Coquille herald. (Coquille, Coos County, Or.) 1905-1917, August 01, 1916, Page PAGE 3, Image 5

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    THE COQUILLE HERALD, Aug. 1, 1916
Bruce with a deadly quiet, "that stead,” ho answered, Jocosely, "you
wouldn't have come here. And I had
m— ■
He got no further. As the two grap­ to see you.”
pled. Eunice's sharp cry of terror
"There is nothing either of us can
aroused the half-crazed revelers to a have to say to the other,” replied
sensu of what was going on.
Eunice, turning to go, "you got me
Duncan Hilliard was a big man and ¿ere by a trick. And—”
powerful. And he was fighting in a
“ And I'll keep you hero by force,
drink-fired rage.
if I have to,” he snapped, “ until you’ve
But presently, youth and clean liv­ heard what I want to say.”
ing began to tell against bulk and
“ I'm broke," he said, before she
drunken fury. Kingston evaded an could speak, “ I’m cleaned out. I’ll
awkward swing, ran in and grappled. have to skip the country inside of a
He slipped his hip behind his foe’s, week, to dodge Jail— unless I can
and with one hand at the iatter’s raise the money that will square me.
throat, exerted all his wiry strength You have about fifty thousand dollars
in a single tremendous heave.
—the money you inherited from your
Hilliard flow backward and landed mother. That will tide me over, nice­
in a panting heap across the end of l y I want it!”
(Cepyrlghl. i « i 6, b, M s WUsoa Woodrow.)
tho sofa, his head striking a table
“ I think,” she said, wonderingly, “ I
think you must have lost your mind.”
"Listen !” Commanded Bruce, glar­
“ You’re married to Bruce Kingston,
to Bruce’s, Cadleigh was playing. Cur­ ing down at the inert body, "listen to
I suppose."
ing a lull in the game, he glanced me, you worthless hulk! Mrs. Hilliard
“ Yes,” she answered, a note of pride
The Silent Shame.
back over his shoulder at Eunice and Is going away with me. She is going
in her voice.
Bruce, and said rather loudly to his to my mother’s home. She will live
“ I supposed you would be,” he
When Eunice Mayne eloped from partner:
with my mother until she can get a smiled. “ I figured you and he would
the convent to marry Duncan Hilliard,
"It looks as if Hilliard will he able divorce from you. Then, please God,
tho very minute you found you
she was fifteen and he was twenty- to get rid of his unwelcome wife, aft­
) 1 am going to marry her. I f you try were divorced from me.”
five. It was the old, dreary tale of er all— with Kingston's kind help.”
to prevent us, the consequences are
“ But we didn't. We— "
"Marry in haste and repent at lei­
Bruce, his eyes ablaze, glanced cov­
on your own head.
“ Well, well, a day or two later,
ertly across the table to see if Eunice
then,” he said, irritably. “ The exact
For Eunice, the repentance set in had heard the beastly speech. Her
date isn’t important. I knew you two
almost at once; for Hilliard it began face was scarlet.
leading her from the room and out of unworldly youngsters would take it
when he first grow tired of his child-
This was too much for Bruco King­
for granted the divorce was O. K., and
wife’s sweet innocence and longed for ston. Impetuously, he pushed back
On the same day, Eunice Hilliard wouldn’t bother to investigate. My
more mature-minded companionship.
his chair, leaped to his feet and was installed as a member of the
dear, I don't like to call you names.
They had but ono child—a daugh­ wheeled about on Cadleigh. The lat­
ter, Ardath—and on this little girl ter, frightened by the fierce menace pleasant little household presided But you’re a very charming—bigam­
ist! W e’re no more divorced than
Eunice contered ail her slighted affec­ ! in Bruce’s look and action, also rose.
tion and her hopes. But, even here, The two men faced each other, in J mother. Her life there was ideally Adam and Eve! You’re my wife, by
law of God and man. And you can be
Duncan did his best to thwart her, j a hot whisper, audible to Cadleigh happy.
