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THE ALLIANCE HERALD, TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 1922
BIX H?tmHimm?rfnmmfwm??HHnHntl Ever Ever Green 3 5) FANNIB HURST llllllllliillllillllllllllllllilllliiillillllllllR . Ooprnint, ItW, - TM W MIU BBOW!, ISO. Farmers' wives at the rinse of A voiceless tiny have been known to turn stnrk mini. Siberia, whore men learn to lifetime enamored of death, Is n land of strange silences. Win-re tin? desert Is MllloM moil's hones He blenching. Wild dogs liny loudest In thnt sound less moment before the dawn, and as If they would rend to ribbons the mys terious veil of silence. Hut the prairie Ims no secrets; It is like an open band. I'nlui upward. Across the great upturned palm of Illinois, dusk fi ll sndly over miles and tulles o close-bitten prairie lands and runty corn fields that met the gray liorl.on with the fluid, easy joinder of a river meet lug the sen. Alongside an Isolated watering station the Inter state Accommodation slowed, shrieked on Its rails, stopped. Miss Loin Lulady protruded a shin ing head out of a roach window and enlffed to the evening. Her eyes were full of restless glamings and hard as unllght on bayonets. "Llste.i, Al, to the stillness out there, '..111 you 1 Ugh, it's so thick you can cut It." Her companion on the red plush eat beside her unwound bis long nglb limbs and. leaned across her slim flgun anil out Into the moody evening nl the plains sweeping away to the borl eon. ' "Lookn Jhom birds, will you, Lo scooting south like an arrow shot out of a bow. Gee 1" He followed their course, bis eyes level beneath level brows. "If this Is the Groat Middle West, Al, that you been labeling God's coun try all along the circuit, give me a ninety-nine year lease on Satan Island or Bronx boulevard every time. Oee, riding five hours straight and not even an ant-hill to muss the scenery. Don't shove, Al. Don't shove!" The pecullur quiescence of rapid mo tion suddenly arrested descended over the coach voices monotonous us the droning of bees rose languidly. The noise of travel that lay beneath the song of the rails sprang out suddenly ; paper rattling, leather hand-bags that squeaked In the opening and closing. the ever mysterious creaklngs of woodwork, the engine coughing at even Intervals. Miss Lnlnday's brilliant liead rolled back against the red plush Inert. She fanned her moist little face with a lacy fribble of handkerchief. "Whew I God'a country he calls this I" "Sny, a little kid like you that's never been west of Trenton don't know enough about the map to find her own liome town if it's got a pin stuck through It. Walt till you been doing coast to coast long ns I have. If you think this Is a tank circuit we're play ing, wait till we get on the wrong side of Kansas City !" "Say, they don't come no dinkier than the Inst four we played." He leaned to her and placed a large muscular hand over hers. In the He Leaned to Her and Placed a Large, Muscular Hand Over Hera. shadow of bis overpowering shoulders her own Blenderness was wlsplsh. ''You're all wrong, Lo. There's little funks In this parj of the country, with tlower beds set out around the station and Main street paved, and white frame houses set Inside of white picket fences, and shady streets with trees meeting right over thetn aud well, I tell you t liere's tanks out here that makes Forty-second street look like a lad dream." She crumpled op against the win Jow sill, her chin cupped in her palm. "Like the riumfl w played In last fcrt Where the white frames cks nml I hp hotel up over , I lie grocery store make Hip Hrlgg j muse In Newark look like the Illtx." "Illgglnivllle Is a rotten dump, IiO. You don't find It on any of the vaude ville circuits, but leave It to extrava ganza t-very time not to overlook a ' lump. Hut take tonight's stand. though; there Just ain't a prettier Ut ile town on the map than Adalat, I-o." She squinted her little face Into an imaging grimace. "Adnlnl !" "Ych! I know a young fellow, Pen Col lings, started there an errand boy In a box-fa'-tery and now owns half ;he town : two box factories of his own, I ho opera house, half of Main street ami nearly every cottage on the bill. ny, I'tl brush the Broadway lint off ny rout tomorrow to settle down In a .retty little tank like that. "It's a great little town, La I've Seen there three times nnd lived onre for two weeks right with