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A Wife for By CIIAI'IN rcacrcorcrrcc.--, When the Rev. Gilbert Bancroft be gan bis pastorate In Windham, it ww jeii by the member- of the village church that they h'id secured all in fait a great deal mote than they 'iad any reason to expect. They had treat ed themselves to tee pleasurable ex citement of listening to a long lino of candidates, considering and rejecting, until one Sunday morning a slim young preacher had arisen in the pul pit cud surveyed them earnestly with a pair of very fine gray eyes.' His frock coat titled perfectly, his collar and tie were Irreproachable, and as it had been previously ascertained that he was hampered by neither a family nor a cough, an Instantaneous conviction swept through the feminine half of the audience that here, at last, was the man for wnom they had been wal ing. In few Isolated cases of spinsterhood this conviction even' as tuiiKil a more personal significance. The more conservative, masculine part of the congregation waited for the sermon before committing Itself to a decision happily unconscious that It was taking an entirely unnecessary precaution, and that the candidate had been engaged practically from the first moment. Before the singing of the second hymn, Mrs. Saxton, the wife of one of the deacons, was al ready congratulating herself on the fact that her daughter, Milly, sitting unsuspectingly at her side, had always been carefully reared, and was fitted In every way to take up the duties of a minister's wife. The parsonage roof, of course, would havo to be repaired, and she would Insist upon. the Ladles' Society repapering the parlor; other wise the house wou:d do very well as It was. At the close of the service, by skill ful maneuvering and from the vantage of a front pew, the deacon's wife se cured a promise from the candidate to take tea with her during the first week of his pastorate, and her invita tion was only the first in a royal sa lute of welcome wuich rained upoa him from all the tea tables lu the vil lage, as soon as It was definitely known that he would accept the call extended to him by the church. The parsonage was a low-roofed, pleasant looking white house, standing well back from the street, on a gentle rise of lawn, and protected from the too close scrutiny of its neighbors by a baffling hedge of locust trees and shrubbery. Here, In the library on the south side of the house, young Mr. Bancroft establlsoed himself with his typewriter and his books, scattering through the other tioma his scanty supply of furniture, the somewhat bat tered equipment of tls seminary days. He engaged as housekeeper, Mrs. Em ily Klmbal, an elderly widow of his congregation, and she at once assumed a motherly charge of the minister and his affairs. She was Inclined to view rather skeptically the frank outburst of cord iality with which the ladies of the eon-gr-eg.-ition sought to make their new pa.nr feel at home. He, however, ac''.'d all his Invitations courteous ly, sailing out every afternoon punct ual at five, faultlessly attired In clnti.es of a noticeably city cut, his fine, abstracted gaze unconscious of the i.Jnilrlng scrutiny of half the vil las;.'. Mrs. Klmbal never failed to ob-serv,-. him critically trom the shelter of Mio parlor blinds. "My land!" she remarked scornfully to UrselC "Any one would think they wa; tryln' ter pay for the spiritual 1''-! they get on Sunday by fe'edln' hi upon cake an' preserves all though the week. An' when they cau f ask him out, they're a sendln' of tMngs In. Thens enough Jell an" fpice cake In the' pantry Dow to keep him for a year. First they know they will ruin. his digestion an' then they'll . hae him preaching hell-Are an' dam 'nation at 'em fit to kill!" 'It was true that everything feminine Ing.nulty could devise had been Bhow ered upon the young clergyman to re lieve the supposed barrenness of his existence. And trom endless culinary delicacies he found himself the posses sor of a' bewildering array of Bible markers, erncrcidored - allppers and ota cushions, alt of which he gave over Into his housekeeper's charge with lather helpless air. . . -. The church in Windham was only his second pastorate and he was young ';d very much In earnest.. He had j'een persuaded to acepf the call prln-t-pal!y because he believed (hat here he had found a definite work waiting 'o be done. From the fi'-st Sunday that he had preached in the village lie had set his heart upon securing the erection of a new church to replace the Present old. dilapldned structure. Apparently his plsn met with ready sympathy and encouragement on every tllle. The more influential men of his eonme'Eatlou . whem he approached "'st, listened to him attentively, and t freed him to call and