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CHAPTER XIXContinued 'That is where the joke comes in! exclaimed Miss Betty. "What a sur prise this will be to my father! You've certainly won, Mr. Herbert. It was very clever and I am proud of your success, believe me Allow me to congratulate you!" She gave Guy her hand. "Betty!" cried Miss Pinkney, "you're aa modern Tarpeia. The idea of youyou of all the otters being happy because Concord won." Miss Pinkney began drawing on her gloves in an angry flutter. "Lois," returned Miss Betty, "you do not understand, dear. I am not happy because Concord won, but be cause Mr. Herbert has come out of the east, burdened with his inexperi ence, and worsted a clique of old campaigners like my father and yours." "Are you proud of me for going into the open market and buying votes?" asked Guy. "Hush!" she returned, raising an admonitory forefinger. "That is too hard a name for something which the great political parties never scru ple at doing. I was a case of dia mond cut diamond. You interested the Amity\ille people in your town even as my father had interested them in oursonly you were shrewd enough to be more liberal. The game of politics is a selfish one, at best, and you" Ju st then the squire stormed in. "My condolences, Herbert," he ex claimed, in gay mood, waving a slip of yellow paper above his head. "What asked Guy, startled. "I sympathize with you, but a town divided against itself must fall, you know. Harmony carries the day, and the deciding votes come from Con cord itself. Five, Betty! We have a majority of five! Here, read this telegram." The squire threw himself into a chair and Guy turned mechanically toward Betty. She had taken the message from her father's hand and now read as follows: "Concord casts 20 votes for Har mony. Conservative estimate gives you five majority. Riot here. Town in a turmoil. Hard to tell what will happen. BIGGS." "Hurrah!" cried the excited Miss Pinkney, waving her handkerchief. "Where in the world did those 20 Harmony votes come from?" asked Miss Betty. Her father pursed up his lips, looked at the ceiling and twirled his thumbs. "Victory is perched on our ban ners, Betty," he observed, finally. I don't know how it got there any more than you do, but what's the odds?" What's the odds? That is plainly what Miss Betty thought, forth mo ment. "Now what do you think, Mr. Her- bert?" she asked, turning on the amazed young man and shaking the telegram before his eyes. "I think I shall have to return the congratulations which you gave me a few moments ago," laughed Guy. "Not only that, but I think, too, that I shall have to return to Concord at once "Oh, no!" said Miss Betty. "It would be suicidal!" declared the squire "Didn't you hear the message 9 HisFriend,TheEnemy By WILLIAM WALLACE COOK, Author of "Rogers of Butte/' "The Spur of Necessity,'* "Mr. Fitt, Astrologer/' etc. (Copyright, 1901, by the S. S. McClure Co.) 'Riot heretown a tur- moil Don't go back there until matters quiet down." "They could spare in case of a victory," said Guy, "bu tit's cow ardly to remain away in time of de feat. I must go immediately. Per haps Barney will take me?" "I'll take you myself if vou're bound to go," answered the squire, promptly. "I don't want to persuade vou against your convictions, vou know, and I have the greatest re spect for your courage, but really I'm afraid you'll be in some danger if you go over there just at pres ent. Wait till morning, anyway." "No, squire," returned Guy, firmly. "I must go to-night." And go he did, heedless alike of the protestations of Miss Betty and her father. As_ he and the squire traveled quickly out of Concord, bells were ringing, horns were blowing, guns were firing and the joy was spon taneous and unconfined. When the travelers first glimpsed the twinkling lights of Concord they likewise discovered a blot of shadow hovering in the road directly ahead. On drawing nearer, the blot was re solved into a horse and carriage with a man in silhouette on the carriage seat. The rig was at a standstill and looked most ominous. "Why, it's Pettibone!" exclaimed Guy, as they came in line to pass. He had recognized the high stepper and its driver by a kind of instinct. "Stop a moment, squire." Mr. Vlandingham drew rein. "Is that you, Herbert?" inquired the sheriff. "Yes." "How are you?" "Nearly as good as new." "Glad to hear it. Never had any thing break me up quite so much as that skirmish and seeing you turn- road. Where are you ble into the bound for?" "Concord." "Take my advice and turn back." "Why?" "It