Ten Codings In bis own swell house. He'd gimme his shirt if I uskrd him, that's whnt he thinks of me. (inly 'met him on a train once, too. He's seen some of my wood cnrvlngs and he'd gimme a Job right In one of his box fuetorlos doing .he high class handwork any tiny In he week I wanted. That's the kind of 'rlends we are." She pressed her finger tips to her Ips, then blew at them lightly as If die would waft him n rose petal. "Hnve mi, Al. Have on !" He leaned to her with nn entire taltenlng of tone. "You're the only hlng In the world thnt 1 can rave .ibout, Lo; you nnd your tantalizing vuys. Ever since I rnn away from n orphan asylum In Utlca to Join a hew, I've hnd a picture of a little girl Ike yiu bung on my heart. I can't see his fir any other country, lion, without von the biggest part of the scenery. Vou're the only thing f ever hnd time o rave about In my life, Lo." She threw him a smile that was full f qut.ka. "Ma and the meadows! The nendows you're ulw-njs piping about. .ook at 'em nut there! Listen to the jrass growing!" A porter passed down the swaying aisle, lighting lamps. A gassy turbid glure filled the couch, shutting out the darkening landscape, and the windows suddenly reflected the murky Interior. "You you sweet little kid, you. You sweet little, soft little kitten." She collapsed In an attitude of mock prostration against bis shoulder, her cheek, the quality of thick, cream colored velvet, crushed against the grain of his coat. "How that boy loves me!" He withdrew her sharply. "Always kidding! Ain't you nothing but a doll; ain't you got nothing but sawdust Inside of you? Ain't you got no feelings, no nothing, no heart?" Feel it beating, way down In my wrist." Can't you learn that life ain't Just one long ha, ha? Can't you learn that when a fellow's been eating out his heart and soul and vitals the whole six months he's been playing In the show with - you, thnt It ain't no laugh ing matter? Cau't you learn that, girl?" She retreated pouting to her corner, her richly curved Hps quivering. "You can't talk to me like that I I know what's eating you. You're sore ubout last night. Hut you can't talk to me like that!" He leaned to her In Immediate con trition. Lo, I didn't mean It, only some times with your cutting up like you didn't care, you drive me crazy, that's all. I ain't Bald nothing to you about last night, have 1? Ain't I been keeping it inside of me? Only sometimes you drive me crazy ; you drive me crazy I" "I.oggo my wrists." "I tell you when I see you cutting up from the swing with him down there In the wings and nearly forget ting to burl the bar to me, I get to seeing things so black that thut It's a wonder I don't miss the bar aud break my neck break my neck." . "Leggo my wrists." "I tell you It makes a crazy man out of ine to see you cutting up with him. I see black, I tell you! I get dizzy with blackness." "t'.ee, the way you keep raving for fear 1 won't swing that bar straight! Don't be al raid, little boy. I been get ting It to you somehow for a oouple of hundred performances, ain't I? Don't be scared, Al ; I'll take care of you." A slow red spread to bis ears and down into bis collar, but his voice remained carefully below the rumble of the train. "You wouldn't dare talk that way to me, Lo, If it was me Instead of your friend who was directing the show. You know pretty well you gotta be us cureful each time 'you swing that bar nut to me as If you'd never doae tt before. Yuu don't want me to land with u broken back, do you?" "I told you I'd take core of you, little boy." "You can't tantalize me that wayl You know thut ain't what's eating me. I wasn't with Bono's Star Acrobat Act for four years to be bluffed off by a lit tle extravaganza specialty act that thnt I could do in my sleep." "Well, If you uln't scured you hol ler enough." "I didn't open Hlgley's vnjylevllle bill with a solo trapeze act for two years not to learn how to grab a bar that's swung nut to me by a girl thnt's too busy flirting with the stage di rector down in the wings to watch out what she's doing." "It didn't even swerve half an Inch last night ; you said so yourself." "Lordy, the nerve of a little kid like you. Afraid, am II Say, I was an expert acrobat already when I was turning somersaults In theirphan asy "'km' mT w' lum's linik.vanl and yon wns making fnko flowers in a Twenty-third street loft. Me afraid of a bar act! I could do thnt