Newspaper Page Text
THE ROCK ISLAND AKGUS. WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1913.
By RIPLEY D. SAUNDERS
CopvrWit, 1911. by the Bobks-Msrrfi
Colonel Todhunter Cut a WkU Swath
In Missouri's Metropolis.
TO Colonel Todhunter. coon fry
man born and bred and ef en
innate rusticity of soul thrt
win an essential part or ma ;
being, contact wtth the tkrobbinz life j
of a bis city wra so rare and foreign
plctoreaqoe unllkeoewi to the urban ;
that It never failed to emphasize bia
type. He stalked into tbe boy St
Lonis headquarters of the Hon. WiV
ILam J. Strickland on tbe parlor floor of
tbe Laclede bolel. tbe livtag embodi
ment of that political figure dear to
tbe amused metropolitan imagination,
"tbe delegate from the rnral districts."
It was a brave and honest face that
bowed itself lu Colonel Bill Strirk
laod's private office, but aomewbat dis
mayed at thought of an Impending
Til Just he eternally whlpsawed If
you uin't ii tryin' to make a round peg
lit into a square hole. Bill!" be protest
ed earnestly, something like awe of
bia sorroundings statu ed upon hla son-
boroed features. Tin willin' to do
moat anything in tbe world for you, I
and yea know It. Cut when von turn
mo loone tn a big town like this mid ex- j
pert me to behave like anything
moWn n wail eyed plow borne with hia
tail foil o' eocklebura 111 be everlaat-,
Inly condemned If yoo ain't matin' a '
Krirbty sertons mistake, sob!" i
"Nonsense. Tbnra?" laughed Colonel ;
Strickland. Tm counting on you for j
soeoe St. Lottie apeecbes that'll be ,
worth their weight In gold, my friend. ,
We need you bere, air a man that i
talis old fashioned American Democ- ;
racy atraigbt from the ahoukler. City
peOttciaa have forgotteu what the
reaJ Denorratic doctriue is. Tbnra. and
we've got to revtve it in tbe people'
hearts if we expect "em to vote right
That's why I want you to help me
oten ray St. Iiuls campaign. You've J
got to do it. Thurs!" j
Colonel Todhunter gazed at his friend i
pensively. 'I'-iil." he aald. Tm a-goin'
to do It, as yon well know. I'd strip j
the sbirt ofl"n my bark and bead a per- ,
cession wavhV ft for a Wrick laud ban- !
ner If yon aabed id to, whether I .
thought it was tbe bent thing to do un- j
der tbe clrcnniwtaacea or not. But I j
bid you remember, BUI. that I warned
yon In time. TtH be yonx fault If yon
hay occasion to regret ha-rin' brought
me In' from tbe pasture and stacked
me up against these here bang tailed
city thoroughbred, sobf"
Til take the chance, old fellow,"
aM tbe candidate, hbv eyes twinkling.
"Ton Jnat dblige me now for old
friendship's aake and m be reswonsl
ble for everything that happens after
ward. I ain't tbe least bit afraid."
"Ill eat my hat if I dotit wish I
eooid aay the same, sub!" ejaculated
Colonel Todhunter. a vehement panic
In bia tone. "I'm akeered to tbe mar
row, auh. because Tm out o' my botll
wirk and up against a proposition that
I don't know any more about 'n a bog
knows about a holiday, sob. And
yon 're a-f oln' discover, sab, bafor
we get theoojrb with tbio piooe of fool
ishness that I bad mighty good rea
sons for bein' akeered too."
"Shocks, yon old w arbor ae!" langhod
Colonel Bill StrV-kJand. "Once yon
get into the fight yeoTI warm an- Bke
a two-year-old and show tbeoe Bt
Louis folks what a real JJlaaonrl Dem
ocrat Is. Yoore going to make the
, bit of your life, sir!"
