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The Saint Paul globe. (St. Paul, Minn.) 1896-1905, March 12, 1899, Novels for Leisure Hours, Image 33

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almost rose to her feet, and, as she did 30, she
cast a glance at Lilian, hoping that she had
not heard; but, by the expression on her face,
she saw that not only had she heard, but that
it was no news to her.
This, then, was the explanation of all that
had been so mysterious.
Ralph Beauvoir was married.
Lilian knew it, and they loved each other.
"Poor Ralph!" Kitty thought. "No wonder
he hid himself abroad, if this painted and
powderecTcreature was what he had to intro
duce to liis family as Lady Beauvoir."
The two ladies refused all offers of escort,
and went'home alone.
Once iir the brougham, they instinctively
put out Ifteir hands, and Kitty held Lilian's
in a sympathetic giasp, not saying a word,
though she felt the tears dropping from the
other's eyes.
CHAPTER VII.
To Ralph, who also was now in town, the
daily meetings with Lilian were almost more
than he could bear.
At last^ he could endure it no longer; and
one day, after a long evening spent with Lil
ian, he ifvjent off to Paris without seeing her
again.
From there he wrote, telling her all, and
his passionate, loving letter almost reconciled
her to his absence.
Some weeks later she received another
aronymous letter—
"This evening you can Drove to your own
satisfaction that Lord Beauvoir is only amus
ing himself with you. You think he is abroad,
but he will be at the Academy soiree tonight
•with his wife!"
Lady Carruthers was announced as Lilian
finished reading this epistle, and hastily
crumpling it up she thrust it into her pocket.
Kitty looked pale and anxious.
"Lilian 1 dear," she said; "Ralph is in Lon
don."
"Ah, tßen it is true!" Lilian said. "When
did he come back?"
"Yesterday."
"Have you seen him?"
"Yes, and he looks terribly ill."
"Kitty, Kitty, I wish I had never seen him.
I wish I was dead!"
"He said almost the same thing; but, Lilian,
will you see him?"
"I cannot see him today."
"Why not? He is wretched, and knows I
have come to you."
"I have my reasons. Tell him to come to
morrow."
Lady Carruthers could not understand her
friend.
She knew that Lilian was behaving cruelly.
And Lilian knew it too, but she must set
her mind at rest about this evening; she
would not see Ralph till she had been to the
Academy.
; *.. • • * * *
Piccadilly was one long line of carriages,
and inside Burlington House a very hetero
genous crowd was assembled.
Amongst the beautiful women who attract-^
ed a great deal of attention was Miss Nelly
Temple, leaning on Sir Philip Fairfax's arm.
In the course of the evening, she had sent- a
telegram to Lord Beauvoir —
"Li. V. is going to Burlington House to meet
Lady B. Beware!"
The telegram sent Ralph flying round to
Lilian's house.
She had already left it for the Academy
soiree.
He followed her hurriedly.
Lilian had not taken her eyes off the popu
lar actress, who had purposely stationed her
self near her hated rival, and presently she
heard Beauvoir's voice saying —
"Miss Vaughan, why are you here alone?
Will you not take my arm and let me see
you to your carriage?"
She was about to assent, when Miss Tem
ple left the crowd of admirers gathered
round her, and came to them.
"Going already?" she said. "Why?"
Lord Beauvoir drew himself up.
"How dare you speak to this lady?" he
said.
"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed out his wife. "I
think I heard you object to this lady being
here alone. I, Lady Beauvoir, am also here
alone; do you not object to that?"
The crowd was already stopping near them,
attracted by Miss Temple's voice.
"Sir Philip," she cried out, loudly; "since
my husband neglects me to protect Miss
Vaughn, I am forced to ask for your protec
tion; will you give it me?"
Lord Beauvoir paled and flushed under the
insult, as Sir Philip Fairfax bowed to the
actress, and offered her his arm.
"I suppose, Sir Philip Fairfax, that you
hold yourself responsible for that lady's
words?" he. demanded.
"Certainly," said the other; but his attitude
was scarcely that of a willing champion.
Ralph took Lilian to her carriage, and
placed her in it without speaking, and she
was so wretched she hardly dared raise her
eyes to his; but as he closed the door of her
brougham and lifted his hat in farewell, she
could not repress a cry of pain.
