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Newspaper Page Text
IN SILKEN ATTIRE
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin
(Copyright by-W. G. Chapman.)
Rags a room f ulffof them, a ware
house given to shreds, patches, frag
ments, to strips of rotted woolen
lengths, thin anl faded cotton tatters.
Rags once white, now spotted and
soiled. Discarded silks from my lady's
dressing room, homespun weaves
that bore the mark of rain and
grime, and wear and tear.
And amid the biggest heap of the
fragments to be sorted plodded and
sang as pure and bright a spirit as
cloister or palace might contain.
They called her Floribel. Where
she came from, whom her father and
mother, no one seemed to know ex
cept old Jacobs, the owner of the rag
' Once his wife had given it out that
they had reared her from a child, had
taken her from an orphan asylum.
They were coarse, common people at
the rag shop, but even in that atmos
phere of dregs Floribel grew like a
She would sing when alone like a
lark, but-never when Madam Jacobs
was about. Floribel was in deep
dread of the lynxlike, tigerish-eyed
old woman. Nat that the madam
mistreated her, except to keep her at
work twelve hours a day, but because
she shrank from the inharmonious
nature of the woman. Madam
gripped at the. heaps of rags in a way
that seemed to tell.that so forcefully
would she tear at human hearts if
she could find gold among them.
Once Floribel had found a diamond
ring in an old glove. When she gave
if to the madam the selfish, avaricious
glee of her task mistress fairly ap
palled her. She gloated over it, she
Hissed it, she hastened to convert it
r After that the probing eager eyes
of the old woman terrified Floribel.
6ver on the lookout for treasure, for
..money or trinkets, the rag woman, re- i
sembled some famished ferret on the
scent of blood.
Thenone day "The Hero" came in
to the lonely life of the beautiful iso
lated girl. A young man entered the
place and asked for its proprietor.
Old Jacobs was absent on a rag buy
ing trip. The madame was also ab
sent but would return soon. In awe
of the rich, tasteful attire of the un
familiar caller, fascinated with his
handsome face, the courtesy of the
true gentleman that he bestowed
She Gloated Over It.
upon her, as in a dream Floribel dust
ed off the one rickety chair in the
place and resumed her work.
He sat looking at her with more
than common interest Her pure, in
nocent face deeply attracted him. He
influenced the shy eyes to seek his
own, he led her to talk with him.
Soon he had her simple story,
"It is no place fop you, this," he
said, and he took a card 'from his
pocket and wrote upon it "1 am-giv-