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By Walter Joseph Delaney
The Stevensons were rich and un
happy. Their jiext-door neighbors,
the Martins, werV-desperately poor,
yet life was to them a radiant dream.
The Stevensons lived in a big ten
100m house, luxuriously furnished,
and had lots of money. David Mar
tin toiled as a laborer at a town iron
mill, and his frugal wife counted over
every penny twice before it was in
vested, thus close they were forced to
But the Martins had a treasure
Vinnie, their adopted niece and her
presence made the humble home glow
with sunshine and laughter when
ever she was within its precincts. She
worked at a store in the village as
cashier, but home talent was paid for
cheaply, and her contribution to the
household fund was quite small.
"Not very genial neighbors, those
Stevensons," observed Mr. Martin,
coming home from his work one cold
"I fancy they don't consider us
their kind, returned his plain, prac
tical wife. "Mrs. Stevenson has
nodded to me once or twice, but only
at a distance, and then quite sourly."
Stevenson himself came out of
the gate of his house as I passed,"
continued Mr. Martin. "I spoke, but
he didn't answer me, although I think
he really was so abstracted 'in
thought that he didn't know me."
"I think you are quite right, fa
ther," added Vinnie, in her kindly,
charitable way. "I have heard that
they have a great sorrow a run
away son. He left them after some
trouble he got into three years ago.
A year since, I have heard, they
learned that he was one of a number
killed in a cyclone in New Mexico."
'Oh, dear, that is sad;" spoke up
Mrs. Martin, quickly and sorrowfully.
"They have their cross to bear, in
deed a lost son, a lonely home," and
her in a loving clasp and" kissed her
An unhappy home, indeed, was that
of the Stevensons. They had lost
their tnly child, a bright, promising
lad, who, when he came of age, had
developed a tendency to sow wild
oats. Petted by his father, idolized
by his mother, Warren Stevenson had
sadly disappointed his parents.
In a fight in a gambling resort, he,
an onlooker only, had paid the pen
alty for being in such a place by re
ceiving a bullet wound that stripped
off the top of three of the first fin
gers of his left hand. This seemed
to teach him a lesson for a time. Then
he fell from grace again. He united
she came up to Vinnie and enfolded into company of a desperate burg-