Synopsis of Previous Chapters. CHAPTERS I. and IT.-The atory opens among oichids, and the central figure 53 Sir Clement Frobisher, an orchid fancier. Rafid, his manservant, announces Paul Lopez, who has brought Frobisher an exceedingly rare orchid. I which when strung in the orchid house bursts inlo bloom. It is the Cardinal Moth. When Hafid sees it he is like one demented, and cries out to have it destroyed. Lopez bids Frobisher farewell as Hafid announces two more visitors, Count Lefroy and his secretary, Manfred but Frobisher postpones their visit till luncheon next day. Angela Lyne, Sir Clement's ward and rteice.comes to him fcr seme orchids. She attends neice.comes to him fcr seme orchids. She attends Lady Marchgrave's charity concert, and is after- I wards one of the dinner guests. Her dinner partner is George Arnott.a would-be suitor whove claims are favoured by Sir Clement. She meets there Harold Denvers, her lover, but there is no I engagement between them, only an understand- ing. He presents her with a specimen of the Cardinal Moth. On her return home she lets herself in with a latchkey. She sees a strange man creeping towards the conservatory, whither she was taking her orchid. She follows quickly, but arrivine there she finds he has vanished. Hafid confronts her and begs her to Take and burn it." CHAPTERS I-IL and IV.—Frobisher sees Count Lefroy and his secretary Manfred. Frobisher and Lefroy are fighting against each other to obtain some concessions from the Shan of Koordstan. Frobisher inlorm3 Lefroy that the Shan will dine with him to-night, which Le- Zroy determines to circumvent. Frobisher shows the Cardinal Moth to Lefroy, who is enraged be- cause he has lost it, and strikes Manfred on the mouth. Afterwards he reasons that his secretary could not have betrayed him, and apologises. They go to Manfied's rooms to discuss a plan of action for the dinner. Manfred reads out an account of the mysterious death of a man who was murdered in a greenhouse at Streatham while trying to obtain possession of some orchids. The Shan of Koordstan h sitting over hia breakfast. The man servant announces Harold Denvers. The Shan, who has a liking for him, informs him that Sir Clement intends to bestow Angela Lyne on George Arnott. He says Danvers cannot have the concessions, as he has pledged the Blue Stone of Ghan. Denvers says that be has ob- tained a specimen of the Cardinal Moth, and ihat he has placed it in a nursery at Streatbam. Count Lefrov 13 announced. CHAPTER V.—Frobisher'3 luncheon party Count Lefrov is announced. CHAPTER V.—Frobisher'3 luncheon party takes place. Manfred pleads sudden indisposi- tion, and retires. Count Lefroy insults Lord I Saltcur. They wrestle together, bnt are finally parted. Explanations follow, and the matter is jmoothed over. Hafid discovers the body of Manfred lying on the floor of the conservatory- juice dead. Hafid is beside himself with terror, Mid murmurs, 41 Take it and barn it, and destroy it," over and over again. Frobisher seek3 Lefroy ind for once the veil of diplomacy is drawn a3ide, ind for once the veil of diplomacy is drawn aside, and they speak heart to heart. Frobisher gains I the victory in this war of words. The guestj depart, rad Frobisher tries to shake sense into Hafid. Angela, who has been aroused by the commotion, comes to Sir Clement. He give3 her 30 much information as be deems wise, and then dismisses her. Angela sees Harold Denvers creeping from bush to bush m the garden. He tells her it is a matter of life and death, and she I jets him in. CHAPTER VI. A Bit of the Rope. Sir James Brownsmith thought that on the Whole he wou!d walk home from Piccadilly to EEarleystreet. The coachman touched his hat, Lnd the neat little brougham moved on. The aminent surgeon had ample food for reflection it seemed to him that he was on the verge of a groat discovery. Somebody accosted him two o three times before he came back to earth again. That you, Townsond ?'' he asked, abruptly' H You want to speak to we ? Certainly. Only. is I am rather tired to-night if you will cut it as short as possible, I shall be glad." ri I am afraid I can't, Sir James," Inspector Townsend replied. Indeed, I was going to sug- gest that 1 walked as far as your house and had a shaft over matters." Sir James shrugged his shoulders, and tlariey- street was reached almost in silence. In the small consulting-room the surgeon switched on a brilliant light and handei over cigars and whisky and soda. Now, go on," he said. It's all about to- night's business, I suppose ?" Precisely,sir. You ve helped ns a good many times with your wonderful scientific knowledge and I daresay you will again. This Piccadilly mystery is a queer business altogether. Do yon feel quite sure that poor fellow was raally mur- deredafter all ?" I Sir James inviteil the Inspector to enter the house ————————— I Brownsmth looked fixedlv at the speaker. He had considerable respec' for Townsend, whose intellect was decidedly above the usual Scotland Yard level. Townsend waa a man of imagination and a master of theory. He went beyond motive and a cast of a footmark—he wa3 no rule of thumb workman. I On the face of it I should say there can be no possible doubt," said Sir James. Mnrdered by strangulation, sir ? The same as that man at Streatham. As you have made 1 P. cueful examination oi both bodies you ought to know." Is there any form of murder unknown to me, Townsend ?" Sir James asked. Is there any trick of the assassin's trade that I have not mastered ?" Oh, I admit your special knowledge, sir. But it's a trick of mine to-be always planning new crimes. I conld give you three ways of commit- ting murder that are absolutely original. And I've got a theory about this business that I don't care to disclose yet. Still, we can aiscuss the matter up to a certain point. Both these men were destroyed—or lost their lives—in the same way." Both strangled, in fact. It's the Indian thng dodge-J Bat you know all about that, Town- send ? We'll admit for the moment that both vic- tims have been destroyed by Thugee. But isn't it rather strange that both bodies were found in close juxtaposition to valuable orchids ? We know, of course, that Sir Clement's orchids are almost priceless. The Streatham witness,Silver- thorne, says that a very rare orchid was recently placed in the Lennox Conservatory. Now, isn't it fair to argue that both murdered men lost their lives in the pursuit of those orchids ?" Sir James nodded thoughtfully. He had for- gotten the Cardinal Moth for the moment. I see you have pushed your investigations a long way in this direction," he said. This being so, have you ascertained for a fact that the Lennox nursery really contained nothing cut of the common in the way of Orchidacoe ? You know what I mean ?" Quite so, sir. That I have not been able to ascertain because the proprietor of the Lennox nursery has no special knowledge of his trade. His great line is cheap ferns for the London market. But he says a gentleman whom he could easily recognise left him an orchid to look after —a poor dried-up stick it seemed to be—with in- structions to keep it in a house not too warm, where it might remain at a small rent till wanted." Ob, indeed. You are interesting me, Town- send. Pray go on." Well, Sir Jamesi I wanted to see the flowers after the murder, not that I expected it to lead to anything at that time. Seeing what has hap- pened this evening, it becomes more interesting. Would you believe it, sir, that the flower iD ques- tion was gone ?" Yon mean that it had been stolen ? Really, Townsend, we seem to be on the track of some- thing important." Yes, Sir James, the flower had goive. Now, what I want to know is this-hos Sir Clement Frobisher added anything special to his collec- tion lately?" Sir Jitmes shot an admiring glancei at his questioner. Seeing, that he was working almost entirely in the dark, Townsend had developed his theory with amazing cleverness. It's a treat to work with you," the great sur- geon said. As a matter of fact Sir Clement had got hold of something that struck me as abso- lutely unique. It's a flower called the Cardinal Moth. A flower on a flower, so to speak, a large cluster of whitey-piflk blossoms with little red blooms hovering over like a cloud of scarlet moths. Sir Clement is very pleased about it." t- From what