I yLHSTDAY CALL.
AT THE SIGN NOTE.
she lived with her mother, an Invertebrate looked in at Athe ' uncurtained window, might have been, and hers was that "And you never loved blm—not the least
person. In'the mixing of whose brains closcto, which Mollle was standing, and strong feeling of betrayal In a priceless cried, for indeed, under all tha
some important ingredient had palpably the light flared suddenly on 'Owen Staf- bit?" I
trust that Is so apt to warp and put wrong circumstances, It would hava seemed to
been left out. ford^; face, dark, ugly, distorted, bV the a noble nature. me Btranse if she had not.
"Come and see me to-mprrow," I caid. jiassions that convulsed it, for not love, "Ithink our mothers ought to tell us." "What I liked—or if you like to
as we reached the doorstep, and I saw not" passion, but instincts lower and" she said presently— "ought to open our call It so," she. said bravely, "Is dead.
that she half hesitated, for within all.vji deeper than passion were there, and 1 eyes for us— gently, of course, for if we
How could I love what caused me such
dark jjnd uninviting as a tomb— "I can heard her utter a sharp cry of fear, for sickening fear, and what revolted me,"
do 'not learn by other people's experience
lend, you some new books, and would like even her ignorance knew that this was
we are bound to do so by our own. and and she shuddered with a sharp physical
to see vour sketches.*" not. love. The match went out and hid
then it comes awfully rough on a girl, memory as she crossed her own thres-
"Ishall be delighted.". she said, adding. the brute, and the terror of her sweet doesn't It?" hold and went straight to the matches.
"I.won't auk you in to-nittht. :-for mother face,"aand terrorcan show most such a emo-
Is in town."
' ¦ tion woman
time "Poor Mollie—poor little child," I
my heart burning within me as I
said, When we had gone all over the tiny
thought place and seen that it was secure I kissert
"You are here alone?VI cried in c.s much ns this, with a certain kind of man; often
it makes but a wild beast of him, and it of that poor fondy, her mother. and left her, waiting till the chain rattled
amazement as if I not know alreadv
d'.d one of Owen Stafford now. "What shall 1 do?" v,ent on the girl, in the door and a light appeared in an up-
what irresponsible. -incredible fools moth- made ; "for I can't tell her. She "would r.ot listen per window. I felt easier now about the
ers on occasion can be. I hearu a stifled sound, km-w that be
when I begged her not tc leave me in the girl, knowing that her best friend In the
"Yes," she sa!d, bravely: then, meeting had' her In his arms, and instantly I even if matter was herself, but my anger rose
my look, answered: "Idon't like it.. I
dashed through the open door, calllns house alone— she would not will go away— against cast about in my
mother so, but she cou:d not understand tnd her name. I heard a strangled oath, I heher this. Perhaps cannot for some mind for the bestand I of seeing him
he the man.
it." then Mollle rushed at me in the dark- knows that
trembling violently, and clung to months: until my art lessons begin hire alone and thrashing the matter
"But you have some old servant with me as it she were mad with fear. I must stay." At breakfast next morning Sarah asked
you?" "AndI do little to help you." I
can said. me IfI would execute a small commission
"Only a little girl who goes home at We were out of the dolJ's passage into here, and for her. and that I was to take a shawl
the dark night In less than a second, and In deep vexation. "Iam rarely she had knitted to old bedridden Mother
beyond all arjrurnents, ail night." pulled her even if I "in tbo
lived place how could I
T stood hign up on the vtl- with such eoul-ftarvatlon must have been fcr sometimes fche never let go my hand as I
I: stamped my foot on the gravel "In an up and across the green, and neither of protect you? And IfI spoke to Sarah, she Goodenough, who lived on the village
lajro groen. a cottage with
experience, the inhcrtn*. rigntneTis of a -
apparently unreasoning rage, but alas! us spoke till we were inside the door of simply would not understand— or shs green at the Sign of the One-Pound-One.
"You know hi* wife?" g'rl will shine out triumphant, and you
latticed window pane*.
