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Spokane, March 22, 1912. In a shabby, clean little cottage on the outskirts of the city, two little children - a boy and a girl - brown eyed, sad-eyed, looked out the window, wondering and waiting for the mother and big brother who had gone down town on an errand.

Rosy cheeked and healthy, they discussed in childish awe the reason for the unusual visit during the week of so many big men, strange men from the city, who carried bags with bottles and instruments in them, while others unfolded queer looking picture machines.

They do not know that their father, Tony Volcania, 52 years, once an able bodied Italian laborer, is daily growing weaker from the ravages of leprosy. The physicians - 27 of them in conference - diagnosed it. Tony is worried, not for himself, but the "cheelder." This is what he says: "I frada da cheelder. I don' care fora maself, but da wife and da cheelder. I hope they don' get a sick lika me. I don' do vera da good. No strong at all: Mebbe I am the only one. I pray each day for that, and will be glad to die if I know da others don' hurt as I."

A year ago Tony was working for the Northern Pacific with a construction gang. He was a husky pick and shovel man and worked willingly for the wife and "cheelder." One day he became sick. The next he was worse and later the job was gone. The wife, Serafina, too proud to ask for aid, went to work. She does washing, anything honorable, to support herself and family. There are three children and the man. Since the family was discovered, a county pension of $2.50 each week has been granted them. It helps wonderfully in buying groceries, says Tony, and yet Tony does not complain. He thinks only of his family.

The little cabin makes their home is his own. There is a mortgage on it, he admits. It may grow. He hopes some day to pay it off, as the wife and "cheelder" ought to have a home. Tony, has no feeling and yet he suffers. Queer, isn't it, but true! Physicians stuck nedles in his hands and arms and legs. Tony gave no sign of feeling, and said he felt nothing. An incision was made in his arm and no blood came out.

The wife, with her forty years of life, works on hoping that some day the troubles will end.



The Day Book, March 22, 1912