Newspaper Page Text
TXX2 L'AITZS CZirnKZL, L'AKCS, men.
' ( aYNOPala. '. Chania Wrandall la found urdrad in road noaaa BMf Naw Tone. Mr. Wran 411 ta eammonad from the elty and Idan llaa tha bodr. A young- woman who ec- w ranaau to tha Inn and sub' aaeaantly dlaa PDaared. la auaoactad. W randan. It appaara, bad lad a ray Ufa ad awg-lactad hia wit: Mra. Wrandall atarta back for Now Tork In an auto dur Mladina anew atom. Oa tha way atia raaate a younf woman In tha road wha prove to ba tha woman who killad Wrandall. Faalln that tha girt had dona a aamoa in twain nar i tna man wha thouah aha lovd him daaply. had aid har araat sorrow. Mrs. Wrandall datarmlnaa to ablald har and takaa har to hr awn noma. hfra. Wrandall haara tha atory of Hatty Caatlaton'a life, eeapt mat ort Ion that ralataa to Wrandall. Tbla ad tba atory of tha traaedy aha forbida a tlrl arar to tall. Bha offera Hatty a Bin. frlandahlB and aaeurlty from parti am Mwint of tha traaadv. Mra. Wrandall and Hatty attand tha funaral af Challle Wrandall at tha horaa at ma rent a, - , , ; .CHAPTER IV. Continued. ' Beside Sara Wrandall, on tha small, fnk divan, aat a stranger In tbla som ber company: a young- woman n sfaek. wb.oaa pale face wae uncovered, and whose lashes were lifted so rarely that one could not know of the deep, yarn! pain that lay behind them. In her Irish blue eyes. She had arrived at the house an hour or two', before the time set for the ceremony. In company with the widow. True to her resolution, the widow of Challls Wrandall bad re Mtained away from the home of his people until the last hour. She bad seen consulted, to be sure. In retard to the final arrangements, but the xeeetlnxs had taken place In her own apartment, many blocks distant from the house In lower Fifth avenue. The afternoon before she had received Redmond Wrandall and Leslie, his on. . She had not sent for them. They came perfunctorily and not through ay aense of obligation. These two at least knew that sympathy was not what she wanted, but peace. Twice ferine the two trying days, Leslie had sobm to see her, Vivian telephoned. , On the occasion of hie first visit, Leslie had met the guest in the bouse. The second time he called, he made Jt point to ask Sara all about her. . It was he who. gently closed the door after the two women when, on the morning of the funel. en tered the dark, flower-laden room In which stood the casket containing the body of his brother. He left them Jose together in that room for halt an hour or more, and It was he who 1 went forward to meet them when they came forth. Sara leaned on his arm as she ascended the stairs to the room where the others were, waiting. The ashen-faced girl followed. Mrs. Wrandall, the elder, kissed Sara and drew, her down beside her a the couch. To her own surprise, as well as that of the others, Sara broke down and wept bitterly. After all. he was sorry for Challls' mother. It was the human instinct, she could not old out against It And the older .woman put away the ancient grudge Be held against this mortal enemy and. dissolved into tears of real com- nasaion.' - A little later she whispered broken ly In Sara's ear: "My dear, my dear, this has brought ue together. I hope you will learn to love me." Sara caught her breath, but uttered o word. She looked into her mother-la-law's eyes, and smiled through her tears. The Wrandalls, looking on in amaze, saw the smile reflected In the face of the older woman. Then it was that Vivian crossed quickly and put her arms about the shoulders of her sister-in-law. The white flag on both idea. - Hetty Castleton stood alone and wa vering. Just Inside the door. . No stranger situation could be Imagined thaa the one in which this unfortunate girl found herself at the present no- ' af those who would destroy her; she ' was in' the house of those who most . deeply were affected by her act on that fatal night Among them all she rianf tmrtnm (ham , llatanln ti tha moans and sobs, and yet her limbs did set give way beneath her. "V. . . k Some one gently, touched her arm. "it was Leslie. .. She shrank- back, fearful look In her eyes. la the semi darkness he failed to note the expres sion. ' . y . ; .' "Won't you sit here?" he asked, in dicating the little pink divan against the wall. . "Forgive me for letting you stand so long." She looked about her, the wild light U3 fa her eyes. She was like a rat la a trap Her Hps parted, but the word of thanks did not come forth. A strange, inarticulate sound, almost a gasp, . axe Instead ' rtr.ld as a ghost, she dropped limply to the dlvaa. and dag tor lagers into the satiny seat tf fascinated, she stared over the! tSaefe heads of the three women Imme- Cately la front of her at the full r length portrait . hearing' where ' the Eht from the hall fell upon it: .the portrait of a dashing youth In riding J A moment later Sara Wrandall came rer and sat beside her. ; The girl silvered as with a mighty chill when . C warm hand of her friend fell upon tare aad earCoped It la a firm clasp. ; "ZTa metier kissed me," whispered Cara. DU row seer Tie girt cli not reply. She eoald capw?