THE WILLIAMS NEWS
Copyright by Edwin B aimer
INDIAN DRUM NEVER MISSES COUNT
"You mean you want me to marry you at once, Henry T"
He drew her to him powerfully; she felt him warm, almost
rougn with passions. Since that day when, in Alan CSnracfs pres
ence, he had grasped and kissed her; she had not let him "realize"
their engagement, as he had put it.
"Why not?" he turned her face up to his now. "Your mother's
here; your father will follow soon; or, if you will, we'll run away
Constance You've kepi me off so long! You don't believe there's
anything against me, dear f Do you f Do yout"
"No; no! , Of course not!"
"Then we're going to be married. ... Right away, we'll
have it then; up here; now !"
"No; not now, Henry. Not up here!"
And they were not. married Henry Spearman and Constance
Sherrill either there or then or .ever. For Constance was to marry a
worthier man, Alan Conrad which wasn't his real name who had
ao r"l on his soul. And this is the stirring story that revolves about
the Indian drum.
The Indian drum! Have you never heard this fascinating tradi
tion? Why, near the northern end of Lake Michigan, just out of the
historic straits of Mackinac, there is a dark, primeval wood of -pine
and hemlock back from the shining beach. And from this Wood in
time of storm on the water comes the beat of an Indian drum one
beat for every life that goes out as ships go down.
Never, says tradition,' has this Indian drum missed the exact
count. Nevertheless, once was the drum one beat short a it seemed
to those who go down to the inland sea in ships. But in the end its
count was verified. And this is the story of why the Indian drum
boomed but twenty-four times when the new steel freighter Miwaka.
went down in 1 895 with twenty-five who never made port.
CHAPTER I. .
The Man Whom the Storm Haunted.
K'ear the northern end of Lake
Michigan, where the bluff-bowed ore
carriers and the big, low-lying,, wheat
laden steel freighters from Lake Su
perior push out from the Straits of
Mackinac and dispute the right of
way. In the Island-divided channel,
with the whlte-and-gold, electric-lighted,
wireless-equipped passenger steuu-
era bound for Detroit and Buffalo,
.- there Is a copse of pine and hemlock
back from the shingly beach. From
this copse dark, blue, primeval, silent
at most times as when the Great Manl
tou ruled his Inland waters ther
comes at time of storm - a sound like
the booming of an old Indian drum.
This drum beat, so the tradition says,
whenever the lake took a life; and,
- as a sign perhaps that It Is still the
Manltou who rules the waters In spite
of all the commerce of the cities, the
drum still beats Its roll for every ship
lost on the lake, one beat for every
So men say they heard and count
ed the beatings of the drum to thirty
five upon the hour when, as afterward
they learned, the great steel steamer
Wenota sank with twenty-four of Its
erew . and eleven' passengers ; so men
aay -they heard the requiem of the
five who went down- with the schooner
Grant ; and of the seventeen lost with
the Susan Hart; and so of a score of
ships more. Once only. It is told, has
the drum counted wrong.
At the height of the great storm of
December, 18P5, the drum beat the
roll of a sinking ship. One, two,
three the hearers counted, the drum
beats, time and again, in their Inter
mittent booming, to twenty-four. They
waited, therefore, for report of a ship
lost with twenty-four lives ; no such
news came.' The new steel freighter
Miwaka, on her maiden trip during
the storm with twenty-five not twenty-four
aboard never made her port ;
mo news was ever heard from her; no
wreckage ever was found. On this ac
count, throughout the families whose
fathers, brothers and sons were the
officers and crew of the Miwaka, there
, stirred for a time a desperate belief
1 that one of the men ' on the Miwaka
was saved ; that somewhere, somehow,
he was alive and might return. The
ay of the destruction of the Miwaka
was fixed as December 5 by the time
at which she passed the 'government
lookout at the straits ; the hour was:
fixed as five o'clock In the morning
only by the -sounding of the -drum. -'
Storm the stinging, frozen sleet
clash of the February norther whis
tling down the floe-Jammed length of
the lake was assaulting Chicago. So
tieavy was this frost on the panes of
the Fort Dearborn club one of the
staldest of the down-town clubs for
men that the great log fires blazing
on the open hearths added appreciable
tight as well as warmth. to the rooms.
