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THE TIMES : THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1920.
NINE 11 9K nit . - 1! r- i' '' : J J : - . v v ;.. V ii; ; j; r'- ' I , ; r When A Girl Marries By cam Continued from Page Eight.) I was so preoccupied with this ugly : situation that I began meking prepar ations for dinner in complete silence. But Jim didn't appear to notice this. - ' Ha had brought out his books on ac ; counting and was working away with : complete single-heartedness of pur ; pose to master that difficult study at 1 one .sitting. Now and then, as I came into the ; living room with something for the ! dinner table. I heard him fling a ques j Uon at Neal, who was standing idly at one of the windows playing with ' the apricott silk curtains. Now this ' hurt my house-wifely feelings. butI j realized that Neal was still sore from . the rebuff Virginia had given him and that he would be frightfully hurt by ' even the slightest correction. Presently Neal follow me Into the kitchen. "Anything I can do, Babbs." he asked, with an entire lack, of anima ' tion that was no odder than his ques : tion. Generally he plunged in and ' helped without any direction from me. "Don't bother if you're tired, dear. J Tve nothing much to get I saved a ! few sandwiches for you, and the rest i of the dinner's just chops and carrots i and baked potatoes." "I'd like something to do. I I ; don't want to think, Babbs," persisted ; Neal then, suddenly, "Say, Babbs, have you heard from father lately?" "That's funny, Neal I was going - to ask you about that. I've written twice a week as usual ever since you came, -but I've-had only a couple of ! postals from Father Andrew. I thougrt it was because he was writing ! to you." "I've had exactly one letter from ; father since I came," Neal replied, in I a voice that was almost husky. "One letter? And you've been here : over three weeks almost a month. i What does it mean, Neal ?" I cried ! In amazement, slamming the door of the broiling oven on my chops and ' turning to face him. There was a flash of defiance in his eyes as he responded: i .' "I told you when I came, didn't I, ; that I hadn't consulted father about I my Job? I said I Just got it and lit lout." ' . "Yea, you did. and I sat right down ! and wrote Father Andrew you were I with us and that everything would be all right. It hurt me a little that he ' didn't answer my letter with more' 1 than a postal but I thought 'he was , I busy, and I didn't ask to see your let ( j ters, because you'd naturally show them to me if you wanted me to see I them. After all. no matter how I love ! him, Father Andrew is your really, truly dad not mine," I said slowly ' feeling my way through the tangle I 1 began to sense. - ' "I guess he's teen wishing he was '.; your father instead of mine." Neal said bitterly. I went over and laid my hand on , his shoulder "Neal is there something you want ! to tell Babbsie?" "I'll' keep my affairs to myself," re- plied Neal, shaking oft my hand and : muttering with a boyish gruffness I might, have known masked, actual j emotion. "I I only get hurt when I f talk about what really matters. No ; one believes in me. And maybe they're j right not to. But I might be different if they did. Tou think I'm as fickle as i the. deuce, and that Dalton woman thinks I'm not to be trusted at all, and !jim " ! He stopped abruptly. His voice had risen high and tense it broke on a high note. I "Yes, Neal." asked Jim's voice. He i had hobbled across the living room s ', and stood in the doorway of the 1 kitchenette. His face was stern and set. His voice had a ring of authority. "You were saying that no one trust , ed you. No. Neal, you needn't look so ' indignant I wasn't eaves-dropping. I When I heard you shout that no one j believed in you, I hurried-out here as ; fast as my ankle would permit. So ! you think I don't trust you?" "How can you trust be knowing 1 what you do?" Neal tried to hold his i voice steady, but in spite of him, a ' broken note crept into it. "You've I stood by aand tried to