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SISTERS By KATHLEEN NORRIS Copyright by Kathken Norris CHAPTER XV—Continued. “Martin,” sbe said, impetuously in terrupting him, “I’ve g<»t to talk to youl*ye meant to write it —so many times, I’ve had it in mind ever since I left Red Creek I” “Shoot I” Martin said, with ids fav orite look of indulgent amusement. “Tljere are marriages that without any fault on either side are a mistake.” < ’herry began, “any contributory fault. I mean- ” “Talk United States'.” Martin growled, smiling, but on guard. “Well, I think our marriage was one of those!” Cherry said. “What have you got to kick about?*? Martin asked, after a pause. “I’m not kicking!” Cherry answered, with quick resentment. “But I wish. I had words to make you realize how I feel about it!” Martin looked- gloomily up at her, and shrugged. “This is a sweet welcome from your wife !” he observed. But ns she re garded him with troubled and earnest eyes, perhaps her half-forgotten beau ty made an unexpected appeal to him, lor he turned toward her and eyed her with a large tolerance. “What’s tl>e matter, Cherry?” he asked. “It doesn’t seem to me that you’ve got much to kick about. Haven’t I always taken pretty good care of you? Didn’t 1 take the house and move the things in; didn’t I leave you a whole month, while I ate at that rotten boarding house, when your father died; haven’t J. let you have —how long Is it? —seven weeks, by George, with your sister?” Cherry recognized the tones of his old arraigning voice. He felt himself ill-treated. “Now you come in for this money,” he began. But she interrupted him hotly : “Martin, you know that Is not true!” “Isn’t it true that the instant you can take care of yourself you begin to talk about not being happy, and so onI” lie asked, without any par ticular feeling. “You bet you do I Why, I never cared anything about that money, you never heard me speak of it. I always felt that by the time the lawyers and the heirs and the wit nesses got through, there wouldn’t be much left of it. anyway!” Too rich in her new position of the woman beloved by Peter to quarrel with Martin in the old unhappy fash ion, Cherry laid an appealing hand on his arm. “I’m sorry to meet you with this sort of thing.” she said, simply, “( blame myself now for not writing you just how I’ve come to feel about it! We must make some arrangement for the future —things can’t be as they were ’.” “You’ve had it all your way ever since we were married.” he began. “Now you blame me ” "I don’t blame you, Martin!” “Well, what do you want a divorce for. then?” “I don’t even say anything about a divorce,” Cherry said, fighting for Mils Cherry Laid an Appealing Hand on His Arm. time only. “But I can’t go back!” she added, with a sudden force and con viction that reached him at last. “Why can’t you?” “Because you don’t love me, Mar tin, and —you know it!— -1 don’t love you!” 4 *Well, but you can’t expect the way wo felt when we got ihnrried to last forever,” he said, clumsily. “Do you suppose other men and women talk this way when the —the novelty has worn off?” “I don’t know how they talk. I only know how 1 feel!” Cherry said, chilled by the old generalization. Martin, who had stretched his legs to their length, crossed them at the ankles, and shoved his hands deep in to bls pockets. staring at rhe racing blue water with somber eyes. “What do you want?” he asked, Lenvlly! “I want to live my own life!” Cher ry answered, after a silence during which her tortured spirit seemed to coin the hackneyed phrase. “That stuff!” Martin sneered, under bis breath. “Well, all right, 1 don’t care, get your divorce!” he agreed, carelessly. “But I’ll have something to say about that, too,” lie warned her. “You can drag the whole thing up be fore the courts if you want to —only remember, if you don’t like It much, son did it. It never occurred to me even to think of such a thing! I’ve done my share in this business; you never asked me for any tiling I could give you that you didn’t get; you’ve never been tied down to housework l|ke other women; you’re not raising a family of kids—go ahead, tell every shop-girl hi San Francisco all about it. in the papers, and see how much sympathy you get!” “Oh, you beast!” Cherry said, be tween her teeth, furious tears in her eyes. The water swam in a blur of blue before her as they rose to go downstairs at Sausalito. Martin glanced at her with impa tience. Her tears never failed to anger him. “Don’t cry, for God’s sake!” he said, nervously glancing about for possible onlookers. “What do you want me to do? For the Lord’s sake don’t make a scene until you and I have a chance to talk this over quietly ” Cherry’s thoughts were with Peter. In her soul she felt as if his arm was about her, as if she were pouring out to him the whole troubled story, sure that