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About The Lebanon express. (Lebanon, Linn County, Or.) 1887-1898 | View Entire Issue (May 21, 1896)
COPTtlCNT, llM, iY BWSaSii ,,
' ' CHATTER L
As Clarence Brant, president of the
Robles Land company, and husband of
the rich widow of John Peyton, ol the
Kobles ranch, mingled with the outgo
ing audience of the Cosmopolitan thea-
tcr at San Francisco, he elicited the
usual smiling nods and recognition due
to his good looks and good fortune, llut
an he hurriedly slipped through the still
lingering winter's rain into the smart
coupe that was awaiting him, and gave
the order "homo, the word struck mm
with a peculiarly Ironical significance.
Bis home was a handsome one, and
lacked nothing inappointmentand com
fort, but he had gone to the theater to
evade its hollow loneliness. Nor was it
1 because his wife was not there, for he
had a miserable consciousness that her
temporary absence had nothing to do
with his homelessness.
The distraction of the theater over,
that dull, vague, but aching sense of
loneliness which was daily growing up-
jn him, returned with greater vigor.
He leaned back in the coupe, and
rloomily reflected. '
He hod been married scarcely a year,
yet even in the illusions of the honey
moon, the woman, older than himself
nr.il the widow of his old patron, had
ti ff Unconsciously reasserted herself,
Uhu slipped back into the domination of
br old position.
It was at first pleasant enough this
hull maternal protectorate, which is
even apt to mingle with the affections
of younger women and Clarence in his
easy half-feminine intuition of the sex,
yielded, as the strong are apt to yield,
through the very consciousness of their
own superiority. But this is a quality
the weaker are not apt to recognize, and
the woman who has once tasted equal
power with her husband, not only does
not easily relegate it, but even makes
its continuance a test of the affections.
The usual triumphant feminine con
clusion: "Then you no longer love me,"
, had in Clarence's brief experience gone
even farther and reached its inscruta
ble climax "then I no longer love you"
although shown only in a momentary
hardening of the eye and voice. And add
ed to this was his sudden but confused
remembrance that he had seen that eye
and heard that voice in marital alterca
tion during Judge Peyton's life, and
that he himself, her boy partisan, had
sympathized with her.
Yet, strange to say, this had given
him more pain than her occasional
ot her reversions to the past to her old
suspicions of him when he was a youth
ful protege of her husband's, and a
presumed suitor of her adopted daugh
High natures are more apt to forgive
w rang done to themselves than any Ab
et met injustice. And her capricious
tyranny over her dependents and serv
ants, or an unreasoning enniily to a
neighbor or friend, outraged bis finer
sense more than her own misconception
of himself. Nor did he dream that this
was a thing mostwomen seldom under
stand, or understanding, ever forgive.
- The coupe rattled over the stoues or
swirled through the muddy pools of the
main thoroughfares. Newspapers and
telegraphic offices were still brilliantly
lit, and crowds were gathered amonfr
the bulletin boards. He knew that news
' had arrived from Washington thateven
ing of the first active outbreaks of seces
sion, and that the city was breathless
Had he not just come from the thea
ter where certain insignificant allu
sions in the play had been suddenly
caught up and cheered or hissed by
hitherto unknown partisans, to the
dumb astonishment of a ninjority of the
nudiencc comfortably settled tomoney
gctting and their own affairs alone?
Had he not applauded, albeit half scorn
fully, the pretty actress his old play
mate Susy-wlio had audaciously and
all incongruously waved the American
flag in their faces?
Yes! he had known it; had lived for
the last few weeks in an atmosphere
electrically surcharged with it and yet
it had chiefly affected him in his person
al homelessness. For his wife was a
southerner, a born slaveholder, anil a
secessionist, whose noted prejudices to
the north had even outrun her late '1 us
i At firstthe piquancy and recklessness
of her opinionative speech amused him
as part of her characteristic flavor, or
as a lingering youthfulness, which the
maturer intellect always pardons.
