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Newspaper Page Text
, POOR UNCLE THOMAS
By H.'M. Egbert
(Gopyright by W. G. Chapman-)
"I call it U4hame," said Millie an
grily, "to have let Uncle Thomas go
to the poorhouse when he has a lot
jOf strapping nephews and nieces able
to support him in his old age."
"Why don't you take care of him,
then," sneered Cousin Martha.
"Because he won't let me," an
swered Millie, half crying. "You
know how obstinate he is."
"I guess the old boy is comfortable
enough where he is," said Cousin
.Smith judicially. "He's always lived
a selfish sort of life. He never got
married, never had anybody to care
for but himself. If he couldn't man
age to save up enough for his old age
c it stands to reason it ain't up to us
to provide for him."
Millie stamped out of the room. She
was the poor member of the Coates
family, earning only $10 a week as
va bookkeeper in Uncle Smith's store.
She had tried to induce Uncle Thom
as to make his home with her, but
the old man had declined.
"I guess I can take care of myself,
f Millie," he had said. "They're mighty
good to me up to the home."
Millie had always been Uncle
Thomas' favorite, but they had
grown much closer together after he
went to the poorhouse. Only two
years before all their relatives had
been flocking about Uncle Thomas,
struggling for his favor. He was sup
posed to be worth $30,000 in his own
"And it beats me where the mon
ey's gone," Cousin Martha "had said.
"Money!" snorted Cousin Sadie.
"There never was no money. He's
just been making fools of us all his
Jife and trading on our affection and
'good nature.' Jle's an old hypocrite
and in the besT' place where he can
Everybody knew why Uncle Thom
as had never married. When a young I
man he had been in love with Myrtle
Sears, the prettiest girlin the county,
it was said by her admirers. Tfyere
had been a bitter quarrel; Uncle
Thqmas had gone west for a couple
of years t6 lay the foundations.of a
fortune. When he returned with his
money, as all supposed, Myrtle "Sdars
had married Albert Shaw, a young
real estate man. That had broken
Uncle Thomas' heart for a long time.
He had been morose and solitary; he
passed from discontented middle age
into the serenity of the sixties.
He had becomes very lovable old
man, Millie had always thought.
It was a score of years after Uncle
Thomas' return when Albert ShaW
died a suicide, his inflated schemes
burst like a child's bubble. His wid
ow had returned to live ona little
property he had left, but a year before
she had given up the struggleand
gone to the woman's wing 'of' the
gijeat, gaunt poorhouse upon thehilL
Millie was troubled. Uncle -Ttiom-
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