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SISTERS By KATHLEEN NORRIS Copyright by Kathleen Norris PETER’S RETURN. Synopsis—Doctor Strickland, re tired. Is living in Mill Valley, near San Francisco. His family consists of his daughters. Alix, 21, and Cherry, 18, and Anne, his niece, 24. Their closest friend is Peter Joyce, a lovable sort of recluse. Martin Uoyd, a visiting mining engineer, wins Cherry, marries her and car ries her off to El Nldo, a mine town. Peter realizes that he loves Cherry. Justin Little woos Anne. Cherry comes home for Anne's wedding. Cherry realizes her mar riage is a failure. Peter tells Cher ry of his "grand passion,” without naming the girl. Martin comes for Cherry. Martin and Cherry drift apart. CHAPTER IX. In January, however, he came home one noon to find her hatted and wrapped to go. ‘‘Oh, Mart—lt’s Daddy!” she said. "He’s Ul—l’ve got to see him! He’s awfully 111." ‘‘Telegram?” asked Martin, not par ticularly pleased, but not unsympa thetic, either. For answer she gave him the yellow paper that was wet with her tears. “Dad ill,” he read. ‘‘Don’t worry. Come If you can. Alix.” “I’ll Bet It’s a put-up job between you and Alix—” Martin said In indul gent suspicion. Her Indignant glance sobered him; he hastily arranged money matters and that night she got off the train in the dark wetness of the valley, and was inet by a rush of cool and fragrant air. Cherry got a driver, rattled and jerked up to the house In a surrey, and Jumped out, her heart almost suf focating her. Alix came flying to the door; the old lamplight and the odor of wood smoke poured through. There was no need for words; they burst Into tears and clung together. An hour later Cherry, feeling as If she was not the same woman who waked in Red Creek this same morn lag and got Martin’s eggs and coffee crept into her father’s room. Alix had warned her to be quiet, but at the sight of the majestic old gray head and the fine old hands clasped together on the sheet, her self-control forsook her entirely and she fell to her knees and began to cry again. The nurse looked at. her disapprov ingly, but after all, it made little dif ference. Dr. Strickland roused only once again and that was many hours later. Cherry and Alix were still keeping their vigil; Cherry, worn out, had been dozing; the nurse was rest ing on a couch in the next room. Suddenly both daughters were wide awake at the sound of the hoarse yet familiar voice. Alix fell on her knees and caught the cold and wandering hand. “What is it, darling?” The old, half joking maternal manner was ail in earnest now. "Peter?” he said thickly. ‘‘Peter’s in China, dear. You remem ber that Peter was to go around the world? You remember that, Dad?” “No—” he said musingly. They thought he slept again, but he present ly added : "Somewhere In Matthew— no, in Mark—Mark is the human one —Mark was as human as hls Mas ter—” “Shall I read you from Mark?” Alix asked, as hls voice sank again. A shabby old Bible always stood at her I’ather’s bedside; she reached for it, and making a desperate effort to •steady* tier voice, began to read. The .place was marked by an old letter, and opened at the chapter, he seemed to desire, for as she read he seemed to be drinking In the words. Once they heard him whisper, "Wonderful I” Cherry got up on the bed and took the splendid dying head in her arms; the murky winter dawn crept in and the lamp burned sickly in the daylight. Hong could be heard stirring. Alix closed the book and extinguished the lamp. Cherry did not move. “Charity!” the old man said pres ently, in a simple, childish tone. Later, with bursts of tears, in ail the utter desolation of the days that followed. Cherry loved to remember that hls last utterance was her name. But Al’x knew*, though she never said it, that it was to another Charity he spoke. • •••*•** Subdued, looking younger and thin ner in their new black, the sisters came downstairs, ten days later, for a business talk. Peter had been named as one executor; but Peter was far away, and It was a pleasant family friend, a kindly old surgeon of Dr. Strickland’s own age, or near It, and the lawyer, George Sewnll, the other executor, who told them about their affairs. Anne, as co-helress, was pres ent at this talk, with Justin sitting close beside her. Martin, too, who had come down for the funeral, was there. The house went to the daughters; there were books and portraits for Anne, a box or two In storage for Anne, and Anne waa mentioned In the only will as equally Inheriting with Alexandra and Charity. For some legal reawon that the lawyer and Dr. Younger made