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Newspaper Page Text
A CHANGE OF OWNERS
By George Munson
Lily Bruce was40, and nobody
thought anything f her except the
plumber. The boarders all chaffed
her. You know the boarding house
way. Lily was the waitress and she
had been with old Miss Jones for 20
years. We guessed Miss Jones took
her at first because she was cheap
and kept her because she never
asked for an advance. Lily had no
relatives and never went out She
was 40, had a decided squint, a red,
freckled face, and carrotty hair. Also,
she was slow-witted and couldn't see
a joke. So she naturally became the
butt of the small-town boarding es
tablishment The plumber, who was the only
person interested in Lily, was a little,
dried-up man of 50. The plumbing
was always out of gear, but old Mrs.
Jones stuck to Sanders for economy.
It was a poor sort of economy, to
keep the services of an inefficient
man because he was cheap, but if
Miss Jones had had more sense she
might not have been keeping a cheap
boarding house. Might have got mar
ried, maybe. But Miss Jones was a
little, withered-up old maid, with no
thought beyond the immediate profit.
"What will happen to Lily if Miss
Jones dies'" was the question that
began to be asked when it was clear
that Miss Jones was failing.
"She will have to marry the
"You mean the plumber will have
to marry her."
"Maybe she has some savings."
"Well, maybe not Twelve dolalrs
a month won't go far, even for Lily."
Every Saturday night, for at least
a dozen years, Sanders had called on
Lily in the kitchen. Sometimes one
of the boarders would seize some
pretext to go in and watch what they
were doing, but he never saw any
thing interesting Ljly would sit at
one side of the fire ancLthe plumber
at the other and they would talk
about the weather.
The winter was a hard one, and it
was quite evident that Miss Jones
was failing. She was losing her
memory, too, and got to sending in
the bills twice. There were one or
two rows before Miss Jones realized
what was the matter. Then she
seemed to give in all at once.
"My land!" she said to Miss Har
ris, the stenographer, who had board-
"The Old Boarders Can Stay at the
e.d with her for eleven years, "what's
going to become of me?"
"Lily will have to take care of
you," said Rogers, the broker's clerk,
unfeelingly, and everybody snick
ered. "How'd you like to run the show,
Lily?" asked somebody else of the
waitress, as she came in with the
"Well enough," said Lily, raising
her dull eyes.
"Now you go along with you and,