The few members preSent at this
feour of the afternoon showed by their
tazy attitudes and the desultorlness
f their conversation the dulling of
vitality which warmth and shelter
bring on a day of cold and storm. On
one, however, the storm had had a con
trary effect. With swift, uneven steps
he paced now one room, now another;
from time to time he stopped ab
ruptly by, a window, scraped from It
with finger nail the frost, stared out
- for- an Instant through the little open
ing he bad made, then resumed as ab
ruptly his nervous pacing with a man
ner so uneasy and distraught that,
mince Ills arrival at the club an hour
before, , none even among those who
knew him best bad ventured to speak
The man who was pacing restlessly
and alone the rooms of the Fort Dear
born club on this stormy afternoon
was the man who, to most people, bod
led forth the life underlying all other
commerce thereabouts but the least
known, the life of the lakes.
The ' lakes, which mark unmistak
ably those who get their living from
them, had put their marks on him.
Though he was slight In frame with a.
spare, almost ascetic leanness, he had
the wiry strength and endurance of
the man whose youth had been passed
upon the water. . He was very close
to sixty now, but his thick, straight
hair was still Jet black except for a
slash of pure white above one temple:
his brows were black above his deep
blue eyes. His acquaintances, in ex
plaining him to strangers, said he had
lived too much by himself of late ;' he
and one man servant shared the great
house which -had-been unchanged and
In which nothing appeared to have
needed replacing since his wife left
him, suddenly and unaccountably,
about twenty years before. People
said he looked more French,: referring
to his father who was known to have
been a skin-hunter north of Lake Su
perior in the 50s but who later mar
ried an English girl at Mackinac and
settled down to become a trader In the
woods of the North peninsula, where
Benjamin Corvet was born.
During his boyhood men came to the
peninsula to cut timber; young Corvef
worked with them and began building
ships. Thirty-five years ago he had
been only one of the hundreds with
his fortune in the fate of a single bot
tom ; but today In Cleveland, In Du
luth. In Chicago, more than a score
of great steamers under the names of
various interdependent companies
were owned or controlled by him and
his two partners, Sherrill and young
He was a quiet, gentle-mannered
man. At times, however, he suffered
For Nearly an Hour the Quarrel Con
tinued, With Intermitted Truces of
from fits of Intense Irritability, and
these of late had increased in fre
quency and violence. It had been no
ticed that these outbursts occurred
generally at times of storm upon the
lake, but the mere threat of financial
loss through the destruction of one or
even more of his ships was not now
enough to cause them ; It was believed
that they were the result of some ob
scure physical reaction to the storm.
SMacHarg and Sdwin Calmer
and that this had grown upon, him as
he grew older.
Today his - irritability - waa so
marked, his uneasiness so much
greater ' than anyone - had seen It be
fore, that the attendant whom Corvet
had sent, a half hour earlier, to re
serve his usual table for him In the
grill "The table by the second win
dow" had started away without dar
ing to ask whether the table was to
be set for one or more. Corvet him
self had corrected the omission : "For
two." he had shot after the man.
The tables, at this hour, were all
unoccupied. Corvet - crossed to the
one he had reserved and sat down;
he turned Immediately to the window
at his side and scraped on It a little
clear opening through which he could
see the storm outside., Ten minutes
later he looked up sharply but did not
rise, as the man he had been await
ing Spearman, the younger of his
two partners came In.
Spearman seated himself, his big.
powerful hands clasped on the table,
his gray eyes studying Corvet closely.
The waiter took the order and went
. When he returned, the two men were
obviously In bitter quarrel. Corvet's
tone,- low pitched but violent, sounded
steadily In the room, though his words
were Inaudible. The "waiter, as he set
the food upon the table, felt relief that
Corvet's outburst had fallen' on other
shoulders than his.
For nearly an hour the quarrel con
tinued with intermitted truces of si
lence. The waiter, listening, as wait
ers always do, caught at times single
"You have had that Idea for some
time?" he heard from Corvet.
