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Mrs. l)anf ord -went to tb&áejtat lo meet her husband whcn li ca5ie back froni tlie West. ïhee y'èars ago the flrm had taken him fïom" kis desk as bpokkeeper and sent liiin oitt o& coÜecting tours; he had beert eonling tod going ever since, but bis wife never eould get nsed to it. Before that she aeres left the house except to go to eliurch or niarket, but now she went to the depot whenever he was" coniing home, after even a day's absence, once going to Ha(risburg, when tlie train was delayed there, in the middle of the night. Her children thougl it their mother had all the good sense and even temper there was in the world; but lier husband knew that nobody was so excitable and weak as she. It was curious to see how she could single out the stooped, red-headed little man in his linen duster aniong the thousands pouring out of the depot, and how, though she was one of the timidest women alive, she would go straight to him, as thoutfh the men about her were eo Many dewl tmnks of trees. He always explained to her how it was impossiblef or her to go with him now as she used to do on those little excursions when tliey were flrst married. "We haven't the nioney, Liesy, and, j exen, who would eter with the children?" ' ' Oh, yes, I know, Bichard, that I can't go." Of course she knew, and he knew that she knew. But he explained it to her everytime. If he noticed that her laugh was not steady, or that her chin was quivering, he would go on niaking droll adventures out of every little hajjpening of his journey, until she lauglied in good earnest, and' gradually the talk would glip backte those old jaitntfl of theiïs- the time they went treut-flshing up to Nittany, or that week tliey spent in more when they were snow-bounü at Havre de Grace. Ellizabeth could remeinber every excuse the fat oíd conductor made. She had traveleil very little. ;t Tftnt r r "In about ten years Charley -vvill be in business, and I ehall have made üiy pile, and we mil t-ake Nelly and go to Europe." That was a standing joke bet ween them. But they seriously did hopö that the time might come when they could afford to stay together. ' ' The worst pull will be overwhen Charley has hisschooling," Danford would say, "and then I can save up and go into some httle business of my oii. I'll never leave you then, Lizzy." They rode home together this evenmg in the horse-cars, she carrying his overcoat while lie took the valise. The ride was long and the car cromled, for it was raining. During the nionth that ford had been gone, the f amily had taken ; possession of a little house which was to be their home. He had long ag-o joined one of tliose building societies by which, in Philadelphia, a man so easily securea his om house. Instead tif bnilding a new one, hü had, to please her, boiight one of those old stono coitages ou the outekirts of Germantown ; its hip-roof and orchard of old appletreesgave it a pieturesque dignity beside thñ staring blocks of its preteutiou neighbors. Mra. Danford, in a lialï-whisper, in talking all the way, not giving her lmsband a chanco to say a word. "And the parlor carpet- you would be astonished to see how beautifully it fits ; but I -wrote to you about that. And I took the shclves out of the linen closet and made of it a ivork-room for Charley Lis books and printing-press and rubish, y ou know ; and the room with two vindows is goine to be Nelly 's - - " "Baby's!" Danford chuckled, knowing tliat his -mie, although baby was 4 years old, never slept until the little hands were nestled in her bosom. "She must have aroom of her own Boon. You will give her that one? - promise me Richard. I have papered it myself - pale blue - and her bed is nll ready," she Baid, anxiously, touching his arm. "You can arrange it as you choose, carelessly. "How long this ride out is !" glanoing impatiently at the dropping rain outside. "It is long. We might have taken the steam-cars for once," hesitating. " No ; we must save every penny now. There are the bilis for moving to pay- Wliat is the -matter?"