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HARRIET S PIPER By KATHLEEN NORRIS Copyright by Kathleen NorrU “NO, NO, NO!” Synopsis.—Harriet Field, twenty eight years old, and beautiful, is the social secretary of the flirta tious Mrs. Isabel Carter, at "Crownlands.” Richard Carter's home, and governess of seventeen year-old Nina Carter. Ward, twen ty-four years old and impression able, fancies himself In love with his mother’s attractive secretary. Mrs. Carter’s latest ’’affair’’ Is with young Anthony Pope; alhd the youth Is taking it very seriously.. Presiding over the teacups this summer afternoon, Harriet is pro foundly disturbed by the arrival of a visitor. Royal Blondin. Next day. at a tea party In the city, Blondin makes himself agreeable to Nina, and leaves a deep impres sion on the unsophisticated girl. Harriet’s agitation over the appear ance of Blondin at ’’Crownlands” is explained by the fact that he had been a disturbing element In her life ten years before and she fears him. The man is an avowed adventurer, living on the gullibility of the Idle rich. He frankly an nounces 'o Harriet his Intention of marrying Nina, and urges her to aid him. She Is in a sense in his power, and after pleading with him to abandon his scheme agrees to follow a policy of neutrality. Knowing the tender feeling she has inspired in Ward Carter. Harriet is tempted to marry him for the position and wealth he ean give her, though realizing she does not love him. Blondin has Ingratiated himself with Madame Carter. Rich ard’s mother, and she is whole heartedlj’ in favor of his marriage with Nina. Ward urges Harriet to mrry him. She procrastinates. Mrs. Carter elopes with Pope. Blon din threatens Harriet. She prays to do what Is right. Blondin and Harriet agree to keep silent about their past relations. Richard Car ter proposes a marriage, entirely businesslike, to take place as soon as he Is divorced. Harriet says ’’No,'* and goes to visit her sister. CHAPTER X. There was trouble at Linda’s house; trouble so terrible that Harriet’s unex pe_*tejl arrival caused no comment, caused no more than a weary flicker of Linda’s heavy eyes. Pip. the adored first-born son, lay dangerously ill, and the whole household moved on tiptoe, heartsick with dread. It was diph theria, very bad, Fred stated lifelessly. Linda hardly left the room ; they were afraid for her, too, “If anything hap pened.” “If anything happened!” Harriet thought she had heard the phrase a hundred times before the dreadful night came. She had taken Linda’s place for an hour, but before it was up the mother came back, and they kept their vigil together. Fred answered the strange, untimely ringing of the doorbell, brought In packages, conferred in the halls with the doctors. Midnight came, two o’clock, four o’clock. Suddenly there was panic. Har riet, by chance in the hall, saw Linda and Fred and the doctors together, heard Linda’s quick, anguished “Yes I” and Fred’s “Anything I” Her heart pounded; the nurse ran upstairs. Har riet fell upon her knees with a sob bing whisper, “No—no—no!” and Lin da clung to her husband with a cry torn from the dgeps of her heart, “Oh, Pip—my own boy !’* • •••••• Dawn came slowly and reluctantly at seven; the village lay bleak and closed under a sky of unbroken gray. Here and there smoke streamed up ward from a chimney, or a window pane showed an oblong of pale light. Harriet put out the light that was becoming unnecessary. But her heart was singing for joy, and the house was brimful of an Inner light and cheer that no winter bleakness could touch. The girl had been crying until she was almost blind, but It was a cry ing mixed with laughter and prayers of utter thankfulness. She met Linda at the door, a weary Linda, ghastly as to face, grayer as to straggling hair, but with such radi ance in her eyes that Harriet, clasped in her arms, began to cry again. “Oh. Harriet —if I can ever thank God enough!” Pip’s mother said, be ginning on her breakfast with one long sigh. “Oh. my dear —! He’s sleeping like a baby, God bless him, and dear old Fred is sleeping, too. Oh, Harriet, to go about the house, as I just have, covering Nammy and the girls, and feeling that we're all going to be happy together again, in a few days— my dear. 1 don’t know what I've done to be so blessed! My boy. who has never given anyone a moment’s care or trouble since he was born—my dar ling who looked up at me yesterday with his beautiful eyes—” The floodgates were loosed, and Linda laughed and cried, while she enjoyed her breakfast with the appe tite of a normal woman released from cruel strain, whose