Then, one day, came a brief lettei sent to prison for bigamy. You and
For, when Ardath was scarcely more alone, Bruce said:
| from Hilliard. Eunice read and re your precious near-husband, Kingston.
than a baby, he announced that her
“ You have your choice. You will
noisy presence in the house annoved I leave this house within five minutes, : read it, with a great rapture in hei And, by the eternal, you shall be sent
him and he packed the child off to a j or you will take a public thrashing.”
distant hoarding school.
To put on a bold front, Cadleigh
Left alone in the big house with grinned, as though in absolute indif­
the husband who daily neglected her ference. Then, as Kingston took a
more and more, Eunice tried to find quick step forward, tho other turned
amusement in society. And thus it on heel and walked over to his hos­
was that she met Bruce Kingston.
Bruce was a rising young playwright
‘T’m sorry, Mrs. Hooper,” he said,
— a good-looking, manly fellow and a "but I ’ve Just had a ’phone message
social favorite.
that calls me back to town. Forgive
They saw much of each other, these me for hurrying away like this.”
two lonely young people. And each
On his way to the train, writhing
turned instinctively to the other for over his humiliation, Cadleigh stopped
Yet, in their ac­ at the local telegraph office and
quaintance there was only the fra­ scribbled a dispatch. Smirking with
grance of innocent attraction.
satisfaction, he read what he had
Then came the invitation to Ade­ written:
laide Hooper’s house-party at a ram­ Duncan H illia rd , 1177 Blank Avenue,
bling country place twenty miles from
New Y o rk C ity :
town. Eunice was fond of Mrs. Hoop­
Y ou r w ife eloped tonight w ith
er and she begged her husband to ac­ Kingston. Congratulations.
A F R IE N D .
"There's enough boredom in every­
“ Rush this, please," he said to the
day life without my motoring twenty
miles to look for it," he grunted. “ Go
The telegram reached Duncan Hil­
out there yourself, if you like. I'll
keep bachelor's hall till you get back.” liard at midnight. Hillierd was spend­
ing the evening at home—a thing he
And so it was settled. Eunice ac­
rarely did, nowadays. And, to keep
cepted the invitation, for herself. And
him from utter loneliness, a decidedly
Duncan planned to improve the shin­
gay party had assembled about him—
ing hours of her absence by giving a
a party consisting of several dis­
little part on his own account to half
solute men-about-town and as many
a dozen boon companions of both
pseudo-ahorus girls.
Into this bedlam came a footman
Among the score or so of guests at with the telegram. Hilliard tore open
the Hooper’s, the first to greet Eunice, the envelope and read.
“ Listen to Me, You W orthless H u lk l”
after her arrival, was Bruce Kingston.
"Listen h ere!” he roared to his
His dark young face lightened with guests, waving the yellow slip of pa­ heart. Hurrying to the room where
here, the two of you, unless I get
Bruce and his mother were sitting,
genuine pleasure at sight of her and
hat cash.”
per above his head. "Just listen to she read it aloud to them. It ran:
he welcomed her eagerly.
With a strangled, wordless cry, she
this: A dear old friend of mine sends
flipped past him, before he could stop
As she passed on into the house, a me the good news that my w ife’s
As we both w anted our fre e ­
her, and fled from the house.
fellow-guest, Reggie Cadleigh, strolled eloped with a beggarly writing ehap
dom, I have Just secured a de­
An hour later, Bruce Kingston, nerv­
up to Ilrucc, who stood on the veran­ named Kingston! Hurroo!”
ously wondering whither his bride had
da looking after her. Cadleigh was a
After the unpleasant interruption to
grounds of desertion. You are
gone, received this note, from the
youth with much money and with a the party at Mis. Hooper’s, Eunice
free to m arry Kingston; or any­
soul that would have been invisible started for home in her motor car.
hand of a messenger boy:
on the head of a pin. Bruce detested As Bruce was also returning to the
Bruce, D earest: I find I have
awards me the custody of our
him— partly on his own account and city, she offered him a lift which he
not been legally divorced from
daughter. I wish I had been a
my husband.