you say I gather that he has not had it long, sir ?" Oh, I should say quite recently. But you are not going to tell me chaff you suspect Fro- bisher ?" At present I don't suspect anybody, though Six Clement is an unmitigated rascal who would not stop at Iony crime to serve his own ends. I don't go-so far aa to say that he had a band in I the business, but I do say that he could tell us exactly how.the tragedy took place." Sir James shot an admiring gJtmce in the dJrectJOn of the speaker. Frobisher's selfiHb in. terest in. tbe crime and his amazing sangfroid under the circumstances had struck the snrgeoa unpleasantly. Townsend looked reflctjvely into the mahogany depths of his whisky and soda. It is one thing to know that, and quite another to make a man like Pir Clement speak," he said. I am more or less with you, sir, over the Thcgee business, but was the crime com- mitted with a rope ? I shall not be surprised to find that it was done with a bramble, something j like honeysuckle or the like. But at the Fame time, as you seemed so certain about the rope, why Have you done aa much with the poor fellow at Sir Clement's residence?" he asked. No, bnt I shall do so in the morning. This is a, carious sort of stuff, Townsend, and cer- tainly not made in England. It is not rope or cord in our commercial sense of the word, but a strong Manilla. twist of native fibre. Thus we are going to introduce a, foreign element into the solution. Townsend smiled as he produced a. little packet from his pocket and laid it on the table. You are building up my theory for me, won- derfully, sir," he said. I have also something of the same sort here, only I have more than you to have collected, here is the same sort of fibre from Mr Manfred's collar stud, so that he must have been strangled over his collar, which means a powerful pressure. I didn' think it possible for human hands to put a pres- sure like that, but there it is." "My word, we've got a powerful assassin to look for," Sir James exclaimed. Like you, I should not have deemed it possible. Did you find all that on Manfred's collar stud ?" Not all of it, sir. The collar stud was bent up as if it had been a bit of tinfoil. But I found the bulk of this under the dead man's finger nails. They are long nails, and doubtless in the agony of strangulation they clutched frantically at the cord. I am quite sure that you will find this fibre to ba identical with that which you took from the neck of the Streatham victim." And thin caretaker you speak of. Is he a respectable man ? Silvsrthorne you said his name was, I fancy." That's the man, sir. He has been in his present employ for one and twenty years, a hard- working saving man, with a big family. Oh, I should take his word for most things that he told me." Sir James revolved the problem slowly in his mind, us he inhaled bis cigarette smoke. If the Lennox nursery had been deliberately made the centre of a puzzling murder mystery, it was quite sure that neither the nursery proprietor nor his man knew anything whatever about it. And yet it bad been necessary for some reason that a glasshouse should play an important part, for both murders had taken place under glass, and both suggested that tbe orchid was at the bottom of it. Again,Townsend was not the kind of man to make reckless statements, and when he boldly averred that Sir Clement Frobisher could ten all about it if he liked he had assuredly some very strong evidence to go upon. A great deal depended upon the analysis of the red liquid atain on the fibre taken by Townsend from the body of Manfred. If these little bits of stuff could speak what tales they could tell," Sir James said, as he care- fully locked up both packets ef ifbre. I'll get up an hour earlier in the morning and have a dig at these, Townsend. And meanwhile, a3 my days are bnsy ones, and it's pa3h one o'clock, I shall have to get you to finish your drink and give me your room instead of your company." Townsend took the hint and his hat and re- tired. But though Sir Jamea had expregDed hig intention of retiring almost immediately, he stretched out his hand for another cigarette and lignted it thoughtfully. Was it possible, ha wondered, if Sir Clement Frobisher really could solve the mystery ? And had he anything to do with it ? Not directly, Sir Jamea felt sure Frobisher was not that kind of man. He was much more likely to get the thing done for him. He waa secretive, too, over the Cardinal Moth ho had behaved so queerly over that business of Count Lefroy and his insult of Frobisher's guest, Brownsmith pitched his cigarette into the grate and switched off the electric light impatiently. Why should I worry my head about it ?" he mutteied. I'll go to bed." CHAPTER VII. A Grip of Steel. Sir Clement had not gone to bed yet. He sat over 11 final pipe in his dressing-room the fames of the acrid tobacco lingered » everywhere. The owner of the house leant back, his eyes half closed, and the smile on hia face soggestive of one who is recalling some exquisite comedy. A shocking tragedy had been enacted almost under his very eyes, and yet from Frobisher's attitude the thing had pleased him;4iewas not in the least disturbed. He began to kick off his clothing slowly, the filthy clay pipe between hia lips. He touched a bell, and Rafid slid into the room. There was tenor in his eyes enough and to spare. He j mif at have been a detected murderer in the pres- once of his accuser. He trembled, bls lips were I torching piteously, there was something about him r-f the rabbit trying to escape. j Well, mooncalf," Frobisher said, with bitter rai 'sry, Well, my paralytic pearl of idiots. Why do you stand there as if somebody was ticJùing your midriff with a. bowie knife ?" Take it and burn it, and destroy i; Hafid mattered. The man was silly with terror. Take it and burn it, and destroy it." Oh, Lord, was there ever such a fool since the world began 1" Frobisher cried. If you make that remark again I'll jam your head against the wall till your teeth cha.tter." Take it and burn it, and destroy is," Hafid went on mechanically. Master, I can't help it. My tongue does not seetn able to say any- thing else. Let me go send me away. I'm not longer to be trusted. I shall run wild into the night with my story." Yes, and I shall ran wild with my story in the day time. and where will you be then, my blusterer ? What's the matter with the man ? Has anybody been murdeced ?" No," Hafid said slowly, as if the words were being dragged out of him. "At least the law could not say so. ND, master, nobody has been murdered." Then what are you making all this silly fuss about ? Nobody has been murdered, but an in- quisitive thief who has accidentally met with bis death. Other inquisitive tbisyea are likely to -meet with the same fate. Past master amongst congenial idiots, go to bed." Frobisher shouted the command backed up by a sounding smack" on tho side of Hafid's head. lie went off without sense or feeling indeed, he was hardly conscious of the blow. Frobisher sat there smiling, sucking at the marrow of his pipe, and slowly preparing for bed. His alert- ness and attention never relaxed a moment, his quick ears lost nothing. Who's moving in the house ?" he muttered, "I heard a door open softly. When people want to get about a house at of night it is a mis- take to move softly. The action is suspicious, whereas if the thing were openly done one doesn't trouble." Frobisher snapped out the lights and stood in the doorway, rigid to attention. Presently the darkness seemed to rustle and breathe, there was a faint suggestion of air inmbtion, and then silence again. Frobisher grinned to himself aa he slipped back into his room. r. Angela," he said softly I could detect that faint fragrance of her åi1ywbere. Now what's she creeping about the house at this time for ? If she isn't back again in a quarter of an hour I shall proceed to inveangate.Mycold and haughty Angela on assignation bent. Oh, oh." Angela slipped silently down the broad stair- way, utterly unconscious of the fact that she had been discovered. She was usually self-contained enough, but her heart was beating a little faster than usual. In some vague way she could not dissociate this visit of Harold's from the traedy of tho earlier evening. And to a certain extent Harold was compromising her, a thing he would have hesitated to do unless the need had been very pressing. By instinct Angela had found her way to the garden room window, the well-oiled catch came back with a click, and Harold was in the room. They wanted no light the moon was more than sufficient. Harold's face was pale and distressed in the softened rays of light. My dearest, I had to come," he whispered in extenuation. It was my only chance. 