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Newspaper Page Text
" 1 '
later Mrs. 'Prescott came rushing to
the wharf to malce inquiries. She
was frantic, half beside herself. Two
hours later this circumstance was
obscured by the message flashed
from a point 50 miles down the river,
that the boiler of the Puritan had
blown up in midstream and of the
100 passenger aboard less than 20
had been rescued, About fifty bod
ies were recovered. In the list of
those not found the names of James
and Arlme Prescott were listed.
In the village it was supposed that
Prescott had been taking his child
on a casual down-the-river trip. Alas!
poor, bereaved Mary Prescott alone
knew the agitating incidents that led
up to the tragedy that shadowed her
already dreary life.
She had never loved James Pres
cott It seemed as if some adverse
mockery of fate bad conspired to
make her accept his attentions back
in her home village of Ieclaire. Just
before Prescott appeared upon the
scene Mary had received a proposal
of marriage from a most estimable
young man named Paul Barry. She
had not known her heart at the time.,
but later, when the full measure of
her sorrowful miseries overwhelmed
her, she realized that her hesitation,
which had driven him away, had been
a lifetime mistake. Mary smothered
her disappointment, however, giving
her full love to little Arline and by pa
tience and loyalty striving to win
some measure of kindness from her
In this she signally failed. Prescott,
pretending to be a man of means,
had influenced Mary's father to favor
the marriage. Just after the wedding
her father died. His estate was quite
small and was divided between his
daughter and a crippled stepbrother.
Soon Prescott had squandered his
wife's portion. Then he tried to in
duce her to contest the legacy to her
father's stepbrother, or induce the
latter to lend her some of his small
Mary refused. It was then that
Prescott had threatened to break bee
spirit if she did not meet his wishes.
It was then that be started out with
Arline, to hide the child away from"
her mother until Mary relented.
Then, overcome with this fearful
climax of misfortunes, Mrs. Prescott
had resigned herself to her fate as
a lonely, brokenhearted being with
out a friend in the world.
So she thought and settled down to
work for a seamstress in the town.
In her estimate of friendlessness,
however, she had not counted on the
undying fidelity of a noble man.'
Paul Barry had not forgotten her.
News had come to his ears, an intui
tion of the wortblessness of Pres
cott. He had secretly visited and in
vestigated, and had found himself
powerless to better things or come
between husband and wife, He came
again when he learned of the sup
posed death of father and child.
Then he made a strange discovery.
This was the statement from a friend
that he bad seen Prescott in a dis
tant city two weeks after the sinking
Of the steamer. Barry started a new
Whatever he learned, it resulted in
his visiting Wartham upon that same
evening when Mrs. Prescott bad
bought the tiny candles to celebrate'
the third anniversary of the birthday
of little Arline.
Under the cover of darkness he
hovered about the boarding house
where Mrs. Prescottsoccupied a room.
He located the apartment from the
outside. At a table he made out Mrs.
Prescott, seated at a table upon
which was a cake with three lighted
candles on it,
A great wave of pity and love swept
his soul as he comprehended the
meaning of the lonely scene. Then
Barry entered the house. He consult
ed the landlady. She was to manage
to get Mrs. Prescott out of her room
for a brief spell, while he sped to the
village hotel, to return and smuggle
into the room a little child, Barry
seated Ijer at the table, went down-