pany of Avis. He hated him all the
more fiercely when he saw the new
Nelson was pleasant, patient, ac
commodating. The better class of
customers had already selected him
as their purveyor. Seeing his trade
diminish, Winsted said hotly:
"I'll put that tenderfoot out of busi
nessin a week!"
Then he set to planning and plot
ting. He "ha-ha'dl" after a day's
sojourn in the rural districts in a cov
"I fancy I've got a hot pepper in
store for Wade," he gloated.
The next morning Nelson went
whistling cheerily about his store,
until a letter arrived. He knew it
was from Avis. He had seen her
handwriting before. His heart beat
fast, his eyes sparkled. He opened
the envelope eagerly. He scanned the
single linewritten on a sheet of paper.
"You need never come to see me
again," and Nelson gasped, turned
pale, saw life and all its joys sud
denly vanish, and fairly fell against a
sugar barrel, overcome.
His helper, WJ11 Daley, a bright,
brisk young fellow, wondered for the
next hour what made "the boss act
so dopey." Then came a new blow.
"It never rains but it pours!"
groaned poor Nelson, as going ta the
street door and glancing toward the
store of his rival he sawNa big black
lettered sign on a glaring background
reading, "Stock up now--eggs 20c
Now eggs were a luxury just then
and 30c would be cheap. There were
half a dozen great tubs outside of the
Winsted store, filled lo the brim with
fresh looking hen fruit
"Twenty cents!" stared Nelson.
- "What does it mean?"
He soon guessed, when Daley told
him that he had heard that Winsted
had-made the boast publicly that "he
was going to run that interloper out
of husiness, if it busted him:"
Nelson roused up. His apparent
sink like lead, but he was a fighter.
"How many eggs have we got in
the store?" he asked of Daley.
"Thirty dozen," reported his help
er, a few minutes later.
"And Winsted has endless hun
dreds!" muttered Nelson. "All the
same, put them outside and stick up
a fifteen-cent sign.
"Why, that's ruinous!" cried Daly.
"Never mind. We'll keep up the
fight while there's any ammunition
left," declared Nelson.
It took his mind off from Avis, the
active battle of the ensuing few hours
and that was a good thing for Nel
son. The whole town was excited.
Everybody came to buy eggs. Daley
came to Nelson finally.
"Mr. Wade," he said, "we're all sold
out but six dozen. I've a suggestion
to make. You know I'm the deputy
drillmaster of the Boy Scouts? They
will do anything to help me." And
Daley divulged a bright scheme un
der his breath.
Now what Daley did was provide
every able-bodied comrade in town
with the money to buy a dozen eggs
of Winsted. These replenished
Wade's stock so rapidly that Winsted
was soon sold out. Nelson kept on
selling until closing up time, while
his rival, infuriated over "the cheap
trick," had probably learned a costly
lesson thathe did not care to repeat.
But what was all the world beside
to Nelson besides Avis? The brisk
ness of rivalry "oyer and done with,
his mind returned to the old misery.
But fate was weaving a new chain
of circumstances for relief. Ruth had
received a note. It said: "I shall be
Y.ery glad to see you." Ah, a recon
ciliation! Avis was astonished at the
appearance of Ruth, and then out
came the note. Avis blanched as she
comprehended the mistake. Then, as
in the old times anew she cemented
their old confidence and friendship by
bursting into tears and telling how
she had mixed the letters.
"Oh, my dear, I'll soon adjust
r,turjidjbwn, from -Avjs madehJSrbeariil-thatL" pledged the sprightly Ruth..
r&LtmirJ&& tf.vmrJ.&ji&Z0gf 4i9f.mjMrt. I.
xml | txt