- for a sudden change had eome ovor his wife's face as she looked over his shonlder. He turned sharply, and faced a tall man in an oü-skin coat, who -was holding by oi strap and watching Mrs. Dauford with what appearedat the iirst glance to be a look of keen signiflcance. It instantly. deadened out of his face, and he turned to Danford a pair of heavy black eyes as uumeaning as the flabby, close-shaven cheeks below them. " Why, I tliotight that fellow was going to speak to you," he said, as he helped her out of the car. He was used to seojóg Lizzy attraot notico. He alwáys tliought of her is his middle-ged Gharley's mother - unloss when people tiirned to look aéber her as b3i$ carne ijrtp a car, and when he saw how singular aid delicate was the beauty that still liung about her, and fccw ftue the Hiiiily in her pale face. "Whew! how it pours !" lie said. " Step np on this poreli, Betty, until I hoist the umbrella. " , j, Several otlier passengets hnl left the car, and stood hnddled togotlier, struggling T9ith ümbl-ellas and the wind. Nest io Mrs. Danford was man in an oilBkin coat. His mouth was muffled in it, and the pelting rain drowned every other sound, bilt it seemed as ■fchough he spoke to her. " To-morrow, at noon," she annwered, " I sháll be alone." "Now, little woman !" Danford bustled up, lugging the valise and ñapping umbrella. Usually she would havo helped him with one of them, but now she hung heavily on his arm, lagging behiud. "Tired out, Betty?" Then, glancing down in to her face, " You'ye been having one of those oíd heátlaches. Did you see Dr. Thayer, as I told you ?" "No, no. Dr. Thayer cannot help me. Besides, T have no headacüé. Come ; there is Nelly at the window." There were flres in every room of the little house, the square windows glowed throngh the traeery of vines, and the wet trunks of the trees reflected the lights throngh the rain. "See how pretty it is!" she said, stopping at the gate. " I told Charley to niake an illumination. "VVe won't think of expense - just for thisniglit." "That was right." Danford pushed on hurriedly. He feit a cholting at his throat. They had worked so long for this home, and herë it was at last - home. Afterward, when he tried to remember the occurrences of the eveniKg-, kllowing that, life or death dcpeiided on his acciiracy, he conld recall little that was peculiar m his .wife'S coiiduct. She and the chiidren hád dragged him all over the house in á fever of delight and umpli. Hiere was uot a closet or cranny left uuexplored. Oliarley acted as showman, baby clung to her mother as usual, old black Sally went before with hc candle, tlie proudest of all. His wife said little, as was lier habit, exceptwhen alone witli hiia. Ho remembered liow some boys came to the door to make plans for to-morrow's holiday with Charley, and how anxiously she asked who and what they were. "Why, it was only the other day," she said,. with a qtiaver in her voice, " that Cliaiiey was a baby in üiy arins, and now he has his friends - his plans. He is going ff om us ,ut into the World. And I have no hold on hún - I have no hold onhim !" 11 Ncnsense, Lizzy," Mr. Danford replied. " Never was a woman witli as much influence over her children as you. We'll not let him leave Philadelphia until he's a man. The boy's safe enough when he can come home at night to such a mother as you." He remembered that she suddenly quailed at this, and was silent, in a way which seemed strangetohim at the time. When the boy came back, Danford was sitting by the fire, his wife on a low stool beside him, her head on his knee. She had some childish, undignified ways, which somehow made the boy and his father look on her as a chum and a jolly good fellow. "Father," said Charley, with the selfassertion of 13, "I think that after I this I shall go to meet you at the depot. It is hardly proper for mother to be out alone after dark." " Ño harrrt will come to me, my son," she said, smiling; " I don't want her to act as if she were ' a poor woman, sir, with nobody to look i after her," he cried, hotly. " Ladies in fine houses don't go about alone, and mother is " " Mother bas her fine house, too, and we two stout fellows will take care of her," laughed Danford. But bis wife's head lay stül upon kis knee, and she did not langli noï look US. TrTTÏTf i " When tbe children were asleep bc remembered that she began a strange talk, which be tried to cbeck once or fcwice, of bow her brotbers (who vrere Kentuckians) had botb gambled their propei-ty avvay. "It's in the blood," she said. " If Obarley sbould show any sign of it, you'll -watcb liiin, Bichard, aüd be patient with bim. A fatber ought to be as patiënt as