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t -1.:C' :¿- ;2 <'P' r<X3-0-0-0^>3-000-0-G-0-0-0-C-0-G-0-0-G-0-G-00-9 j J" [ALL BMHT8 RES""nD.] $ THE WEAVERS g BY ? ALICE & CLAUDE ASKEW. $ ?L Authors of "Tbo Shulamite," "The Rod of Justice, etc. i SYNOPSIS. 4nEZ GIUUN and Peter Eawson are mul-crwiiers, who have tong been rivals, but the former can no longer stand the ^dei'selliiifir methods he has been forced to adopt, and is now 04 the veiye of bankruptcy. At a laeeting between the two ^eri it is agreed to uIÃte the firm, and ?o L-ive the hrad-s fitter par und treatment, as the come:.Jtion and consequent ?d pay have m;u2ea ?M?e tmunm.'H:. But the condition is that the son, Andrew Gilmau, should marry Eve Hawson. This Eve refuses to do, in spite of ail Let- father's pleaton# -.nd at a subsequent interview with Rodney Grieve (who has Jong bc«u in love with her), confesses that she tannot do so because slie has lost her heart to a 1a..>;cinat.n¡; actor-a Matinee idol, whom she met whilst ¡;:t:1j>;ni; with her g-jd- other in London, and has pone to America on tour Though the news is a shock, he promises to stand by her as a brother. Andrew Oilman does not take kindly tj tho thought of lnarrying Eve, as his affections are set oa Fancy FclttTB. a Penniless orphan niece of Peter Kawhoi. He i-ays nothing, oowever, to his father, mainly b"<"3.m<e Fancy Felton pcr- ttJ.ades him at least tn proppse to Ei e, iissurirw him that lie Will be refused. She does this. because tiho belf is desperately in love with Rodney (irieve, arid hopes that Eve Andrew will be obliged to marry, when Rodney may turn t 0 her for consolation. Andrew propose*, but is djsinayed to Ud that Eve does not refuse him, but asks far time to con- sider, which, as far as she is concerned, is dono merely to "IlVe a little reprieve from the pressure brought to bear on her Immediately afterwards liodnt-y trin^s her the news bat the Blue Star, in which the actor .sailed, hai foundered In Mid-Atlantic, and Conrad de Lille, t J whom Eve has been mariied, i&amoncr the drowned. The knowledge that her mzt??c. hero hna proved a ??picablf coward, and altogether a bad lot," hMbeena J^eat shock to Eve, but makes bn na,ise that her fecliuz for o\Jnrad was but girlih infatuation. An interview with a ?rviog womau from Yaj?ley. who tells her how ana'rs stand ^ere, and that a strike is imminent, makc-? Eve decide to Jcritioc herself for their go?, even though she does not love ,ktidrew This decision is still further strengthened by the lurther particulars of the weak and do^pia.bly mean cha- ?cter of Conrad, wiwhlúh Fancy mp^lies her. Ev&) there- /'fp, goes to tell her father that she will many Andrew and ?t\c him fiom ruin. marriage is ammged between Eve and Andrew, and I I:Odncy one day brings over a wedding present to Eveâa case Gf pearlsâwhich belonged to hi* motlier. Eve tells him he Ought to present them only to his wife, but he replies that he Shall never marry (a statement which Fancy overhears), and in doing 80 betray, his own feelings tor her. Eve r.ahes then what her feelings for him are, and that he is moD' to er than the brother she had always considered him. The nowledge bring" tragedy with it, 88 she is engaged to pother man, and t?ing-s are at ?ixes and eeveus." Fdrew, also in despair, ?eek8 out Fancy, but she declines t ) stn to his love-making, still hoping to gain Rodney's &'fM- ti 04 when once Eve and Andrew aie married. She tells h;m Jjtot it is his duty to marry Eve, trying to persuade hers6f t?'4i in lUVÃug Ro1ney she is )n4r iu?al'iug her destiny." I CHAPTER X. I A REPENTED BARGAIN. "If I had only realised the small amount working capital that Peter has at his dirsposal. his many financial obligations, and the hopeless state of his affairs generally, I 1! not have urged on this marriage be- his girl and my son, and suggested that Peter and I should become partners." Jabez Gilman ground his teeth savagely together and pushed his chair back from the large writing table, loaded with papers nJ. legal-looking documents, at which he had been sitting and then he gazed some- hat impatiently round the room, finally Coding to pat a big wolf-hound. He was sitting in the library of the large grey house where he resided, a house which tood in a fine park of its own, and boasted ?tensive grounds, with a lake, a broad arti- cial