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Newspaper Page Text
A STORY WITH A SZJ
BY JANE WHITAKER
The thing that made me want to
write this story is that it is such a
sweet silvery skein of the love that
lasts even into life's twilight.
The United Charities enter into it
only casually. Yet since that is the
way they seem to enter into every
thing casually I might retract and
say there are-the only thread that
spoils the"beauty of the skein of sil
I won't tell ;you the name of the
man nor of the woman, for in life
they guarded so carefully their sec
ret, but once, m the days of theSkmg
ago, the daughter of a very wealthy
family married a man against the
wishes of ner people ana was disin
herited. I don't think she ever regretted, for
he was so very good to her while he
was young and even when he grew
old. He was a musician some of his
compositions have rested on my
piano when I didn't know what a
sweet lime meioay was woven m bis
And then he grew too old to work.
There wasn't any money laid by. A
visiting nurse used to give him atten
tion, and she grew to love both "pa
and ma," as they called each other.
"Pa" was so brave. When the
, nurse would come, he would say: "1
feel fine today. Wouldn't be surpris
ed if I would be out hunting" some
work next week. Had a- fine night's
Then he would, wink at the. nurse,
.and she knew he was just trying to
keep "ma" from knowing h'owym he
And poverty fastened more tightly
upon them. Ma told the nurse about
her wealtliy relatives, and she.'-told
her of the runaway marriage, and
how glad she was she had run away,
and how little she had 'to regret.
Finally, because of the- fact that
'the nurse knew they were sometimes
teoine hungry. Da and ma, she called
WRY SKEW OF LOVE
the United Charities into the case.
Oh, it was the same old story.
They wanted to know about ma's
relatives, and her gray head shook
with anger and she cried:
J'l won't tell you who they are.
They Baid I would regret marrying
my husband and I never have let
them hear from me. If they should
hear now, now when we haven't
many more days of life, they would
be able to say thatthey were right
he couldn't take oare of me."
Her Indignation, cooled a little. "I
know ypii write to relatives,"" she
Said, "but you won't .write to mine.
I haven't asked you for help. If you
want to help you must do it without
notifying my people." '
The investigator didn't let "it drop
there'. The visiting nurse was sum
moned by her superior.
"Those old people like you," the
superior1 said. "You can wormout
of the old lady who were her rela
tives, and where they live and then
give 'the information to the United
But a bit of the fragrance of love
was" in- the heart of the nurse, and
she refused to betray the confidence
that had been given her.
"I know who ma's relatives are,"
she replied, softly, "but she trusted
me when she told me and I don't in
tend to betray her confidence."
"That is maudlin' sentiment She
cannot be helped unless the charities
know who her people are-and if they
will help her"
The nurse did not bother saying
that the U. G. collects money for just
such -cases as this, she just lifted her
head real haughty and left the su
A few days later, pa was taken to
the. Countv HosDital "and he died.
And ma didn't wait long after that
And shortly afterward the nurse
was dismissed' without being given
any real reason.
But that is all the ugly thread in