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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 22, 1913, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-05-22/ed-1/seq-19/

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much as a minute a day. Its melan
choly tick was wearing the old man'B
heart away.He moaned in his misery
as he sat at nis desk. How gladly he
would have had his son back, servant
wife and all! If only he had not been
so hasty!
A good boy, too Ernst had. always
been a good son to him. He had never
thwarted or crossed him until that
furious quarrel began. And now
Ernst was starving in a garret in
Washington square so much he had
learned. And he was married to his
servant wife. Their lives were ab
jectly miserable, for the boy was
working as a shipping clerk for ten
dollars a week!
He swung round Jn his chair and
shook his fist at the old clock.
"You swine, you dog, you pig!" he
shouted. "Can't you go wrong just
for this once, so that I can keep my
word and ask my son to come back
to me?" He swept his fingers across
the glass, and the clock ticked
heavily in answer.
And then a wonderful thing hap
pened. A sudden whirring sound was
heard, and the hangs began racing
furiously round and round the old
Roman figures that marked the face
of the dial. Round and round they
ran, once, twice, and now so fast
that Walser could not distinguish
anything except a blur. And then
they stopped and thejQld clock stood
at half past four.
That was the precise time at which
Ernst put on his hat and left the
house.
The old man fell back in his chair
and stared in astonishment at this
phenomenon.
Presently, when curiosity over
came his terror, he opened the case
and peered in. And swiftly enough
he cause-, was revealed. Wedged
tightly into the mechanism was a
clockwork mouse.
It must have laid for years unno
ticed inside the case, Until it had
been jarred down by the tapping of
his fingers; its cogs had b.econle en
tangled with the cogs' of 'the. mechan
ismt and, happeningto. be wound up,
the clockwork of themouse had gone
off, sending the hands flying round
the dial till it ran down.
Walser drew out the mouse and
looked at it It was a rusty ancient
toy such as is retailed on the streets
for a nickel, or perhaps a dime. Half
of the tail was gone, and the beady
eyes stared out of a battered and
moldy face. Then the old man re
membered. Years before he had.
brought that mouse home for his son
Ernst, itt the days when he was a
baby, playing about the floor of the
nursery. The child must have placed
his toy Inside the old clock end for
gotten all about it.
Walser rose up solemnly and put
on his hat He turned to the clock
and his voice was choking with amo
tion. "I know now," he said, "that this is
a judgment and a miracle in" one."
And he thought of his father, the old
clockmaker, and how he had been
wont to tell that the goods deeds
which are done always bring results,
even In other lives. He did not doubt
that because his father had been an
honest craftsman, his handiwork had
borne witness to Jaimj for his own
sake.
Ten minutes later he got off a
street car at Washington Square. He
arrived at -a dingy, shabby house,
and, scanning the list of names on
,the unpainted letter.boxes, discover
ed that of his son. Walser made his
way up to the top floor and knocked.
A comely young woman came to
the door.
"You are ?" queried Walser.
"I am Mrs. Walser," she answered
in a very sweet voice. "You have
business with my husband?"
"You are my son's wife?" shouted
the old man. "Why, I thought I
thought"
And suddenly he flung his arms
about her and drew her to him and
kissed her. And at the audible sound
firnst came to the door, looking
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