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THE MACON EEACON, MACON, MISSISSIPPI
and i wY.IUH pliir t to Mf'f Pait-n, Ain-, i Jon!, ITTirrTHTirmiTrmxTixx tTTTTTTTlIITlTIIIIIIXIXXXXXTXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXaXXXTTTTTTTTTTTTTlIYri "I'LL MARRY YOU." S:. :k pus. T. rn s: ,e!y. a rancher, run inio u.e tiii;t:cr tow a iI oo.u lor a KCod V.r.io a.ier ..( H i f "ua "VA jttM.I, !.r I.II.N UAO t tl'lTAitl:at of la v'a.M::. a rrtirvd a: my Jt.au o! Uni iut.e is known. A ,..ri. s..i. in ! , i tr-, survivis ia. r.s. M.t'an .y, a saloon ktt-p- 1.1 l.u I'.iii.s .-ii.e, v.i.-t-l, kiO 0 0 'b t . L li.o ,.!',, i.ort ajouu In l,-t 'Ai.u, :..v,..J ill.,.:.'. iri,c.iJ .ii.U l:.o ;o.i.,-.i-f to.a iu ooi.Itr H..I. l-m S'i; -i:i'0S tu HOk a o .vi. a i i- 'in Loo- .'Oo O't locil Oru-U in ioo hoio. 'io los to:i iroa .ion, ..o .oa.l Sooloy, wi.o " rtJ (,oOo j.o ioei'r.y a t-l'o-o- '.a'.oi He ov. ..m- ire t ei.ut. In cifriiuii;, iLa t:l w.sii.it-.-i'a t..e ,ts- s-Ti,to:u"? j CHAPTER 1 1 1 Continued. - I. I h OM'st "' th.i: i'l: y.r. 'a:o J. I Ills clcrica! n oun f ft .-(.ns ;'iH'i but! i' "(ih. he d;d: ain t that k;n tor set tlie l';i; it's' expn "Wh. atised the intend lie ju- mithin'. Tom mi long imp him Yer ok a an't hi tl!l( tt lrl t his way." The two ( s:;il griiriili!! foe! and itiov tent to wbe'o oil. llieir voices thelby got t hW the edge of the 1 view the shai k wii.dew on tint b tiro' d 1 i'e of litht is he stood ;.e;tre.i fully drew d-wn c'.oarly, like ro'ind arm o He drew ,-d ! Ml! ,1 h. Wits -tight liS'.V. art of ,d ev I's'imd h him no' i id w Yet he hud. wi.s :, B.p!M.H hes'ta'- ,'1 in ,',i.n!.t. Ho wits at the ice before he found sufficient to Uti'M k lightly. There was coor no respoio a trifle lo d he used his knuckles in'enseiy oonsoioiis of a desire to turn and run awsijr. Hut there was rio opportunity. The latch tiirectlv into his face. f.iirSy biindin lorn. Tli. so it IS you 'Wh: n .' el a n Mns rd vt I i g!,t l!f!lV- I be T Why-.M'..-s, ii.nl I I rt." that VMM Ml t to; 1'i hiiw to aw kward :g wi'll I nl hi to.:' furooi'"'! : the s-o'.e. a ii small ob looked hea and, as Ins girl, that i 01. I a k bet a. I'vorythiug !,ur utiiiiiiMibiteiy clean, ;, es : ii'iercd to.'i k to the as wlii-t irnpres-ed him most about her-rlearillness. It an evidenced In face and hands. In the dark skirt and white waist, In the pinooth strands of hair. "Weil," she said pleasantly. "I r'-ofcon yon might as well sit down, as long as you are here." He found a chnir nnd droppH Into It. antl she took the only other mie, her bands clasped In her lap nnd her serious eyes waP'hliig him i'h tin disguised curiosity. "I didn't exieet to s"e ynu nimin," iie broke the silence which was hfs roui'ng awkward. "What w us tt that brought you back?'" "'nct Is I don't know," lie explained, fr.r'led at the sound of his own voice. "You sec I I sorter got an idea you might ! lonesome and and a bit mad at me, an' so I thought maybe I bet'er drop in an' tell you how It nil happened. Hut it don't, look like jou was mad." "No, I'm not mini. I flared up for n rninr.io, hut that's all over with. I ain't botherin' none about that outfit." "So I see." somewhat more at ease and crossing his legs. "I reckon that's about the right way to look at it. Whatever made you pick me?" "Why, naturally, I took the best lonkln gone I saw. Mister Mister " "Shelby, Toiu Shelby; so you didn't even know my name?" "No Idea of what It was; I picked jou out because vou didn't live here tixrxiixxnirxixxTirrTTTxxxiiiirirxxxiinmiTxnTiTZTi By RANDALL PARRISH w" that's why, if you really want to know." "Then yon did know me?" "No. I didn't. I saw you at the funeral an' I knew you wa'n't no IVnca man. I didn't care who you was or where ou came from, just so you gave me a chance to get out o' this hole. I would marry an Indian to sret out." "Thert that was why you took me so as to get out o' here?" She nodded. "That's 'bout the size of if. I didn't take no stock in what the preacher said, for I ain't no weeping willow, Tom Shelby, an' I don't need nobody to take care of me," Shelby laughed. "You made a mighty poor guess, at that," he said cheerfully, "when yon picked nie. I'd a took you to a worse place than l'onca." "There ain't none." positively. "Where is it you live, anyhow?" "Over on the Cottonwood; 'bout six ty miles north, up near the reserva tion. H I ! Hut it's lonely tip there; not another white man in thirty miles." "Yon are ranching'.'" "Just Martin", you might say; run nin' a few head on a free range," "Hut you've got a house, a place to live in?" "Sorter slni'-k yes; a corral nn' a sod stable; that's 'bout all. T'd be a dandy, wouldn't I, ttr ask a girl t1 go "I Picked You Out Because You Didn't Live Here." out there an' live? No, sir; that ain't my s'yfe; It wouldn't he deeent." She did not spoiik for some time. K.r eves rovir.i' about the room and then returning to rest on hi fit-. There wns tin stnlle on Iht lips, jet sumo how sho did not look sullen or in- liio'erent. "And that wns why ou You oame Pnck to evlnin? said Tf w; llo .' -n't I'.e- -f Vo'I .'Mo Sf'd d me. 