The Alto Herald (Alto, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 5, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 24, 1934 Page: 3 of 8
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THE ALTO HERALD. ALTO. TEXAS.
HL&€ty * * *
Her elder ststers had flnttlly given up
open opposition to Smif's plan of bury-
ing herself at Lovelylea. Among
themselves thoy had agreed that her
purchase of the plantation was unim-
portant, since if she made the sort of
marriage they meant site should, she
would be in a position to indulge her
sentiment for the old home of her
famiiy and have other "more suitable"
establishments elsewhere as well.
As usuai.Smif understood them per-
fectly; but it suited her to be freed
from nagging arguments while she
brought her plans to completion. Doc-
tor Blanton's ready acquiescence In
her arrangements came as a compiete
surprise, however; until, of a sudden,
she suspected that he was about to
propose another occupation for her.
In a panic, she hurried her prepara-
tions and left for the South without
the formality of good bys. Once she
was settled, she would write to every-
body. Meanwhile she was annoyed
that she heard nothing from Bill-Lee.
He must realize her eagerness to have
the preliminaries deflniteiy over. She
did not know exactly when Stone's
tenancy terminated but had vague
plans that might enable her to assume
possession of her property almost at
once. She was sure that Stone at
least would understand and sympa-
thize with her desire to own the home
of her fathers however disappointing
M was to him personally. Hut what
could Bill-Lee be doing to prevent his
acknowledging her letter?
So far, she had told Stone nothing,
although her plans were more or less
elaborate, including first ills reconc'lia-
tion with his neighbors and next, find-
ing him a desirable plantation near
enough to Lovelylea to permit of his
continued use of the track and other
improvements he had installed on its
acres. Before she saw him, site pro-
posed to clear up the entire situation
as regards the Hoxton Hunt club.
With this in mind, she went dlrectiy
to Culthorpe, the home of her cousin.
Christopher Culpeper. Both he and
his wife were delighted that Smif had
elected to stay with them out of the
large number of relations she had to
"Who was ft told us Smif was not
in the least good-looking?" Cousin
Kit asked his wife as they stood side
by side at a window and watched her
shepherding along the drive toward
the house their son Jeff's twins, fugi-
tives with their grandparents from
whooping-cough among their brothers
"Caliy Peter's oldest girl, the one
who came from New York with her
cheeks painted white and her mouth
painted purple, and vowed that make-
up was all the rage in the North,"
Cousin Mab replied. "I never believed
her. All the Lovelys were handsome."
"Smif's a picture," her husband
roared so ioudly that she heard her
name, looked up and waved her hand
to them. "Why some man hasn't
snapped her up before this beats me.
In my day she'd not have been single
Smif soon decided that she was
auiliclently established In the favor of
her family to advance the cause she
had at heart. She came in and sank
into a chair, laughing.
"Madame and sir," she said with a
final chuckle, "your grandchildren are
adorable but exhausting. I have re-
turned them to Mammy undamaged, al-
though It was touch and go. They al-
most convinced me that the two colts
in the near pasture were their prop-
erty and ought to be exercised."
"The littie devils," said their grand-
"Have you looked through the cards
of the people who called yesterday
while we were at your Aunt Fanny
Madison's?" Cousin Mab asked.
Smif accepted this as her chance.
"Yes," she said, "and that reminds
me: Don't you think it strange that
Stone Nesbit hasn't called? After all,
he is occupying Lovelylea and I want
to see the old place again."
She had looked for an explosion from
Cousin Kit. None came.
Instead he scratched his forehead
"Gorry, Smif," he muttered a trifle
Shamefacedly, "I'm mighty sorry to dis-
appoint you-all. I'm afraid that can't
he managed. You see, Mr. Nesbit long
ago made up his mind that he would
have nothing to do with any of us."
"Now what do you mean by that?"
Smif demanded, instantly on the alert
at this placing of the blame on Stone's
"Well," Cousin Mab cut in briskly.
"It bolls down to this: The young
man came here from God knows where,
and brought a pack of hounds—"
"So the members of the Hoxton
Hunt got sore," Cousin Kit interrupt-
ed, "and ever since then their wives
and daughters have been throwing it
up to them that they made a mess of a
very simple business."