help me. But what must you think of me you with I that smashed foot you got in the fight ' I I " Then he turned to me and flung his , young head high as he choked out the ! confession it must have tortured him to make. And, strangely enough ' instead of wavering away Neal's eyes held mine as he muttered, huskily: "I'm a slacker Babbsie. A draft i dodger. I ran away from home to get ' out of being a soldier to get away from the draft." CHAPTER XXVI. , "A slacker!" I gasped. "Oh. Neal, Neal you've broken Father An drew's heart!" "I guesa I have," said Neal be tween his teeth. "That's way he doesn't write. He thinks you're in it, too. He thinks you've helped me keep out of this war." I tried to find some words of com- '""Tou always hated blood and disfigurement. From a child you hated scars and maiming. You can t help it, poor lad. Father mustn t blame. you. But, Neal, Neal, darling, you will fight yourself 'won't you; you'l EO home and take whatever punishment there is. and then after wards you'll try to do your part? I slipped my arm through my poor young brother's and folded my hands across it. Then I turned to face my soldier-husband, whose greatest trag edy was that he could no longer fight. I wanted my eyes to send him a mes sage pleading that he be gentle in his Judgment of this lad of mine whose tragedy was that Tie feared to fight. But Jim's eyes were tender smiling and it almost seemed they were : triumphant. - "Good stock!" he said quietly. "I knew you'd stand by the boy and still urge 'him to do the right thing. Well, lad, are you ready to do the right thing? It's simple enough, after all. You've only to go down to the local Draft Board and report. They'll take care of the situation for you. And when you're called in, your dis trict they'll know where to lay hands on you." "My chops!" I cried for I could smell them burning, and the fumes from the oven could be made to ac count for the wateriness of my eyes. "Never mind, I won't eat much," muttered Neal gloomily, dragging himself back to the actualities and necessities of life, and starting to help me carry in the dinner. Jim laughed and in his laughter there was friendliness and comfort. "You can eat and, be at peace with yourself, lad," he cried, "for you're not a slacker at all." "What do you mean?" cried Neal, wheeling to face Jim. "Don't make fun of me." "I mean just that you're not a slacker. Don't you realize, boy, that you never ran away from the- draft at all? You merely ran .away from yourself and the slow agony of waiting for them to call your class the expert bank accountants. But if ' in your heart of hearts you'd been trying to cheat the draft, would you have come straight to your own sis- ter? Would you have given your ad dress to your father?" But now Neal turned on Jim in new terror. Inc.) Are thev Erninv tn trft inln trnuhl t for harboring me?" JMO, lad of course not! Weren't you living here openly? Did you ever deny your age or name or your borne ouuicasj Att uur ineuua auuw wuu you are and where- you come from. see if your number got called. Oh, no, lad a real slacker doesn't go where he's so easy to find. Come on everyone lane a aisix, ana wen go in and trv tn five our soldier hw ui appetite." Neal did not answer that until we were seated at the table. Then, his "PS Twisting wim scorn ana aisiaste, he nnnnlllfl o1 V) !, Annfnnafnn with words that startled me: xou cailea me 'soldier boy,' Jim. you asked if I was watching to see if my number got called. You bet I ttcio. mi wuat uu JfUU I II 111 IV A wad going to do if it did? I was going to me. That's the kind of rotten Amer ican i am. "Quit that, Neal!" Jim's voice com manded. "You're hysterical now. a uu an l iu i .i-ii jiuurwii w 1 Uil yuur own scorn. You would never have uuiie a uiriy tries: liKe mat. inow, why don't you prove it to yourself by not waiting until you're called?" x tu mean volunteer . , 'I mean ask for immpHlntA i nrt na tion." "Now? Right away?" asked Neal. I could see him shrink. "At once," replied Jim in a maifcter- -" tvav.;. IU L U V f. ll 1 y 1.11111 to Anne and me, for, we know that you have never been a slacker in your soul but to prove to yourself that you. aren't hiding behind even your chance of delayed call. To prove to yourself that you're a real man!" "Was that Evelyn Mason?" he cried before I could speak. "res," i said dully. Then hofnrn mi" , t nntBi, ja .Veal rushed to the 'phone and called Evw. Antnnllv at a l; 1- . j t , -.