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Newspaper Page Text
DICKY A BIRD
By Alvah Jordon Garth
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman)
"I decline to take the responsibil
ity." It was with decided firmness that
Randal Gregory, mine manager,
, It was with resentful lips and a
deep scowl that William Dale faced
"Don't stand in your own light,
Qregory," he uttered, and there was
a hidden snarl in his tone.
c 'I'm not thinking of that," de
clared the young manager freely.
'IMy mind is with the men. You or
der the old shaft pierced. It cannot
be tapped above the 200-foot level.
There isn't a man in the gangs you
could hire to go down Old Seven.
They know that poisoned air, fire
damp, sure death he at the. bottom
of the abandoned shaft."
"Oh, they always say that," re
ported Dale irritably. "I don't ask
them to go down Seven. I want the
wall pierced so we can break through
across it to the new lode."
T "Why not work around it in the
regular way? ".challenged Gregory.
"And waste over ten thousand dol
lars!" i "A dozen lives are worth more
than that," suggested Gregory stead-
Dale lost all patience with him. He
j'ooked ugly and menacing as he
asked with an angry catch in his
"Then you refuse to give the or
sler to the men?"
"Positively. Mr. Ransom, the
president of the company, may do so
e-I will not take the responsibility."
t "But it is his expectancy to have
the work accomplished by this time
next week when he returns. He is
winging some capitalists with him.
Fdtirduty is clear to put this work
through, I -fear," added Dale, as if he
was presenting a cinching argument,
"hesitation on your part may lead to
the loss of his confidence and well,
that also of his family."
Gregory bowed with dignity and
was silent, but he left the office fully
aware of the significance of those last
words. They referred to Miss Bea
trice Hansom, daughter and heiress
of the rich and powerful owner of
the Blythesdale coal mines.
The allusion had disturbed Gregory.
As he proceeded on his way his brain
'What Am I Offered?
was hard at work, seeking to devise
some method of tapping the new vein
without risk. There was a way and
he had suggested it, but if involved
two months' labor and considerable
On his way to the shaft house the
young manager paused in front of
one of the numerous wretched
shacks that lined the road. A smaU