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Elsie drew out her handkerchief
and began to cry.
Their ill luck had, indeed, been
phenomenal. John's business had
steadily dwindled, sickness had eaten
into their little reserve, the house had
needed repairs which- Stimpson had
refused to make. The estate rm
made its money that way, as the
agent had truly said; it gave good
value and watched its captives slow
ly lose their homes. The class of
purchasers with whom it dealt was
frequently in need of funds; when
this need became imperative, Stimp
son & Go. took back the property
under the cunningly drawn clauses of
"Well, we'll go," said John savage
ly. "We'll give the thief his house,
with fire insurance and burglary in
surance thrown in. And may it per
ish with him, may it prove the worm
of decay that gnaws at the bud of
his prosperity until until "
That was as far as John could go.
They engaged a little city flat,
which they found they could obtain
without prepayment They were to
move in on the 21st. Elsie was too
heart-broken to stay out the entire
month. As for Stimpson, when he
heard the news he rubbed his hands
"John," exclaimed Elsie suddenly,
"do you know what day of the week
we are going to move back to town?"
"Yes, I do," John answered
morosely. "It's Friday, because we
can get a moving van five dollars
cheaper on that day. And may the
hoodoo, come along with us and do
Elsie clapped her haids. They had
smarted so long under their misfor
tunes one after another,- and all un
forseen that they found a childish
pleasure in defying their evil genius,
and Friday the 21st, niight have
been Friday, the 13th, for all they
The day arrived; the bouse was
emptied and locked, and the house
hold goods piled in the van. in a pelt
ing rain, which proved the prelude
to a tropical thunderstorm, Elsie and
John made their way to the station.
Wet to the skin, they took their
seats and, too wretched to talk,
stared out over the rain-swept fields.
The hoodoo was still at work.
They reached town without an ac
cident and engaged a taxicab to take
them to their new home. "We may
as well be extravagant," said John.
"Things couldn't be much worse."
But worse things happened. A
crash, a jar, and the vehicle was
thrown on its side. John emerged
bleeding from a shower of glass.
Elsie, uninjured except -for a bad
shaking, rose to her feet beside him,
and they stood staring at the wreck
age. The taxicab had collided with a .
large motor van their motor van
bound for the same destination. The
van was not much injured, but it con
tents had been flung to the ground.
There was a rent in the Wilton rug,
the living-room table was a bundle
of firewood, and every piece of glass
was broken, including the pier mir
ror. The hoodoo showed no signs of let
"You don't take furniture insur
ance, do you, John?" asked Elsie,
"No," answered John, rubbing his
chin. "I wonder whether our home
is to be found. There may have been
an earthquake. Elsie."
But there had been no earthquake.
They found their flat, entered and
sat down on the floor. It had been
newly varnished, as they discovered
about 20 seconds later. (yt
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go out and buy a bottle of prussic
acid. I'd get a revolver, but the acid
"I wouldn't do that; dear," answer-w
ed his wife. "Let's go out to lunch
This proposition proving more
agreeable, they lunched very well at
a hotel nearby, escaping with noth-