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Newspaper Page Text
- By Mildred Caroline Coodridge.
c (Copyright by W. GChapman.)
1 "I can't go through with it!"
groaned a haggard, desperate-faced
fiian on one side of a garden wall.
"Oh, you beautiful world!" lisped a
fhild in an invalid chair on the other
ide of the wall.
The man was Robert Dale, a city
jnerchant. He sat in the shade of a
.& AS&3gfir jd.S.
I The Last Ditch Seemed Reached.
ftree near the ruins of some burned
adown residence. Despair was in his
heart, his eyes were full of the misery
of a tortured spirit,
f, "There are only two ways," he
,muttered darkly. "There is bank
ruptcy, but that reads disgrace, and
I could not bear it. The other is
He drew from his pocket a loaded
revolver and gazed at it fixedly. He
had come out to this secluded spot in
a quiet village to end it all with a
pistol shot. A proud man, a crushed
man, the last ditch seemed reached,
and he set his lips grimly.
The little child was Flora Easton,
a sweet-faced, angel-eyed girl of ten.
The chair was drawn up close to a
rustic table. Upon this were writing
materials. As she took up a pencil,
one could see from the slow, weak
and erratic movements of her hand
that she had only an imperfect con
trol over its muscles.
Poor child! Young as she was,
Flora had known both pain and sor
row. She had seen her loving par
ents broken hearted over the sudden
death of that other flower of the fam
ily, her sister, for whom now her lit
tle mourners clad in black, the crick
ets sliding through the grass, each
evening piped for her a solemn mass.
Then Flora, too, had been stricken.
On the rare golden threshold of joy
out girlhood she had been deprived of
the use of feet and hands.
A patient father, a loving mother
had brought to her aid all that money
or medical skill could-effect. It was
the grand heroic spirit of the little
one herself, however, that had won
half the battle.
"Fine!" was little Flora's accus
tomed cheery reply when asked how
she was getting along. "Never say
die!" she had even taught- the pet
parrot to cry out. In the fervor of
the optimism she had adopted as the
creed and sustenance of health
broken life. She shed sunshine every
where. And daily, first with the movement
of a single finger, each hour gaining
some ground in groping her way
back to her old activity.
On this especial morning her brave
little heart thrilled, as for the first
time she found that she could use
her hand to write a-word. Hitherto
even th$ effort to produce a single
letter had been a hard task. Her eyes
sparkled, lier soul seemed to burst