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As the train passed through the familiar col than a girl, and besides, Kathleen would be lege-town, Kathleen Munroe leaned forward needed at home. Her mother was far from in her seat, catching her breath sharply to strong, and a maid would be out of the queskeep back the tears. She watched the library tion until her father gained another start. flash by, with the old town clock capping its Kathleen's heart contracted at the thought. stone tower; the station, its platform piled Another start would not be easy for a man high with trunks, because spring vacation be past fifty. Her mother wrote that he had promgan to-morrow; and at last the tall, stately ised solemnly never to sign another note. Well, buildings of the college itself, standing serenely thought the girl, grimly, it would be easy for a beautiful amid their setting of green woodland man who had lost almost everything, to keep and greener lawns.
that promise! A man with a family had no They were past now, and Kathleen sank back right to do such things ! against the cushions and closed her eyes. She For a moment a little flare of anger poswould never see them again, she thought drear sessed her, which melted suddenly as her ily. She had left a day before the other girls, father's face rose before her. She remembered because she could n't bear the thought of their those kindly, trusting eyes, which saw only the gay farewells, with promises of speedy meet best in every one, and knew instantly that she ings. Besides, she wanted these hours on the would n't have her father different, though, as train free from companionship. She wanted to Ted once remarked: “Dad was too dead easy." get her bearings; to be able to greet her family His office was a museum of articles purchased with a smile. They must n't know, most of all from wily peddlers. The family were always her fạther must never guess, how hard it was using poor grades of shoe-blacking or matches, for her to give up college.
because some hard-luck story had pierced his She drew her mother's letter from her heart. No tramp left the door unfed if Dad pocket and read the words again, although she happened to be at home. He had been known knew them almost by heart. It was the old to give his good overcoat to a poor wretch he story of her lovable, kind-hearted father sign found shivering on corner selling shoeing a note. This was the third time in Kath strings. He had bought the shoe-strings, too, leen's memory that he had come to grief by thought the girl, with a choking laugh of remisuch an action, only this time the result was niscence. They were impossible shoe-strings. more serious. It meant leaving the home which Ted had donated them to a rummage sale! had been laboriously paid for, and seeking Suddenly Kathleen's heart lightened. smaller quarters. It meant also the loss of cer did not know that she had inherited her tain advantages for the small brother an sis er's optimistic nature. There were worse ter, and no college for Kathleen. Ted, her things than giving up college and doing houseolder brother, would manage somehow. A boy work! She believed she was hungry. Her could work his way through college more easily room-mate, Sally King, had insisted on giving
[Oct., er a luncheon. She had put it up herself in make me comfortable. He was very attentive, he Agora kitchen. Sally was the only girl who followed me right aboard and everything, but new that Kathleen would not return after va just now, when I looked in my reticule before ation, and had assured her jestingly that she going to the diner, I found my pocketbook ad salted the sandwiches with her tears. was gone."
It was a generosis lunch, dainty and attrac "Mercy!" exclaimed Kathleen, with ready ive, enough for two meals at least, which was sympathy. "Have you looked everywhere?" houghtful of Sally, thought Kathleen, grate "Everywhere. My ticket was in my bag, but ully. She looked about and saw that the I have n't a penny—not one penny!" she leeper was almost empty. Everyone had repeated soberly. “I 'm going to Evanston, down to the diner at first call for supper, save butlittle old lady directly across the way. As Her. voice trembled, and Kathleen said
quickly: “Don't worry. The first thing is to have supper. Luckily I 've enough for two. I will bring it over here, and we'll have a cosy time together. Then I 'll take a look for your purse. Mother says I ’m splendid about finding things.”
The old lady brightened visibly, and Kathleen saw with pleasure that she thoroughly enjoyed the sandwiches, though she protested at first about accepting them. Meanwhile, the girl was making calculations. She had only enough money to see her through; but of course she must look out for the old lady, who was, Kathleen noticed, dressed very simply. The loss of her money might mean much to her. The taxi driver may have stolen it, or she might have dropped it in the cab. It was plain to see that she was casily upset.
