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She was to take the baby back to the
Van Nest home the following morn
ing. John, indeed, had wanted her
to do so that night, but she had plead
ed so hard that she had persuaded
him to let her keep it until the mor
row. And, now that its loss seemed in
evitable, they began to discuss the fu
ture. Five thousand dollars seemed
an enormous sum to John. His own
wages were $25 and they -had put by
a comfortable sum out of that, by fru
gality. .Moreover, John was slated
for the foreman's pbsition when old
Richards retired, and. that would
mean $10 more. However, $5,000
would enable them to start life as
their own masters.
Nora listened to John's prognosti
cations with less enthusiasm than
she pretended. She doubted John's
ability to carry out his "farming plau.
A farm was all very well in one's old
age, but in youth one needed the
impetus of work. And then, there
was the baby. That night she cried
secretly as she held the little form
against her. The little girl had seemed
almost to know "her, and the chubby
arms were stretched out in recogni
tion when she went near. ' She fell
asleep atlast and awakened with a
John understood what was wrong.
He did not attempt to say very much
that morning, and his kiss was un
usually tender as he wished her good
by. He even stopped to take the clean
little hand in his own work-stained
one. Nora knew that John had begun
to feel an attachment" for-the child.
She could hardly bear the duty that
lay before her.
However, after she had done the
morning's work she put on "her new
cloak and best bonnet and took the
baby out into the street It was a
wonderful sensation to sit in the car,
holding the child in hef arms. Every
body looked at her and beamed on
the baby, which they thought was
At last she reached the Van Nest
i house and, trembling, she rang the
bell. The butler, who answered the
door, looked searchlngly at her as
Nora, in faltering accents, explained
her mission. He ushered her into
the drawing-room as if she had been
a person, of quality, and it wasnt a
moment before a young woman en
tered the room and looked at Nora
sternly, Nora thought
Nora had planned her speech, hut
now it all .left her. She stood upbe
fore Mrs. Van Nest, holding the baby.
"Indeed, ma'am, 1 didn't steal her,"
she was crying, and the tears
streamed down her cheeks. "She was
left at the'dbor yesterday morning,
ma'am, and when showed her to
John last night he said it was your
baby, and people were advertising for
it and it'd have to go back. And so I
brought her this morning, ma'am, as
soon as the work was done."
Mrs. Van Nest seemed to soften a
"You have no children of your
own?" she asked.
Nora remained mute, and the tears
"I believe you are honest," said
Mrs. Van Nest, coming forward with
an expression altogether new. "So
many impostors have been trying to
trade on us since our misfortune.
You wouldn't believe how brazen
people will be to get $5,000. But that
isn't my baby."
Nora, staggered,, looked at Mrs.
Van Nest with eyes that could hardly
see through the misfM that gathered
"My baby was recovered yester
day," Mrs. Van Nest continued, "and
none the worse, I am happy to say.
Besides, he is a boy."
"Oh! Might I see him?" breathed
And then, with7 their common in
terest, the two women proceeded side
by: side to the nursery, where Nora
bent in wonder over the prettiest
baby that she had ever seen except
f" little one which still lay in her