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Newspaper Page Text
AN IMAGINARY FAMILY
By Elsa Wilson Beebe
"Eighteen years married and never
a cross word," vaunted Wm. Dexter.
"A model wife and a model home."
It was his birthday and an old-time
friend was congratulating him over
the fact. He slapped him on the
shoulder and told him he considered
him the happiest man in the world.
William sighed as his friend went
on his way. The boastful smile faded
from his honest, sympathetic face. In
act, he looked rather doleful and he
shook his head sorrowfully.
"But no children!" he spoke to
himself, and that was the secret bur
den of his existence.
It was a glory in life to realize what
a wonderful wife his gentle, patient
Mllly was. The home was a neat nest
of comfort and cleanliness. Milly
was intelligent and interesting and
the evenings never palled. Neither
ever referred to the lack of childish
voices, but when alone Milly often
cried and William planned how, a few
hundred dollars more ahead, he
would make a wholesale raid on some
orphan asylum and fill the quiet home
with boyish laughter and girlish glee.
"I am going to mother's for two
weeks, William," said Milly, one day.
"Don't you think you had better put
up at the hotel while I am gone and
"Not I," protested William definite
ly. "Why, I'd be so homesick away
from the haven of luxury your busy
hands have made of the old home
stead that I'd be down to mother's
after you inside of two days."
It was pretty hard to miss her dear
presence and William was terribly
lonesome the first night The next he
sat lulling himself into delightful
dreamland, building a gladsome air
castle that was his constant ideal.
"Yes," he mused, "there's Rodney,
the first born. I always fancied that
name. He's 16 and just out of school, ,
and going to work with me in the
office next week. There he sits at that
desk yonder, studying bookkeeping.
"That's Leila at the piano, only two
years younger, and see what a tall
slip of a girl she is. Helps mother
with half the work now.
"Mary is ten. Crocheting a Christ
mas present for mother on the sly.
"And baby" Willie, named after me.
He's the flower of the flock and the
pet of the household. What is it, my
"Pack Up! I Adopt You!"
boy? Want me to help you build
blockhouses' All right" And Wil
liam, so vivid and real seemed his
picture dream, actually half rose to
join his imaginary family.
The action brought him back to
the realities of life. He sighed as he
drove away the vision influence.
Then he smiled whimsically.
"Dear old world, I love everybody!"
he aspirated. "It can never be true,
but they are my shadow children, just