won't be healthy for you to go there, that's why. There are all kinds of stories afloat about you. In their present temper the people wouldn't like anything oetter than to string you up. Of course, I know you better, and don't take any stock in their yarns. A pair of blue eyes, says I, and I make allowances." "What are the yarns?" queried Guy, hastily. He resented that allu sion to "blue eyes," especially on the squire's account. "Why, Bilkins got back from Har mony last night and told about your being at Vlandingham's. People in town, though, didn't think much about that until those Jimtown ras cals voted for Harmony, every man Jack of 'em. Two hours ago a mob of citizens waited on Keever with a rope and they'd have lynched him,.I guess, if he hadn't sworn that you played into the enemy's hands all through, and that those imported votejs cast their ballots in accord ance with your orders The squire muttered an angry im precation. "Those Jamestown men would have given the lie to the Colonel's words," cried Quy, with some heat. "Possibly but they all left town in a body, nearly scared out of their wits." "Squire Vlandingham," said Guy, appealing to his companion, "tell Pettibone that Keever is wrong." "I don't need Vlandingham's testi- mony," broke in the sheriff "I know "RUN, COLONEL'" GASPED BILKINS you're straight goods, Herbert. 'S I say, a pair of" "What are the people doing now?'* asked Guy, heading the sheriff off. "Everything's quiet just at the present speakin'. It's the calm pre cedin' a storm. The inhabitants are goin' to cut loose in the morning and, if you're around, you're liable to be the storm center." "Why are you out here, Petti- bone?" "Was takin' a look for the Jimtown fellers, but I guess I'll have to call it a bad job." The sheriff gathered up his lines. "I'm goin' back now to get a little rest before the trying times that are to come to-morrow." Guy arose quickly, leaped out of the squire's carriage and climbed into Pettibone's. "What are you going to do, Her- bert?" cried Vlandingham. "I'm going to Concord," said Guy, with determination, "and I don't want you to run any needless risk by trying to take me further. I am much obliged to you for bringing me this far, squire." "Don't do anything rash, my boy," returned the squire, earnestly "Go back with me and wait until this blows over." "I thank you for your considera tion, but I am face to face with a responsibility that I must not shirk. Had I been in Concord yesterday I could then and there have branded Col. Keever's statements as false. It is a little late in the day, but I shall do it now. I am grateful to you and Miss Betty for all that you have done for me," his voice trembled a little, "and I shall never forget. Good-night and good-by." He waved his hand and Pettibone turned and started back toward Con cord. That night the young man did not go to the hotel, but accepted the sheriff's invitation to remain at his without incident. CHAPTER XX. Col. Keever was pluming himself for flight. It was his intention to wing his way westward, alighting at Harmony long enough to receive his $1,950 from the committee of ways and means. To remain long in Concord would be to court disaster. The score of men from Jamestown he had sent to Amityville there to await him and receive the $2,400 promised for their services. Mr. Pinchbeck was to pay $2,000 of this sum in the event that Concord won the contest. Concord having lostthe men voting their wages out of their handsthere was no money for them forthcoming. Im mediately upon collecting -the price of his treachery from Col. Dingle, Col. Keever's plan was Amityville a wide berth. Lumber and hardware bills were also due on account of the Court house. Young Herbert must shoul der 4these 0 house, where they arrived safely and ments, copy and old* papers/ which ,+i,,. .,/i were caught by the wind and scat tered broadcast. Then there were sounds of hammering and heavy falls that shook the building to its very foundations, while type cases and type, rollers, brushes, cans of ink and lye and every conceivable thing known to a pioneer newspaper office came raining down from every door and window. Pinney came out on the steps of the Emporium with a rope, which he waved wildly above his head. "Hang him!" he shouted, frenzied ly. "Hang the scoundrel!" Guy appeared at the druggist's side as if by magic and snatched the rope from his hands. "No," cried Guy, sternly. "Nothing *6f that kind." "A rail, a rail!" yelled Sampson, ceasing a mad dance around his for- ^M:s^ %W I'^V/^^MfeV^ffi 2 and, to