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MEADE COUNTY NEWS, MEADE, KANSAS.
V NOVEL Aura&n. or 777J?CW 772AL " 'TffPOLEJ3S " VfV?TCF77EmT''K. COPVTUOHT bv HAPPF.R. AND 8ROTHEOS. ' ESTEBAN'S CONNECTION WITH THE INSURRECTOS BRINGS DISASTER UPON HIMSELF AND ROSA. Synopsis. Don Estebnn Varona, a Cuban planter, hides his wealth money. Jewels and title deeds In a well on his estate. The hiding place Is known only to Sebastian, a slave. Don Esteban's wife dies at the birth of twins, Estebnn and Kosa. Don Estebnn marries the avaricious Donna Isabel, who tries unsuccessfully to wring the secret of the hidden treasure from Sebastian. Angered at his refusal, she urges Don Ksteban to sell Evangellna, Sebastian's daughter. Don Estebnn refuses, but in the course of a gambling orgle, he risks Evangellna at cards and loses. Crazed by the loss of his daughter, Sebastian kills Don Estebun and Is himself killed. Muny years pass and Donna Isabel Is unable to And the hidden treasure. Don Mario, rich sugar merchant, seeks to marry Kosa, who has returned from school In the United States. Johnnie O'ltellly, an American, who loves Rosa, wins her promise to wait for him until be can return from New York. CHAPTER IV Continued. Seating himself on one of the old stone benches, the young man lit . a cigarette and composed himself to wait. lie sat there for a long time, grumbling Inwardly, for the night was damp and he was sleepy; but at lant a figure stole out of the gloom and joined him. The newcomer was a rug ged negro, dressed In the fashion of the poorer country people. "Well, Asenslo, I thought you'd never come. I'll get a fever from this !" Estebnn said Irritably. "It Is a long way, Don Esteban, and Evangellna made me wait until dnrk. I tell you we have to be careful these days." "What is the news? Whnt did you hear?" Asenslo sighed gratefully as he seat ed himself. "One hears a great deal, but one never knows whnt to believe. There Is lighting In Suntn Clara, and Macco sweeps westward." Taking the unnddrcssed letter from his pocket, Esteban said, "I hnve an other message for Colonel Lopez." "That Lopez 1 lie's here today and there tomorrow ; , one can never Und him." , -J "Well, you must And him, and. Im mediately, Asenslo. This .letter con tains Important news so Important, In fact" Estebnn laughed lightly "that If you find yourself In danger from the Spaniards I'd advise you to chew It up and swallow It as quickly 03 you can." "I'll remember tlint," said the negro, "for there's danger enough,. Still, I fear these Spaniards, less than the guerrllieros : they are everywhere. They call themselves patriots, but they are nothing 'more than robbers. They" Asenslo paused abruptly. lie seized his companion by the arm and, lean- "What's That?'.' Gasped the Negro. Ing forward, Btnred across the level garden Into the shndows opposite. Something was moving there, under the trees; the men could see that It was white and formless, and that It pursued an erratic course. "What's that?" gasped the negra lie begifn to tremble violently und his breath became audible. Estebnn was compelled to hold him down by main force. "It's old Don Esteban, your fa ther. They say he walks nt midnight, carrying his head In his two hands." Young Varona managed to whisper, with some, show of courage: "Hush I Wait I I don't believe In ghosts." Nev ertheless, he' was on the point of set ting Asenslo an example of undignified flight when the mysterious object merged from the shadows Into the open moonlight; then he sighed with relief; "Ah-h I Now I seel It Is my stepmother. She Is nsleep." For a moment or two they watched the progress of the white-robed figure; then Esteban stirred and rose from his sent. "She's too close to that well. There Is " He started forward a pace or two. "They sny people who wnlk nt night go mad If they're awak ened too suddenly, and yet " When the somnambulist's deliberate progress toward the mouth of the well continued he called her name softly. "Donna Isabel!" Then he repeated It louder. "Donna Isabel 1 Wake up." The woman seemed to hear and yet not to hear. She turned her head to listen, but continued to walk. "Dont be alarmed," he said, reas suringly. "It Is only Esteban Donna Isabel! Stopl" Estebnn sprnng for ward, shouting at the top of his voice, for at the sound of her name Isabel had abruptly swerved to her rlgftt, a movement which brought her danger ously close to the Up of the well. "Stop ! Go back I" screamed the young man. Above his warning there enme a rtirlek, Shrill and agonized a wall of such abysmal terror as to shock the night birds and the Insects Into still ness. Donna Isabel slipped, or stum bled, to her knees, she balanced briefly, clutching at random while the earth und crumbling cement gave way be nenth her; then 'she slid forward and disappeared, almost out from between Esteban's hands. There was a noisy rattle of rock nnd pebble and a great splash far below ; a chuckle of little stones striking the water, then a faint bubbling. Nothing more. The stepson stood