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v : THE ONLY VAY-TO DO By Walt Gregg A Wedding That Just Had to Happen i " i i in i s Si o. U i ii RAVELY Eva Farson drew the thin white goods through her fingers and looked at it, while Miss Jones, the elderly saleswoman who had known Eva ever V since she was baby, waited patiently. It was twenty cents a yard and certainly it was sheer and pretty. The regular price was forty cents, but there was only a dress length left, so Mr. Potter had marked it down. But-it was hardly the stuff Y girl would choose for a wedding dress had the girl the power of choosing better. Era's lips pretty, wistful red lips ' quivered slightly. Then in quick pride he held then firm. Eliza- Jones, though not an unkindly person, had an -eager and garrulous tongue, and Eva had no desire to have her plaintive mood de scribed for the town's pity. Pity, indeed t She was not to be pitied, when she was going to marry Harry, who some day was going to be the greatest civil en gineer in the world though just at present he was selling pumps on a very tin justly small commission. And not many people seemed to need pumps. And DONATING FOR SERVICE OBERT PHILLIPS dismissed his secre tary with a few word about her taking th afternoon to do sons shop ping; and with head that ached till he scarcely knew or cared he gaaed at picture that rested on the top of his desk. It was beauti ful little portrait in a silver-frame. The face that looked so hindly and sweet was the face of his mother, wonderful woman, whose countenance one loved to look upon. For minutes he looked into those eye as a young mother does her first-born, and over and over again he muttered, "My mother, my own dear mother." Somehow the words consoled him ; they were just what he needed. He was so exhausted that he needed some thing more than he ever did anything in his whole Iifev- Just once had he been so weary as he r A LITTLE QUARREL AFE and Grace Wil . eoa wer quarrel ing infrequently, but when they did quar rel it wasloud and fierce and heartrend ing. They had been married three years. They lived in a rath er stuffy four-room fit V and the two-year-old baby was teething. 'Grace's nerves had been a edge from lack of sleep for three days. .Laf and his fore man at the machine shop wer on the outs, so be was not in a good humor. Like many wiser and better drctlm stanced pairs, they found a certain vi cious satisfaction in takuig their discom fort out on each other. 1 Grace said something. Afterward she didn't remember what By that time Lafc had finished break fast and was hustling out the back door. With the foreman in his present humor lafe was taking no chances on being Tate for work. So without turning he to LOVE LETTERS THAT WIN - r irlatod by K P. C "Vj Y Owa Dear t "V JT It ... .11 . horrible 1 mistake yoa must know that I I love no on but you and I love you so I When t saw you leaving latt night because yoa thought I had not been true toyou and loved another oh, my dear one, my heart went out to you, and I tried to call you back, but it was useless yoa left me and now my heart is breaking ! Darling, I can not live' without you you are my life, my all come back, come back to met Tell me, dear, that it has all been a hideous dream and that We are to be together and bo gloriously happy again. Oht I can Dot wait I love you now and al ways. I am yours forever, ELS A. rontrilatrd by 1. O. L, My Dear Utile Blossom I am dying it was not that Harry would care what she wore when she married him. Harry never yet had known what she had on. He was too busy studying and figuring and planning and talking labout the fu ture, v But it was hard to be scarcely able, to afford this cheap dimity. And it was hard er, because at that very moment Helen Porter, daughter of old Abe Porter, who owned this, the largest dry goods store in the small town, was standing farther down the aisle examining samples of far different wedding gdwa material. An obsequious drummer spread them out for her. Only samples. For, though her father's store held what other women considered an excellent stock, Helen, who was rather spoiled, could find noth ing in it ta suit her fastidious - young taste, In spit of Miss Jones sharp eyes, Eva could not keep her envious glance from the heap ol small white and cream samples. It was tantalizing, heart ach ing display. "Ten yards r suggested Miss Jones, gently, in spite