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Newspaper Page Text
THE PRIZE WINNER
. By Alison Mier Worthington
I (Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"If you please, sfr," remarked Ezra
Bartlett, bookkeeper for the Vulcan
ite Rubber Works at Springville, "it
has been the custom for many years
for the plant to recognize the gradua
tion exercises of the town high
Wilton Dacre looked up hurriedly
and somewhat irritably from analy
sis of a large war order for army bi
cycle tires. He had been summoned
from legal duties into the city six
months since to assume charge of the
plant when his father had died. He
had found the enterprise a vast pay
ing one, but methods and workers in
a slovenly rut He had been arbi
trarily exacting in introducing a new
system and it was hard to beat his
progressive ideas into the brains of
others. However, he was liberal and
humane and hoped that time would
successfully establish his model and
"To recognize the high school
graduation exercises?" repeated Da
cre. "I don't understand ybu."
"Why, sir," old Ezra hastened to
volubly explain, "your father for
years sought to encourage local ad
vancement by donating $50 in gold
each year as a prize for the best es
say produced by a member Of the
graduating class, and "
"Make it $100 this time," directed
Dacre in his crisp business way.
"Telephone, Mr. Dacre," spoke the
kiffice boy just here, and the parted
Ips of the bookkeeper closed, about
to add something to what he had al
"It will keep. I'd better not spring
too much on the boss at one time."
Then he chuckled as he made out a
check for $100 and wrote a letter to
accompany it to the town school
board, stating its purpose.
The town paper expatiated duly
and in a conimendatory way on "he
marked liberality of our Mr. Dacre."
The school exercises took place; Da
cre was invited, but was too busy to
attend. He had forgotten all about
the incident, when, the day after the
exercise, old Ezra introduced once
again upon his office privacy.
"If you please, sir," he observed,
timidly, "thehigh school business."
"Why, I thought that was over and
done with," returned Dacre.
"Yes, sir; surely, sir, but "
"Just Wait a Moment, Miss Morris."
"You made the donation?"
"Surely, but "
1'Well, what next?"
"The winner of the prize, Mr. Da
cre. You see, in addition to giving
that, the custom of he works has
been to honor the winner with a start
ing position in life at the works here.
An honored, cherished custom. My
junior assistant was the prize winner
three years ago. Young Mr. Brown
in the shipping department was the
winner two years ago. Last year