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Newspaper Page Text
that and thia child looked like Min
nie. "Well! Who are you?" demanded
"I'm Leonora, and I'm not a bit
afraid of you," answered the child.
"How did you get here? Kimball
brought you, eh?"
The child nodded. "He often brings
me, only he tells me not to let you
see me, because you're an old
grouch. I wanted to see what an old
grouch was like, so I came here. Are
you really an old grouch? You don't
look awfully bad."
"I guess I'm an old grouch, all
right," said Randall.
"But you can't make me afraid of
you," said the child. "People say
you're terrible. Papa says so."
"I guess I am. Somebody's got to
"I'd hate to be you," said Leonora.
Randall glared at her. At first he
could not find words to say. He was
thinking that he hated to be himself.
At last he found his tongue. "Kim
ball!" he bellowed.
The watchman appeared. He stood
looking in dismay, first at the child
and then at the treasurer.
"Got any good reason for being
asleep on duty?" Randall inquired.
The watchman's face flushed heav
ily. "I was up all last night with my
sis'ter's husband," he answered.
"That's his child."
Randall began to notice that Kim
ball had the speech of an educated
man. Strange he had not' noticed it
in those nine months!
"He's getting over an attack of
pneumonia," continued Kimball.
"What does he do for a living?"
asked Randall, and yet he could not
imagine why he was interested.
"Well, sir, like me, he was brought
up in a rich home, and we were both
wasters in our youth. J couldn't
turn my hand to anything and he's
the same. I gues we're both sorry
now. He was watchman with the
Wiley company until it dissolved."
'Yes, I know, Randall sneered.
"Both born to better things and can
not hold down a watchman's job.
Here take yourself off and take the
child with you!"
They went away, the little girl
shaking her hand at him and laugh
ing. Randall, when they were gone,
sat at his desk thinking. His life
was passing in review before him, the
empty years, the thankless years.
What if he had dealt hardly with the
He cursed himself for a sentimen
talist Why should these thoughts
come to him now? And yet well,
he might give Kimball another
chance. He might do that. He would
give him that vacancy in the clerical
department. And the girl! It was
odd how she reminded him of Minnie.
His daughter had looked just like
that when she was a child.
He rose and went home, frowning,
and anyone who had met him on the
road would have thought he was the
surliest looking man that he had en
countered in many a day. But once
.in 'his room the old man paced the
floor, shaking his head and conscious
of the same sense of uselessness.
He could not sleep. The child was
before his eyes all night. Minnie!
What would he not have given to
have had those years again, when
Minnie was a baby?
"Old Grouch" was at his worst next
day. He refused three applications
for increase of salary, scolded the de
partment managers roundly, and
made himself even more feared than
usual. But at night, when the force
had gone, he crept quietly out of the
office, after ascertaining the nighty
watchman's address. J
He, "Old Grouch," was going to
tell the man that he could come to
work at eight, as usual. Poor devil
of a watchman! He was not so
much to blame, if his story was true!
v The address was a poor street off
Third avenue. Randall gazed around
him in disgust as he passed through
the slum. A drunken man was clinging-
to a post. Two shrews wer