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The Bluffton news. [volume] (Bluffton, Ohio) 1875-current, November 30, 1939, Image 7

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THURSDAY, NOV. 30, 1939
THE STORY
W r“
CHAPTER I—Lovely, independent Autumn
Dean, returning home to British Columbia
from abroad without her father's knowledge,
stops at the home of Hector Cardigan, an
old family friend. He tells her that she
should not have come home, that things
have changed. Arriving home at the "Castle
of the Noras," she is greeted lovingly by
her father. Jarvis Dean, who gives her to
understand that she is welcome—for a short
visit. Her mother, former belle named Milli
cent Odell, has been dead for years. Autumn
cannot understand her father's attitude,
though gives him to understand that she is
home for good. She has grown tired of life
England, where she lived with an aunt.
CHAPTER n—Riding around the estate
with her father, Autumn realizes that he has
changed. Between them they decide, how
ever, to give a welcoming dance at the
castle. When
the night of the dance arrives.
Autumn meets Florian Parr, dashing, well
educated young man of the countryside.
Late
In the evening Autumn leaves the
dance, rides horseback to the neighboring
ranch where she meets Bruce Landor, friend
and champion of
her childhood days. He
takes her to see his mother, an invalid. His
father is dead, thought to have killed him
self. As
soon as his mother sees Autumn
she commands Bruce to take her away, that
death follows in the wake of the Odells.
Autumn is both saddened and perplexed
by the Invalid's tirade. Bruce, apologetic,
can offer no reason for his mother’s attitude.
CHAPTER III—AuRimn calls again on
Hector Cardigan—this time to find out the
reason for Mrs. Landor’s outburst. From
his conversation she inferred that Geoffrey
Landor killed himself because he loved
Millicent Dean, her mother. Meanwhile,
Bruce Landor rides to the spot where his
father’s body was found years before. There
he meets Autumn, who, leaving Hector, was
searching for a lost child. Bruce had found
the child, and there Autumn and he talk of
their families. They agree that her mother
and his father loved each other deeply—and
that their love is the cause of present
antagonism.
CHAPTER IV—Florian Parr, at the Castle
for dinner, proposes to Autumn. She re
fuses him. The next day Autumn rides to
ward the Landor ranch. She meets Bruce
to a herder’s cabin. There they declare
their love for each other, and determine to
stand together against everyone who might
come between them.
CHAPTER V—Autumn tells her father
that she is going to marry Bruce. She is
aghast to see his reaction, and is agonized
to hear him whisper that Geoffrey Landor
did not take his own life. He tells her
the story. Millicent, his wife, and Geoffrey
Landor had fallen in love with each other.
But Millicent would not break her mar
riage vows. Meeting Landor one day in a
secluded spot, Jarvis Dean was forced to
fight with him. Landor is accidentally killed
by his own gun.
CHAPTER VI—Autumn knows then that
everything is ended between Bruce and
herself. She goes to call on the Parr family,
where she meets Elinor and Linda, Florian's
sisters. Florian again tells her how much
he loves her. but she pays little attention
to him. She likes the Parr family, includ
ing Florian, but cannot help comparing the
polo-playing, light-hearted youth to Bruce
Landor. Florian is "good company,” but
she feels little real affection for him. He
realizes that, and tells her she will change.
Linda, Florian’s sister, is in love with
Bruce, but to no avail. He pays little at
tention to her.
CHAPTER VII—Bruce attends a party
that night given by the Parrs. Autumn
purposely ignores Bruce. Bewildered, he
cannot understand. Following an accident,
he carries her to the garden, where she
tells him the episode in the herder’s cabin
was merely a game, that she was not her
self. In this way, she believes, she can
forget—and make Bruce forget—their love.
Bruce is stunned by Autumn s actions. He
knows she cannot nave changed overnight,
but is forced to believe that she is not the
same girl who called on him at his cabin.
CHAPTER vm—Months pass, and neither
Bruce nor Autumn can forget each other.
Watching a card game one day. Bruce
overhears a scurrilous remark made about
Autumn. He administers a beating to the
speaker, one Curly Belfort. He is warned
that Belfort will try to even the score.
