Newspaper Page Text
NORTH PLATTE SEMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE.
aSIIHUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIlIIIIIIIIItltllllllllllllllllfflllllllllllllllllllllllUllUIIIlIIIIlllllllIIIIIIIltlllllllllllKIIIIIIlIIIIIIIIIIIIIlIIIIIia The Magnificent Ambersons ( By BOOTH TARK1NGTON 1 3 ss 5 Copyrliht by Doubleday, Vtf & Corapinr, flltflllllllllllllllllllllKIIIIIIIllllllIllIIlIlIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIItltllllllfllllltlltllllllllllllllfllllllllllllllllllllllllllllltflflltlllfK "EVERYTHING 13 Synopsis. Major Ambereon has made fortune In 1873 when other people were toting fortune), and the magnificence of the Ainbersonn began then. Major Amborson lld out a 200-acro "development," with ronds and statuary, and In the center of a four-ncrc tract, on Amberson avenuo, built for hlmsolf the most magnificent mansion Midland City had ever seen. When tho major's daughter married young Wilbur Mlnnfer the elghborti predicted that as Isabel could never really love Wilbur all her love would bo bostowed upon tho children. There Is only one child, however, George Amberson Mlnafer, and his upbringing and his youthful accomplishments as a mischief maker are quite In keeping with the most pessimistic predictions. By the time Gcorgo goes away to collegu ho does not attempt to conceal his belief that the AmbersonH aro about tho meat Important family In the world. At a ball given In bin honor when he returns from college, Gcorgo monopolizes Lucy Morgan, a stranger and fhe prettiest girl present, and gets on famously with her until he learns that a "queer looking duck" at whom ho had been poking much fun, is tho young lady'B father. lie Eugene Morgan, a former resident of Blgbarg, and ho Is returning , erect a factory and to build horseless carriages of his own Invontlon, Eugene had been an old admirer of Isabel and they had been engagad when Isabel threw him over becauso of a youthful Indiscretion and married Wilbur Mlnafer. Qcorgo makes rapid progress In his courtship of Lucy. A cotillion helps their acquantance along famously. Their "friendship" continues during his absences at college George and Lucy become "almost engaged." Thero la a family quarrel over a division of property which reveals that both Gcorgo's Aunt Fanny and George's mother aro moro or loss Interested In Eugene Morgan. Qcorgo's father dies. George 1b graduated. lie and Lucy remain "almost engaged." i CHAPTER XI Continued. I When they went down to tho dining ffoom, he pronounced acceptable the almon snlad, cold beef, cheese and nko which Fanny made ready for them without disturbing the servants. The Journey had fatigued Isabel, she to nothing, but eat to observe with tired pleasuro tho manifest ntlons of or eon's uppctlto, meanwhile giving tier slstor-In-law a brief summary of the events of commencement. But presently she kissed them both good sight and left aunt and nephew alono together. "It sever was becoming to her to look pnle," Fanny said absently, a few mo acuta after Isabel's departure. "I upposo your mother's been being pretty gay? Going a lot?" "How could she?" Gcorgo asked Cheerfully. "In mourning, of course all she could do was Just sit around and look on. That's all Lucy could do either, for tho matter of that." "I suppose so," his aunt assented. "How did Lucy get homo? Did you 4rlvo out to tholr house with her bo-, fore you came here?" "No. Sho drovo homo with her fa tier, of course." "Ob, I see. So Kugcno camo to tho station to meet you." "To meet ua,?" Gcorgo echoed, re newing IiIb attack upon tho salmon alad. "How could ho?" "I don't know what you mean," Fanny Bald drearily, in tho desolate voice that had become hor habit. "I feaven't seen him while your mothor's been nwny." "Naturally," said George. "He's wen Hast himself." At this Fanny's drooping eyelids opened wide. "Did you see hlra?" "Well, naturally, since ho mado tho trip homo with us." Fanny's eyelids drooped, nnd sho at Bllent until George pushed back his chair nnd lit a cigarette, declaring his satisfaction with what sho had pro Tided. "You're n flno housekeeper," ho said benevolently. "I don't bellovo you'd stay alnglo very long If some of tho bachelors and widowers around town u?uld Just once sec " Sho did not hear him. "It's a