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|Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
". ' ''" :" ' . A-- v THE BINGHAM NiwS ' 1 - the BRANDlfe W, CUflKIUUX UV fcTHAIUMC NKWUH BIKT. of Mm but with a ton of horror to my heart. It It hadn't been for you, I might never have thought of hln no other way forever. But what y:' did t me, Prosper, you with yota white-ho- t brain and your gray-col- d heart, you with your music and your talk throbbing and whining about my soul, what you did to me has made Pierre's Iron a very gentle thing. I fave not acted In the play you wrote, play you maile out of me and my unhnppiness without understanding Just what It was that you did to me. Perhaps If It hadn't been for the play, I might even have believed that you were capable of something better than that passion you had once for me but not now. Never now can I be-lieve It What you make other people suffer Is material for your own suc-cess, and you delight In It. Tou make notes upon It. rierre was mad certainly, she had gone far ahead of her husband In learning. In a certain sort of mental and social development. Pierre was filled with doubt and with dread, with un almost unbearable And at the same time he was tilled with a nameless fear of what Joan might herself have become. lie stood with his hand on the knob of that half-opene- d door, bent his head, and drew some deep, uneven breaths. lie thought of Ilolllwell as though the man were standing beside him. lie stepped In quietly, shut the door, and walked without hesitation down the passageway Into the little sunny sitting room. There, before the through loving me, too Ignornntly, too jealously, but what you did to me was through loving me too little. That was a brand upon my bruin and soul. Sometimes since then that scar on my shoulder has seemed to me al-most like the memory of a caress. I went away frotn Pierre, leaving him for dead, ready for death myself. When you left me, you left me alive and ready for what sort of living? It has been Pierre's love and his follow-ing after me that have kept me from low and beastly things. I've run from him, but I've run clean and free." She began to tremble. "Will you say anything more to me and to my man?" Prosper' face wore Its old look of the winged demon. He waa co'd In his angry pain. "Just one thing to your man, per-haps. If you will allow me, but per-haps you'll tell hi n? that yourself. That his method Is the right one, I admit. But In one respect not even a brand will altogether preserve prop-erty rights. Morena ould say some-thing on that score. f!o could 1. . . ." "Hush !" Bald Joan ; "I will tell him myself. Pierre, I left you for dead and I went away with this man, and after a while, because I thought you were dead, and because I was alone and sorrowful and weaK, and because, perhaps, of what my mother was, I I" She fell away from Pierre, crouched against the slle of the door, and wrapped the curfhln round her face. "He told me you were dead " The words came muftiei. Pierre had let her go and turned to Prosper. His own face was a mask of rage. Prosper knew that It was the Westerner's Intention to kill. For a minute, no longer, he vtas a lightning channel of death. But Pierre, the Pierre shaped during the last four difficult years, turned upon his own writhing, savage soul and forced It to submit. It was as though he fought with his hands. Sweat broke out on him. At last, he stood and looked at Prosper with sane, stern eyes. "If that's true what you hinted, if that's true what she wf s tryln' to tell. If It's even partly true,1 he said pain-fully, "then It was me that brought It upon her, not you a a' not herself. CHAPTF.R XI Continued. 25 Pierre kept beside him and stood by the motor, hat still in his hand, while the doctor talked Irritably : "No. You certainly can't see her, for some time. I shall not allow anyone to see her except the nurse. It will be a matter of weeks. She'll be lucky If she gets back her sanity at all. She was en-tirely out of her head there at the theater. She's worn out, nerves frayed to a frazzle. Horribly un-healthy life and unnatural. To take a country girl, an Ignorant, untrained, healthy animal, bring her to the city, and force her under terrific pressure into a life so foreign to her well! it w'as Just a piece of d d brutality." Then his acute eye suddenly fixed Itself on the man standing on the curb listening. "You're from the West yourself?" "Yes, sir." "Knew her In the old days eh?" "Yes, sir." Pierre's voice was faint and he put a hand against the motor. "Well, why don't you take her back with you to that life? You're not feeling any too fit yourself, are you? Look here. Get in and I'll drop you where you belong." Pierre obeyed rather blindly and leaned back with closed eyes. The doctor got out a flask and poured him a dose of brandy. "What's the trouble? Too much New York?" Pierre shook his head and smiled. "No, sir. I've been bothered and didn't get around to eating and sleep-ing lately." "Then I'll take you to a restaurant and we'll have supper. I need some-thing myself And, look here, I'll make you a promise, Just as soon as I consider her fit for an Interview with anyone, I'll let you see Miss West. That helps you a whole lot, doesn't itr But there were other powers, be-sides this friendly one, watching over Joan, and they were bent upon keep-ing Pierre away. Day after sickening day Pierre came and stood beside the desk, and the girl, each time a little more careless of him, a little more In-solent toward him for the cowboy would not notice her blouse and her transformation and the Invitation of her eyes gave him negligent and dis-couraging