talk, the matter over more thoroughly. Meanwhile, all on-. the Pastor. ft HOWARD. the services of the church were well attended, and the outlook for success appeared most gratuyincly bright. But subtly and and by degrees a con viction seemed to have Insinuated it self among his congregation that one of the very qualifications which had at first recommended him to their fav or was, perhaps, after all. proving somewhat of a drawrack. It began to be quite generally felt, und even deli cately hinted, that a bachelor clergy man's usefulness wa.i necessarily lim ited. Several kind, motherly ladles, who were possessed of daughters or nieces of a marriageable age, admitted to hliu (confidentially) that they sigh ed whenever they thought of the lone liness of his ..fe in that great par sonage. One or two even playfully re monstrated with him there were so many sweet, sensible girls In his con gregation who were In every way fitted to be ministers' wives. The Rev. Gilbert Bancroft was at first puzzled, then disconcerted, and finally genuinely annoyed at this so licitude shown on his behalf. He found it humiliating to admit that the Interest and enthusiasm which he hon estly believed he had succeeded in arousing In the building of the new church were, in reality, only the thin cloak to various sentimental schemes for inveigling him into matrimony against his will. Hh, young confidence and belief In nls congregation were severely shaken, and he passed through a period of marked depression and discouragement, which Mrs. Klm bal noticed with an experienced eye. "He's beginnln' to tlnd out what they are a-drivln' at," she mused, "an' he's a tryln' not to have any un-Christlan thoughts agin' 'em, poor man. Seems as if they was afraid they wasn't aget ln' their money's wo'th, hlrlu' a single man." At first Mr. Bancroft had thought to put an end to these embarrassing suggestions by announcing firmly that he did not' Intend to marry. But he was baffled and enraged toobsetve that this was Indulgently regarded merely as the first step lu his inevitable sur render. There was no apparent abate ment in the futile schemes to ensnare him, and he continued to find himself an unwilling, but outwardly courteous guest, at tea-tables graced by the pres ence of some demure and blushing vil lage maiden whose virtues and accom plishments were tuie to be made the subject of many a covert allusion for his benefit. The hearts of his parish ioners were evidently set upon his marrying, and they could give their attention to nothing else. 'The new church, in the minds of the ladles at least, was a secondary consideration, and could very well afford to wait. The thought of failing in this, his first ambitious undertaking, was in tolerable to him, but after six mouths of unavailing protest he found him self reduced to a state of unholy ex asperation, and realizing that his patience was exhausted, he determined to seek refuge temporarily in flight. And so, having secured an old time friend of his seminary days to occupy the pulpit during hta absence, he ar langed with the committee of the church to be away fiom Windham for three weeks. The departure occasioned consider able surprise, and a number of theories were advanced to account for it satis factorilythe most complacent and widely credited being that he had gone away to get the ring. No one felt ex actly In a position to supply particu lars, but a feeling of pleased expect ancy spread through the village. There were so many vacant third fingers up on which that ring might fittingly be placed! Gossip and speculation in creased as the time tor his return drew near. A sensation was confidently ex pected, and it came. The unguessed truth burst with the paralyzing suddenness of a bomb among the startled congregation. The Rev. Gilbert Bancroft hid been mar ried quietly, and was bringing home his bride! The news was received with mingled feelings of Incredul'ty and dismay. Mis. Klmbal was appealed to on all sides for confirmation. Scant satis faction, however, was to be obtained from her. She would neither affirm nor deny. "Anyway, it's Just what you've all been a-hopin' an' aprayln' for, ain't It?'' she demanded. "I wouldn't De so upset about It, though, if I were yau. 11 don't look Just orthodox-bein' so surprised to find your prayer's been answered." Mrs. Saxton voiced the general opin ion of the flock when she replied thai If a minister made up his mind to marry "it seemed hardly necessary for him to go outside his own congrega tion." . ' It wasn't necessary," Mrs. Klmbal admitted. "Land, no! But why do you s'pose I sent to the city when I got my new alpaca three years ago stead of buyln' It here to the store? Because they didn't keep the line of goods I was lookln for. So it ain't surprisln', is