Miss Martha Meacham kept a little bakery.Miss Martha was forty, and had two thousand dollars in a bank,two false teeth and a kind heart.Many people have married who had less possibilities to do so than Miss Martha. Two or three times a week a man came into her shop to buy bread and very soon she began to show interest in him.He was a man of middle age with spectacles and a short brown beard.His clothes were poor,but he looked clean and had very good manners. He always bought two loaves of stale bread.Fresh bread was five cents a loaf .Stale loaves were five for two.He never bought anything but stale bread. Once Miss Martha saw red and brown stains on his fingers.She was sure then that he was an artist and very poor one.Of course he lived in a little room , where he painted pictures and ate stale bread , and thought of good things in Miss Martha's bakery. Often when Miss Martha sat down to eat her good dinner, she thought about the poor artist and wanted him to share her meal instead of eating his stale bread. Miss Martha, as you have been told, had a very kind heart. In order to find out his profession, she brought from her room one day a painting that she had once bought and put it against the shelves behind a bread counter. It was an Italian painting.A beautiful palace stood near a lake.Miss Martha was sure that an artist would notice it. Two days later the man came into the shop. “Two loaves of stale bread, if you pleas”.”You have a fine picture here, madam”, he said while she was getting the bread. “Yes?” said Miss Martha.”I love art and (she could not say “artists”)and paintings,” she added.”You think it is a good picture, do you?” “The palace,” said the man, “is not in good drawing.The perspective of it is not true.Good morning, madam.” He took his bread and hurried out. Yes, he must be an artist.Miss Martha took the picture back to her room. How kinde his eyes were behind his spectacles!What a broad forehead he had!To be an artist-and to live on stale bread!But a genius often has to struggle before it is recognized. How good would it be for art if a genius was helped by two thousand dollars in the bank, a bakery, and a kind heart too – but these were only dreams. Often now when he came, he talked for some time with Miss Martha.And he continued buying stale bread, never anything else. She thought he was looking thin.She wanted to add something good to eat to his bread, but she had no courage to do it.She knew about artists' pride. Miss Martha began to wear her best blue silk blouse almost every the room behind the shop she cooked some mixture for her face.