the end that un pleasant questions might be avoided, Col. Keever had begun his prepara tions for shaking the dust of Con cord from his feet as early as Tues day night. It was his desire to depart secret ly, but on opening the front door of his office he found Christopher Waf fle seated on the stairs. Softly clos ing the door, the Colonel sought exit from the rear, and on the back flight he came upon William Comfort. The Colonel, smothering his wrath, re turned to the sanctum and waited. Then he tried again, only to discover that the siege had not been raised. During the entire night the editor made essays at intervals of an hour or so, but was each time balked by the blockading forces. There was nothing for it but to remain where he was and brazen the matter through. Morning came and found the Colonel asleep in his chair. A com motion outside caused him to move restlessly. What was it he heard? Excited and angry cries, a sharp voice haranguing a mob, an uproar as of men enraged? His faculties were blunted by his vigil of the night. He could not reason from point to point and draw proper in ferences. With a stertorous sigh he changed his position in the chair and slept on. A few moments more and the out side stairs echoed with a wild clatter of ascending feet. The door was burst open and the Colonel started forwaft-d, aroused and apprehensive. Lemuel Bilkins was before him, flushed with excitement and trem ulous with fear. "Run, Colonel!" gasped Bilkins for heaven's sake, run!" The Colonel's fmdgy face went white in a flash. "What's the matter, Lemuel?" he demanded, starting to his feet. "Herbert's in townhe tried to talk to the peoplethey accused him of makin' those JimtJbwn fellows vote for Harmonythey were goin' for him hammer and tongs when when" Bilkins, clutching at the desk for support, halted to catch his breath. "When what?" asked the Colonel in a husky whisper. "Speak out, man!" "When Sampson jumped up beside Herbert and gave Chris Waffle a pa per to read to the crowd." Bilkins drew a sleeve across his dripping forehead. "It was an agreement be tween you and the Harmony people, and" The Colonel fell over against the partition with a hollow groan. Now he knew what had become of that document, and where his $50 had gone! At that instant clamorous shouts, drawing nearer and nearer, were heard without swift feet ascended the stairs, and suddenly there came a roar: "Lynch him!" "Ride him out of town!" "Sack the officepull it down about his ears!" "There they come!" burst out Bil kins. "Hurry, Colonel! There's lots of trouble, lots of it!" He took down the Colonel's hat and cane in fever ish haste. "Go down the back stairs and run for your life, Colonel," he implored, "while I stay here and keep them off." "Hold 'em off, Lem," cried the Colonel, taking his hat and cane. "Do your duty, boy!" Thereupon the great man started for the rear exit. He proceeded with more haste, however, than was consistent with safety. Missing the top step of the flight, he tried to regain his balance by catching the next one, but in vain. Down he fell, head over heels. When he recovered himself, he found that he was sitting on the damp earth, his position in no wise suggestive of dignity. His head had been forced through the crown of his hat and he was endeavoring, in a wild way, to get a view of his sur roundings, when Christopher Waffle. Bill Comfort, McQuilkin, Glimmer and Sampson pounced upon him. "Stand off!" commanded the Colonel, shaking his cane, to which he still adhered with a life-and-death tenacity. "I'll have the law on you! Egad, I'll call you out!" This was the great man's last de fiance. "Caught!" cried Comfort, laying hold of him and dragging him to ward the street. While the people in the street were deliberating on the fate Keever should suffer at their hands, there was borne to their ears a crash of glass and a form containing a chase full of type for the delayed issue of the Blizzard came tumbling to the ground. This was followew by docu- WKKLSA^n,*\Wfi' wSt^kmM, mer 'employer for the purpose of of fering a suggestion. "Ride the gen tleman out of town!" In .lieu* of a rail, excited hands pro cured a length of "four-by-four," Keever was placed astride it and then carried, amid hoots and jeers, down the main streets of the town. And a melancholy figure the dough ty Colonel presented. That white hat, so often and proudly declared to be the badge of his political rank and social position, was still about his ears, while the crown, hinged by a thread at the back, opened and closed with every