Newspaper Page Text
"ptday; October; io, 1919
THElNDEFf4BEIiT.ELIZAOETH,CiTYf IL C.
By ROBERT J. C. STEAD
"Kitchener, and Other '
Illustrations by IRWIN MYERS
Copyrig-ht by Harper fc Brothers
cHVTER I. Living with his father on
, cin.ill, badly managed rapch. David
T',dc- lias reached the age of eighteen
.niiient eastern physician, and his daugh-,
- Irene, are touring the country, brinks'
, new element into his life. Dr. Hardy's
i broken, and he is necessarily con
jnea to his bed. Friendship, and some
thing more, develops between Irene and
Doctor Hardy recovered-from his In
juries as rapidly as could be expected
and while he chafed somewhat oyer
spending his holidays under such cir
cumstances, the time parsed not un
happily. A considerable acquaintanceship had
sprung up between him and the senior
Elden. The rancher had come from the
East forty years before; but in turning
over their memories the ,twq men
found many links' of association: third
persons known to them both; places,
even streets and houses,- common to
their feet in early manhood.; .events of
local history which' each could recaH,
although from different angles: And
Elden' s grizzled head and stooping
frame carried more experiences than
would fill a dozen well-rounded city
lives, and he had . the story-teller's art
which scorns to spoil dramatic effect
by a too strict adherence to fact. But
no ray of conversation would he admit
into the more personal affairs of hlSj
heart, or of the woman who had beeir
his wife, and even when the talk
turned on the boy he quickly withdrew
it to another topic, as though the sub
ject were dangerous or distasteful. But
once, after a long silence following such
a diversion, had he betrayed himself
into a whispered remark, an outburst
of feeling rather than a communica
tion. "I've been alone so much," he said.
"It seems I have never been anything
bat alone. And sooner or later1 it
gets you It gets you."
"You have the boy, ventured the
"Noj" he answered, almost fiercely.
"That would be different. I could
stand it then. But I haven't got him,
and I can't get him. He despises me
because because I take too much at
times." He paused as though wonder
ing whether to proceed with this un
wonted confidence, but the ache in his
heart insisted on its right to human
sympathy. "No, it ain't that," he con
tinued. "He despises me because he
thinks I wasn't fair to his mother. He
can't understand. I wanted to be good
to her, to be close to her. Then I took
to booze, as natural as a steer under
the brandin'-iron roars to drown his
hart. But the boy don't understand.
He despises me." Then, after a long
silence: "No matter. I despise my
self." The doctor placed a hand on his
shoulder. But Elden was himself
again. The curtains of his life, which
he had drawn apart for a moment, he
whipped together again rudely, almost
riciously, and covered his confusion by
plunging into a tale of how he had led
a breed suspected of cattle-rustling on
a little canter of ten miles with a rope
about his neck and the other end tied
to the saddle. "He ran well," said the
old man, chuckling still at the reminis
cence. "And it was lucky he did. It
was a strong rope."
The morning after Dave had brought
ia the borrowed saddle Irene appeared
in a sort of bloomer suit, somewhat
wonderfully contrived from a spare
skirt, and announced a willingness to
risk life and limb on any horse that
Dave might select for that purpose. He
provided her with a dependable mount
and their first journey, taken somewhat
gingerly along the principal -trail, was
accomplished without incident. It was
the forerunner of many others, plung
ing deeper and deeper into the fast
nesses of the foothills and even into
the passes of the very mountains thefn
selves. His patience was infinite and,
although there were no silk trappings
to his courtesy, it was a very genuine
sud tar.Iy deference he paid her. She
as quite sure that he would at any
mom sat give his life, if needacL to de
feud her from injury and accept tha
transaction as a matter of course. His
Physical endurance was inexhaustible
ad his knowledge of prairie and foot
hill seemed to her almost uncanny. He
ad every sign of footprint, leaf, wa
ter and sky with unfailing insight. He
tod no knowledge of books, and sbe
kad at first thought him ignorant, but
18 the days went by she found in him
mine of wisdom which shamed her
After such a ride they one day dis
counted in a grassy opening among the
toes that bordered a mountain canyon.
Io a crevice they found a flat stone that
Save comfortable seating and here
toey rested while the horses , browsed
their afternoon meal On the grass
bove. Both were conscious of a grad
ually increasing tension in the at
mosphere. For days the boy had been
aioody. it was evident he was harbor
ing something that was calling through
jjjs nature for expression, and Irene
jew that this afternoon he would talk
01 more than trees and rocks and foot
Prints of the wild things of the forest.
