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THE NEPHI, UTAH TIMES-NEW- VIOLA GWYN & By GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON "VIOLA GWYN, YOUR HALF-SISTE- The two colonial candlesticks stood in the center of the table, a foot or two apart. When Gwynne lifted his head after "grace," he looked directly between them at his For a few seconds he stared as if spellbound. N ever had he looked upon a face so beautiful, never had he seen any one so lovely as this strange young woman who shared with him the hospitality of the humble board. He had gazed for a moment full into her deep, violet eyes eyes in which there was no smile, but rather a cool intentness not far removed from unfriendliness i and in that moment he forgot himself, his manners and his composure. The soft light fell upon warm, smooth cheeks; a broad, white brow; red, sensitive lips and a perfect mouth a round, firm chin; a delicate nose and the faint shadows of imperishable dimples that even her unsmiling expression failed to disturb. Not even in his dreams had he conjured up a face so bewilder-ingl-y beautiful. Who was shef What was she doing here in the humble cot of the Strikers? Certainly she was out of place here. That she was a person of consequence, to whom the Strikers paid a rude sort of deference, softened by the familiarity of long association but in no way suggestive of relationship, he was in no manner of doubt. He was not slow to remark their failure to present him to her. The omission may have been due 'to ignorance or uncertainty on their part, but that was not the construction he put upon it. It was deliberate. vis-a-vi- s. j , That't the way the hero and heroine of this early tale of Indiana met for the first time. The hero ii Kenneth Gwynne, a young lawyer from Kentucky, going to Lafayette to take possession of lands left him by his father, recently deceased. .When he was a small boy his father had run away with Rachel Carter, a widow, leaving his mother to dio ot a broken heart. Kerf had been brought up to hate the very name of Rachel Carter. His father's will had divided extensive properties between him and Rachel Carter. He stops for the night at a farm house near Lafayette, where he is known. He becomes quite Interested, in this handsome, mysterious girl, who says she knew his father well," but refuses to disclose her identity. By morning she is gone. His host tells him, as he leaves, "That girl was Viola Gwyn, an' she's your Inasmuch as Ken didn't know that he had a the statement is naturally a shock. Viola Gwyn, daughter of his own father and the hated Rachel Carter! And he in love with her at first sightl Well, mystery follows mystery. Ken and Rachel Carter even become friendly, after a fashion; Ken and Viola quarrel and make up and; he grow friendly. And when Ken learns that Viola is not his is bound hand and foot by the double secret of mother and daughter. Of course it all turns out well as all love stories should. . The author is George Barr McCutcheon no need to say more. He proved that the story's the thing not the author's name. After making his name famous through the "Graustark" stories, he wrote "Brewster's Millions" anonymously the most popular of all his stories. Of late years he's writing largely about his native state, Indiana, or some other part of the Middle West. half-sister- half-siste- half-siste- PROLOGUE The Beginning. Kenneth Gwynne was five years old when his father ran away with Rachel Carter, a widow. This was In the spring of 1S12, and in the fall his mother died. His grandparents brought him op to hate Rachel Carter, an evil woman. She was his mctber's friend and she had slain her with the viper's tooth. From the day that his questioning Intelligence seized upon the truth that had been so carefully withheld from mother and him by his broken-heartethose who spoke behind the hand when he was near from that day be hated Rachel Carter with all his hot and outraged heart. He came to think of her as the embodiment of ail that was evil. He rejoiced In the belief that In good time Rachel Carter would come to roast In the everlasting fires of hell, groveling and walling at the feet of Satan, the while his lovely mother looked down upon her In pity even then he 'wondered If such a thing were possible from her seat beside God In His Heaven. He had no doubts about this. Hell and Heaven were real to him, and all sinners went below. On the other hand, his father would be permitted to repent and would Instantly go to Heaven. It was Inconceivable father that his big, strong, should go to the bad place. Rut Mrs. Carter would I Nothing could save herl God would not pay any attention to her If she tried to repent; he would If she know It was only "make-believe- " got down on her knees and prayed for forgiveness. He was convinced that Rachel Carter could not fool God. At first they told him his father had gene off as a soldier to fight against the Indians ond the British. He knew with that a war was gulng on. Mt-gun were drilling In the