Newspaper Page Text
steadily, expectantly. John roused
up aflarc. tfe rushed to the door of
the shop. lie unbolted and tore open'
"We're shut up. Go away!" he
"Please, sir " ,
"M " observed John, taken aback
k and cooling down magically. There
stood a tiny girl, poorly clad, shiver
ing with the cold, her big, wistful
eyes woefully crushed, but pleading.
"Please, sir," she said simply. "Miss
Walton is dying. The doctor couldn't
come, 'coz she can't pay him, but he
sent her a 'scription. Won't you
please make it up, 'coz she's awful
sick and can't pay, but they say 'you
are a good, kind man"
"Who says it?" snapped John.
"All the poor people you've given
"Bah! Rot! Urn a bear! O'm ouch!
Serve me right Come in."
John had stumbled over the door
check and stubbed his toe. The lit
tle girl' sat down on a stool. He
pushed a jar of candy toward her.
Then John examined the prescrip
tion. "The murdering villain!" he burst
forth. "Soda and aqua pura for a
suffering woman! Here, you lead me
to this woman you talk about.- I'm
only half a doctor, but I can do bet
ter than that fraud who gave you a
prescription to get rid of you. Fill
your pockets with that candy. Now
then, lead the way."
It was to the meanest of a rqw of
tenements his guide took him and to
a dreary room, sparsely furnished,
where, upon a bed, lay the patient.
At a glance John read better days in
the face of a young woman, full of
loveliness, wan and thin as it was.
Her eyes were closed. He lifted her
hand to feel her pulse. The expres
sive, intelligent face, dainty molded
hand, told a common story of a girl
of refinement and culture brought' to
the sadedst phase of poverty and des
titution. Now all the desperate loath
Ine for life" and humanity left the
I man's nature. lie roused up to the
true philanthropist that he was, as a
realization of the patient lives of the
poor swept across his mind. A tear
dropped from his sorrowing eyes.
The patient stared slightly. Her eyes
opened; their glance meeting his
own. She smiled sweetly, as though
half cpnscious, as she saw the tear
that hallowed the moment where a
kind soul had come to the rescue.
The woman was, indeed, ill. For
two weeks she lay almost inert, for
two more convalescent. Food, quiet,
constant medical care the sympa
thetic John brought to her, overjoyed
at her recovery, and loved her. And
she? There were expressions on her
face at times that stirred him
strangely. His business was daily
growing more hopeless, yet he
seemed to care little for that. His
mind was wrapped up in the patient,
whose distress had roused him from
the lethargy of misanthropy.
"Say, you must be an awful rich
man!" commented the little fagged
"Rich!" John smiled desolately.
Yet his senses spurred up. He was
rich in a new emotion that made the
sordid world as dross tohim.
"She's gone," were the words that
fairly stunned him one day from the
little tfhild. "Oh, it's like a play! Her
sister, oh! so rich and beautiful and
in a grand automobile came this
morning and took her away. It seems
that our Mrs. Walton had quarreled
with her folks, who had lots of money
and -had wade up her mind to be an
artist, and they just found her and
have taken her away."
And this was the end of the little
ronjance, then?" Moodily John spent
the last few days of his occupancy of
the little shop. He sat on a broken
stool in the denuded store the day its
creditors came to cart away the few
physical assets left of the dire busi
ness wreck. His face was sunk de
jectedly upon his breast, his eyes
closed, his mind groping aimlessly to
scan the future.