movement of the four stout men who carried the timber on their shoul ders. The Colonel's clothes were torn, one end of his collar was flapping dismally about his neck and he had lost a shoe, but never once did he forget himself and release his hold upon his cane. Some two miles "out of town the angry .citizens dropped their victim roughly and gave him warning, in terms more forcible than polite, never more to show his face within the corporate limits of Concord. Sampson was the last of the in dignant people to make his way back to town. As he was about to pass from sight he turned for one final glimpse of his former employer. And there the Colonel sat, he, the great man, who had raised out of nothing that monument of tireless energy and intellectual grandeur, The Concord Blizzard! The monu ment was gonepassed away in a breathand there he sat, solitary and -alone, pondering the depth of his fall. And Sampsonwas he touched by the woful spectacle? Rearing himself to his full height, he gave a shout of triumph and waved his hat. "Hit me with your cane!" he shout ed, shrilly "hit me with your cane, will you?" Then the printer shook his clenched fist, whirled about and dis appeared, CHAPTER XXI. As time is reckoned, Guy had so journed in Goodwill county for a period of two weeks, and two days but in the broad flight of events, af fecting his life for better or for worse, this fortnight and more lad multiplied itself unceasingly. He had faced the citizens of Con cord very early Wednesday morning and, with the timely aid of Samp son, had succeeded in clearing his fair name of every suspicion. The people began to see how they had wronged the young man, and, as their anger cooled toward him, it mounted higher against the Colonel. When public opinion had reached the boiling point, the Colonel's castle was stormed and sacked and Guy's last glimpse of the fallen idol was caught from the procession that wended its way down the main street and out of the town. Before these irate citizens returned, the train from the west had arrived and de parted, and Guy had gone with it. His airy dream of a fortune had been snuffed out like a candle in full glare. His inheritance, all that had been saved from the wreck of his fa ther's estate had sunk from a value of many thousands to a few paltry hundreds. The dream was past. The stern awakening was at hand, and there was nothing for him but work. As he toiled over some one's set of books, he could reflect philosophical ly on the "rigor of the game" that had wrecked him. Miss Betty was the one bright spot in all that chaos of maneuver, plot, counterplot and checkmate. He was in love with herhopelessly, he feared, in more than one sense of the word. Had Concord won the county seat and had he, in the "boom" that followed, realized a small fortune out of his lots, he might have prose cuted his suit, wooed and won. Lei sentimentalists prate as they may, success in business very often goes hand-in-hand with success in love. Besides, Guy had a reserve of pride. How could he face Miss Betty and tell her that the son of Montfort Herbert had hardly a dollar that he could call his own? No he would "buckle in," make his mark and then go to her. Months would certainly elapse, perhaps years, but if his love could not withstand the wear of time wherein was it worthy? If she cared anything for him she would wait. On the other hand, if *he did not care for him she would marry some one else and he would face the future in a manly way and do his utmost to forget. It was wise counsel that his heart took from his head and he set about his plans with courage and de termination. He made Jamestown his Mecca and there he found a loan and invest ment concern in need of an assistant bookkeeper. He passed an examina tion, was found competent and en tered at once upon his duties. His weekly stipend was $20not half the pocket money his indulgent father had at one time allowed him. It is very easy to work toward a goal as bright as the one Guy had set for himself and it was astonish ing how he made shift to economize. Week by week more than half his salary was laid by and, when a month had passed, he was so hungry for news of Concord and Miss Betty that he wrote a line to Pettibone. In the letter he asked how many Concord people had moved to Har mony asked if the Colonel had ever been heard from inquired about Waffle, Glimmer, Bilkins and others and requested the sheriff to send him bills for the lumber and hardware used in the ill-fated courthouse. Guy said that he intended to pay these bills and would