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THE PERRYSBURG. O.. JOURNAL. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1912.
SPARKS FAMILY HAPPENINGS
THE KID EATS PAINTER'S PiE,
BY EDWARD B. CLARK
It bo a caso 01 falao pretonao It we I Here the beat girl that ever worltea
keep hor?" out stumbles In on ua by accident,
"Not by n Jugful. I'll send Mr. ! and wo got a Janitor who servos us aa
Smithhins tho prlco ot her ndvcrMse-
RS. SPAItKS sat In tho
window of tho little
flat, darning. Tommy
Sparks, aged four, had
been allowed to go
alone to play In the
.nt vard that Ilea
imtwncn the apart
ment building and the
awell private real
denco which faces tho
drive. Mr. Sparks waf
at his office, and all
tho young Sparksea,
barring Tommy, wore at school. From
Mrs. Sparks' vantago point In the lit
tle bay window she could catch occa
sional glimpses ot a painter In the big
yard next door, who was moving
along slowly from stone to stone
painting the foundation ot the bouse
of their rich neighbor a subdued sort
of red color.
Mrs. Sparks was dreamily wonder
ing why tho foundation which had
been pretty in its natural hue, need
ed painting at all, when Tommy
Sparks toddled in through the door
way leading from the kitchen. Tommy
had come up from tho yard tho back
way. Tommy had some streaks of
red running diagonally down from
rnr-h rnrnfir of his mouth, and his
-iommy, just out of a paroxysm,
turned his head and caught sight of
the empty dinner pall. "Painter's pie's
good," ho murmured.
Mrs. Sparks sank Into a chair laugh
ing and crying hysterically. A grin
appeared on Mr. Spark's faco. Thi
doctor and tho druggist looked dis
gusted. Mr. Sparks gave tho painter
a dollar. "Go to a restaurant and got
a square meal," ho said.
"Henry," said Mrs. Sparks, still In
a struggle between two emotions,
"what shall we do with that boy?"
"Well," answered Henry as he sur
veyed Tommy and his surroundings, i
I think from the cleaning these two
professional gentlemen have Just giv
en him, that If wo could turn him In
side out he'd make a good advertise
ment for some brand ot soap."
The Sparks' Old Soldier Janitor.
"Eliza," said Mr. Sparks on tho
night of the day that they moved into
their new flat, "this apartment life Is
worse than one of Dante's circles. I'll
mako Just one more move before
I die, and that will be Into a house
In a suburb. Hero we are Just moved,
everything topsy-turvy and no girl. Ot
course, the latest acquisition from the
employment bureau had to leave us
i- tnih Jual to iurow an me ouraen ot tne
nen aress was ixiu.u v paokIng up and the unpack,ng on us
the same color.
: Bume cuius. Then again the Janitors of all flats are
Tommy SparKS." uoraauueu u dev,,B 1u bet thQ QQB ,n
mother, "what on earth have you been
Tommy climbed Into a chair, swung
i his legs in his Infantile way and said:
"Mamma, painter's pie's good."
Mrs. SparkB gave ono hurried, hor
rified glance through tho window at
the red paint which was being daubed
on the neighbor's house, and then
turned her anguished countenance
"Tommy," her voice was a pleading
wall, "did you eat the painter's stuff
out ot the pall?"
"Yes, out of the pall; painter's pie's
good," answered Tommy.
Mrs. Sparks shrieked. The maid
rushed In from the kitchen. "Get tho
doctor, the druggist and Mr. Sparks,"
screamed Mrs. Sparks. "Tommy's eat
en paint and sugar ot lead and every
thing. Go, girl, go." Susan rushed
through the door, sent tho corner
druggist flying up to the house, or
dered' the clerk to telephone Mr.
Sparks and then sat out on a chase for
In tho meantime Mrs. Sparks was
moaning over Tommy, who wns tak
ing tho unusual commotion which he
had created as blandly as would most
four-year-olders. He insisted on occa
sionally reiterating that "painter's pie
was good," and at each reiteration the
mother's heart Bank.
The druggist rushed In. "Tommy
has eaten paint. Heaven alone knows
how much. It must have had sugar
of lead In It, and that's sweet and
that's why he ate It."
The druggist grabbed up Tommy,
half threw him onto a lounge, and
then turned to the mother. "Control
yourself, Mrs. Sparks; life depends on
instant action. Get mo salt, potash
and softsoap." Luckily Mrs. Sparks
had all throe articles in the house,
and she rushed oft to the kitchen and
brought them back. Tommy as yet
showed no sign of collapse. The drug
gist put two tablespoontuls of salt in
half a glass ot lukewarm water and
forced Tommy to swallow It sputter
ing. This dose was followed up with
a heroic one of potash, and then
Tommy was mado to swallow a large
coffee cupful ot softsoap. With the
soap down and Tommy's oyes bang
ing out of his head and well down
over his cheek bones, tho druggist
turned tho youngster over on his
Htomach on the couch and shook him.