It, be should feel the same?" A few days later all doubts were set at rest when, just at dusk, an unfam iliar covcrd carriage, with a large trunk strapped uehlnd, clattered up the village street, and stopped beforu the parsonage gate. The Rev. Gilbert Bancroft alighted, and then, turning, lifted out a slender, girlish figure, stylishly gowned In black and wear ing a heavy veil. The two passed slowly up the walk, beneath the searching gaze of half the village, the lady leaning heavily upon her hus band's arm. Mrs. Kimbal met them in the hall, the trunk was brought in, then the door closed and the carriage drove away. The village gasped. The following Sunday all Windham attended morning service. But its curiosity was destli.ed to go unsatis fied. The Rev. Gilbert Bancroft enter ed the church alone, and made his way composedly Into the pulpit. His eager congregation could scarcely wait for the benediction to be pronounced be fore they crowded about him, congrat ulating and exclaiming. All the la dles, it appeared, had expected to see the bride at church. He met all inquiries with his usual reticence. There had always been something in his maimer which check ed inqulsltiveness, and It was felt more strongly than ever now. He thanked them pleasantly. Yes, It had been very sudden. Still he had felt sure that his congregation would ap prove heartily of the Idea If they had known. But Mrs. Bancroft was very frail, and would hive to be allowed to do good in her own way. He had brought her to Windham only on the condition that she might be sure of the same absolute quiet in which, for the last few years, she had been com pelled to live. He hoped she might exert a great Influence for good, but would beg the ladles to excuse her from receiving calls. The flock with drew, baffled and n little over-awed. During the next few days, however, In spite of the request, several well meaning ladles insisted upon "Just running in" to see their pastor's wife. But they were me by Mrs. Klm bal and the unchanging announce ment that Mrs. Bancroft begged to be excused. No one succeeded in pene trating the Impregnable wall of priv acy which seemed to hedge her in. Occasionally, Just at dusk, she might be seen through openings in the shrub bery, pacing slowly up and down the walk before the house, leaning on her husband's arm. She was always trim ly gowned in unvarying black with a white shawl thrown about her shoul ders. She was very stately, with abundant brown hair, and In the twi light looked noticeably pale. These Infrequent and distant glimpses of their pastor's wife were all that the congregation were able to ob tain. As time went on she took no part In the church work and attend ed none of the services. Her exist ence became the mystery of the quiet village life. Young Mr. Bancroft was dexterously plied with questions on all sides, but he parried them as skill fully with that guarded manner now become habitual. Mrs. Klmbal's invariable reply was pithy and almost belligerent: "I can t see as folka has any reason to complain. She married him, didn't she? not the deacons an' the whole congregation." One determined effort and only one was made to storm the lady's reso lute seclusion.' Placid Deacon Saxton was chosen for the task. Having been carefully Instructed and rehearsed by his wife, he made his way .docily up the grand path to the parsonage one evening when Hev. and Mrs. Bancroft could be seen taking their usual twilight promenade. At sight of the approaching figure the minister turned and led his wife to the far end of tho walk. There he left her and re turning greeted his visitor with a chal lenging cordiality while the lady re mained standing by a lilac bush, her graceful back half turned. Deacon Saxton, very much disconcerted by the unexpected coolness of his recep tion, stammered out his errand. But before he had half finished he was cut. short by an indignant exclamation from Mrs.. Kimbal wno sped past them from the house. The lady by the lilao bush lav prostrate on the grass. Mr. Bavrroft sprang to her side, per emptory, waving back the deacon, who, thoroughly appalled at the dis astrous consequences of his Intrusion, beat a hasty retreat toward the gate. There, glancing back, he could see the unconscious, black-clad, figure being carried tenderly toward the house. Instead of being solve'd, the mystery had only deepened. Even tbe twilight promenades were now abandoned and no glimpse was caught of Mrs. Ban croft during the fall or winter. After many fruitless efforts village curiosity was, for once, obliged to admit Itself completely baffled, and the mystery was reluctantly left to Time, the great unraveller. Meanwhile, the Rev. Gilbert Ban croft had been steadily at work rais ing money for the building of the new