sheet of water, of which Jabez was ?rticularly proud. It Was quite late in the eveningânearly ?f-past elevenâbut Jabez did not appear least inclined to go to bed, although he /on as he leaned back in his chair- f «>1 heavilyâand glanced at the clock 0 "?c mantelpiece. ? ? thought old Peter was good for many Year, he muttered, "thnt he'd struggle a 0 keep his mills going somehowâhard Pressed as he was for money. I never SUessed he was on the verge of a total Il\rnSI-UP' I'd got tired of the eternal com- Petition going on between usâthe way we ry to undersell eaeh other. I ought to had more patience, of course; I was a iOol hâ¬?f ? ?ose to his fed and began to walk j j. '?Uy up and down the room, his brows fwlu'Jted t4c?ether in a frown, an ugly emile Maying about his lips. "RivalsârivalsâaU our lives," he mut- red, "and now to become partnersâpart- es just when it is in my power to smash ter completely, and to become the biggest llIwncr in the count v. But oh, how ^veriy the old fox concesird his pecuniary a. *cunigtances from me, how well he man- a ed to make people believe that he was still a ?rrn j?an as iar as business was con- l1{ £ ?ec^- A warm man, indd! Why, if it ? "? not been for my proposal his mills Xf ^d have been dosed by now. But, as it j k-s jus+ mauaged to tide things over, f r ?c's contrived to borrow sufncient money t ??P ?? mills going till we have become e ^ep his mills going till we have become other's partners, and his financia 1 posi- tin I1 is secured." .iTb('z walked :mgrily over to a large cigar ??.??t w'ich .bod in one corner of the ?'y. and selected a cigar which he pro- ???? ? ???t' but he was too disturbed in lr'r'^ to derive much pleasure from the <K^ant weed he smoked. ho<?? that I've had a look at old Peter's he muttered, "and have gone t¡g-h the papers that his lawyer had to t¡; J11e, I feel mad with myself, absolutely j," » for he must have gone smash. And vi7-I ant saving him from ruin. It's a absurd situation altogether, almost nn '1r i>v, Possibfe rue. But what a rate old fox he (,1 .a: 'vcnt and eat down in his big arm- Zlalr, and leaned his head back medi- 4? i vel,v ^"a i ns". the I L t""??'y gainst the leather cushions. ? "I must sav I like the girl, he mut- »ed. "I've no quarrel with Eve. She's ex- t?? !ne!y pretty, and I like her EOn. gcntle ?ys. her low voice, and I don't doubt that ?G wi}! rnako Andrew an extremely F-ocd ,'{ (,  ?, not that the lad s(ms a bit In love 'th he:" but I daresay they'll bo hapnv -?.??1 !Qr ll iLat-UtS? is, if the !i,é f ¿c,nis (f, '0 ?P??? "P from his chh' and b??an to ??a? ? ?p a -I down the room again, taking JZ etn. des, his dog following him. couMn't break things oS at the el,t^,01lr> I suppose, the whole wor]d ? ?y s??'M on mc if I did. But if by ???ce I eou!d force "M Peter into put- tit? ?? ond ?? ?? negotia?tons that we ar?  ??-.? on, if he could be made to 6y that t},???"sge should not take place, if he ?lio- rei use to give his consentâwell, that .0 a dlfi'ereut matter altogether. But  ? it to b3 doneâhow's it to be man- Tedj I'n got into the way of thinking -? ?th<\ a clever chap, but this matter  m ?together, for it's rather an I '1/j 'h job to ????st to a man that he  o-' ? '?   and tbzt is what owa throat, n¿ h2t is what '?f.-Haw3on would be domg if he quar- ?,:tiM, t ?th me at the pr?ent momentâif he ,'¡,c:J1!- fep all the conditions that I may >,lvaV k ?t to impo,? ?poQ h,?/' â¢i,ibe? startcc; ? he ?id the last words, '?n ? suddenly slapped one of his thighs. f( « Ah, I have it, he exclaimed, his dark Z lighting up. "I have it. I can, and I iurpjt-e ceTtain conditions upon Peter may yet cause a break between usâI 'I. as a fool not to have thought of this > before." ?Ic o?rst Into a peal of lau?i?r, then Lc f,Tâ SSC ??' to ?? writing table, and r.?an ? n ??? papers  wer3 Rtwwn ?bn ("Glitet !he which wers strewn aLI30ut, Ã\"r 't, nnd to put them in some sort I)f f)"der. li-,t when he had made up ti -e 9, ?? bundle of lettersâdocuments he tap?????r with a piece of narrow pink of t unlocked a drav"H at the bottom pai"C(>i -?'t,?? t?bic ?nd tried ? poke the .s it ??s. but the drawer w&s ov?r full ? it ??' ?? ?'?? ?° impatient frown he ?ft?cd 'Was, and w th an impatient frown he I ?f t-ed  a bulky envelope, intcndi')? to ra-ke, by ?° removal Qf thin envelope f?j the ?pera that ho now ¿Åiroo to pl??w «w ^awer. Lillr'q w* the ?'