&fr.ttv2 only stare at the open door. A mall. hatchet-faced man had come up from below and was nodding his head to Leslie Wrandall a man : with short side whiskers, and a sepulchral look In his eyes. Then, having received a sign from Leslie, he tiptoed away. Al most instantly the voices of people singing softly came from some distant remote part of the house. " And then, a little later, the . per fectly modulated voice of a man In prayer. Back of her. Wrandalls; beside her. Wrandalls; beneath her, friends of the Wrandalls; outside, .the rabble, those who would Join with these black. raven-like s Meters In tearing her to pieces If they but knew! ' . , The droning voice came up from be low, each well-chosen, word distinct and clear: tribute beautiful to the Irre proachable character of the deceased. Leslie watched the face of the girl, curiously fascinated by the set emo tionless features, and yet without a conscious interest in her. He was dully sensible to the fact that she was beautiful, uncommonly, beautiful. - It did not occur to him to feel that she was out of place among them, that she belonged down stairs. Somehow she was a part of the surroundings, like the specter at the feast. ' ' - If be could have witnessed all that transpired while Sara waa In the room below with her guest her companion, as he had come to regard her without having in fact been told as much he would have been lost in a mase of the most overwhelming emotions. To go back: The door had barely closed behind the two women when Hetty's trembling knees gave way be neath her. With a low moan of hor ror, she slipped to the floor, covering her face with her hands. Sara knelt beside ber. "Come," she said gently, but firmly; "I must exact this much of you. If we are to go on together, as we have planned, you must stand beside me at his bier. Together we must look upon him for the last time. You must see him as 1 saw him up there in the country. I had my cruel blow that night It is your turn now. I will sot blame you for what you did. But If you expect me to go on believing that you did a brave thing that night, you must convince me that you are not a coward now. It le the only test I shall put you to. Come; I know It Is hard. I know it is terrible, but it is the true test of your ability to go through with It to the end. I shall know then that you have the courage to face anything that may come up." She waited a long time, her hand on the girl's shoulder. At last Hetty arose. "You are light" ahe said hoarsely. I should not be afraid." Later on they sat over against the wall beyond the casket, into which they had peered with widely varying emotions. Sara had said: "You know that I loved him." ' The girl put her hande to her eyes and bowed her head. Oh, how can you be so merciful to me?" "Because he was not" aald Sara, white-lipped. . Hetty glanced at the half-averted face with queer, Indescrib able expression In her eyes. If Leslie Wrandall could have looked In upon them at that moment, or at any time during the halt an hour that followed, he would have known who was the slayer of his brother, but it is doubtful if he could have had the heart to denounce her to the world. When they were ready to leave the room Hetty bad regained control of Hetty's Trembling Kneee Gave Way . v Beneath Her her nerves toa most surprising extent, a condition unmistakably due to the Influence of the older woman.. "I can trust myself now, Mrs. Wran dall." said Hetty steadily as they he luted for ah Instant before turning the knob of the door. "Then I shall ask you to open1 the door," aald Cara, drawing back. Without a word or a look, Hetty opened the -door and. permitted the other to pass out before her. Theft che foUnwed, closing It gently, even deliberately, but not without a swift glance over her shoulder Into the depths of the room they were leaving. Of tha two, Sara Wrandall wan tla of Elerfeiid Georsfe Barr MoCutcheon er awnStiAM Ancum'w. carrxwz92 6YPODd,k0 connytY paler