clear, Anne could not fully inherit, but her share would be only a trifle less than her cousins’. Things had reached this point when Justin Little calmly and confidently claimed that Anne's share was to be based upon an old loan of Anne’s fa ther to hls brother, a loan of three thousand dollars to float Lee Strick land’s invention, with the understand ing that Vincent Strickland be subse quently entitled to one-third of the re turns. As the patent lyid been sold for nearlj* one hundred and fifty thou sand dollars, one-third of it, with ac cumulative Interest for ten years, of which no payment had ever been made Anne, was a large proportion of the entire estate, and the development of this claim, In Justin Little’s assured, woodeny voice, eaused every one to look grave. The estate was not worth one hun dred and fifty thousand dollars now, by any means; it had been reduced to little more than two-thirds of that sum, and Anne’s bright concern that every one should be satisfied with what was right, and her ingenuous pleasure in Justin’s cleverness in thinking of this possibility, were met with noticeable coldness. If Anne was wrong, and the paper she held in her hand worthless, each girl would inherit a comfortable little fortune, but if Anne was right. Cherry and Alix would have only a few thou sand dollars apiece, and the old home. The business talk was over before any of them realized the enormity of Anne’s contention, and Anne and Jus tin had departed. But both the old doctor and the lawyer agreed with Martin that it looked as if Anne was right, and when the family was alone again, and had had the time to digest the matter, they felt as if a thunder bolt had fallen across their lives. “That Anne could do it!” Alix said, over and over. Cherry seemed dazed, spoke not at all, and Martin had said little. “People w’ill do anything for mon ey !” he observed once drily. He had met Justin sternly. “I’m not thinking of my wife’s share —I didn’t marry her for her money; never knew* she had any I But I’m thinking of Alix.” “Yes—we must think of darling Alix I” Anne bad said, nervously eager that there should be no quarrel. “If Uncle Lee intended me to have all this money, then I suppose I must take it, but I shan’t be happy unless things are arranged so that Alix shall be com fortable !” “B-but the worst of it Is, Alix!” Cherry stammered, suddenly, on the day before she and Martin were to return to Red Creek, “I—l counted on having enough—enough to Jive my own For Answer She Gave Him the Yellow Paper That Was Wet With Tears. life! Alix, I can’t—l can’t go back!” “Why, my darling—” Alix exclaimed, ns Cherry began to cry In iter arms, “My darling, it is as bad as alt that?” “Oh, Alix,” whispered the little sis ter, trembling, "I can’t bear It. You don’t know how* I feel. You and Dad were always here; now that’s all gone —you’re going to rent the house and try to teach singing—and I’ve nothing to look forward to —I've nobody!” “Listen, dear,” Alix soothed her. “If they advise* it, and especially if Peter advises It w hen he gets back, we’P. fight Anne. And then if we win our fight, i'll always keep the valley house open. And if we don’t, why I’m going to visit you and Martin every year, and per haps I'll have a. little apartment some day—l don’t Intend to board always—” But she was crying, too. Everything seemed changed, cold and strange; she had suspected that Cherry’s was not a successful marriage; she knew* it now, and to resign the adored little sister to the unsympathetic atmosphere of Red Creek, and to miss all the old life and the old associations, made her heart ache. “There’s —there’s nothing, special, Cherry?” she asked after a while. “With Martin? Oh, no,” Cherry an swered, her eyes dried, and her pack ing going on composedly, although her voice trembled* now and then. “No, it’s just that 1 get bad moods,” she said, bravely. “I was pretty young to marry at all, I guess.” “Martin loves you,” Alix suggested timidly. “He takes me for granted ” Cherry said, after a pause. “There doesn’t seem to be anything alive in the feel ing between us,” she added, slow’ly. “If he says something to me, I make an effort to get his point of view before I answer. If I tell him some plan of mine, I can see that he thinks It sounds crazy! I don’t seem very domestic— that’s all. I —l try. Really, I do! But —” and Cherry seemed to brace herself in soul and body—“but that’s marriage. I’ll try again!” She gave Alix a long kiss in parting, the next day, and clung to her. “I’ll write you about the case, and wire you if you’re needed, and see you soon I” Alix said, cheerfully. Then