1 could not possibly enter Sir Frobisher's house by legitimate means, and yet at the same time it is important that I should see certain things here. If I could only ten you everything." Tell me all or as little as yon like," Angela whispered. I can trust you all the same," It is good to hear yon say that. Angela. It was wrong of me to come, and yet there was no other way- Did you Bhow Sir Clement those j blossoms that I gave you ?" My dear, there was no possible chance. I placed the spray in the conservatory, intending to give my guardian a pleasant stlYprise to-mor- row, and then the tragedy happened. Bat of course you know nothing of that." Indeed I do, Angela. I know all about it. Jessop, the judge, who dined bere to-night, came mto the club full of it. Manfred,Count Lefroy's secretary, wasn t it ? j The- same man. I cannot understand its Harold. There was a man in the conservatory, I or rather there was a man going towards the J conservatory who had no business there. Any- body could see that from his manner. My idea was to place the spray there and to ask the in- truder what be was doing. When I reached the conservatory the place was empty. Absolutely empty, and yet I had seen the man enter There is no exit either. I went back to my room not knowing what to think. And shortly afterwards I heard Hand cry out. From the top of the stairs I heard all that was going on. And the man who had been strangled in the conservatory was the very man I had seen. Denvers said nothing for the moment. He was breathing hard and his face was pale with horror. Angela could feel his hand trembling as she laid her own upon it. I think you understand, she whispered. I fancy that you know. Harold, tell me what all this strange mystery means." Not yet," Denvers replied. "Yoa must wait. Nobody ever heard the like of it before. And so long as you are onder the same roof 808-- but what am I talking about ? But this much I may say the whole horrible problem revolves round the Cardinal Motlh" Round the flower that you gave me to-night, Harold And that so innocent looking and beautiful." Well, there it is. I have been on the fringe of it for some time. Angela, you must give me back that spray of blossom, you must not men- tion it to Sir Clement at all. And now I mast have a look into the conservatory, indeed I came on purpose." You came expecting to find something, a cine to the mystery there ?" 11 Well, yes, if you like to put it that way." Denvers murmured, avoiding Angela's eye3 for the fust time. I had a plant of that Cardinal Moth which I deemed; safely hidden in Streat- ham. Why I had to bide it I will tell yon in due course. It bad a great deal to do between myself an3 the Shan of Koordstan, with whom I hoped to do important business. I mentioned i!; to him and be showed me a paragraph in a paper which for tba moment has scattered all my plans. As soon as I read that paragraph I felt certain that my Moth had been stolen though itcoat one life to get it. When rheard of the tragedy hare to- night, I was absolutely sure as -,o my facts. Angela, my Moth is in the conservatory here, and Manfred lost his life trying to steal it for somebodv else." Angela listened with a vague feeling that she would wake presently and find it all a dream. A new horror had been added to the house in the last few minutes. Let U3 hope you are wrong," she said, with a shudder. Come and see at once. But what do you propose to do if you find that your sus- picions are correct ?" Denvera hardly knew, he had had no time to think that part out. He reached out to find a switch for the light, but Angela's gentle hand detained him. The moon must suffice," she said. Sir Clement has ears like a hawk. What's that ?" A thud in the hall followed by an unmistak- able cry of pain. It was only just for an instant and then there was silence again. Angela drew her lover back into the shadow of the curtain. T I will go and see for myseif," said Harold. That was Sir Clement," she whispered. Whether he has found me out or has merely come down for something, I can't say. Probably he kicked against something in the dark, Harold For Harold had darted oat from the curtain and gripped something that looked like a shadow. As he dragged his burden foiward the moon shone on the dull fe&tures of Hafid. Taken suddenly as he had been he did not display the slightest traces of feir. My beautiful mistress is watched," he said smoothly. "I came to warn her. Sir Clement has gone up to his dressing room for his slippers. He struck his illustrious toe against P, marble table and- —" Then follow him and lock him in," Harold said hurriedly. Do that and you shall not be forgotten. Lock the dressing room door whilst you are pretending to look for the slippers." You could do me no greater service," Angela whispered sweetly. Hafid hastened off as noiselessly as a cat. There was nothing short of murder that he would not have done for Angela. There was no light in Frobisher's dreasing room by the aid of the moon he was fumbling for his slippers. He turned as Hafid entered. My master was moving and I heard him," Hafid said. Is there anything that I can do ?" Yes," Frobisher said crisply. You can hunt round and find my confounded slippers. That fool of a man of mine never puts things in the same place twice." ffatid came back nresently with the missing articles. The key of the dressing room was in his pocket, he slipped through the bedroom and locked that door also. Frobisher stood listening a minuts or two with a queer uneasy grin on his face. Evidently his little accident had not frightened the game away. He turned the handle softly, but with no effect. He shook the door passionately. Something seemed to have gone wrong with the lock. That Hafid should have dared to play such a trick never for one moment entered Frobisher's mind. With bis well-trained philosophy Frobisher sat down and filled his pipe. What a woman had done safely once, she was certain to attempt again, he argued, per- haps try and attempt a better move. And there were other light nights before the moon had passed the full. Denvers stood listening, but no further sound came. The attempt must be made now or never. Show me the conservatory," he whispered. There are long folding steps of course ? Then you can stay in the doorway till I have finished. My darling I am truly sorry to expose you to all this, but-" Angela led the way. It was fairly light in the great glass tank with its tangle of blooms, But as Denvers entered a great gash of steam shot up from the automatic pipe and filled the dome with vapour. Harold quickly drew the long steps to the centre and mounted. He disap- peared in the mist and was quickly lost amongst the tangles of ropes and bfosaoms. He had to wait for the periodical cloud of vapour to pass away before he could make a searching examina- tion. So far as Angela could see nobody was in the roof at all, it was as if Denvers had disap- peared leaving no trace behind. There was another gash of steam followed by a shower of falling blossoms, and a qnick cry of pain from thedome. As Angela darted forward the cry of pain came again, there was a confused vision II of a struggling figure, and then Denvers came staggering down the steps hoi ding his right arm to his side, his face bedabbled with moisture that was caused by something beyond the heated atmosphere. What has happened ?" Angela asked hurriedly. Have you had an accident with your arm." Denvers stood there gasping and reeling for a moment. The steam bad all evaporated now and there was nothing to be seen in the dome but a tangle of blossoms on their rigid cords. At Denvers feet lay a spray of the Cardinal Moth. Despite his pain he placed it in his pocket. co Look here," he said hoarsely. "This is witchcraft-Somebody grasped my arm, some unseen force clutched me. I managed to get away by sheer strength, but look here." There was a. ring of blood all round Denver's wrist, the fifsh had been cut almost to the bone. It seemed almost impossible for a human hand to grasp like that, but there it was. And up in the dome now there was nothing to be seen but the tangled masses of glorious blooms. (To be-continued.)
