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PIQUE AND PERIL
By Frances Elizabeth Lanyon
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
She who would -always be dainty
was all bedraggled. 3he who was
used to shelter, warmth and comfort
was- alone, darkness and a howling
storm all about her. She who at her
princely home had but to -nod to
bring a score of anxious servitors to
her beck and call was all solitary.
"Oh, this is dreadful!" gasped Hel
ena Waltham as she staggered
against a tree, fairly blown there by
the fierce wind and she clung to a
Tine encircling it and shuddered and
"Why did I do it, why did I venture
when I knew the risk?" she wailed
and then, her eyes flashing, her
courage blazing out, she .said with
set lips: "I hate him!"
She hated him, her fiance, Gerald
Morse, because she had found him
out. She hated him because he had
eome into her life at its sweetest pe
riod of hope and happiness as an
ideal only to be rudely shattered.
She hated him and she covered her
eyes with her hands and sobbed bit
terly at the thought because he had
inspired her to drive from her side
i true, 'good man.
"Oh, the sting of it; oh, the mean,
cruel act!" she waijed and sank to
the ground not caring much what
became of her.
Rodney Preston! His grave face
full of character and nobleness, hov
ered now within her anguished men
tal vision. Three months agone they
had been friends and he, a poor but
rising young lawyer, had made her
proud of his company, for he was a
favorite everywhere. When her fa
ther had introduced Gerald Morse
there was no right on the part of
Preston to resent it What claim had
be upon Helena? But when one day
Morse had almost ordered her not
to recognize "that man," dazzled by
the brililancy of this new star, net
tled because Preston had so seem
ingly accepted her action indifferent
ly, Helena was influenced to award
him a cold stare only. "I can make
it up later," she whispered anxious
ly to herself when she mourned for
the ignoble act, but she had cut Rod
ney Preston to the quick.
He did not cross her path again.
She learned that he had left town.
Then had come her punishment to
learn the real sordid selfishness of
Gerald Morse. Disgust had come for
this frivolous fortune hunter. And
now hatred, she could not help it!
It was just at duck and she had en
dured the company of Morse in a
stroll along the river, morose, unso
ciable, unhappy. In her restless ca
priciousness she had declared for a
row. Gerald Morse had demurred.
He had done more he had insisted
that she abandon her design.
"A storm is coming up," he said.
'We will pass up the risk of a big
blow on the treacherous Vermilion."
"Not !!" declared Helena with res-i
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