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Newspaper Page Text
and she needed a hundred. Would
she gain it before it was too late?
Bonner had forty-nine dollars.
His room cost him a dollar and
forty cents weekly, and he lived
on food snatched at cheap lunch
counters. Once he had been a
civil engineer; then he -gave way
to the drink passion, a hereditary
disease. He had addressed en
velopes for two years; he found
the labor one which permitted his
thoughts to roam unchallenged
and he had become the automaton
that all addressers grow to be.
He saved his money because he
knew that soon the dreadful crav
ing would clutch him by the
He had felt the premonitory
symptoms that day. He knew
that he could as well escape the
sequence as a lamb can escape
from a coyote. He put his pile to
gether .and took it up to the desk.
"Well?" said the boss curtly.
"I'm sick," said Bonner hum
bly. "I've got to go home. Can I
have my money?"
"Nope. Get out !" said the man
at the desk.
Bonner was a larger man, but
the servility of his trade was
stronger than his manhood. He
turned away, fingering his hat.
The man called after him :
"Hi! Come around Saturday
and you'll get what's coming to
you. How much have you done?"
"Four hundred and nine," said
Bonner meekly. That meant for
ty cents at a dollar a thousand,
but the Griffis company paid only
seventy-five cents. There were
wretches who would work for
that. As Bonner went out he saw
the girl's eyes fixed pityingly on
Three hours later Bonner stood
on the same block, fighting madly
against his overwhelming pas
sion. He had never fought so
hard, but he knew that he could
resist no longer. He pulled out
his money and counted if.
Something came out of his
pocket with the bills. It was an
address list which he had taken
with him from the mailing room.
His eye wandered down it. Sud
denly he started; into his half
numbed brain memory came
stealing; the name was that of
Mrs. Charles Sayles, residing in
a fashionable quarter of the town.
She had been his first sweet
heart seven years before. They
had been engaged; everything
seemed rosy when the fatal obses
sion gripped him. He had fought
a desperate, losing fight. He had
gone to her and confessed. Edith
Harrington was a good woman,
but she could not marry a dipso
maniac. She released him and
later married Charlie Sayles, his
school chum, now one of the ris
ing men in their profession.
He flung the paper from him
with a curse and turned back
toward the saloon. Then he found
his way barred and looked up into
the face of the fair-haired girl.
She had stopped impulsively and
now stood before him, her hands
"What is the matter?" she
asked. "You are ill?"
An agony of remorse swept
over him. He turned away into