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THE ARGUS,1 SATURDAY, DECEMBER,.!!).. 1008.;
CAUGHT IN THE ACT I
By ROBERT W. CHAMBERS,
Author' of The FIihfin Chance." Etc
Copyright. 1907. by Robert W. Chamber
CHAPTER I. Returning from Manila,
Captain Philip Selwyn, formerly of the
rmy, is welcomed home by his Bister,
rina Gerard, her wealthy husband. Aus
tin, and their numerous children. Eileen
Erroll, ward of Nina and Austin, is part
of their household. Selwyn has been
divorced, without guilt on his part, by
his wife, Allze, who is now the wife of
Jack Ruthven, with whom she ran
away from Selwyn.
CHAPTER II. Eileen, who Is very
fond of her brother, Gerald, despite
the young man's neglect of her, makes
friends with Selwyn.
CHAPTER in. Gerard is worried
about young Erroll's mingling in the
fast set. Gerald Is employed by Julius
Neergard, a real estate operator in a
large way. Selwyn promises Eileen he
will look after lier brother. He tells
ner about Boots Lansing, his army
cnum in Manila, who is coming to
New Tork. In the park Eileen and
Selwyn ride past Allxe.
CHAPTER IV Eileen's deceased
father was an archaeologist, and she
bas inherited some of his scholarly
qualities. Selwyn helps Gerald settle a
tamonng debt and determines, to un
ei-take his reformation.
CHAPTER V. Alixe and Selwyn meet
and discuss their altered relations. He
Is Introduced to Mrs. Rosamund Fane,
leader of the fast set and Alixe's clos
est friend. He appeals to Alixe to help
him keep Gerald from gambling.
CHAPTER VI. The friendship of
Eileen and Selwyn progresses.
CHAPTER VII. Geruld promises Sel
wyn he will stop gambling. Neergard
discloses to Selwyn, wlo is interested
In his office, a plan to control the Sio
wltlia Country club by buying up farms
essential to the clubs existence. The
plan does not appeal to Selwyn. and he
consults Austin, who denounces Neer
gard and his methods. '
CHAPTER VIII.- At night In his
room Selwyn answers a knock at his
CHAPTER IX The caller is Alixe.
who is very unhappy witli Ruthven and
wants to talk with Selwyn. For a mo
rn eut their old love Hashes up, but at
the mention of Eileen ho knows that it
is past resurrection.
CHAPTER X. Rosamund distresses
Eileen by telling her society is irossii-
ing about Alixe and Selwyn. Alixe gets
from Gerald, whohas again lost heav
ily, a promise not to play again at her
CHAPTER XI. Alixe and Ruthven
quarrel over the gaming by which he
lives, and he reveals his knowledge of
her visit at night to her ex-husband's
CHAPTER XII. Gerald's increasing
Intimacy with Neergard displeases Sel
wyn, who breaks With the real estate
man over the Siomitha matter. Neer
gard is trying to break into society.-
CHAPTER XIII. Lansing invites
Selwyn to make his home with him in
the modest house he has bought. Sel
wyn declares he will no longer let the
past mar his chance of happiness, and
Nina declares her belief that Eileen has
fallen in love with him. Nina fears
that Alixe, restless and disgusted with
Ruthven, will make mischief. Selwyn
is experimenting with chaosite, his J
"ZTX&Jk exiTfiEiTeen nsks Seiwvn'
to remove Gerald from Neergard'a in- i
chapter XV. -Through Ruthven! Bhyly come to Selwyn, not for confes
and the Fanes, Neergard forces him-; Slon, but With the crafty purpose Of
self a little way into society and tries introducing her name into the conver
ts compel ine ciuwiuiti iu tiwi mm.
Gerald loses more and more at cards,
slnking Eileen's money as well as his
to. Neergard, Rosamund and Ruthven.
tl9 almost Kins ituwiven, wnue neari
is weak, when the latter bints at a pos
sible divorce suit, with Selwyn as co
respondents. CHAPTER XVI. Correspondence be
tween Allxe and Selwyn seems to con
firm Nina s belief that Selwyn s ex
wife'is, as her late father was, mental
ly unsound. Seiwvn makes ud with
Selwyn makes 'up with
elDS him out financially.
