THE WALNUT STAIN
By Juniata Fairfax
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Within Ave years- after leaving his
ative village for the great bustling
ity, Mr. Bryce Willard had made a
mall fortune. Every thousand dol
irs acquired had hardened his heart,
lut he had succeeded. Of this he was
hinking, wondering if the sacrifice
if love, pleasure, the real friendship
if fellow men was worth the reward,
phen a timid knock came at the
loor of his private office.
"Come in," ordered Willard.
He frowned as his visitor was re
realed an undersized but husky lit
le fellow of about 15. Everything
ibout him suggested the raw rural
routh just come to the city clothes,
ihoes, the home-cut shock of hair,
lie honest, smiling eyes, the weath-jr-bronzed
face. It was like a whiff
i-om some patch of woods, a re
minder so vivid of his own far past,
.hat the hardened business man felt
i quick heart quiver, reproachful but
reaming, so much so that he did not
it once resent the instrusion of so
nimble a visitor, for usually men of
money only were admitted to that
select sanctum of finance, under
lings being turned over to the office
"Well, who are you?" challenged
The lad fumbled his worn and mis
shapen cap through his fingers with
in embarrassed grimace and said:
"They tell me I'm a nuisance in
your outside office."
"Eh?" exclaimed Willard, attracted
by the oddity of the declaration.
"Yes, sir," continued the boy
naively, "you see, I've been here
3very day for a week asking for a
job, and your manager said I was
driving him to desperation bothering
about a place when everything was
filled. He said to come in and see
you this morning, when I told him
you might be awful mad if you found
out I'd been here and was turned
away, because I knew you "
"You what?" queried the amazed
yet interested Willard.
"I don't mean exactly that," floun
dered the boy. "I mean I knew all
about you. Huh! everybody in
Shoreham does, you bet And Miss
Wardell, who sort of thought I might
strike something hunting you up and
asking for a position, says the old
town ought to be proud of you."
A quick aspiration swept the lips
of Bryce Willard. It was passing
"They Tell Me I'm a Nuisance in
Your Outside Office."
strange, but here a mere country
bumpkin, invading his business dig
nity and environment, had the pow
er to move his heart as it had not
been moved for years.
"Say," resumed the lad, encour
aged to prattle by the new softness
that had come into the face of his
host, "you must have been awfully
good and kind back there at the old
town. Everybody speaks of you as a
credit to Shoreham. Everybody is
your friend. Young fellers take you.
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