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Newspaper Page Text
v - H" T"'
not tell her. He thrust the letters
upon the table, hardly knowing what
he was doing, kissed her with trem
bling lips and went away.
He was discharged! Fired! With
$12 in the world. And next day he
must pay $25 on his wife's second
week. He must get $13, then, by
nightfall. He staggered into the
street and groaned.
He walked the streets all day, not
even troubling to think about closing
the office. There was money $200
in the safe. But that did not tempt
Jenkins. He could never have robbed
his employers. That was not in him.
But he must rob somebody. He stood
still with clenched fists, heedless of
"I'll get it!" he swore.
Then he thought of the doctor who
- was going to charge him $75, in ad
dition to the hospital fee. The
sleek, smug doctor, rolling in his
car, while Laura would be turned
into the streets with a week-old
baby! Jenkins' rage flamed in a
huge deluge of stark wrath that
blotted out all the normal personality
of the man.
Jenkins found himself a criminal.
He discovered, latent within his
heart, a fund of cunning that he had
never suspected could exist in him.
He recalled that the doctor was a
bachelor, he knew that he was in
the hospital in the evening. He had
seen 'through the open door of the
consulting room silver scattered
about the top of the buffet With
one of those pieces Laura's bill could
Jenkins resolved to act upon the
thought At nightfall he went softly
toward the doctor's house. He
knew that there was a back door,
always open, except for the flimsy
screen that covered it. He had seen
that during his visits, and remem
bered that, once over the fence, he
could not be seen from the windows.
He found the fence, scaled it, and
crouched cowering on the other side.
The house was dark, except for a
single light in the dining room. Jen
kins could see the silver even now.
It gleamed derisively upon the buffet.
His gorge rose. He walked steadily,
toward the back door. It stood wide
.open. It was not even clasped.
Thieves were unknown, almost, in
Perhaps somebody was on the
premises, though. There must be
servants. He knew the doctor had
a housekeeper. But it was not likely
that she would "be on the first floor.
Jenkins walked in very softly and
took a silver candlestick from the
buffet. He knew by the touch that
it was of pure metal. That alone
would more than pay Laura's bill.
No doubt he could pawn it some
where in town.
He stood irresolute,' holding it in
his hands. Then, all at once, he heard
the front door click open. Dr. Evans
was coming in. There was still time
to escape with his plunder through
the back. But fear paralyzed Jen
kins; the irresolute man had found
himself aeain and the enterorisine
criminal who had arisen in him, like
some Mr. Hyde, had betaken him
self to the nether gloom from which
Jenkins put down the candlestick
and sprang behind the curtains. He
heard Evans enter his offlce.
Through the open door he saw him
sit down at his desk. The doctor
pulled out a pocketbook and heaped
up an immense pile of bills before
him. Jenkins could not see their de
nomination, but he knew that each
was for $5, the spoils of his few
hours of offlce work that day.
There must have been $300 there.
Jenkins felt his fury rising again.
The sleek, smug devil! Counting his
money, while Laura would be put out
of the hospital the following day!
It did not occur to him that she
would merely be transferred to the
free ward. The man was mad at the
moment The loss of his lifelong po
sition had bereft him of his senses.
He crept forward and watched the
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