"Maybe I am and mey-be I Bint
BUI Strickland." quoth Colonel Ted
banter moodily. "Bat all I ask at tbe
finish la that you'll remember it
wa'n't me that made the prediction,
tin. I'm natoral born mptfatirt.
sub, but that dVm't necessarily mean
tliat I'm a naritral born Jacks es at all
t, rr.es sod under all drrnmetmneea axd
on all subjects, as some folks seem
ti think, snhr
Aad In title frame ef mfnd Optenel
TortJj enter returned into the goaeisH
headquarter oOoea and waa fntre
duced to Ma Nineveh Mend" ft
Le-ii twrfcers ptwt campaign staff,
A qoivt yetmg rawspapef man wba
happened t0 tfrlfthif tbrncgb -the
raotn aeetnd tneUalr Haprsad bT
Color) M Todhs Tiler's pHetnvesijwe fvt
nonalUy, B?e etotHsd rh colonel la
tently, growlat; apfwcUtfen in his
tbeegbtnl and icHeafiy howorecta
,ftef etehaaetflff e. few WBfda eHlb
f il new addition o the rliand
fnerea thu jotraalt 5Ttrt info ene ef
tbe prlvote tvlcpUene bootta St fbe
rod ef tbe rocruiion reotn gnd ecflH
t;p his paper. TIimo he eame baek t
fVlenl To!liuiita, engaging Mm n
roilrratlfHi. A fw minutes lrf
erenj ittan casualty stilsrad and nn
oljtnteivsly stationed Hniself ejhrre b
had a rued front fji ef (he fln1,
wha being. ilH"lly led (ate pwlitkl
o I fwref (mi lt (its mttw acnaiManse
t'einael Bi! fttrirklaad, psMnt
tbreMgli tbe main mora at oae moment,
tuiw the two with their head (ogtb
ef. fSewtetbiBg like a glean) ef langh
tf leaped Into his eyes, and be aed
dud, 1aMt iwnereeptiMy. an SfHrv.
fug signal te Celoevl TedbtNtter'a com
anion. Then, tor an hamr e more,
the f we vee left iietajrbed.
fhf rwab4 ebJeaaeif aft ar tof
fcs. fU -e aaff a Ud te
tii diariy en ti.a p4irual sita-
of party leaders In the country dl
tricta, bia own personal view and am
ple reminiscences of past campaigns in
the state, bis qnaint vaJ tuition of De
mocracy's greet historic figures. lie
was in reality being trapped Into a self
revelation. Behind his talk, animating
It and shining though its unsuspecting
frankness and after naturalness, ap
peared tbe childlike and simple soul
of the Bpeaker, presented with abso-
lnte iinrenerv Tlie colonel's cnmDun
Ion was the most appreciative of listen- j
ers. and as he listened a light of whim-1
sical regard deepened in his eyes. I
"But I'm a-takin' up a heap of your I
time, sub!" exclaimed the colonel final- !
ly. I reckon you city newsaper men
have to trot around after news till
your tongue's a-bangin' ont of your
mouth a yard long, you mustn't let
me keep you from other things, suh."
"Not at all. Colonel Todhunter,"
came the ovik'k restionse. "It's been
well worth while, sir. I intend using !
some of your talk, if you have no ob
jection, so you're really helping me out. '
you know." i
Tb colonel looked at his companion 1
pityingly. "You're wastin' your iow- I
der, young man. 1 can talk by tbe .
bour, but what I say ain't got no more
business ln-iu' printed In a great city i
newspaper 'n a whifT o' wind a-rustliu'
the dry leaves in the woods, fuu. You '
better be mighty careful, tryin' to
make mtmothiu' worth while out o'
ludu iucic .Muvua untie. gesture.
Your folks at the paper 'II think you're . .
.j i . j 1 Bnt this amnzing projection of bim
worse n a old huntin dog that coos ; , . . , , , .. .,.
oit worn ii s a iiiuges tuey was i
a-countin' ou him to p'int. suh." i
Tbe newspaper man leaned back and ;
laughed seatf ully. "Colonel, I'm will-
lng te tivke the chances on that if you i
I II leave It to you tomorrow
j i v
If I don t know what s worth
while when I see it. sir. You've given
me a crackerjack talk on Missouri poli
tics, and I'm very much obliged to you.
"Totfre migbry welcome." replied
Colonel Todhunter. genial but doubt
ful. TH be shot full o' holes if I see
how you're "a-goln' to write a piece
from what Tve been savin", snh."
