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Newspaper Page Text
By Frances Cobb
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
Joel Cawlett's first-thought on re
ceiving notice that he had fallen heir
to a hundred thousand dollars was to
conceal the fact from his neighbors.
It stunned the little man, in fact.
He had, indeed, known of the rich
California uncle; his mother had told
him, as if she spoke of a myth; but
by the time Joel was twenty, and left
alone in the world, he had forgotten
all about him.
Happily the news came through a
San Francisco lawyer, and nobody in
Fouracres knew. So Joel kept right
on with his little dairy farm, and the
neighbors attributed its gradual en
largement to the profits of the busi
ness. He felt himself altogether unwor
thy of the wealth that was his. He
did not know what to do with it He
put it guiltily in a bank in another
city, and left it to accumulate, except
for the thousand or two he used in
buying pedigreed cows.
"I never thought Joel had such a
head on his shoulders," the neighbors
began to say. "If he looked more of
a man he might have something of a
pick among the girls."
But the girls had always laughed
at little Joel, and, not knowing of his
wealth, continued to make him the
good-natured butt of their pleasan
tries. All except the Stevens girl. Dolly
Stevens had always been kind to Joel
when he came in shyly, rarely, of an
evening, for a chat, and sat with his
hat in his hands on the extreme edge
of the chair. Perhaps that was be
cause Maudie, her little sister, was a
cripple. She had a twisted foot, and
operations cost more than was to be
thought of. Besides, Jim Stevens had
:Iv ivs believed she would "grow out
of it," -id when he died the debts to
Jie paid l.de the thought absurd.
MiwvflftuAged. twelve, looked to Joel
like a beautiful bird trapped by the
foot. She hobbled painfully from
room to room, but however bad her
pain, she always had a smile for Joel.
The first persons he went to see
after his good fortune were the Stev
ens. At first he almost wanted to
tell them, but his courage failed him
when he sat on the edge of the chair,
and they only thought that Joel was
shyer and more silent even than
usual. Besides, it would have been
hideous to say anything when Maudie
was suffering even more than usual.
Little Joel went away, and he was
Stared in Amazement
nearly home when the great idea
came to him.
Maudie's foot must be cured. But
how could he go to her and ask to
pay for the operation? How could
he tell them, and, if he did, he knew
they would refuse. The Stevens were
very proud. So little Joel set his
brains to work.
"What do you think has happened,
Joel!" cried both the girls in a breath.