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<? jZtfCZA (Myaex&iiv awaxvxwwtS'itnir carmoar *>oß by jffvimr- SVCMUU CO. CHAPTER I. The Vanishing Mystery. Flora Gilsey stood on the threshold of her dining room. She had turned her back on it. She swayed forward. Her bare arms were lifted. Her hands lightly caught the molding on either side of the door. She was looking in tently into the mirror at the other end of the hall. the lights in the dining room were 1 lit, and she saw herself rather keenly set against this brilliance. The straight-held head, the lifted arms, the short, slender waist, the long, long sweep of her skirts made her seem taller than she actually was; and the strong, bright growth of her hair and the vivacity of her face made her seem more deep ly colored. She had poised there for the mere survey of anew gown, but after a mo ment of dwelling on her own reflec tion she found herself considering it only as an object in the foreground of a picture. That picture, seen through the open door, reflected in the glass, was all of a bright, hard glitter, all a high, harsh tone of newness. In its paneled oak, in its glare of cut-glass and stiver, in the shining vacant faces of Its floors and walls, there was not a color that filled the eye, not a shad dow where Imagination could find play. Asa background for herself it struck her as incongruous. Like a child looking at the landscape up side down, she felt herself in a for eign country. Yet it was hers. She glanced over the table. It was set for three. It lacked nothing but the serving of dinner. She looked at the clock. It wanted a few minutes to the hour. Shima, the Japanese but ler, came in softly with the evening papers. She took them from him. Nothing bored her so -much as a pa per, but to-night she knew it con tained something she really wanted to see. She opened one of the damp sheets at the page of sales. There it was at the head of the colsmn in thick black type: AT AUCTION. FEBRUARY 18 PERSONAL ESTATE OF ELIZABETH HUNTER CHATWORTH CONSISTING OF She read the details with interest down to the end, where the name of the "famous Chatworth ring” finished the announcement with a flourish. Why "famous”? it was very provok ing to advertise with that vague ad jective and not explain it. She turned indifferently to the first page. She read a sentence, re-read it, read it again. Then, as if she could not read fast enough, her eye • gal loped down the column. It was the most extraordinary thing! She was bewildered with the feeling that what was blazing at her from the columns of the paper was at once the wildest thing that could possibly have hap pened, and yet the one most to have been expected. For, from the first the business had been sinister, from as far back as the tragedy—the end of poor young Chat worth and his wife— the Bessie. who, before her English marriage, they had all known so well. Her death, that had befallen in far Italian Alps, had made a sensation in their little city, and the large announcements of auc tion that had followed hard upon it had bred among the women who had known her a morbid excitement, a feverish desire to buy, as if there might be some special luck in them, the jewels of a woman who had so tragically died. They had been ready to make a social affair t ' the private view held In the "Maple room” be fore the acution. And now the whole spectacular business was capped by a sensation so dramatic as to strain credulity to its limit. She could not believe it; yet here it was glaring at her from the first page. Still—it might be an exaggeration, a mistake. She must go back to the beginning and read it over slowly. The striking of the hour hurried her. Shima's announcement of din ner only sent her eyes faster down the page. But when, with a faint, smooth rustle, Mrs. Rritton came in, she let the paper fall. She always faced her chaperon with a little ner vousness, and with the same sense of strangeness with which she so fre quently regarded her bouse. "It's 15 minutes after eight,” Mrs. Britton observed. “We would better not wait any longer.” She took the place opposite Flora's at the round table. Flora sat down, still holding the paper, flushed and bolt upright with her new’s. "It’s the most extraordinary thing!” she burst forth. Mrs. Britton paused mildly with a radish in her fingers. She took in the presence of the paper, and the suppressed excitement of her com panion's face —seemed to absorb them through the large pupils of her light eyes, through all her smooth, pretty person, before she reached for an ex planation. "What is the most extraordinary thing?” The query came bland and smooth, as if, whatever it was, it could not surprise her. "Why, the Chatworth ring! At