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Preserve this Numbor for the First Chapter of "The Bead Line." Written for thio Paper.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, JANUARY 17, 1894. OFFICIAL STATE PAPER. The Dead LinCo By GIDEON LAINE, D. D. Whether in the next world a great gulf shall yawn Tween Dives In torment and Lazarus in bli.sa, 'Tis certain that fashion a dead 11. has drawn 'Twixt Lazarus and Dives in this. PREFACE 1 have never written a novel, and, at my time of life, busied with the active du ties which fall to the lot of a western clergyman, it would be useless for me to attempt such a task. I am about to write of real occurrences in the lives of living people, and oc currences of very recent date; and the reader must, therefore, pardon me if the places referred to in the following narrative are not, by the names I have given them, to be found on reliable maps of Kansas. Fictitious names of persons and places must be excused as but a proper con cession to the feelings of the persons who were actors in the scenes I am about to describe. Gideon Laine. of coloring with misery or hapi naining current of his life." Ore- CHAPTER 1. KATE COTTEKELL's NEW ACQUAINT ANCE. ' Surely no man can reflect, without wonder, upon the vicissitudes of human life arising from causes in the highest degree accidental and trilling. If you trace the necessary con catenation of human events a very little way rnuk. rnu mav nerhans discover that a per son's very going in or out of a door has been the means u ness the rem ville. Cobden, the county seat of a certain county in Kansas, is a "city" of about 2,000 souls. Like many another Kan ' sas town, it is so much of a village that everybody knows everybody else, and knows, or tries to know, all about everybody else, but is, at the same time, so much of a city that social caste is severe, and Mrs. Flotsam "would not be seen on the street" in the afternoon with Mrs. Jetsam, whose flat-irons and gossip she has gone over to borrow in the morning. Next to Mrs. Haddy, whose husband kept the ''Palace store," the leading lady of Cobden society in 18W was Mrs. Dr. Carlington, w ho lived in the linest residence in the city, and whose hus band not only enjoyed the most fashion able, and therefore, the most lucrative practice in the county, but owned the opera house and held the controlling interest in the Congregational church and dictated the policy of its pulpit. Mrs. Dr. Carlington kept a carriage and a coachman; the latter an "Afro American" with a strong predilection for statesmanship of the convention delegate and worker-at-the-polls va riety. This colored gentleman's name was "Columbus Washington Hlack burn;" but, in the sphere of political and practical activity, this ambitious cognomen wastransformed intoSlick" iJlackburn, perhaps on account of his disposition to imitate too closely the "practical politics" of better known statesmen. Mrs. Dr. Carlington was a thorough society woman. Her time was altogether devoted to the labor of calling and receiving calls, entertain ing and being entertained, doing I "church work," managing an orphan asylum and dispensing the sort of cheap , charity indulged in by the class known to the rural press as "our charitable ladies." She thoroughly believed the social dogma that heaven invented poverty for the ediiication, not to say glorification, of the "upper classes;" and, regarding the scriptural remark -"The poor ye have always with you" as a positive command, it was, in her opinion, the rankest blasphemy to talk of abolishing poverty. She had a good heart as society hearts go, but conven tionality had rendered it rudimentary. She would have been an inlidel had she supposed for a moment that the Al mighty considered himself the father of the lovyer classes in the same sense as of people in good society. She was neither beautiful nor young; but he would have been a daring wretch in deed who would have allowed her to suspect he doubted she was both. Mrs. Dr. Carlington was as dignified as dull people usually are, and with frigid smiles "gave her little senate laws" w hich it did not dare disregard. Dr. Carlington himself was rather handsome. lie was also a man of good intellect, was well educated, and had a cordial manner and a frank, good- hearted air about him which did his patients more good than his prescrip tions, and made everybody in the city his friend. lie went but rarely into so ciety, and never entered the opera house to witness a theatrical perform ance, except when Mrs. Carlington was out of the city. Although naturally liberal minded and tolerant in religion, he had never thought on theological subjects, and so believed his church creed, as does many a busy man, be cause he had been brought up that way and it had never occurred to him that church creeds could be debated. lie had heard in a general way of the ex istence of such persons as Ingersolland Bradlaugh, and his preacher had some times alluded to Paine and Voltaire; but beyond the vague notion that they