By Saidee Estelle Balcom
Robert Laidlaw faced life, serious
and practical, at the a.ge of eighteen
and took up its burdens' like the sen
sible young man that he was. A sud
den call from home had torn him
away from pleasant student life, to
find his father dying.
"It's the break-up, Robert," his fa
ther had the strength only to say,
"life, fortune, future for me. I have
lost about all I had. The doctor says
I have only a few hours to live. I saw
what was coiaing and I wrote to my
two brothers, James and Henry. Here
are their replies. Choose for your
self, Robert, between the two."
"As to what, father?" inquired
"As to which you will live with.
Both want you. Both are bachelors.
Both will leave a fortune. It is a vast
relief to me to know that you will
not be without prospects."
It was a week later and after the
burial of his father and the settle
ment of his poor business affairs,
that Robert sat down to read over
the two letters his father had given
One was from James Laidlaw and
it read: "I shall be willing to prac
tically adopt you, but I want to state
the situation clearly at the start so
there are no afterclaps. I have ac
quired a fortune and my high position
in life by following a system. If you
come to me, I shall expect you to
accept and live up to its conditions.
You are old enough to have done
with the follies of youth, and my dis
position is such that at the evidence
of any delinquency or shortcomings
on your part I would dismiss you
"Rich, but selfish, as father has
often told me," mused Robert over
cold formal epistle, and then his
face brightened as he perused the
"I am a iuely old bachelor," wrote
Uncle Henry, "but not so old or per
verted that I do not realize that if
you are a live, up-to-date young man
we shall have a famous time togeth
er. It will do me good to have a
general shake-up through such com
panionship as I am sure yours will be.
I understand that Brother James is
also bidding for you. Well, he has
the rocks, and if you come with me
you will have to work, but 111 be your
good friend if you stick to me."
In one moment Robert Laidlaw
made his decision. He wrote a note
"I've Found Employment, Uncle
to Uncle James thanking him for his
kindness, but declining to make his
home with him. He indited a second
to Uncle Henry, also thanking him
and announcing his intention of ac
cepting his kind offer.
All that Robert fancied this latter
relative to be he found him a jolly,
careless old man living in an anti
quated mansion, reputed wealthy, but
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