Newspaper Page Text
THE ARGUS, SATURDAY, MARCH C. 1900.
- - - .
By ALICE BALCH ABBOT
HEBE, what are you doing? You will
ruin your eyes!" And Flora Winston,
hastily crossing the library to the window-scat
where her younger sister was
bending almost double over paper and
pencil, seized the shafle and sent it with
Jft finaD tO itfi lltmnfit. htoit iTlprphv lttincr in tVi lact
of the sunset glow.
I iou were reading, too, said Phebe,. uncertainly.
, Yes; but' I stopped long ago," Flora answered,
;Where are your wits? It is too dark to read now
'without a light."
Phebe straightened up. " I know it is too dark, but
; 1 did want to finish this puzzle. I am trying to think
, of a word of five letters that 'relates to fun' and begins
withe. 'Comic that's it. There! " closing the maga
'rine in her lap and laying down her pencil. "Now I
have them all for this month. 1 ....
. "Well, I know one puzzle that I would give anything
to find the answer for. and that's this"; and Phebe 's
. a J a : . , u t : i - 1
shoulder, were strongly suggestive of exasperation.
a nn 1. :u a : 1 1 t
raid in question was as fine a Specimen a3 any thirteen-
.ear-oia giri couia acsire; oui, aias: ir.e cojor was rea,
b. real mahoeanv red. of such decth of hue as left not
auuvnir 11U)C VI CVtllUil auLruiu lUbUlU. ;
i' rlora smiled, Dut her tone was quite sympathetic as
1 vn mi rmiiinnt mi Ln suiiui'L I ill-, litiiit r
HTlr 1 1 . . . I. . 1 I. T a. 11. . J : 1 ' K
"Lighthouse, oh, Lighthouse!"
The loud call came ringing through the hall; and was -
i followed the next instant oy the, girls litteen-year-ola
- V ".You there. Lighthouse?." he called again from out-
aide the door. . . ''..,'."''.
,- ."Yes,' 1'hcbe replied.- ; , - .. , s
-.' "Cot anvtliitiff nf mv- liltin r-nn ? V Aval Pmtv's r1-
, tpainng inquiry- . .. ; . .. . ',
"No; when did you have it last?" Phcbw inquired.
, "Tuesday afternoon." . ' . v . '
"And that evening you went over for Dick and took
a . . . . t i .. a . . .1 . . ' -j. 11.. .1. .... . 1
rum up vo me garret tu siuuy ii'iiLicuaLiuiu uuiu uiu
i. kylight. Perhaps you left it there."
.'.'. "The scheme worked, Lighthouse. I cm much
Obliged. I have always thought the brilliancy of the
1 outside of your head was meant as a sign cf the bright
.'; ness within," . (
"There. Phebe." laughed Flora; "your riddle is an
swered for you now.''
;;; "What riddle?." asked Percy. . - v .
')'". "She was wondering why her hair is red."
. " "Poohl that was easy enough. Thq thing that
'. troubles me Is how we c.re ever going to supply suf
i ficient fuel for the combustion inside, so as to keep the
j outside alight. . I really must give so important a sub-
ject my most serious consideration." ,
Coming in quite late one afternoon, Phebe saw her
father and brother standing by the library table.
: ' tWr. Winston, who held an open took in his hand,
, was speaking as Phebe entered:
' ""Then you 'did eat some gingerbread when yon came
in from school?" "Yes. sir."
- "But you think you had washed your hands before
you touched this book.''
"I don't think it; I know it." '
" Then all I can say is that it must have been a very
poor apology1 for a washing, for, unless I am greatly
1 - '
mistaken, those marks were made by fingers that hadv ' Look, Ted, at this picture of men fighting on horse
been holding gingerbread." ' 'Uiack."
." Quen tin Durward " was lying on the table ; evi
dently it had been in the hands of someone who had
partaken of gingerbread or some sweet and left the
imprint on the Look: ! ' - -
Nobody- had read 'the book that day and suspicion
That evening, before going to bed, Phebe wrote the
following notes for future use: -
Who touched "Quentin Durward" Wed. afternoon be
tween 4 and 4:30? Mother and Flora were away after
12. Percy came in at 3, went out, leaving Q. D. on the
table. I came home at 4:30 and found it on the sofa.
