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STORY My Lady of Doubt By Randall Parrish Author of "Loom Undmr Firm,'* **My Lady of thm North** and othmr Korin ILLUS TRA TIONS B Y HENRY THIEDE Coy/rltfbt, A. C. MoCluru A Co., UiL 17 BYNOPBIB. Major Lawrence, son of Judge Law rence of Virginia, whose wife was a Lee, Is sent on a perilous mission by Gen. Washington, lust after the winter at Val ley Forge. Disguised In a British uni form Lawrence arrives within the enemy's lines. The Major attends a ifreat fete and saves the "Lady of ’Jtfie Blended Rose” from mob. He later meets the girl at a brilliant ball. Trouble is started over a waltz, and Lawrence is urged by his partner. Mistress Mortimer (The Lady of the Blended Rdse). to make his escape. Lawrence Is detected as a spy by Captain Grant of tho British Army who agrees to a duel. The duel Is stopped by Grant’s friends and the spy makes a dash for liberty, swimming a river following a nar row escape. The Major arrives at the shop of a blacksmith, who is friendly, and knows the Lady of the Blended Rose. Captain Grnnt and rangers search black smith shop In vain for the spy. Lnw rence Joins the minute men. Grant and his train are captured by the minute men. Lawrence Is made prisoner by an Indian and two white men. who lock him In a strong cell. Peter advises Lawrence not to attempt to escape as "some one” would send for him. Grant's appearance adds mystery to the combination of cir cumstances. again meets the Lady of the Blended Rose, who Informs him that he Is In her house: and that she was In command of tho party that cap tured him. Tho captive Is thrust into a dark underground chamber when Captalp Grant begins a search of the premises. After digging his way out, Lawrence finds the place deserted. Evldenec of a battle and a dead man across the thres hold. Col. Mortimer, father of the of the Blended Rose, finds his home in ruins. Capt. Grant Insists that Lawrence be strung up at once. Mias Mortimer ap pears. explains the mystery and Law rence Is held a prisoner of war. Law ronco escapes through plans arranged by the Lady and sees Grant nttack Miss Mortimer. Grant Is knocked out by Law rence. who comes to Miss Mortimer’s re lief and then makes his escape. Captain Grant’s base vlllany revealed. Lawrence returns to Valley Forge, where learns more of Grant's perfidy. Washington forces Clinton at battle and Lawrence gets trace of Eric Mortimer. Tho battle of Monmouth. Gen. Washington again starts Lawrence on an Important mission. CHAPTER XXVll.—(Continued.) “Major Lawrence,” he began, and I noticed the face was not turned to ward me. “I am sure you are not de ceived, although you act the part well.” “I hardly understand.” “Oh, but I am sure you do. I —l could not permit you to go away de spising me.” “Hut, my boy, this Is a mystery—" “Do you mean to insist you do not know —have not recognized me?” “I —what can you mean?” “Merely that 1 am Claire Mortimer,” and lifting tho hat, the young offi cer was revealed in the dim light as my lady. “Surely you knew?” “But 1 did not,” 1 insisted, earnest ly, recovering from my surprise, and leaning forward to look into her face. “Why should I? General Washington told me It was Eric who came for his father. Why should I suspect in this darkness?” “I—l represented myself as Eric,” she stammered. “And was it you also who rode Into our lines yesterday, telling of Clin ton’s whereabouts?” “Yes,” hesitatingly, her eyes lifting to my face. “But you must listen to me, Major Lawrence; you must learn why I did so unwomanly an act.” “First answer one question.” “Gladly.” i “Is there an Eric Mortimer?” “There Is,” she answered frankly; “my brother. It was for his sake I did all this.” A moment I sat in my saddle si lently, our horses walking side by side through tho night, while I endeavored •to grasp the meaning of her confes .slon. I knew that she was riding bare headed, her face turned away. "Go on," I said at last, “tell me the whole story.” , “I will,” firmly, her head uplifted. “I was tempted to do so at Elmhurst, but something seemed to seal my lips. Thero is now no longer any excuse for silence. I—l wish you to know, and, then, perhaps, you may feel more kindly disposed toward me.” “Your father Is aware—” “No, not even father. He Is scarce ly conscious of what is going on about him. Peter knows, and Tonepah,” with a wave of her hand into the dark shadows. “They are with you, then—keeping guard over him?” “Yes; they have known from the beginning; not everything, of course, for that was not necessary. Peter Is an old servant, silent and trustworthy. He would never question an act of mine, while the Indian has reason to be grateful and loyal to me, What ever Indiscretion, Major Lawrence, I may have been guilty of, I have gone nowhere unaccompanied by theca two. You will believe thatT” “Yes, and whatever else you tell mo." “That, now, must necessarily be the entire story. As I proceed you will be convinced, I think, that only a true confidence In you would enable me to speak with such frankness. I —l know of no one else In whom I could confide, and—and the time has come when I must have help—the help of a friend. I should have explained to my father—lndeed Intended to do so —but now he Is helpless to aid me. There Is no one else I feel rble to