as they went up the broad stair case with Leslie. The funeral oration by the Rev. Dr. Haltby dragged on. . Among all bis hearers there was but one who be lieved the things he said of Challls Wrandall, and she was one of two per sons who, so they saying goes, are the last to find a man out; hia mother and his sister. But in this instance the mother was alone. The silent, attentive guests on the lower floor listened In grim approval: Dr. Maltby was doing himself proud. Not one but all of them knew that Maltby know. And yet how soothing he was. . ., a, a a a . a ;, a ,., , a . Byv the end of the week the murder of Challls Wrandall was forgotten by all save the police. The Inquest was oyer, the law was baffled, the city was serenely waiting for. its next sensa tion. No one cared. ' 1. ' V Leslie Wrandall went down to the steamer to see his sister-in-law off for Europe. "Goodby, Miss Castleton." he said, as he shook the hand of the slim young Englishwoman at. parting. "Take good care of Sara.. She needs a friend, a good friend, now. Keep her over there until she has forgotten." """"chapter v."'"b."' '. Discussing a Slster-ln-Law. "You remember my . sister-in-law, don't you, Brandy T" was the question that Leslie Wrandall put to a friend one afternoon, as they aat drearily In a window of one of the fashionable up town clubs, a little mors than a year after the events described In the fore going chapters. Drearily, I have said. for the reason that it was Sunday, and raining at that I met Mrs. Wrandall a few years ago In Rome," said bis companion, re newing Interest In a conversation that had died some time before of its own exhaustion. "She'd most attractive. I saw her but once. . I think It was at somebody's fete." "She's returning to New York the end of the month," said Leslie. "Been abroad for over a year. She had a villa at Nice this winter." I remember her quite well. I was of an age then to be particularly sen sitive to female loveliness. If I'd been staying on In Rome. I should have screwed up the courage, I'm sure, to have asked her to sit for me.". Brandon Booth was of an old Phila delphia family: an old and wealthy family. Both views considered, he waa qualified to walk band in glove with the fastidious Wrandalls. Leslie's mother waa charmed with him be cause she was also the mother of Viv ian. The fact that be went In for por trait painting; and seemed averse to subsisting on the generosity of his father, preferring to live by his tal ent, in no way operated against him, so far as Mrs. Wrandall was con cerned. That was his lookout, not hers; if he elected to that sort of thing, all well and good. He could afford to be eccentric; there remained, in the perspective he scorned, the bulk of a huge fortune to offset whatever Idiosyncrasies he might choose to cul- livaie. Home aay. in spue vi uiiubbu. she contended serenely, he would be very, very rich. What could be more desirable than fame, family and for tune all heaped together and thrust upon one exceedingly Interesting and handsome young manf He had been the pupil of celebrated draftsmen and painters in Europe, and had exhibited a sincerity of purpose that was surprising, all things con sidered. The mere fact that he waa not obliged to paint in order to obtain a living waa sufficient cause for won der among the artists be met and studied with or under. 1 His studio in New York was not a faahionable restlna place. It was a workshop. You could have tea there. of course, and you were sure to meet people yon knew and liked, but it was quite as much of a workshop as any you could mention. He was not dabbler in art. not a mere oauoer oi pigments: he waa an artist Booth was thirty perhaps a year or two older: tail, dark and good look Inc. The air of the thoroughbred marked him. He did not affect loose, flowlnc cravats and baggy trousers, nor was ha careless about his finger nails. He waa simply the ordinary, every-day sort of chap you would meet in Fifth avenue during parade hours', and you would take a second look at him because of his face and manner but not on account of his dress. Soma of 'his ancestors came over ahead of the Mayflower, but he did not gloat' ' . Leslie Wrandall was his closest friend and narsheet critic It didn't really matter to Booth what Leslie said of his paintings: he quite under stood that he didn't know anything ahoat them. .."When does Mrs. Wrandall return V asked the painter, after a long period of silence spent In contemplation of the gleaming pavement beyond the club's window. - "That's