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THE WILLIAMS NEWS
Cbpyrtqhf by EdwirvB aimer CHAPTER XIV 12 Old Burr of the Ferry. It was in late November and while Che coal carrier Pontiac, on which be Was serving as lookout, was in Lake Superior that Alan first heard of Jim Burr. The name spoken among some ether names in casual conversation by e member of the crew, stirred and ex cited him ; the name James Burr, oc curring on Benjamin Corvet's list, had fcorne opposite it the legend "All dis appeared; no trace," and Alan, whose investigations had accounted for ail others whom the list contained, had tieen able regarding Burr "only to verify Che fact that at the address given no ne of this came was to be found. He questioned the oiler who had anentloned Burr. The man had met Burr one night In Manitowoc with other men, and something about the old mac bad impressed both his name eind Imago on him ; he knew no more Chan that. At Manitowoc ! the place from " which Captain Stafford's watch had been sent to Constance Sherrill end where Alan had sought for, but had failed to find, the sender! Had Alan stumbled by chance upon the one whom Benjamlh Corvet hadbeen un able to trace? Alan could not leave the Pont) and CO at once to Mabftowoc to seek Burr ; tor he was needed where he was. It was fully a week later and after the ' Pontiac had been laden again and had repassed the length of Lake Superior that Alan left the vessel at Sault Ste. Marie and took the train for Manito woc The little lake port of Manitowoc, which he reached In the late afternoon, was turbulent with the lake season's approaching close. Alan inquired for Che seamen's drinking place, where .his Informant had met Jim Burr ; following Che directions he received he made his war along the river bank until he - found It. The proprietor knew old Jim Burr Xes. Burr was a wheelsman on Car- ferry Number 25. He was a lakeman, experienced and capable ; that fact, some months before, had served as in troduction for him to the frequenters of this place. When the fevy wan In faarbor and his duties left him Idle. Burr came up and waited there, occu pying always the same chair. He never drank ; he never spoke to others unless they spoke first to him. but Chen he talked freely about old days on the lakes, about ships which had been lost an about men long dead. Alan decl3tfd that there could be no better plae to Interview old Burr than fcere; he Waited therefore, and In the .arly era&tfng the old man came In. He was a Mender but muscularly built man eenHSg about sixty-five, but he might fee considerably younger or older than that. His hair was completely white; Us nose was thin and sensitive; his face was smoothly placid, emotionless, contented ; his eyes were queerly cloud ed, deepset and Intent. Those whose names Alan had found a Corvet's list had been of all ages, young and old; but Burr might well bare been a contemporary of Corvet "You're From No. 257" He Asked, to i Draw Him Into Conversation. n the lakes. Alan moved over and took a seat, beside the old man. "You're from Number 25?" he asked, Co draw him Into conversation. 1 -I "Yes." ' Tve been working on the carrier Pontiac as lookout. She's on her way Ito tie up at Cleveland, so I left her land came on here. You don't know Whether there's a chance for me to get ia place through the winter on Number SR?" Old Burr reflected. "One of our boys fkas been talking of leaving. I don't bow when he expects to go. Yon wUrifeaek.- "Thank you ; I will. My name's Conrad Alan Conrad." He saw no recognition of the twine in Burr's reception of It; but he had not expected that. None of those on Benjamin Corvet's -list had "bad any knowledge of . Alan Conrad . or had heard the name before. Alan was silent, watching the old man; Burr, silent too. seemed listening to the conversation which came to them from the tables near by, where men were talking of cargoes, and of ships and of men who worked and sailed upon them. "How .long have 'you been on the lakes?" Alan Inquired. A11 my life." "Do you remember the Mlwaka?" Old Burr turned abruptly and studied Alan with a slow scrutiny which seemed to lock him through and through ; yet rhile his eyes remained fixed on Alttn suddenly they grew blank. He was not thinking now of Alan, but had turned his thoughts within himself. "I remember her' yes. She was lost in '05," he said. "In '95," he repeated. 