he would rescue and console her. fshe had wiped her eyes, and some what recovered calm, but she trusted herself only to shrug her shoulder as she preceded Martin to the train. There was no time for another word, for Alix suddenly took possession of them. She had had time to bring the car all the six miles to Sausalito, and meant to drive them direct to the val ley from there. She greeted Martin affectionately, although even while she did so her eyes went with a quick, worried look to Cherry. They had been quarreling, of course—it was too bad, Alix thought, but her own course was clear. Until she could take her cue from them, she must treat them both with cheerful unconsciousness of the storm. They reached the valley and Martin was magnanimous about the delayed lunch. Anything would do for him, he said; he was taking a couple of days’ holiday, and everything went. Kow was chopping wood after lunch, and he sauntered out to the block with suggestions; Alix, laying a fire for the evening, simply because she liked to do that sort of work, was favored with directions. Finally Martin pushed her aside. “Here, let me do that,” he said. “You’d have a tine fire here, at that rate!” Later he went down to the old house with them, to spend there an hour that was trying to both women. It was almost in order now; Cherry had pleased her simple fancy in tlie matter of hangings and papering, and the effect was fresh and good. “Girls going to rent this?” Martin asked. “Unless you aud Cherry come live here,” Alix said boldly. He smiled tolerantly. “Why should we?” “Well, why shouldn’t you?” “Loafing, eh?” “No, not loafing. But you could transfer your work to San Francisco, couldn’t you?” Martin smiled a deep, wise, long enduring smile. “Oh, you’d get me a job, I suppose?” lie asked. “I love the way you women -try to run things.” he added, “but I guess I’ll paddle my own canoe for a while longer!” “There is no earthly reason why you shouldn’t live here,” Alix said pleas antly. **There Is no earthly reason why we should!” Martin returned. He was annoyed by a suspicion that AJix and Cherry had arranged between them to make this plan the alternative to a divorce. “To tell you the honest truth, I don’t like Mill Valley!” Alix Tasted despair. Small hope of preserving this particular relationship. He waa, us Cherry had said, “impos sible.” “Well, we must try to make you like Mill Valley better!” she said with resolute good nature. “Os course. It means a lot to Cherry and to me to be near each other!” • "That may *be true, too,” Martin agreed, taking the front sent again for the drive home. Alix was surprised at Cherry’s pas sivity and silence, but Cherry was wrapped in a sick and nervous dream, unable either to interpret the present or face the future with any courage. Before luncheon he had followed her Into her room and had put his arm about her. But she had quietly shaken him off, with the nervous murmur: “Please —no, don’t kiss me, Martin !” Stung, Martin had immediately dropped his arm, had shrugged his shoulders indifferently and laughed scornfully. Now he remarked to AJix with some bravado: “You girls still sleeping out?” “Oh, always—we all do!” Alix had answered readily. “Peter has an ex tra bunk on his porch; Cherry and I have my porch. Bui you can be out or in. as you choose!” Martin venturer! an answer that made Cherry’s eyes glint angrily and brought a quick, embarrassed flush to Alix’s face. Alix did not enjoy a certain type of joking, and she did not concede Martin even the ghost of a smile. He immediately sobered and remarked that he himself liked to be indoors nt night. His suitcase was accordingly taken into the pleasant little wood-smelling room next to Te ter’s, where the autumn sunlight, scented with the dry sweetness of mountain shrubs, was streaming. He began to play solitaire, on the porch table, at five, and Kow hud to disturb him to set it for dinner at seven. AJix was watering the gar den, Cherry was dressing. It was an exquisite hour of long shadows and brilliant lights. Kow had put a tureen of soup on the table, and Alix had returned with damp, clean hands and trimly brushed hair, for supper, when Petef came up through the garden. Cherry had ram bled off in the direction of the barn a few moments before, but Martin had followed her and brought her back, remarking that she had had no idea of the time and was Idly watching Antone milking. She slipped into her place after they were all eating, and hardly raised her eyes throughout the meal. If Alix addressed her she flut tered the white lids as If it were an absolute agony to look up; to Peter she did not speak at all. But to Mar tin she. sent an occasional answer, and when the conversation lagged, as it was apt to do in this company, she nervously tilled It with random re marks infinitely less reassuring than silence. “How long do we stay here?” Martin cautiously asked his wife after dinner. “Stay here?