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! An unjust suspicion j
' - By AGNES B. CHOWAN
Helen Fisk was tl:c happiest girl in Ru!;evooil whrn,
I'a few days licfurc i'!Kui!s;;ivinj:, l;cr faihcr Viror,1it
? i lior from the East a beautiful clotli coat with collar and
' lining of fur a:il a lint to matrh.
' So eager was she the next morning to show her C'ft
to Sadie Tracy, her churn, that she arrive! at school
before any one else, so she hunij her hat and coat in
" the cloak-room anil went to her seat.
. Soon her classmates began to arrive, but there was
no sign of Sadie until after nine o'clock, when she en
tered hurriedly and asked to be excused at ten in order
to go to the station to see her niotlxr oil for California.
Mr. Preston, the principal, came in while she was speak-
ing, and Miss Sorrel referred her to him. Sadie's ab
sences were frequent, and not always justified.
Uefore she finished speaking. Mr. Preston frowned
and said, "Another absence? At your p.v.c. Miss Tracy,
a girl ought to realize that schooling is a little more
important than fun."
"I'm not poing out for fun, Mr. Preston," she hotly
replied. "My mother is sick I'm going to the station
to see her off."
"Very well," he said. " You have a good excuse this
time. You may go."
Sadie sailed down the aisle, bristling with indignation,
and Helen shared her anger against Mr. Preston. She
' knew that the haste in Mrs. Tracy's departure meant a
change for the worse, and she was sorry tor Sadie, who
had told her the afternoon brfore t lint ttnlcss her mother
went to another climate he could not live the year out.
"And," she added, her eyes full of tears, "I'm afraid
.-I've worried mother very much with my poor reports,
but now I am going to work so hard that I shall-be'
proud to send her the next ore "
As Sadie disappeared in the c !o?:; room, Mr. Preston
turned to the others.
. " "I came in to a-'Ic the ynvng ladies not to use the
recess-room for a few !a--s," said. "We have had
to give it to an ss;..!ar.t who is helping with the cxanii-
' Helen glanced tcwird the door to see if Sadie had
Tieard the request ; but what she saw made her heart
bound with s'irptis- and anger, for Sadie was arrayed
in her ww cloak and bat.
It nra tv much! Helen wanted to run after her;
but s'w t-r.ubl only sit and think hateful thinks about
her friend. At noon she found Sadie's old tarn and
jacket n her peg. She took them on her arm and went
down-town. In the street she met Sadie. 3adic raw
that Helen was deeply offended, and when she held to
her injured silence in spite of coaxing, the former lost
her temper and cried, " You need nci er speak to me
again, if vou arc going to be so ugly about it! Here,
tke them! "
Helen ner-;ly bowed, and for the first time the girls
parted with hard feeling. The next morning Helen
" again wore her new cloak and hat. As she came around
the corner of the schoolhouse she almnt bumped into
Ned Van Ar.ken, who stopped and stared at her. Ned
was th moiit popular boy in the Ridgewood High
. School. He nod well in his lessons, had a fine record
in athletics, and was owiidcred the most just and gen-
' erotJS 'boy in town. Helen had secretly admired the big
, . scnioi1. ever since bcr entrance to the school two months
before, and now be blushed at his scrutiny.
In the middle of the forenoon she was called to the
office. Mr. Preston looked very grave. A minute later
Ned came in. . .
"I have sent for yon both," Mr. Trcston said, "in
' order to have the aftair of yesterday explained. Miss
Fisk, have you entered the recess-room since I asked
the voting ladies not to?"
" No, sir."
Yesterday," the principal went on, " somebody went
into the room and deliberately threw on the floor the
most important papers in the school. Worst of all, that
person repeated to .some of the seniors questions in the
coming examinations. It was thought that you did it."
"Mr. Preston," Helen asked, all her indignation
roused, "tfio saw mc enter the room?"
