HERE had been a good many daughters born t0 the old man, the senior chum of the stony, but never a son ; that is, not for a long time ; but at last (this is the way he told it) the Lord remembered him, and a son was born. He was an old man, even when the little girl, who was the other chum to be sure, was born; so he called this son God had given him Joseph ; “Because,” he declared, he was the son of his old age.”

And while he didn’t put the child’s name into his business, as he might have done, he did put it in his prayers to God; and so entirely did he associate it with all his plans and purposes, so truly did the boy fill his life and his thoughts, that he gave scant notice to the dark-faced, solemn-eyed little girl who followed at his heels, lived upon a word, a glance from him, and was so truly happy if he so much as looked her way.

As for the striped peppermint rings, the nuts, and sugar-frosted figs that found their way through the old

man’s pockets, she scarcely thought of them ; of course 15