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Newspaper Page Text
By Harold Carter.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"William," said the- farmer's wife
gently, comuig up to wBere he sat
and placing her arm round his neck,
"what are you going to do about Bes
sie and-her little girl?"
The old man looked up angrily.
"Do?" he repeated in a dull, median-
"Oo! You Speak Like a Big Bear,
ical way, "What do you suppose I am
going to do? Nothing."
."But we can't let her starve, dear."
"She would have let me starve,"
answered William Ives, staring into
the fire. "If there hadn't been min
erals on that piece of land I owned
and sold, Mary, where would we be
now? In the poorhouse. I gave my
best years to her and now no, let
her earn her own living."
"But the board" won't appoint a
married woman as a teacher when
she has a child, even if her husband
is dead. "William," said the anxious
mother, "won't you help her?"
"No," said her husband finally.
Everyone in Locust knew the story.
Commonplace enough, it was yet es
sentially one that finds its yearly
equivalent in a thousand homes. Wil
liam Ives and' his wife had scraped
for years, impoverishing their scanty
resources, to put their child through
college". When she had secured an
appointment as teacher she was to
repay them by helping support them:
Five years had passed since Bessie's
graduation, and for a few months she
had contributed to the family income.
Then she had given up her position
to marry a poor writer.
John Turner was consumptive
when she married him, and soon the
disease had him in its full grasp. He
took his wife and baby west and died
there. .Bessie had come back to Lo
cust to secure a position as teacher.
But the new board had passed strin
gent rules, born out of the over-supply
of teachers, and under these-Bessie
was unequivocally debarred. She
had not gone home; she was staying
with an old-time friend, who bad
taken pity on her and the little girl
and given them temporary shelter.
"It isn't as if I had wanted to send
her .to college," muttered the old man.
"I ain't hard. I meant to treat the
girl well, and when she pleaded and
pleaded I couldn't resist her. But
what gratitude did she show me?"
"Dear, it was to be expected,'-' said
his wife. "Every girl thinks of mar
riage, college or no college."
"Let her starve," answered the
But he slept little that night and
sighed next morning as he went out
to his fields.
The mother had seen the daughter.
She had visited her without telling
her husband. William Ives labored
hard under his grievance. He was
difficult to turn. The mother's heart
was bleeding, but she could do nothing.