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'As Gold in the Furnace' By John E. Copus Characters: 40454

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The Unraveled Tangle

UNPLEASANT as the interview had been to Roy, he no sooner left the sickroom than he found his spirits rise with a great bound. At last! At last he was cleared! Now the way was smoothed for him. All aspersions on his character would be scattered like the morning mist before the sun, as soon as the contents of the precious paper were made known.

The three boys left the infirmary at about half an hour after eleven o'clock. In a quarter of an hour classes would be dismissed for the day, it being a customary half-holiday.

Jack Beecham was eager to post the notice on the bulletin board at once. They took the wiser and safer course. They decided to see the prefect first, as nothing appeared on the board without his sanction, and when it did it was regarded as official.

"Come in," they heard him call in response to their rap at the door.

"Great news, Mr. Shalford," shouted Jack Beecham before he entered the room. "Everything's settled. Roy's all right now. The head of the clique has done it this time-in black and white, too; see, sir."

Mr. Shalford arose, smiling, and extended his hand to Henning.

"I am very glad. It has been an ugly business. It has caused no end of anxiety. The rumors and charges were always so intangible that I never could trace one to its source. But let me see the paper."

This boys' true friend gave a low whistle as he read Stockley's acknowledgment.

"So you are cleared, Henning; and the thief is known? That's capital. Poor boy! Isn't it too bad, boys, to find a student-one of us-a thief, a burglar, a felon! Oh, the pity of it! Well, pray for him, boys, pray for him. Leave this note with me, Henning. I'll see that it does its work. Congratulations, all of you. Whatever you have, Roy, you have some loyal friends. Congratulations, congratulations, all of you,"

The note was immediately posted. Then the excitement began, at first among half-a-dozen around the board, then among other groups, and in a very short time throughout the college. George McLeod and Ernest Winters simply went wild, and in less than an hour they could scarcely speak at all, so hoarse were they from shouting.

Where was Henning? A rush was made to the Philosophy classroom. He was not there. Perhaps he was with the rector or the prefect of studies. Both these places were invaded by excited boys, but Roy was not forthcoming.

Just as the big bell rang for dinner, George McLeod made a rush for the chapel, sure that he would find his friend there. And there he did find the three, Jack, Ambrose, and Roy, pouring out their thanksgiving with grateful hearts for the happy turn events had taken.

"Come, Roy; it's dinner. The big bell has rung; come on."

Roy did not move, nor did his companions. He evidently intended to avoid the crowd, waiting until they should all be at dinner, knowing that in the refectory they would have to remain quiet.

This time he miscalculated entirely. No sooner did he make his appearance than the whole of the students of the senior refectory rose to their feet and gave three hearty cheers for Roy Henning. The prefect made no attempt to stop the demonstration, while Ernest Winters, out in the middle of the room, was fairly dancing with joy and excitement.

At a given signal from Mr. Shalford all cheering ceased. Every one resumed his seat-except Ernest, who danced on in his glee, to the intense amusement of all, and to his own utter confusion when he discovered that he was the only boy now making any noise in the refectory.

Before the laugh at his expense had subsided the prefect whispered to Roy:

"Shall I give talking at table in honor of the event?"

"To-morrow, please, sir," replied Roy, "now I want to think a little."

Mr. Shalford gave a look and a nod to the reader, and the meal, save for the reader's voice, was finished in silence.

If the boys were not allowed to talk for a little while, there was no lack of signs and signals. Harry Gill was frantic to signal across the room his congratulations, and had a fit of coughing for trying to eat his dinner and at the same time send a series of telegraphic messages to Roy.

Henning was pleased to see that Andrew Garrett was quite demonstrative of good will. Andrew, for a long time tried to catch his cousin's eye. When he did so, he dropped his knife and fork and imitated a handshaking. Roy did the same to his cousin, and was repaid by seeing a look of intense pleasure spread over Andrew's face.

Of course all these signs and signals and other unusual occurrences were breaches of discipline which, at any other time would not have gone unchecked and unpunished. But Mr. Shalford knew exactly "how it was."He had been a real boy himself once, and knew exactly when not to see too much. He believed in the scriptural motto, "Be not over just."

