fection. He knew that she respected
him, loked up to him. He hoped she
returned his love.
But now ! Before he could have of
fered her a fairly comfortable home.
With the additonal burden of the chil
dren, however, how could he ask this
lovely girl to help him share their
care and economize himself down to
a humdrum life and the bare neces
sities of existence? No!
"Good-by to my dream of dreams!"
he repeated mournfully, and fell into
a reverie wondering if some new field
of professional activity might not of
fer better recompense.
"Shoo! Shoo!" suddenly aroused
Nella uttered the somewhat star
tling cries. She had sprang from the
side of the children, nearly upsetting
them. Edison saw her run up to the
vines that half covered the side of the
house. She was wielding a fan as a
weapon. There was the flutteiuof a
bright-winged bird driven into sud
Then Nella was down on her knees.
Edison saw her lift a small, squirming
object from the ground.
"Poor thing!" Nella cooed in her
sweet, sympathetic tone. "The bird
nearly caught you. Oh, what a rare
His curiosity and interest aroused,
Edison hurried to the front door and
thence into the garden.
"What is it?" he asked, and Nella
showed a beetle-shaped .bug lying in
the palm of her hand. It was an unfa
miliar specimen to Eidson, profound
entomologist as he was. The bird
had slightly pecked it and the little
creature was partly disabled.
"I can't imagine where it came
from," observed Edison.
"Do you notice that it is of a bright
bronze?" suggested Nella. "Can't
you mend it? Perhaps it's suffering."
"We will try," smiled Edison read
ily. "It is a rarity. I should like to
study and classify it Certainly it is
a stranger to this country," and he
took it into his library, poured some
healing oil upon its shattered wing,
and made a soft cotton nest for it,
which he placed under an open globe.
Sorrowful as Vance Edison was
over his money prospects and conse
quently those of love, he was cheered
at seeing more of Nella than ever.
The little ones clung to her constant
ly. The bronze bug became a positive
institution with the family group. It
seemed as though it had a mind to
appreciate kindness and recognize its
friends. As it was nursed back to
normal strength it refused to leave
the house, even the room. It became
domesticated in a sort of playhouse
that Edison constructed for it, more
for the gratification of the children
than anything else.
There was a tiny trough for bath
ing, a swing, a diminutive tep lad
der. To all these novelties the strange
insect accommodated itself. For
hours Nella and her two child pro
teges would watch the glossy bug.
One day an old messmate of the
Ldead sailor called upon Edison. "Just
to talk over tne Dest inena ne ever
had," was the way he put it He
brought some gifts for the two little
orphans. He chanced to see the bug.
"Shiver me!" he exclaimed noisily.
"Where on earth did you get a Ma
"You know what it is?" interrupted
"Why surely," replied the old salt,
"for they're thick as bees in Malacca.
They get their name from going after
other insects bold and pushing, fer
reting them out of all kinds of queer
j cracks and crannies. They are credit
ed with a verv acute sense of smell.
Why, say, this specimtm must have
been imported here in some of your
uncle's old truck."
Apparently this was true, for when
the beetle was first discovered it had
nrobably crawled on to the window
to the attic where the chest and
other belongings of the dead sailor
The visitor departed two days later.
A week after that the bronze bug sa3
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