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“Why, Rank, the place is worth a for

tune; and the politicians know it." UITE down-town in the city of “Expect it is,” nodded Rank, indiffer

Philadelphia stands an “anachro- ently. nism [according to the newspapers in the “I suppose it did n't cost your father a dull season] in the form of a small, old- thousand dollars.” fashioned blacksmith shop, deeply sunken “I expect not,” agreed Rank. among tall modern buildings, which every “And it 's actually worth more consideration of civic pride and beauty than ten times that a front foot! Better demands be obliterated."

make a deal with the gang. What?" Last year the city, desperate at the de- Rank nodded. He had no understandmands of its journals, prepared to take it, ing of figures. If the lawyer had explained by right of eminent domain, for a passen- that this meant two hundred and fifty ger-station in the plan of transit expan- thousand dollars, he would have known sion. Old Sol Rank, the owner, had to it only as considerably more than one consult a lawyer then.

thousand dollars. "I expect you 'll have to go this time, "Well," he sighed, “I can shoe hosses Sol," said the counselor. "City 's after somewhere else, I expect." you. City 's got plenty of judges, law- "Sure," cheered the lawyer, with exyers, and policemen. And eminent do- ceeding great hope of a large fee. “Hunt main 's a terror to beat."

some quiet place in the country. I 'll see "Yes," sighed Sol, “I expect so. Don't that you get half of its value." seemn decent to be a-shoein' hosses under

“Nix on

the country!” said Rank. the nose of them big slick city buildin's “I'm a city man.' growed up there sence my father built the “Aw, let the gang have it without a shop in 1820, though I keep it clean as fight, Rank. They'll get it, anyway.

I 'll make 'em pay half market value for “Out of date, Rank, out of date. You it. They got to get something out of it. can't blame people for being tired of see- You 'll be a quarter of a millionaire, anying it. I am. Are n't you?"

how, Rank.” "Can't say 's I am," answered Rank. "Nix on the gang!" said Rank, imper

Copyright, 1914. by THE CENTURY CO. All rights reserved.

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He was


vious to the opportunity to join the mon- The legal person merely mentioned that eyed classes or oblige the politicians. “I Rank was the owner of the blacksmith kin go. Set up on Sansom Street. Got shop objurgated by the newspapers. my eye on a place now. Let 'em have it at their own price. I 'ın young 'nough to

II. THE REAL BEGINNING OF THE STORY set up ag’in. I 'm only risin' seventy. But what about old Raybun? He 's-why, HOWEVER that was only yesterday, and Lord! he must be a hunderd.

my story begins on a sunny morning in seventy when he come, so he said, an' he 's 1883. been there a'most thirty year'. Near a Rank looked up from the horseshoe he hunderd, by heck! Say, you got to do had just fitted, to find an old man stroksomethin' fer old Raybun.”

ing a patriarchal beard and looking down Rank suddenly became anxious in a at him. fashion he had not been for himself.

"Well, old man— Moses in the Bul“Raybun?" questioned the lawyer. rushes,” laughed Rank, “how 'll you be

“Lives in the loft," replied Rank, nod- shod? Have steel calks?" ding.

“Fine job!” said the patriarch. Now "Lives," shouted the lawyer, losing he took an old hat off a head of long white sight of the great fee in the prospect of a hair. great fight - "lives, did you say? Eats. “Quit your kiddin',” said Rank, "and and sleeps? Washes?”

tell me what you want, Old Bulrushes. "Fer thirty year',” said Rank.

Honest, you look like Moses!" “His home?"

“What is the rent?" asked the old "Everything."

man, pointing above, toward the loft. "You can stay there in spite of the city “Oh, that sign 's been up there twenty of Philadelphia, the

year',” said Rank. State of Pennsyl

"No one likes the vania, and the Uni

smell of the hosses ted States of Amer

nor the smoke nor ica all together!"

the hammerin' nor cried the lawver.

me. What 'll you Go home. Law

give?" in Pennsylvania has

"Well, I dunno," been changed to

said the stranger. politics, and there

"I never lived in is n't any justice at

no city'fore. Down all; but they ain't

in Ma'yland, where got around to the

I use' to live, I doctrine that

reckon it 'u'd be man's house is his

wo'th 'bout a dolcastle as yet. The RAYBUN INQUIRES ABOUT THE LOFT lar a month.” gang 'll get there

"Not on

your some day; but not in your time. Then a life!” said Rank. “Nothin' in it.' Pace man's house 'll be the boss's office. Unless


Not ’nough to watch you he buys a judge or two, an' they come from stealin' the wash-boards. There is high. The gang keeps the price up. But the door; here 's my foot-git!" for the present go home. You're safe. But the old man did not go. He smiled. You can die there. Five hundred dollars. He liked Rank and his ways. I 'll send the bill.”

"Well, what 'd you say to a dollar a That night Solomon Rank fell upon week, then?" Abraham Raybun as he sat at his supper Rank looked up from his work, seeing in the loft, and swore that he had saved first that the foot he had shod stood fair them both. He said nothing of the five and flat on the earthen Aoor of his shop. hundred dollars. That he thought would The stranger had taken off his coat. His be difficult. But he was surprised at the smile was pleasant. It was a warm day. ease of it when, by the help of the lawyer, “How old are you?” irrelevantly asked he went to negotiate a promissory note. Rank.



old man.

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"Seventy,” answered his visitor. "You "Mine 's Rank-Solomon Rank o' about thirty-five?”

Philadelphy, suh. Got it? Sure you can “Forty,” said Rank.

stand the hosses" “Fine young man!”

“I was raised with hosses,” the old man "Take it,” said Rank, referring to the replied. loft. "You got the nerve of twenty-one.” "And the smoke?"

"When can I take possession ?" asked "We had n't nothin' but fireplaces in the old man.

Ma'yland,” said Raybun. "Now.”

"And the racket?” Rank slowly took a key off his ring and Raybun nodded. passed it over.

“And me?" "Don't yo' want no writin'?"

Raybun laughed happily. "Not a write," said the blacksmith. "If "Good luck! Depart in peace, Moses !" you don't behave, you git fired. If you Rank waved Raybun away. do, you live there forever. My word 's A few minutes later Raybun stood in better 'n your bond.”

the middle of the loft and looked about. "Look here now," said the lessee, halt- His old blue eyes glowed. ingly, “I don't want to cheat you. You "Home!" he murmured. "Home !" ain't got nothin' in advance. Seems cheap For there was a space of at least ten feet for this locality. Near business. I don't by ten where he could stand upright, with know nothin' 'bout city real estate.” no end of storage-room under the slopes

“Well, if you can't pay me a dollar a of the roof. Besides, there was a tremenweek,” said the blacksmith, grinning, dous, rude dormer on the south side. "make it ten.”

He looked carefully at his worn silver "You're a very pleasant blacksmith," watch, and then at the sun, and said: replied the old man, holding out his hand. "Yes, . Mason and Dixon's Line is this “Better know my name. Raybun- Abra- way." He sniffed with joy the aroma of ham Raybun o' Ma'yland, suh."

some new cedar shingles with which the

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