the private view this afternoon it simply vanished! And —and it was all our own crowd who were there!” "Vaniihed!” Clara Britton leaned forward, peering hard in the face of this extraordinary statement "Stolen, do you mean?” She made it definite. Flora flung out her hands. "Well, it disappeared in the Maple room, in the middle of the afternoon, when everybody was there —and they haven’t the faintest clew.” "Snt how?" For a moment the prt poeterous fact left Clara too quick to be calm. Again Flora’s eloquent hands. "That la It! It was in a case like all the other jewels. Harry saw It" —she glanced at tha paper—as late as four COAST of CHANCE o’clock. When he came back with Judge Bulier, half an hour after, it was gone." Flora leaned forward on lat el bows, chin in hands. No two could have differed more than these two women in their blondness and their prettiness and their wonder. For Clara was sharp and pale, with silvery lights in eyes and hair, and confront ed the facts with an alert and calcu lating observation; but Flora was tawny, toned from brown to ivory through all the gamut of gold—hair color of a panther's hide, eyes dark hazel, glinting through dust-colored lashes, chin -ound like a fruit. The pressure of her fingers accented the slight uptilt of her brows to elflsh ness, and her look was introspective. She might, instead of wondering on the outside, have been the very center of the mystery itself, toying with un ! thinkable possibilities of revelation. She looked far over the head of Clara Britton's annoyance that there should be no clew. “Why, don’t you see," she pointed out, "that is just the fun of it? It might be anybody. It might be you. or me, or Ella Bulier. Though I would prefer to think it was someone we didn't know so well—some one strange and fascinating, who will pres ently go slipping out the Golden Gate in a little junk boat, so that no one need be embarrassed.” Clara looked back with extraordi-1 nary intentness. “Oh, it's not possible the thing is stolen. There’s some mistake! And if it were” —her eyes seemed to open a little wider to take in this possi-, bility—“they wil 1 have detectives all around the water front by to-night. \ Any one would find it difficult to get away,” she pointed out. "Of course; I know." Flora mur- j mured. A faint twitch of humor pull ed her mouth, but the passionate ro mantic color was dying out of her face. How- was it that one’s romances could be so cruelly pulled down to earth? But still she couldn't quite come down to Clara. "At least.” she sighed, “he has saved me an awful expense, whoever took it, for I should have had to have it.” Mrs. Britton surveyed this state ment consideringly. “Was It the most valuable thiug in the collection? Flora hesitated in the face of the alert question. “I—don’t know. But it was the most remarkable. It was a Chatworth heirloom, the papers say, and was given to Bessie at the time of her marriage.” The thought of the death that had so quickly followed that marriage gave Flora a little shiver, but no shade of the tragedy touched Clara. There was nothing but speculation in Clara’s eyes—that, and a little disappointment. “Then they will put off the auction—if it is really so,” she mused. “But there must be something in it, Clara. Why, they closed the doors and searched them —that crowd! It’s ridiculous!” Clara Britton glanced at the empty place. “Then that must be what has kept him.” “Who? Oh, Harry!” It took Flora a moment to remember she had been expecting Harry, She hoped Clara had not noticed it. Clara always had too much the assumption that she was taking him only as the best-look ing, best-natured, safest bargain pre sented. "He will be here," she re assured, "but I wish he would hurry. His dinner will be spoiled; and, poor dear, he likes his dinner so much!” The faint silver sound of the elec tric bell, a precipitate double peal, seemed to uphold this statement. The women faced each other in a mo ment's suspense, a moment of expec tation, such as the advance column may feel at sight of a scout hotfoot from the field of battle. There were muffled movements in the hall, then light, even ®tcps crossing the drawing room. Those light steps always sug gested a slight frame, and, as always, Flora was re-surprised at his bulk as now it appeared between the parted curtains, the dull black and sharp white of his e> 'ning clothes topped by his square, fresh-colored face. "Well, Flora,” he said. "I know I'm late," and took the hand she held to him from where she sat. Her face danced with pleasure. Yes, he was magnificent, she thought, as he cross ed with his light stride to Mrs. Brit ton’s chair. He could even stand the harsh lines and lights of evening clothes. He dominated their