Mr. Preston turned to Ned. "You were heard to
,-Bay to a classmate that you thought Miss bisk had com
mitted the mischief. Why do you think it was she?'
" It was her hat and coat sir, that I saw leaving the
recess-room yesterday morning."
In a flash the truth came to Helen.
' It was Sadie! She had done it while still smarting
tinder Mr. Preston's unkind words. Then suddenly
' Helen remembered Sadie's sick mother, and the deport
ment card that was to make her happy: remembered, too,
her own hardness to her friend yesterday ; and she made
up her mind that she could not mention Sadie's name
until she had had an understanding with her friend.
"Well, what have you to say?" Mr. Preston asked
but no word came from Helen.
"I think that is all," he said after a long wait Miss
Fisk, you are not to mention this until I give you per
mission." Helen started up. " But please, Mr. Preston I should
- like to to only " n
" You wish to speak of it to some one, do you ? he
severely asked. " You may not speak of it till you real
ize that your duty to me is quite as binding as your duty
: to any one else in the school. You may go."
The days dragged by, Helen avoiding all her school
. mates as much as possible. Even Sadie saw little of
her; At last the day for closing school for the Thanks-,
giving recess came. Helen felt more forlorn than ever'
because she could not look forward with the happiness
' Of the others to the four approaching holidays.
Looking up for a moment she saw that a note was
being passed along the front row. Everybody read it
before sending it on. s '
When it reached her desk.it was slipped down and
. hurriedly passed to the girl in front. Then Sadie got it
1 and read it slowly and deliberately. When she had fin-J
' ished it she went to Miss Sorrel's .desk and spoke liiw
and earnestly to her. Miss Sorrel nodded, whereupon
Sadie went straight to Helen, said a few Words to her,
and fan both girla left the room. ;
"Oh,' Sadie," said the rnrls, gathering around hrr at
noontime, "Jo tell us wh.it happened in Mr. Preston's
"I told Mr. Preston I had gone in there to g-t my
flovcs I didn't hear l-.is order, ymi know and found
the room so stitlinr; tl at I opened the window, as 1 have
d'Mte m '."y a time before. Nobody was there, then. I
didn't know at l;rst what all the papers on the table
were, so I just p'.anecd at the top one. I thought !:al
the seniors had already had their examinations, r.nd
when I met Ethel Dawson a"d Harry Lane in the library
that afternoon, 1 asked them if a certain question had
"P.ut how did the papers get all over the floor?"
asked some o;ic.
" Why, I forgot to close the window," replied Sadie,
"and the wind must have blown them off the table.
And now. I want yon all to know how much lle'en 1 ai
done for mc. She wouldn't speak,' although she had
seen me in the recess-room. She wanted mc to have a
perfect mark in deportment to send to my mother, who
is in California."
"And," pv.t in Helen eagerly, "Mr. Preston has prom
ised th.it Sadie's card, for this month at least, won't be
marked lc than ninety."
When Helen returned to the class-rrom after the
luncheon hour she found on her desk a beautiful bunch
of violets, and pinned to them a note that read :
" Forgive mc for mv share in 'making you imh.-pnv.
At closing time Ned was waiting fur her. "Can you
forgive me ? " he said, as they started down the street.
v v - :-
"'TIIF-N HANG YOUR COAT lTP OS THE CLOCK, AND BRFNli
a ;;r a:,
By FRANK H.
,m"i u:;:m:::m:uzm:i:mi:mfir::sx:? jete mm -txz::m
... .. . . ... '. ...". y . ....
TAKE he elevator and jo up to the i:cth floor.
Ask for Mr. Stackpolo," srid the president of
the American Music Company to the little
.That's how the little boy happened, a few
minutes later, to be standing before Mr. Stackpolc's desk.
But Mr. Stackpole, up on hc sixth floor, manager of
the American Music Company, was a big man a very
big man. He was fat he was bald. He hnd sharp
eyes, glaring from behind enormous spectacles; and
with those eyes it xvzs believed ho cor.ld read both
sides of a sheet of music at once. The little boy felt
" What's your name?" roared the big fellow.