? of ?piR? Conrad do illc,s 1, he &sked himself, "that im- t"14'?nt, ?"???fu! knave, who hM h?j the ^udooit. ?'y ?? h::td at blackmaH, and ?!? dy j° ^ry at blackmail, and tn  to ext.ort money out of me by ?a"n? snf ? ? ? tetters?" Jabcz laurbed n 1.1 L r 1 1 k "lel'Å y, an a BomWlla"  Lor? ? ?'?- ?? ?m?I.at ?d??:? ? âââ Th? h. ? made fa-M mi??e-an i -n c rkd v ?p<d m;st.akc-when I ?'c? ?nUmen't get the better of me and I agreed to l". 0 j^-ate 1I2V ..?a? is* s bov-Liie,?' r.y; But he's dMd now, thank God-Con- ?t?? s drowned. and there the matter cnd?. Or <lead men don't wake, they gkep sound." jjg,0 pauocd a moment. A meditative look ?acT c?ise over his counte?ace. "I loved his mother," he continued, "and Lucy Emily was the one person w ho kaew why I hated Peter Eawson so intensely." He hunched his shoulders, then took up the big envelope and read what was written across it. "I may as well tear up these letters now, for whatt3 the good of keeping them," Jabez deliberated; "I don't want Andrew ever to come across them by any chance, after I'm dead, perhaps. Andrew, who has no idea that I have another side to my nature than the one he knows, for he always regards me as such a clever and euceessful man, and I don't want him to find out that I had an unhappy lo?e affair in my youth, and that unhap,p prf I adored preferred another man. No I don't want Andrew ever to go peering into my past." He hesitated for a second, and was just about to open the envelope when he shook his head, and pnshed the bulky package back into the drawer again. "No," he growled, "no. I won't destroy those precious documents, for though I said just now that dead men don't wake, still, their ghosts walk sometimes, and-and haunt the living." He locked the drawer and was about to leave the room, when the door suddenly opened and Andrew came in. and there was a curious, rather drawn look on the tall youug man's face that made his father re- gard him rather curiously. Why, what's the matter with you, lad ?" he exclaimed, "and what keeps vou from your bed? It's close on twelve o clock." HI-I wanted to speak to you, father," Andrew began, "and I've been trying to screw up my courage all the evening, but I'm a coward, for I have come to the study twice already, and have turned back just as I was about to open the door." "And what reason have you to be so scared of your own father?" Jabez de- manded. But you always were scared of me, even when you were quite a little chap," he added reflectively; "but I don't know that it's done you any harm. The dread of angering me has kept you out of many a scrape, I reckon, and you certainly weren't a milk-sop at school or at college. Let me see, you did rather well at football, both at Rugby and at Cambridge, didn't you, Andrew? "It's not physical courage that I fail in," Andrew answered hoarsely, then he came forward and stood directly in front of his father, his full, fair face working painfully. "It's this marriage, sir," he began, "this marriage you have arranged between myself and Eve Rawson. My heart's not in it, for though I'm very fond of Eve it's no good pretending that I love her, and I only asked her to marry me because you insisted on it, andâand I made quite sure at the time that she'd refuse meâthat I was pretty safe in making the offer." "And so you got a bit sold w hen Miss Eve eaid 'yes?'" Jabez laughed as he spoke, and Andrew realised with some relief that his father didn't appear to be angry with him. "What's to be done, father?" he de- manded. "It seems jolly rough on Eve, drawing back at the last moment, andâand I'm afraid it may upset the business arrangements that you are making with Mr. Rawson. But, after all, I'm your son, and it's my whole life's happiness that is at stake. Must I marry Eve; do you abso- lutely insist upon it?» Jabez bent his brows. "Why didn't you speak as plainly as this to me before, you young fool?" he thun- dered, for don't you realise the position that you're in? Here is your wedding day actually fixed, all the prelimicaries settled, the bride waiting." He played with the big wolfhound's c, A rs, then added: "Really, Andrew, I don't see what's to be done. You owe a dutv to the girl. I don't see how you can jilt Eve, I really don't." "Engagements have been broken off be- fore, and almost at the eleventh hour," Andrew murmured. He moistened his dry lips with his tongue as he spoke, and he gazed at his father with a desperate eager- ness. "Oh, I know I ought to have made a clean breast to you days ago," he added, "before I had allowed matters to go so far, but somehow my courage failed me. IâI thought you were to k??n on this marriage taking place, f3oc-,r set upon itâand I've always tried to fall in with all your wishes, haven't I, father?