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Newspaper Page Text
plea. An orphan herself , her life was
wrapped up in little Flora, who, hav
ing lost hoth father and mother, was
cherished by Lydia as a responsibil
ity to whom she had devoted her life.
This much she had told Prescott in
answer to his offer of marriage.
There was another suitor Leslie
Shaw. Prescott had never liked him.
He was persistent in his attention to
Lydia., He was a man about town,
with unknown antecedents. Prescott
had experienced relief and satisfac
tion when a servant of the house,
with whom he was a favorite, told
him of the summary dismissal of his
It seemed that Shaw had impor--tuned
Lydia to accept him as her hus
band. She- had given him the same
answer that Prescott had received:
Her life was bound up in little Flora.
The enraged Shaw had fiercely wish
ed the little one was dead, had let
loose his wicked temper in a way that
shocked and disgusted Lydia. Then
Shaw had sworn that he would yet
win her as his wife, if it took him
ten years to accomplish his purpose,
and had gone away in a tempest of
Lydia never gave any token of that
stormy interview, but Prescott was
well satisfied that she had a contempt
for Shaw. She feared him, too, Pres
cott believed, and, while he was glad
that a persistent riv,al was out of the
way, he kept himself on the alert to
guard against any attempt to annoy
Lydia on the part of Shaw.
One evening the telephone bell in
his room rang sharply. His name was
spoken breathlessly, and he thrilled
and tingled as he recognized the
tones of the woman he loved.
"Is it Mr. Prescott?" she asked in
a tone that trembled.
"Yes, Miss Ward."
"Will you please come to the house
at once oh, at once, please!" and
Prescott dashed from the room, trac
ing anxiety and urgency in the wel
come summons that might mean
something helpful for Lydia.
v He found her distractedly pacing
the floor when h arrived at her
home. She was white to the lips and
her eyes bore the traces of a poorly
"Flora!" she gasped. "She is gone!"
"Gone! You mean "began Pres
cott in alarm.
"Stolen, kidnaped, spirited away!
She was alone in the garden for an
hour playing with her dolls," narrated
Lydia. "When I went to call her in
she had disappeared.
"But kidnaped? Impossible!" cried
Prescott. "She must have wandered
"I found this note on a garden
seat," proceeded Lydia. "Read it"
The crumpled scrawl was signed
with one name Shaw and it ran:
"You will hear from me shortly. Un
less you agree to marry me you will
never see little Flora again."
"The scoundrel!" cried Prescott
"I will set the police on his track at
"No! no!" implored Lydia. "You
do not know this man Shaw. If any
such an attempt is made, he will dis
appear, and Flora with him. Oh, try
and find her! Try and bring me back
my lost darling!"
Alvin Prescott had a difficult task
before him. Shaw was not to be found
at any of his occasional haunts. No
trace was discovered of the missing
child. The grief of Lydia was piti
able. Prescott devoted all his time to
the mission in hand, but it was of no
It was the fifth morning after the
disappearance of Flora, that, walking
along the street speed, he observed a
squat oriental figure speed across the
thoroughfare to his side. It was
"I find you!" he cried in extrava
gant joy. "The pin of the golden
bantam. You lose?"
"No I gave it to a child"
"I have found her. You come
With faint heart of hope Prescott
accompanied the half coherent, but