THE BRONZE BUG
By Justine Neltnor
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"Good-by to my -dream of dreams!"
sighed Vance Edison, sadly.
He stood at the window of the plain
house he called home. Its bewilder
ing attachment was the radiant gar
den. There the captivating scene
fascinated his vision.
A lovely girl of 19 sat on a rustic
bench between a golden-haired little
maid of four and a rosy-cheeked lad
two years her senior. The lit(tle ones
were adjusting a wreath made up of
pansies and forgetmenots across her
flaxen hair a happy, laughing trio,
and yet it made Vance Edison's
heart ache, for in the combination
lay his distraction.
.The young lady was Nella Burt, the
daughter of a widow, his next-door
neighbor. Both she and her inva
lid mother found a true friend in the
young college professor. His life was
very simple and humble, yet bright
and merry were the hours they spent
in the garden that was the pride and
glory of the place.
Then the father of the two chil
dren came along. He was an uncle of
Edison, a sea-faring man. He had
been compelled to give up his ship on
account of failing health. He had
taken his motherless children from
an asylum where they had been put
He had come to Edison's home, car
ried on a litter.
"Dear boy," he said, bluff and
hearty, but his voice woefully thin
and piping, "I've brought my chests,
the children and myself to the only
relative I can claim in the world. I'm
a dying man three months more the
doctor gives me. I've a little saved.
Tomorrow I shall give it to you. I
want you to adopt the little ones, ed
ucate them, be a father to them when
I am gone, and take it a little more
Alas! Before another sunrise a seiz
ure attacked the old salt. The little.
ones were left orphaned. Vance Ed
ison cared for them tenderly.
He said nothing to anybody con
cerning a disappointment he sus
tained during the week after the fu
neral. Anxiety for the children
caused it As for himself, Vance Edi
son was too soulfully unselfish to
covet riches. Aside from a few curi
osities that he had gathered up in his
travels, the chest his uncle had
brought him contained nothing of in
terest or value.
The old salt's wealth must have
been a phantasy, Edison decided.
H I H
I T tell il8Tk?8SiHi
hJf HIT iW
"Where on Earth Did You Get a Ma
Then he set himself to work to block
out the future. He found that the
added expense of the two children
would take all the surplus he could
earn, unless his college salary was
This particular afternoon, as he
watched his lovely neighbor with the
two little ones his spirits sang low,
indeed. He loved her with a fervor
he dared rarely contemplate. Before
his uncle had come he had more than
once decided to tell Nella of his af-
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