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and today tbey evicted her and the
poor sticks of furniture you see. She
is crushed. Oh, she has had so little
of joy in life that she is heartbroken!
I asked her to make her home with
us until she is strong and well, but
she will not do it, knowing how poor
we are, dear soul!"
"She must do just that," declared
Hugh determinedly. "I will give you
some money. You must see to it that
she has care and food and nursing."
"Bless- you, sir! the poor creature
needs it," and the woman went back
to the girl and talked with her earn
estly. Hugh thrilled as the stricken
creature cast a glance of gratitude
upon him. Then, overcome, she sank
They took her into the rooms of
the woman, who promised to care di
ligently for her charge. Hugh gave
her some money. He told Drake the
pitiful story of the girl when he got
back to the store.
"Humph! You must have money
to throw away," remarked his unfeel
ing relative. "I say, you seem gone
on her. I knew her father. A re
spectable old 'has been.' Why don't
you marry her that would solve the
problem of a poor homeless girl
needing a friend?"
Hugh blushed to the roots of his
hair, but he said, with dignity:
"If I felt myself worthy of that
sweet, patient creature I might con
sider your suggestion."
"Do it," chuckled Drake, "and I'll
give you a house and lot as a wed
'You mean that, do you?" inter- ;
rupted Hugh, rather grimly.
"I do ha! ha! Sure, I do!" guff
awed Drake, as though he was enjoy
ing some immense joke. You give
me a sort of cancellation of all obli
gations and the property I have in
mind you shall have."
"That's generous of you, Basil,"
said Hugh, in his usual way of hu
mility. He never forgot the evening, one
week later, when Ivy, nursed back to
strength and hope, listened to his
"I am a lonesome man, you are a
lonesome girl. I offer you a home, t
think we could be very happy to
gether." "Oh! If I could think you would not
tire of me I, so poor, so unused to
love and tenderness! I could slave for
you and be happy in the merest hut,"
Basil Drake, in his coarse way,
laughed uproariously, a a month
before the wedding, he took Hugh to
see "the house and lot.
A narrow strip of land two hun
dred feet wide, half a mile in length,
lay between the hills. Once there
had been a house theer. It had been
burned down. All that was left was
a substantial but rough tool house.
"There's your house and lot, just as
I promised," he said.
Hugh winced, but he said quietly:
"Thank you. I think I can make
He set at work to make the big
roomy shell comfortable. One day
while he was hard at work a stranger
came to him.
"I understand you own the valley
strip here clear to the next section
line," he remarked.
"That's right," replied Hugh.
"Got a deed to it?"
"A week ago, all clear and record
ed." "We are surveying for a district
sewer system," explained the man.
"I represent the county board of im
provements. Your land has a natural
slant and could be utilized without
excavating. Would you sell?"
"Wny, l suppose I would," answer
ed Hugh. "I've considered the land,
so low and narrow, rather valueless,
"I can offer you five thousand dol
lars," said the man.
Hugh was dazzled. It seemed as if
the coffers of Croesus had been sud
denly set at his disposal.
"I'll I'll take it," he all but gasped,
a wild, joyous vision pf a little tw o