* she echoed, at a loss. “Yes,” he answered, decidedly. “I can stand a little of it, but I don’t think much of this sort of life! I thought maybe we could all go into town for dinner and the theater to morrow or Saturday. But on Monday we’ll have to beat it.” “Monday!” Cherry's heart bounded. “Martin, isn’t it a mistake to go on pretending—” she began bitterly. But Peter’s voice, in the drawing ropm. In terrupted her. “I'll let you know— we’ll talk about It!” she bad time to say, hurriedly, before he came out to them. He flung himself into a chair. CHAPTER XVI. The evening dragged. Alix had sug gested bridge, but Martin did not play bridge. So she went to the piano, and began • to ramble through various songs. Cherry and Peter, left nt the table, did not speak to each other; Peter leaned hack in his chair, with a ciga rette; Cherry dreamily pushed to and fro the little anagram wooden block letters. But presently her heart gave a great plunge, and although she did not alter her different attitude, or raise her eyes, her white hand moved with di rected impulse, and Peter's casual glance fell upon the word “Alone.” When he laid his finished cigarette In the tray, It was to finger the let ters himself, In turn, and Cherry real ized with a great thrill of relief that he was answering her. Carelessly, and obliterating one word before he begun another, he formed the question: “My office tomorrow?” “Martin always with me,” Cherry spelled back. She did not glance at Peter, but at Martin, who was watch ing the fire, and at Alix, whose back was toward the room. “Come on, have another game!” Peter asked, generally, while he spelled quickly: “Will arrange sidl ing first possible day.” Alix, humming with her* song, said : "Walt a few minutes!” and Martin glanced up to say, “No, I’m no good at that thing!” Then Cherry and Peter were unob served again, and she spelled “Mart goes Monday. Plans to take me.” • Peter bad reached for a magazine; he whirled through the. pages, and yawned. Then he began to play with the anagrams again. “Can you get away without mm?” he spelled. “How?” Cherry Instantly asked. And us Peter’s hands went on build ing a little bridge of wooden letters, she went on: “Alix to train, Martin with me to city, impossible.-’’ "Give him the slip,” Feter spelled. And after a pause he added. “Life or death.” “Difficult to evade,” Cherry applied, wiping the words away one by one. “Must, wait—” Peter began. Alix, ending her song on a crash of chords, came to the table. Interrupting him. Cherry Was uow lazily reading a maga zine; Peter had built a little pen of tiny blocks. “I’ll go you!” Alix said, with spirit. But the game was rather a languid one, nevertheless, and when It was over they gathered yawning about the mantel, ready to disperse for the night. “And tomorrow night we dlnty In town and go to the Orpueum: xxiii asked, for the plan had been ‘suggest ed at dinner-time. ••I ll blow you girls to any show you like.” Martin offered. Remarking that he was tired, Peter went to his room. Cherry, .with only a general good-night, also disappeared, to find Alix arranging beds and pil lows on their sleeping porch. “Oh, Alix —I’m -so worried —I’m so sick with worry !” Cherry whispered. “He won’t listen to me. He won’t hear of a divorce!” “I know!” AJix saJd, distressed!}'. “But what shall I do—l run t go with him!” Cherry protested. Alix was silent. “What shall I do?” Cherry pleaded again. , “Why, I don’t see what else you enn do. but go with him!” Alix said, in ft troubled voice. “You are his wife. •For better or worse, for richer or poorer, till death —’ ” It was said so kindly, with Alix’s simple and embarrassed fashion of giving advice, that poor Cherry could not resent It. She could only bow her head desolately upon her knees, us she sat, child-fashion. In her bed, and cry, “A nice mess I’ve made of my life!” she sobbed. “I’Ve made a nice mess v a i “A Nice Mesa I’ve Made of My Life!" She Sobbed. of It! I wish —oh, my God, how 1 wish I was dead !” “My own life has been so darned easy,” Alix mused, in a cautious un dertone. sitting, fully dressed, on the side of her own bed, and studying her sister with pitying eyes. “I’ve often wondered if I could buck up and get through with It If some of that sort of thing had come to me! I don’t know, of course, but it seems to me that I'd say: ’Who loses his life shall gnin It!’ and I’d' stand anything—people and places I hated, loneliness and pov erty—the whole bag of tricks! 