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I THE ENGAGEMENT RING
THE ENGAGEMENT RING
By Edward Martindale
"Worshiping adivinity at a dis
tance, eh?" railed Don. Warren.
His chum and familiar, Nate Stan
bro, flushed and looked embarrassed.
Then he challenged boldly:
"Do you blame me?"
Warren cast a look through the
leafy screen of greenery that shaded
the river path where he had come
upon "his friend. In the center of a
rustic bridge spanning a purling
brook stood a young lady, a fair pic
ture, indeed, in her neat walking
dress and dainty sunshine cap. She
stood gazing dreamily down into the
limpid waters, mechanically slipping
up and down her slender finger a
ring, her glowing face showing
health, beauty and intelligence.
"It's Miss Ava Reece of the big
place up the road, isn't it?" spoke
Warren. "No, I don't blame you,
Nate. She has some handsome sis
ters, and if I wasn't called back to
the city I would put in the rest of
the vacation courting their atten
tion." The speaker passed on his way. He
and Nate had been together at Hazel
wood for a week. Only incidentally
twice at formal social functions had
Nate "met Miss Reese, not half a
dozen words had passed between
them. Nate, however, had surren
dered his soul's best adoration to the
charming miss who had crossed his
path, a fresh, bright, rural flower,
the modest violet and not a wilted
wearied rose of the great city.
"I must speak to her," he resolved,
after watching the object of bis ado-
- ration in silence for a few minutes.
"She is gentle, kindly and will not
take it amiss."
Ava did not change her attractive
meditative pose as Nate approached.
She was not aware of his coming.
He was almost at her side when she
started back with a quick scream.
"9K dear! what hae I done?." she
gasped, turning pale with dismay, her
distended eyes fixed upon the surface
of the brook directly beneath the
spot where she stood.
"Miss Reese, something has dis
tressed you?" ventured Nate.
Ava turned quickly. Involuntarily
he placed her hand upon his arm in
Stood Gazing Dreamily Down Into
the Limpid Waters
a pleading way and he thrilled at the
"Oh, can you helpline?" she plead
ed. "See," and sheheld up her fin
ger, "the ring was too large for me.
How foolish I was to wear it, to toy
with it! There there! It fell right in
side of that little heap of rocks," and
she pointed tremblingly, with Nate's
peering face dangerously close to her
own. The stream was shallow and,
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