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By Esther Lee Upham
"Glang" whack !
It was a cruel man, Jasper Woods,
Rrho shouted the word and delivered
the blow. He brandished a club
heavy enough to brain an ox, right
ly directed. Just now, however, it
landed on the flank of old Firebrand
poor, patient, worn-out horse, so
nsed to neglect and abuse that he
expected the same regularly and ac
cepted it with true horse sense and
Firebrand what a travesty! Yet
Dnce that name had suited. In years
agone Woods had been proud of the
splendid steed that had done double
duty, and, therefore, had worn out
the more quickly. ,
"Shame!" piped a prompt, expres
sive voice, and as the old horse spurt
ed down the road to get away from
further torment, Jasper Woods
glared at the source of the denuncia
tion. "Who are you, anyhow?" he
scowled, locating a youngster up in
a tree near by, filling his hat with
"I'm Benny Tascott, of course,"
replied the urchin.
"Are? Humph! A good deal of in
solence, I should say, seeing as your
folks owe me a lot of money," sav
agely blurted out Woods.
"I say shame! just the same," per
sisted the audacious youth, sliding to
"It's my horse, I reckon."
"Then you ought to love him," re
sponded the big-eyed, earnest-faced
lad. "Poor Firebrand!" and he hur
ried after the animal, who halted at
a kind word and pillowed his nose
tffectionately on the shoulder of his
"Well, he's turned out," remarked
Woods, "so let him go his way."
"You mean he's anybody's to pick
up?" cried Benny, joyfully.
'Yes, I mean just that," snapped
"Oh, my then I'll take him!" ex
claimed Benny, rapturously.
"Say, you're in a fine fix to saddle
yourself with an animal that will eat
his head off, aren't you!" sneered
Woods. a ' '
But Benny was on Fireband's back
in a jiffy, petting and coaxing him
forward, while the man of money
and self-will went back to his home,
"You Mean He's Anbody to Pick Up!"
growling at the horse, the boy and
all the world in general.
He should have been merciful, for
life had brought him -a full compe
tence in wealth. He .should have
been happy, for he had" a contented
wife and a pretty, prattling little
daughter, who had come to bless
them after four preceding children
But Jasper Woods had become