"Say Mister, I can't offer you cash right away, but if you'd go in with me on a profit sharin' basis...with wheat goin' up and hogs high as they be...I'll give you your board and three meals a day and plenty of work...well, Mister, how about it?" His voice died away before the joy leaping in the stranger's eyes.
"Are you sure it will be all right with your wife...Mr...."
"Paulson's my name."
"Mr. Paulson. If you don't think she'd mind undertaking a ..."
Eben didn't let him finish. "All right. Sure it's all right. Meet us at the Union Station in time for the seven ten on the Northwestern.
Why, when he told Myrtle about the man's losin' his wife and givin' up his farm...and what was it happened to his kid...Well anyway when he told her he'd say, "Myrt, that Home's goin' to send out a visitor to see how their precious baby's gettin' along and when they see we have a hired man, they'll know we aren't a goin' to let him work 'til he's big enough." Probably Myrtle would be so excited with that baby of hers she wouldn't care about another thing. With leaping strides Eben Paulson started for the park where he expected to meet his wife.
He found the park opposite the Child Placing Society empty, except for a poor creature sitting on a bench holding her head in both hands. Poor woman! She'd just given up her baby probably...Eben skirted around the far side in a miserable heap...He mustn't act curious, but he couldn't help seeing the ribbon on her hat, down between the poor woman's hands. Why that hat...that was the hat that had entered the city on Myrtle's head so spiritedly...only this morning.
"Myrt!" cried Eben. "Myrt, what's the matter?
Right there on the park bench she flung herself on his shoulder..."Eben," she cried..."Eben, it's about Ebenezer, I saw him. He's right there across the street, but I can't have him."
"Why not?" cried Eben furiously. "I'd like to know why not?"
"The directress thought it was all right, but she had to notify his family first and then when I telephoned at one-thirty she told me his...his other family found they could keep him...Oh, Eben, I saw him take his bath and he knew me and laughed...and he liked my hat."
"It's a fine hat," said Eben trying to be a comforter.
"That was my baby, Eben...and now I'll never see him again."