'Did you know Benjamin Corvet?" Alan asked. Old Burr stared at him uncertainly. I know who he Is, of course." "You never met him?" "No." "Did you receive a communication from him some time this year" a re quest to send some things to Miss Con stance Sherrill at Harbor Point?" "I never heard of .Miss - Constance Sherrill. To send what things?" Several things among them a watch which had belonged to Captain Stafford of the Mlwaka." Old Burr got up suddently and stood gazing down at Alan. "A watch of Captain Stafford's? no," be said agi tatedly. "No I" He moved away and left the place; and Alan sprang up and followed him. t He was not, it seemed probable to Alan now. the James Burr of Corvet s list; at least Alan could not see how he could be that one. Among the names of 'the crew of the Mlwaka Alan had found that of a Frank Burr, and his inquiries had Informed him that this man was a nephew of the James Burr who had lived near Port Corbay and had "disappeared" with all his family. Old Burr had not lived at Port Corbay at least, he claimed not to have lived there; he gave another ad dress and assigned to himself quite dif ferent connections. For evey member of the crew of the Mlwaka there had been a corresponding, but different name upon Corvet's list the name of a ciose relative. If old Burr was not related to the Burr on Corvet's list, what connection could he have with the Miwaka, and why should Alan's questions have agitated him so? Alan would not lose sight of old Burr until he bad learned the reason for that. He followed, as the old man crossed the' bridge and turned to his left among the buildings on the river front. Burr's figure, vague in the dusk, crossed the railroad yards and made its way to where a huge black bulk, which Alan recognized as the ferry, loomed at the waterside. He disap peared aboard It. Alan, following him. gazed about. A long, broad, black boat the ferry was, almost four hundred feet to the tall,, bluff bow. Alan thrilled a little at his inspec tion of the vessel. He had not seen close at hand before one of these great craft which, throughout the winter. brave Ice and storm after all or near ly all other lake boats are tied up. He had not meant to apply there when he questioned old Burr about a berth on the ferry; he had used that merely as a means of getting into conversa tion with the old man. But now be meant to apply ; for It would enable him to find out more about old Burr. No berth on the ferry was vacant yet but one soon would be, and Alan was accepted In lieu of the man who was about to leave; his wages would not begin until the. other man left, but in the meantime he could remain aboard. All that was known definitely about old Burr on the ferry. It appeared, was that he had joined the vessel In the early spring. Before that they did not know ; he might be an old lakeman who, after spending years ashore, bad returned to the lakes for a livelihood. The next morning, Alan approached old Burr In the crew's quarters and tried to draw him into conversation again about himself; but Burr only stared at him with his Intent and odd ly Introspective eyes and would not talk upon this subject. A week passed ; Alan, established as a lookout now on Number 25 and carrying on his duties, saw Burr daily and almost every hour ; his watch coincided with Burr's watch at the wheel they went on duty and were relieved together. Yet better acquaintance did not make the old man more communicative; a score of times Alan attempted to get ' him to I tell more about himself, but he evaded Alan s questions and. It Alan persisted. he avoided him. On deck, one night, listening while old Burr talked, excitement suddenly seized Alan. Burr claimed to .be an Englishman born in Liverpool. He-had been, he said, a seaman in the British navy ; he had been present at the shelling of Alexandria ; later, because of some difficulty, which he glossed over, he had deserted and had come to "the States ;" he had been first a deck hand, then the mate of a tramp schoon er on the lakes. Alan, gazing at the old man, felt exultation leaping and throbbing within him. This life which old Burr was rehearsing to him as his own, was the actual life of Munro Burkhalter, one of the men on Cor vet's list regarding whom Alan had been able to obtain full information ! Alan sped below, when he was re lieved from watch, and got out the clippings left by Corvet and the notes of what he himself had learned in his visits to the homes of these people. His excitement grew greater as he pored over them ; he found that he could account, with their aid, for all that old Burr had told him. Old Burr's stories were not, of course, true; yet neither were they fictitious. They their incidents, at least were actuali ties. They were woven from the lives of those upon Corvet's list ! Alan felt his skin prickling and the blood beat ing fast in his temples. How could Burr have known these Incidents? "Tell me that time on the 5th It was the Martha Corvet?" Burr jerked away; Alan caught hiro again and, with physical strength, de tained him. "Wasn't it that?" he de manded. "Answer me; it was th Martha Corvet?" The wheelsman struggled ; he seemed suddenly terrified . with the terror which. Instead of weakening, supplied Infuriated strength. He threw Alan off for an instant and started to flee back toward the ferry ; and Alan let him go, only following a few- steps to make sure that the wheelsman returned to Number 25. Because of the severe cold. - the watches on the ferry had been short ened. Alan would be relieved from time to time to warm himself, and then he would return to duty again. Old Burr at the wheel would be re lieved and would go on duty at the same hours as Alan himself. Benjamin Corvet ! The fancy reiterated itself to him. Could he be mistaken? Was that man, whose eyes turned alternately from the compass to the bow of the ferry as it shifted and rose and