CHAPTER IX
The Laird had asked old Hector
Cardigan to dinner. It was rarely
these days that Hector was invited
to dine alone with Jarvis Dean. In
the old days he had frequently been
a guest at the Castle, but that, as
Hector knew, had been Millicent's
doing. There had never been any
thing but the most 'cordial relation
ship between the two men, however,
but Jarvis had lived too much to
himself during the years since his
wife’s death.
It was not until “iey had left the
table, however, and had retired to
the drawing room that his host gave
any inkling of what was on his mind.
The Laird had paused in the hallway
and asked whether they would go
to the library or sit in the drawing
room. Hector had not hesitated in
making the choice. The library was
the one spot in the house that be
longed peculiarly to Jarvis Dean.
The drawing room, on the other
hand, had been Millicent’s and held
still some lingering aroma of her
presence there. Besides, Hector’s
hand had done its best in making
the room what it was.
“Of course,’’ Jarvis said, when
Hector had expressed his prefer
ence. “I might have known. Go in
and sit down. I’ll fetch the brandy.”
And now the two men sat on op
posite sides of the empty fireplace,
their old-fashioned brandy glasses in
their hands, pledging each other’s
health in stately and ancient fash
ion. The Laird trimmed and lighted
a cigar, turning it round and round
in his fingers as he contemplated it
pensively. Hector drew a cigarette
from his own case and lighting it,
extinguished the match and placed
it carefully on the tray beside him.
“It isn’t often,” the Laird began,
“that I ask a man to help me con
sider my private affairs.”
“It isn’t often you have required
the advice of another,” Hector en
couraged.
Jarvis blew a thick cloud of smoke
from his lips and sighed heavily.
“That’s a polite remark, sir,” he
said as if he were talking to him
self, “but it’s a prodigious lie, just
the same.”
Hector knew his host. To be
called a liar by Jarvis Dean was no
offense, unless the mood itself
were an offensive one.
"I know of no law against a man
being polite to his host,” Hector
countered.
“There ought to be, then,” said
the Laird. “A man would be bet
ter off if he heard the truth now and
then, even across his own dinner
LOVE
MARTHA OSTENSO
table.”
Hector coughed lightly. “The av
erage man is no better off, sir, no
matter where he hears the truth.”
Jarvis seemed to consider that
matter for a moment, then dusted
the gray ash lightly from the end
of his cigar. “Have you heard about
this fracas in old Sandy’s back room
a night or two ago?” he asked
abruptly.
“I was told about it,” Hector ad
mitted cautiously.
“Aye and the whole country
knows about it. It’s a dirty busi
ness.”
“But one over which we have lit
tle control, I’m afraid.”
Jarvis’ look sharpened. “We have
something to say on what brought
it about,” he said. “In my day a
young woman’s name—if she was
a lady—wasn’t mentioned in such a
place.”
“I have no doubt young Landor
feels much the same about it—even
in these days.”
“That’s not the point, sir. In my
day a young woman gave no rea
son for having her name bandied
about over a poker table.”
“The times have changed, it
seems,” Hector murmured.
“It’s our own fault, then. We’ve
let these youngsters get out of hand
with their racing about the country
in automobiles and their abominable
cocktails and the like. Where is it
going to stop?”
Hector sighed, half-amused, and
yet thoroughly aware of what was
troubling the Laird’s mind.
“They’ll probably all marry and
settle down and have children of
their own to plague them in their
turn,” he said lightly.
Jarvis leaned forward in his chair
and looked fixedly at his guest. “I
want your opinion about that girl of
mine,” he said frankly. “What’s
she like?”
Hector smiled. “She’s your own
daughter, sir,” he replied. “You
ought to know her better than I.”
“I don’t. She was never anything
but a child to me—until now. Since
she came back, she’s been a stran
ger in the house. More than half
the time she’s not here at all. She’ll
be back here tonight from the Parr
Lodge—not alone, either, I’ll war
rant—and the place will be like bed
lam until she goes again.”
Hector got up and tossed his cig
arette into the empty maw of the
fireplace. He walked to the French
windows and looked out upon the
garden that glowed palely under
summer starlight.
“I have been wondering about the
girl,” he said at last. “I have talked
with her, too. She is not happy.”