little dd," sho said. "What's odd?" "Your mother's not mentioning that Mr. Morgan had boon with you." "Didn't think of it, I supposo," said Jeorge carelessly; and, his benevolent mood Increasing, ho conceived tho Idea that a little harmless rallying might servo to elovnto his aunt's drooping spirits. "I'll tell you something, In confidence," ho Bald solemnly. She looked up, Btnrtled. "What?" "Well, It struck me that Mr. Mor gan was looking pretty abscnt-mlnrintl. most of tho tlmo; and ho certainly is dressing Better than he used to. I houlda't bo n bit surprised If all tho young fellow had been wultlng for was to know ho had an assured lncomo be fore ho proposed." "What 'young fellow? " "Uhls young fellow Morgan," laughed George. "Honestly. Aunt Funnv. I shouldn't bo a bit surprised to havo him request an interview with mo any day, and declare that his intentions nro honorable, nnd ask my normlsslnn to pay his addresses to you. AVhat had I setter ten mm?" Fanny burst Into tears. "Good heavens 1" George cried. "I fcas only teasing. I didn't mean" "Lot me alone." sho said llfelosslv! and, continuing to weep, roso and be tan to clear away tho china and sliver. ucorge was distressed. "I dldn mean anything, Aunt Fanny I I dldn lenow you'd got bo sensitive ua all tint." "You'd better go up to bed," she ntd desolately, going on with her worli aid her weeping. Ho obeyed, nnd could still honr n p thetlc sniffing from tho dining room ho went up tho Btnlrs. "By Georgol" ho grunted, ns ho reached his own room : and his thought was that ilvlnc with n norsnn no hphhI tlvo to kindly raillery might provo lugubrious. Uo went to the window and looktl through the darkness to tuo fcttaj tULouotti! of his grnndfa SO 80 UN8ETTLED." ther's house. Lights were burning over there, upstnlrs; probnbly his newly arrived uncle was engnged In talk with tho MnJor. George's glance lowered, resting cas ually upon tho Indistinct ground, nnd ho beheld soino vnguo shapes, unfn mlllnr to him. Formless heaps, they seemed; but, without much curiosity, he supposed that sewer connections or water pipes might bo out of order, making necessary soino excavations.. Not greatly disturbed, ho pulled down tho shade, yawned, nnd began to un dress, leaving further Investigation for the morning. But In tho morning he had forgotten nil about It, and raised his shade, to let In the light, without even glancing toward tho ground, Not until ho had finished dressing did ho look forth from his window, nnd then his glance was casual. The' next Instant his at titude became electric, and ho ran from his room, plunged down tho Btalrs, out of tho front door, and, upon a nearer view of tho destroyed lawn, begnn to release profanity upon tlfe' breezclcss summer air, which remained unaffected. Between his mother's house nnd his grandfather's, exenva tlons for tho cellars of Ave new houses were In process, each within a fow feet of Its neighbor. It was Sundny, and so the workmen Implicated in these dcfnclnga wero de nied what unquestionably they would havo considered a treat: but as tho fanatic orator continued the mono logue, n gentleman In flannels emerged upward rrom ono of the excavations, nud regarded him contemplatively. "Obtaining any relief, nenhow?" lm Inquired with somo Interest. "You must havo learned qulto a number of those expressions In childhood It's so long since I'd heard them I fancied tnoy wero obsolete." 1 "Who wouldn't swear?" Georco de manded hotly. "What dons crnnilfn. thur mean, doing such things?" "My private onlnlon Is." mild Am. bcrson gravely, "ho desires to increase "Who Wouldn't Swear?" Qeoroe De manded Hotly. his Income by building these houses to rent." ' "Well, In tho nnmo of heaven, can't ho Increase hlu Income any other way but this?" "In the nnmo of heaven, It would np pear ho couldn't," "It's beastly 1 It's a dnmn degrada tlonl It's a crlmol" "I don't know about its being a crime," said his uncle, stepping over some planks to Join him. "It might bo a mistake, though. Your mother salll not to toll you until wo got home, so as not to spoil commencement for you. Sho rnthor feared you'd bo upnet." "Upsotl Oh, my Lord, 1 should think I would bo upset I Ho's In his secoud childhood." "Well, I thought, myself, It was a mistake. I wanted him to put up uu