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WESTERN KANSAS WORLD
MDTC . FRANCIS IYNDE ULUSTMTMSCDfflODES CXLs SYNOPSIS. Kenneth Oris wo Id. an unsuccessful fw rlter. because of socialistic tendencies. molds up Andrew Galbra.it h. president of Jthe Bayou State Security. In the presi dent a private office and escapes with woo In cajih. By original methods he es Jcapes the hue and cry and goes aboard rthe Belle Julie as a deckhand. He unex pectedly confronts Charlotte Farnham of wahaska. Minn., who had seen him cash riialbralth's check In the bank. Charlotte Jrecognixes Grtswold, and decides to de F nounce him. She sees the brutal mate scued from drowning: by Griswold. She 'talks to Grtswold and hv his advice sends n. letter cf betrayal to Gal brail h anony Imously. Griswol Is arrested on the ar-Ji-ivaJ of the boat at St. Louis, but escapes 1 rom hH captors. He decides on Wa d".aka, Minn., as a hldinar olace. and after j.'UtrHtinft himself properly, takes the train. Margery Grierson. daughter of jjanper Grierson. the financial magnate of Wahaska, starts a campaign for social recognition by the "old families" of the ,'"wn. Griswold falls ill on the sleeper ind is cared for and taken to her home In Waha.sk a by Margery, who rinds the m irjn money in his suitcase. Broffln, defective, takes the trail. Margery asks ; er father to get Edward Raymer into :l'manctHl hoi water and then help him ut of it. CHAPTER XI Continued. "He ain't the man to go to his womenfolks when he gets into hot wa- ter. He'll keep it to himself; and 'they'll go on bluffing you. same as lever." Miss Grierson pulled on her gaunt flets aDd made ready to go, leisurely. mb befitted her pose. "That is where you are mistaken," jhe objected, coolly. "It isn't very (often I can give you a business tip. but this is one of the times when I lean. When John Raymer died, he left ian undivided half of his estate to his 'wife, the other half to be shared ie.iually by the children. At the pres ent moment every dollar the entire Ifamily has is invested in the iron riant. You will let Mr. Raymer get himself into hot water, as you call it. and then, when I say the word, you'll reach in and pull him out." 4 When she was gone, the president ! selected another of the overgrown ci gars from a box In the desk drawer. lighted it, and tilted back In the big .armchair to envelop himself In a cloud of smoke. It was his single expensive 'habit the never-empty box of Brob xiingnagian cigars in the drawer and TNSOI "That's Where You Are Mistaken," She Objected Coolly. 'the Indulgence helped him to push the Yellow-Dog period into a remoter past. After a time the smoke cloud be came articulate, rumbling forth chuck lings and Elizabethan oaths, mingling with musings Idiomatic and profane. "By Bad, I believe she thought she was fooling me I do, for a fact! But it's too thin. Of course, she wants to make the women kowtow, but that in't all there Is to It not by a jugfuL Hut it's all right; she plays her own hand, and she's bully good and able to pray it. If she's after Raymer's scalp, he might as well get ready to wear a wig. right now. 171 back her to win, every time." Accordingly, when Mr. Edward Rai nier came out of, the president's room at the Farmers' and Merchants' bank .ue luuuwiog morning, ne was tread ing upon air. .For in his mind's eye there - was- a fair picture of a great and successful Industry to be built ,,upon the substantial extension of credit ' promised by the capitalist whose presence chamber he had just emitted-- - CHAPTER XII. Loss and Gain. Striving feebly as one who gathers up the shards and fragments after an explosion, Griswold remembered' cloudily the supper of tasteless courses at the Hotel Chouteau, After: waTd '-there were vague, impressions, momentary breaches in the wall of tn s closing-, darkness- In one of these Intervals. vornii had stood beside hiuv and, he" seemed' o remember that ahs had put he cool tuuft oa bin c&yy?scirT &YCtrj jcy 303 forehead. When complete conscious ness returned, the dream Impression was still so sharply defined that he was not surprised to find her stand ing at his bedside. Before he could frame any of the queries which came thronging to the door of the returned consciousness, she smiled and shook her head and forbade him. Later in the day the doctor came and when the professional require ments were satisfied. Griswold learned the bare facts of his succoring. It was characteristic of the Griswold of other days that th3 Immense obliga tion under which the Griersons had placed him made him gasp and per spire afresh. Griswold looked long and earnestly at the face of his professional adviser. It was a good face, clearly lined, be nevolent, and. above all, trustworthy. "Tell me one thing more, doctor, if you can. What was the motive? Was it just heavenly good-heartedness? or " The doctor's smile was the least possible shade wintry. "When you have lived a few years longer in this world of ours, you will not probe too deeply into motives; you will take the deed as the suffi cient exponent of the prompting be hind it. If I say so much, you will understand that I am not impugning Miss Grierson's motives. There are times when she is the good angel of everybody In sight. Mr. " The pause after the courtesy title was significant, and Griswold