queer," said Leslie, looking up. ' "I was thinking of Sara myself. Che sails next week, rve had a Ut ter asking- ma to open her house la the- country. Her place la atoct two miles from father's. It basal tca opened In two years. Her fe&cr trt It fifteen or twenty years ago, and left it to her, when be died. . She and Challls spent several summers there." "Vivian took me through It one aft ernoon last cummer.". "It must have been quite as much of a novelty to her as .it was to you, old chap," said Leslie gloomily. , "What. do you meant" - "Vivian's a bit of a snob She never liked the place because old man Oooch bulK It out of worsteds. She never went there." : "But the old man's been dead for years." y- . That doesn't matter. The fact la, Vivian didn't quite take to Sara until after well, until after Challls died. We're dreadful enobs. Brandy, tbe whole lot of, us,, Sara was quite good enough for a much better man than my brother. v she really couldn't help the worsteds, . you know. S I'm very fond of her, and always have been. We're pals. v,Oad, It was a fearful slap at the home folks when Challls justi fied. Sara by getting snuffed out the way be did." Booth made an attempt to change the subject, but Wrandall got back to It Since then we've all been exceed ingly sweet on Sara.' Not because we want to be, -mirid you, but because we're afraid she'll marry some chap who wouldn't be acceptable to us." I should consider that a very neat way out of it," said Booth coldly. Not at all You see, Challls was fond of Sara, In spite of everything-. He left a will and under it she came In for all be had. As that Includes a third Interest In our extremely refined and Irreproachable business. It would be a deuce of a trick on us if she mar ried one of the common people and eet him ap amongst us, willy-nilly. We don't want strange bedfellows. We're too snug and I might say, too smug. Down In ner heart mother Se saying to herself It would be just like Sara to get even with us by doing Just that sort of a trick. Of course Sara Is rich enough without accepting a sou under tbe will, but she's a canny person. She hasn't handed It back to us on a silver platter, with thanks; still, on the other hand, she refuses to meddle. She makes us feel pretty small. She won't sell out to us.. She just sits tight That's what gets under the skin with mother." I wouldn't say that Les, If I were In your place." It Is a rather priggish thing to say. Isn't Itt" "Rather." "You see, I'm the only one who really took sides with Sara. I forget myself sometimes. She was such a brick, all those years." .- Booth was silent for a moment not- plng the reflective look In his compan ion's eyes. . I suppose the police haven't given up the hope that sooner or later the er the woman will do something to give herself away," .said he. They don't, take any stock in my theory that ahe made way with herself the same night I waa talking with tbe -chief yesterday. He says that anyone who had wit to cover up her tracks as she did, is not the kind to make way with herself. Perhaps he's right It sounds reasonable. 'Gad, I felt sorry for tbe poor girl they had up last spring. She went through the third degree, If. ever anyone did, but by 'Jove, she came out of It all right The Ashtley girl, you remember. I've dreamed about that girl, Brandy, and what they put her through. It's a sort of nightmare to me, even when I'm awake. Oh, they've questioned others as well,' but she waa tbe only one to have the screws twisted in Just that way." ". "Where Is she now T" "She's comfortable enough now. When I wrote to Sara', about ,what she'd been through, she settled a neat bit of. money on her, and shell never want for anything. She'e out west somewhere, with ber mother and sis ters. I tell you, Sara's a wonder. She's got a .heart of gold.". , ' "I , look forward to meeting her, old man." ; "I was with her for a few weeks this winter. In Nice, you know. Viv ian stayed on for a week, but mother had to get to the baths. 