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When Virtue Lost

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A Star reporter was one of a gronp in b hotel lobby the other evening and a New York drummer had jnst finiahed a story on the oíd line of virtue triunaphing and the villain of the plot getting hifi jnst dnes this side of the hot place, wbcn a Kentucky congressman took the floor. "That sort of thing," he said, "is well enongh in books and on the stage and I ain williug to agree that it happens in actual life, bnt not always. Let me cite an instance to the contrary. " There being no objection to the citafcion, the Kentuckian, after casting his eye over the company, proceeded : "Years ago, in a southern town," he gaid, "thfire lived a pretty girl with a lotof money - acombination no man can deny the power of - and she had sweetuearts galore, but two of her devotees, one quite a repntable man and the other quite as disreputable, and after her more for her money than herself, led all tbe rest, and both of them were nervy men and quick on the trigger. Any sensible person would hare thougbt that the girl wonld have decided very early as between the good and tbe bad, but every one knows that women don't do that way in matters of the heart. "I will Eay for her, though, that her preferences were for the decent man and he stood the best chance of winning among all of the contestants. His disrepntable rival, bowever, received more or less enoouragement and he was making a hot flght - so hot, in fact, that on one or two occasions the men had come to blows and once, at least, pistols had been drawn. The girl was foolish, as other women have been under like circumstances, and rather enjoyed the position she occupied, and feit flattered by the dangerous rivalry for her hand and heart. One day, though, it cnlminated tragically, and the girl didn't regret it, that anybody ever heard her mention. It was in theafternoon and a pleasant day and the two rivals met unespectedly, just across the street from her house, and each on his way to cali on her. "The girl lived on a corner and they were approaching from different streets and almost butted into each other at the orossing. That was hardly the place to bave it out, but they were hot blooded and young and on the instant two men jntnped back froru each other a few f eet, two pistols flew from two hip pockets, two sharp reports rang out upon the air, and one man feil to the sidewalk, dead. And it wasn't the bad man, either. On the contrary, it was the repntable one, and there was a bullet hole straight through his forehead. The bad man's shot had preceded the other just enough, and the decent man's pistol went Off as he threw np his hands. Five minutes 'later thevvhole street was in an uproar, and the bad man was in custody. The öther man was carried over to the girl's house, for it was not known then that he Was deád, and a physician was called. Half an hour later the dead body was removed to an undertaker's, and that part of the tragédy was over. "During all the excitemeht, the girl had rfot made her appearance, and as soon as the air qnieted a little search was made for her, because it was known tbat she bad been in the house shortly before the ehooting. Her mother went directly to her ïoom, and when she openèd the door, she saw her daughter sitting at the window, or rather leauing upon a flower shelf on the window sill, and her first thought was that the girl had seeu the ehooting and had fainted. She ran to her and lifted her up and as she did so she fonnd her face bloody and the girl's body almosfc stiff. She ran, screaming, ont, and when the doctor carne he fonnd a dead girl with a bullethole in her head. "Further examination showed a hole in the glass of the window, and the wbole story was told. The girl had been eitting there, and had no doubt seen the meeting of the two men, and the bnllel from the killed man's pistol had reached her there and ended her life at the same time the life of the man she would have married went out. Of course it was self defense'in the case of the man who escaped his rival's bullet, and it was the Tival's bnllet which killed the girl, and the rival was beyond any earthly jurisdiction. The affair ended there, with nothinggood in triumph, except a pnblio sentiment which oompelled the killer to stay away from the town for five or six years. " "Didn't he even meet a violent death or eomething like that?" inquired the drammer, thirsting for some trace o: the nsnal in the tale. ' ' "No," replied the Kentuckian, "not eren that. His nncle died and left him a fine farm, and he found a very nice girl who was willing to marry him. " The drummer sighed and didn't offer to cap the Kentuckian 's story with a better one. -


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