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**



THE

ALBATROSS NOVELS

By ALBERT ROSS
23 Volume*

My be had wiurever books arc told at the price JOB
paid for thb volume

Black Adonis, A
Canton Bigamy, The
Her Husband's Friend
Hi* Foster Sister
His Private Character
In Stella's Shadow
Love at Seventy
Love Gone Astray
Moulding a Maiden
Naked Truth, The
New Sensation, A
Original Sinner, An
Out of Wedlock
Speaking of Ellen
Stranger Than Fiction
Sugar Princess, A
That Gay Deceiver
Their Marriage Bond
Thou Shalt Not
Thy Neighbor's Wife
Why I'm Single
Young Fawcett's Mabel
Young Miss Giddy

G. W. DILLINGH AM CO.
Publisher* :: j, New York



YOUNG
FAWCETT'S MABEL.

BY ALBERT ROSS,

AUTHOR OF

"THOU SHALT Nor," "His PRIVATE CHARACTER,"

14 SPEAKING or ELLEN," " LOVK AT SEVENTY,"

"WHY I'M SINGLE," "A BLACK

ADONIS," ETC., ETC.



NEW YORK:

eOfYRIflHT, ,.,5, BY 0. W. BILLIMOMAH.

G. W. Dittingham Co., Publishers.
\Att rights rntrve*.\



TO MY READERS.



THE story which fills the following page* wa* wi
written this year, nor last ; and with one exception
it took more of my time than anything else that
bears my signature. It has long been ready for the
press. Why has it not been printed sooner, and
why is it offered to you now ?

The first reason is this : One hesitates to send a
favorite child, in whose merit he believes, before an
audience sure to be critical. "Thou Shalt Not"
lay in my desk four years before any publisher saw
it. ' ' Young Fawcett's Mabel " has been there nearly
as long, on account of a fear that my successes have
not taught me to outlive.

This is the second reason : There are certain
public questions ' ' in the air, " as the saying is, and
novelists are unconsciously following in similar
paths. For instance : " Out of Wedlock " had a plot
that was, till its appearance, unique in literature ;
but within a month an eminent English author
published a novel with the same motif, and a month
later another author did the same thing. I do not
consider it safe to leave "Mabel" out of print, lest
the day come when I cannot send it forth without
being accused of plagiarism.



2061965



4 TO MY READERS.

This summer I hare spent in Western and Central
Europe. In the intervals of travel I have begun to
weave another tale, that will be yours in due time.
The winter I intend to pass in Rome, Naples, Egypt
and Palestine ; the spring in Constantinople. I
therefore, in my absence, commend to you this
favorite child of my brain, hoping she will prove at
welcome as her older sisters were.

ALBERT ROSa

Flortme, Italy, Nov. I, 1894.



CONTENTS.



OHArrm

I. A Prospective Mother-in-law. ... 7

II. "If you could hare a room "~ it

III. Mabel Falls in Lore &

IV. Allan Becomes a Brother. 4*

V. "That wouldn't be nice" S3

VI. Not an Improper Liberty 6j

VII. Sadie Wears Evening Dress 73

VIII. " His wife, of course " 86

IX. A Great Deal of Sewing. 98

X. Their Wedding Journey 109

XI. " Don't speak to me I " 121

XII. A Husband's Thoughtlessness 119

XIII. " You never saw a girl !" 136

XIV. ANightatSelden's 14$

XV. When Morning Came 15$

XVI. "Asmall boyarrived" i

XVII. Wanted, a Divorce 179

XVIII. " He must be a paragon " 189

XIX. Coming Home Unexpectedly aoo

XX. " Will it be best ? "

XXI. Because Mattie was Lonesome ai

XXII. An Unpleasant Situation 233

XXIII. " Why did yu tell malfcs?". 344



XXIY. A TorkWi Brtfc 353

XXY. M I know you have been trne ". 262

XXVL "What made 700 marry mamma?". 268

XXVIL The Act of a Dastard. 278

XXVIII. Dead, for a ducat 287

XXIX. For Their ChDd's Sake. 296

XXX,



YOUNG FAWCETT'S MABEL

CHAPTER L

A PROSPECTIVE MOTHER-IN-LAW.