PERILS OF RAILWAY WORKERS. Board of Trade Inspectors and Union Officials. A meeting of Caerphilly District Railway- men was held at the Windsor Restaurant, Caer- philly, on Sunday. Mr C. H. Tootle, TbeLodge, presided. Mr Thomas, local oecretary, moved a resolution urging railwaymen to join the A.S.R.S. He deplored that the leaders of the illinei-s' Federation had tonnd it, necessary to coerce men to join the Federation in their own interests. The leaders did not care to do this, but they were practically compelled to take this course. The motion having been seconded, Mr J. Holmes, organising secretary, supported. He regretted that the platelayers in the Caerphilly district were not so well organised as when he last visited the town three or four years ago. There was, he declared, no branch of the rail- way service likely to receive greater benefit from affiliation with the society. He had yet to learn why platelayers were not entitled to the same rate as engine drivers. There should be one general rate, he urged, for platelayers, and that not less than 30s per week. This, however, could only be obtained by joining the society. As to the dangers of railway work, he said thatalthough there were fewer accidents last year than usual, there was indication that this year -would show a large increase. He deprecated the neglect of the Board of Trade to strengthen the provisions to ensure safety. He referred to the dilapidated engine sheds at Machen on the Brecon and Merthyr Railway, at which point four men had been killed. The Board of Trade had recom- mended that the structure should be removed, but the railway company defied the Board. There should, he contended, be far more inspec- tors under the Board of Trade to inquire into the causes of accidents, with power to enforce the adoption of their recommendations. (Hear, bear.) Inspectors should be authorised to inves- tigate not only after accidents but before as well. There should also, he arged, be a iook-ont man with every gang employed on the perma- nent way. Railway companies took great care of their borses but disregarded precautions in the interests of the men. The Board of Tre, too, showed the same indifference, keen concern being shown for the travelling public but little for railway workers. Three of the seven Board of Trade inspectors were, he said, retired Azroy men, who at any inquiry took care to snub him and Mr Bell. In conclusion, Mr Holmes said I their great hope was in increased Labour repre- sentation. When Trade Unionists were able to send a few more men like Mr Rd. Bell to the House of Commons thev might expect to realise some of the reforms he had indicated. (Ap- plause.) The Taff Vale decision had aroused Trade Unionists, and he should be very much surprised if together they did not return 50 prac- tical Trade Unionists to Parliament at the next election. (Hear, hear.) Votes of thanks concluded the proceedings. Mr Holmes subsequently addressed a meeting of the Tredegar Junction hrascb, At tbo Bryn i BoJ. MM frfoesycwnuaex*
Cornplete Story. AN OLD FRIEND, (. BY HON. MRS ARTHUR HENNIKER. Author of In Scarlet and Grey," Sowing the Sand," Contrasts," &c., CVC. My cousin Pauline and I were strolling home- wards from Hyde Park one Sunday afternoon, when just as we approached the crossing near the statue of Achillea, we came face to face with Mr Horace Vawdrey. He had been a good deal talked of in London since his cousin Sir Philip Vawdrey had left him his large fottune, his Quean Anne house near the river, and his Sir Joshuas. 1 was sure, though I hardly looked at her, that Pauline's pretty eye3 sparkled as she nodded to him, but I am afraid that this flatter- ing action passed unobserved by Mr Vawdrey, for as he came past us his glance met mine first, and I looked straight into his cold blue eyes with an almost brazen rudeness, and made no sign of recognition. An awkward flush over- spread his forehead, and the hand that was on the point of raising his hat to Pauline dropped limply at his side. Harry, what on earth do you mean? I thought that Mr Vawdrey was an old friend of yours ? Pauline's cheek was red, and she was frown- ing. "We were at a public school* and at Cam- bridge together," I answered. I "And yet you cat him dead in that horri We bare-faced manner ? Why, Harry, perhaps you don't know that Mr Vawdrey is ran after by all sorts of people that you would approve of. He goes to all the most amusing country houses, and the most charming dinners in London. And be is one of the best-looking men I ever saw. Well, Harry, what is it all about ? My dear Paaline," said I, I no longer wish for the honour of Mr Vawdrev's aquaintance. Do let that little simple fact suffice you." It doean^t then. I insist upon knowing why." My dear, it's of no use, I am not going to tell you. You like him, and so do lots of other nice people. And they will most likely con- tinue to admire him till tho end of the last chapter." But you won't even nod to him ? to speak to me." I am perfectly sure that he would not wish to speak to me." And you are determined not to let me know the reason ? No ? Yon most tiresome Harry." I did not tell her on that morning, or after- wards, for what reason I cat Mr Vawdrey. But yon may read the reason why. Some five yeers ago Horace Vawdrey was by no means the personage that he now emphatically is. An ill-natured mutual acquaintance, it is true, speaks of him as a celebrated nobody, but there is no doubt that many men and women to whom this caustic definition might apply, enjoy themselves vastly while their little day of glory endares. I only wish that I were asked to the great shooting parties, and the deer forests where Horace finds himself a valued guest. Bnt five years ago this same gifted young man was thankfal, upon recovering from a severe illness, to find that, after a- disastrous Ascot and Good- wood, he had Just enough money left to pay for an hotel bedroom in a. well-known seaside place, where the air has a wonderful invigorating quality, and the stretches of golden brown sand are dotted with middle-clas tourists. To a shabby topmost bedroom he dragged his weary body, and inhaled the ozone from the hotel garden aftei the table-d'hote luncheons were over. Sometimes he walked slowly down the narrow streets, where here and there a grave- w looking tiled house showed its venerable face among the modern shops and the jostling,aggres- sive tourists. He was too hard up to hire a fly to drive him oz: t beyond the town, so he would soon come back again and sit gloomily on a garden bench near the beds of geraniums,smoking a very cheap cigarette. I was genuinely sorry for Vaw- drey, who I knew had quarrelled with his father, and was in sore straits in consequence, I alpo took a room in the same hotel, and came down to try and cheer him. As we sat together one day, with the tall white walls and open bay windows behind us, and a German band playing Sweet Belle Mahone on the beach below, we saw the Creasers, the rich family who had taken nearly the ,whole of the first floor, coming over the lawn. I must own that my first impression of these wealthy guests was unfavourable. The ] visits of Mr Creaser, the father, were of so short j a duration that it was difficult to form any definite opinion concernng him. He was short, I stout, and very silent, swallowed his food noisily, and was addressed by his wife and children as I Pa." So much, but no more, we knew. But the most absent-minded man could have recalled Mrs Creaser to his memory. She was gorgeous and shapeless, and she wore sleeves that ended at her elbow, displaying fa.t arms and diamond bracelets. Her hair was a brilliant mass of gold waves, her eyebrows and cheeks reminded me of the clown at the first circus that I had ever attended, they were so violently black and red I an opaque white powder covered the other por- tions of her face. Her favourite colour was a vivid lilac-pink. She langbed and talked a great deal, and still affected the airs of a somewhat arch beauty. Her daughter, Plossie. was of slighter build, and had transformed her pre- sumably brown hair into a pale flaxen, that