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Newspaper Page Text
TOO OLD FOR DREAMS
By H. M. Egbert
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
"Aw, come off, Bill! I'm too old for
them dreams!" said Dick Sittingwell
to his fellow drummer in the train.
"No, but honest! I mean it! Why,
Dick, you must be making your cool
$4,000 and if your firm went bust you
could get as good a job anywhere.
And 45 if you're a day. Ain't you
never had a girl, Dick?"
Dick Sittingwell moved in his seat
uneasily. "Cut it out, I tell you," he
answered ferociously. "Hello! Bourn
End ! Here's where I get off. So long,
old man! See you next week, as
Dick Sittingwell had had plenty of
girls when he was a younf man, but
somehow all his romance had come
to an untimely end. And it was only
within the last two years that a new
romance, sweeter than any, and
more strange, had come into his life.
He never spoke about Miss Elsie
Van Nugent. It had never entered
his mind that he could speak to her
without profaneing her. That was
his sanctuary, his holy of holies. And
marriage with her was something of
which he never dreamed.
, Their acquaintance had begun by
an accident Dick, toiling up the hill
at Bourn End on a hot summer day,
with his sample case m his hand, had
seen the old maid standing at the
gate of her garden. He looked up at
the big house in the village and, tak
ing her for the housekeeper, said:
"Might I ask you for a glass of
"I'll get you one," stammered Miss
Van Nugent, and ran away, or rather
hurried away, returning with a glass
as clear and cold as if it had come
from some Olympian spring. Dick
quaffed it at a draft
"Much obliged, ma'am," he said,
and raised his hat and went away.
He did not imagine what a romance
that was to Elsie Van Nugent
Afterward, upon succeeding jour
neys, it often happened that he saw
Miss Elsie at the gate. Then he
would nod pleasantly and pass a re
mark. By degrees their intimacy in
creased. Dick Sittingwell would
often stay as long as five minutes,
talking and looking wistfully at the
big house in the cool grounds. He
learned Miss Elsie's name at the ho
tel. She owned the place and was the
daughter of the late squire. She was
Sharpies Stared at Dick in Terror.
an old maid and they said, malic
iously, that she was 40.
Elsie Van Nugent had never mar
ried because she had taken care of
her father until his death, when she
was 37. No opportunities came after
that Opportunities for marriage
are few in New England among
women whom birth has made supe
rior to the rest of the community.
And, besides, Elsie was already grow
ing into a typical old maid. She was
--"g--"--?-"---1-B- - -r W.-. .-.-..