"MISS 31" '
By Florence Lillian Henderson
Chester Merrill was lonesome
that was, in fact, his normal condi
tion of late. He had left a little coun
try village to better himself amid the
larger opportunities of a great city
and had succeeded. There was no
complaint on the score of income
and progress. His -success, however
was the result of close application to
his office duties and studious hours
in his solitary room
There was little adornment to the
place, for he had followed simple
tastes since coming to the city, In
one window there was a flower box,
thickly planted with morning glories.
In the other was a tiny cage and a
canary bird. The former occupant
of the room, when leaving for a dis
tant city' the day that Chester ar
rived, stated his inability to care for
the bird. Would the newcomer accept
it at the original cost of the cage
alone? Merrill consented. It had
been quite some company. Every
morning it tuned its mellow song to
notes of harmony. Every evening it
chirped him a genuine welcome.
Just across the court, 20 feet away,
Merrill had discovered one day a lady
with' a little girl on her lap. They
were listening to the singing of the
.bird and the little one was clapping
her tiny hands in delight and reach
ing toward the canary as if eager to
possess and pet it.
Merrill went down to see his land
lady after a minute or two of reflec
tion. He saw a way of completing
satisfactorily a. plan that had lin
gered in his mind for several days.
"Mrs. Agnew," he spoke to his
landlady, "there is a young lady and
a child in a room in the next build
ing." "I know whom you mean," prompt
ly announced Mrs. Agnew "Miss
"Miss Thirty-one?" repeated Ches
"That is what they call her, or at
least my sister, wtio is landlady of
the next building, does."
"Rather a queer name, isn't it?"
"She has- given no other. She
came there a month, ago with the lit
tle girl, does light housekeeping,
goes out very little, pays her room
rent on the dot, troubles nobody and
has no company whatever."
"tL'mi Something of a mystery,"
commented Merrill. "However, that
She Spelled Out Three Words.
is her business. I noticed the little
child today and she seemed quite in
love with my canary. As the cold
weather comes -on my room will be
chilly, without -heat during the day.
I was thinking of selling or giving
poor Dick away. I believe the little
one and her mother would take good
care of the bird. And they are "so
lonesome, neyer going out Dick
might be .quite some company to
them, don't you-think?. Now, could
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