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Newspaper Page Text
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JOEL RANDALL'S GIFT
fBy George Elmer Cobb
"Be content, JoeL ""Who could be
happier than ourselves?"
"But 'budding genius,' 'marvelous
scope of voice,' 'grand delivery,' 'ora
torical effect.' I tell you, Nancy, that
show fellow said I was a mixture of
Caruso and Patrick Henry."
"Well, even so, Joel," admitted his
wife, with a barely suppressed smile,
"isn't leading the choir, being grand
master of your lodge, and calling
home the cows till the welkin rings
enough exercise for your rare gifts?"
"Cows!" spurted Joe disdainfully.
"Say, Nancy, you degrade me. All
right! Wait and see. I'm an orator
and I'm going to develop my gift"
"He's bewitched with his own van
ity," soliloquized Mrs. Randall re
gretfully, and surely Joel acted out
the part. Various neighbors told of
discovering him in the midst of some
thicket spouting away like a mad
mad actor. Others reported coming
across him behind this and that hay
stack, practicing the gestures that
are supposed to emphasize the effec
tiveness of inhorn eloquence.
"He's got the bug," said old Mr.
Morse, his father-in-law, philosophi
cally, "and it'll have to work out of
"Well, Nancy," announced Joel one
morning a few days later, "I'm going
away for a day or two."
Nancy was sorrowful, but silent,
awaiting her husband's further
words, suspecting that it had some
thing to do with his newest whim.
"You see, ever since that day that
the crier at the circus got a cold and
I relieved him at the megaphone I've
remembered his words. He said he
never heard such a grand vocality, I
think he called it He said I'd be a
wonder on the stage or rostrum. I've
been practicing since at odd times.
That circus fellow gave me the ad
dress of a theatrical agent in Ply
aaouth. I'm going there to see them."
"Alone, Joel?" ventured gentle and
"No, Ned Wallace is going with me
to sort of keep me company."
Nancy's eyes brightened. The al
lusion to Ned gave her a hopeful idea.
While Joel was down town arranging
for his trip she sent for Ned.
"Young man," she said with mock
severity, "do you know that I hold
your fate in my hands?"
"If you'rcreferring to my liking for
Spouted Away Like a Mad Actor
your pretty sister, Winnie, I guess
you are right," admitted Ned meekly.
"I am. Now, then, you are going
to the city with JoeL If you bring
him back cured of his folly I shall
welcome you as a brother-in-law. If
you dont "
"Yes, Mrs. Randall?"
"I shall put off the engagement for