filled it promptly. "Griswold Kenneth Gris wold. Do you mean to say that you haven't known my name, doctor?" "We have not. We took the Good Samaritan's privilege and ransacked your belongings Miss Margery and I thinking there might be relatives or friends who should be notified." "And you found nothing?" queried the sick man, a cold fear gripping at his heart. "Nothing but clothing and your toi let tools, a pistol, and a typewritten book manuscript bearing no signa ture." Griswold turned his face away and shut his eyes. Once more his stake in the game of life was gone. "There was another package of of papers in one of the grips," he said, faintly; "quite a large package wrapped In brown paper." "We found nothing but the manu script. Could anyone else make use of the papers you speak of?" Griswold was too feeble to prevari cate successfully. "There was money In the package," he said, leaving the physician to infer what he pleased. "Ah; then you were robbed. It's a pity we didn't know it at the time. It is pretty late to begin looking for the thief now, I'm afraid." "Quite too late." said Griswold mo notonously. It was not until arter the doctor had gone that Griswold was able to face the new misfortune with anything like a sober measure of equanimity. With or without money, he must re lieve the Griersons of their self assumed burden at the earliest pos sible moment. This was the thought with which he sank into the first natural sleep of convalescence. But during the days which followed. Margery was able to modify it without dulling the keen edge of his obligation. What perfect hospitality could do was done, with out ostentation, with the exact de gree of spontaneity which made it ap pear as a service rendered to a kins man. It was one of the gifts of the daughter of men to be able to ignore all the middle distances between an introduction and a friendship; and by the time Griswold was strong enough to let the big. gentle Swede plant him in a Morris chair in the sun-warmed bay window, the friendship was a fact accom plished. "Do you know, you're the most won derful person I have ever known?" he said to Margery, on the first of tho sunning days when she had come to perch in the window seat opposite his chair. "Do you believe in destiny?" ' She nodded brightly. "Sometimes I do; when it brings things out the way I want them to come out." "I've often wondered." he went on musingly. "Think cf It somewhere back in the past you took the first step In the path which. was to lead you to that ,late supper in the Chou teau. Somewhere in. my. rase I took the first step in the crooked trail that was to lead me there." ' "Well?" she encouraged.' 1 ' i;ie pains crossea and I am your poor debtor." he finished. '-"I can never hope to repay you "and your ivi - UAL j uu nave oone. On,, yes you can - "she ' asserted HgTitJy.- -You can itass It alonz to th Ttnan farther' down. Forget and tell me lmt'fou want to know about Wi haska." "First, I'd like to know my doctor's name. - . ' ""The- Idea "-she 'exclaimed. "Hasnl mere oeea 'aarr hdy o. Introduce you? He is Wahaska's best-beloved 'Doc tor Bertie;' otherwise Doctor Herbert C. Farnham." "Doctor Farnham? not Miss Char He bit the name in two In the middle, but the mischief was done. "Tes; Charlotte's father," was' the calm reply. Then: "Where did you meet Miss Farnham?" "I haven't met her," he protested instantly; "she she doesn't know me from Adam. But I have seen her. and I happened to learn her name and her home address." "Oh." said the small fitter of deduc tion pegs; and afterward she talked and made the convalescent talk, point edly of other things. This occurred in the forenoon of a pleasant day in May. In the after noon of the same day Miss Grierson's trap was halted before the door of the temporary quarters of the Wahaska public library. Raymer saw the trap and crossed the street, remembering what he would otherwise have forgot ten that his sister had asked him to get a book on orchids. Miss Margery was in the reference room, wading absently through the newspaper files. She nodded brightly 'It Is Pretty Late to Begin Looking for the Thief Now." when Raymer entered and was not in the least dust-blinded by the library card in his hand. "You are just in time to help me," she told him. "Do you remember the story of that daring bank robbery in New Orleans a few weeks ago? the one in which a man made the presi dent draw a check and get it cashed for him?" Raymer did remember It, chiefly be cause he had talked about it at the time with Jasper Grierson, and had wondered curiously how the president of the Farmers' and Merchants' would deport himself under like conditions. "If you should meet the man face to face, would you recognize, him from the description?" she flashed up at Raymer. "Not in a thousand years," he con fessed. "Would you?" "No; not from the description." she admitted. Then she passed to a mat ter apparently quite Irrelevant. "Didn't I see Miss Farnham's re turn noticed in the Wahaskan the other dav?" With Charlotte's father a daily visi tor at Mereside. it seemed incredible that Miss Grierson had not heard of the daughter's homecoming. But Ray mer answered in good faith. "They came up as far as St. Louis on one of the Anchor line the Belle Ju lie and even Miss Gilman admits that