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MAN By VIRGINIA BLAIR Peggy told her mother about him. | “Are you sure you are telling me ; the truth r* Mra. Danforth asked. “O! . course I do not want to doubt your . word, Peggy, but you know you do weave fairy tales sometimes, and this sounds like one." "No, this Is a really and truly man,** Peggy Insisted, “and he lives In a big house on top of a hill, and you go In by a little gate and there Is a walk with holly trees on each side of It, and at the end there Is a door, with a brass knocker with a funny face, and you knock, and the man opens the door, and shows you Into a long room that Is almost dark except at one end where there Is a window with a lot of oolored glass la It, and all around the room are toys, and the man wears a velvet coat and he has a lovely smile, mother." “But how," Mrs. Danforth demand ed, “did you happen to go there, Peggy T" "All the children do," Peggy de dared. "When we go home from school we run up the path and bang with the knocker and see the toys, and he never soolds, but Just seems glad to have us." “Well, don’t you go again," Mrs. Danforth said, “until I find out about him. Peggy. It Is a strange kind of man that wanted to bother with all the small boys and girls from your school." “They don't all go, mother," said Josephine, who was Peggy’s sister, nineteen, and very pretty. “I went , to meet Peggy yesterday and there 1* a oolored porter who stands at the gate and he does not let all the chll dren In, Just the Uttlest ones like P*ggy” “Yes, Just the llttlest ones like me," said Peggy, complacently, "and 1 asked him who the toys were for and he said he was making them for good children for Christmas." Josephine laughed. “Do you think you’re going to get someT” Peggy nodded. "I am going to be as good as good," she said. When Peggy had left the room Mrs. Danforth asked. "Is It the new tenant at the Oaks that she Is talking about, Josephine T’ "Yes. He moved in a week ago, and It Is a funny household, mother. There Is Just the toy man with two old servants, two wolf-hounds and a white cat" “Does he make the toys?" Mrs. Dan forth asked. Josephine nodded. "Yes, he carves all day. so the teacher told me. 1 met her the other day when I went for Peggy." The next afternoon Peggy did not get home on time. Her apologies when she did return were profuse. “The Toy Man was waiting for me and 1 Just had to go." “But I told you not to." Mrs. Dan forth said. “He asked me and asked me. moth er,” Peggy said, “and you wouldn't want me to be not polite, would you?” “The next time you must tell him that mother does not want you to go In. Now, remember, Peggy.” The next day Peggy came home with a rueful countenance. “He came out and asked me to go ln, she stated, “and I did not feel very nice to tell him you wouldn’t let me. “I wonder why he wants Peggy more than the other children?” Mrs Danforth asked Josephine. “Goodness only knows,” said Jo sephine, and that afternoon, moved by curiosity, she made her walk take her In the roadway that led to the Oaks. Thus it happened that she met the gentleman with the nice smile and the velveteen coat face to face He was standing at the gate, and as the children passed he asked them to come In, selecting, as Peggy had said, the llttlest ones. Josephine joined Peggy as the little maid said, regret fully, “I mustn’t come In. Mother won’t let me.” Then she questioned Josephine. “Don’t you think I could, Josey?” Josephine hesitated. "Maybe If 1 went, too.” “Would you?” asked the Toy Man eagerly. "I should be so glad to have you.” He led the way to the big door with the brass knocker and Josephine and a group of little folks followed. Josephine found that Peggy had not half told of the beauty and charm of the big room where the toys stood In shadowy corners, and the stained glass window gave a mysterious light. They were strange toys, some of them little green gods with yellow eyes, little Ivory elephants, whose heads nodded, Chinese mandarins, bronze Hons. "Surely you do not make these," Josephine said. He shook his head. “These are what I make," he said, and brought down from a high shelf a little figure at the The Rexall Store sight of which Josephine exclaimed. “Why. it's Peggy!" It was only In the rough clay, and a tiny thing, but It was Peggy to the life, poised on tip-toe, curls flying, eyes wide with mystery of childhood. “They do not know,” he said, “when they play with my lions and my little old gods that they are my models. I work briskly, and tell them I am mak ing toys; otherwise they would be self-conscious." "Do you use only children for mod els?" Josephine asked. "I like them best —yet I hare thought that my masterpiece will bs the figure of a girl, half child, half woman, ’Where the brook and river meet.'" “Yon should have a very beautiful model," Josephine said. "Won't It be bard to flndT" He smiled down