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kin was sure he would always know
Now and again, oftener as the
year went by, he heard the steps of
the young girl and the man as they
went up the stairs to the train which
was to carry them to the theater.
And then one night they came down
the stairs, right' at the time when
they Bhould have been enjoying the
play, and the merry voice was a sob
"I'll never, never speak to you as
long " he heard the girl say, and
he went Rome a very dejected blind
He did not expect to hear the girl's
voice again, but on the very next
morning she stood in front of him.
"If I had given you a present last
night you might have brought me
luck, blind man," she whispered,
chokingly. "Here, take this! And
wish me well, blind man!"
She put a fifty-cent piece into the
blind man's hat and went away.
Several times she passed him after
that, but she never left any money in
his hat The blind man fancied that
she had taken a dislike to him. Once,
or twice she went by up the stairs, in
the theater hour, with some young:
man, but it was never Jack. The blind
man recognized her voice, and it was
never merry any more, even though
she was laughing.
Once or twice Jack passed, but he
never paid any attention to the blind
man. Once he went to the theater
with another girl, and once he was
with a woman whose laughter made
the blind man shiver, it "was so hard.
The blind man often wished that the
man and Elaine might meet when,
they were alone.
But weeks rolled by and passed
into months, and he never attained
his wish. And gradually new inter
ests came into his mind. He had al
most forgotten Jack and Elaine un
til' one afternoon late one wet,
The blind man's post was fn the
little sheltered way between the
stairs and the street People who
passed almost brushed the blind man.
This afternoon the streets were al
most deserted, and hardly a soul went
up or came down the stairs.
Suddenly the blind man's keen ears
heard the click of Jack's footsteps
in the street He knew that Jack was
coming into the little place where he
sat, with the purpose of ascending
the stairs. But then he heard the
man stop, and knew what was hap
pening; he was buying a paper to
take in the train.
And just at that instant he heard
the footsteps of "Elaine coming down
The blind man shifted his position
a little, so that he sat right in' the
path of the girl. She stopped. A
girl's mind is not a weighty thing al
ways, and Elaine had evidently al
most forgotten the past .
"You are in the way, blind man,"
she said impatiently. "Will you
kindly let me pass?"
The blind man mumbled and be
gan to move slowly back. Everything
in the world now depended upon the
factor of time. The blind man was
very slow In moving. .
Sdddenly he heard the girl start,
and a shrill petition was in her voice.
"Let me pass! Let 'me pass at
once, blind man!"
At that instant the blind man
could hear the clickety-clack of
Jack's footsteps upon the sidewalk.
"O let me pass, blind man!" sobbed
the girl and then the blind ;man
heard the start that the man gave.
For just an instant the blind man's
heart was in his mouth. The next, he
knew that Jack .had taken Elaine in
his arms in the street, yes, right in
the very presence of the blind man.
"Darling, forgive me!" he heard the
"0 Jack, I have been so unhappy,
all this long time."
"But you love me?"
"And we will, never be parted
again? There! there!"