she turned and went back Into the empty house, keeping back her tears until the sound of the surrey had quite died away. CHAPTER X. Alexandra Strickland, coming down (he stairway of the valley house on an April evening, glanced curiously at the door. Only eight o’clock, but the day had been so long and so quiet that she had fancied that the hour was much later, and had wondered who knocked so late. She crossed to the door and opened It to darkness and rain, and to a man in a raincoat who whipped off a spat tered cap and stood smiling in the light of the lamp she held. Instantly, with a sort of gasp of surprise and pleasure and some deeper emotion, she set down the lamp, and held out her hands gropingly and went Into hls arms. He laughed joyously as he kissed her, and for a minute they clung together. “Peter!” she said. “You angel— when did you arrive and what are you doing, and tell me all about It!” “But Alix—you’re thin!” Peter said, holding her at arm’s length. “And — and —” He gently touched the black she wore, and fixed puzzled and troubled eyes upon her face. “Alix—” lie asked, apprehensively. For answer she tried to smile at him, but her lips trembled and her eyes brimmed. She had led the way into the old sitting room. “You heard —about Dad?” Alix fal tered, turning to face him at the man tel. “Your father!" Peter said, shocked. “But hadn’t you heard, Peter?” “My dear —my dearest child. I’m just off the steamer. I got in at six o’clock. I’d been thinking of you all the time, and I suddenly decided to cross the bay and come straight on to the valley, before I even went to the club or got my mail I Tell me—your father —” She had knelt before the cold hearth, and he knelt beside her, and they busied themselves with logs and kindling In the old way. A blaze crept up about the logs and Alix ac cepted Peter’s handkerchief and wiped a streak of soot from her wrist, quite as if she was a child again, as she settled herself In her chair. Peter took the doctor’s chair, keep ing his concerned and sympathetic eyes upon her. “He was well one day,” she said, simply, “and the next—the next, he didn’t come downstairs, and Hong waited and waited —and about nine o’clock I went up—and he had fallen —he had fallen—” She was in tears again and Peter put ids hand out and covered hers'and held it. “He must have been going to call some one,” said Alix, after a while, “they said he never suffered at all. This was January, the last day, and Cherry got here the same night. He knew us both toward morning. And that —that was all. Cherty wrs here for two weeks. Martin cune and went —” “Where Is Cherry now?” Peter in terrupted. “Back at Red Creek.” Alix wiped her eyes. “She hates It, but Martin had a good position there. Poor Cherry, it made her ill.” “Anne came?” “Anne and Justin, of course.” Peter could not understand Alix’s expres sion. She fell silent, still holding his band and looking at the fire. He looked at her with a great rush of admiration and affection. She was not only a pretty and a clever wom an ; but, in her plain black, with this •new aspect of gravity and dignity, and with new notes of pathos and appeal In her exquisite voice, he realized that she was an extremely charming wom an. Before he said good-by to her, he had asked her to marry him. He well remembered her look of bright and In terested surprise. “D’you mean to tell me you have forgotten your lady love of the hoop skirts and ringlets?” she had de manded. “No,” Peter had told her, frankly. “I shall always love her, in away. But she Is married; she never thinks of me. And I like you so much, Alix; I like our music and cooking and iinnipb and reading— togeiner. isn't that a pretty good basis, for mar riage?” ‘•No’’’ Alix had answered, decidedly. “Perhaps if I were madly in love with you I should say yes, and trust to little lingers to lead you gently, and I so on—” He remembered ending the conver sation in one of his quick moods of irritation against her. If she couldn’t take anybody or anything seriously— he had said. Poor Alii: —she was taking life seri ously enough touight, Peter thought, as he watched her. J'TelT me about Cherry,” he said. “Cherry is well, bdt just a little thin, and heartbroken now, of course. Mar tin never seems to stay at any one place very long, so I keep hoping—” “Doesn’t make good!” Peter said, shaking his head. “Doesn’t seem to! It’s partly Cher ry, I think,” Alix said honestly. “She was too young, really. She never quite settles down, or takes lite in earnest. But he’s got a contract now for three years, and so she seems to be resigning herself, and she has a inn