'•No. Phe wlJom know that her instinct is absolutely true, there was only too much reason init. Yet the rectory. would think that you encouraged him—it Preoccupied as Iwas with Mollle'swith af-
BrOt&fcdcd by three nas- I— Idon't th'rV h>e romes vrrv the Chace. and she will shake herself clear of wror.g-
how could I Interfere? What could I do Then by the light of the hall lamp I so difficult to make a good woman un- it,
Is fairs. Itook the shawl and went out
walking mechanically toward the
nificent or.l:s that stood horr<\" rbe added. Cropping her voire. and loathe It without an .nrtant's he.V. to protect her? looked at her, and saw how the soft pink derstand a tad man. She nearly always
said Stafford's attitude of that If ever Owen
tatfon. at'd I'knew •"My child," I aald. "1 am an fid wo- of her face was gone, yet for all the blames her own sex. And the Owen Staf- green.
clcse a;rair.5t its lintel and
ocsly; and In all the years
"Yen Lave hfard the" ?tory?" I
sr-erccd to n'ard it Jeai- rnt?>or bitterly: "Cli\ h«? tell you himself? movpd
H» r oirVUly a raanmaV's crpital out of
cne little fault in a
iriencjship were rs-
and his true nttitude- realized to--
ward her. his shrift «voi:ld be short.
take an old woman's advice?" -
"Indeed Iwill," she said eagerly, "I vixen about her, none of the outraged is all for her none for him."
man In comparison with you— will yoa soared look, as if she had seen some fords always reckon safely on the girl's Suddenly Mollie's flgure came In sight
frightful thins, there .was nothing of the not telling. Ifshe does, the world's blame half way down the slope and as 3udder.lv
disappeared under the girfht trees that
that I fcrcw it Inever making orlginnlly).\mrinna (usually of his loved you the very first moment Isaw personal conceit of the modern girl, but I "Ishall be meeting him at every turn," sentineled the little hostel, and at tifl
"Iam sorry." slowly, without
' ItIs re* on wh'cn any Miterr.csi orshe u^irl personal appH-
scribe of I think we shall always be saw that she was mortally hurt, dlsll- said poor Mollle. "and how am I ccn- same moment I paw Owen Stafford run-
saw a sirs' 5 '"UPtom^r p;i
he opc-:iiy hang? all his lnfidfl'tlps. his
In or out or any indication of drink atxiut excesses : and the v/orld condones hlr
you— an£ to
ning oulckly in the same direction and
vanishing at the precise point where Mol-
the place, though r.gairst its wall was overy infamy If be ran only exploit on*, lle had gone.
hung a fadeO br?rd and upon It In still error of Jils wife as the cauro of them!" For a moment I stood confounded. It
mere faded letters v:as Inscribed: iff/.
" I felt the ;jfrl shrink a llttl» from mv
harshness, and I hated the disagreeab'." looked so like an assignation, then to thesome
"The s'.gn cf 'The one-pound-crse.' Instinct told me they had both gone
task of disillusioning h*r. but I was play- One-Pound-One, the only hou^e behind
Often Ihad It in my mind ing Or-en Stafford for her soul,nnd It
that cueer little hprtel and call for a should not be mv fault if I not win. those trees, and I hurried swiftly up and
did stood looking at the door of the ancient
giass of mulberry wine, or raspberry vine- "My dear." I said, "when I a wreck
see place, which had so often exercised my
gar, or some such old-fashioned cordial, of a woman I always want to knew what
pictured the aghast face of mine hands she has passed through and how
curiosity. .» ¦
but I I heard voice? within, one raised In en-
host or hostess as a woman doing such they have lued her: to what lengths rray treaty was Owen Stafford's and without
a thing, in such a place, and only idled not Jealousy and her vrcngs have driven a moment's hesitation lifted the later*
her? of the door and walked In, finding myself
when Icame near It, weaving strange a manOwen fashion; I a mangreat taste. of
cf hear a deal /in an humble, sanded room, that no
fancies about the place and forbearing to ab t Mm in town. And I know this
tju^stion as to who dwelled within.