trust. I—l—you were In my thought to-night; I—l am not sure I did - it even pray for your coming, and —and then God sent you.” My hand sought hers, and held It against my horse's mane. "Tell It In your own way, dear," I whispered. She flashed one glance Into my face, leaving her hand In mine, while our horses took a dozen strides. "It will not take long,” she began. In so low a voice, that 1 leaned for ward to listen, “and you already know many of the characters and can judge their motives. I have been strangely situated since the commencement of this war, only, surely ours Is not the only family divided In Its loyalty. My father was a King's officer, and felt it his duty to serve the crown. While he has said little, yet I know that down In his heart his sympathies have been with the Colonies. Those of my brother were openly from the start, and my father has never attempted to interfere with his actions. They talk ed It all over together, and Eric chose his own course. Only Alfred Grant mads trouble, presuming on what he termed our engagement, and endeavor ed to force my brother to join the King's troops. The two quarreled bit terly, and Eric, a hot-headed boy, struck him. Grant has never forgiven that blow, nor Eric’s Influence over me. To the latter he attributes my dislike —yet this was not true; It was because as I grew older I realized the 111 character of the man.” She paused a moment, gathering the threads of thought more closely. I did not speak, preferring she should tell the story in her own way. “The two did not meet after that for many months. The Queen's Rangers, In which regiment my fa ther secured Grant a commission, were In New York, while Eric was sta tioned up the river with Morgan’s riflemen. When New Jersey was In vaded, both commands came scuth, and, because of Eric’s knowledge of this country, he was detailed as scout. This reckless life was greatly to his liking; I saw him occasionally by ap pointment, usually at Elmhurst, and became aware that his old quarrel with Captain Grant was seemingly for gotten. There appeared to be some understanding, some special connec- "Merely That I Am Claire Mortimer,” and Lifting the Hat, the Young Rider Was Revealed as My Lady. tlon between them. They met once, at least, and I delivered one note be tween them." “Perhaps I can explain that la>’’,” I interrupted, “from something men tioned at Lee’s headquarters. "You! Oh, I wish you could, for their relationship has mystified me; has made me afraid something might be wrong with—with Eric." "I think not, dear; say rather with Grant,” “If that be so, then It may prove the key to all the mystery. What made their Intimacy so difficult to un derstand was that I knew the cap tain’s dislike of Eric had In no way di minished. He spoke of him as sav agely as ever.” "Perhaps he played a part—his ul timate purpose revenge.” “It might be that —yes, It might be that, and —and the consummation of that revenge may account for all which has occurred. But I must go on with what I had to tell." 1 had forgotten the passage of time, the men riding steadily In advance, constantly Increasing their distance, even the possible Importance of the dispatch within my Jacket pocket The evident distress of the girl riding be side me, whose tale. I felt sure, would fully justify her strange masquerade In male garments, her risk of life and exposure to disgraoe In midst of fighting armies, held me neglectful of all else. I realized that, whatever the cause, I had unconsciously become a part of Its development, and that I was destined now to be even more deeply Involved. Whatever the mys tery, I must solve It for her sake. Uy hand again sought hers, holding It In firm clasp. There was a sound of hoofs on the dusty road behind us. “It Is Peter," she whispered. "What can have happened!" The rider barely paused, turning his horse's bead even as be spoke hastily. “Captalh Grant is with the ambu lance, Mistress Claire," he reported. "He came up alone about five min utes ago." CHAPTER XXVIII. Before General Arnold. I felt her hand withdrawn quickly, and the swift Intake of her breath, yet there was no sharpness In the voice. "Captain Grant, Peter? What can the man want here?" . “He claimed to be hunting desert ers,” returned Swanson, as calmly de liberate of speech as ever. “But that was false. He knew we were on the road, and asked for you.” “For me? And you told him —” "Merely that you rode ahead to see that the road was clear. Then I left at once, fearing he might Join you.” She sat a moment in silence, her head bowed; then looked across Into my face. "This arrival must end our confer ence. Major," she said soberly. “Cap tain Grant must not know that you are with me—that would mean fighting.” "Surely you do not wish me to run away ?” “Yes, this time, for my sake as veil as your own. If I could have completed my confession you would realize the necessity. However, the fact that you are the bearer of dispatches should be sufficient; your duty to the Colo nies Is more important than any pri vate quarrel. You will go?” “Yes —but you? Are you safe with him?" "Perfectly. I wish 1 might be clothed In my own proper dress, but with Peter and Tonepah on guard. Captain Grant alone Is not danger ous. Besides, I wish to learn hla pur pose In seeking to Join us.” She hes