fell, the same who had sat In that lonely chair turned toward the fireplace In the house on Astor street? Were those hands, which held the steamer to her course, the hands which had written to Alan In secret from the little room off his bedroom and which pasted so carefully-4he newspaper clippings con cealed in the library? J. Alan faced the wind with mackinaw buttoned about his throat ; to make certain his hearing, his ears were un protected. They numbed frequently, and he drew a hand out of the glove to rub them. The windows to protect the wheelsman had been dropped, as the snow had gathered on the glass ; and at Intervals, as he glanced back, he could see old Burr's face as he switched on a dim light to look at the compass. The strange placidity whicn usually characterized the old man's face had not returned to It since Alan had spoken with him on the dock ; Its look was Intent and queerly drawn. "Then . . . ihat was a few minutes ago ... they heard the four long again. . . . - They'd tried to pick up the other ship with radio before. "Answer Me; It Was the Martha Corvet?" Who could he be to know them all? To what man. but one, could all of them be known? Was old Burr ... Ben jamin Corvet? Alan telegraphed that day to Sher rill; but when the message bad gone doubt seized him. Benjamin Corvet, when he went away, had tried to leave his place and power- among lakemen to Alan ; Alan, refusing to accept what Corvet had left until Corvet's reason should be known, had felt obliged also to refuse friendship with the Sherrllls. When revelation came, would It make possible Alan's acceptance of the place Corvet had prepared for him, or would it leave him where he was? Would It bring him nearer to Constance Sher rill, or would It set him forever away from her? CHAPTER XV. " 9 A Ghost Ship. Officially, and to chief extent In ac tuality, navigation now had "closed' for the winter. Further up the har bor, beyond Number 25, glowed the white lanterns marking two vessels moored and "laid up" till spring; an other was still In the active process of laying up."' Marine Insurance, as re gards all ordinary craft, had ceased ; and the government at . sunrise, .five days before, had taken the warning lights from the Straits of Mackinaw. from Ile-aux-'Galets, from north Manl- tou, and the Fox islands ; and the light at Beaver Island had but five nights more to burn. Having no particular duty when the boat was In dock, old Burr had gone toward the steamer "laying up," and now was standing, watching with ab sorption, the work going on. There was a, tug a little farther along, with steam up and black smoke pouring from its short funnel. Old Burr ob served this boat too and moved up a little nearer. Alan, following the wheelsman, came opposite the stem of the freighter. "They're crossing," the wheelsman said aloud, but more to himself than to Alan. "They're laying her up here." he Jerked his head toward the Stough ton. "Then they're crossing to Mani towoc on the tug." . "What's the matter with that?" Alan cried. Burr drew up his shoulders and ducked his head down as a gust blew. It was cold, very cold indeed In that wind, but the old man had on a macki naw and, out on the lake. Alan had seen him on deck costless In weather almost as cold as this. "It's a winter storm," Alan cried. "It's like it that way; but today's the 15th, not the 5th of December 1" "That's right," Burr argeed. "That's right." The reply was absent, as though Alan had stumbled upon what he was thinking and Burr had no thought yet to wonder at it. "And It's the Stoughton they're lay ing up, not the " be stopped and stared at Burr to. let him supply the word and, when the old man did not. he repeated again "not the " "No," Burr agreed again, as though the name had been given. "No." "It was the Martha Corvet yon laid up. wasn't it?" Alan cried quickly. Was old Burr beginning to remember that he was Benjamin Corvet? Alan did not believe It could be that; again and again he had spoken Corvet's name to him without effect. Yet there must have been times when, If he was actual ly Corvet, he had remembered who he was. He must have remembered that when he had written directions to some one to send those things to Constance Sherrill ; or, a strange thought had come to Alan, had he written those In structions himself? This certainly would account for the package having been mailed at Manitowoc and for Alan's failure to find out by whom It had been mailed. It would account, too, for the unknown handwriting upon the wrapper, if some one on the ferry had addressed the package for the old man. What could have brought back that moment of recollection to Corvet, Alan wondered; the finding of the things which he bad sent? What might bring another such moment? Would his see ing the Sherrllls again or Spearman act to restore him? - For half an hour Alan paced steadily at the bow. The storm was incrr sing noticeably in fierceness; the wind driven snowflak'es had changed to hard pellets which, like' little bullets, cut and stung the face ; and it was growing colder. From a cabin window came the blue flash of the wireless, which had been silent after