OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 12, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-04-12/ed-1/seq-19/

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lng you the address of, my sister," he
explained. "She is a "widows young,
lonely. I am sure she would find you
a brighter-home than this wretched
place."
Then Madam Jacobs cameln. The
young man stated his business. He
was Arlo Willis, his sister was Mrs.
Ivan Neal. The latter had removed
from a former home. A great part of
its old furniture, the varied contents
of a lumber room, had been sold.
Among some papers, old papers that
had been thrown out from the old
furniture, was a certain document the
caller wished to recover.
The second-hand dealer who had
bought the stuff had informed him
that all the old carpets, rags and pa
per had been sold to Jacobs. Could
madam recall the transaction, Mr.
Willis inquired quite anxiously.
"Scarcely," she told him, but the
watchful Floribel noted a quick eager
gleam in her basilisk eyes. "I will
search, though," she promised, "and
let you know. The document, sir "
"Is a number of folded blue sheets,
tied with a faded white nbbon. It
is marked "W."
"I will report to you," pledged ma
dam, and took his card, and he left
the gruesome place, but not until he
had bestowed a kindly parting glance
at Floribel.
Then she dreamed. All life seemed
radiant. It was as if some royal
prince had entered a squalid Cinder
ella hut, leaving behind him a rare
memory of bewildering sensations.
Poor child! Love budded, in her ten
der heart, .in her very humility she
worshiped at its shrine.
Floribel treasured the card. She
memorized-the names upon it. Could
the vision indicated by her courteous
visitor ever come true? To have such
friends, to be cared for amid cleanli
ness and comfort she thought not
of opulence or luxury just to be
near such sweet natures, to toil for
them, to love them this, siniply, was
the aspiration of her childlike, loyal
nature!
AD that afternoon the madam
poked and ferreted about the place
When her husband came home she
held a spirited, low-toned conversa
tion with him. Then both of them
proceeded to ransack pile after pile
of hitherto unassorted wreckage. r
A quick token of interest came into T
the mind of Floribel, as she saw them r
hastening to the wretched room dig
nified as the office of the old toppling
warehouse. The names of "Willis,"
"Neal" floated to her hearing, cau-
tiously spoken. She gained a court,
where she could overhear what was
said. T
"It's the paper," she heard the ma-,
dam say, "and it is worth a fortune." ,
"How do you know?" spoke th&
rasping tones of old Jacobs. '
'I have read it. A family secret,
man an old scandal that these rich
people wpuld surely give a fortune to
suppress. Ah, we are rich, rich, rich
at last!"
Guileless as to the ways of the
world as Floribel was, she realized
from what followed that.iher avari-
cious guardians were benljSji: a vast
up to the immensity of the occasion.
To celebrate their discovering a
fortune the old man and woman sent
out for liquor. It was long after dark
when they sank into a sodden sleep.
Floribel approached the recumbent,
madam.
She had noticed where she had se
creted the blue colored document,
with a white ribbon encircling it, just,
as Mr. Willis had described. Her
eyes grew brilliant as two stars as
she secured the precious paper. SheA
thrust it into her bosom.
Over and over again she repeated
the name and address that Arlo Willis
had written on the card.
Floribel rarely went out of ther
wretched building where she hadf
toiled so hard. It was a bitter cold
night and her ragged shoes and thin
covering poorly kept at bay the fierce
biting frost. Twicers she hurried
along she felt as if she would sink to
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