Then suddenly be nodded to his
front "What in blue blazes and Sam
HD1 is that man a-doin' there?" he
asked. The one with that placard In
his hand, squintiu' at me every two
seconds and then Jabbiu' down aeme
thia' with his pesdl? Tbat'a tbe con
feoadedeat saoHt singular proceedin' I
ever laid my twe eyes en, euhr
The Jrmg newspaper . man shook
wtth taegtatar. -"Coioael, said. Us
hnmuss Hp cwUcehig. -oWt worry
aboortaat ins. He perfectly barxv
lees. I knew hint. He's get a bar ea
pontfcsJ eeMrktee, sir. ITs s esse ef
bets In his beUrx-esj the ene sabjeet.
He gees asenad eeasedlug bis tsapree
Saons at Homo ranoxvrtna; every cam
paign 5st tbe wry -yeo sue him now.
Most resnarkabme etjameter, eolenel.
Tve known him toe a long tinea."
-Weil, oh," replied Colonel TadhontV
sr. "I'll be eternally eoBdeaned if he
moots C b wrote a lr-isoie book abeat
me. then. lie a bee ja bbrw that there
peacil e m' np asd dewsi for Che
last twenty mioutoe ere worse's a f!t
tle girl playts titxtoo behind her
Jotpby durtn' aeaeltUiie. sabr'
Tbe Bwspeper-esAa wined tears ef
laaghtrr fnwn his rye. TU take hln
awar now, evbrnrl," n M(i ,t
ruin. " rot to g0 back b the
fflce, and It aley tickles nisi t talk
te eoeaebody abeat his lmnresbM. I
i poet IWIl hare a lot to say abeat
"Weil, yea ksep tt dark, snh, if he
doea,'' replied Coien! Todhnntar. "1
ft enoogh to stan4 up ender here In
ft. UMiU evttlioot Se cetotBrrnts ran
snh Hnzlzbtj ctirtous sped men e
basumty sjt, snhr
t.Mi' vwrpaper man (tit-
wlfk tatrghter when, lu 1bA the mys
tertons sirapgrr. The lattrr nranpciy
Pecketed ,u penril. srnek his pit of
esrdbe4rd mpr his ersa. and then t
gctber tht two depoxtAd.
this bees eetwyHflte eiry Bfe that
snakes sarh wrn-ks as (hit poor srmpl
Blmon," mus4 the rotoce. T-trad, jt
lau me why any bonus bejn' U
wllUn' V) lire , jet kma pay soeh
price as that for It. Cut ft takes all
sorts o' peepls te saake a world. HI
juai ue iim swbnled if U dent auhr ,
The next afirfnope when Colonel n,,' nb- iln' 'ent tbe straight Dem
Todbuntera eyas fell en the front page ' orrtakr doctrine and teiUn' 'ens they
of the leading independent Demomrio : E'Mle4 k blamed bad, too, sob. And I
paper of St Iouis be fairly gasped I iaid lhe Uw down ta 'em, suh, that It
with horror. Then followed an almost w'"t mt- but old Bin Strickland, tbey
fraplc pause as be absorbed the full ' oufbt to be a-bollerin' for by rigbu. if
mcaelng ut what bad so suddenly ier wu tii good Democrats they per
strkken iiim witb di.san i. Tilt next tended te be. sub. Yes. sob. and then
moiaeat he handed the newspaper w' they hollered lou4er"a ever. But let
' Colonel Strickland.
-What did I tell you. Bill?" he groan
, ed. "I'm a-goin' back to Nineveh Just
i aa fast aa tbe good Lord'll let me,
j Colonel Strickland's gaze rested upon
j the newspaper page. He saw Colonel
' Todhunter' name boldly typed in the
i flaring beadliue that extended across
i three columns. A full length "charac-
ter cartoon" of tbe colonel surrounded
j by "thumb nail" impressions of his
; face and bodily pose at various inter-
esting momenta of his talk of tbe pre
'; ceding day surrounded tbe larger por-
; Colonel Strickland began a reading
' of the article. A smile crept upon his
face. Slowly his eyes went down the
printed page The smile broadened
' Soon it became a chuckle. Later, ab
! sorhed in the reading, the candidate's
: shoulders shook aa be read. Finally,
with one big flst pinning the newspa
per te tbe table in front of him. Colo
nel Bill Strickland leaned back in bis
: chair and roared with laughter.