looked green in the sunshine. Her eyebrows and lashes were of an uncompromising black, her lips full and very scarlet. On this particular after- noon she wore a glorified boating-dress of rose- coloured serge, cut very low in the neok to show a string of pearls—a white sailor collar and a Tam o'Shanter of the same bright hue as her r gown. But the most objectionable member of the family was. without doubt, young Mr Mark Creaser. He was dressed in a blue serge suit and a yachting cap, and he smoked enormous cigars; and was, when not smoking, always humming, through his nose, the newest songs I from the last Gaiety burlesque, in a manner which he intended to be knowing and rakish. Horace smiled a dreary smile as he looked at the I group. What terrors, Harry!" he murmured. And the sound of young Mr Creaser's hum- ming, and the sceni, of Mrs Creaser's handker- chief. came nearer. We saw Mr _Mark take a cigarette case, studdied with small diamonds, out of his pocket. Then he began humming one of his tunes again. Brnte," said Horace, feeling in his pocket for his last miserable flavourless cigarette. The gong sounded for luncheon, and we went in, my friend leaning wearily on my arm. I glanced at his face. The drawn cheeks, the sharp nose, and restless brightness of bis eyes was pathetic to me, when I thought of Horace as he had been a year ago. He was broken in spirit, worried beyond measure at his financial diffi- culties, cheerless, embittered. It chanced that our placeg had been moved, and we found ourselves near the Creasers' table. Young Mark was glaring through his eyeglass at the wine-card. Theu he laid his broad fore- finger on a number, and the waiter bowed ob- sequiously. Poor Horace, with hs half-bottle of sour vint- age beside him. looked enviously at the foaming Dagonet of which the Creaser family partooK. They were having an excellent little luncheon of special dishes. I saw Mrs Creaser staring at poor Horace's drawn and wistful face when be was not looking in her direction. She said some- thing in a low voice to her flaxen-haired daugh- ter, and for the first time, I noticed wlmt a kind expression the girl's eyes had as th followed the direction of her mother's glance. I was not altogether surprised when, after luncheon, she came up to Horace, under the arcade outside, as he turned over the leaves of a newspaper. They remained for some time in conversation. Miss Creaser sitting in a low chair with her hands clasped round her knees. Horace looking at first a little shy and stiff, but gradually unbending. Presently Mrs Creaser joined them, and I heard her load, jolly laugh ringing "out very often during the next half-hour. Later in the day Horace was inclined to be a little apologetic about his new acquaintances. "It 13 a pity that the girl can't let herself alone," he said. "She realiv would be good" looking if she dressed like a lady, and let her green hair return to brown." She has a good-natured face," said 1. "I dare say if she had a few nice friends. she would turn into n6t at all a bad sort of girl." I was a little astonished when I found that Horace was going to tea with the Creasers in their sitting- room but he not only did so, but also joined them there after dinner. Oh! it's all very well for you to look amused." he said, crossly you're perfectly sound and strapping yourself, and you don't see that one gets sick to death of a beastly little garret with one wicker armchair in it. If I don't sit there, I have to be in the public drawing-room with all those giggling girls, and bounders of men." He was so fierce about it, that I thought it best to maintain a placid silence. The days went on, and I saw less of Horace. He now joined the Creasers at luncheon and dinner, and I suppose enjoyed the better food and the Dagonet," for there is no doubt that his health improved wonderfully. He spoke very little of his new friends to me, but it was ob- vious that their attentions and perhaps uncon- scious flattery gratified him. He spent more and more time in their drawing-room when the weather broke up a little. One morning the waiter brought me a note from Mrs Creaser, written on scarlet writing paper, and perfumed with heliotrope, with the name Daphne in huee cold letters randinz-aeross the corner. It was an invitation to go up and join them, and. my friend, dear Mr Vawdrey,* in thair draw- ing-room. So I duly went there and found Horace lying on a sofa near the bow-window, ¡ with alltbe illustrated papers, and a box of the very best Egyptian cigarettes on the table at his elbow. The two ladies had evidently just come in, for Mrs Creaser wore a wonderful white yachting-cap, and Flossie waa in the act of re- moving a jewelled pin from her Tam-o'-Shanter. Very glad to see you, I'm sare, my dear Mr Morley," said Mrs Creaser, laughing loudly as usual, and for no imaginable reason. I thanked her, and remarked how comfortable Horace looked. Poor dear, he deserves it," cried the elder lady. And now, Mr Horace," she continued, you just look here at my cushions, which Floss and I have got for yon. They'll make yoa ever so much more easy," and she placed two hage silk-covered cushions at his back and laughed loader than ever. M I'm not going to be outdone by ma, cried Flossie; and she unfolded a sheet of white paper, and displayed an enormous bunch of lilac and white orchids. These'll make your room look cheerful, Mr Horace," cri'jd she, laying them down upon the sofa. Yoa really spoil me too mucli," Horace smiled at her with hia ligb$8teely: eycs*th#tt were Alwayw a. little hard. And the books'll be round directly," cried Mrs Creaser, with her noisy laugh, as if she had jast uttered a further witticism. We remem- bered what you wanted, though pa does call us a pair of muddleheads. Now you just smoke, and don't bother about us. Floss and I must go out again, but you're at home here, you know." Durin-, these early days I am afraid, and I re- gret to confess it now, that I basely attributed some of the Creaser's lavish kindness to a desire to become acquainted with people ou a different social level from their own. But I began to find out other instances of their generosity and thoughtfulness, which could not by any possi- bility be attributed to any sordid motive. I -heard of a poor little music teacher, proud and starving; befriended by them with a tact that was surprising, when we considered the vulgarity of their manners and appearance. I obserNed that Miss Creaser would not join in some of the joke3 of the hotel guests concerning a cross little solitary old ranid whom everybody avoided. One day I saw her taking this glum-lcoking lady for a, drive and actually making her langh. On an- other occasion I heard her refuse to got out sail- iug with an obvious admirer, Mr da Costa, ItS sbe had piomised to show a small lame boy how to make a sand castle. I heard accidentally from one of the waiters of Mrs Creaser's goodness to his sick wife from a cabdriver that she had sent his tired horae away to have a rest, and provided him with another. The time came when I hardly noticed her laugh, and when I almost forgot the havoc that a misplaced art had wrought with Flossie's cheerful face. I felt a little angry that Horace, who had accepted, as I knew, so many benefits from them, and, I even began to suspect, some substantial pecuniary help as well, was not more generous in his appreciation of these kindly people. The day arrived for us to leave, and the Creasers wished us their farewells at the station. Even young Mark had brought a parting gift to Horace in the shape of a diamond pin. Flossie stuffed a large box of cigarettes into his hand, and Mrs Creaser, who looked quite tearful, signed to the guard to put her offering down on the seat beside him. It was a beautifully fitted- up luncheon case, with silver spoons and boxesin, it and an excellent supply of food as well. Well, we shall meet in the gay city," cried Mr Mazk-and he burst forth into one of the stajizas from The Belle of New York." "Come and look us up. dear Mr Horace, as soon as ever you can." cried Mrs Creaser,waving her lace handkerchief. Flossie tried to smile, but she did not seem to be able to think of any- thing to say althongh she was usually talkative-; and as we steamed away out of the station I saw that forced smile gradually dying away from her face. What