"For the last time, dear," was the
gentle but hopeless reply.
"Oh, papa! What do you mean?"
"That my broken practice will not
admit of the expense of maintaining
an office," was the reply. "I have
given it up. I have ordered my law
library sent here. What little busi
ness I shall have can be done quite as
wellfrom the house."
Vera said nothing. She understood
fully that her father had sunk utterly
beneath the cruel, crushing blow of
the day. She led him into the cool,
pleasant parlor and urged' him to a
rest in his favorite arm chair.
Vera regarded him anxiously. She
realized that in his present despond
ent condition the worst thing . he
could do was to retire from active
business. His mind, unemployed,
would prey on itself.
"Is there no way that you can re
tain your office, father? ".she inquir
ed. "Surely you can build up a new
"My child, I am too old, worn out,"
declared the judge wearily. f
"Perhaps, then, a rest will do you
good," murmured Vera soothingly.
"Do not worry, father. We have the
little home here and we shall get
along some way. I can get a few
more art students, and that will
"When the things from the office
arrive we will have to clean out the
library and put them there," said' the
judge. "I can't understand why that
decision was not reversed," he went
on. "There were Some points my rep
resentative did not bring Up. That is
not his fault, however. You know I
lost some valuable memoranda and a
volume with some important deci
sions affecting our case. I have never
been able to find them and my mem
ory has been poor since my last spell
of sickness. Oh, by the-way, about
my clerk young Morton."
"Yes, papa?" said Vera, and she
lowered her eyes and flushed slightly.
She had come to know her father's
law student quite well. She cherish
ed him as a loyal, trusted friend cf
the judge and liked him for that.
"Ward Morton asks permission td
come to the house and study in the
library," explained the judge. "Poor
fellow! I am sorry for his sake. He
does not want, to inake a new connec
tion, however. With three months'
study he can qualify for the bar and
start in for himself.
Out of the change in the profes
sional life of Judge Dennison there
grew' a sweet romance. Ward Morton
came daily to the house and studied
in the library. Vera could not help
but meet him. This young man re
ceived' -a commission for copying
some old documents involving quite
good pay. He asked Vera to assist
him and she was glad to earn a little
One morning Vera was in the
library arranging some books on
their shelves and dusting and clean
ing up generally. It was quite early
and she expected to complete her
task before Morton arrived. He sur
prised her on the little step ladder,
however, arranging some ponderous
"You must let me take that heavy
work off your hands, Miss Dennison,"
insisted Morton in his usual court
eous way, and they chatted pleasant
ly, she handing up the books and
Morton arranging them.
Then. suddenly a ponderous tome
slipped from his hand. There was a
sharp cry of pain as it struck Vera on
the face and fell to the floor. In
stinctively she raised her hand to her
injured cheek. x
"Oh, how awkward of'me!" cried
Morton, self-reproachfully, "You are
hurt?" and in deep solicitude he re
moved her hand from her cheek. A
dark bruise showed.
"And my stupid fault!" said Mor
ton, and then because he could not
help it, he pitying, reverently, with
his lips, touched the cruel bruise.
In confusion Vera kneeled to pick
up the book, and Morton assisted her
in gathering up some papers that had
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