ugly con vention with his height, his face so ruddy and fresh under the pale brown of his hair, his alert, assured, deft movement. His high good nature had the effect of sweetening for him even Clara Britton's flavorless manner. The "We were speaking of you,” with which she saw him to his seat, bad all the warmth of a smile, but a smile far in the background of Flora’s im mediate possession. Indeed, Flora had seldom bad so much to say to Harry as at this moment of her ex citement over wbat he had actually seen. For the evidence that he had seen something w’as vivid in his face. She shook the paper at him. “Tell us everything, instantly!" He gaylv acknowledged her right to make him thus stand and deliver. He shot his hands into the air with the lightening vivacity that was in him a sort of wit. "Not guilty,” he grinned at her. “Harry, you know- you were in it. The papers have you the most im portant personage." “Upon my word! But look here — wait a minute!” he arrived deliberate ly at what was required of him. "If you want to know the way it hap pened—here's your Maple room.” He began a diagram with forks on the c‘oth before him, and Clara, who had watched their sparring from her point of vantage in the background, now leaned forward, as if at last they were getting to the point. “Tl is is the case, furthest from the door” He planted a salt cellar In hie silver inclosure. "I come in very early, at half-past two, before the crowd; fall to meet you there.” He made mischievous bows to right and left. "1 go out again. But first I see this ring.” I^l She Read It, Reread It, and Read It Again. ‘‘What was it like?” Flora de manded. "Like?” Harry turned a specula tive eye to the dull glow of the can delabrum, as if between its points of flame he conjured up the vision of the vanished jewel. ’’Like a bit of an old gold heathen god curled round him self, with his head, which was most ly two yellow sapphires, between his knees, and a big, blue stone on top. Soft, yellow gold, so fine you could almost dent it. And carved! Even through a glass every line of it is right. I couldn't seem to get away from it. 1 dropped into the club and talked to Buffer about it. He got keen, and I went back with him to have another look at it. Well, at the door Bulier stops to speak to a chrp going out—a crazy Englishman he had picked up at the club. I go on. By this time there’s a crowd insidv, but I manage to get up to the case And first I miss the spot altogether. And then I see the card with his name; and then, underneath I see the hole in the velvet where the god had been.” Flora gave out a little sigh of sus pense, and even Clara showed a gleam of excitement. He looked from one to the other. "Then there were fire works. Buffer came up. The detec tive came up. Everybody came up. Nobody'd believe it. Lots of ’em thought they had seen it only a few minutes before. But there was the hole in the velvet—and nothing more to be found." "But does no one know anything? Has no one an idea?” Clara almost panted in her impatience. "Not the ghost of a glimmer of a clue. There were upward of two hun dred of us, and they let us out like a chain-gang, one by one. My number was 193, and so far I can vouch there were no discoveries. It has vanished —sunk out of sight.” Flora sighed. "Oh, poor Bessie Chatworth!" Harry stared at her. lie had the air of a man about to give information, and the air of a man who has thought better of it. His voice consciously shook off Its gravity. ‘'Well, there’ll be such a row kicked up, the proba bility is the thing'U be returned and no questions asked. Purdte's keen— very keen. He's responsible, the exec utor of the estate, you see." But Clara Britton leveled her eyes at him, as if the thing he had pro duced was not at all the thing he had led up to. "Still, unless there was erormous pressure somewhere —and in this case I don't Ree where —I can't see what Mr. Purdie’s keenness will do toward getting it back ” Harry played a little sulkily with the proposition, but he would not pick up the thread he had dropped. “I don’t know that any one sees. The question now is—who took it?” "Why, one of us.” said Flora flip pantly. "Of course, it is all on the Western Addition." "Don't you believe it!” he answered her. “It’s a confounded fine profes sional job. It takes more than sleight of hand —It takes genius, a thing like that! There was a chap in England, Farrell Wand." The name floated in a little silence “He kept them guessing,” Harry went on recalling it; “did some great vanishing acts.” "You mean he could take things before their eyes without people knowing it?" Flora's eyes were wide beyond their wont. "Something of that sort. I remem ber at one of the embassy balls at