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card across at the near plute behind the desk. Then the cold wave begun comin' our way. Mister Huron was out. Xobody knew where he'd gone. He hadn't left any word. And he didn't receive callers after four P. If., anyway. Mallory was gettin' his breath after stoppin' them body blows, when I pushes in. "Say, Sir Wally," says I, leanin' over towards the clerk and speakin' confidential, "lemme give you somethin' from the inside. If Kazedky misses seem' Mr. Mallory to-night, you'll be called up to morrow to hear some Russian language that'll take all the crimp out of that Robert Mantell bang of yours. Now ring up one of them bench warmers and show us the Baron' " But, say, you might's well try bluffin' your way through the fire lines on a brass trunk check. " You'll find the manager's office two doors to the left, gentlemen," says he. '".Much obliged for nothin'," says I. < 'nurse there want any use registerin' a kick. Orders is orders, and we was on the wrong side of the fence. Mallory and I takes a turn through the corridors and past the main dinin' room, where they keeps an orchestra playin' so's the got rich quick folks won't hear each other eat their soup. We was tryin' to think up a new move. I was for goin' out somewhere and eallin' for the Baron over the 'phone; but Mallory 's got his jaw set now and says he don't mean to leave until he has some kind of satisfaction. He's kind of slow takin' hold; but when he gets his teeth in he's a stayer. VT/'K knocks around half an hour, and nothin' hap pens. Then, just as we was pushin' through the mob into the Palm Room I runs into Whitey EKE a statue the bulky, motionless figure of Bill McGraw rose from a girder at the top of the towering skeleton of steel, the wind whistling about him anil eternity so near that if he should lose his balance, if his foot should slip on the smooth metal, no human power could save him. Most men would have turned sick with diz ziness in his position. Even amonj; the hun dreds of ironworkers on the mammoth struc ture there was scarcely one who would have dared look down standing on such a slim foot hold at that height: but McGraw could do it. He could do it without even the shadow of fear or the twitching of a nerve: for he had never known what imagination meant. He had never pictured himself hurtling through space, clutching in wild despair at nothing, as he had seen many a man who had made- a misstep on the girders. He had never" over what might happen; had seldom even thought about it. Four hundred feet below in the street the crowds looked like the natives of LiUipat. He glanced down at them indifferently: then his gaze wandered over the great stretch of country before him, the city laid out like a great relief map. the encircling rivers, and out against the horizon the dim, gray band of the ocean. It was a wonderful sight under the brilliant summer sun: but it had no effect on Bill McGraw. His thoughts were all concentrated upon the plugged quarter in his trousers pocket . "A cheap skate!" he muttered. * ' All he needs is a little nerve to be a full-Hedged crook, with his portrait in the Rogues Gal lery." ft was Long Hinkey who was the subject of this soliloquy. After a little financial trans action that morning between McGraw and the tall, spare man who was at this moment climb ing up from the story just below, McGraw had found himself the possessor of a plugged quarter which he was firmly convinced he had not had before. But Hinkey had disclaimed all knowledge of the coin and had offered to stake his reputation on the assertion tliat it had ne\ er c< >me fr< >m him. '"His reputation!" sneered McGraw, as, perched on the girder, he br led ovei the incident. " He's always mighty eagei to stake that shady reputation of his, the white li i i sneak!" H Jut then he caught sight of the subject of his meditations shinning up toward him on an upright. He waited for him to reach the top, and a moment later they were standing close together on the same girder. At that height on a windy <\-iv it was next to impossible to carry on a conversation with anybody beyond arm's reach. A lull had come in the work. They were waiting foi the hoisting machine t,, send up another girder, and then seemed to be some trout. !<■ below- that had »aiised delay. "How about that quarter?" growled McGraw. 'Are you going to take it back'" He was some thing ot a miser, and a quarter meant a good deal more to him than to the average type of ironwork easy going, open hearted lot ol nomads. "Aw. forget it!" said Hinkey, confronting him with an exasperating gun. "D'ye think I've got SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR JANUARY 2. 19 10 Buck. You know about Whitey. don't you"' Well, you've seen his name printed across the top of the sportin' page that he runs. And say. Whitey s the smooth boy, all right! Him and me used to do some great old joshin" when I was on the Sunday editor's door. " Hello. Whitey! " says I. " Who you been workin' for a swell feed now?" "That you, Torchy?" says he. "Why. I took your head for an exit light. How's tricks?" "On the blink," says I. "We're up against a freeze out, Mr. Mallory and me. You know Mallory, don't you?" "What. Skid Mallory'" says he. takin' another look. "What a pipe! Why. say. old man. I want you the worst way. Got to hash up a full page sympose knockin' reformed football, and if you'll talk off a thousand-word opinion I'll blow you to anything on the bill of fare. Come on in here to a table while we chew it over. Torchy. grab a garcon. Sizzlin' sisters! but I'm glad to root you out, Skid!" He was all of that; but it didn't