"Ralph, will you not see me home?"
"I think not tonight; remember, I am to
come to you tomorrow."
But the morrow only brought Lilian a few
lines, to tell her he was starting for France, i
and would see her on his return.
She did not cry; her brain seemed on fire,
and to burn away her tears.
She knew what the journey to Paris meant,
and could not prevent it.
It was too late for that, but she would, she
must, prevent the duel.
The thought of his possible death made her
cry aloud in her agony of mind.
"Ah, no, no!" she wailed, "it cannot be! !
I will kill Sir Philip first with my own hands.
Oh, Ralph, my love, my life, come back to me,
come back!"
Lilian paced up and down her room, her
hands clenched, her face set with misery, and
Kitty Carruthers, who, of course, had heard
all about it, started in amazement at the
change twenty-four hours had wrought, when
she called upon her friend.
She had spent the day in vain wanderings S
as to what could be done,, and had finally j
come to Lilian to 'see if she had thought of 1
some plan— some means of saving the men
they loved.
PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT^^^
Perhaps Kitty was the more to be pitied.
She loved Ralph almost as a brother, and
I she loved Philip as a true woman does, with
j all the strength of her heart, in spite of his
| utter indifference to her, his devotion to Lil
j ian, and his subjection to Nelly Temple.
"Come, Lilian," she said, after the first si
; lent greetings were over. "It is no good be
moaning our fate, we must be up and doing
' —we must try and undo this terrible busi
j ness."
| Lilian made a gesture of supplication, for
i Lady Carruthers' voice was stern in its firm
i ness.
"Ah, Kitty, you will hate me also! If I
i had only done as you wished me to, had only
| seen Ralph yesterday."
Kitty kissed Lilian affectionately as she
; said—
■"Dhere, there, oi course, we are wretched
I and miserable: but we must put our heads to
j gether, and see what can be done — we must
go to Paris at once, we may yet be in time to
: see them before they fight."
At this Lilian brightened a little.
She was firmly persuaded that Ralph was
; going to be killed, but if she could only see
! him once more, hear him say he forgave her,
she too could die, and happily— life without
him would be no boon to her.
The two ladies were not long in preparing
for their journey.
They had a vague idea that their presence
: might, of itself, prevent the duel, or that
; some inspiration, some God-sent prompting,
1 would be dictated by which the desired result
would be attained.
At Calais they were lucky in securing a
coupe to themselves, and thanked God that
it was so.
It would have been hard to bear the dis
; turbing element of fellow passengers.
Lilian sat with her hands clasped on her
lap, gazing out into the night; and Kitty
leant back in her corner, thinking deeply.
Suddenly there was a frightful jerk, a ter
rible crash, and both ladies were thrown vio
lently forward, and for a few moments
stunned by the violence of the shock, but,
soon recovering, moved, and raised them
selves.
They found their carriage tilted to one side,
and the front smashed in, but they themselves
unhurt.
The train was at a standstill.
"Kitty," whispered Lilian; "there has been
an accident."
"Yes; and I am afraid it is serioi/. Shall
we see if we can get out?"
Ne one came to their assistance, though
| now they saw dark figures rushing about out
! side, and it was only by dint of great exer
| tion that they managed to wrench open the
I door, and step out.
The guards were trying to detach some of
the lamps to serve as lanterns; passengers
were hurrying to and fro; the wounded were
moaning and crying, and the whole scene one
] of unutterable confusion.
Presently a gentleman came along with a
lamp in his hand, and stopped to inquire if he
could be of jiny assitance.
Lilian thanked him, but said-
No, they were pot hurt, and could they be
of any use?'
"There are several women hurt down there.
One poor creature, they say, is dead, but her
husband is with her. Perhaps you might be
of service, if you can stand the sight."
And he went on, to find out others in need
of help.
Lady Carruthers and Lilian made their way
as best they could, to the rear, whpre the
train, having been more crowded, the casual
ties were more numerous.
During the last few minutes the moon had
slowly passed out from behind the clouds, and
i now it shone out clearly, lighting up the
weird scene with singular distinctness.
Its rays fell on the outstretched form of a
woman, for whom a number of shawls and
coats had been laid on the ground.
