Copyright, 1.902, by David C. Cook Publishing Company,
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"01... II. NO. I6. ‘WEEKLX
DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHIXG C0,, ELGIN, ILL., AND 36 WASHIXG-rox S12, CHICAGO.
April I8, I903.
mr MARTHA es:-=-'
, RS. CONRAD was forced to admit
NI that a Mexican settlement in Ari-
zona was not very picturesque. The
houses were mere huts, built for the mosf
’ part of adobe, and, standing on the dry,
treeless plain, they appeared strangely coni-
fortless and bare. ,
From the window of the lawyer's oliice
she looked out upon the principal street,
which bore the pretentious name of lean-
der Avenue. Directly across from her, .1
low, Wooden building, somewhat larger than
the others, bore the sign above its open
door. “Mission School.”
The little village had its points of inter-
est, after all.
Mrs. Conrad found herself wishing it
were time for dismissal. She longed to see
the little, dark-eyed Mexican children at
“ Lucy !" ,
Her husband's voice dine from the large
table where the lawyer and himself sat
looking over a pile of well-worn docu-
ments. She turned her attention to the
interior of the office.
“These seem to settle your claims all
right, my dear," Mr. Conrad said, pointing
to the little pile of papers before the two
The lawyer looked up with a smile.
“,There certainly is no doubt of Mrs.
Conrad's moral right to the land. But,
in event this Johnson wants to fight, it
will be necessary for us to produce these
papers. The loss of them would put him
in possession of all the land, although he
lias not a shadow of claim, so for us right
' is concerned."
“What a queer law it must be that
would give him possession of the land!"
said Mrs. Conrad. “It must be unjust."
The lawyer did not speak at once. Ile
looked at the lady with his blue, near-
sighted eyes, and smiled.
““'ell, no," he said, “ the law is by no
means unjust. It is intended to protect
the rights of people: but, in your case,
some complications have arisen that are
quite unusual. I have explained them in
full to Mr. Conrad."
“ “'e wish to drive out and see our prop-
erty before returning to Texas,” Mrs. Cou-
rad told him. “Can we find 11 convey-
“Certainly. I will see Mexican Joe at
once and arrange with him to take you out
there. Ile keeps a kind of miniature stage
for the convenience of travelers."
The gentleman left in quest of Mexican
Joe. and Mrs. Conrad returned to the win-
dow just as the children were coming out
of the Mission school. There were boys
and girls of all sizes. many of them Vl‘I‘)'
pretty despite the ugliness of the cloiln-s
they wore-n strange combination of
Mexicali costume and the ordinary dross
of the children of the United States. They
were not-so noisy as an equal number of
American children would have been.
“I wish I could talk to some of them,"
Mrs. Conrad thought: and, as if in response
to her unspoken wish, one of the larger
girls walked straight across the wide
street and entered the lawyer's ollire.
Seeing Mrs. Conrad, she startcd back, a
look, half-frightened, half-bashful, in her
large, black eyes. She had a dark, rosy
face, and was a very pretty girl. Mrs.
Conrad sighed, so wretchedly was thepoor
“Do you want anything?" she asked in
very kindly tones.
The Mexican girl smiled, showing two
rows of dazzlingly white teeth.
“ I sweep and dust here every day," she
answered. “The gentleman pays me."
“And do you wish to sweep and dust
now?" asked Mrs. Conrad.
The Mexican girl gave a quaint little
“ Not s
ep and dust while it lady is
But Mr. Conrad did not encourage this
“I scarcely think we can afford to do
that.” he sai .
“ But we shall be richer now," said his
“Not in money. The land will be valu-
able some time. But you have heard of
people being ‘ land poor,’ haven't you?" he
The broad acres left by Mrs. Conrad's
uncle were not very fertile to behold; but
for grazing purposes the land was excellent
and the situation remarkably good.
“I feel quite rich,” said she. “I am
a landed proprietor, you know."
Stopping at an adobe but which a sheep-
herder had built on the land, to ask for
a drink of water, they saw Philippa. She
it was who brought out an earthen cup of
water in response to the shrill demand of
the swarthy-faced woman in the doorway.
The girl gave Mrs. Conrad 11 bright smile
“ Philippa is your cousin?” the lady
asked, when the young girl withdrew to
replenish the cup. .
