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15-cent ruching, but you'll have to
send it C. 0. D."
With trembling hands, Vesta
Sommors made out the check, and
glanced at hej little silver watch.
An hour yet until her noon time.
That little watch! She never
could look at it without remem
bering Dick's good, manly face.
It was his Christmas gift, and be
had tried to give her more, him
self, his love and his name.
"No, we can't do it," she had
said, sadly. "I'm so used to going
down town and earningtmy own
money, and I don't like house
keeping." "But you'd be doing it for me,"
he had suggested; but she shook
her head. They were good
friends, nothing more, and he al
ways tried to pass her counter
several times a week, to exchange
a word or two. Not too often,
though. Feeling so nervous, she
longed to see him, and as it was
one of the days he usually came,
she knew her longing would be
gratified. This cheered her tip a
little, and she finished her task of
restoring stock, and asked a wom
an whff was looking at some of
the dainty collars:
"Can I show you anything?"
"No, I'm just looking about
me," was snapped back at her.
The collars were displayed in
open boxes, and the woman kept
on looking them oyer, soiling
them, and keeping the clerk
watching her to see- that she did
not manage to evade the sharp
eyes of the house detective, -who
was leaning up against a pillar
It was like a flash, the two coli
lars were but a streak of white in
the air, then disappeared. I"
Vesta leaned over the counter'' -
and made a motion toward thif"'.
woman, who was sauntering off .$
after new "easy marks." ?4ir
It was a motion all the clerksG
knew, 'and by means of which,j3ftj
they communicated their suspicon
ions to the house detectives. Thisuoi?)
particular one entertained a deep3
grudge toward Vesta. ReceivinghotJj
a higher salary than the clerksorfr
and floorwalkers,, he regarded
himself as a catch of no mean Ob
value, and when he began tcbis
smile upon Vesta Sommers h"
had expected her to respondi"
There was Dick, however, andioci
Vesta did not smile. The matsrfT
was vain and vengeful and nowjrfvf,
had come his chance. Stepping upiud'
to the woman, he spoke to her inarfj
a low voice, at the same time dextsric
terously taking the collars from"
her without her being aware of itnc,
With measured steps he took therlw
detected shoplifter upstairs where"
the store superintendent put suefctmj
people through a sweat box extfr
perience that regenerated manjrh,
and 4cept the rest from his stororfo
forever more. , brr.
Not only were the guilty onesm
thoroughly searched, but a pretfHj
tense, and one that was just as"
good as real, was made of takingtojr
the photograph. As a last resortj'
if the store did not prosecute, antT
in general the services ofthe po-erfe
lice were not called upoir, for ifc?fir
was contrary to the business prin-erf;r,
ciples of the store to let the public
know anything of a nature Jikelanw