ch'.rch. Since he bad chosen to stttlo lis own matrimonial future he jao) been free to pursue his scheme, un hampered by the halo of romance which had belore surrounded him. Public interest had shifted temporar ily from his own ersonallty to his wife's and the former zeal of his con gregation for church work, abated somewhat. But he worked on steadily, his earnestness and perseverance carrying him through moments, of dis couragement and apparent failure un til, at the beginning of spring, he had accomplished the seemingly Impossi ble the money for the new church had actually been raised. Then, one Sunday morning, he elec trified his congregation by quietly reading his resignation. He felt, he told them, that his work in Windham was successfully completed, thanks to their own generosity. He had decided to accept a call to a larger church in a distant state where the opportunity for work was greater, for he was young with a young man's ambitions. In spite of the lovnl protests of his congregation, he resolutely declined to reconsider this determination, and dur ing the next few weeks began the packing and shtppirg of his house hold goods. Although he mode no mention of the fact in connection with his going, it was generally believed that Mrs. Bancroft's health formed the real reason for the change. Would she leave Windham without meeting any of the members of her husband's church? This was the ques tion which the village discussed with growing excitement ns the day of de parture drew near. But Mr. Bancroft made his hurried round of farewell calls alone, and In response to covert hints and open inquiries merely ex pressed his regret that his congrega tion could not nave had the pleasure of knowing hU wltc, but he begged them to believe that he would have arranged It If it had been possible. He should always remember his Wind ham friends most pleasantly. "An' invalid wife Is goln' to be a terrible drag on him," Mrs. Saxton prophesied to her daughter, Milly, as they watched the slim, athletic figure striding down their trout path to the gate. "But she ain't hindered him from doln' a grand, good work here. We couldn't never have got the new church if it hadn't been for him." The next evening the carriage which was to carry Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Ban croft the three milts to the station, drew up before the parsonage, anil later the whole village heard It when It drove away. Mrs. Klmbtil remained over one more day to close the house, then she locked the front door, hung the key on Its familiar nail In the wood:hed and was carried off by the stage for a long visit with her broth er's family in North Walpole. The deserted house had a lonely look behind Its serpen of shrubbery, as It stood awaiting tbt arrival of its next occupint. Late one afternoon, nearly a week after the departure of the minister and his wife. Milly Saxton buist Into the kitchen where her mother was prepar ing supper. Her chawi, which had slipped from her shoulders, streamed out behind her. Her eyes were wldo with terror. "Ma!" she gasped, clutching her mother by the arm. "Didn't Mr. anil Mrs. Bancroft go last week? didn't we hear 'em go?" "Why, yes,' Vald Mrs. Saxton, blank ly. "They were goln' to take that nine o'clock train at Derry. An' Em'ly Kimbal, she went next day. "Well, Mrs. Bancroft's come back!" cried the girl, hysterically. "She's up there at the house!" '.'Oh, my lard!" excli'lmed Mrs. Sax ton. "I Just ran up to peek In the window an" see If they'd taken all their things, an' when I put my face up against the glass there she stood lookln' at me in that empty room. I thought I was goln' to drop right where I was, but I jnst shut my eyes an' give one scream an" ran. It was awful!" The girl dropped into a chair. Her mother stood lookl'ig at ber for sev eral minutes. Then she threw her apron over her hend and went to the kitchen door. "Ezra!" she called, "Ezra!" Just you step here a minute." Deacon Saxton appeared with an empty milk pall in each hand. "I want you should come up to the parsonage along with Milly an' me. Mrs. Bancroft's up there. Somethln's wrong or she wouldn't have come back." Deacon Saxton followed his wife un questlonlngly as she led the way across the yard and up the street and turned In at the parsonage gate. Milly, pale and frightened, brought up the rear. Mrs. Saxton scuttled around to the woodshed and, returning with the key, handed It to ner husband. He unlocked the door Mid they entered the bare, forlorn-looKlng hall. "She's in the ptilor!" Milly whis pered, shrlnkingly. The two women stood hutldled close together as the Deacon tip-toed over to the parlor door ana pushed It open, gently. There by the mantel stood Mrs. Bancroft slenderly erect n her black gown, the white shawl