434 ?K<%‘R Tl-IE COMPANION FOR ALL THE FAMILY 2%
you know-they spent a night in the old
home, and Mehitarbel asked her again. The
two were talking on their way to bed; Judith
had her candle all ready to light Judith looked
puzzled a minute, and then she laughed, and
then she blushed,and laughed again. ‘O Ilitty,’
she mid. ‘I am afraid you will be plaguedl
The day I was married I hid a little ghost of
my girlhood where I hope another girl will
some day find it Not all your houseclea.nln.'.,"s
will search it out. llitl:y.' At that she laughed
again, not a bit like a great oflicial’s lady, and
she blew another kiss from her finger tips. ‘To
the girl that finds my little ghostl’ she said,
and lighted her candle and ran off, like a girl
herself, to her husband. 3‘
Eunice had not turned a page of her book
during grandmother's story. But not for worlds
would she have asked one of the questions
that burned on the tip of her tongue
"How I wish," remarked Aunt Grace wist-
' fully, “um I were sixteenl"
“We're not either of us," mid Aunt June,
“so it's no good wishing. And we dldn’t live
here when we were girls. We’ve lost our
chance, Grace That's Judith over the l.laVED-
port, isn't it? I like better the portrait in the
" She is the grand: dame here," said
mother. “In the portrait in the hall she is just
“Aunt llehltnhel said it was exactly like
her,“ remarked grandmother, "as she looked
before, she was married, even to the necklace
that she always wore. After her marriage she
never had it on-at least Mehitabel never saw
it. I think I'll go and stir up those wokies
now, v. " ,
Presently, following grandmother’ uample,
they all scattered without once glancing at
Eunice. The girl stared at the pictured lady
over the davenpcrt; then she sauntered into the
ho.lL The face that looked out of the dim old
frame was hlithe and bewitchiug-full of tri-
uruphzlnt youth The necklace of curiously
wrought stones that clnsped the slender throat
been painstakingly rendered; one white
hand fingered the trinket lovingly. As Eunice
looked, a queer little flutter stirred the sedate
organ that she called her heart. A hundred
years, and now, now, there was again 0. girl
in the old house! Well, what of it? Nothing
to get excited about, surely. She ynwned Willi
deliberate bravado in the face of the picture
and took her way toward the cookies.
But gra.ndrnotlier’s story, she found, was not
to be so summarily dismissed. It kept insinuat-
lng itself into her mind at the oddest moments.
Every little while she caught herself wonder-
ing where the bllthe Judith had hidden the
ghost of her girlhood for that other girl to find.
Before she was aware, she found herself study-
ing the house from the point of view of possible the
hiding places. What form had the “little ghost”
taken? Why, it might be anytlring-arrylhirrg!
And while her curiosity stretched itself she
kept saying that it did not matter, that she
dltl not really care.
Furtively she began the search. It stzrrtcd
with the attic‘. Eunice put it to herself that
since the house had an attic she might as well
see what was in it She found treasures
plenty, chests and boxes and trunks of treas-
runs, but nothing that seemed in any way
connected with the spirited Judith.
After that. of course, she could not stop,
although every day she told herself that she
would stop just as soon as she had looked in
one place more. She conducted her search very
quietly; she was almost ashamed to be search-
And then one day she mrne on a “f‘rnd." It
could not be the “little ghost," for it was not
really hidden at all. Below the topmost papers
in a. box of old letters she found it-the girl
Judith’: diary. Eunice sat down on the floor
beside a dusty spinning wheel and read the
'yellowed pages through from the urst flourish-
ing mpital to the last round period of the faded
copy - book saipt Then she took the little
book to her room.
“The darling)" she murmured under her
breath. “The darlingl”
After that, Eunice studied the farm from the
point of view of her great-great-great-aunt’s
diary. Not that she consciously set out to do
so; but phrases kept recurring to her mind.
She liked to raid a little in Judith’s diary every
Judith had chronicled the advent of a
family of little pigs with as many flourishes as
h ed to the visit of Gen. Lafayette.
Judith had found the urst violet under the new
lilac hedge; there were violet leaves now under
the row of straggling old lilars at the end of
the garden. The upper posture in .1uditlr’s day
was red w‘ h strawberries; what was it that
Frank was announcing-wild strawberries in
the upper pasture?
There was a. twinkle in Fr-.rnk's eyes now-
adays that his sister pretended not to see; but
Frank forbore to lease, and Eunice found it
easier to let sleeping dogs lie thnn to explain-
the unexplainable If only she could capture the
“little ghost," than she could drop the house
and famr from the centre of her attmntlon with
rs r.-lcnr conscience Frank would see tlwn how
much her interest had really meant. But she
could not find the “little ghost," and neither
mnlrl she be content to leave the puzzle un-
mlvt-<1. One thing only she her] won from her
in mother. “Perhaps in the
summer-long pursuit She thought she knew
what the "little ghost” was The knowledge
came to her quite suddenly one night as she
turned the last pages of the diary.
“To-morrow," said the delicate pale script,
“I go out to a. new world Never again. little
book, shall I write in you. As I look back I
see my days have been marvelously happy.
