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forth's. The thought of passing flown
the same streets through which he
I had walked In happier days was in
tolerable. But there came a day
when he found himself in that neigh
borhood. And then perhaps it was
the heat, which had been intense that
week, or the result of the nervous
exhaustion brought about by his
despondency but a curious lapse of
memory overcame him.
Luella called it fate afterwards.
1 The events of the past three
months slipped from his mind com
pletely. Once again he was a salaried
employe of Bransforth and Company,
and he held his head high as befits
a man who is going to be married
very soon, and made his way toward
The spell was still upon him as he
climbed the long flight of steps up to
the main office. He walked in.
Everything "was the same as usual.
He made his way to his own depart
ment, at the far end of the room, sat
down at his empty desk, nodded fa
miliarly to his friends, and looked
round for his mail.
The office was half empty. If Ran
ger had been there Howard might
have remembered. But Ranger's
desk was closed and the top of it was
thick with dust.
"Any mail for me today, Rogers?"
he asked the office boy.
"I don't think so, Mr. Baldwin,"
the lad answered. "Gee, I'm glad to
see you back, though."
A moment afterward Tail came up
"We're mighty glad to see you back
again, Baldwin," he said. "Mr.
Bransforth said you were to go into
his private office the moment you
Howard looked up at Tait, and sud
denly the absurdity of his presence
there struck home to him. He was
appalled. He could only stare stupid
ly at Tait. He did not know what
Tait, mistaking his embarrassment
the arm Td led Mm across Oje roQm.
to the 3 door of Mr. Bransforth's
office. He ushered him inside and
disappeared. Mr. Bransforth looked
up .and, rising from his chair, gripped
the young man warmly by the hand.
"I can't tell you how glad I am that
letter found you," he said. "I hope
you Can come back to us, Mr. Bald
win. It will be a serious disappoint
ment to me if you can't, and some
thing of a loss to the firm. To think
that after trying to locate you all
this time the name of your old ad
dress should suddenly have come into
"First of all," he continued, "I must
apologize frankly to you tor my
treatment of you. The fact is, Ranger
came to us with the best of creden
tials from his old place. I took the
trouble to look them up after he left,
and found that he had written them
himself and signed the name to
"Well, it didn't take long after your
disappearance for me to find out that
he was absolutely incapable for the
work. He was simply a bluff, Mr.
Baldwin, and I Imagine that he want
ed to get rid of you because he knew
that you saw through him. Dear me,
how blind I was! Well I want you
to take his position. The salary is
seventy-five dollars a week. I hope
I can count on you. You would have
to start in tomorrow, if you could
possibly manage it, for the whole de
partment is simply in confusion."
"I can come," said Howard quietly,
"on September the fifteenth."
Mr. Bransforth looked disap
pointed. "Well," he said, "of course, if that
is your ultimatum I must hold the
position open for you. But if it is the
matter of a holiday, perhaps a little
latter would do."
"No, sir," said Howard. "You see,
I er well, I'm going to be married
And that was the best prophecy
that Howard ever made.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
for shyness, took him playfully byl