The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California on December 21, 1908 · Page 24
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The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California · Page 24

Bakersfield, California
Issue Date:
Monday, December 21, 1908
Page 24
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's Cyclery RfACINS SlAMIitt Bl'IlT AMDlESTEPIM P!' Mm.STAINS R. S., Curtis, Light And Excelsior PiciTf 4 cylinder Vibrationless Motorcycles. Pierce, SnclI, Ivor Johnson, and all standard makes of bicycles. All repairing guaranteed. Ten per cent discount on all motor parts. Ijock and key work solicited. Guns rented. Ammunition of all kinds on hum! at all times. ISO" ChfKtcf Arciiuc Phone Main 850 Hlrfthfelil returned'from a short corner, Mrs. Hobson? IB88 trip to •%!! Frjbclaco this MlM - Hobson—That Is Mr. Hobson. - Mr. Justintroduced—Ah, how true It Is that tho homeliest men always marry the prettiest wives.—Puck. Ufa F the West Side oil man, from San Francisco last of several Who is that aw- "Slip spends all her time In the library." "Ah, she Is literary?" "Not especially. But tho cook won't alow her In the kitchen and the maids thora In the, j don't want her about the halls or par- lors."—Washington Star. "A roseate tale may be easily cap! tultzed for a million dollars " Well?" "But It's hard to realize over 5 cents on a hard-luck story."—Louisville Courier-Journal. Advertising In the Callfornlan brings big returns on the Investment. / A. Rimmer Sanitary Plumber I I "VYi- carry a full Hue of Sinks Bathtubs > • Wash Trays $ h Toilet and Lavatory Supplies V |We make a specialty of gasoline lights. IKstimates given on all kinds of plumbing work. "1^17 Chester Avcntie Phone Main 1090 Santa Claus on "The Limited' •By H. SWEET. [Copyright, 1908, by American Press Association.] T HE Chicago Limited was pulling out of the Grand Central station In New York as Dr. Ileury Van Valkenberg submitted his ticket to the gateman. He dashed through, pushing that Indignant official to one side, made a leap for the railing of the last car of the train, and a friendly brakeman dragged him "on board." Dr. Van Valkonberg smiled a little ruefully as he thanked the man and rubbed the aching surface of his hand. Then he pulled himself together, picked up the books and newspapers he had dropped and which the bystanders had. enthusiastically hurled after him and sought his haven In the sleeping car. "O-oh! Were you hurt?" said a voice behind him. "I was so 'frald you were going to fall." Dr. Van Valkenberg, who was a tall man of sixty, turned and looked down from his great height. At his feet stood a baby. At least she seemed n baby to him, although she was very dignified and wholly self "WEBK YOU HCBT?" p os8M8e( l and fully four years old. She was looking up at him with dark brown eyes and was so delicious In her almost materual solicitude that he smiled Irrepresslbly. "Why. no, thank you," he said. "I am not hurt. Didn't you see the kind man help me on to the car?" "I'm very glad," she said, with dignity. "I was 'frald he hurt you." She turned as she spoke and toddled into the sectlr/n opposite his, where a plain but kludlf faced elderly woman sat. "Won't you come over and visit me?" he asked. "I am very lonely, and I have no one to take care of me." She sl|d off the seat at once, with great alacrity. "I'd like to." she said, "but I must ask Nan*. I must always npk Nana now," she added, with dutiful emphasis, " 'fore I do anyftng." She laid her hand on the gloved fingers of the nurse as she spoke, and the woman opened her eyes, shot a quick glance at the man and nodded. She had not been asleep. Dr. Van Valkenberg ros«> and lifted his visitor to tho spat beside him, where her short logs stuck on*. In uncompromising rljrldlty. "I can take care of you." she said brightly. "I taked care of imunnm a groat deal, and I gave her her mod' cln'." "Very well," he said, with the smllo women loved; "If you really are going to take'care of me I must know your name. Y.ou see," he explained, "I might need you in the night to get ma a glass of water or something. Just think how disappointing It would bo If I should call you by the wrong name and some other little girl camel" "You say funny things," she said contentedly. "But there Isn't any other little girl In the car. I looked soon aw I came In. 'cos I wanted one to play with. I like little gtila. I like little boym. too," she added, with Innocent expanaireneaa, "Then well play I'm a little boy. You'd ntrver belter* H, but I used to be. You haven't told qp your name." "Hope," she said promptly. "Do you think it {s a nice name?" She made the Inquiry with anxious Interest. "I think Hope la the nicest name a little glil could hare except one," he said. "The nicest little girl I 'ever 'knew WHS named Katharine. She grew to be a nice big girl, too, and has little girls of own now, no doubt," he "dded, half to himself. *R'»ro you a little boy when she was * lltt! • girl?" asked his visitor. "Oh. no; I was a bis man, Just as I nm i- w. Her father was my friend, mid '",> lived In n white house with an - '•! pardon whore there were nil klinl ; of ilowers. she used tr> piny tliei-" when she was a tiny baby, and I wrv'.l carry her iirnuiut and hold her high "!