itated. “You must not fear for me. but—but I wish to tell you all, and — and I am sure I shall need your help.” "You mean I am to Join you again— at Elmhurst?" "Is that asking too much?" “Claire,” I whispered, bending to ward her, so Peter could not overhear, “nothing shall keep me from coming, dear. I will ride back the moment my dispatches are In Arnold's hands. But tell me, first, If you are not afraid of Grant himself, what Is it you need me for?" "Eric,” she answered swiftly. "He has disappeared, dead or deserted. Oh, l cannot believe the last Is true. It was to save his reputation that I dressed In this uniform, performed the work assigned him. I feel sure Grant knows where he Is, what has become of him. I went to him In Philadel phia, but he only sneered, and said the boy had doubtless run away. I know better; that Is not like a Mortimer. But I cannot search for him; I must stay with my father. But if I can only bo assured you will come.” “You can be assured." “Mistress Claire," broke In Peter, “some one Is riding up the road.” “Yes, Peter, yes. Major, wait here! Don’t move. We will go back and meet him.” I held my horse steady, although he made an effort to follow. Voices came back to me through the darkness — Grant's loud enough to be clearly beard. “What, Is this you, Claire?" he laughed gruffly. "By all the gods. I thought It must be Eric. I never ex pected to find you togged out In this style. By Jove, I wish It was day light." Whatever she replied must have sobered the fellow. "Everything I say you take wrongly. Of course It's all right, for the coun try Is full of stragglers out of both armies. Lord, 1 don't care what you wear, as long as It suits you. My business? Oh, 1 explained all that to your putty-faced servant —Saint Anne! that fellow! But I’ll review the mat ter again. I’m drumming up Clinton's deserters, but now I’ve met you I’m tempted to go along wltb you as far as Elmhurst." "Become a deserter yourself?” “Oh, no, or at least only tempora rily. There will be plenty of fighting yet In the Jerseys. Clinton's whipped all right, and Is going to have a time getting away to the ships. In my judgment there will be richer picking for a Jerseyman right here at home, than with the army In New York.” There was a moment's silence; then the girl asked, a shade of horror In her voice: "Surely, you cannot mean to ally yourßelf with guerillas, Captain Qrant? With —with Fagin?” The man laughed, but mirthlessly. "That would be horrible, wouldn't It? Well, personally I fall to see why Fa gin ia any more of a scoundrel than some of these other fellows In gilt epaulets. However, I've not come to that point yet The fact Is I have a private affair to attend to before I leave this neighborhood. Can you guess what It IsT" "I? Certainly not." "Well, you will know shortly—the ambulance Is coming.” I rode my horse slowly forward, keeping at the edge of the road, until assured a sufficient distance separated us. Then I gave the restive animal a sharp touch of the spur, sending him swiftly rorward. My escort would have a mile or two the start, yet that was nothing. My thoughts were not with them, or with my military duty, but reverted to the little company around the wounded man. The bearing of the dispatch to Arnold was mere rou- "Special Service, Sir! But You Are Not Aseigned to My Command!” tine. Involving only steady riding, but tbe relations existing between Claire, Grant, and Eric Mortimer were full ot mystery. There were connecting links I could not understand; no doubt had the girl been permitted to con clude her story I might fit It tot -lb er, but as it was I was left groping I t the darknesß. Yet my mind tena ciously held to Its original theory as to Eric’s strange disappearance—he had been betrayed by Grant, and was being held prisoner. But where? By whom? And for what purpose? I pondered on this problem as my horse ploughed forward through the dust, my eyes unconsciously scanning the dark road. Grant could not have known that Colonel Mortimer was be ing taken home. His meeting with the ambulance party was altogether an ac cident. Yet I had no faith the man was out seeking British stragglers, for had ho been dispatched on such a mis sion he would have had at least a squad of soldiers with him. Then what? Tho probability was that he was eith er riding to Elmhurst, or to some ren dezvous with Fagln. Some plan had been Interrupted by Clinton’s sudden march, by the British defeat at Mon mouth, and Grant was risking his commission, braving the charge of de sertion, for some private purpose. This might be love of Claire, revenge upon Eric, or possibly both combined. The latter would seem most probable. He would use Eric In some way to threaten the sister, to compel her to sacrifice herself. She was of a nature to do this, as was already abundantly proved by her assumption of male attire to save Eric’s reputation. My own responsibility loomed large as 1 reached this conclusion, and remem bered her appeal for help. She, also, must suspect the truth, and had turned to me as the only one capable of un raveling the mystery. She trusted me, loved me, I now believed—and, under God, I would prove worthy of her faith. Riding ahead, boot to boot with Conroy, I thought out a plan for ac tion, and finally. In the gray of the morning, told him enough of the story to arouse his Interest. Just before sunrise we passed Elmhurst, the great Pathos of Eating Oysters It Require! Great Moral Courage to Think of Swallowing One of the Bivalves. To me the practice of devouring any animal life In Its entirety la, and always has been, most difficult. The terrible demand of the oyster Is that he be swallowed as a unit, with all hli hopes, his joys, his sorrows, his love, his fears, and his ears and his tears; the thought Is appalling. 