Your father is getting along well,"
Yes'" she answered. "He has had a
to holiday, even with his broken
"Yob will be goin away before long,"
Yes." she answered' and waited.
Hia 8 abmt here ain't goln to bo
same after you're gone," he went
He wore no coat, and the neck of
his shirt 'was 'open, lor .the day . was
warm. Had he caught her sidelong
glances, even his slow, self-deprecating
mind must have read their admiration.
But he kept his eyes fixed on the green
water. - , ' - I
"You see,f he said, "before you came
ii was uurerent. l didn't know what I
was missin. an so it didn't matter.
Not but what .1 was dog-sick of it at
times, but still I thought I was livln'
thought this was life, and,, of course,
now I know It ain't. At least, it won't
be after you're gone." :
"That's Strnncro " cha oaM nn In
direct answer to his remark, but as a'
soliloquy on It as she turned it over In !
her mind. This life, now, seems '
empty to you. AH my life seems
empty to me. This seems to me the
real life, out here in the foothills, with
the trees and the mountains, and and.
our horses, you know."
She might have ended the sentence
In a way that would have come much
closer to him, and been much truer,
but conventionality had been bred in
to her for generations and she did not
find -it possible yet freely to speak the
."It's such a wonderful life," she con
tinued. "One gets so strong and hap
py in it." v
"You'd soon get sick of it," he said.
'We don't see nothin. We don't learn
nofhin. Reenie, . I'm eighteen, an' I
bet you could read an write better'n
me when you was six."" : "
VDld you never go to school?" she
asked, in genuine surprise. She knew
his speech was ungrammatical, but
thought that due to careless training
rather than to no-training at all. '
"Where'd I go to. school?" he de
manded, bitterly. "There ain' a school
within forty" miles. Guess I wouldn't
have, went if I 'could," he added, as an
afterthought, wishing to be quite hon-
est in the matter. 'School didn't seem
to cut.n'o figure until jus', lately."
'.'But you have learned some?" she
"Some. When I was a little kid my
father used to work. with me at times.
He learned me to read a little, anr
..to write my name, an' a little more.
But things didn't go right between him
an' mother, an' he got to drinkin'
more an more, an' jus' making h
of it. We used to have a mighty fine
herd of steers here, but it's all shot
to pieces. When we sell a bunch the
old man '11 stay In town for a month
or more, blowin' the coin and leavin'
the debts go. I sneak a couple of
steers away now an then, an' with the
money I keep our grocery bills paid
up an' have a little to rattle in my
jeans. My credit's good at any store
in town," and Irene thrilled to the note
of pride in his voice as he said this.
The boy had real quality in him. "But
I'm sick of it all," he continued. "Sick
of it, an' I wanna get out."
"You think you are not educated
she answered, trying to meet his out
burst as tactfully as possible. "Per
haps you are not, the way we think of
it in the city. But I guess you could
show the city boys a good many things
they don't know, and never will know."
For the first time he looked her
straight in the face. His dark eyes met
her gray ones and demanded truth.
"Irene," he said, "do you mean that?
"Sura 7. do," she answered. "College
courses, and all that kind of thing,
they're good stuff, all right, but they
make some awful nice boys real
live, boys, you know Into some awful
dead ones. My father says about the
best education ts to learn to live with
in your income, pay your debts and
give the other fellow a chance to do
the same. They don't all learn that at
college. Then there's the things you
do, just like you were born to it, that
they couldn't do to save -their lives.
Why, I've seen you smash six bottles
at a stretch, you going full gallop end
whooping and shooting so we could
hardly tell which was which. And ride
you could make more money riding
for city people to look at than most of
those learned fellows, with letters af
ter their names like the tall of a kite,
will ever see. But I wouldn't like you
to make it that way. There are more
useful things to do."
He was comforted by this speech,
but he referred to his accomplishments
modestly. "Ridin an shootin ain't
npthin," he said.
"I'm not so sure," she answered.
"Father says the day is coming when
our country will want men who can
shoot and ride more than it will want
lawyers, and professors."
"Well, when it does it can 'call on
me," ne said, and there was the pride
in his voice which comes to a boy who
feels that in some way he can take a
man's place In the world. "Them Is
two things I sure can do."
Years later she was to think of her
remark and his answer, consecrated
then- in clean red blood.
