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LLFALE. RIGHTS SBSBRVKD.] §A FACTORY LASS Ll OB I I THE STRANGE srory OF VIOLET I BY I MARION WARD, I 1. Author of Love's Thorny Path." "Hit Fait ] &c. Lady. &c. I CHAPTER XII. 1 I WAR N IN" G. I 44Will you let me see you home?" Roger •Chesney asked Violet when they .ernergod troin the huge station in New Street. No," said the girl quickly, I& P' ge %,do not trouble, I shan't come to any harm, for ;I know every step of the way, and I don't 'WaD,. t to taiw iii) your time." t 'Roger said Good-bye" then. "I fcepe We shall meet again before long, Miss Mason," he added quietly aa he shook h -Jbaada with her. Meanwhile, Tcmernber i, my advice, and don't put any trust in letteis- from strangers." t. Violet walked on quickly after Roger left viler, for tlic day had been so full of wonder- in 1 happenings that she wanted to be safe in lier own room in order to sit down. quietly and think, then1 over. Blit solitude was not for her at pro- sent, for, at the corner of Hiiiton Street, > $he ,:mt Nora "Smith, and the latter linked :hel' frrm in her friend's with so "oiuch de- •■iig^it tha,t Violet sa.w at onoe she must not j -try to escape from her company. "I'vo been to Mrs. Jones's twice," said JNora in an aggrieved tone, "to see if you Were in. I did so y/ant to see you, Violet. Mother's gone round to her aster's and won't be home till ever so lato,alld I thought you oeuid have oome and sueiid the .evo.-n in g with hie just like old thucs." coii. ldn't do .that, Nom," said Violet I"M-Ply. NONV your mother angry ipjtn me that' she won't have me at h-tjr JJace when she s at homo, I couldn't bear. -to go there just when she's away. But, dear, I've missed you above a bit. Do .come in and have a long chat with aae; wo n sit up in my room and talk -as muea as you like. Mrs. Jones is sure to be out mor- ke-t-ng, and her.. husband always goes to his .club on Saturdays." i Violet's room was not large, but it wa3 far more comfortable than the ajttica she had -shared with her aunt, for the Joneses were • quite -,well-to-do for a working couple, and lik.)d to have things nice about them. Violet drew down the blind and lighted the lamp, fheu she and Nora sat down side \ifj- .>B the bed, and the latter looked searchirtgly into her chum's face. "Violet, you've been fretting! You look 'that wito and fired, I cannot bear to see 1 you.. How do you like being with the Jonosas? Do they make you comfy?" Mrs. Jpnis as good to me as she can be/' WaS ,the quick, reply, aiid somehow I j like to be still in the old house." "And yoitfve not found the money*" "No. The more I think of it,' Nora, the silofe sure I feel .that Aunt Hannah gave it « to someone to take cpte of for me, and for- got to' tell me who." But if thev were honest, they'd come forward and give it up," said Nora. "011, Vi,. I had 3.1t forgotten. Mrs. Lorrin!er ??ivniv,i.. i?d aH H?giria who used to be iff hor daughter's singing, dabs. up to tea at Elru- wtctor and showed us all Miss Iioea's wed- -<Jing .presents. A girl who was staying t ijfaero waited oq us jiisfc as Miss Roee uared to. d-0. And, Violet, tite oddest thing was that sho was j-irat as like you as two, pe-19. Hor name was Avenel. Do you remember Siaking mo onoo if I knew Miss A vcnet1 -re you wanting to see her because you • had Beard she was like you?" Yes, I did see her at Miss Locrrimer's wding. She got Out of the carriage just before your brother Horry came to fetch me to poor Aunt Hannah." S-bö'J verv like you," agreed Nora, fbut, Vi*, I don't think her face is as pleasant a £ yours. lohe looks a bit diBMn. tontxxl. People say {her father, Sir Jasper Avenel, is -a regular tartar." shouldn't wonder. I'm sure -he looks Ii>c one." "Why, did you ever see him?" Then, with- out waiting for an answer, "What a lovely Who gave it to you ? Violet had been carrying a large box of circulate creams which lr. Chesney had bougl't for her at At kin's. She had put it down on the bed when, she entered her room, but Nora's quiek eyes had caught sight of it. The- lid was decorated with a very., prett bunch of lfowers, and it was this. which hac» -attested her atiention4 Violet took off the lid aid hold the box to her friend. "'Please take-some," she said eagerly; "you .used to he so fond of chocolates." Nora helped! herself generously. "I do like chocolates," she remarked, "but it seems a she 0 eat