The Mystery of Mary (Chapter 7, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 7

Three days later Tryon Dunham entered the office of Judge Blackwell by appointment. After the business was completed the Judge said with a smile, "Well, our mystery is solved. The little girl is all safe. She telephoned me just after you had left the other day, and sent her maid after her hat. It seems that while she stood by the window, looking down into the street, she saw an automobile containing some of her friends. It stopped at the next building.

Being desirous of speaking with a girl friend who was seated in the auto, she hurried out to the elevator, hoping to catch them. The elevator boy who took her down-stairs went off duty immediately, which accounts for our not finding any trace of her, and he was kept at home by illness the next morning. The young woman caught her friends, and they insisted that she should get in and ride to the station with one of them who was leaving the city at once. They loaned her a veil and a wrap, and promised to bring her right back for her papers and other possessions, but the train was late, and when they returned the building was closed. The two men who called for her were her brother and a friend of his, it seems. I must say they were not so attractive as she is. However, the mystery is solved, and I got well laughed at by my wife for my fears."

But the young man was puzzling how this all could be if the hat belonged to the girl he knew--to "Mary." When he left the Judge's office, he went to his club, determined to have a little quiet for thinking it over.

Matters at home had not been going pleasantly. There had been an ominous cloud over the breakfast table. The bill for the hat had arrived from Madame Dollard's, and Cornelia had laid it impressively by his plate. Even his mother had looked at him with a glance that spoke volumes as she remarked that it would be necessary for her to have a new rain-coat before another storm came.

There had been a distinct coolness between Tryon Dunham and his mother and sister ever since the morning when the loss of the hat and rain-coat was announced. Or did it date from the evening of that day when both mother and sister had noticed the beautiful ring which he wore? They had exclaimed over the flash of the diamond, and its peculiar pureness and brilliancy, and Cornelia had been quite disagreeable when he refused to take it off for her to examine. He had replied to his mother's question by saying that the ring belonged to a friend of his. He knew his mother was hurt by the answer, but what more could he do at present? True, he might have taken the ring off and prevented further comment, but it had come to him to mean loyalty to and belief in the girl whom he had so strangely been permitted to help. It was therefore in deep perplexity that he betook himself to his club and sat down in a far corner to meditate. He was annoyed when the office-boy appeared to tell him, there were some packages awaiting him in the office. "Bring them to me here, Henry."

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