A PECK OF TROUBLE
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin.
' (Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
i - "Martin, I'm in-a.sore peck of trou-
' ble!" spoke RoberiGrant, leading
I man of Grafton. '
i. "Sorry, judge. Can I help you out
1 of it in any way?" questioned Martin
j Blake, one of the humble ones of the
i "I'm afraid not?" replied Mr. Grant
in a really worried andmournf ul -tone
, of voice. ''I've put my foot in it bad
and deep. I'd givVa lot to get back
on the solid rock. I declare, it's get
ting on my nerves and I dread seeing
Honest, earnest Martin' looked in
terested and sympathetic It was out
of the ordinary to have the judge
more than "barely notice him'. To have
fhinx.almest make a corifidanttfhim,
stunned Martin and raised his hopes
Those hopes of the ardent young
man centered about the bonniest gifl
in Grafton Jessie, the judge's only
daughter. Martin loved her from the
depths of his heart and Jessie as fer
vently returned the sentiment. For
the past six months, however, the
judge had thrown very cold water on
the aspirations of the young man.
The sudden acquisition of quite a
fortune from a relative had given the
judge some new grand ideas. Martin
was poor, Jessie was an heiress. The
match was unequal.' He cast about
removing to a more aristocratic
town. He cut quite a swath, he fan
cied, going with his family to a fash
ionable watering place.
He had just returned looking both1
ere'd and dismal. Martin, missing Jes
sie dreadfully, was taking the sat
isfaction of strolling by the deserted
Grant home, thinking fondly of the
dear one it had sheltered, wherf he
came across 'the judge seated on tHe
old horse block, rueful but friendly. A
conversation had ensued.
"You see, it's all along of my want
ing to get to a bigger town, Martin,"
somewhat sheepishly explained the
judge. "When we started on our out
ing I gave orders to put up the' old
home here for sale." '
"Yes, I heard of that," nodded Mar
tin. "I also gave my lawyer a-power of
attorney to act for me. Well, he has
Martin groaned inwardly at this
new blow to his hopes.
."The price js all right; but I've
made a mistake," proceeded the
judge. "A man named Morgan ffom
the city is the purchaser. He has paid
$1,000 down'and is delighted' with his
bargain. I told my wife about It yes
terday. Martin, you're a4 friend anda
- "Thank you, judge."
"And I've got to talk out my misery '
to somebpdy. "Mjr-wife made a ter
rible scene. The idea of leavjngtthje
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