Now if the purse remained lost
Well, it did. Their supper over, Kathleen moved the old lady across the aisle and made a thorough search, in which the porter helped,
but all in vain, and the old lady's distress grew 1.Dhember
more apparent. It was then that Kathleen remembered her “lucky-piece.” It was a tendollar gold-piece her father had given her on her eighteenth birthday, which she had never spent. She had kept it in her purse, carefully
wrapped in tissue-paper, much against the Kathleen lifted one of Sally's delicious sand advice of her small and cautious brother David, viches from the box, she glanced across the who declared she would lose it before she had isle to find the old lady regarding her in real a chance to spend it. Kathleen had replied that listress, and, laying her lunch-box down, she she was keeping it for luck, and, as the months crossed the aisle.
passed, she went without many things rather “Is there anything I can do for you?" she than use it. It must be confessed that she felt sked courteously.
a twinge of regret at the thought of parting "I don't know what to do," answered the old with it, but there was no other way.
She ady, nervously. “I 'm not used to traveling duced the gold-piece, which her old friend lone. My son Tom expected to come as far thankfully accepted along with Kathleen's s Buffalo, but at the last minute things came card. up to change his plans. He went to New York "I 'll mail a check as soon as I reach home, -esterday. Then Phiæbe—she 's Tom's wife my dear," she promised gratefully. "You 're expected to see me aboard the train, but she sure you can spare it?” vas taken with an awful headache, and the "Quite sure. I was n't counting on it at all,” girls were both off for over Sunday, so she answered Kathleen, honestly. “Do you want to ent for a taxi and arranged with the driver to rest now, or shall we talk a while?”
The old lady smiled brightly. "I'd love to talk; but you must n't feel obliged to bother with an old woman, though goodness knows what I'd have done without you! I told Tom that the next time he wanted to see his mother he'd have to come to her. I 'm too old to travel, I guess I've proved it—and once I get home I 'm going to stay there. After all, there is no place like home.”
Her words brought a warm thrill to Kathleen's heart. "I'm going home, too,” she said gently. “I can hardly wait to see them all, and
business would have to go unless a miracle occurred to clear the skies. Kathleen did n't realize that she was making light of her own part of the trouble, but, as she finished speaking, the old lady said gently:
“So you 're not going back to college?”.
"No," answered the girl, gravely. "I 'll be needed at home. Mother can't manage everything alone, and perhaps I 'll find time for some outside work. I want to earn something, so the younger ones won't have to go without things. I have n't had time for any plans, but I 'm sure there 's a way, if only I can find it; and I would n't for worlds have Father know how much I really care about college. I 'm hoping that somehow he 'll save the business. It does seem as if a man as good and honest as Father ought not to fail just because he did a kindness to someone. Well, you must get to bed and so must I. I—I hope I have n't bored you. Somehow, it 's made me happier to talk.”
"Indeed you have n't bored me!” responded the old lady, quickly. "You 've made me feel like a real grandma. Tom's girls were all so busy they did n't have much time for me. Not that I blame them, child! It 's natural for young folks to flock together. Good night, my dear. Sweet dreams!”
She looked up so wistfully that the girl stopped impulsively for a good-night kiss.
Kathleen was right. Her talk had eased her heart and she slept well. The train was leaving Buffalo as she awoke. Her first thought was of her old friend, and that she must be ready to escort her to thė dining-car for breakfast. When she was dressed, however, she was surprised to find the section opposite ready for the day—and vacant.
"Is my old lady in the dining-car?" she asked the porter.
"You mean that old lady what lost the pocketbook ?” queried the darkey. “She done leave the train at Buffalo, Miss.”
“What !” gasped Kathleen. “She was on her way to Evanston !"
“No, ma'am. She done get off at Buffalo. She give me half a dollar when she left, so she must ha' found her pocketbook all right. I 'll fix your section, Miss, while you's in the diner.”
"I—I guess I won't go into the diner,” said Kathleen weakly. “I have some sandwiches, and
She did n't finish the sentence. She sat down on the seat she had occupied the nigh before with the old lady and stared at the landscape with unseeing eyes. Could it be possible that her sweet old lady was an impostor? Yet
I think I 'll stay there for some time to come.”