I am not your
gladly accepted.
better husband to you. Not th a t
wife. Duncan holds ua both in
" I wish I could have thrashed Cad­
th a t does any great good, to
his power. He w ill send us to
leigh, as he deserved," Kingston was
mm r
saying, as the car drew up at the Hil­
liard townhouse.
“ My fists clench
every time I think of him.”
" I ’m so glad you didn’t strike him !’’
answered Eunice.
"You behaved
splendidly. There is no way I can
thank you for defending me as you
I did. Why, look!” she broke off, point­
ing at the h(#lse, " I wonder what is
! the matter. All the first-floor shades
are drawn. And the lights are burn-
| ing in every room!”
I " I ’ll go in there with you, if you
don't mind,” he volunteered. " If any­
thing is amiss, perhaps I can be of
She thanked him, eagerly, for the
| offer, and together they entered the
i house.
Several of the night’s revelers lay
sleeping on the floor or in chairs.
One or two men were awake; yawn­
ing and grunting. On the edge of a
sofa, sprawled Duncan Hilliard.
“ Duncan!" cried Eunice.
Hilliard, at sound o f his namo,
looked up and saw her standing be­
fore him.
“ Get the blazes out of h ere!” he
| croaked, forcing the words with dlffl-
! culty through his dry throat. “ What
I are you doing here, anyhow?
Evelyn Discovered She W as Trem en­ I eloped with Kingston, didn't you?
dously in Love W ith Him.
1 Stay eloped.'
“ Eloped?” echoed his wife, dura-
partly because Cadleigh had made
various attempts to flirt with Eunice. founded.
"Oh, I’m on, all right,” he growled.
Cadleigh, now catching the look in
Bruce’s eyes, as Eunice vanished in­ “ Don’t try any o f your ‘holier-than-
thou’ ways on me. It's too late for
doors, laughed nastily and said:
“From the way you and she looked that. I know what you are. And I ’m
at each other, you must be luckier going to tell you. You re— ”
i "One moment. Mr. Hilliard," quietly
than I was, Mr. Kingston.”
Bruce reddened with anger. But, interposed Bruce, stepping forward to
outwardly, he was calm, as he made Eunice’s side, “ you say you are go­
ing to tell Mrs. H llllarl what she is.
"You are quite right, Mr. Cadleigh. I f you tell her she is anything but the
I am luckier than you. My parents best and truest wife a drunken cur of
endowed me with clean brains, in­ a husband ever had— why. I'm going
to tell you you lie. And then I’m go­
stead of tainted money.”
He walked away, leaving Cadleigh ing to smash the words down your fat
glowering vindictively
after him. throat, along with your teeth.”
"You’re young Kingston, aren't
Bruce thought no more of the episode.
Cadleigh thought of nothing else, and you?” he growled. ” 1 remember now.
I met you once. You’re the man that's
he itched to repay the slight.
His chance came late that evening. stolen my w ife from me. eh? Weil,
In the drawing room, there were sev­ take her. Good riddarre! Shell be
eral bridge tables. Bruce and Eunice leaving you, next, for— ”
’T v s warned you one*.’’ cut in
were partners at one of them. At
e ith e r of us.
“ Isn’t it wonderful!” cried Eunice
"Glorious!” declared Bruce. "But I
didn't know desertion was a cause for
divorce in New York. But I don’t
know anything about the law.”
"Neither do I,” chimed in Eunice,
"except that it leaves me free to mar­
ry you.”
"Today?” he urged.
“ No, dear,” she refused, with sud­
den gravity. “ To me, divorce is a
sort of death. A widow would not
marry for a year after her husband's
death. And I don't think a divorced
woman should.”
