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Newspaper Page Text
of the perilous ladder. She was in
coherent with griQf and excitement
when the steeplejack arrived.
-It was to be the work of an hour to
reach the weather vane, on which
Jocko ws perched.- Hopes had to"
be adjusted. There was nothing to
be gained by waiting half 'way up,
from which point nothing could be
seen. Mrs. Lane and the crowd de
scended tp the Street again. From
a hundred opera, glasses Jocko could
he seen, seated with his legs about
the vane, his faced turned now east,
now-west, as the wind blew the vane
jto which lie clung. In his arms, su
pended with light precision, was the
It seemed an eternity before the
steeplejack , was seen to be mailing
his slow-ascent upon the ropes, iand
over hand. Arrived half way be
. tween the vane and tb.e belfry, he
halted and readjusted the ropes,
casting them up before him and
knotting, the plank seat on which he
was to sit
Sbmebody cried out that the chim-
panzee was becoming, uneasy. Mrs.
Lane's piercing shrieks could be
heard all over the little town. She
fell -into hysterics and it equired
three men to hold her. v
Suddenly Jocko was observed to
chatter excitedly as he saw the head
of the steeplejack advancing Wward
himl He lifted the tiny body into his
arms as if to hurl it at the( intruder,
and then, changing his minL he
perched himself north and south and
glared defiantly, while he rocked the
baby in his arms.
If he, should let it fall! There was
no man present whom the thought
did not terrify. If he should be bad
gered into hurting it! They shouted
to Banks, who paid not the least at
tention to their cries; it wast doubt
full' if he heard them. In fact, he had
a difficult enough task on hand, a'nd
one calling for the exercise of all his
intelligence, to rescue the baby and
take her down to solid earth in the
ace of the attacks of a furious beast J
half as large- as himself and at least
'Suddenly he was seen to stand
upon his seat and wave his hand to
the crowd below. The ape, startled
by the action, showed its teeth In a
vicious snarl. The crowd wasi terri
fied. The mother, still in hysterics,
didnot know what was happening,
fortunately for herself. No one could
hear what the Bteeplejack was shoat
ing, but a surge of angry dtemay
passed through the people below.
"Keep quiet!" '(hey shouted.J'He's
going to irighten the beast into
throwing the baoy'down!" they said
"Shut -up!" yelled fifty voices.
But the steeplejack continued to
shout and wave his hand. He was
hauling himself up all' the time. Now
rhe was almost within reach of the
ape, wiiiuu, cuugiiig lu tut; yaue wiui
its arms, waB holding the baby with
its feet, high, out 'over the village.
And still the steeplejack was yelling
and pointing toward the beast
"It's murder!" shouted the mayor.
"The man's got no more sense than
a hog! Can't he'see? Can's some-1
body stop him?"
Nobody could stop him., And all
the time the ape was becoming more
and more agitated. It was swaying
from its giddy perch, Swinging to all
the corners of the compass. One, of
the, feet that held the child was
raised threateningly toward' Banks, '
the other held the little body by the
waist out over the people below. "
' "He's going to let- her fall!
shrieked the mayor, purple in the
Asjf by instinct a dozen men gath
ered in front of the mother, pushing
her back so thaT"she should not see
the Impending tragedy. Every face
grew blanched f men turned th'eir
eyes ayay and groaned. '
In the midst of it all Banks yelled
again and brasped the ape by the
arm. As he did so the beast flung
the body high out over the heads of
the watchers. .