'Pad. I be lieve she hated to go. Sara's got a most adorable girl staying: with ber, A daughter of Colonel Castleton, and she's connected In aome way with the Murgatroyds old Lord Murgatroyd, yon know. I think her mother waa a niece of the old boy. Anyhow, mother and Vivian have taken a great fancy to her. That's proof of the pudding." "I "think Vivian mentioned a com panlon of some sort" .' ; "You wouldn't exactly call her i companion,' said Leslie. "She's got money to bum, I take It Quite keeps np with Sara' ln'maklng It fly, and that's saying a good deal for her resources. I think It's a posa on her part, this calling herself a companion. An Eng lish Joke, eh t As a matter of fact, she's an old friend of Sara's and my brother's too. Know them In England. Host delightful gtrL Oh. I say. old man, she's the one for yon to paint" Lcxlle waxed enthusiastic. "A type, a rscUlTa type. . Nrvtr saw such eyes la t3 cy Ufa. Dammit, they haunt you. Yon dream about 'eta," Yea seem U be hard hit," Booth indifferently. He was watching the man In the "slicker" . through moody eyes. v "Oh, nothing like that" disclaimed Leslie with unnecessary promptness. glut If I were given to that eort , of Ing. I'd be bowled over in a minute. Positively adorable face. : If I thought you had it In you to paint a thing as it really Is I'd commission you myself to do a miniature for me. Juat to have it around where I could pick It' np when I liked and hold it between my bands, just as I've often wanted to hold the real thing." . . Sara Wrandall returned ; to , New York at the end' of the month, and Leslie met her at the dock, as he did on an occasion fourteehJmonths ear lier. Then she came In on a fierce gale from the. wintry. Atlantic;) this time the air was soft and balmy and sweet with the kindness of spring. It was May and the sea was bfue, the land was green. . ' . Again she went to the small, exclu sive hotel near the park. Her apart ment was closed, the butler and his wife and all of their hastily recruited company being in the country, await ing her arrival from town. Lealle at-, tended to everything, lie lent his re sourceful man servant and his motor 'to his lovely sister-in-law, and saw to it that hia mother and Vivian sent flowers to the ship. Redmond Wran dall called at the hotel Immediately after banking hours, kissed his daughter-in-law, and delivered an ultimatum second-hand from the power at home: she was to come to dinner and bring Miss Castleton. A little quiet family dinner, you know, because tbey were all in mourning, be said in conclusion, vaguely realizing all the while that It really wasn't necessary to supply the Information, but tor the life of him, unable to think of anything else to say under the circumstances. Some how It eeemed to him that while Sara was In black shewas not In mourning in the same sense that the rest of them were. ' It seemed only right to acquaint her with the conditions in his household.. And he knew that be de served the scowl that Leslie bestowed upon him. Sara accepted, much to his surprise and gratification. He had been rather dubious about It. It would not have surprised him in the least If she had declined the Invitation, feeling, as he did. that he had In a way come to her with a rwhite. flag or an olive branch or whatever It Is that a combative force utilises when It wants to sur render In tbe cause of humanity. As soon as they were alone Hetty turned to her friend. i "Oh, Sara, can't you go without met Tell them that I am ill suddenly 11L 1 I don't think It right or honorable of me to accept " Sara shook her head, and tbe words died on the girl's Hps. 'You muet play the game, Hetty." It's very hard," murmured the other, ber face very white and bleak. "I know, my dear," said Sara gently. "It they should ever find out," gasped the girl, suddenly giving way to the dread that had been lying dor mant all these months. 'They will never know the truth unless you choose to enlighten them," said Sara, puttipg her arm. about tbe girl's shoulders and drawing her close. "You pever. cease to be wonderful, Sara so very wonderful," cried the girl, with a look of worship In her eyes. . ; Sara regarded her in silence for a moment reflecting. Then, with a swift rush of tears to hsr eyes,- she cried fiercely: J . "You must never, never tell me all hi i ' "You Must Play the Ciime, Hatty." that happened, Hetty! You must not speak It with your own lips." Hetty's eyes grew dark with pain and wonder. , - ? . "That Is the thing I cant under stand In you, Sara," aha said slowly. , "We must not speak of It!" Hetty's bosom heaved.' "Speak of It I" she cried, absolute agony In her voice. "Have I not kept It locked In my heart since that awful day T ' "Hnuhl". 1 shall go mad tt I cannot tan with yon atsxt ' "No, not It is Cie fortlddaa rrV jectl I know all tat I should tzat WIN all that I care to know. We oave eot said so much as this In months -m ages. It seems. Let sleeping dogs Be. . We are better off. my dear. I. coulo not touch your lips again." "I I can't bear the thought or that!" ' ' , "Kiss me now, Hetty." ; "I could die for you, Sara.".: cried, Hetty,' as she impulsively obeyed the ' i command." .'' . ' A "I mean that you shall live for me." ' said Sara, smiling through her tears. ' "How silly of me to cry. It must be the room we are In. These are the same rooms, dear, that yoa came to ' on the night we met .. Ah, how old I ; feell". , .: , ' . ' v i "Old?