As yet, Lilian and Kitty were not quite near
enough to distinguish her deathly-white
features.
A man was kneeling on the ground beside
I her, whose figure seeemed strangely familiar
to both Miss Vaughan and Lady Carruthers.
As they went nearer, he moved, revealing
, to their astonished gaze the features of Sir
Philip Fairfax.
Lilian Vaughan caught her breath deeply as-
I Lady Carruthers grasped her arm, whisper
i ing, nervously —
"Look, Lilian! It is Philip Fairfax and Miss
Temple."
Kitty said no more, but left Lilian standing
alone, and went straight up to the prostrate
i figure.
Laying her hand gently on Sir Philip's
! shoulder, she said, kindly—
"Philip, you are in trouble. Can we help
you,?"
Sir Philip started violently, but did not
rise; he held Nelly Temple's hand in his.
"Lady Carruthers! Miss Vaughan! You
! here — how is this?"
"We must have bfeen traveling in the same
train. Can we do nothing?"
Philip shook his head.
"No; this doctor says that she— Miss Ter- I
pie— is dying." And, in a choking voice, he
added: "She insisted on accompanying me,
poor thing!"
Lady Carruthers be^t over the poor creat
ure, and, even as she did so, Nelly Temple
opened her eyes, shuddered violently, and
tried to turn away, as she gasped forth
"Philip— there is that woman Ralph loves
she has come to gloat over me. Without her
I should have been happy. Take her away
—take her away— she will kill me, and I won't
die — I can't die— ah!"
With one last effort she raised herself, to
seize Sir Philip by the arm, but, before he
could caich her, she fell back— dead!
It was a terrible scene, and those around
shivered as they realized that the end had
come.
The doctor spoke mechanically
"She had bioken her back— she could not
live. Dieu merci! she- did not suffer much"
And, with gentle hands, he raised Lady
Carrutherc to her feet, and laid an authori- i
tative hand on Sir Philip's shoulder.
"Come, sir," he said; "you must be content '
that she did not suffer. See, these ladie*
require your attention, and there is another
train ready to take us on."
At Lilian's request, Lady Carruthers gently,
but firmly, insisted on Sir Philip sharing
their carriage.
i It was not the moment for squeamishness,
and they were not going to leave him to his
own sorrowful reflections udring the hours
that still remained before they could reach
Paris.
* * « M ♦ ' *
Lord Beauvoir had gone to a quiet little
hotel in the Rue de Rivoli, and had written
to Sir Philip, before leaving London, to say
where he was to t^ found.
The morning after his arrival, he was
standing at the window of his private sitting
room, his breakfast waiting on the table.
It was a lovely day, and through the open
window came bright sunshine and the sound
of happy voices.
But there was a sense of misery dominating
; all.
He might never see Lilian again; he had
! parted from her coldly, after weeks of ab
i sence, and he loved her more passionately
than ever.
Even though he knew that she, in a way,
| might cost him his life, he had no harsh
i thoughts of her.
! He only longed to hold her once more in
I his arms, to feel her kisses on his lips, to
hear her voice again.
What a wasted, useless life his had been!
In his early youth he had been ambitious,
and his father for him.
How all his dreams had been scattered to
the winds by the touch of a woman's hand!
How he had thrown away his virility at the
I voice of passion, speaking through the
temptress' lips, only t,o be her plaything of
the moment, held up to his own scorn forever
after!
And then he saw Lilian as he first sa\v her,
smiling her thanks for his little act of
courtesy, "and again he felt his heart-strings
tighten as he remembered her danger at the
weir, and her pale, sweet face as he rowed
her back to The Refuge.
Ah! why had he not taken warning then?
He had felt himself in danger the very mo
j ment her eyes had met his in pity.
j If only he had listened to the promptings of
: his better nature! Even when at Beauvoir he
had realized how, day by day, he was letting
love take possession of him.
To remain, had been cruel to himself; but,
joh! how much more so to her, who, in terror
] of losing him, had confessed her love for his
unworthy self.
He had never forgotten the look on her
face when he told her he was married.
He knew that she loved him with all her
heart and soul, and the love which he him
self bore her had raised him up once more in
his own eyes from the depths" of misery and
self-reproach, into which his unfortunate
I marriage and its sequel had cast him.
