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acquisition. William worked harder
and his wife began to scrimp the ta
ble. Millie boasted of her rich and
fashionable friends. Poor Reuben
ceased coming to the house and was
Then one day Caleb noticed that
the old heavy gold watch that his
brother wore, a family heirloom, was
missing. The annual taxes went un
paid. Millie intimated that they ought
to sell old Bill. Then Caleb rebelled.
"I'm going to dig out," he deter
mined, and straightway Caleb pro
ceeded to place his plans n execu
tion. "I'm going to run away from
home," he resolved. "It has got to
So, one still moonlight night after
the household had gone to rest, Ca
leb stole out of the house, a bundle of
clothes under his arm. He had got
the light wagon out of the stable and
behind the barn with straw and blan
kets in its box, and old Bill neighed
and rubbed his friendly nose against
him and seemed to understand that a
change, was on the books, and was
glad of it '
"Good-by!" murmured Caleb softly
as he drove out'lntothe road. "I don't
know exactly where I'm headed for,
but I'm not too old to work, nor too
blind to grab an opportunity if it
Caleb traveled all that night. At
daybreak he drove into a stretch of
timber, turned Bill loose, gave him
some oats and proceeded to search
in the straw under the seat for some
lunch he had placed there. His hand
met an unfamiliar and then a squirm
"Let go!" cried a lively juvenile'
voice, and up rose a boy in the hay.
"Well! What in the world are you
doing there?" challenged Caleb.
The boy was reticent All he would
say was that he was tramping it and
had crawled into the wagon the pre
vious evening and was hungry, and
so Caleb fed him. Then in the kind
ness of his heart he "adopted" him
for the lad stayed with him.
Now there came dark days on the
family at home. Mrs. Stone got sick
from worry. Her husband was fairiy,
discouraged. Some of MMe's fair
weather friends snubbed her. An at
tractive lover neglected her. One
day the" automobile was wrecked in
a collision. The company who had
sold it to William took it back be
cause of nonpayment of instalments.
They had to face practical issues.
Millie, disenchanted of her fickle so-
ciety friends, showed the true mettle'
that was in her. She nursed her'
mother, she helped her father, she
went back to Reuben, and so, at the
end of a year, with harmony and'
economy restored, poor old William
saw bright skies and possible clear
One day a big circus came to town.
There was a procession. Catching
sight of a gilded chariot in which sat
a white-whiskered clown and an un
dersized harlequin, Millie uttered a
little scream and clutched Reuben's
"Oh!" she cried, "there is old Bill!"
r Old Bill it was, gayly caparisoned.
Uncle Caleb it was, an august sort bf
Santa Claus clown, and his agile har
lequin companion was the boy tramp.
Uncaparisoned, the man and boy
in civilized costumes, old Bill sniffed,
the air of the home stable delightedly
as he arrived at the farm that even
ing. "Cured, eh?" smiled Uncle Caleb as
he kissed Millie, pretty and sensible
looking in her neat dimity gown.
"And Reuben back? Say, this is some
Then he told his wandering brother
of "a job with the circus and good
pay." He had earned enough to
clear off the balance of the mortgage.
"And there'll be a wedding!"
chuckled old Caleb, tremendously
glad to rest once more under the'
There was an after glow, rare and
radiant, to the, supreme satisfaction
of Caleb Stone. The boy, Wilfred,,
whom he had taught to work, had '