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IN SEARCH OF A WIFE
By ELMER B. WARRINGTON.
(Copyright, 1914, by W. G. Chapman.)
"Now, Ezra, remember, you are
making a brand new start in life."
'Tes, ma'am," assented Ezra in his
usual homely, old-fashioned way.
He regarded his mother in a wistful
manner. For the first time in his life
she did not seem to him like his
mother. The old familiar dimity gown
had given place to a showy brocade.
The iron-gray hair showed traces of
walnut stain. There was eve? a sus
picion of powder about the sunken
faded cheeks. N
Then, too, the meal on the table.
Mrs. Rachel Tuttle had hired a serv
ant girl only that week.
"Now I'm going to enjoy life," she
had declared with vim. "I never saw
Niagara falls, nor the Whit? House,
nor the ocean. I'm going on a tour,
Ezra, and take in some relatives in
New Hampshire and sort of spread
myself on all the money I*m coing to
get You say you don't vant to jine
me, that you don't like rummaging
around. All right, Ezra, you've been
a good son and you shall have your
own way. Make yourself* comfortable
and have a good time. Here's some
money, and spend it freely. I suppose
when brother William's estate is set
tled up there'll be a big plum for us.
And now, Ezra, remember you're mak
ing a start in lite. You won't be plain
plodding Ezra Tuttle any more. You're
a gentleman of means, now."
"Yes, ma'am," said Ezra, more de
pressed than ever, with a longing
glance at his discarded homespun
hanging on the clothesline.
linmediaely upon hearing that she
was an heiress, Mrs. Tottla had drawn
a goodly amount from the bank and
had planned out her "grand tour."
? "I'll have one grand breathing spell,
after all my years of drudgery/' she
declared, and Ezra was silent, but
he mourned in spirit Three days of
the slatternly r.ew cook had given him
indigestion. Certainly his mother had
been a model housekeeper. How he
missed the homemade sausage and
.buckwheat cakes, and neighborhood
pure maple sirup, the nectarlike oof
fee for breakfast.
"I am lonesome and out of sorts,"
he ruminated, "and it will be an ex
perience, anyhow, and if mother is
going to wander about and break up
the home, why not a wife? Maybe
I'll find one in my travels-who caa
'tell?" and he smiled quaintly.
Ezra was no clod, only homespun.
He knew fully how to conduct himself
in company and made a good impres
sion with the Mantells. His Tumored
fortune it ' was, however, that made
-<a better one. He was eoon aware of
this, judging' from the specious in
quiries of Mr. and Mrs. Mantell. Then
they threw Helena at his head.
She was an only daughter, tall,
stately, cold as ice. Amid her state
liness, however, Ezra soon discerned
that she was bent on capturing him.
The family were truly aristocratic,
that was their bent and- pose. They
were selfish, skimping, sacrificing
comfort to make a show.
"Three days of these people was all
I could stand," soliloquized Ezra as,
gracefully as he could, he took his de
parture, feeling that he was lucky to
have escaped still a bachelor.
Then Ezra tried the Moores. They
had money and lived at a private ho
tel. There were two girls here, one
a blue stocking, the other a languish
ing sentimentalist They played their
arts alternately. The flimsy feeding
at the table d'hote did the rest for
Ezra. He made his adieux and struck
off for a rural jaunt feeling free once
Then came the crisis in Ezra's life.
He was passing a field hedge when
his quick ear caught a moaning sound.
He brushed aside the osage orange
bushes to locate a man lying exhaust
ed to faintness. Beside him lay a
scythe. It was dabbled with blood.
Then Ezra saw that he must have
stumbled, and one limb had fallen
athwart of the keen blade.
The man's eyes closed as Ezra
sprang to his side. The latter saw at
a glance that the victim of the acci
dent was bleeding to death. It was
a question of a speedy emergency
service. Within a few minutes Ezra,
had stanched the ebbing life tide,
bound up the limb at the cost of his
coat, and had the satisfaction of see
ing the man come back to conscious
"Home," he just whispered, and
pointed up a near rise. Ezra ran to
its top to discover a handsome farm
house a few hundred yards distant.
He took up the man in his arms and
proceeded towards it.
"You saved my life," declared Rob
ert Wadham that evening, as he and
his daughter Elinor and Ezra sat In
the comfortable best room.
The daughter1-ah! there had come
a revelation to Ezra. Perhaps her
pretty gratitude had stirred him more
deeply than common, or her tender de
votion to her father.
Four months later, a tired-out, dis
appointed woman, Mrs. Tuttle got off
the train to receive a royal welcome
from her waiting son.
"Oh, r, just to get back to the com
forts of home! I'm tired of trapse
ing!" she cried. "House all in disor
der, I suppose?"
"Neatest you ever saw it," her son
responded. "Got a new housekeeper."
"Yes, my wife."
And Ezra told his mother how he
had met, loved, wooed and wedded th*
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