come to Mrs. Dockrill in a frank,
. manly way to ask permission to mar
ry Flora'. She had put her husband
aside in the discussion without even
consulting him. The result Vas that
poor Walter went about town, a de
jected reproach to the kind-souled
Ezra, and poor Flora mourned till all
the happiness seemed 'gone out of .her
life. That evening Ezra came down
to the Parsons home.
"See here, Greg," he said, "we
were talking about Melinda today."
"Quite right, Ezra; what about it?"
"Why just this I've been thinking
over what you said."
"About time, I should say," re
Y'l don't care for myself. I can
stand Melinda's. peculiarities. That
poor girl of mine, though, and young
' Maywell she's set them grieving
their hearts away with her stubborn
ways, and it isn't right, it isn't right!"
"Well, what are you 'going to do
about it?" challenged Parsons
"yhy," replied Ezra, hesitatingly,
"you' said that is, you advised or
suggested a little plan to to make
Melinda Jmore tractable."
"Tractable is a good word," ob
served Parsons 'with a snort. "What
you're getting at, Ezra, is to break
the yoke, throw off the tyrant chains,
and emerge as arreal free and .en
lightened' citizen of these Unifed
"I'm sorry for Flora, if -you want to
.know the gist of the matter," ex
plained Ezra. "I don't care for my
, self, but that poor little thing!" and
Ezra broke down. . '
"Ezra," said Parsons very serious
ly, "if you will follow out mydirec--tiohs
I'll guarantee to cure your wife
of her tantrums inside of a week."
"Greg," responded Ezra, grasping
the hand of his old-time friend fer
vidly, "you do just that and I'll, give
you those old war relics "of mine,
you've coveted so long. "What am T
to do to help' you?"
"WeuV firsthand foremost" answer
ed Parsons very definitely, "you're to
sneak out of town early tomorrow
morning on the train for Pelham and
wait there till you hear from me "
If Ezra- Dockrill was- mystified as
to the plan of nisfriend; his erratic t
helpmate had clear hysterics when
she found he had defined' her author-i
ity and had 'gone-to the reunion. She
fortified herself with one consolation, i
however; he would, "catch it" whend
he returned! , . "'fi,
But three days later, when the vet
erans came home from the reunion,
her husband was Tiot with them. AU
the pent-up "dressing-down" shejiad
provided for Her1 truant spouse was
wasted material'. She rushed down to
the Parsons home, Enraged, then
anxious, and finally alarmed..
"I've got a sort .of doleful "story to
tell you, Melinda," saidHer old.friend.
"I'm afraid 'Ezra Jias broken -the
traces. It's like, ahorse checked?up
too higti. 'Give him the chance, and
the pritter'll sprint." c " j
"Why, what-do you mean? .Surely
nothing serious has -happened ,to
Ezra?" cried' Mrs. Dockrill, a quick
catch in tier voice.
"It's-the warlike spirit,' ,you see,
MelindaV' explained MrJ; Parsons.
Everyon'eis talking about-the Mexi
can war. Why, there were lots of the
old. soldiers juSb-wild to enlistr Ezra
is a brave man. The war spirit got
him. They Were recruiting at Pel
ham, If, he!s joined. the army again
hell-make his mark."
It was there 'that Mrs. Dockrill
broke down. It was there that all
her real wifely devotion was aroused!
She pleaded with Parsons, she im
plored him to-go straight after the-i
home deserter.- j
"Tell you npw," observed the spe- t
cious Parsons, "I might have a little f
influence .with the adjutant general, o
and Ezra, too, if he really has enlist,-;
ed. You ve got to promise conces
sion; His heart is set on Flora and
young Maxwell " y 0
"I'll agree! I'll agree!" interrupt-
ed Mra.fDpckrillyehemently. J'Onlyg-
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