- "FINDERS KEEPERS"
By Alva Joyce Ringold
' (Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
The Gardners were poor people
and they were pobrer than ever after
the county fair had come and gone.
That was late in September. The
grounds used for the great annual
exhibition were only half a mile away
from the humble little home. It was
the first time they had been used for
that purpose, so Ruth Gardner, the
mainstay of the family, devised, as
she thought, a sure way to make
some money out of it
"Yes," her crotchety grandfather
had agreed, "it looks likely and I'll
supply the $200 to stock up, although
it's my very last cent"
"I am sure I can pay you back and
make a nice, tidy profit," enthused
the optimistic Ruth.
There were four in the family old
Mr. Gardner, .his widowed daughter,
Mrs. Warren, Ruth's mother, and
Ruth's younger sister, Netta. Ruth
had been working as clerk in the big
store of the town on extra rush days
when the farmers came to the county
seat It was a poor pay that she re
ceived, but it helped to fill out
A vast splurge, to her modest way
of thinkmg, was possible when the
fair came along. Her mother was a
wonderful cook. Her pies, doughnuts
and cookies were famous. Ruth got
a new idea in her mind to start a
little lunch booth on the fair grounds.
She was awarded a most promising
spot right near the entrance gates. It
took $200 to secure a coffee steamer,
knives, forks, spoons and the cook
ing outfit, and the day the fair opened
she and her mother took jn $50.
Alas, for their simple hopes and
fond calculations ! That very night a
fire caught in a building next to their
little booth and equipment, eatables
and all they had were licked up in
Ruth went back to her erratic em
ployment at the town.atore. Grandpa
Gardner fumed and fussed and fret
ted over his loss. It was harder work
thai ever getting along now. Mrs.
Warren, however, made a little sup
plying homemade cakes and bread to
a few village families, which Netta
delivered, as well as caring for quite
a brood of chickens.
It was just after the county fair
closed that Netta came running into
the house one morning and startled
the helpless, brooding old grand
father into a state of irritability by
Gloated Oyer the Prospective Feast
betraying vivid excitement of man
ner and voice.
"Oh, Ruth!" cried Netta, "what do
you think? Come, quick! There's
a great, beautiful, turkey has flown
into the chicken yard!"
"Eh! What's that?" exclaimed
Grandfather Gardner, spurting up
the energies of acquisition and appe
tite, "a turkey? Don't let it get away.
Pen it up. Feed it up. Why, I haven't
tasted turkey for a whole year. It
-will jnake a famous feast" ,
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