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Newspaper Page Text
tainly a bad time for Fleming and
Molly to fall m love.
"When Molly told her father he was
furious. He stamped out of the house
to his neighbor's boundary, and, see
ing him at work among his trees,
shook his fist at him.
"Don't you ever dare to cross my
line again, or IT1 set the dogs on you,
and horsewhip you into the bargain!"
Bitter incrimination followed, tears
from Molly that evening, when the
colonel told her, and 'then Molly's
own outburst wldch cowed .her fa
ther. "I am willing not to see John Flem
ing' again as long as you Jive," she
sobbed. ''But I won't promise to give
him up, and I think you are the most
hateful old man I've ever known !"
The colonel chewed that over his
pipe. -Hateful old man.' She was
waiting for him to die to marry that
scoundrel! He changed a good deal
the next summer. A coldness had
sprung up between himself and his
daughter, and he would give a, good
deal- tobave been, able to recall his
edict. But he wag too proud to do so.
Secretly he thought a good" deal of
Fleming had never crossed. hie line.
The two men passed without peak
ing. If Molly ever brOke-Jier prom
ise, the colonel knew nothingjjf it.
A week passed. He chafed at the
illness which kept him indoors. He
had obstinately refused to have his
crop picked. The commission men
were as bad as the packers, he swore;
he,would let the fruit Tot on. the
trees, and cut them down that winter
He knew that a second year of fail
ure would mean bankruptcy. The
two dollars Lamaitre, the packer,
offered him would save him. But he
ws too stubborn to make the com
promise of $2.25 which Lemaitre re
ThatwasmPebruary. On the 20th
of the month a norther came sweep
ing down through the middle West.
When it sent the temperature o&
Louisville to ten above the weaeif
bureau began to telepraph warnings
When the colonel heard the telephone '
ring it marked 15 above in. Nashxffle.
Molly told the colonel so. .
"We'll get a gang and Jfghe
smudges," answered old Tratersz
Tirf going to save' that crop."
"Then you'll sell, fat&er " I
"No. I'll let it rot on the trees'. 3u
111 have the satisfaction of leMij?
20 above in Jacksonville, the Rwe
known since the "great freeze"
'95, which put back the orange are
for 300 miles southward.
"It's 37 outsider father," said. Molly.
Almost immediately Lemaitre call
ed him up on the telephone. j
"Colonel Travers," he said stiffly.
"it's 36 in Tampa. We might feavi
time to save half your fruit
smudge-fires. I've got a gang re
to work at my expense if you"
at a dollar a "box." ..
r "Confound your impudence iroar-j
ed the colonel. "Tell him that
Molly softened it somewhat l?t
It was now 35 on the veranda, Three '
degrees lower and the frost wbuld
nip the tender trees. Six or seveq
degrees, and not a lemon would b4
worth anything but the flayoring Jn"
"It's too late to do anything the,
colonel groaned. "But I'm not aping
to let Lemaitre make a penny out of
me by any of his thievish tricks.
What's that in the groves, Molly ,
Molly went out and returned
Nothing, father," she answered! .
"I thought I heard, a man calBng,
You're sure it isn't Lemaitre'sgang?"
"Quite sure." she answered. ,
"The telephone Tang again. It4
Lemaitre. "Your last chance, &fo-
nel." he called rfieerfully, "I can .ge$
a third of your fruit picked bdforq 'g
damaged. It's 33 outside my Pek
ing house. The gang's waiting.lntt
cents a box,'