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Newspaper Page Text
HOUSE JACK BUILT
; By Florence Lillian Henderson.
There were two loyal hearts to
smile encouragingly after Walter
Rose and wish him an earnest God
speed when he left Riverdale. Mercy
Darrow bid him adieu through swim
ming eyes, but she had given him
words of blissful cheer and comfort.
Little Joe Dockrill, cripple as he was,
lifted himself on his crutches and
waved encouragingly and hopefully.
"You know what is best, dear,"
Walter's financee had told him. "If
Spent Several Evenings Going Ovet
you think the prospects in the city
are encouraging, you should go
"It is only for a year, sweetheart,"
said Walter. "You and your parents
are practically dependent on your
married sister. All I -have is the lot
and the old house, ready to fall down
any day. I could not think of asking
"It would be home with you, any
where; dear," declared Mercy bravely.
"Yes, but the old folks have a
comfortable home. I stuck to father
from a sense of duty, because he was
attached to the old place. If I can
get enough ahead to put up even a
small cottage I can always earn a
comfortable living. Look after little
Joe, won't you, Mercy?" added the
stalwart, honest-faced fellow, with a
fond glance at the little cripple.
"Don't you fear!" chirped in Joe
himself valiantly. "I'll look after
myself. Why, you've fitted me out
like a prince, Uncle Walter, and I'm
going to make you proud of me. I'll
help get that house up you want so
bad. I've got an idea and I'm going
to carry it out."
Pretty patient Mercy went home
rather mournfully. Little Joe return
ed home, the honest tear drops in his
eyes, but whistling cheerily, for he
had some very hopeful ideas under
that bright, curly pate of his.
Walter Rose was not "Uncle Wal
ter" at all, although the little fellow
called him that. Joe was a waif, an
orphan city lad turned out of charit
able institutions when he had out
grown the age limit, wandered to
Riverdale and run down by an auto
mobile and crippled for life. For two
months the homeless little fellow was
kept in the hospital. Then he was
again turned adrift, his sole assets
a pair of crutches.
. It was tender-hearted Mercy, true
to name and nature, who took him in,
but her sister resented the intrusion.
Then Mercy spoke to Walter about
the friendless outcast. Walter took
him to the old house. His father was
very old and feeble. He needed con
stant attention, and took a great
fancy to the bright, jolly little
Joe was so cheery, so accommodat
ing, so handy, despite his crippled
condition, that within a month Walter
felt that he had secured a treasure.
Little Joe made the long evenings
lively. He was a faithful attendant
upon aged Mr. Rose, and nearly the
1 last smile upon the lips of the old