Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/126

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100
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

"Well, don't you agree with me?" I asked.

"Before I reply to that question I would like to tell you a little story," my roommate replied, and it seemed to me that his voice trembled a little.

"I once knew a man who held a prominent office in the State of Tennessee. He was a young man then—not older than yourself, and with just as quick a tongue when it came to condemning all sorts of wrong and injustice. His position gave him admission to the best social circles, and he wooed and married a beautiful girl. On his part it was wholly a love match. He worshiped her as he had never before worshiped anything on earth. For a time he was happy—after the manner of men who place their entire lives in the hands of one woman. By and by he noticed that his beautiful young wife was growing dejected and unhappy. Often, when he spoke to her in terms of endearment when they were alone, she would burst into tears, tear herself out of his arms and escape from the room. On one of these occasions he followed her to her room and insisted upon an explanation. At first she refused, but finally yielded, telling him a story which crushed him to the very dust. She said she had never loved him, but had been per-