Id, I believe.” “She must love him,” Peter submit ted. Alix looked surprised. “Why not?” she smiled. “I suppose when you’ve had ups and downs with a man, and been rich and poor, and sick and well, and have lived in half a-dozen different places, you rather take him for granted !” she added. “Oh, you think it works that way?” Peter asked, with a keen look. “Well, don’t you think so? Aren’t tots of marriages like that?”' “You false alarm. You quitter!” he answered. Alix laughed, a trifle guilt ily. Also she flushed, with a great wave of splendid young color that made her face look seventeen again. "Your father left you—something, Alix?” Peter asked presently, with some hesitation. “That,” she answered frankly, “is where Anne comes In "Anne?” “Anne and Justin came straight over,” Alix went on, “and they were really lovely. Doctor Younger and George Sewall were here every day; you and George were named as execu tors. I was so mixed up in policies and deeds and overdue taxes and in terest and bonds—” “Poor old Alix, if I had only been here to help you !” the man said. Ami for a moment they looked a little con sciouslyat each other. “Well, anyway,” the girl resumed hastily, “when it came to reading the will, Anne and Justin sprung a mine under us! It seems that ten years ago, when the Strickland patent Are extinguisher was put upon the mar ket, my adorable father didn’t have much money—he never did have, somehow. So Anne’s father, my Un cle Vincent, went into it with him to the extent of about three thousand dollars —” “Three thousand !” Peter, who had been leaning forward, earnestly at tentive, echoed in relief. “That was .all- Dad had about three hundred. Dad did all the work, and put in his three hundred, and Un cle Vincent put in three thousand — and the funny thing is,” Alix broke off to say, musingly, “Uncle Vincent was perfectly splendid about it; I my self remember him saying, ‘Don’t worry, Lee. I’m speculating on my own responsibility, not yours.’ ” “Well?" Peter prompted, as she hes itated. “Well. They had a written agree ment then, giving Uncle Vincent a third interest in the patent, should It be sold or put on the market—” “Ha I” Peter ejaculated, struck. “Which, of course, was only a little while before Uncle Vincent died,” Alix went on, with a grave nod. “The agreement lay in Dad’s desk all these years—fancy how easily he might have burned it many’s the time! But he didn’t. George Bewail says that Anne is right. They’ve broken the will.” Peter, in the silence, whistled ex pressively. “Gee-rusalem 1” he exclaimed. “What does it come to?” At this Alix looked very sober, gazed down at the Are and shook her head. “All he had!” she answered, briefly. Peter v.as silent, looking at her in stupefaction. “Almost, that is,” Alix amended more cheerfully. “As It was —we should have had more than thirty thousand apiece. As it is, Anne gets it all, or if not quite ad, nearly all." “Gets I” he echoed, hotly. "How do you mean?” “It seems to be perfectly Just,” the girl answered, rather lifelessly. But immediately Rhe laughed. “Don’t look so awful, Peter. In the first place, Cherry and I still have the house. In the second place, I am singing at St. Raphael’s for five hundred a year, and singing other places now and then. Anyway, I’m glad you’re home again, Peter!” she added. “Home again,” he answered, hnlf angrily. “I should hope I am—and high time, too! Has this—this money been turned over to Anne?” “Not yet. Nobody gets anything until the estate is cleared —a year or more from now. There are some things to be thankful for,” Alix added, dashing the sudden tears from her eyes, "and one is that Dad never knew It!” “Dear old Alix!” he said, put ting his arm about her. (TO BE CONTINUED.) The annual cost of maintaining one soldier in Germany Is 25,000 marks (normally $0,250). _ . _ LEAGUE AGENTS ONLY WANT GOIN HERE IS A STORY THAT WILL AP PLY TO MOST ANY TOWN IN THE STATE. One of the first moves made by rad ical organizations seeking membership among the farmers is to cause the farm er to distrust those in town with whom lie does business, and when the busi ness men of the community resent this sort of thing, then the farmer is urged by the radical organizer to “get even with the business man” by charging everything when he can’t pay cash, and when he has cash send to some mall order house for his goods. Recently, In a certain farming com munity In this state, a local merchant was told a farmer he hi».d bten carrying for jears had sent away for a bill of goods, cash of course being remitted with the order. The mer chant called the man Into the store and asked him if this story was true. The man said it was. Asked why, when he had money he sent it away, the man replied that the merchant was opposed to the organization which he, the farmer, had joined, and that he took this method of "getting even.’’ The merchant sought to show the man by correct and trustworthy data that the organization was not one in th* interest of the farmer; that the organ izer who was preaching distrust had but one object—to get the farmer’s eighteen dollars. The farmer replied this was not true; that the organiza tion was to help the farmers, and that the business men in town were useless middlemen who were living off the earnings of the farmers and producing nothing themselvek. • • • “Jim,” said tlie merchant, “if that Is the way you feel about this, just pay what you owe me and don’t come In again for credit" “But,” returned Jim, “I haven’t the money to pay you.” “Probably that is true,” replied the merchant, “but you had money to send to a mall order house. Does it strike you fnlr since I have never refused to grant you credit that you take money you should have paid me and send it away to perfect strangers?” A Plain Talk. “Jim,” continued the merchant, “last year when you wanted some help to buy your school a piano, you came to me, the banker, the lumber dealer, the manager at the electric light plant, and others in town, and we gave. When your people thought you wanted a minister in your district, you came In to the same men, and we gave. When you had a ball team of which you were proud, and we were proud, and you wanted to fix them out with uniforms, you came in and we all gave. Did we then appear to you as heart less, useless middle men. living off what you made? Did this organizer who has you hypnotized, or the mall order house you sent your money to, give anything? When one of your dry farm era died and it was found he did not have a dollar, was It the business men of this towii who saw he was decently burled and sent bis family back East to friends, or was it this organizer and the mail order house? And, Jim, do these smooth organizers and the mall order houses pay any taxes to keep up your schools keep up this county and this state? Every One Got Hit. “You think you have been terribly hit by the slump, and so you have, but do you think we in town have escaped: I happen to know the stockholders of the bank over on the corner have dug down for an assessment of 100 per cent on their stock to preserve the credit of this community. We are nil skating on mighty thin ice. If every account on my books was Just half paid I would have cash enough to take care.of my bills and be on easy street instead of laying awake nights wondering just what the next day is going to bring forth. I am surviving wholly because the wholesale houses I owe are trying to be as lenient with rne as I am with those who owe me. If I would stop paying them what cash I ran, and give that cash to some one else, how long do you think they would stand it? Hon estly, Jim, do you for a minute think these strangers, organizers for this movement because of the money there is in it for them, have your welfare nt heart more than the business men of this town who know you, sat with you in conventions, chummed with you in lodge, seen you In church ?” • • a This plain, yet clearly true statement of the merchant hit the right spot. The prejudices that had been aroused, and intentionally aroused by the smooth organizer, were swept away In a min ute. Reaching over and grabbing the merchant by the Im nd, the farmer snld : Jim Saw His Mistake. “Mac, you’re right; I’m in the wrong You have been my friend for years Your kindnesses I shall never again forget even for minute. The people of this town, too, have been my friends and the friends of my neighbors, and there isn’t a business man in the burg who would not close his place tomor row to attend my funeral if I should die. Just because I was hard lilt, be cause the slump in prices got me, I have been altogether too ready to ac cept the explanations of strangers. I should not have done so, but I did; no have my neighbors, and let me tell you something, Mac, the next time a man comes to my place posing as a •friend of the farmers' and starts In to tell me how the business men of the town are unfair to us, my fighting blood Is up and either he or I will get licked.” WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 1922. Brief News Notes From All .Parts of Wyoming (WmUtd Newtpaptr Union Nova Borneo. > Cheyenne will have, within the next six months, a new five-story building at the corner of Seventeenth and Cap itol