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"It is well," nodded the Jew, arising
and piloting the wayinto a rear room.
From it doors appeared to lead into
'tne living" quarters i of the house. Tal
bot could- catch the sound of a low,
humming song as swishing 'skirts
moved about in another, apartment.
The pawnbroker motioned his vis
itor to a chan ata small tableland
saf 'down opposite to Win, where he
could1 keep his eye' on the shop.
"You received my letters," he
spoke In-a'chilliqg, bUBiness-like tone.
"I have here the papers in the:caee I
wrote' you about Here," and he emp
tied out the contends of a box-like
envelope, "are the: documents the
insurance policy, your note'for $10,
000, the contract you signed; It says
payment on call. -T am acting for
others, you understand. "What have
you to'say?" ' - ' . ;
Talbofa face 'had grown deathly
white, but his lips flrere firmly set, his
eyes fixedin a; desperate stare.
"You deman'd.paymeht?'' he spoke,
in a grating," unnatural tone.
' "Else ruin for "the family of Samuel
Isaacs. It is a plain business -proposition.
'Ten years ago Isaacs, your
friend, advanced you $107000 to pay a
debt of honor. You solemnly agreed
to paj? that amount; wherever -called
Upon, 'even if" and'the speaker nod
he added, with a suggestive, piercing
glance. "It was never called for. A
month since Isaacs died. That en
velope was discovered. Unless within
forty-eight' hours 'that $10,000 is re
ceived by his family the mortgage on
their home will be' foreclosed and
they will "be beggared in invalid
widowi three helpless children and an
"Within forty-eight hours?" pro
nounced Talbot, hoarsely.
"As I said."
"It win: .be paid." '
"You.Tromise "that?" f
' Yes; the policy, is in favor ot-my
friend or his family. I will find a way
to-pay it .
Some one at that moment came Jn-
to the outer room.' The old man pro
ceeded thither. Bryce Talbot droppei
his head on his arms outstretched
across, the table.
This, then, the appointed hour of
reckoning 1 A flashing' memory of the
"royal kindness of his old friend, Sam-
uel Isaacs, a recognition of even ther
honor of the gambler who nevei;
"welches!' appealed to the mind o
Talbot with convincing force.
"To pay. the just debt to provide for
five helplessauf precioiiB human lives
as against "his selfish own. There was
the problem; and h"e did not flinch.
"Itmustbe done so no,one will sus
pect" he Bald to himself desperately.
.At that moment he-came erect with
a shock. Suddenly from the living
apartments there echoed a wild, Ting
ing .feminine ishrjek. Then there was
a metallic jangling, hurried light foot
steps followed by heavier' ones, and
then:,a. girl's frantic form-filled the
doorway. ' - i t
Shebore. in her. hands a . tray filled
to the brim with diamonds and other
gems. She tripped ja't the, threshold,
Bhowering.the amazed Talbot. Roll
ing in .sparkling confusion all over the
room; the glltteringN cascade .resem
bled' a libation poured in prodigal
opulence from, a veritable cup of
Crqesua.-- 'J . f
The nextIfistaht1 two 'men, low
browed and' desperatiatlobking, cross-
ed the threshold; One of them held
a revolver. He 'leveled it at the girl.
In a flash Talbot sprang before her.
There was a quick explosion, a ting
ling sensation at his breast, and he
sank back. He had sheltered the fly
ing girl from death, had received the
bullet intended for her.
It was hours afterwards when Tal
bot opened his eyes to find. himself re7
cliningXm a couch, the girl whose life
he had saved seated beside him. Near
at hand was the old pawnbroker.
"You will not die, blessed be the
prophets!" he spoke solemnly, arisfing
and approaching the Revived patient.
"Father! father.!" cried the girl,
coming close to the couch, 'teU him!
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