We have had an understanding for
more than a month."
Spearman's answer was not audible.
but It more Intensely agitated Corvet:
he dropped his fork and. after that.
made no pretense of eating.
The waiter, following this, caught
only single words. "Sherrill" that.
of course, was the other partner. "Con
stance" that was Sherrill's daughter.
The other names he heard were names
of ships. But. as the quarrel went on.
the manners of the two men changed ;
Spearman, who at first had been as
sailed by Corvet, now was assailing
him. Corvet sat back in- his seat.
while Spearman pulled at his clear and
now and then took It from his lips and
gestured with it between his fingers,
as he Jerked some ejaculation across
Corvet leaned over to . the frosted
window, as he had done when alone,
and looked out. Spearman shot a com
ment which made Corvet wince and
draw back from the window; then
Spearman rose. Corvet looked up at
bira once and asked a question, to
which Spearman replied with a snap
of the burnt match down on the table;
he turned abruptly and strode from
the room. Corvet sat motionless.
The revulsion to self-control, some
times even to apology, which ordina
rily followed Corvet's bursts of irrita
tion had not come to him ; his agita-
tionplainly had increased. He pushed
from him his uneaten luncheon and
got up slowly. He went out to the
coat room, where the attendant hand
ed him his coat and hat.
He winced as he stepped out Into
the smarting, blinding swlrl of sleet,
but his shrinking was not physical; It
was mental, the unconscious reaction
to some thought thie storm called up.
The hour was barely four o'clock, but
so dark was It with the storm that
the shop windows were lit ; motorcars,
slipping and . skidding up the broad
boulevard, with headlights burning,
kept, their signals clattering con
stantly to warn other drivers blinded
by the snow. The sleet-swept side
walks were- almost deserted ; here or
there.' before a hotel or one of,-the
shops, a limousine came to the curb,
and the passengers dashed swiftly
across the walk to shelter. .
"Corvet turned" northward . along
Michigan avenue, facing into the gale.
The sleet beat upon his face and
lodged In the folds of his clothing
without his heeding it.
He continued' to go north. He had
not seemed, in. the beginning, to have
made conscious choice of this direc
tion ; but now he was following It pur
posely. He stopped once at a shop
which sold men's things to make a tel
ephone call. He asked for Miss Sher
rill when the- number answered; but
he did not wish to speak to her, be
said ; he wanted merely to be sure she
would be there If he stopped in to
see her in half an hour. Then north
again. He crossed the bridge. Now,
fifteen minutes later, he came in sight
of the lake once more.
Great houses, the " Sherrill house
among them, here face the Drive, the
bridle path, the strip of park, and the
wide stone esplanade which edges the
lake. 'overt crossed to this espla
nade. He did not stop at the Sherr'll
house or look toward It. but went ou
fully a quarter of a .mile beyond It ;
then be came back, and wlthan, oddly
strained and queer expression and at
titude, he stood staring out Into the
Suddenly be turned. - Constance
Sherrill, seeing him from a window of
her home, had caught a cape about ber
and run out to him.
"Uncle Benny!" she bailed him with
the affectionate name she had used
with her father's partner since she
was a baby. "Uncle Benny, aren't
you coming In?"
"Yes," he said vaguely. "Yes, of
course."- He made no move but re
mained staring at her. "Connie I" be
She Thought. "No, Father.
exclaimed suddenly, with strange re
proach to himself in his tone. "Con?
nle ! Dear little Connie !"
"Why?" she asked him . "Uncle
Benny, what's the matter?"
"Has Spearman been here today?"
be asked, n6t looking at ber.
"To see father?"
"No; to see you."
He seized her wrist. "Don't see
blm, when he comes 1" he commanded.
"Don't see him !" Corvet repeated.
"He's asked you to marry him, hasn't
Connie could not refuse the answer.
"Why why. Uncle Benny, I haven't
answered him yet."
"Then don't don't, do you under
She hesitated, frightened for him.
