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I want something tangible in my deal
ings, sir, good day."
Vernon Davis left the presence of
the conscienceless tyro disappointed
and dejected. To him Mr. Travis had
been almost a father. His real rights
to some share in the business were
incontrovertible. The proofs of an
agreement to the partnership were,
Within the next few hours Vernon
located Bertha at the school where
she had been placed by her father.
He was surprise, pleased at the way
in which the brave little soul took her
rudely announced poverty. He was
attracted, nay, more, fascinated by
her pure, gentle spirit He had lost
in the effort to secure Bertha her
rights. He had gained, new and fer
vent, that which was far more prized
than fortune love.
"I shall leave the school at once,"
decided Bertha, in her resolute, wom
anly way. "For a few weeks at least
the sale of some few trinkets I pos
sess will give me a modest home
somewhere. You must be my guard
ian, dear Mr. Davis,'" she said bright
ly, "and find me work."
Orphans both, struggling each for
a living, the pleasantest hours of his
life came to Vernon Davis during the
ensuing few months. Bertha found
congenial work in an office. Vernon
refused a position with Thorpe and
secured employment as a traveling
salesman. His trips were brief, so
he frequently visited the lonely girl,
who bravely accepted the position
fate had awarded her.
One evening Bertha met him at the
door of the house where she was liv
ing with more than ordinary eager
ness and excitement.
"A strange thing has happened,"
she said. "A man, a stranger I think
from Ceylon, called here an hour ago.
He had been looking for you at your
boarding house and they must have
directed him here. He is a tall thin
man and spoke our language broken
ly. He looked as though he had been
through a long period of illness or
hardship. He was so anxious to meet
you and I so pitied his wearied, for-
lorn condition that I asked him. in,
knowing you would be here later."
"That is strange," murmured Ver
non. "Where is he now?"
"In the parlor. Who can it be, Mjw
Davis?" ,, JJ.
"I have no idea, but I will at once, '
find out," replied Vernon. '
He proceeded to the parlor. At is
threshold he paused, startled. A,,
gleam of recognition lit up his face as
he inspected a man seated in a chair.
The latter had his eyes closed, his"
body relaxed, like one subdued by ex- "
Vernon Davis closed the door and'
advanced toward the half recumbeni
figure. He touched the arm of the
sleeper. The latter aroused. He
started for a moment confusedly a
his disturber. Then with gladsome'
eyes he sprang to his feet.
"Master, young master!" he cried
in a thrilling tone, "you thought me.
dead or false? It is neither. An! '
were my kind old friend, Mr. Travis,
Viata f"k 1aiFn tVio rTi1 tiowto T VtArn '
What the strange visitor had to telf"
took over an hour. Both left the :
house, but not until Vernon had ex '
plained to Bertha that the man wag
an old employe of her father in Cey-,
Ion, who had sought him out with a ,
message from that far-away coun.
try. The next day Vernon and the Cey-''
lonese appeared at the office of th&
merchant. t', r
"Mr. Thorpe," spoke Vernon, "herj. r
is a former employe of Mr. Travis ; '
who also believes that there was some
partnership agreement between you,
"So?" snarled Thorpe, "well, I ab- '
solutely deny it." " ,
"In the presence of this witness you
repudiate any partnership agreement ,
in any sense of the word?" '
"I do," stoutly maintained the mer
chant "Then," observed Vernon, 'let me
advise you that Mr. Travis staked this
man on a venture that has turned