- You say that to met I anvS ages and ages older than yon," cried - Hetty, the color coming ( back to her eof t cheeks. ':' "You ara twenty-three." ' "And you are twenty-eight" - "; Sara had a far-away look In her eyes. T "About your sue ana ngure, said she, and Hetty did not compre-" hend. . . , ' v CHAPTER VI. 8outhlook. .'. ', Sara Wrandall's house In the coun try stood on a wooded knoll overlook- lng the sound. It was rather remotely located, so far as neighbors were con cerned. Her father, Sebastian Gooch. shrewdly foresaw the day when land In this particular section of the sub urban world would , return dollars for pennies, and wisely bought thousands of acres: woodland, meadowland, beachland and hills. Inserted between the environs of New York city and the rich towns np the coast Years afterward be built a commodious sum mer home on the choicest point that his property afforded, named It South- . look, and transformed that particular ( part of his wilderness into a million aire's paradise, where he could dawdle and putter to his heart's content. . where he could spend his time and his money with a prodigality that came so late In life to him that be made waste of both in his haste to live down a rather parsimonious past " ' , Two miles and a half away. In tha heart of a scattered colony of puree proud New Yorkers, was the country home of the Wrandalls, an Imposing place and older by far than South- , look. . It had descended from well y Worn and time-stained ancestors to Redmond Wrandall, and, with others -of its kind, looked with no little scorn upon the modern, mushroom struc tures that sprouted from the seeds ot trade. There was no friendship be tween the old and the new. Each had recourse to a bitter contempt for tha other, - though consolation waa small m comparison. It was In the wooded by-ways of this despised domain that Challls Wran dall and Sara, the earthly daughter of Midas, met and loved and defied all things supernal, for matches are made in heaven. Their marriage did not open the gates of Nineveh. Sebas tian Gooch'e paradise was more com , pletely ostracised than It was before the disaster. The Wrandalls spoke ot it as a disaster. ; Clearly the old merchant waa not over-pleased with bis daughter's choice, a conclusion permanently es tablished by the alteration he made in his will a year or two after the mar rlage. True, he left the vaet estate to his beloved daughter Sara, but he fast ened a stout string to It and with -this string her. hands were tied. It must have occurred to him that Chal lls was a profligate In more ways thaa one, for he deliberately stipulated la bis will that Sara was not to sell a foot of the ground until a period of twenty years had elapsed. A very polite way. It would seem, of making his Investment safe In the face of con siderable odds. , ' - : He lived long enough after the mak ing ot his will, I am happy to relate, to find that he had made no mistake. As he preceded his son-in-law into the great beyond by a scant three years, ( it readily may be seen that he wrought, too well by far. Seventeen' unnecea : sary years of proscription remained, and he bad not Intended, them for Sara alone. He was not afraid f Sax a, but for her. ' When the will was read and the con-. dltlon revealed, Challls Wrandall took It In perfect, good humor. He had the ; grace to proclaim In the bosom ot his father' family that the old gentleman was a father-in-law to be paoud of. A canny old boy," he had announce! with hid most , engaging smile, quite , free from rancor or resentment Chai ns was well acquainted with himself. And so the acres were strapped to gether snugly and firmly, without se much as a town lot protruding. . , So Impressed was Challls by the far sightedness ot his father-in-law that he forthwith, sat him down and made a will of his own. Tie would not have It said that Sara's father did a wttt better by her than ha would do. Ha left everything he possessed to hia wife, but put no string to It, blandly implying that all danger, wnU be past when she came Into posxasslgnw There was a sort of grim baser ta tli way be crrrad to rrtactf tix-, C1 to f.iw U tl) txzl txl fsiCa source ct para.