God tpith his cbikL" NoW Danfoi-d -as apt to be irritable witb tbc lad, and bis motber ahvays had atood between them. Before be could answer, however, sbe went on. " I know you'll bear witb Nelly's f aults ; you tinderstand women so well, Kicbard. Nobody could have borne with my folly as : you did wben we were tirst married.' "Are you so wise now, tben?" She laughed suddenly, and, drawmg do-wn his liead, kissed him swiftly on both eyes, so as to simt tliem. She had always odd, unexpectecl ways of caiessing him, whicli tised to make the overworked littlo man feel himself fresh and young again. " What do you talk in this way for toniglit, Betty ? Let us be happy, coming home the nrst night. There's no need too look into the future to find misery. "No, there is no ueed. Maybe the misery will never come. God has always been so good to us !" The little joke seemed to have brought her by sudden reaction into her happy self agam. When she had gone to her room with Nelly, Danford opened his desk to put away the papers in his valise. He found it in thorough order, all Imsiness documents belonging to household affairs sorted and ticketea. " The milk bill paid, md Nott ! Betty has worked hard while I was goue. Mrs. Danford had soine way of adding to thoir income- leather-work or banner painting, we forget whieh. Beside these bilis which she had paid there were two or three rolls of smaller notes, labelen, "Sor Charley's clothes for the winter," 'Tor Nelly's." Danford laughed. His wife was usnally the most misysternatie woman alive. But he went to his room in high good humor. She was standing by the crib, opening the little white petticoats whioh Nelly had taken off, and hanging them up to air. " "You have provided for the children all winter," he cried, holding out the rolls of notes. Slie tumed quickly. "Oh, tney will not n'eed it. I shall be hete to earn plenty more for tliem, and ïor yon- 1 sliall be herc, Kichard." She took up the sleeping child and -walleed alxrat with it, straining it to hor breust. Danfotd took it f rom her gontly, and Lud it down. " How whito and fat hor f eet are!" he Kaid, qnietly. " Cover them up warm, mother. Now come and Bit down. You've been wurking too hard, my poor girl." 'Danford took Charley with him mto townthenextday. They were to come out together in the eveaing. Bofore noon Mrs. Danford sent S.dly (an old lilaok Bervant, wlio luid boen a riftVe and her nurse in Kfiiluckyj out m an i-i-rand which would detain her Lpï an hour r : two. Nelly wab asleep in her orib. Ab t [u. dook was on the stroke of 12, the i bell rang, aud die wlroittflcl the man wie had met tí) o niglit bof ore. They wore closeted togeüicr fov m hout i then they omue int the little parlor. The man, whose habitual marmer to vomen savored of familiarity, was grave and awkwardly respectful ; Mrs. Danford's face was bloodless. He poured out a glass of water, and gave it to her. "You have overtaxed your strenglh in keeping your secret, madam. In a man we would cali such reticonce heiroic; Hut t fiijd it not uncommon with woriien. I think they are promptod to it by - vanity," a disagi-eeable smile lurking on his mouth. Bhe bowed courteously, but he knew she had not heard a word. " Be seated. Wait one moment, doctor ; I have a questionto ask of yoti. " Dr. Prey sat dom uucoinfortably. Eminent specialist as he was, and used to dealing out life and death, " practicing among the wealthiest classes" (vide card), he could not feel at ease with this woman, whose clothes and house, he had decided, could scarcely be called genteel. " She does not consider E. M. Prey a gentleman !" lw blustered inwardly, struggling to act as tlibugh he stood on the same level with her. % ƒ- "A qtiestion, h? Beally, now, my dear madam, better ask no questions at all. The wise patiënt leuves all details to his physician. You are exliausting nervous power - " "You have not given my díséase a name to me." "You assuredly must have guessedit," roughly. "Mrs. Daiifoi-d lobfeed quickiy to the dooi-, into the fire, as though in search of soniething, She did not speak fot a moment. "Oancer?" He nodded. "Incurable?" He hesitated. The fire crackled, the ashes feil on the fender. A little stir in the next room was heard in the silence. " Miamma !" cried Nelly. " It is unusual for a patiënt to insist upon sneh qnestions. Measurably you take the case in your own hands." She raised her hand with a quick gesture. "If you will have it, then, I see no probability of ehre. The case has peculiar features whieh I have inet -ndth in no Cther. All that can bë doiie is to put yourself in my hands. 