By George Elmer Cobb.
(Copyright by W. GT'-Ghapman.)
Stridently there hammered out
upon the air the measured beat of a
big base drum. Stalwart, free-armed,
Jed Hawkins stood at his task as
Stood at His Task Resolutely.
resolutely as a maestro at the baton
Before him, propped in a low tree
crotch, was a home-made sheet of
music, its sparse notes big as eggs.
This was his "score."
Over the neighboring fence old
Seth Brown protruded his broad tan
ned face, set all in a capacious grin.
"What ye think yer doin', Jed?" he
"Practicing," was the terse, se
rious reply. l
"You call that music!" derided
" 'Twill be, when it mixes in with
the rest of the band."
"The village band I've joined it.
There's just as much system to a
drum as there is to a flute. Nature's
music isn't all bird song there's frog
croakings, toe." i
Seth Brown went on his way,
chuckling. The lonesome boomings
of the big drum were dismal. Besides,
he had a poor opinion of Jed Haw
kins. In the first place, his pretty
daughter, Nellie, liked Jed. In the
next place, she had her pick of sev
eral richer swains.
"Ill admit Jed is stiddy," ruminat
ed the practical old man, "but he's
slow and poky. Well, it will take him
so long to save enough to get married
on that Nellie will get tired waiting
and marry some one else."
"Slow but sure," was the way Nel
lie put it to herself. "Dear fellow!
He loves me and that's enough, and
I'll wait fifty years for him, if I have
"A little extra money everything
counts," reflected patient, honest
Jed. "The band gets four dollars a
head an evening for playing at
dances. Next winter it will be three
times a week "boom-boom-boom-boom-boom!
and Jed proceeded in
dustriously to beat out the notes of
"Well, dear," challenged him, and
he turned to face his loyal sweet
heart, bright-faced and cheery as
usual "how are you getting on?"
"I can play the whacks where
they're marked to come in," explain
ed Jed. "I reckon I can fill the bill."
Nellie had been to the postoffice.
She carried the weekly town news
paper in her hand. This she opened
and held it -before the face of her
lover, her dainty forefinger indicating
a great black type advertisement.
"Look, dear," she- directed and
Jed read it in his slow accurate way.
"A thousand dollars reward," he
I said, "I'd findjthe child tor nothing,
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