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Synopsis

Because of Stephen by Grace Livingston Hill

THE ROOM was full of blue smoke from bacon sizzling on the stove when Philip Earle came in.

Philip was hungry, but there was a weirdly monotonous reminder of preceding meals in the odor of the bacon that took the edge from his appetite.

The lamp was doing its best to help both the smoke and the odor that filled the room; any other function it might have had being held in abeyance by the smoke.

The lamp was on a little shelf on the wall, and under it, half hidden by the smoke, stood another young man bending over the stove.

There was nothing attractive about the room. It was made of rough boards: walls, floor, and ceiling. The furniture was an old extension table, several chairs, a cheap cot covered with a gray army blanket, and a desk which showed hard usage, piled high with papers and a few books. A wooden bench over by the stove held a tin wash-basin and cooking-utensils in harmonious proximity.

Several coats and hats and a horse-blanket hung on nails driven into the walls. A line of boots and shoes stood against the base-board. There was nothing else but a barrel and several boxes.

The table was set for supper: that is, it held a loaf of bread, two cups and knives and spoons, a bag of crackers, a paper of cheese, a pitcher of water, and a can of baked beans newly opened.

Philip added to the confusion already on the table by throwing his bundles down at one end. Then he stood his whip in one corner, and tossed his felt hat across the room to the cot, where it lay as if accustomed to staying where it landed.

"A letter for you, Steve!” he said as he sat down at the table and ran his hands wearily through his thick black hair...

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