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i Beauty's Daughter j :! By KATHLEEN NORRIS • • • *— r jj ll 1^ CHAPTER XV—Continued —2l— room for nurse,” she whis pered, and Vicky was glad to go with her to the spare room, help her in the warming human business of making beds and arranging tow els. He wasn’t dead yet, anyway! Before they had finished, Quentin and Dr. Cudworth joined them. Quentin looked exhausted; his hair was tumbled, and his operating gown, one of Miss Pierce’s aprons put on backward, was spattered with red. He took off the apron, and was in his sleeveless fiber cloth undershirt; with a towel he wiped the perspiration from his ashen face and smiled wearily at his wife. “Excuse my appearance, Vic,” he said, sitting down panting. “My Lord, but that was quick work!” “How is he?” Vicky asked. But even before she asked it, the blood had come back to her heart and ihe had had time to feel an al most frightening first ecstasy of hope. “He’s doing remarkable,” Dr. Cudworth said. “And he can thank your good husband here. You are, in my opinion, a genius, Dr. Har disty.” “Oh, Quent, there isn’t really a chance?” “Magnificent constitution, and his own feeling will help,” Quentin still ghastly pale and breathing hard, said to the other doctor. And then to Vicky, “Everything is as good as it can be; better, I would say. He opened his eyes and looked at me; it didn’t take him five minutes to get his bearings.” Vicky sat down in a winged chair and put her hands over her eyes and began to cry, and Quentin, leaning over to pat her on the back, laughed with tears in his own eyes. “I’m ash-sh-shamed of myself!” she stammered, looking up to smile through wet lashes. “But—but it saves us all! It saves us all, Quen tin. I’ve been sitting out there alone, thinking and thinking.” “Did she come out at all?” the local doctor asked in the pause. “Mrs. Morrison?” “She’s probably packing,” Quen tin said. “I imagine she’ll get out right away. It would be the best thing all round if she did.” “Oh, but Quentin, the relief!” Vicky’s eyes shone like stars; it was too good to be true, too good to be true! “If you hadn’t come back from the hospital!” she said with a shudder. “If you’d still been in Germany! Quentin, will there have to be an investigation now, will there be any talk of poison?” “I don’t think so,” Quentin said somewhat uncertainly, looking at his colleague. The other doctor re peated the phrase more decidedly. “I’m extremely glad to wash my hands of the whole thing,” Dr. Cud worth said. “He’s warned now, and she’s had a pretty sharp scare. The amah’s tipped off, and I think we might give the nurse a hint; it seems to me we might—” “I am going to talk to both nurses; I’ve had this girl telephone for another,” Quentin said, and once again Vicky thought that he was two men; the Quentin who was the children’s adored “Dad,” easy and quiet and quite willing to take their word for anything, to listen to them, to learn from them, and this other Quentin, who held life and death in his big square hands. “It would be better to get him into a hospital, of course, but we can’t move him now. You say Serena hasn’t shown up at all?” he asked Victoria, when they were all in the hall again. “Not a sound.” “Will you wake her up? I’m going to take a look at Spencer. Amah here will let the nurse go down for some coffee. I’ve got to talk to Serena.” Victoria crossed the upper hall, turned the knob of Serena’s door, and spoke from the threshold: “Serena!” There was complete darkness within. Serena’s apartment was on the western side of the house, and the first dim grayness of dawn that had struck into the kitchen, and that was now timidly attacking the eastern world, had made rfo en trance here. There was black night beyond Serena’s window, and in the room vague, darker shadows. Vicky groped inside the door cas ing, found a switch, and inundated the place with soft, rosy light. Everything was orderly enough. Vicky had seen these pink taffeta fittings before, the pink-brocaded walls, the long-legged doll and Man darin lamps, the black worsted dog with the beady eyes. But there was in the silence here now something indefinably frightening. Her heart beat fast with terror. Serena, still wearing the pale lav ender dressing gown in which Vicky had first seen her last night, was lying flat across the unopened bed. The delicate pink taffeta covers still were spread in their daytime posi tion, and flowed over the dais in 'Hick rich flouncing and folds. At the top of the low wide bed, a half circle of finely pleated silk rose like a moon. Beside the pillows were the night table and the pink lamps, the pink-and-white tele phone, the book in a tooled vellum cover that Serena had been read ing. “Serena! Spencer’s better. They think he will live. Quentin wants to speak to you!” Silence. The room’s mistress lay as she might have lain in a moment of sleep. She was lying on her back, her beautiful hair loosened and falling in a cascade over her shoulder, one arm hanging relaxed over the edge of the bed. Vicky’s heart suddenly rose into her throat, and she felt her knees weaken. She dared not turn her back on this room. Instead she backed slowly away, heard the men emerg ing from Spencer’s room; turned to show them an ashen face and to clutch at Quentin’s arm. “Oh, Quentin, she’s only asleep, I guess, but don’t go in there! “Killed Herself!” Don’t. She’s lying on her bed—she didn’t go to bed—l spoke to her and she didn’t stir.” “What’s the matter, Vicky?” Quentin asked, surprised, weary. “What did she say? Has she faint ed?” He went toward Serena’s door. Vicky, with a little gasp of fright, followed along beside him. Again she looked at the rosy beauty of Serena’s room: the pink lights on delicate pink silk, the litter of beautiful luxurious nothings with which Serena had surrounded her self, a rabbit-skin rug, silver frames and vases, tortoise - shell fitting mounted in gold for the desk at which Serena wrote only love notes. "Wait a minute!” Quentin said sharply. He went to the bed, touched the figure lying there; gripped the unresponsive shoulder with a big hand and shook it. “Se rena!” he said. And then, turning to Vicky and the other doctor: “Look here!” “What is it?” Cudworth asked, advancing into the room. “Dead!” Quentin said. “Oh, no, Quent!” Vicky