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THE BEAVER HERALD. REAVER, OKLAHOMA
T GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON
OY OOOO, SVZAD
In the New York home of James Brood,
his eon, Frederic, receives a wireless
jfrom him. Frederic telts Lydla Des
mond, his fiancee, that the message an
nounces his father's marriage, and orders
Mrs. Desmond, the housekeeper and
Lydla's mother, to prepare the house for
en Immediate home-coming. Drood and
his bride arrive. She 'wins Frederic's lik
ing at first meeting. Drood shows dlsltice
And veiled hostility to his son. Lydla and
Mrs. Drood met In the jade-room, where
Lrdla works as l) rood's secretary. Mrs.
Hrood Is startled by the appearance of
llanjab, Urood's Hindu servant. She
makes changes In the household and gntns
her husband's consent to send Mrs. Des
mond and Lydla away. She fascinates
Frederic She begins to fear llanjab In
his uncanny appearances and disappear
ances, and Frederic, remembering his
father's East Indian stories and firm be
lief In magic, fears unknown evil. nan
Jab performs teats of magic -for Dawes
and lllggs. Frederic's father. Jealous, un
justly orders his son from the dinner table
as drunk. Drood tells the story of Han
Jab's life to his guests. "He killed r wom
an" who was unfaithful to him. Yvonne
Jtays with Frederic's Infatuation for her.
ler husband warns her that the thing
must not go on. She tells him that he
till loves his dead wife, whom ho drove
from his home, through her. Yvonne.
Yvonne plays with Itrood. Frederic and
Lydla as with figures on a chess board.
"Brood, madly Jt-alous, tells Lydla that
Frrderlo Is not his son, and that he has
brought him up to kill his happiness at
the proper time with this knowledge.
Frederic takes Lydla home through a
heavy storm and spends tho night at her
CHAPTER XII Continued.
"She was Jealous. Sho admitted It,
dear. If I don't mln'd, why should you
"Do you really believe sho sho
tores the governor enough to be as
Jealous at all that?" ho exclaimed, u
curious gleam In his eyes an expres
sion she did not like.
"Of course I think so," sho cried
emphatically, "What a question! Have
you any reason to suspect that sho
docs not lovo your father?"
"No certainly not," ho said In somo
contusion. Then, after a moment:
"Aro you quite sure this headache ot
yours Is real, LyddyT Isn't It an ex
cuse to Btay away from from Yvonne,
after what happened last night? Do
Sho was silent for a long time,
weighing her answer. Was It best
to be honest with htm?
"I confess that It has something to
do with It," she admitted. Lydla could
not be anything but truthful
"I thought so. It's It's a rotten
eharao, Lyddy. That's why I want to
talk to hor. I want to reason with her.
It's all so perfectly silly, this misun
derstanding. You've Just got to go on
as you were before, Lyddy Just as if
tt hadn't happened. It "
"I shall complete tho work for your
father, Freddy," she said quietly. "Two
or threo days more will see the end.
After that, neither my services nor
my presence) will be required ovor
"You don't mean to say " lie began,
"I can think of them Just as well
hero as anywhoro else. No; I sba'n't
annoy Mrs. Brood, Freddy," It was
on the tip ot ber tongue to say more,
but she thought better ot It.
"They're going abroad soon," he
Tontured. "At least, that's father's
plan. Yvonne Isn't so keen about it.
he calls this being abroad, you know.
Besides," he hurried on in his eager
Bess to excuse Yvonne, "she's tremen
dously fond ot you. No end ot times
he's said you were tho finest " Her
mile en odd one, such as he had
never seen on her lips before checked
tils eager speech. He bridled. "Of
course, If you don't choose to believe
me, tbero's nothing more to be said.
She moant it, however."
"I am sure she said It, Freddy," she
hastened to declare. "Will she be
pleased with our our marriage?" It
roqulred n great deal ot courage on
her part to utter these words, but she
was determined to bring tho true situ
ation homo to him.
He did not oven hesitate, and there
was conviction In bis voice as he re
plied, "It doesn't matter whether she's
pleased or displeased. We're pleaslns
ourselves, are wo not? There's no
one else to consider, dear."
Her oyes wore full upon his, and
there was wonder In tbem. "Thank
you thank you, Freddy," she cried.