of her sharp eyes. "It will make op sweet, Eva." "Eight yards," sighed poor Eva. "I can make that do." Helen's voice just then came clearly ww now, and that was when, in his last year at ths university, he had worked so desperately hard tor th biggest prise, that of wonderfully bound set of Shakspersx He won it, of course; but then he had his mother to encourage him. Now things were different ; he was "plugging for himself" in the East and she was in the far West, and 'only the day before he had news that his chum (the best fellow in the world) had tact with an accident at the camp, where he was training to go "over there," and com to think of it, it was 10 months tine he had heard from Marjori. Placing his hands la his pockets, he paced, back and forth la the small office. occasionally stopping ' In front of the window which bore : th tig "Robert Phillips, Attorn'ey-at-Law." Shucks I After all, why wasn't he store clerk, a banker, a baseball player or anything other than he was? And hang the doctors! Why didn't they past him for the army? AU his friends were called back, "1 regret single life and its pleasures just a much as you dot" "Very well P furiously called Grace. "Very well f sneeringly called back Lafe from the stair down which be was' hustling. , The baby was creeping - after him, missing the usual morning toss and tum ble, Grace crossly swept out to the porch, gathered her up wailing, turned and looked straight , into th wide, animated eye of a womaa. across the court be tween the flights of stairs. It was a forty-eight flas building. Sh .knew the woman's name Mrs. Evaeson but had only a bowing acquaintance with her. She was a handsome, trim woman. One knew intuitively that she was 'a Con trolled woman, and that her horn ran smoothly and pleasantly. , Sh had a pleasant cultured forehead, and her house dress vas rather expensive dimity, with Valenciennes cuffs. Grace was immediately conscious "of her far 'from fresh percale house dress. to tee yoa again, dying to clasp yoa t my heart and press those sweet, rosy lips. For I love you dearest, lov yoa better than anything in the world. With out yoa my life would be useless. But with "my loved one" it would be all hap piness. For yoa are the light of my heart I can not live without you., O, when shall I have th right to call yoa my own, my own sweet tittle blossom. I am anxiously waiting your reply with a heart full of love aad many kisies, From yoor devoted JACK. O , . Oatifkated by i. B. i. " Dearest Willianv I am sitting by my window looking out upon the starry night and the moonlit garden, and dreaming, sweetheart of yoa. What a beautiful night it is, the moon light throwing its silver rays opoa the garden below, and amid the quietness of it all I can not help but think of yoa, dear, so near and yet to far ( it seems this night was just saad for low. down the aisle. : "This faille is a bit heavy, don't you think ? Then, pettishly, "but this messaline is hardly the right shaded Oh, I don't know, charmeuse, has got to be so common I But haven't ' you a sample a trifle creamier? Still meditatively "with the lace draped over it" With the eight yards of twenty cent dimity In a tight little bundle Under her arm Eva marched out of the store. And as she marched her heels same down hard. It wasn't fair I ' She loathed dim ity, anyway. Slimpsy, .flat falling stuff! Cheap stuff! 1 She was not in good humor when Harry swung around that evening, radi ant with affection and hope and gpod spirits in general Rather listlessly she embroidered While he and her uncle talked the country's prospects over and also their own. - It was hard, though, to remain listless while Harry talked. He had a resonant, hopeful voice, and he had abounding be lief in himself. Eva presently found herself making botchy stitches because of listening ta him. And then she jumped. .1 "If yon want a thing, get out and get It," he was saying energetically. .- "Oh, rats!" in gay rebuttal of her uncle's reitaM3"t;2 there, and that's where his place was. But then and his mind ran back to three years before, when he had hurt himself SO seriously playing football on his college team. It was a miracle he still lived, and he was glad he was spared for his mother's sake, and tit ter's, and. yes. perhaps perhaos Mr- vjorie still cared; but well, yes, he would, again he would write. Peering out through the window with those thoughts still in his mind, Robert, or "Bob," as' he was generally called, no tieed a young lady dressed in purple and dark furs carefully crossing the slushy street. Something in her carriage at tracted him more than he had been at .tracted for some months before, in fact since he had come East ' Could it be? No, he was dreaming! As he gazed to catch a last glimpse of her his telephone rang. - "Hang telephones! I'll let it ring." . 