"I'll ril tell you before I see him, If
you want me to, Uncle Benny," she
1'But If you shouldn't be able to tell
me then, Connie ; if you shouldn't
want to then?" The humility of his
look perplexed her; if he had been
any other man any man except Uncle
Benny she would have thought some
shameful and terrifying threat hung
over him ; but he broke off sharply.
"I must go home," he said uncertainly.
"I must go home; then 111 come back.
Connie, you won't give him an answer
till I come back, will you?"
"No." He got her promise, half
frightened, half bewildered ; then he
turned at once and went swiftly away
She ran back to the door of her fa
ther's house. From there she saw him
reach the corner and turn west to go
to Astor street. He was walking rap-
Idly and did not hesitate.
How strangely he had acted I Con
stance's uneasiness increased when
the. afternoon and evening passed
without his coming back to see her as
he had promised, but she reflected he
had not set any definite time when
she was to expect him. During the
night her anxiety grew still greater ;
and in the morning she called his
house up on the telephone, but the call
was unanswered. An hour later, she
called again ; still getting no result,
she called her father at his office, and
told him of her anxiety about Uncle
Benny, but without repeating what
Uncle Benny had said to ber or the
promise she had made to him. Her fa
ther 'made light of her fears; Uncle
Benny, he reminded her, often acted
queerly in bad weather. Only partly
.reassured, she called Uncle Benny's
house several more times during the
morning, but still got no reply ; and
after luncheon she called her father
again, to tell him that she had re
solved to get some one to go over to
the house with her.
Her father, to her surprise,- forbade
this rather sharply ; his voice, she
realized, was agitated and excited, and
she asked him the reason ; but Instead
of answering her, he made her repeat
to blm her conversation of the after
noon before with Uncle Benny, and
now be questioned her closely about It.
But when she. In ber turn, tried to
question him, he merely put her off
and told bar not to worry.
In the late afternoon, as dusk was
drawing into dark, she stood at the
window, with one of those delusive
hopes which come during anxiety that,
because It was the time of day at
which she had seen Uncle Benny walk
ing by the lake the day before, she
might see him there again, when she
saw her father's motor approaching.
It was coming from the north, not
from the south as It would have been
if he was coming from his office or his
club, and It had turned into the Drive
from the west. She knew, therefore,
that he was coming from Uncle Ben
nyls bouse, and, as the car swerved
and wheeled In, she 'ran out into the
ball to meet him.
He came In without taking off hat
or coat; she could see that he was
perturbed, greatly agitated.
"What Is it, father?" she demanded.
"What has happened?"
"I do not know, my dear."
"It is something something that
has happened to Uncle Benny?"
"I am afraid so, deal' yes. But I
do not know what it is that has hap
pened, or I would tell you."
He put his arm about her and drew
her into a room opening off the hajl-
hls study. He made her repeat again
to him the conversation she had had
with Uncle' Benny and tell him how
he had acted ; but she saw that what
she told him did not help him.
Then he drew her toward him.
"Tell me, little daughter. You
have been a great deal with Uncle
Benny and have talked with him ; I
want you to think carefully. Did you
ever hear him speak of any one called
She thought. "No, father."
"JN'o reference either to any one
living in Kansas, or a. town there
called Blue Rapids?"
"No. father. Who is Alan Conrad?"
"I do not know, dear. I never heard
the name until to-day, and Harry
Spearman bad never heard it. But It
appears to be Intimately connected In
some way with what was troubling
Uncle Benny yesterday. He wrote
letter yesterday to Alan Conrad in
Blue Rapids and mailed it himself ;
and afterward he tried to get it back.
but it already had been taken up and
was on its way. I bave not been able
to learn anything more about the letter
than that. To-day that name, Alan
Conrad, came to me in quite another
way, In a way which makes it certain
that It is closely connected with what
ever has nappened to Uncle Benny.
You are quite sure you never heard
him mention it, dear?"
"Quite, sure, father."
He released her and, still in his hat
and coat, went swiftly up the stairs.