whole brood lies safely sleeping under her roof. Nam my’s light Illness. Pip’s wet feet. Lin da’s unwillingness to believe that it was anything but a cold, every hour of the four awful days of danger, she reviewed them all. And oh, the good ness of people, the solicitude of nurse and doctor, the generosity of God! It was the afternoon of the next day when Harriet could first speak of her own affairs, Linda listened, over her mending, nodded, pursed her Ups, or raised her eyebrows. If Linda might ever have been worldly minded, she had had her les son now, and the viewpoint she gave Harriet was the lofty one of a wom an who has faced a supreme sacrifice without shrinking and with unwaver ing faith. “You did right, dear,” she assured her sister. “You could not stay there, under the circumstances. Whatever their code Is, yours is different, yours has not been vitiated by luxury and idleness. As for Mr. Carter’s talk of marriage, that, of course, is simply an insult!” “No, I don’t think it was that,” Har riet said, feeling herself revolt inward ly at this plain speaking. “I don't see what else It could be,” Linda pursued, serenely. “A married man—you would be no better than his —well, it’s not a nice word —but his mistress!” “Not at all,” Harriet said, trying hard to hide the irritation that rose rebellious within her, “he is legally free, or will be soon, and so am I!” 1 am speaking of God’s law, not man’s,” Linda said, gently but awfully, and Harriet was silent. “Fred says that such men regard these matters far too lightly,” Linda finished. Fred’s name, thus Introduced, always had the effect of angering Harriet. She had shared the family exaltation over Pip’s recovery, and had thought more than once in that fearful night of his illness that even poverty, gray hairs and the agony of parenthood, shared with the man she loved, would have been ec stasy to her. But in the slow days and weeks that followed, her spirit became exhausted with the struggle that never ended within her. Her bridges were burned behind her; It was all over. Whatever her emotions had been in leaving Crownlands, the Carters’ feelings had been quite obvi ous and simple. Old Madame Carter had wished her well; Ward had writ ten from college that he thought it was “rotten," and that she had been a corker to get Dad to raise his al lowance for him; Nina had felt her own w’ings the stronger for the change; and Richard had Interrupted his little speech of regret to answer the telephone, and had given her a check that placed, it seemed to Har riet, the obligation permanently with her. The utter desolation of spirit with which she had left them was evi dently unshared; the only word she had had from that old life had been from Mary Putnam, and even this cor dial note jarred Harriet with Its frank revelation of the change in her posi tion. “I can’t keep this upshe told her self, playing games with little conva lescent Pip, walking over frozen roads with the girls, reading under the eve ning lamp. “I can’t keep this up! Twenty-seven, and a governess, and in love with a married man who does not know I am alive!'” summarized **Z«*-» j “Harriet, His Arm Was About Her Now, His Voice Close to Her Ear, “Don’t Let Those Years With Rich People Spoil You for the Real Thing, Dear.” Harriet, bitterly. “I will simply have to forget It, and begin again, that’s all!” And she meditated upon David, the excellent, steady, devoted David, who was Fred’s brother and a dentist In Brooklyn, and who gave the children wonderful holidays at Asbury Park. It would make Linda and Fred very nappy to have tier change toward him: they were a little hurt and si lent about David. He always went with them to the crowded beach where they spent July and August, had had a cur this year, Linda told her sister, and had been “so popular.” David was there, Christmas day, and there was a fire and a tree, happy chil dren everywhere, rosy little neighbors coming in to see the toys, snowy wet garments spread on the porch after church. David took Harriet walking in the fresh cold air. a Harriet so beautiful in her furry hat and long coat, with her brilliant cheeks and her blue eyes shining under a blown film of golden hair, that Linda, »■ basted the turkey in the hot kitchen, couldn’t help a little prayer that that would all come out “right.” "But, Davy dear!" Harriet and David had stopped short in the exqui site, silent woods. “There is a feel ing—a something that makes marriage right! And I haven’t it, that’s all!” “How do you, know you haven’t?” he said, smiling. “Harriet, if once you said you would, it would come. Harriet,” his arm