' t He had never taken her politics seri
ouslywhy should he? With her heat1
' on his shoulder he had listened to hex
. he had forgiven her outrageous indict
mentsof his caste and his associates for
- the sake of the imperious but handsome
lips that uttered them.
Hut when he was compelled to listen
to her words echoed and repeated by
her friends and fnmily; when he found
that with the clannishness of her race
she had drawn closer to them in this
controversy that she depended upon
them for her intelligence and informa
tion rather than upon him he, had
awakened to the reality of his situation.
Ho had borne the allusions of her
brother, whose old scorn for his de
pendent childhood had been embittered
by her sister's marriage, and was now
scarcely rconcenled. - " ' ,
Yet while he had never altered his
own polities! faith and social creed in
.ihtt totkwiililti" atmdipherii hi kid
1 often wondered, with hie old conscien
tiousness and characteristic self-abne
ration, whether his own political con
victions were not merely a revulsion
from his domestic tyranny and alien
In the midst of this gloomy rotro-
sirect the coupe stopped with a jerk
before his own house. The door was
quickly opened by a servant who ap
peared to uc awaiting him.
"Some one to bcc you in the library
sir." said the mini, "and" he hesitated
and lookvti toward the coupe.
"Well," said Clarence, impatiently,
"He said, sir, as how you were not to
send away the cavriage.
"Indeed, and who is it?" demanded
"Mr. Hooker. He said I was to saj
Jim Hooker." ' "
The momentary annoyance in Clar
ence's face changed to a look of re
"He said he knew you were at the
theater, uud he would wait until you
came home,':' continued the man, dubi'
ouslv watching his master's face. "He
don't know you've come in, sir and
unu 1 can easily get rid of him."
"NO mutter now. I'll see him-rfind,
added Clarence with a faint smile, "let
the carriage wait"
Yet as he turned toward the library
he was by no means certain that an in
terview with the old associate of his
boyhood under Judge Peyton's guard.
ianship would divert his mind. Yet he
let no trace of his doubts nor of his past
gloom show in his face as he entered
Mr. Hooker was apparently examin
ing the elegant furniture and luxurious
ucconimodatious with his usual resent
ful enviousness. Clarence had got a
"soft thing." That It was more or less
the result of his "artfulness," and that
he was unduly "puffed up" by it, were
in Hooker s characteristic reasoning
As his host smilingly advanced with
outstretched hand, Mr. Hooker's efforts
to assume a proper abstraction of man
ner and contemptuous indifference to
Clarence's surroundings, which should
wound his vanity, ended in his lolling
back at full length in the chair with hiB
eyes on the ceiling. But, remembering
suddenly that he was really the bearer
of a message to Clarence, it struck him
that his supine position was, from a
theatrical view point, infelicitous.
In his experienee of the stage he had
never delivered a message in that way.
He rose Awkwardly to his feet.
"It was so good of you to wait," said
'Saw you in the theater," said Hook
er, brusquely. "Third row in par
quet. Busy said it waa you and had
suthin' to say to you. Suthin you
ought to know," he continued, with a
slight return of his old mystery oT
manner, which Clarence so well remem
bered. "You saw her she fetched the
house with that flog business, eh? She
knows which way the cat is go in' to
jump you bet. I tell you, for all the
blowing of these secessionists, the
nuiun's goin' to pay! Yes, sir!" He
stopped, glanced around the handsome
room and added, darkly: "Mebbe bet
ter than this."
With the memory of Hooker's char
acteristic fondness for mystery still in
his mind, Clarence overlooked the In
nuendo, and said, smiling:
Why didn't you bring Mrs. Hooker
here? I should have been honored with
Mr. Hooker frowned slightly at this
seeming levity. "Never goes out after
a performance. Nervous exhaustion.
Left her at our rooms in Market street.
We can drive there in ten minutes.
That's why I asked the carriage to
Clarence hesitated. Without caring
in the least to renew the acquaintance
of his old playmate and sweetheart, a
meeting that night in some vague way
suggested to him a providential diver
sion. Nor was he deceived by any
gravity in the message; with his re
membrance of Susy's theatrical ten
dencies, he was quite prepared for any
capricious futile extravagance.
