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Newspaper Page Text
ing he would make to his friend to
be sure and return the money speed
ily and he sought the remotest cor
ner of one of the hotel reception
rooms, to be alone with his wretched
An hour went by. The friend did
not come. He would never come, as
Worth later learned. The friend was
a scamp, had learned that the police
were alread yon his trail and had fled
the city. Worth waited wearily. Fi
nally he' arose to leave the hotel.
"I've done my loyal duty," he
breathed, relievedly, and now, under
the influence of a vast freedom, he
thought only of getting back to the
office and restoring the envelope, to
its place in the vault. He ho'oed now
he would not meet his friend, and
hurried down the corridor to get out
of the place as quickly as possible.
The crjr took Worth momentarily
out of himself. He saw smoke and
flames issuing through an open, arch
ing leading into one of the parlors.
Then there were screams of alarm
and fright. Worth ranto the scene
The heavy silken draperies all
around the room were getting ablaze.
He tore down the fire-kindled cur
tain's at the door. Then he shouted
to a group of terrified women hud
dled near one of the windows:
- "Get out into the hall. There is no
Worth tore off his coat. He used
it as an extinguisher, beating at the
blazing curtain of the windows. He
was perspiring, singed, his face and
hands blackened as the advance fire
patrol came to the spot Some one
asked his name. He saw the blaze
under .control, and, pretty well ex
cited and exhausted, passed down to
Worth did not return to the office
at once. He went to his room to tidy
up. There he made a discovery that
thrilled him. The envelope was gone
from his coat pocket. He hastened
back to the hoteL With eager delight
he left it again, for he found the en-t
velope where it had switched out oft
his coat. He started for the office,,
glanced within the envelope and"
found it empty!
"Some one has abstracted if from
the envelope," he mused desperately.
"I dare not make any m,ove toward
its recovery without exposing my own
Worth placed the empty envelope
back in its place in the vault That
evening he planned what he -would
do. By saving arid skimping he
might put aside $500 by the next in
terest date. He could sell some jew
elry he had. He could borrow a lit
tle. The face of the bond and the
interest he must surely have inside
that envelope by the end of six
months. It would be discovered
there, given to Mrs. Parr, and he
might escape being called on for an
explanation, for no one would be a
His name got in the paper as the
hero of the hotel fire. It made Ada
Mason, his fiancee, very proud-of him,
but her joy was dampened by "a great
change in the man she was to marry.
He called upon her less frequently.
He no longer planned of how they
would furnish the little flat they had
discussed so comfortingly in the
Vainly Ada tried to learn what
trouble he was brooding over. Her
ill-natured sister sneered at the ap
parent growing lukewarmness of
her lover. "Tight wad," ''cheap,"
"miser," were some of the words
that seemed to fit Worth just now.
Then at the endof a month Worth
broke down one evening. He con
fessed all to Ada. Never did a ten
der, loving heart move to rescue and
consolation as this dear little -soul.
"Yes," she said, "you must make
reparation and I must help you," and
her sister wondered at her now con
stant attention to fancy work.
At the end of five months Worth
had the exact amount needed to
cover the bond value and interest
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