Gerald and helps him out financially,
seriously impairing his wn resources.
CHAPTER XVII. At Silverside, the
Gerards' country place, Klleen declares
she cares for Selwyn, but she will not
say that she will marry him. Her
brother Is now turning over, a new
CHAPTER XVIII. Eileen and Selwyn
make a "lifelong an anti-sentimental
CHAPTEK Al.. lieraia renews nis
friendship with Neergard. Selwyn's ex
periments wltn cnaosue are very prom
ising. The younger set of girls be
comes devoted to Philip, and Eileen
has a touch of Jealousy.
CHAPTER XX. The reckless behav
ior of Alixe, who has left Ruthven and
Is cruising with the Fanes and others
on I Neergard's yacht, furnishes gossip
for 'society. Nlna-and her brother are
nnw con vinced of Alixe's irresponsibili
ty. Selwyn proposes to Eileen, but the i
girl is not sumeieniiy sure 01 nersen
to give him her promise. They agree
to remain friends.
CHAPTER XXI. Geralds appear
ance in public with the fast set, among
whom is Alixe .angers his own people.
Selwyn takes the boy a,way from them
and learns that he has quarreled with
Neergard, to whom he owes much
money, and with Ruthven, who has ac
cused him unjustly with undue friend
ship with Alixe. The boy has been
helping Allxe. abandoned financially by
Ruthven. with money borrowed from
Neergard, and is In desperate straits.
Selwyn aids hii again, leaving him al
most without money.
CHAPTER XXII. Alixe Is in a san
itarium, and Ruthven is In the clutches
of Neergard. Selwyn informs Ruthven
that Allxe for whom Selwyn assumes
rosnnnsibilltv. is mentally very ill. hav
lnr become childish, and thaetens to
UiFi Huthven if h tries to cast her oft
. CHAPTER XXIII. Selwyn, paying
Alixe's bills .Is in hard financial straits.
Thre is no hope of Alixe's recovery,
Selwyn sees his own people very sel
dom. CHAPTER XXIV. Lansing rescues
Polwyn from squalid lodgings, compel!
ing him to share his own home.
ATTERS at Edgewater
were beginning to be
easier in one way .. for
Selwyn. Alixe appeared
to forget him for days at
a time. She was less Ir
ritable, less restless and exacting. ...
Yesterday," 6aid Miss Cnsson, one
of the nurses, ia a letter to Selwyn,
there was a consultation here between
Drs. Vail,' Wesson and Morrison, as you
renuested. They nave not cnangea
their opinions Indeed,' they are con
vinced .that there is no possible chance
of the recovery you hoped ror wnen
too talked with Dr. Morrison. They
all agree tnat Airs, uutnven is ia excei
lent physical condition young, strong.
.vlgorous-rand may live for years, may
outlive us all, but there is nothing else
The letter ran on:
"I am Inclosing the bills you desired
to have sent you. Fuel is Tery expen
sive, as you will see. The items for
fruits, too, seem unreasonably large,
but grapes are $2 a pound and fresh
vegetables dreadfully expensive.
"I meant to thank you for sending
me the revolver and cartridges. It
seemed a silly request, but we are In
a rather lonely place, and I think Miss
Bond and Tfeel a little safer knowing
that In case of necessity we have some
thing to frighten nway any roaming in
truder who might take it into his head
to visit us.
"One thing we must be careful about.
Yesterday Mrs. Ruthven had a doll on
my bed, and I sat sewing by the win
dow, not noticing what she was doing
until I heard her pretty, pathetic little
"And what do you think she had
done? She had discovered your re
volver under my pillow, and she had
tied her handkerchief around it and
was using It as a doll!
"I got it nway with a little persua
sion, but at times she still asks for her
army doll, saying that a boy she
knew named Thlllp had sent It to her
from Manila, where he was living."
Selwyn read this letter sitting before
the fire In the living room, fet on the
fender, pipe between his teeth. It was
the first day of absolute rest he had
had in n long while.
The day before he had been at the
Ilook until almost dark, watching the
firing of a big gun. and the results bad
been so satisfactory that he was ven
turing to give himself a holiday unless
wanted at Edgewater.
