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Newspaper Page Text
Which he had discovered after Henry
left his employment
That was the universal agreement.
Old man Milton had had the misfor
tune to have his only son turn out
bad. The stubborn old man mourned
for the young fellow secretly, but he
set his face as hard as a flint in pub
lic. Then came the day when an at
tack of paralysis seized him, and he
awakened from his coma to see Lucy
at his bedside, nursing him. When
he recovered he asked her to keep
house for him. He meant to adopt
her, he said, as he had no children.
The months passed. Lucy some
times dared to speak of Henry, but
the old man would not betray his
"He was a bad lot, my dear," he
said. "I know there was something
between you, but you've had a
mighty narrow escape. I want you
to find some young fellow that will be
worthy of you."
Then Lucy would sigh and say
nothing. It was three years now
since she had heard from Henry.
Then one day the insurance agent
came in, breathless with excitement.
All the city was talking of a new
opera, he said, composed by one Hen
ry Milton. He was America's great
musical prodigy. The newspapers
were full of him.
Middleboro reluctantly agreed that
it might have been mistaken. But not
so the old man. He was more stub
born than ever.
"I don't care if he can fool the pub
lic," he said. "Any knave can do
that. When Henry takes up a clean
line of work and makes good at it
I'll take him back. Till then no,
Yet Lucy knew that he secretly de
voured .the newspapers, searching for
his son's name. He was secretly
proud of him. Lucy had an idea.
"Father," she said coaxingly she
called him that nowadays "he is to
conduct at a performance in Boston
'next Friday. Now you know you have
been promising to take me to Bos
ton. Let us go and hear him."
"What do I want to hear him for?"
growled the farmer. "Hain't I heard
him times and again strumming on
that old piano? I've had enough of
hearing him, my lass."
However, by dint of coaxing, Lucy
inveigled him to Boston, and thence
to the opera house, where, upon a
dozen billboards, as large as life, were
the words Henry Milton, beneath a
flesh and blood reproduction of the
Lucy felt herself trembling. She
knew that he had long ago forgotten
her; she had nerved herself to ac
company the old man only out of a
sense of duty, in the hope of effecting
a reconciliation if she saw Henry
she meant' to show him her indiffer
ence. But when the fanner saw his son
conducting in the orchestra, a
strange look came over his face.
And Lucy, watching him, knew that
the past was forgotten in the joy ac
finding his boy.
The old man's stupefaction in
creased as, seated all through the be
wildering medley of sounds, he saw
Henry waving his baton and, his
hand, sometimes in alternation and
"Well, I'm swinged!" he exclaimed.
He turned to his neighbor,
"How much do you reckon that
there young fellow Milton makes a
night out of this?"
"O, perhaps three hundred dol
lars," answered the other.
The farmer gaped at him and sub
sided into his seat.
They were at Henry's side almost
before the piece was ended. And
Henry, looking up, suddenly perceiv
ed his father and Lucy. His face grew
"Hen! Hen!" faltered the old man,
and suddenly he grabbed to his heart
and muttered something about for
giveness and coming home.
"WelL father, I wanted to scores
of times, but you know you old me
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