was about her now. hls voice close to her ear,, “don’t let those years with rich people spoil you for the real thing, dear!” She looked up at him, with some thing wistful In her blue eyes, in stantly she saw leap to hls face the look he had hidden so many years; she heard a new ring in hls voice. “Ah —you darling! You will? You’ll let me tell them—?” “No, no, no!” Half-angry, half sorry, she put away his embrace. “I’ll —Davy, I hate to spoil your Christ mas day—l don’t know what to say! I’ll think about It 1” She turned to go home. Her heart was lead within her. “I suppose there’s no help for It,” she thought. In a panic. “Linda’ll see—it’ll all be out in five seconds!” But Linda met them at the door, full of an announcement. “Harriet, Mr. Carte? is here!” “Mr.—who?” Back came the tide with a great rush, nothing else mattered. For a moment Harriet was turned to stone. Then in a dream of radiance and de light she went into the little parlor, and Richard Carter stood up to greet her, and there was nobody else in the world. Linda had Introduced herself; David was introduced. Harriet glanced about helplessly; he had not come here to say “Merry Christmas," surely. “I suggested that Hansen take the little people for a five-mlnutes’ drive,” he explained, “and then I shall have to hurry back. I wanted to speak to you on a matter of business. Miss Field. I wonder —since you’re well wrapped—if we might walk to the cor ner and meet them; I’ll only steal you from your family for five minutes.” “Certainly!” Harriet’s heart was singing. She was hardly conscious of what he said; it was enough that he had sought her out, that she was to have one more word with him. “I came here to discuss my own plans. Miss Field,” he said at the gate, “but a hint from your sister has made me fear that perhaps I am too late. She tells me that you may be making plans of your own.” “David?" Harriet said, resentfully. “I have no plans with David!” she said, simply. “I didn’t know,” Richard answered. “I came to ask you to come back. Things are 10 an absolute mess with us. We have not had a serene moment since you left us—three weeks ago.” To go back —back to Crownlands! Harriet’s spirit soared. She knew she must go back! She had only despaired of their ever needing her again. Every fiber of her being strained toward the old life. “Linda, my sister, thinks it would be unwise,” she began. The man in terrupted her. “There has been a new turn of events, Miss Field. I had some Infor mation last night which may make a difference,” he said, gravely. “I re ceived a wire from Pope, in France. My wife —Isabelle—died on an operat ing table yesterday afternoon, in Paris.” Harriet, stupefied, could only look at him fixedly for a long minute. Her lips parted, but she did not speak. “Died?" she whispered sharply. The man nodded without speaking. "But — but what was it?" Harriet said. For answer tie gave her the crum pled cable, with the bare statement of. fact. She read it dazedly, looked at his somber face, and read It again. “I can’t believe it!” she said. “Weil, now,” Richard began present ly in a different tone, “we are, ns I said, Miss Field, in u mess. I haven’t told the children this; they have a lot of young people there over Christmas. My mother and Nina are planning some entertainment for New Year’* night, and I suppose this will end Ml that; I should suppose that Nina and her brother must have a period of mourning. I am deeply Involved In a big project in Brazil, committee meet ings all through January—l can’t swing it, that’s all. “Now, when we last talked of the subject together,” Richard pursued in a businesslike way, “you objected to the suggestion of a marriage, because my wife was then still alive. Am I correct ?" “Yes. that’s correct!” Harriet said, voicelessly. She felt herself beginning to tremble. “My purpose In coming today was to suggest that, if that was your sole objection," the man continued, pains takingly, “you might feel the situation changed now. I need you. We all do. If it is my mother who makes' it im possible, or some other thing that I cannot change—why. I must get along as best I can. But my proposition is that you and 1 are quietly married tomorrow; you come back tomorrow night and announce It whenever you see fit. I may seem a little matter-of fact about this. Miss Field, but I am hoping you understand. I am making you an unsentimental business offer. I need you in my life and I offer you certain advantages which It would be silly and school boyish for me to deny I possess. I have a certain standing in the community which even Mrs. Carter’s madness has not seemed