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and overbearing," he thought slid the key under the door-step and resentfully, “because she kin do sailed majestically down the road. more'n I kin now. If 'twasn't for It never entered her head to leave the pension I earned for her

the house open.

It was her theory a-wearin' these things an' this house that her husband was about as reI've got her the right to live in, sponsible a caretaker as a child and where'd she be now? Guess her ol* was not to be trusted with keys. greens and sassafras and mint

When Joe was awakened an hour wouldn't keep her going long." later by the sound of wheels crunch

With this incendiary thoughting the cemetery gravel, he dropped came a wild idea into Joe's mind. the greens recklessly on the floor, He drew on his blue overalls over got his army cap from the closet the uniform, squeezed into his every- and started to open the front door. day coat and crept slowly down- It refused to budge. He tried the stairs. The kitchen was deserted. back door. Then the truth It did not take him a minute to clear to him. Here he was-heopen the clock, draw out the pocket- Joe Rich—an ex-soldier-a man who book from its hiding place behind had recently emancipated himself the works and extract a shining from petticoat control-locked in dollar.

his own house, and by the petticcat " "Tain't stealing," he muttered ruler. Forgetting his rheumatism, stoutly to himself, “a man's got a Joe Rich rushed upstairs. He well right to use his own pension money knew the downstairs windows were if his wife does hide it away from firmly sealed. With a mighty effort him. I'm a-going out to-day, like he Aung up the window in his beda man, a soldier—with money in room, opening on the shed roof, my pocket, an' maybe--maybe I'll clambered out, slid down the roof,

— have some 'bacca."

and jumped six feet to the ground. Perhaps it was the heat of his Once down his rheumatic limbs extra clothing, or the fatigue from again claimed attention. his morning's work, but, at any “O), Lordy," he gasped, “what if I rate, when Mrs. Joe, having garbed can't walk, after all."

can't walk, after all." But grit and herself, returned to the kitchen, she outraged dignity can accomplish found her husband soundly sleep- much. So it was that old Joe Rich ing, his head bent over the pan of walked decorously through the cemgreens he ought to be cleaning. etery gates, at the very end of the With a sniff Mrs. Joe ambled across procession of mourners.

Mrs. Joe, the room.

She sniffed again when fortunately, was far ahead. she saw the miserable collection of The funeral service was all too herbs in the pan.

short, for Joe Rich. He lingered “He is getting blinder every day,” affectionately by the new-filled she declared to herself. "He has

grave until the cemetery was degot to wear spectacles. Ile ain't no serted. His wildest hopes had been mortal use without them."

realized and he had been privileged Then the manager of the Rich to assist in replacing the dirt he had household locked the back door and dug out in the morning. He knelt pocketed the key, went out the down and laid his gnarled handels front door and locked that after her lovingly upon the rougn, brown

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earth of the grave.

A poet could That night Joe went to bed benot have breathed his swan song fore his wife. He discovered why more tenderly.

he had not been compelled to doff "I shan't ever do another, I'm his untimely finery. He still wore, a-feared,” he whispered, “but if you over his army suit, the blue overare my last one, I've seen that you alls and old coat. In the excitewas done right, straight up to the ment of his escape, he had forgotten end."

to remove them. As he folded the Just then a step sounded on the garments away in the chest, somegravel path. Joe looked up. Be thing hard rolled out of the pocket. fore him stood Mrs. Joe Rich. Her

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the silver dollar he had ample figure seemed, in every line, secreted. Joe Rich looked at it to demand an explanation. She longingly. He had missed the stared a minute, then without a chance to show off his uniform, but word, turned and walked away. he might still have the tobacco.

an hour before Joe re- There was some comfort in that. turned to the house. He had lin- However, the mood induced by gered about the graveyard, trim · combined twinges of conscience and ming bushes, snipping grass, and rheumatism prevailed. He tossed rubbing off bits of mould from the the dollar over to his wife when stones. Now, as the season of retri- she came upstairs. bution seemed no longer avoidable. "Here's a dollar I got to-day. guilty fears oppressed him. When You better put it away." he entered the door his wife was Mrs. Joe picked up the dollar. stirring something hot and steam- "It is a good thing you earned ing on the stove. She turned as he something,"

something," she vouchsafed, "for entered.

you've got to buy you some specta“Here, Joe,” she said, "you've cles to-morrow. I never cleaned caught your leath of cold, potter- such a mess of 10-count greens as ing around the graveyard so long you gathered to-day." in the damp.

You drink this if Old Joe's conscience suddenly don't want to keep

seared over.