The only thing about Tommy that
didn't rebel at this treatment was his
btomach. That held onto Its unaccus
tomed load with a pertinacity, worthy
of something hotter. At this juncture
tho painter appeared on the scene. He
admitted to the tearful Mrs. Sparks
that ho had left his paint pot on 'the
ground where Tommy could have
found It for about five minutes while
ho went round the corner to get a
glass of beor.
At this Instant tho doctor fell In
at the door on the heolB ot tho maid
lie approved tho druggist's treatment
and added to It a largo dose ot ipecac.
Vnder this last added horror Tommy's
stomach and spirit both gavo way.
Like tho younger hopeful In Helen's
Babies, ho played whalo, and while ho
didn't caBt up Jonah ho cust up pretty
noar everything olso.
While Tommy was In tho throes Mr.
Sparks arrived, ashy-lipped and shak
rn. Tho doctor turned to him. "I
trust, Mr. Sparks, that it wo can keep
him at It f6r ten minutes mora we
rony save his life." Tommy kept at It.
The palntor, who had retreated be
foro tho stricken countenance of Mrs.
Sparks, now reappeared. Ho was car
rying In ono hand a dinner pnll, which
ho held upside down to show those
assembled that It was absolutely
"Wbeu 1 come to work this morn
ing,", tho painter said, "I had throe
piece's of berry pie In this pail. 1
t.ln't got any now, a fact 1 Just dis
covered. I gueos maybo tho young
ster knows where II went'
ing will prove to be worse than any
of tho others, and even a man accus
tomed to using strong language can't
say anything stronger than that. Just
look at this muss, will you, and no
one to help us flz up."
Just then the front doorbell rang.
ment In an anonymouB letter. To
have and to hold' la a good motto In
a case llko this."
That girl Rose, who stumbled into
tho Sparks' flat that moving day night,
was a dream. She cfcbkod things to
a turn; she was willing; she didn't
havo a cross word in her vocabulary;
I she didn't care to go to balls on Sat
I urday night, and alio was plump and
I good-looking. Tho Sparks' family lifo
One morning as Mr. Sparks was
leaving tho building to go to the office
he mot tho Janitor, who was coming
up from tho basement leading a child
with eachliand. Mr. Sparks had bare
ly noticed the Janitor before. This
morning something in the man's bear
ing struck him and turning, he said:
"William, you'vo been in tho service"
"Yes, sir," said William, "I put in
five years In tho Fourth cavalry."
"I can tell a regular tho mlnuto I
clap oyes on him," said Mr. Sparks.
"I put In n good many years myself.
You have two fine children here, Will-lam."
"Yes," said William assentlngly, nnd
then Mr. Sparks said "Good-bye."
That night when Mr. Sparks reach
ed horse his wife said: "The Janitor
came up today and washed tho win
dows. I didn't think It was a part of
his work, but ho said it was all right
and Insisted. He told me that he used
to be In the regular army and that he
knew you had been In tho service,
"That's it, Eliza," said Henry, "an
old soldier likes to do things for an
other old soldier. He washed our win
dows because we had both done hard
duty on the plains. He muat be a
good, steady fellow, for he has a wife
and two children. They have a flat in
Mr. Sparks met William quite fre
quently after this. William alwaye
Balnted. It he happened to be stand
ing still as Mr. Sparks passed he
would come to "attention," clicking
his heels together tho while and salut
ing like the old campaigner he was.
Almost every night when he reached
home Mrs. Sparks would tell Henry of
some new act of attention ou tho part
I r . , , ii
I JiiUJtf Vrn
fjfcr, ijA girl ' i-
srifri&i immk mmrmmmw
though wo were moguls.'
Things went on this way for
months. Henry Qparks told Ave real
estate agonts to quit looking up a
country homo for him. "You can't bent
tho combination I'vo got right hers in
the heart ot Chicago," ho said.
A box of cigars went a long way
with tho Janitor. Ho Insisted on
beating tho Sparks rugs, he gilded tho
radiators, he fixed tho door knobs, and
toward the end of the second month
he wna washing tho window's every
other day. The windows of tho ottocr
flats were dingy and finger-marked.
Rosa wns a pearl of great price. Sho
anticipated every wish of every mem
ber of tho family. There was little
left for Mrs. Sparks to do but to em
broider and to mend Frances' stock
ings. For soma reason or other.