'It rang again! and yet again, and final ly, tiring of its jingle, Bob stepped to But Then her face flamed. The woman Everson had that calm, haughty mien that would be a chill rebuke to such con fidence. Grace ft,lt smalt and miserable thought, Grace fairly grabbed the baby into the bouse and sat down to brood. Of course, Mrs. Everson thought that .the and Lafe were quarreling aw fully and likely Would divorce each oth er, when nothing of the kind would hap pen I She loved Lafe and she knew very well that he loved her and their quarrels never lasted over a day and a half, and oh I She simply detested cool, cultured women who ttood and stared inquisitively and eagerly. Then weeks of discomfort began for Grace. When on Sunday afternoon she end Lafe, strolling out met Mrs. Ever son face to face, Grace flushed and was irritated. She read curiosity in the oth er's calm gaze condemning curiosity. She knew, at well as if she was avidly reading the papers for the first news of their coming divorce. But she couldn't go over to the woman and ex Suddenly I feel your dear strong arms closing about me, yoa draw me to you, and hark! Yes, 'tis your dear voice I hear. "Sweetheart tell me that yoa lov me, that you will be mine now and forever," and I hear a faint echo, "Yes, dear William, I love yoa with alt my heart and, oh, to think of the blitt of being yours, just living for yoa, what a happy world this is." Your arms gripoie tightly but tender ly, and yoa drw me closer within your loving arms as yon press your dear lips oa mine in a fond carets. ' I dose my eyes and the world is empty but for us I hear the crickets and other night sounds echoing the same tune, and my heart beats time to that tune of "He love me, William loves me." o ' ' Coatrlboted ir L C JL Oh, Jack, how my heart yearns for yoa! The day have seemed an eterni ty sine yoa left Come, oh come back ' drawled -skepticism as to the possibility of' always doing this. "There's always a way to get anything." Across the cen ter table his eyes laughed love 'at Eva There were times when Eva pitied all other HHdes because they weren't going to be brides to Harry. But now her eyes grew bright with another emotion .than "love. Wel! She'd do it! She'd get .herself a wedding dress that would be a dress and not a slimpsy, stuffy rag! She'd work,' . . ' v Her white forehead was a network of tense lines, and when Harry jumped up to go, saying he had to leave onaii early morning train, she was still frown ing thoughtfully. And she only half heard him tell of the prospects of telling four pumps that awaited him in the next county. The next day she started. She al ready had work. She kept books for her uncle's small feed Store. 'He paid what he could. It was not so, much by a few dollars as she could have got in one of the town's other stores. But he and Aunt Hannah were too good to her for her to dream of getting other work. Now, though, she made her wedding sewing an excuse for taking an after noon off now and then, and it was Aunt Hannah herself who- wondered if she How One Thousand Filled the Sill the desk, and with an impatient voice, jerked out "Hello." Much to Bob's surpnse the deep, rich voice that asked for him was no other than his "pal Carl Gardner, the same who was ilL Having visions of his friend dying In a hospital, Bob was in deed surprised, but delightfully so. When all was normal again, Carl In vited his old chum to dinner at his sis ter's with him that same evening. And, Bob," said the friend, "Sis is planning on a large donation from you for some war relief fund. O, I forgot the most Important part some young lady, a col lege chum of my sister's, is going to talk on "Red Cross Work" "after dinner, so be prepared. The truth of it is, some folks are coming, and Sis has planned an entertainment and then the talk. So old chap, come." .Thus it was that Bob forgot his broken down spirits, and aft er planning when and where to meet his chum, hung up the receiver far happier than he