But if Philippa had a pleasant face,
But it must not he thought that the
young Mexican girl was transported at one
bound to a. home where riches and comfort
abounded. Far from it. Mr. and Mrs.
Conrad were young people just starting in
life, with only health, hope, trust in each
other. and trust in the future-things that
are in reality far above mere riches or
Possessing true refinement of character
herself, the coarse conversation and the
quarrels that were continually taking place
in her cousin's family had been particularly
hard for the gentle Philippa to hem‘, nnd
the change to this humble home on the
banks of the beautiful Leona River in Uvaldo
County, Texas. was a most delightful one.
The hills, the trees. the rippling river-
she loved them all: ut most of all she
loved the trees and looked upon them with
a kind of awe at first: for her home in
Arizona had been always upon the plains
where trees are unknown.
And a great love for Mr. and Mrs. Con-
rad grew up in her heart, :1 love which she
had felt for no living creature since her
poor, ignorant young mother dicd long
“Philippa,” Mrs. Conrad remarked
one morning the first winter
“ Where did
you learn to
s p e a k such
Mrs. C o n in d
“ At the Mis-
lndy," was the-
‘ ‘ W e 1 l , I
shall leave in a
down near me
and tell me all
What is your
“ My name is
You h a v e a
Where do you
tho ofllce; but,
as Mrs. Conrad
she had been
‘ ‘ hopelessly
the location of
t h e g I r I ’ s
“ You 1 i v e
w I t 11 y 0 u r
lI‘0UIef'?” , rnuarra sccczanrn Ix
shook her head.
“ Shc is dead," she replied, sorrowfully.
“ And your father T’
“ Ile is dcarl, too.
On their way out to inspect her inherit-
ancc, Mrs. Conrad told her husband of her
new acquaintance, Philippa.
“I feel so sorry for her. She must be
dreadfully poor. She has such it good face.
I would like to take her back to Texas
I live with Tessa, my
IJEIYISB THE POKER 'ruaoL'un THE WOOD
BREAKING THE LOCK.
the same could not be said of the cousin.
“ 'aas, yaas." she muttered, most un-
graciously. “ My cousin. I hafe one,
two, dree, four. life, sax, seven, eight. nine
sheeldren myself. Feleep too mooch."
So Mr. Conrad did not oppose his wife
when she again expressed a wish to take
the Mexican girl with her, and Philippa
went to Texas with her new-found friends,
feeling like a long-imprisoned captive sud-
denly set free.
the youngigirl spent in her Texas home,
“come here, and let me show you where
we keep papers that are very valuable.
,Here in thi.-rtiny rlrawer of, the dresser.
It is never left unlocked, and, if our house
ever should catch fire, I would get these
out as soon as I knew Mr. Conrad and
you were safe. Without these papers I
should lose all that land out in Arizona
where you lived.”
The girl took the papers and glanced over
the pages. The big words so often re-
peated seemed very funny to her.
“It does not sound like sense at all,
does it?" she said.
“Well, I am afraid I do not know
enough about law myself either, Philippa,
for they do not seem very clear to me,"
Mrs. Conrad confessed, as she laid the
papers away in the drawer.
““'ould they not be safer in a big
brick bank some place?" Philippa inquired
in her precise way.
“‘Ve have been thinking of sending
them away for safe-keeping,"
Spring came to Uvnlde Countyvtbat year
with cloud-laden skies that meant a greater
rainfall than that section of the State had
known for years. Old residents began to
look grave. ’
" It means a second planting," they said.
But the new leaves on the trees boasted
a brighter green with each succeeding day;
in the high places between the water-tilled
hollows, gaudy tlowerefaces looked up to
the dun-colored skies; mocking-birds con-
stantly trilled forth in joyful chorus de-
spite the threatening skies.
“ It looks brighter this morning. I be-
lieve the rain is about over." Mr. (‘onrad
remarked one day at breakfast. “Your
aunt may be worse. so we will not put off
going to her any longer.
“ Yes, I feel so anxious." said Mrs. Con-
rnd. “But I do not like to leave Philippa
alone all day."
But Philippa protested she was not at
all afraid. although a feeling of louelineu
came over her when they drove away
“ If only I did not have to stay Indoor.-I
all day! ‘mt there is mud and watcr Mery-
where," she thought, as she stood watching
them drive slowly out of the yard, their
wheels cutting through the hcnvy, water-
Iler liouselmld dutics attended to. Phil-
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