I HAVE decided to write the story of the matrimonial
experiences of Allan Fawcett and of Mabel M. Fawcett,
his wife ; to tell the world, without prejudice to either,
the manner in which they became acquainted, the cir-
cumstances that led to their courtship and marriage,
the reasons why they found each ^ther uncongenial,
the way they drifted apart, and the temptations that
arose from the infelicity thus developed.

There are few marital difficulties, I opine, that are
entirely the fault of but one of the contracting parties.
It is the custom, in cases of doubt, to lay the heavier
weight upon the shoulders of the man. Possibly those
who read this tale may admit that the woman is not
always without blame.

I am to tell this story with the full consent of those
most interested. No one knows them better than I.
They have confided to me their innermost thoughts.
During those months when they had lost faith in each
other, they confided in me. I believe I am able to give
an unbiased account of a series of events that should
be of direct benefit to other people who are married ef
contemplating matrimony.



8 YOUNG FAWCETT'S MABEL.

Of course the first thing necessary is to disguise the
personality of my characters. Readers acquainted
with the various branches of the highly-respected
Fawcett family may recognize neither Allan nor Mabel
as familiar names connected with that ilk. It would
have been quite as easy for me to call them John and
Rebeka Smith, for the titles used are wholly fictitious.
But a question of far greater importance is likely to
arise. It is probable that thousands will think they
see in these people the counterparts of others, and
credit me with a wider and more intimate knowledge
of domestic affairs than any one man could possess.
They will say that I must have known Mrs. Brown or
Mr. Robinson, of their village, and have penetrated
into the deepest secrets of their existence. They will
be wrong. Our Allan and Mabel have an entity of
their own.

There is a widespread opinion which this book will
not lessen that something is the matter with the
matrimonial institution. The divorce courts are choked
With cases. There are States in which hundreds take
lip a temporary residence for the sole purpose of sever-
ing obnoxious ties. Something is surely wrong ; but
whether the trouble lies mainly with the husbands, or
with the wives, or the climate, or the too free institu-
tions of the land, or the growing contempt for old forms,
or the increasing love of ease and luxury that I will
leave to the professional essayists who make a specialty
of such matters. It is for me merely to relate the
history of a special case, and allow the public to draw
its own conclusions.

In the days of my childhood I remember writing,
over and over, in my copy-book, these words :

M It is human to err."



YOUNG FA WCETT'S MABEL. 9

* It is human to err."

" It is human to err."

I have something of the human quality in me. This
couple of whom I shall write these two who have
lived in the most intimate relation that God permits to
His creatures may come to regard each other as deadly
enemies ; they who have hung breathless on each other's
smiles may meet with frowns; they who have run
swiftly toward the sound of beloved steps may fly as
swiftly in the opposite direction. If they do, I cannot
help it. The more they err, the more human I find
them.

To begin, then, Allan Fawcett, at the age of fifteen,
was left an orphan and a penniless one, too. He did
not mind in the least, however, the prospect of going
out to earn his living. He had health and courage.
Some distant relations made vague offers of seeing to
his welfare. They had plenty of means to continue
the education which he much wanted, even to send him
to college, as his father would have done. But even
at that early age Allan had developed a pride quit* out
of proportion to his size. He felt in every nerve that
the offers of assistance were not hearty ones, and he
would have begged of strangers on the highway rather
than accept the bounty of his own flesh and blood un-
der such conditions. He told them he had no need of
help, and almost before they were aware of his intention
he had taken what little money belonged to him, and
put a thousand miles between himself and every one
he knew.

He never liked to talk much of this period of his
life. I know he worked awhile in a store for four doK
lars a week, sleeping in a back office as a sort of pro-
tection against burglars, and paying three dollars ft



m YOVXG FAWCXTTS MAMML.

week for his meals at a boarding-hocse, I
was for a time a newsboy on a railroad, where be
"ran " a night train, and got his sleep after inlilB%Et
on a pfle of mail-bags, when he had harassed the last
possible purchaser into buying a paper, a book, or a box
of figs. Afterwards be lived in a hotel and answered
bells; and be went op and down one of our great rivers
on a steamer, waiting on table and otherwise assisting
fa the cabin.

A slender, deEcate lad he was then, bat with more
hope than many twice his size. He did not complain
of the longest hours, or of the hardest labor he was
able to perform, but would never, even when his fort-
unes were the lowest, permit anyone to address him in
an insolent manner without replying in equally cutting
terms. Some of his situations were lost by this trait of
his, for the employer of labor often believes that the
salary he pays entitles him to say to its recipient what-
ever ill-temper suggests.