"And so you did," Cousin Mab de-
clared without animus. "I grant you
it was a case calling for n little tact,
a thing of which men know only the
name. Any tad of spirit wouid have
acted exactly as young Nesbit did. I d
have been asititiued of a son of my
own who had d"ne otherwise."
"Well, sent him an invitation to
join the nunt, didn't we? And the
young cub returned it unopened."
Cousin Kit growled defensively.
"What?" exclaimed Smif sharply.
"You invited Stone to joint the Hunt?
Kit Culpeper might not have noticed
this slip, but Cousin Mab raised her
delicate eyebrows and pounced on it
"Stone?" she repeated with an Inter-
rogative Inflection. "You know Mr.
"Yes," Smif acknowledged, "I know
Mm. He is my cousin. His grand-
mother—great-grandmother, I mean—
was Lorraino Lovely."
"Well, I'li be d—d!" Cousin Kit ex-
"Now," said Smif, "let me tell you
his side of the affair and perhaps It
will all beclearer."
She told the story well and they
iistened with at least a partial under-
standing of Stone's loneliness and bit-
"And now what can we do nhout
It?" Cousin Kit Inquired, looking from
one to the other of his companions.
Smif had taken thought to herself
and had decided that it would be bet-
ter If she did not appear too openly in
"The affair needs careful considera-
tion,"she confessed. "Give us time
and Cousin Mab and I will find a way
out of the tangle/'
"Certainly we will," Cousin Mab
nodded, her head already full of
matchmaking schemes. Wasn't Stone
Nesbit reputed to be very weaithy?
Wasn't he a suitable age? Mightn't
ho be an expianation of Smif's sudden
return to the neighborhood? Cousin
Kit rambled out and Smif at once
proceeded to dispel Cousin Mab's rosy
"You see," she confided to her grave-
ly, "I'm not ready yet for anyone else
to know it, not-even Cousin Kit. who I
don't belleva .could keep a secret to
save his life: I've bought Lovelylea
from Biil-Lee, and i'm beginning to be
afraid Stone is going to feel terribly
about it, especially as I've never told'
him that I had made the arrangements
This, Cousin Mab was forced to
acknowledge to herself, did not look
like a love affair.
She did her best to keep her face
from failing, but Smif noticed the
change In her expression.
"Don't you approve of me as a
Cousin Mab at once recaptured her
"My dear, I'm delighted," she said.
"I was only wondering If you knew
how the activities of the plantation
have expanded under Mr. Nesbit. It
seems a tremendous undertaking for
a young woman."
Smif chuckled joyously at the antici-
"That's why It will be such fun to
tackle It," she explained. "1 love to
pull off something successfully where
every one expects me to fail." She
was thinking of the case of Madame
Saitou, Incorporated. Instinctively she
was sure that that was not an affair
which her dear Cousin Mab could ever
be brought to understand, so it re-
mained unmentloned between them.
"Now about Mr. Nesbit?" Cousin
"What do you think of the twins?"
"The twins?" Their grandmother
"As messengers, I mean. Peacemak-
ers in fact. I'm certain Stone would
not refuse to receive a chlid, and. not
expecting one, his orders would only
have concerned themselves with grown
men. Listen, what do you say to
this?" And Smif unfolded her plan
which, In due course, the twins lm
proved on after a pattern of their own.
That afternoon. Stone, led hy excited
barks from Beaucalre and confirma-
tory mutterlngs from Voltaire, went
through the hall to the front door to
ascertain the cause of the warning.
No one was visible and to his eye
there was nothing amiss. Beaucalre
had disappeared down the steps with
a yelp of joy, and he and Voltaire fol-
lowed, to the edge of the platform.
Below him, flat on their hacks on one
of the broad steps, iay two small fig-
ures, gazing unwinklngly upward. The
dog was running from one to the otlter
bestowing lavish kisses Indiscrim-
"Hello," said Stone, "who are you
and where did you drop from?"
At his words both the children sat
up with a unanimity of action that
was like a mechanical toy.
"You've got a mighty nice dog," the
young gentleman remnrked casually.
I s'pQse you wouldn't sell him or
His sister frowned at him darkly
and aiso directed an admonitory kick
in his direction.
