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vein of literary effort. He was 30,
blase, lie regarded life as, after all, a
hollow shell. He had trained with a
group possessed of shallow moral
ideas and bis sentiments and humani
tarian analyses had been tinctured
with that influence.
"I will take another jaunt among
the unvarnished and see if I can dis
cover something new," he resolved.
Two days later Dane arrived at a
little town in the same district where
he had gained the character material
for his latest novel. His idea was to
arrange for a stay in some obscure
settlement along the shore of the
lake. Noon found him hot and tired,
outside of the range of human habi
tation. "I'll take a swim and rest and then
plod' on," soliloquired Dane.
He was In the full enjoyment of a
refreshing swim when, chancing to
glance sborewards, he saw a big( hus
ky trampish-looking fellow- going
-through his clothes. He shouted at
the despoiler, but the latter did not,,
desist. Dane ran up on the shore.
He grappled with the thief.
It proved to be an unequal contest.
The tramp was double his match in
bulk and strength. There was' a
strenuous tussle. TiMg, springing
free from Dane's grasfjjys assailant
grabbed up a heavy club and dealt
him a dozen cruel blows.
It was hours later when Dane
aroused from a deathlike lethargy.
His face was dabbled withblopd, he
was weak and dizzy-headed! In a
mechanical sort of way he proceeded
to dress himself. It was in the cast
off garments of the tramp, although
he did not notice this. The enemy
had made the despoilment complete.
In, a brain daze that comprehended
little of environment or the extent
of his Injuries, Dane staggered down
the beach. He had a dim realization
of the fact that he was badly hurt and
must find succor. At last his blurred
sense of vision made out a fence,
habitation beyond it Dane reeled
alonga gravel path, gave a lurch and .
landed face downward amid a redo
lent bed of flowers.
"Don't move, mister. Just tell what
you want and 111 get t for you," were
the words that recalled him to life
again, three days later. Cane started.
A little urchin who spoke was seated
beside the bed In which he lay in ja
low-ceiliriged but immaculately clean
"What place is this?" began Dane
"Why, it's home," explained the
"Mine sister's. She's, made it
yours, too, for she felt so sorry the
fix you were in. She's left me to
nurse you while she takes the butter
and eggs to town."
All through the rest of that day
Dane in fragments gathered up the
sequel to his battle on the shore of
the lake. He had been discovered at
their very doorstep by the Mertons,
sister and brother. His wretchedness
had appealed to a sympathetic heart
Poor as they were, the best they had
had been at once awarded this In-voluntary-guest
Ned Merton was chatty and artless,
As the hours passed, Dane grew
stronger. He took a certain pleasure
in delving into the details of the lives
of these two children of the heart,
struggling to secure a mere liveli
hood, and thankful for It.
Then came Ruth Merton a bright,
bronzed, true-eyed girl, so graceful
and beautiful that Cyril Dane ac
knowledged mentally to a new regard
for the sex.
She insisted on his remaining an
Invalid until he grew strong." She
brought him a book to read." It was
one of his own. It was a novelex'
perience to hear this artless;1 critfa
glory over its beautiful descriptive
parts, and deprecate the vanity and
hollowness of its cynicism and false
standards of actual life. t
His manner and conversation
proved to the young girl thajt he was
a gentleman and .of more than ayer-