By Jessie Ethel Sherwin
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
"We're shut up. Go away!"
Thus John Wylie, gruff, almost vi
cious, he who had never in his life
before spoken an unkind word or re
fused a favor or a kindness to hu
man or animal.
There was some excuse. John was
at the end of his rope financially,
physically and mentally. Life had
gone hard with him. He had finished
all but one year at a medical college
when the bank failed in which he had
deposited the means of finishing his
college course and a surplus to float
him into practice in a modest but re
He knew considerable of therapeu
tics, however, and he qualified as a
prescription clerk and secured a very
good position in a downtown drug
store. He scrimped and saved, for he
had an ambition to be his own mas
ter. The chance came. He saw the
advertisement of a druggist forced to
sell out "on account of ill health."
John looked grewsome as he viewed
the locality. The store was located
in a wretchedly poor tenement dis
trict His plausible predecessor
painted a glowing picture of lots of
sickness, therefore a steady demand
"Of course, it's a dime at a time,"
he observed, "but there's a steady
stream of them."
So John became a proprietor. Busi
ness was quite "steady," indeed, but
at the end of the month he looked
solemn and dubious. The volume of
business had not been so bad, but
half of it was on a credit basis. John,
nnused to the wiles of human nature,
was easily played upon. ' All kinds of
promises and excuses led-him into
the trap. Then, too, there were for
cible calls on his sympathy from peo
ple who could never pay. His sym
pathetic heart went out to these
Who could refuse health, possiblj
life, to a penniless mothr or a dying
It was now the end of six months
and john had balanced, or rather un
balanced his books. The result was
appalling. His stock had dwindled to
one-quarter of normal and he had
neither the cash nor credit to replen
ish it He was too honest to sell out
to a dupe.
"What's left will barely pay what
I owe," he groaned dismally. "I've
got to close up shop."
So, at 8 'o'clock that evening he
turned off all the lights, crawled into
"The Murdering Villain!"
his clean but dreary bed under the
counter and lay there, miserably go
ing over the wretchedness of his tan- (fa
gled business affairs and seeing no
John buried his h,ead in the bed
clothes, resolved tp be impervious to
intrusion, no matter what the motive.
Tap-tap-tap! patient but insistent.
John was obdurate. Then he became
angry. The summons continued
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