tremendously kind hearts they have," I said warmly to Horace. He was busy fasten- ing the window and he turned his bead towards me. Oh, very much so," said he. Harry, old man, let me have a look at the Pink 'Un,' will you' And he uttered no further woid concerning the Creaser family during our entire journey. Time has played great prankb with some of us during the last six months. Mr Vawdrey no longer has any anxiety about his financial affairs, but alas for our poor old friends the Creasers The first intimation of their sudden ruin came to me a few months ago in a note from Flossie, in which she showed more anxietyfor Pa's" health after the terrible crash than grief for her own strangely altered lot. Out of the miserable wreckage that was left them, they got a little home together in North-West London. I had seen the Creasers often during these last four years and a half of their prosperity,and though I had failed, I admit, to make my relations like them, I had never lost my own respect for them. And this greatly deepened during their bad times. They never whimpered or lamented. As I noted their cheerful heroism, theirremarkablepatience, I recalled some wise words to the effect that the refinement of Society should not make us forget that it is not the refined only who are received into the Kingdom of Heaven. On one November day I was having tea with Mrs Creaaer and Flossie in their dreary little sitting-room. Pa," who was still seriously ill since his paralytic stroke, was upstairs, and young Mark, who proved a very attentive son, was with him. Our conversation turned on the seaside, and without looking at my hostess 1 cautiously asked thsm if they had seen anything Horace Vawdrey of late. Why I cannot 3ay that we have—not lately said Mrs Creaser. I just think he might have turned up and inquired how poorpa was getting on-bnt there-one can't expect him to come all this journey to the suburbs, now can we, Mr Morley ?" her attempt at a laugh was not very successful. "Of course we can't," said Flossie, with em. phasis. I changed the subject by beginning a discus- sion on a, new play. Mr da Costa is so good in sending us stalls," Floasie observed, speaking with something of her old brisk cheerfulness. He is going to take us I to this so-talked-of piece to morrow evening." Well, me shall see each other there, then," said I, "for I've taken a stall, too, for to-mor- row." I felt very sad as I walked out of the shabby little garden-gate. What plucky souls they are," I thought. It's the truest heroism under rather a gro- tesque disguise. But it's there, sure enough." I was early a.t the theatre on the following evening, even more punctual than Mr da Costa and his party. He drove them in before him with a sort of kind, fussy carefulness that re- minded me of a sheep dog at work. Mrs Creaser, brilliant with spangles and irridescent sequins, head the procession. They young Mark fol- lowed, his hair very smooth and greasy, a huge stud in the middle of his chest,and an aggressive butterfly-bow tie under his chin. Flcssie was also I bespangled, bat in a rather more subdued way, than her mother. But I conld not disguise from I myself that everything about her. from a high standard of taste was all wrong. Her hair was a greener flaxen than ever, her lips redder, her I dress too low. But it was pleasant to see how she and her mother drank in every word of the play, and on I this occasion I even forgave the latter for the loudness of her laughter, which would have en- couraged the most nervous player to farther efforts. Before the curtain rose on the second act, the door of the stage box opened, and four people entered it. A great many eyes were turned towards it, and this was not strange, con- sidering the beauty of the two women who seated themselvea in front. I knew them both by sight. The one with the grave, Madonna-like face and fair parted hair -7as Lady Chisholm and her companion, Lady Rose Fansbawe, was perhaps the loveliest girl in London. Her small head, with its brown curls, her long white neck, her great soft eyes like those of a deer, were things to dream of. And in her absolutely simple white dress, without a single jewel, she looked like a young qaeen in a fairy tale. Most men in the theatre must have envied Horace Vawdrey as he sat down beside her, with a softer expression on his face than it usually wore. I had heard rumours of the flirtation between him and Lady Rose, but to-night it struck me that a more serious name might be given to their frfendship. The fourth occupant of the box,young Lord Kirkland, was making himself agreeable to the beautiful widow. The Creasers gazed with admiration on these four attractive people. I knew by the excited expression in Mrs Creaser's black eyes and the restless quiver on Flossie's mouth that they were anxiously awaiting some sign of recognition from Mr Vawdrey. I had never considered him shortsighted, but whether it was Lady Rose, or the play, that engrossed his whole attention, he did not seem to be aware of the, presence of his old friends. He never once glanced towards the row of stalls where they sat, expectant. The third act with its thrilling denouement was over, and Horace looked at the boxes opposite, nodded to one or friends in them, and in the front row of the stalls. Then he resumed what ap- paared to be an absorbingly interesting talk with his lovely companion. I glanced quickly at Flossie. She was staring straight at the curtain, with her lips set very tight. Mrs Creaser looked disappointed, bnt chatted on loudly to Mr da Costa. The last act was a short one, and when the final applause was still ringing out, I hastened to join the Creaaers. We all agreed that it was a wonderful piece, brilliantly played. Mr da Costa hurried out to get a cab for his friends, and I stood in the hall talking to them. Suddenly I heard Horace's voice not far off. He and Lord Kirkland were following the two ladies towards the door. I caught his eyes he nodded, and 1 thought coloured. Then he quickly diverted bis gaze and bent over Lady Rose. Mr da Coata beckoned to us. I've got you a growler," he cried trium- phantly in his stuffy voice. Mrs Creaser moved a little nearer to Horace and his companions. I heard her say something, a little indistinctly, about an old friend and Flossie answered Never mind, now, mamma, don't interrupt him." But Mrs Creaser, in her rather dirty cloak of pink satin and ermine, pressed on through the crowd towards Mr Vawdrey. He seemed to know that someone wished to attract his attention, for he suddenly turned his head towards us. The Creasers, and Mr da Costa,. I sadlv admit it, did look as hopelessly vulgar, with the worst sort of gaudy vulgarity in their general bearing, as it is possible for men and women to look. Mr Vawdrey stared at Mrs Creaser, and beyond her, with a sort of odd Creaaer, and beyond her, with a sort of odd vacant, gaze in his cold eyes, but made no sign of recognition. Then he turned to his friends. 44 You're sure you did see the footman, Kirk ob I yes, it's all right. Hope you won't catch cold, Lady Chisholm, in this awfal draught ?" They moved towards the door. ¡ Mrs Creaser had turned back again, she was trembling very much. Flossie's eyes were strangely smiling, but her litis were set tighter than ever. Her mother laughed very loudly. Well, Mr da Costa," she cried it's beenia, delightful evening. Floss and I have had a splendid time And come and look us up soon, Mr Morley, won't you ?" Young Mark murmufed, What the devil does the feHow mean ?" I led Flossie down the steps, and helped her into the cab. Then I went up to them again, and came face to face with Horace, who was lighting a cigarette on the steps. His handsome face, with its cold smile, his air of self-satisfaction and prosperity, gave me a sensation of rage. I thought of him as he had looked years ago ly- ing on the sofa in the Creaser's drawing-room, with Flossie kneeling beside it. laying the otchids on his knees, and her mother arranging the new Bilk cushions inder his bead. Shall we walk on to Pratt's, Harry 9" said Horace. No, thank you," I answered curtly, I m going borne." Ob, all right. Will you dine at the Tra- veller's next Thursday ?" I'm engaged thanks. By the way, you didn't see the Creaser's to-night, your former friends ? I sappose you heard of the old man's smash ? It was cruel hard luck." Oh, yes, poor devUiXtbink.I did houoolne- thing piwrt- to" f • rr They won't be able to drink Dagonet again, i or to fill their friends' rooms with orchids," said I. Well, I suppose not. Really, Harry, old man--Ah! why, I see what you are driving at But they are impossible, you must own I" Impossible ? I don't understand yon ?" Why, yes The old lady would have wanted to be introduced to Lady Chisholm. My dear boy I That hair and those spangles I Well. they are the kind of people one really can't be seen talking to." I drew a step backward, and looked straight into Horace's face. Nevertheless Mr Vawdrey. I'm hanged if I ¡ wouldn't rather be seen in their company than in yours," I answered. And I turned and left him standing alone nuder tha portico. Since that evening Mr Horace Vawdrey and I have not again spoken to one another. I
