The Twenty-Fourth of June (Grace S. Richmond, 1914)

Matthew Kendrick sends his grandson Richard to the home of his old friend Judge Calvin Gray with a message. Old Kendrick had built up a great department store and made himself immensely rich in the process; Young Kendrick lives lazily off those riches. Rich’s parents had both died when he was very young and he has no memory of a family like the one he finds gathered around the Grays’ hearth. He’s struck by it in general and by one of its members in particular: Roberta, Gray’s niece. Gray, whose eyesight is weakening with age, is in search of a secretary to help him with his research. In an uncharacteristic but not inexplicable move, Rich applies for the job. Rob, on learning who Rich is, dislikes him on principle. Though of no mean background herself, she values hard work and has no use for idle wealth. It will be an uphill battle for Rich to win her over.

Rich meets his old college friend Hugh Benson. Benson has recently inherited his father’s small-town store and is not doing well financially. Rich forms a partnership with Benson, and with the help of an experienced manager, they set out to rebuild the business. Kendrick, who had quietly harbored his own misgivings about his grandson’s idleness, sees in this the beginnings of a new man. Rob is not so easily swayed. That winter, he had boldly declared his love for her. While she didn’t reject him out of hand, she postponed her answer until Midsummer Day — the 24th of June — fully believing that both Rich’s current occupation and his infatuation with her were only a caprice and would be forgotten long before the months had passed.

She underestimated Rich’s honesty on both counts, but by the time the appointed day arrives, she has a new understanding of him and is ready to return his love.

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