Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 7, No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, December 6, 1899 Page: 2 of 8
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BY PETEK M’AETHUE.
COPYRIGHT. 1399. BY PETER M’ARTHUR.
brought her ov
several other pt
one could look at hfr perfect figure and
animated face without feeling that she
Could conquer the' most obdurate by
her charms and lutvo her will. Harry
had never seen Inn* looking so bewitch-
ing. for he had utnjerjfseen her so thor-
oughly alert and atloused. Had Esther
not been present to allure and yet re-
pel him with her lMylike sweetness and
nobility of soul it is possible that old
thoughts might have been aroused.
But his e.ves were dwelling constantly
on her pure, calm face, and she seemed
to him more than’ever unattainable.
When the evening was well advanced.
in affairs of the heart a man. espe- !
sully a young man. needs a disinterest-
ed woman to guide, to encourage or to
check him, as the case may require, j
Now. Harry Watson was so fortunate |
as to have a charming widow as his 1
confidant and friend. She was several
years his senior, and he was once very ;
much in love with her—or thought he1
was. She had ppohpoohed his proposal j
and told him that, although she thought '
him a tine, clever young fellow, she I
had no desire to take a boy to raise j
and that he mustn’t talk nonsense. Of
course he was very tragic and visit-
si the west to hunt grizzlies, hoping to
be masticated by one. but he uresently ,
came to his senses and returned to New
“HOW BO YOU EXOW I AM IN LOVE?” !
York. He was naturally rather shame-
i’aced when he met the widow, but she
was so. jolly that he soon forgot his
previous absurdity, and they became
But about the middle of the season a
change came over him. The widow
.wondered a little at first and then smil-
ed. He was absentminded, had no con-
fidences to impart and could no longer
be relied on for an escort.
“Well, Harry,” she finally inquired
when her patience was exhausted,
‘'with whom are you inTove now;?”
do you know.I am fy love?”'.,/:
“Oil, l am familiar withwhiT syrup- j
toms, and besides 1 have seen you in
“No, no!” he-exclaimed ruefully. “I
cover knew until now what love
The widow thought of some wild
protestations she had once heard and
smiled, but her smile was good natured
"Really,” she said, “this looks seri-
ous, and perhaps I was wrong in not
Interfering sooner! But come, tell me
who she is?”
: He nodded.
The widow blushed slightly and
murmured something altogether irrele-
vant about taking a boy to raise, after
all. Them .she- exclaimed:
“That is the first sensible thing 1
have ever known yon to do! Have
you proposed to her yet?”
“No, indeed! She knows nothing of
5low I feel toward her!”
"Perhaps not,” said: the widow.
"Some girls are queer.”
"And . besides she seems altogether
unapproachable. Something seems to
make it almost a sin to think of loving
The widow understood this at once.
Esther’s mother had died, some years
ago. and, being the only daughter.
Esther had become the housekeeper
for her father and brothers, and in
consequence she naturally assumed a
matronly attitude toward young mem.
“You poor boy!” said the widow in
humorous sympathy. “What would
become; of you if it were not for me?
But if you obey my orders Y will guar*,
an tee that you will win her.”
“What must 1 do?” asked Harry,
“Y’ou must go and propose? to Esther
"I haven’t the courage.”
“You don’t need courage. A proper
amount of fear and trembling' helps a
man wonderfully when he is> propos-
Harry-argued for awhile, but the up-
shot of the matter was that he obeyed
the widow and sought-Esther with a
carefully prepared proposal on- the tip
of his tongue. Being so .occupied with
this it was only natural: that his con-
versational .efforts werci-of the blun-
dering bind that would: be cruel to
repeat.. And after the first-few minutes
Esther was no more, at ease than he
was. for-; embarrassment*; is very con-
tagious among lovers, whether they
realize-tiaat they are, in.dove or not.:
Finnlly, after mwclk disjointed- chat.
Harry made the*, plunge, like -a* man
'■losing his eyes and leaping over a
“Miss Townsend, I know that*-,I am
pee— that .1— er—er—I Iqvjmyqu.’.’- ’
. Her reply was au inarticulate mur-
mur of surprise.