And now, all was ended!
He did not ask himself who had brought
about this coming duel.
Repinings were useless.
He had not many hours at his disposal, and
he had still to write to Lilian.
That done, he would waitjfcalmly for Sir
Philip and the hand of Fate.
Towards noon, the friends he had resent Sop.
arrived.
He explained the case briefly.
"Is no compromise possible?" asked one of
them.
"I know Philip Fairfax." Ralph
with a faint smile. '"Even iFhe wished to he
could not apologize, for, altfer all, he was
hardly in the wrong."
"He can't fight you. You saved his life not
so very long ago."
"I have forgotten the past."
"But he has no right -,to."
But no words the Frenchmen said no argu
ments they used, could make Lord Beauvoir
hesitate for one moment in believing the duel
I a foregone conclusion.
There was some fatality about the whole
j series of events; his friendship with Sir
Philip; their unconscious rivalry about Lilian-
Sir Philip's entanglement with Miss Temple'
or rather Lady Beauvoir, had only seemed to
be brought about that the latter might use
her lover as a tool against her husband, to
satisfy her own defeated ambition
; His friends left Ralph, promising to hold
themselves in readiness for any call upon
j their time; and once more he was alone
1 Philip Fairfax must be in Paris by now.
Seen, oh! hew terribly soon all would be
I over.
Was he going to Death, to Eternity, or was
: his friend?
Either way his lite was ended.
I It would be bettei for him to die, for if he
i lived could he ever ask Lilian to be his, even
! were he free to marry her, when his whole
life would be shadowed by that awful stain
of blood?
The street was a busy one, and from below
I came all the midday sounds; the cries of
boys, the neighing of horses, whistlings vo
ciferations, mingled in the confusion of the
living town; but above them all came one
sound to Ralph's ears— a sound that mad»
him start and turn pale— the sound of a voice
he had thought thought never to hear again
Lilian Vaughan was speaking, and Ralph
Beauvoir's heart beat wildly as he heard her
words.
"This must be the room," the waiter said
"number eight."
And almost before he had time to reach the
door, Lilian stood before him.
Lady Carruthers was with her, but with
delicate tact she did not cross the threshold
and as she saw Ralph catch Lilian to his
heart with a stifled cry, she closed the door
between them, and went gently down to where
Sir Philip Fairfax was waiting, knowing that
when the time came the two men's hand"
would meet again in friendship, and that over
the grave of the dead woman much would be
forgiven, buried, and at last forgotten.
ECONOMY IN ART.
From the Chicago Record.
"Tour portrait was a failure."
"Yes; but I told the artist to paint an old
fashioned frock en it, so I could hang it up as
an ancestor."
The Deacon— Surely, you would not regard
as profane a maniwho uses the expression,
"Gee whiz?"
The Parson— No— if that is what he means.
; THAT CATACOMB STORY.
1 Two of the three journalists were sharpen
; ing their pencils busily, while the tall one, she
of the marvelous memory, looked on in pity
ing toleration as she adjusted a hairpin. She
scorned notebooks, scorned pencils, satisfied
. in the thought that upon the tablet of her
I , brain her impressions would be recorded un
. erringly.
The moist April breeze fluttered the cur- ,
i tains of our pretty salon in the Rue de Chail
. lot, No. 71, and an air of business excitement
was upon us four damsels, ;vho in trim tailor
i gowns and severe sailor hats awaited the
I coming of the Harvard man who had consent
ed to be our pilot through the catacombs.
; The serene peace of our little Parisian men
age had ben rudely disturbed the day pre
. vious by the arrival of an American newspa
per which announced a prize for the best ar
ticle written en "The Catacombs of Paris."
Upon inspecting the figure offered by the
, editor my three journalistic friends, the tall
i > one, the colleen and the little chaperon, all
decided to compete. The tall one laid aside
l her fashion article and bundled some trans
i lation into a dra.wer. The little chaperon put
by her weekly letter on the "Facts, Fads and
Follies of French Life," and placed upon her
, desk a dozen sheets of vfcrginal paper, select
ing at the same time a fresh, favorite pen
i I for the fray, while the colleen shelved two
I "penny dreadfuls," which she was writing at
; ; the same time and pigeonholed a great work
■ . also to join in the battle for red gold. Even
• : the Harvard man, who lived at the pension
• j over .the way, deserted his realistic novel,
which he fancied would give him the title of
, ; "The American Maupassant," and turned
■ with covetous eyes toward that catacomb
i : stoiy.