Shall they be as happy hereafter? Sometime
another girl will live here where I have lived.
To her I leave my dearest treasure May she
be as happy as I. I wish you good night, little
book-say adieu forever to Judith lllurbury. "
“I leave her my dearest treasure. " Why had
the words sounded so vague and general when-
ever she had raid them before? Now Eunice
saw clearly that they could mean only one
thing-the neoklucel The necklace that the
pretty Judith had always cherished, but that
she had never been seen to wear after her
wedding. The more she thought of it the more
certain she become that that solution was rilzht.
Somewhere in the house Gn>at>gre-.rt-gmr.l;-
Aunt Judith's necklace was hidden. But that
she now knew what she was looking for did
not seem to help her in the least to find it
It was when Eunice had told herself for the
twentieth time that she never should
and it, that mother made her proposal.
“Eunice," she said quite msurrlly
one morning in September, “Aunt
Evelyn wants you to spend the
winter with her in New York. "
“ 0 motherl " cried Eunice,
Mother smiled a little wist-
fully. “You would like that,
wouldn't you, dear? I think
we um spare you, if you
wish to go. "
Eunice pirouetted out
into the hall on joyous
feet. Taxis and sky-
scrapers and the girls
again-oh, jollyl “I'm
going hncktothe city," - ’
she laughed, pausing . . ';
under Judit.h’s por-
trait. For some rea-
son after that she
walked rather soberl y
thouht Eunice very
dilntory in her prep-
arations for going.
She spent agood deal of
time in the garden and the
ham and the attic. She
took long tramps through
country. She seemed
unacoountzibly less enthu-
siastic than anyone hard
“I believe the child
needs a. tonic," said her
“You don't think she
is sick, do you?" cried
morning I'd better ask
the doctor to stop in. " I
that was the night that .]udith's portrait
fell. It dropped without waming while the
Marburys were at supper. Time, father said.
and is worn cord. Flank got there first, with
Eunice a close second It was Euniua who
lifted the frame. The canvas fell out against
“She isn’t hurtl " she cried. “She isn't
And then Eunice made a rliscovcry. The
picture had had double boards at the hack, and
between the boards there had been an air space,
and In the air space - The girl gave a little
cry. Iler fingers closed on sornelhing wrapped
in curious foreign tissue. She did not mum! to
open it to know what the fabric held. Ilcr
mind was as clear on that point as it was
when the quaintly wrought stones actually luy
in her cupped palms.
nicel You luck "
“So that was the ‘little glmst,’ " lurid gram]-
Eunice said nothing. The eyes of the portrait
seenred to smile at her. She felt exactly as if
the klrl on the canvas had held out to lrrr
that delicate white hunt! with the xtnnr-.6 In
it. She felt something else, too-a conviction
that suddenly set her restless Uroughts quite
curiously at peace. But it was not until bed-
time thut night that she sought her mother.
"Mother, " she asked earnestly, ‘ ‘should you
mind much if I didn't go to Aunt Evelyn's?”
August 29, l9l8 assess
“Why, Eunice dear," said Mrs. liiarbury,
“what do you mean? You're not sick?"
“I shall be, if I go-I'll be homesick. I-I
can't bear to go away. I love it so here. ”
CB1, C ha-iK,if.lE,:s Askin s
immediately on his arrival at 9.
little town in south Texas Some
one asked him his name and why he
was there Being informed, the questioner ex-
claimed with emphasis: “That’ll take some
The next mun spoke of him as that gritty
Smith boy, and very shortly be bemme Grit
Smith. Whether or not the name was appro-
priate, it stuck
The minute Grit mentioned‘ his name every-
one in town knew all the circumstances
of his coming. Grit's father had been a
mechanic in a city in Michigan, getting
good wages, but eager to go “back to the
land." When he had saved a few thou-
sand dollars, a plausible land agent sold
him a ranch in Texas, “sight unseen.”
Goin:.' down to inspect his purchase, he
found everything pretty much as the agent
had described, except’ that the ranch was
eight miles from town instead of four, that
it was covered with mesquite brush instead
of being in a high state of cultivation, that
the good dwelling house was a mere shack,
and that the irrigation plant did not exist.
The ranch for which he had paid three thou-
sand dollars was worth almost nothing.
The elder Smith must have had grit himself,
for instmrd of throwing up his hands he had
hired Mexicans to grub the mesquite, bought
three mules and broke out the land, pur-
chased a few head of cattle, installed a
pumping plant and, last although not
least, invested in twenty-live stands of
bees, for he realized that be was in a
bee country. The elder Smith worked
very hard in preparing the place for a.
future home-worked himself to dentb,
his neighbors declared At any rate.
when he returned to Mich-
igan in the spring, he took
pneumonia an '
G-IIIT SMITH got his nickname
years old, the head of the
ftunily now, with all their
srrvlngs tied up in the
Texas ranch. went down
alone to raise a crop be-
fore his mother and sis-
who took him
out, after wind-
Ing about through
what seemed to be miles of mesquite,
over an almost obliterated road, left him at the
little house that his father had built.
