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THE ADVOCATE AND KiSWS.
10 FEBRUARY $ CHAPTER XVL - Three days more and back came Mnl lane with the wretched prisoner Mars den. The Irish captain 'a eyes grew Bau cor big when he heard the harrowing details of recent events at the post. Never 'in its liveliest days, before of slnoe, had Worth known an excitement to match this, for, with the best inten tions in tho world, there wasn't a wom an in officers' row who could get at the bottom facts of the episode. Rumors of the wildest kind that were early in circulation were best left to the imagi nation of the reader. The only thing actually known was that Mrs. Winn and Captain Barclay were going out riding at revoille ; that Winn surprised them and knocked the captain down ; that Winn was now in close arrest, Bar clay on the mend and again sitting np, Mrs. Winn confined by illness to her bed, Mrs. Faulkner (a most important perHon she) in devoted attendance, all their differences forgiven, if not forgot ten, and there were few Mrs. Faulkner would not have forgiven for the blisB of being for the time the most sought after woman at Worth, for every one wanted to know how Mrs. Winn was every hour of the day, and hoped to hear what dreadful imprudence of hers it was that caused the equally dreadful fracas. Gravely and quietly the doctors told their story to the colonel; that there was no arrangement or engagement to ride together ; that Captain Barclay had no idea Mrs. Winn ever rose much leas rodethat early, and most men ac cepted the statement as true. But there was the fatal exhibition of Barclay's letter by Mrs. Winn to confront the women, who would have held him guiltless and saddled all the blame upon her lovely, sloping shoulders. What had he to write to her about, unless it was to ask her to ride or something of the kind?. And the idea of their daring to select such an hour instead of going ont when when poople could sea And then there was the fact that Mr. Winn still refused to be reconciled to his wife. What did that mean if not that he deemed her guilty? Blythe, who had a kindlier feeling for Winn than had moBt men at Wprth (for Brayton now was uttorly set against him and refused to go near him), sent in his card and begged to be allowed to see him, and Blythe's face was sad and gray when half an hour later he came forth again. "Colonel," said hetoFrazier, "some thing has got to be done for that poor fellow or he'll go mad. Collabone has told him Barclay was totally ignorant of Mrs. Winn's plan to ride that morn ingthat hia assault was utterly un justifiable, and between that and the contemplation of his wife's brainless freak and all his old trouble I'm sore ly afraid he'll break down go all to pieces. Can't something be done?" Both Frazior and Brooks thought something ought to be done, and so said Blythe and De Lancy and Follansbee and Fellows when they came trooping home empty handed from their scout. Only Mullane's detachment had accom plished anything, and such success as ho bad was due almost entirely to Winn's persistent effort and energetic trailing. Something was being done to hunt up stolen stores as revealed by Marsden, but poor Winn, who had rid den home so full of hope and pluck and energy, now paced hia narrow room for hoars or lay upojj his lounge, face buried in his arms, either dull and apathetic or smarting with agony. On Mrs. Winn old Collabone had lit tle sympathy to waste. Bluntly he told her that she was responsible for the who! basinets and deserved to b down sick. So, too, be told the colonel, who was having a blissful time answer ing the questions and squirming under the nagging of his household at homo. At first Laura had shown tremendous spirit. Mr. Winn's conduct was an in sult The doctor's comments were an insult The instant she was well enough to move she would take her precious child and return to her mother's roof. "Your mother hasn't any roof," said Collabone. "She's boarding in Wash ington, playing for another husband, and you'd spoil the whole game, turn ing up with a grandchild. What you've got to do is beg your husband's pardon for all the scrapes you've led him into this last one especially." Laura wail ed and wept and cried out against the heartless cruelty of her husband, who left her sick and dying, for all he knew (Collabone had assured him there was nothing on earth tho matter but nerves), and she thought Mrs. Faulkner ought to make him hear bow ill she was. At last she managed to have herself ap propriately arrayed, and with face of The unhappy woman threw herself at his feet. meekest suffering waylaid him on the lower floor before he could close the door against her, after a brief official visit from the adjutant But the first glance into his haggard, hopeless face, the sight of despair such as she had never dreamed of, struck to her soul something like terror. One moment she gazed, all thought of her puny troubles vanished and forgotten, and then with ono great cry the first geuuine feeling she had shown the un happy woman threw herself at his feet and clasped her arms about hia trem bling knees. That night when the doctor called he found her humbled, contrite, concerned in earnest, and all for her husbaud. "It's the first time." said he, "I'vi evor felt any respect tat you whatever, Mrs. Winu. I believe there's something in you, after all though probably not muoh, " he later added when be told his wife. That night, too, he and Brooks and Blythe sat half an hour with Winn. The colonel asked it, for it was time to help him if help was to come at all. That day brought inquiry from depart ment headquarters as to whether Lieu tenant Winn had made good the amount of that great shortage, and the prom ised money package had not come. Gently they asked him if be had rea sonable right to look for it, and all tho a-swer he could make was that it had been promised on certain conditions. He had recently accepted them, had ex pected to find the money on his arrival at Worth, but instead had found and the hands thrown hopelessly forward, palms upraised, were as expressive a any words could have been. There was silance a moment Than he icoke asaia. "And, after all, what matfora it now? With this court martial banging over me I've nothing but dismissal to look forward to in any event " "And what if there should be no trial Winn?" said the major- after a reflective pause. "It is true that you have made an awful break, but as yet you are your only accuser, and Mrs. Winn is the only witness, for Barclay is dumb." But Winn shook his head. "I know enough of army matters to know that this thing is all over the post and will Boon be all over Texas. If Captain Bar clay was of the old army if he had boon brought up as I was, he might settle it out of court My father used