I alone went merely as an onlooker — yes, a
I : lotus eater, for 1 was going to write— nothing.
It was the chaperon, a cnarming mixture of
' thrift and spendthrift, who said to me: "My,
■ ; but you're silly to spend five francs if you
don't make copy of it and at least try to get
your money back."
Still I went. Every heart knoweth its own
: '■ bitterness, and, although I am reluctant to
1 intrude my private griefs on the public, it
i was the moral lesson following this visit that
" has made me regard the spending of that five
'< '■ francs as the greatest extravagance of my
life.
The Harvard man arrived serene and smii
ing. Having counted us, he made a swift,
clever mathematical deduction that two cabs
would be necessary, and so we started.
Of what we saw in the catacombs that day
; there shall fall from my poor pen a silenct
1 so weighty that it could be cut, but of my
dear, busy scribes— ah, that is another mat
ter !
We descended the interminable winding
steps leading tv that underground ch&rqeJ
house, and the tall girl, she or ths marvelous
; memory and no .notebook, dropped behind
with me in "that gloorriy"' winding patn ana
said in a sepulchral whisper (.she is always
„ .consistent):
"I'm going to refer to these lines of grin
ning skulls. Ycu might drop a hint ot this .
to the others lest they think of using it. . Wili
you ?"
"But," I ventured meekly, not being a
scribe myself, "have you retlected that none
of these skulls have teeth? It is only those
with teeth that grin."
She looked at me pityingly. "They shall
grin," she said firmly, clinching her own mo
lars vindictively. "A little thing like that
doesn't bother me. And," she continued air
ily, "I'm also going to speak of the littleness,
the absolute pettiness, of life, its aims arid so
forth, in the presence of the great ruler — you
know— death. Veer the others off that if you
hear they're going to use it. And— er— look
here, don't fancy for one little instant that
I have not been aware of your ideal platonic
I friendship with hin.," jerking her head in the
j direction of our male escort. "He's a nice
boy, and I like him, in his place, but if you
make your tender feeling any excuse for giv-»
ing away my thought" —
"Ycu're always so tactless, dear," I said
viciously, turning a Way.
At this moment our Harvard man ap
proached, his torch trembling with excite
■ meat.
"I've a fine idea," he breathed. "I hope the
others aren't on its track. These kind of
'things are so beastly alike anyhow. Come
here." He drew mh ovei tG a secluded spot.
"My thought is on— on — But never mind
that now. Do you know, I'm never able to
see you a moment alone. You've a corpor
al's guard about you the whole time" —
"You forget our French lessons and
walks," I stanmieied furiously, realizing I
was blushing.
"Oh, they don't count! I mean really alone,
like this for instance, without a soul about,
j though even here the others are only a few
i paces on.
"Tell me your thought," I broke in, finding
I the conversation too personal.
"The thought?" he repeated dazedly. "Oh,
yes. It's on life's absolute littleness, its sub
jugation — and — and" —
But just then his torch caught my flimsy
I veil, and it went up in a gauzy whirl of
I smoke, while I sputtered and choked with
;fear. I fled from the Harvard man minus
| the thought and one veil and was met by the
little chaperon, her cheeks very red and her
eye very bright.
"She's had a thought, too," I said to my
self and tried to dodge her behind a column
of bones, but in vairv.
| "My dear, I want to tell you something.
| Now, you know the others will treat this
subject in the ordinary journalistic way, but
I will not. I am going to treat it seriously.
I am going to speak of this as Pluto's domain
and say Poe's 'Raven' was inspired by a visit
here. Switch the others off this, won't you,
love? The colleen has just asked me how to
spell Plutonian, and I'm a little suspicious of
her. It would be a delicate matter for me,
but a little finesse on your part will do it."
And she hustled away.
A nudge at my elbow and I turned to find
the coleen's pale face close to mine. "Lis
ten!" she said. "They won't treat this sub
ject as I shall. Why, I have this notebook
7

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