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Newspaper Page Text
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A STRAY CHANCE
By Jessie E. Sherwin
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"To plunge into the. wilderness and
forget, or to ransack the mountains
and gain great wealth, the only thing,
it seems, that will buy me my hap
piness!" Thus mused Arden Vaile, and he
looked grim, desperate, determined
all at once. His case was a proto
type of the common variety of the
poor, struggling man of genius, lov
ing and beloved m turn by the daugh
ter of a Croesus.
He was too honorable and sensible
to ask pretty Bettina Royce to en
gage herself to him until he had
made some kind of a hopeful finan
cial start in life. Then, too, her fa
ther, while neither tyrannical nor
snobbish, was a stickler for prudence
and what was due his daughter so
cially. There was only a mutual, tacit un
derstanding between Bettina and Ar
den at their parting interview. He
spoke- of going forth to win the
world. Her mute lips, framed to an
expression of real mental pain, as
sured him that his love was her world
and she spoke of his return in a glad
some, hopeful way that sent him on
his journey happy.
"Mr. Royce made his fortune at
mining in a day," ruminated Arden.
"If I lay the mere formation for one
in a year I will be thankfuL"
The 'district had seen some great
"finds" of late gold, always gold,
Arden started for the Bonanza dis
trict on foot It was 300 miles away,
out of the reach of even good roads.
He had little, but his outfit and a few
cherished belongings. There was his
cornejt, for he was something of a
musician! his artist's case, a few fa
It was at Cross Cut gully that he
found himself clear out of funds.
Good fortune, fibweyer, stepped in
and saved the day. A rugged, half-
tipsy miner discovered him whiling
away a lonely hour near the edge of
musician, his artist's case, a few fa
miliar tunes on his cornet.
"The very thing, boss," he sailed
Arden heartily. "See here," and he
drew out a buckskin bag. It was
filled with nuggets.
"How much to give us some patri
otic and dance music at the gulch?"
was his next ready challenge.
"I'll do it for a good meal," re
plied Arden accommodatingly.
"But you won't," dissented his new
acauaintance. "Here and here and
.ii rNj'x I r
& 1TJ 7
"Make It Big and Lots of Color in It."
there 1" and Arden's eyes sparkled as
nearly three ounces of dust was
poured into his palm.
They meant new life for the penni
less wanderer; they helped him on
his way as far as Quartzville. Here a
frontier circus was in progress. Mix
ing with the crowd, Arden was
robbed of what was left of his
His funds ran so low that he re
painted a tavern sign for $5. One of
the habitues of the place came across