1 can alleviate your sufferingS. My lal-ge experience," etc., etc. He talked on until he observed that she did not hear him. Her eyes were fixed on the closed door behind which ■w-as ,her baby. When she spoke she did not look at hini. " How long will it be ?" " About four months, probably. Certainly not more thanthat." He began to di-aw on his gloves briskly. There ■was no demand for sympathy, the woinan took it so coolly. " One moment. I have something more to ask." She had risen, and stood with her hands clasped over her head. The doctor's eye swept over her. "She's had remarkable beauty in her day ; but her day is over," hethought. "Patients -witlithis disöase of ten - I have liëard that it was loathsome, horrible beyond words. Shall I" - fhe stopped, swallowing once or twice. Even in tiie nian's vulgar face shone a sudden gleam of pity. But he was anhamed of it. "It is usually the case with patients in this disorder. [ see no reason to hope that you will escape.Mrs. Danford." "I thought so - I thought so," sharply. " Well, there is nothing to be done about it. Will you write me a general prescription - to alleviate pain, you eaid?" ' ' You do not wish me to attend you regularly, then?" - with a surprised glance. "I rüay be removed out of your reach," she said, evasively. Wlien lie had -written the prescription and torn the leof from his book, she j handed him his fee, waited until he had left the house, and then went in to her j baby. When old Sally came in presently, she heard Nelly laughing and talking f or an hour or more, and wondered that her mother made no sound in reply. Late in the aftemoon a telegram oame from Danford: "Will bc detained at office until 10 p. m. Shall keep Charley until I go out." Lizzy read it and laid it down. ' ' That is better," she said. " If I saw them again, I eould not go." For she had quite made up her mind now wliat she would do. Her husband, her ohildren, should not sec her horrible end. The house, the ehildren's clothes, were in perfect order. But she went from place to place with Nelly in her arms. It was singular that it was only of their practical loss when she was gone that she thought. "Sally can cook; but who will keep the house, or make their clothes in the spring ? Charley will have nobody to teil his stories about school to when he comes homo. And Richard - " But she torced that back. She sat clown atad rocked tbc cmld, looking by turns at its littlc i'eet, its hands, pushing back its bair. She thought of lier at every age- a schoolgirl - grown up. " She will havo no mother- no motlier. ' She had been a devout, prayorful ■woman, but she oould not pray aow. It secmecl to her as it' God did not know what He was doing when He did this thing. She made herself up a bundie of clothes, fastened it in a shawl-strap, and luid a letter slie had written on her Iiukband's pillow. The evening had fallen cold and drizzling. Shc gave Nelly her upper, undressed and roeked sleep; then she laid her in her crib. Only yesterday she had been busy ïnukin a cover f'or the crib mid Oharley's bed. Itwas all over nom She would never do anything f or them ngain- never again. It was time now. She put on her hat and cloak, took up her bundie. Ti:nv was a blottedexereise which Oiiarley had left half fmisbed that moruing; she took tlmtwith her, and the stoekiug v.ïü;'l Nellv had iust worn, still warm, the creases in it wliich thp iittle foot 'huil Hindi-. TIn-u kIic we to hor hnnV'iuid's old chnir, where he had snt evory evening foü year, and knelt down by it. Sally, in'tlKi kik-hon, tíiouRUt ah lieard acail, "Bichiml! Riehi cd !" but all was Ktill. As Lizzy knelt tlier she did not pi'ny. SUe mcant to bid good-by to her lmsbtiml, ]ut Khe eould not. Wonld ha ever iorget her Would he niarry r These wore her thouglifa. íherchad been & oertain Aiuiie Wrilrt, yenrs ago, ot' wlioui Danford had maáé a frieiiil. Elizal.ftli spi-anf? to lier feet and walked utrai-lii, tq the glass. " T hoplie vrill be liapjiy. He onglit. to ïa'iny, tlie iOiillivu''K Hiike," h.Ik; sai.3, over mul over. " But lie will lüt r-n' me hb loatliHomo. Anuie Ward'B Wfee does not, compare witli mine now.'' Tina nev Füfirp pang gave lier suddeu strengthi Hhe stayed alone with lier child for a.