“I cannot dare to think that you will
consent to be my wife just now. but
perhaps some day—will you not let me
hope? I will do anything to win your
“Please don’t, don’t, Mr. Watson! It
I He sank back into his chair with a
groan and covered his face with his
”1 am so sorry this has happened.”
she said with forced calmness, "i like, j
you very much, and I thought we were '
always to be friends, but you can see
that it is impossible for me to marry.
It is my duty to take care of papa and |
my brothers and try to take the place |
of my poor mother.”
“I felt from the first.” said Harry
sorrowfully, "that it was hopeless to ;
think of you. Y’ou are too good for me.” ]
“Don’t say that, please, for l like you j
very much more than any one 1 known :
If I ever did lo—marry it would be just j
such a man as you—good, clever and !
generous. But you see that it is impos-
sible, don’t you?”
He looked into her appealing eyes,
but could not answer. Nothing is so
sublimely tragic as a beautiful girl sac-
rificing herself to a mistaken sense of
duty, and she appeared so sublime to
him that he couldn't help thinking her
in the right.
“Please leave me now-. Mr. Watson. I
am so sorry this has happened. You
must forget me—no, not that—for I
shall always like to think of you as a
friend, and when'you have forgotten
this—this—please go. I must be true to .
When Harry had reached the street,
the weight of his disappointment
pressed down on him in the darkness
and maddened him. He loved her
more than ever and was utterly with-
out hope. When he had wralked about
until his sorrow had somewhat ex-
hausted itself, he began to crave sym-
pathy and naturally sought the widow.
It was a delicate matter to handle, but
she questioned him tactfully and soon
learned all that she wished to know,
and that wins that his love was un-
ci c-ivbted ly retu i‘u ed.
After talking the whole matter over '
Harry felt comforted, and he felt sure
that the clever widow was going to do |
all in her power to help him. But he j
did not imagine that while they were !
discussing the subject the peerless, self !
sacrificing Esther was weeping bitter- i
iy and almost rebelling against her !
fate. It was only by magnifying her !
duty to au appalling grimness that she j
finally recovered her composure and j
soothed the pain at her heart to an
As soon as the widow felt that Har-
ry had recovered from the first bitter-
ness of his disappointment she ordered
him to go and call on Esther. He
obeyed, and a few such calls restored
to some extent their old relationship,
and they could talk more like brother
and sister. And one evening she talk-
ed to him in most sisterly fashion,
warning him wistfully to beware of
the wiles of the widow.
“You know 1 look on you as a broth-
er, and I should not like to see one of
my brothers as much in her company
as you are. Of course she is very nice,
but people say she is so designing.”
"The little minx,” said the widow
when she heard of it. “1 know I am
designing, but she will find that it is
for her happiness 1 am doing it now-
and incidentally for my own—or just
She of course diagnosed the case as
one of jealousy and was pleased. Har-
ry didn’t understand the last part of
her remark, but he did not question.
"Are you going to the Madison mu-
sic-ale?” the widow asked.
"Yes. Esther and her father will be
there.” Harry replied.
“Well; i shall be there, too, and I
may want you to do me a favor. Will
yon do it?”
On the night of the musicale the wid-
ow was triumphantly beautiful. There
was the light of battle in her eyes, and
that with good reason, for she had
“VQV AEEAOQGOOD .FOB YOhAl
the widow tapped him on the shoulder-
wit!) her fan.
"I have come to ask you for that fa-
vor.” she said.
"I an: willing to do your bidding.”
“Take Esther into the conservatory
and propose to her.”
"I can t.”
“You must. If you do, I thin!-: i can
promise you that you will win her—if
not tonight, very soon afterward. But
you must propose tonight.”
Hope made him courageous, and he
did as he was directed.
When he had found a sufficiently re-
tired alcove in the conservatory, he re-
newed his proposal and pleaded with
the stately beauty. But it was in vain.
“it cannot, he.” she answered. “My
duty is quite clear to me, and 1 must
sacrifice my own feelings to it. I feel
that to take care of my father in his
declining years is a trust imposed on
me by my dead mother.”
“Then you are not indifferent to
She was too honest to deny her love.
