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Newspaper Page Text
By George Elmer Cobb. s
"I'm .afraid we are going to lose
our money, Abner."
"I hope not, Mary;. I think not.
When we decided to go into this
business we agreed to stay by it to
the last. It is a long way from a
"Yes," sighed Mrs. Vance, "but the
anxiety and slow worry is wearing
"The only mistake we made was
If'-'1 ' ".f"
"Abner, This? Is Pitiful!"
that we calculated on too little capi
tal. - With another thousand dollars
I could have overcome all the diffi
culties." "We invested all we had, Abner."
"So let us make the best of it,"
smiled her optimistic husband. "We
are started right, we will give clean,
meritorious entertainment, and we
are bound to win!"
It was a,peculiar position in which I
the Vances found themselves. Two
months previously they had sold out
a little general store business that
had given them a bare living for
twenty years and enabled them to
give their only daughter, Helen, an
excellent musical education.
A relative in the South had been
the cause, of a sudden determination
on the part of these worthy,
credulous people that had altered the
whole current of their lives. He was
something of a plunger and specula
tor, with the mottol "Get in first on
the new things." He had made a
lucky investment in a- motion picture
show and was fast acquiring a fortune.
"We'll sell out, find a nice, respect
able location in some pretty home
town and go into the business," de
cided Mr. Vance. "I'll learn how to
operate the films, you can take-in the
tickets and Helen why, with her
lovely, vojce and fine piano playing,
she'd be half the show."
So, pride and novelty carried the
Vances away from their usual sober
judgment and here they were now,
discussing the results as proprietors
of the "Palace" photo playhouse at
They found a poor, cheap motion
picture show in the town when they
started in, but it catered to a second
class clientele. There was a vacant
hall in the place that Mr. Vance cov
eted, but the rent was too high. The
store he transformed into a little
bijou of a playhouse was not located
near the business center, but he fan
cied people would not mind that.
They did, especially rainy nights, and
he now saw his mistakes.
The Vances had arranged some
cpzy living rooms at the rear of the
playhouse. It'was comfortable and
homelike and a palace to the old peo
ple when Helen, with her happy,
cheery ways, was about. Just now
she had taken some children home
from the show and was expected
back at any moment.
"What was that?" suddenly es-,