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be. .grown up to the top and .waiting
for us.' ,
"He'd just got one wall up and Bet
out the ivy plants when Luke Buffum
come along. He was traveling for
some-firm or other, and he made this
his headquarters. He was a flashy
city man, and it didn't take him long
to spot Pansy as the prettiest girl in
"Michael? What chance would a
slow, steady-going old fellow like
Michael have with a snake Hke that
Luke around? There, I'm calling
Michael old again. He wasn't then,
but he has been ever since she ran
away with Luke. Married? Bless
you, yes, friend; Pansy wasn't that
kind. But we found afterward that
he had a wife and child in Buffalo,
and she left him and that was 18
years ago. But Old Michael's Folly
has been standing like that ever
since that day. Hush! That's him,
coming along the pike!"
We turned and watched, the stal
wart, slightly bent figure that came
trudging down the road. The word
"old" well described It. Some men
are old at forty, as others are young
at seventy, and this man was of the
"Dear," whispered Elizabeth to me
as we turned, homeward, "it almost
makes me feel we don't deserve our
"My happiness," I answered"; and
then, seeing that the road was clear,
I kissed her.
We had almost forgotten the In
cident by the next summer. We had
been married two years then, and
there was a reason why our home
ought to materialize that year. We
were still looking for it. Yes, and we
were still discovering new villages
with quaint old' houses within an
hour's ride of the metropolis.
It was not easy to find the home of
our dreams., and we were almost com
ing to believe that it "would" neYer re
veal itself, when we came one day
upon a village street which seemed
somehow familiar to both of us.
"Dear," said Elizabeth, laying her.
hand upon my arm, "don't you re
member now? That red briokcot
"Old Michael's!" I exclaimed.
Then we -remembered everything,
and we went on quite quickly to see
whether the old wall was still stand
ing. It was but three other walls
had been added to it, each with Ivy
plants at the base, and a shingled
roof completed what was really a
charming little house. Rose bushes,
freshly set out, were beginning to
bloom In the garden, and a man was
at work in a' potato patch near the
gate. He turned as we drew near,
and we recognized the man who had
told us about old Michael.
He did not recognize us, of cburse,
but he was just as gossipy and ready
for a chat as ever. He came'to'ward
us, dragging his hoe behind..him.
"Kind of hot today, ain't 'Jt?s' he
said,' running the back of his-mand
across his dripping forehead. '
"So the house is buflfat last," I
said in answer.' "Did Old Michael sell
you the property?" " .
He nodded and smiled. "AhWyou
was the couple us was here last year,"
he said. "I've often thought of you
since then, because you see, it wasn't
but a week later that she come back."
"What!" I cried. "Pansy?"
"Aye, Pansy. Eighteen years it
must have been she'd been away in
the city, working in some office there.
Yes, and she'd riz and riz, too, till
she had become quite an Important
person there. And then, having saved
up a few thousand dollars, what does
she do but come back to buy the old
"And did he sell it?" asked Eliza
beth, quite breathless.
."Not a bit of it," answered our
friend. "It was strange, her coming
home just after I'd had that talk with
you. I thought to myself, 'always
humo inquisitive folks and talk with
them, because it means good luck.' "
"Well! The idea!" exclaimed Eliza
beth Indignantly, . -