My Queen_ A Weekly Journal for Young Women. Issue 2, October 6, 1900 Marion Marlowe's Courage; or, A Brave Girl's Struggle for Life and Honor
A WEEKLY JOURNAL FOR YOUNG WOMEN
No. 2. PRICE, FIVE CENTS.
MARION MARLOWE’S COURAGE
A BRAVE GIRL’S STRUGGLE FOR LIFE AND HONOR
BY GRACE SHIRLEY
PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, New York City.
Copyright, 1900, by Street & Smith. All rights reserved. Entered at New York Post-Office as Second-Class Matter.
Issued Weekly. By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the N. Y. Post Office, by Street & Smith, 238 William St., N. Y.
Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1900, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.
No. 2. NEW YORK, October 6, 1900. Price Five Cents.
MARION MARLOWE’S COURAGE;
A BRAVE GIRL’S STRUGGLE FOR LIFE AND HONOR.
By GRACE SHIRLEY.
A BOARDING-HOUSE EXPERIENCE.
“How much money have we left, Marion?”
“Nine dollars and seventy-five cents, butdon’t worry, sister! We’ll obtain more fromsomewhere, I’m sure. We cannot certainlybe going to starve in a great big city, full, asit is, of wealth and happiness!”
Dollie Marlowe sighed disconsolately. Shewas not so hopeful as her sister Marion.
The two girls were seated in a top floorroom of a cheap boarding-house, where theyhad gone only a day or two after Dollie’srescue from the clutches of Professor Dabroski,the hypnotist, who had abducted herfrom her home in the country.
Both girls were dressed in simple home-madefrocks, the same that they had wornwhen they first came to the city, but althoughtheir garments were coarse and absolutelydestitute of style they could not disguise thenatural beauty of the two maidens.
The girls were twins, but they did not lookat all alike, except in the general characteristicsof their features.
Dollie’s golden curls were bewitching as afairy’s, and her blue eyes sparkled eventhrough her tears, while Marion’s fair facewas sweet and charming in spite of the anxietiesto which she had been subjected. ForMarion’s first visit to the city had been fullof adventure. On her arrival she had beensent to the wrong address by Emile Vorse, afiend in the attire of a gentleman, who hadseen her at the station, and only rescuedfrom the insults of another fiend by a MissRay, who was kept almost a prisoner in theapartments to which Vorse sent Marion.
Miss Ray had confided to her that she hadbeen entrapped through a mock marriageand only remained quiet for the sake of herfamily, but Marion had induced her to runaway, and the young woman was now safein the bosom of her family.
After this experience came the rescue ofDollie from her abductor, and then, withoutfunds or friends, the girls took up their bravestruggle for existence in a city which showsbut little mercy to the poor or the unfortunate.
For two weeks they had occupied thisshabby room, which they obtained, with theirboard, for eight dollars per week, and duringthis time poor Marion had been very busy,for it was chiefly her information that securedthe indictment against her sister’s abductor.
“Thank goodness there’s nothing more tobe done in that direction,” she said, wearily.“That dreadful Mr. Lawson, or ‘Dabroski,’as he calls himself, is safe in jail, and theChief of Police tells me that it will be sometime before he is brought to trial. Justice isso slow,” she added, plaintively, “but then,it is sure, so there’s no use in getting impatient.I’ve been to seven places to-day inmy search for work. Oh, I am sure I will getsomething soon! I don’t see how I can helpit!”
“You are just wearing yourself out,dearie,” said Dollie, remorsefully. “You looka lot older than you did at home. Oh, dear,to think that I should be the cause of allyour worry!”
“Hush, Dollie!” cried Marion, “you arenot to blame, sister, and, oh, I am so gladthat it isn’t any worse!”
Her beautiful face flushed scarlet as shemade this admission.
Dollie’s blue eyes filled with tears and herlids drooped heavily.
“It’s bad enough, I am sure, but pleasedon’t speak of it. You love me just the same,don’t you, sister?” she cried, piteously.
Her loving sister rushed over to her andkissed her penitently.
“Forgive me, dear, but I can’t help thinkingof it sometimes! It is perfectly awful, andto think the papers are full of it!”
“They have been for two weeks,” saidDollie, sighing, “but they have been so kindin their judgment of me, I can never be toograteful to them. Still, I am glad we changedour names when we came to this house! Ifour fellow-boarders knew who we were theywould probably snub us!”
“Well,” cried her noble sister, scornfully,“I should not care for that. We have doneno wrong, why should we be scorned bythem?”
“It is the way of the world, I guess,” saidDollie, sadly, “for even my own father andmother condemned me before they knew Iwas guilty.”
“Oh, just hear this!” cried Marion, whohad picked up the evening paper; “poor Mr.Ray’s father was buried to-day! The griefhas killed him! And what do you think,Miss Ada Ray’s lover has thrown her over,and all on account of her sister’s misfortunes!Oh, I can hardly believe it! It is too utterlyabominable!”
She threw down the paper in a burst ofanger. She could not tolerate injustice, itmade her furious to think of it.
“I expect that is why we have seen nothingof Mr. Ray this week,” said Dollie. “Thepoor old father, he must have been over-sensitive,for if his daughter was innocent heshould not have grieved so. As for that fellowwho professed to be a lover, why, hemust have been a good-for-nothing to do athing like that. She’s lucky to be rid ofhim!” she added, with unusual spirit.
But Marion was walking the floor in a perfectfrenzy of indignation. She clenched herhands together as she thought over what shehad just read.
“Mr. Ray, our dear, good friend. Oh, Iam so sorry for him!” she cried. “He is goingto take his two sisters abroad immediately.He has to, I can see that. It would bedreadful for them to stay here.”
“And we won’t see him again,” said Dollie,almost ready to cry.