npnrtment building Instead of these houses." "An npnrtment building I Here?" "Yes; that was my Idea." George Btnick his hands together de spairingly. "An apartment house! Oh, my Lord I" "Don't worry 1 Your grandfather wouldn't listen to me, but he'll wish he had, somo duy. He sticks it out that apartment houses will never do In a town of this type, and when I pointed out to him that a dozen or so of 'cm nlready are doing, he claimed It was Just the novelty, and that they'd all be empty ob soon ns people got used to 'em. So he's putting up these houses." "Is he getting miserly lu his old age?" "Unrdlyl Look what he gave Syd ney and Amelia I" "I don't mean he's n miser, of course," Bald Gcorgo. "But why on earth didn't he sell something or other rather than do a thing like this?" "As n matter of fact," Amberson re turned coolly, "I believe he has sold something or other, from time to time." "I supposo you're joking or trying to I" "Thnt's the best wny to look at It," Amberson snld umlnbly. "Take the whole thing as a Joke and In the meantime, If you haven't had your brenkfast " "I haven't l" ' "Then If I wero you I'd go In nnd get some. And" paused, becoming serl oua "nnd If I were you I wouldn't say anything to your grandfather about this." "I don't think I could trust myself to wpcak to him about It," said George. "I wont to treat him respectfully, be cause ho Is my grandfather, but I don't believe I could If I talked to him about such a thing as this 1" And with n gesture of despair, plain ly signifying thnt all too soon after leaving bright college years behind him he had entered into the full tragedy of life, George turned bitterly upon his heel and went Into the house for his brenkfast. His uncle, with his head whimsically upon ono side, gazed after him not al together unBympnthetlcnlly. Being a philosopher he wna not surprised, that afternoon, In the course of a drive he took in tho old carriago with tho Ma jor, when Gcorgo was encountered upon tho highway flashing along In his runnbout with Lucy beside him and Pendennls doing better than three minutes. "IIo seems to have recovered," Am berson remarked. "I beg your pardon." "Your grandson," Amberson ex plained. "He waB Inclined to melan choly this morning, but seemed Jolly enough Just now when they passed us." "What was ho melancholy about? Not getting remorseful about all the money he's spent nt college, was he?" Tho Major chuckled feebly, but with sufllclcnt grlmnes8. "I wonder what he thinks I'm made of," ho concluded querulously. "Gold," his son suggested, adding gently, "nnd ho's right about part of you, father." "What part?" "Your heart." The Major laughed ruefully. "I sup poso that may acpount for how heavy It feels, sometimes, nowadays. This town seems to bo rolling right over thnt old heart you mentioned, Gcorgo rolling over It and burying It under l When I think of those devilish work men digging up my lawn, yelling around my house " "Never mind, father. Don't think of it. When things are a nulsnncc it's a good Idea not to keep remembering em." "I try not to," tho old gcntlemnn murmured. "I try to keep remember ing that I won't be remembering any thing very long." And, somohow con vinced thnt thin thought was a mirth ful one, he laughed loudly and slapped his knee. "Not so very long now, my boy I" he chuckled, continuing to echo his own amusement. "Not so very long. Not so very longl" CHAPTER XII. Young George paid his respects to hla grandfather tho following morning, having been occupied with vnrious af fairs and engagements on Sundny un til after tho Major's bedtime; nnd top ics couccnuM with building or exen vatlona weto not Introduced Into the conversation, which was a cheerful ono until Gcorgo lightly mentioned soma new plans of his. He spoko of nis desire to extend his proficiency In driving: in fact, ho entertained the ambition to drive a four-ln-hnnd. now over, as tho Major said nothing, and merely sat still, looking surprised, George went on to say that ho did not propose to "go In for coaching just nt the start;" ho thought It would bo better to begin with a tandem. He was suro Pcndunnla could bo trained to work as a leader; and all thnt ono needed to buy nt present, ho suld, would bo "comparatively Inexpensive a now trap, und tho harness of course, und