-uiii. ii t. uac this, he could turn to her. "iaiss Mason?" he asked after a moment of waiting. "Evelyn this is Neal TTvlanri T'm qaViinin v. --- v. i-u a. ill but I clean forgot. We've had nviviina in me lamiiy. 1 nope I haven't put you out. I'll do anything in Tn v nower to ma.kA iit Vn t - come over tonight. I've got the big- j my me on. sorry, I'll ex plain another time." m Slowlv hA fmsaf n -i7t elyn and his offence of her forgotten. He came to the table and stood in si- i?iiic iui- a moment nis ringers trac- idle nfttlprns nrfli a 1 V. i a . ' - -- w ivia lit: uau picked up. . Then he coughed thrust his head forward n r-prnwivolir . . . - j , uu luiucu in Jim. but even as he turned his face to my husband, he took a little step i i j e L llim cjose to me and laid -nis hand timidly on my sleeve. Ideal's fa.ne wont urhila -xxrt -i a "- yv ""-t, TY 1 UU LIlclL whiteness staring and dancing, be fore my eyes, I got up to answer the summons of the telephone a moment " Jvvy- asKing ior JNeal. i i f PATinftt nrtmn 1 I T i. t said firmly. VThis is Ms Bister.- Please give me the message." Clirtlv the nna-nror , L-c- might remind him that gentlemen ;"J-1'. uiiiner engagements. Good bye. Evidentlv ithnf- versation, so I put the receiver back T. """ iurnea to JVeal. t,- ' .ho said' "abut Jumping in efoJ. they call me. I've got a toJ fi8llres. and I hear there's a. lo-t of need for heavy artillery. Is there any one in Washington you'd give me a letter to? I'd like to go over to - morrow and ask for my in- fo-i'ci a. ix you a De willing !?ter ia,ivinS with a real soldie? Jim got to his feet, and his voice was as reverent as a praver. bl,ef3 you' Iad! 1 knew you were a real man. The artillery is a. wonderful service ana they are taking them across pretty fast " His eyes asked a question. ' Neal answered it: -weai "I knew. I i Ll.K' . becauseit . iur me to ngure." ffort he.'d it there I could feel my , ,7 T 7 a man ana a IT- "If lne.. to him -"mij. j3ut it was Jim who had done the big thing. ,Hha,d 5iven Neal the courage tha-t made him a man. w CHAPTER LXVII. mor'n5 i? , j xt , , r- WUI you. Jim'" asked Neal jerkily next morning just as he was leaving the house. ,5s yOUr heart- 1' tTive you ton r in wasnlng- rat'S Srreat' Jim- But on't for get the heavy artillery. If i can et induction papers in that it s alf I clre thafflrs?0- ?T. But want you:- Bet you lf ey youAsaviShJJm- r" do whatever you sa. You you miil)n n anything I wouldn't do'? Then n a if n . . """""'ii' airaia of what ne9dm,ihat ITJ W his worfl. T :..'5 "ur Punctuated with a happV iaugh? Y nusband There' 1.. men! able to thnk you in! S?;U 1 can,t sh Se "Oh. that's all right." brokn in Tim uneasily, "I just helped the fcid find himself. It didn't do to let him think of himself as a slacker. I on& sluni a few words at him. That's nothinif But" honey' what tickle n ?u InrnVfrerfy1"0 bS ablS d grin and sayYhatThe old ribs weren't one James Hunter Harrison wouldSl suredly report for work Monday about mine. I 'wanted to flta of what he r?. ,u l' ? m a mood for heroics, bo --i. it oe sunea. b?tw- ""injrPhoebe phoned r V r . . wuru irom Virginia "lZ 'fe.weU J"! and nch " ln tne early af ternoon Evw fma V : . - . "iccamg in Wltn the announcement that Neal's remarks , Ax.niico9 in i ne. ramilv hail haunted her ever since the night be fore and so she had Just been com pelled to come and see what she could do for us. She greeted me with nonchalant indifference. She seemed to have for gotten our quarrel and the occasions when she had phoned and ignored me. I couldn't tell whether it meant serene enmity or friendship too well established to be broken lightly bv . mere misunderstanding. Tpward