And after dinner! What a scene the yard presented for a few minutes! The delighted boys shook Roy's hand until his arm fairly ached. His arm ached because he allowed it to be shaken by others, instead of himself shaking every hand extended. In this business he was unexperienced.

In the midst of the enthusiasm, which resembled that which follows an important and successful baseball game, only more intense, Harry Gill jumped upon a long bench by the wall and shouted:

"Listen, gentlemen. I have good news for you. Hi, there! listen. Listen there, boys, listen, listen! Roy Henning has promised to pitch for the rest of the year! Did-you-hear that-boys?"

Roy suddenly remembered that he had intended to give Gill the credit for this. He jumped on the bench in a second. Raising his hand, the hero of the hour obtained silence in a much shorter time than Gill had done.

"If I pitch for the rest of the year," he said, "it is all Gill's fault. I simply could not resist his importunities. Oh, he's a sly one,"

"It isn't," said Gill laughing.

"It is."

"It is not."

"It is."

Then there was a cheer which could be heard down at Cuthberton.

After a time Roy, Jack, Ambrose, and Rob Jones extricated themselves from the throng of happy boys, and with Gill and Andrew Garrett repaired to the Philosophy classroom, or Hilson's parlor, as it was called, which the other members of the class considerately left at their disposal for the time being.

"Oh, what a day we're having," sighed Jack Beecham as he sank into a chair.

"Glorious, isn't it?"said the jubilant Bracebridge.

"And now that we are alone," began Andrew Garrett, "that is, among special friends, I want to say something."

All were silent in an instant. Gill, who did not appear to have realized the previous strained relations between the two cousins began to say something funny, but he was checked by an unmistakably significant glance from Ambrose, who had become quite serious, for he rather expected a scene, if not an explosion. Shealey, who had come in, was too full of fun and nonsense to imagine that anybody just now could be serious, but when he saw the nervous look on Ambrose's face, and the evident nervousness of Garrett, he, too, realized that it was time to suspend bantering.

All the friends were standing in a group around Henning, laughing and chattering as only boys thoroughly happy can laugh and chatter, when Garrett began to speak. At the sound of his voice, they all, with Roy in the center, turned and faced Garrett as he stood two or three feet away.

"I want to say something," Garrett began again, "and I think it only fair, Roy, to say it before these others, as well as to you."

Henning bowed slightly, having only a faint idea of what was coming. At present he was too pleased to know that Garrett was not implicated and that the family name was untarnished.

"I want to say that I consider myself to have been a pretty mean and small sort of a fellow in this whole business."

"Oh! Don't--"began Roy in protest.

"Wait a minute, Roy. This is the task I have set myself, for it seems to me the only possible way in which I can make reparation. I want to say that I had a good deal to do with those rumors. I got in, somehow, with a crowd of boys I ought to have been ashamed to associate with. How it all happened I don't exactly know. Things went from bad to worse with me, and pretty far, too. It seems a dream to me now. About a week ago suddenly I began to realize my position. How this realization came about I don't know. It must have been dear little Ethel's prayers for me, but I began to think of my position, think of what I was doing, and, yes, to think of the sin of it all. You were away, Roy, and when I remembered your trouble and grief at home, and when, finally, your brotherly telegram came, I began to be thoroughly ashamed of myself. So now all I can do is to ask your pardon, and the pardon of all these, your loyal and staunch friends."

As he listened to this manly avowal, there arose in Roy Henning's breast an admiration for his cousin's moral courage. The other auditors were deeply impressed. They waited with curiosity to see what Roy would do. And he? He did precisely what might be expected of him. Without saying a word, he stepped forward, took Garrett's hand and shook it warmly. Then:

"It's all over, old man. Let bygones be bygones. I forgive everything and forget."

"Thanks, very much. I do not deserve this, but you shall see I shall deserve it."

There was a world of pathos and earnestness in Andrew's voice at that moment.

The rest of the gathering of friends extended their hands, and Andrew shook hands all around.

"Now," said Roy, "will you permit me to ask a few questions, to clear up some obscure points in my mind?"

"Certainly; anything," said Andrew, with alacrity.

"How did that wretched Stockley come to wear your blue sweater? He tells me he did, and, besides, I saw him get down below that grating that night and I thought it was you."