She ran after him and found him
standing before a highboy in his dress
ing room. He unlocked a drawer In
the highboy, and from within the
drawer he took a key. Then, still dis
regarding ber, he hurried back down
As she followed him, she caught up
a wrap and pulled it around her. He
had told the. chauffeur, she realized
now, to wait ; but. as he reached the
door, he turned and stopped her.
I would rather you did not come
with me, little daughter. I do not
know at all what It Is that has hap
pened I will let you know as soon as
I find out."
The -finality In his tone stopped her
from argument. As the house door and
then the door of the limousine closed
after him, she went back toward the
window, slowly taking off the wrap.
For the moment she found It difficult
to think. Something had happened to
Uncle Benny, something terrible,
dreadful for those who loved him ;
that was plain, though only the fact
and not Its nature was known to her
or to her father ; and that something
was connected intimately connected,
her father had said with a name
which no one who knew Uncle Benny
ever beard before, with the name of
Alan Conrad of Blue Rapids, Kansas.
Who was this Alan Conrad, and what
could his connection be with Uncle
Benny so to precipitate disaster upon
"I've come to see Mr. Corvet,
Mr. Benjamin Corvet I"
tXO BIS CONTINUED.)
Softening Hard Putty.
Putty that has become hardened by
exposure, as arouna winaow glass.
may be softened and removed by the
use of the following mixture: Shake
3 pounds quicklime in water and add
one pound pearlash, making the whole
about the consistency of paint. Apply
to the putty on both sides of the glass
and let it remain for about 12 hours.
It should then be possible to lift the
glass out without trouble.
Rich Asphaltlc Deposits.
Bituminous sands 150-200 feet thick
lie along the Athabaska river for 73
miles. Drawn out by the sun the tar
runs Into deep pools. Similar sands
are found at intervals from latitude 57
degrees north to beyond the Arctic
circle. The soaked area is possibly
10,000 square miles In extent. This
deposit represents the largest known
occurrence ef solid asnhaltlc material.
Your Skin is
combines with purity.
For three generations
beautiful women have
A man from the backwoods of west
ern America visited New York for the
first time and went Into a restaurant
to have dinner. ' All went well until
the waiter brought him a napkin. The
eyes of the backwoods man flamed.
and pulling a six-shooter from his
pocket he gave the waiter a piece of
Ills mind. : , -,
"You take that blamed thing away
at once," he said evenly. "I reckon
I have a handkerchief If I want one,
without having them darned hints'
Rule With No Exceptions.
When you meet a wealthy old bach
elor you may be sure that you have atr
last encountered a man who has
learned to say no and stick to it.
Try a pipeful
or two direct
from the factory
Not that it win be any better than
the Edgeworth you buy in a store, but
- we want you to have your first Edge
worth smoke at our expense.
You may repay us by finding that
Edgeworth just suits your taste. And
if it doesn't for there are some few
men to whom Edgeworth is not just
the thing there's no harm done.
We are glad enough to send free
samples in the same spirit that we'd
hand you our pouch if circumstances
permitted. We wish it were possible
to save you even the little trouble of
writing for Edgeworth. '
Edgeworth is a likable smoke. Men
who have tried it and found it to be
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think of smoking other " tobaccos.
"They'll tell you there are many good
tobaccos and there are. And when
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But notice how quickly they get
back to their beloved Edgeworth!
Day after day Edgeworth fans write
to us. They tell us human little
stories, friendly anecdotes centering
around Edgeworth. Often it is the
number of years they have smoked
Edgeworth that prompted them to
Knowing how hard it is for the aver
age man to write letters, we consider
messages the great
est tribute to Edge
worth we could
greater even than
theincreasingsales. It gives the busi
ness of making
tobacco a pleas
ure that runs
v from factory ex
ecutive to the
smoker in the backwoods.
If you have never tried Edgeworth,
let us repeat our offer, "Try a pipeful
or two direct from the factory." All
you have to do is to write "Let me try
a pipeful or two" on a postcard, sign
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postcard to us. The address is Larus
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Richmond, Va. If you want to add
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To Retail Tobacco Merchants ; If
your jobber cannot supply you with
Edgeworth, Larus & Brother Com-,
pany will gladly send you prepaid by :
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would pay the jobber wJ
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