notifying the shore stations of their departure. It had commenced again ; this was unusual. Something still more unusual followed at once; the direction of the gale seemed slowly to shift, and with it the wash of the water; instead of the wind and the waves coming from dead ahead now, they moved to the port beam, and Number 25, still pitching with the thrust through the seas, also began to roll. This meant, of course. that the steamer had changed Its course and was making almost due north. It seemed to Alan to force its engines faster; the deck vibrated more. Alan had not heard the orders for this change and could only speculate as to what It might mean. His relief came after a few minutes more. Where are we . heading?" Alan asked. "Radio," the relief announced. "The II. O. Richardson calling; she's up by the Manitous." "What sort of trouble?" "She's not in trouble; It's another ship." "What ship?" "No word as to that." Alan, not delaying to question fur ther, went back to the cabins. These stretched aft. behind the bridge, along the upper deck, some score on each side of the ship ; they had accommodations for almost a hun dred passengers ; but on this crossing only a few were occupied. Alan had noticed some half-dozen men business men, no doubt, forced to make the crossing, and one of them, a Catholic priest, returning probably to some mis sion in the north ; he had seen no wom en among them. A little group of passengers were gathered now In the door of or Just outside the .wireless cabin, which was one of the row on the starboard side. Stewards stood with them and the cabin maid ; within, and bending over the table with the radio instrument, was the operator with the second officer beside him. The violet spark was rasping, and the operator, his receivers strapped over his ears, strained to listen. He got no reply. evidently, and he struck his key again ; now, as he listened, he wrote slowly on a pad. "What Is It?" Alan asked the officer. "The Richardson heard four blasts of a steam whistle about an hour ago when she was opposite the Manitous. She answered with the whistle and turned toward the blasts. She couldn't find any ship." The officer's reply was interrupted by some of the others-, . . . Yes; we got that here. . . . Tried again and got no answer. . But they heard the blasts for half an hour. .. . . They said they seemed to be almost beside the ship once. . But they didn't see anything. Then the blasts stopped . . . sud den, cut off short in the middle as though something happened. . . . She was blowing distress all right. . . The Richardson's searching again now. ... Yes, she's search ing for boats." "Anyone else answered?" Alan asked. "Shore stations on both sides." "Do they know what ship It is?" "No." "What ship might be there now?' The officer could not answer that. He had known where the Richardson must be; he knew of no other likely to be there at this season. The spray from the waves had frozen upon Alan ; ice gleamed and glinted from the rail and from the deck. Alan's shoulders drew up In a spasm. The Richardson, they said, was looking for boats ; how long could men live In little boats ex posed to that gale and- cold? He turned back to the others about the radio cabin; the glow from within showed him faces as gray as his; it lighted a face on the opposite side of the door1 a face haggard with dread ful fright. Old Burr jerked about as Alan spoke to him and moved, away alone; Alan followed him and seized his arm. ' 'What's the matter?" Alan demand ed, holding to him. 'The four blasts !" the wheelsman repeated. "They heard the four blasts!" He iterated it once more. Yes," Alan urged. "Why not?" But where no ship ought to be; so they couldn't find the ship they couldn't find the ship !" Terror, of awful abjectness, came over the old man. He freed himself from Alan and went forward. Alan went aft to the car deck. The roar and echoing tumult of the ice against the - hull here drowned all oth er sounds. The thirty-two freight cars. In their four long lines, stood wedged and chained and ' blocked . In place;- they tipped and tilted, rolled and swayed like the stanchions and sides of the - ship, fixed and secure. Jacks on the steel- deck under the edges of the cars, kept them from rocking on their trucks. Men paced watchfully between the tracks, observ ing the movement of the cars. The cars creaked and groaned, as they worked a little this way and that ; the men sprang with sledges and drove the blocks tight again or took an addi tional turn upon the. jacks. Alan saw old Burr who, on his way to the wheelhouse, had halted to lis ten. For several minutes the old man stood motionless ; he came on again and stopped to listen. "You hear 'em 7" Burr's voice qua vered in Alan's ear. "You hear em?" "What?" asked Alan. "The four blasts I You hear 'em now? The four blasts!" Burr was straining as he listened. and Alan stood still too ; no sound came to him but the noise of the storm. "No," he replied. "I don't hear anything. Do you hear them now?" Burr stood beside him without mak ing reply; the searchlight, which had been pointed abeam, shot Its glare for ward, and Alan