to Impair seriously. The boy and the girl both love you. and you have my warmest friendship. Your position In my household will be as free and in dependent as was Isabelle’s. I du not know whether you will consider this a fair return for what I ask, for after all you are giving your services for life to the Carter household— “ Now, this Is of course entirely sub ject to what pleases you in the mat ter,” he brol;e to say, emphatically. “I merely throw it out as a sugges tion. It would please me very much. I would draw a long breath of relief to have It settled. Mrs. Tabor is there —stays there.; takes the head of my table. I spent last night at the club; I had cabled Pope—and expected an answer, but my mother telephoned me at three o’clock this morning to say that Ward and some of his friends had gone out ice-skating. Ward’s been dropped from his university. I can’t have that sort of thing, you know 1” “When—did you want me?” Harriet brought her beautiful eyes back fronh some far vista, “I thought that If you could meet me at my office tomorrow I would have all the arrangements made. Nina Is to be at the Hawkes’; I send the car for her at three. I thought that you and she could go home to gether to Crownlands. I’ll have to be in town that night” “Home —to Crownlands!” Suddenly Harriet’s lip quivered and her eyes JEM /i., ■FsMInP J. “I Know—But If You Would Be So Very Kind—7” brimmed with tears. “I’ll be very glad to go back,” she said in a low voice. “Good!” he said. “I needn’t tell you how I feel about it; It helps me out tremendously. Now, about tomor row, how would you like that to be?” “Well,” she laughed desperately through her tears. “We’re Church of England!” She laughed again when he took out his notebook and wrote the words down. “Once It’s done,” he said, reassur ingly, “you’ll see my mother and all the rest of them come Into line! It puts you In a definite position, and although I may seem to be rushing and confusing you now, there is a more peaceful time to come—we’ll hope!” he added grimly. “Here’s Hansen now. Lovely children,” he added, of the young Davenports and some inti mates who were tumbling out of the car. “lovely mother.” “You’ll not speak of this yet?’V Har riet said, suddenly thinking of David and Linda. “My sister might think It lacked deliberation—so close upon Mrs. Carter’s death. I’d rather have a little time, get things straightened out—” “Oh, certainly—certainly!” She could see he was relieved, was In deed in cheerful spirits, as he gave his furred hand to the children’s inlt tened ones. They thanked him shrilly and Hansen smiled warmly upon Har riet as he touched his cap. Then they were gone. Linda, watching from the window, thought that the chauffeur’s obvious respect for Harriet was rather Impressive. She came to the porch, and Richard waved his farewell to them en masse. j “He’s very nice,” said Linda. “Poor » fellow, he probably would have had i an entirely different moral code. If his life had been different!” Harriet i Inwardly writhed, but she did not stir lin the sisterly embrace of Linda’s • arm. 1•••• • • • • At three o’clock the next afternoon Nina Carter, leaving the Hawkes’ man sion in New York city, with a great many laughing farewells, descended to her father’s waiting car and discov ered, sitting therein, an extremely handsome young woman, furred and grimly veiled, and deep in pleasant conversation with Hansen. “Miss Harriet!” Nina ejaculated In a tone that betrayed a vague resent ment as well as a definite surprise. “Nina, dear!*’ Harriet accepted Nina’s kiss warmly. “Are you glad to see me?” And as Nina stumbled in and established herself. Harriet continued easily: “Your father and I had a talk, my dear, and he sug gested that I come back for a while. So Hansen picked me up at the office and here I am! He tried to telephone you, I know, but you were out. And now,” said Harriet, glancing at her wrist watch, “I think we will go right home, please, Hansen!” Nina had been her own mistress for several delicious weeks, and to have any sort of restriction again was very unpalatable to her. She sulked all the way home and Madame Carter, meeting them at Crownlands, gazed rather stonily at the newcomer, grant ing her only the briefest greeting. But, oh. how homelike and welcoming the beautiful place, mantled in snow, looked to Harriet’s eyes. The snap ping fires, the warmth and fragrance of the big rooms and the very obvious welcome of the maids, all were en chanting to her. Her first duty was to make a brief tnur below stairs, af ter which she went up to her own room. When they returned from Hunting ton