do so in time. He wrote no word about Miss Betty, eager though he was to hear from her. But Pettibone knew. His reply would be filled with information concerning the owner of the blue eyes, Guy was certain. After posting the letter he waited. The days passed without bringing a reply and a chill of disappointment swept through'the young man's soul. His round of duties became irksome. He was beginning to realize how hard it would be to face the future without Miss Betty. The desire with in him to run down to Concord some Saturday night was very strong. During Sunday forenoon he could take an inventory and ascertain how much of the town had been carted away, and in the afternoon he could drive to the other side of the county and find out how much of his town Harmony had already absorbed. He even pictured himself at Willowview indulging in persiflage with the squire over the county-seat contest. He would not reveal the true state of his affairs, but would pose as the wealthy son of Montfort Herbert. A business plea would take him from Willowview Sunday night so that he could get back to Jamestown in time to begin his weekly grind in the loan office. Miss Betty should never know the straits to which he was put until he had wrested a fortune from the clutch of fate and had laid it at her feet, together with his heart. Just as Guy, bending mechanically over his ledger, had figured the mat ter to suit his exacting fancy, he heard a voice in the outer office. He dropped his pen, startled, and his heart leaped into his throat. "Is this the office of the Jarvis Loan and Investment company?" in quired the voice. "It is madam," returned the ob sequious senior partner. "I am Mr. Jarvis "Is there a Mr. Herbert connected with your firm?" Connected with the firm! Guy shivered and pressed one hand to his throbbing temples. "There is no such person connect ed with our firm, madame," returned Mr Jarvis. "We have an assistant bookkeeper in our employ whose name is Herbert." Miss Betty there! Guy would have given worlds to effect an escape. He could not even get his coat for that was in the closet beyond the private ofhce "I would like to see him a moment, please," said Miss Betty, after a pause. "Herbert!" called Jarvis in the arrogant tone that is part and par cel of the money-lender. "This way, Herbert!" Guy was wearing clothes which he had discarded in his better days He was in his shirt-sleeves and had ab sently picked up the pen with his ink-stained fingers and placed it be hind his ear. In passing the office mirror he halted for a peep at his tumbled hair and careless appear ance "Herbert, I say!" came from Jar vis, impatiently. The next moment Guy was in the senior partner's private room. "What is it, Mr Jarvis?" he asked. "A lady to see you," was the short answer. The young man turned to Miss Betty. Patrician she was from the toe of her daintily shod foot to the feather that crowned her hat. She gave a start and an amazed look overspread her face. Guy bowed. What did those blue eyes hold besides surprise? Pity? He would have none of that. In an in stant he became ridiculously haughty. "At last," murmured Miss Betty hastening toward him. "At last the lost is found!" She extended a gloved hand which he accepted in a perfunctory way. "Why did you fold your tent and steal away in such nomadic fashion, Mr. Herbert?" she asked "I did not know that any one would care," he said, lamely. "You did not care anyway, that is certain. I am a very persistent per son, however, as you must know by this time. I found that Mr. Petti bone had heard from you and I have come to see you on very important business. I am staying with my friend, Mr. James Mortimer. Will you come to see me there, this even- "I shall be most happy." She gave him a quick, penetrating glance and then turned hastily with a little bow and left the office. "Who is that lady, Herbert?" in quired Jarvis. "Miss Elizabeth Vlandingham," re plied Guy. "What! Wilbur Vlandingham's daughter?" "Yes, sir." "A fine girl and she will come into a property one of these days that will foot up six figures." These words echoed" and reechoed through Guy's brain for the remain der of the afternoon. He felt humiliated. In the midst of his brave thoughts, the son of Mr. Mont fort Herbert had been discovered as he wasabject, fortuneless, a waiter upon the grace of the arrogant/Jar vis. What could any fine girl with a fortune that footed up six figures do but pity him? Perhaps ask him to Mr. Mortimer's to offer a few hun dred as a salve for his poverty? Guy's cheeks were in a