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Newspaper Page Text
once he suspected the man's hand in.
preventing a. loan just when nego
tiations appeared upon the point of
For three or mour months longer
this state of affairs continued. Some
times a way out of theincreasing dif
ficulties appeared; then the gap
closed. Clay and Miss Marston be
came more intimate. She had intro
duced him to her mother, with whom
she lived, in a modest apartment up
town. Clay learned that the girl's
father had been a wealthy man. but
had died in poverty after a bankrupt
cy. He wondered how she nould ob
tain the means to support her mother
on the limited salary he could afford
He began to feel, too, that once the
storm was weathered, he would be
justified in asking her to become bis
wife. The intimacy between them
was the stronger because no word of
love had ever been spoken.
Six months after Clay's twelve
month had begun the end was in
"It's all up with us, Miss Marston,"
said John. "We've done our best, but
Rea & Co. are going to sue us. Now
well have to get out as best we can.
Will you please take a letter from
And he dictated a letter which went
soreljragainst the grain. He offered
Maclntyre the secret and the entire
right to manufacture the-product of
his factory for $10,000.
"See that it goes off by tonight's
mail, Miss Marston, please," he said.
He watched the girl stamp and seal
the missive and place it in her bas
ket. And the knowledge that all was
over inspired him with relief that was
stronger than his sorrow.
Miss Marston, what would you say
to a little jaunt in" an auto tomor
row? he asked. "We might celebrate
the end of my fortunes by taking
run out to Newbury and lunching
"Very well," said Miss Marston,
raising'her head and looking him in
the face. Clay was amazed to see
tears in her eyes. Did ie care so
much, then? "
It was a very quiet drive the fol
lowing morning, through hedgerows
gay with spring flowers. They found
a little, old-fashioned inn, where they
ate lunch, and afterward they sat un
der the shade of a big tree upon a
little rustic seat.
"Miss Marston, you know' what
this has meant to me?"
She nodded without answering
"I want to tell you," he contin
ued, taking her hand, "that I have
felt for a long time that I wanted you
for my wife. It was my intention to
ask you after the year. But now, as
a failure, I do not know that I am jus
tified in asking you, for that $10,000
and what I have left will just cover
my indebtedness. I am a beggar."
Suddenly he perceived thatthe girl
was shaking with sobs. He drew her
into his arms and let her rest her
faceagainst his shoulder.
, "wm you wait for me till I have
done something, till I am justified in
asking you dear?" he asked.
She sprang out of his arms and
faced him. "Listen, John," she began-
"I am wholly unworthy of you.
If you only knew what I have tried to
gather courage to tell you for so
long. I came to you with forged rec
ommendations. I was hired by Mac
lntyre to find out your secret I did
it because I wanted my mother to
have the comforts to which she had
been accustomed in her old age."
There was a long pause.
"But you didn't betray the secret,"
said John quietly.
"No! A thousand times no. I told
Maclntyre that I would repay him
the $500 he had advanced me. I could
not betray you after I had realized
what a dreadful scheme I had under
taken. But now I can make amends' - '
by telling you this. Maclntyre isat
his wits end. He has been living on
his capital, too. He has spent every
thing he has, and if you hold out ana