A STRAY SNOWBALL
By Florence L. Henderson
"Here, miss, give him as good as
he sent and well join in."
A snowball, hard as a rock and
spotted and lined , with frozen dirt
and gravel, was pressed into Mina
Layton's daintily gloved hand.
The lad who had provided her with
this ammunition, together with his
comrades, sent a fusilade after the
scampish urchin who had missed his
mark and landed a snowy sphere
across the neck of the passing young
lady. The effect was discomfiture,
for the loose snow fluttered inside
her fur collar. She laughed merrily,
however, for that was her sunny
way. Then she directed the hard
sphere pressed into her hand after
the scudding refugee.
"Awh! don't you know a girl can't
throw?" yelled a derisive voice.
"Indeed, I can!" disputed Mina,
and then "Oh, dear, how clumsy!"
She stood rooted in dismay. Her
marksmanship had been sadly at
fault She had flung with vim, but
her aim had been erratic and
Crash! Past the flying fugitive
the snowball had sped. It cleared a
high picket fence, headed for a hab
itation it inclosed, struck a window
pane, burst through it and disap
peared, leaving the Tiiscomposed cul
prit dumbed, and abashed.
The group of urchins, spying a
farmer's bob coming down the
street, dispersed in its direction.
Mina stood rooted, expecting each
moment to see some one come out
of the house seeking to learn .the
cause of the destructive bombard
ment. There was not the least sign of,
interest or occupancy about the
house, however, and no attention
was paid to the crash or damage. In
voluntarily Mina moved through a
gateway and approached the build
ing. A .passing lad. on a keen run
from some companions at a distance,
made a shield with his hand. atbis
lips to emphasize the warning he ut
"Look out, miss that house is
Minna halted with a little thrill.
She glanced a trifle flutteringly and
then curiously at the grim-looking
place and recalled its recent history.
It had been vacant for a year, but a
few months previous had gained a
Got Through the Window Quite
tenant in a certain Victor Russell,
an artist She had met the gentle
man several times, had been intro
duced to him, but to her, as to all
others, he was reserved, rather sad
and depressed, she fancied, and It
was not easy to approach him with
more than formal courtesy.
Mina had heard that the stranger
had -some secret care or grief that
clouded Jiis life More than that, h. .,
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