"I I knew you'd " The sentence
"Has bero ever been a doubt in
your mind?" he asked, uneasily, after
a moment. Ho knew there had been
misgivings and he was ready, In bis
self-abasement, to resent them It
given tho slightest opening. Quilt
made him arrogant.
"No," she answered simply.
The answer was not what he ex
pected. Ho flushed painfully.
"I I thought perhaps you'd you'd
got a notion in your head that " He,
too, stopped for want of the right
words to express himself without com
mitting the egregious error ot letting
her sea that it had been In his
thoughts to accuse ber of Jealousy,
Sho waited tor a moment "That I
might have grit the notion In my head.
you did not love me any longer? Is
that what you started to say?"
"Tea," he confessed, averting his
"I'v4 been unhappy at times, Freddy,
but that Is all," she said, steadily.
Yi . I kaow how honest yea
n53 S JLtl -
really are. I know it far better than
you know it yourself."
He stared. "I wonder Just how hon
est I am," he muttered, "I wonder
what would happen If Dut nothing
cai happen. Nothing ever will hap
pen. Thank you, old girl, tor saying
what you said Just now. It's It's
bully of you."
Ho got up and began pacing tho
floor. Sho leaned back In her chair,
deliberately giving him tlmo to
straighten out his thoughts for him
self. Wiser than she know herself to
bo, sho held back tho warm, lovtr:
words of encouragement, of gratitude,
Dut b to was not prepared for tho Im
petuous appeal that followed. He
threw himself down beside her and
grasped her hands In his. His face
seemed suddenly old and haggard, his
eyes burned like coals of fire. Then, tor
tho first time, sho had an Inkling of
tho great struggle that had been going
on Inside ot him for weeks and weeks.
"Listen, Lyddy," ho began, nervous
ly, "will you marry mo tomorrow? Aro
you willing to tako the choace that
I'll be able to support rou, to earn
"Why. Freddy!" she cried, half start
ing up from the couch. She was dum-
"Will you? Will you? I mean It,"
he went on, almost arrogantly.
He was very much In earnest, but
alas, Uio fire, the passion ot tho Im
portunate lover was missing. She
shrank back Into tho corner ot the
couch, staring at him with puzzled
Comprehension was slow tn ar
riving. As he hurried on with his
plea sho began to seo clearly; ber
sound, level brain grasped the Insig
nificance of this suddnn decision on
"There's no uso watting, dear. I'll
never be more capable ot earning a
living than I am right now. I can go
Into tho office, with Brooks any day
and I I think I can make good. God
knows I can try hard enough. Drooks
says he's got a place there for me In
tho bond department. It won't be
much at first, but I can work Into a
pretty good what's tbe matter? Don't
you think I can do It? Have you no
faith in me? Are you afraid to take
Sho had smiled sadly It seemed to
him reprovingly. His cheek flushed.
"What has put all this Into your
head, Freddy, dear?" sho asked
Hls eyes wavered, "I can't go on
living as I have been for the past few
months- I've Just got to end It, Lyddy.
You don't understand you can't, and
"Will You Marry Me Tomorrow?"
there Isn't any ubo in trying to explain
"I think I do understand, dear," she
bald, quietly, laying her hand on his.
"I understand so completely that thero
isn't any use In your trying to explain.
But don't you think you are a bit cow
ardly?" "Cowardly?" he gasped, and then
the blood rushed to his face.
"Is tt quite fair to me or to your
solf?" Ho was silent. She waited for
a moment and then went on reso
lutely. "I know Just what it is that
you aro afraid or, Freddy. I shall
marry you, of course. I love you more
than anything else In all the world.
But are you quite fair in asking me
to marry you while you aro still afnld.
"Before God, I love no one else but
you." he cried, earnestly. "I know
what It Is you are thinking and I I
don't blame you. But I want you now
good Qod, you don't know how much
I Bd you now. I want to begin a
new lite with you. I want to feel
that you are with me Juwt you
strong and brave and enduring. I aa
auruu i seed you.'
J -U jrw Injust, I will marry th to-
morrow, but you cannot you will not
ask It of mo, will your
"But you know I love you," ho cried.
"Thcro isn't any doubt In your mind,
Lyddy. Thcro Is no ono elso, I tell
"I think I am Just beginning to un
derstand men," sho remarked enig
matically. Ho looked up sharply, "And to won
der why they call women tho weaker
"Yes," sho said so scrtouslv that tho
wry smile died on his lips. ' Con't
bellcvo there aro many women who
would ask a man to bo sorry for tbem.