.Willie Ryan knew perfectly well what his name was;
but dorft you know it's confusing to have a birr man
hurl a que'sfion at you like au brickbat? Willie's eyes
were glued on tlic spectacles, and bis wits on the ceil
ing. For a minute lie couldn't answer.,
" Well, JoKany." repeated the big fellow, in a voice
like, a fog-horn, "what's yourname?" 0
'"Willie Ryan," gasped the boy, in a tremor. .
Mr. Stackpole looked at -him amazed.
" That won't do," he said at length, with great decision.
1 Willie appeared sArely troubled. " The gentleman
down-stairs, sir. told me to report to the manager," be
explained timidly; "and I would get three dollars a
Lyveek, sir" 4
' r ' - ' , . .... . .
ARGUS, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9.
"Of course," answered Helen generously. "You did
all you could to straighten tilings out afterwards. How
did yen: f.nd out that I was not the guilty one? Who
told you it was Sadie?"
"I can't tell you that," replied Ned: "but I was in a
pretty uncomfortable position after I fo-.:nd out who
was really responsible. I knew that if I went to Mr.
Preston 1 should have to tell him about yo;:r friend,
whom you had d:ne so much to spare. So I gave one
of the boys a note this morning and asked him to pass
it around the freshman clas. It requested the girl who
bad won your fur coat and hat last Friday to explain
matters to Miss S rrcl, as an innoc?nt person was suf
fering for her fault. I knew that Sadie wouldn't want
anybody to do that if she knew about it, least of all her
"Well," said Helen, "all I can say is that this is going
to be the very happiest Thanksgiving 1 have ever known.
I am friends again with dear Sadie; I have Mr. Pres
ton's good opinion, and "
"And,"' interrupted Ned, "if you care anything about
it, you have made another friend who will always be
deeply attached to you. I know that I'm not much to
be thankful for. What jou really will be pleased to
know is that I have learned two splendid lessons from
vou: One is not to judge by appearances, and the, other
is about elf-sacrif-ce and devotion to friends."'
"Just to think," said Helen laughing, although her
eyes had tears in them, "that a poor little freshman
cor.ld teach a big senior anything!"
" The senior hopes to learn much more in the same
schot 1," he answered gravely as he t .trued away from
the gate and started slowly towards home. .
1K A CX.ASS OF HOT ML'CILAOE,' SAID MB. STACK POLE.
'M ":;::a zm :a s tst: sra.rp
" You haven't been here a week yet." roared Stack
pole, with a be-carcful-what-you-say air.
Willie tried to explain: "You don't "
" I know 1 don't," broke in the manager; " I don't
see how I could use you at all with that name," he
decbred, looking fixedly at his victim. "I simply
couldn't that's all. If you go to work for me you'll
have to change y:r name. That's too easy, though,"
he r.ddcd, dropping into a confidential tone. " You
sec. I've one boy here already named Willie. It
wouldn't do. I'll call you Sam."
" Yes. sir."
" Is it agreed? " thundered the big fellow.
Vv illie jumped. " Yes, sir.".
".Then hang your coat up on the clock, and bring
mc a glass- of hot mucilage. How much did you say
you were to draw, Samuel? "
" Three dollars a week, sir."
' Throe dollars a week."
"Thret dollars a week, or per week?"
"A week. sir. I tlmtk."
Stackpole looked relieved. He beckoned Willie
close to him. ,. " See- here, my son," said he. in an
undertone, gazing earnestly at tin. lad, " I've only one
picco of advice to give you." ' Then be looked cau
tiously around so cautiously that Willie instinctively
looked around, too. " Don't mention this to any one."
-a h a: b ; a-
Oh, no, sir."
