OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 15, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-12-15/ed-1/seq-19/

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tired, his face thin -and bloodless,
clinched in his hand was a small, flat
key.
"He is dead," pronounced Weston,
'and a thrill ran through the little
group. "We had better call -some
one in the place who knows him."
Evidenyy the man had just died,
for when a crippled man occupying
the adjoining Tooms was summoned
he made the remark:
"Poor-old Eben Short! This is sud
den, for he passed through the hall
outside not a half an hour ago."
"Who is he?" asked Mrs. Throop.
"He has lived here for two years,
he andhis niece, Elma. They aren't
our poor sort, and I understand he
was once very rich. They say he was
a miser, but this poor layout doesn't
sK5W it, does it? The girl here she
is now. Let her know the bad news
gently, for she was lik a daughter
to the old man."
A young girl of about 17 entered
the room started, gasped, parted the
onlookers and then threw herself on
the floor beside the dead man.
It was pitiable to' witness her grief.
It was-pathetic to listen to her loving
words, telling that all her Interest in
their poor life was centered about
the dead man. Mrs, Throop lifted the
stricken creature In her kindly arms.
"Don't take on so, dear," she
soothed and' she allowed the poor
child to nestle in her motherly arms
and weep away her sorrow.
Weston saw to it that Short was
decently buried. Mrs. Throop took
'the girl Elma to her home. The, story
told by the latter seemed to confirm
the report that her uncle had seen
. better days.
"He was very kind to me," she told
her benefactors,, "but we lived, oh, so
poorly. Many a time he would tell
me to be strong and patient, for some
day I should live in a palace. He
must have meant this," she would
say ingenuously, looking about the
comfortable home that JVIrs. Throop
had rovidd for her.
. Under her new surroundings Elma I
developed marvelously. Arrayed in
neat garments, her beauty of form
and. face came out strongly. She wa$
the happiest being in the world, she
tolfl Mrs. Throop, and every word
and look evinced her gratitude and
love for her nrotectress and her
-brother. jElma was cheery and tfelpV
ful about the house. She would de
vote hours to- arranging and, rear
ranging the room where Weston did
his writing, for he was a writer oh,
scientific subjects. -
"Please let me stay and just watch,
you turn out all those wise, wonder
ful' pages!" Elma would plead. "Ill
be as quiet as a moiise."
One day Mrs. Throop came to her
brother in his literary sanctum.
"IJoy," she said, "the society wish
es to use some of the views of the
tenements which you took when we
discovered Elma. Won't you get your
negatives and select those most ap
propriate for an illustrated lecture?"
It was through one of the pictures
that of the room in which they had
discovered dead Eben Short that
Weston made a remarkable discov
ery. The frosted window panes
show microscopically clear in the
print. He observed that one pane
was marred with letters, words. In
a- flash the truth occurred to him.
Helpless, dying,Short had essayed to
leave -a message. He had traced It
with the key he had found in Short's
hand and possession of which Wes
ton had retained, the only memento
of the tragic death.
"I leave all to my faithful Elma,"
it read. "Take the key to the Fidel
ity Depo " there the writing ended.i
A gleam 6 enlightenment came
speedily to the quick mind of Wes
ton. "Fidelity Deposit vaults," he
murmured' with a glow of keenly
aroused Interest. "And the key! I
think I understand."
He understood so well that within
the hour he found that the key fitted
to a safety deposit box in the vaults
of the company named. Within 16
was fodnd the savings of the miser.

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