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peared that Abe had never forgotten
the girl, and, though he hadn't heard
anything of her for all those years,
he still cherished her image in his old
bachelor's heart. So the two went
"It must have been six months lat
er, and I had completely forgotten all
about the partners, when Abe came
in alone. He sat down on the bench.
" 'Why, you're the young fellow
that sold me that shoe last time I
was here. Mighty good shoe it was,
too," he said.
"Where's Hank?" I asked, and Abe
shopk his head mournfully. '
" 'Dead, poor fellow,' he answered.
"He told me that a strong friend
ship had developed between them,
and that they had roomed together
ever since until a couple of weeks
before, when Hank handed in his
checks, owing to an attack of pneu
monia. Before he died, Hank had
told him that he had a wife living out
West. They had separated years be
fore on account of a misunderstand
ing, and he wanted Abe to go out and
see whether she was in good circum
stances. He had left Abe all his little
hoard of $2,000, and Abe was buying
a new shoe before starting on his ad
venture. " 'Like as not she'll be some de
signing widow who'll try to get holt
of me, now that I'm a rich man,' he
said. 'But Hank told me that if the
woman's in poor circumstances, I'm
to give up the money to her. How
ever, I don't care about that; what's
worrying me is the fear that she'll
take a fancy to me and marry me,
and what can a man do when a
widow's set on him? I've got a girl
down South that I've had in my heart
for many a long year.'
"I saw that he forgot having told
me about that romance when he was
"heer up!' I said. 'Like as not
she's dead or married again. You
ain't much of a catch, Abe, as you
seem to think you are.'
as he went out 'But I wish old Hank
had lived a couple of weeks longer,
so that we could have gone halves
on them shoes.'
"Months passed, and I had clean
forgotten all about the old fellow.
You know what a shoe salesman's
life is. Feet come and go, and they're
just feet to you and nothing more,
except when they're pretty ones,
which isn't often, because the ladies
generally prefer to go to the special
ladies stores. Well, it must have been
about six months later when who
should walk in but Abe, accompanied
by a refined, buxom-looking woman
who couldn't have been a day young
er than he, but she was evidently a
" 'Hello, young fellow. You here
still?' he cried.
'"Why, it's Abe, isn't it!' I ex
claimed. " 'It surely is,' he answered. 'Old
Abe, it used to be. But now it's just
plain Abe, and growing younger ev
ery day, thanks to my wife. Molly,
this is the young fellow I was telling
you about, who sold that pair of
shoes to Hank and me.'
" 'You don't mean to tell me you
married Hank's widow!' I exclaimed,
forgetting my manners in my sur
prise. "But they weren't the least offend
ed. They both laughed. 'I guess
you've hit the nail there,' answered
Abe. 'When I got out to 'Frisco I was
all fluttered for fear she'd get me to
marry her. And after I'd been there a
week I was all fluttered for fear she
wouldn't. Isn't that so, Molly? But
" 'I made you ask me twice,' said
" 'I'd have asked a hundred times,'
answered Abe gallantly. It was quite
pretty to see the old pair.
" 'But the curiousest thing is,' said
Abe, 'that I was telling you about
that girl down in Virgina, wasn't I'
Well. Molly's her! What d'you think
"I was too much surprised to think
" 'I hope I ain't,' he said gloomily,