Henry Sparks, though ho had always
prided himself on his persplcaolty,
never noticed that whenever William
found" that something In the kitchen
needed fixing the Job was always ono
that required three or four days' time.
Ono night Mr. Sparks went down
town to do some work. He didn't get
back till one o'clock. He slipped off
his shoes at the door so as not to
awaken his wife. He passed through
the hall, and feeling hungry he went
back through the -dining room with a
mind and appetite bent on exploring
the kitchen pantry. The door leading
Into the kitchen was shut. In his
stocking feet Mr. Sparks mado no
noise. He opened the door quickly.
Tbo kitchen gas was burning. From
the far end of the room came a click
ing noise. William the Janitor was
standing at attention with his heels
brought sharply together. As the man
Jumped to the position of a soldier
Mr. Sparks saw that one of his arms
had Just dropped from Its position of
embrace about the waist ot Rosa, the
Mr. Sparks was horrified. Ho went
back to days when as a "non-com" he
had verbally lashed some bluecoat
"William," he said In a voice of
thunder, "how dare you! You're a
"William's hand went to his fore
head In a salute. "Rosa and I are to
bo married next week, Mr. Sparks,"
"Married!" was the gasping re
sponse. "How about your wife nnd
two children' down stairs?"
"That's my widowed sister and her
two little ones. She's been keeping
house for me," said William.
Mr. Sparks groaned and went limply
back Into tho front room. He waked
his wife. "Eliza," he said, "our dream
is over. Rosa Is going to marry the
janitor. It wasn't any old soldier
sentiment at all that made him wash
windows. I'll tell Hunt In the morn
ing to look for a home for us In the
country," and, sighing, Mr. Sparks
went to bed.
At the breakfast table next morning
William and Rosa came In hand In
hand. "We're going to be married
next week, Mrs. Sparks," said Rosa,
"but my sister wants a place and I'll
send her here. She's a better cool;
than I am."
At this bit of Information Mr
Sparks' face cleared visibly. "You
both havo my blessing," ho said;
"send In your sister-Rosa, and If Will
lam leaves here I'll get old Hlghrates,
the landlord, to send a good janitor In
his place, but I'll take good care that
'he Is not an old soldier." And then.
forgotful of everything else, Mr.
Sparks turned to his wife and said:
"They can't resist an old soldier, can
they, my dear?"
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Such warning symptoms as
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"WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU BEEN EATING?"
Henry Sparks stumbled over "two
trunks, his daughter's bicycle, barked
his shin, bruised his toes and finally
reached the door. There In the hall
stood a young woman, comely and
strong looking. "Is this the place you
want a girl?" she aBked.
A sudden joy leaped Into Henry
Sparks' heart. "Yes," he said. "Come
In. Wo have just moved; we're all up
side down hero. Look out for the
Then Mr. SparkB led the way Into
tho dining-room and turned tho caller
over to his wife. "Yes, we wuut a
girl," said Mrs. Sparks; "we've Just
moved in, and It may be you won't
want to stay now; you see how things
are and what cleaning is to bo done."
"I'm not afraid to work," said tho
At this answer, Henry Sparks, who
stood In a corner, almost fainted. The
girl produced a letter from a Luther
an clergyman In a little country vil
lage. It happeuod that Henry Sparks
know tho man. Tho girl was taken on
the spot, as she declared she was
ready to go to work then and thoro
and would have her things sent right
over from her cousin's.
During the wholo conversation Mrs.
Sparks' face had worn rather a puz
zled expression. When the girl had
volunteored to stay Mrs. Sparks Bald:
"How did you happen to know wo
wanted a girl?"
"I saw your advertisement," wus
the answer. "Hero It Is," and the girl
pullod out a copy of tho morning pa
per. Mrs. Sparks took it. "Morcy,"
she exclaimed, "that's the advertise
ment of Mrs. Smitbklns, who lives In
the flat underneath this. You came to
the wrong-apartment." '
"Well, I Hku the lookB ot this place
anyway, nnd I'll stay."
"Henry." said Mrs. Sparks, "won't
of the janitor. "He came up and
went all over the plumbing today,"
she said one night. "He said he
wanted to make sure that there
wasn't any sewer gas in the place "
"There, it is Just as I told you,
Eliza," said Mr. Sparks; "this janitor
doesn't want to see the family of an
old soldier suffer. I'll glvo him a box
of cigars tonight. Eliza, this is tho
linest kind of life. Never talk to me
again about taking a suburban house.
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in a story by Mary Stewart Cut
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