were "intldels," he had not the slight est apprehension of their views. Nor did he care to inquire about such mat ters. He was too busy making money and gathering it in to waste any time on tritles. In short, he was an average good-natured, seltlsh man; physically vigorous and industrious, but mentally 'and morally indolent. About six months previous to the 'opening of our narrative, Kate Cotter ell, a farmer's daughter, had entered the Carlington household as a domes tic. Her business was to help in the kitchen, wait on the table and act as nurse for the infant Carlington heir. During that six months her mistress' conversation with her new servant had been limited to giving orders and find ing fault. Mrs. Carlington acted to 'ward her help on the theory that "familiarity breeds contempt") .in which there was in her case deep wisdom, per haps), and was firmly of the opinion that "servants must be made to know their place." However, she paid fairly good wages and her help was well housed and fed. One point which sht had frequent occasion to impress upon Kate was that a servant was not ex pected to have literary leanings but inis expected to let the books in the library alone, as well as the periodicals which sometimes found their way into the house. Mrs. Carlington herself ob served this precept. Hltf did not med dle with books, nor with any but "fashion" periodicals. She had not the slightest knowledge, nor had the doc tor, what the library contained. A book seller had "supplied" it in gross, and not a single accession had been made to it since. Hut the bindings were all line, and a library helps "set off" a house. Why should a mere ser vant, and she a common farmer's daughter only sixteen years old, wish to meddle with books? She rnightruin the bindings, or worse still, might lose a valuable volume and be unable to re place it. Hut Kate had an insatiable thirst for knowledge which had never been gratified at home; and the prox imity of "a whole library," which really contained an excellent selection, was a temptation too great for effective resistance. Hooks were stealthily taken up stairs in day time and concealed un der her pillow for use at night. They were not missed, of course, but Kate would get incautious at times and be caught in the very act of taking a book out; then the "touch not" prohibition would be sternly reiterated. "Sam Cotterell," as his neighbors called him, lived on a farm about nine miles out of town. Kate was his only daughter. She longed to go to college, i and as he was too poor to send her there, he had reluctantly consented that she might go to the city and "work out" in order to earn enough to enable her to study the common branches and become a country school teacher, with the hope of saving, in the latter occu pation, money sufficient to carry out her ambitious project' of acquiring a college education. This distant hope was very real to Kate, and enabled her to bear the mortilications she had to endure in the Carlington home. Not, however, without much smothered in dignation and many a tear; for she was not only sensitive, as people of mental temperament are wont to be, but she instinctively felt her natural superior ity to the woman whose submissive slave she was forced to be. Kate had a warm, loving, girlish heart, as well as a bright mind, and, wit h her intelligent, gentle and mobile face, her jet black hair and eyes, rich complexion, full red lips and perfect figure, she was the most beautiful girl, in or out of society, to be met with in Cobden. Whether she was aware of this 1, of course, am unable to say; but she was a young girl, and there were mirrors in the Carlington house. Her manners, too, were lady like and win ning in uch more so than those of the society young women who ignored her existence. There were times, when she had grown very weary, that she was disposed to give up her project, for the way seemed so long, the struggle so hard; but she always conquered the weakness and persevered toward the college goal by the country school house route. One day an event occurred which changed this program somewhat. As she was on her knees scrubbing the lloor of the front porch (for Mrs. Dr. Carlington was an almost fiendishly clean house-keeper) a run-away team came tearing down the street, and all Cobden was out seeking to calm the frightened horses by running before them and behind them with a multi plicity of yells and insane gesticula tions. Kvery dog in the town was hav ing his day, and the "hoodlums" were in ecstacy. In point of exciting inter est and of a general diffusion of per sonal importance, nothing but a fire can compare with a runaway. If the reader has never been present at such an entertainment in a city like Cobden, no amount of description could give him a just conception of the spectacle. Kate grew faint with horror, as, hear ing the clatter, she looked up and be held the terrible sight which greeted her sympathetic eyes. An old man was being dragged face downward over the street, his right leg having become