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Newspaper Page Text
of the village. Honest Tom Halloran
knew that he and Mary had been
engaged, but not the cold-blooded
way in which Ames had jilted the wo
man who was now his wife.
Mary had sent back the furniture,
all except the old cabinet which Mr.
Newell had had made for her. "Take
care of that, my dear," he had said.
"It's made of tropical wood, and some
day it will be worth its weight in gold
When Tom had gone into the
kitchen to smoke his pipe Mary sat
darning busily, and her thoughts
wandered back over all those years
that had passed. How happy she and
Tom had been! And how thankful
she "was that she had discovered
Ames' nature before she married
him! She did not care about the
field, but Ames' persecution of Tom
had aroused her fighting spirit. If
she repay Ames in kind!
Suddenly she perceived a tiny edge
of white against the flat top of the
cabinet. It looked like a paper .par
ing.. She rose to brush it asidej and
to her amazement discovered that it
was part of a sheet, apparently wedg
ed into the wood in some strange
J A moment's examination showed
her that there was a secret drawer
in the cabinet. And the paper as
she pulled it through the orifice in the
wood she could see that there was
writing on it. She fumbled about un
til she found the spring of the drawer,
which she pulled open. Inside lay a
'document the last will of Simon
Mary Halloran stared at it in ter
ror. This message from the dead
she did not want to read those let
ters that danced before her eyes. She
was sllll standing with the'wfll.in her
hand when Tom came in.
"What is it, dear?" he asked, see
ing her distress.
Mary Halloran put the paper be
"Tom," she said, "you know Mr.
Newell meant to leave all his prop
erty to me, and how John Ames got
it. The will was never found. But
I have found it. It was in the secret
drawer of that cabinet."
Tom stared at her, and slowly un
derstanding came into his mind.
"Then it's all ours!" he exclaimed.
"The five acre field and all of it!"
"No, Tom!" said Mary.
"Eh, my dear?" said Tom, slowlyr
"I don't want to claim it I don't
want Mr. Ames to know. Tom, he
paid a price for the property, the
price of honor and self-respect. Many
a night he must have lain awake,
meditating over his bargain. The
property is the only recompense he
had. And I want him to keep it, Tom."
"You don't want the property,
"No, Tom. That is why I am go
ing to throw the will into the fire un
read." "But, Mary! It's yqurs ours.
Think of the boys. We must be just
to them. The scoundrel has had it
all these years. My dear, you must "
"I won't Tom, I won't," she cried.
"You don't understand." She flung
the paper into the open fire; it
scorched against the coals and flut
tered, unburned, beneath the grate.
But Mary had run out of the room,
her eyes blinded with tears of Tshame.
She was thinking that she had.been
more than recompensed in Tom." But
for the will's loss she would never
have known the treachery in John
Tom Halloran stooped down and
picked the will out of the grate and
began to read. The verbiage was dif
ficult, but there was one sentence
that stood out unmistakably:
"To' my half-brother, John Ames,
all that I possess, both real and per
sonal estate, in the conviction that
he will make a good husband for my
adopted daughter, Mary."
Slowly Tom watched the paper
burn in the fire. And, though the
full meaning of Mary's wish did not
come home to him, something told
him that he must never let her know;