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Newspaper Page Text
THE WAR ORDER
By Elizabeth Schoen Cobb
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"Be fair, young man. Myrtle is
too young to know-her own mind.
Another thing! Of course, my wife
and myself must look out for her
future welfare. Your cousin, Allen
Bruce, preceded you by a day with
the same proposition as your own."
Ralph Dering looked dismayed and
disappointed. His was too frank and
ingenuous a nature, however, to
cherish either dejection or dislike.
"And you told him, Mr. Owens?"
"Just what I am going to tell you.
Both of you profess to love my
daughter and she is certainly a friend
to both. You two "have just inherited
a fair start in life from your dead un
cle. Keep away from Myrtle for a
year. Then let us see who has made
the best use of his capital."
"Yes, that's fair," acceded Ralph,
and went his way, but once out of
sight of the house that help the only
girl in the world he loved, Ralph ut
tered a short, bitter laugh.
"I wonder if Mr. Owens knows of
the vast disparity between what
Cousin Allen has inherited and what
I have been given."
There was, indeed, a contrast To
his favorite nephew dead John Gor
don had willed a mansion, some se
curities and a modest little fortune in
cash. To Ralph the bequest was
A grim expression crossed the face
of Ralph as he repeated the weird
name. The island itself carried out
the somberness of the situation.
Lonely island was a 300-acre patch
in the middle of the swift rolling riv
e It had been in the family for 50
years and during that period had
done nothing but grow willows on
its swampy end and a noble grove of
walnut trees on the other half. No
one had ever dreamed of leasing,
buying or occupying it.
But Ralph resolved now to malte
his home upon it. Was it not prop
erty and his own? By diligence
might he not wrest some return for
his hard work? The prize, Myrtle,
seemed far enough away, for Allen
Bruce had a decide'd advantage over
him. Still he must live, he must
make a beginning, and the end of a
month saw a rude but comfortable
cagin erected at the extreme north
end of Lonely island. At the end of
"I Find It Hard to Occupy Myself."
another month Ralph had cleared a
five-acre patch of its underbrush pre
paratory to doing some real farming
the next season.
One day he received a visit i It
was from a man familiarly known as
Quaker Wilson. The latter was an
intensely religious and industrious
man, an old bachelor, odd in some
of his ideas, but thoroughly honest
"Dering," he said, in his quaint,