Sometimes the very ludicrousness of the contrast be-
tween his diminutive bulk and that of his elders saved
him from punishment or discharge, as a laugh from the
bystanders would greet his indignant words; some-
fBMf^ again, the bully who had "nltfd hffq used his
superior ^*H*tti to eject of fk^yftp him,

Allan never could realize in those days that any man
afive was bigger or stronger than he, until it had beea
pot to the test. When attacked with the tongue he
had no difficulty in parrying the thrust with one full/
as effective. When met with physical force he lost no
time in seizing any weapon that lay within reach and
returning blow for blow, BO matter when or where the
incident occurred.

JUdwngk a skpd^ rate pale boy, at



YOUNG FA WCET-TS MABEL. \ i

at seventeen, he began to grow rapidly in his
eighteenth year At nineteen he was not a bad-looking
young fellow, though he cared little for dress and had
not a single air of the dandy about him. He had be*
gun to get on his feet, as the saying is. Though two

-^ years short of the legal age for transacting business, he
was already a merchant in a small way, and had a
capital While on the railroad he had noticed that the
prices of various commodities varied considerably at

'' the ends of the line, much more In some cases than
the price of carriage seemed to warrant. With only
twenty-five dollars at his command he made his first
venture In buying and selling, and had the supreme
satisfaction of seeing the twenty-five turned Into thirty-
eight with hardly any effort It was clear that he was
destined by nature to be a trader. Other ventures
followed, some with equally good results, some with
poorer, and some as is a necessity of trade with a
loss. But even the losses were not unproductive of
good results. They taught him caution.

What slight events seem to alter GOT entire lives I
The year that Fawcett was twenty he happened to ren-
der a service to a kdy on a train. She had forgotten
an important errand in the city they had just left im-
portant, at least, to her and had just discovered, by
asking the conductor, that she would be unable to go
back and attend to it without staying over night, a
thing she did not like to do. In the midst of her dis-
comfort Allan Fawcett, who sat in the seat in front of
her, volunteered his services. He was going back in
the course of two or three boors, and would be pleased
to step into the store and order the package she had
forgotten forwarded to her by the first morning train*
Tht Wy locked at the cud be handed btr, and res4



S * \OUNG FA WCE TT'S MABEL.

these words: ' Allan Fawcett, Commission Merchant^
78 South Street" Then she looked at the young man.

" Are you an employee of Mr. Fawcett ? " she asked.

"No," he said, reddening a little. " I am Mr. Faw-
cett, himself."

" Oh ! " said the lady. And she was so lost in this
discovery, considering the youth of the commission
merchant, that she forgot for the moment the subject
which had brought on the conversation.

" I am only going to Glendon," said Allan, again ;
" and I shall be back to Norwood by five. I can step
into the store you spoke of and do your errand without
the least trouble."

Then the lady thanked him, and accepted his offer.
She handed him one of her own cards, with the name
of " Mrs. Lucius Morey " on one side and the neces-
sary words pencilled on the other. She seemed to be
a widow, judging from her garments, and, as he after-
wards learned, the late Mr. Morey had been deceased
for a number of years.

There was not time for a very lengthy conversation
before the young man reached his destination. In the
little that he said he impressed Mrs. Morey very
strongly in his favor, and she invited him to call upon
her should he ever visit the village of Gleason, where
she lived. He said he sometimes had occasion to go
there, and would not forget her invitation, and then
the train stopped and he alighted.

"He is a bright young man,'* mused Mrs. Morey,
when he was gone. " I hope he will come and see us.
He is very bright, indeed."

When Fawcett had done the errand for Mrs. Morey
he dismissed her from his mind. He had only accept*
ed her invitation out of politeness, and, in truth, sup-



YOUNG FA WCETT'S MABEL. ij

posed that the only reason she had given it. The Kfe
he led was a purely business one. He had never been
into a private residence since he left his father's after
the funeral, five years previous. His acquaintances
were mainly business men. His time out of business
hours was largely spent in reading, of which he was
passionately fond. He found the great novelists,
poets, and historians a grateful change after a day spent
in selling produce, or in seeking new customers who
would consign their goods to him.

