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"Ob, nonsense!" retorted his neigh
bor, "Bradley is a good boy. The
poor young pair have hard scratch
ing, perhaps, but they're happy and
contented as two birds in a nest."
"Humph!" commented the iron
hearted father, and went his way sul
len and unlovely.
So Byron got the railroad and what
went with it, both good a,nd bad.
There was a great deal of grumbling
in Hopeville, and in a measure Phil
lip Dawes looked upon as a disap
pointing founder and builder. The
pride and. ambition of the old man
were touched. Then he began to
plan to retain his prestige. Neighbors
noticed that he went to a city fifty
miles distant a great deal. Also, that
he brought distinguished-looking
business men back with him, whom
he showed all over the district.
"Trying to get a railroad into
Hopeville?" insinuated Bross, some
"Not at all," retorted Dawes, with
an enigmatical smile. "We don't want
one why, I intend to explain to you
weak sister growlers at the annual."
The "annual" was a time-honored
institution of Hopeville and now
again close at hand. Every year
Phillip Dawes had insisted that the
representative residents of the place
meet at the town hall to celebrate the
founding of the village. Speeches,
congratulations, suggestions for civic
improvements comprised the feat
ures of the program. Then a banquet.
Dawes was always the chairman of
the functions and so felicitous was
his handling of the various toasts
proposed, that he had won the title
of "The Cheer Master."
They could hear the distant echo
of an engine whistle across the val
ley as they sat in the town hall on
the present occasion. It reminded
some of the sore ones of their disap
pointment. Dawes, however, was in
great fettle thatevening and when
the banquet board was reached his
buoyant, optimistic air communicat
ed itself to others.
They ver had anything stronger
than clc-i', sparkling water at these
celebration functions. They had
nothing stronger, because in the first
place no one seemed to want it, and;
furthermore, the big artesian well
that supplied the town ranked third:
in the state as to purity of outrush,
so, as a matter of local loyalty, the
toasts were drunk in aqua pura.
"Hopeville her splendid past and;
her glorious future," was the toast
read. "Humph!" grumbled Bross, "I
think Dawes will have to take a back
seat this time."
But Phillip Dawes arose, looking
brighter and prouder than he had
ever seemed. He took no back, water
on the buoyant predictions of past
years. He looked quite dazzled as he
spoke of the golden stream of good
fortune now knocking at their doors.
And then they drank the toast. And
then most everybody made a grim
ace, set down the unfinished libation,
and looked queer.
"Something the matter with the
water, friends?" smiled Dawes.
"That's the merit of it. It is Hope
ville water, though not from the
home well. Gentlemen, you have
drank of the soon-to-be-celebrated
Lithia-Magneslum water, specially
presented to you to introduce the
last requirement this beatlful district
needed. to make it famous."
"Say, what are you driving at, any
how?" inquired Bross bluntly.
"Just this," explained Dawes. "I
reasoned from the first that the new
railroad would open up a popular
outing resort somewhere along its
line. The noisy railroad has spoiled .
Byron. Besides, they have no such,
magnificent scenery as Hopeville,
nor a lake, nor a trout stream, nor
the model town. Again, tourists like
to ride from terminus In a stage
think they're diving into the prim
eval wilderness. Well, gentlemen, for
two months I have been negotiating
with wealthy promoters in the city.
The deal is closed, a big hotel is to be