Crumb of chocolate between the leaves. Percy says he
had no chocolate this p. m. Jane says no one came to
the front door between 2 and 6 p.m.
A day or two passed. Percy went about with the
soberest face, restricting his conversation to mono
syllables, and "Quentin Durward" remained un
touched upon the shelf.
Then came a rainy morning, and a new, link was
. added to Phebe's chain of evidence.
" "I. vronder," said Mrs. Winston, about to start for
market, "why Cousin Kate docs not return my um
brella. She borrowed it last Sunday."
"Why, she has, mother! " exclaimed Phebe. "At
least, I am almost sure that it was yours that I used
when I went out Wednesday afternoon."
-; , "Where did you find it?"
Tin the umbrella-stand; and I put it away in your
. closet. - I'll see if-it is there now." And Phebe ran
' upstairs, returning in a moment with .the umbrella.'
- That afternoon, much to her mother's . surprise,
Phebe, .who was usually not too ready to perform
social duties, announced her intention of calling upon
" her cousin Kate. . -
Mrs. Smith was very glad to see her little cousin, but
aftsr the usual questions had been answered concerning
the health of the visitor's family, and how she liked her
teachers, and what she was studying, Phebe felt that
the situation was becoming serious. .How was the con
versation to be brought to bear upon umbrellas?
, To gain a few minutes' time she inquired for Ted, her
. cousin's four-year-old son. Mrs. Smith laughed.
" He just told me that he thought he had better walk
around the block for exercise. Since he has been pro
moted to trousers, he seizes every possible chance to
parade his new suit. By the way, he was greatly dis
appointed at not seeing any of you when I sent him to
raturri your mother's umbrella last Wednesday. She
found it, did she not? Ted said that he could not
ring the bell, but the door was unfastened, so he went in
and put it in the stand."
"Oh, yes; it was there, thank you," said Phebe with
a slight gasp.L
Her thoughts were already at work on a scheme for
making a sure explanation out of a probable one.
' Apparently fortune was in her favorfor as she was
taking her leave Mrs. Smith'said: ' -. ' '
y "Will you tell your mother that if she will have that
pattern ready to-morrow I will send Teddy up for it
. about four o'clock?". . , . .
The next afternoon, when the proud young .errand-
doer arrived at the Winston house, strange to relate,
he found his cousins .Phebe and Percy seated in the
library, with apparently nothing to do but to admire
his new suit.
WThen the last pocket had been duly exhibited.
Phebe, lifting a book from her lap, said:
, Her little cousin walked to her side, gave one glance
at the open page.theri remarked, with his most su5eTior,.
small-boy air: "Ted saw that picture long times ago?' -
Phebe flashed a meaning glance at Percy, then,
taking something from her pocket, held it out, asking:
"Did he ever see this before?" -
Teddy grinned, took the little cake of chocolate,
and having carefully removed the tin-foil covering,
popped the bonbon into his mouth Then, rolling the
covering between his chubby palms he went over to
a table on which stood the carved figure of a Swiss
peasant boy carrying a basket. Into this Ted dropped
, the tin-foil ball, saying with an air of satisfaction;
"Now, Cousin Phebe, he has two marbles to play
"Quentin Durward" was not returned to the table
this time, but dropped most unceremoniously upon the
sofa as Phebe sprang across the room, asking:
"Where did he get the other one?" ; ,
"Oh, me gived.it to him Seventeen days ago, when
me brought back the 'brella." '
So the problem was solved, and everyone was in
good spirits again. ' 'r
If anyone had told Gordon Lew's that the possibility .
of his long-desired trip to Europe with his father would
be dependent upon the services of his friend Winston's
young sister, he probably would have been only less '
surprised than would that little sister herself.
Of all Percy's friends. Gordon Lewis held the highest
. place in Phebe's regard, having won the position in the
following strange way:
One day Percy had surprised her by asking :
"Say, Phib, you don't mind my calling' you "Light
house,' do you?" :
"Not here at home," had been her answer, "but I do
rather hate it when you are on the street with the other
"All right; I'll remember. Gordon called me down
for it, and when I told him you had neyer objected, he -said
he didn't believe I had ever given you the chance."
Percy's friend had never known how grateful Percy's
little sister had been for that service, and now came
the chance to repay it,! if only her "puzzling powers";
should prove equal to .the demand. .