-to obey you absolutely." "Yes, you've given in to me all your life," the old man grunted. "I would have cared for you far more, Andrew, if you'd gone your own way sornetim"-fet me at defi- ance, even but you take after your mother, poor woman, and a meeker, milder woman never breathed." He shook his head, and then added, more to himself than to his son, I like women who have a will of their own. Your patient Griselda. becomes a nuisance after a time." He paused and frowned, realising that he had been betrayed into over great freedom of speech and then he looked at Andrew through half-closed lids. "Well, well, so you want to get out of this marriage, do you? he said. "And what about the poor girlâwhat about Eve's feel- ings? Andrew flushed. "I don't want to hurt Eve in any way lyit I cannot think that her heart is really set upon this marriage. I fancy she is merely trying to please her j father. otherwise I would not suggest break. ing off my engagement, I'd be loyal to Eve  at aU cctlfi," "Humph! So you think she doesn't c-aro for yon' Jabez nodded his head filowlv. I "\Vell, all I can say is that old Peter and I have got a very obedient eon and daugh- ter, ond it's a pity that such a well-trained pair shouldn't marry. You're not thinking of auy other girl, I suppose, Andrewâ there's no one else you've got up your sleeve âthat you're fooling about with? Andrew hesitated. "That is a question I decline to answer," he said slowly. It va-3 the first time he had ever disobeyed his father. A long pause fell, a pause during which Jabez titudicd: the young giant 6crutinis- iiinriv. Then the old man pointed to the cloelc. "It's late, we'll to bed," he said sharply. "Early to bed, early to rise, that's been my motto all my life." He walked towards the door, and Andrew followed slowly, but, just as Jabez was about to leave the room, the young man stretched cut a cold hand and touched his father lightly on the arm. "Wii:.t about my engagement?" he de- manded. "Is it still to hold goodâand are preparations for the marringe to go on?" "Why, of course! Why not?" Jabez snorted. "I 'm not the sort of man to break my word or my bond. I promised old Peter Rawson that you should marry his daughter, and if there is to be any breaking off of this engagement it is old Peter that will have to do it. He looked into his son's face, laughed loud and sardonically, and then tramped out of the room. I CHAPTER XI. I I BOMEONS'S WALKING OVER MY GRATB. I "Fair girls should always wear white- nothing suits them eo well-âand really, 1 must say, Eve, you look perfectly beautiful in your wedding dreasâabsolutely lovely." For once in her life Fancy spoke with very genuine enthusiasm, and gazed at Eve with admiring eyes. The two girls were standing up in Eve's bedroom, and the bride-electâthe bride whose wedding was to take pla-ce in another three days' timeâhad just opened the great cardboard box which had arrived that after- noon from a well-known London jeho-p, and had been persuaded by Fancy into trying on the wedding gown. And now Eve stood up arrayed in bridal satinâsoft, shimmering satin that fell about her graceful figure in long fo!ds. Tho train, which was suspended from the shoulder, was most beautifullv bro?ered with silver and pearls, and Fancy had even thrown the wedding veil over Eve's head, so as to heighten the illusion, She was right in saying that Eve had never looked so beautiful, and yet this girl was pale and there was no glad happy light in iier eyesâno smile quivering upan her lips. She looked more like some tragic priiacess-, some beautiful, golden-haired princessâwho was to be married Lo the king of the neigh- bouring country, sacrificed for the sake of her people, doomed to make a loveless mar- riage to ensure peace tor her father's su b- jects, sent forth in her youth ahu her beauty to conquer the hearts of the enemies of her house, to enslave them, to subdue them. It's