anything so beauti- fully. got tip as these art. Why, the box itself is quite a treat to look at! But who CTve it you; "A friend." "What as his ',vL,"Mo? demanded Nora. "I—I would rather not ten yon .his \Qame," said Violet. "Nora,. darling, don't think me tinkind. Re has been very good, to me,, but he is not a lover or anyWiug of that §ort." "Oh, Vi, you are awfully mean not to tell me all about it! Was it for his Sake you refused Sam Thorne? Do you really care for fci'njp and what is he? He can't bo at presion'ij; no one there eoula afford to give you chololates like these." "I had -never seen him when I refused Mr. Thorp..a," said Violet, "and even now I have only met him four times, and may ntfvet meet him again. He is not at Preston s, and, 'Nora, ho will never be my lover -beca-usehe is-—a gentle-man. ,I.,d why shouldn't you marry a gentle- asked Nora affectionately. "You &re .quit pretty enoügll." "Nora, please uefver hint at that again. He is, not my lover; we are only friends." And then pretty, childish Nor. said Viiiig which proved that, young as she was, sh !illcw far more of the '.vorlcf than her eh urn. "Vi, be careful; if you don't think your- feelf cyooderough. to be his wife you'd better not be his friend. Don't goon- meeting him, è.e{1:t: or ouo of days, when he's tired of playing at being frierids,' he'll go away | and l-elwe you with a heartache. You arcu't ahgrv with me, dar, are VOIA?" "Not a hit and Tiolet rubbed her soft c:?rx:'ising]y against her chum's, "and I tlunk it's very good of you to care so much: but you not- be fricrhtencd. I. ,ha,ve only seen tho gentleman four times, and each tir^e our meeting was ic&lentaf." Wlien Nora had gone home Violet felt a little trcubl-id at the recollection of her W. "rr, "I g. I as it really impossible," she asked her- "&elf, ."for herself aDd Mr. Chesney to be "riemjg bccause he was a g-entleman aad she was nothing but a factory irl? Could not a "Illan and a maid lie friends and like and tr^t eaoii other "without thinking of love ana o Violet thought they oëouL But; r- -girl, she had plenty of other things to pondor over on that September evening, r irst 6f all, ?.? ?? written the ev,e?t- ]'.i" !I-IAig,,r:n Winter? And what lie? t (, s Vas the o.b?- of the -writer in lurin? her to Gj-?nlaRds? Ncxt, what dire U,9foi-fur?e TMutd hve !)ffah?n her there had she kept tho ap.poinTncnt: ,Floro this troubled subject viol?es „ • thoughts went to S'r Jasr Avenel, the father of her "dOlble" U ntH to-day she had never licard! his name, but as she had told Roger ChesnoT, she had known him by 'J sight for years. She could remember coming home from school when she was quite a littie girl, and findiog Aunt Hannah holding1 a 4 J atormy interview with this stranger. She re- membered how, after turning him out of the attic, Aunt Hannah had ordered her uieœ never to speak to him if she met him. A year or two Lifer he called again, and that time Mias Mason bad been more civil, only telling him that "her answer was the same, and be needn't flatter himself she would change her mind." Theu came a Tong gap of years, and Violet began to see the same- stranger from time to time coming out of church on a Sunday eveu ing. She and Nora often went for Saturday afternoon excursions, -and on two of sh, had encountered the gentleman she now knew to be Sir Jasper Avenel. On the first lie came up to her wnile Nora was talking to someone else, and- inquired- after her aunt. Ou the second he waited till she was alone, th,-n, inqiiirea if kihe stiil lived ia Hh"tD:1 Street. That was all, and his questions were so cixiiiuuy that the whole world might have ovorboard the-ii, but Violet, with an odd sense of loyalty to her aunt, had harrlty answered bh-om. The strangest thing to her was that to-night he had passed her as a stranger, and chanoed into another com- partmeut on purpose to avoid her. ] "And his daughter is so like me that we might pass for twin tiistc-rs Violet- "I wonder if my f 'atlier--Vl- real, father, not M'L. Algernon Winter—could have been a relation of Sir Jasper's?" j Violet Mason's last thought before eho J wt-ntto sleep was that she should be quite happy if only had a brave, elder brother to fight her battles, and that rhe would like the brother to have curly brown hair and dark eyes like Roger Chesney's. (T 1," (To be C«>;jliiiU> d. I "I'



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