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Newspaper Page Text
Nellie cuts lier. You see, the Walters
people are the poor branch of the
family and Nellie rather keeps the re
lationship in obscurity. Not but what
Lina is a genuine trump. She's the
bravest little scout I ever knew.
Works for her folks day and night
and is happy and smiling over it.
Poor Lina! for she's every inch a
lady. Carrying something to Uncle
'fcPeter, I warrant"
"And who is Uncle Peter?" in
"Oh, a sort of an outcast, a her
mit now. Poor, old," crossgrained.
He once could have bought up the
whole toWn, but he got speculation
in .his blood and it led him to ruin.
Pity you didn't have him for a client
in those old golden days of his, to
steer him up against rfiaUsecurities
that paid real dividends. One day
there was an explosion that startled
the town. His last dollar had taken
wings in the wake of a fading' gold
mining scheme that swallowed up
something like five millions. Then
he shut himself up in that wretched
old shack down the road-and lives to
"And Lina, that is, Miss Walters?"
"Oh, I suppose she has pitied his
loneliness. I hear he is growing
frail and weak. The Walters people
' haven't much to spare, but what they
have Lina is probably sharing with
him. I've met her lugging a basket
of coal down there several times.
Fancy Nellie doing that for him!"
All of which made a due impres
sion on Dale Armstrong, for her was
a big-hearted, true-souled fellow.
There was a new arrival at the Bar
ton place thai afternoon a girl
chum of Nellie and her brother. Nel
'lie proceeded to play this young gen-
(ff tleman against Armstrong to urge up
his jealousy and attention. Arm
strong saw through the flimsy
scheme and was, in fact, glad to be
relieved from so much of the com
pany of the shallow coquette.
He kept a lookout for Lina, but he
did not meet her for several days.
Before he did there was another link
added to the circumstantial Hihain of
incidents appertaining to his formal
acquaintanceship with Lina. He was
passing the old hut one afternoon
when there came a feeble hail. Arm
strong made out a figure seated in
an arm chair just within the door
way. He knew it must be Uncle Pe
ter and advanced quite readily, for
Lina was in his mind.-
"Did you call me, sir?" he inquired.
"I did, if you -are Mr. Armstrong."
"That is my name."
"You are the young man my niece
has told me about, then," quavered
the old man. "You're in with the
gay, proud set on the hill, but Lina
says you are a real gentleman and I
know I can trust you. I haven't much
to do with people generally, but I like
your face., Will you do something for
'Willingly, if it is in my power,"
absented Armstrong with readiness.
The old man handed a folded doc
ument to Armstrong.
"It's my will," he explained, "and I
trust it,to you. I don't leave much,
only 'this old shack, but with the
ground it will sell for a few hundred
dollars. It's- all for Lina, the only
one of the crowd who has stuck to
me through thick and thin."
And Lina herself appeared as Arm
strong was about to leave. And Arm
strong had the pleasure of escorting
her home. After that he met her sev
eral times. Armstrong extended his
vacation, each day more and more
attracted by the sweet girl who was
beginning to, love him.
One day Uncle Peter died. It was
after the funeral that Armstrong met
Lina and told her of the will. She
was as grateful for the small bequest
as though her uncle had left her a
"Dear old uncle!" she murmured,
the tears in her eyes. "I am glad I
was a comfort to him."
And then, as they strolled through
the woods, Armstrong felt that ha