the accommodations were excel lent." She nodded absentfy and began to turn the leaves of the newspaper file. Raymer took it as his dismissal and went to the desk to get the orchid book. When he looked in again on his way to the street. Miss Grierson had gone, leaving the file of the Pioneer Press open on the reading desk. Al most involuntarily he glanced at the first-page headings, thrilling to a little shock of surprise when one of them proved to be the caption of another Associated Press dispatch giving a 20 ltne story of the capture and second escape of the Bayou State Security robber on the levee at St. Louis. The reading of the bit of stale. news impressed him curiously. Why had Miss Margery interested herself in the details of, the. New Orleans bank rob bery? Why with no apparent spe cial reason should she have remem bered It. at all; or, remembering it. have. known where' to look -for the two. newspaper references? Raymer left the library speculating vaguely on the unaccountable tan gents at which the feminine mind could now and then fiy off from the well-defined circle of the convention ally usuaL - - On rare- occasions his mother or Gertrude did it, and he had long since learned the folly cf trying to reduce the' small problem to terms of tnofn 4uattities masculine. " ' "Just th& same, I'd like to know why. this time," he said to himself, as he crossed the street to the Manu facturers club. "Miss: Grierson 'isn't at all the person to do things without an object, - ' - CHAPTER XIII. The Convalescent. After a few more days in the Mor ris chair days during which he was idly contented when Margery was with Mm, and vaguely dissatisfied when she was not Griswold was per mitted to go below stairs, where he met, for the first time since the Grier son roof had given him shelter, the master of Mereside. ' The little visit to Jasper Grierson's library was not prolonged beyond the invalid's strength; but notwithstand ing Its brevity there were inert cur rents of antagonism evolved which Margery, present and endeavoring to serve as a lightning arrester, could neither ground nor turn aside. Griswold took away from the rather constrained ice-breaking in the bank er's library a renewed resolve to cut his obligation to Jasper Grierson as short as possible. How he should be gin again the mordant struggle for existence was still an unsolved prob lem. Of the one-thousand-dollar spending fund there remained some thing less than half; for a few weeks or months he could live and pay his way; but after that. ... Curiously enough the alternative of another at tack upon the plutocratic dragon did not suggest itself. That, he told him self, was an experiment tried - and found wanting. But in any event, he must not outstay his welcome at Mereside; and with this thought in mind he crept downstairs daily after the library episode, and would give Margery no peace because she would not let him go abroad in the town. " 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless' what shall I say patient, or guest, or friend?" she laughed, garbling the quotation to fit the occasion. "Shakespeare said 'child " he sug gested mildly. "And so shall I," she gibed but the gibe itself was almost a caress. "Some times you remind me of an impatient boy who has been promised a peach and can't wait until it ripens. But if you must have a reason why I won't drive you this afternoon, you may. We are going to have a tiny little social function at Mereside this eve ning, and I want you to be fresh and rested for it." "Certainly. I shall come, if you wish it." he assented, remembering afresh his immense obligation; and when the time was ripe he made himself pre sentable and felt his way down the dimly lighted library stair, being minded to slip into the ' social pool by the route which promised the smallest splash and the fewest ripples. It was a stirring of the Philistine in him that led him to prefigure weari ness and ' banality in the prospect. Without in the least expecting it. Gris wold was a Brahmin of .the severest sect on his social side; easily dis posed to hold aloof and to criticize, and, as a man eastern-bred, serenely assured that nothing truly acceptable in the social sense could come out of the Nazareth of the West. For this cause he was properly hu miliated when he entered the spacious double drawing-rooms and found them so comfortably crowded by a throng of conventionally clothed and conven tionally behaved guests that he was immediately able to lose himself and any lingering trace of self-consciousness in a company which, if appear ances were to be trusted, was west ern only by reason of Wahaska's loca tion on the map. And the charming young hostess Hitherto he had known her only as his benefactress and the thoughtful caretaker for his comfort. But now, at this first sight of her in the broader social field, she shone upon and dazzled him. Admitting that the later charm might be subtly sen suous he refused to analyze it too closely it was undeniable that it warmed him to a newer and a stronger life; that he could bask in Its generous glow like some hibernating thing of the wild answering to the first thrilling of the springtide. True. Miss Grierson bore little resemblance to any ideal of his past imaginings. She might even be the Aspasia to Charlotte