turn In my sleep If I got the right kind of a feeder!" She borrowed into her handkerchief, her little travel-stntned figure hunched and abject. "I wish I was dead." "Aw, now, Lo, darling, I" "It Just seems like nothing I do don't suit nobody." "In, darling. Just to show you how you suit me, let's do what I been beg ging you to. Let's quit ! Then we won't have nobody to suit but ourselves. Iet's you and me quit, that's how much I think of you. Thnt's how much you suit me. Let's quit I" "Quit r "Yeh, quit! Let's Jump. Lee can't bold up after the way he faked the circuit on this show. You ejy the word, Io. anil we'll do It right here In Adalal. With the sixteen hundred I got saved. Lo, my friend Hen Coll Ings'll set us up In nnytblng from nn Ice crenm parlor to the box business. He's a big gun there; alderman nn' everything but mayor. He's offered to set me up, Lo, every time I've played the town. Gee, Lo, last year he wns putting up some little red-roofed cot tages nenr the station. I liet they're ready now little red-roofed cottages on the hill, with a weather-rock on the peak of the veranda nnd a white pleket fence, and and, be rents 'em, Lo, we " "Honest, Al, you must be crazy with the hent. I thought you was only guying all along or I would have given you a brain test." "Guying nothing; the Idea has hnd me for a month like a house afire. I wnuna get out of this business, hon, before you much more than get In. We rnn start together In a clean little town In a clean little way, kitten. I wanna get you out of the show busi ness, Lo, before yon moro than get just In. (ret you ut, kitten, aud take care of jou." "Hoi.est, Al, you're enough to scare a girl. We can t Co a crazy thing like that. Wbut'll Lee say If we Jump? I wanna get on In this business, Al. I'm Just starting, only six mouths lo the game, and I wanna get on. I ain't the kind of a girl that could settle down In a tank In a million years." "All right, in the big town then, Lo, If " "Gee, wouldn't Lee be sore!" "Lee, always Lee. I think you're eracke over Lee and that's what's hurting you. I think you wanna stick around with the director of this show, that's what I think." What's It to you? You ain't my boss. I'm a good girl, I am, and no man can cast Insinuations about me. I I " "Lo, darling." She was sobbing again hurt, Jerky little convulsions that racked her. "Honest, I wish I was dead." "Lo, darling, I tell you Lee ain't the kind of a man for " "If I ain't swell to Lee, he fines me and puts Floss first In the pony prance. If I ain't swell to you, then you conio around Insinuating and" " "Dnrllng, It's Just because I " "You know how a girl like me that wants to get on In the business hns got to sulve It on with the director If he happens to like her. You know better than I enn tell." She stole a furtive glance at him from the corner of her handkerchief nnd Immediately returned to Its depths. A greenish white aura sprang out Around his Hns and bis bands closed until the flesh sprang white at the I knuckles. "Whutta you mean? If that rat has been bothering you. by Gad, I " "No, no, no! Gee, enn't a fellow like a girl. Just plain like a girl, with out without bothering her? Cant a girl and a fellow flirt a little without bothering each other?" Her voice was as arch as her gin nee. "That's It. That's it. You're a little flirt. You're a little flirt In the blood anil you can't help It. You can't help flirting no more than I can belp the color of my eyes. You're a little flirt and a little devil thut drives slow- thinking men like me crazy. No won- His Words Set Her Blood Foaming. der you get me so wild I see black, You're a little flirt and a little devil I A Uttle devil 1" Ills words set her blood foaming, "I am, am I? Where'd I be if I didn't keg how to salve, it on a little? S2e Ptffil Where'd I be now? Lending the swing ing ballet? Leading the pony prance? I would not ! I'd be back Just where I was six months ago. making sateen daisies In a Twenty-third street flower loft and not knowing the difference be tween bedroom shoes and ballet sllp lrs. Where'd I be now If 1 didn't know how to salve It on a little?" "That's It, salve it on. That's what you've been doing to me, I guess, salv ing It on; salving It on." "Where'd I be now If I didn't know how to get muml Lee? How'tl I ever have got In a big mad show like this without a day's experience, If if I " Aw, I know that line of