"Save your salary," continued Stackpole, "and after
a while you'll wear diamonds! "
So saying, he tapped Willie forcibly on the chest,
pulled himself up in his chrir, drew in his chin, and
scowled very solemnly indeed.
But Willie, though incredulous, was determined rot
to have a quarrel fastened on him after transit? o
far for a job: so he merely said, " Yes, sir," and'asked
where the clock was, pleise.
That was Willie's introductory talk to Mr. George
Stackpole. Stackpole had charge of the rtock all the
sheet music in the big wholesale department, disposed
on endless rows of shelving, covering the sixth grrat
floor of a sky-scraper on Wabash Avmue, Chicago.
The very first day Willie went tip there, he figured
out there must be at least ten million sheets of music
in sight. That was excessive, P,it rftcr Wil'ie had
looked over the stock he understood why Stacknolc's
head was so large.
Stackpole knew where to find every two-step, every
gavot, and evrry sonj in the entire co'l"cti'n. And
nobody cls - ' r r,c of the thirty-odd girls who
worked in I'u '.--even pretended to be able to do
that, unless it w;:s Tom.
But Tom wrs one irf the independent sort of fellows,
and if you ssked him where aj song was to be fovnd
there was no certainty of getting a civil answer. Tom
had fttll run of the stock floor, and yet appeared to
have no regular hours for wrrk. The girls claimed
he held his job because his fafher had worked for the.
president down-stairs for a good many years. Willie
used to wr.tch him, rather enviously, in 1 is favorite
loafmg-plr-ce a recess at one of t'le front windows.
Ton would sit there for ho'irs. 1 okintj acrors the
aventic ort on the like-front, idly counting the trains
tht puffed up the shore and down.
But never, by any chance, had the fellow a kind
word to spare for Willie.
Still, Stackpole seemed to like him. pnd one hour
was pretty sure to find the manager and Tom together;
th?t was the lunch-hour.
After Willie had been at work a week, he v as in
vited to bring over his box and lunch with them, and
he could soon see with half an eye that, in r.pite of the
apparent friendliness of the manager for Tom, there
were some serious differences between t'ir-.i.
For instance, Stackpole was bnld. whll? Tom had
abundance of hair ?nd whiskers. Stackpole wore spec
tacles, but Tom coidd see in the dirk: and one dry a
particularly serious difference arose riht in the midst
of the lunch-table. Tom, in renching fcr the salt,
stepped into the butter. No one cculd say it was done
intentionally, yet the result was t''.at r.o on? wanted
bntter that day but Tom; and be rather greedily ate it
For a week he was denied the courtesies of the man
ager's desk. Then Stackpole. who sermcd to be a
soft-hearted chap, after all, forgave him. Indeed, it
was hrrd to be provoked with Tom very long. He
had a qi:ict. insinuating way of rubbing up against you
which were away hostility. '
" I crn't see how he find 3 enough to cat up here."
remarked Willie, one day. " I shouldn't think there
world 1c any mice .-round music."
" Why not? " asked Stackpole. tremendously.
" Whrt is there for them to eat?" said Willie, after
Willie looked skeptical.
" Haven't yen noticed the peculiar kind of mice we
have up here?" was Mr. Stackpole's next inquiry.
" What rrc they? "
" Musical irirc, Samuel. Didn't you ever hear of
musi?l mice ? "
Willie reluctantly admitted that he had not. "But
they don't eat music, do thry? "
" Eat:r." r.v.'.aic is what givci them a musical turn in
the fir.-t p'lrc. How ehc cc t;ld they get it? That's
the kind ci mice that ruin-, cur music, my boy. Even
Tcrr.'s ret:ir. tone. Don't you notice it? It's from
c::i-,s thee: r.v.-ial ini--e. Now hustle mr a dozen
q'jick-rtens to 'ill this older. Fourth aisle, let't, second
tier. A." "
:!ii; Ryr.n's part cf the business was not really
finding sheet music: brf he was to ekvrr that if all
the girls wcr; bury Sfchpo'e could safely call on
V. iilic f- r rnyl'iing. The consequence was that the
other -Willie Willie Kattcl. who smoked cigarettes,
and v.'is rather demised by the men soon had to be
ea:T " Sam " Rrttrl pnd eo down-stir3 to work; and
Wii'io Rvati stuped be in 3 "Sam" Ryan, and beeamc
YvYf'ie R;-"i or.'i more which comforted bis sister
Ji !.. !".c bring yo;:ng and nervous, very much indeed.
