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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

Owen suggested the Bosworth house


Thatcher

rose and crossed to the stove and took the book. He turned it over and scrutinized it carefully, scanned the blank pages and the silk-faced lids in the glow from the stove, and then handed it to Allen.

"What does that say there, that small gold print on the inside of the cover?"

"That's the binder's name--Z. Fenelsa."

Allen closed the book, passed his hand over the smooth covers, and handed it back to Ware.

"What did you say the woman's name was, Ware?" asked Thatcher.

"Didn't say, but the name she went by up there was Forbes. She told me it was an assumed name. The people she stayed with told me they never knew any better."

Several minutes passed in which no one spoke. The minister lapsed into one of his deep reveries. Thatcher stood just behind him peering into the fire. Suddenly he muttered under his breath and almost inaudibly, "Well, by God!"

CHAPTER XXIV

A WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY BALL

The Bassetts moved to the capital that winter, arriving with the phalanx of legislators in January, and establishing themselves in a furnished house opportunely vacated by the Bosworths, who were taking the Mediterranean trip. Bassett had been careful

to announce to the people of Fraserville that the removal was only temporary, and that he and his family would return in the spring, but Marian held private opinions quite at variance with her father's published statements.

Mrs. Bassett's acquiescence had been due to Mrs. Owen's surprising support of Marian's plan. In declaring that she would never, never consent to live in a flat, Mrs. Bassett had hoped to dispose of Marian's importunities, to which Bassett had latterly lent mild approval. When, however, Mrs. Owen suggested the Bosworth house, which could be occupied with the minimum of domestic vexation, Mrs. Bassett promptly consented, feeling that her aunt's interest might conceal a desire in the old lady's breast to have some of her kinsfolk near her. Mrs. Bassett had not allowed her husband to forget the dangerous juxtaposition of Sylvia Garrison to Mrs. Owen's check-book. "That girl," as Mrs. Bassett designated Sylvia in private conversation with her husband, had been planted in Elizabeth House for a purpose. Her relief that Sylvia had not been settled in the Delaware Street residence had been of short duration: Mrs. Bassett saw now that it was only the girl's adroit method of impressing upon Mrs. Owen her humility and altruism. Still Mrs. Bassett was not wholly unhappy. It was something to be near at hand where she could keep track of Sylvia's movements; and the social scene at the capital was not without its interest for her. She was not merely the wife of Morton Bassett, but the only child of the late Blackford Singleton, sometime Senator in Congress. She was moreover the niece of Sally Owen, and this in itself was a social asset. She showed her husband the cards that were left at their door, and called his attention to the fact that the representative people of the capital were looking them up. He made the mistake of suggesting that the husbands of most of the women who had called had axes to grind at the State House,--a suggestion intended to be humorous; but she answered that many of her callers were old friends of the Singletons, and she expressed the hope that he would so conduct himself as to adorn less frequently the newspaper headlines; the broad advertisement of his iniquities would be so much worse now that they were in the city, and with Marian's future to consider, and all.


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