mean anything more'n that Whitey sees an easy column comiin" his way. Mr. Mallory want so glad. "Sorry," says he. "but whatever football reputation I ever had I'm trying to live down." "What!" says Whitey. "Trying to make folks forget the nerviest quarterback that ever pranced down the turf with eleven men after him? Don't you do it. Besides, you can't. Why. that run of yours through the Reds has been immortalized in a whole library of kid story books, and they're still grinding "em out! " Mallory turns the color of the candleshades and A PLUGGED QUARTER nothin else to exercise mv intellect over but i plugged quarter? Nobody but i tightwad like you would worry over a little thing nice that." McGraw >.M\e a gruni of disgust. "Xo man Hkea to be done, he retorted. "I always though! you were a crook, H inker, anyhow." Hinkey swallowed hard and the grin suddenly lelt his face. It took a good deal to Stll him to anger; but still his g,,0,l nature had its hunts "I Ins isn t .mv place for a tight. McGraw." he said solemnly. " You've only got to take a Kn.k be low t<- know that." McOraw looked .town without flinching: but Hinkey dared no! trust himseli to follow his stolid gaze. I lure came t.. him the remembrance oi one startled glance he had given into those same depths only .. leu days before, a glance prompted by a ter rible cry from empty space, a glance at a man tailing BY E. L. BACON Drawing by Gemt A. Beneker shakes his head. "You print any such rot as that about me," says he, "and I'll come down and wreck the office. I'm out of all that now. and :i:o something that has opened my eyes to what sort of useless individual I am. Behold, Whiter, one of the unfit!" Then Whiter wants to know all about it. "It's nothing much." says Mallory, "only I've been sent out to do business with a Russian Baron, and I'm such a chump 1 can't even get within speak ing distance of him." "What Baron?" says Whiter. "Not Kazedky?" "That's the identical one." says Mallory. "Don't happen to know him. do you? "I sure do." says Whitey. "Didn't he ad I have a heart to heart session when that sporty Russian Prince was over here and got himself pinched at a prize right Kazedky was secretary of the legation then, and it was through me he got the story muffled." "Wish you could find out where he is now, " says Mallory. " '"Don't have to." says Whitey; "I kno'.v. He's up in private dining room Xo. 9. Been captured by a gang of Chamber of Commerce men who are feeding him ruddy duck and terrapin and ten-dollar champagne. He's got a lot of steel contracts up his sleeve, you know, and — " "Yes, I know." says Mallorv; '"but how can I get to see him " "Who are you with?" says Whitey. "Corrugated Trust." says Mallory". "Wow!" says Whitey, "them skim milk eyes of his gettin' big. "They" wouldn't let you within" a mile of him if they knew. But say, suppose 1 could ContfJcud « PBS* *7 headlong, with arras outstretched. Jus* a fleeting glimpse it had been: but it had in> nerved him for the moment and he had crouched on his girder and clung to it with both hands, striving to bring all his power of will to drive from his mind what he had heard and seen. " I'm not dead in love with the idea of tumbling out into space there," resumed Hin key after a long pause, "even if I dragged you with me. But if it's tight you want 111 be ready for you when we get below.'* Down below the hoisting machine was get ting to work again. Slowly and steadily the giant steel beam was swinging upward toward them, twisting lazily about as it came. " You wouldn't fight." sneered McCSraw. "You're a liar!" veiled Ilinkev. At last his temper had broken loose. McGraw turned on him with blazing eyes, then as suddenly drew back, his mouth gaping open, a startled look flashing across his face. In the same moment he lurched forward. caught his enemy by the shoulders and dragged him down. A cry of terror broke from Hinkey: for. as he was forced to his knees on the girder, his eyes rested for one instant upon the dizzy sight that he had not dared to notice, the far distant street and the four hundred feet of space that lay between. But he did not see the swinging girder, which had crept silently above him. •raw's grip had loosened, and he rose to his feet white and trembling. But or.c look at the man who had laid has upon him brought his nerve back and roused him to fury. Quick as a flash Hinkey's fist shot out straight to the other man's face. McGraw reeled under the blow, lost his balance. clutched at his companion to save himself. For a moment the two locked figures swayed back and forth, then steadied themselves and separated. "Look out!" shouted McGraw. "The girder!" Hinkey ducked just in time to escape the slowly revolving beam that had. stolen silently upon him. Ami then, as he turned and watched it. the truth dawned on him. He understood now why McGraw hud grabbed him and forced him to his knees. McGr.nv had saved his life! For a moment he Stood gaping wonderingly over what had taken place, and us he did so somehow he could not keep his eyes from one quick "timid glance at the street those tour hundred feet below. He drew back with a shudder as he thought of how close he had been to making that long plunge ta death. • ' Mac." he said. " 1 gucai I gave you that plugged com 111 take it back." ' 'You wont! ' snapped McGraw. whose eye was turning black. and he pulled the coin out from his pocket. He held it between thumb and forefinger and deftly twirled it out into space. "Forget it. Ihnkey, he cried, " What's a quarter compared to two men s lives?" Then McGraw too glanced below to the street, and lor the first time in his life he felt dizzy and raid.