St. James' he talked five minutes to Lady Tilton. Her emeralds were on wuen be began. Bhe never saw ’eu again.” Flora began to laugh. “He must have been attractive.” "Weil," Harry conceded practically, “be knew his business.” "But you can't rely on those sto ries.” Clara objected. "You must this time," be shook bis tawny head at her; “I give you tuy word; for I was there." It seemed to Flora fairly preposter ous that Harry could sit there looking so matter-of-fact with such experi ences behind him. Even Clara looked a little taken aback, but the effect was only to set ' ar more sharply on. “Then such man could easily have taken the ring in the Maple room this afternoon? You think it might have been the man himself?” His broad smile of appreciation en veloped her. “Oh, you have a Bcent line a bloodhound. You haven't let go of that once since you started. He could have done it —oh. easy—hut he went out eight, ten years ago." ‘‘Died?’’ Flora's rising inflection was a lament. “Went over the horizon—over the r .nge. Believe he died in the col onies.” “Oh." Flora sighed, “then I shall have to fancy he has come back again, just for the sake of the Chatworth ring. That wouldn't be too strange. It's all so strange I keep forgetting it is real. At least," she went on ex plaining herself to Harry's smile, “it seems as if this must be going on a long way off, as if it couldn't bp so close to us, as if the ring I wanted so much couldn’t really be the one that has disappeared.” All the while she felt Harry’s smile enveloping her with an odd. half-protecting watchfulness, but at the close of her sentence he frowmed a little. “Well, perhaps we can find another ring to take the place of It." She felt that she had been stupid where she should t.;vo been most deli cate. "But you don't understand,” she protested, leaning far toward him as if to coerce him with her generous warmth. "The Chatworth ring was nothing but a fancy I had. I never thought of it for a moment as an en gagement ring!" By the light stir of silk she was aware that Clara had risen. She look ed up quickly (o encounter that odd look. Clara’s face was so smooth, so polished, so unruffled, as to appear al most blank, but none the less Flora, saw it ail in Clara's eye—a look that was not new to her. It was the same with which Clara had met the an nouncement of her engagement; the same look with which she had con fronted every allusion to the ap proaching marriage; the same with which she now surveyed the mention of the engagement ring—a look neith er approving nor dissenting, whose calm, considerate speculation seemed to repudiate all interest positive or negative in the approaching event ex cept the one large question, "What is to become of me?” Many times Clara had held it up before her, not as a question, certainly not as an ac cusation; as a flat assertion of fact; but to-night Flora felt it so directly and imperatively aimed at her that It seemed this time to demand an audi ble response. And Clara's way of get ting up, and standing there, with her gloves on, poised and expectant, as if she were only waiting on oportunfty to take farewell, took on, in the light of her look, the fantastic appearance of a final departu: <s. "I’m afraid,” she mildly reminded them, "that Shima announced the carriage ten minutes ago!” "Oh, dear, I'm so sorry!' Flora's eyes wavered apologetically in the di rection of the waiting Japanese. Clara's flicker of amusement made her hate herself the moment it was otft. She could always depend on her self when she knew she was on exhi bition. She could be sure of the right thing if it were only large enough, but she was still caught a! odd mo ments by the trifles, the web of a cer tain social habit into which she had slipped, full-grown on the smooth sur face of her father’s million's. Clara's fleeting smile lit up these trifles to her now as enormous. It took advan tage of her small deficit to point out to her more plainly than ever to what large blunders she might be liable when she had cut loose from Clara's ; guiding, reminding, prompting genius, and chose to confront the world with out it. To be sure, she was not to confront it alone; but, looking at Harry, it came to her with a moment's qualm that she did not know him as well as she thought she had. CHAPTER 11. A Name Goes Round a Table. For to-night, from the moment he had appeared, she had recognized an unfamiliar mood in him. and it had come out the more they had discussed the Chatworth ring. She wondered, as he heaped her er mine on her shoulders, if Harry might not have more surprises for her than she had supposed. Perhaps she had taken him too much for granted. After all, she had known him only for a year. She herself was but three years