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Newspaper Page Text
THE REJECTED GIFT
By George E. Cobb.
"Skinflint! Old miserly curmud
geon !"growled Jared Pence" as he left
the house of his wife's second cousin,
Nathan Wylie. "He'd skin a flea!"
And the subject of his rage and
deprecation, having passed along the
hedge as Pence and his wife went on
their way, overheard their words and
scowled and then grinned.
"Good thing to knowyour friends!"
he chuckled. "I'll put a rod in pickle
for you, Mr. Two-faced Jared Pence!"
"Don't talk that way, Jared, dear,"
remonstrated his .even-tempered wife.
Cousin Nathan has never had much
encouragement to he liberal or kind
ly." "You're a relative, ain't you?"
snarled the exasperated Jared.
"A very distant one. I feel very
much pleased to think that he even
remembered my birthday and invited
us to supper."
"Huh!" easily satisfied, you are!"
railed Jared. "If he hadn't a heart of
stone he'd have given you some kind
of a present. Think how good a hun
dred dollars would come in for you
and how little he would miss it from
his big store of wealth!"
Mrs. Pence was right Cousin Jared
had not very good treatment from
the world in general. He had neither
chick nor child, his brother and sis
ter lived in the city and never came
to see him. Ten years previous he
had undertaken to rear and educate
the orphan son of a relative who had
turned out bad, robbing him and go
ing to the dogs completely. Reynold
Price was his name. Two years after
his death there appeared at Brook
dale his widow and little child. She
had appealed to Wylie to help .them.
He had refused. He had even wrath
f ully ordered them from his presence.
Mrs. Price was well-nigh penniless,
but she was discovered by the wife of
the village minister, who cared for
her. bills jutfil she fiould be plaged
Arrangements were made to fix up a
little two-room cottage at the edge of
the town and Mrs. Price had since
then earned a precarious living as a
.seamstress. Nathan Wylie, however,
never mentioned the name of mother
and child, never looked at them when
he met them on. thes treet, made it a
point to go out of his way rather than
pass their humble home.
Nathan Wylie did not forget the
words he had overheard Jared speak.
Mrs. Price Stood and Stared.
If his animosity was somewhat re
duced by the memory of the more
charitable spirited Cousin Olivia he
still kept the twain at a distance.
Toward fall, however, the old man
became quite "human" in his tem
per. The crops had been go.od, he
had made some money in invest
ments, it was lonely in the big old
house. He underwent quite a spirit
of friendly feeling. There was a
neighbor hg had been quarreling