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Newspaper Page Text
THE BRONCHO BpS TER
By Florence Lillian Henderson. The Fowlers were not very good to Elsa Bruce. She realized it. but in her patient, cheerful 'way tried not to mind it. Mrs Fowler was herstep aunt, Elsa was an orphan, and, aside from old Grandfather Bruce, she had no near relative in the world., Mrs. Fowler was sour as vinegar, a chonic grumbler,, parsimonious and a slave driver. Within that narrow bosom of hers she cherished the idea that she was philanthropically shel- ' 'M've got a Great Scheme."' tering Elsa, the poor shorn lamb, in a truly Christian way. In reality she was making a drudge o her. Elsa anywhere else would have been haiL; ed as a Jewel of industry and econ omy, and liberally, paid for. her apt, tireless ability as cook, "nurse and housekeeper. " "I must keep on, ,if, only, for your sake, dear grandpa,'" Elsa was1 won't to say when the' old. man "rebelled at. the onerous duties' imposed upon her. "I don'tvmindth,e work, if they would just treat you witfi a little more thoughtful'ness." "It's a shame!" stormed -the old man. "I. gave- my step-daughter the ( property here for providing me with a home the rest of my life, and it's just hardened her into a pitching, un grateful miser:" "Well, grandpa,',' said Elsa bright ly, "some day I may be lucky enough to find some one willing to marry me, and I won't go unless I can take you along with'me." "You're too good for any husband under a royal prince," declared Grandpa. "If the old days of chivalry were back again there'd be all kinds of gallant- knights jousting around herje to carry you off." Elsa laughed at the ridiculous idea. She spoke some cheery words in her heartful way, and then went to her "own room for a- good crying spell. A knight:-errant Elsa already had, indeed, bu't'in a decidedly humble and unromaritic way. Tliere was' not a mor,e manly young fellow in the town than Bert Lkwton, but he was poor. His ambition was to become an elec trician. In Fairview activity in that line was just beginning to show itself. His pay was small, and so little could he save that,, although Elsa and he, were engaged, the" wedding day seeined a long way ahead. "If f hadn't 'been so foolish as to give my property away to that selfish step-daughter of mine," Grandpa Bruce told his venerable chum, John Davis, "I'd set that .deserving young couple upin housekeeping double quick." Old man Davis wasxdependent on the bounty of a son, and none too much in love with the life itself. One afternoon Bruce met him with an ex cited, mysterious lopk on his" face and a crumpled 'newspaper in 'his hand. He drew him aside to-a convenient" tree trunk. "Davis,'1 he announced jubilantly, Tve got a great scheme, and I want you to hehme out r,.;..-.. . . ; .