The old lady had bright, shrewd eyes, which somehow reminded the girl.of an English sparrow. She turned them on Kathleen now as she replied, “I sort of thought you were from college, and going home for Easter."
Kathleen smiled. “I am, but
Afterward, Kathleen could n't have told just how it happened. As a rule she was rather reticent about her own affairs, but there was something very appealing in the old lady's face, and before bedtime she knew all Kathleen's troubles: how Dad had signed the note just because he was the most trusting, easilyimposed-on, dearest father in the world; how Ted must work his way through college; how the home must be given up; and how Dad's
he had said distinctly that she was going to Evanston, and she would n't have needed ten lollars had Buffalo been her destination. Sudlenly Kathleen smiled. If she had been taken n, she was only following in her father's footteps. How quickly Dad would have come to he rescue of the old dear! Then at thought of
ily. She received a joyous welcome, all the more joyous because of the dark days that had preceded it. She wondered, as she looked round on the adoring faces lifted to her that night at supper, how she could have thought anything a hardship when she belonged to such a family. She was questioned about every minute of her
trip, and before she knew it she had told all about the old lady and the lucky-piece. "Perhaps I was foolish,” she explained hurriedly, “but she was all alone. It would have been dreadful not to help her.”
"I said you 'd lose that goldpiece," proclaimed small David.
"She has n't lost it, sonny, said her father, quietly; "she 's passed it on. I'm glad you did, Kathleen. I 'd have been ashamed of
had n't. The prospects don't look very bright, but if you never hear from that old lady, I 'll see that you have another lucky-piece, though you may have to wait some time for it. You would n't have been our daughter if you had n't helped the poor old soul, would she, Mother?”
“Not your daughter, surely," said Mother, smiling.
Yet as the days passed and no word came from the old lady, Kathleen began to blame herself for her sudden generosity. Her father was subtly aged by this last blow. He was working early and late in an attempt to save his business, and when the girl saw how many things her mother had gone without, she realized that even her ten dollars would have helped.
She had been at home two weeks when her father burst in upon them as they sat down to supper. They all realized at
that something unusual had occurred, because, though
he was evidently trying to be calnı, Dad was the sort who could n't possibly keep any good news to himself. It took great self-control for him to hand Kathleen a letter and ask her to read it to the family. She took it wonderingly, but when she saw the cramped writing she exclaimed: "Is it from my old lady? I knew I'd hear from her! It 's ad
"HER FATHER WAS WORKING EARLY AND LATE"
dressed to me, but there is n't any stamp, and Where did you get it, Dad, and
“Oh, read it, read it !" commanded Father. “Then I 'll explain
He stopped, because Kathleen had obeyed him, and even the children leaned forward on their elbows in expectation.
father, would always believe the best of folks, even when there was n't much 'best' to believe. So I saw it all very clearly. I knew just what you were going through, you and your mother, and your father, too. I don't know but what his part was the hardest.
“First, I thought that, if I could afford it, I'd send you back to college; and then I knew that would n't do, because you said they needed you at home. Then I thought of a lot of other things which did n't suit me; and then, just as I was getting disgusted with myself as a fairy godmother, I had a wonderful idea. You see, my son Tom is in the same line of business as your father. He's been branching out lately, and, only a few days before, I had heard him say he wished he knew of the right man for his western office, one he could trust absolutely. Well, I knew from what you 'd said that your father was one to be trusted; and I knew also that Tom would be in Buffalo that night. Do you see now what I was up to?
“Of course, my dear, a letter to Tom would n't have ne at all. I had see him, and explain how you 'd helped me and what I'd gleaned from you about your father. I wanted to remind him of how his own father was always doing just such
“My dear little friend :
"I wonder what you 're thinking of me for taking French leave of you ! You may be calling me all sorts of disgraceful names, but I'm hoping that, although appearances certainly against me, you ’ve kept just a grain of faith in the old woman you befriended so generously.
“I saw you unwrap that gold-piece from its tissue-paper, child, and I knew it was something precious—a lucky-piece, most likely; and after you left me for the night I got to wondering if I could n't make it a real lucky-piece – one you'd never forget.
“For you see, your story sounded very natural. There was a time when I went through just such ups and downs, because my husband, like your