'hen? me for do'ng 01 ' s',.,'1, m.t. wa'n't uii'c. t o o 1 . a ti ' io.:! , ! ('"'.' gbt to g;t vol ro::o I .'..; Ho: oiii, in w i i T,;i - e an loil, llit.k so?" ; n't pn pla l ants to Ih v ou'l'c old i for in. lo lioll "llow f "Seven! am n, in I?" iv he I ain't much on g'.ossin;; n;'-s--" am nlneti teeth gleaming I c'nllv women." ' she paused, her he smiiisl. "I wish you would tell me about yourself." He glanced up at her surprised and twisting his hut about in his hands. "That won't take torn:," he said so berly. "1 ain't got much history, so to speak. 1 aa horn In Kentucky an' run away when I was seventeen. Hern ont In this country ever since, soldiering most of the time, and then punching cattle for the Six Stars. Saved a little money and started in to go it alone. That's about nil the story." "With a lot left out. Why did you leave home?" "Oh, lliey wanted me to go on in school and be a lawyer." "You finished high school?" "Sure; what made jipu think iliat?" She laughed. "(Hi. just n word or two; you've got into the habit of talking like these people out here. So have I. for the matter of that. When you live with thorn for years, it's bound to twist your tongue. I can speak good Kng lish when I try." "An" the thing yer want to do most is to get away from l'onca?" "Yes." "Yer sure don't hold no grudge against, me for what happened to night?" Her lips and eyes smiled. "Why, of course not. It was too ridiculous for anything. After you had 1 t 7j ERIL Copylght A. C. McCIorf A Co. filed out I put my hi'iul down on the table tlie-rp and Implied until I had tears In my eyes. The f-xiiressions on those fncps when I picked you out would have made n di'K lauh." Shelby wanted to say something, but his mind seemed to he utterly Wank. He could just stare at her dumbly. The silence became so embarrassing that he tiually got awkwardly to his feet. "I'm I'm nwfully plad you took it that way," he stuttered. "You see, I don't know much about girls and so I was afraid you mif-'lit be mad. I'll have to go now, I think, Miss." "I'm very sorry, but I'm lad you came. Good-bye, Mr. Shelby.'' lie took the ontstrelchod hand, con scious of the warm pressure even as he fumbled at the lmcli of the door. His eyes were downcast and his face llanied; nor did he breathe easily un til he was again outside, alone in the darkness of the night. CHAPTER IV. The Proposal. He stared back at the closed door, still dazed but capable of swearing at himself for being such n blame fool. He felt a vague suspicion that lie had acted foolishly nnd that the girl was amused at his awkward embarrass ment. The interview had proven al togther different from what he had anticipated; the tears he had come to wipe away were conspicuous by their absence, and instead of bringing com fort and courage (o an extremely mor tified young lady, he had found her filled with merriment over the affair and (uite indifferent as to its outcome. She was different from anything he had previously conceived. He had confidently expected to encounter a ra ther ordinary young woman of the coin moiiplaee frontier tpe the'kind lie had known for years. She had proven herself nothing like what he had conceived. She had been smiling and S"lf-pnssessed, mocking hitn with her good humor and treating the whole affair as a joke. He was Hie victim, rather than she, evidently. In her estimation; and he had actually felt like a raw boy in her presence, unable to think of n word to say or what to do with either hands or feet. How immaculately clean she was and ready of speech. He saw again the picture of her, sitting there facing him, her eyes meeting him frankly. Yes, she had made a fool of him, all right, and he turned and strode up the path, oblivious to all else hut his gloomy thoughts. There were numerous people on the main si rent, although the principal groups were before the dance hall and McCarthy's saloon. Shelby stopped in the glare of the former to consider v hat ho had better do, his mind vibrat ing between joining the others at the bar or stoking his n the hotel. He was still undecided when two men suddenly humped into him anil he rec ognized Co.'