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Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, August 21, 1904, Image 36

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O'Keefe, Akoond of Swat: A Tale of Modern
Methods and Luck of a Lucky Man By Wm. II. Osborne
(Copyright, 1H04. ty W. II. O3borno.)
CHAPTER X. Continued.
kMITH went. He reached No. 17
Eouthcrton iivenuo the evening
after John I.oilmir had said to
Miss Margaret Kobenon good-bye
forever and a day. 1I paused
Ltforo he rang the toll.
"Thin," he aekowlertged to himself, 'Is
the totii$hHt proposition that ever I was
Up against, for sure." And then he rang.
A whlte-fnced girl met Mm at the door
a ghi whoso beauty, ho said to himself,
was Inferior to her picture. But lie did
not, could not know that this girl had
pent nlKht after right, wide-eyed and
despairing, and all on Ma account. He
couid not know all this.
M!i3 I'ejry Robeson welcomed him with
a smile. 8he was a fair-minded girl.
Bhe recognised the fact that the unfortu
nate Bit nation wuh In r:o sense due to the
fault of tho ninn who stood before her.
And beyond that, ehe entertained consider
able respect for Mr. BilUngton O'Keefe.
Mrs. Tatricia Jelliffe Robeson did not
at this juncture make her appearance. A
Blight breach of the proprieties, perhaps,
and wltn a more high-toned caller, aha
Would have done otherwise. Hut she knew
that BIIHnjjton O'Keefe was there to sea
her daughter, and that nothing would
please him more than to be alone with
her. Mrs. Robeson knew a thing or two.
Miss Robeson Intimated to tho caller that
her mother would make her appearance
later.
And ro Constltntlonnl Smith, Impersonat
ing rough and ready, genial, gentle, honest
Blllington O'Keefe, sat In the small room
Just off the hall and listened to all that
the low voiced girl who faced him had
to say. And she had much to say.
"Mr. O'Keefe," she began, in a clear
olee In whtch there was hardly a note
of hesitation, "there are some things that
I wont to sny to you, and when I have
Bald them I hopo you will understand ma
thoroughly. If you do, I know that you,
will forgive me thoroughly. I am going
to nsk your pardon first, Mr. O'Keefe,
for my rmlpnops of the other night. Mother
was shocked, but I was overwrought. 1
never meant to eay those things. I
ton't know why I snld them. I never
atop to think. Will you pardon me for
esee?" Mr. Smith, reallilng tho fact that It wa
an easy tak, immediately nodded his head
and begged her to go on.
"Mr. O'Keefe," she went on, "you yo
have asked me a good many times ta
marry you. I know that I have rcfurcd
you many times. Rut I don't want yen ta
think that I do not appreciate tho honor
yea, honor which you confer upon me. I
know that there are loia of girls here lit
town who would give anything almost to
to marry you "
Mr. Smith blushed. "No, no." he Instated,
don't say that." The girl smiled in pptta
f herself. "I ought to be very grateful to
you mystilf. I understand that. And I ant
grateful. Eut before I say sny more I
want to tell you now, that I accept yrur
ffer, Mr. O'Keefe. and that I will marry
you. If you will have me after what I am
going to say."
Mr. Smith carefully repreaied any senti
ments of Jny that might have arisen to his
Rps. Instead he pulled out his pocket hand
kerchief and wiped his brow'
"Yes, miss," was all he deigned to say,
"go on."
Tou know already, said Miss Peggy,
"that I really do not love you. I know that
I respect you and that I yes, that I admire
you. I know that you are congenial and
good-hearted and gentle, and that you
would always be a gnod hunband to any
girl. I know, too, that I would try to make
you a good wife. It Is poslble, Mr. O'Keefe,
that some day I would really love you."
"Exactly," answered Constitutional
Smith, feeling- a'a he might If he were In
the custody of several oflloers of the law,
"to be sure. Some day. No doubt." Again
he wiped his brow.
"But," went on the girl, "It Is but right
that you should know the whole truth. It
Is your right. Tou have always been hon
est and open-hearted with me, and now,
before any mistake is made, I want to ha
very honest with you. I have told you
that I do not love you. There's more reason
for that than you may think. It Is because
X am In love with with somebody else."
"la Is ha In love with you," gaipd Mr.
Smith, seeing a possible opening.
The girl flushed, slightly. "lie ha is,
she ancwered. "I am golnp to tell you
everything. It's John Lorimer, the chem
ist" Smith slightly started. "Lorinier." he
exclaimed, putting his hand to Ids head,
"Lnrimer, the chemist. John Lorimer.
Oh, to be sure. Yes, yes. Jih;i Lorimer.
Oh, yes." He hnd remembered, 'lie's a
yotir.g man with a fine voice. I knojr him..