"Thought it was me," said Garrett in the greatest amazement. "You thought it was I, and all this time you thought I was the thief, and yet stood all I said against you, and never said a word! Oh, Roy! No wonder on that Sunday afternoon you insisted on my clearing you,"

Andrew Garrett appeared to be fairly overcome by his cousin's generosity.

"Why, oh, why didn't I know all this before? How differently I would have acted. Believe me, it is only this very day I learned that the thief wore my sweater that night. Before going to bed on the night of the play I hung my sweater on a peg in the study-hall. The next morning I saw that it had been used by some one, for there were dirt stains on it and some rust marks from contact with rusty iron. I determined not to wear it after that. I had no idea the thief had used it, though."

"Thanks," said Roy. "Now one more question, Andrew."

"Fire away."

"This morning Stockley said something about a letter which you knew something of-one in some way connected with me. Can you tell me anything about it?"

Now it so happened that the affair of the letter was the only incident in the untoward conduct of Garrett for many months past in which he could take any kind of satisfaction. It will be remembered that he had refused to allow Stockley and Smithers to circulate it among the boys. He had retained it ever since.

"That's easy enough," he answered, as he drew the crumpled letter from his pocket.

"But I have to ask you a question now, for the wording of the letter certainly looks compromising enough. Listen to this, gentlemen."Andrew read the scrap of paper to the astonished listeners.

"Dec. 23rd. My dear chum: Your letter received last Monday. Sorry to say that"-"here's a blank," said Garrett, and then continued, "have no money just now, so can not do the thing you wish. Awfully sorry. Feel like stealing the money rather than letting this thing go undone. However, wait till the end of Christmas week. Something's going to turn up before that-then we can go into partnership in this, at least for the merit-keep everything dark. Don't say a word to anybody about it. Mind, now, chum, everything must be kept secret or-smash! Yours, Roy H."

When Garrett began to read the note, Henning looked puzzled. After a time he seemed to remember all about it, and then he-blushed.

"Oh! that's--"but he stopped suddenly. He was going to make a revelation of some kind, and suddenly thought better of it. He blushed profusely-like a girl. He was awkward. For a moment he appeared embarrassed in no slight degree. Twice he was going to say something; twice he changed his mind.

His friends were very much puzzled. Was there a shade of truth in some of the charges made against Roy after all? Had their idol fallen? Was he, after all, not to be their hero? Was he a lesser character than all along they had judged him?

Roy saw these fleeting fancies on their wavering faces, all except Ambrose's. He never doubted, nor did he show the least sign of wavering. Roy saw wonder and incipient doubt elsewhere, at which he blushed the more furiously.

The situation was certainly dramatic. A climax had come to-day. Was there, after all, to be an anticlimax? Was the idol to be shattered at the very last moment?

"What does it all mean, Roy?"asked Garrett.

"I would rather not say," was the reply.

"You had better, Roy," said Bracebridge, in confidential tones.

Still blushing, Roy said:

"I say, you fellows, you don't mean to say there is anything crooked in this, do you?"

"No," replied Andrew Garrett, "but an enemy of yours could make mighty good capital out of it all the same. Tell us what it means, Roy."

"If you must know, then, it's merely this," answered Roy, a little angrily, not exactly with his friends, but more at the exigencies of the situation. "There is a poor-quite poor-student in a seminary who is and has been a great friend of mine, in fact pretty much of a hero, as you would say if you knew his story. He had the greatest longing to get home last Christmas to see his widowed mother after years of absence. He could not afford it, and, like a real friend, asked me to assist him. Unfortunately my funds were very low-too low to help him. I expected that my mother would send me her usual Christmas present. I found out that she was willing to do so, and I wrote to her to send most of it to my friend instead. There's your great mystery! I was short of funds because my father cut down my allowance this year."

"So that's the reason you were so close this year?" asked Andrew.

"What?"

"Because your father cut down, and yet, by Jove! you were willing to send what you did get to some one else. Well, I call that noble, indeed I do. Oh, I wish I had known all this before! If I had but known! If I had--"

"Say, you fellows, haven't you done catechising me?"said Roy Henning, attempting to divert their attention from himself.

"If you please, cousin, one more question," said Andrew.