was cling ing to his arm. “Oh, no! Who would do it, who would do it?” “She’s done it herself, eh?” Cud worth asked. He stooped and picked from the floor something that glit tered brightly in the soft light. “Ye didn’t care for that investigation, did ye, my lady?” the old man queried, staring down at the dead woman with a shrewd light in his eyes. “Suicide!” Vicky whispered. “Yes; she did it herself,” Quen tin muttered. “Look there!” Vicky’s eyes found the little round violet puncture of the bullet hole at the flawless marble temple. Se rena’s sleeping face was placid, but the once scarlet mouth was pale and flecked with blood, and the beautiful pale gold hair was loos ened into a careless cascade that hung in a web over the side of the bed. There was a horrible sprawl ing relaxation in her position, a dreadful Aiysterious shutness in the colorless lips that made Vicky trem ble. “Is there anything to do, Quent?” “Not now.” He did not turn from his contemplation of the wreck of what had been so soft, so lovely and alluring and fragrant and warm only a few hours ago. “No, it was instantaneous, Vic,” he mut tered. “Killed herself!” “She thought he was dead, d’you see?” the older man supplied sud denly. “The Chinese woman had come out of his room. It was while we were all in the hall there, awhile back, when we all thought that poor Morrison had no chance.” “I thought, from the way you all talked,” Quentin said, “that he was! I was amazed when Amah said he wanted to see me. And’cer MIDLAND JOURNAL, RISING SUN, MD. tainly she must have thought so. Poor woman!” An hour later Victoria and Quen tin walked across the Morrisons’ side garden, and through the gate into the lane and through their own gate. A perfect spring dawn was strengthening over the world now; it was four o’clock; the east was flushed with exquisite delicate pink, against which shoals and galleons of delicate silver and gray and paler gray cloud made long bars. "I feel—reborn,” Vicky said. “Reborn. I’m terribly grateful, Vic,” Quentin said. “Oh, grateful! If you knew what I was thinking of all night long. Every horror that anyone can imag ine seemed to be sweeping over me. I had you in jail; I had us all moving to some remote place.” “Perhaps you think I didn’t, Vic, while we were working over him. Perhaps you think I didn’t have a chance to think how I’d taken my life and destroyed it with my two hands. But thank God it's all over now!” “I am tired. Quentin, doesn’t the tea for the Vienna doctors and our lunch at the St. Francis seem longer ago than yesterday!” “That wasn’t yesterday!" he ex claimed. “That’s all it was.” “My God,” he said again, struck. “She did do it, didn’t she, Quent?” “Yes,” he said with a serious look. “I guess she did.” “Her killing herself”—The words sounded so strange that Vicky had to stop short and think of them— “her killing herself looked as if she ' did,” she mused. “She had that—l don’t lsnow what to call it—ruthless quality,” Quen tin said. “She went over any ob stacle that was in her way. She used to say that she had Tartar blood. She had away of going berserk—not wild, but cold and re vengeful and determined.” “He roused the very worst in her; he always did,” Victoria mused. “He seemed to sit back and laugh at her, and he never let her have enough money even to get away. She told me—she came to see me every few days, you know—that she had to charge even her lunches at hotels. That day she seemed to me desperate. She looked so beauti ful, too; she was in a sort of corn color, and her eyes looked so blue Mother said after she left, 'Af. dressed up and nowhere to go!’ I suppose it was death-in-life to her to live in that quiet country house.” Quentin nodded, listening. “You’ve been a trump all night long, Vic," he said, after a while. “If you’d been like most women, and refused to go over there, we might be in bad trouble this morn ing. If you were like most women, you’d have kicked me out years ago, I don’t know why you act the way you do, but I want you to know—this sounds damn flat—but I want you to know that I admire you and that I’m grateful! I owe everything I’ve got in the world to you. I’m just beginning to realize that it’s an awful lot. You know I’m not good at speeches, but when I think about you—and this is what I wanted to tell you—l get all choked up. I’m—l’m grateful.” “Thank you, Quentin!” Vic said from the other end of the table. “We’ll go on here, and some day I’ll have a chance to show you that I’m changed,” Quentin said. “It’s taken me a long time to wake up. I’ve been a fool. I did the rottenest thing to you a man can do to his wife; it’s just my luck, it’s my in credible luck that you’ve—well, I won’t say forgiven me; you don’t forget those things, and you can’t forgive them but that you’ve worked it out your way.” Vicky had the sugar bowl between her two brown, hard-working hands; she turned it slowly, her eyes upon it. “You did something of which you are ashamed,” she said simply. “I—didn’t. Why should there be any question of forgiveness? If I did something something wrong, to morrow you’d be sorry—you’d think a little the less of me; but you wouldn’t be personally touched because I forged a check—your own honor would be just what it was! My life isn’t yours. I’m me.” “I wish to the Lord you would do something dumb,” Quentin said with ineloquent force, after a pause. “I sound smug,” Vicky said, “but I’m not. And I do dumb things every day. Thousands of them. There were months—there were actual years when your home life was nothing but mistakes, nerves, uproar, my crying and being tired and sick, the children going into mumps and whooping cough, bills piling up.” (TO BE CONTINUED) Wife May Deed Property In California a wife may dispose of her seperate property by a deed which does not require her hus band’s signature. Property owned by her before marriage, together with property acquired by her after mar riage from her separate funds, is separate property, subject to dis tribution. A qlt M* O a Quiz With JTjLOJS. ■fc'JlC? Answers Offering JT a T ■ Information on ■cIJTZOZxIGX' H Various Subjects 1. Has there ever been an air plane flown around the world? 2. How long does it take to get a telephone call through to London from this country? 3. 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