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BENJAMIN MERRIFIELD, aged capitalist, hires GAYLE DIXON to make love to his grandson, JEREMY TUCKER, a shy student of archeology. YESTERDAY: Mr. Merrifield asks the young people to arrange a large party for Jeremy’s bene fit. CHAPTER TWELVE Now it is true that newspaper folk are somewhat peculiar, and so can have their ears to the ground even while walking on it. That Mrs. Molly Van Orsdale should have heard immediately, therefore, of the Merrifield party was merely a journalistic miracle; Mrs. Molly was society editor of The Evening Gazette. In the first place, it was prime society news that anything—a n y sort of party whatsoever—should be given in The Oaks, Merrifield mansion. Nothing had happened there in so many years that not even Mrs. Molly could remember when, and Mrs. Molly had been around for a long time. The Oaks was simple a monumental show place, a magnificent estate to point out to your relatives who came to the city from some distant home, and wanted to see your million aires’ row. Therefore, Mrs. Molly— plain Molly if you were “in”, with people there—trotted right in to the office of the publisher himself. "Ed,” she stood on no ceremony with her boss, “whatever is hap pening out at Merrifield’s? The old man’s? I hear rumors of a party!” The publisher dropped more im portant work to give attention. “I know nothing, Molly. But for gosh sakes get on it. Let me know at once, eh?” She did what any intelligent re porter will do—went direct to the main source of information, via telephone. “I am very sorry, Mrs. Orsdale,” old Mr. Merrifield said, “but I can not tell you about it. You will have to ask my social secretary.” “Your social se— Ah. yes. Yes. ■ indeed! Um. And— Mrs. Molly had swallowed. A social secretary at The Oaks! “She is Miss Gayle Dixon, a charming person, madam. Unfor tunately, she is out at the mo ment. Shall I have her call?” “By all means! No — wait, Mr. MerriBeld. I’ll come out” She would have chartered a taxi cab at once for that mission, but cabs sometimes are leisurely. Mrs Molly took the city editor’s car, drove it illegally fast. She not only wanted to get to this Miss Dixon immediately for her own interests, she also wanted to scoop The Herald, The Press and The Chron icle-Post. She found Gayle without diffi culty this time, and charmed that young lady into answering all her questions. Nor was it a difficult interview. When it was done, Mrs. Molly grasped Gayle’s hand and said quite sincerely, “Honey, you are a darling person. I hope we may become good friends.” * * * Twenty-four hours later, the vari ous social sets of the city had but one topic of conversation; The Oaks, venerable and famous man sion in Montrose Manor, would be re-opened next Tuesday. That significant news was ex tremely important to the wealthy playfolk of the community. In the cocktail lounges, in the bridge clubs, on the badminton and tennis courts and even on the golf greens and polo fields, men and women paused to talk about it. It was no secret that old Ben Merrifield owned half of that distant state, Arizona, and could buy the other half if he wanted it. He was known as an eccentric philantropist, like ly to blow in a fabulous sum on any kind of a dinner dance. “They say it’s to be informal,” somebody remarked. “Extraordi nary!” “They say it will be elaborate ... a new Miss Dixon . . . re decorating the . . . never been in the place, but they say ... 