to Bay that there could be no other rep aration for a blow. Wlv wM m "That's the bravest thing you ever did, Winn "mid he. apologies be worth? They would not re establish him." "Sometimes I think," said Brooks after another reflective pause, "that men of Barclay's stamp need not appeal to the code to sot them right That is only a device by which physical cour ago is made a substitute for other vir tues that may be lacking. Barclay oc cupies a plane above it In view of his record in the Platte country and in this recent chase after the outlaws it would take a bold man to sneer at him, in this garrison at least, and, if be prefer no charge against you, who is to do it? This trouble can be straightened out Winn," said the major soothingly, "if only you could fix that other." But how, said they to each other as they went gloomily away, was that other to be "fixed?" How was a poor fellow with nothing but his pay, bur dened by an extravagant and helpless wife, a little child and a number of debts, to hope to raise $3,000 to pre vent the almost total stoppage of his stipend? That evening when Mrs. Faulkner left her invalid friend the lat ter asked her to say to Harry that she begged him to come and speak with her. Harry went, but there was no spring, no gladness, in the slow and halting feet that climbed the narrow stair. There was no hope in the care worn face that came forth again in half an hour. Laura wished him to take her watch, her diamond earrings, a locket he had given her in bygone days and other pretty trinkets sell them and pay their debts. She was amazed to hear, not that they owed so much, but that her treasures would bring so little The fourth day of his arrest was well nigh gone. Collabone had reported Bar clay quite himself again and sitting up, though none too Btrong, and then he saw that Winn at last had been writ ing. "Read that," said Harry briefly, and handed him the sheet , It was ad dressed to Captain Barclay: . "In the last four days 1 have done nothing but think of the great wrong I did you. I have tried to find words in which to tell you my distress and self reproach, but they fail me. There was no shadow of justification for my sus picion, and therefore no excuse for my blow. Had you desired reparation you would have demanded it and the rule used to be for a man in my plight to wait on til it was asked before he ten dered an apology that might be consid ered a stopper to a challenge. But I will not wait At the risk of anything any man may say or think I write this to tell you that I deplore my conduct and with all my heart to beg your par don." Collabone went through It twice with blinking eyes. "That's the bravest thing jrn f er dJ4 Win&j " Mid he aj Ee'rad it carerufly down. "That ought to stop court martial proceedings. " "That," answered Winn, "is a dif ferent matter. I don't ask any mercy. I would have been better off this minute if he or Brayton had shot me on the pot" There was silence a moment as hi turned away and presently seated him self at the little table, his head drop ping forward on his arms. Then Colla bone stepped up and placed a band upon his shoulder. " Winn, my boy, I should lie if I said you ought not to feel this, but there's such a thing as brooding too much. You'll harm yoursolf if you go on like this. You Here, let me take that in to Barclay. Let him speak for me. I'm d d if it isn't too much for me. " But Winn's head was never lifted at the doctor went his way. Later that night the post adjutant dropped in. He and Winn had never been on cordial terms, but the staff officer was shocked and troubled at the increasing ravages in the once proud and handsome face of the cavalryman. "Winn," he said in courteous tone, "the colonel directs extension of your limits to include the parade, and and to visit Captain Barclay, who wants to see you this evening, if you feel able. It's only next door, you know, " he add ed vaguely. Thon, "Isn't there any thing I can do?" That night just after taps old Hanni bal admitted the tall young officer and ushered him into a brightly lighted room, where, rather pale and wan, but with a kindly smile on his face, Gala had Barclay lay back in his reclining chair and held out a thin white hand. "Welcome, Winn," was all he said, Mid then the old negro slid out and closed the door. "There are Oirish and Oirish, " as, quoting Mulvaney, has been said before. Onoe assured that no further proceed ings were to be taken against him for his iniquitous lapso the day of the rush to Crockett Springs, Captain Mullane concluded that he must stand high in favor at court, and that further self de nial and abstinence were uncalled for, . especially in viow of the successes achieved for him by the small detach ment of his party led by lieutenant Winn. Mullane was a gallant soldier in the field from sheer love of flghticg, and the same trait when warmed by whisky made him a nuisance in garri son. Not a week was he home from his successful scout when he broke out in a new place, and this time he found in stant accommodation. Little of the stolen property was re covered by the searching squad sent out as the result of Marsden 's revelations. That voluble scoundrel was in the guardhouse awaiting trial by general court martial. Cavalry drills were re sumed again, and after each morning's work the officers gathered in considera ble force at tho clubroom. There had been, both in the infantry and in the cavalry, vast speculation as to the out come of Winn's arrest and Barclay's mishap. But men, as a rule, spoke of the matter with bated breath. Mullane, Bralligan and the one or two Irish ex sergeants in the command, known lo cally as the Faugh-a-Ballaghs, how ever, waxed hilariously insolent in their comments. Nothing short of dis missal should be Winn's sentence and nothing short of a challenge be Bar clay's course. It was with something akin to amaze that Mullane received on the sixth day after Winn's arrest offi cial notification of his release and res toration to duty. It was with some thing akin to incredulous wrath that an hour later he caught sight oi tne liber ated lieutenant issuing from Barclay's quarters, not his own, and with Barclay leaning trustfully on his arm. Apology accepted. Explanations ten dered. All settled, and without a meet ing on the field of honor. "Whurroo, but what's the cavalry comin to?" howled Mullane over the consequent cups at the sutler's store and club room, Fuller aiding and abetting with more liquor. Up the hill to the post lurched the big captain that very afternoon, and into the cardroom, where some of his cronies were gathered, Bralligan among them and the untrustworthy Hodge. Any one with half an eye could see there Was mischief in the wind, for nothing caused these old time Hibernian ""Irani kenw suCrin ttUa to fera