"Lord have mercy on ns. Tbnra" he
rasped. TTs tbe best and truest ttfag
i I ever saw In my life. They've got
yxw C Dished off to tbe queen's taste."
"I don't know nothin' about tbe
qneen's taste, sun," spoke Colonel Tod- i
banter grimly, "but I know one thing
almighty welL I'm a go la' to dust that
newspaper man's Jacket for him the
next time be comes in reach o' me.
Great name above, auh. th' ami no
man can handle Colonel Tburs T. Tod
boater like that and not get It well
taken eat of bss bide, nth."
Again Ooiotvl Strickland abovted
with laughter. "Ton old feel! be spat
tered. "That newspaper man knows
you better than you know yourself.
It's wonderful, Tbars! He's made a
character study of yon that's nothing i
more or less than a miracle, my
It was tbe troth. Colonel Todhunter
had come under the vision of a master
fully gifted newspaper expert In "char
acter values." The young fellow with
whom n tad freely and at
Bnch eae 00 tb P"ediBK trn,n
temperamentally "absorbed" Mm
od-T Di 8oL Then he had
W8 ""P" tek 8nd wntten " Cf
sertptive interview that was sbeerly
the colonel himself in tbe flesh. It was
a feat of psychological wizardry. The
man achieving it seemed to have rt
j and taken on that of Colonel Todbun
! ter instead. As a result of this exercise
f , th "tlJn8et "f "'fl I
Colonel Todhunter himself, the typical
figure of a Missouri Democrat of the
old school, talked in his proper person,
a living, breathing, almost palpable en
tity, from the printed page.
And tbe keenly humorous, apprecia
tive and well nigb loving quality that i
signalized the writer's performance of
his task was finely re-eoforced by the
work of the cartoonist. The' sketches
themselves were lifelike, bringing out
the colonel's every salient characteris-1
tic in facial expression, bodily pose and
a newspaper's front pnge
appalled Colonel Todhunter. He shrank
from it. shocked, with all a country-
nuin's dismay at sudden
before the world.
'It's all right for yon. Bill: you can
j . . , , . , ..
afTord to laugh:' he said indignantly.
T., .J .,,.-.. .."
ut A iu iue uur iudi n ui'iuiu l lie
I bag, sub! It's me that's put on that
there infernal circus poster like the
I wild man o' Borneo, not you. And I'll
be shot full o' holes if it ain't me that's
I agoin' to hold them there two youn;
rascals to an aeco'intin' for it.
mark my words, sub!"
Colonel Strickland wiped the tears
from bis eyes.
"You're all wrong, Tburs honest.
yon are" he protested. "There ain't a
u , . . ., . . .. , .
tine In that story that don t speak good
. . ,
of you, and what you say there is as
sound as a dollar. It's you talking, to
the lias, old fellow, and you're talking
for me, and every word yon say helps
as more than a column of ordinary
newspaper stuff. I wouldn't take $1.
000 for it. rijrht now!"
Td sell it for a blamed sight less'n
that, snhr hotly replied Colonel Tod
hunter, "And didn't I warn you
dldnt I teTl yon beforehand that they'd
shorely slse me up as a country Jake
from tbe very begtneia' and that I'd
bangle yon all op bere tn St. Louis,
snh? Didn't I say that as sure as I
came te these here city headquarters
e yorrn rd play the very eld blue
Bbuss and Ram TTW 'fere I get through.
! r,h' Yn- B- Tm
straight back for Nineveh
"No, yes a In' cot by a Jugful!" re
torted Colonel Strickland, maafnlly
strlrlnc to straighten his face into
ATS-Tfty. "So, sir. Ttnni speak t the
eslisevn -this very eight, Jest aa we've
placined. There, and ni tetl yoo an
ether tlflsf. Yenm xgeAk te the big
tast aad vtrnt eotiraais.stic sadienee
the eeftaeam held, or etee I don't
Iraow the signs ef a man's popnlarity
when I tee 'em, alsC
Colonel Bm BtriekUnd prophesied
troiy. The eDllseon was pacYed te the
"Oreat Brett end Maria, suh," said
rial TodUeste, descriUeg fne serae
te Dick c&atrG! eon hja return heme,
"yen eevlds't be' wedged knife Made
tn betwESS) aay two mem In that there
crowd, snh. And the way they cheesed
and bettered waea I -was laterdueed by
the ehjBjjrnteB of the meetln', smh
Blamed If yoa wenidat ha' thooght I
was the oriffiaal soarln' ring Ulled
guysfltlenta i ef f34aeras esonty, snh,
and the only oae In captlvUy, suh. I
neeer saw gnewa men behave that way
before to all ay life, Fjlck Cantrlu.
