THE FRATERNAL HEART
By Victor Redcliffe.
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
"Yes, all the fools in the world are
not dead yet" "
"And the man you wdre telling
about who lived in yonder house was
one of them?"
"Exactly. Mark Paxton. He's out
of it now, they tell. No wonder. No
tramp ever went to his door unre
warded. If a poor family in town
couldn't pay their rent, Paxton came
to the rescue. He simply gave away
all that he had."
"On the road to the poorhouse.
About a year ago he took in a likely
young fellow in hard luck luck. The
ingrate got up in the night robbed him
of his last thousand dollars and
"Well, we've pretty nigh got his
double down at Hamilton, where I
live. Only it's a woman. She is a
Miss Lesbis Tresham, a young old
maid. Thinks she was put in the
world to help everybody that came
along. Pretty nearly as bad off now
as this Mark Paxton of yours."
And then the two strollers discuss
ing the situation moved away, and
from behind a hedge where he had
been resting Mark Paxton sat up and
"That's the way I look to the world,
eh?" he soliloquized, " a fool! All
right, I'm glad I've had my run. Poor,
worse off than they think not quite
the almshouse, though, for I know
how to work. I've made some hap
pier out of the crowd I've fed and
housed and given money to. I have
distributed the gifts Providence sent
me. I didn't quite expect this end,
but why worry? My heart is clean and
peaceful as that of a boy and I'm glad
I've been a fool."
Mark Paxton was leaving the old
house, for it had been seized on a
mortgage. He was leaving town, be
cause he had sadly learned that those
whom he had benefited in the past
had no gratitude in the present He
had never been an idle man, even if
he had done more pottering about the
place than steady work He knew
he was handy and willing though, and
he doubted not that he would be able
to earn a living.
Not for a moment did Mark Paxton
ucwau 111a icilc. lie uyycu iiu man a vlu
dollar and was content He did not f)M
He Loved His Work.
regret his past benefactions to others.
It warmed his heart still to recall the
weak and helpless, aided at least a
little along their hard road of life.
They had forgotten him? Well, that
was human nature in the main
good, he decided.
"The stranger spoke of another
fool, just like me," ruminated Mark.
"A woman after my own heart, I'm
thinking. I'd like to know her,"
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