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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 10, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-10-10/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE COLONEL'S ERROR
By H. M. Egbert.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Col. Jim Slee saHn.his swivel chair
and looked at Miss Elizabeth Ray
and pulled his drooping mustache.
Colonel Slee was the last man in
the, world whom one would have as
sociated with a large city store. A
little over fifty, perhaps, with a splen
did figure and military bearing, there
mSF' HI k- gJ
Looked at Miss Ray and Pulled His
Drooping Mustache.
was something chivalrous about the
man in spite of his reputation. If
there can be grades of fast livers, the
colonel undoubtedly belonged to the
highest grade. In 50 homes he was
regarded as a man of unblemished
reputation; and those who knew
what his life was somehow exonerat
ed him.
The colonel had fallen heir to the
store on his brother's death, and he
had not known what to do with it.
His first act was to call all the em
ployes together and raise their sal
aries." Then he promoted all the
pretty girl clerks. The colonel's old
fashioned idea was that the prettier a
girl was and every girl was pretty
if she had health and a sweet tem
per the less right she had to labor
for a pittance. Miss" Ray, being the
prettiest and most innocent of the lot,
was appointed the colonel's private
secretary.
That was as far as the colonel got
before the departmental managers in
terfered and told him, with firm po
liteness, that he, would have to leave
the charge of affairs to them unless
he wished to drive the store into
bankruptcy.
The colonel made them agree that
the revised salary schedule should
stand, and after that he came down
to the store for about two hours a day
and pretended to answer letters.
It is doubtful whether he would
have come more than twice a week
but for Miss Ray. She was about
twenty, and she came from a little
town in Connecticut. She was one
of the prettiest girls the colonel had
ever seen, with her fluffy brown hair,
gray eyes, red lips and unsophisti
cated ways. The colonel was a little
afraid of her at first, but after a while
he won her confidence. He knew
how to do that; he was always gen
tle and always a gentleman.
He had employed her as his secre
tary, at twenty dollars, for about a
month when he learned about Tom.
Tom was a young farmer in her home
town, and they were engaged to be
narried perhaps in a year's time,
when she had saved her trousseau
money and he had begun to make
things go better. He had only lately
taken over the land, and it was heav
ily mortgaged.
"Miss Elizabeth," said the coldnel,
and, though it was the first time he
had ever called her by her Christian
name, his tone was so respectful that
it was impossible to take exception to
his words "Miss Elizabeth, you are
J much too charming a girl to take up
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