"Of course you know him," answered
the girl, looking at him with a queer ex
preatdon of countenance. Mr. Smith,
straightened up.
"And then " he prompted.
The girl smiled e-ully and shook her
head. "That's all that's the whole story."
she refurned. "I've toM you ev-.ry ililng.
I'vo been honest with you. Yon know
just what to expect. But T promise you
that I will do my best I will be a good
wary. Ho knew that the woman whom he
had to deal with was not this woman, but
another a woman of the name of I'atricla
Jelliffe Robeson.
I-lnally ho bowed somewhat stlflly to the
girl. "I If I could only see your mother,"
he announced, "I I want to do whatever
is customary. I I want to talk t her.
She comes first, I suppose," he added
tentatively.
"Yes," assented the girl, "she conies first
first and last."
The girl left him alone and sent her
mother in. Constitutional Smith picked
from the tablo a book that he had laid
there.
"Mrs. Robeson, madam," he gravely
said, "I have followed your directions. I
have brought you this new book. The
Chilled Souf May you enjoy it"
know about before we settle things.
Though, I suppose," he added with a sort
Of leer, "that we can consider that they're
Bettled."
"Settled," echoed Mrs. Robeson, dwelling
upon the word with a sort of delight.
"Settled. Well, If you and Peggy have
settled thlnga I suppose they must ba
considered settled. I'm sure that It will baj
useless for me to interfere. Rut what
a sly couple you have been," '
"Exactly," drily answered Mr. Smith
"and so you are willing that I should US
your daughter's that I should be you
son-in-law, then, Mrs. Robeson."
"Delighted," answered Mrs. Robcsoi
"delighted. Mr. O'Keefe. I am more ds
lighted, even, than I am surprised."
"I believe you," said Mr. Smith gravely.
"And now, ma'am," he said, "there'a oasj
"I KNOW T11KRE ARE LOTS OF GIRLS HERE IN TOWN WHO WOULD GIVE ANYTHING ALMOST TO TO
MARRY YOU.
wife not so good as others might be, but
Til do my best, Mr. O'Keefe. And 1 ve
made up my mind. And I shall be glad to
marry you If you will have ine under
those conditions and after hearing what I
have said. I cannot JuRtlfy lny position
I cannot explain it. Many peoplo might
think I was playing a queer part. I cin
not help It they do not unJerstind. All
that I know Is that you have asked me
to marry you, and I have told yo.v evvry
thlng there Is to tell. And I shall marry
you, if you will have mo. I cannot ray
anything more."
Bha sat silent for an Instant. Mr. Smith
wna embarrassed and she knew It. She
misconstrued bis embarrasaimnt tlie tcsa
and went to him and held out her bold.
He took it, and released it almost Imme
diately. Hwas thinking the thlnj out.
Now lie knew the facta He read easily
between the seutencca. This w.-ia lacier
than he bud anticipated. Yet ha uiust be
"Re Boated, Mr. O'Keefe," Insisted Mrs.
Robeson with an air, "be seated." Mr.
Smith complied with the request.
"Mrs. Robeson," he continued, "I'm a
business man, a plain, blunt sort of busi
ness man." This was a saying of Billing
ton O'Keefe's. ."It's only right to you. to
say that I have proponed marriage to your
daughter and that she has, in a sort of
qualified way, accepted me"
"Accepted you?" exclaimed Mrs. Robe
eon, with an astonished air. "Dear me,
you surprise me, Mr. O'Keefe. Why, how
long has this been going on? The sly girl.
Bhe never told me a word of all this.
And you, too, of all men. Why didn't
you tell me before? Pear me."
"Yes, ma'am," Bald Constitutional Smith.
("Gee, ahe's a fllm-fiammer," he com
mented inwardly.) "And so it seemed to
me just as well to come to you and tell
you all about It. Because there'a some
Uilug that you and your daughter ought to
thing that I want to be Bure of, because;
there are always rumors about I want
to know for sure whether Miss Peggy ae
cepts me Juet for myavlf or I know yo
will excuse me when I say this or whether
she might like me just just for my
money's sake."
Mrs. Robeson rose from her seat ant
assumed a white, shocked countenance.
"My dear Mr. O'Keefe," she answered,
"you shock me. Evidently you do not un
derstand the delicate nature of Peggy, or
of myself either, for that matter." It
may be remarked that Peggy's mother waa)
quite Ignorant of Peggy's recent conversa
Uon.
"The Jclllffes and the Robesons hava
never worshiped the golden calf. You may
rest assured that If you did not enjoy the
personal regard of both myself and Peggy-,
regard for you alone that you never coul4
have obtained either her acceptance or my
approval to your suit But maaayT Ke

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