He had seen Eileen seldom that win
ter. When he had seen her their rela
tlons appeared to be as happy, as
friendly as before. There was no ap
parent constraint, nothing from her to
indicate that she noticed an absence
for which his continual business with
the government sqeiued sufficient ex
i Besides, - her days were full days,
consequent upon Nina's goading and
indefatigable activity. Selwyn, unable
longer to fulfill his social obligations.
was being quietly- eliminated from the
social scheme of things.
Gerald In the early days of an affair
with Gladys and before even It had as-
sumed the proportions of an affair had
. . i. n n
satlon SO that he might have the lUX-
ury of talking about her to somebody
who would neither quiz him nor sus
Selwyn, of course, ultimately sus-;
pected bun, but as he never quizzed
him Gerald continued his elaborate
svstem of subterfuges to make her
personality and doings a topic for him
to expand upon and Selwyn to listen
It had amused Selwyn. lie thought
of It now a" gay memory like a ray of
light flung for a moment across the
somber background of his own sad
ness. Fortunate or unfortunate, Ger
ald was Btill lucky In his freedom to
hazard It with chance and fate. Sel
wyn's dull eyes rested upon the ashes
of the fire, and' he saw his dead youth
among them and in the flames his
maturity burning to embers.
If he outlived Alixe his life would lie
as the ashes lay at his feet. If she out
lived him and they had told him
there was every chance of it at least
he would have something to busy him
self with hi life If he was to leave her
provided for when he was no longer
there to stand between her and chari
ty. As he lay there in his chair, the
unllghted pipe drooping in his hands.
the telephone on the desk rang, and
he rose and unhooked the receiver,
Drlna's voice sounded afar, and
Hello, sweetheart," he said gayly. "Is
there anything I can do for your
"I've been talking over the phone to
Boots," she said. "You know, when
ever I have nothing to do I call up
Boots at his office and talk to him.'
"That must please him," suggested
"It does. Boots says you are not
going to business today, so I thought
I'd call you up."
"Thank you," said Selwyn.
"You are welcome. What are you
doing over there in Boots house?"
- "Looking at the fire. Drlna, and lis
tening to the purring of three fat tabby
"Oh, mother and Eileen have gone
somewhere. I haven't anything to do
for ajx hour. Can't you come around V
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worth keeping for future reference.
THE Jig Saw Puzzle is the very latest craze. Try this one. Mount the accompanying picture on thick
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the mount is of paper or with a jig saw in case the mount is of wood, and fit the pieces together. You
will then have a very attractive Christmas picture, showing who was "caught in the act" and who did the
"Why, yes. If you want m"
"Yes, I do. Of course I can't have
Boots, and I prefer you next."
The child was glad to see him ana'
expressed herself so, coming across to I
the chair . where he sat and leaning
against him, one arm on his shoulder.
"Do you know," . she 6ald, f that I
miss you ever so much? Do you know
also that I am nearly
that there Is nobody In this house near
enough my age to be very companion
able? Uncle Philip, mother has for
bidden me, and I'll tell her and take
my punishment, but would you mind
telling me how you first met my Aunt
Selwyn's arm around her relaxed,
Why do you ask, dear?" he said
I heard mother say to Eileen that
you bad never had a chance for hap
piness. I thought it was very sad. I
had gone Into the clothespress to play
with my dolls; you know I still do
play with them that is, I go Into some
secret place and look at them at times
when the children are not around. So
I was In there, sitting on the cedar
chest, and I couldn't help hearing what
they said. Mother said to Eileen,
'Dearest, can't you learn to care for
him?' And Eileen"
"Drlna," he interrupted sharply, "you
must not repeat things you overhear."
Oh, I didn't hear anything more,"
said the child, "because I remembered
that I shouldn't listen, and I came out
of the closet Isn't It possible for you
to marry anybody. Uncle I'hilip?"
Not even if Eileen would marry
"You could not understand, dear.
Even your mother cannot quite under
stand. So we won't ever speak of it
again, Drlna." ' .