40 piece orchestra that ... a thou sand orchids alone and . . . Jeremy is his first name and he . . . no, a grandson and heir . . . not exactly engaged, I understand, but ... oh, 20 years at least . . . They say he is . . . they say the old gentleman wanted to pre sent . . .” They say, they say, they say. Clear, concise coverage of the few established facts were printed first in The Gazette (to Mrs. Molly’s delight) and the other papers were forced to follow at once. There had been no photographs as yet, but the three Sunday morning papers would have the story in pictures on society section fronts. The short interim until Sunday was a period of choicest gossip. A great deal of the gossip cen tered immediately on “who will be there.” That question, either by innuendo or direct interrogation, was on everybody’s lips in the up per class society. Astonishingly, there seemed to be no affirmative answers. Finally one of the town gossips just broke down and voiced the feeling of all. This was at a rather alcoholic function on Saturday evening. “It’s practically Tuesday now,” she complained to a group of henchmen, male and female. “And if none of us has been invited, whoever has? I mean, well, after all, it’s the Merrifields’. They are quite, uh—well, you know, distin guished. You know.” They knew. All her listeners knew exactly what she meant—that the Merri fiela fortune was simply too impos ing to be treated haughtily, and that the socially elite of the city was anxious to go to any sort of function that might be presented there. A Mr. Cholly Farrington overheard this and other conversa tions, and got back to The Sunday Chronicle-Post office in time enough to include the essence of it in his widely-read chit-chat col umn. i “High hat society is biting its teeth and gnashing its nails in a frenzy of ommission,” his column read. “Somebody—who IS this Miss Dixon, my dear?—has neg lected to invite it to The Oajts next Tuesday. Ha, when high hat bites high hat, that’s news! The bitten group is howling, whining. Tuesday is a scant two days off. Will Monday’s mail be loaded with invitations, or will there be tele phoned you-all-drop-in-tomorrow nights? It’s all most irregulah! Most!” Gayle Dixon and Bill Bailey, who had been busy young people e/ late, had found no time at all to read the newspapers for the last few days, and so did not under stand it when little Tempe Hyde read the paragraph Sunday and called Gayle on the telephone. “I’m afraid it’s just something silly, honey,” Gayle ruled, “but I’ll show it to Jeremy as you ask.” Jeremy didn’t understand it, either. But Bill Bailey did. “Christo-pher!” Bill grinned hap pily at it. “That bears out some hints I’ve been hearing around town. People are talking, Gayle. They are. Talking their heads off. And that’s just right for us! You see?” “No, I don’t, Bill. You mean—” “Well, look—we invited not the rich folk, but the middle classes. Our own friends, and the girls’ friends. We picked them from our own collr re set, mostly. Just plain middle-class people who never go to the Country club, and’haven’t time, money nor inclination to do what the high hat set does. You see?’* “Well, yes, but—” “Okay! The high hats are furi ous! The Oaks reopening. Society —the kind with a capital S—is left out. Get it? They’d give a gold tooth to be invited and see what’s ?oing on in the famous Merrifield jome. But we didn’t invite ’em— nah!” Bill was glowing. “Oh!” Gayle said. “Oh, good ness! Bill—r am not trained as a (Continued on Page Nine) --— THIS CURIOUS WORLD B/e™anm ] ' INSECT WORLD THERE ARE ! parasites that PREY <9N parasites OF OTHER. RARASITEE*# ^,,7* ^ ‘ • •••* I I'' , COPR. 1940 BY NEA SERVICE. INC. T. M. REG. U. S. PAT. OFF. CAN VOW NAME FIVE ANIMALS/^W 1 1 WHOSE AAIUK IS . USED BV AAAN | 1 SAGUARO CACTUS HAS A LIFE SPAN