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Newspaper Page Text
THE OftES SHE LIKED
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin.
Two young men, summer boarders
of Farmer Ralston, seated in a ham
mock on the old-fashioned porch of
the house, sprang to their feet elec
trically. The dull, even trend of their
rural surroundings seemed to wel
come any break in the monotony that
was the rule.
"A fire?" spoke Randal Boyd, his
interest spurring up. "Some excite-
Sprang to Their Fest Eiectricaliy.
ment! What is it, Mr. Ralston?" for
the old farmer had come rushing
around the corner of the house in a
great . state of perturbation.
"It's down at Grove Hollow, and it's
either the house or the barn of the
Merrill folks. It looks like the house."
"It is a blaze!" spoke Ned' Alton,
as they ran to the side of the house
and observed what had startled the
farmer. "Let us hurry, Boyd: we may
be of some help."
"Why, we left there only an hour
ago," observed Randal Boyd. "I hope
our charming young hostess has me.
with no mishap."
It was of the dainty, winsome Nel
lie Merrill that Ned Alton was solely
thinking in connection with the fire.
She was in the mind of his present
companion as well, but not to the
same extent. Both were interested in
the lovely little fairy who had been
an element of decided attraction dur
ing the outing of the two young men.
With his flashy, brilliant ways, heir
-to a fortune and socially prominent,
Randal Boyd had the lead in the race,
Ned' had decided. He could not stop
loving Nellie Merrill, however. It was .
the first time his real heart had been
involved. It was a pleasure yet a
pain, for he was a mere clerk hi the
employ of the big city business house
of Boyd & Co., while his friend, and
he feared, his rival, was the favored
son of the proprietor.
'Randal Boyd was not usually in
clined to over-exert himself, but in
the present instance he had an ener
getic pilot, and' from sheer pride kept
up the swift pace set for him. They
reached the Merrill place to find Nel
lie and her mother, pale and agitated,
helping the father and brother carry
out of reach of the flames such arti
cles as they had been able to save
from the- burning house. The entire
front of the building was ablaze. Boyd
rari to the well, excitedly seized a
bucket of water, made a wild dash,
ran into Mr. Merrill and went flat to
the ground, his impetuosity having
rather a ludicrous termination.
"What can we do?" inquired Ned
rapidly to the trembling girl he loved'.
"The rear part of the house is not yet
ablaze. Is there anything we can
"I fear not," tremored Nellie. "No,
do not take the risk. Father and
Nellie spoke this last word in al-.
most a shriek. She.had turned to look
at a heap of bedding near by. Two
minutes before her little sister Ruth,