Farnham's Saint Cecilia. But, even so, was not the daughter of Axiochus well beloved of men and of heroes ? It was some little time afterward, and Jasper Grierson, stalking like a gi im and rather unwilling master of ceremonies among his guests, had gruffly introduced three or four of the men. when Griswold gladly made room in the -window seat for his trans formed and glorified mistress of the fitnesses. As had happened more than once before, her nearness intoxicated him; and while he made sure now that the charm was at least partly physical, its appeal was none the less irresistible. "Are you dreadfully tired?" she asked, adding quickly: "You mustn't let us make a martyr of you. It's your privilege to disappear whenever you 'feel like it." "Indeed, I'm not at Vll tired," he protested. "It Is all very comforting and homelike;, so vastly-" he hesi tated, -seeking thoughtfully for the word which should convey his mean ing without -laying him open to the charge of patronizing supercilious ness, and she supplied it promptly. "So different from what you were expecting; I know. You have been thinking of us as barbarians outer barbarians, perhaps and you find that we are only harmless provincials. But really, you know we are improving. I wish yon could have known Wa haska as it used to be." "It is all very grateful and delight ful to me. he confessed, at length. "I have been out of the social run ning for a Kong time, but I may as well admit that I am shamelessly epicu rean by nature, and an ascetic only when the necessities drive." "I know." she assented, with quick appreciation. "An author has to be both!, taasnt he? keen to enjoy,. and well hardened to endure." He turned upon her squarely. "Where did you ever learn how to say such things as that? he de manded. It was an opening for mockery and good-natured raillery, but she did not make use of it. Instead, she let him look as deeply as he pleased into the velvety eyes when she said: "It is given to some et as to see and to understand where others have to learn slowly, letter by letter. Surely, your own gift has told you that, Mr. Gris wold ?" "It has." he acknowledged. "But I have found few who really do under stand." "Which is to say that you haven't yet found your other self, isn't it? Perhaps that will come. too. if you'll only be patient and not expect too many other gifts of the gods along with the one priceless gift of perfect sympathy." "When I find the one priceless gift. I" shall confidently expect to find ev erything else," he asserted, still held a willing prisoner by the bewitching eyes. She laughed softly. "You'll be dis appointed. The gift you demand will preclude some of the others; as the others would certainly preclude it How can you be an author and not un derstand that?" "I am not an author. I am sorry to say," he objected. "I have written but the one book, and I have never been able to find a publisher for it." "But you are not going to give up?" "No; I am going to rewrite the book and try again and yet again, if needful. It is my message to man kind, and I mean to deliver it." "Bravo!" she applauded, clapping her hands in a little burst of enthu siasm which, if it were not real, was at least an excellent simulation. "It is only the weak ones who say, I hope." For , the truly strong hearts there is only one battle cry, T will! When you get blue and discouraged yon must come to me and let me cheer you. Cheering people is my mission, if I have any." Griswold's pale face flushed and the blood sang liltingly in his veins. He wondered if she had been tempted to read the manuscript of the book while he was fighting his way back to con sciousness and life. If they had been alone together, he would have asked her. The bare possibility set all the springs o'f the author's vanity upbub- bling within him. There and then he promised himself that she should hear the rewriting of the book, chapter by chapter. But - what he said was out of a deeper and worthier undprthought. "You have many missions. Miss Margery; some of them you choose, and some are chosen for you." "No," she denied; "nobody has ever chosen for me." v "That may be true, without making me a false prophet- Sometimes when we think we are choosing for our selves, chance chooses for us; oftener than not, I believe." She turned on him quickly, and for a single swiftly passing instant the velvety eyes were deep wells of sober ness with an indefinable underdepth of sorrow in them. Griswold had a sudden conviction that for the first time in his knowing of her he was looking into the soul of the real Mar gery Grierson. "What you call 'chance' may pos sibly have a bigger and better name," she said gravely. Some little time after this Raymer. who had been one of the men intro duced by Jasper Grierson, turned up again in the invalid's corner. Raymer "You Have Many Missions, Miss Margery." suggested the smoking-room and a cigar, and Griswold went willingly. From that on the path to better ac quaintance was the easiest of short cuts, even as the mild cigar which Raymer found in his pocket case paved the way for a return of the smoker's zest in the convalescent. Without calling himself a reformer, the young ironmaster proved to be a practical sociologist. Wherefore, when Griswold presently mounted his own sociological hdbby, he was promptly in vited to visit' the Raymer foundry and machine : works, to the end that he might have some of his theories of the universal oppression of wage earners charitably modified. "Of course, I don't deny that we're a long way from the milennium yet," was Raymer's summing up of the con ditions, in his own plant- "But I do claim that we are on a present-day. livin footing So far aa the men un derstand loyalty, they axe loyal; part ly 'to my father's memory; partly. I . 