íc moinentn, an4 then passed astily out, stopping at tlie kitclien door. The oíd bláck womau was búsy over the fire, singing a Methodist liymn. " Goin' to de depot, Miss Betty ? Got on yoh wraps ?" - coming to the door. Élizabeth put her hand on the skinny fingers. " Takc oaie of the children for me, Baliy." " Sartin. uot goin' fur ?" - with a -Vague alarm. But Elizabeth made no answer, and disappeared in the darkness. The letter which Danford found on liis return contained these words: " I have an incurabje disease. I have but a littlo while to live, and I will not stay to become an object of disgust and loa'thing to you afid tlie childreli. Do not try to find me. You never ean do it. My measures are too well taken. You shall know when I am dead." There was not a word of affection or of f arewell. She could not trust herself to that. In these practical days, whatever a man's agony he acts promptly and practically. In a day Danford's friends had set all the machinery of advertiaing, telegraphing, detective agencies to work; but to no effect.. They seurchcd distant places first - the scènes of tliose old excursions of whicli she had talked so much, Üie homes of her schoolmates, the county in Kentucky from which she came. ' ' She would not go out of sight of me and the cllildreü, " poor Danford insisted; but nobody heeded him. Dr. Prey, for reasons of his own, never made himsell knoAvn in the matter, and Elizabeth ha(" had not hinted her disorder to the old f amily physician. "He would teil Eichard," she said. Simply because she hac taken no measures of precaixtion, she hac left no clue whatever. Month after month passed. Danford was at work again at his desk. when work was over, he walked the streets until late at niglit. It seemad to him that every moment lie would meet lier or hearthat sho was dead. The horrible cruelty of her conduct to himself never occiu-red to him; it was only of her, dying aloue, 'perlmps in want, that he thought. The pólice reported to him, from time to time, their Superhuman efforts. .Büt we all know to what these efforts usually amount in cases of disappearance. Mrs. Danford knew the city was her best hiding-place. Nowhere conld a human being sink as securely out of sight as in Üie monotonous blocks of Philadelphia, with their million of inhabitants. There was little that was distinctive about Lizzie A thin, oldish-looking woman, who wore a cap and spectacles, lodged in a room over a baker's shop in Kensington, and earned a dollar or frwo a week by slopwork. She brushed against policernen evei'y day. Sometimes at night, wrapped in a cloak, she carricd a basket filled with with shoe-laoes and pins to the depot, and sat iu a dark corner until the passengers to Gennantown had gone out. She usuallv feil asleep, when her sun-bonnet covered her face. Kichard and Charley carne to that depot once or twice. Danford saw the wan, white hand which held the basket, stopped, and then went on. Anothor night Charley asked her the price of something, bnt she made no answer. After that she was not able to leave the house for weeks, until one night, feeling that the end was near, she took her basket, covered herself in a large cloak, and found her way out to the depot. She sat down outside in the dark shadow made by a f reight-car, and waited for the trains. Danford was in the last. Some people stopped him close beside her. She could have touched him by putting out hei' hand. 'it was her husband whose clothes bruslitíd liers - the man wlaose head had rested on her bosom. "With foverish swiftness the oíd days when he was her lover carne back to her- all Üie romance, the passion of her life ; she was a girl, beautiftil, beloved ; she heard that soft music again which sounds but once in a life. Then she was conscious of the horrible death whose grip was on her, of even the miserable cloak in which she was wrapped. It seemed to her cruel that when she was an outcast, her body given up to slow decay, Daniord should be coming home from his work quietly, as though nothing had happened. He was dressed carefully, as xisual ; his whiskers neatly trimrned. Out oï the car, too, steppcd the very Annie Ward of whom she had thought so of ton latcly. She stopped and shook hands with Bichard. When he went up to his own house, his