Information. "Miss West was better, but very weak. No. She wouldn't see anyone. Yes, Mr. Morena could se her, but not Mr. Landis, certainly not Mr. Pierre Landis of Wyoming" And the doctor, being questioned by the half-franti- c Westerner, admitted that Mr. Morena had hinted at reasons why It might be dangerous for the patient to aee her old friend from the West. Pierre stood to receive this sentence, and after It hla eye fell. The doctor had seen the quick, desperate moisture In them. "I tell you what, Landis," he said, putting a hand on Pierre's shoulder. "I'm willing to take a risk. Tin sure of one thing. Miss West hasn't even beard of your Inquiries." "You mean Morrna's making it up about her not being willing to see me?" "I do mean that. And no doubt be'a doing It with the best Intentions. But Tm willing to take a risk. See those stairs? You run up them to the fifth floor. The nurse is out. Gael Is In attendance; that is, he's In the sitting-room- . She doesn't know of his presence, hasn't been allowed to see him. Miss West's door the outside one Is ajnr. (Jo up. Get past Gael If you can. Ilehave yourself quietly, and if you se the lent sign of weak-ness on the jart of Miss West, or If she shows the slightest disinclination for your company, come down I'm trusting you as quickly as you can and tell me. I'll wait. Have I your promise?" "Yes, sir," gasped Pierre. The doctor stalled at the swift, leap-ing grace of bis western friend's ascent. He was anxfous concerning crackling open fire, sat Prosper Gael. Prosper, It seemed, was alone in the small, silent place. He was sit-ting on the middle of his spine, as usual, with his long, thin legs stretched out before him and a veil of cigarette smoke before his eyes. He turned his bead idly, expecting, no doubt, to see the nurse. Pierre, white and grim, stood look-ing down at him. The older man recognized hlra at once, but he did not change his posi-tion by a muscle, merely lounged there, Ills head against the side of the cush-ioned chair, the brilliant, surprised gaze changing slowly to amused con-tempt. His cigarette hung between the long fingers of one hand, Its blue spiral of smoke rising tranquilly Into a bar of sunshine from the window. "The doctor told me to come up," said Pierre gravely. He was aware of the Insult of this stranger's attitude, but he waa too deeply stirred, too deeply suspenseful, to be Irritated by It. He seemed to be moving In some ' rare, disconnected atmosphere. "I have his permission to see to see Miss West, If she Is willing to see me." Prosper flicked off an ash with his little finger. "And you believe that she Is willing to see you, Pierre Lan-dis?" he asked slowly. Pierre gave him a startled look. "You knowmy name?" "Yes. I believe that four years ago, on an especially cold and snowy night, I interrupted you In a rather extraor-dinary occupation and gave myself the pleasure of shooting you." With that he got to hla feet and stood before the mantel, negligently enough, but ready to his fingertips. Pierre came nearer by a stride. He had been stripped at once of his air of high detachment. He was pale and quivering. He looked at Prosper with eyes of Incredulous dread. "Were you tnat man?" A tide of shamed scarlet engulfed him and he dropped his eyes. "I thought thut would take the as-surance out of you," said Prosper. "As a matter of fact, shooting was too good for you. On thut night you for-feited every claim to the consideration of mun or woman. 1 have the fight of any decent citizen to turn you out of here. Do you still maintain your Intention of asking for an Interview with Miss Jane West?" Pierre, half-blin- d with humiliation, turned without a word and made his way to the door. He meant to go away nnd kill himself. The purpose was like iron In his mind. That he should have to stand and, because of his own cowardly fault, to endure In-sult from this contemptuous stranger, made of life a garment too stained, too Rhameful to be worn. He was In baste to be rid of It Something, how-ever, barred his exit. He stumbled back to avoid It. There, holding aside the curtain Id the doorway, stood Joan. This time there was no possible doubt of her Identity. She was wrapped In a long blue gown, her hair had fallen In braided loops on either side of her face and neek. The unchanged eyes of Joan under her broad brows looked up at htm. She was thin and wan, unbelievably broken and tired and hurt, but she was Joan. Pierre could not but forget death t sight of her. He staggered forward, and but me." He turned back to Joan, drew the curtain from her face, drew down her hands, lifted her and carried her to the couch beside the Jre. There she shrank Iway from him, tried to push him back. - "It's true, Pierre; not that about Morena, but the rest is true. It's true. Only he told me you were dead. But you weren't no, don't take my hands. I never did have denllngs with Ilolll-well. Indeed, I loved only you. But you must hnve known me better than I knew myself. For I am bad. I am bad. I left you for dead and I went away." He had mastered her hands, both of them In one of his, and he drew them close to his heart. "Don't Joan! Hush, Joan! You mustn't. It was my doings, gel, all of It. Hush!" He bent and crushed his Hps against hers, silencing her. Thn she gave way and clung to him, sobbing. After a while Pierre looked up at Prosper Gael. All the patience and the hunger and the beauty cf his love possessed his face. There was simply no room In his heart, for any lesser thmg. "Stranger," he said In the grave nnd gentle western speech, "I'll have to ask you to leave me with my wife." Prosper made a curious, silent ges-ture of