. an and "Red'' Kelly, both drunk enou.h to be ugly and insult in g. The first stared Into his face with a sucr. "II 1. '11' d,' if hen ain't the bride groom," he oxeiniiiiod Insolently, "Say, where She! his ten you l een all this time?" by drew back slightly, but held nper, l is brain Instantly clearing, mi't hold that to be any of your s".." he rei 'ied coldly. II, by thunder, it Is, just the You hutted Into this game with o warrant, an' yer playlti' ts parcel of fools. Per op", I stand for ;'. Ir was a put-up "1 (1 hii'otio "We r a n't job. You an' her are in cahoots for that money. She didn't never look at one o' us. Your pretendin' lo be sur prised was too darn thin. II 1! I bet yer just come out from bein' with her an' laughin' at us yer d n skunk!" Shelby's face liardened and his teeth not grimly. "Hon't go too far. Cowan." he warn ed sternly. "I got some reputation as a tight in' man myself an' I don't take everything peaceably. Now, listen to me, you drunken brute, and keep a civil tongue In your head. I have seen the girl, but we didn't talk none about marriage and, what's more, I wouldn't touch that money, riot n cent of It, even If I was to marry her she ain't that kind, tier I ain't.' "Cosh, you most think I'm a sucker, Tom Shelby. What the h I you got to git married on? I'll bet yer never seed two thousand before In all your life. Tell that to the marines there ain't nobody goin' to marry her ex cept for the cash." "What do you mean?" "Why, she's homely ns a hedge fence. Ited' was Just sayin' that If she'd a picked him, he'd have jumped the re servation, money or no money, Yer ain't string me 1" "You say she's homely?" "I sure do. an' as damn mean as she looks, I reckon," Shelby's fine was like flint nnd Ids right list crushed square Into Cowan's sneering lips. The fellow went top pling over and before he even knew what had happened the ranchman whh upon him, holding him flat to the earth and pommeling with both hands. It was soon over with, Shelby piTlng his opponent no chance to break away, interspersing his blows with frank expression of feeling. "You measly hound ! fl"'n' to marry her for money, am 1? Majbe you'd like to say that ag'in, d n you! That's 'bout the sire o' your soul, Cowan. Take that, you whelp! You won't be so d n beautiful yourself when I get through. There now ! Per haps you'll lay quiet awhile!" lie got to his feet and glared about Into the ring of interested faces de fiantly. "Any more of yer want to say what he diil?" he demanded. "Here, you, Kelly; you laughed when that dirty pup said she was homely ns a hedge fence! Come here, you red-headed terrier," and he 'gripped him by the throat shaking the fellow helplessly back and forth in his mad rage. "I'm goin' ter marry that girl, If she'll have me, nn' there ain't nobody goin' to slam the looks o' my wife, either. You get that, you coyote? What do yer think of It now hey? Spit It out; what do you think of her now?" Kelly had to spit It out; it was all he could do with those fingers grip ping him. "Let go (I n It let go! II 1! She's she's the handsomest woman I ever saw; you you let go o' me!" Shelby flung him to one side In utter disgust, hurling an oath after him ns he reeled dizzily into the protection of the crowd. He cast his eyes once In contempt about the circle, .seeking some other antagonist nnd finding none. "To h 1 with all of you!" he de clared, "(let out of the way there!" They fell back to give him safe pas sage and he strode straight on past the dance hall and turned down the dark path leading back to Calkins' shack. He had hut one thought now, one purpose; he had burned his bridges behind him. After what he had said and done only a single course remained. Without a pause or a re gret he went straight to the door and rapped. It was no ttmid touch of the knuckles this time; he was still foo angry to either hesitate or doubt. And there was nn sign of embarrassment In word or act when the door opened and she stood there looking at him in wonderment. "I've come back to say another word to you," he announced simply. "I'd like to come in." "Something has happened?" "It has; I've just had to lick two pups who got too gay 'bout you. They said some things nn' I said some things. Now I'm niinin' to make good. You said you'd marry me awhile ago; does that hold?" She was leaning against the table, staring at him; her face seemed to go white nnd her hands toyed nervous ly with a knife she had picked up. "You you had trouble with two men, over me?" s.'ie asked, her voice trembling slightly. "What men?" "'Ited' Kelly and a gazabo named Cowan; they was both here." "Oh ; they were angry at you for that?" "Sure; not because you didn't take nn notice of them ; then they got drunk an' undertook to ride me; said it was n put-up Job between ns ter get uway with that money." "What money?" "The twenty-five hundred yon was goin' to get. The preacher told you about that, didn't he?" She