That's really v. hat alt this amounts
to. Isn't It, Freddy?"
"By Jovot" ho exclaimed wonder-
"You aro a strong, self-willed, chiv
alrous man, and yet you think nothing
of asking a woman to protect you
against yourself. You aro afraid to
stand aiono. Walt Fivo minutes
yes, ono mlnuto before you asked It
of me, Freddy dear, you weio floun
dering In tho darkness, uncertain
which way to turn. You woro afraid
of the things you could not Beo. You
looked for some place in which to hldo.
Tho flash ot light revealed a haven of
refuge. So you asked mo to to marry
you tomorrow." All through this In
dictment sho had held his hand
clasped tightly in both of hers. Ho
was looking at her with a frank ac
knowledgement growing In his eyes.
"Aro you ashamed of mo, Lyddy?"
ho asked. It was confession.
"No," she said, meeting his gazo
steadily. "I am a little disappointed,
that's all. It is you who are ashamed."
"I an)," said he, simply. "It wasn't
"Love will endure. I am content to
wait," she Mid, with a wistful smile
"You will bo my wife no matter
what happens? You won't let this
make any difference?"
'You are not angry with mo?"
"Angry? Why should I bo angry
with you, Lyddy? For shaking soma
senBo Into me? For seeing through
mo with that wonderful, far-sighted
bralu of yours? Why, I could go down
on my knees to you. I could "
He clasped ber In his arms and held
her close. "You dear, dear Lyddy!"
Neither spoko for many minutes. It
was she who broke tho silence.
"You must promise one thing, Fred
eric. For my sake, avoid a quarrel
with your father. I could not bear
that. You will promise, dear? You
His Jaw was set. "I don't Intend to
quarrol with him, but If I he to re
main In his house thero has got to
"Promise mo you will wait. Ho Is
going away In a couplo ot weeks.
When ho returns later on next
"Oh, tt tt really distresses you,
"It does distress jtio. I want your
"I'll do my part," he said, resigned
ly. "And next fall will see us mar
Tho telephone bell In the hall was
ringing. Frederic released Lydla's
hand and sat up rather stiffly, as ono
who suddenly Buspects that ho Is be
ing spied upon. The slgnlllcanco ot
the movement did not escape Lydla
Sho laughed mirthlessly.
"I will seo who It Is," sho said, and
aroso. Two red spots appeared In his
cheeks. Then It was that she realized
ho bad been waiting all along for tho
bell to ting; ho had been expecting a
"If It's for me, please say er say
I'll " he began, somewhat disjoint
edly, but she Interrupted blm,
"Will you stay here for luncheon,
Frederic? And this afternoon wo will
go to Oh, Is thero a concert or a
xe, ill stay you'll let me,
ho said, wistfully. "We'll find some
thing to do."
She 'went to the tolephono. He
heard Nhe polite greetings, the polite
assurances that sho had not taken
cold, two or three laughing rejoinders
to what must have been amusing com
ments on tbe storm and Its effect on
timid creatures, and tbon:
"Yes, Mrs. Brood, I will call blm to
Frederic bad tbe feeling that he
slunk to the telephone. The girl
handed the receiver to him and ho
met her confident, untroubled gazo for
a second. Instead ot returning to tho
sitting-room where she could 'have
heard everything that he said, sho
went Into ber own room down tho hall
and closed the, door. He was not con
scious of any Intention to temporize,
but It was significant that he did not
speak until the door closed behind
her. Afterwards he realized and was
Almost the first words that Yvonne
uttered were ot a nature to puzzle
and Irritate htm, although they bore
directly upon bis own previously
formed resolution. Her voice, husky
and low, seemed strangely plaintive
and lifeless to him,
"Have you and Lydla made any
plans tor the afternoon?" sbo Inquired,
He made baste to declare their Inten
tion to attend a concert. "I am glad
you aro going to do that," she went on.
"You will stay for luncheon with
'Yes. She's trying to pick up that
thing ot Fererelll's tbe one we beard
last night." There was silence at the
othrr end of t!ui wire. "Are you
"I will be home for dinner, of course.
You you don't need rae for anything,
"No," she said. Then, with a low
laugh: "You may bo excused for tho
day, my son. Your father ami I havo
been discussing the trip abroad."