that h!s wife Is far more sinned against stretch of the wildest Imagination could
see fitted v.-»th a bar, while the owner ot
One r.utumn day I stood watching the than sinnfng. He does net strike me as the place, whoever It might be. was
boys and girls who came pouring out of a man who could ever be true to one absent.
woman— his —
the village schools at the top of the green other, and fancy would be excited beauty
for he is a
Bfollie was standing with her back to
and betook themselves shouting to their lover, and another Is me. Owen's face as I entered was grave,
the world full of beauty." earnest, yet ashamed, and wore the look
play; a flock of geese waddlod slowly to- She walked silently beside me. and 1
ward the pool that lay on the other side waited anxiously for her to spoak. fear- of a man pleading strenuously for himself,
trying, as many a one has done, to make
cf the road: the stones gleaming ¦white Ing lest the clamour should be over her
previous good conduct plead against one
in the Gods Acre were divided but by a eyes and the mischief be done, for often moment of mad folly, and I knew by her
low hedge from thope bounding, happy as the man's as loud In the girl's heart
but in a voice which she attitude that she was listening, that the
youngsters. Away to the left rose the
knows not rlie true meaning, and If she living eyes upon her were effacing the
gray c'd Suffolk church, its squat Ivied be a real w «n:an. and if she memory of those others that had so ter-
surrender rified her. and that she was Infinitely
tower rearing itself into the blue and daz- her»dr to tha: tide of love which in its
zling white cf the clear October sky. and origin is divine, then Is she a renegade mere In danger of him now than she had
to man's !a«vs. and all the tears and r»- been then.
inevitably I thought of Frith** pictures. llghtnlnjfimpression I of
The wScUeKl town seemed far away as 1
p«-7;t.ir>«.-u of a lliotf—»• shall not t»luju xJUm But that had
him before he realized my presence faded
turned to care over the peaceful, old- as his glance met mine ar.d darkened, for
world scene, at the var.derins village' I was his enemy, and well he knew It.
street in » hich no two houses were alike, Mollle, seeing that change in him.
and yet human hearts were the same here turned and colored deeply, and T took her
as in ether places, and pain came hither
knew, ar.d sometimes want, but
never saw in broad daylight: no.
gently by the shoulders and pushed her
toward the door.
"Icame I came." she faltered, "to brtns
Mother Goodenou^h some patchwork
nor sin's fairer, happier sister, love, for pieces," and held out the Uttle bundle to
the uncouth gambols of the older lads and chow me.
lasses on the green of evenings and Sun- "And I brought her *
shawl from my
days couid hardly be dignified by the •tlcter-ln-law," Isaid, and shut the door
on her and turned to face Owen Stafford.
most beautiful name In the whole lan- "Don't try to rub out the Impression you
guage cf man.-
cvide on her yesterday." I said contempt-
But that very afternoon at the Ilall I uously, "for you never Trill. TVhy don't
chanced to intercept a look, between a .
you try your arts on some one who can
man ar.d a girl that was an iilumxaUo.i atand up to you? A girl of twenty with
to m*-. for here la this Arcadian spo: was a criminally neglectful mother— absolutely
going forward tiif usual tragedy, and It
alone In the bouse! You call yourself a
is the oldest ard crudest one in tJis v/oild.
"She suits me," he said (a man always
of. a can resolutely fighting a g'.rl for all tninks that a woman waa made to his
ehe should hold ir.cst Oear in life. s!::ce own especial order, till he happens to s«-o
it Is all cf treasure that she ever has or one of a newer pattern that pleases him
Is ever likely to have In heart and soul better, "and Ilove n»r." be added. "Ilove-
and body. lier!" he repeated, doggedly. "IfT wero
Ignorant. Innocent, left to find out by a free man Iwould make her my wl!>
titter experience th? kr.o-nledse of good to-morrow."