Marion bit her lips and her gray eyes grewalmost hard with agony.
“I’m afraid not,” she said, shortly: “thepaper says he is to sail to-morrow.”
There was a sharp rap on the door, andMarion composed herself quickly and openedit.
The stout, coarse figure of the landladycompletely blocked the doorway.
“Good-evening, Mrs. Garvin,” said theyoung girl, politely, then as she observed thewoman’s expression she stood still and staredat her.
“You are a nice pair, I must say!” beganthe boarding-house keeper angrily. “Tothink of the likes of you comin’ into myhouse! You’ve got nerve and to spare, MissMarion Marlowe!”
She glanced at the sisters as she spoke, butas neither of them answered she went on withher vituperations.
“Did you think because you gave yournames as Miller that the truth wouldn’t leakout? Well, that shows how much you know,you little ninnies! Why, I’d have caught onmyself if I ever read the papers! The descriptionof you would have given me the tipat once if I’d happened to see it!”
“If you had read the papers you wouldhave seen that we were not to blame for ourmisfortunes,” said Marion, coldly; “but youcannot blame us for not wishing to beknown. We are only simple country girls,we do not wish to be stared at as curiosities.”
“Oh, I guess you ain’t so simple as youlook,” sneered the woman. “Girls that runaway from home with city chaps ain’t so verysimple, or innocent either.”
“Hush!” cried Marion, sternly, “not anotherword, madam! You are talking aboutsomething which you do not understand!This is my room, and I insist upon beingtreated with courtesy.”
Marion’s cheeks glowed like fire as sheglared back at the woman. For Dollie’s sakeshe would as readily have confronted the verydemon of evil himself.
“And this is my house, and I want you toleave it!” was the woman’s prompt answer.“I’ll not harbor such creatures another night,if I know it!”
Marion took a step forward, her face becomingcovered with a death-like pallor.
“Another word if you dare!” she said in avibrating whisper.
The woman glanced sharply at the set lipsand gleaming eyes, and seeing something inthe young girl’s manner that thrilled hercowardly soul, she shrank back with a movementthat took her over the threshold.
As quick as a flash Marion shut the doorin her face.
“You shall get out to-night!” screamedthe woman through the door.
Marion opened the door again and facedher sternly.
“I paid you eight dollars to-day for aweek’s board in advance. We shall be readyto go when you have returned my money!”
“You’ll not get a cent!” roared the woman,furiously. “You shall go out penniless, youbrazen hussies!”
Marion’s lips curved in a disdainful smileas she closed the door.
“You heard what I said, madam,” was heronly answer.
A WOMAN REPORTER.
Five minutes later there was another tapon Marion’s door. She opened it at oncewithout the slightest hesitation.
“Oh, it is you, Miss Allyn. Come in,” shesaid pleasantly. “We are just packing up,but, as you see, it will not take us long. Dosit down, and Dollie and I will be through ina minute.”
The young lady who had entered was awoman of striking appearance. She wasabout twenty-five, of medium height, but notat all handsome. The attractive featureabout her was the shrewdness in her eyes,which were as keen as an eagle’s, and yetperfectly frank and fearless.
“I heard that old termagant talking to youjust now,” she said, bluntly, “and I came topat you on the shoulder, Miss Miller. Don’tyou budge an inch until she gives you backyour money.”
“I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for Dollie,” saidMarion, sighing. “I can’t permit Dollie tobe insulted, and if you overheard the conversationyou know who we are, Miss Allyn.”
“I’ve known it ever since you came here,”said Miss Allyn, pleasantly, “and I’ve beenhoping that she wouldn’t get on to it.”
“You knew and yet you did not tell?” criedboth Dollie and Marion together.
“What do you take me for?” was the answer,with a shrug of the shoulders. “Don’tyou think I know enough to mind my business,and, besides, is there anything about methat looks like a snake?”
“No, indeed, there is not,” said Marion,promptly, “but most women would havethought it fine to be able to tell such asecret.”
“Humph!” sneered Miss Allyn. “That’swhy I despise women. They’d die if theycouldn’t talk, and talk always makes trouble.”
“I guess you are right,” said Marion, asshe snapped the catch of the little hair trunkwhich the police had rescued for her from theapartment in “The Norwood.” It was all thegirls had in the way of baggage, but it heldtheir scanty wardrobe nicely.
Another loud rap on the door clearly indicatedthat the landlady had returned.
Miss Allyn winked at Marion and thenopened the door herself, confronting Mrs.Garvin in the most unconcerned manner.
“What, you in here, Miss Allyn!” said thelandlady, sneeringly. “Well, if I was you I’dbe a little more choice in my associates.”
“Would you now?” said Miss Allyn, whowas chewing gum vigorously.
“Yes, I would,” snapped the woman, “butperhaps you don’t know who these two innocent-lookingcreatures are. They’re themMarlowe girls that’s been made notorious oflate in the papers.”
“You don’t say!” said Miss Allyn, stillchewing vigorously. Her extraordinarymanner made her audience stare a little.
“I didn’t know it ’til to-day that I was harborin’such critters, but out they go to-night.I won’t keep ’em a day longer. My houseis respectable. I don’t want no——”
“Hold on Mrs. Garvin!” said Miss Allynwith a sudden ring in her voice, “you are‘barking up the wrong tree’ this time, oldlady! I’m better acquainted with yourboarders than you think, perhaps. Do youwant me to tell you the class of people youare harboring?”
Mrs. Garvin’s red face grew paler as shelistened, but she was too thoroughly angryto think of being prudent.
“There’s no one in my house but honestpeople,” she began, but Miss Allyn stoppedher with an imperious gesture.
“There’s one detective, one rogue and onesneak thief,” she said quietly, “besides an actor,two actresses and a red-headed grasswidow. Not that