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Newspaper Page Text
joke. 'I wc all look upon you. as
one of the family."
"Thank you," said June with GUt-
ting politeness. ' "It's very kind of
you." And with great dignity she
took herself out of the room.
June had not quite known what
Billy meant to her until one day
something happened. She heard that
he was calling very often on Mrs.
Cliffe, the young, fascinating widow
who had lately come to town, and
taken a pretty apartment near by.
Then she sawiiim walking with Mrs.
Cliffe, and the quick, hard tug at her
heart told her she was jealous. Then
she knew. Upon this came the sud-
den impulse to find out if he cared
for her except as jast one of the
. About two weeks after this episode
June met Mrs. Cliffe at a friend's
'home and was cordially invited to
come and see her. Not at once tak
ing advantage of the invitation, she
one day received a pleasant little
note from Mrs. Cliffe asking her to
come to tea. June said nothing to
Billy, but she wondered and-went.
She thought it might be a case of
spying out the situation and "sizing
her up," and she found she was not
far n the wrong.
The widow certainly was fascinat
ing and a very formidable rival, ex
cept perhaps in the matter of youth.
The widow saw this advantage with
something like a pang. She also had
to acknowledge that June was very
pretty. She set to work to impress
upon June that her engagement to
Billy being understood, she wanted
her,' as one of the family, to like her
and be glad to welcome her as one
of them. June tried to assume a
cheerful, even cordial acquiescence,
but her astute hostess detected
something under the mask that
warned her to be a trifle wary in the
Tommy Thurston was sauntering
down toward the park when June
loomed up in his line of vision. She j
seemed to him to look rather more I
ravishingly alluring than usual. He
wondered if it would do any good to
try again to get her to say yes. He
detained her as she tried to pass.
"It's just to say good-by," said
"Oh," replied June, not greatly in
terest, "when are'you going?"
"This Wednesday. I'm going to
stop at Barchester to see my uncle
on the way. After that I haven't yet
decided. Perhaps across the pond to
England, perhaps to California. You
know I wouldn't go if you said so."
"Now Tommy, that's settled. Don't
let's talk about it, please."
There was such a ring of finality
about it that Tommy was silent.
"But," added June, "come to think
of it. I have to go to Barchester to do
some shopping. I -may be taking
your train and can bear you company
on the beginning of your journey, at
"Oh, that'll be fine!" -tried Tommy,
So it was arranged they should
meet at the train.
June said nothing to any one'about
hef intended trip, but carefully
packed a suitcase, put her desk and
belongings in order, the, only thing
suggesting a hasty departure being
Mrs. Cliffe's note of invitation left ly
ing open on her desk. She slid un
observed out of the house, keeping
the suitcase on the side away from
the window, and met Tommy at the
station. She took pains to speak to
the station master at the little office,
who knew her, and who eyed, rather
curiously, the combination of young
Thurston, Miss Barry and the luj
gage. Arriving at Barchester, Thurston
insisted on seeing her to the hotel
where she said she was going. Then
he registered and informed her he in
tended to stay there also for a day
or two. June put her foot down and
told him she would leave immediate
ly if he did not go to some other ho
tel Thurston saw that she meant it