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As if in answer to his question,
the great door opened and a girl
came running down the path, fol
lowed by a stalwart lad, who
called: "Mary, Mary, stop a min
ute." But she did not stop. On
she came straight to the old elm
John Semple stepped hurriedly
just outside the gate where one of
the great square posts hid him
As the girl reached the tree she
put both hands up to the carved
letters and a sob rose in her
The man who had followed
gently put his arms around her
and said: "Don't cry, Mary darl
ing. I am sure if Jack could know
he would be glad that I love you
and am going to take care of you.
I know I can't be as splendid as
dear old Jack was, but you do love
me a little, don't you, Mary?" he
The girl put both her hands on
the boys shoulders. "Yes dear,
I do love you, but I want to be.
loyal to popr Jack. He loved me
so much, ;jrou know, and when I
think p'f hl'mdying 'way up there
in the Philippines, witfi'-no one
near it seems' treason 'for us to
"But l''lpved you before, Jack
did, dearie,"" and stepped' a"side
when x saw how it Was. between
you. Nojtf- Jack is gone forever,
but I am h'cre and alive and I Love
Solemnly the girl1 looked into
her lover's eyes and then her face
was raised to'-his. He-bent and
kissed her, and, with his arrq
about her, they went back to the
"How pretty Mary has grown,"
John Semple murmured as he
'again stood by the elm. "When I
turn up I am afraid Tom's
chances will be poor," he said,
cynically, "even if he is the bet-r
Then he squared his shoulders
and walked up the path' briskly.
At the door, just as he raised his
hand to knock, he caught ,a
glimpse through the window of
a white-haired old lady, walking
with feeble steps across the room.
For a momeht she unconsciously
stopped under the mistletoe that
hung under the center light, and
a splendid old gentleman stepped
up with a courtly bow and kissed
her amid the shouts of approval
of a number pf younger men who
crowded 'round to "kiss mother
under the mistletoe." Slowly she
walked to the window and John,
Semple, who stood just outside,
heard the old man say: "Don't
grieve, mother. Remember our
son died an honorable death,
fighting for his country."
"But, father," she said, "if I.
only knew where my boy was
lying I think it would be easier to
bear. Only the meager wprds:,
'John Semple missing,' in the re
port after that awful skirmish at.
Dagupan,"vand her lip quivered
with the tearless grief of old age.'
There was a quick -sound out-
side the window and all faces
were turned toward it. Some one!
came to the door, but the man.
outside slunk into the shadow as
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