talk." "Yes, you do! You're a man and old at the game. A fellow with a dum my siieelalty act like yours knows he ran always find work In vaudeville or spectacular. I ain't got no storm-king act to wave In a manager's face. I was Just a little kid, like nine hundred and ninety-nine other little kids nn Brond way, with a bnby stnre and a pair of feet that wanted to dunce and didn't know how." "What's all thnt got to do with what I'm trying to say to you?" "Where's I be now If I hadn't salved It on when Lee tried to drill me for the swinging ballet? Gee, I wasn't nim ble enough to climb a match, much less do a turn on a crossbar and swing out the horizontal for your fly. Where'd I be now, sucking my thumbs?" Beneath the rumble of the train her voice was throaty and full of tears. "Where'd I be now, I'd like to know?" "Shh-h-h, Lo. Lee hlsself don't need to henr you." "I'm an ambitious girl, I am. I ain't ready to settle down yet In a tank by a long shot. I gotta keep my stand-in. I'll be doing. a single on the Amsterdam roof by next summer, see If I don't. And snlving It nn Is what'll get me there. I gotta look ahead. I'm keeping my weather eyes on Broad way. I ami" "Take It from me, hon. and Tin your friend for telling you, you're cute nnd all; gad, I never seen anyone could touch you, but there ain't no future to little souhrette and chorus stuff like yours. You ain't got the votce, hon. You're pretty as peaches, but " "You you'd take the life out of any girl with your Joy killing. Ever since we left Hlgglnsville and you came and crowded Lee out of this' Beat, you been slttln' here Joy killing. "But, Lo, darling" "Lemme alone." "Can't you understand, dear, that I" "Maybe I'm nothing but a little baby- doll and maybe I ain't ! Maybe I'm all the names you call me right here on this Beat and maybe I ain't. Maybe I'm nothing but a little flirt and maybe I ain't. Muybe I'm going to flirt with Lee in the wings tonight and maybe I ain't. Now whatta you going to do about It?" She threw down the gauntlet from a high hand, the rod of resolve straight ening her back. "I don't need to stand for no man sitting here and running me down to my face all the way from Hlgglnsville to Adulal. I'm an ambitious girl, I am, and no man can say the things you said to me right here In this train and get away with them. Lemme out!" He unwound his feet nnd Jerked his coat lapels together angrily. Beneath his tiny clipped hedge of mustache hla straight lips were compressed, What you need, my Uttle ludy, Is a 8001 spanWng." " trySt." "A good gurden-vnrlety of spanking to bring youHo your senses !" Lemme out, you 1 I don't have to sit here and be talked to by a reliow that ain't a gent! Spunk me! You lust dare to lav a band on me. You! You !" She was edging past him to the aisle. Shh-h-h. you don't need to air your temper to the company, Lo. Here put on your coat. Here we are at Adalal. Down the length of the conch, beads rumpled with sleep appeared slowly above the backs of the sent as If emerging from trenches. Hags were Bwiing down from racks. Voices thick with drowsiness nnd querulous with travel rose to a hum. Tlx; "Forty Thieves" company straightened stiff limbs, yawned, adjusted sirups and hats and sat forwurd nn the edge of seats In a state of quasi .coma, luggage across knees and guzlng out luto Uie blnckncss. Without, the first lights of Adalal egap to flush past, bere-tbere, here- there; then a necklace of atmpllghts defining an outlying 6treet; a hollow rattling over a trestle and black wa- tersTvflectlnbeneuth. Last came the busy twinkling. lfghts of the township, an lllunilnuted clock In a tower, yellow as a moon; bill boards shining In the white flare of street arc-lights iRid brilliantly heatiOl Ing the "Forty Thieves Spectacular Surprise." Within the conch, the thirty mem bers of the "Forty Thieves" company Jammed suddenly into the aisle. At the far end of the coach a young man whose face was eons older than his flesh, sprang upon the first of the plush-covered Beats waving bis light brown derby but, and then Blupped it on the back of bis polished thatch of hair. A cpld cigar sagged at an oblique from his mouth, his tan waistcoat, ojien Its full length, swung apart to reveal the bold design of his shirt. He rmnmetl the cigar in his waistcoat nocket and nnened his mouth In a downward slant, cupping his hand around it to Inclose his voice. "Thirty-five , minutes