"That's not the way to begin," she
"Suppose you begin by teillng me
your names?" Stone suggested, at a
loss to explain such arrivals on his
"Haven't you a butler?" the glri tie
manded, her voice suddenly idgh and
chiidish. "We've come to call onyou
Sh: "3 tnklng th* stand that, as
their call had not been officially begun,
they had not been Introduced: and
Stone entered into the game with be-
coming gravity, going inside the house
without further words and back to his
study to await their ring at the bell
and his summons hy the butler. This
was a visit of ceremony and must be
treated as such.
"The front door-bell will ring In n
moment or two, Daly," he said to his
butler. "There are two youngsters
there. Treat them as if they were en-
tirety grown up, understand? Take
their cards, show them into the par-
lor. There they are now. Bring the
cards to me. I'm anxious to know
who they are."
The butler returned, consumed with
"Ye'll learn little from them cards,
sir." he said, holding out a salver on
which reposed two Imposing looking
pasteboards. "I can tell you who the
littie divils are."
"Let them tell me in their own way,"
Stone picked the cards up. One was
MRS. RUTHERFORD MADISON
THE MISSES MADISON
MRS. CONNISTON. COULTER
And once again Stone asked himself
If he was being made the butt of a
However he went to greet his visitors,
their cards In his hand.
"I'm delighted to see you," he said.
"Did you like our tickets?" the boy
"We picked the very nicest, biggest
ones In the card basket," the girl in-
terposed. "Toddy's a stupid little boy.
"Why Some Man Hasn't Snapped
Her Up Beats Me."
They aren't tickets. Tickets are what
you have when the circus comes.
These are cards—for visits, you know.
You have to have'em when you make
real visits. We never did before."
"What am i to cail you," Stone
asked, flicking the pasteboards with a
finger. "The names on these are so
"I'm Patsy Culpeper," the little girl
"What?" Stone cried explosively.
"Who sent you here?"
"Gran," said Patsy, "and she gave
me a message. And I've forgotten it."
"So have I," said her brother.
Suddenly his sister began to paw
ali over his inadequate attire.
"There was a letter." she deciared.
'I had It when we laid down on the
steps to think because we were so
erzausted." Toddy wrinkied his brow.
'I know," they both cried together,
"the puppy has it. He took it to give
Retrieved frotn the steps where
Beaucaire had dropped It on Stone's
appearance, the note was reclaimed.
It proved to be a few lines from Airs.
"Dear Mr. Nesbit:
"Wili you take a dish of tea with
me tomorrow afternoon? I shall be ull
alone save for thetwins.
. "Mabel Todhunter Culpeper."
'Who is Mabel Culpeper?' he asked
"My sister," Patsy told him. "She's
a horrid ilttle girl. She's got whoop-
Stone essayed another tack.
"Who wrote this note?"
"Let me see It, oid man," Toddy
suggested, hoidlng It upside down and
examining it with interest as if he had
never laid eyes on it before. "From
that blob." he put a finger on the seal,
"i'd say Gran—only she ns'nliy puts n
stamp on when she writes to my
The angular handwriting also point-
ed to old Mrs.Culpeper.
Stone wrote her a short note of ac-
ceptance hut was disinclined to trust
It tothetwins'tender mercies.
"How did you come here?" he asked.
"We left our carriage at tite gate.
We needed fresh air." Patsy asserted
primly. So, stone walked with them
and handed Ids note to the oidcoi-
ored coachman who was drowsing on
the box of the Culpeper victoria.
Stone was amazed and somewhat
distrustful on receipt of Mrs. Cul-
paper's message, yet to bis mind he
had no alternative. He must accept
an fnvitation coming from an elderly
lady. The ntore he dwelt on the
thought the more distasteful it be-
came to him but go he must.
He need have had no apprehension
of stiffness or social strain. Mabel
Culpeper was horn a Todhunter of
Charleston, and the graceful manage-
ment of men was part of her heritage.
She met him as if he were an old
friend and shortly they felt entirely
at home together.
Tea was brought and with It came the
twins, hand In hand on their best be-
havior, at least until the cakes were
"This is a party 1" Patsy announced.
"I always know it is a party when
i see those littie black cakes."