falling about her shoulders). "Beg pardon, ma'am," said Dcncoa Saxton, retreating ajiishea, and pulling oft bis hat. The lady stared immovably out of the window with her pretty, coloilcss face. There was no, a quiver of her stylishly-clad figure. With a gasp Mrs. Saxton brushed by her husband. She cross tho room,, and caught bold of the white shawl then she leaned back weakly against the mantel-piece. The power of speech seemed suddenly to have forsaken liei. "There ain't any real Mrs. Bancroft," she said, at length, dully. "There hain't never been. She's Just one of them wire flggere, with a wax bead, they have In stores.' Her bewildered gaze encountered a piece of white paper pinned upon the sleeve. She unfaatced It with trem bling fingers and crossing over to the window read it aloud by the fading light. It wus In Mrs. Klmbal's hand writing: "I promised the minister I'd burn up 'Mrs. Bancroft' before I went away. But I couldn't seem to do It, nohow. She was nil my Idea, and the minister he didn't like decelvln' folks but he was drove to It, poor man! If It had not been for her he couldn't never have raised the money to build the new church, and there's so many match-making folks In Wladham it's going to be a lesson to them to know the truth." Mrs. Saxton's eyes traveled con sciously from the Immovable figure by the mantel to where Milly stood be side her father in the doorway. ."Em'ly Kimbal never spoke a truer word!" she said. Good Literature. GREAT LAKE FOR WATER FOWL. Blrda Found on Like Malheur, Ore gon Destruction of Snowy Her on. After spending two months In the lake region of southeastern Oregon investigating conditions and stpdylng bird and animal life in that locality Herman T. Bohlman and William L. Flnley returned to Portland Sunday night. Those two ornithologists have been working in the interests of the Audubon Society, whose purposes are to protect and to preserve the wild birds and animals in this State. "Our trip was full of hardships, es pecially while we were on tho lakes," said Mr. Flnley. "I believe there are today less than 3,0(10 antelope In our State. Their destruction has been rap Id. The antelope Is tin animal well equipped by nature, but he cannot hold his own uVainst the Invasion of new settlers. In a few years the Inst of the herd will be gone and the ante lope In Oregon will be extinct. The mountain sheep also Is practically extinct in Oregon. I know of a small band still found lu the Stein moun tains in the southern part of Harney country, but It numbers only five ewes and three rams. "Among the nat!, wild birds the snowy heron hns suffered most. It Is practically extinct in this fatate be cause for years it has been sought by the plume hunter. The only two colonies In the State we have known of were in Klamath county and on Lake -Malheur. Both of these were an nihilated years ago. For more than a month we cruised Malheur Lake In a small boat hunting for the remnants of these snow white birds. In all that time we saw only two snowy white herons. I doubt If more than two doz en of these birds ure to be found In the Stute, while in the '90s one of tho plume hunters made more than J1.2U0 In a day and a half 'shooting up' the colony. "From the sportsman's standpoint tho sage grouse, or sage hen, is a good game bird, but their numbers are falling off rapidly. They can nev er hold their own like the Chinese pheasant or even the quail or tho sooty or blue grouse. "We found several new and inter esting birds that we had not met with in our previous work. The bobo link, for Instance, is a common resi dent of Harney county and sings as sweetly as In a New England mea dow. The cowblrd and the Eastern kingbird we found all through that section of the State. We also found a colony of white facej glossy Ibis breeding on Lake Malheur. This is a rare bird for our State and the colony we found Is the only one we know of In Oregon. "On the whole. Malheur Lake is the greatest feeding and breeding ground for water fowl of the Pacific Coast. I doubt If its equal exists anywhere In the United States." Portland Oregonlan. Corectly Named. Mose. the darky cook of a party of surveyors In eastern Texas, was great ly annoyed by the razorback hogs that roamed around the camp. One even ing, while he was at the spring, a par ticularly ravenous band of these "piny woods rooters" raided the cook tent and ate everything that was edible and some other things that weren't. For several moment rJter his re turn from the spring Mose could find no words to express '.lis feelings. "Wall," he finally exclaimed, "do good Lawd nihtalnly knowed His bus iness whpn he named hawgs iiawgs!' Dry sho' Is hawgs! "Philadelphia. Puli'.lc Ledger. The Duke of Portland hns the larg est private picture gallery la the wciid.