"You are sure we will not disturb
her?" he said, politely.
Clarence led the way to the carriage.
If Mr. Hooker expected him during the
journey to try to divine the purport
of Susy's message he was disappointed.
His companion did not allude to it,
possibly looking upon it as a combined
theatrical performance. Clarence pre
ferred to wait for Susy as the better
The carriage rolled rapidly through
the now deserted streets and, at last,
under the directions of Mr. Hooker,
who was leaning half out of the win
dow, it drew up at a middle-class res
taurant, on whose still lit and steam
ing windows were some ostentatious
ly public apartments, accessible from
a side entrance.
As they ascended the staircase to
gether It became evident that Mr.
Hooker was scarcely more at his ease
in the character of host than he had
been as guest.
He stared gloomily at a descending
visitor, grunted audibly at a waiter in
the passage, and stopped before a door
where a recently deposited tray dis
played the half-eaten carcass of a fowl,
an empty champagne bottle, two holt
whole possago was redolent with a
lingular blending of damp cooking,
tale cigarette smoke and patchouli.
Putting the tray aside with his foot,
Mr. Hooker opened the door hesitating
ly and peered into the room, muttered
a few indistinct words, which were fol
lowed by a rapid rustling of skirts.and
then, with his hand still on the. door
knob, turning to Clarence, who had dis
creetly halted on the threshold, flung
the door open theatrically and bade
"She Is somewhere in the suite," he
added, with a large wave of the hand
towards a door that was still oscillat
ing. "He here In a niiiilt,"
Clarence took in the apartment with
a quick glance. Its furniture had the
frayed and discolored splendors of n
public parlor which had been privately
used and maltreuted ; there were stain
in the largo medallioued carpet, the
gilded veneer hud b.'cn chipped from a
heavy center tublc, showing the rough,
white deal beneath, which gave it the
appearance of a stage "property," the
walls paneled with gilt-framed mir
rors reflected every domestic detail or
private relaxation with ahumoless pub
licity. A damp waterproof shawl and open
newspaper were lying across the once
brilliant sofa; a powder puff, a plate
of fruit and a play book were on the cen
ter table, and at the mnrble topped
sideboard was Mrs. Hooker's second
best hat, with a soiled collar, evidently
but lately exchanged for the one he
had on, peeping over Its brim.
The whole apartment seemed to min
gle the furtive disclosures of the dressing-room
with the open ostentations of
the stage, with even a slight sugges
tion of. the auditorium in u few scat
tered programmes on the floor and
The inner door opened again with a
liplit theatrical start, and Susy iu an
elaborate dressing gown moved lan
guidly into the room.
She apparently hud not had time to
change her underskirt, for there was
the dust of the stage on Its delicate
luce edging uu she threw herself into on
armchair and crossed her pretty slip
pered feet before her.
.Her face was pale, its pallor incau
tiously increased by powder, and as
Clarence looked at Its still youthful,
charming outline he was not pe rhaps
forry that the exquisite pink and white
skin beneath, which he had once hissed,
was hidden from that awakened recol
lection. Yet there was little traoe of the girl
ish Susy iu the pretty but prematurely
jaded actress before him, and he felt
momentarily relieved. It was her you 111
and freshness appealing to his own
youth and imagination that he had
loved not her.
Yet as she greeted him with a slight
exaggeration of glance, voice and man
ner, he remembered that even as a girl
she was an actress.
Nothing of this, however, was in his
voice and manner as he gently thanked
her for the opportunity of meeting her
again. And he was frank for the di-
'Tti only towoi word, to have ber ihut up
in Fort AlMtrM Uu very night." .
version he had expected he had found;
he even was conscious of thinkiug more
kindly of his wife who had supplanted
"I told Jim he must fetch you, If ho
had to carry you," she said, striking
the palm of her hand with her fnn.nud
glauciag at her husband; "I reckon he
guessed why though I didn't tell him
I don t tell Jim everything."