my Jim she was all sunshine as bracing as an October day. There was no question of her attitude toward him. "You poor, lonesome boy!" she cried. "Being sick of such a bore if you'd only sent for me, Anne, I would have been delighted to come over and amuse Jim. Was he cross as two sticks. Would you like to play check ers now ?" - "I'd love a game of cnecKers, re turned ' Jim. "Quarter a corner eh?" - 'nh. ,ia tio nhcr-lcer-board. will you, Anne?" said, Ewy with an air of cameraaene. -un, oim, shocked because I'm going to play for money!" "Nonsense, Ewy. Anne knows how games bore a fellow unless there's a little stake." "It isn't that," I said, trying to per Rnadn mvself that Tcwvs fondness for Jim was merely an expresion of old and loyal friendship; -Tut I haven t an idea where there is a cnecKer board." "Over In the carved chest," Ewy cried. "You don't mean to say Tom never showed you the secret compart ment or that cnest Whereupon Ewy ran across to the chest and lifted the lid. "Whv. vou never erot your blue robe back from Tom! Aren't you friends with my big cousin anymore? How mean. He was so fond of you, Anne!" I felt a barb in each word and sud denly it seemed strange to me - al most insulting that Jim wasn't show ing a shadow of Jealousy. Yet so ab sorbed was I in my thoughts, that I didn't see what secret spring her fin gers manipulated but suddenly the seeming bottom of the chest lifted up and a narrow compartment was re-, vealed. There lying in a mass of pa pers and sealed packages was the game of checkers. I felt a feeling that some day I will be sorry that I didn't notice the spring that opened that se cret compartment. And even now I wish I had made a point of asking Ewy to show it to me. With an air of being completely at home, Ewy established herself and the checker game across from Jim, and then they settled down to moving those little black and red disks about the hoard with complete forgetfulness of my existance. Jim lost from the very beginning and the little pile of coins in front of Ewy was soon ab surdly large. ' "Now, I'll play you double or quits," she cried eagerly. Jim agreed. It drdn't seem to occur to them that for almost two hours I had been fussing about on the edge of things, , trying to busy myself with sewing and preparations for tea. Then Just as they were settling down to their championship game, in came Sheldon to take Ewy home. She looked up with a pout which changed to an amused twinkle as she made a suggestion that Sheldon take me out for a breath of air. "That will give Anne a bit of an outing and I'll wager it will be the very first she's had since-our Jimmie took up home-life." "Fine like nothing better than to lure the beautiful bride aray from the groom for an hour or so," saitl Sheldon amiably. All too readily for my happiness. Jim seconded the idea. And so I had to go off and leave my hus band and Ewy cosily established in our little home together. And per fectly contented about it. I began to wish that Jim might sometime be Jealous as I so often was. I wondered if it was exactly in my power to make him jealous. CHAPTER L3CVTTL '"wen, where do' we go from here, Mrs. Jimmie?" asked Sheldon, as he followed me into his low-hung gray racer. "Shaft we make it a spin up the River road." "Anywhere yon Sfke. Just to skim along in this adorable car's enough for me" I replied, truthfully forget ting my chagrin at the way Ewy had forced Sheldon to play, host to me, whether Or no. he liked it. "You might have said Just to skim along with me was enough for you," suggested Sheldon, with such a nice boyish grin that 1 grinned right back to meet it. "I might have but what's a com pliment from a staid old married woman like me?" Sheldon turned and examined me critically. "Not so staid, Mrs. Jimmie. You're sparkling like a two-year-old before we even start." "Well, I feel like a prancing colt turned out to pasture," I confessed. "I've been shut in for days, you know." Sheldon patted my arm in what I took to be nice big-brotherly fashion, and then silence fell between us. He devoted