"No doubt," Isaid, "because the bo*t
and evil (for rr.cst mothers, may God for- order of woman always attracts the worst
gtve them, teach their daughters nothing,
order of man. She is dangerously attrac-
and with open eyts see them go blinii- tive, and her very xocdnesa and truth
folCed. iiivt laait ?, to the slaughter, and
make the ruin of her all the more keenlv
warn them r.ct). what chance hus such a desired by men of the world-wide type o*
one agains-'t the aKs of a man of the Owen Stafford."
wcrJd. raoiecver cne so much older than "You are .very clever, very superior."*
hcreclf that she has insensibly slid with he said, and I could not but admire th>»
way he kept his temper, but the worse i
him into the intiir.acy one may afford al- man's morals as regards women, the bet«
most to a beloved relation?
ter his manners always are: it 13 usually
And the life cf thfs girl of 20 was the reverse in other order* of infamv.
starved, here in this drowsy backwater "One would say." he paused ar.d bowed,
where fate had set her In vicarious pun- half-rcockingly, "that you speak from ex-
is-hment for a Fpendthrift father's sins, perience, that you nad been there your-
living !n a tmy house v.-ith a maddening self." .
mother and no: cr.e distraction or pleas- "Possibly." I said indifferently. "Ifyou
ure natural to fcer bright, fresh youth. could flatter' yourself that you are an in-
Who could wonder, then, that she
dividual and not a type. It would be mnrci
stretched out eagerly toward that mental .
satisfying to your fastidious taste. But
I warn you tr» let Molli« alone. You hat*
Fympathy which will make the desert ycur wife—but you hnve a daughter—" h.*
LlcEsom a* the rcse. and for the lack of started and rhpnsed color. "How wonUl
which to sensitive souls the palace makes you like to know that a man old enough
the cage? tobe her father waff pursuing your child?
To be kicked out of his and the world'*
Ilooked at the pair as they sat talking way as Icarrion when he has done vrlth
together about art. while the drone of my
hostcta -and— brother's neighbor sounded lie wirced suddenly, and I knew that he
in my ear. and 1understood why it was loved his daughter, who by special grace
Hr. 2ta!Iord came ro often now to the *f God h<»- wished. to see exempted from
country seat he had once hardly deigned 'he lot of girls every wWt as pure as she.
to honor, and ar.grily J realized that it "You hit hard." he said, ar.d his very
"r<« were ¦white.
was not the beautiful soul and spirit and
strorg brain Chat the man worshiped in
• "Imean to-^-for Mai'.le."I said. "She hi *
the girl (not what pleases the understand-
practically no mother. Ican't nrotect
her without shamirg her. without adver-
ing, out what pleases the eye is what the
voluptuary loves), but just her loveliness
because Ehe was like nothing so much
tl**ne you to the whole ne ;
will blame the girl,no* you. She has onlv
her own Inherent rls'.Uness ft heart :o
cs a de.-p. soft, full pink rose. Often I protect her. and you are gifted with every
brd kissed the girl for the mere pleasure
of the softness of her skin, and Indeed
art. cv>ry seduction tbat experience can
teafh. Go away leav» l.er! Do one goo»1
that exqu'.site feast of color which was :oeed In your life— znnke a comoanlon of
not damask ncr clear red and white, but
jrour-clauchter. and trv and he better to
Ihe*" yoor mother, who Icjves you still.**
pure velvety pir.k. almost blinded you to He ."hook his head.
the sweetness arU sense and spirit of the "Ican't ro tack to her." he said. hpA
reet of b«r yours face. Indeed I knew thr>t no man ever looks
"It bffan tvith a chilblain." droped tb« wilHrrly fin the ruin ne has made.
hortcs«, .- end h!s mother would go on "MoTlle has a heart of gold." I said;
"she is what I v.-ou!l have liked my owri
pouIticIAs it. a.id his leg nas had to coire
"Ard noxv he will fool that chilblain al-
friends— alu-n;- s
. lusioned. and Isoom^d to hear;
don't allov/ anv m-n '.o cross this of her voice in: which she spoke of* her like him as I before when he has be-
t. resliold till your mother •"
the tone trol my .vclc*» nnd features— pretend to
daughter to b<\ for Ihave none of my
own. Often I have thinked God I
brought a woman-chllC Into the world t>>
*ay5," I paid, absently, an I up to si, comes No father and sale!,' "Ho deceived me. , come t'Klv i.nd hcrrtole to me>? His face
mnn. mind-married or tingle, tack. or suffer n«« I have don«-
knowing that Molly would walk back with
me; and l<y the shade that Instantly youp./f."