a good buy to match Pendennls." Ho did not caro for u special groom; ouo of tho stablcincu would do At tht point the MnJor decided to speak. "You say one of the ntablemon would do?" ho inquired, hla widened eyes remaining fixed upon his grand son. "That's lucky, because, one's nil there In Just at present, Geo'rge. Old fat Tom doca it all." ."Oh, that will bo all right, sir. My mother can lend mo her man." "Clan Bho?" Tho old genllomnn smiled faintly. "I wonder" He paused. "What, sir?" "Whether yon mightn't enro to go to law school somewhere perhaps. I'd bo glad to set aside a sum that would Bee you through." This senile divergence from tho topic In hand aurprlscd Gcorgo painfully. "I have no interc.it whatever In the law," ho said. "I don't care for It, and tho Idea of being a professional man hna never appealed to me. I was speaking of driving a tandem " "I know you wore," snld tho Major quietly. George looked hurt. "I beg your pardon. Of course If the Idea doesn't appenl to you " And ho rose to go. The Major ran a tremulous hand through his hair, sighing deeply. "I I don't llko to refuse you nnythlng, Georgie," ho snld. "I don't know that I often havo refused you whatever you wanted In reason " "You've always been more than gen erous, sir," George Interrupted quickly. "And If the Idea of a tandem doesn't The Idea of Bolno a Professional Man Has Never Appealed to Me." nppcal to you, why of course" Anfl ho waved his hand, heroically dismiss ing the tandem. Tho Major's distress becamo obvi ous. "Georgie, I'd like to, but but I've on Idea tandems are dangerous to drive, nnd your mother might be anx ious. She" "No, sir; I think not She felt- it would be rnthor a good tiling help to keep me out In the open air. But If perhaps your finances " "Oh, It Isn't that bo much," the old gentleman laughed uncomfortably. "I guess wo could still afford a now horse or two, If need be " "I thought you said " The Major waved his hand airily. "Oh, a fow retrenchments where things were useless. And if you want tills thing bo very much " "It's not Important enough to bother about, really, of course." "Well, lot's wait till autumn, then." snld the Major In a tono of relief. "We'll see about It in tho autumn, If you're still in the mind for It then. You remind me of it, nlong In Sep temberor October. We'll see what can bo done." Ho rubbed his hands cheerfully. "We'll boo what can bo done about It then, Georgie. We'll see." And George, In reporting this con versation to hla mother, was ruefully humorous. "In fact, tho old boy cheered up so much," he told her, "you'd havo thought he'd got n real lond off his mind. Of course I know ho's nnythlng but mlfiorly ; still I cnu't help thinking he must bo salting a lot of money away. I know prices nro higher than they used to be, but ho doesn't 6pcnd within thousands of what ho used to, and wo certainly can't be spending more than we always have spent. Where does It all go to? Undo George told mo grandfather had sold some pieces of property, nnd it looks a little queer. I have a faint suspicion, not that he's getting miserly not that at all but that old age has begun to mako him timid about monoy. There's no doubt about It, he's get ting a little queer: ho can't keep his mind on a subject long. Right In the middle of talking about one thing he'll wander off to something else; nnd I shouldn't bo surprlsod if ho turned out to be a lot better off thnn auy of us guess." Isnbcl had a bright Idea. "Georgie! Instead of a tandem wouldn't It Inter est you to get ono of Eugene's automo biles?" "I don't think so. They're fast enough, of course. In fnct, running ono of those things la getting to bo qulto on tho cards for sport, and people go all over tho country In 'em. But they're dirty things, nud thoy keep getting out of order, so that you're always lying down on your back In the mud nnd " "Oh, no," sho Interrupted eagerly. "Haven't you noticed? The wuy they mako them now you can got at most of the machinery from tho top. 1 do think you'd bo Interested, dear." George remained Indifferent. "Pos siblybut 1" hardly think so. I know a lot of good peopie aro really taking tnem un, but still ' '"But Btlll' what?" she snld as ho paused. "But still well. I sunnoso I'm n little old-fashioned and fastidious, but I'm