wife followed him. He opened the door with his lateh-key, went in and shut it, she standing opposite. The wind blew flercely the snow and sleet fiül in her face. The shades were not down in his room. She saw him turn np the light and stoop over the crib. Then he walkcd across the floor with a little white-gowned ügure in his amis. " Nelly ! Nelly ! cnecl ner motner. She ran across the streot ; ehe raised bar hand to bent upon the door, and then she turned quickly and went back to the depot, and eo to town. A stout, grayhaired man followed her, entered tlie same car, left it as she did, and, a moment after she reachcd her room over the sakery, was knocking at the door. She pened it. "Dr. Thayer !" "Yes, Lizzy. Any fire? lm halt rozen " - bust'ling forward to tho stove, so as not to look ut her. "You - you had no right to follow ne " - standing at bay, her eyes blazing. ' Oh my God ! why didn't you come sooner?" crouching on the floor beside Liim sobbing over his hand like a liurt child. He eaid nothing for a while, and tlieu gnve i eliuokle. ''Isaidall along that the wiiy to flnd you was to keep Nelly in sight. How oi'tt'n have you seen her?" "Every day when I could waik." "Ijizzy," 'the doctor paid, wi'nrng sli::rly on her, " who told you your disease vas incurable ?" "Dr. Prey." " Damned nuaclc ! Now listen to me I'm not going to bufcrny your secret. 1 don't want you to il ie at liomi', an objeot of disgust to your lmsband, I eau un(lertstiind that' feoliiiíí J'uliy. Kut 1 go mean toknowii tñéreífia liewsSityïóï your dying at all." " It's tod fafef Sala TVzzy. Of oourse it was uot too late, or tliia history would n ver een writteu. Ñohoáy Uub a rij-ílit to p;ivi; imwary ïem!ers a true biïï í dieeaeáiidieatliunde covei o!' a story. 'Lizzy's disorder toolc another name,' and disappeared slowly theold dootor'a care. After thd r.inV l)fgau to crc.pp into tiel1 ; ■ - ijig movuiui-; he took lier home. and placed kar in aer niair by the aré; with Nelly in her aas, and therc li'T two boys found íiít h$ parné borne at night. Shadwell, one of tlie paftnefs in tlie Quaker flrm Vhich employs Danford, leard the current report of the affair, ml was rituch scandalized by it. " It is cccntrio condtict in a wonian. I do not ike eccentric woinen. I'U drop in there o-night and take a look at her. Better ïave no doubtful people connected -with lic house." The old Quaker dropped in to Danofd's little tyiflor severa! evenings tor luit; lie talkrd with Richard. Lizzy was busy helping Charley with his lesons. In the spring Danford f eoeived notice hat the firni had given him a junior partnership. "Thee has well deserved it of us," aid Shadwell, meeting him that day. 'If I were in thy place, Bichard," he addedj proSently, " I wonld give thy wife i journey. bhe is uot rügged, and thee can well afford it now. Thee has a Í enarkable womanfor a wife, Kichard." Miss Annie Ward was anotlier person vhothought Mrs. Danford a remarkabk vomau. " Wliat a lovelv face shehas," she xcd to say, heartily. "Her hus)nd is such a plodding, commonplaoe little man, too. I wonder what she saw in him. Tlie earthen and porcelain pitchers again." But Lizzy held Miss Ward at freezmg distance. "I know very well she had designs on you when I was gone, Kichard," ehc says. " Such folly, Betty !" he cries, angnly. But, after all, it is her folly that he lofes in Elizabetli, not honsekeeping abilities or good ftetisei They have started now on their journey into Kentiicky. They are iu no whit different outwardly f rom the othcr middle-aged, commonplacefolkcrowdiug the cars, eqixipped wiÖi the inevitable linen duster and shawl-straps and sachéis. But at heart they are very much like two children wüo set out to' find the tairy pot of goldbcneath the rainbow. They meet all the world coming this way, agog to see the Exposition; but they two go ieisurely along, witli their secret between tkem. Every trifle is an event, every chance meeting an adventure. They have left office and housekeeping and middle age behind thein. It looks to otlier people like an ordinary railroad on which they travel, but they know that they are on their vay to the enchanted land. And, as they come neafer to the quiet hills behind the setting sun -where they flrst kne each trthef, they are süre that they will flnd youth and ite love and freshness there again, and will bring


Old News
Michigan Argus