TRUE AS STEEL
By Alvah Jordan Garth
Old Abner Dorsett crouched over
the embers of- a dying fire in his
desolate home. Time was when he
had stormed and raved whenever he
thought or talked of his missing son.
He had disowned him, had almost
cursed him. Time, however, had
softened the smart of a terrible dis
appointment, a severe blow to father
ly trust and affection.
Wilfred Dorsett, bright, handsome,
twenty-two, engaged to Una Walden,
the prettiest girl in Winsted, had
been sent to the city by his father to
invest the earnings of years, some
fifteen thousand dollars, in bonds.
He had kissed his neighbor's daugh
ter, gentle Una, good-by with all his
accustomed sincerity. He was to re
turn in two days. On the third there
came an appalling telegram. It read:
"Forget me. I have lost all the
money through gambling."
From that day until this, through
two lonely, heart-breaking years, old
Abner Dorsett had gone about like a
dazed, dumbed creature, unable to
rally from a deadening shock.
It was Una who had won him
finally from his bitterness and de
spair. Whatever her sufferings, poor
girl, she never let the world know
their depths. She hid her misery
with a smile. She felt it her duty to
care for the poor old man, whose life,
like her own, had met with sudden,
devastating shipwreck. She nursed
him through a severe fit of sickness.
Every day now she visited him, tidy
ing up the house, often preparing his
midday meal, bringing him tempting
dainties. Always was she cheerful,
loving and attentive. And as to Wil
fred her lips would tighten with a
slight touch of pain, her eyes mo
mentarily become humid, but she
would say bravely:
"He will come back some day a
new Wilfred Dorsett. Oh, I knqw it
The old man, aroused from his rev
ery as there was a suspicious noise,
a sort of rustling and cackling. Then
with bright eyes and cheeks glowing
with excitement, Una burst into the
room through the rear doorway.
"What now, Miss Mischief!"
charged Mr. Dorsett, rousing up mag
ically under the influence of that
"A turkey!" was the smiling re
ply. "We have two fat, young, ten
der ones. Mother insisted that I
& ill t . fm
"What Does It Mean?"
bring this one over. It's alive and
there's a bag of corn with-it. Some
real turkey weather will come along
and I will be over here to cook it
for you and help you eat it"
"Always thinking up some way to
do me a kindness," murmured the
old man, greatly moved. "If only "
He paused there, and her face fell,
too. Each instinctively thought of
the wanderer they so missed and so
cherished. Then Una chased away
the gloom by talking of the mince pie
and cranberry sauce they would have
at their primeieast!
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