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The Alchemist's Secret   By:

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THE ALCHEMIST'S SECRET BY ISABEL CECILIA WILLIAMS

P. J. KENEDY & SONS 44 BARCLAY STREET, NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY P. J. KENEDY & SONS.

CONTENTS PAGE

THE PASSING OF TONY 11 THE TRAMP 27 "HE HATH PUT DOWN THE MIGHTY" 42 A MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS MORNING 58 NANCY'S TALE 72 PATSY 88 THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE 103 THE ELEVENTH HOUR 116 THE STORY OF JULIE BENOIT 130 PETER 150 GOD'S WAY 165

THE PASSING OF TONY.

"Last mail in, Mis' Bascomb?"

"Last mail's in, Tony."

"Be there anything for me to night?"

Widow Bascomb knew perfectly well there was not, but she reached for a small pile of letters in a pigeonhole on her right and glanced over them rapidly. Her sour visage and rasping voice softened perceptibly as she smiled on the little old man before her.

"Sorry, Tony, there's nothing for you to night."

"Thank you, Mis' Bascomb, p'raps it'll come to morrow," and Tony turned away with a sigh and moved towards the door.

A group of men were gathered around the stove, smoking and exchanging the gossip of the town. These greeted him kindly as he passed and he returned the greetings half absently. Before opening the door, the old man stopped to give his woolen muffler one more turn around his neck.

"Purty cold snap, this," he remarked to the company in general. "Looks as if we'd have snow 'fore mornin' and a white Christmas after all. Good night, Mis' Bascomb; good night boys. A merry Christmas to you all!" and Tony stepped out into the frosty air of the December evening.

He sighed again as he turned up over the hill to the left and started for home. It had been a long, cold walk down to the village, and it would be equally long and even colder on the way back, for a sharp wind was blowing directly in his face. It was a bad night for an old man like Tony to be abroad and he was almost sorry that he had ventured out. But there was his promise to Martha; it would never do to break that. Martha had always been of a more hopeful turn of mind than he, anyway. While she was still alive she had imparted to him the same spirit of trust and hopefulness which shone in her steady gray eyes, but since God had taken Martha and left him all alone in the world of care and trouble, life had been hard indeed.

He had promised Martha never to omit the daily visit to the post office to inquire for the letter which, thus far, had failed to arrive. Martha had been so sure that Sallie would write to them some day; Sallie, their handsome, wilful daughter, who had passed out of their lives nearly fifteen years before. He never blamed Sallie for wanting to leave them; what could a tiny village like this offer to one as clever, as pretty, as ambitious as Sallie had been? The neighbors had said many unkind things of Sallie but he heeded them not. They had called her vain, idle and silly; they said the folks at the big house had spoiled her and put notions into her head. They told him he did a foolish thing when he allowed her to go as maid to the lady of the big house over on the shores of the lake, and to go down to the city with the family when they moved home in the autumn. To tell the truth, poor Tony had little voice in the matter. Sallie, as usual, had taken affairs into her own hands and decided for herself... Continue reading book >>




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