I know something that mother dees
not," she said. And as he betrayed no
curiosity: "Eileen Is In love. I heard
her say so."
He straightened up sharply, turning
to look at her.
"I was sleeping with her. I wn still
awake, and I heard her say, 'I tft love
you; I do love you.' She said it very'
softly,- and I cuddled . up. supposing
she meant me. But she was asleep."
"She certainly meant you," said Sel
wyn. forcing his stiffened lips Into a
"No; she did not mean me."
"H-how do you know?" '
"Because she said a man's name."
A. few moments later ; her music
teacher arrived, and Drlna was oblig
ed to leave bim. . .
"If you don't wait until I have finish
ed my music,? she said, '. "you won't
see mother and Eileen. They are com
ing to take me to the riding school at
Turning to go, for the house and its
associations, made him ; restless, he
found himself confronting Eileen, who,
la her furs and gloves,' was just enter
ing the room.'
"I came p." she said. "They told
me you were here, calling very formal
ly upon Drlna, if you please. What
with her monopoly of you and Boots
there seems to be no chance 'for"Ulna
and me." : -
"I will stay until Nina comes,
tnnv 1A o.at.t rln-1 w
"You don't look very well. Captain
Selwyn. Are you?" :
"Perfectly. I" he" laughed I
growing old; that Is all."
"Do you say that to annoy me," she
asked, with a disdainful sbrug "Or to
further impress me?"
He shook his head' and touched the
hair at his temples significantly. ;
"Pooh!" she retorted. "It is becom
ing Is that what you mean?"
"I hope It is. ' There's no reason
why a man should not grow old grace
fully." . ' - ; "
"Captain Selwyn! "But of course you
only say it to bring out that latent
"Do you know
that I miss you ever to
temper of mine. . It's about the only
thing that-tfoes" It too. And please
don't plague me, If you've only a few
moments to stay. It may amuse you
to know that I, too, am exhibiting
signs of increasing Infirmity. My tern
per, if yoir please, Is not what It once
"Worse than evert" he asked In pre
"Far worse. It is vicious. Kit-Ki
took a .nap on a new dinner gown of
mine, and I slapped her. And the oth
er day "Drlna hid In "a clothespress
while Nina was discussing my private
affairs, and when tbe little imp emerg
ed I could have shaken her. . Oh, I am
certainly becoming inflrin. So If you
are, too, comfort' yourself with the
knowledge that I am keeping pace with
you through the winter of our discon
tent" " ' "
I am wondering," he said hi a ban
; terlng volt?e.
"what secrets Drina
. VWould you like to know what Nina
was saying to me?" she asked.
"I'd rather bear' what you said to
her. Were you laughing or weeping?
. "Perhaps I was - yawning. .How do
you knpw?" she smiled.
After a . moment he said, still curious,
"Why were you crying, Eileen?"
i ."Crying! I didn't say I was crying."
assume iV. - . ; - ; . , .
VWelL yes," she admitted, "I was
crylng-r-if you; insist on knowing. Now
that you have driven me to admit that,
can you also force me to tell you why
I was so tearful?" . :
. "Certainly," he said promptly; "It
was something Nina said that made
you cry." - ,... ..
; They both laughed. . " :
: J0h what a come-down ?" she' said
teaslngty. "You knew that before. But
can you force me to confess to von
What. Nina was saying ? If you . can.
you are the cleverest cross examiner
In the world, for I'd rather perish than
tell you." . .... '
"Oh," he said Instantly, "then It was
something aiout love!" . -
lie naa not meant to say it He had
spoken too quickly, and the flush of
surprise on the girl's face was matched
by the color rising to his own temples.
And, to retrieve tbe situation, he spoke
too quickly again and too lightly.
A girl would rather perish than ad
mit that she is in love?" he said, forc
ing a laugh. "That is rather a clever
deduction, I think. Unfortunately.
however, I happen to know to the con
trary, so all my cleverness comes to
The surprise had faded from her
face, but the color remained, and with
It something else something In the
blue eyes which he had never before
encountered - there the faintest trace
of recoil, of shrinking away from him.