streets. The building will cost $200,000 Riverton’s new SIOO,OOO high school building was opened for school pur pt tes beginning with the second sem ester on Jan. 3. The new structure will greatly relieve congested condi tions. Fire of undetermined origin de stroyed the main tipple of Dietz No. 7 mine comp near Sheridan. Officials of the Peabody Coal Company, owners of the mine, announced the loss would ex ceed $25,000. Judge J. M. Mott, one of the best known characters In Kemmerer, died at the Lincoln County Miners’ Hos pital. He had been In poor health for some time due to rheumatism and oth er aliments. Sult has been instituted against the city of Casper In District Court by Gilbert Bros, for $6,838.08, alleged to be due the firm for grading w’ork per formed under contract. The case In volves a street fill carried out in ex cess of original specifications. Cattle thieves have been operating for many months In the vicinity of the state line north of Gillette, and east ns fnr ns the Dakota line at more or less frequent intervals. Some of the stock shortages have been slight, while numerous ones have been on a rather large scale. Leaving his big Mercer car near the CR ranch, near Lusk, while hunting, S. ,\V. Boyd returned to find it had been completely destroyed by fire and an acre of grass land burned over. Quick response by four ranch employes had kept the prairie fire from spread ing further. Governor Carey appointed William A. Riner, Cheyenne attorney, to he judge of the first Judicial district, vice William C. Mentzer, resigned. The appointee Is a nephew of John A. Riner of Cheyenne, until recently the oldest federal Judge in point of serv ice in the United States. I*. C. Chapman, alleged to have ab sconded on Nov. It) with a $7,000 pay roll of the Midwest Refining Company and who was captured in Jacksonville, Fln M is in the Natrona county jail fol lowing l>is return to Casper In the cus tody of Deputy Sheriff John Power!. Chapman has admitted his guilt and on his arrival said : “I was just a Pm>l." Tlie baby son of Mr. and Mrs. Gunn of Maverick Springs was badly scald ed as a result of playing with a tber mos bottle. The bottle, filled with boiling hot water, had been placed in the baby's cab. In some way the child got the cup off the bottle and spilled the contents over its body. The child was badly burned about the legs and hips. Out of approximately 2.000 arrests made by the Casper police department during the year Just ended, over 00 per cent were'- for violation of the liQiior and drug laws, according to In formation just complied. Fines aggro gating $30,861.50 were paid Into the city treasury during the year and a large amount was worked out on Uh; streets. That Superintendent Albright ami others connected with the administra tion of the Yellowstone National Park are interested all the time in tlie wild life of tlie park Is evidenced in tlie re cent vaccination of eighty calves of the buffalo herd. The vaccination was to prevent hemorrhagic septieemtn, a dis ease which Is common to domestic stock in the mountain regions. In District Court nt Basin H. B. Richardson was appointed receiver of tlie Big Horn Glass Company nt l^oveil upon petition of the trustee for the bond holders. It is proposed to foreclose on the plant, reorganize and make It impossible to resume opera tions. Police authorities at Casper have been unable to find a clue to the identity of burglars who rollbed Mrs. Lee Stock, from whose hand an SBOO ring was removed while she was asleep in her apartment. A gold wrist watch valued at SIOO and some cash was also taken from a dresser In the room. Mrs. Stock awoke to find the valuables gone. Janies S. Harris and Oscar Robin son have completed the delivery of 20 XK) feet of mine props to the Poposla Coal Company, and liave al ready cut 500,000 feet more on their two years’ contract. The timbers were cut above Dubois, flouted down Big Wind river to Riverton and Shipped from there by rail to the mines at Poposla. There were fifty three carloads, the freight alone amounting, for the short haul, to $2,500. Thomas G. Wright Ims been appoint ed acting postmaster at Riverton and assumed charge of the office on Jan. 1. Since completing his work for the Lander Commercial Club, lie has been superintending the coal tests bein'; made near Hudson by the Dyke man syndicate. Boys? and girls’ club teams will form an Important division of the coming National Western Stock Show. Tennis from Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico will compete, and the young sters are looking forward with much Interest to the trip to the Denver shew.