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after turmoil and strife. The smaller
children would be Happy and com
fortable and the little farm might
bring in enough to help him to pay
eventually the debts that harassed his
sensitive nature like-a millstone about
A cheerful reaction took place in
Abner's mind, as he reflected that
after all his was not the worst condi
tion in the world. He had a loyal,
helpful wife and loving, obedient chil
dren. Prom a more comfortable atti
tude of mind his thoughts idly drift
ad and he fell to -dreaming over
events in his past life. Then in a
whimsical way a story of the long
ago, came to his memory.
' His father ,had"been' well nigh ruin;
ed right among, these treacherous
sanS hills nearly 40 years since. The
event wast the sensation 6f the hour
through the whole district James
jyaldron had removed his little coun
try Bank to Albion from Saugatuckjn
the next county. Over $30,000 in gold
had been carried in locked iron boxes
in an old stage 'coach. Its driver had
lost his way among,the sand hills, a
great storm had come'up and he was
blown from his seat against a rock
and rendered insensible.
When he came back to conscious
ness the stage coach, the horses, the
treasure, had disappeared. There was
a search all over the country. It
brought no results. With difficulty the
banker met the great loss; It was
generally decided that robbers had
driven the treasure away, stage and
all, , and no trace of the outfit was
The sky had darkened while Abner
sat dreaming. A cyclonic gust nearly
swept him off his feet as he got lip
, to make a start for home. A blinding
rain of sand cut his face. Abner
walked briskly forward, but several
times in his up and down hill progress,
he went headlong as the sand slides .
took him off his footing.
"This is getting serious!" he ex
claimed, as he slid nearly the length
ofahHlj to land in. a ijullyjetween ,
two towering mountain's of sand. He
tried to reascendV It was like.Dreast,--ing
an avalanche. The cut-was filling
up .fast. At orife time the sand was
up to his knees. r
"Why! I shall be engulfed! It is
like quicksand!" he reflected in vivid
His situation wis truly critical. He
knew that unless, he got out of what ,
was a natural funnel-for the tornado
air currents, he was lost. He strug
gled on, came to a turn in the gully,
and dimly made out .a slanting mass
of gnarled tree roots. AVner .ran1 to
it, slipped, a cavity" was revealed,
and -he dropped-into darkness .fully s .
20 'feet ' " . ,
The breath' was nearly knocked buf
of his body and it was some timeibe
fore he could arise to his feet . He
stood ,ori a, sandy foundation, 'appar
ently of. some- large sheltered void.
It was" sa dark-he could hot toake?oht
its' extent. Groping alohcT, he land"4
ed against a post. yThfcn it occurred
to him that he had come uponorife of
the many sand submerged houses,
swallowed up in some tornado years
before. Once he had stepped into a'
chimney, all that was left visible oi
one of these engulfed structures'. "
Abner was a smoker He therefore
carried matches, and feeling . in his
pocket for one, drew it, forth and
flared it Then, transfixed, he strain
ed his gaze, wondering if some Alad
din touch had suddenly created a
fairy scene for deluded senses.
Before, him was an open shed sup
ported by posts. ,Back of it was a
great, lumbering, old fashioned ye?
hide. Attached,werethe skeletons of
a-team of horses. Thrilled, amazed,,
in almost a shout vhe electrified ob
server gasped but: ,
"The lost stage coach!"
Yes, it could be" hp other it was
no other. Like lightning through his.
bewildered brain, ran a theory eluci
dating all the mystery of 40 years
and more., . '
To this shelter, o'nthe night the
bank was.-mdvedthe horses jiaj