old "Do you feel equal to coming Into the to-night"— she covered her eves with her He looked keenly at me. and a different
came study?" I said, for my people would won- hand— "can I ever forget It?" and better expression came into hla face.
over Mr. Stafford's features I "Xo one nhall.", 8he eaiu gravely.
knew that And as to your mother." I der if;she came to the house and ihey "We must go flown," I said brisk y. "And so."I said pteadinsrly. "leave me
he had reckoned on a half-hour in ih« apparent
said with did. not see her, and she* pulled herself "Meanwhile I shall take you home to- my little MoMIe—and it will b* made ur>
November duss with her. and hated nit Irrelevance.
beat her. Don't come to
"I should like to together, and I opened the door and wo night and wait to hear you lock your door,
to you with your own child one day. God
rectory In went In, and found ourselves in a warm, and I
accordingly. Uut Iwas delighted see
to the morning, but to tea. the stay and
won't leave this place till I you
sec has a strange w.iy of vis!:lrs: ' sins of
that the was not disappointed
at his re- ppnnd the evening." and lamp-lit room that breathed the very at-. safe out of .the wood-or. rather, Owen th«» fathers on the children."
xnalning behind when we went out to-
.For in the day the house was In the goodness.
. mosphere of peace and home, yes, and of- Stafford beaten off th« premises." , [ He turned aside and stood looking out of
gelher Into the graynefs that almost hM eye or the village Mollle put her soft cheek to nr.lne and the casement, and in the pause came a
the trees, wonderful trees, that sat like street-It was, the dark- For my brother was walking up and hugged me. and we down together,
great ladk-s sweeping in great
ness and night that I. feared for her. and down with a kitten In his arms, listening and more than once wentsaw her glance
loud knocking from the stick of the old
sward of the pirk with their full skirts.
ehe took my hand in one of
those grips to Sarah.' who was reading aloud in that wistfully around as if the cultured anJ bedridden woman overhead.
realli gvfitlcss, hapless creature white cation In my words, "my f:.her—" she that onjy the right Bort of woman ever delightful voice- which made It a treat sympathetic surroundings brought all too I went to the foot of the stnlrs and cried
She squeezed my hand and said I was again. , .,
patecd, then added firmly, "ho deceived' ;;Klvcs- and said: i'lfwill come/' and I only to hear her speak,, and Mollle's out: "I«m coming. Mrs. Grodenough."*
welcome &s flowers 1n May on one of my kissed the smooth pink cheek, velvet soft twitched? In -mine. I hand vividlybefore her the ghastly evening In and then Icame back and waited.
brief vtitts—that she had not known that While her mother took her dogs out me. and I never- forgave him."
knew what she was the little
dark house, with only her moth"
for airings, and slept and, pottered her That was all—but mv spirits rose," an<l standing petals of a rose, and left her thinking—what did these kind souls know er fast asleep for company.'
"You hare* conquered." he «atd. but h*»
Iwas in the village; and. indeed. 1 had life away, was this poor girl being Im- there, fitting her key In tha of; man's wickedness? The rector knew did not turn M-» head or let mo aee h!-»
but arrived the nightbefore. She told me I loved the glrf for her fearlessness and lock. And I was glad to fee
that she had oeen hard at work, that soon
periously swept by iho experienced man honesty. 1knew that here was the mak-. "' himself. Sarah all men through him, and warmed to the girl and mndc athat Saran perceptible
face "Iwill not try tn soe Mollle again,
she «-u going to town to study from the
toward those rapids that must inevitably ing of a -woman noble' bovond even thi I^had gone perhaps three hundred I saw:the tears spring. to the girl's brave stride toward a greater Intimacy thnn nor will I wm* to the Chare while she U
life tn a big school, and she was very keen breaR her In pieces, while he, strong power of man to mar. 'And I took the yards, thinking deeply, when I caught eyes as the; sharp contrast of this scene formerly existed between them, for had
felt In this neighborhood. Rut remember thlj
swimmer that he was. would gain' the
on It, and Very full of hope and all the shore no ungloved hand, strong as it needed to bo es in a cyclone, and some imperative in- with ; i , she had Just gone through rectory would be a haven for
the one the —that I lov« her. and shall always lova
whit the worse for his adven- for.the work It had to do. and thcusht stinct seized sharp by the shoulders and I
me camoL vividly:home to her. Motile to h<T."