pasfure up beyond .his grandfather's house, and there was talk of Indian "massacres," and Simon Girty's warriors, and British redcoats. He overheard his gnind-fathe- r and he neighbors discussing hattle on Lake Erie, and rejoiced with them over the report of a great victory for "our side." Vaguely he had grasped the news of a horrible hattle on the TIpiecanoe river, far away In the wilderness to the north and west. In which millions of Indians were slaia and he wondered how many of them Ml father had killed with his rifle a weapon so big and long that he came than half way up the barrel when he stood beside It, And then. In the fall, his mother went away and left him. They did not lell him she had gone to the war. He jrould not have believed them if they had, for she vas too sick to go. She had been in bed for a long, long time; Ihe doctor came to see her every day, and finally the preacher. He hated both of them, especially the hitter, who prayed so loudly and so vehemently that bis mother must bar been terri d well-belove- d s bly disturbed. Why should every one caution him to be quiet and not make a noise because It disturbed mother, and yet say nothing when that old preacher went right Into her room and yelled same as he always did in church? He went to the "burying," and was more Impressed by the fact that nearly all of the men who rode or drove to the graveyard down In the "hollow" carried rifles and pistols than he was by the strange solemnity of the occasion, for, while he realized In a vague, mistrustful way that his mother was to be put under the ground, his trust clung resolutely to God's promise, accepted In its most literal sense, that the dead shall rise again and that "ye shall be born agnin." He was very lonely after that His "granny" tucked hlra in his big feather bed every night, and listened to his little prayer, but she was not the same as bis mother. She (JId not kiss him In the same way, nor did her hand feel like mother's when she smoothed his rumpled hair or buttoned bis flannel nightgown about his neck or closed his eyes playfully with her fingers before he went away with the candle. His grandfather lived In the biggest house In town. It had an "upstairs" a real "upstairs" not Just an attic. And his grandfather was a very Im portant person. Everybody railed him "Squire"; sometimes they said "your honor"; most people touched their hats to him. When his father went off to the war, he and his mother came to live at "grandpa's house." Ills father was the biggest man In all the world, there could be no doubt about that. Why, he was bigger even than grandpa, or Doctor Flint, or the parson, or Mr. Carter, who lived in the cabin next door and was Minda's fa ther. For the matter of that, he was. himself, great deal bigger than Mln da, who was only two years old and could not say anywhere near as many words as he could say and did not know her A B C's. or the Golden Rule. or who George Washington was. He was very fond of Minda's moth er, "Auntie" Rachel. She was good to him. She gave him cakes snd crullers and spread maple sugar on many a surreptitious piece of bread and butter, and she had a Jolly way of laughing, and she never told hlra to wash his hands or face, no matter how dirty they were. In that one respect, at least. she was much nicer than his mother. He was four when tliev brought Mr. Carter home In a wagon one day. Some men carried him Into the house, nnd Aunt Rachel cried, and his mother went over and stayed a long, long time with her, and his father got on hi horse and rode oft as. fast as he could go for Doctor Flint, and he was not allowed to go outside the house all day or old Boose would get him. Ilia father did the "chores" for "Auntie" Rachel for a long tiuia. be cause Mr. Carter was not there to attend te them. There cam a day when the bads were fresh on the twigs, and the grass was very green, and the birds that had been gone for a long time were singing again In the trees, and It was not raining. So ha went down the road to play In Minda's yard. He called to her, but she did not appear. No one appeared. The house was silent. "Auntie" Rachel was not there. Even the dogs were gone, and Mr. Carter's horses and his wagon. He could not understand. Only yesterday be bad played in the barn with Mlnda. Then his grandma came hurrying through the trees from his own home, where she had been with grandpa and Uncle Fred and Uncle Dan since breakfast time. She took him up In her arms and told him that Mlnda was gone. He had never seen his grandma look so stern and angry. His mother was In the bedroom with grandpa and Aunt Hettle, and be was not allowed to go In to see her. Uncle Fred and Uncle Dan were very solemn and scowling so terribly that he was afraid to go near them. After a while all of the men went out to the barn-lo- t, where their horses were tethered. Uncle Fred and Uncle Dan had their rifles. He stood at the kitchen window and watched them with wide, excited eyes. They all talked at once, especially his uncles and