The auctioneer announced that the
government had seized a consign
ment of imported pictures, upon
which the foreign shipper had tried
to evade paying duty. They had been
concealed in various packages,
seized, and were now5 offered for
(p A real art expert passed on the
genuineness -of the-pictures. Some
were sold for as much as three thou
sand dollars. That, of course, was
entirely beyond the scope of John's
resources, uinaiiy, as an, were ais
posed of, the" art expert .left; and a
part of the crowd with nim. "
Then the ordinary auction sale be
gan. John's companion mtiBt. have
conveyed some hint .to the auc
tioneer,; for when the latter jout up a
gaudily-framed daub, designating it
"a rare Messiohler," theman nudged
him. The confiding-ruralite was led
on and on in the "bidding.- John got
the picture for one hundred dollars.
He was quite delighted. with his pur
chase. Hpw appropriate! And how
cheap according to the Auctioneer.
And jusythe thing r'real art" for
He kept the picture wrapped all the
way home, :Lucy by his side. It was
fortunate that he "was not looking at
Lucy later, when he proudly exhibited
his purchase. - . '
"Yes, father," she said,. in a sub
dued and disappointed tone. "It is
quite quite attractive, and the
frame Js.very bright and new."
She did not tell her father that he
had been swindled with the veriest
daub, but he suspected that all was
not right. A week' later he had some
thing else to think of. The Golconda,
after paying unearned dividends,
blew up, and honest John's cash sur
plus was consumed.
"No -more art school, then," said
Lucy, with quivering lip; but she
added, bravely: "I,shall go back tO
teaching till I earn' enouglj. to com
plete my art education."
To this her loyal lover, Vincent
Darrow, demurred. It meant, a long
wait for ife and a home, but there
wasno appeal from LUcy's ambitious
decision. She painted evenings? and
on her father's birthday "presented
him with her first finished-canvas,
"Why, say," observed the old map,
"what's the matter with ripping thats
old daub out of-place for I knowT
now that it is one and using the
frame; which is pretty- fair for 'an11
auction frame, after all?" &
This was agreed to- Her lover :by
her side and her father regarding
them indulgently,- Lucy began to re
move the old canvas from its frame
backing. To her surprise, as it came
free.'jthere showed under it a' second
"Oh, father' . ; . 1
Lucy fell-backLWith so startled ..an
exclamation that father and, lover
stared at her in amazement! , ? Her
eyes were fixed- on the.-hidden'can-vas.
Their depths were .expressive,
ecstatic. , , v v '
"Why, Lucy began'-ber; puzzled
lover, r , . '
, "Oti, Vincent!?', interrupted Lucy,
in k vdeiighied gasp? "it's a. real
"What's. that?' blundered her
"A genwalmost priceless," declar
ed Lucyj,wh0.-knew art when she saw
it. "SeeVighature .and all."
It;a,lItpfpvedA:lrue. In some way,
undoubtedly,rjneof the pictures con
cealed by the foreign shipper to evade
paying duty, had gotmixed with the
ordinary-stock of-the auctioneer.
"Oh, how much it means!" was all
the enraptured Lucy could say as she
sat drinking in the beauties' of the
masterpiece, all her dreams oLambirl
tion; again revived. . .
She was too good a little business!
woman not to .calculate , the great
benefit some Immediate, money would:
prove 'for herself -and those ai ear and
dear to her. -
John Marsh had to take another
trip to the city the next day-- He aai
conipaniedLucy, carrying the preco.
ioiis Corot in a grasp that he was-defi
xml | txt