1 think I would. I mean I’d read the Bible and Shakespeare, and enjoy my meaJs. and have a garden—” Her voice sank. “I know it’s terribly hard for yon. Cherry!” she ended, suddenly pitiful. Cherry had stopped crying, dried her eyes, anti had reached resolutely for the book that was waiting on the little shelf above the porch bed. “You’re bigger than I am,” she said, quietly. "Or else I’m so made that I suffer more! I wish I could face the music. But I can’t do anything. I'm sorry. One knows of unhappy mar riages, everywhere, without quite fancying just what a horrible tragedy an unhappy marriage Is! Don’t mind me, Alix.” Alix was conscious, as she went out to speak to Kow about breakfast, and to give a final glance at fires and lights, tnat this was one of the times when girls needed a wise mother, or a father, who could decide, Name, ami advise. Coining back from the kitchen, with a pitcher of hot water, she saw Mar tin, in a welter of evening papers, staring nt the last pink ashes of the wood fire. Upon seeing her he got up, and with n cautious glance toward the bedroom doors fit* said: “Look here a minute! Can they hear us?" Alix set down her pitcher of water, and came to £land beside him. “Hear us—Peter and Cherry? No, Cherry’s out on our porch, and Peter’s porch is even farther away. Why*” “Take a look, will you?” he said. “I want to speak to you!” Alix, mystified, duly went to glance at Cherry, reading now in a little fun nel of yellow light, and then crossed to enter Peter’s room. His porch was dark, but.she could see the’outline of the tall figure lying across the bed. “Asleep?” she asked. “Nope!” he answered. “Well, don’t go to sleep without pulling a rug over you!” she com nianded. “Good-night, Pete!” (TO BE CONTINUED.) The Books of a Year. The total number of books published in the United States during last year amounted to 8,422, a decline of niore than 2,000 ns compared with the year of 1910. When classified there was shown an Increase in fiction, poetry, geography. amusements, biography and juveniles, and a decline In agri culture, history, medicine, business, social and religious. There was n general increase In the cost of books during the year. Only Two Specimens. There are two kinds of men—those who do what tbelr wives tell them, and those who never many.—Smart Set. CONSIDERABLE CARE NEEDED IN SELECTING CLOVER FOR SEEDING \ y. \ s ' / /I’’ X? ■ 'J' ■ ■ JI ./I ■' >■*- ■ Simple Tester for Small Seeds. (Prepared by th* United State* Department of Agriculture.) Red clover has been styled the cor ner stone of agriculture in the North Central and Eastern states. Many farmers begin laying the cor ner stone as early as February, when It is customary in many sections to sow red clover ou the surface of the snow, so that it will sink Into the soil with the first thaw in the sp» : ng. Red clover is hardy, ami is not Injured by ordinary cold; and the fact that it ran be sown at a season when work on the farm is comparatively light adds to the economy of its cultivation. The first important point to he ob served Is the selection of good seed, say specialists of the United States De partment of Agriculture. Considerable rare should used In this respect well in advance of the time of seeding. This 1e particularly true at present, when a Ihrge proportion of the red clover seed used in the United States comes from abroad. If poor seed Is used the expected crop may be a partial or total failure. Good Seed Is Plump. Godd red clover seed is plump or well filled, bright with a slight luster, the color of Individual seeds ranging from violet to light yellow. The in dividual seeds should be nt least medium sized and fairly uniform, free of adulterants of any kind and from seeds of noxious weeds. Home-grown seed is desirable, es pecially In the North, because It Js al most certain to be adapted to local conditions. If It Ir not available, samples should be obtained from re liable dealers. These should be ex amined for adulterants, weed seeds, and shriveled seeds. They should nlso be tested for germination before pur chasing in quantity. In the absence of more accurate methods an estimate should be made of tlie propprtlon of true red clover seed and of weed seeds and other impurities. From the red clover seed separated from all impurities, a counted number, as 100, should he taken just ns they come. These seeds should be placed between layers of moistened cloth or paper or merely covered in a bed of sand- or light soil. A dinner plate, covered with another, is a suitable germinating receptacle. It can he kept In the living room, nt a temperature between 05 and 85 degrees. Between the third and six fit days the sprouting ability of the seeds should be shown. It should be borne in mind that the sowing value of the seed is represented by the amount of true clover which will germinate with reasonable promptness. Thus, if four-fifths of a sample Is pure CURE PEA-SICK LAND BY PROPER ROTATION Root Rot Is Present in All ol Larger Areas. Disease Lives in Soil and Becomes More Destructive Each Season— Varieties Resistant to Ail ment Being Grown. (Prepared