"Certainly It's a party," her grand-
mother agreed. "It's your Cousin
Stone's coming out party."
Stone started and made no attempt
to conceai it, looking to her for an
- "That Is the only complaint I have
to make of you, Stone," she said easily.
"Down here blood is still thicker than
water. You must have known thnt
Lorraine Lovely and my mother's
mother were cousins."
"But—but I didn't," Stone stam-
mered, bewildered. "I had no Idea of
such a thing."
"Then I forgive you." Mrs. Cul-
peper was benignity itself as she fired
her next shot. "Of course you will
have to make your peace with your
Cousin Kit when you see him. He bad
set his heart on your joining the Hox-
ton Hunt when they invited you—"
"Invited met" Stone cried. "That's
the very Hrst I ever heard of it 1"
"Well, dear boy," Mabei Culpeper
had a disarming stnile, "you wtll own
that letters can't be expected to talk,
and M you send them back unopened—"
She looked at him and saw that It was
unnecessary to say more.
"So that was the letter I returned.
What a little fool I must have seemed."
"Not a fool—only a spirited boy. i
assure you that I was proud to ciaim
you when recently I learned that you
were my cousin."
"My dear," Mrs Culpeper told Smif
later. "I realty liked our new cousin.
If I were younger, I would dispute his
possession with that fat Mtss Mer-
cedes, who has given every one in the
neighborhood to understand that she
has him in her pocket."
Smif replied. "Of course Miss Mer-
cedes means to marry him and. frank
ly, I think he'd be happier married.
He badly needs companionship."
"Not the companionship of that
county fair exhibit," Cousin Mab stated
with a firmness that defied contradic-
tion. "She is shrewd but totally unin
teresting, and I suspect comes of vul-
gar people of the Middle West. There's
a burr In her speech that can't other
wise be accounted for. It is the most
persistent of our provincial accents,
and although she seems to fancy so,
calling you 'honey' every other minute
doesn't make one a southerner, does
it, honey? Frankly, I don't like the
young woman, although she gives the
most delicious dinners in the state."
"So I've heard. . . . Well, sooner
or later she'll be hack among us, ten
years younger and many ttmes more
beautifui. Then we'll see If Stone can
"Do you approve of the match?"
Cousin Mab was watching her keenly
and Smif bent for a light for her
"I do and I don't," she owned with
entire candor, waving away with one
hand the smoke that partly veiled her
face. "I confess I'm not crazy about
Miss Mercedes, but I do think it's hard
Itnes to be denied a love affair simpiy
because one's fat. In spite of that,
when i once fancied for a few mo-
ments that they wore actually en-
gaged. ! can't say that I was pleased,
even while ! saw plainly what a nice
solution it would be of all my worries."
"And what are your worries?"
Cousin Mab inquired, iifting quizzicai
"They're principally connected with
Stone at present, i ought to have told
him long ago that t had pianned all
my life to buy Lovelyiea. Now, It is
going to look as If t had hurried to
do it behind his hack. AndStoneand
t have been friends, i'dhatetoiose
that friendship almost as much as I'd
hate to lose Loveiytea. Not quite, [
suppose; because if the scales tipped
that way. 1 could say: 'Here It Is.
t've bought It; hut if you love it too
much to lose it. !'il give It up to
you.' . . . i'tn not that unselfish.
Cousin Slab, i'd iove him to have the
use of it. i'd be gtad to iet hint use
the track and the new stabies and the
other improvements he has Itultt.—Hut
the old place Is ours. Ottrdeadlie
there. Without disloyalty to them,
how can i give it up?"
The oider woman made no answer
when Smif paused and looked at her
appeaiingiy. She knew right weil the
solution she wouid iike to recommend,
ture. Smif might take alarm and run
away North, which was the lust thing
she wanted. So she preserved a sym-
pathetic siience and Smif went on:
"You can see it would be a won-
derfui soiution for me if ho married
Mercedes. He would live within easy
reach and we could at [east share the
track and training quarters. 1 don't
think I'it break the news to htm until
Mercy is back from her cure and I'm
sure he knows hts own mind. Then,
If he just won't have her,I'll helphlm
look about for another place. I might
even pretend it was for me. What
would you think of that?"
