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over a new leaf, cut out drinking and
get my property in shape so you can
have that blessed wedding."
Sure enough, a few days later Un
ce Rufus handed to Ransome a deed
duly signed and attested, conveying
to him the Rookery.
"There's a few loose strings in the
shape of debts to pick up," explained
Markham lightly, "but I expect the
money for that in a day or two from
a friend out west I made a loan to
one of the fellows that helped in our
laying the -cornerstone here. Ah, but
that was a jollification!" and before
nightfall the memory of the same
sent Rufus Markham off on his last
"He's finished," announced the
physician who always attended him.
"You don't mean he will die?" fal
tered Ransom, a big lump in his
"I do," replied the doctor. "His
system is all shot to pieces. He is de
lirious now. All you can do is to give
him the medicine I have left and see
that he keeps as still as possible."
That was a bad night for the debil
itated patient and his faithful watch
er. Just as daybreak Uncle Rufus
roused up for a moment and glared
all about the room.
"Ransom!" he called weakly.
"Yes, I'm here," answered Ran
"I wanted to tell you Rookery
loan too bad!"
Then he relapsed into silence and
then he roused up again.
"Don't forget will help out cor
nerstone that was one grand time."
And then Rufus Markham died. It
required the sale of the few posses
sions in the house to defray the ex
penses of the funeral. Ransom
went to the lawyer in charge of the
estate and told him about the deed.
The attorney smiled pityingly. ,
"I am afraid your improvident un
cle has not very well provided for
you," he said. "There is a heavy
mortgage on the Rookery and it will
he foreclosed this week. The man I
who holds it intends jo raze the old
brick rattletrap and build a new
mansion for himself." a
Ransom went away with heavy
heart He called on Eva and her
aged father that evening and. impart
ed the bad news. There was dui one
thing to do. He m.ust strike out for
some better field" of labor. 1
"If we only had a home," he
sighed, "as we hoped, we could ven
ture to make a start in life together."
"Don't go away, Ransom!" pleads
ed his loving fiancee. "We can wait
patiently for better times."
"There's that lot of mine up neap
the Rookery," suggested Mr. Doane
"If we could manage to build now.";
That seemed impossible, but there
was a ray of light next day. The
holder of the mortgage met Ransom
and told him he would pay him a
good price to tear down the old brick,
building and cart the rubbish away-
"I can have that?" inquired Ran-?
"Why, surely," was the ready reply?
and Ransom went away all en-
thused with a hopeful, brilliant idea
He imparted this to Eva and her
"Why, cried Ransom optimisti-i
cally, "I'll move the brick over to the'
lot and build the snuggest, prettiest
little home of our own you ever saw."'
So tier by tier Ransom began to
demolish the old Rookery. Mr. Doanej
helped pile the rubbish into a wagon.
Eva insisted on acting as driver. All
hands helped and they comprised a
jolly, delighted coterie. At length
they were down to the foundation;
"Pretty nigh through," chirped old"
Mr. Doane, as he chipped the hard
plaster from a stubborn brick.;
"Whew! What's this lead?"
' e old man lifted and dropped a,
bricK that lay in a measure incased
in a hollow space in the pillar. Ran-'
som reached over, picked it up and
uttered a whistle of sheer astonish-
"Queer!" he observed. "What's'