afraid being a sort of englno driver never will appeal to rac, mother. It's exciting, nud I'd like that part of It, but still It doesn't seem to mo precisely the thing a gentleman ought to do. Too much overalls and monkey wrenches nnd grease 1 No; I believe I'd rather wait for September and u tandem, mother." Nevertheless Georgo sometimes con sented to sit In an automobile, while waiting for September, nnd he fre quently went driving In one of Eu gene's cars with Lucy and her father. IIo even allowed hlmsojf to be escort ed with his mother nnd Fanny through the growing factory, which was now, as the foreman of the paint shop in formed the visitors, "turning out a car and a quarter a day." From tho factory Eugene took them to lunch at a new rcstnurnnt, just openod In the town, a place which sur prised Isabel with Its metropolitan air, and, thouah Georco made fun of her, In a whisper, she offered overr uling tno tribute of pleased exclama tions ; and her gnyety helped Eugene's to make the little occasion almost a festive one. George's ennui disappeared In Bplte of himself, nnd he Inughcd to see his mother In such spirits. "I didn't know mineral waters could go to a person's head," ho eald. "Or perhaps it's this place. It might pay to have a new res taurant opened somewhere In town every tlmo you get the blues." "No," Isabel said, "what makes mo laugh so much at nothing Is Eugene's fnctory. Wouldn't anybody be delight ed to sco an old friend tnke an idea out of tho air like that an Idea that most people laughed at him for wouldn't any old friend of vhls be happy to see how he'd made his idea into such n splendid humming thing as that factory all shiny steel, click. lng, buzzing away, and with all those worKinen, sucli muscled-looklng men nnd yet so intelligent looking? It's beautiful to sco such a thing," she said. "It makes us all happy, dear old Eugenol" And with a brnve gesture she stretched out her hand to him across the small table. Ho took it quickly, giving her a look In which his laughter tried to remain but vanished hpfnro n gratltudo threatening to become emo tional in 8pito of him. Isnbcl. how ever, turned instantly to Fanny. "Give hlra your hand, Fanny," she said gay ly; and as Fanny mechanically obeyed, "There I" Isabel cried. "If brother Georgo were here, Eugene would hnvo his three oldest and best friends congratulating hlra nil at once. we Know wnnt brother George thinks about It, though. It's Just beautiful, Eugene I" Lucy leaned toward George and whiskered, "Did you ever see anything so lovely?" "As vhat?" George inquired, not becauso ho misunderstood but be cause ho v'shed to prolong the pleas ant nelghbtriincsa of whispering. "As your ftothcrl Think of her do ing that I tye's a darling I And papa" here sh Imperfectly repressed a tendency to laugh "papa looks as if he wero cither tying to explode or utter loud sobs I" Eugeno commandeahls features, however, and they resulted their cus tomary opprchenslveness."! Used to wrlto verses," he said "if yn remem ber " "Yes," Isabel Interrupted geiy. i remember." "I don't recall that I've wrltteh Yy for twenty years or so," he continues ujut I'm nlmost thinking I could do It again, to thank you for making a factory visit Into such n kind cele bration." "Gracious 1" Lucy whispered, gig. gllng. "Aren't they sentiment ill" "People thut age always are," George returned. "They get sc itlmen tal over anything at nil. Facti rles or restaurants, it doesn't matter What!" And both of them were selzeAwith fits of laughter which they managed to cover under the general moveiont of departure, as Isabel had risen tovo, Outsldo upon the crowded BtWpt Georgo helped Lucy Into hla runnboty and drove off, waving triumphantly nnd laughing at Eugene, who wna struggling with tho englno of hla car, in the tonnoau of which Isabel and Fanny had established themselves. "Looks like a hand-organ man grind ing away for pennies," said George, as the runabout turned tho corner Into Nntlonal avenue. 