they swore, too. Then his grandpa stood in front of them and spoke very loudly, pointing his finger at them. He heard him say, over and over again : "Let them go, I say I I tell you, let them go!" He wondered why his father was not there, If there was any fighting to be . done. The next day he went up to grand pa's with his mother to stay, and Uncle Fred told him that his pa had gone off to the war. He believed this, for were not the rifle, the powder horn and the shot flask missing from the pegs over the fireplace, and Was not Bob, the very fastest horse In all the world, gone from the barn? He was vastly thrilled. But he was troubled about Mlnda, Uncle Fred, driven to corner by per sistent Inquiry, finally confessed that Mlnda also had gone to the war, and at last report had killed several extremely ferocious redskins. It was not until some time after his mother went away after the "fooneral," with Its hymns, and weeping, and praying that he heard the grownups talking about the war being over. The redcoats were thrashed and there was much boasting and bragging among the men of the settlement. "Do you s'pose pa will know how to find me, grandma?" he would Inquire. " 'Cause, you see, I don't live where I used to." And his grandmother, beset with this and similar questions from one day's end to the other, would become very busy over what she was doing at the time and tell him not to pester her. Then one day lie saw his grandparents talking together on the porch He distinctly heard his grandma say: "I think he ought to be told. Richard. It's a sin to let him go on thinking " Copyright by Dodd, Vaad Sx Company, Inc. 'Been rainln' steady for nearly two "Well, It's spick an' span now,' If weeks," Interrupted the settler. "Hub-dee- p that's what you want to know," grumeverywhere. I guess mebby we bled Eliza, and vanished, fingering her c'n find a place fer you to sleep tonight. straight straw-celore- d hair somewhat and we c'n give you somethln' fer man resentfully. an' beast If you'll Jest ride around Meanwhile, Kenneth Gwynne, havhere to the barn we'll put the hosses ing divested himself of his dark blue up an' feed' em, and Eliza, aet out a "swallow-tali,- " was washing his face couple more plates, an' double the ra and hands at the well. The settler ap' come tions all around. Where do you proached with the lantern. from?" he Inquired, after a moment's "Storm'a comln'," he shouted above In the Bible." hesitation. the howling wind. "I guess you'd bet"My borne Is In Kentucky. I live ter dry yourself In the kitchen. Hear "Well, you know that Indians and gypsies steal little boys, don't you? It her whlzzin' through the trees? Gosh Is the very worst kind of stealing, be 'Kentucky, eh? Well, that's a good all hemlock She's goln' to be a cause it breaks the boy s mother's place to come from. I guess you're all snorter, stranger. Hurry Inside 1" heart. It sometimes kills them. Now, right stranger." They bolted for the door and dashed The gaunt settler conducted the un Into the kitchen Just as the suppose that somebody stole a hus deluge band. Tour father was a husband. He expected guests to the barn, where, came. Phlneas Striker, leaning his was your dear mother's husband. Tou after they had dismounted, he assisted the door, closed It and weight against In saddleof removal the the loved your mother very, very much, the bolt. Don't cry, lad there. bags and rolls from the backs of their dropped didn't you? sitting-roodoor opened sud The there, nowl Be a little man. Now, Jaded horses. denly and the other guest of the "Water?" he Inquired briefly. listen. Somebody stole your mother's house glided Into the kitchen. husband. She loved him better than 'No, sun," replied Zaehariah, blink Kenneth Gwynne bowed very low In loved as held the other world. the him. lantern She the ing up to anything the newcomer. The dim candle Zaehto loved his look Into face. I guess, even better than she you, the better Kenneth. She Just couldn't live with- ariah was a young negro as black as light afforded him a most unsatlsfaeout him. Do you see? That la why night with gleaming white teeth which she died and went away. She Is In he revealed In a broad and friendly Heaven now. Now, let me hear you grin. "Had all dey could drink, mars-say this after me : My mother died be- ter, back yander at de crick." 