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Newspaper Page Text
' A MAN OF FORTY
' By Frank Gilmore.
' I don't know which was the more
unpopular in our town, Anthony Barrett,-
the banker, or Gharlie Meadows,
his secretary. I think on the whole
that it .was Charlie.
Long Corners .has -always prided
itself on being exclusive. But we
aren't dudes. So when this fellow
Barrett, of whom nothing was
.known, opened his bank and took
By This Time I Was Listening With
Charlie to be his confidential secre
tary, and they put on the airs of mil
lionaires, and wouldn't mix with the
rest of us fellows, it naturally set
Long Corners against them.
The first time I met Barrett was at
the house of Luella. Luella and I
hal always understood that we were
to be married when I could support
her. I couldn't keep her in much
style on fifteen a week, which was all
that Barrett allowed 'me as one of his
bookkeepers. But I hadn't reckoned
on Barrett butting into the game a
man of forty, with nothing known
about his past, except that it was re
pqrted he had been a jailbird.
Luella grew pretty cold to me when
I taxed her about him. At last I had
to tell her that if she wanted to flirt
with a man old enough to be her
father, alfc right, only she could count
me out. She showed me the door
I thought for sure she would tell
Barrett and he would fire me, but ap
parently she had too much sense, and
things went on in their usual way.
None of us fellows in the bank had
any sort of respect for Barrett. He
didn't treat us like human beings at
all. He used to come in carrying a
cane, and that made us pretty tired.
And Charlie Meadows was just as
self-opinionated as he was. So what
with all this and Luella's turning" me
down, I was feeling pretty bad when
I happened to overhear a conversa
tion between Barrett and Charlie.
. I.was putting away some books in
the cabinet behind the door of Bar
rett's private office and the door was
a little way ajar, and I heard Charlie
strike him for a raise of salary.
"You're getting thirty-five now, Mr.
Meadows," said Barrett, in his cold,
heartless way, "and that is ten dol
lars more than you could get any
"I guess I'm worth fifty a week to
you, Mr. Barrett," Charlie answered
in a sort of impudent way.
"Indeed !" "said Barrett. "Perhaps
you will explain just why you put
such an exaggerated value on your
By this time I was listening with
both ears, as anyone would have
"Because, Mr. Barrett," answered
Charlie quietly, "I happen to know
that you have served a five years'
sentence in state's prison for the
misappropriation of bank funds."
I just had time to hurry away be
fore Charlie came out He had been
discharged. Barrett thought he
could bluff Long Corners. B.u.t he,