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of first-class farming land "
"Ho! Ho!" roarer a voice from
among the audience. It was Philip
Adams, who chuckled and nudged his
wife. "That's good, ain't it?" he said.
"A house and banr-in. fair condi
tion, an orchard with fruit trees in
bearing, chicken houses and two
hundred hens. What bids?"
"Ten dollars!" shouted Adams ex
uberantly. "Be sensible, gentlemen," pleaded
the auctioneer. "One-third cash and
the remainder on mortgage. What
"Five hundred dollars," said a bald
headed city clerk, who was trying to
get back to the land.
"Six hundred," said Adams.
"Seven," said the clerk.
"Seven fifty," grumbled Adams.
Then ran the price up to twelve
hundred dollars, at which the city
clerk subsided. Frank watched the
scene in humiliation. Lucy, impas
sive, regarded the sneering face of
Philip, as he wrestled with another
bidder at fourteen hundred.
"At fourteen hundred," said the
auctioneer, nodding to Philip. "Going
"Fifteen!" snapped Old Mark,
standing up as spryly as a young
"Eh?" grunted the auctioneer.
"Where's your money?"
Old Mark advanced to the auc
tioneer's desk and slapped down an
enormous wallet choking with bills.
The auctioneer pered inside. He saw
"He can't bid he's too old!" shout
ed Philip wrathf ully.
"There ain't no age limit," said the
auctioneer. "Any higher offer?"
"I tell you he's a faker, and I stand
by what I bid, and I take the farm,'
shouted Philip in a rage.
"At fifteen. Going gone! It's
yours," said the auctioneer to Mark.
One-third cash and "
"I'll pay the whole fifteen hun
dred," answered Old Mark, counting
out the money. .
It was done. Mark owned the
farm and Lucy and Frank found
themselves one on each side of him
in the open. Round them gathered
a curious crowd, including Jane and
Philip Adams. The situation was
Hush! Old Marie was speaking.
"You see, my dears, you were kind
to an old man," he said. "You
thought I hadn't no money, but there
was my life insurance, which I took
out fifty years ago last Wednesday.
Four thousand dollars it were, and
cost me something over a hundred a
year. I had the premiums put by
when I sold the farm, but I got a lit
tle short, so I had to work a bit to
make up last year's. But I cashed in
Wednesday, and I've still got a tidy
sum over. It's my farm now, and
you and Lucy are going to work it till
I die, and then it goes to you."
He turned toward the stupefied
"But I don't play no favorites," he
said. "You and Jane is welcome to be
my guests whenever you want to
only, of course, seeing as I gave you
my other farm, this one'll be Lucy's."
(Copyright, 1915, W. G. Chapman)
Mr. Stormington Barnes was ill
from trudging it home after his the
atrical company had disbanded
"Things didn't hitch up right," he
explained, "when we played tragedy
the box office receipts were a farce,
a tragedy!" ,