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Newspaper Page Text
just the right time. Paying one cent
a quart, Ned-had employed an army
of vacation school children. Not a
berry rotted, not a delivery was miss
ed and nearly one thousand dollars
net profit came from the well-managed
The present season, however, old
Silas Gi-een found that he could not
hire pickers. The children had heard
of his cruel treatment of their favor
ite. Again, the bright, encouraging
jollity of Ied that made work play to
them was an absent element.
There came rain and then a hot
sun. There was a consequent magi
cal ripening of the berries. The few
pickers whom Green could induce to
work for him could not handle a third
of the task. Hundreds of quarts of
the fruit rotted. At the end of the
season the troubled farmer found
himself two hundred dollars to the
One, year to the day from the one
when Silas Green had turned a faith
ful but independent helper from his
door, there came a (registered pack
age to the farm house. Curious and
eager the farmer opened it
The package contained a heavy
It was a counter part of the erne
with which he had struck his niece
and Ned Calvert, and the old fellow
winced at the telling reminder.
Two years to the same day a sec
ond package arrived again a heavy
Poor Nettie had grown thin and
pale and wretched at the loss of play
mate and lover. Her heart saddened
at this token of the absent one. She
noticed the tears come to the eyes of
"Nothing but ill luck since I drove
the lad away!" he groaned. "He bears
me no good thought, as his 'presents'
show'. I can't blame him, but I was
in the wrong, I confess it. I'm sorry
"Don't worry, uncle," spoke gentle
hearted Nettie. "Maybe Ned will come
back some day."
But her words failed to lighten the
burden of the broken old man. Silas1
Green told the truth when he spoke
of his growing bad fortune. He tried
new help, but tfiey failed in their
duty. A season of bad crops all
around forced him to mortgage the
"I see nothing but ruin before me,"
One night there came a knock at
the door of the humble farm house.
Iettie went to the door, viewed the,
visitor and fell back with a vague
startled- cry. Silas Green arose to his'
feet, his jaws dropped, starting spell
bound. It was Ned, but a new Ned, who,
uninvited, advanced into the room.
His eyes were bright and brave, his
lips smiling. He. was erect, hand
some, well-dressed. He extended his
hand to the old farmer as though t
there had never been anything be
tween them. Then he turned to the
trembling, agitated Nittie, with the
"I've come back to you as I said I
would. Am I welcome?"
"Oh, Ned!" gasped the overcome
girl and fluttered into his arms.
"Boy," spoke' Silas Green huskily,
"you nave forgiven me?"
"For what?" cried Ned. "Thapwhip
blow? Mr. Green, you were m the
wrong andI shall always think so "
"Yes! yes; I admit it "
"But that blow made a man of me.
Shall I .tell you how? I was mad all
through when I left you and fancied
I had lost Nettie for good. Three
hangers on at the circus that day had
shown me how I could make a lot of
money. I was reckless and discour
aged. I knew they, were upto no
good, but, homeless" friendless, I
didn't care. When I went to join them
they refused to take me into their
plots on account of my helpless wrist.
That saved me, for their scheme was
to rob a bank. They did it, but one.
was shot dead in a melee with the
police and the two others were sent
to the state penitentiary."