0 Wo have never had a strike or an approach to one, or a dis agreement that could not oe u"'" .- these conditions can be "maintained after we double our capacity and get in a iot oi blood, I can t say. But I hope they can. "You are enlarging?" said Griswoio. Raymer waited until the only other man in the smoking den had gone back to the drawing-rooms before he said: "Y'es; I caught the fever along with the rest of them a few weeks ago. and I'm already beginning to wish that I hadn't." -You are afraid of the market?" -N-no; times are good, and the mar ket our market, at least is daily growing stronger. It is rather a mat ter of finances. I am an engineer, as my father was before me. When It comes to wrestling with the money devil. I'm outclassed from the start." "There are a good many more of us in the same boat," said Griswold. leav ing an opening for further confidences if Raymer chose to make them. But the yqung ironmaster was looking at his watch, and the confidences were postponed. "I'm keeping you up, when I dare say you ought to be in bed." he pro tested; but Griswold held him long enough to ask for a suggestion in a small matter of his own. Now that he was able to be about, he was most anxious to relieve Miss Grierson and her father of the charge and care of one whose obligation to them was already more than mountain-high; did Raymer happen to know of some quiet household where the obligated one could find lodging and a simple table? Raymer, taking time to think of it. did know. Mrs. Holcomb. the widow of his father's bookkeeper, owned her own house in Shawnee street. It was not a boarding house. The widow rented rooms to two of Mr. Grierson's bank clerks, and she was looking for another desirable lodger. Quite pos sibly she would be willing to board the extra lodger. Raymer himself would go and see her about It. - "It is an exceedingly kind-hearted community, this home town of yours. Mr. Raymer," was the convalescent's leave-taking, when he shook hands with the ironmaster at the foot of the stairs; and that was the thought which he took to bed with him after Raymer had gone to make his adieux to the small person who. In Griswold's reckoning, owned the kindest of kind hearts. CHAPTER XIV. Broffin's Equation. Having Clerk Maurice's telegram t time the overtaking approach. Broffln found the Belle Julie backing and fill ing for her" berth at the Vicksburg landing when, after a hasty Vicksburg breakfast, he had himself driven to the river front. Going aboard as soon as the swing stage was lowered, he found Maurice, with whom he had something more than a speaking acquaintance, just turning out of his bunk in the texas. "I took it for granted you'd be along," was Maurice's greeting. "What bank robber are we running away with now?" Broffln grinned. "I'm still after the one you took on in the place of John Gavitt." "Humph!" said the clerk, sleepily; "I thought that one was John Gavitt." "No; he merely took Gavitt's place and name. Tell me all you know about him." "1 don't know anything about him. except that he was fool enough to pull Buck McGrath out of the river just after McGrath had tried to bump him over' the bows." "Of course, so far as you know, no body on the boat suspected that the fellow who called himself Gavitt was anything but the 'roustie' he was pass ing himself off for? You didn't know of his having any talk with any of the upper-deck people?" "Only once," said the day clerk. ' promptly. "When was that?" "It was one day just after the 'man overboard' incident, a little while after dusk in the evening. I was up here in the texas, getting ready to go to supper. Gavitt we may as well keep on calling him that till you've found another name for him Gavitt had been cubbing for. the pilot. I saw him go across the hurricane-deck guards; and a minute later I heard him talking to somebody a woman on the guards below." "You didn't hear what was said?" "I didn't pay any attention. Pas sengers, woman passengers, especial ly, often do that pull up a 'roustie' and pry into him to see what sort of wheels he has. But I. noticed that they talked for quite a little while; because, when I finished dressing and went below, he was just leaving her," Broffin rose up from the bunk on which he had been sitting and laid a heavy hand On Maurice's shoulder. "You ain't going to tell me that you didn't find out who the woman was. Clarence what?" he said anxiously. "That's just what I've, got to tell you. Matt," returned the clerk, reluc tantly. "I was due at the second table, and I didn't go as far forward as the. stanchion she was holding to. All I can tell yon is that she was one of the half-dozen or so younger . women. -we had on board; I could guess at that much. Broffin's oath was not of anger; It was a mere upbubbling of disappoint rnent. 'TO BE CONTXNTTFVO-) '