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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 14, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-02-14/ed-1/seq-19/

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"Better so," sadly soliloquized Wor
den as he reached home alone an
hour'later. "What can I offer that
delicate creature of assurance of the
luxury she is born to? Again, -why
burden her with a tie that may mean
bereavement from the first battle
field? No, it is better as it is."
Six months to the day and Ross
Worden, begrimmed, footsore, limp
ing wearily, crossed a barren, deso
late stretch of Belgian territory just
at dusk. He presented the appear
ance of some homeless refugee, war
driven from shelter and security. In
the distance in almost every direc
tion the glow of camp fires showed,
and ever and anon a bomb burst in
midair.
Half a mile beyond the open
stretch was a ridge of hills, and be
yond that Ross Worden, fresh from
the country of the enemy, loaded
metaphorically with information that
compromised the "war scoop" of the
century, knew where the friendly
army lay. Particularly he scanned
the observation towers here and
there dimly outlined against the
fading evening sky. One of them was
a signal and telegraph tower. For
that he made, eagerly as a pilgrim for
a mecca.
He hummed a gay tune as he toiled
onward. It was one played that
night of the loving-cup episode. He
thought of Nella. He took from his
pocket his memorandum book. Prom
between its pages he tenderly lifted
the rose, now faded, to his- lips.
Ah! for-her sake was he glad that,
striking out on an independent line,
he had penetrated .to the very heart
of the enemy's country, was return
ing with secret ancffiexclusive infor
mation which, blazoned forth to an
interested reading world, would sig
nalize intrepid efforts and place, him
high among the great war corre
spondents of the year.
With 'almost a cheer Ross Worden
dragged -himself into the signal tow
er. The operator stared askance. A,
jnan lounging and smoking nearby!
stared, sprang up in astonishment
and cried out:
."You Worden!"
Worden recognized the man, Pierce,
Disbrow, a journalist of poor repute,
a man he did not like. He greeted
him in a friendly way, but instantly
centered his attention upon the op
erator. He drew a dozen closely
written,sheets from his pocket
"Union News service, my man," he
announced. "You must get this copy
to the cable instanter!"
"All right," nodded the man, while
Disbrow glared with envy at what he
surmised from the exultant face of
Worden must comprise some Mg
"scoop."
"Look out!" abruptly shouted Dis
brow, and bolted for the open air.
The others were not so fortunate. An
unexpected bomb had come direct
from the enemy's camp across the
river. It shattered the frail station
as though it were an egg'shelL When
the devastation was complete Dis
brow crept in among the debris. He
found the operator dead and Worden
insensible and apparently fatally in
jured. He crept forth again in pos
session of the "scoop" data fiL Ro'ss
Worden.
Three months later, poor, wretch
ed, limping, a mere shadow of his
former self, Ross Worden returned to
the city which he had left with such
high hopes. When he reported to
his news bureau it was to be treated
coldly, indifferently, as a man who
had failed to make good. It was then
that he learned that the news he had
gathered at such peril had been used
by Disbrow, who had received high
credit for the same.
The discovery crushed him. He
was still ill from his wound received
in the explosion. He sought joor,
obscure lodgings; he was prostrated
with a fever. To pay his way his
landlord piece by piece pawned his
few possessions even the loving
cup.
Then a spell of fever and delirium,
and he awpke in a beautiful room.
i fitMii fojin' J TfrVt.-V--V-rtr
J-- r -"

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