had been for a week. All Well That Ends plain that there was to be no divorce 'that she and Lafe had a habit of saying violent things that they didn't in the least mean No, she simply couldn't - Mrs. and ill bred, for well bred folks, of course, did not quarrel loudly on their back porch right in sight and hearing of forty-eight neighbors. ' It is not comfortable to feel inferior to a woman whom you meet several times a week. An ugly little ill-tempered line began to take permanent form be tween Grace's sleek brown eyebrows, but she did not quarrel any more with Lafe even when one hj-jt night he came home in an execrable temper, and she happened to be in an execrable mood herself. She merely looked sullenly at him and sullenly retreated to bed, leav ing him the evening to do with as "he pleased. He was pleased to spend it ,if) a pool-room. But they made up befoVe next day's breakfast t And Grace looked across defiantjy in the course of the morning when she and Mrs, Everson happened to be out tSn Dan Cupid Makes Good In Writing to me. Hold me again in yodr arms and let me tell you what I've never toldj be fore, that f love you. Jack ; yes, love lyou more than I knew. I have only realized now how much you mean to me. To think of your arms about me and fout love kisses on my lips tendt a wild I hrilL of joy turging through my body. Prett me again to your heart and tell maf you love me. JOSEPHINE. ' o Coatrlbated by Tf. ft. My Dearest Bertha Just think, Ber tha, we have known each other fibr over 70 years, yet this is the first lett :r ever passed between us. You were r ty first playmate and my first and only U. ve. My heart must have been awful faint since in all these years i ncverhad tme cour age to tell yoa of my love for iou. It is not at aH strange, thenA that 1 have never married, but it dock seem strange that yoa should have reenained single. Caa yoa recall the many! times couldn't sell cakes and jellies at the local woman's exchange. Eva certainly thought she could, and she did. More over, she took care of babies while their parents went to theaters; she did small odd sewing jobs for different friends; she helped Mabel Binns, of the millinery shop, on Saturday afternoon; she sold two pieces of old jewelry that a great grandmother had left her'; she- ironed for Aunt Han's friend, Mrs. Grady, when sha burned ber hand; she wrote' and dunned a schoolmate for $2 loaned years before! she straightened a tangled bit of bookkeeping for an old friend of her uifble's. . , , "For the love of hetrven, am I ever go ing to see you again? demanded Harry the third time he came to town-between business trips and found her engaged. Ev pursed her lipsbut she did not tell him what she was doing. She was rather ashamed of the $2, anyway. She had just received it, with a friendship destroying note. And she wondered. . But hert pile of dollars grew tediously but steadily. (And she found herself dreaming of white satin. Miss Jones told her one day that there were eight yards at a bargain. Helen Porter had sent for it and tjien young Carter had been ordered to South Amer With hurried step Bob walked to the car and reached his aunt's home much mora good humoredly than he left in the morning. - After carefully made toilet the young attorney quickly reached the sta tion, where his friend was waiting, who, although going back to amp in a. week, still looked very pale and worn. N The ride tq Carl's sister, Mrs. Vance, was short; but especially so did it seem to the two pals as they talked of old times, and Carl related interesting tales of "army life." On reaching the little home, to se cluded and cozy, Bob found his friend's sister just as cordial as in the old days back home, and as for her husband, he was friendliness personified.'' "But tell us. Bob, how you are, and how you spend your spare time," said Mrs. Vance," with a twinkle in her eye. Bob noticed the mischievous glance she tossed toward the door and wondered. Just as he started to tell about-his Well their respective porches .at th . same time. Lett her think what she chose I What if she and Lafe did quarrel! 