youthful ambition that goea so far toward ¦
come to, and all its influences for her
ture? of my own boy, and wi: *^f>d . .:.¦ it • sucu turned me
¦ round on -the path I."Mollie is allalone," I
said, "and I
have good. '^fcjJjSI The door *lammed behind him. Ipicked
No doubt he thought 'ie loved her. Many a girl as this might be as niy own daugv had come and pulled me up outside Mol- brought her to spend the evening"— and as
' "What a treat It Is to meet up th« nhawi ard clin:t>cd the stairs with
"Mr. Stafford Is so eoort to roe," *he
said. "He brings me books on art from a manis not even by -'tha'c glorious nama
dignifies tcr. lie's door. ¦_ Sarah was intent on the bookmark that your brother," »hc sold to me.ans man Ilka it to the old woman, who garrulously to!d
, Itstood at io:33 me how long yeara uko she had done a
the Chnce. and lends me wonderful draw- sion (which worthv to bo called pas- She atooped her head (she, was tall and but I ajar, and all was dark within, and ; Placed before rising to greet us, we went out Into the dnrknesn for tn«
my brother was short-sighted, the thriving busmen* In the "One-pound-
is the very fiowcr of life), aud well grown) and kissed me,"* for -e ha 1 knew recognized two voices, and then I third time that day together. "Ht« ey*.
ings to copy. 1 don't know. how I could Insolently offers the trashy
have Rot through the long months here fuil equivalent
for that priceless
without them. Sometimes the want of which every girl shouii guard treasure
bauble as a
always seemed .to understand one anoth-
intervals of. time in. thls :remote" Suffolk und.-with-'all the
what had brought me backl Owen girl's pallor; her slight' disorder, passed his voice— one could trust him
er, tossed together with similar, tastes, at Stafford must have followed us at a dis- .; unnoticed',< and almost "immediately I
tance, probably listened to
. iour discourse,- » her away upstairs" to; remove her hat.
got , "Yea. Mollle, he will try and blindfold"*'
and explain his conduct away. What Will
Oh#," y»t mtthnuKM th* best stroke that
had *rer been don* in that poor place wa*
when Ow«n Stafford cot the victory over
some otjc to speak to was Hke a physical till, in exchange It, s«i«»
ach*>." She^ paused, and J knew how very lifelong devotion for many receives tha village in- which I : -
did not sojourn bat thief, skill? of a' professional But she was too plucky to "let
those you ¦¦ay?" hlm-ptf »m! from that day forth became
that had slipped in as 'she [entered and tears fall, though , saw her hurt "was a better man.
the very moment s my. ba'ck was turned. " very,; deep. For. sheI.
a true ma.t merely passed through. r , "Ishall him," snld Molll?, Vfry de-
very nweet and satisfying the companion-'
knows well how to give. .< A feeling of depression
had genuinely liked liberately, tell
"that I have boen deceived in And Mollle? Thank Ged. there are gooi
*hio ol.a dever man In such a nla.ee and But wUia ilollv sooke 1 wu stolo over meaj -¦• "Ican't find -the matches." "she 'said, the man; ,ho , had been to her all that • ari him. and I men. as tner# are <o.*l *irls nowaday*.
we aDoroached the tUur house in which and then I heard a match struck and exceptional . elder 1brother who loved nor never wish trt dp«dtc to or hav* «n<l McUle «1M not most th« right on* loo
ani'thlne to do with him «ur.iln."