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So, for nearly a week Cy roved
where he listed. The balmy air, the
smiling flowers, the singing birds, lit
tle wayside meetings with this and
. that odd character enchanted him.
One dark, lowering morning Cy left a
little village on a ten-mile tramp.
It had rained the night before, and
at the tavern where he had bought
his breakfast he was warned to post
pone his journey.
"Oh, I -like the rain. It will make
me grow," he jubilated.
Cy changed his mind, five miles ac
complished. He had never encoun
tered such a deluge. His clothing was
soaked through. At a ford he had
gone over his head in the water
through a slip, and had barely rescued
his precious juggling and musical
The road he was now pursuing was
flooded clear over its center. There
were dangerous ruts and quagmires.
The downpour was incessant and a
cold wind had come up that chilled
him to the marrow.
"I've got to get to shelter some
where," mused Cy, and finally, upon!
a slight elevation at a distance, he
made out a house.
As he neared it he discovered that
a surging brook far over its banks
isolated the place on three sides. In
front of it was a depression, now a
"There's a barn behind the house,"
he reflected. "Ill ask them to let me
camp there until this storm lets up a
There was a deep ditch to cross,
spanned by a board. The frail plank
snapped in two as Cy balanced on its
center. When he managed to get out
of the water that had submerged him
he noticed on the porch of the house
a neat-looking female, staring in con
cern at his unpleasant predicament.
She beckoned to him urgently. As
he neared her the humorous aspect of
the situation made his cheery face
break into a smile. Then, as he
looked upon a sweet-faced women of
about twenty-five, still in the- bloom I
of her beauty, he lifted his dripping
cap and ma'de his best stage bow. t
"Miss, I hope I do not trouble you,
but if you would let me have shelter
in the barn yonder for a spell "
"Oh, dear, no! Come right in
through the hall to the kitchen,
where there is a good, warm fire,"
invited the lady. "Never mind the
wet. I can mop that up."
"Why, it's like heaven and you are
its angel!" declared Cy, sincerely, as
he was greeted by the warm, com
fortable air of the kitchen.
"We have a gardener here in sum
mer and I think you will find some'of
his clothes in the room overhead,"
explained the lady. "You can dry
your own while you wear them."
Cys face wore a constant smile of
happiness and contentment as the
hours of the gloomy day wore on. His
kind hostess provided a cheering"
meal. Then six little children came
into the kitchen to inspect the
stranger. Then Cy found out that
his hostess was a Miss Mercy Wal
ters. This was her little home. Each
one of the children was a cripple. She
explained that she had given her life
to care for such homeless and friend
Soon Cy had the little group fas
cinated. He made them gape as he
"ate fire," as he sent a cascade of
dazzling metal balls into the air, as
he swallowed a sword, and finally'
enraptured them with music from his
For three days he, with the others,"
was' marooned. The gardener's room
had been given him. He did all the
chores about barn and garden. Of
ten and often he made Miss Walters
smile at his quaint, frank heartiness.
"I'd like to be a fixture," he said to
himself. "And, Miss Mercy, no, I'd
better get away before I find it too
hard to leave here."
He followed out this resolution a
week later. The little ones clung to
him and wept at his departure. Miss
Walters was strangely fluttered.
"If you would stay I could afford to