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By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. -Chapman.)
"Why, Rankin, it's an absolute
"Possibly, Judson, but, as you see,
I am going to wear it"
Mark Judson threw up his hands
in mock horror. The discussion ap
pertained to a necktie that Gilbert
Rankin had just put on.
It was not a nifty four-in-hand,
not even a neat bow tie, but of-the
old-fashioned ready-made order, al
most obsolete and having more the
merit of ready adjustment than beau
ty or gracefulness. The hue of a
bright blue, was not of a shade that
very well accorded with the precise
harmony usually present in the at
ire of the young physician.
"I'll tell you a little story, Judson,"
said Rankin to his friend, "so you
may credit? me with having quite
some sentiment in my nature. Some"
time since Jacob Dole, a village ma
chinist broke his leg. He has been
out of work for two months, his
sweet little daughter, Erma, mean
time keeping the house running by
working for neighbors. He needed
skilled attention, and received it. He
" offered me his only article of value
of payment, a gold watch, a family
relic I refused to charge him a cent
His gratitude and that of little Erma
repaid me fully."
"AJways doing something for oth--ers!"
"In this case fully deserved. This
afternoon, fluttering like a fright
ened bird, timid as a fawn, Erma
came to my office. She placed the
' necktie, done up in tissue paper, in
my hands and hurried away. I un
derstood fully. I am to give a little
" talk at the town hall. I presume Mr.
Dole and Erma may be there. If she
' is, if the tie was red, white and blue,
with silver stars interspersed, I would
"not grieve her sweet, innocent soul
f for words." ,
"You seem smitten by this little
woodland fairy," intimated Judson.
"Not at all," answered Rankin se
riously, and his brow wrinkled a trifle
as though in a mental pain. "She
will make some man a good wife,
though. Her patience, loyalty and
busy ways make her a jewel."
"Then Miss Marsden need not wor
ry?" smiled Judson.
"Don't!" spoke Rankin earnestly.
"It hurts. Miss Marsden and I are
as widely separated as the poles."
Judson stared at his friend. He
had the good sense, however, not to
"Not at All."
pursue the subject. Judson was an
idler.'had been away at a watering
place for a month, and had not heard
the latest news that the two devoted
lovers were estranged.
It had come about through a triv
ial quarrel between Cecille Marsden
and Rankin, over a broken engage
ment on the part of the young doc
tor. Cecille was high-spirited and
unreasonable. She would not accept
Rankin's explanation of professional