Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
A LUCKY MISTAKE
By Augustus Goodrich Shermin
"I am hungry, sir. If you could
spare me a few cents"
"There's a nickel go and get a
drink with it, of course!"
"I'm not a drinking man, sir," but
the tall, well-dressed benefactor had
swung on his way.
Thad Brown sent a "Thank you,
anyway," after the vanishing figure
and started for the town center. Five
cents was not much, but it would buy
a loaf of bread, and he was desper
ately hungry. Then, amid the sweet,
appetizing scent of the bakeshop he
gave a great start, as in return for
his "nickel," after inspecting it close
ly and glancing suspiciously at his
customer, the proprietor counted out
$4.95 on the glass-tdpped case and
pushed it over to Brown.
"Eh, what's that for?" inquired the
latter in amazement.
"Your change, of course. Didn't
you give me a 5 5 gold piece. Or meb
be you4.hought it was a twenty or a
double eagle;" insinuated the speaker
sarcastically. "There's the five,"
and he showed the coin to1 Brown,
who stood stupefied, but finally took
up his half-dozen rolls and the
change and went outside.
"The man made a mistake gave
me a $5 gold piece instead of a nick
el," promptly decided Brown. "I've
got to find him."
Brown nibbled at the rolls as he
started on his quest He gave up the
task after an hour's steady tramp
ing. He did not, of course, know his
benefactor's name. He could barely
describe him, for the gift had been
bestowed in the dusk of the evening.
Still, he would know that stalwart
form and the anxious, but pleasant
face which he had noted momen
tarily. Brown slept in his customary bed
that night a convenient barn loft.
He had tied the $4.95 in a corner of
his rag of a handkerchief and had
stowed it in an inner Docket He was
hungrier than ever when he woke
up, but he did not disturb tne mue
Brown did some work in a gar
den and earned his breakfast. Then
he started on his quest anew. He
had seen better days, he was not a
tramp, although his benefactor had
treated him like one. Time was
when Thad Brown had a home of his
"Mebbe You Thought Is Was a
own. There had come sickness, be
reavement, discouragement. He had
been employed in a piano factory.
He lost his job, and, with the sole
equipment of a tuning key, had start
ed out to make a living.
Sometimes there were plenty of
instruments to tune, but slack times
came in between. The present was
one of many occasions where Brown.