' "FIFTY AND FIFTY"
By Florence Lillian Breckenridge
"I am glad of it!" spoke Harley
Blake, and he looked, as if in dead
earnest and relieved. "
He was seated before the cold and
empty fireplace of his cheerless room.
He made a faint glow of heat and
warmth, however, by striking a
match and igniting the letter he had
just received and read. He dropped it
to the hearth and watched it curl up.
into fragile sheets of black and then
at a breath go crumbling into frag
ments. "The last bridge burned," he mused
trying to smile half-humorously, but
the situations was too serious. "I
have exhausted my friends and rela
tives. The former gave me profuse
promises of influence and help and
failed me. My father's own brother
writes me a homily on independence
and thrift and would not even risk
giving me a recommendation of capa
bility and honesty. That letter is the
last straw that breaks the camel's
back. Good-by to the old life for
But there Harley hesitated men
tally. He was poor in pocket, thought
and expectancy, but love is rich and
he loved Helen WendelL They had
been more than friendly, but that was
before she had gone away on a long
trip to the Panama canal with her
scientific father before Harley had
tried to make his way in life in a
practical way and had failed.
Be had not heard from her since.
When poverty and lack of work had
fastened their disheartening grip on
him he had cut loose perforce from
the social circle in which Miss Wen
dell moved. He had not even heard
if she had returned.
Strikingly, however, he recalled a
certain discussion he had held with
Helen. It had verged upon love, but
masked as friendship. She had
voiced her sentiments that when two.
of the opposite sex were mutually
drawn one to the other it should lead
to all sacrifice of weal and woe, but
they chould be true. "I would cling
to a man to the last who, esteeming
me, offered me the humblest life, if
love, respect and real endeavor lay
behind it all." "Some day, when I
have become an expert harvest hand
or a plodding miner I may write to
remind you of those words," Harley
had said laughingly, and she, in ear-
"I Might Give You Board and Lodging
for a Week's Work."
nest, had said: "It may bring a re
sponse," and had smiled, too, but with
a. tender light in her eyes he loved to
"A great uncle, that of mine!" many
a time Harley had reflected, some
what bitterly. "He insists on four
rears of a college agricultural course
and then tells me to follow medicine,
or some other respectable profession.
Why didn't he give me a f arm? "
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