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Newspaper Page Text
his cousin to the railroad depot. Earl
swung along the country road calcu
lating he had just time to reach the
station for the last train of the day.
As he made a turn in the road he was
A well-dressed young man sat
helplessly surveying a stalled auto
mobile. One wheel was stuck in a
rut. He presented a picture of fran
tic anxiety and nervous worry.
"See here," he called out, "come
this way, -won't you? My machine
has gone dead, I'm in a rut and I
don't know what to do."
"Why, get out and fix it," advised
Earl, a little nettled at the uselessness
exhibited by the owner of the auto.
"I can't. I don't know how," al
most wailed the young man. "I'm
an invalid nervous wreck! Doctor
says I must be careful. Please help
me out, that's a good fellow."
Earl glanced at his watch. He had
no time to waste. A thought of Mary
spurred him on. Common sympathy
urged him to act the humanitarian.
He set at work on the machine. At
the end of one-half an hour he had it
in right trim.
"I've got to catch a train," he said.
"I suppose you'll take me to the sta
tion?" "Yes, but I'm too nervous to run
the auto myself," declared his new
acquaintance, bo Earl took the wheel.
He sprinted, but they arrived at the
depot just in time to see the train dis
appearing around a bend. He ex
plained his predicament to his com
panion, and none too pleasantly, for
his mind had been set on reaching
home that evening.
"I'm dreadfully sorry that I've
caused you all this trouble," remark
ed his companion. "See here, though,
you can do me a further favor and
help yourself out, too."
"How is that?" queried Earl
"Why, I live at Corydon. I am Les
lie Short. As I told you, an invalid
and I was foolish to venture so far
from home in my condition. This
ends automobiling for me! If youi
will consent to drive me as far &s$
Corydon, you can get a train there to
Dunham early this evening and 111 be
glad to settle for your trouble."
"Never mind that end of it," saidd
Earl, and spirited up at the thought
of seeing Mary that evening after all. i
During the next hour Earl learned j
that his companion was a whimsical i
young man of wealth, who fancied
himself an invalid. The brusque, free!
energy of Earl made his acquaintance
quite comfortable. He roused out of
his timidity about dusk.
"I'll relieve you at the wheel," he
observed. "Wish I had your splendid
physique and nerve, my friend," and
he spurted up the machine, quite
pleased at gaining courage from the
.proximity of Earl.
Just at dusk they went whizzing
by a farm house. Earl had turned
on the reflectors and Short, quite
roused .up with his valiant efforts at
the wheel, waa putting on the speed
when he suddenly drew back with a
"Great heavens!" he gasped "I
have killed somebody!"
Only a flashing glance Earl had of
a prostrate figure in the middle of
the road. Then the swift machine
passed over It. There was an unearth
ly yell. Earl's flesh crept. Short had
dropped away from the wheel and sat
huddled back in the seat, his hands'
over his eyes and chattering madly
in an excess of wild terror. ,
If Earl had not seized the wheel
just in the nick of tiine, the machine'
would have gone over the side of the
road to sure destruction.
"Be a man!" he adjured his frantic
companion and ran back the road.
He returned almost instantly.
"It was a dummy figure, a trick1
of the farm boys to scare race fiends,"
he explained. "Come, come, brace
up!" he urged the abject, nerve-racked