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David Dunne
A Romance of the Middle West

written by "Maniates, Belle Kanaris"
...ed her eyes to her little shrine, “he enlisted and went to the Philippines. He died there of fever more than a year ago.” David was silent. His brown, boyish hand shaded his eyes. It had been his fault that he had not heard of this old woman and the loss of her son. He had shrunk from all knowledge and mention of this little home and its inmates. The country folk had recognized and respected his reticence, which to people near the soil seems natural. This had been the only issue in his life 138 that he had dodged, and he was bitterly repenting his negligence. In memory of his mother, he should have helped the lonely old woman. “You were left a poor, helpless boy,” she continued, “and I am left a poor, helpless old woman. The very young and the very old meet in their helplessness, yet there is hope for the one––nothing for the other.” “Yes, memories,” he suggested softly, “and the pride you feel in his having died as he did.” “There is that,” she acknowledged with a sigh, “and if only I could live on here in this little place where we have been so happy! But I must leave it.” “Why?” asked David quickly. “After my Carl died, things began to happen. When once they do that, there is no stopping. The bank at the Corners failed, and I lost my savings. The turkeys wandered away, the cow died, and now there’s the mortgage. It’s due to-morrow, and then––the man that holds it will wait no longer. So it is the poorhouse, which I have always dreaded.” 139 David’s head lifted, and his eyes shone radiantly as he looked into the tired, hopeless eyes. “Your mortgage will be paid to-morrow, and––Don’t you draw a pension for your son?” She looked at him in a dazed way. “No, there is no pension––I––” “Judge Thorne will get ...

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