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Newspaper Page Text
Alcohol and excitement made him
reckless. They were in the most in
teresting phase of the game when
Groveville was called out.
"I'll keep on," decided Martin. "I'll
see the game out Let Cherry miss
me who cares! A lesson or two
showing I have some independence
will do her good."
This was how it came about that
the poorly self-governed young man
found himself at the end of the sub
urban railroad at midnight When
he left the train he faced cheerless
ness and discomfort He had dozed
after the game at cards and the train
had been run to a siding at a junction
where there were three solitary hous
es and no hotel. "
A trackman informed him that it
was two miles to a thriving little city
where he could find a comfortable
hotel. Martin started, down, the
lonely country road
It began to rain and Martin looked
in vain for shelter. He got mired ln
the road several times. Disgruntled,
morose, at odds with all the world, in
his unnatural frame of mind, nunr
tured for over -24 hours, he struck
out for a distant light beyond a rocky
reach of land.
His progress led him to an old
stone building built out from a kind
Apparently it had been used as a
tool house at some time or other. Its
door was open, a light showed be
yond a long halL It was dismal, for-
bidding looking, Ibut Martin was glad
to get out of the chilling blast
He looked around him in a puzzled
way as he stood in the room where
the light was. In one corner of the
unfurnished room was a motley heap
of, harnesses, wagon robes and such
accoutrements. In another all kinds
of garden tools showed. He was
j trying to figure out what kind of a
strange place he had stumbled upon
when three men came in from the
"Aha! What's this?" spoke their
leader, and his beetling brows knit
more darkly as he made out the in'
All three of the men began to en
circle Martin with sinister, suspicious
faces. Before he could resist he was
seized and pulled into an adjoining
room. A door was opened. It showed
steps leading Into the cellar of the
structure. Martin was pushed for
cibly down the stairs. He picked
himself up, bruised and alarmed. It
was dark and damp all about him.
Four unbroken walls of rock held him
a close prisoner.
The door was relocked and he
heard a chain jangle as it still further
enforced the strength of the barrier.
It was evident he had unwisely wan
dered into the secret 'den of a gang
of farm thieves. They probably be
lieved him to be a spy or detective
Perhaps even now they were discuss
ing his death as the only action that
could prevent their betrayal and dis
ruption! It was hours later when- two of his
captors descended the stairs and con
fronted him. One horelantenw
For nearly an hour theywmestioned
"Seet here," spoke one of them,
"you've put your foot in it and must
pay the penalty. We don't doubt
your story but we can't set you free.
You have guessed aright what we
are. In two weeks we are going to
abandon this place. Until then you
wul have to put tip with the best we
can give you."
The best was an old mattress, two
coarse meals a day, a candle every
two days and solitude. What rare
contrasts with the free and easy life
of his past the suffering exile real
ized in that fetid under room, he
shuddered to tell later.
Bruce Martin had time for reflec
tion. He began to value Cherry, and
even her eccentric father. He so
berly went over his many past short
comings. His defiance, his carping
nature, his high and lofty false dig-.
nity gone, all gone!
Oh, that day of freedomt camQ
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