At last, after what seemed to Bruce
Kingston a century of waiting, the
year passed by. And on the morning
of the first anniversary of the di­
vorce, he and Eunice were married.
As soon as they left the church,
Bruce was obliged to go to his
lawyer’s to attend to a matter
c f business that must be settled
before they should start on their
honeymoon. Eunice returned to his
mother's house to wait for him.
There, to her amaze, she found a let­
ter that had Just been delivered.
Eunice read, on the single sheet of
notepaper, this feebly traced scrawl:
I am very tic k . Th e doctors
say I can’t last much longer.
I'll be happier, a t th e finleh of
tho race, to know you had for­
given me. W on 't you spare just
a m inute to come and say good-
I don’t deserve IL
most of us don’t deserve the
things we get.
D. H.
A thrill of pity surged through
Eunice. She was so happy, and the
man who once had been her husband
I * a « dying In misery! At once her
mfnd was made up. Bruce would not
be back for nearly an hour.
Half an hour later she entered the
house she had quitted more than a
year earlier: the house where for
years she had led so wretched a life.
Duncan Hilliard rose from a chair
to greet her.
’’W h y!’’ exclaimed Eunice, in amaze,
“ y o i told me you were very ill!”
" I f I'd said I was very broke, in­
prison if we are together. But
if I vanish, he can't prove any­
thing, and you w ill be safe. So
good-by, my own darling. For-
give me fo r the g rief this must
cause you. But there Is no oth­
er way. I love you.
E U N IC E .
Nor could money or skill or months
of tireless search bring Bruce any
further trace of the woman he adored.
It was eight years since Eunice had
gone out of Bruce Kingston’s life. The
years for ail their glittering success,
had been drearily lonely and miser­
able for him.
And, with the passing o f years,
Eunice became at last a sweet sad
memory to Kingston, rather than a
reality. He began to go about more.
And. at last, at the end of the eighth
year, he once again met a woman
whose look and voice could make his
long-empty heart stir with love.
He me? her, first, when a company
was called together for a reading of
Bruce's new play, "Ropes of Sand,” a
masterpiece, which the manager and
all his friends predicted would be the
crowning hit of Kingston’s brilliant
The manager had "discovered” la
the person of a young girl hitherto un­
heard of an actress of marvelous prom­
ise and beauty.
Her name was Evelyn Eden.
He had little trouble in cultivating
Evelyn’s acquaintance. A t first she
was flattered that she should be
singled out for attention by the fore­
most playwright of the day. But Boon
she began to feel a much warmer per­
sonal interest in the man on his own
In short, Evelyn Eden presently dis­
covered that she was tremendously In
love with Bruce.
Before they had known each other
a month, they were engaged.
They kept the engagement a secret.
They resolved on an early marriage
and decided to keep that a secret, too.
Rehearsals were drawing to an end.
Bruce and Evelyn planned to marry
on the morning of the day scheduled
for tne play's first performance. To­
gether, the afternoon before, they
went to select the wedding ring. Eve­
Page 3
lyn had an errand of her own which
sh" was explaining to Kingston as
they walked thither, side by side.
In the play's last act, the heroine,
cast off by the man she loved, was
supposed to kill herself by sucking
poison from an antique ring she
wore. It was a gruesome, but effec­
tive bit of stagecraft. And it hud to
do with Evelyn’s visit to the jewelry
"You see," she was saying to Bruce,
"the property man has dug up a ring
for me that would be an insult to the
intelligence of a blind kindergarten
It looks no more like an
antique poison-ring than I look like
Julia Marlowe. I hate it."
"The audience won’t know the dif­
ference,” Bruce assured her.
"No,” she assented, “ but I will. How
can I throw myself Into the spirit of
the thing when I’m wearing that tin­
sel hoop? Now here is my great idea:
When I stopped at Ebling & Son's,
yesterday, to have my brooch mended,
I saw tho most wonderful collection
of antiques. And what do you sup­
pose was among them?