They talked of many things that af
ternoon, and when at last the length
ening shadows warned them it was
time to be on the way they rode long
distances in silence. Both felt a sense
which neither ventured to express
that they had traveled very close In the
world of their hopes and sorrows and
The shadows had deepened into
darkness, and the infinite silence of the
hills hung about them as they dropped
from their saddles at the Elden door.
A light shone from within, and Doctor
Hardy, wa53 now able to move
about with the aid of a, home-made
crutch, couf d be seen setting the table,
while "Mr. Elden Stirred a composition
on the stove. They chatted as they
worked, and there was something of
the joy of little children In their com
panionship. The young folks watched
for a moment through the window, and
in Dave's heart some long-forgotten
emotion moved momentarily at the
sight of the good-fellowship prevailing
in the old house; Irene, too, was think
ing; glimpses of her own buttered
home, and then this background of
primal simplicity, where the old cow
man cooked the meals and the famous
specialist set the plates on the bare
board table, and then back of It all her
mother, sedate and correct, and very
much shocked; OTer, this .mingling,, of
the classes. . . .
f "Well, you youngsters must. hare this
country pretty ! well explored," said
Doctor Hardy, as they entered the
house. 'Where was it today the
prairies, the foothills or the real fefe
lows "behind J'1" ; . . - . ...y. '
I . "The canyon ,up . the river," - said
Irene, drawing off her sweater. "What's
the eats? Gee ! I'm hungry I Getting
pretty supple, Daddyklns, aren't you?"
"Yes, an' I'm srrry for It, miss," said
the old rancher, "not wishin'him any
harm, or you, neither. We was jus'
talkin' It over, an' your father thinks
he's spry enough for the road again.
Ain't ever goin to be like It used to be
after he's gone, an you." ,
"We'll be sorry to go," said the doc
tor. "That's what I've been saying all
day, and thinking, too. If misfortunes
can be ludky, ours was one of that
kind. I don't know when I've enjoyed
a holiday so much. What do you say,
girl?" he asked, as he rested an arm
on her round, firm shoulder and looked
with ' fatherly fondness into the fine
brown of her ace.
"I've never "known anything like it,"
she answered. "It's wonderful. It's
life." Then with a sudden little scream
she exclaimed : "Oh, daddy, why can't
you sell y6ur " practice and buy a
ranch? Wouldn't that be wonderful?"
, "Your mother might not see it that
way," he replied and her eyes fell.
Yes, that was "the obstacle. She
would have fo go back to the city and
talk by rule, and dress by rule, and
behave by rule, and be" correct.
"It's been a good time," the doctor
continued, when they had commenced
supper, "but I've .already overstayed
my holiday. I feel I can travel now,
and my leg will be pretty strong, by
the time I am back east. If Dave will
oblige us by going to town tomorrow
and bringing back some one who can
drive a car, we will be able to start
the following morning. I will just take
the car to town, and either sell it there
or ship it." ;
The following morning found Dave
early on the trail, leading a saddled
horse by his side. The hours were
leaden for the girl all that day and,
looking Into "the -'future, she saw the
sneeter of her life shadowed down the
years by an unutterable loneliness:
How could she ever . drop It all all
this wild freedom, this, boundless
health, this great outdoors, this life,
life how, could she drop It all and go
back into "the little circle where con
vention fenced out the tiniest alien
streamlet, although the circle itself
might lie deep in mire? And how
would she give up this boy who had
grown so Imperceptibly but so Inti
mately into the very soul of her being
give him up with all his strength and
virility and, yes, and coarseness, if you
will, but sincerity, too an essential
man, as God made him in exchange
for a machine-made counterfeit with
the stamp of Society? Deeply did she
ponder these questions, and as the day
wore on she found herself possessed
of a steadily growing determination
thai she would not follow the beaten
trail, let the by-paths lead where they
Darkness, save for a white moon.
had settled over the foothills when the
boy ret timed with another young man.
The struneer ate a ravenous Supper,
but was uot too occupied to essay con
versation with Irene. He chose ttf call
her cook. 1
'Swell pancakes, cook," was his
opening remark. "Can you find an
other for yours truly?" x
She refilled his plate without an
swer. "Used to know a girl mighty like
you," he went on. "Waitress in the
Royal Edward. Gee! but she was
swell! A pippin! Class?' Say, she
had 'em all guessing. Had me guessing
myself for a while. But just tor a
while." He voiced these remarks with
an air of intense self-approval more
offensive than the words.
