' "y" 'W T Jm
broad smile. The young man put his
hand to his head in an embarrassed
way. Then he darted through the
open doorway and into the lobby of
the big building.
Freciosa looked serious as she
drew back from the window, some
what ashamed, sincerely sorry. THat
flitting glimpse of the face below had
shown a seriousness not at all in ac
cord with the reckless episode of the
moment. A neat but threadbare suit
of clothes made the gentle miss won
der if she had not acted unwisely,
nay, cruelly, in depriving the young
man of a possession he could poorly
"It's too bad why did I do it?" she
chided herself. Besides, the embar
rassment, the inconvenience, and she
passed out of the office regretfully.
Finally Preciosa took the elevator.
She glanced timorously but eagerly
around the vestibule. The elevator
starter was just crossing from a store
room to a hatless person standing in
the shadow of a stone column. He
bore in his hand an old battered cap.
The loiterer accepted it. Some few
words passed between them. The
young man penciled something on a
card, gave it to the starter, and has
tened from the building.
Somehow a glimpse of the sensi
tive, rather sad face of the young
man troubled Preciosa. Her con
science was upbraiding her. As she
apprdached him, the elevator starter
lifted his hat politely to the sister of
the successful young broker who
tipped him generously.
"That young man who was just
here," she said "is he the person
who lost Els hat?"
"Yes, Miss Huldane," replied the
starter. From what he says it was
the only one. he'had, and he is with
out the money to buy another one. I
loaned him a stray cap I happened
to have, and he insisted on giving
me his name and address, so I would
be sure to know it would, tie returned,
which doesn't matter in-the" least."
"Will you show me the card?"
"Why, certafnly," 'assented the
starter, promptly, but wonderingly.
"Preciosa felt like a guilty criminal.
Her tender soul deplored the innocent
mischief she had wrought. She was
strangely unlike herself all the ridq
home with her brother. Withia an
hour she had made a confident of her
best friend, Mary Bird, and before
two had passed by Mary's brother,
Will, was taken into a conspiracy.
He was deputized to visit this Dale
Winters as the representative of
"four giddy girls" who had destroyed
his hat, and replace it with the best
fall style money could supply.
More than that the clever young
man did. He learned that Dale Win
ters was a most estimable and effi
cient young man, temporarily out of
work. How the artful Preciosa work
ed it she told nobody, but within a
week Dale was induced by young
Bird to apply fbjr'a'vposIUon with
Huldane & Co. and .was readily en
gaged. " "7 i
It was-a lucky day.for.the big bond
firm. Six jnqnths, later whll the
head of the house- was absent, a "near
panic hit the money market. Forced
to act on his own initiative, Dale did
just the right thing, and saved the
house from ruin.
That made him "solid" with Ran
som Huldane. In the meantime poor,
pitiful Preciosa found that in exer
cising sympathy and interest in be
half of Dale, she had learned to love
him. So she came often to the of
fice, and Dale called at the Huldane
It was the 2d of September, a year
to the day, and Preciosa sat in the
office ostensibly awaiting her broth
er's arrival when Drlo c-tered.
Preciosa smiled as he took off his
hat a straw hat! He read, inquiry
in her eyes.
"Do not think that I am defying
usage and propriety, Miss Huldane,
he said laughingly. "I am defying
the custom for this one day because
It is an anniversary."
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