and it saade m tvMter'n bbues. But I
kept my shirt on, snh, sayta' te myself
that I was there te help eld BUI Strick
land atj J kaew hew. So I Just took tt
ent tn talkie' to 'em like a Dutch
me tell yon one thing. Dick Cantrill,
111 be shot full o holes if I dldnt have
'em every one up on their hind legs
a-whoopin themselves black tn the face
for old Bill Strickland 'fere I rot
through with "em, auh. I tall you. Dick,,
that there Satan straddled newspaper
done its durndest to ruin me. but J got
even with it right then and there, snhr
"Bully for you. colonel:" vociferated
Dick Cantrill. his hnmorona lips trem
ulous with mirth. Td gladly give tbe
last dollar I had in tbe world if I
could have been there and heard you"
Brit the colonel's face fell. "Dick." he
said, "wonld yea believe tt? Then there
infernal cartoonists came back at me
the next day worse'n ever. snh. They'd
been there at that meean and got ma
in action. I'll be eternally condemned j
If I ever saw such pictures ef a livin'
human bein' aa they drew of me then,
sub. It was a sin and a shame. What's
a man gain' to do these days. Dick
Cantrill? I tetl you. sub. the present
frivolity of tbe American press Is ut
terly destroy i a' the dignity of public
Tt Is, eosoael It ta." agreed tbe edi
tor ef tbe KTsaeveh Weekly Blade con
tritely. Aad It te te Dick Cantrill 's
everlasting credit that he betf himself
1b until Colonel Todhunter bad stalked
away. Then be laughed aa he bad not I
laufihed In many a day.
"God bless biar he neM te himself
cknhincry. "He and bis ssocchoa have
gained five thousand votes for Cetonel
Strickland In St. Lonis just as sure as
the sun rises and seta! And they're
worth it too!"
Tom Strickland Faces Colonel Tod
hunter In a Sentimental Crisr.
T TONESTLT. Mary." protested:
Tom Strickland, "it isn't safe
for you to drive home alone, j
It's all very well to make be-.
lieve that you're not afraid of a horse, j
but I know better. Won't you let me
see you home?" j
Tbe two had met in the lazy quiet of ,
Nineveh's town square, and Tom was
quick to see his opportunity. Mary !
Todhunter laughed at bis apprehensive !
"How can you keep a straight face
when you say that Tom?" she asked.
"You know as well as I do that I've
driven old Solomon a million times,
more or less, and that nothing on earth
would make him run away."
"You can never tell about these oldi
reliables." said Tom. "Solomon might
He it into his bead to get frisky any
minute. I can see devilment in his eve
right now." !
He placed an entreating band on tbe
"Well, get in. then." conceded Mary,
tossing her pretty head. "I reckon 1
won't have any peace until I let you
have your own way."
Tom swung himself into the buggy
instantly. "That's a mighty wise con-
tQe reiag anj bea6iDg Id Soi;raon to.;
j wnrrl th h-ri rnHI, ,h!lt . , t
home. "I wish to goodness you'd make
up your mind to it as a erinanent
Marv flashed morkerv at him. ,-I
j ret.k()n vou do she exclaimed. "It's
1llst V)kf. voll P.,t thrft H!inBP ,lf
j j-8 cominir to nass. Mr. Tom Strict -
land." j "I II tell Mrs. Todhunter and the
They were now well out of tbe drow- colonel this very day." be announced
sy town. Old Solomon trotted content- a few moments later. "Lord, they'd
ed!y along under the leafy foliage that , Ree it any way in my face. I'm so proud
arched bia always welcome homeward and happy. 1 want to know if tbey
way. think I'm good enough for yon."
"That's one reason Td like to see1 Mar.v tossed her head. "They'd bet
your father elected governor," contin-'ter think sol" she retorted indignantly,
ued Mary. "Those Jefferson Citv cirls "Not enough, indeed'"
I will soon teach you your proper place,
i Tom Strickland, even though you are
I the governor's son." "
"I'm not the governor's son yet.
