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Newspaper Page Text
THE GIRL OPPOSITE
?Jy Beverly Slauson
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Travers was lodkkig backward over
his life, as he sat, revolver in hand,
before the mirror in the upper room
of his closed house, and it was
strange how all the interests of the
mature man's life narrowed to those
of the boy of long ago.
Pictures flashed across his mental
vision and he saw himself again, a
little boy, standing before that same
window and holding his father's
"Why mustn't I play with the little
girl across the street?" he asked his
"Because this is a Puritan town,
sonny," replied the man.
"What does that mean, father?"
"Ask your mother, son."
But it was long before he learned
that the man across the street was a
famous atheist lecturer and shunned
in horror by the narrow society of
the little place, whose ostracism ex
tended to the loyal wife and the little
Travers'- father had been willing
enough to be friendly with the man,
but it was the women who ruled the
town, and he had shrugged his shoul
ders and gone his way, as the rest
of the men did.
From his window upstairs the lit
tle boy had stared at the girl, and for
hours the children would watch each
other, ignorant of the cause that pre
vented them from playing together.
Later the little boy had -gone to
school, a boarding school in a distant
city. There the interests of school
days drove th. thought of the little
girl'out of his mind.
So completely, in fact that, when
he returned he did not at first recog
nize the young girl of fourteen whose
face he saw at the window opposite.
"Who are those neoDle across the
road?." he asked his mother, with an 1
interest whose cause lie was careful
"The same," she answered. "That
is Danvers, the abominable atheist
lecturer, John. I hope that you will
have nothing to do with any of them
at any time."
For views did not broaden readily
in the little town, and it was incon
ceivable to the inhabitants that they
should tolerate a man wno openly ad-
Pictures Flashed Across His Mental
vocated such views, however hon
estly. Time passed. John Travers went
to college. Now the Whirl of Jife had
caught him up and only the most
elusive memories remained of the girl
at the window. Yet, when he came
home with his degree, he found him
self looking across the narrow street
at a young woman who watched him
from her window. And this time-
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