'We can't offer you much in the way cause somebody stole her husband of entertainment Mr. Gwynne, but away from her." " 'My mother died because somebody what we've got you're welcome to." "I shall be greatly Indebted to yon, stoled her husband away from ber.' " sir. The time will surely come when I repeated the boy, slowly. "Say this: My mother's heart was may repay you not In money, but in broken and so she died." friendship. Pray do not let us discom" 'My mother's heart was broken and mode you or your household. I will be satisfied to sleep on the floor or In the she and so she died.' " "Tou will never forget that, will you, barn, and as for Zaehariah, he " Kenneth?" "The barn Is for the hosses to sleep "No, sir." In," Interrupted the host, "and the floor "Now, I am going to tell you who Is for the cat Tain't my Idee of fairstole your mother's husband away ness te allow human beln's to squat on from her. Tou know who your moth proppety that rightfully belongs to er's husband was, don't you?" hosses an' cats so I guess you'll have to sleep In a bed, Mr, Gwynne." He "Tes, sir. My pa." "One night the night before you spoke with a drawl. "Zaehariah c'n came up here to live your Auntie Ra- spread his blankets on the kitchen floor chel that Is what you called her, isn't an' make out somehow. Now, if you'll it? Well, she was not your real aunt Jlst step over to the well yander, you'll She was your neighbor Just as Mr. find a wash pan. Eliza I mean Mrs. Collins over there is my neighbor and Striker will give you a towel when she was your mother's friend. Well, that you're ready. Jest sing out to her. night she stole your pa from your ma. Here, you, Zaehariah, carry this plunand took him away with heir far, far der over an' put It in the. kitchen. Mrs. away, and she never let him come back Striker will show you. Be careful of them rifles of your'n. They go off again. She " "But pa was bigger n she was " In mighty sudden if you stub your toe. The Other Guest of the House Gilded terrupted Kenneth, frowning. "Why Tou'll find a comb and lookln' glass in Into the Kitchen. the settin' room, Mr. Gwynne. Tou'll didn'fhe kill her and get away?" The old squire was silent for a mo probably want to put a few extry tory glimpse of her features. He took ment. "It is not fair for me to put all touches on yourself when I tell you In at a glance her tall, trim figure, the the blame on Rachel Carter. Tour fa- there's an purty girl spendin' burnished crown of hair, and the sue- ther was willing to go. He did not kill the night with us. Go along, now. I'll prlslngly modish frock she wore. He Rachel Carter. Together he and Ra put the feed down for your bosses an' had seen no other like it since leaving chel Carter killed your mother. But be with you In less'n no time." the older, more advanced towns "I am prepared and amply able to the Ohio. He was startled. Inalong Rachel Carter was more guilty than he all was. She was a woman and she stole pay for lodging and food, Mr. Striker, his Journeylngs through the land he " so do to In not God to hesitate the sight of what belonged like this. It had seen no one "Save your breath, stranger. I'm as was with difficultyarrayed another woman. So now you, know that be overcame that your pa did not go to the war. deef as a post." a natural Impulse to stare at ber With that he entered the barn door, asquite He went away with Rachel Carter and if she were some fantastic curileft your mother to die of a broken leading the horses. Gwynne and his osity. heart. He went off Into the wilderness servant hurried through the darkness The contrast between this surpriswith that bnd, evil woman. Tour toward the light In the kitchen window. creature and the gingham aproned ing mother was unhappy. She died. She The former rapped politely on the door. Eliza was unbelievable. There was is under the ground up In the grave It was opened by Mrs. Striker, a tall. but one She was the explanation: woman under well He Rachel all her alone. comely Carter put thirty. yard, mistress of the bouse, Eliza the servbeaver. there, Kenneth. I cannot ask you to removed his tall, ant not husband haa instruct be "Madam, your hate your father. It would "Now's your chance to get at the right He Is your father in. spite of ed my servant to leave our belongings lookln'-glasMr. said everything. You know what the Good In your kitchen. I fear they are not Striker. "Right thereGwynne," In the slttln' Book says? 'Honor thy father and"- - ' overly clean. Tour kitchen Is as clean as a pin. Shall I Instruct him to return room. Go ahead ; 111 manage this." how does the rest of It go, my lad?" Seated In a big wooden rocker bewith them to the barn snd " father and mother "'Honor thy thy fore the fireplace, Gwynne stretched them in she In," that thou days may be long upon thou said, melting "Bring earth, " murmured Kenneth, bravely spite of herself as she looked down from out his long legs one after the other;d "When yon are a little older you will the doorstep Into his dark, smiling eyes. Zaehariah tugged at the heavy, riding-bootrealize that your father did not honor His strong, tanned face was beardless, "Dere won't never be any mo'nin'," his father and mother, and then yon his teeth were white, his abundant may understand more than you do now, brown hair tousled and boyishly awry gulped the unhappy Zaehariah, bendand there were mud splashes on his ing lower to his task, which now had But you may hate Rachel Carter. Tou s at the botmust hate her. She killed your mother. check and chin. He was fall and to do with the Then She stole your father. She made an or- straight and his figure was shapely. toms of bla master's trouser-legs- . s down over phan of you. She destroyed the home