Mary." responded Tom. an intentional
lufrMiwj in ins tone. auh even 11
tu ,i ,
i the time ever comes that I am. Jeffer-
; n riilt . . . , ..... . ..
"What do you mean?" asked Mary.
"You'll certainly have to go to tbe
state capital when Colonel and Mrs.
Strickland go. won't you?"
Tom's face took on an injured ex
pression. "I declare. Mary." he spoke,
"you never seem to realize that I'm no
longer a boy.. Please remember that
I'm a grown man now and that I've
studied law and been admitted to prac
tice at tbe Missouri bar!"
I-aughtar gleamed in Mary s eyes.
"Well. Mr. Thomas Strickland, great
lawyer that yon are," she mocked,
"Why, Just this, that I Intend to stay
right here in IClneveb." announced Tom
loftily. It's all settled too. I'm going
te be taken Into partnership with my
father and old Judge Bolting, and then
I can held my father's practice If he's
elected. Anyway, Fm te be a partner.
'Strickland. Boiling. Strickland,' that's
hew the new sign will read!"
Mary laeghed outright. "Goodness
met" she cried. "Won't we be a big
man then? Oh, Tom, ffll be soeh fan
to hear yoo make a speech In const!
Anem Gentlemen of the jury"
"Bbasse e yea. Mary Tedi outer T
cried Tom, reddening boyishly. "It's
just Hke yen, though. Yeo'vo poked
fan at me an your life "
"I haven't ettherr denied Mary la
stastly. Tve only laughed at your
high anal mighty ways bow and then,
and yea knew It."
Teat's angry eyes looked straight to
"Ten had no right te say that about
me." eeatfnaed Mary. "Tve been
Blghty good te yea."
"Vp te a certain point, yes," agreed
Tens. "Bet Just the minute I get serf
em about SBythiAg yea begin laughing
"Why, Torn, I don't de anything of
tbe sortr protested Mary. "I never
dreamed of soeh a tblcg! You can try
me this very ruinate and seer
"All right. I will!" spoke Tom quick
ly. "Mary, I love yoo. I want yoo to
premise to be my wife Won't you I
I '-WW. I It I
LI oS , . .
lag botly. "Yoo ought ?o be ashamed )
7 . V 1 , K . ' !
tbat, Just bec-suse-Just because 1-1;
W" T ?.R 10 J006 lt Toar i
"Mary, aald Tom sturdily, "if yoo
donH .know I're beta lajote with yon1
all this time yo must be blind. And
now I've' told you, why well, you've
got to give me an answer end I love
you so that I'm afraid to hear it! If
it's no welt, mi break my heart, that's
There was no answer to his pleading.
Mary hadgiven Mm one startled biok.
Then her eyes bad softenea ana turned
away from bia. It seemed to Tom that
abe was crying.
"Mary." be aald humbly, T didn't
mean to say anything to trouble jon,'
but ' I bad , to tell you some time or
other. I've loved yon a long, long
time. Is there any chance for me at
Still there was no answer.
"I reckon I've been tbe blind one,"
sad Tom sadly. "I reckon you can't
care for me the way I care for you.
Tes, Mary, I reckon it's me that's been
"Tea, Tom, replied Mary Todhunter,
"It's yen that have been blind."
Tom bowed bis. head. "I ought to
have seen that yon dldnt love me," be
said. "I ought to have seen IV Then
I wouldn't have given you the pain of
ha ring to tell me so."
Tm not going to tell you," said
"All right Mary," replied Tom. "I'll
take ray answer wtthost hurting you
"Is there any chance for me at all?'
by making you put it into words.
no hoL-, anyway: I know when I've had
To bis amazement Mary burst out
laughing. "Of all the funny things to
suy at such a time:" she cried. Her
eyes were full of mischief, yet beauti-
i '""y tender- "Oh. Tom, indeed you are
the blindest of the blind!"
A sudden hope stirred in Tom's soul.
"MaryT' he exclaimed. "You don't
"I do. Tom," softly replied Mary.
