"And all from Boston, I presume," murmured Mr. Smith.
"Oh, no,—why, yes, they were, too, most of 'em, when you come to think of it. But how did you know?"
"Oh, I—guessed it. But go on. You haven't finished."
"No, I haven't finished," moaned Miss Flora, almost crying again. "And now comes the worst of it. As I said, at first I liked it—all these letters—and I was so glad to help. But they're coming so fast now I don't know what to do with 'em. And I never saw such a lot of things as they want—pensions and mortgages, and pianos, and educations, and wedding dresses, and clothes to be buried in, and—and there were so many, and—and so queer, some of 'em, that I began to be afraid maybe they weren't quite honest, all of 'em, and of course I CAN'T send to such a lot as there are now, anyway, and I was getting so worried. Besides, I got another one of those awful proposals from those dreadful men that want to marry me. As if I didn't know THAT was for my money! Then to-day, this morning, I—I got the worst of all." From her bag she took an envelope and drew out a small picture of several children, cut apparently from a newspaper. "Look at that. Did you ever see that before?" she demanded.
Miss Maggie scrutinized the picture.
"Why, no,—yes, it's the one you brought us a month ago, isn't it?"
Tips, opportunities to make money：how to make a money ringMiss Flora's eyes flashed angrily.
"Indeed, it ain't! The one I showed you before is in my bureau drawer at home. But I got it out this morning, when this one came, and compared them; and they're just exactly alike—EXACTLY!"
"Oh, he wrote again, then,—wants more money, I suppose," frowned Miss
"No, he didn't. It ain't the same man. This man's name is Haley, and that one was Fay. But Mr. Haley says this is a picture of his children, and he says that the little girl in the corner is Katy, and she's deaf and dumb; but Mr. Fay said her name was Rosie, and that she was LAME. And all the others—their names ain't the same, either, and there ain't any of 'em blind. And, of course, I know now that—that one of those men is lying to me. Why, they cut them out of the same newspaper; they've got the same reading on the back! And I—I don't know what to believe now. And there are all those letters at home that I haven't answered yet; and they keep coming—why, I just dread to see the postman turn down our street. And one man—he wrote twice. I didn't like his first letter and didn't answer it; and now he says if I don't send him the money he'll tell everybody everywhere what a stingy t-tight-wad I am. And another man said he'd come and TAKE it if I didn't send it; and you KNOW how afraid of burglars I am! Oh what shall I do, what shall I do?" she begged piteously.
Tips, opportunities to make money：sundae swapMr. Smith said a sharp word behind his teeth.
"Do?" he cried then wrathfully. "First, don't you worry another bit, Miss Flora. Second, just hand those letters over to me—every one of them. I'll attend to 'em!"
"To YOU?" gasped Miss Flora. "But—how can you?"
"Oh, I'll be your secretary. Most rich people have to have secretaries, you know."
"But how'll you know how to answer MY letters?" demanded Miss Flora dubiously. "Have you ever been—a secretary?"
"N-no, not exactly a secretary. But—I've had some experience with similar letters," observed Mr. Smith dryly.
Miss Flora drew a long sigh.