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Page 12 text:
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girls near hy were laughing at him.
"Hello, l.'nconscious." shouted one. "Where'd you come from?"
This brought a roar of laughter from his companions.
"Thats the country hick I saw in Supfs office a while ago." spoke
up another, "Hes goin' to start to school tomorrow."
"W'hewl ain't he han'sorne'?" cried a little flapper ironically. "And
patches-say. look at them hountiful patches!"
"Boy: l got an ideafi snickered another little red-lipped daughter of
misclnet. Let s call him Patches-Ijountiful Patches!"
Nedis head snapped hack proudly: his lips moved as if to defy their
mockery. He hesitated. then turned ahout and walked slowly away.
"Don't guess l can hlame 'emf' he thought hitterly.
Ned hecame known all ahout the school as "Bountiful Patchesf, ln
spite of his desire to get rid of the name. it clung to him like a vampire.
At first it was said mockingly. But as the days turned into weeks and
the weeks into months. until almost a year had passed. the "Patches" was
left off. and he hecame just "Bountiful"g and. as shall soon he seen. a
more appropriate title could not have heen given him. It came about
Une day while Ned was husy assorling hooks in the hook room. Miss
Wells. the glee cluh director. came in.
"Ned," said she. "l have noticed the unusually fine quality of your
voice. and I have come to ask you to join our glee cluh. Will you?"
"I shall he glad to. Miss Wells. if you think l shun't hinder more
than help." he replied. enthusiastically.
Assured that hc would attend the next meeting. she took her leave.
So his training hcgan. And how he could sing! His voice hecame
the idol of the school. lts deep. rich tones somehow reminded one of
the far away ripple of spring water over smooth stones.
The remainder of that year passed swiftly away. Two vears had
come and gone: the third came around and was drawing speedily to its
close. And who in the city had not heard of the hov with the large.
dreamy hrown eyes. who had slipped so quietly into their midst and into
their hearts? W'ho was it who did 11ot know and love 'LBountiful"
But "Bountiful" was going to leave them soon. Just a month and
he would go awav to study music and voice in a seminary. and where was
the heart that did not feel a pang at his going? They had found him.
and they felt that he was theirs. V But there was one who would hate to
sce him go more than anybody else-Miss Wells. the director of the glee-
cluh-that nohle little character who had recognized his talents firstg the
one who had been his encouragement and inspiration these three years.
She would feel the loss most.
She and Ned were sitting on the veranda of her home one evening
watching the stars. and thinking-thinking. and feeling the grandeur of
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One Hundred Elev en
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the night together. Neither had spoken for some few minutes.
l l "Ned" she said softly.
1 "Ned. are you glad you are going away?"
"Are you sorry. Miss Wells?"
I "Nofoh. I am so glad for you. Ned. but-but!"
"Ned. will you do something for me?,,
"If it's at all in my powerf,
"Will yo11 sing in the program that I am giving the night before you
Why do you ask?"
"Oh. just for the dear old high school. and for-for-"
Yes. so that I may always have it as a reminder. as a-a keepsake."
'tYes." said he in a trembling voice. "Ye-s. Miss Wvells. usinff our
slogan. 'For my high school I will'-and-and for you!"
The night for the program arrived. A large crowd had turned out.
for they had heard that "Bountiful" was to sing for them. was to repre-
sent his high school for the last time. Ned was the last one to singg he
had wanted it that way. The curtains were drawn backg it was time for
him to appear! A figure stepped out in the full glare of the lightsg it
was Ned! But was it he after all? Instead of the expected evening
dress, he wore a pair of old, faded and patched trousers! Upon his
head was an old black. holey crowned hat, through which projected a
I few locks of unruly hair! On his feet were a pair of ancient tan shoes!"
Some started to laugh. but tears came to the eyes of hundreds.
L'My friends. my dear wonderful friends!" he said passionately. 'LI
came to you a few years ago like this. You laughed and called me
'Bountiful Patches'. I appear before you tonight bidding you farewell.
as I appeared to you then. to let you know that lim still just-'Bountiful
A breatl1less silence reigned throughout the audience as his voice. as
harmonious as the hells of heaven. began softly-softly the high school
G'We are here. our dear old high
To laud your glories to the sky:
Colors. white and blue,
And we'll stand by youg-',
Tears trickled from l1is eyes and rolled down his cheeks. but still
Ned sang ou-on to its close. The house was in an uproar of applause!
Ned felt himself being lifted upon some-one's shoulders. They bore him
l to the center of the auditorium and halted. The voice of the football
captain rang out. "Everybody fifteen for our fBountiful'!-fifteen for
1 'Bountiful Patches'.',
fffllslws as --- .
one Hundred Twelve
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