She bowed her head in assent, and fne
tears welled to tun- eyes.
“You do love me, Esther?”
“And yet you will sacrifice both our
“It may seem cruel, but I know that
I am doing what is right.”
“Good heavens! What can I do?”
“Yon must go away somewhere. 1
did wrong to ask that our friendship
continue. It increases the pain for
both of us.”
He groaned in misery.
“I am very, very sorry,” she said.
They looked at each other silently
for awhile. At last a slight, sob shook
her, and she murmured:
“I must get papa to take me home.”
She turned and walked away from
him quickly. Before she had gone a
dozen paces she stopped as if transfix-
ed and looked with dilated eyes into
an alcove she was passing.
Then she ran back to Harry and, al-
most fainting, caught his arm.
“Take me home! Take rue away
He hastened to call a carriage. When
they had entereirlg. Esther began to
“TAKE ME AWAY FROM HERE!”
cry, and he tried to console her. In-
stinctively he put his arm about her,
and she did not resist. A moment
after—it was the natural thing to do—
he kissed her, and. leaning her head
on his shoulder, she wept until her sor-
row had abated. He could not imagine
what was the matter, but when they
arrived at her home she enlightened
him. As she was leaving him in the
conservatory she had seen her father
kneeling before the widow proposing
to her and had seen her grant him a
kiss of acceptance. All her illusions
about duty vanished in an instant.
Her father was getting another to
take care of him, and her occupation
“I shall leave home!” she cried angri-
ly. “If he marries her. I must leave
“1 have a home to offer you,” said
But it is not necessary to follow them
through this last scene, which could
have but one result—happiness, for
It never occurred to Harry that the
widow had ordered him to propose to
Esther so that she could bring her fa-
ther, as if by accident, to see the little
scene. She had watched his move-
ments, and, judging the correct mo-
ment to a nicety, had brought Mr.
Townsend to that part of the conserva-
tory. He liked Harry too much to in*
terrain, which the widow had taken
care to learn before she took the step,
but he was naturally surprised. Of
cotlrse she promptly sympathized with
him om losing bis housekeeper and so
wrested from him the proposal winch
she had long ago planned. She had nob
counted on Esther overlooking tier part
of the.drama, but that only hastened
the action of her plot, and she was not
sorry when she.heard of it.
lurry, was natural!.’. profuse.in..his.
thanks, for his happiness so blinded
him to everything else in the world
that he thought it was for his sake it
had ail been done. When this dawned
upon the widow, she laughed loud and
“Oh, go away,” she laughed, “to your
billing and cooing with Esther! You
are such a pair of fools you should lie
happy together.” And she added some-
“You see. 1 am in a sense taking a.
boy to raise, after ail. But you will
find me a very indulgent mother-in-
“Who are these Chicago rough video
who have just formed an organiza-
"I don’t know for sure, but 1 think
they are bicyclists who live on badly
paved streets.”—Chicago Post.
Know Wlmt He Needed.
Canvasser—I have here a work— ;
Master of the House—I can’t read. I
Canvasser—But your children—
Master of the House—I have no chil-
dren—triumphantly—nothing but a cat.
Canvasser — Well, you want some-
thing to throw at the cat.
He took the book.—Tit-Bits.
An Antii'at Fat It: re.
A New York restaurant recently un-
dertook to cater exclusively for obese
people. Nothing of a fattening char-
acter was served. The establishment
was haded with delight by a large
crowd of banters. Its history was
about as follows: The first day TOO
ate there, the second IK), the third S'),
and so on down until the proprietor
found himself without a single patron
until the sheriff came and took every-
thing in sight.
Sir Thomas: “That’s a fine bit of silver.”
Uncle Sam: “Yes; and it’s been in the family so long we shouldn't lika
to lose it.”
—New York Herald.
Mr. Chamberlain: “Please do something, so I can hit you.”
00M PALL LnitUiYcLlD.
Bin WIIZPJIT IAU£IEU--'WEO'S.. AFRAim?
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Habermacher, J. C. Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 7, No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, December 6, 1899, newspaper, December 6, 1899; Shiner, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1110992/m1/2/: accessed July 6, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Shiner Public Library.