Roy made a wry face, and a mock gesture of impatience.

"You would try the patience of a saint,"

"May I?"

"Well, fire ahead."

"You say that all along you thought I was the thief?"

"I certainly did, Andrew," answered Roy, serious in a minute, "for no one but you here ever wore a blue sweater."

"Then why did you not, especially as I had acted so meanly toward you-why did you not do or say something that would point suspicion to me, or openly make the charge?"

The question aroused considerable emotion in Roy's breast. It showed itself in the workings of the muscles of his cheeks. Taking Andrew Garrett by the hand, he looked into his eyes.

"Shall I tell you, Andrew?"

"Yes, please do."

"If I spoke or moved in this I knew it would break your mother's heart."

Andrew could stand no more. He broke down. Boy as he was, with all a boy's natural distaste for displaying emotion before others, he was not ashamed to rest his head for a moment on his cousin's shoulder and sob. The only words that fell from his lips were:

"Noble Roy,"

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TOM PLAYFAIR; OR, MAKING A START. By Rev. F.J. Finn, S.J. "The best boy's book that ever came from the press."

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HIS FIRST AND LAST APPEARANCE. By Rev. F.J. Finn, S.J. Profusely illustrated. "A delightful story by Father Finn, which will be popular with the girls as well as with the boys."

THE SHERIFF OF THE BEECH FORK. By Rev. H.S. Spalding, S.J. "From the outset the reader's attention is captivated and never lags."

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THE INUNDATION. By Canon Schmid. "Sure to please the young readers for whom it is intended."

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FRED'S LITTLE DAUGHTER. By Sara T. Smith. "The heroine wins her way into the heart of every one."

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PERCY WYNN; OR, MAKING A BOY OF HIM. By Rev. F.J. Finn, S.J. "The most successful Catholic juvenile published."

THE RACE FOR COPPER ISLAND. By Rev. H.S. Spalding, S.J. "Father Spalding's descriptions equal those of Cooper."

SHADOWS LIFTED. By Rev. J.E. Copus, S.J. "We know of no books more delightful and interesting."

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WINNETOU, THE APACHE KNIGHT. By C. May. "Chapters of breathless interest."

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THE TRANSPLANTING OF TESSIE. By Mary T. Waggaman. "An excellent girl's story."

THE PLAYWATER PLOT. By Mary T. Waggaman. "How the plotters are captured and the boy rescued makes a very interesting story."

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THE QUEEN'S PAGE. By Katharine Tynan Hinkson. "Will arouse the young to interest in historical matters and is a good story well told."

MARY TRACY'S FORTUNE. By Anna T. Sadlier. "Sprightly, interesting and well written."

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THE WITCH OF RIDINGDALE. By Rev. David Bearne, S.J. "Here is a story for boys that bids fair to equal any of Father Finn's successes."

THE MYSTERY OF CLEVERLY. By George Barton. There is a peculiar charm about this novel that the discriminating reader will ascribe to the author's own personality.

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DADDY DAN. By Mary T. Waggaman. This is a rattling good story for boys.

THE BELL FOUNDRY. By Otto v. Schaching. So interesting that the reader will find difficulty in tearing himself away.

TOORALLADDY. By Julia C. Walsh. An exciting story of the varied fortunes of an orphan boy from abject poverty in a dismal cellar to success.

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PASSING SHADOWS. By Anthony Yorke. "A thoroughly charming story. It sparkles from first to last with interesting situations and dialogues that are full of sentiment. There is not a slow page."

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12 Copyrighted Novels by the Best Authors

Special Net Price, $12.00

$1.00 down, $1.00 a month

Read explanation of our Circulating Library plan on first page.

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Library of Novels No. II

THE SENIOR LIEUTENANT'S WAGER, and Other Stories. 30 stories by 30 of the foremost Catholic writers.

A DAUGHTER OF KINGS. By Katharine Tynan Hinkson. "The book is most enjoyable."

THE WAY THAT LED BEYOND. By J. Harrison. "The story does not drag, the plot is well worked out, and the interest endures to the very last page."

CORINNE'S VOW. By Mary T. Waggaman. With 16 full-page illustrations. "There is genuine artistic merit in its plot and life-story. It is full of vitality and action."