old in San Francisco, and to her new eyes Harry had seemed an old resident thoroughly established. So firmly es tablished was he in his bachelor quar ters, in his clubs, in the demands made upou uim by the city's society, that It had never occurred to her he had ever lived anywhere else. Nor had he happened to mention anything of his previous life until to-night, when he had given her. in that mention of a London bail, one flashing glimpse of former experiences. Impulsively she summed up the pos sibilities of what these might have been. She gave him a look, incredu lous, delighted, as he handed her into the carriage. She had actually got a thrill out of easy-going, matter-of-fact, well-tubbed Harry! It was comrade ship in itseif. Not that she would have told him. This capacity of hers for thrills she had found need always to keep carefully covered. In the days when she was a shoeless child —those days of her father’s labor in shaft and dump—she had dimly felt her world to be a creature of a keen, a fairly cruel humor, for all things that did not pertain to the essence of the life It struggled for. The wonder of the western flare of day, the magic in the white eyes of the stars before sunrise, the mystery in the pulse of the pound ing mine hoard ir> the dark —of such it had been as ruthless as this new world that looked as narrowly forth at as starved a prospect with even keener ridicule. Instinctively she had turned to both the hard, bright face they required. Fatherless, motherless, alone upon the pinnacle of her fortune, she had known that such an extraordinary en trance, even at this rather wide social portal, would only be acceptable if toned down, glossed over nnd drawn out by a personality sufficiently neu tral, sufficiently potent and sufficiently In need of what she had to give. The successive flickers of the gas lamps through the carriage window made of Clara’s profile so hard and fine a little medallion that it was impossible to conceive it in need of anything. And yet it was just their mutual need that had drawn these two women together, and after three years it was still the only thing that held them. As much of a light as she had put up with the rest —the people who had taken her in —she had put up the hardest with Clara. Yet of them all Clara was tho only one she had failed to capture. Clara was always there in the middle of her affairs, but surveying them from a distance, ace Flora's struggle with her had resolved itself into the attempt to keep her from seeing too much, from seeing more than she her self saw. Their dubious Intimacy had created for Flora a special sort of loneliness —a loneliness which lacked the se curity of solitude; and it was partly as an escape from this that she had accepted Harry Cressy. By herself she could never have escaped. The initiative was not hers. But he had presented himself, he had insisted, had overruled her objections, had captured her before she knew wheth er she wanted it or not —and held her now, fascinated by his very suc cess in capturing her, and by his beau tiful ruddy masculinity. She did not ask herself whether women ever mar- Truly a Remarkable Bird Wonderful Magpie Described by Oliver Goldsmith in Work on Nat ural History. Brander Matthews, the brilliant crit ic, said at a dinner in of a dramatist: “His success Is due to his knowl edge of melodrama, not to his know! edge of the human heart. His knowl edge of the human heart. In fact. Is no profounder than Oliver Goldsmith’s Knowledge of natural history was "Goldsmith’s ignorance didn’t pre vent him writing a very popular natu ral history in one part of it —a part wili give you an idea of the whole— Goldsmith described an Intelligent magpie belonging to a publican named Whiteingstali. "One day while Whltelngstall’s kitchen floor was being cleaned the magpie was considered in the way, and was ordered into bis cage, which bung against the waff. He retired obe diently. "But he had no sooner been shut up than a cock from the neighboring farmyard entered the kitchen and strutted proudly about This so an gered the magpie that he voclf erateJ: " ’Let me out. Mr. Whiteingstali, let me out; I’ll do for him presently!’ "Mr. Whiteingstali let him out and ried for greater reasons than these. She only wondered sometimes if he did not stand out more brilliantly against Clara and the others than he intrinsically was But these moments when she was obliged to defend him to herself were always when he was not with her. Even in the dusky car riage she had been as aware of the splendor of his attraction as now when they had stopped between the high lamps of the club entrance, and she saw clearly the broad lines of his shoulders and the stoop of his square set head as he stepped swingingly to the pavement. After all. she ought to be glad to think that he was g~ ir, g to stand up ns tall and protectingly be between her and the world, as now he did between her and the press of people which, like a tide of water, swept them forward down the hall, sucked them back in its eddy, and finally cast them, ruffled like birds that have ridden a storm, on the more generous apace of the wide, up ward stair. From here. looking down on the current sweeping past them, the little islands of black coats seemed fairly drowned in the feminine sea around them —the flow of white, of pale blue and rose, and the high chatter, like a cage of birds, that for the evening held possession. "Isidies' Night!” Harry Cressy mopped his flushed face. "It's aw ful!” Flora laughed in the effervescence of her spirits. She wanted to know, teaslngly, as they mounted, if this were why he had brought two more to add to the lot. He only looked at her, with his short note of laughter ihat made her keenly conscious of his right to be proud of her. She was proud of herself, inasmuch as her self was shown in the long trail of daring blue her gown made up the stair, and tho powdery blue of the aigrette that shivered in tar bright, soft puffs and curia—proud that her daring, as it appeared in these things, was still discriminating enough to make her right. She could recall a time when she had not even been quite sure of her clothes. Not Clara’s subdued rustle at her side could make her doubt them now; hut her security was still recent enough to be sometimes con scious of Itself. It was so short a time since all these talking groups, that, made a personage of her, hod had the power to put her quite out of countenance. The women who craned over their shoulders to speak to her— how hard she had had to work to make them see her at all! And to-night it was not the picture exhibition, nor the function itself that elated her, but the fancy she had as she looked over the moving mass below her that the crowning excite ment of the day, the vanishing mys tery, hovered over them all. It was (antastic, but it persisted; for had not the Chatworth ring Itseif proved that the most ordinary appearance might cover unlmaglned wonders? Which of those bland, satisfied faces might not change shockingly at tho whisper "Chatworth” in its ear? She wanted to conlldo the naughty thought to Harry. But no, ho wasn’t the one. If Harry were apprehensive of any thing at all it was only of being caught in too hot a crußh. He saw no possibilities in the mob beiow ex cept boredom. He saw no possibil ities In the evening but his conven tional duty; and Flora could read in his eye his intention of gutting through that as comfortably as pos sible. His suggestion that they have a look at the pictures brought the two women's eyes together in a rare gleam of mutual mirth. They knew be sus pected that the picture gallery would be the emptiest place in the club, since to have a look at the pictures was what they were all supposed to be there for. (TO HE CONTINUED.) a combat Immediately ensued. After a few goes the magpie was complete ly worsted. He lay helpless on his back, one leg broken. Then, cocking his eye at his master, he said, calmly: "'Take me up, Mr. Whiteingstali, fake me up, for he has broken my leg ’ " The Slaughter of the Innocents. From 200,000 to 400.000 children in the United States die every year from preventable causes. The chief statis tician of the federal census bureau Is tbe authority for that statement Nearly a fifth are infants under one year of age, and more than a fourth arc children under five years of age. It is the conclusion of an eminent medical authority that the deaths of 47 per cent, of the children may be prevented and that 67 per cent, of the deaths of children between two and eight years are also preventable. There is, therefore, a veritable slaughter of the innocents by ignor ance. Inattention, neglect and poverty. Society is not as well organized as it should be when its infants are thus condemned to death by the whole sale. "Excuse me for looking grouchy this morning,” says the Philosopher of Fol ly, “but a fellow I owned $76 to has just recovered from pneumonia." USING STALE BREAD THE ECONOMICAL HOUSEWIFE FINOS IT ALWAYS HAND/. So Useful That It Is a Good Plan to Buy an Extra Loaf Occasionally to Keep for Drying— Its Many Uses. Besides actual money waste, th* economical housekeeper finds it incon venient not to have stale bread on hand. There it, so much that can be done with it from the stuffing of fowls to the preparation of desserts, that it is a good plan in large families to buy an extra loaf every other day to keep for drying Do not use bread that has not beer carefully