"I thought you you wcro opposed
"I'vo changed my mind. As a mat
ter ot fact, I've changed my heart."
"You speak In riddles."
Sho was silent tor a long time.'
"Frederic, I want you to do something
for mo. Will you try to convlnco
Lydla that 1 meant no otfensn last
night when I "
"Sho understands nil that perfectly,
"No, sho doesn't. A woman wouldn't
"In what way?"
Thero was a pauso. "No woman
likes to bo regarded an a fool," sho
said at last, apparently after careful
reflection. "Oh, yes; thero Is some
I "You and I?" He Asked, After a Mo
ment. thing else. We are dining out this
"You and I?" he asked after a mo
ment. "Certainly not Your father and I.
I was about to suggest that you dlno
with Lydla or better Btlll, ask her
over here to share your dinner with
Ho was scowling. "Where are you
"Going? Oh, dlnJng. I see. Well,"
slowly, deliberately, "we thought It
would bo great run to dine alono at
Delmonlco's and seo a play after
ward." "What play are you going to seo?"
bo cut In. She mentioned a Bclasco
production. "Well, I hope you enjoy
It, Yvonne. By tho way, how Is tho
governor today? In a good humor?"
There was no response. Ho waited
for a moment and then called out:
"Are you there?" .
"Good-by," camo back over the wire.
He started as if she had given him a
slap l.i the face. Her voice was cold
When Lydla rejoined him In the sitting-room
ho was standing at tho win
dow, staring across tho courtyard far
Aro you going?" she asked, steadily.
He turned toward her, conscious of
tho telltale scowl that was passing
from his brow. It did not occur to
him to resent her abrupt, uncompro
mising question. As a matter of fact,
It seemed qulto natural that sho should
put tbe question In Just that way,
flatly, Incisively. Ho considered him
self, In a way, to bo on trial.
"No, I'm not," ho replied. "You did
not expect rae to forget, did you?" Ho
was uncomfortable under her honest.
Inquiring gazo. A sullen anger against
himself took possession of him. Hp
despised himself for the feeling of
loneliness and homesickness that sud
denly came over blm.
"I thought " sho began, and then
her brow cleared. "I have been look
ing up tho recitals In the morning
paper. The same orchestra you heard
last night Is to appear again today
"We will go there. Lydla." he Inter
rupted, and at once began to hum the
gay little air that' had so completely'
charmed him. "Try It again, Lyddy
You'll get tt In no time."
After luncheon, llko two happy chil
dren they rushed oft to tbe concert
and It was not until they were on their
wny homo at flvo o'clock that bis en
thusiasm began to wane. She was
quick to detect tho chango. He be
came moody, preoccupied; his part of
the conversation was kept up with an
e.fort that lacked all the spontaneity
of hU earlier and moro engaging
Lydla went far back In her calcula
tions and attributed his mood to the
promise she had exacted In regard to
his attitude toward bis father. It oc
curred to her that he was smarting
under tho restraint that bis promise
Involved. She realized now, more
than ever before, that there' could bo
no delay, no faltering on her part
She would have to see James Brood
at once. She would have to go down
on ber knees to him.
"I feel rather guilty, Freddy," she
said, as they approached the house.
"Mr. Brood will think It strange that
I should plead a headache and yet run
oft to a concert and enjoy myself when
he Is so eager to finish tho Journal
especially as he is to sail so soon.
I ought to seo him, don't you think
so? Perhaps there Is something I
can do tonight that will make up for
the .'ost time." She was plainly nerv
ous. "He'd work you to death if he
thought it would serve bis Duroose."
said Frederic, gloomily, and back of
that soutanes lay, the thought that
made It absolutely Imperative for her
to act without delay.
"I will go In for a few minutes,"
sho said, at tho foot ot the stops. "Aro
you not coming, too?"
Ho had stopped. "Not Just now,
Lyddy. I think I'll run up to Tom's
flat and smoko a plpo with him
Thanks, old girl, for the happy day
we've had. You don't mind tt I leave
Her heart gavo a great throb ot
relief. It was best to have him out ot
tho way for the tlmo being.
"Well so long," ho said, diffidently.
"So long, Lyddy."
"So long," she
Into his manner
of speech without
was a smothering
sensation in his breast.