Irene felt the color, rise about her
neck and cheeks and run like an over
flowing stream into her ears and about
her hair. It was evident that, for a
second time, Dave had chosen to say
nothing to strangers about her pres
ence at the ranch. Her father and Mr.
Elden were in Dave's room ; Dave had
stopped eating, and she saw the veins
rielncr In hfs rionrfipri fistS. But the
challenge was to her, and she would
accept it; she felt no need of his pro
tection. "Fill your stomach," she said, pass
ing more pancakes; "your head Is
. He attempted a laugh, but the meal
was finished in silence. The stranger
lit a cigarette and Irene went to the
door with Dave.
"Come for a walk," he whispered,
"The horses are tired, so let's walk.
. . . It's our last chance."
She ran for her sweater and rejoined
him in a moment. They walked in
silence down a path through the fra
grant trees, but Dave turned from time
to time to catch a glimpse of her face,
white and fine as ivory in the soft
light. He had much to say, but he was
tongue-tied under the spell of her
"You squelched him, all right," he
broke out, at length.
"Just in time, too, I think," she re
plied. "I was watching your hands."
He smiled a quiet but very confident
smile. "Reenie," he said, "that fellow
makes me sick. All the way out he
talked febout girls. He's a city chap
an' wear--? a white collar, but he ain't
fit to speak your name. Another min
ute an' I'd 'a' had 'im by the neck."
He seized a spruce limb that stuck
across their path. It was the size of a
stout stick, but he snapped it with a
turn of his wrist. It was very tough ;
it oozed sticky stuff where he broke it.
"His neck," he said, between his teeth,
"jus' like that."
They reached an open space8 Some
thing black or was it red? lay on
the ground. Dave bent over it a mo
ment, then looked up to her white,
clear face, white and clearer than ever
Since witnessing the strength of his
"It's a calf," he said, as calmly as he
could. "Half et up. Wolves, I guess.'
"The poor, poor thing!" she breath
ed. "The poor,' innocent thing! Why
did it have to die?" '
It's always the innocent things 'at
suffers," he answered.
"Always the innocent things, she
repeated mechanically. "Always "
She sprang to her feet and faced him.
"Then- ; what about the . justice of
God?" she demanded.
"I don't know npthin about the Jus
tice of God," he answered bitterly.
"All I know is the crlttur 'at catot
run gets caught."
There wasrlorig pause, v "It doesn't
seem rintf she said at length. ".
Vlt ain't right,'' be agreed. - "But 1
guess It's life. I see it here on the
prairies with every Uvln thing. I
guess I was like that, some. I've been
caught. I guess a bahy ain't respon
sible for anything, is It? I didn't
pick my father or my mother, did I?
But I got to bear It."
TF-here was something near a break
In his voice on the last words. She
felt she must speak.
"I think your father Is a wonderful
old man' she said, "and your mother
must have been wonderful, too. You
should be proud of them both."
"Reenie. do you mean that?" he de
manded. His eyes were looking
straight into hers.
"Absolutely," she answered. "Ab
solutely I mean It.
"Then I'm goin' to . say some , more
things to you,", he went on rapidly.
Things 'at I didn't know whether to
. . 41, J 1
say or not, Dut now mej ve gut iu ue
said, whatever happens. Reenie, I
haven't' ever been to school or learned
lots of things I should 'a' learned, but
I ain't a fool, neither. I didn't learn
ta break all those bottles in a day.
Well, I can learn other things, too,
an' I will, if only it will take me
across. Tm goin' to leave this old
ranch, some way, jns' as soon as It
can be arranged. I'm goin' to town
an' work. I'm strong ; I can get pretty
good ' wages. " I've been thinkin' It all
over, an' was askin some questions
in town today. I can work days an'
go to school nights. An I'll do it If
it'll get me across. You know what I
mean. I ain't askin no pledges, Ree
nie, but what's the chance? I know I
don't talk right, and I don't eat right
you tried not to notice but you couldn't
help but, Reenie, I think right, an I
guess with a girl like you that counts
more than eatin' and talkin."
She had thought she could say yes
or no to any question, he could aSk,
but as", he poured forth' these jplain,
passionate words she found herself
enveloped in a flame that found no ex
pression In speech. She- had " no
words. She. was glad when he went
on : "- ' "
VI know I'm only a boy an' j you're
only a girl. That's why I don't ask
no pledge. I leave you free, only I
want you to stay free until I have
my chance. Will you promise that?"