late. Com pany report direct to opry house." "For Gawd's sake. Lee, us girls have gotta eat sny " " "Cut It! If there's anybody in tins company don't like the runnings of this show, go holler down a well." "Aw. Lee. whutta you tl.lnk this is, four-a-dny show? I'm sick. I gotta get a rest or "Say. the next member of this com pany that lets nut a squeal can dig down In bis jenns for a fine before this train pulls In." The muttering rose like wind In a lonely place nnd the speaker threw out his oratorical tones nbove It. "This is a decent town with a decent house ; see that you treat it decent. The milk sjieclal for Mollne pulls out from this station at four-ten breakfast on board." "Aw, Lee,. whatta you think we are four-ten! Say, a fellow thnt can hand out a route like this would mur der a man for a subway ticket." He waved his hnt In a great semi circular sweep, creutlng a little gust before It. "Cut It, I sny, or down In your Jeans! Four-ten Is whnt I said la dles' nnd gents waiting rooms at stu tion. Four-ten Is w hat I said I" He descended from the red plush seat, his mouth sagging and the livid red of exertion In his face swelling It. All out. Busses at station. Don't lag." The procession, a slow file of mut- terlngs, charivari, shoulderlngs and ex plosives, squeezed out upon the little geranium-hedged station platform. A line of omnibuses, lopsided, scarred and travel-weary, their rear doors hanging open, backed up against the platform, arid Into the half-dozen of them, full of tiavelers' splenetic exclte- meuts, piletl the thirty members of the "Forty Thieves" company: Chorus girls who bent their feathered beads and flounced In with a display of too much ankle; show girls, full-busted. but ever wary of the double chin; nar row-shouldered young men with small collar sizes and next year's cut of coat ; principals with extra luggage and lips too painted or too proud to smile, and u and down the narrow platform, snurling, swearing, shouting, Mr. Char ley Lee walked, the cold cigar dangling from his mouth, his cont collar turned up against the November chill. "Come on In, Lee, tHere's room here on my lap." Naw, I'll walk let 'er go, boys, whip up them nags." The procession moved off, creaking, swinging across the railroad tracks, up a Blight incline of hill, baggage swaying perilously, drivers shouting and barricaded in with more luggage, horses straining at their groins; laughter drifting backward. And from the rear windows of the rear om nibus Mr. Al Delano's white face. straining backward. Charley Lee exhaled loudly, wiped at his hatband and started across the tracks. At his side a step, llht and full of indecision. "Lee !" "Lo!" A cloud spread over bis brow, Im mediately evaporating Into a smile. If It ain't the baby-doll ! Why ain't you in one of the busses, kiddo?" She slid a timid arm Into his. "I aw, there wasn't any room." They burst Into a simultaneous ex plosion of luughter. "Wasn't any room ! The little devil wanted to walk up with me. Wasn't any room ! Gad, can you beat some of 'em for nerve?" "I can dress In five minutes, Lee, I got my knickerbockers for the prance on on underneath." "Gad, I ougbta fine you out of half a week's salury for traveling in your wardrobe." "Like fun you would 1" "Gad, can you beut It for nerve? now the little devil tnlks buck 1" They turned up a quiet street, where trees met over their heuds In a melun choly arch, and on both sides of the roud, well buck, lights glowed behind drawn shades and the gubled silhou ettes of cottages showed through the darkness. He linked her urm with a slow, ln- grutiuting movement. "Love me, buby-doll?" "Silly!" "You nnd my friend Al was pretty thick ull the way up from Higgins vllle, I see, just the same. Watch out on his bar tonight, kiddo; that wns ueurly a misty fall last night. That's what you get for treating ine so cold. Didn't ! Gee, the way yi w as flirt ing with me from the wings and ull was enough to give any girl the shlv ers." "That's whnt I give you, the shlv ers, Is it? I'm some me little shh-er-giver, that, you only flunK ain't I. kid? At me a stingy rose Instead of the wreath, Stingy! Stingy!" "Aw, I know you. You flon't mear nothing you suy to me. Wiry shoula I fling u fellow? wreath tUut um nyiin nothing he Buys to me?" "Do!" "Say. ain't this a swell little town, Lee? The first decent tank I've sem Looka In there, will you? All eating supper around the