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Newspaper Page Text
wrapped in tissue paper were half a '
dozen pineapples. Certainly they
were superior and standard. More
than ever in love with the proposition
the elated Willis was about to has
ten to distribute the luscious fruit
among his friends and possibly in
fluence other investors to get into
the enterprise, when He noticed a
neat-looking card in the bottom of
Beside it lay an unstamped letter.
It was simply directed to "Miss
Landdh." The card read: "Acme
Fruit Co." and gave an address in
the city. At one end was the written
notation: "Packed by No. 42."
In a moment somehow the suspi
cions of Willis were aroused. The
thing didn't look straight. Had Traf
ton simply gone somewhere and
bought any old fruit to palm it off
on an investor victim?
"It doesn't square up right," de
cided Willis, and straightway' started
for the city.
He found out where the fruit com
pany named had its warehouse. It
was a busy place devoted to the spe
cialty of packing fine tropical fruits.
Willis saw the manager. He was
soon convinced that the crate of pine
" apples had been shipped to him on a
casual order two days before.
'They came from. Florida?" in
"Oh, no. We get all our pines from
- Central America," was the amazing
And who was No. 42. Ah, yes
one of their fruit packers, Miss Lan
don by name. Could she be seen?
for Willis had opened the letter to
find that it contained an offer of mar
riage from one '!Richard Martin."
Miss Landon was not at work. Ad
dress yes, such and such a number
on a certain street. Thither Willis
proceeded. There was a streak of
romance in him. An important let
ter with great news for Miss Landon
had in some mysterious way gotten
into the fruit crate and miscarried.
This Miss Landon had saved him
eight thousand dollars. He feltj
grateful toward her, interested in
Willis located Miss Landon's home
in an upper flat of a neat little house.
A good-natured old lady was in
charge. She invited Willis in, say
ing that Miss Landon would soon be
home. She had gone with her twq
little brothers to visit a sister who
worked in a photograph gallery.
"I have been tidying up for her,"
explained the old lady. "Not that her
flat needs much of that, for she's the
cleverest, neatest, little dear ever
was. She's a jewel, she is: Supports
the two little ones and housekeeps.
Such bread as she makes. Such
dainty, wholesome meals! She
teaches them nights. You'd ought
to hear them sing. Music seems
born in them. She's saving up to
buy a piano, bless her.
Certainly the refined homelike air
of the delightful little flat was sooth
ing. Willis lingered. Miss Landon
Bluntly he told her the whole story.
He handed her the letter. He was
sorry, as her bright, gentle face .grew
upon him, that she had a lover.
"Oh, dear!" she cried, as she re
ceived the missive. "I've wondered
where I ever lost it It must have
fallen from my pocket into the crate.
I am glad to get it. A friend of my
sister, a gentleman friend, asked me
to give it to her. Now I can straight
en up a tangle."
Then she, Lucia Landon, as Willis
soon found out her name to be, was
heart free. Somehow the discovery
"Miss Landon," he said, "you can
see what finding your card in that
crate means to me," and he told of
how he had nearly been swindled out
of his little fortune. "I owe you con
siderable. I feel it my. duty to send
you a piano for your little musicians
here. It only half expresses my grat
itude for your intervention at a crit
ical juncture in my business affairs."
Lucia demurred, but Willis was de-i