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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 23, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-02-23/ed-1/seq-18/

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A FRIEND IN NEED '
By Florence Lillian Henderson
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
Maurice Steele sat sipping a
fragrant cup of Mocha in a re
spectable, but low-priced cafeteria.
His fashionable friends would have
wondered iad they seen this favored
son of f ortun amid such hjjymble sur
roundings. But Maurice had even been demo
cratic at heart There was storm and
sleet outside. He had experienced
chill and discomfort from the biting
blast Half way home to his elegant
bachelor quarters the scent of, real
good coffee wafted from the cafe
teria had tempted him to warm up on
a cup of his favorite beverage.
He fell to musing and watching the
patrons of the restaurant come and
go. It was a perfectly respectable
place, and the visitors comprised
clerks, stenographers and older men
and women who saw an economy in
the really wholesome and palatable
food furnished by the place. Then,
directly opposite him at another table
his attention became fixed on a young
girl of about 18.
Her coat still showed the rain she
had gone through, her thin, shabby
boots looked as if they were soaked
through. She had brought a cup of
tea and some biscuits only to the ta
ble, the lowest priced articles in the
bill of fare. She drained the last drop
and swept up the last crumb. Her
face was a set picture of resignation,
"ler mournful eyes grew slightly hu
mid as she emptied her purse on the
fable. A sidelong glance revealed the
contents to Maurice Steele three
dimes, a quarter, a nickel and a cou
ple of pennies.
The girl studied the wretched little
heap and fell into a dreamy spell of
thought Then she picked up the
evening newspaper. Maurice noticed
that she scanned the column devoted
to board and lodgings. It was among
the briefer advertisements that she
sought some cheap rate that she
could hope to pay.
The quest seemed hopeless. The
girl looked out at the rain and she
shivered. A scared look had come
into her face. She took up her empty
tumbler to fill it at the water cooler
20 feet away.
For a moment only her back was
turned to the table where she had left
her little purse. That was time suf
ficient, however, for Maurice to speed
across the aisle, open, the purse, slip
Slip in a Twenty Dollar Bill.
in a $20 bill, reclose the purse and re
gain his seat.
The girl returned to the. table, but
did not sit down again. She slowly
drew on her faded, well-patched
gloves, turned up the collar of her
coat and walked towards the cash
ier's desk, a dull despair in her tired
eyes.
Maurice's back was toward her. He
hoped the episode would end with no
investigation. He turned at a quick
rustle at his side. The girl faced him
challengingly.
"It could be only you," she spoke,
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