flame. When he had prepared himself that evening for his call at the Mortimer homeone of the fbaest homes in Jamestownhe had no cause to be ashamed of his appearance. The son of Montfort Herbert, even in his palmiest days, had never looked bet ter. Ty^J^tS^? mLtmt ^^tm^ami3'ir^A Qnce in the drawing-room and Miss Betty came to him quickly. She i* was clad in a dress'of some light, m) diaphanous material and her Titian ,Jp hair was a golden glonp under the ^'^i soft light. He wanted to get down", *$ on his knees and ask her not to pity *f him, not to offer him money, not to,' tender any mistaken kindness which, at her hands, could only abase himt in his own estimation. She seated herself close to him, so close that he' could look into her blue eyes and note the faintest lights and shadows that played there. A woman's eyes do all the mischief here below. They invite or they flash disdain, reveal nothing of the heart or everything, are angelically kind or cruelly indif ferent. A little idle chat and then Miss Betty inquired: "You came to Jamestown directly after leaving Concord in such a pre cipitate manner, did you, Mr. Her- bert?" "Directly," he answered. Jf "And united your fortunes with those of the Jarvis Loan & Invest ment company?" "I went to work for them," he said, bluntly, for he had no desire to take refuge behind high sounding phrases. "At one time I was my fa-'1 ther's private secretary and kept his books. It'is a good thing for a young man to know a trade." "It is, indeed." She spoke care lessly as though not very deeply im pressed. "Have you heard anything of Col. S Keever?" Guy inquired, forcing him self to sudden interest in a topic far from^his thoughts. "Nothing is known about the Colonel except that, after collecting the price of his treachery, he fled to the west" "I felt all along," said Guy, "that he was a man who could not be trusted." "Mr. Herbert," she continued, earnestly, "I came here to find you and to assure you that I knew noth ing of the transaction that lost Con cord the county seat. If I could undo "I HAVE THE HONOR TO BID TOU A VERY GOOD EVENING." the wrong, if the election might be recalled and held over again, believe me, Concord would hold its own. Neither I nor my father knew any thing of that despicable affair until late Tuesday night." "I was sure of it," returned Guy. "Why were you sure of it?" she asked, looking at him steadily. "Had I not told you that it was a case of diamond cut diamond? Did you not see me actively concerned in the stealing of your courthouse? Why should you think well of me after that?" "But for you, Miss Vlandingham," he replied, gratefully, "that contest would have been a sanguinary one. I had no influence you threw the weight pf yours, into the scales and, by a diplomacy as rare as it was skillful, warded off the violence that seemed bound to come. The loss of one life would not have paid for a dozen county seats." There was a strange something fn the blue eyes as they bent upon him, and why could he not read theii* mystery? "I am glad you think that," she said, simply. "I was afraid you had gained a wrong impression. Mr. Pinchbeck paid those 20 Jamestown men and took Harmony lots for the amount. My father has also paid for the courthouse." This was the nearest she had yet come to striking the blow he feared. "It is all very well for the pay ment of the Jamestown men to come out of Harmony," observed Guy, "but I shall pay for the courthouse myself." She saw that he was determined. "You may do so some time," she answered. "I don't think you should, but I shall not attempt to set my judgment against your own." He thanked her for that. Saving ten dollars pe week it would take him a little less than two years to pay for the pile of ashes on the Harmony square. Nevertheless, he thanked her mentally and heaved a sigh of relief. "Have all the Concord people moved over to your town. Miss Vlandingham?" he queried, smilingly. "The county officials have joined usMr. Pettibone and Mr. Biggs. If Mr. Pettibone had not been in Har mony I presume I should not have discovered your whereabouts." "Are the rest of the townspeople going to remain in Concord, do you know?" it 1 't K*t N "I understand that there will be no radical change. To be frank, Mr. Herbert, although Harmony is now the county seat and is enjoying the benefits of a 'boom' as they call it, yet Concord is nearer the center of the county and has more good fann ing land tributary to it. My father says so and I have confidence\in his judgment." "So have I," returned Guy, hope fully. 4-*'