Y.'illic's reel work was to copy the letters, stamp
then, take them to tsc ot'iice. and bring back the
" rcf irtrrrd." The registered letters all had money in
them, rr.d Stackpole often said: " Never part with that
m.-i!-brg, ray boy. if you want to hold your job."
However, the iettcrs with the money in them have
nothing to do with the story, so make no mistake;
though you may keep an rye on the bag.
One I it;crly cold February day Stackpole and Tom
and Wil'ie had finished tlicir luncheon as far as the
pie. when Y'illie began to sniff.
" hrt is that smell?" said he.
"What smell?" asked Stackpole.
" IK-n't you smell smoke?"
Stackpole jumped up and ran hastily back to the
light-sh-ft. Willie stiyeil to finish his pie.
" Wiliic! " called Stackpole. not so loudly as usual,
but oh. so keenly, "the building's a'ire! " The man
ager continued, as Willie ran b.-ck. " It's below. Mske
no noise; get the elevator quick, boy, while I call the
gills." Lightly, swiftly rs a cat. he ran into the stock
room. "Girls! everybody! Here! At once! Drop
everything. Quick to the passenger-elevator!"
lie spoke not loudly nor violently, but earnestly
and with utmost despatch. Sudden wreaths of smoke
puffed into the hatchways and rolled upward. Girls
bcrr.-in te scream: "What shall we do?" "Save mc!"
And in their midst was Staclcpolc, quieting, helping.
J Miss Peach Hiss Pear
By Helen W. Rollikson.
Miss Peach has such a lovely face jl
I think it would be out of place Jl1 '1
To tell you that, tho' never tart, Jf ' )
She has a very stony heart. -4'
Poor Miss Pear has a swollen cheek; Jl s '
She's had it, too, for nearly a week; KX "J '('
If you ask me how that can be
directing, pushing them along. And then came the
heavier smoke-black, thick, hurrying bursting into a
cloud of awful flame. Out of the' stock-room into the
shipping-room they Mere marched anil marshaled.
Hysteric?! ones he restrained, and fainting ones he
supported. " Here, girls," he exclaimed "here comes
the elevator! " And a blcsed sight it was the big
rage with the open door, and Willie Ryan springing;
lightly out in front of the ashen-faced negro boy who
Into the car Stackpole piled them with one great
arm. while with the other he held half of the fright
ened rdrls bark in that suffocating smoke, all scream
ing and struggling; and again, in a moment he wai
bark, slammed the door, and said: "Go!"
The car dropped into a pall of smoke. The girl
left behind, now frantic with fear, and half stifled.
vrre almost unmanageable. But Stackpole with firm
hand and courageous word still held them together.
Willie ran to the front, ami burst open a window
for air. Below he caught glimpses of a great horror
stricken crowd looking upward and 'shouting. Then
their faces were hidden bv flames shooting out front
the windows below. Shaking with an awful fright,
Willie ran back to the elevator.
"The stairs! Try the stairs!" girls were shrieking.
The stairs were a furnace of flame. Stackpole tried tr
calf them bark: but thev heard not. or, hearing, would
not listen. W illie, fleeter even than they, ran and
headed them off. The floor, blistering hot, cracked
' v.-iih horrible noises.
" Mr. Stackpole." cried Willie, unable longer to con
trol his' fright, "what shall I do?"
The manager's hand gripped his shoulder. " Save
yourself, if you can, my boy. God help you. I'm
afraid I can't."
