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A light form had crossed the gar
den a moment previous, but he was
too absorbed to note its presence.
Out in the deserted lane he chose a
grassy spot beside the hedge and
buried his face In his hands in painful
In a single day he had seen the
business of years go by the board.
There had been the consolation, how
ever, that the assets had paid off ev
ery dollar of debt that is, with his
own private inherited fortune thrown
in. He believed in Cleora. He had
anticipated that, like a true woman,
she would sympathize with him in
his affliction, comfort and encourage
him. How cruelly was he disap
pointed! Suddenly Bliss lifted his head in
sharp surprise. Some one was sob
bing on the other side of the hedge.
Then came the words:
"And, oh, Midget! How cold and
cruel they were! After all his love
for Cleora and his noble loyalty to his
friend! They have thrown him out
on the cold world just as Uncle John
said I would have to go. Oh, cruel!
cruel! And Mr. Bliss was so kind to
Peering through the hedge Bliss
made out a young girl caressing a pet
kitten and confiding to the purring
animal her heart's grief. He knew
Dorothy Lane well a poor relative of
the haughty Cleora. He had pitied
her life of drudgery, and once when
Miss Boyden was away.had thought
fully strolled up to the place with a
box of caramels for Dorothy and a
pretty new ribbon for Midget's snowy
neck. It had been a pleasant hour
and he had not forgotten. Now vast
sorrow and pity oppressed him as he
realized that the hard-hearted selfish
ness of the Boydens was to be
wreaked on this helpless, innocent
It was two weeks later when a new
surprise came to Bliss. He" had
rented a vacant store in the village,
and his clear business record enabled
him to secure a limited stock of
goods. Cleora was a dead issue "with
him now, but his business pride was
left. He resolved to build anew
among those who knew and respect
"It's only Dorothy and Midget, Mr.
Bliss," announced a sweet, confiding
voice, and, looking up from his desk,
Bliss recognized Dorothy. In one
arm, she bore a bundle, in the other
erh pet kitten.
"They are going away to the sea
side, Cleora and her father," she ex
plained. "All the money my mother
left me is gone, he says, so they
turned me out. But I came straight
to you!" cried the little waif brightly,
as if that fact solved all troubles in
"Oh, you want advice, little one?"
said Bliss, in a kindly tone.
"No, I don't," dissented Dorothy,
strenuously. "I knowzwJoafa great
grand man you are, and i wafrt to
work for you and help you. Oh, we
need so little, Midget and I, and an
old lady in the village will give us a
free home for getting the meals and
keeping the house in order. I've
thought it all out Daytimes I'll come
here and be your clerk. You can
teach me how to sell goods and teep
your,books, and I'll work like every
thing. .Oh, please, don't say no!"
A humid blur came before the eyes
of Bliss at an appreciation of the im
petuous, unselfish devotion of this
poor little wayfarer. He saw that he
would fairly break her heart if he de
nied her. ,
It was wonderful how quickly Dor
othy learned the business way. She
was bright, joyous company all day
long. Then, too, the business began
to grow. At the end of six months
she was proudly earning a salary.
She wore more neat, fitting clothes.
She was "Miss Lane" now.
One afternoon, just as Dorothy left
the store for the day, Bliss stood gaz
ing after her raptly. Something new,
something love-inspiring stirred with
in his soul.
"Hello!" uttered a sudden, jolly