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Newspaper Page Text
this poor, motherless darling around
the place 111 adopt it," declared Mary
"And leave me?"
"I'll have to, if you won't let the
''U-um, ahem!" and Driggs reflect
ed. Somehow it appealed to him
strongly to be merciful to the little
stranger. He had taken in crippled
dogs at heart he was human why
not a forlorn mite of humanity aban
doned to the cold world?
"Mary," he said finally in his usual
definite way, "the baljy can stay.
Provide for its comfort," and he start
ed to walk into the house.
"If you please, sir," said Mnry, halt
ing him, "there are some necessities
I must get for the poor little girl.
There's some clothing and coverings
needed, and infant food and the like.
If you could mind the little one fop
an hour I will run down to the store
and get what's wanted."
"Suppose suppose it gets fractious."
"It won't," insisted Mary. "See, sir,
it's gone to sleep. I've given it some
warm milk and it will be quiet for
the little spell that I'm away, I am
It was with considerable trepida
tion that Mr, Driggs undertook the
task of pacing up and down the porch
holding the sleeping child in his arms.
Then the little one began to fidget
It was warm on the porch and shady
in the garden. Cautiously he con
veyed his precious burden down the
steps. There was a path lining the
high brick wall that separated the
place from the adjoining house. Here
Driggs took up his anxious prome
nade. He was not acquainted with his
neighbor, Mrs. Denslow. He had seen
her several times, a handsome, genial
faced lady. Retiring and shy, he had
rather evaded her. When an old-time
friend and his family had lived in
the house he had kept the little door
in the brick wall unlocked. With the
advent of a new neighbor he had or
dered It closed and its socketed bar
kept in place.
All of a sudden the baby opened its
eyes. It looked up wonderingly and
appealingly at Driggs. Then its lit
tle lips began to pucker. It was a
war baby all right, Driggs decided,, for
its first feeble wail gradually grew
into clarion-not volume.
"S-sh! Goodness; what shall I do?"
flustered Driggs. "S-sh! Bye byel
O, dear! What a horrible pickle for
a defenseless man to be in."
He bounced his bundle, he coaxed,
he cooed oin vain. The cries of his
tiny charge redoubled. ,
"You poor man!" spoke a sudden
voice, and looking up the abashed and
embarrassed Driggs saw the fair face
of his widow neighbor appear looking
over the top of the brick walj. Evi
dently she had mounted a step lad
der on the other side to command a
"I I am having quite a time, I say
I say," floundered Driggs.
"Why don't you lay the baby- down
and go get it some milk?" challenged
me preu.y wiaow.
"I I am afraid of breaking it."
"I shall have to help you, I see,"
responded Mrs. Denslow, winningly,
"There there's the gate," suggest
ed Driggs. "I'll unfasten it"
Which he did; with an immense
sigh of relief he sank weak and per
spiring to a rustic seat as his visitor
took charge of the child and soon
soothed it in a gentle way that won
the profound admirtaion of her host
He stole many a shy glance at her
before Mary returned. How com,
panionlike she seemed in the little
gerden! How pleasant the old house
apepared as, Mary having returned,
the two of them bustled about instal
ling the tiny stranger.
"I declare!" remarked Driggs to
Mary after Mrs. Denslow had gone
home, "she's one of the pleasantest
women I have ever met."
By the end of a week Driggs was
blessing the little cherub that, had
been, the means of. changing entiru