More men would be rich if money were as bard' to spend as it is to earn. One trouble with the average reformer is that he has no other occupation. Twelve years ago there were 2,000 Japanese in the United States. To-day there are 24.300. A boy wants a situation in an eating-house. He thoroughly understands the business. Claura I'm so fond of music. I want to play the piano awfally.- Laura,: Well, you do play it awfully. Simpson You blow your own trumpeta good deal.- Jenkins: Well, if yo a want a-tningwolt done, do it yourself. By Telephone.—" Do you know who you are talking to ?" "No, and I don't care as long as it isn't my wife." '• So you don't think it so bad to run in- debt?" No, not so bad aa it is to try to sneak out of it." Why does a beer drinker resemble an invalid ? Because he is so frequently ale-ing. Even the laziest man wouldn't object to hav- ing so much money that it would make him tired to count it. Hewitt Is that fire insurance company in good financial shape ?-Jewett ? Oh, yes it has money to burn. Hewitt You don't seem to be in the swim.— Jewett My boy, I have owned more dresa suits than you have ever hired. Bonbam The doctor charged me five dollars for telling me about my ei real ation.-Mrs Bon- ham I call that blood money- Dubbs Chubbs's wife smokes. Does he per- mit it ?-Tubbs: Yes. because it makeB" her keep her mouth shut occasionally,. Knicker Sad about Jones's death--Booker Yes. Just think of an after-dioner speaker hav- ing to join the silent majority Feel hungry ?" queried the white gull. "I should say so," responded the grey gull. "I didn't have anything to eat thia morning bat a Marconigram." What do you put on your face after shav- ing?" asked the man who smelt of bay ram. Court plaster usually*" replied the nervous, chap, gloomily. Wise for His Years.—The Mother: Bobbie, didn't your conscience tell you that you had done wrong?—Bobbie Yes'm but I don't bellieve everything 1 hear. Is all mv luggage in the van?" Yes, m'm." Have I left nothing behind?" "No, madam; not even a copper." Russia haa only taken her revenge by con- quering Manchuria. The Chinese have twice sacked .Moscow-once in 1237 and again in 1293. And now," said the Caliph Omar, when he had given orders to barn the Alexandrian library, I think some important manuscripts will come to light." Irish.—A spirit merchant in Dublin announces in an Irish paper that he has still a small quan- tity of the whisky left on hand which was drunk by the King when in Dublin. Mrs Tad dells: Let'3 see, Susie Dimling is about twenty years old. isn't she ?—Mrs Smith Susie Dimling twenty ? Susie Dimling will never see twenty again if she lives to be eighty. First Man (at summer resort) Look here, sir, are you aware that I am engaged to that young lady who went oat walking with yoa thismorning? —Second Man: Weil, what of it? So am L Happily Married.—Mrs Nextdoor: I suppose your daughter is happily married?—Mrs Nagsby: Indeed she is. Why, her huskand is actually afraid to open his mouth in her presence. Bridesmaid I hope you will be happy, my dear.-Brid" Oh, I am sure we will. You see, his mother died when he was very young, and he doesn't remember anything about her cooking. Mrs Crawford: She married a carpenter.—Mrs Crabshaw Isn't that just lovely ? Now she can have shelves put up whenever she wishes, without having to ask the landlord over and over again. Constance wants us to tell her what a honey- moon is. Well, Constance, when a man and woman have been made one, the honeymoon is the time spent in endeavouring to discover which is that one." It is a shame," cried the young wife; "not a thing in the house fit to eat. I'm going straight home to papa." If you don't mind, dear," said the husband, reaching for his hat, "I'll go with you." Someone asked Lord ifesebery at dinner to give him a definition of memory. "Memory." ho replied, without hesitation, is the feeling that comes over you when we bear our friends' original stories. Now, Johnny," said the teacher, who had been describing a warship. to the class. how is the deck divided ?" A deck is divided," re- plied the bright boy, into spades, hearts, dia- monds, and clubs." In Desperation.—Fan So she's engaged to Mr Polk. I wonder how he came to propose ?—Nan I don't believe be did come to do it, but she was determined not to let him go until he did. The Browning Clubs of Boston.—" Do you still read Browning in Boston ?" Ob, dear, no. We all learned him by heart long ago. We merely discuss him now." Mrs Fortyodd A man is as old as he feels, but a woman is as old as she looka,—Mr Old- beau Really, madam, that doesn't apply to your case. I'm sure. Boarder Why in creation did you ring the breakfast bell at four o'clock this morning ? Cook The missis heard it thundering, and told me to hurry up and serve breakfast before the milk turned sour. I neber yet lost a counterfeit silver dollar on de sipe walk dat some honest man didn't brine: it back to me as soon as ebber he could. Do world aiu'!J so bad when yo know it. r- Bacon That family next door is the limit for borrowing things.-Macon What have they been after now ?—Bacon Ona of their lady guests at dinner on Sunday forget her teeth, and they came over to borrow my wife's. Mrs Black How does your husband spend his time in the evening ?-Mrs White He stays at home and thinks of schemes to make money. And what do you do with yourself when he is j thus occupied ?" Oh, I think of schemes to spend it." A little girl was asked to write an essay about man. The following was her composition :— "Man is a funny animal. He has eyes to see with, hands to feel with, and is split up the middle, and walks on the split ends.
DECEIVING AN UNDERTAKER. Singular System of Fraud. On Saturday, at the Darwen Police Court, a respectably, dressed man namea Vyilliam Edward Rilev. who belongs to Accringtoh, was charged with obtaining money by means of an extra- ordinary fraud. Inspector Pincock said the prisoner on Friday noon went to the offices of Mr E. Ainaworth, undertaker, and represented that his wife was lying dead at Barnoldswick, and he was in great trouble. He stated that he had arranged for her interment at Edgworth Chapel, and as his wife's sisters would pay, no expense was to be spared. The corpse woold be brought by train to Darwen Station, where it must be met by a hearse and six coaches. The arrangements com- pleted, the prisoner said he had had another misfortune. Upon leaving the house of the minister at Edigworth he had lost his purse, and minister at Edgworth he had lost his purse, and he asked for a loan. The prosecutor said it was the best bib ofset- ing he had ever seen, and he wolIld have lent prisoner anything at the time. P.S. Scott said that be arrested prisoner at the Greenway Arms, where he was arranging another funeral for his wife. He said Let me go. I am in great trouble. My wife is dead." Prisoner's wife was present in court and gave evidence. Inspector Pincock said the prisoner was the son of very respectable people in Accrington, but during the past five years had done very little but go about from town to town defrauding people in that way. offiosioiWed
