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Newspaper Page Text
"I would like to see Mrs. Woods,"
she said in her reserved lady-like way.
"My mother is not at home,'' ex
plained Alan, postponing his work,
glad to have an excuse to once again
vvview the sad yet charming face of the
visitor. She tarried for a moment ir
resolutely, something in his earnest,
sympathetic face attracting her.
"You have shown our little com
pany a great many accommoda
tions," she said, "and we are truly
grateful. I had come to ask you a
very great new favor of your moth
er.". "If it Is. urgent, I will be glad to act
for her if I can," replied Alan encour
agingly.. The swift tears came to the eyes of
the beautiful young woman.
"Mrs. Woods knows why we con
tinue with the circus," she said.
"When Idalia's father died he owed
the circus a few hundred dollars on
the elephant .You have s,een Idalia's
pretty act where she acts as trainer
, of the elephant At her father's re
quest (he was my half-brother) I
have gone with Idalia to care for her.
She has finally earned sufficient to
pay off the debt her father owed. To
day she is quite ill. The noise and
bustle pf our tent prevents her rest
ing. We are to remain here only two
days longer. I would be-glad to pay
any price to have a quiet room and
home comfort for the dear little one."
"I will go with you and carry -her
over here at once," declared Alan
readily, "She shall have my room.
Both of you are indeed "welcome."
Mrs. "Woods, when she returned,
good ,soul that she was, at once set
about acting as nurse for the little pa
tient. Mr. Woods grumbled a little,
but kept it to himself. The circus
company moved away 48 hours later,
but neither Miss Mercy Lester nor
Idalia went with them.
The child -was now under medical
cane. She had developed a slow, wast
ing fever. The elephant was leased to
the circus and a substitute for Idalia
found. This Insured an income to the
little patient, atid should she not re
turn to the sawdust arena, a good
bulk figured'from the sale of the ele
phant "I take it all back all I said or
thought of those circus folks," de
clared Ephraim contritely to his wife,
one evening a month later. "They just
make the evenings delightful."
It was true. Little Idalia, still weak
and ill, was a precocious child, full of
bright intelligence and an" exquisite
singer. Miss Leslie made the old piano
ring with harmony. Alan was Tike a
new being under the warm, generous
influence of loving hearts.
Even when another month had
passed by little Idalia was not yet
entirely well. Then some important
news came. The circus stranded, had
gone to pieces. Its proprietor wrote
Miss Lester that the elephant would
be sent back to her in charge- of one
of liis men. Suggestions were volun
teered as to where the animal might
he sold and he advised thai she .hold
for a price of $10,000.
But a month went by and neither
man nor elephant appeared. Alan
started an. investigation, in 'the inter
ests of its little owner. There was no
doubt that the messeenger had stolen
and hidden the elephant, for after a
protracted search neither could be lo
cated. One evening, still in quest of some
clew as to the whereabouts of the
missing animal, Alan happened into a
moving1 picture show. One of the films
depicted a day's life of one elephant
The moment Alan- saw the first reel
he recognized the missing animal
from a peculiar mark on its breast
It did not take long to run down the
subject of the picture. The unworthy
messenger had leased the use of the
elephant to some film-makers in an
isolated, movies camp, and was: enjoy
ing a regular income.
It was the evening after Alan had
returned home to report to Miss Les
ter that he had not only found, the
elephant but had an offer of $12,000
for theu-animal, that little Idalia and
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