This meant a heavy loss on his plant
Meantime, output would necessarily
be restricted. Most of the employes
were let out The selected ones
could count only on half time work,
hence the discussion now going on.
For a week af teY that Mr. Ross no
ticed Gib Ridgely more particularly
than he had previously, He observed
that he was busy all the time, dili
gent, accommodating, energetic. He
spoke to his employe pleasantly
whenever they met. In the absence
of his regular messenger, he several
times sent Gib up to the house on
personal errands. One day, when Gib
returned from such a mission," he
carefully removed a rose from his
buttonhole and placed it between the
leaves of his memorandum book.
Miss Ina Ross had given it to him.
One Albion Knapp came into the
private office of Mr. Ross one day
while Gib was going over some ac
count books in the vault near by.
Knapp was slightly known to the
manufacturer and to Ina. He seem
ed to have had the direction of the
surveying party working for the right
Blandly and bluntly he asked per-,
mission of Mr. Ross to pay his ad
dresses to his daughter, m a cold,
formal manner the manufacturer in
formed him that he was not im
pressed with the proposal. Pressed
more closely, he stated that he linew
his daughter's mind intimately and
that for her he could say that she ap
preciated the honor implied, but that
she must decline further acquaint
anceship. "I will say, Mr. Ross," observed
Knapp, "that I might use some in
fluence to get the route of the new
railroad changed "
"Are you asking me to sell my
daughter!" interrupted the manufac
turer quite angrily, and that settled
the conference.. "That man!" Gib
overheard him say to Farson a little
later. "His insulting proposition' is
line 1113 jao icwiu ui A.iiavcijr, i
which I well know. If Ina chose the 1
I poorest, but an honest man in my em-
ploy, it would be preferable to that
schemer," at which Gib flushed
quickly and took heart of. hope.
He had reason for tjiis. Those
fugitive roses he had treasured could
tell a tale. Gib was handsome, in
telligent, of an earnest and ingenuous
nature. No wonder he had attracted
Ina's attention. She welcomed the
occasional visits with genuine girl
For a week Gib had spent half the
night going to and coming from the
great sprawling tract of land his
father called a farm. The old man
had inherited it and valued it from
long association. It comprised a
narrow strip along the river, the
counterpart of another adjoining, was
not cultivated, but had some value
on account of its gravel beds.
One especial evening, after a-long
confab with his father, Gib -shook
hands with him in an excited and
"You've made me a mighty happy
son, father," he said, humbly but
earnestly, "and you? getting the
owner of the next strip to join in
with you clears the way. I shall go
to the city tomorrow and make my
offer of the free right of way."
"Absent yesterday, wasn't you?"
remarked Farson as Gib put in an
appearance two mornings later.
"Yes," smiled Gib buoyantly.
"Tired of your job here?"
"Nor looking for another one?"
"What! When this one is going to
"Oh, sure of that, are you?"
"I am. Come with me to Mr. Ross
and you'll know the Secret of my
confidence. I have some Important
news for you, sir," announced Gib to
Mr. Ross, as they entered his office.
"You won't have to move your plant."
The manufacturer stared at his
faithful ally' in a puzzled way and
"How is that?"
"Because the railroad, is going to
., . . . ..
mmmimmnU'an' mw & i, & ,m,.
" -'! .ywpy t .,
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