1 can eat large slices of a cow, and 1 suppose in a lifetime 1 have eaten a number of mature oxen, a few calves, a flock of sheep, several lambs, a number of turkeys, a long roost full of hens, a good sized aquarium, a goose or two and some ducks —but 1 did not swallow any of them whole. 1 took a slice at a time and enjoyed it, as my appetite Is above the over age for most dishes. 1 don't mind seeing oysters swim ming In a savory stew, 1 like their so ciety and flavor, but It takes all of my moral courage to think of eating white mansion appearing silent and deaerted. There waa no halting, al though we turned In the saddle to look, and my eyea swept over the troopers trotting behind us. "Regulars T" I asked, nodding back across my shoulder. “Not a man but has seen two years’ service," he replied proudly. "Ham ilton knows the troop, and he picked us out." "I may need them tor a bit of des perate work." "They’ll do It, sir, never fear.” "Good, sergeant; we’ll ride hard, and trust to getting fresh horses In Philadelphia. 11l tell Arnold the storyj When we arrive there have your men. get all the sleep they can. I’ll attend! to rations and ammunition. You are simply to have the men rested and! ready. Cannot we make better time?. The hones seem in good condition." We passed swiftly over the level country, meeting a tew stragglers, but paying them small attention. By two o'clock we were on the banks of the Delaware, and a half-hour later, I swung down stiffly from the saddle in front of Arnold's headquarters on High street. | He was an officer I never greatly liked, with his snapping eyeß and ar rogant manner, but he was courteous enough on this occasion, questioning me after reading the dispatch, and of fering me a glass of wine. “You look Ured. major, and must, rest before you start back. I shall have my report ready by sundown.” "General Arnold," I said, standing respectfully hat In band, “I bave a fa vor to ask—that you will send your report by some other messenger, and give me a detail for special service.” He looked up In surprise. “Special service, sir! But you are not assigned to my command.” "That 1 Is true, general,” I Insisted, "but the conditions warrant the un usual application.” "What service Is contemplated T” "An attempt to kill or capture Red, Fagin, and release a scout whom I! believe he holdß prisoner.” "You hope to accomplish all this alone?” "With the assistance of the sergeant, and ten dragoons who came here with! me. They are In camp now on the Jersey shore.” He walked across the room, stared; out of the window, and then again, faced me. "By Gad, sir, this Is a most extraor dinary request Damme, I’d like to get hold of Fagin all right, but I need, to know more of your plan, and the reason you have for asking -iftich a detail. It looks foolhardy to my mind.” I went over the situation carefully, watching the effect of my words In! the man’s face. He sat at the table, now, leaning forward eagerly. Ar nold bad the reputation of a gallant, and my first reference to a young lady aroused him. "The name, please—you mentioned no name.” "Claire Mortimer, sir.” "Ah! Ah! I remember her well. Danced with her myself. Now go on, sir; I can appreciate the tale better for my. recollection of the fair hero ine.” I was not long at it, although he interrupted me occasionally by shrewd questioning. As I concluded he kept silent looking at me from under his heavy brows. “It looks like rather a blind trail to me, major,” he said kindly, "but I’m no spoil-sport In such an affair. You might have the luck to stumble onto your party, and I’d take the chance myself if I were in your shoes. You wish to start at sunset?” "Yes, sir.” "You need horses, rations and pistol ammunition for twelve men?” "Yes, sir." "Very well, major, the quartermas ter will attend these details. Go and lie down. Washington may not ap prove, but I’ll take the responsibility.” He extended bis hand across the table, and I felt the firm clasp of his band. (TO BE CONTINUED.) one. Every tlmo I get one of the lit tl - bivalves before me my eyes mag nify him, he grows larger and larger, an emotional lump rises In my throat and 1 am obliged to content myself with swallowing my emotions Instead of swallowing the emotions of the the oyster. When I look at the little fellow lying helplessly before me, with his slippery surface and yielding body, 1 think that should 1 succeed in swallowing him 1 might have even more difficulty In retaining him.—Al bert Scott Cox In the Metropolitan Magazine. Greater Things In Promise. All the world Is heavy with the promise of greater things, and a day will come—one day In the unending succession of days—when beings, be lngs who are now latent In ’ out thoughts and hidden In our loins, will stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars. H. G. Wells.