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est, most -willing little homebody ever
1 "Too much so, and that's the mat
ter!" declared Miss Matilda. "It's all
i home; all work, hustle, hustle! That
I girl says that Providence has put her
! in the world an orphan, poor and
homeless. I'm good enough to give
i her a shelter, she says. But she's In
9 dependent and won't be beholden to
i anybody. So, to show her gratitude
i and willingness, from morning till
night, she's at it. Work work
j work! When there's nothing else to
do, she'll scrub over the kitchen floor
j that she has already scrubbed that
very morning. Why, she's wearing
out the floor. Besides the wicked
waste of soap! Now, having put the
house in order, she's off to help those
poor Wharton people get in shape
after the fire they had yesterday."
j "She's a jewel, that's what Nellie
i is!" observed Griggs, heartily. "Pity
i there weren't a few more like her in
! the world. Well, I've got some well-
paying work for her to do. You re
member Arnold Rayner, who used to
live here?" '
"Why, surely, John."
"He's come back, and has rented"
the old Trevor place. He's to bring
. his wife and family with him, and
wants the house in order by Tuesday.
Tell Nellie to make the palace of it
she knows so well how to do, and the
pay will be extra liberal."
"She'll just delight in the task,"
saifi Miss Matilda. "Poor child! What
a housewife she would make! But
no ! no ! 'Work has come to me as my
portion,' she says, 'the Lord knows
best, and I'm thankful I know how to
keep my hands busy. As to the beaux
1 I'm only a poor, hard-working girl,'
she says. 'They are after the dainty
ones that wear gloves.' "
"How getting on, Nellie? inquired
Griggs, two days later, invading the
domain over which Nellie 'was queen
for the time being.
"Happy as a lark, and right in my
element!" chirped the dear little crea
ture, amid her tubs, dust, rags and 1
brooms. "My! but it was dirty. How
does it look?"
"You may well be proud," compli
Floors, walls, ceilings and windows
were spotless. The windows shone
like the finest plate. The Jiext day
when Griggs dropped in, the garden
and yard had been put in trim. Thq
next, when the furniture arrived, Nel
lie seemed in a state of mad bliss.
She worked till midnight, never tiring
of getting draperies and wall orna
ments in their most tasteful posi
tions. The following morning the children
arrived in an automobile. The chauf
feur explained that Mr. Rayner had
been delayed, and would arrive that
evening. Long before then, well fed,
well amused, the little ones had come
to love Nellie as if she was some older
The lights were on, the supper table
set when Arnold Rayner went up the
steps. He paused to peer beyond, the
screen door into the room where one
golden-haired cherub lay asleep in
Nellie's arms, the other seated on a
stool at her fet, while Nellie told her
a pretty fairy story.
A great tide of feeling overcame
the lonely-hearted man. He seemed
to stand on the threshold of comfort,
peace and rest, denied his sad soul
for many a year. The tears came, to
his eyes, but through them he saw as
though in a dream, the sweet, bright
face of the neatly attired girl who1
took as her motto, "Laborare est
"Oh, sir, you startled us!" said Nel
lie with embarrassment, as he sud
denly opened the door. Then she
glanced past, him wonderingly. "Did
not Mrs. Rayner come?"
"There is no Mrs. Rayner," was'the
subdued reply. "My wife died six
When Nellie left after the evening
meal, Mr. Rayner sat for a long time,
gravely reflective. A cheering light
seemed to have departed. Griggs
came. in. It was to describe his ad?