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THE BABY'S BANK
By George Elmer Cobb
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
"The mean old hunksi" uttered
John Banks, father of pretty Nellie
Mason, his daughter, two years a
wife, three months a mother.
"Don't be cross, pa," pleaded Nel
lie, "it's a pleasure to have Darrell's
uncle even recognize us. It's broken
the ice, anyway. Poor, lonesome old
man, I suppose the lack of friends
has soured him."
"H'm! He's a close-fisted old miser,
that's what Zekiel Crane is!" snorted
Mr. Banks, and swung away, dis
gusted and indignant
Nellie smiled sweetly at a big
wooden baby's savings bank stand
ing on a little table in the corner of
the room. That had been the delayed
gift of her husband's uncle to little
Rossmore, their child. Nellie's fa
ther had bought a gold charm for the
little one and Nellie's mother had do
nated a pretty outfit of dresses and
slips. That morning Uncle Zekiel
bad hobbled over from his farm with
"Made it myself," he said quite
proudly. "See a sort of imitation
of my old granary, with a cupola on
the top of it There's a chimney to
put the pennies in," and he produced
two and they chinked down into the
receptacle. "You must save all I
give and by the time Rossmore is of
age there'll be quite a tidy sum."
And Nellie kissed the old man with
sincere appreciation, for he had not
been to see them since their wedding.
When he husband same home she led
him to the bank.
"Uncle Zekiel's present to baby,"
she said sweetly.
Darrell Mason's lips wrinkled at
the corner in a quizzical way.
"A token of good will, anyway,
dear," he observed. "Don't get sour
over his miserly ways. He means
well It's that cousin of his, Luke
Dnnbar, who has come to live with
him since I left, that has kept Uncle
away and made him stingy."
"How, Darrell?" inquired Nellie,
with wondering blue eyes.
"Well, Dunbar is a schemer and is
after the old man's wealth. He is a
domineering fellow and somehow
had got the old man under his thumb
so that the poor old man is afraid to
call his soul his own."
"I don't see how that can be," mur
"Why, it seems that Dunbar's fa
ther had a pretence of a claim to the
old farm. It was thrown out of court
twice, but the son has made uncle
believe that he can bring a new suit
and harrass him and put him to ex
pense. Uncle has such a horror of
the law that I has agreed, I under
stand, to leave the farm to Dunbar
when he dies."
"It should be yours, dear, as the
nearest of kin," suggested Nellie.
"Oh, I don't covet it," declared
Darrell lightly. "It always was a
hard-scrabble tract Besides, if Dun
bar makes uncles's last days less
lonely let him reap the reward."
"But I hear that Mr. Dunbar is not
a very good man," intimated Nellie
"No, he isn't for a fact" declared
her husband bluntly. "I hear that
he watches uncle closely so that he
won't get rid of any stray cash, hop
ing to get that, to, when uncle dies.
I think that is the reason why uncle
hasn't come over to see us more
often. Lately, I learn, Dunbar has
been carousing around the town
drinking shops, so that probably
gave uncle the opportunity to slip
over and see us."
This seemed to be true, for the
very next day Mr. Crane put in a sec
ond appearance at the cottage. He
was quite chipper and took baby
Rossmore on his knee and chuckled
over him, and then very ostenta
tiously dropped two more pennies
into the bank.
Then he missed two days, came