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Newspaper Page Text
By Harold Carter.
Five minutes after the whistle had
blown old Peters arrived home from
the mill. He camesoftly into the
cottage and flung hiriiself down in
the large imitation leather instalment
chair. From the kitchen came the
smell of cooking. Presently his wife
looked into the room.
"Are you home, Michael?" she
That was the invariable greeting.
For nearly forty years Michael Peters
Sat Staring at $5,000
had worked in the big mill. It had
taken the best of his life and
strength, and, though he held a posi
tion as foreman there, and earned
fair wages, he had of late begun to
conceive an unutterable loathing for
His life was regulated by the whis
tle. It called him from his bed, called
him to work, called him to his lunch,
and dismissed him with a blast at six
o'clock in the evening. There had
been a time, many years before,
when he had had ambitions; but
these had long ago been ground out
of him in the remorseless machinery
of that consumer of men.
His only son, Donald, was to enter
the mill next month. The boy had
finished his course at the high school.
Old Michael had put him through
that, at a sacrifice which only his
wife and himself understood. He had
hoped to fit him for something better,
but of late Michael Peters had begun
to realize that his time of working
ability was running short. He wpuld
not be able to work in the mill more
than a few years longer. And Don
ald must take his place to earn the
family income when he dropped out.
How he loathed the mill! It seem
ed each day that he could hardly drag
his weary limbs to work. And Don
ald must ldok forward to a life of
this! The boy was cut out for finer
"Michael," said his wife that even
ing, "I'm thinking Donald has- a
sweetheart in town."
"What?" shouted Michael. "Who
"The Farrelly girl."
Peters knew her by sight; one of
the new hands in the machine room.
She was a commonplace girl enough,
pretty in an anaemic way, just an or
dinary mill girl, neither attractive
nor the reverse. "There were a thou
sand such as she in the town.
"So he's thinking of getting mar
ried, is he?" said Michael scornfully.
"Hasn't he the wits to profit by his
father's experience? Now, woman, I
wasn't meaning you. You've made
me a good wife, but to think of Don
ald going the same round, wearing
out his life in the mill, and a .wife to
take care of.'
Katherine wept quietly. She, too,
had hoped it might be possible to
put Donald through college. But
that was before old Michael's
strength began to fail.
-A month, later Donald took his
place in the mill. Sullenly acquies
cent, he took up the burden of sup-