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Newspaper Page Text
By Harold Carter
Esther had not seen Hyam for
nearly a year, but his absence did
not dull the tenderness of her mem
ories. They had come over to Amer
ica as children together in the same
ship. Esther's father had started
peddling, and Hyam's, who had a lit
tle capital, had opened a tiny store
in the heart of the Ghetto.
"Some day," said Hyam's father
graciously to his old friend, "our
children shall marry. Esther, wilt
thou take my son to be thy husband
when thou art grown?"
The little girl, not knowing that
the words were half jocular, agreed
in solemn, childish fashion. How
ever, fate dispenses as she pleases,
and so it came to pass that both the
fathers died without savings, and Es
ther, then 15, went to work in a big
clothing store, while Hyam secured a
job as an office boy.
Three years later, Esther, by the
utmost sacrifice, had saved nearly
$500. Hyam heard of this and came
"Esther, do you remember what
our fathers agreed?" he said.
Esther nodded and smiled. She
had always loved Hyam, but he did
not suspect that the bargain he was
to propose had anything romantic
"Lend me your $500, Esther, and
save me $200 a year," he said. "Then
I can go through the dental college
and have a profession. I shall soon
become rich and I will marry you."
It was the sort of bargain common
in the Ghetto. Esther trustfully drew
out her savings, and gave tljem to
Hyam, who, overcome with grati
tude, kissed her awkwardly for the
first time. So Hyam went to college
and Esther toiled in the shop. When
ever the other girls laughed at her as
a miser she only smiled She hugged
her secret to her heart and went
Koch, the owner of the big store,
was a widower. He had begun to
look about him for a wife. He hated
loneliness and he had no children.
His eyes fell upon Esther. She at
tracted him immensely. He thought
what a fine wife she would make for
him; how neat and pretty she was.
He began to show her little favors.
He advanced her from the store to
the office, for Esther was quick and
had already picked up bookkeeping.
One day he asked her to marry him.
Esther was in despair. Koch was
worth $50,000, and, as his wife, she
Spent an Hour Tearing Up All
would live a life of ease. Koch was
a kind man, but there was one ele
ment lacking she did not love him.
Hyam was in his third year.- If she
refused Koch he would probably dis
charge her and that meant the end
ot all Hyam's hopes. She dissimu
lated. She told Koch she was too
young to know her own mind and.
asked him to wait until the end of
the year, Koch, pleased at the giri'8