'It Was nobody's business, and they didn't mean it! But her face crimsoned and her eyes fell before the other's. There was no denying it Grace felt that life was soured as long as that woman lived in the same building. Either the Ever sons or the Wilsons would move as soon as the lease terminated. It was hateful, irritating, unbearable. Grace finally quit bowing to her, elab orately pretending never to see her. But she had an agonizing vision of the words that the other was scattering around to the other women in the building. , She felt as though their privacy was gone that all their home life was laid bare to unfriendly amused eyes and ears. She heard two women at the end of the court saying in shrill delight one morn ing, "I heard they already . separated twice," nd the other said: "He looks like a brute!" Herself and Lafe, of course I Grace was frantic during our childhood that we have vow ed to get married just as soon we "growed up big"? I am about as big 'now. Bertha, as I ever expect to get; in fact 1 am beginning ' to grow small again, so I am -afraid that the present time is the 8nly chance we will ever have to carry out our contract - I have taken many trips of late on my' train of thoughts down through my past life and when I get to the end of the line I find' myself with Bertha, making mud-pies, and very, very happy. It won't be long. Bertha before we will both be in our second childhood; come and let as spend i( together again. Your loyal sweetheart, TOM. ' o Ceatrfbated by II. H. E. My Dear One You are my first love and you shall be my last one. I think of yon by day and dreany of you by night It seems only yesterday that you Dressed your dear lips to mine. Don't ica so suddenly that Helen had no time "Why? I told you last night If I got to have if made up, but had been mar-., the chance to go. with young Carter to rieJ in her street suit. -Eva might have Soifth America as assistant that it would been more pleased, for it vas a beauti- be at a minute's notice. But von are all ful, lustrous piece, had she not beeli 'ready, aren't you? You've done nothing so very tired. But she told Miss Jones but sew for months Jast you must have to lay it away until next day. , i ' five trunks." . . i ' Eva went to sleep that night while "Oil!" Eva gasped again r-. then she Harry talked to her. Whereupon Harry laughed and tried to explain! then she went to his hotel. Eva got up at 4 cried aird tumbled her old clothe into a o'clock to finish Some jumpers forMYs. trunk. , Gardy's grandchildren. She was making "We' can buy some in town," advised them up for fifteen cents each, and when Harry. "Oh, white satin? Say, I never she had eight made she could 'get the did like that stiff stuff. Where's that lace. ' ., ; blue cloth skirt and white shirt waist of As slfe got Into bed she""sleepily tried -yours you wear mBst of the time?" to remember what it was Harry was tell-J "Oh, not that," gasped Eva. "Oh, ing her. Something -about him having to WCH, I don't suppose it makes any dif gb in a hurry. ' ' fcrence as long as you" with a Aunt Han awakened her early to fin1- blush. ish the jumpers. Aunt Han bad ac- "It just made me sick," Helen Porter quiird a guilty, remorseful air. If she Carter later confided on the. steamer, hadn't had that feyer Eva would have "My lovely white satin that I couldn't th money. Eva would not listen to that. sel l)ut men " though, but she did wonder while she ..oh men augi,ed Eva. And' then made buttonholes what Harry-said. she sighed over the was'te4 time and At 8 o'clock he called her up and then in radiant content at the blue wa wanted to know if she could be ready ter3 j front of her, while at the other and packed by 3 that afternoon. end of the deck Harry resonantly ex- "Why?" gasped Eva, with a feeling plained to young Carter that the only that she ought to know. way to get a. thing done Is to do it - miserably spent day, however, a vision in purple appeared. "May I present" but Mrs. Vance got no farther, for Boh had- rushed across the roof, and exclamations of "Bob," "Mane," were heard, and the two friends, separated for a year, were to gether once more. "Surprise," yelled Carl, wTio had re spectfully retired to the next room. It. didn't take long to forgive Marjo rie for not writing because' she had never received an answer to her last let ter; and after all Bob was to blame, al though he swore he answetcd the letter and would find oat where it was if it cost him a trip to Washington. And so the friends all dined together in a healthy, happy way. When the din ner was over the rest of the guests ar rived Marjorie was called upon first to talk. With glovfng eyes she told of the needs of the Red Cross; that sacrifices