a lovely gOVln. isn't it?" Eve gazed thoughtfully at her reflection in the long mirror, but she did not appear to be at all impressed by her own loveliness. In fact, she thought what an irony it was that she stand up arrayed in the robe of a bride when she ought to be wearing mourn- ing robes for Conrad de Lille. And yet the knowledge was slowly dawning upon her that she had never really loved the hand- some actor, who had disgusted every decent man and woman bv his conduct at the time of the wreck of the Blue Star. Slowly but surely th knowledge had come home to Eve that what she bad felt for Conrad had merely been an infatuation sneh as a romantic schoolgirl would naturally feel for a handsome and fascinating actor. Her godmother had not taken proper care of her, she had allowed her young guest to go her own way far too much during that momentous visit to London, yielding to the mistaken idea that girls can look after themselves. "I look taller, do I not, with this long train?" Eve spoke in low tones, then she gave a little nervous shiver. "Someone's walking over my grave, Fancy," she ex- claimed, then she turned away from the mirror. "They say it is unlucky to try on a wedding gownâsuperstitious people de- clare it is the most unlucky thing that a. bride can do. I wonder if the prediction will come true in my case?" "Really, Eve!" Fancy held up small protesting hands. "How can you say such things, and it's most foolish to be super- stitious. Besides, if you didn't try on your gown before you were married, how do you know that it would fit, though I must say that they have fitted you. to perfec- tion, and I never saw a more exquisite frock? How you will be stared at by the crowd who will fill the church. I wonder if you will feel nervous, Eve ?" Fancy knelt down and spread out the train again, taking a. very womanly plea- sure in touching the rich, soft fabric, admiring the shining splendour of the satin. She would have liked Eve to parade up and down for at least half-an-hour -âher artistic pleasure in the bride was so great. Besides, Eve's marriage to Andrew Gilman would remove a dangerous rival from her path, or so Fancy told her- self. There was just the chanee, the bare possibility, that Rodney Grieve's heart might be caught in the rebound, for Eve would certainly be out of his reach in a few days from now. She would be another man's wife, and then would come Fancy's oppor- tunityâan opportunity she would not fail to take every advantage of. "I don't think I shall feel nervousâwhy should I?" Eve folded her hands together. "I can imagine a very happy bále-a. girl deeply in loveâbeing exceedingly agitated on her wedding day morningâtremulously excited, but it would be differentâvery different in my case." She sank down in a chair, throwing the bridal veil lightly back from her face, and the look that had come into her eyea puzzled Fancyâit was the look that might come over someone who was gazing into a land of promiseâa land from which she would have to turn away with ft long rc- luctant sigh. "What ornaments are you going to wear, Eve, on the great day?" Faney walked up to the dressing table and began to play with some trinkets that lay there. As usual, she was dressed in one of her favourite green frocks, and her whole mannerâher whole appearance â suggested elf-land. She was far more like a fay than a woman, and her eyes gleamed a bright green this afternoon, as though to match her dress. "I don't think I shall wear any jewellery at 311." What, not the diamond necklace that Mr. Gilman speaks of giving yooâthe neck- lace that belonged to his wife?" Most certainly not," Eve answered with decision. "I do not care particularly for diamonds, nor would I wear them on my wedding day." perhaps you are right," Fancy agreed. of A large diamond necklace might be a little inappropriate for a brideâbut pearlsâpearls are more suitable â more bridal. Besides, they would match the em- broidery on your train. So why don't you wear the nice little rope of pearls that Rodney gave you? He would be pleased, I should think, and they would look so lovely rouT.td your throatâthey would just give the finishing touch to your whole dressâtho perf.ct touch." Eve glanced at her cousin in surprise. "How do you know that Rodney hM given me pearls for a wedding present?" she demanded. "I have not told a