Ho looked back ns ho strode oft In
tho direction from which thoy bad
como. She was at the top of the steps,
her fingers on the eloctrlc button. Ho
wondered why hor faco was so whlto.
Ho had always thought ot It as being
full ot color, rich, soft and warm.
Inside the door, Lydla experienced
a strango sinking of tho heart "Is
?Ir. Cro-si a( " sho began, nervously.
A volco aC'lio top ot thu stairway In
terrupted tho question sho was putting
to tbo footman.
"Is It you, Lydla? Como up to my
Tho girl lookod up nnd saw Mrs.
Brood leaning over .tho banister rail.
Sho was holding her pink dressing
gawn closely about her throat, as it
it bad been hastily thrown about her
shoulders, Ono bare arm was visible
"I camo to see Mr. Brood. Is ho"
"Ho Is busy. Como up to my room,"
repeated Yvonne somewhat Imperi
ously. As Lydla mounted tho stairs sho
had a fair glimpse ot tho other's faco.
Always pallid but of a healthy pal
lor It was now almost ghastly. Per
haps Is was tho light from tho window
that caused It, Lydla was not sure,
but a queer, greonlsh huo overspread
the lovely, smiling face. The lips were
rod, very red redder than she had
over seen them. Tho girl suddenly re
called the faco sho had onco seen ot
a woman who was addicted to tho
Mrs. Brood met her at the top of
the stairs. Sho was but halt-dressed.
Her lovely neck and Bhouldcrs were
now almost bare. Her hands were
extended toward tho visitor; the
filmy lace gown hung looso and disre
garded about hor slim figure.
"Como In, dear. Shall wo have tea?
I have been so lonely. Ono cannot
,rcad tho books they print nowadays.
Such stupid things, til o?"
Sho throw nn arm about tbo tall
girl and Lydla was surprised to find
that It was warm and full ot a gentle
strength. Sho felt her flesh tlnglo
with the thrill ot contact Yes, It
must have beon the light from tho
window, for Yvcriuo's faco was now
aglow with tho Irldescouco that was
so peculiarly her own.
A door closed softly on the floor
abovo tbem. Mrs. Brood glanced over
her shoulder and upward. Her arm
tightened perceptibly about Lydla's
"It was Ranjab," said tho girl, and
Instantly was tilled with amazement
Sho had not seen the Hindu, bad not
even boen thinking ot him, and yet
sho was impelled by some mysterious
Intelligence to give utteranco to a
statement In which there was convic
tion, not conjecture.
"Did you seo blm?" asked the other,
looking at her sharply.
"No," admitted Lydla, still amazed.
"I don't know why I said that"
Mrs. Brood closed her boudoir door
behind them. For an Instant sho Btood
staring at the knob as If expecting to
see It turn
"I know," sho said, "I know why
you said It Because It was Ranjab."
She shivered slightly. "I am afraid
ot that man, Lydla. He seems to bo
watching ma all ot tho time. Day and
night his eyes seem to be upon me."
"Why should ho bo watching you?"
asked Lydla, bluntly.
Yvonne did not notlco the question
"Even when I am asleep In my bed.
In tbe dead hour of night, he Is look
ing at me. I can feel It, though asleep.
Oh, It Is not a dream, for my dreams
aro of something or someone else
nover of him. And yet ho Is there,
looking at me. It It Is uncanny."
"An obsession," remarked Lydla,
quietly. "He nover struck mo as es
"Didn't you feel blm a moment
ago?" demanded Yvonne, Irritably.
Tho othor hesitated, reflecting. "I
supposo It must bavo been something
like that" They were still facing the
door, standing close together. "Why
do you feel that he Is watching you?"
"I don't know. I Just feel It, that's
all. Day and night. Ho can read my
thoughts, Lydla, as ho would read a
boolc Isn't Isn't It disgusting?" Her
laugh was spiritless, obviously arti
ficial. "I shouldn't object to his reading
my thoughts," said Lydla.
"Ah, but you are Lydla. It's differ
ent I have thoughts sometimes, my
dear, that would not but thorel Let
us speak of more agreeable things.
Sit down here beside me. No tea?
A cigarette, then. No? Do you for
give me for what I said to you last
nlglii?" she asked, sitting down beside
the girl on the chatso longuo.