> «o r.ho eould pull tho nivi'.es' and peara off the trees. When she grew larger I gave her a horse and taught her to ride. She seemed like my very own little girl, but by and by she grew up and became a young lady, and—well, ahe went away from me, and I never had another little girl." "Did she go to heaven?" asked the little girl softly. "Oh, dear, no!" answered the doctor, with brisk cheerfulness. "Then why didn't she keep on L^»ug your llttlo girl always?" The doctor hesitated a moment. He was making the discovery that after many yearn old wounds can reopen and throb. No one had ever been brave enough to broach to him the subject of this single love affair which he was now discussing. "Well, you see," he explained, "other boys liked her too. And when she became a young lady other men liked her. So finally—one of them took her away from me." He uttered the last words wearily, and the sensitive atom at his side seemed to understand why. Her little band slipped Into his. "Why didn't you nsk her to please stay with you?" she persisted pityingly. "1 did," he told her. "But, you see, she liked the other man better." "Oh-h-h!" *The word came out long drawn and breathless. "I don't see how she possibly could." There were such sorrow for the victim and scorn for the offender iu the tone that, combined with the none too subtle compliment, it was too much for Dr. Van Valkenberg's self control. He throw back his gray head and burst Into an almost boyish shout of laughter, which effectually cleared the atmosphere of sentimental memories. "Where are you going to hang up your stockings tonight?" he asked. "I can't hang them up," she answered soberly. "Santa Claus doesn't travel on trains, Nona says." "Naua Is always right," said the doctor oracu- larly, "and of course you must do exactly as she says. But I heard that Santa Claus was going to get on tho train tonight at Buffalo, and I believe that if he found a pair of small black stockings hanging from that section he'd fill them." Her eyes sparkled. "Then I'll ask Nana," she *ald. "And If she says I may bang them I will. But one," she added conscientiously, "has a teeny, weeny bole In the toe. Do you think he would mind that?" He reaaaured h«r on thto point and turned to the nunw. "I beg your pardon," b* Mid. "I've taken a great fancy to yoar tittle charge, and I want your help to carry out a plan of mine. I have suggested to Hope that she bang up her Mocks Inga tonight. I have erery reason to believe that Santa Claus will get on this train at Buffalo. In fact," he added, "I mean to telegraph him." The nun* hesitated a moment. He. drew his cardcaae trow his pocket and banded her one of the bits of pasteboard It contained. "I have no evil designs," he added cheerfully. "If you are a New Yorker, you may possibly know who I am." The woman's face lit up as she read the name. She turned toward him Impulsively, with a very pleasant smile. "Indeed I do, doctor," she said. "Who does not? Dr. Abbey sent for you Inst week," she added, "for a consultation over tho last ease 1 had— this child's mother. But you were out of town. We wore all so disappointed." "Patient died?" asked the physician, with professional brevity, "Yes, doctor." He rose from his seat "Now that you have my creden- DRAGGING CARTS AND WOOLLY LAMBS. tlals," be said cordially, "I want you and Hope to dine with me. You will, won't you?' Later, In the feverish excitement cf banging up her stockings, going to bed and peeping through the curtains to catch Santa Claus, a part of Hope's extraordinary repose of manner deserted her, but she fell asleep at last, with great reluctance. When the curtains round her berth had ceased trembling a most unusual procession wended Its silent way toward Dr. Vau "I'LL BE YOUB OWN Valkenberg'a LITTLE OIBL." section. In some occult manner the news had gone from one end to the other of the "limited" thnt a little girl In section 9. car Florodoru, had hung up her stock- ' Ings for Santa Clous. The hearts of fathers, mothers and doting uncles responded at once. Dressing cases were unlocked, great valises were opened, mysterious bundles were unwrapped. and from all these sources c.inie gifts of surprising fitness. A succession of long drawn, ccst.itl • breaths and happy gurgles awoke tin- passengers on the car Florodora at an unseemly hour Christmas morning, and a small white figure, clad Informally In a single garment, danced up and down the aisle, dragging carts and woolly lambs behind It. Occasionally there was the squeak of a talking doll. and always there were the patter of •mall feet and soft cooing of a child's laughter. Dawn was Just approaching, and the lamps, still burning, flared pale In the gray light. But In the length of that car there was no soul so base as to long for silence and the pillow. Crabbed old faces looked out between the curtains and smiled. Eyes long unused to tears felt a sudden, strange moisture. Throughout the day the snow still fell, and the outside world seemed fur away and dreamlike to Dr. Van Valkenberg. The real things were thli train, cutting Its way through the snow, and this little child, growing deeper Into his heart with each moment that passed. The situation was unique, but easy enough to understand, he told himself. He had merely gone back twenty-five yean to that other child whom he had petted In Infancy and loved and lost In womanhood. He . bad been verj lonely—how lonely he had only recently begun to realtse-and be wai twcotutog an old man whow lift lay behind him. He crossed the atole suddenly and tat down bwhto th* nunw, leaving Hope singing h«r doll to stop in hta section. "Will you • tell me all you know about the child r he asked. "She appeals to ma very strongly, probably because she's to much like some one I UMd to know." The nurse closed her book and looked at him curiously. She had heard much of him, but nothing would explain this Interest In a strange child. He himself could not have explained It He knew only that he felt It powerfully and compelllugly. "Her name Is Hope Armltage," she said. "Her mother, who has Just died, was a widow, Mrs. Katharine Arml- tage. They were poor, and Mrs. Ar- mltage seemed to have no relatives. She had saved a little, enough to pay most of her expenses at tho hospital. We all loved the woman She was very unusual and patient and charming. All the nurses wlio had anything to do with her crlnd when she died. We felt that she might hare been saved If she hod come In time but she was worked out. She had earned her living by sewing after her (C&nUnued on Page 8, Part Two.)

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