Had he been possessed of a fortune he might have
written things himself that would have been worth
reading, for he had an imaginative temperament, and
his ideals were passionate and poetic. The necessity
of providing for his own needs, and more than all the
solitary life he led, with no one to advise or direct him,
kept him along the lines of trade. He had not been
long in discovering that God seems to help only those
who help themselves, and that poverty was a hateful
thing that men should escape as soon as possible.

Still, he had a dream that a day would yet come to
him when, in a library of his own, surrounded by the
books he loved, he might read away the days and even-
ings, with the price of butter and the quality of eggs no
longer a prime consideration. He had that object in
his work, that hope and belief that if he toiled faith-
fully an end would come to it all in time and the reward
be his.

There was not in these vague visions any figure of a
woman. Fawcett was not at that period a susceptible
man toward the fair sex. He seldom paid particu-
lar attention to the girls that he met in his travels
or in his walks about the streets. He went to the
theatre occasionally, but it was the quality of the act'



14 YOUNG PAWCETT'S MAMML.

ing rather than the physical perfection of the
that remained in his memory. As for the church, that
great matrimonial agency, he did not go there at all.
Of a Sunday he was more likely to be found in his
room, buried in a volume of Thackeray, or George-
Sand, or Turgenieff, than anywhere else. Some-
times indeed frequently he forgot his dinner whilf
thus engaged, and more than once he found the morn-
ing sun peeping in at the window as he closed a book
he had only intended to read till eleven o'clock of
so.

I will not say I, who have promised to tell the
whole truth about this man that hen ever turned his
steps toward those habitations which are permitted but
not approved in our cities. I will not guarantee that
he never rang bells or entered doors at places of which
the least said is always considered the better. But I
will say that there was nothing about his life that could
be called dissipation, whatever be the opinion of its
doubtful morality in the respect just alluded to. He
spent little of his time or substance with women, and
of other vices he had practically none whatever. That
is to say he did not know how to play a single game
of cards ; he drank nothing intoxicating except a glass
of beer at rare intervals ; and he did not use tobacco in
any form. There are men who dissipate by too much
work he did not even do that. The occasional all
night at his books was the only thing that approached
it. His health was good, his habits were not bad, on
the whole, and his business friends considered him a
model young man.

He did not go to Mrs. Morey's, because he thought
her invitation a perfunctory one, and also because
be did not see what particular pleasure he should dt>



YOUNG FA WCSTT'S MABEL. 15

rive from her society. She was evidently a lady, in the
fullest sense of the term, and he had a notion that he
would rather spend five minutes talking with one of
that description than any longer period. He imagined
that his stock of conversational subjects would run
completely dry in that time. He did not like to
answer personal questions, which she would be likely
to ask, nor had he any wish to propound inquiries of
that nature to her.

Fawcett was becoming rather eccentric, and prided
himself upon that fact. There was nothing about him
of the ladies' man, and he did not mean there ever
should be. He would not buy a silk hat, and very
seldom donned a pair of kid gloves, from a notion that
such things were beneath the dignity of an energetic,
fellow. They seemed to him an effeminate affectation,
an attempt to imitate the delicate attire of women.
He would have worn a velvet jacket on the street as
soon as a pair of patent leather shoes, at that time in
his career. And it is hardly too strong a way of
putting it to say that he would much rather have
pushed a hand-cart along the principal street at the
fashionable hour than to have made the same journey
with a lady on his arm.

It was a source of wonder to him afterward that he
ever was beguiled into the parlor of Mrs. Lucius
Morey. The process was so insidious that he could
never tell afterwards exactly how it came about.
Several weeks after that day on the railroad he saw
her at Gleason. They met at a corner, and there was
no escape when she stopped and addressed him
pleasantly, saying she must thank him once more for
the favor he had done her about the parcel. He an-
swered that it was not worth speaking of, and then



X 6 YOUNG FA WCETT** MABEL.

paused, hoping this would end the conversation. But
Mrs. Morey went on to inquire why he had never
called, and to say that she had looked for him daily
for more than a week after they parted. Before they
separated she had inveigled him as he always put it
into a definite promise that he would visit her very
soon.

With Allan Fawcett a promise was a promise.
There was no way out of it, now it was made. The
next time he came to Gleason he went to Mrs.
Morey's. It was early in the evening, for he had to
stay in the town over night. He meant to plead an-
other engagement later, for this sort of polite lying
even he considered admissible. Nevertheless the lady
was so agreeable and soon put him so much at his ease
that the clock struck ten before he knew it was half
that time.