She was beginning to love him no
longer in her own sweet fashion, but
in bis, and she was vaguely aware of
It, yet curiously passive and content to
put no question to herself whether It
was true or false. And how it might
be with him she evaded asking herself
too. Only tbe quickening of breath and
pulse questioned the pure thoughts un
voiced; only the Increasing Impatience
of her suspense confirmed the answer
which now, perhaps, she might give
him one day while the blessed world
ne had not, yet spoken when again
she lifted her eyes and saw him sitting
in the dusk, one arm resting across bis
knee, his body bent slightly forward,
his gaze vacant
He did not stir. Then unreasoning.
Instinctive fear confused her, and she
heard her own voice, sounding strange
ly In the twilight:
"Why you are so-silent with me.
What has crept In between us? I"
the Innocent courage sustaining her
"I have not changed, except a little In
In the way you wished. Have you?"
"No," he said In an altered voice.
"Then what Is it? I have been you
have left me so much alone this whi
ter, and I supposed I understood"
"My work," he said, but she scarce
ly knew the voice for his.
"I know; you have had no tune. 1
know that. I ought to know It by this
time, .for I have told myself often
enough. And yet when we are to
gether it Is it bus been different
Can you tell me why? Do you think
"You must not change," he said.
The mounting sea of. passion swept
him. He turned on her unsteadily, his
hands clinched, not daring to touch her.
Shame, contrition, horror that the dam
age was already done, all were forgot
ten.. Only the deadly grim duty of the
moment held him back.
- "Dear," he said, "because I am un
changedbecause I I love ' you so
help me, and God help us both!"
Tell me,"; she said steadily, but It
was fear that stilled her voice. She
laid one slim hand on the fable, bear
ing down on the points of her fingers
until the nails whitened, but her head
was high and her eyes met his, straight
I I knew It," she .said. "I under
stood there was something. If it Is
trouble; and I see It is, bring It to me.
If I am the woman you took me for,
give me my part In this.' It ia the
quickest way to my heart, Captain Sel
wyn. I ask it"
"Whyr . - - -
Made of Pure -Grape
Safeguards the icdS
OVAL BMUM POWOM
Her eyes wavered, then returned his'
"For love of yon," Bhe said, as white
He caught his breath sharply and
straightened out passing one hand
across his eyes. When she saw his
face again In the dim light It was
"There was a woman," he said, "for
whom I was once responsible." He
spoke wearily, head bent resting the
weight of one arm on the table against
which she leaned. "Do you under
stand?" he asked.
"Yes. You mean Mrs. Ruthven."
"I mean her. Afterward, when mat
ters had altered, I came home."
He raised his head and looked about
him in the darkness.
"Came home," he repeated, "no long
er a man the shadow of a man, with
no hope, no outlook, no right to hope."
He leaned heavily on the table, his
arm rigid, looking down at the floor as
he spoke. '
"No right to hope. Others told me
that I still possessed that right I
knew they were wrong. I do not mean
that they persuaded me. I persuaded
myself that, after all, perhaps my
right to hope remained to me. I per
suaded myself that I might be, after
all, the substance, not the shadow."
He looked up at her.
"And so I dared to love you."
' She gazed at him. scarcely breathing.
. "Then," he said, "came the awaken
ing. My dream had ended."
She waited, the lace on her breast
scarce stirring, so still she stood, so
"Such responsibility cannot die while
those live who undertook it I be
lleved it until I desired to believe It no
He took one step toward her, and his
voice fell so low that Bhe could Just
"She has lost her mind, and the case
is hopeless. Those to whom tbe laws
of the land have given care of her
turned on her, threatened her with dis
grace. And when one friend of hers
halted this miserable conspiracy her
malady c.ime swiftly upon her. and
suddenly she found herself helpless.'
penniless, abandoned, her mind already
clouded and clouding faster. Eileen,
was there then the shadow of a doubt
as to the responsibility? I care not
utter one word of love to you. I dare
not touch you. What chance it there
for such a man as I?"
, "No chance for she whispered.
. For a second he stood motionless.
then, swaying slightly, turned on his
. And long4 after he had left tbe house
she still stood there, eyes closed, col
orless lips set her slender body quiv
ering, racked with the first fierce grief
of a woman's love for mat.
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