and went out, feel-ing his way before him. It was half an hour Inter when the doctor came softly to the floor and held bnck the curtain in his hand. lie did not say anything and, after a silent minute, he let fall the curtain and moved softly away. He was re-assured as to the success of his experi-ment He had seen Joan's face. TUB END the result T h!s experiment, but there was a memory upon him of a haunted look In Join's eyes flmt seemed the fellow to a look of Plprre's. lie rather believed In Intuitions, especially bis own. CHAPTER XII The End cf the Trail. At the t'.p of the fourth fllt'lit of steps Pierre found himself facing a door that stood njur. Iieyond that door was Joan nnd be knew not what ex-perience oT discovery, .of explanation, nf punishment. What he had suffered since the iilu-li-t of his cruelty would he nothing to what he mlchf nave to suffer now at the hands of the woman lie had lovrd and hin t. That she was In-credibly chamrefl he knew; what had hnppeiiel lo change her he did not know. TtWit she had suffered greatly was certain. One could not look at the face ef Jane West, even under Its disguise ef pain and pencil, without a shnrp realization of profound and embittering experience. And. Just as sue, putting up tier arms, drew him hungrily anil let fall her head upon his shoulder. "Sly gel I My Joan t" Pierre sobbed. Prosper's voice sawed Into their tremulous silence. "So, after all, the branding Iron Is the proper Instrument," he said. "A man can always recognize his estray, and when she Is recognized che will come to heel." Joan pushed Pierre from her vio-lently anil turned upon Prosper duel. Her voice broke over bltu In a tumult of soft scorn. "You know nothlnt: of lovlns. Pros-per dael, not the first letter of hiving. Nobody lias learned that about you us well as I have. Now, listen and I will teach you something. This Is something that I have learned. There are worse wounds than I had from I'lerre, nnd It Is by the hands of such men as you are that they are given. The hurts you net from love, they boiil. Pierre was mad, he was a bcat. be branded me as though I had been h beast. For looi years 1 couldn't think V Will Not Laugh In Captivity. Some of us who have been fortunate enough to get a glimpse of a properly slocked zoological garden have seen the laughing Jackass, and. with one accord we have all wondered why he is so called. In captivity he dues not lau:;li, nor even smile, and there ts little or no resemblance, that we can trace, to our friend the Jackass. The fact Is that he is found In Australia nnd he laughs at his lust only when at liberty In his habitat, and then he laughs vociferously in the morning and evening. His luuph is a loud, rau-cous noise, iiiuih like a mocUii;' laugh, hut hideous In the extreme. A tamily of these Idnls happening to lo cute near one's borne will pretty nigl drive the humans to desperation. Tucj are extremely curious and wiM spend hours uutchlnj humans at worn. They are also attracted by the music or a church and IH fiaunl such Ic-ii- l ties during servl e, every otu-- In a wlill n !, nK their aid vuiu their U'lii.V "Until." WOMEN! BEWARE! REFUSE IMITATIONS Warning I Not All Package Dyet Are "Diamond Dyes." Always ask for "Diamond Dyes" and If you don't see the name "Diamond Dyes" on the package refuse it hand It back! Each 15-ce- package of "Diamond Dyes" contains directions so simple any woman can dye or tint skirts, dresses, waists, sweaters, stockings, kimonos, coats, draperies, coverings everything new, even If she has never dyed before. Choose any color at drug store. Refuse substitutes ! 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The gentle lubricant, y Nujol, penetrates and softens the hard food waste and thus o,iy astens ts passage through and out of the body. Thus Nujol tLum brings internal cleanliness. Ao a Medicine Nujol is used in leading hospitals and is prescribed by physicians through-out the world. Nujol is not a medicine or laxative and cannot gripe. Like pure water it is harmless. Get rid of constipation and avoid disease by adopting the habit of inter-nal cleanliness. Take Nujol as regularly as you brush your teeth or wash your face. For sale by all druggists. """"" rir "I" iiWhsvlS I - Rte. us. fr. off. ."'Z. ,' I For Internal Cleanliness lH4M: UW " , : ill II I in mi ii i iii mi mm ill 7..,"' ',. 1mmmm , Showed Fido the House A woman currying a little dug In her arms was riding In a bus that wont along Park lane. All the way-u-she worried the conductor to know whether they bad come to No. , men-tioning a house nearly at the top. When they reached the number the conductor halted the bus, thinking the woman wished to alight there. Instead of doing this, however, she went to the doot of the bus and, holding up the dog, said : "Look, Fldo, that's where your mother was born !" The Firing Point. "How lung do you generally keep your maids?" "Oh, until Uiey begin to Rhow how sorry they are for my husband." Boston Transcript. She Waa Safe "What are you duai, Doris?" "I'kc writing a letter to Malale." "Hut, durling, you don't know how t write." "Put's all right. Malsle den't know how to rend." ' Size of the Human Body Authorities differ In fixing the num-ber of square feet of the surface of Pie human body, there being no fixed limit owing to the valntlons In size, but a man of 5 feet 8 Inches weighing around 17." pounds has a skin surface of approximately 10 sqm re feet. The larger men nnd women measure more, some of them very much more, while some of the more diminutive bodies hnve a measurement as low as 10 equnre feet. It takes a woman to make every word tell when It comes to imparting secrets".