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- Jane Cable - 1/52 -


[Illustration: "HIS FEEBLE GLANCE TOOK IN HER FACE WITH LIFELESS INTEREST"]

Jane Cable

By George Barr McCutcheon

CONTENTS

I When Jane Goes Driving II The Cables III James Bansemer IV The Foundling V The Bansemer Crash VI In Sight of the Fangs VII Mrs. Cable Entertains VIII The Telegram IX The Proposal X The Four Initials XI An Evening with Droom XII James Bansemer Calls XIII Jane Sees with New Eyes XIV The Canker XV The Tragedy of the Sea Wall XVI Hours of Terror XVII David Cable's Debts XVIII The Visit of Harbert XIX The Crash XX Father and Son XXI In the Philippines XXII The Chase of Pilar XXIII The Fight in the Convent XXIV Teresa Velasquez XXV The Beautiful Nurse XXVI The Separation of Hearts XXVII "If They Don't Kill You" XXVIII Homeward Bound XXIX The Wreckage XXX The Drink of Gall XXXI The Transforming of Droom XXXII Elias Droom's Dinner Party XXXIII Droom Triumphs over Death XXXIV To-morrow

CHAPTER I

WHEN JANE GOES DRIVING

It was a bright, clear afternoon in the late fall that pretty Miss Cable drove up in her trap and waited at the curb for her father to come forth from his office in one of Chicago's tallest buildings. The crisp, caressing wind that came up the street from the lake put the pink into her smooth cheeks, but it did not disturb the brown hair that crowned her head. Well-groomed and graceful, she sat straight and sure upon the box, her gloved hand grasping the yellow reins firmly and confidently. Miss Cable looked neither to right nor to left, but at the tips of her thoroughbred's ears. Slender and tall and very aristocratic she appeared, her profile alone visible to the passers-by.

After a very few moments, waiting in her trap, the smart young woman became impatient. A severe, little pucker settled upon her brow, and not once, but many times her eyes turned to the broad entrance across the sidewalk. She had telephoned to her father earlier in the afternoon; and he had promised faithfully to be ready at four o'clock for a spin up the drive behind Spartan. At three minutes past four the pucker made its first appearance; and now, several minutes later, it was quite distressing. Never before had he kept her waiting like this. She was conscious of the fact that at least a hundred men had stared at her in the longest ten minutes she had ever known. From the bottom of a very hot heart she was beginning to resent this scrutiny, when a tall young fellow swung around a near-by corner, and came up with a smile so full of delight, that the dainty pucker left her brow, as the shadow flees from the sunshine. His hat was off and poised gallantly above his head, his right hand reaching up to clasp the warm, little tan one outstretched to meet it.

"I knew it was you long before I saw you," said he warmly.

"Truly? How interesting!" she responded, with equal warmth. "Something psychic in the atmosphere today?"

"Oh, no," he said, reluctantly releasing her hand. "I can't see through these huge buildings, you know---it's impossible to look over their tops--I simply knew you were here, that's all."

"You're romantic, even though you are a bit silly," she cried gaily. "Pray, how could you know?"

"Simplest thing in the world. Rigby told me he had seen you, and that you seemed to be in a great rage. He dared me to venture into your presence, and--that's why I'm here."

"What a hopelessly, commonplace explanation! Why did you not leave me to think that there was really something psychic about it? Logic is so discouraging to one's conceit. I'm in a very disagreeable humour to-day," she said, in fine despair.

"I don't believe it," he disputed graciously.

"But I am," she insisted, smiling brightly. His heart was leaping high--so high, that it filled his eyes. "Everything has gone wrong with me to-day. It's pretty trying to have to wait in front of a big office building for fifteen minutes. Every instant, I expect a policeman to come up and order me to move on. Don't they arrest people for blocking the street?"

"Yes, and put them in awful, rat-swarming dungeons over in Dearborn Avenue. Poor Mr. Cable, he should be made to suffer severely for his wretched conduct. The idea of--"

"Don't you dare to say anything mean about dad," she warned.

"But he's the cause of all the trouble--he's never done anything to make you happy, or--"

"Stop!--I take it all back--I'm in a perfectly adorable humour. It was dreadfully mean of me to be half-angry with him, wasn't it? He's in there, now, working his dear old brain to pieces, and I'm out here with no brain at all," she said ruefully.

To the ingenuous youth, such an appeal to his gallantry was well-nigh irresistible, and for a moment it seemed as if he would yield to the temptation to essay a brilliant contradiction; but his wits came to his rescue, for quickly realising that not only were the frowning rocks of offence to be avoided, but likewise the danger of floundering helplessly about in the inviting quicksands of inanity, he preserved silence--wise young man that he was, and trusted to his eyes to express an eloquent refutation. At last, however, something seemed to occur to him. A smile broke on his face.

"You had a stupid time last night?" he hazarded.

"What makes you think so?"

"I know who took you in to dinner."

The eyes of the girl narrowed slightly at the corners.

"Did he tell you?"

"No, I have neither seen nor heard from anyone present." She opened her eyes wide, now.

"Well, Mr. S. Holmes, who was it?"

"That imbecile, Medford."

Miss Cable sat up very straight in the trap; her little chin went up in the air; she even went so far as to make a pretence of curbing the impatience of her horse.

"Mr. Medford was most entertaining--he was the life of the dinner," she returned somewhat severely.

"He's a professional!"

"An actor!" she cried incredulously.

"No, a professional diner-out. Wasn't that rich young Jackson there?"

"Why, yes; but do tell me how you knew?" The girl was softening a little, her curiosity aroused.

"Of course I will," he said boyishly, at once pleased with himself and his sympathetic audience. "About five-thirty I happened to be in the club. Medford was there, and as usual catering to Jackson, when the latter was called to the 'phone. Naturally, I put two and two together." He paused to more thoroughly enjoy the look of utter mystification that hovered on the girl's countenance. It was very apparent that this method of deduction through addition was unsatisfying. "What Jackson said to Medford, on his return," the young man continued, "I did not hear; but from the expression on the listener's face I could have wagered that an invitation had been extended and accepted. Oh, we boys have got it down fine! Garrison is---"

"And who is Garrison?"

"Garrison is the head door man at the club. It's positively amazing the number of telephone calls he receives every afternoon from well-known society women!"


Jane Cable - 1/52

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