soul, for I did not wish to accept tho gift for ona thingâit was a gift far beyond his means." Fancy flushed, then she gave a lig'ht, somewhat affected shrug of her shoulders. "I know you've never told me about the pearls," she retorted, "but you see I hap- pened to open the drawing-room door some weeks ago, and I 6aw Rodney offer you the pearls in t.heir case." Then why did you not make your pre- sence known?" Eve demanded, flushing a little. "Oh, I thought you neither of you would onrticularly desire my company at the moment," Fancy answered airily, so I just eliojKsd away." Ie And you didn't listen to what we were eaying? H My dear Eve, what an accusation to bring against me. I'm not an eavesdropper -âa listener." She spoke with such well simulated n- dignation, and her gif-en eyea tallied with jr.V.h angry that Evo was completely ?k?*: -.? ?- -?.? to* "I'm sorry. Fancy, if I've annoyed you." she murmured. "1-1 didn't moan to, but now that we have got. upon the Eiubject, of Rodney Grieve, I may as well tali you that it is my earnest wish that be will fall in love with "you later onâIâI have told him so, fo? I want you to be happy, FancyâI want him to be happy. And you do love him dearly, do you not?" "Love him, I should think eo," Fancy ex- claimed. She spoke in low, suppressed tonea, an extraordinary change coming' over ber faoe, such as always occurred when Rodney' na.rr,e waf] mentioned, for the wild, elfish ex- pression deserted her eyes, the pixie look. and a woman's feoul peered outâa passionate woman's soul. "So you've spoken to Rodney about me, have you?" Fancy added after a brief pause, "but I expect he gave you to understand that I should never succeed in taking youi place in his heart. It seems rather a. ruib- take, doesn't it, that he should care for you so deeplyâyou who have no love to give him âwhilst here I stand, ready to worship him as no woman ever worshipped a man yetâto adore himâand yet he turns from me. he turns from the substance to worship a shadow. She laughed rather bitterly, then, as she stared at Eve, she caught her breath, for a look had suddenly come over her cousin's face that she failed to understandâ a look that baffled and surprised her. "What is it, Eve," she cried sharply, jealousy giving a keen edge to her voice. Why do you look so strange? It isn't pos- sible that you have grown to care for Rodney during these last few days, that lie has begun to count for something in your life, and just when you are about to marry another manâwhen your wedding-day is fixed with Andrew Gilman." Eve crimsoned to her forehead, then she suddenly hid her burning face in her hand. "Don't say such things to me, Fancy," she entreated, "it is cruel of you, really cruel, for suppose what you have just said is correct. Thinkâthink what I must be suffering. "Oh, <> you little fool!" Fancy said the words with extraordinary vehemence. "So when it's too late you have suddenly found out that you love Rodney, have you; but what's the good? Nothing can possibly stop your wedding with Andrew, and you know that. You know just as well as I do noth- ing can avert your wedding." "I know that," moaned Eve, "and I have no one to blame but myself for the fatal tangle I have made of my life only, for pity's sake, never refer to this subject again. And have I not told you that I want you to marry Rodney? For I think would be happier married than living a single life, and it's his happiness above an things. She spoke in low, barely audible tones, but just as she said the words a hasty knock came at her bedroom door, and when she cried "Come in it was her father who entered. The old man looked very pale and dis- turbed, and when he caught sight of Eve in her wedding dress he shook his fists at her fiercely. "Off with all that mummery," he cried, "tear the wedding veil from your head and trample it under your foot, Eve, for your wedding is not going to take place. We have been tricked and deceived." "Father!" Eve sprang to her feet. "What are you sayingâwhat do you mean? Has Andrew decided to break off the en- gagementâhas he jilted me at the eleventh hour? ,"Jilted you? No, Andrew hasn't jilted you," old Peter Rawson exclaimed hoarsely. "It is I who have broken off the engage- ment-I who have forbidden the marriage!" (To be Continued.)

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