by the United State* Department of Agriculture.) Whore the crop of peas grown for canning or truck market purposes the past season hns shown root rot. the United States Department of Agricul ture advises planning for a long rota tion of other crops, beginning with the next season, to rid the soli of the disease. A four-year rotation is some times effective, but cases have been met, both in the East and in the Cen trnl states, where even a longer rota tion hns proved insufficient. Investigations by the department during the past three years have ahown that root rot of peas is present In all of the larger pea-growing areas east of the Mississippi, and to some ex tent In Montana and Utah. The dis ease lives in the soil and becomes more destructive each year that, peas are grown on infested land, soon re ducing the crop to such an extent as to make it unprofitable. It Is dis tributed by the custom prevalent In some sections of transferring soil from old fields to new ones tu carry the nod ule bacteria, and bj* wind and otiier •neans. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1922. clover, and only four-fifths will sprout, then only three-fifths, or 60 per cent, of the original seed as offered will grow. Thus, the germinating test hns an important bearing ou the worth of seed offered to the farmer. Protects American Farmers. A seed-testing service is maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture, where 29.638 samples of various seeds were examined and tested In the last fiscal year—-16,442 in Washington and 18,196 in the five branch seed-testing stations. Similar service is offered by the various state experiment stations. The department also exercises a strict inspection serv ice over field seeds brought from for eigu countries, aud last year 5.000,00<i pounds of various seeds were rejected or held for cleaning before being al lowed to be offered to American farm-" era. Nevertheless, the closest scrutiny is, necessary on the part of the farmer who desires u good stand of clover, either ns a forage crop or to turn under for the improvement of his soil. It is important that the testing of seed be done early enough that a suf ficient supply of pure iwed can be pur chased in time for use; and if seed is to be sent to one of the government or state testing lalmratories, at least two weeks should lie allowed. PRODUCE MOHAIR PROFITABLY Breeders Are Gradually Increasing Qualities of Their Animals and Improving Hair. Although the Angora goat is not very well known generally in this country, tn spite of Its popularity In certain re gions In tlie West, one of Its products, mohair, is used in the manufacture of many fabrics and Is known to nearly everyone. The production of mohair has -Increased rapidly, and the annual clip Is now al>out 6,000,(MM) pounds. Ap proximately an equal quantity is Im ported each year, but It is the opinion of the United States Department of Agriculture that with minions of acres adapted to goat raising, and with breeders gradually Increasing the Rhearing qualities of their animalsand improving the hair, American farmers can profitably produce all the mohair needed by our manufacturers. There has been a constant Increase In the use of mohair for suit linings and for cloth for summer suits for men. It is still uaed to about the same extent as heretofore for car upholsterlAg, por tiere. robes, rugs, braids and artificial furs. The area of pea-Rick land Is widen ing each year. It Is particularly im portant that the large Recd-growing regions of the West, which have re mained free of (he dißease up to the present time, he protected from it by the practice of proper rotation. The department is breeding varieties of liens rpftlstnnt to root rot, hut some time must elapse before there can be hny assurance that the commercial growers’ problem can be solved in this wny. WORK PLANS ARE IMPORTANT Farmer Should Know Beforehand What He le Going to Do and What He le Doing It With. Method in doing farm work is very important. The farmer who knows ex actly what he is going to do in tlie morning when he arises, how he is to do it, and what lie is to do it with, will always accomplish something worth while that day. Tlie worker who has "hazy” ideas, indefinite plans and un decided steps will never do much. Everything undertaken In farming should, have serious attempts. Men and women who farm or keep the home in order must mean business, be businesslike and work in a methodical way. Half-hearted work injures the worker and ruins his character. Plans are important. They should be nu)dv before the task Is attempted. The worker must know what he Is to do and then feel that he can do it well, even before the Job is begun. Leave off the work that you dread till such time as you feel like doing it. When you like It, dispatch It promptly and well.