OF ABOUT 1'b 200VEARS, l 2ebuAanrtWsheenC?W’ S°at’ ^indeer' yak’ 1!ama> water buffalo, camel, } 8ELA LANAN—COURT REPORTER b7t~ AllPn H»in0 Founded on Actual Court Records and You Can Be the Judge* Tiie Strange * Case of THE MAN WITHOUT LEGS • . IN SIX EPISODES No. 1 -- ■ TIME..I91I! PLACE ..NEW VOCK STATE! V} :-' - : SCENE.. A DEEP RAVINE NEAR THE | ccc I uiA I PGA IA ROME-UTICA HIGHWAY I J k^NolSsHIS f! WAS LDOKIN' AFTER MV SKUNK f ^EAP •' WH€W ! [TRAP AW.. AN'.. I FOUNO THIS I I - V--—m——^ <T Re« reserved by Cat life Crutcher.) B^L* OUT OUR WAY By J. R. Williams GEE, TOUR BROTHER CAN SURE PUNCH THAT BAG 1 LOOK AT THAT BOARD BULGE OUT WHEN HE HITS IT J ¥>\ IF HE COMES INTOTHVS M FAMILY,THIS'LL MAKE HIM c HAVE A UTTLE RESPECK. , FER ME / THAT'LL. BE AT LEAST ONE, CUZ YOU CAN'T ' GIT WIMMIN TO RESPECK , A GUY ! WO MATTER WHUT IV HE KIN DO, THEY JUS' —) SWIFF IVHEN1 A GUY'S Jt) \GOOD AT SUMP'W^/jJ|j l i rliiy, .iiiiiiiiikrmiffl. v._WHY MOTHERS GET GRAY COPR. 1940 av NEA SERVICE. INC. T. M, Rgg U. S. PAT. OFF. / OUR BOARDING HOUSE . . with . . . Major Hooplp If JUST DROPPED BY, MAJOR, TO TELL ^ % VOU MV COUSIN GEORGE MAS A SWELL , # Summer job for vou—just goin' * FROM MOUSE TO MOUSE SELLIN' A BOOK ON MOW TO TURN TK1 ft TMUMB DOWN ON MOUSE-TO-MOUSE SALESMEN / ■VNO THANKsl^l Will be ^ IN Mv LABOR^ , peRFECTin?' AT DECOMPOSE ecoiv\es duu The prob1 em i with dull 2 BLADES nn n LnJE ALSO SOLVED THE PROBLEM OF WHAT TO V DO ABOUT WORK » LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE ' Invisible Girt rTHEY WERE WELL MEANIN' \ ff | FOLKS IN THAT TOWN- THEYD }M> HAVE FELT BOUND TO TAKE # CARE O' US—BUT NONE OF 'EM ‘iMY-, Lcan moren oust make Jmif ENDS NEARLY MEET—IN GOOD TIMES —r-H vAllb Si/M A mMW Bouses ao MOST r. THEY'RE 3 SUPPORT 'D MOST j ■ANT TH‘ ? ME f NO USE ADDIN1 TO THEIR WORRIES-THIS IS ! BETTER—WITH THIS OLD STRAW HAT AND RSHIN' POLE WE FOUND, NOBODYLL LOOK TWICE AT US Y HEREABOUTS fJUSTA KID AND HER DOG GOIN' FISHIN—AND i WELL OUST KEEP ON GOIN' FISHIN* TILL WE GET TO A MAIN ROAD— | THEN WE'LL SEE WHAT l HAPPENS. EH? ^ WASH TUBBS_ v A Resourceful Woman By Roy Crane THE SWAMP AROUND\ CERTAIULY. I'VE RADIOED A BARATARIA BAY IS \ INSTRUCTIONS FOR EUERV PLENTY WILD, WILSON. ROAD AND BAVOU TO SURELY THERE'S A I BE WATCHED CHANCE O' CATCHIW6 HEU5A WOLFE BE- / v FORE SHE SETS / ^OUT OF IT BUT HELEAS^ A SUV AND / CLEVER FEMALE, / EASY. SHE'LL I EKPECT THAT TO L HAPPEN ANP VlIlL L 6e on HER ai ARD, MEAN-J IT IS AS 1 \ |U THAT CASE WE WILL] WHlt-E-1 FEARED, HEL<3A:\ outwit the police ^^_|ever‘ aveijue WJ ' — m - SBbEEIsI CUTOFF SERVICE. INafrlt W^C^^PATioFF.V^ J GASOLINE ALLEY Consumers* Goods } /M GOING ON A ^ VACATION AND I MNT TUB LAST WRP. L___ MO I COULDN'T QO IN-THE OLD BATTERED SUITCASE I HAVE “ip = SHSCOULDWT HELP ' ADORING THIS,' ITS LJ WISHING WITHOUT I r. * M/ Copyright, 1940, by The Chieagp.Tribmx. rHE GUMPS Diagnosing A “Heart Condition” I / WHEN YOU WERE / Brought into this / hospital, two weeks , \ At*, FRANKLY, 1 DESPAIRED \ OF YOUR UFE-AND NOW \ VOU'RE READY TO DEANE V^AVNEU- MAN ' I , ll /doctor; vihen^V |n! ,<► AAT OARUlMfei-ER- V—T AH MA > THE COUHTE^S \J , TOO \ ARRlVE!S.,Tet-U HER 1 mT" \She ll undepsmanuM to omoer BRICK BRADFORD—Seeks the Diamond Doll By William Ritt and~Clarence Graf 1 •‘guided : BY BRICK, ' PROFESSOR SALISBURY BEGINS . EXPLORING . THE . •; CAVERN IN •• THE FACE ^TOL oUtH /n^Nth,ctW| ® EyAMPLES OF ANCIENT INDIAN M? POTTERY- AND SO REMARKABLY®! WELL PRfSE^ED/^^»|^^pH [BEAUTIFUL ' BEAUTIFUL! SUCH EXQUISITE WORKMANSHIP.' BRICK, THOSE ANCIENTi PEOPLE WERE MASTERS OF ART AND THESE WALL W PAINTINGS ARE AS K SPLENDID AS ANY EXISTING MAYAN P* tRSUCS.'