“Happy?” Jarvis grunted. “What
does she want that she cannot
have?” But his eyes were hall
closed in self-concealment.
“She hasn’t told me that,” Hec
tor replied. “I can only guess, at
best.”
“What’s your guess, then?”
Hector returned to his seat and
selected another cigarette. “It is
my opinion, Jarvis, that the girl has
been in love—ever since she came
back here.”
The Laird frowned. There was no
escaping the meaning of Hector’s
words. “You mean—this young Lan
dor.”
“Certainly,” said Hector.
Jarvis shrugged impatiently.
“Puppy-love!” he exclaimed. “She’ll
get over that—if she isn’t already
over it.”
Hector looked steadily at the Laird
for a moment without speaking.
“What you see,” he said at last, his
voice very low, “is probably the
process by which she hopes to get
over it. And it would not surprise
me to learn that she finds it as
painful as you do.”
“Tommyrot!” the Laird exploded.
“You have asked my opinion,”
Hector said with dignity, “and I
am giving it.”
“If I thought there was anything
to that,” the Laird replied, “I’d sell
up and get out—and take her with
me.”
“I know you would,” Hector ob
served, “—and accomplish noth
ing.”
“What do you mean by that, sir?”
Hector smiled patiently at the
Laird. “You ought to know the
breed better than to ask that,’’ he
said. "If Millicent’s daughter is in
love, there’s very little that either
you or I can do about it, I think.”
There followed a long silence at
the end of which Jarvis helped him
self to another drink and poured one
for his guest. They toasted each
other as cordially as if there had
been no disagreement between
them, and then the Laird turned
abruptly to talking of things that
left no room for difference of
opinion.
It was almost midnight when Au
tumn finally came home, bringing
Linda Parr with her to stay for a
few days at the Castle. The girls
came upon the two old men seated
before the fireplace, their brandy
glasses in their hands, their eyes
grown heavy from sitting up long
past their time for bed.
“Why, Da—we had no idea you’d
be waiting for us at this hour!”
Autumn exclaimed, after greetings
had gone around. “You should have
been in bed hours ago.”
She laid aside her hat and gloves
as she spoke and seated herself in
one of the Queen Anne chairs, her
feet curled,
ud.
under her,. her el­
bow resting on the arm of the chair,
her chin pressed against her palm.
Linda sat near her, comically
prim, her hands folded in her lap,
her feet placed very precisely on
the floor—the image of discreet pro
priety.
“The hour is no later for me than
it is for you, my girl,” Jarvis re
plied, his voice betraying a little im
patience as he spoke.
“But we’re used to it, Mr. Dean,”
Linda offered with a smile.
“So I have been informed," said
the Laird. “Are you young ladies
“But we’re used to it, Mr. Dean.”
aware that your conduct is creating
a deal of talk in the district?”
Autumn smiled. “You’re not both
ering your head, Da, over what the
gossips have to say about—”
“I’m bothering my head about
you, my girl,” he interrupted her.
“Do you know that your name was
the center of a scandalous brawl in
the back room of a dive in Kam
loops the other night?”
“We’ve heard all about it, Da,”
Autumn replied. “It was simply
absurd.”
“But piquant,” Linda put in.
“Belfort is a beast,” Autumn went
on.
“A girl with any respect for her
self doesn’t give a beast any excuse
for talking,” her father observed.
Autumn checked her rising anger.
“There were four of us in the par
ty—Lin and I, and Florian and a
friend of his,” she explained. “We
were coming home along the high
way from Ashcroft. We got started
later than we had intended and when
w’e got as far as Belfort’s ranch the
car broke down. While the boys
worked on the car, Lin and I went
to sleep in a haystack close to the
road. Belfort towed us to a garage
about seven o’clock in the morning.”
“Or we should have been there
still,” Linda added.
“And that’s all there is to the
story,” Autumn concluded.
“I accept your account on its mer
its,” Jarvis Dean said, “but it ex
plains nothing. The whole esca
pade was a scandal and an out
rage, whether Belfort had anything
to do with it or not. There’ll be
no repetition of the like, my girl,
if you are to remain in my house!”
Hector Cardigan remained silent,
but every now and then a profound
sigh escaped him which was to Au
tumn singularly audible above the
deep and vehement tones of her fa
ther’s voice.