Here Jim arose, and, looking ot bis
watch, "guessed lie d run over to the
Lick house and get some cigars."
If he was acting upon some hint from
his wife his simulation was so badly
done that Clarence felt his first sense
of uneasiness. But as Hooker closed
the door awkwardly and ostentatiously
behind him, Clarence smilingly said he
nau waited to hear the message from
her own lips.
"Jim only knows what he's heard out
side; the talk of men, you know, and he
hears a good deal of that; more, per
haps, than you do. It was that which
put me up to finding out the truth,
And I didn't rest till I did. I'm not to
be fooled, Clarence you don't mind mv
calling you Clarence, now we're both
married and done for and I'm not the
kind to be fooled by anybody from the
low counties and that a the liobles
rancho. Tmasoutlicrn woman myself,
from i Missouri, but I'm for the union
first, last and all the time, and 1 call
myself a match for any lazy, dawdling,
lash-slinging slaveholders and slave-
holderesscs whether they're mixed
blood Jieaveu onlv knows, or wlmt -r
their 'friends or relations or the dirty
nan spanian. grandees and their mixed
half nigger peons who truckle to them.
You bet!" ' ,
His blood had Stirred nuicklv m thn
mention oi tne Homes rancho, but the
rest of Busy's speech waa too niuoliln
the vein ' of her old extravagance to
toucn nun seriously. :
Ho found himself only considering
how strange it was that the old petu
lance anu impulsiveness of her girlhood
was actually, bringing back with it her
pink cheeks and brilliant eyes.
"You surely didn't ask Jim to brine
me here," he said smilingly, "to tell ine
that Mrs. Peyton" he corrected him
self hastily, as a malicious sparkle came
into Susy's blue eyes "that my wife
-wil I MiUltfH woman, and prba
Blackwiu's Durham Tobacco Company.
vnsraa ror a nmiieo lime, so oroer
to-day. Voura vary truly, ,
I yea km any Affinity In gracarlii veer
top, cat Mil this settee e Mild It wit
w oraer w year
Victor Non Puncturable
' t"ailfa' " '" "'"-im-i iTiiiiiiHi
running wheel on earth. The best is the cheapest in the
end. Largest stock of second-hand wheels on the coast.
Everything as represented. Write for list.
Headquarters for sundries and athletic goods, 130 Sixth
Street and 311 Alder Street, Portland, Oregon.
OVERMAN WHEEL COMPANY.
W. B. Keknan, Manager.
H. Y. Kirkpatrick,
Local Agent, Lebanon, Oregon.
Albany Furniture Co,
BALTIMORE BLOCK, Albany, Oregon.
Furniture, Carpets, Linoleums, matting, otc.
Pictures and Picture molding.
Undertaking a Specialty.
bly sympathized with her class? Well,
1 don't know that I should blame her
for that any more than she should
blame me for being a northern man
and an unionist!"
'And she doesn't blame you?" askeil
The color came slightly into Clar
ence's cheek, but before he could reply
the actress added:
"No she prefers to use you."
"I don't think' I understand you,"
said Clarence, rising coldly.
"No you don't understand her!" re
torted Susy, sharply. "Look here, Clar
ence Brant, you're right! I didn't ask
you here to tell you what you and
everybody knows that your wife is u
southerner. I didn't ask you here Ui
tell you whateverybody suspects thut
she turns you round her little finger,
llut I did ask you here to tell you, what
nobody, not even you, suspects, but i
t'imv i nuuwi nuu Ituab IB tout sue 8
a traitor and more, a spyl And that
I'.vc only got to say the word or send
that man Jim to say the word to have
her dragged out of her copperhead den
.it Cobles rancho, and shut up in Fori
Alcatrez thiB very night!"
Still with the pink glowing in her
rounding cheek, and eyes snapping like
splintered sapphires, she rose to her
met, with her pretty shoulders lifted,
her iiiKi 1 1 lianils and white teeth both
lightly clenched, and took a step to
(To be continued.)
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