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Newspaper Page Text
"Immensely so, only not very
strong. He's a weak, sickly lad, not
six years old, but all sunshine with
his companions and nurses."
"Poor little fellow! Poor little fel
low!" sobbed Gabriel, the tears com
ing down his troubled face. "Tell me
all about him."
There was not much to tell. The
mother evidently loved the child, and
out of her earnings provided regu
larly not only necessities, but lux
uries. "I have no right to claim the child,"
said Gabriel. "Oh, I should so like to
see him! Can you arrange it?"
"I have arranged it," explained the
investigator. "The little fellow can't
stand much exertion. An attendant
takes him out for an airing every
day. He will carry him to you to
morrow and leave him with you from
nine until noon. Where shall it be?"
"Here early as he can. Three pre
cious hours! I am so grateful to
you!" and Gabriel neither slept nor
ate during the intervening hours.
Gabriel was off duty, in a way, that
morning. A road company was hav
ing a rehearsal of the time-honored
"Uncle Tom's Cabin." The visiting
troupe carried their own scenery and
had their own property man, so Ga
briel simply supplied helpers in set
ting the scenes and the like and had
At just nine o'clock a stranger, the
attendant from the children's home,
came behind the scene leading a wan
faced, big-eyed little fellow by the
hand. Gabriel had provided an easy
chair at a quiet part of the stage. The
attendant placed little Humphrey in
this and departed with the words:
"Back at noon, sharp."
Gabriel Dyke drew a deep breath
and gazed with tremulous, tearful
longing at the little mite before him.
The child was peering anxiously all
about him. As his glance fell to the
face of Humphrey those marvelous
eyes expanded, he put out a yearn
ing hand and a seraphic smile crossed i
his face. 1
"Why," he cried joyfully, "you are
"What! What?" gasped Gabriel,
lost in overpowering wonderment
"Aren't you?" went on little
Humphrey. "Why, I knew you at
once, for I pray for you every night,
just as dear mamma told me to, and
besides, haven't I your picture
see?" and the child drew forth a
locket. It held the picture of hus
band and wife, taken many years be
fore. A welling sense of hope and joy
thrilled Gabriel. It seemed as though
some pitying angel had come with
gentle balm for -his wounded heart.
He swayed as in some rapt visibn as
the little one prattled on. He learn
ed how faithful the mother had been
in caring for him, trusted of neces
sity, but tenderly, to the charge of
The new dramatic troupe went on
with its rehearsal. Little Humphrey,
exhausted with excitement and fa
tigue, fell Into a gentle slumber. Ga
briel did not disturb him, but sat
devouring with love and longing the
sweet cherubic face.
Gabriel paid little attention to the
actors and the scenes about him. The
grand transformation scene of "Uncle
Tom's Cabin" was just finished when
the child awoke. Humphrey rubbed
his eyes and stared in ecstacy at the
wonderful picture that had always
dazzled youthful eyes.
"Mamma!" he suddenly screamed,
and put out his. arms. "Oh, you said
that some day among the angels we
should meet dear papa again. It is
true it is true!"
Was the child in delirium? Gabriel
started up, alarmed. Then he saw,
stepping down from her place as an
"angel" in the transformation scene,
a woman hastening toward Humph
rey lndeed,his mother!
"How did you come here?" she
cried, enfolding the child in a glad
embrace, and then with a wild start
she recognized her husband.
"My soul was hungering to see