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Newspaper Page Text
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as I have told you an inspection of
your books shows that you are in.
solvent. The world thinks you
wealthy. In reality, with the enor
mous debts you owe, if thrown into
' bankruptcy your estate would not
pay fifty cents on the dollar,"
An exclamation of' desperate help
lessness reached Ned's appalled ears.
"My advice is to-call in your cred
itors, offer a compromise, get two
years' times for the payment of the
same, and by hard work you may
pull the business through."
Ned arose to hist feet in sheer as
tonishment. Bankrupt the man
supposed by banks and the business
community to possess a million! Oh,
this was ghastly! A sensitive flush
of shame passed over Ned's face as1
he realized that he had unconscious
ly played the part of the eavesdrops
per. Then, a set look in his eyes, ixe
walked out of the place.
"Duty!" he breather hoarsely, once
out in the street. And then: "Poor
Ned winced as he realized that he
must aim a blow at the business
standing of the father of the girl he
loved. His duty to the agency was
plain and clear, however. He wrote
out the facts of his discovery.
"Whew!" ejaculated his manager,
as he inspected the report. "We
y won't send this out generally till we
have made a closer investigation. I
will send the details by letter to the
inquiring office. Take the matter up
again tomorrow, Bartels, and go
Ned was a good deal unnerved by
the happenings of the day. He found
himself unable to confine his
thoughts to business. He was griev
ing over the shock the failure of her
father must bring to Lillie.
At the same time, somehow, he
took new heart of hope. It appeared
to him as if a barrier had been re
moved that f "wealth. Now she was
poor. They were on equal social
'Til do it!" he decided forcibly, and
he went to see pretty Lillie that same
afternoon. He spoke out boldly. He
knew from the sweet delight in Lil
lie's eyes that "she returned his love.
When he spoke of living on his lim
ited salary she averred stanchly that
it yjas abundant too much!
What would Mr. Wayne say when
he knew of the engagement, Ned
wondered. There was one point of
assurance, however. It would come
out that he had proposed to Lillie
knowing that she was poor as him
self. They would not charge him
with being after the fortune that no
"I'll wait a day and get up my
nerve before I tell Mr. Wayne that
I am going to marry Lillie," Ned de
cided, but that afternoon there came
a startling telephone message that
materially changed his plans.
A 'slip of paper on his desk an
nounced that "Robert Wayne wished
to see the reporter who had written
him up the day previous."
"I'm in for ty!" cogitated the dis
turbed Ned. "I suppose I'll be raked
fore and aft for anticipating the fu
ture. Well, I did my duty, anyway,
it goes, and I'll have to tell him so."
"Oh, you are the reporter who are
responsible for that precious screed
regarding the terrible condition of
my affairs, are you?" challenged Mr.
Wayne, as Ned was ushered into his
Mutely and meekly Ned assented.
"Where did you get your informa
tion?" Ned recited the circumstances
frankly and with manliness. To his
profound amazement Mr. Wayne
burst into a fit of the most uproar
Jous laughter. His frame shook, the
tears stood in his eyes.
"I see it all now," he said, at length
controlling his risibilities. "Young
man, the conversation you overheard
through that transom was between
my lawyer and a brother of mine in
another city, but nothing could
have come about more fortunte for
me than your error.
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