"It waa so absurd, Mrs. Brood, that
I bavo scarcely given It a moment's
thought Of course I was hurt at the
time. It was so unjust to Mr. Brood.
"It Is like you to say that," cried
Yvonno. "You are splendid, Lydla.
Wlll you believe me when I tell you
that I lore you? That I love you very
I dearly, very tenderly r
I Lydla looked at her In sons doubt
and not without c'.nrflvlngs. "1 should
like to believe It," zho said, noncom
"Ah, but you doubt It I sea. V.VHV
I do not blame you. I have given you
much pain, much distress. When I
nm far away you will be glad you
will bo happy. Is not that bo?"
"But you are coming back," said
Lydla, with a frank smllo, not meant
to be unfrlondly.
Yvonno's face clouded. "Oh, yes, I
shall como back. Why not? Is this
not my homo?"
"You may call It your homo, Mrs.
Brood," said Lydla, "but are you qulto
sura your thoughts always abldo here?
I mean In tbo United States, of
Yvonne hat looked up at her quick
ly. "Ob, I seo. No, I Bhall nover bo
an American." Then sho abruptly
changed tho subject "You havo had a
nice day with Frodorlc? You havo
been happy, both of you?"
"Yes vory happy, Mrs. Brood," said
the girl, simply.
"I am glad. You must always be
happy, you two. It Is my greatest
Lydla hesitated for a moment
Fredorlo asked me to bo his wlfo
tomorrow," sho said, and hor heart be
gan to thump queorly. ttho felt that
she was approaching a crisis ot somo
"Tomorrow?" fell from Yvonne's
lips. Tho word was drawn out as It
In one long breath. Then, to Lydla's
astonishment, an extraordinary chango
cn.s over tho Bpcp.ker. "Yes, yes, It
should bo It must bo tomorrow. Poor
boy poor, poor boy! You will marry,
yes, and go away at onco, al o?" Hor
volco was almost shrill In Its Intensity,
her oyes were wide and eager end
"I Oh, Mrs. Brood, Is It for the
best?" cried Lydla. "Is tt tbo best
thing for Frederic to do? I I fearod
you might object I am sure his father
will refuse permission "
"But you lovo each other that Is
enough. Why ask the consent of any
one? Yes, yes, tt Is for tho best I
know oh, you cannot realize how well
I know. You must not hesitate." Tho
woman was trembling In her eager
ness. Lydla's astonishment gnvo way
"What do you mean? Why nre you
so serious so Intent on tnls "
"Frederic has no money," pursued
Yvonno, ns It sho had not board
Lydla's words. "But that must not
deter you. It must not stand 1& the
way. I shall And a way, yes, I shall
find a way. 1"
"Do you mean that you would pro
vide for htm tor us?" exclaimed
"Thero Is a way, there Is a wny,"
said tho other, fixing her ?yA3 appeal
Ingly on tho girl's faco, to which tho
flush ot nngor was slowly mounting.
"HIb father will not help htm If
that Is what you are counting upon,
Mrs. Brood," said tbo girl coldly.
"I know. Ho will not hetp him,
Lydla started. "What do you know
about what has Mr. Brood said to
you?" Her heart was cold with ap-
"No, I Shall Never Be an American."
prehension. "Why are you going away
next week? What has happened?"
Brood's wlfo was regarding her
with narrowing eyes. "Oh, I see now.
You think that my husband suspects
that Frederic Is too deeply Interested
in bis beautiful stepmother, Is that
not so? Pootl It has nothing to do
with It." Her eyes were sullen, full
ot resentment uow. She was collect
Tbe girl's yes eipressed the disdain,
that suddenly took the placo ot appre
hension In her thoughts. A sharp re
tort leaped to her lips, but she sup
"Mr. Brood does not llko Frederic,"
she said Instead, and could have cut
out her tongue tho Instant the words
were uttered. Yvonne's eyos were ((Ut
tering with a light that she bad never
seen In them before. Afterwards sho
described it to hersolf as baleful.
"Sot He has spoken ill evil ot
his son to you?" sbo said, almost In a
monotone. Ho has bated him for
years Is not that so? I am not tbo
original cause, al e? It began long
ago long, long ago?"
"Oh, I beg of you, Mrs. Brood"
began Lydla, shrinking back in dis
may. "You are free to speak your thoughts
to me. I shall not be offended. What
has he said to you about Frederic
and me?" .