Lo, Michael (Chapter 2, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 2

Little Starr Endicott, sleeping in her costly lace-draped crib on her downy embroidered pillow, knew nothing of the sin and hate and murder that rolled in a great wave on the streets outside, and had almost touched her own little life and blotted it out. She knew not that three notable families whose names were interwoven in her own, and whose blood flowed in her tiny veins represented the great hated class of the Rich, and that those upon whom they had climbed to this height looked upon them as an evil to be destroyed; nor did she know that she, being the last of the race, and in her name representing them all, was hated most of all.

Starr Delevan Endicott! It was graven upon her tiny pins and locket, upon the circlet of gold that jewelled her finger, upon her brushes and combs; it was broidered upon her dainty garments, and coverlets and cushions, and crooned to her by the adoring Scotch nurse who came of a line that knew and loved an aristocracy. The pride of the house of Starr, the wealth of the house of Delevan, the glory of the house of Endicott, were they not all hers, this one beautiful baby who lay in her arms to tend and to love. So mused Morton as she hummed: "O hush thee my babie, thy sire was a knight, Thy mother a ladie, both gentle and bright--"

And what cared Morton that the mother in this case was neither gentle nor bright, but only beautiful and selfish? It did but make the child the dearer that she had her love to herself.

And so the little Starr lay sleeping in her crib, and the boy, her preserver, from nobody knew where, and of nobody knew what name or fame, lay sleeping also. And presently Delevan Endicott himself came to look at them both.

He came from the swirl of the sinful turbulent world outside, and from his fretting, petted wife's bedside. She had been fretting at him for allowing a bank in which he happened to be president to do anything which should cause such a disturbance outside her home, when he knew she was so nervous. Not one word about the little step that had stood for an instant between her baby and eternity. Her husband reminded her gently how near their baby had come to death, and how she should rejoice that she was safe, but her reply had been a rush of tears, and "Oh, yes, you always think of the baby, never of me, your wife!"

With a sigh the man had turned from his fruitless effort to calm her troubled mind and gone to his little daughter. He had hoped that his wife would go with him, but he saw the hopelessness of that idea.

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