One afternoon she had just seated herself at her
desk for an hour's study before dinner,. when Percy
came quietly, into the room, and having closed the door -and
turned the key, settled himself in the corner of the
couch, saying,' imperiously: f. . -;
"Stop studying, Lighthouse. I 'want all your wits for
something more . important, and you had better take .
notes, for it's considerable of a puzzle. You remember
that three nights ago Gordon came over to see father
on business? Well, I know now what the business was,
and a mighty poor job it is, to my mind. '
"He's in a mix-up with his father decidedly like the
one you pulled me out of two months ago. 'When he
told me about it, I turned to and asked if I could
hand it over to you. . He seemed unwilling at first, but
I told him about the gingerbread-chocolate affair, affcl
then he gave in. Here is the puzzle:
. "Mr. Lewis went out to Chicago the first of the month,
and Gordon drove him to the station. His father gave
him two letters to post one to a firm in France, and
the. other to father about some church business. He
told Gordon to be sure to mail them on. his way home;
: so the foreign one would reach New" -York that night ;
and so he in time for the next day's steamer. A few '
days ago he came down oa Gordon because the French
letter missed the steamer and an important order was
delayed. That was bad enough, but the worst is that
it may cost Gordon his trip to Europe. . ' : ' ' ,
"Ycu see, he is rather a forgetful sort of a chap, and
twice last winter he didn't mail letters which had been
trusted to him.. The 'second time Mr. Lewis told him
that if ,it happened again he might consider himself -excused
from going with him this summer. It sccrr.s
pretty severe, but Gordon says forget fulness is a failing
with which his father has no paticr.ee. ; j
"He Gordon-ris certain that he mailed the letters in
time. He' cam's over to ask if father had kept his, so
he might see the postmark." .. '
'And had he?" asked Phebe. - V "
"That's the racaa part He has the note, but not the
envelope. He thinks he rr.ust have used it for a memo
randum." - J
"What dav did Mr Lewis go away?" " ,
?What train?" . . , -1
"Five-tea. What difference would that make?"
"Last mail collection is at 5 :30. .There ! I mustn't
think any more about it now, or my lessons will never
be learned." , . . ... . .- - .. , ' .
vAll right"; and Percy rose1 from the couch and de- r
parted, saying o himself : b , . ,. .'' .
"If that'envelope is in existence, I believe the Light
house will guidKit into port!" ',: - J , '
The next day Phebe burst into the tool-room and laid
a book on the bench: beside her brother. .
"Is that Mr. Lewis's writing?" she asked, pointing to
the open fly-leaf. - . ss '. ; . . i. .
Percy glanced at the inscription: "For Gordon Lewis,
from his father." '
"Yes, but what Phebe, you fiaven't found that en
velope !" ' . . ; ' : : ' .
"I don't know; it's only a piece."
"Is the postmark 'on it?" ' ' ;
"No." ,. " - . . x -;-
Then, of course, it's of no usc." ' " ' ' . . ..M ' .
"Maybe, and maybe not; but look." And Phebe Ja'd
a small piece of paper beneath thq inscription in the.
book. . . ... - " ....
There was one breahless moment of comparison,
then Phebe gave a sigh of relieL . . ' . -
"It IS the same writing, Percy, the G's and Us are
exactly alike." ' !
Percy took up the mysterious bit and turned it over.
On that side, in his father's handwriting, were the
"VoL II, 'Henry Clay.' American Statesmen Series."
"Where did the thing come from?" he asked.
"Do you remember when mother had that cold, three
IN THE LIBRARY.
weeks ago, and couldn't go out for five days? Well,
she wrote" otrf the lists for me to leave at the grocer's
on my way to school, and I kept them so father could
compare them with the bill, and, don't you see" -Whereupon
Phebe began an intricate explanation,
which Percy soon cut short by sayinz : - " -
"I guess that example will have to be proved on
paper; it's too much for my brain to carry."
; The result of this remark was the following document,
which two evenings later was presented by Percy for his
friend's inspection: - - t '
To Whom It May Concern : - '
I, Phebe Lisle Winston, spinster, am going to prove
that if this (here the. precious bit of paper was pinned
ft ITM W
By Carolyn Wells
One' day, beneath my window played
A little lad and a little maid.
" V '
. I heard them shout in merry glee',. . .