Linda Parr had turned large and
wondering eyes upon the Laird. “It’s
probably not my place to speak, Mr.
Dean,” she ventured, “but the whole
affair was quite accidental and we
regret it quite as much as you do.
We probably regret it more, since
it was we who had to sleep out. On
the other hand, young people are
quite capable of taking care of
themselves nowadays.”
Autumn was amazed at Linda’s
sudden garrulity. At the quick glare
of the old man’s eyes, however, the
girl ceased abruptly, and biting her
lip, looked rather hopelessly toward
Autumn.
“I’ll not have my daughter’s name
bandied about the country as though
she were a common strumpet!” the
Laird roared, and brought his hands
down resoundingly upon the arms
of his chair.
Linda got to her feet with char
acteristic languor, and begging to
be excused, left the room and went
upstairs. Autumn surmised, with a
cynical affection for the girl, that it
was the desire for a cigarette that
sent her off, rather than any marked
distaste for the scene.
“You are carrying on quire un
necessarily, Father,” Autumn ob
served quietly when Linda had gone.
“It isn’t good for you—and I’m sur
prised that you should treat such a
simple situation so seriously.”
“Simple? Simple?” Jarvis was al
most inarticulate. “Have you no
sense of decency, girl? You put
yourself in a position where men en
gage in a brawl over you in a gam
bling dive—and you call that sim
ple!”
“I have tried to explain to you,
Father, that it was an accident,”
Autumn persisted. “We were miles
from anywhere. What on earth
were we to do, at three o’clock in
the morning?”
The Laird drew himself up and
his nostrils flared in the magnifi
cence of his indignation. “You had
no business being there—or any
where else but in your bed at three
o’clock in the morning. And I’ll
have no more of it!”
Autumn’s eyes narrowed. She
glanced sharply at Hector, who was
slumped wearily in his chair. “What
do you propose to do, Father?” she
asked finally in a cold voice. “Keep
me under lock and key?”
A dull flush lay like a sultry shad
ow on the old man’s cheekbones.
Aptumn knew that her words had
started the ripples of an old and
cruel memory in the depths of his
consciousness, and for a moment
she was sorry for what she had
sajjL______
THE BLUFFTON NEWS, .UFFTON, OHIO
For some moments Jarvis did not
reply to her question. Then, his
mouth grimly set. he pronounced
his ultimatum. “You will conduct
yourself from now on like a lady—
or back you go to where you came
from! I’ll not have the Dean name
made the cause of drunken brawls
in public dives!”
Autumn got angrily to her feet. In
that moment, all the wretchedness
of those long summer weeks came
back upon her, those weeks of striv
ing to tear the love of Bruce Landor
from her heart, and instantly her
regret for the pain she was causing
her father retreated.
She confronted him now with
wide, blazing eyes. “The Dean
name!” she said. “That’s what’s be
hind all this! It isn’t what will hap
pen to me that you are thinking
about. You know I can look after
myself. I’ve done it for years with
out giving you anything to worry
about. But the Dean name must be
defended! It hurts your pride to see
it defended by Brace Landor. You
have been living in the past so long
that it’s more real to you and more
important to you than your own
daughter. Well, let me tell you, Da
—I don’t give a damn for a name
that needs defending. I’ve suffered
what you will never know—ever
since I came back—defending the
Dean name. I can’t go on—I won’t
go on! Let the name of Dean—”
The Laird was on his feet instant
ly, his huge frame trembling with
emotion. “Stop it!” he cried. “Stop
it! You’ve gone far enough. You’ve
gone—far—enough!
Autumn stood for an instant star
ing at him. He seemed to have
gone suddenly feeble, defeated. He
turned away from her and stretched
his hand out to support himself by
the mantelpiece. His body appeared
to crumple forward, to sag and
dwindle as though shrinking from a
blowr. In that moment Autumn’s
compassion for him rose again, and
her impulse was to go to him and
throw her arms about him in an ef
fort to make peace between them.
But Hector was already beside him
and was weaving her away. She
turned silently and left the room.
(To be continued)
Elrose
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Rev. T. J. Koontz, wife and son
Bobbie of Walbridge, spent Thursday
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PAGE SEVEN
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