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Newspaper Page Text
THE WAR BABY
By Victor Radcliffe
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman. )
"Astounding! ' criecHlQbert Driggs.
"Where did it come from and how did
it get here "
Mr. Driggs had reason to be
amazed. He "was more than that
stunned, unnerved. A bachelor of 30,
sedate and settled in his ways, shy
with women, unsocial with children,
an appeal to his humanity had come
home to him with a force that was
absolutely a shock.
To the reticent, well-regulated oc
cupant of the prettiest home inBrook
ton, and the loneliest, in the opinion
of many a sighing matron with mar
riageable daughters, there had come
a disturbing invasion. He had left
home in a peaceful frame of mind.
He had returned to find Mary, an old
loyal family servant, pacing the porch
with a bundle done up in a shawl in
her arms, which she was industrious
ly rocking and "s-sh-ing" to the ac
companiment of an unmistaklable in
"Why what ?" began the dumb
"Don't talk too loud, sir," warned
Mary, mysteriously "It's a baby."
"Where did you get it? How
does it happen to be here?" blurted
"It's a war baby, sir."
"Oh, sir, don't act so horrified!"
pleaded Mary. Wit's not my fault. Just
after noon I came out to the porch
here and there was this poor, wee
little darling lying asleep in an old
blanket. The sweet cherub !" and the
speaker cast a defiant look at her
master as though reproaching him
for his cast-iron lack of human sym
pathy. "But you said 'war baby,' " pro
jected Mr. Driggs.
"Yes, sir, that's right."
"And what do you mean by that?"
"Why," explained Mary, "of course
I was startled. I telephoned to the
lady next door, the widow, you know,
who has just taken the place beyond
our garden wall. She came over. She
said that an emigrant train with a lot
of Belgian refugees had laid over in
town since morning. Some of the
emigrants had put in the time scat
tering around town In Mrs. Dens
low's opinion, some woman among
the poor unfortunates got disheart-
llff II F jj
Saw the Fair Face of His Neighbor
. Looking Over the Brick Wall
ened and left her baby, she hoped, in
"Why, we must find the mother,"
began Driggs in a worried way."
"Too late, sir, I'm thinking," inter
rupted Mary. "You see, the train
has gone on. By this time any num
ber of emigrants may have left it In
1 fact, .sir, if you-can't stand it to have
? jw- - "fe1