THE FATAL BEACON. By F.v. Brackel. "The story is told well and clearly, and has a certain charm that will be found interesting. The principal characters are simple, good-hearted people, and the heroine's high sense of courage impresses itself upon the reader as the tale proceeds."

THE MONK'S PARDON: An Historical Romance of the Time of Philip IV. of Spain. By Raoul de Navery. "A story full of stirring incidents and written in a lively, attractive style."

PERE MONNIER'S WARD. By Walter Lecky. "The characters are life-like and there is a pathos in the checkered life of the heroine. Pere Monnier is a memory that will linger."

TRUE STORY OF MASTER GERARD. By Anna T. Sadlier. "One of the most thoroughly original and delightful romances ever evolved from the pen of a Catholic writer."

THE UNRAVELING OF A TANGLE. By Marion A. Taggart. With four full-page illustrations. "This story tells of the adventures of a young American girl, who, in order to get possession of a fortune left her by an uncle, whom she had never seen, goes to France."

THAT MAN'S DAUGHTER. By Henry M. Ross. "A well-told story of American life, the scene laid in Boston, New York and California. It is very interesting."

FABIOLA'S SISTER. (A companion volume to Cardinal Wiseman's "Fabiola") Adapted by A.C. Clarke. "A book to read-a worthy sequel to that masterpiece, 'Fabiola.'"

THE OUTLAW OF CAMARGUE: A Novel. By A. de Lamothe. "A capital novel with plenty of go in it."

* * *

12 Copyrighted Novels by the Best Authors

Special Net Price, $12.00

$1.00 down, $1.00 a month

Read explanation of our Circulating Library plan on first page.

* * *

Library of Novels No. III

"NOT A JUDGMENT."By Grace Keon. "Beyond doubt the best Catholic novel of the year."

THE RED INN OF ST. LYPHAR. By Anna T. Sadlier. "A story of stirring times in France, when the sturdy Vendeans rose in defence of country and religion."

HER FATHER'S DAUGHTER. By Katharine Tynan Hinkson. "So dramatic and so intensely interesting that the reader, will find it difficult to tear himself away from the story."

OUT OF BONDAGE. By M. Holt. "Once his book becomes known it will be read by a great many."

MARCELLA GRACE. By Rosa Mulholland. Mr. Gladstone called this novel a masterpiece.

THE CIRCUS-RIDER'S DAUGHTER. By F. v. Brackel. This work has achieved a remarkable success for a Catholic novel, for in less than a year three editions were printed.

CARROLL DARE. By Mary T. Waggaman. Illustrated. "A thrilling story, with the dash of horses and the clash of swords on every side."

DION AND THE SIBYLS. By Miles Keon. "Dion is as brilliantly, as accurately and as elegantly classical, as scholarly in style and diction, as fascinating in plot and as vivid in action as Ben Hur."

HER BLIND FOLLY. By H. M. Ross. A clever story with an interesting and well-managed plot and many striking situations.

MISS ERIN. By M. E. Francis. "A captivating tale of Irish life, redolent of genuine Celtic wit, love and pathos."

MR. BILLY BUTTONS. By Walter Lecky. "The figures who move in rugged grandeur through these pages are as fresh and unspoiled in their way as the good folk of Drumtochty."

CONNOR D'ARCY'S STRUGGLES. By Mrs. W. M. Bertholds. "A story of which the spirit is so fine and the Catholic characters so nobly conceived."

* * *

Continuation Library

YOU SUBSCRIBE FOR FOUR NEW NOVELS A YEAR, TO BE MAILED TO YOU AS PUBLISHED, AND RECEIVE BENZIGER'S MAGAZINE FREE.

Each year we publish four new novels by the best Catholic authors. These novels are interesting beyond the ordinary-not religious, but Catholic in tone and feeling. They are issued in the best modern style.

We ask you to give us a standing order for these novels. The price is $1.25, which will be charged as each volume is issued, and the volume sent postage paid.

As a special inducement for giving us a standing order for the novels, we shall include free a subscription to Benziger's Magazine. Benziger's Magazine is recognized as the best and handsomest Catholic periodical published, and we are sure will be welcomed in every library. The regular price of the Magazine is $2.00 a year.

