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Newspaper Page Text
were ended Rogers had forgotten
But of Jate, 'with his fifteen
thousand dollars safely stored
away in the bank, the dreams had
revived. And then something
happened a little, insignificant
thing which brought color and
new interest into his life. '
Rogers had gone to the delica
tessen store of his acquaintance,
Holzapel, to buy something for
supper upon a tiny stove in his
"I think," he said, after he had
made his purchases, "that I'll take
some preserved fruit."
"Why, Rogers, you're becom
ing a spendthrift, a regular spend
thrift," said Holzapfel jestingly.
Rogers patronized the old Ger
man from long habit. liolzapfel
had fajlen as sadly behind the
times as he. His trade had dwin
dled and dwindled, his stock was
incredibly old. Holzapfel nod
ned for hours in his store while
not a single customer entered the
dingy little place.
"Well, I've got some preserved
peaches," said the old fellow.
"But' they wasn't put up yester
day, Rogers, I can't say how fresh
they was. I'll let you have them
for a dime. They're home-grown
and they're worth' twenty-five
if they was fresh."
Rogers took the peaches and"
walked out of the store. The
utensil was one of those glass
jars with a ring round the stop
per, such as are used by country
women in preserving. They are
not seen so much in large cities
in these days of canning factories.
The peaches were bad. But that
fact had nothing to do with the
case. For inside the jar was a lit)
tie folded square of oiled paper.
And in this, perfectly good, was
a folded piece of paper, on whiclf
was written: t
"Lucy Morrell, Egan, N. Y." I
That compensated old Rogers'
for the loss of the peaches.-It was
one of those little harmless
pranks played -by country girls
who put their names into bottles
of fruit preserved by them and
destined, to go long distances and
fall into strangers' hands. Often
they had led to correspondence
and sometimes to romance.
Old Rogers racked his brains.
He could not remember anypne
in Egan named Morrell.. But then
he had not known everyone even
in Egan., And his memory had
grown hazy after all those-years.
Still, why worry about he mat
ter? "Egan had, doubtless grown
largely, and no -doubt many new
families had settled there since
he had gone away.
' But that evening the loneliness
of the flat, the squalor of 3iis .sur
roundings, to which he 'had been
oblivious beforef oppressed his
spirit; and the very word Egan,
written out on the paper, made
him homesick for the little town.
In the end he sat down and
"Lucy Morrell: I found your
note in the peaches."
Days passed; old Rogers re
sumed the tenor of his life. He
had not found the courage to
break loose from ftis surround
ings. But about a week later the