at her. T have found my model," he said. But Josephine did not understand the significance of hla tons. "1 wish I might watch you work." she said. "I hope you will watch me many times," he said. He hesitated, and then asked, "Do you think your moth er would let you sit for me? I should like to do you as you are now with that big muff and fur, and with that three-cornered hat on top of your curls. You seem the very spirit of youth; your vividness almost lights up this dull room." Josephine had never been called pretty, and there was something In this man’s tone that made her feel that he meant what he said. It was not flattery, but rather the satisfied estimate of one who baa found what he wants. “I am afraid mother wouldn't let me come here," she said, "but If you could work at our house." “1 will ask her," he told her. That night be pleaded so eloquently that Mrs. Danforth consented, and ev ery day after that Josephine sat for him, with Peggy and the little folks, and the status grew under his dsft fingers. It seemed to Josephine In these days that life took on new meanings This man, with the slender, white fingers and the kind smile, became so much a part of her thoughts and her dally life that when one morning be announced that the statue was fin lshed and his sojourn at the Oaks end ed, she gave a little gasp of dismay “Are you going to leave us?” she asked. He did not look at her as he said, slowly, "I must. I cannot stay here any longer; I must not." She didn’t dare ask him why; some instinct told her that It was because ' of her that he was going. Because she was a woman she must let him leave In silence. The children ex pressed their regrets; they did not know how they were to get along without their dear Toy Man. "Aren’t we ever going to come and knock at the knocker and see the mandarin and the lions?" Peggy walled. “Josephine shall have the key,” he said. “Perhaps she will come here sometimes and let you play. Will you?” he asked and Josephine said. “Yes." After he had gone, however, she found that It was not easy to visit the big empty room. The spirit of the man who had presided was lacking, the children were restless without his quick suggestion and tactful planning It gradually came about, therefore. • that the boys were left alone in the big room, and the children played out of doors In the winter sunshine. Josephine droopped and lost her brightness, and at last Mrs. Danforth sent her to visit an aunt In the city Then a round of sight-seeing and of excitement began for Josephine. YOU CAN’T LOSE US! Warm Weather or Cold Weather PLUMBING A SPECIALTY C. C. HUDDLESTON HARDWARE, IMPLEMENTS, HARNESS One day she came to an art exblblf and was startled to find her oounter part in white marble In the center ol the room. It was a beautiful figure and was surrounded by an admiring crowd. Josephine, gazing at it, forgot her surroundings. Then some one said, “Hush! here comes tbe sculptor," and she turned and faced the Toy Man. “You—at last," he said, and drew her away from the crowd. In a se cluded corner of the room he asked her many questions. "Did you think me cruel to leavs you ?" Josephine’s face flamed. "I didn't j dare think," she said. • "If I had not seen you here," he told her, "I was going back tomorrow j, to the Oaks to find you, and you know why I want you Josephine?’’ “I am not Bure,” she faltered. < , “There were things that kept me * from you,” he explained. j “I had had great money failures, and the old furniture In that house ( was the extent of my possesslona f Everything depended upon my ability :o make good with this statue. I was to receive a contract for larger work. If I could produce something besides . the tiny figures over which I had I wasted so many years. If m y ztatus I of you had failed I would have had I no right to ask you to marry me for I ruin would have faced me, but now | aow I can go baok, and we will work ■ together.” The children In the little town wel comed back their Toy Man with en- | thuslasm. He was too busy now to ! have them every day, but once a week they were welcome, and Just before Christmas he and Josephine were married. After the wedding there was a strange departure from the usual custom, for Instead of a recep tion at the bride’s house, there was a house warming In the big living room at the Oaks. Only children were In vited, and each child as It went away j received a toy, and Peggy rapturous l and smiling assisted In the dlstrlbu _ Ispecial! Every Day is a Special Day with Us 11. ■ ■■ i ■ i .i ■ ns We always make a Special Effort to please our Customers jy BIG, NEW. BRIGHT LINE OF I HIGH GRADE I MERCHANDISE j 1 GEO. A. EVERETT] I Phone I error 3* Lamar, e«lo. I Hardware, Furniture, Tinware Harness, etc Wf carry the largest a'-, k in our line ever carried in eastern Colorado ar. can sell to yon al lowest prices ever known in . Arkansan valley THE LAMAR HARDWARE CO.