up outbf fhe gut
ter. And he was her husband. There
was something to balance against
what she contributed 'tOi the mar
riage, but it" was not' as nmch. Per
haps Minna wanted toshowher hus
band what Bhe-had'grVeir-up for him.
And perhaps she wanted tosee how
the two men would act. But I am
sure she had no intention of being
false to "Pop."
Minna frequently had guests on
Sunday afternoons, and "Pop," who
shone mainly in more convivial so
ciety, always retired on such occa
sions to the kitchen, where, with his
pipe and a bottle of beer, he would
sit in his shirtsleeves, his feet upon
the table, reading "Fliegende Blaet
ter" and laughing as. heartily over the
jokes as though he -had never heard
a joke before. On this occasion, he
withdrew as soon ash& visitor'was
Announced. Minna' had taken care
that he should not hear the name
and she had left the connecting door
open. - ,
xml | txt