Impetuously she changed her dress and ran down the back ttairt aud up the Stairs across the court to Mrs. Everson'j back door. She would tell her! She would tell her a lot of things! She would but after knocking she stepped hastily back. What was she hearing? Mrs Everson was saying coldly. "That is all very well! But you can't talk to me that way, John EversouT And the next moment John Everson banged open the door, strode haughtily past Grace, who shrank against the partition, "strode down the stairs, calling back fiercely: "Do as you please, Ella ! A divorce will suit me as well is you!" The next moment Mrs. Everson, flushed, tearful, angry, taw Grace, who was too stunned to. move, and besides, couldn't get away without being seen. At first Mrs. Everson looked angry and humiliated. Hut she smiled shyly ; then she put her dainty white apron to her eyes- and said wa'rmly : "I won dered if you ever were going to run over and see me! Come-in." By you ever think of the past of one whom you left broken-hearted? If I could only look once more into your sweet blue eyes and have you pui your dear arms around me; my heart is breaking and I am dying for you. Wherever I may go my thoughts- ill be of you, dear; but perhaps we wiH meet in that land beyond, so God be with yon until we meet again. FLORENCE ' 0 Ceatrlbatca by B. 6. Dear, Mother of Mine How proud you were when I marched away. The light of joy shone more brightly from your eyes than did the tear-drops on your cheekt. I fas' strong and well then, but now, dear mother, I can not even write this leter, but must send you the feelings of my heart by another hand. The good old doctor smiles and tells me, "We'll fight 'and win," but I know, I feel, I can not,live very long. By Elsie Emms must be made for thote in the "service," and ifmen could not enlist they could at least donate toward the- wonderful work. . As she ended her "talk" Marje slipped from her belt the dear old Stars and Stripes and, waving them far above her head, sang the "Star Spangled Banner," the others joining in on the chorus. Needless to say everyone gave toward the fund generously and, congratulating the speaker, listened to the entertain ment, bubhliug over with patriotism and new zeal for the work to be accom plished for humanity. ' , After the guettt had departed and quiet reigned once more Bob had a "talk" witlMarjorie. ltwould be tell ing tales to repeat what was 'said, but this much I wiH tell : Marjdrio thanked Bob for the donation ($1,000), he gave, and Bob, well, tli little fairy that sat in-the corner said she heard him thank Marje for giving herself to one "robert Phillips Attorncy-at-Law." By Harold Hass But Grace, in c tr.baTrassmrnJ, watered, "I I " She was at an utter loss for, words. A pink glow spread over Mrs. Ever- . son's face, hut she managed to say, gay- ly enough: "You heard? Well, I m glad it is you and not some other women in this building some who can talk. Mer cy, how they can talk ! My John," laugh ing softly, "was angry. So'm -L But John never ttays angry long. Nor. do I." ' - , Grace, too, began to laugh shyly. "Aren't quarrels hateful?" she said. "I wow every time I'll never quarrel again." "Sodo I," eagerly confided Mrs. Ev erson. "But somehow I get irritated or John does and, whew ! But I guess most husbands and wives are the same I Are you canning many raspberries?" "Not any," said Grace. "Lafe never eats raspberries. But he can get away with a bushel of cherries." "John, too," sighed Mrs. Everjon af fectionately. Contributors ,Do not weep, mother, but jst think of -daddy. How glad he will be to welcome his soldier boy, who like him fouglit for the Start and Stripes. . Though it is glorious jo fight in a just war for our flag anf country, pray, mother darling, that peace shall come. War is not only the thundering of can non, the sizzling of bullets; no, it it what follows the bloody battlefield, the deserted homes, the broken hearts. You have always been my only sweet heart mother, and now the thought of- v you gives me courage through the days of pain and the nights of agony. I dare not tell you how I am maimed. Why make your poof' heart Lleed? I would give much to see your dear sweet face again, mother dear, but I hear the bugle Calling. I must Answer the rollcall where never an "absent" was heard, and daddy and I will wait for you near the one that heals all wounds. Your dying, boy. ROBERT.