himself to the exacting task of driving through the heavy traffic of the avenue. I became absorbed in the luxury of rolling up that avenue as part of the stream of pleasure cars, instead of racing madly, from curb to curb in fi. wild effort to avoid the vast tangle of onrushing wheels. "At last we reached the park, Shefdon turned into it, and a clean, wOodsy smell blew across our faces. I drew a great breath of it into my lungs. "It's better than the dust and per fume and patchouli of the avenue," murmured Sheldon, as if agreeing with something I had said. "Oh, how comfy of you to under stand my sniffing like a little dog," I said. "To show how well I understand I'll drive down the paths-where all the balsam and pine trees grow. So prance away, little colt and sniff away, little colt and sniff away, little t dog!" I Of course, we laughed at our non sense and that laugh made us really just as friendly and at home with each other as we'd been pre tending to be, "Like it?" asked Sheldon as we! drove through a narrow path under a great cliff hung with birch and pine. I "Like it? I love it!" I cried. "This is the first friendly little drive without quantities of folks along I've had since my honeymoon. It rests me and makes me fell all clean and sweet." I wasn't coquetting when I said it, but all in a moment I knew Sheldon thought I was. He slowed the car, and 'leaning across the wheel, he look ed into my eyes and said, in a very quiet, intent voice: i "You are sweet! You dear little, quaint little Lilac Lady you are sweeter than I ever guessed. You aren't afraid to say you're enjoying yourself and you aren t too blase to enjoy the simplest things. How under the sun have I managed to miss you all these months?" For just one minute I was Inclined to put Sheldon firmly back in his place with an abrupt word. Then I thought of Jim content to be alone with Ewy and taking me so completely for granted as his own. property that he could bundle me. out with Sheldon as calmly as if I were his maiden aunt. It was silly not to enjoy this ride and if I squelched Sheldon he 'would rightabout-face and take me home. So I grinned as mischievously as I dared, and said: "Well I've missed you. too." "Meaning that I've managed to keep my charm hidden pretty thor oughlyeh, what. Well do you see it now? Do you begin to see what you've missed the way I do?" asked She-ldon almost tenderly, as the gray roadster drew out on the River road and drove into the heart of a glorious crimson and purple and gold sunset. "The river all tawny under its purple shadows!" I cried, impulsive ly, forgetting personalities before the grandeur of the glowing sky and wa ter. "We'll drive on into the heart of the sunset and then on into the dark and then and then, Little Lilac Lady?" asked Sheldon in a low voice with a queer vibrating note. "And then we'll turn around and drive home again; I suppose," I said in a dry, practical tone. For suddenly I had com to realize that Sheldon Blake was flirting with me flirting hard, and with all the certainty and f, , nm o man t t.i , i nn iiucwc v.. . . . " '11-1111 mis w ti-i :ii i i old game. Was he doing it merely be-1 1 n "that n .. li-nn WO.U3V3 1' - " - I. OU1 L till 11 "I f I- his hand In with any woman who came along? Or was it because it had piqued him to have Ewy send 1057-1Q73 Broad St. (MSLtKB Opposite Post Office We H Demand Again the Clark Store takes the lead in helping in a yery substantial way to relieve the present burden of the high cost of homefurnishins and while this action necessitates a loss o profits we are willing to suffer this loss to help ou 4 thousands of customers supply their, home- furnishing needs at a generous genuine saving. . 1: The gratifying public response to our answer- to the- universal demand for flowered prices is an impressive acknowledgment of "the public's appreciation of our efforts. It you need anything now or in the near future for your home you will be acting wisely ' by getting it while this discount is in effect. 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