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Newspaper Page Text
had belonged to the company Jared
had captained in the war. They
called themselves "The Old Guard,"
and they set to work to give their
comrade a royal good time during his
"I say," observed Pearsons, one of
the coterie, the second day after the
arrival of Jared, "what's the matter
with Ross? He don't act natural."
And then the prevailing gossip was
received all the story of how the old
couple were "out."
"Why, this is all nonsense!" de
cided Pearsons. "We must patch up
a peace somehow."
He himself went as a committee of
one to spy out the lay of the land at
Millville. He returned to seek out
"Old friend," he said. "I've been to
see your wife. Say, she's mourning
"Oh, yes lots!" scoffed Jared.
"Did she send for me?"
"Why, no! She'd never give up
that strong will of hers to send for
you if you never go back, but she
wants you just the same. See here,
"Drop it!" almost snarled Jared.
"Ill show her I'm just as -strong-minded
as she is. Tomorrow I'm go
ing off to Kansas to see my brother.
May stay there."
Now this alarmed Pearsons. He
foresaw that it would not do at all to
allow a little family jar sunder the
pleasant family relations of years.
Once Jared drifted West. he might
never come back andHhus the home
life and happiness of two really lov
ing but perverse souls would be
He held a secret conclave of "The
Old Guard." The next 'night Jared
was invited to a farewell supper.
There was plenty of hard cider.
Some that he drank waa "hocussed."
Then when he was .fully under its in
fluence, his well-intentioned . com
rades set about carrying' out their
Jared was placed tenderly iawa
wagon bos filled with fresh, clean
hay, and they drove him over to Mill
ville. Now something had happened
since the visit of Pearsons to that
same town. It was this: The new
house had caught fire and all but 'one
side was burned up.
' Anyhow, the schemers place Jared
within the supporting arms of a big
roomy garden chair facing what was
left of the new house. They left him
to wake up when he would, and
worry his own way out of the im
When with early daylight Jared
opened his eyes, it was to marvel at
his strange situation. Then his
glance became riveted on the new
"Burned down! How's this?" he
ejaculated, and, catching a glimpse of
the unharmed side of the structure he
"Why, it's not white and green at
all. Punkin yaller I vum!" And he
rubbed his head, reflected, was mys
tified and all at sea, and then reflected
"Bless me, if I don't believe that
perverse Betty changed her mind,
and painted it my favorite color to
please me! And now it's burned
down. And she s alone at the old
home probably, and poor old gal!
She's met me morn half way, and
I'm a wicked wretch!"
Yes, half an hour later, as Jared
neared the old home there was his
wife straining the milk on the back
porch. He approached rather .
"Betty," he said, "you painted
over that white and green to please
"Yes, I did," retorted" Betty spicily,
"but I didn't do anything more. So
you've come home, have you?"
"Guess I have," acknowledged
Jared, rather sheepishly "See here,
Betty, I reckon I was a little too sot
in my ways. I'm sorry for the fire,
after all your calculations. Was" the
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