And off Willie scurried in the rolling, curling, sick
ening smoke, like a poor little mouse trying for life.
Just then back came the elevator with a fireman at the
lever. Stackpole saw instantly it would not hold his
crowd, much less himself; but into the car he jammed
the pirls. tighter than car or girls were ever jammed
before, till only three two one fainting girl re
mained: and her the giant Stackpole seized in hoth
his hands, lifted and threw, like a roll of quicksteps,
right across the heads and the shoulders of the girla
packed in, standing.
"Jump in!" screamed the fireman, squeezed to the
shape of a wafer.
" No." cried Stackpole. choking with smoke, and
slamming the docr; " no, I tell you. Go! " and turned
from hope of life to face death; but every girl, every
last girl, big and little, was in that csr, and safe if only
the flames now shooting hotly up the hatch did not
burn them before they were out.
Turning, half blinded. Stackpole stumbled into
Willie Ryan groping back. "This way, Mr. Stack
pole; this way the fire-escape."
Spectacles gone, head swimming, eyes scorching,
throat choking, Stackpole, clinging to Willie's arm,
followed him blindly through the shipping-room,
throngh the stock-room, past the air-shaft a roar
ing flame-slnft now and, on their bands and knees,
out behind the freight-elevator. There was the fire
escape pitiful enough; an excuse for what it ought to
be; but yet a chance, a single desperate chance, to
reach the alley.
Stackpole. gone to pieces now since the others were
saved, looked at it and quavered, " I can't do it. You,
Wiilie, you can go. Save yourself."
"No," no: you first. You can, Mr. Stackpole. You
must go first ! " shouted Willie, above the roar of the
furnace behind them.
Urging, pleading, pushing, tugging, the boy started
the hesitating man. pushed him out of the window and
down the frail iron ladder, which indeed looked no
stouter than an icicle.
Climbing then himself over the casement, Willie
made ready to follow, when Tom, with a piteous yowl,
bolted through the wall of fire and leaped up on the
Willie started like one stricken. The big cat. dread
fully singed, appealed mutely. Leave him? He
couldn't. Throw him out? Horrible. Save him?
Stackpole, master now of himself, climbing down
quickly, thought anxiously of the boy above. Look
ing up once through the smoke, he saw the lad on the
ledijc. end climbed down faster. A second time he
looked up Willie had disappeared. There were shouts
below shouts of warning. But too late. Something;
sucked Stackpole's breath and wrapped him in a fiery
clasp. A burst of flame enveloped him. and. losing
consciousness, he dropped headlong. But the fire
men were waiting below for just that thing, with a
!tout leathern blanket, and into it Stackpole dropped
like a big feather-bed ; but he was scorched and senseless.
"Is everybody out from our floor?" he cried a
minute biter, in the drug-store, while a doctor bound
his blistered bands. "Willie Ryan?" he demanded in
an agony. "Where is Willie Ryan?"
"Here's Willie Ryan," exclaimed a rough voice t
bis elbow: and peering through his singed eyelids,
Stackpole could sec the boy bending over him. Near
by stood the burly fireman, waiting the doctor's atten
tion. " If those poor printers on the lower floor had only
had some of Willie Ryan's sense anil courage, thejr
needn't have broken their legs there on the pavement,
he exclaimed. " Do you know what that boy did after
those men bad thrown themselves from the windows?"
he added excitedly, sitting down by Stackpole.
" I know he saved me," murmured Stackpole,
" Saved you? Yes; and saved himself; and saved th
cat: and saved the mail-bag; and saved what else wal
it?" demanded the fireman of Willie.
" Only the shipping-book."
" And w hile this boy was doing all that. thoe poo
men out there were jumping from the windows into
the street. That's what beats me," muttered the plucky
fireman, baring bis burned arm for the doctor.
" Willie Ryan, you're all right. We need boys like
you in our business."