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Newspaper Page Text
THE STOLEN TREATY
By H. M. Egbert '
Imbrie passed his hand over his
damp forehead and stared at the pa
per in his hand. He could not be
lieve either his eyes or the good for
tune which had placed it there.
A subordinate clerk in the war of
fice at Washington, Imbrie had faced
life on a salary of $25 weekly. This
was his sole means of support for
himself and Dolly, his pretty young
wife, as well as Dolly's mother, who
lived with them.
He had been shifted into a new de
partment recently that in touch
with the secretary of state's office.
Of course Imbrie never saw the
great man himself, or any one but an
occasional permanent under-secre-tary.
Mostly he lived and worked
with fellow employes, whose talk
ran to baseball and "shows" and who
might have been duplicated in any
town of the union.
For weeks Imbrie had been a prey
to increasing despair. There had
been Dolly's long illness after their
little son had been born and died a
few hours later. Like every man
with a government position, Imbrie
had found it not at all difficult to
negotiate a loan with a money lend
er at an exorbitant interest. He had
paid off the loan by increasing it;
then, rendered desperate, he had
gone to another money lender, and
then another. He had no notion that
all three were watching him and di
viding the money that came to them
every pay day, while the capital ac
tually increased in volume. Imbrie
was paying $10 a week and the hun
dred which he had borrowed origi
nally had swollen to three hundred.
He had not dared let Dolly know,
and though she had looked surprised
at the diminishing returns each pay
day. Imbrie had invented a heap of
excuses. However, the crisis was al
most at hand. Imbrie did not know
what he was going to do.
Then, a few days before, a little,
dark-haired man, who looked like a
cross between a Chinaman and a
Portuguese, had accosted him as
they were leaving the street car to
gether. He seemed to know Imbrie
very well and had drawn him aside
and made a proposition which made
the pulses throb in Imbrie's cheeks.
"It will be nothing dishonorable,"
he said. "It is only what everybody
"Take It to the Devil."
does. Think, my friend, is it reason
able that your government should
intrust its secrets to a man whom it
pays a beggarly $110 a month?"
"But I don't know anything about
it," faltered Imbrie.
"I shall see that you know. Think
again. A man's work a big man's
work on an office boy's pay. Besides,
it is not as if you were betraying any
thing. My government knows all
about this Chinese treaty, but it rp-