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UITE down-town in the city of Philadelphia stands an "anachronism [according to the newspapers in the dull season] in the form of a small, oldfashioned blacksmith shop, deeply sunken among tall modern buildings, which every consideration of civic pride and beauty demands be obliterated."

Last year the city, desperate at the demands of its journals, prepared to take it, by right of eminent domain, for a passenger-station in the plan of transit expansion. Old Sol Rank, the owner, had to consult a lawyer then.

"I expect you'll have to go this time, Sol," said the counselor. "City 's after you. City's got plenty of judges, lawyers, and policemen. And eminent domain 's a terror to beat.'

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"Yes," sighed Sol, "I expect so. Don't seem decent to be a-shoein' hosses under the nose of them big slick city buildin's growed up there sence my father built the shop in 1820, though I keep it clean as milk."

"Out of date, Rank, out of date. You can't blame people for being tired of seeing it. I am. Are n't you?"

"Can't say 's I am," answered Rank.

"Why, Rank, the place is worth a fortune; and the politicians know it.' "Expect it is," nodded Rank, indifferently.

"I suppose it did n't cost your father a thousand dollars."

"I expect not," agreed Rank.

"And now it's actually worth more than ten times that a front foot! Better make a deal with the gang. What?"

Rank nodded. He had no understanding of figures. If the lawyer had explained that this meant two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, he would have known it only as considerably more than one thousand dollars.

"Well," he sighed, "I can shoe hosses somewhere else, I expect."

"Sure," cheered the lawyer, with exceeding great hope of a large fee. "Hunt some quiet place in the country. I'll see that you get half of its value."

"Nix on the country!" said Rank. "I'm a city man."

"Aw, let the gang have it without a fight, Rank. They'll get it, anyway. I'll make 'em pay half market value for it. They got to get something out of it. You'll be a quarter of a millionaire, anyhow, Rank."

"Nix on the gang!" said Rank, imper

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

vious to the opportunity to join the moneyed classes or oblige the politicians. "I kin go. Set up on Sansom Street. Got my eye on a place now. Let 'em have it at their own price. I'm young 'nough to set up ag'in. I'm only risin' seventy. But what about old Raybun? He 's-why, Lord! he must be a hunderd. He was seventy when he come, so he said, an' he's been there a'most thirty year'. Near a hunderd, by heck! Say, you got to do somethin' fer old Raybun.'

Rank suddenly became anxious in a fashion he had not been for himself.

"Raybun?" questioned the lawyer. "Lives in the loft," replied Rank, nodding.

"Lives," shouted the lawyer, losing sight of the great fee in the prospect of a great fight-"lives, did you say? and sleeps? Washes?"

"Fer thirty year'," said Rank.
"His home?"



"You can stay there in spite of the city

of Philadelphia, the

State of Pennsyl

vania, and the Uni

ted States of America all together!" cried the lawyer. "Go home. Law in Pennsylvania has been changed to politics, and there is n't any justice at all; but they ain't got around to the doctrine that a man's house is his castle as yet. The gang 'll get there

The legal person merely mentioned that Rank was the owner of the blacksmith shop objurgated by the newspapers.


HOWEVER that was only yesterday, and my story begins on a sunny morning in 1883.

Rank looked up from the horseshoe he had just fitted, to find an old man stroking a patriarchal beard and looking down at him.

"Well, old man-Moses in the Bulrushes," laughed Rank, "how 'll you be shod? Have steel calks?"

"Fine job!" said the patriarch. Now he took an old hat off a head of long white hair.

"Quit your kiddin'," said Rank, "and tell me what you want, Old Bulrushes. Honest, you look like Moses!"

"What's the rent?" asked the old man, pointing above, toward the loft.

"Oh, that sign 's been up there twenty year'," said Rank. "No one likes the smell of the hosses nor the smoke nor the hammerin' nor me. What 'll you give?"



some day; but not in your time. Then a man's house 'll be the boss's office. Unless he buys a judge or two, an' they come high. The gang keeps the price up. But for the present go home. You 're safe. You can die there. Five hundred dollars. I'll send the bill."

That night Solomon Rank fell upon Abraham Raybun as he sat at his supper in the loft, and swore that he had saved them both. He said nothing of the five hundred dollars. That he thought would be difficult. But he was surprised at the ease of it when, by the help of the lawyer, he went to negotiate a promissory note.

life!" said Rank.

"Well, I dunno," said the stranger. "I never lived in no city 'fore. Down in Ma'yland, where I use' to live, I reckon it 'u'd be wo'th 'bout a dollar a month."

"Not on your "Nothin' in it. Pace away, old man. Not 'nough to watch you from stealin' the wash-boards. There's the door; here's my foot-git!"

But the old man did not go. He smiled. He liked Rank and his ways.

"Well, what 'd you say to a dollar a week, then?"

Rank looked up from his work, seeing first that the foot he had shod stood fair and flat on the earthen floor of his shop. The stranger had taken off his coat. His smile was pleasant. It was a warm day.

"How old are you?" irrelevantly asked Rank.

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Rank slowly took a key off his ring and passed it over.

"Don't yo' want no writin'?"

"Not a write," said the blacksmith. "If you don't behave, you git fired. If you do, you live there forever. My word 's better 'n your bond."

"Look here now," said the lessee, haltingly, "I don't want to cheat you. You ain't got nothin' in advance. Seems cheap for this locality. Near business. I don't know nothin' 'bout city real estate."

"Well, if you can't pay me a dollar a week," said the blacksmith, grinning, "make it ten."

"You 're a very pleasant blacksmith," replied the old man, holding out his hand. "Better know my name. Raybun-Abraham Raybun o' Ma'yland, suh."

"Mine 's Rank-Solomon Rank o' Philadelphy, suh. Got it? Sure you can stand the hosses-"

"I was raised with hosses," the old man replied.

"And the smoke?"

"We had n't nothin' but fireplaces in Ma'yland," said Raybun.

"And the racket?"
Raybun nodded.
"And me?"

Raybun laughed happily.

"Good luck! Depart in peace, Moses!" Rank waved Raybun away.

A few minutes later Raybun stood in the middle of the loft and looked about. His old blue eyes glowed.

"Home!" he murmured.


For there was a space of at least ten feet by ten where he could stand upright, with no end of storage-room under the slopes of the roof. Besides, there was a tremendous, rude dormer on the south side.

He looked carefully at his worn silver watch, and then at the sun, and said:

"Yes, Mason and Dixon's Line is this way." He sniffed with joy the aroma of some new cedar shingles with which the

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