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Newspaper Page Text
me, the branded! the accursed of hu
manity!" A bitter scowl wreathed his face
and he walked away from the spot
amongst the deep shade of the river
path. At that moment, as he real
ized that his hand was against every
man and every man's hand against
him, the wealth that had come to
him was as worthless dross. There
was a struggle between his better na
ture and the promptings of his re
cent environment, but the struggle
was not decisive.
The word rang out involuntarily
from his lips. Engrossed in thought,
tramping on recklessly in his desper
ate mood, he had not noted his
course. He had stumbled on a trail
ing vine. The next moment he went
headlong down the steep decline and
was engulfed by the rushing waters
of the turbid river.
. There was a vivid swirl to the cur
rent that at once swept him into mid
stream. Burnham was not a swim
mer. Helpless, he sank once, twice.
Then his water-drenched gaze made
out a man on the path, 25 feet up the
sloping bank. He was a stranger,
and quickly dropping a satchel he
carried, he sprang into the water.
Sinking for the third time, almost
unconscious, Burnham felt himself
being seized and dragged ashore. As
he finally regained his senses it was
to find his rescuer lying by his side
on the shore. He was pale and gasp
ing for breath.
"You saved me!" ctfed Burnham
gratefully, "but you "
"I am hurt internally, seriously,"
panted the other painfully. "Quick"!
listen! my side struck a rock when
I jumped, but I am glad I saved you."
"But, man " but just here the
stranger closed his eyes and lay nerv
less. Only once he revived.
"I am dying," he breathed feebly.
"Promise me my brother's widow
in the satchel," and passed away,
grasping Burnham's hand in a' con
The next day Burnham started for
a distant city. He carried with him
the satchel belonging to the man who
had saved his life. A change had
come over him. The first strong im
pression of his new life was the sight
of the peaceful farm life. It lingered
like a picture. The second was grati- f
tude for the, man who had given up
his life to save his own.
His thoughts ran rapidly. Sudden
ly, thrillingly this outcast found his
existence directed into new channels.
He had seen that his rescuer was
buried. Then he had opened the
satchel and inspected its contents.
Prom that moment Mark Burnham
became Eli Walters.
For he felt it a sacred trust to take
up 'the life of his rescuer where the
latter had lain it down. In the satchel
he found a little hoard of about two
hundred dollars. There were also
letters and papers. An appeal had
reached Walters from his brother's
widow, whom he "had never seen.
He had decided to go to her, relieve
her necessities and devote his years
to care for her and her little family. -
Burnahm found the Walters family
destitute, indeed. He had assumed
the identity of a relative they had
never seen and was accepted as the
real Uncle Eli. That hard heart of
his softened like wax as he employed
the $200 to bring cheer and comfort
where there had been despair" 'and
suffering. The widow was-sickly and
almost aninvalid.-- There were five
little children" Within a week the
children were grouping about him as
though he were a real father, and the
widow was filled with gratitude and
For the first time, one day, Burn
ham saw Ida Worth. She had been
ill for a. month and called while he
was in the house. From the first, her
earnest, patient face attracted him.
He learned that she had practically -supported
the widow and her family
for several months, but illness had
come and she was now as poor as .
themselves. She said the doctor had