“it's sure some farm now since your father
got. it cleared," the driver remarked, “but I
wouldn't stay out here all summer by myself
if you give it to me. Come in to see me and
the boys and stay a week; you won't be able
in stand it nohow."
It was the first night the city boy had ever
spent isolated from humankind Ar darkness
tell he lighted his lantern and went into the
house, llut the bare loneliness of the room. the
smell of dvsertion about it, drove him forth
again to sit on the stop with his rifle across his
knees. Seemingly a thousand coyotes, in s hull
circle in the darkness just beyond his range of
vision, howled in concert.
n almost. overpowering inclination mme
over him to line, to run every step of the way
into town, and never to stop until he was on
the train and going home. Then he settled buck
Faint fnnlslA>ps pattrred belilnd the house.
Sulzlng his rifle and lnntlern, he went to met-t
the intruder. A little posr-urn sat up and stared
at him with light-lillntlul eyes Grit laughed
and wont to bed. Trescntly, soothed by the
rlinlnnt munnur of the river, he was asleep.
The next day he went down to the Launch
,;" ranch, three miles away,to get his mules,
I farm machinery and wagon. The Lan-
nons were his nearest neighbors to the
south. The motherly instinct. of childless
Mrs. Lennon was aroused by what she consid-
ered as the unbearable life Grit was to live.
Her own son had died in childhood, but in her
mind he had grown from year to year. He was
just about the size of Grit now, another such
brave, strong boy. She insisted on giving Grit a
dozen hens and a cat and made him promise
to spend Sundays with her and her husband.
When Grit's ranch work was well under way,
he no longer had time to be homesick. Night
found him too tired to worry, and the bowls of
the wolves merely warned him that it was lime
togo to rest He planted onions, cabbage, toma-
toes, lettuce and fields of Kalir corn. Every-
thing grew splendidly. His mechanical training
enabl him to run the pumping plant without
trouble. By and by he had fresh vegetables
and strawberries; the hens were laying; his
mules bearrne like comrades in exile; the cat
slept on the foot of the bed and followed him
out to work; deer passed daily with dainty
steps anross his held. l'le visited town infre-
quently, for the Lunnons brought him supplies
llis letters home were highly optimistic
Grit pushed things in man fashion until his
bees began to swarm. A Mexican and his son,
who owned a bee ranch ten miles up the river,
made ocmsional trips in a. fl:rt>bottomed boat
hives and taught every swarm that came out.
Before spring was over, Grit was the proud
owner of seventy-live stands of bees, and the
season had been good for making honey.
Tire Mexican boy took a. liking to Grit.
Together they trapped a. troublesome coyote
and caught many Wildcats and owns. It was
with real regret and expressions of mutual
good will that at the end of the swanning
to do with Mexicans, either bee men or others.
Cal McVey and his brother, Sandy, had a
ranch a mile up the river. Like Grit, they had
come down from the north to put their land
into workable condition. Sandy, the younger,
had set his heart on becoming a cowboy; he
spent most of his time riding a. sorrel pony,
with a lariat that he did not know how
to use tied to his saddle and a big revolver
strapped to his waist Cal worked the land
when he was not fishing or shooting deer,
which he did in season and out lie was
a big, loud-spoken, friendly talking
man, who persisted in coming
afield for a chat with Grit
when the boy was too busy
to stop. lIe sometimes looked
at Grit's flourishing fields en-
vimmly and glanced ruefully
at his own grassehoked corn.
. “Don't have no dealin’s
with greasers, Grit," he said one day. “They
are all thieves, and the better you treat 'em
the more they'll steal‘. I tried a gang clearing
mesquite, and they proved so wuthless that I
run ‘em all off."
‘He failed to add that be had done so without
paying them, whereat the peons refused to
work for him again in any circumstances.
Grit shook his head, unconvinced. “Jule is a
find," he asserted. “He saved fifty swarms,
which at five dollars a hive means two hundred
and fifty dollars, and I paid him only twenty
dollars for two months’ work. See where I
come out aheadl"
“Yep; if they don't steal 'em'a.ll later on.
That old Meximn has bees scattered all over
the woods up yander-pretends he finds lots of
'em in the trees-don't tell mel"
“Jule is all right,” protested Grit. “I'm
sure they won't steal my bees. I had to have
him, anyhow. We owe five hundred dollars on
the place, and it’s due this winter. Jule says
I'll have fifteen hundred pounds of honey to
sell, and at twenty cents a pound that man:
when he bought those bees. "
“Looks like it But it don't pay tomortgage
a place to make improvements. Anything hap-
pens to them boos, ranch goes to some one else.
Now I don't owe a cent on mine." .
Grit glanced at the other’s neglected sore
but forbore to smile.
well with Grit. lie sold fifty dollars’ worth of
head lettuce. and his onions brought hlrn one
hundred dollnrs. Two acres of rxrbbage,
and cultivated faithfully. were almost ready
to be harveswd; his potatoes were already dug
three hundred dollars. Dad made a ten-strike
As fall approached. things umtinued to go ’