A LIFE LESSON
By Irene Beatrice Proctor
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"Work at last.""- -
The man who uttered the words
'spoke in a satisfied way, yet face and
.manner showed a wearied, stolid un
dertone. He was known in the modest board
ing house as Cecil Wayne, but that
was not his name. Nor were the
bearded face appendages becoming
to him. He wore them as might a
'man a disguise, because he had a
deep secret to conceal, because he
'feared that after two years some one
might stop him on the street and say
"You are Ronald Warne!"
For he was a man hunted, despised,
tabooed, his tortured soul told him
fifty times a day. After sojourning,
almost in hiding, in a desolate part
of Western Canada, he had stolen
back to his native country to die, he
hoped, for life held no comfort for
him, no prospects no ambition.
"The past dim gulf!" he breathed
bitterly, "I hoped to forget, but I nev
er can. Work work at last ! It may
held me to keep remorse at bay, at
least in my waking hours!"
Ronald Warne, alias Cecil Wayne!
How had it come about that this man
had two names? His quick haunting
memory explained all too vividly. His
thoughts went back two years, he
a roving and dissolute artist, in love
with a humble but beautiful girl, the
daughter of the townsman on the
Central railroad near Bridgeton.
For the first time in his roving life
Ronald Warne had loved. The sweet,
Innocent maiden he had wooed, Elsie
Barker, knew nothing of his drink
ing habit. Under the spell of her fas
cination he had honestly tried to re
form. Then one night, one dreadful
He had met her father in the little
village, an easy-going old man, on his
way to go on night duty at the tower
one mile east of the big railroad
bridge. He was with some friends
and the old man, having an hour to
spare, accompanied them to the
drinking place they were bound for.
His weak nature soon succumbed to
the influence of the unfamiliar liquor.
When it was time for him to go on
active duty Mr. Barker was in a sod
den state of intoxication.
Warne grew grave && self -reproachful
as he notedreresult of
"The Past Dim Gulf! I Hoped to
his recklessness. He feared what El
sie might think of him if she discov
ered this flagrant dereliction from
manhood and respect. The townsman
was in no condition for duty, yet
some one must take the signal post
for the night and Ronald called one
of his friends aside as an idea came
to his mind.
"See here," he said "I count on you
to keep the old man away from the
public street and home till he is sober."
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