A genuine
poison-ring, dating from the Sixteenth
century! Think of that! By press­
ing a bit of the gold tracery around
the base of the stone— it's a topaz—
the stone lifts on a hinge. Inside the
hollow under the topaz is a place for
the poison. And—here is the queer­
est part of the whole story—the hol­
low is still full of poison.”
“ But— Good Lord, sweetheart!" he
objected, “ suppose you should touch
poison itself to your lips, by -mistake?
¡Don't buy the gruesome thing. Please
don’t ! "
"But I want it so!” she pleaded.
And the upshot of their brief argu­
ment was that Bruce not only bought
a wedding ring, but purchased for
her, also, the poison-ring she cov­
As they came out of the shop a
man in the passing crowd halted in
amaze at sight of them. He was florid
of face, gray of hair.
Long and bewildered he stared after
the happy couple. Then a strange
expression crept into his heavy fea­
tures, and slowly he moved on.
‘T v e a surprise for you,” Evelyn
was saying, as she and Bruce turned
homeward. " I had a letter from my
father yesterday. He is coming to
New York. He may get here today
or tomorrow.”
"How long did you say it is since
yoi’.’ve seen him?” asked Bruce, to
whom his sweetheart had told little
about her family.
"N ot for nearly nine years,” she re­
plied. "H e came to the boarding
school for me Just after my mother
died. He said he had lost all his
money in W all street and that he’d
have to go West and start life all over
They were married, with but two
witnesses, early the following day, at
the Little Church Around the Cor­
ner. After which they started in a
taxi to Bruce’s bachelor rooms for
the little tete-a-tete wedding break­
fast that Bruce’s man was to have
ready for them on their arrival.
While Kingston’s servant was set­
ting the table for Bruce and the brido.
there was a*rlng at the apartment’s
front door. A slender, sad-faced wom­
an stood on the threshold as the ser­
vant answered the summons.
"Is Mr. Kingston at home?” she
“ No, madam,” replied the man. " I
expect him back any minute, but—”
"I will come in and wait,” sho de­
As soon as she was alone, the
woman rose quickly from her seat
and crossed the room to the mantel
where stood a large photograph in a
silver frame— a photograph of Evelyn
And thus Eunice Hilliard for the
first time in eight years looked at the
pictured face of her little daughter,
Eunice was still gazing at the pic­
ture, when she heard a key turn In
the outer door. She looked around,
breathless with eagerness, for a sight
o f Bruce. She saw him enter the
apartment with a woman clinging to
his arm. The woman of the photo­
graph—her own little girl of other
"Welcome home, dearest!" she
heard him say as he stooped to kiss
his bride.
Eunice in panic looked about for a
way of escape. There was none she
would have time to reach unseen. She
slipped Into a clothes closet that stood
directly behind her and softly closed
Its door to a crack.
’’T here!” she heard Evelyn say in
mock anger. “ Just see, sir, what you
did to my hair, when you kissed me!
Jt's a wreck. Where can I fix It?”
“ I f you simply must waste perfectly
good time in hair dressing," he told
her, in the same vein, "you can go
into my dressing room, where there's
a glass. It’s right there.”
She fled to repair the damage. And
Bruce, coming back into the living
room, confronted Eunice who had
stepped from the closet.
"Eunice!" he babbled in stark un­
belief; staring as a t a ghost.
"Yea, dear," she answered gently,
as If to a frightened child. “ It Is I.
And—I am too late. But how could
I know? And how could I know It
would be my little girl, Ardath. of
all the women In the world?"
‘‘ Ardath?’’ he repeated dully; then,
"That Is Evelyn Eden, the actress.
I— I married her. This morning.'
"Married?” she echoed, aghast, one
hand clutching her heart. "Married
"No, no,” he explained, miserably.