despite the thick blue cspe that hung he pulled the trouser-legwhere you used to live. Too must not from hia shoulders. "I guess they the boots, obscuring their upper glory; be unhsppy over what I have told you. ain't any dirtier than Phln Striker's after which be smoothed out the Everything will be all right with you. boots are by, this time o' the year. Sup- - wrinkles and fastened the Instep Tou will be safe here with granny and per'Il be ready in ten or fiteen minutes. straps. Whereupon, Kenneth arose, ' me. But you must no longer believe Mr. Gwynne." stamped severely on the hearth sevHis smile broadened. He sniffed eral times to settle his feet la the that your father went to the war Ilka boots, and tamed to the other men In the village. If he were gratefully. A far more exacting woman than Eliza Striker would have for looking glass. He was wielding the my son, I would " "Lon't say It, Richard," cried Ken given this lack of dignity on his part. comb with extreme rare and precision Zaehariah deposited the saddlebags when his host turned from the winneth's grandma, from the doorway behind them. "Don't ever say that to and rolls In the corner and then re- dow and approached. turned to the door, where be received him." "'Pears to me the worst Is over, Instructions which sent him bark to don't you reckon so?" said he, CHAPTER I open a bulging saddlebag and remove Kenneth, having adjusted his stock r therefrom a pair of soft, almost satiny and white collar to salt his calfskin boots. As he hurried past Mrs. most exsctlng eye, slipped his arms Shelter for the Night. Night was falling as two horsemen Striker be held them up for her Inspec- Into the coat Zacharlab was holding drew rein In front of a cabin at the tion, grinning from ear to ear. She for him, settled the shoulders with a gazed In astonishment at the white and shrug or two and a pull at the flaring edge of a clearing In the somber forest. A man stood portlnlly silver ornamented tops, such as were lapels, smoothed his yellow brocaded revealed In tie doorway. His left arm affected by only the most fastidious waistcoat carefully, and then, spreadand shoulder were screened from view dandles of the day. ing his long, shapely legs and at the "Well, I never 1" she exclaimed, and same time the talis of bis coat, IotI by the Jamb, his head was bent for ward as he peered Intently through then went to the sitting room to whis a commanding position with his back nnrrowed eyes at the strangers In the per excitedly to the solitary occnpnnt to the blazing logs. who. It so chanced, was at the mo road. "Are you referring to my toilet, Mr, "Who are you, and what do you ment busily and hastily employed Striker?" he inquired amiably. want?" he called out. rearranging her brown, windblown "I was talktn' abont the storm." ex"Friends. How fur Is It to the tav hair before the round-toppelittle plained Phlneas hastily. "Are yoe looking-glasover the fireplace. em at Clark's I'olntr plsnntn' to work the farm yourself, "I thought you nald you wasn't gotn' Mr. Gwynne, or are you goln' to sell "Clark's Point Is three miles back," replied the settler. "Where you bound to see hlra," observed Mrs. 8trlker, er rent on shares?" after Imparting her Information. "If ferr Gwynne looked at him In surprise. I guess we're off the you ain't what are you fills' yourself "Ton 'Lafayette. appear to know who I am, after road. We took the left turn four up fer?" right Mr. Striker." all, "I have changed my mind, Ellis," or five miles hark." "Wbafa takln'you to Clark's Point? said the young lady, loftily. How does There ain't no tavern there." my hair look?" Kenneth meets handsome I left. Craw"Tou'vt got the purtlest hair la all "My name Is Gwynne. and mysterious young woman. ,. fordsvllle this morning, hoping to reach the" "Don't be sill. It's terrible, the road Lafsyette before night But is so beat- we coulda't " of Ue time." TO M OONTlMUauJ tngly Into the child's face, bis bushy eyebrows meeting In a frown. "The devil of it Is," he burst out. yon are the living Image of your fa ther. Tou are going to grow np to look like him." He groaned audibly, and went on In a strange, bard voice : Do you know what It is to steal? It means taking something that belongs to somebody else." "Yes, sir. Thou shalt not steal.' It's . at" 1 well-fille- d d sorry-lookin- g s, mud-ceJte- boot-strap- snug-fittin- roll-ove- g Hia Tucked Him Big Feather Bed. Granny in His The rest of the sentence was lost to him when she suddenly lowered her voice. They were all looking at him. Presently his grandfather called to him, and beckoned with his finger. His grandfather took him on his knee, and then and there told hlra the truth about his father. "Now, pay strict attention. Kenneth Ton must understand everything I ssy to you. Do you hear? Tour father Is never coming home. We told yoo he had gone to tht war. We thought It was beat to let you think so. It Is time for you to know the truth. You are nearly six years old. Quite a trmn. my lad." lie paused to look search d s - '