"This is just the nicest game for three! "
- - -
. Now Bob and Bab were alone at play; . .
- They had no little guest that day,'.,'
' And so from my window I peeped to see
Who the third in their merry game might be.
',-' ' . .' : ' .' .'';
V A rope to a post I saw them tie, ' , .
And Bob turned quickly, while Bab jumped high.
' . .-: V - . l-.f ,v.v v . -; .
. And I wonder who liked the game the most, v
. Bobby or Bab or the hitching-post? ; :
to the sheet) is a part of the envelope of a letter sent
by Mr. John Lewis to Mr. George Winston on May 3,
then that letter was mailed before 5:30 p.m. on that
day. That "if," I know, is a pretty big one, but Mr.
Lewis wouldn't be likely to write many notes to father,
as he lives just across the street ; and as the envelope
of that particular note is gone, and this piece of -the
envelope of such note was' used by father within a
quarter of an hour after a note mailed at 5 :30 the night
before should have been delivered, it does seem as if it
must be that one. The writing (not the address) was
done on -May 4, as the list is the one for that day at
. the grocer's he looked in the ledger for me ; and fhe
Henry Clay book was taken out that day the librarian
hunted it up. Father wrote the name of the book before
8:20, because I heard him tell Mr. Carter last week
that he had not missed the 8:30 train for two months.
' So if this is a piece of that envelope, it must have been
posted before 5 :30 the night before (letters mailed after
that are not delivered till 10 a. m.), and if a letter to
France, sent at the same time, did not reach New York
that night, it must have been the post-office's fault and
not the fault of the person who mailed it. . . '
: . Respectfully submitted, ' '.-.
'. . Phebe Lisle Win STosr.
As Gordon finished reading, he gave one short gasp
of astonishment, then started for the doer, saying to
Percyc ' " .
"Come4nto the library and show it to father." ,
Four minutes later Mr. Lewis laid Phebe's document
on his desk, and held out his hand to his son.
' 'She's won your case, my boy, and you cannot be
more pleased thanvI." Then, turning to Percy,. "Tell
your sister that I can 'cancel the 'if she mentions.
This is undoubtedly part of 'the lost envelope, forit is
some of my wife's stationery, which I distinctly re
member using in the hurry of getting away that
afternoon. And now you must tell lis the little lady's
fee for this piece of evidence." ,s"
Percy laughed. "I rather think Phebe looks upon
it as the payment of a debt she has owed Gordon for
some time." - - ;
"Me! " exclaimed his friend. "I have never said ten
words to her in my life." -,
"Maybe not; but you have said them for her. Re
member your setting me straight on the Lighthouse
question?" " -
"Nonsense!" exclaimed Gordon. ; ' -
- "Suppose I be allowed to Judge," suggested Mr.
Lewis.- ' . '
So Percy, feeling that Phebe's ideas of debit and
credit must be upheld even at the expense of his own
. reputation, told the story. .
. . Mr. Lewis seemed highly amused.1
; "And she thinks that service balances a recovered
trip to. Europi!...WellM.we will let the--master rest for
the present. You;will please give her . our heartiest
thanks; but I have a strong presentiment that Gordon
and I may discover something on the other side that
will strike us as being able to make the scales mors
even." . .
Three months afterward, on the very evening of his
return from Europe, Gordon Lewis came over to the
Winston home, again .' on business." But the affair,
this time.-seemed to be contained in a little leather case
which he placed in Phebe's hands. - '
And when the lid was opened, there on its white satin
cushion, in the midst of coil upon coil of slender gold
chain, lay as charming a little watch as ever came from
the skilled hands of the Geneva workmen. - -
"Europe was worth, many times that' said Gordon,
an instant later, answering a protesting look which
began to shadow, the perfect pleasure expressed in
Phebe's face. "Father wished rr.ec.to cxolain." he vent
' ox Wtg the watch from it J case, "that the inscription
was entirely his doing, and knowing your strict ideas oi
ob"2aon, he did not dare to have it anything else.'
Phebe gave one intent look at the gold disk that
made the center of the blue-enameled cover, and then
broke into a merry laugh of delighted surprise and
pleasure. For instead of the decorous "P. X. W."
which might have been there, the space was occupied
by the tiniest, daintiest engraving of a lif V vouse.