table like regular folks. Neat, ain't It? Looka kids and the old granny and all. Looka !' "Good little town. We play a re turn In Anrll. Neat, clean, little dump, and a good show town." "Aw. looka that cute little red roofed' cottage with the weather-coc1 whirling around over the porch, brand new and all. Suy. ain't thnt cute? I wouldn't mind renting that myself!" "Yes, you would. You stick to me, kiddo, aud see if w hat I tell you about the Amsterdum Hoof don t come true? "Honest, Lee?" "Aw. but whut's the use treating little gfrl like you white, when sh acts so cold and touchy the minute fellow tries to get bu-i-- with her. You bet your fi?e FiosslV would have Hun me her wreath last night If I hml Inked for It; she alu t a cold little baby-doll like you. "What's the use trying to help ft little girl that ain't got no tempera ment, when she's as cold as ahe-? Them ain't my kind. Temperament Is hnt you got to have In this business lnger!" Where the trees met darkest above their heads, so that not even the stars Deeped through, she stood suddenly on tip-toe so that her eyes, bluer than Italian waters, were parallel wnn nis. jlow how much temperament oes a girl have to have. Lee, to to get ahead? Huh? Honest. Lee, I m green In this game and I want more'n girl ever did to get ahead. How mucn temperament does she have to have, Lee?" For answer he loaned over and kissed the curved Hue where her Hps met. The note do resistance of the "Forty Thieves" extravaganza opened with a Wealthy plucking of muted violin tilngs a device popular for the mys- ... i erv It twangs ami insinuates, wnm- ual lights d'.sclospil ft papier-macho ave, glowing with tinsol-polntcd stu- aotltes nml stalagmites and a bent- ucketl, pussy-footed chorus of retl- totletl gnomes winding through its subterranean labyrinths. Tip-toe! Tip toe! Tip-toe! A tremolo of drums rambled to on ear-splitting crescendo, nnd four wind prltes, tossing their veily draperies, hounded from the red mouths of four up-stuge caves, singing an off-key sup- pllance to the Storm King and sustain ing high C with fuces strained nnd stained to deep vermilion. From the right wing, In shirt-sleeves and with an eye to nature, Mr. Charley Lee direct ed the lightning, and between flashes manipulated the wind machine. Above the song of the gale his voice rose and fell through the Improvised megaphone of bis cupped hands. "Hurry them ponies back there- swing 'eci on dang It, swing 'em on. Speed 'er up back there speed I Speed !" Sutldenly from behind a stalactite drop the raindrop chorus descended from heaven In a carefully selected shower. A pntter of applause passed through the audience. Dangling mid-air from silver wires, score of the effulgent creatures swung pendent, silver legs floundering, silver skirts flouncing, and tossing sil ver roses from shallow sliver baskets. And In their center, dangling highest fnra the stalagmite floor and further distinguished by a silver wreath placed as If In blessing on her brow, Miss Lola Laladay sparkled like dew In sunshine. "All Hall the Storm King." sang the buHet, dangling on their wires. J From the gloom of the tight wing Mj, Charley Lee let out a generous lightning flash and in its wnite nare clapped his hands together and smiled up at Miss Laladay. She tossed him a token from her shallow basket. "All Hall the Storm King," trilled the four winds, waving their bony arms. "AH Hall the Storm King," chanted the pussy-footed gnomes, turning cowled heads toward the left wing. "All Hall the Storm King," sang tho ensemble, facing the left wing and fal tering on high G. Suddenly the silver wire Jerked Miss Laladay higher still and she poised, limbs distended like a bisque angel de pending from a chandelier. A flower- entwined trapeze descended from be- A Flower-Entwined Trapeze Descend ed From Behind the Drop. hind the stalactite drop, framing her from the w-aty up. The spotlight fo cused. 'A The song of wind suddenly rippled across the stage. "All I.'all the Storm King," she sang In a fluty voice, closing her small hands over the parullel-bar and gazing with enrapport toward the left wing,. (To Be Continued) Business- now proceeds to withdraw the shop-earty sigm und substitute the announcement of genuine bargains for spring equipment Care wrinkles the face and don't care wrinkles the new overcoat. Modern liquor sugpests fortune for somebody who will get op tu. as bestos cup.