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Her Prayer
by [?]

Every time the King automobile went past the little home of Julia Lowe when Julia was there, she ran eagerly to look into the face of the lady who sat inside. She had such beautiful clothes; she sat so tall and stately; she had such a wonderful smile. She was Julia Lowe’s ideal woman.

Julia had gone with two other girls to ask Mrs. King to help them with their Liberty Loans and she had not only taken bonds but had given them flowers from the great garden back of the house, and had invited them to come again. Every time she saw her go by, Julia wished she, too, might have such a sweet face and such a heap of good things as Mrs. King had.

Now Julia worked in an office downtown, so, of course she thought she had to act and to do as the other girls in the office did. When they wore their hair very straight, hers was straight also; but when they wore puffs, she had to get up much earlier in the morning to force her pretty hair into great puffs over her ears. Mother wanted her to wear serge dresses in the office, but the other girls wore georgette waists, so of course she had to wear them also. Some of the girls in the neighborhood liked to go to the library to read, so they had formed a club for that purpose and had asked Julia to join. But the girls in the office liked to go to dances and picture shows, and so she must go to them also–else how could she talk things over with them at the noon hour, and tell them of the boys she had been with, and the places where she had gone? Oh, yes, she just must do as the girls in the office did. But in spite of it all, she wasn’t very happy and sometimes she wished she could run away from it all and just go back to school again as her mother had wanted her to do.

When she looked at Mrs. King, somehow her beautiful face seemed to make her want more than ever to do better. What was there about her that made Julia love her at a distance and yet be afraid of her when she came near her? Julia didn’t know. But she did know that deep in her heart she wanted to be like her and didn’t know how. If only she had money and beautiful things, perhaps it would be different.

One day when the leaves were very beautiful in their fall colors, a dainty little note was left by the postman for Julia and it read,

“Dear Julia:

“I hardly know you but I am going to ask a great favor of you. Mr. King has been called out of town and he is not willing to have me stay in the house all alone, for it is very big and lonely since Mary died. I wish very much that you would let me call for you at the office this afternoon. Then we will go out in the country to see the beautiful colors and have our supper at the Country Club. Then, when we come home in the moonlight, I should like to have you spend the night with me here. I shall hope that you can come.

“Sincerely,

“Margaret L. King.”

Julia was so happy as she read it that she could hardly contain herself–to go for a ride in the wonderful car; to eat at the Country Club; to sleep at the home of Mrs. King–why, she had never even dared to dream of such a thing. It was too good to be true.

Of course she must look her very best, so she asked for an extra half hour at noon. She would wear her new thin waist with the very low neck, for the girls had told her that she looked “too sweet for anything” in that. Her silk skirt was shabby but it would never do to wear her serge, even if it were new, when she rode with Mrs. King. As she put on the high-heeled slippers, she noticed that they were much run over, but they would have to do. It took her a long, long time to fix her hair just as she wanted to have it, for one dip must just touch the next at the right angle.