'Til still take a horse, any day." Ho was not so cocksure half an hour later, on an open road, when a siren whlstlo walled behind him, nnd before the Bound had died away Eugene's car, coming from behind with what seemed fairly like ono long leap, went by the runabout nnd dwindled nlmost instan taneously In perspective, with a lnct handkerchief In n black-gloved hand fluttering sweet derision as It was swept onward Into minuteness a mere white speck and then out of sight. Georgo wna undoubtedly Impressed "Your father does know how to drive some," the dashing exhibition forced him to admit. "Of course Pendennls Isn't ns young ns ho was, and I don't caro to push him too hard. Well, I enjoyed part of that lunch todny qulto a lot, Lucy." "The salad?" "No. Your whispering to me." Georgo checked Pendennls to a walk. Whereupon Lucy protested quickly: "Oh, don't t" "Why?" "I know when you make him walk It's so you can give all your attention to to proposing to mo again 1" And us sho turned a face of exag gerated color to him, "By the Lord, but you'ro a little witch I" iOcorgo cried. "George, do let Pendennls trot again 1" "I won't!" She clucked to tho horse. "Get up, Pendennls! Trotl Go on I Com mence 1" Pendennls paid no nttentlon; sho meant nothing to him, nnd George laughed at her fondly. "You nro the prettiest thing In this world, Lucyl" ho exclaimed. "Arc you going to drop the 'almost' and sny wo'ro really engaged?" "Oh, nut for years I So there's tho answer, and let's trot ngnln." But Gcorgo was persistent; more over, he had become serious during the Inst minute or two. "I wnnt to know," he said. "I really mean it.-' "Let's don't bo serious, George,"" sho begged him hopefully. "Let's talk of something pleasant. He wns a little offended. "Then it Isn't plensant for you to know that I want to marry you?" At this she became as serious as ho could have asked; sho looked down, and her Hp quivered like thnt of a child about to cry. Suddenly she put her hnnd upon ono of his for just an Instant, and then withdrew it "Lucyl" he said huskily. "Dear, what's tho matter? You look as if you were going to cry." Her eyelids flickered, and then she looked up nt him with a sad gravity, tears seeming Just nt tho poise. "One reason's because I havo a feeling that It's never going to be." "Why?" "It's Just a feeling." "You haven't any reason or " "It's iv.it a feeling." "Well, if that's all," George said, reassured, and laughing confidently, "I guess I won't be very much troubled I" But nt once ho became serious again, adopting the tone of argument "Don't you care enough about me to marry mo?" She looked down again, pathetically troubled. "Yes." "Well, then, why In tho world won't you drop the 'almost?'" Her distress lncrensed. "Everything Is everything " "What about 'everything?'" "Everything Is so so unsettled." And at that he uttered an exclama tion of impatience. "If you aren'l the queerest girl! What is 'un settled?' " "Well, for one thing," sho said, atri to smile at his vehemence, "you haven't settled on nnythlng to do. At least if you have you'vo never spoken of it" As sho spoko she gave him the quickest possible side clanco of hone. ful scrutiny; then looked away, not napplly. Surprise and dlsplensure were intentionally visible upon the countenance- of her companion: nnd he permitted n significant period ol suence to elapse before making any response. "Lucy," ho snld finally, with cold dignity, "haven't you perfcctlj well understood that I don't mean to go Into bustness or adopt a nrofe slon?" "I wasn't quite sure," she said gently. "I really didn't know quite." "Then of course it's tlmo I did tell you. You know yourself thero are n lot of people In tho East in the South too, for that matter that don't think we've got nny particular family or po sition or culture in this part of the country. There wero ono or two in my crowd at college; their families - "I Have Feeling That lt' Nevei phm to Be." " had lived onUhelr ,ncomo f generations. nYd they ver dreaffied thero was anyoy in theh rias ont here. I had t ifiow them a t two, right at Wo start, and I guSsa they won't f rfg t it! Well, I think" It's tlmo all tie - sort found out that three generation can mean just aa much out her a anywhere else." "But what a e you going to do Georgo?" Bhofcr; d, George's ea aestness surpassed hers; he ha! bifomo flushed and his breathing Vas tnotlonnl. "I expect to live an lbnor Mo life," he said "I expect to cintrll to my shnro to chart ties, and to tali part In In move ments." L Golrge gits excited and actsas mitjit be expected U (III. (TO UK ONTINUED.)