He had meant to conawake, nursing your rheumatism all fess the whole thing. But connight."

fess to a woman who talked of specJoe drank the draught uncom

tacles to a man whose eyes were plainingly, wondering why he was sharp as needles-never! not ordered upstairs to change his He turned over peacefully in bed best clothes. When he saw the pan and slept the sound sleep of the of greens, all cleaned, sitting on the unregenerate, disturhed only by pantry shelf he was sure miracles dreams of tobacco "that might have had not yet ceased.

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“C

OME," I said to old Uncle sounds one of the numerous
Hiram, who had made bankers that were fitting away.

"thirty-seven winter trips Wharf after wharf was visited, and to Newfoundland after frozen her- skipper after skipper approached, ring and never lost a man, never so but it was always the same story. much as started a reef-point, sir;" Some boy had forestalled me, or the "tell my friends the story about skipper had made up his mind to that pirate crew."

never again carry a boy over whom I seized the tongs and, extracting he must assume a kind of guardiana live coal from the glowing maple, ship with the attendant worry and placed it in the bowl of the old responsibility. I was about to give man's pipe. A few vigorous puffs up my quest in despair when I ran and Uncle Hiram leaned back with across old Captain Adoniram Prina long inspiration of satisfaction. dall of the schooner 'Watercress.'

As my guests drew up about the "I want to say, in order to excheerful winter fire, my little boy plain the deception practised on Harold pressed my hand with a this man, that he was very old and tighter grasp and bent his earnest had long passed his period of useface on the weather-beaten visage fulness. Luck had been running of his great-great-uncle, one of the steadily against him for a long time few men now living who remember and he had been sinking money the strange incident in the early every trip. The owners, however, annals of the New England fishing couldn't find it in their hearts to fleet.

discharge an old servant who had “Way back in the summer of done so much in former days to18—," began Uncle Hiram, “I found ward building up the firm and so myself, a stout lad of fifteen, look- he held on, but the fishermen were ing around the wharves for a chance not so careful about the old man's to go fishing. As it was late in the feelings, and the consequence was, season about all the mackerel fleet his crews had steadily deteriorated had sailed, and so I determined to in skill and experience until at last try a chance to cut out tongues and he found it hard work to get any

crew.

one to man his vessel. This, then, inserted in the hat were not the accounts somewhat for the ready thumbs of fishermen. The last man manner in which I was accepted, counted out, the watch set, Capand the careless scrutiny given to tain Prindall glanced casually at the the character of the rest of the chart that lay half unrolled on the

house and weighted down by two “I had shipped at the last moment, cod leads, picked at the ringlets in and had barely time to run home his short, close-curling white beard and get my clothes bag, at the bot- a moment meditatively, and turning tom of which my mother had-God to the man at the wheel said: 'Keep bless her memory-carefully placed her east half south !' A tall man the things I would need first, when stepped out from the crew, tapped we cast off our moorings and went the skipper on the back and said: to sea. We had put the land well Excuse me, Captain, but we'll go behind the horizon, the evening a little to the south of that this was coming on apace, when Captain "trip; to the man at the wheel, Keep Prindall called out: 'Set the watch her east by south three quarters -all hands aft to thumb the hat!'” south!' The skipper turned around

Uncle Hiram glanced quizzically on him like a flash: What do you at his audience. "You folks under- mean, you scoundrel?' stand about that?" he asked.

"A half dozen men slipped behind My guests were as polite a lot of the old man, pinioned his arms to gentlemen as the crowd behind my his side and in a moment he was neighbor, Colonel Higginson, when bound and helpless.

What's all the door of the Boston Court House this! What's all this! he cried with the muskets behind it yielded again and again, struggling with sufficiently to allow but one man to the thongs that held him. The tall enter at a time, and so for a space man jerked his thumb over his the strenuous yet courteous aboli- shoulder toward the mainrigging. tionists stood waiting one upon the I looked in the direction indicated. other.

So my friends waited, each One of the crew was bending somefor the other.

thing to the pennant halliards. The “It's like this," I said, coming to next moment I saw the Jolly Roger, the rescuie, “the crew, standing in a a white skull and crossbones on a circle, place their thumbs on the black ground, ru aloft. band of the Captain's hat. He "Pirates, by God!' ejaculated the counts around to twelve, the man dumbfounded old man. indicated falls out, and so on to the "With the impulsiveness of a end, just like children at their boy, I threw myself between the games. The last two men counted tall

and Captain Prindall. out, constitute the first watch." "Don't you dare to harm the skip

"Tell," continued Cucle Hiram, per!' I cried out. A blow on the “as the crew came running aft, I side of the head sent me reeling into had a chance for the first time to the lee scuppers. Picking myself size them up as whole.

Boy up I ran forward, crying and bethough I was, I was at once struck wildered. Some of the creix with the foreign aspect of the whole removing the main hatch. The crowd. The long, white thumbs next moment five desperate looking

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