Thus for $5.00 a year-paid $1.25 at a time-you will get four good books and receive in addition a year's subscription to Benziger's Magazine. The Magazine will be continued from year to year, as long as the standing order for the novels is in force, which will be till countermanded.

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THE FAMOUS

ROUND TABLE SERIES

4 VOLUMES, $6.00

50 CENTS DOWN; 50 CENTS A MONTH

On payment of 50 cents you get the books and a free subscription to Benziger's Magazine

The Greatest Stories by the foremost Catholic Writers in the World

With Portraits of the Authors, Sketches of their Lives, and a List of their Works. Four exquisite volumes, containing the masterpieces of 36 of the foremost writers of America, England, Ireland, Germany, and France. Each story complete. Open any volume at random and you will find a great story to entertain you.

SPECIAL OFFER

In order to place this fine collection of stories in every home, we make the following special offer: Send us 50 cents and the four fine volumes will be sent to you immediately. Then you pay 50 cents each month until $6.00 has been paid.

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LIBRARY OF

SHORT STORIES

BY A BRILLIANT ARRAY OF CATHOLIC AUTHORS

Original Stories by 33 Writers

Four Handsome Volumes and Benziger's Magazine for a Year at the Special Price of $5.00

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You get the books at once, and have the use of them while making easy payments. Send us only 50 cents, and we will forward the books at once; 50 cents entitles you to immediate possession. No further payment need be made for a month; afterwards you pay 50 cents a month.

STORIES BY

Grace Keon

Louisa Emily Dobrée

Theo. Gift

Margaret E. Jordan

Agnes M. Rowe

Julia C. Walsh

Madge Mannix

Leigh Gordon Giltner

Eleanor C. Donnelly

Teresa Stanton

H. J. Carroll

Anna T. Sadlier

Mary E. Mannix

Mary T. Waggaman

Jerome Harte

Mary G. Bonesteel

Magdalen Rock

Eugenie Uhlrich

Alice Richardson

Katharine Jenkins

Mary Boyle O'Reilly

Clara Mulholland

Rev. T. J. Livingstone, S.J.

Marion Ames Taggart

Maurice Francis Egan

Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

Mrs. Francis Chadwick

Catharine L. Meagher

Anna Blanche McGill

Mary Catherine Crowley

Katherine Tynan-Hinkson

Sallie Margaret O'Malley

Emma Howard Wight

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900 PAGES 500 ILLUSTRATIONS

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THE LIFE OF OUR LORD

=====AND=====

SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST

AND OF HIS VIRGIN MOTHER MARY

FROM THE ORIGINAL OF

L. C. BUSINGER, LL.D.

BY

Rev. RICHARD BRENNAN, LL.D.

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Quarto, half morocco, full gilt side, gilt edges, 900 pages, 500 illustrations in the text and 32 full-page illustrations by

M. FEUERSTEIN

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This is not only a Life of Christ and of His Blessed Mother, but also a carefully condensed history of God's Church from Adam to the end of the world in type, prophecy and fulfilment, it contains a popular dogmatic theology and a real catechism of perseverance, filled with spiritual food for the soul.

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The Best Stories and Articles Over 1000 Illustrations a Year

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SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00 A YEAR

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What Benziger's Magazine gives its Readers:

Fifty complete stories by the best writers-equal to a book of 300 pages selling at $1.25.

Three complete novels of absorbing interest-equal to three books selling at $1.25 each.

Over 1000 beautiful illustrations.

Twenty-five large reproductions of celebrated paintings.

Twenty articles-equal to a book of 150 pages-on travel and adventure; on the manners, customs and home-life of peoples; on the haunts and habits of animal life, etc.

Twenty articles-equal to a book of 150 pages-on our country: historic events, times, places, important industries.

Twenty articles-equal to a book of 150 pages-on the fine arts: celebrated artists and their paintings, sculpture, music, etc., and nature studies.

Twelve pages of games and amusements for in and out of doors.

Fifty pages of fashions, fads and fancies, gathered at home and abroad, helpful hints for home workers, household column, cooking receipts, etc.

"Current Events," the important happenings over the whole world, described with pen and pictures.

Prize competitions, in which valuable prizes are offered.

This is what is given in a Single Year of Benziger's Magazine

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