shook her head, evidently be wildered. "Where was I going to get all that money?" "Why. McCarthy was put tin' it up; he nnd some other bucks, so as to give you a start after you was married." She drew a deep breath, looking straight into his eyes. "You mean those men came here for that?" indignantly. "They were will ing to marry me so as to get tlint money? flood Cod! I was to be sold! Pi The Fellow Went Toppling Over. Is that actually true? Nobody ever hinted such u shameful thing to inc." "Well, 1 reckon they didn't nieun no harm by flint," he tried to explain. "You don't Just see It right. They fig ured that Old Calkins had died an' left you without a cent, sorter helpless out here, an' that the town owed you a decent chance ter git married an' nettle down. Thut's what the money was given for." "Hot those fellows nil knew It. That was what made them, agree?" "I reckon maybe It was mostly, at least." She twisted her hands together, a hot, red flush rotning Into each cheek, "Well, I'm fcliid to know that. Now what was It those two men said, the men you had the trouble with?" "Well, you see, Cowan was drunk an' naturally all worked up. He's a sort o' good lookin' chap an thinks he cuts unite a swale with women." "Hut what did he say?" "Well, he run into me up there on the street just now, him and 'Ited' Kelly, an' said I was after you for that money. I told him he was a liar an' then he sorter let loose a remark. I didn't take kindly." "What remark f" "He he sorter Insinuated that I'd never marry you for any other rea son." "He did why?" "Well," he blurted out desperately, finding no possible way of escape, "ho sorter said you wasn't awful good lookin' an' then I pasted him. That's all." Her lips parted, her eyes opening wide In astonished amusement. "That I wasn't good looking!" she lnughed. "And you actually hit hiin for that?" "I sure did; the other pup laughed an' he got his dose about the same time. I didn't hurt 'Ited' Kelly none; pMl r l fed P? "Will You Take j Chance?" just shook a little sense into him, but I reckon it'll be a week before Cowan gets out much. Then I come down here." "To ask me to marry you?" "That's the idea. I told 'em I'd do it. 'Tain't likely you'll feel now the same way you did at first, but if you do. then I'm in the game. I ain't got much; I told you all 'bout that, but if you're a mind to rough it up on the Cottonwood, I'm here lo go shares with you." The girl gazed at him In silence, her breath ruining Uiekly, almost in sobs, u strange, misty light in her eyes. "You actually want me to marry you ?" "Sure; that's what I come hack for." "Are are you after that twenty-five hundred dollars?" "Hl, no!" emphatically. "I forgot to tell you 'boat that. I won't lake a d n cut of it. Thai's what I told them hounds an' I'll tell McCarthy the same thing. I ain't that kind to mar ry no girl cause she's got coin. The five hundred is yours, fair an' siptare, but there don't none o' that two thou sand go into my jeans. That's got to be part o' the bargain." "Hut you don't know anything about me?" He grinned good-humoredly. "I reckon Ihcre may be some things you'll discover about me. fer the mat ter o' thai. Maybe It's 'bout as fair one way as another." "Yes, I suppose It is. You really mean what you have said?" "I sure do." "When? How soon?" "Tomorrow morning. I aim to get out a' Iotc as soon as I ran. How Is it will you lake a chance?" His voice was strangely earnest, anil Ids eyes, as she ventured torg!ance !!;, were honest and kindly. "Yes." she said slowly. "I will, Tom Shelby." A deiolata home-coming. (TO UK (.XJNTlNlHiO.i Grateful Carlo. In Kentucky three men were shot to ileutli In a fight about a (log which one of them had killed. Some men never live long enough to learu that when a dog becomes personal prop erty Hie tie of pride and affection makes the animal a serious1 proposi tion lo be trifled with, and that many men were born to love dogs. This re minds us that in the happy days of boyhood, our most faithful and de voted friend was nn old pointer named Carlo, Never did we eat a lunch out of doors without sharing It with the devoted Carlo, and that noble and loving dog Invariably manifested his gratitude by shaking himself vig orously nnil letting us in a reciprocal way have nbout 150 per cent of his moM active liens. New Orleuni Slates. Easy Part. Chorus GirlWhat nm I to do In the new revue? Stuge Director Nothing ! Youll have nothing to slnif, nolhlnff to say, and almost noLhluy to wear. Help That Aching Back! U:uk giving oat? Tortured with dull, Dairying b.icLaches end stabbing paints? Does the Icist exertion leave yoa "all played out'." Likely your ki.loev 9 are to biarae. 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