could see Burr's face In the dancing reflection of the flare. The man had never more plainly re- M'KIIAI, IIUMI Sl',It ICJ-J nfi-urcii if ou it-titioti tills puper when writing; Mmn It -1 o v, . l)IAIONIIS AKII WATDIKK. IIUIMI-Al.l.KM Ji:vi:i.uv CO. HTk. and Repairing All orders promptly nttcnilpil to. rest, 1K79 Ifith f-nwmpa. fl.KAMOIts AKU DVKItS HOTELS UIMISOIl, IStli & Larimer. Rooms 75c up. Special rates to permanent euests. MACHINERY, PIPE, RAILS AND SUPPLIES We buy and sell. Send us your inquiries The Denver Metal K Machinery Co. Crfices 13th & Larimer Sts. Warehouse and yards 1st to 3rd on Larimer. Denver Winter Garments Dyed Now The 1317 Much Cheaper Model Cleaners and Dyers BROADWAY, DENVER, COLO. INFORMATION DEPARTMENT CoTrrmrciiriimiufries information gladly furnished without cost. Address any firm above. Tax Receipts Fall Off. Washington. Government tax re ceipts fell off more than $40,000,000 in July, as compared with the same month last year, according to the statement of classified collections is sued by the internal revenue bureau. For the month tax collections totaled S10G.SS6,779, as against 153,343,217 during July, 1921. Income and profit taxes amounting to $29,743,000 during the month snowed a decrease of . $9,4S,000, compared with July a. year ago, while estate taxes aggregating $4,071,000 declined by $10,275,000. Taxes on distilled spirits aggregat ing $2,684,000 for the month, declined by $2,811,000 against July, 1921; mis cellaneous taxes, such as transporta tion and amusements, amounting to $43,443,000, fell off by $27,177,000, while tobacco, taxes aggregating $26,- 080,000 reflected an increase of $3, 772,000 as against the same month last year. We have helped thousands. Let us help you. Write for catalogue. Colfax and Corona. Denver. Colo. Colorado Roads Excel -Those of East. Denver. Roads in Colorado are - as good as the roads in .the Eastern states, declared Dr. George P. Schu macker, a member of the Denver Ro tary Club. Dr. Schumacker has just returned from a 7,000-mile automobile trip through seventeen of the Eastern states, and he said that after riding over the roads of the other states he decided that Colorado roads were good. "I- made better time traveling over Colorado roads than I did in any of the Eastern states," Dr. - Schu macker said. Moffat Road Must Reduce Rates. Officials of -the Denver & Salt Lake' (Moffat) Railroad have been ordered by the State Public Utilities Commis sion to effect freight rate reductions on intrastate shipments and shipments to Denver in keeping with the reduc- -tions demanded several weeks ago by the Interstate Commerce Commission on interstate shipments. Members of the state commission notified the rail road to file with the commission for- " mal notice of the reduced rates on or before Sept. 17. WORLD WHEAT CROPS SHORT. Figures for United States Show Slight Decline in Year. The Man Had Never More Plainly Re sembled the Picture of Benjamin Corvet. sembled the picture of Benjamin Cor vet ; that which had been in the pic ture, that strange sensation, of some thing haunting him, was upon this man's face, a thousand times Intensified-; but Instead of distorting the fea tures away from all likeness to the picture, it made It grotesquely Iden tical. (TO BE CONTINUED.) Washington. The world's wheat - production this year will be less than it was last year, but considerably greater than the pre-war average, ac cording to estimates made public by the Department of Agriculture. Actu al estimates and -condition reports from reporting countries indicate a yield this year of 3,019,526,000 bushels, compared with the production last year of 3,059,596.000, and the 1909-13 average of 2,890,353,000 bushels. Reports from all sources regarding Russia said crop conditions were fav orable and would feed the nation this year, eliminating the need of import ed wheat. Nearly all European conn- Ties, however, reported decreases, the total European production being esti mated at 1,100,991,000 bushels, com pared with 1,239,256,000 in 1921 and the pre-war average of 1,275,157,000. British India and Japan are expected to produce 392,847,000 bushels, com pared with 282,094,000 last year and the pre-war average of 375,827,000. What la a Picture Frame T Picture frames are frequently too ornate. The simpler they are the less they attract attention from the pic ture Itself. They should become a part of the picture and not a separate picture In themselves. Color, how ever, may be used "to advantage and any simple wooden frame may be painted in oil paint to match some tone of the picture. Ordinarily this Is better than to have the frame harmonize with the woodwork, of the room. Flames Threaten Chicago Jail. Chicago. Guests from a nearby ho tel fled into the street and prisoners in the county jail were thrown Into a panic by a fire which destroyed a four-story brick building just north of . the downtown business district. ,The" flames, threatened surrounding build "ngs at West KInzie and Clark streets. Out were finally subdued. The build ng destroyed is occupied by the S. S. Stafford Company, ink makers, and the Peter Heer Paper Box Company. "