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avaricious. He had found a way of
putting out his money at high rates
of interest. He had sought opportu
nities to close out unfortunate cred
itors. The lust of gold had taken
possession of him. In the case of the
father of little Benny he had a mort
gage on the poor Tascott homested.
Mr. Tascott had become ill, there was
no one to attend to the produce
raised, and already the money grab
ber saw himself in possession of the
goodly 'acres representing a value
five times in excess of the loan
It was a piece ot his grasping,
changing nature that he had turned
Firebrand out to die, now that he was
of no more use. But Firebrand had
found a loyal friend, and Benny rode
into the home farmyard proud and
"He's mine!" he crowed delighted
ly to his astonisher mother.
"Why, where did you get him?"
and Benny told. The mother's face
clouded, however, at the mention of
the man who held their destinies
within his grasp.
"You see, since Dobbin died we've
had to hire all the carrying to town
and back. Now we've got a horse
of our own."
"But who will drive him, Benny?"
"Why, I will. Firebrand and me
are great friends, mother."
"The poor creature doesn't look
very promising," remarked Mrs. Tas
cott. "Oh, I'll soon fix that," insisted
Benny, and he did. After giving
Firebrand a good feed he rode him
bareback down to his famous old
friend, Tom Dobbs, a retired farrier.
Shod, rested, well fed, well cur
ried, at the end of a week decrepit
old Firebrand seemed to have taken
a new lease of life. Hitched up to
the farm wagon and the wagon load
ed with garden truck, the grateful
animal whinnied at his kind young
master aa though anxious to show
his willingness to work for him.
"I declare," cried the delighted!
Mrs. Tascott at the end of a week, as
Benny handed her a well-filled purse,
"I'm proud of you, my boy."
She might well be. Diminutive as
Benny was, he had solved the prob
lem of the family necessities. His
mother and two sisters loaded up the
wagon and he drove to town and sold t
the stuff. There was a stream of
revenue now coming in, and life
brightened more than a little for the
"Oh, mother!" exclaimed Benny
one day, coming in from the pasture,
"what do you think?"
"I am sure I cannot guess," re
plied Mrs. Tascott, smiling at his excitement.
"A man came by and o"ffered me,
$80 for old Firebrand."
"Better not tell Mr. Woods that,
Benny!" "I should say not! And, say, I
wouldn't take eighty hundred dollars
for the dear old fellow. The rascal!
Look at him. He's getting so fat
and jolly he's up to regular coltish
Benny ran out into the pasture,
again at a sight of Firebrand in the
open. The horse had nosed back
the gate that his young master had
carelessly left unlocked. As he saw
Benny coming he kicked up his heels
and stood viewing him as he ap
proached, wagging first one ear and
then the other in gay frolic.
"Here, you get back where you be
long!" ordered Benny.
Firebrand snorted a playful de
fiance, ran down the road, leaped a
fence and made a bee line toward
"He's headed in the direction, of
the Woods place," ruminated Benny.
"Maybe he's proud to show that he's
a real horse once more. Well, I've
got to put after him."
Treading the bramble bush and
coming just in sight of the river,
Beny gave a great shout. He broke
into a furious run.
"Oh, dear!" he panted; "it's little
Nellie Woods J"