he would look at the picture in the
locket. It was one he had surrepti
tiously secured from the village pho
tographer. He had not sent a letter
to Helen during his exile. Many a
missive he had begun, but it had end
ed in a shrinking sense of unworthi
ndss and the friendly lines, budding
with a more tender regard, had never
met the eyes of Helen.
It was during the last stage of his
journey that Morse made a discovery
that led him to change his route. At
a junction where there was a change
of card, he had just time to shake
hands with a man he had known in
Hopeton and propound an eager in
quiry. "By the way," were his words,
"you remember Miss Warren? What
became of her?"
"Oh," was the hasty casual re
sponse, "she left Hopeton to live with
a relative in Belleville three years
Morse did not therefore go to his
native town. He lost time making
connections and it was afternoon
when he arrived at Belleville. The
town was strange to him. As he pakj.
xur a mncn at a utue restaurant ne
. ventured to speak to its proprietor.
"There was a Miss Warren here,"
"Oh, yes. Married, She is Mrs.
Porter now. Did you know her,
Married! A blow, dull, deadening,
seemed to fall upon the heart of Aus
tin Morse. He knew not what inco
herent words he mumbled as he stag
gered from the place. He .sought un
frequented byways, he Anally sat
down in a lonely spot and tried to
overcome the numbing influence of
the intelligence he had received.
"This won't do!" he exclaimed at
length. "I must -face this disappoint
ment like a man. Married! Why,
then, bless her and her husband! and
I hope he is a worthy man."
Morse was too true-hearted and
manly to whine or eiltertain enmity
or spite. "Brace up!" had been bis ,
T western motto and it applied just
now. ae was ieaness as to racing
the truth. With a nature just as true'
and honest as ever he decided to once
more see the woman he had loved as
a friend, and go back to the ofd lonely
life and cheerfully work as hard as
ever. He made some inquiries as to
the Porter home and located it
In its garden $ dainty little miss
was seated on a ristic bench making
a bouquet from a lapful of flowers.
Morse doubted not that this wasJHel
en's little daughter. His heart warm-
ed towards the child. His soul was
hungry for sympathy and comfort
He crossed the unfenced lawn. With
a reassuring smile he sat down beside
the child and asked her name.
It was "Helen Porter," she told
him, and in a pretty child-like way
fastened a rose in his buttonhole.
Then her attention became attracted
to the locket on his watch chain. Its
oddity made her curious. He remov
ed the locket to please her. Suppose
she kept it? He had no longer a
right to retain the picture of a wed
As she opened it and saw the por
trait within, the little one's eyes di
lated. S.he looked up at him. His
own were filled with tears. She was
about to ask some puzzled question,
when abruptly she started to her feet
The flowers were scattered wide.
"Oh, look! look- your picture!"
shouted the child, and she ran for
ward to meet a lady just turning into
the garden path, "The strange man
showed it to me and he's crying!"
Every sense quivering, Austin
Morse arose to meet the woman ne
had loved Helen. She gave a great-
start, then the glad welcome of a
sincere spirit was his. Her hand even
lingered in his own, and there was
unmistakable admiration in her
glance for the bronzed, stalwart,
manly figure he presented.
"Your little daughter coaxed the
locket from me " began Morse hi an
"You mean my niece, Mr. Morse,"
1 ik ii-ft - . . .
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