boy. He did not know that he was a
father at all. Certainly he did not
know that Hilda wrestled with her
pride every night in her lonely bed,
and tried and tried and could not
bring herself to write to him, even for
But with the shrewd instinct of
five years Bobby had long agq divined
that something was the matter with
mother. True, he did not know that
mothers ought not to cry at night,
and sometimes during the day as
well; it was only a subtle instinct that
informed him how happy he would be,
and mother,, too, if he could bring
home a father.
He had noticed particularly that
the piece of paper with the name on
it was treasured, and that often
mother took it out of the desk drawer
and began to write a letter, and that
. she always ended by tearing up the
paper on which she Bad written, and
throwing the pieces into the basket.
Ah, well, it was not necessary for
John Swanscott to know all this. He
had troubles enough. He had thrown
himself unreservedly into his work,
an embittered man, and not a very
generous one. The name of Swan
scott had become feared in Wall
street. There was not one of the di
rectors, who stood nervously about
the room, who was not afraid of him.
"The meeting is called, gentlemen,"
he said and just then a clerk came
in through the private door.
"To see me!" exclaimed John
Swanscott incredulously. "The port
er, did you say?" Then anger got the
better of him. "Did you tell" him I
had a company meeting?" he began.
And just then a dirty little boy with
a tear-stained face and grimy hands
, that clutched a scrap of paper, came
toddling into the room.
Bobby looked round gravely, and
he stared into the ace of each of the
amused directors in tnrn before
planting himself upon his sturdy little
legs in front of Swanscott.
"Well, sir, what can I do for you?"
Inquired Swanscott gravely. "Have,
you come to attend the meeting of
"Yes," answered Bobby, with equal
gravity. "I want a father." .
The words stung Swanscott to the
uick. He glared at the little boy,
and the directors, each of whom
knew the tragic story of Swanscott's
life though he did not know they
knew, tried to suppress their interest.
"So you have come to me to find a
father for you, have you?" inquired
the president "What is that you have
in your hand, young man?J'
Bobby stretched out his hand and
offered Mm the paper, with the assur
ance of five-years old. Swanscott took .
it and gave an involuntary start.
It was Hilda's handwriting that he
saw before his eyes. It was impossi
ble to mistake that. How many times
had he not seen it upon those letters
at home, every one ofwhich he had
read so often that he knew it by
"RJother is always crying because
I haven't a father," explained Bobby.
"She cries all night, and sometimes
she writes things on a piece of pa
per and then tears it up and frows it
away. So I thought I thought I
would get a father."
John Swanscott looked round him,
and suddenly a warm sense of hu
manity filled his shrunken heart And
the directors, seeing the look upon
his face, drew together into a corner.
"What is your name'" asked
Swanscott of the boy. "Bobby?" That
was his name his second name, and
it had been arranged that if there
were a boy he was to inherit. Swan
scott reached for his hat. v
"Well, Bobby, I guess you have
found one," he answered. "Gentle
men," he added, turning to the direc- .
tors, "there will be no company meet
It is believed that never before in
the history of Englandr iave so many
women offered to run -as candidates
for town and metrouolitan burrou-zh
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