"My dear, don't ask my advice. I'm
an utterly unprincipled woman myself.
Your Cousin Kit wit] tell you that I
only tell the truth when i've made up
my mind nothing else will work as
welt. That's as It tuny be, hut it's
what he always says. When do you
propose to let Stone know that you
"I'd like it awfully if he could be
taken to the heart of the Hoxton nunt
and the countryside In general with-
out fancying I had anything to do
with it." Smif said wistfully. "It
would mean a lot for—well—for hts
morale, I'll call it for iack of a better
word. I must visit Great-Aunt Anabei
Trevor and the Culpeper aunts and
uncles some time. Suppose I start the
round at once? Can you get the pre-
liminaries over in two weeks, say?
Then I'll come hack as if it was my
first appearance and stay with you, if
you'll have me, untii Susan Phelps
comes down to Lovelylea to a house
party there. The Phelpses are really
my dearest friends up North. You'll
like them, Cousin Mab. Tell me, will
that suit you?"
"Perfectly, and i don't know why it
shouldn't work. Since nobody knows
you know Stone except Kit and me,
you'll probably not be mentioned If t
warn Kit." Which she proceeded to
do with such emphasis that for once
he held his usually unruly tongue.
Smtf left on her series of visits and
peace descended upon Culthorpe.
For Stone, thenext few weeks were
among the happiest of his life so far.
At last he was among friends, and not
the least of his pleasures was the
anticipation of Smif's surprise when she
arrived atLovelylea to find the situation
so completelyaltered. His earlycontacts
were, naturally enough, with the men
of the countryside, and so it hap-
pened, as Smif had hoped, that he did
not hear of her first vtsit to Culthorpe.
Not quite so soon as she had expect-
ed she returned there and was wel-
comed with acclaim by Its inmates.
Cousin Mab was especially delighted
to have her hack. As an enthusiastic
matchmaker she was eager to see the
first meeting between Stone and Smif
In order to draw her own conclusions.
It Is sure that If Smif had fathomed
Cousin Mab's schemes she would have
taken herself off at once.
As it was, without a word to any-
one, she had a horse saddled the
morning after her return and rode off
alone to Loveiytea. When she entered
the grounds and walked her mount
up the winding drive, her heart almost
stood still. Nothing here was changed,
really. And, strange to say, It had
not grown smaller, as places seen last
In childhood aresoapt to do.
The house, tall-piitared and spacious,
stood on a rise of grottnd scarcely high
enough to deserve the name of hill,
yet giving it comntnnd of ail the sur-
rounding country. At sight ot it. the
suspense was over, her heart resumed
Its beat, her blood seemed to sing
through her veins. For her, the old
place was as it had always been.
"And it's mine," she said under her
breath; "at last all this loveliness Is
all my own. What more couid I want
in the world than this?"
A colored boy came around the cor-
ner and ran down the steps to take
her horse, a wide grin of welcome on
"Mawnin', Mtss Smif," he satd,
"Mist' Nesbit, he's not gone far. I'll
sen' one of those tazy ntggahs f'om the
"How did you know my name?" sho
asked amazed. This hoy could not
have been born when she teft Love-
replied unhesltatingiy. "Mist' Nesbit,
"i see," Smif said, "hut It Is not
really a picture of me. it ts a portrait
of Sir. Nesbit's great-grandmother."
"Yes'm, Miss Smif," he rejoined
with a polite attempt to conceal utter
unbelief. "Looks a heap ilke you-all.
Don' ioolt like nobody's gramma, 'at
"She wasn't a grandmother untii
years iater." Smif explained. "Even
your own grandmother must have been
"Haw haw," thehoy burst into toud
guffaw. "Didn't nobody paint any
plcshures of my gramma—"
(TO UH OONTtNunO.)
Young Eel* Cro*t Atlantic
The fresh water eels of British rtv
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lantle off Bermuda. After the eggs
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fool as the joktr
Among scores of
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are a few of its odd by-product)
Sugar, perfume,. Incense in the form.'
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Wood flour ts used to mnka <Hler ^
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Weimar, F. L. The Alto Herald (Alto, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 5, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 24, 1934, newspaper, May 24, 1934; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth214699/m1/3/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Stella Hill Memorial Library.