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Newspaper Page Text
THE PRICE OF A SOUL
By John Lawson.
"Say, Belle, have you heard the
news? Miss Harrison's going to
The girls chattered aniuiately at
this piece of information. Flora Har
rison had been nine years with Kemp
and Waggers; she had started as
cash girl, had become, in the ordinary
course of events, a saleswoman, and
only two years before was promoted
"I Guess He's Just Good for the
head of the millinery department.
And now she was going to leave.
"Yes, it's true, girls," she said,
smiling. "No, I haven't gotten a. bet
ter job. Fact is, no more jobs for
me. I've got $500 saved up, and it's
the country for Flora Harrison, with
boarders and a chicken farm."
And nobody could imagine how she
longed for the country home that she
had planned. Five hundred would
start her! She had been saving for
the whole nine years, and a lucky
plunge in stocks had doubled her sav
ings jn a single week. Now she was
through with Kemp and Waggens
"Her with $500 and me trying to
save $10 for an ostrich plume!" said
Belle in deep disgust The words and
the envious look were not missed
by Miss Harrison. She knew Belle
Bates was a flighty, foolish sort of
'girl just the sort that was in need
of some one to take care of her. She
lived alone in a cheap boarding
house, and Jones of the men's fur
nishing department had spoken with
her several times. Miss Harrison had
noted how Mr. Jones piled on the flat
tery, and how foolish little Belle's
face lit up when he approached her.
And Jones was a married man with
two children. But that Belle might
Belle Bates had set her heart on
that $10 ostrich plume. And $10 was
as remote from her as a hundred.
Who could save $10 on $7 a week,
with clothing to be paid for and car
fare as well out of her meager bal
ance, which remained after the land
lady had been satisfied? Miss Har
rison had thought of giving Belle that
plume, but $10 would make quite a
hole in her own hard-earned savings.
Still, if she did not give it to her,
Jones would. Belle, the chatterbox,
could not have kept so tremendous
a secret from the bland and unctuous
Jones, and Jones, with his $30 a
week, as head of the department,
would certainly consider that ostrich
plume only a means to an end. Miss
Harrison had heard many things
about Jones during her nine years.
"Won't Mr. Merrick give you that
plume, my dear?" she asked Belle.
Everybody knew that Belle was sup
posed to be engaged to Frank Mer
rick, one of the clerks. But out. of
$12 a week it is difficult for a man
to buy his -fiancee an ostrich plume.
"Him?" said Belle, laughing scorn
fully. "Why, that fellow's just a
skate." She looked down at the
cheap little ring' he had given her.
"He hasn't no money, Miss Harri
son," she continued.