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Newspaper Page Text
distressing symptoms enumerated.
"These false, wretched doctors!"
he stormed. '"To think that they
would thus deceive me, lie to me!
They shall never enter my doors
again. And I am doomed, fated to
pass away within a year! And life
so bright to me!" and the tears came
into the hopeless eyes of the wretch
From that moment Richard Har
per became a changed being. He
spoke of his discovery to nobody, not
even to his daughter, but methodical
ly as he could he proceeded to put his
house in order.
Poor Fay grieved over the dull, re
signed look that had come into her
father's face. His confidential man,
Ross Dalrymple, noted with regret
his lack of interest in the business
and mistakes of judgment that were
costing the house dear.
"We are going on an extended
pleasure trip, Fay," her father told
her one morning, "so make your
preparations for a long stay from
"I wish you to take entire charge
of the business during my absence,
Mr. Dalrymple," he said to his con
fidential man that same day. "There
is no doubt we are doing less than a
year ago. If you can remedy this I
will show my appreciation in a prac
tical way when I return."
"If I return!" gloomily added the
doomed man with a groan to himself.
That evening, in his own room, he
took a little calendar from his pocket
and crossed out a date. "One more
day gone of the few left to me!" he
At that very hour, though he did
not know it, Fay and Ross were tak
ing a walk in the park. They had !
been lovers for several weeks and
now had come the parting for a few
months, at least.
"I fear it would worry your father
to have me speak to him about our
engagement," said Ross. "My feeling
is that we should think only of him in
the present crisis."
"Oh, if he would only get well!"
sighed Fay, "or, rather if lie could
only disabuse his mind of the con
stant dread that he is going to die!"
"While you are away I am going
to devote day and night to the busi
ness," asserted Ross, staunchly.
"Perhaps the good reports I antici
pate will cheer him up."
But although within a month the
application and efficiency of Ross
gave, to the business new life and a
grana record of profit, at the end of
two months Richard Harper returned
worse off physically and mentally
than ever. His fears were sapping
his vitality and he took little interest
in anything now.
One evening some relatives with
small children visited the Harper
home and Mr. Harper could not help
but notice the little ones. As he re
tired to his own apartment he sud
denly gasped. From his chest there
sounded a faint, unnatural, squeaky
"Heart murmurs!" he-'articulated,
hoarsely. "There it is again. I am
doomed how oh!" and his over
strained nerves carried him into a
state of insensibility.
Thus Fay found him. Ross was in
the house and he at once sped for
Doctor Thorpe. It seemed that Mr.
Harper had been scanning the time
worn "Diagnosis 31" when'overtaken.
It had fallen to the; floor. When the
doctor had revived rhim the confused
invalid incoherently told of the "heart
murmurs." The doctor opened his
vest. The tip of a balloon toy rolled
out. It had been dropped into the
clothing of the merchant accidentally
by one of the children.
Doctor, Thorpe could not repress a
hearty laugh. Mr. Harper looked
sheepish and bored. Then the phy
sician happened to pick up the sheet
"Why, what's this?" he exclaimed.
"Diagnosis 31 !" I lost it some months
since. Mr. Harper, how comes this
to be here?"
"Because I found it and discovered