dried for crumbs. If allow.ee to get very stale in bread box it fre quently has a musty flavor. Do not on the other hand, brown it in th oven, as it does not make a good eoloi in frying. Put in a cool oven ovet night, and it is usually dry enough iu iho morning to grate or roll. l)o not use crusts for crumbs. Bread is better than rolls or biscuits. While It is provident to have a supply of crumbs in glass jars for emergencies, do not prepare large quantities at once. The flavor is better if crumbs are freshly rolled. Never omit to sift crumbs, whether lolled or run through a grater. Before cooking season with salt and pepper and add dots of butter if not intended for deep fat frying. Another use for stale bread i to make small well browned thin pieces of toast, not too dry, for garnishhig. Bread a day old is best. ToaHt it even ly. and cut off the crusts with a sharp knife to make an even edge. These hits are shaped according to the dish in which they are to be serv ed- long and thin, circles or triangles. Diamonds and round are used under individual dishes, us tomatoes, eggs, Welsh rarebit. Croutons are frequent ly substituted for toast forma. Croutons are rarely well made. There lire several ways of preparing them. They are buttered and brown ed in the oven, fried in and °p fat or tn a skillet with butter or crisped In drip pings. Sizes also differ from the tiny cube a quarter of an inch each way to three Inch long sippets to cat with hoiled eggs. The simplest way to prepare a crou ton Is to cut slices of while bread three quarters of an inch thick. Bet ter lightly on both sides, then cut into three-quarter Inch squares and brown in a skillet over a moderate fire. Turn often. As soon as lightly browned put on browned paper on a colander to drain and keep hot. Serve quickly. Croutons are used with most dear or cream soups, and as a garnish to currys, hash, certain stews, and with poached and fried eggs Toast demands bread at least a day old. Tastes differ widely, some In sisting on it being browned through and crisp, others liking It soft. The best toast is crisp on outside and soft within. Crusts should be removed, slices out about a half Inch thick and of oven size, and tho heat must be regular anti not too intense. Watch carefully and serve at once under a cover or folded In a napkin to retain heat. If toast is to be served buttered, the butter must be soft, spread evenly as soon as bread is removed from toast or, and set for a minute in oven. All breads do not toast alike. That with a dose grain, fine and smooth, is best IHi not prepare large platefnls before a meal or your toast is sure to be unappetizing. A delicious dessert Is made from three-inch cubes of stale bread dipped In an egg batter and fried In a deep ’at. Servo hot with a rich wine sauce. Meat and Rice Bail*. Put % pound each pork steak and round steak through food ehopoer. sal* and pepper to taste, add 1 raw -gg and % cup rice that has been oaked over night In water enough to r-over It. If water Is not all absorbed set on back of stove until absorbed Make Into small round balls. Put can of tomatoes In large kettle, season with salt and pepper. Cut two green peppers In halves, remove seeds, and rinse in cold water. Add to tomatoes, and put in meat balls. 801 l slowly three-quarters of an hour. Last quar ter of an hour mid large tablespoon butter. I)o not thicken gravy. Cay i ntir pepper or chill-sauce may be used when pepper cannot be obtained I Minions when served with corn nuts made by rule that follows: To 1 quart, white cornraeal add 2 tablespoons ba king powder, and a teaspoon salt, and sift well. Add milk to form a stiff iough that, can be shaped Into little rakes. Drop into smoking fat and cock intil delicately browned. TO WASH WHITE SlLK.—After washing carefully in the usual way, add one tablcspoonful of wood alcohol to the rinsing water. It will prevent white silk from becoming yellow. This i recommended by one who has had creat success In laundering white silk garments In this way. TO SET COIiORS. —To set green, blue, lavender and pink colors in wash goods soak In alum water before wash ing. two ounces to a tub of water. Black, dark blue, and gray should be soaked In stromz salted water. Rice Salad. Two cups of well cooked dry rice and equal quantity of apples and celery or cucumbers cubed or run through the meat chopper, salt and red pepper or a chopped green pep per (’over w-ith mayonnaise or cream salad dressing. To Retain Juice In Pie. By inserting a piece of macaroni vertically In the center of a pie yon will retain The juice instead of losing it in the oven, -o by the addition of one-fourth teaspoonful of sugar to your pie crust rule for one pie in sures a nice flaky crest.