in the fall, she and Nina, at Rich ard’s suggestion, had taken Isabelle’s handsome rooms, turning both into bedrooms and sharing the dressing rooms and bath that joined them. It was here that Harriet fount! Nina awaiting her, still with her hat on and loitering with obvious discomfi ture. “Miss Harriet!” Nina said with a rush. “You are so sweet about things like this. I wonder If you with mind taking the yellow guest room—it’s really much larger—and leaving this room? You see. when I have friends—” Harriet, at the dressing table, had raised her hands to remove her hat. Like any general, she realized the crisis of the apparently unimportant moment and met It by instinct. “But you have an extra bed, besides the couch, in your room, Nina!” Nina cleared her throat, threw back her head, regarded Harriet between half-closed eyelids in a manner Harriet realized was new*, and drawled: “I know. But if you would be so very kind—?” “Do you know. I’m afraid I shan’t be so very kind!” Harriet said, briskly. “You’re one of my duties here, you know, little girl, and I think Daddy would prerer to have me near you! Now, If you like to ask him, perhaps he’ll not agree with me; in which case I shall move immediately! But mean while —” Nina’s face wasshe.Jeft. tJie room abruptly. A moment or two later Harriet sauntered into the adjoining room, and found her again. The young er girl was assuming a ruffled and bo ribboned negligee, and tossing her wraps and street dress about careless ly. Harriet noted this with disapprov ing eyes, but said nothing. There was an immense picture of Mrs. Tabor on the dressing table, and she found in that a sudden solution of the strange change in Nina. “ ‘With Ladybird’s unending devo tion, to Ninette,’ ” read Harriet, from the inky scrawl across the picture. “Do you call her Ladybird. Nina? You and she have formed a pretty strong friendship, haven’t you?” “Oh> something more than that!” Nina drawled in her new manner. the best sort!” “Does she have my room when she Is here?” Harriet presently suggested, sympathetically. “Now’, my dear,” she added, as Nina’s quick self-conscious and hostile look gave consent, “Mrs. Tabor is too thoroughly acquainted with convention to blame you If your father keeps you under a governess* eye for a little while longer. You’re the most precious thing your father has, Nina, and as I used to remind you years ago. you don’t begin to have the restrictions that the European prin cesses have to bear!” This view of the case was always pleasing to Nina’s vanity; she was quite clever enough to see that a friend protected and confined, watched and valued, would lose no prestige with the charming “Ladybird.” She pouted; and Harriet saw- that for the moment the battle was hers. “Darling gown!” said Harriet.of the picture. “Oh. she has the most wonderful clothes!” It was the old Nina’s voice. “Has she been here very much?” Harriet said, after a moment. “Oh, lots! She loves to be here, and I can’t think why.” Nina said, “be cause people are all crazy to get her. and she could go to the most wonderful dinners and things. But she really Is Just like a girl, herself; sometimes we burst right out laughing, because we think exactly the same about things! And she just loves picnics, and to let her hair down—and she’s so funny! You’ll just love her when you know her —” Nina. Harriet reflected, had had a thorough dose of poison. It would take, like many diseases, more poison to cure her. a counter dose. Going to her room to change to one of the new gowns. Harriet had a moment of contempt for thp new-found intimate, who could so unscrupulously play upon the girl’s hungry soul. But with this situation it was possible to cope; there was defi nite comfort in the fact that Nina had not mentioned Royal Blondin. Brave In the new gown, whnv lus terless black velvet made even more brilliant her matchless akin, Harriet went to find Ward. She met. Instead, '•ne of his house-guests, Corey Eaton, a man some years older than Ward, a big, rawboned, unscrupulous youth, with a wild and indiscriminate laugh. “It isn’t exactly what I ex pected marriage to be I” (TO BE CONTINUED.! WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28,19 ? « . GRATITUDE • * By MOLLIE MATHER • ! ■ Copyrixht. 