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Newspaper Page Text
"N t?"yi -
MISS MARTHA'S WILL
By George Munson.
(Copyright by W. GTr-Ghapman.)
When Jim Maine went "after any
thing he went after it tooth and nail.
That was the spirit in which he went
after Miss Martha Crowe's property.
Martha Crowe had had the reputa
tion of a miser, but nobody imagined
that, in addition to the cottage in
which she and Miss Annie her niece
"It Tikes a Big Man to Cross My
by marriage, dwelled, she had nine
thousand dollars in the bank, the fruit
of hoarding and clever investment.
And the will that old Maine produced
gave him everything except the cot
tage and the land on which it stood.
It was Annie's engagement to Tom
Claflin that provoked the old woman's
rage. Annie had been a drudge ever
since her aunt adopted, her at the
ae of ten, 'fifteen jears before. No
body had thbught that Aie plain, quiet
girl would ever marry. But Claflin,
the young lawyer, saw underneath
the plain exterior saw the heart of
gold and the sterling character and
loving nature, long subdued and re
pressed, but not killed. Annie had
longed to lavish her tenderness on
the crabbed old woman then, after
years of vain effort to win her love,
Tom had come along and claimed her.
When the miserly old woman heard
of it she expressed herself in char
"Not one penny of my money will
you get, you ungrateful child, if you
leave me in my old age," she said.
"But, aunt, we want you to make
your home with us," protested the
That only fanned the old woman's
wrath. She sent for Maine. He was
her only friend. He was an elder in
some primitive tabernacle, and Miss
Martha belonged to it. The congrega
tion were narrow fanatics, self-righteous
Pharisees who thought all hu
man love an abomination.
"You'd best stay with your aunt
and give that Claflin fellow the
shake," leered old Jim. He was the
richest man in the village and had a
reputation for graspingness. Little
got through his fingers.
The pair of them stormed at the
girl until she fled to her room in ter
ror. She had hoped to escape into a
larger world with her marriage to
Tom; but the plea of duty to her
aunt brqke her resolution. She gave
At least, she would have given him
up, only, the week following, her aunt
died suddenly. She died in the midst
of one of those scolding fits that
made the girl's life gall and worm
wood. And then Tom came and put
his arms around Annie and told her
that she was his, just the same, and
that he had taken no notice of her let
ter, because he knew. .
That was just like Tom. He always
understood. And they meant to be
ve'ry nappy together. BufTom'-waa