Without seeming in the least disagreeably inquisitive,
Mrs. Morey learned most of the facts that she cared to
know before the door closed after him on that first
evening at her house. She had found that he was an
orphan, than he was making a business career entirely
unaided, that he already had money in the bank, and
that his habits were exceptionally good. She could
see for herself that he was pleasing in his personal ap-
pearance, and that he was apparently destined for a
long life.

" And so you have no intimate friends in Norwood,"
she said, musingly. " Excuse me for saying that is not
good for a young man. It is not well to be too much
alone during one's early years."

She was so kind in her manner that he felt, as she
intended him to feel, that she took a real interest in his
welfare.



YOUNG FAWCETT*S MABEL. iy

" Don't forget," she added, when he did not reply,
"that you are always welcome here and that I shall
take it to heart if you ever come to Gleason without
calling."

" Thank you," he said. " Have you always lived in
this village ? "

" Oh, dear, no ! " replied Mrs. Morey. " I came
here after my husband died, because well, to be per-
fectly honest, because it was cheaper than New York,
where we formerly resided. The place is a little too
dull. I do not think I shall stay here much longer.
I wonder if Norwood is much dearer."

Fawcett answered that he could hardly say as to
that, never having kept house. He supposed the
rents were higher, but other things must be about the
same. She secured his promise to look about and see
what a small house could be hired for, something with
six to eight rooms, and to let her know the next time
he came to Gleason.

" If I should move to Norwood I should be likely to
see more of you," said Mrs. Morey, brightly. " As I
have no friends there and you so few outside of your
business, I should hope to have you call often."

A proper reply was made to this suggestion, which
did not seem to mean much at the time.

" I am so glad to meet a young man, in these days,
continued the lady, "who is not complaining of the
lack of opportunities, or hanging upon relations. I
sometimes grow pessimistic when I look at the rising
generation. I have heard my young friends say that
the opportunities to make a living have all disappeared,
and that no one can get along nowadays unless he
has money to make a start. Your case proves the
fallacy of that argument. It takes nothing but push



it YOUNG FAWCETT'S MABRL.

and pluck to ensure success, the same as it always did.
You will have a comfortable fortune by the time you
are forty, and be able to take your ease for the rest of
your life. There is only one road to success, and that
is work."

Fawcett had said this to himself so many times that
he was pleased to hear the thought expressed so well
by another, and he liked Mrs. Morey better from that
moment.

" He is certain to succeed," said Mrs. Morey, reflect-
ively, after he had gone. " He suits me even better
than I expected. I will move to Norwood, where I can
be near him."

" Yes," she added, " I really think he is the very
man I want for Mabel."



CHAPTER II.

"IF YOU COULD HAVE A ROOM."

AND who was Mabel ?

Mabel Morey was her mother's only child. At the
time of which I am writing she was in her eighteenth
year. Relations better off in the gear of this world
had invited her to visit them, and she was now in
Cleveland, Ohio, where they resided.

In her plans for this daughter Mrs. Morey had no
intention to hasten the natural course of events, so far
as time was concerned. She would have been shocked
at the idea that Mabel would marry before she was at
least twenty. But she had an eye for the future. She
was so well pleased with the young commission mer-
chant that she thought it wise to cultivate him and



YOUNG FAWCMTTS MABEL. 19

keep him in tow, until the right time came. She con-
ceived a plan of getting him and her daughter ac-
quainted, that friendship might ensue and gradually
ripen into love.

There was nothing more important in the life of a
young girl than that she should marry well. And it
was not the man who had the most wealth at the age
of twenty that would be certain to make the best hus-
band or, in the end, the most prosperous one. Habits
formed before that time might make or break him.
Allan Fawcett had as yet but little wealth, but he
seemed on the sure road to success. The richest men
of the country had started from as humble beginnings
as he. Some of the poorest had inherited property
and had squandered it in foolish speculation or in
riotous living. Mrs. Morey had thought a good deal
about these things, and when she happened to meet
this young fellow it came to her as by an inspiration
that he was the one she should select for a son-
in-law.

I wonder how many married men realize that they
were the victims of a carefully-prepared scheme on the
part of a managing mamma ; that the lane through
which they reached the gate of matrimony was marked
out for them in the most ingenious way by that expert
engineer and surveyor. Certain it is that Allan Faw-


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