"How could you believe I didn't love
you? You ought to be ashamed of your
self." And Tom Strickland took Mary Tod
hunter in his arms, leaving old Solo-
' mon to go his own way unsuided.
i Ru Tom was near to being panic
str,cken when they bad gained the
J wile gallery of Mary's borne and were
confronting her parents.
'Howdy. TomT spoke Colonel Tod
hunter. His glance passed from young
Strickland to his daughter with just
tbe faintest twinkle of amusement in
bis gray blue eyes.
Tom Strickland bad taken Mrs. Tod
hunter's band. "Howdy, Mrs. Tod
hunter Howdy, colonel," he said, his
face an open book of confession. "I
I well, I Mary waa good enough to
say I could come home with her!"
"We're glad you did. Tom," replied
Mrs. Todhunter. "And you've got to
stay to supper."
Colonel Tod hunter's Hps were twitch
ing. "I don't know about tbat, boney."
he spoke. "Tom don't look' to me like
he's very hungry."
Msry flashed swift indignation at
her father. Mrs. Todhunter looked at
the colonel In surprise. Then In sod
den understanding, she shot a quick
glance at the young people. Tom
Strickland blushed redder than ever.
Mary fired at her mother one soft vol
ley of entreaty from dewy eyes end
then fled precipitately into tbe bouse.
Her face filled with comprehending
tenderness. Mrs. Todhnnter followed
Mary, making no excuses.
"Tom," said Colonel Todbueter, "yon
seem to have been kicking op a mighty
funny rumpus this load o' poles, young
Tom stood like a condemned felon
In tbe deck. "I reckon I have, cetonel."
be made answer. Then, after a dis
may filled pause, "I I I've been ask
ing Mary to marry me, sir."
Colonel Todhrwter's face was impa
Tom Strickland stood very erect.
Pride shone in bis eyes. "I don't know,
sir, whether yen've noticed it or net,"
he resumed, "bat Tve been In love with
Mary for a long time."
A rellshfu! twinkle was In Colonel
Todbun ter's eyes.
"And. sir and well. Colonel Todhun
ter. it's Just this." exultantly bnt blusb
ingly exclaimed Tom. "I know I don t
deserve' It 1 can't hardly believe it
but Mary aays she loves me. too and
well. sir. I want to ask Mrs. Tod hun
ter's snd your consent to our marriage,
Colonel Todhunter wss contemplat
ing tbe young man with eyes brimful
of k'ndi y amusement
. ..Tn . h
you'll never forget how skeered you I
this mlnote. suh. But yoo got
thmnel, ,,n ,t m , nero. hiftmeA
Iht " tan ' did when I askas
tor Mrs Todhunter. That sure was S
;Sp! That Trip to Colorado
' V jyment that
i ti 4 sTo vmh
j 1 lUVUUMsliUi
I. 1 AVIT If
But the next moment his face was
grave. He laid bis band on young
. "Tom. my. boy," he said. "I'd rather
give Mary to you than to any other
man iu tbe world, and you ought to
ha' known it without my jtel'lin' you.
I've known you and liked you all the
time you've been growin' up, and 1
love your father like he was my own
brother.. I am glad you and Mary
have got it all settled, and I'm sure
Mrs. Todhunter thinks as much of you
as I do. God bless you and Mary both,
There was a sudden break in the
colonel's voice. "It's up to you and
Mary to arrange all the rest of it,
young man." he spoke aaiu after a
little pause. Then, with a whimsical
smile: "And all of your troubles are
ahead of you both. May the good Lord
have mercy ou jour souls."
A splendid gratitude shone In Tom's
eyes. "All I've got to say is this, Colo
nel Todhunter." he said. "God helping
me. I'll make" Mary-the best husband iu
"You'll need the Good Marstcr's help
considerable, too. my boy." responded
Colonel Todhunter quizzically. "And
don't bank on bein' too blanked success
ful in that there undertakiu'. suh. Be
in' a good husband ain't no sinecure,
not by a long shot. It's the biggest con
tract you ever undertook, and you've
got to keep hamtnerin' away at it ev'ry
minute, sub It's enough to skeer a
man to death. Tom, If it wan't for one
thing bein' a good husband means
bavin' a happy wife, and that's the fin
est tiling on God's green footstool. You
Just live up to that great truth. Tom,
and it's all I'll ask of you."
