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matter of a real estate Itransfer. I
iave had a very good offer for the
upland forty acres."
Nellie knew the tract well. It was
one of two pieces of property left to
him by his uncle's estate when he
came to Lindgrove. There was the
lowland forty acres near by, a worth
less stretch of swamp property.
"These people," said Mr. Mercer
extending a card, "will be in, they
say, in a day or two and pay two
thousand dollars cash for a deed.
You will execute it, please, and take
"Marvin & Sharp, Brokers," was
the legend the bit of pasteboard bore.
"And now good-bye, Miss Ward,"
continued Mr. Mercer, clasping her
hand and' holding it. "I leave every
thing In your charge, knowing you
will attend to the business better than
I possibly could. It will be your turn
for a two weeks' vacation when I re
turn." "Why, Mr. Mercer, I have scarce
ly been here, two months."
"And need a little recreation,like
all of us," brightlyreminded Jarvis.
, Then his expressive face dropped
solemnly. He stared at his little
helper in surprise. A tear drop had
fallen upon his hand. His clasp
tightened, his breath came quickly.
Then he turned away and abruptly
left the room.
"I love him," Nellie told herself. "It
is folly, for he could never think of
a simple, untutored girl like me, but
I love him!"
Who would not! she challenged, as
she thought of the kindly deeds he
had done secretly Bince coming ton
Lindgrove. He was not a rich man,
far from it, but his simple charities
were many, and one concrete deed of
goodness, where he had saved a poor
widow from foreclosure, had com
pletely won Nellie's heart.
It was two mornings later when
Nellie entered the front office of the
suite unobserved. The boy who
opened up was busy In another room
and had not noticed her, nor had, two
men seated in the outer apartment.
She was about to apprizethem of her
presence when a remark attracted
her attention sharply.
"It's a raw deal, Sharp!" spoke one
of the men.
"That's the kind that pays," isn't it,
Marvin-?" and Nellie instantly knew
that the speakers were the expeqted
clients of her employer.
"Yes, but if it's found out about
that letter, you know."
"It won't be. If it Is, we've made
our turn, haven't we? See here, look
at ther rationale of the thing: this
wayback sleepy Mercer has a' tract
with uncovered riches under It ' We
discover it. So does the Vulcan. Steel
Company. They write him offering
him ten thousand dollars ., for . the
land. I Intercept that letter and it
never reaches its destination. We
came personally and got an op
tion on the property. The Tidewater
Iron Works pays us richly for it.
That's our business making a' com
missions See here,", and there was
a rustling of paper. "There's a sam
ple of some of the prime stuff under
that forty acres."
In a flash Nellie comprehended the
plot In motion. What should she do?
Mercer was five hundred miles away.
She had only surmise tp go on. The
office boy coming in announced h'er
to the visitors. They stated their
business, Nellie hadher orders. Oh,
for time, for advice! Then, self-reliant
little business woman that she
was, Bhe prepared the deed the men
asked for, executed it and received
the two thousand. Messrs. Marvin
& Sharp marched off jubilantly to
record the deed. Nellie nearly col
lapsed when she tried to realise the
bold, defiant thing -v" '-"I done.
The men had left what looked like
a lump of clay behind them. It was
the specimen they had talked about
From one of the professorg.up at the
college Nellie learned that it contain
ed a rare substance known as cre
solite, employed In blasting furnaces
to fuse 'metal.