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Newspaper Page Text
By Mildred Caroline Goodrich.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"Business is bad, very bad,"
said John Moore to a passing
townsman, and struck a still more
dejected attitude in the doorway
of his little store. He posed
there, staring gloomily out into
the fast darkening street, think
ing how very bad was business,
"What Do You Want."
indeed, and wondering why he
had ever brought his little stock
of dry goods, clothing, boots and
shoes and notions to Riverton.
"1 would go to a real live, wide-awake
town," he ruminated, "and
here I am trade dull, stock dead,
and I don't seem to make many
-friends. Heigh ho! I suppose
being a crusty old bachelor keeps
away the ladies' trade. As to
others, maybe I'm too -slow and
old-fashioned. Guess I'll close
- Starting to pull up the awning,
the storekeeper's foot touched a
moving human object crouched
back in the hallway side entrance
to the building.
Here, wake up! called out
John, with a frown. "What you
doing there, anyway?"
"I'm not asleep," responded
the faint, quavering voice; "and
I'm here because I'm too sick and
weak to go any further."
The speaker got to his feet with
a painful effort. As he came more
fully into view John regarded
"Oh, I see," he said rather dis
tastefully ; "you are the man who
was here a month ago, and got in
trouble with a riotous crowd
down at the tavern."
"That was me," assented the
tramp, for such he seemed. "I
was arrested. I hoped it was for
gotten, for" I came back here this
morning to find work. I found
out that people do remember. No
one would employ me. Heartsick
and footsore, I crept in here to
rest maybe to die. I don't know,
for I feel pretty bad," and the
poor fellow's eyes filled with
"What do you want?" inquired
John, a trifle harshly; "money, I
suppose, to buy liquor."
The tramp reached into his
pocket, drew out a folded paper
and opened it so that his challen
ger could see what it was.
"A temperance pledge, eh ?" re
marked John, almost contemptu-