"You won't have to ask more than
once. Colonel Todhunter," replied Tom
fervently. "I'll think of nothing but
Mary's happiness all my life. sir. And
that'll mean mine, too; we're solng to
be the happiest couple in all the world,
"Now that's where yoo slip up again.
Tom," said Colonel Todhunter. "Mar
ried life ain't Just one long dream of
unalloyed Miss, not by a jugful, suh.
You got to take It as it comes, the bad
with the good, and sometimes it may
look like the good uin't as plentiful aw
it might le. but that's percisely when
you got to sit tight and watch and pray
for a change o' luck. And a man's wife
ain't no chronic angel; young man. no
moren't a woman's husband is. You'll
be powerful lucky if Mary makes you
as good a wife as her mother's made
me. but. all the same. I've ceen days
when Mrs. Todhunter looked more like
S destroy in' cyclone to me than any
thing else. And she can tell a huu'ln-d
shorti-omhi's ou me where I can tell
you one on her. so there you are. suli.
It's give and take, that's what it is,
and you just got to do your !est. keep
on wbistlin' for cheerfulness' sake and
stand ready to make a quick duck if
things get too stormy, suh!"
Tom Strickland could not help but
laugh. "Well, colonel." he responded,
"if Mary and I are as happy as you
an Mrs. Todhunter I'll be more than
satisfied. And I'll try to make her a
good buabaud. I promise you that."
"I know you will, Tom." replied
Colonel Todhunter. 'jAnd I know
Mary'll try to till her part o" the con
tract tbe same way too."
The young man's gaze went nervous
ly past the 'door through which Mary
and ber mother had vanished.
"I wonder where they are. colonel?"
be ventured apprehensively. "I hope
there's nothing serious happening."
Colonel Todhunter tugged at bis griz
led mustache to keep from smiling
openly In Tom's face.
"Don't you worry none atoiit .Mary
and ber mother, suh." be spoke.
"They're Just bavin' a heart to heart
Don't Put Off
Go this Summer take your old clothes
and fishing rod forget business and enjoy
yourself? Solid, sensible, worth-while en-
makes one over, body and
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talk on the "all absorbln' subject ot
marriage, Tom, and they got to have a.
good cry while it's golo' on. I be!
they've already shed enough briny
tears to float a battleship, sub. That's
a woman's way at such a time as this.
All mothers has got to wall over their
daughters then like they was goin' to
die 'stead o' gettin' married. But
they're all right after that. suh. When
Mary and Mrs. Todhunter get through
and . wipe each other's weepin' eyes
they'll show op out here as serene as
a summer's day. I reckon It's the
Good Marsfer's will they got to do it
that way, suh." . ,
At this moment Mrs. Todhuntef ap
peared in the doorway. She went
straight to Tom and put both bands
on bis shoulders and kissed bim on
"God bless yon and make both of yon
happy. Tom." she said, her voice trem
bling. "Mary loves you very dearly.
You've got to be a good man. Tom,
for her sake. You will, too, won't
Mary's sweet face was now In Tom's
view from where she stood In the
shadowy old hall behind her mother.
The young man bowed his bead at
Mrs. Todhunter's tremulous speech.
"God helping me, I will, Mrs. Tod
hunter," be replied.
Something very like the dimming of
tears came Into Colonel Todhunter's
eyes at the picture thus presented. Rut
be strove mnnfully to conceal the fact
of such emotion.
"Come ont here. Mary," he cried in
dignantly. "You've been leavin' Tom
to face the music alone long enough."
But when Mary Todhuuter oliejed
the summons her father took her Into
his arms und pressed bis suspiciously
quivering lips to her brown hair.
"Ain't you ashamed of yourself, hon
ey," he asked, "for bein' so will'.n' t
leave your mother and me Just because
that snip of a Tom Strickland want
yon? We're goin' to he mighty lone
some without you, daughter."
And tlien because Marv cried her
face hidden on his breast, Colonel Tod
hunter scowled ferociously at Tom.
"It's all your fault, you young ras
cal." he ejaculated, patting Mary
sooi liinply on the shoulder at the same
time. "You hud no business wuntin'
her. aud you know it."
At which not one of his three hearers"
could refrain from laughing, and tbii
w:is precisely what the colonel desired.
(to be continue'!)
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