FOR BOYS AND GtRLS. Brave Maggie. By VERA CRUZ. Maggie Wilson was an only child. Her ith-mg was away very often all the week, only coming home for the Sunday, so if Maggie and hel: mother had not been great friends she would have been rather dull. They lived in an old- fashioned house on the outskirts of Nailsban2. so that they were not often troubled by the smoke of the grimy city, but the house-waS rather a lonely one. I, Maggie," said mother one afternoon, "-get a candle I want you to go ap into the attic for me." Maggie went very slowly. The attic was the home of many mice, spiders, etcetera, and Maggie's imagination had peopled it with all manner of bogies as well. She wanted to ask mother to go up with her, and yet somehow sha did not quite like to. You all know the feeling. But. though she said nothing, mother saw and understood. Maggie," she said gently. I want my little girl to be very brave, and the first step ÎS1 to do at once anything that makes you feel a little timid. Then you will learn not to be afraid of little things, and when big things come you will not be too scared to think what it is right and best to do." This was quite a long speech for mother, who did not often preach as Maggie sometimes called it. (That was when she was cross, of course.) But Maggie wanted to be brave too, only she thought that courage would comeof itself as she grew older, and you know it doesn't. It has to be helped to grow, like good tempers and everything else that is worth having. She went rather slowly upstairs at flrst then she took her courage in both hands," as the French say, held up her head, and pushed the door open boldly. It fell to behind her with a bang that made her jump, the mice souttered away bolund the wainscot, and spiders ran across the floor in front of her. But she went on. She found the box in which NverNthe books mother had sent her for, and took them out. She had shut down the lid of the box, and was joss picking up the candle again, when, witlx a whirr and a swish, something dashed into her face, making such a wind that it blew out the candle. For a moment Maggie wanted to scream and rush away. The next she set her teeth and felt about for the match-box. She managed to light the candle again, and then saw that the CAUW of her terror was a poor little bird which had flown in by mistake and was now crouching. panting on the floor beside her. Maggie loved birds, so she picked the little fellow upi smoothed his ruffled feathers, and put him out- side the nearest hole, when he flew away quite: happily. Maggie took up her burden and har- ried downstairs, flushed and excited, to tell mother her adventure." From that time, whenever Maggie was startled by any noise she did not understand, she made a point of going to see what it was, and as she generally found out tbe cause she soon left off being frightened so easily. One day mother had a letter. Grannie is I ill," she said, and wants us to go to her at once." Then all was bustle and confusion until mother had made her arrangements, and the very next day the train was whizzing them away into the country. It was January, and all the world was frost-bound. Here and there patches of snow showed themselves, but a heavy mist hang over the country, which only lifted now and ihen. Grannie doesn't keep a servant, does she?" asked Maggie. No she litres alone. A woman from the vii- lage comes in to do her work and stays the night sometimes. But the cottage is a very tiny one, and you will think it fun, for the front door opens into the kitchen, and there are only two bedrooms." What fun I" said Maggie. Then she thought of grannie and grew grave again. When they reached the end of their journey they found grannie better, but still obliged to stay in bed. I am alraid you will find it rather dull here, little one, unless you can find your own amuse- ments," observed grannie, kindly, as she kissed her. n Oh one can't be dull in the real comatrr." replied Maggie, delightedly and your houstf is just like a doll's house." Maggie soon made herself at home. She waa always ready to run errands or do little things to help Mra Grant, who was not so young as she used to be. She learnt her way about the village, and rambled along the country lanes*, getting a few late berries or some wonder of frostoi leaves. When it was wet there was a whole cupboard full of games and story- books, so Maggie did not find the days dull or long. But one night mother came and woke her up- "Get up and dress as qui ckly as you can, dearie. I will tell you what I want you to do when you come downstairs. Maggie dressed with the old qaeer, frightened feeling tugging at her heart. What was wrong? She did not waste time in guessing, but hurried downstairs, where mother was waiting with her hat and boots. Grannie has a fresh attack, and we must have the doctor at once. Do yoa think you can find your way to Mrs Grant's and ask her-to send Bob ?" Yes, mother," said Maggie promptly, as she sat down to put on her boots. I don't like to send you, child, but I caD- leave grannie, and there is nothing else to be done." Maggie looked at her mother in surprise, fot she was busy lighting an old-fashioned 1 an tern, such as she had only seen in a pantomime. Shall I have to take a lantern ?" she 3AS4 beginning to think it was going to be rather for after all. You will never find your way without it itgt as dark as a wolf's mouth, and foggy besides- Look I" Mother opened the door and Maggie stepped outside. The mist and darkness seemed to close abqut her like a cloak, but she went on gaily e until she had passed through the gate. Then the door shut, the dim light in grannie's window disappeared as she went on, and she realised that she was alone in the road in the middle oi the night, and could not see, even with the help of the lantern, more than one step in front o* her. Her own footsteps echoed in the fog nixtil she felt sure someone was coming tip behind I10*! she stopped and they stopped too, but how even ber breathing sounded in the brooding still" ness about her. She crossed the road rathe' hurriedly and founa herself in the ditch- Scrambling out again, she held the lantern IOW and followed round a little. Then she knew she had reached Mrs Grant's gate, and drew a loujt breath of relief. But to reach Mrs Grant's house and to wake Mrs Grant were two different things. hammered on the door with her fiats until sbe wondered the whole village did not wake UP. One or two dogs joined io, but there waS pO movement inside the cottage. What should she do ? She could not go back, and yet all bea efforts made no impression. At last she ,tepped back, and raising herself on tiptoe and strainiW her eyes tried to make out where the upstsito windows were. There did not seem to be any Oil that side of the house, so she tried the ottler and at last making out a window tried to tbrO t a pebble at it. It was a fearfully bad shot, bo she tried again and again, until at last she bJ Then she heard # thump and a footstep, aSZ>e the window waa pushed open, and Mrs GraB» voice said angrily. What's to do ?" t0 "It's Maggie Wilson. Mother wants yo** send Bob for the doctor; Grannie's very Are you alone?" asked Mrs Grant i nhorrifi0^ tones. Yes," said Maggie. Poor lamb! Wait a minute, my dore, anu- come down and let 'ee in, till 1 can get and go back with 'ee. Bob, you lazy She continued at the top of her voice, an' go an' fetch the doctor this minate stire yersel' Then there was a heavy step on the stairs the bolts were drawn. There, come in, my lamb to thinfc-or^j bein' so brave an' all," continued the woman as Maggie stepped inside. She set her lantern on the table and sat feeling strangely inclined to cry now difficulties were over, bnt she conquered 'he^^g and by the time Mrs Grant cama downstair wab ready to make fun of her adventure. oOø" The journey back with Mrs Grant WOA ooiw- paratively easy, but how glad Maggie vv 5 to inside the warm kitchen again, you can imagine. Mrs Grant made her a cup Of for the kettle was boiling, and bade her bed. jj thJJ You've done a man's share of the wor> night, missie," she sid heartily. "andio hope my Bob will do hi3 as well." Maggie fell asleep almost as soon as n tO touched the pillow, and woke in the titP* the good news that the doctor had come ( and grannie waa out of danger. From she grew better fast, and by the time the came to an end she was able to be do again. But Maggie often says she cannot ro anything so weird as that knocking at th door without getting any answer.
¿- Professor This eccentricity you spe f your daughter, isn't it, after all. a mat jjtjj dity ?-The Mother (severely) No. sit yoa to know sir, there never was any bO oar family.