She tried to pull herself together.
"You know I've had a good time with
you, Dave," she said, "and I've gone
with you everywhere, like I would not
have gone with any other boy I ever
knew, and I've talked and let you talk
about things I never talked about be
fore, and I believe you're true and
clean and and " .
"Yes," he said. 'What's your an
swer?" - t
"I know you're true and clean," she
repeated. "Come to me like that
when I'm a woman and you're a man,
and then then we'll know."
He was tall and straight, and his
shadow fell across her face, as though
Reenie," He Said, "Kit Me."
even the moon must not see. "Ree
nie." he said, Pkissr me."
For one moment she thought of her
mother. She knew' she stood at the
parting of the ways; that afl life for
her was' being molded in that moment.
Then she put both arms about his
neck and drew his lips to hers.
(TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK)
Are Cordially Invited
to make the.
headquarters while in town
Saturday afternoons. Leave
youn bundles at our office;
use our phone. And if you
want to see a good show, we
run a specially good one
every Saturday afternon.
UNITED STATES RAILROAD
NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD
UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS
Tickets on sale daily October 4th to 8th
inclusive, final limit midnight Oct. 31st,
1919. : ; ? . " " ' ,
Stop-overs and side trips will be permitt
ed within final limit of tickets under Ta
riff regulations, v
Inquire of or write to your nearest
Far n and Timber Lands a Specialty
We have ready buyers on our waiting list and
can dispose of your property immediately.
What have you to offer for sale?
w. t. culpeper ; . v:
When Better Hardware
We Wai Sell lt
From the very inceptiofi of this business we determined to
stock this store orlly with goods of established merit. We
aim to sell you only such paints, tools, building material
and hardwaye as we know will give you satisfaction. We
make each sale a bid for your permanent patronage
Culpepper Hardware Co.
17 No. Poind exter St.
" he! ' d
r-rtr?? F trjstf Jrsli x . -St V..'.
Norfolk Engraving Co.
Makers of Printing Plates
217 Granby St. Norfolk, Va.
fLiui-n.nn nnn.ru runn'MMW'
One Car Load
M. F. OWENS & CO,
SUCCESSORS TO '" '
BELANGA & FORBES COMPANY '
Wholesale Receivers of Country Produce of all Kinds
Poultry and Eggs a Specialty
Top Market Prices Quick Returns Write for Tags ,
M. F OWENS & CO.
211 N. Water Street. . Elizabeth Cty, N. C.
f Z-ZZZZZ nU
McKimmey Bros. & Co.
WHOLESALE COMMISSION MERCHANTS
No. 33 Roanoke Ave. Norfolk, Va.
N For top Market Prices tor your Hogs, Poultr- and all
COUNTRY PRODUCE AT ALL TIMES
Consign Your Shipments to Us.
SHIP US YOUR PORK
Dealers In :-
Twiford & Twiford
Elizabeth City, N. C.
D. C. TWIFORD :
V - - v ' . .
423 Hinton Building
The Eyes of Youth ;
The school-child should not be
handicapped -by poor vision.
Defective eyesight is often the
cause of backwardness in the
An examination will determine,
whether or not glasses are need-
J. W. SELIG
.521 Mian Street
Dr. Win. Parker
317 Hinton Building
Elizabeth City, N. C.
Aug. 8 i3t
DR. JOHN H. BELL
Elizabeth City, N. C.
c S 19-tf .
Business Col ege
THE SCHOOL THAT
STANDS FOR EFFICIENCY
Elizabeth City, N. C.
Hatel Service for Three Generations
Operated by the
Granby and -Tazewell Sts.
- DODSON HOTEL CORP.
1 Uplr -Ms, To'
"Every woman can
have nice, lorg hair."
ays Mar Gilbert. "My
hair haa grown 23
inches longr by uainar
your wonderful .
Don't ke footed by faka Kink Smrcn. Too
aa'tatnichtea yoor hair an til if a aoft and
loaf. Oor ao remoTa (laaaraf, fMOa tha
woSrf taakair aadaMkai it grow !oo- ami
We iMka Sxeteat FVia feoaatlftor. mm
t for rtaxifc, aixiw akirn. Uaod la
mczcr iach tu a mm or cow
LHLCT3 lns&Z &, ItfsSa, Ca.