1922, Western New»p. p(ir / It was a baby, nestling under laee covers, that gave Barbara the Idea— though it was more than an Idea to the lonely young woman, for it became her constant longing. Barbara Waincot had so long known only the care of others that sacrifice*was a part of her life, so when the last invalid, an aunt, passed on to her rest leaving Barbara quite alone with a simple legacy to barely coyer her needs—well, the kind ly young woman began to look about for another needy charge. The baby In Its lacy nest typified a heretofore unknown need of her own. “Why not,” she asked herself, her uoft cheeks glowing, “why not adopt a baby and have something to love and something to love me?” The thought grew to fill Barbara’s dreams. With v the assistance of a friend Barbara was able to find the little one of her desire. The baby’s mother had died at Its birth —the father just before. Barbara made arrangements for adop tion, which bad been the sad mother’s wish. She named it Sylvia. “Sylvia sounds so prettily romantic.” she told the friend. “I hope that my little girl will know in life all those beautiful things which I have been obliged to forego." But all too promptly had Barbara pul girlish dreams aside. Just as Syl via was learning to lisp the name ‘Bab,’ which was the nearest baby lips could get to Barbara, along came Bar bara’s delayed lover. Paul Stroqg pos sessed qualities which made him worthy to be Barbara’s mate, but in the friendship which followed his fail ing became unpleasantly evident—Paul was unreasonably, persistently jealous and as the -only occasion for jealousy must come through baby Sylvia, Paul w’as jealous of Sylvia. An imperious small ruler was Paul Strong’s rival. And Barbara’s teuoer heart was torn, her will hovering, for she had learned to love Paul, and he would accept only undivided homage. “Surely,” she begged her lover, "you would not ask me to give Sylvia up? Why, dear, she loves me as she would have loved a mother of her own. ’ "You are not that mother,” Paul an swered sharply, “and In a very short time another could take your place ip the child’s affections.” A pang crossed Barbara’s heart. Yet* she knew that this little clinging thing * needed her guiding care, no other must substitute. This, her charge, so griev ing deeply, she sent Pau! away. The years went on. Io her carefree girlhood Sylvia flaunted more and more her happy rule. "Baba will do anything In the world for me,” she lovingly boasted. Sylvia had grown very lovely—Barbara had grown paler, thinner. Then Paul Strong came back. Sylvia was the first to see him as he came down the village street. “Sweetie," she addressed her foster mother. “I saw a most distinguished man turning in to the old Strong place today. Why here he comes now." Barbara looked to see her old lover. Then, trembling a little, Barbara went to open the door to him. She fancied a flash of disappointment In his eyes as he looked at her. Her own heart Was singing, “He has come back— \ come back.” During the following weeks Paul was a constant visitor at Barbara’s lit tle house. “You still love Sylvia better than life?” Paul asked Barbara, but now his tone was merely humorous. “Eighteen years has not made me love her less," Barbara answered quiet ly. Paul and Sy Ma, walking one eve ning in the moonlight, stopped to rest on the porch steps. Barbara, seated just inside the open window, knew what was coming, and.she told herself that she could not blame Paul. Sylvia had grown Into such a lovely creature, Sylvia, sweet and desirable, who counted admirers by the score. “How could one help but love you. Paul dear?" said Sylvia, on the moon lit porch. The man's response came sadly: “I am old, child, old In years, with an unruly heart still young to love." Slowly Barbara went up to her child’s room. She would wait to give Sylvia her good-night kiss —and Sylvia must never know. Coming gayly, Sylvia switched Bar bara around to face the light. "I thought so,” she triumphed, “you y do care for the delightful Paul after all. And I had to deliberately make you jealous In order to be sure. G«» down and tell him so, sacrificing per son. and make him happy after all these years. Oh, Paul has told me of his undying love for you—l refuse to be a cruel barrier any longer. And any way,” added Sylvia. Smilingly. “I may be married myself one of these days.” Intelligent Mistletoe. One of the most curious illustra tions of the working of Intelligence In plants is offered by the mistletoe, whose sticky berry, finding lodgment on a tree branch, throws out a tiny rootlet, which tides to pierce the bark and thus obtain a foothold. If the bark is too tough, the rootlet swings the berry over to a fresh spot. urn.' makes another trial. In this way such a berry has been known to make five jumps in two nights and three days On one occasion a number of them were discovered by a botanist In the act of vainly journeying along a tele graph wire, trying to find places to grow.