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Newspaper Page Text
xTHE NEW YEAR GUEST
By Frank Filson. (Copyright by W. G, Chapman.) i Although the New-JYjear of his own ;peopJe was celebrated-nore than fthree months 'earlier, Isaac Mandel stamm rejoiced in keeping festival iupon "the New Year of, the nation of which he felt himself to be an in tegral part. It was more than forty lyears since" he had arrived from Rus sia and opened a little tailor's shop on !the lower-East Side. His sons and daughters had prospered and had "I Know What You're Thinking Of, Father." moved, uptown, but old Isaac and his ' wife Rebekah still lived in the modest tenement, in which. their children had been born and had grown to man 'Tiood and womanhood. Every December 31 there Was a reunion like this one. Abraham and his wife Yetta had motored down from their country home near Yonk ers with their children, Morris and Frank. Isidor, part owner of' a dej partment store, had brought his wife and daughter. Rachel, the school, teacher, had brought her fiance, Mey er Seidlitz; and there were Philip, the rising young lawyer, and Marcus, the architect, who . had only begun to prosper after several years of ob scurity. Only one child was absent- Lawrence, the youngest, and the Benjamin of his father's old age. No matter what the passing year had brought forth, each child of the aged couple made it a point of honor to pay respects to his parents by din ing with them in the little flat. Every body looked forward to this annual gathering. They were the happiest people in the world as they took their places at the table. Isaac, a hale oc togenarian, sat at the table, wearing his black skull cap, and began, sharp ening the carving knife. At the foot his wife sat facing him, her wrinkled face smiling, her eyes beaming with love as she gazed upon her children. Abraham, the financier, and Isidor, the merchant, fraternized on equal terms with Marcus, who was just be ginning to emerge above the horizon of success, and Rachel and Philip, who had not seen each other for months, were so preoccupied that Meyer Seidlitz felt a pang of jealousy, in spite of the fact that they were brother and sister. The turkey was sizzling in its rich brown gravy, the potatoes seemed ready to melt inside their jackets ,the celery was crisp and dainty, the olives, gleamed lus ciously, and there was an inviting sparkle of cut glass and silverware. 1 Just as old Isaac took up the carv ing knife his wife held up her hand. "We are thirteen a table," she ex claimed. Each looked at the other. Nobody believed in the foolish legend of dis aster, and yet somehow the discovery cast a gloom over the. gathering. "What's the odds?" asked Abra ham. "Who believes in that, I'd like? to know?" But, old, Rebekah had been failing, rnd to continue with, the meal seemed.