"Evelyn Eden. Oh. Eunice, why did
you never let me know where you
* were? I hunted so long! 1 was so
heartbroken! I—"
"Your heart is healed; as men’s
hearts have a happy way of healing,
dear,” she said, sadly.
Then the drtssdng room door
opened. Evelyn came in. singing hap­
pily, under her breath. At sight of
the strange woman she halted sur­
prised. But only for a moment After
one searching, Incredulous look, she
ran forward; and with a rapturous
cry of "M other!” flung herself into
punice’s outstretched arms. Bruce
Kingston looked on; dumb, starkly be­
wildered, helpless.
“ Oh, mother, my own beautiful
tnothor!” Evelyn was exclaiming hys­
terically. “ Father said you had died!
He said— ”
“ I know, baby, I know. ” whispered
Eunice, lovingly caressing the head
that lay so blissfully on her breast.
“ I’ll
Keep You H ere by Force, If I
Have To I "
"H e was mistaken. There is mudh to
tell you. But It must wait. And you
are married? To this gentleman, too?
Mr.— Kingston, I think he said his
name was. I was told I might find
you here, little daughter. So I came.
I told Mr. Kingston who I was. And
he was Just telling me about your
marriage when you broke in on us.”
She shot a meaning glance at Bruce,
over her daughter's head He under­
stood. Evelyn was not to know. She
must never know what Eunice had
been to him. In silence he bowed as­
sent to her unspoken dictum.
‘‘Ropes of Sand" was nearing the
end of its first performance. There
could be no doubt as to its success;
or that Broadway would most enthu­
siastically welcome the new leading
woman, Evelyn Eden, to its fellow­
The brief last act had begun. In
thla act Evelyn dill not come on until
live minutes before the fall of the
curtain. Bruce and she had been sit­
ting in her dressing room. He had
Just stepped out in response to a mes­
sage from the manager, when Duncan
Hilliard's card was brought to Evelyn.
A moment later Hilliard strode Into
tho room. She ran to greet him and
he caught her Jovially in his big arms.
His breath reeked of cheap liquor.
“ Daddy!” she cried
"Oh, it’s so
good to see you! I was afraid you
wouldn't get to New York on time.
I— ’’
“ I got here yesterday,” he said. “ I
was on my way to your rooms when
I saw you walking with—■
"You saw me—and you didn’t speak
to me?" she asked, hurt to the quick.
"W hy?”
“ Because you were with— ”
"Daddy!” broke In Evelyn, in Joy­
ous excitement, as Bruce entered.
"This is my husband!”
The two men stood face to face. It
was Hilliard who spoke first.
“ I know him,” he said curtly.
"What?” she asked, amazed. "You’ve
met— ?”
" I met him when he stole my wlfo
from me, nine years ago."
"D ad!” she gasped.
"When he stole her from me and
then cast her off like a— ”
“ You lie !” raged Bruce, his eyes
ablaze, his fists hard clinched.
Brace!” walled the girl,,
dumfounded with horror.
Then in a flash she recalled Eunice'a
lame excuse for her presence In King­
ston's rooms that day. And her heart
died within her.
She opened her lips, as though to
speak. But before the words could
take form, the call-boy hurried in to
summon her to the stage.
Bruce ran at top speed to intercept
his bride. But he was too late. Al­
ready she was on the stage beginning
her great final sceno.
When, at last, sha pressed ths
poison ring to her lips and sank slow-
ly to the floor a wave of unchecked
emotion swept tho audience.
Down came the curtain. Before it
could rise again to the thunder of
applause, Bruce Kingston had dashed
out on the stage and was kneeling at
Evelyn's side. Something In her atti­
tude had filled him with a sudden
hideous suspicion.
Frantically he bent above her, call­
ing her name. Then bis eyea rested
upon the poison ring on the white
little hand that rested too close to her
lifeless face. The stone was swing­
ing back on Its hinge
The poison
hollow was empty.