In his trucks, sick, blind with horror; he was swaying over the open ing when Asenslo dragged htm back. Paneho Cueto, being a heavy sleeper, was tho last to be roused by Esteban's outcries. When he had hurriedly slipped Into his clothes In response to the pounding on his door, the few serv ants that the establishment supported bad been thoroughly nwakened. Cueto thought they must be out of their minds until he learned whnt had be fallen the mistress of the house. Then, being a mnn of nctlon, he too Issued swift orders, with the result that by the time he nnd Esteban had run to the well a rope and lantern were ready for their use. llefore Estebnn could form nnd lit a loop for his shoulders there was sufficient help on hand to lower him Into the treacherous abyss. That was n gruesome task which fell to Esteban, for the well had been long unused, Its sides were oozing slime, Its waters were stale and black. He was on the point of fainting when he finally climbed out, leaving the negroes to hoist the dripping, Inert weight which he had found at the bottom. uia HeDnstmn s curse hnd come true; Donna Isabel had -met the fate he had called down upon her that day when he hung exhausted In his chains nnd when the flies tormented him. The treasure for which the woman had Intrigued so tirelessly hnd been her denth. Furthermore, -as If In grim mest Irony, she had been permitted at the very lost to find 11. Living, she j had searched to no purpose whatso ever; dying, she had almost grasped It In her arms. Once the first excitement hod aboted and a messenger had been sent to town, Cueto drew Esteban aside and questioned him. "A shocking tragedy nnd most pe culiar," sold the overseer. "Nothing could amaze me more. Tell me, how did you come to be there at such an hour, eh?" Estebnn snw the malevolent curios ity In Cueto's face and started. "I That Is my affair. Surely you don't think" "Come, come! You can trust me." The overseer winked and smiled. "I had business thnt took me there," stiffly declared the younger man, "Exactly! And a profitable busl ness It proved 1" Cueto laughed openly now. "Well, I don't mind telling you Donna Isabels death la no disappoint ment to anyone. Anybody could see " "Stop !" Esteban was turning alter nately red nnd white. "You seem to Imply something outrageous." "Now let us be sensible. I under stand you perfectly, my boy. But an officer of the Guardla Civil may arrive at any moment and he will want to know how you came to be with your stepmother when she plunged Into that trap. So prepare yourself." Young Varona was watching his In quisitor now with a faintly speculative frown. When Cueto had finished, Es teban said: "You would like me to confess to some black Iniquity that would make us better friends, eh? Well, It so hap pens that I was not alone tonight, but that another person saw the poor worn un's death and can bear me out In ev erything I say. No, I'ancho, you over reach yourself. Now, then" Esteban was quick-tempered, and for years he had struggled against an Instinctive distrust and dislike of the plantation manager "remember that I have be come the head of this house, and your employer. You will do better to think "Your Accuser Is None Other Than Pancho Cueto." of your own affairs than of mine. I intend to hnve a careful reckoning with you. I think you know I have a good head for figures." Turning his back upon the elder man, he walked nway. Now It did not occur to Cueto really. to doubt the boy's Innocence, though the circumstances of Donna Isabel's death were suspicious enough to raise a question In any mind;, but In view of Esteban's threat he thought It wise to protect himself by setting a back fire. As he sat on an old stone bench, moodily replcturlng the catastrophe as Esteban hnd described It, his attention fell upon nn envelope at his feet. It was sealed ; It was unaddressed. Cue to Idly broke It open and ' began to read. Refore he had gone far he start ed ; then he cast a furtive glance about. J5ut the place was secluded ; he was unobserved. When he finished reading he rose, smiling. He no longer feared Esteban. On the contrary, he rather pitied the young fool ; for here between his fingers was that which not only promised to remove the boy from his path forever, but to place In lils hands the entire Varona cstntes. . One afternoon, perhaps n week later, Don Mario de Castano came puffing and blowing up to the qulr.ta, demand ing to see Itosa without a moment's delay. With n directness unusual even In him, Don Mario began : "Itosa, my dear, you and Estebnn hnve been discovered ! I was at lunch with the coiimnndiinte when I lenrned the truth. Through friendship I pre vailed upon him to give you nn hour's grace." "What do you mean, Don Mario?" Inquired the girl. "Come, come!" the planter cried, Im patiently. "Don't you see you can trust me? Heaven! The recklessness, the folly of young people! Could you not leave this Insurrection to your elders? Or perhaps you thought It a matter of no greut lmportunce, an amusing thing " "Don Mario!" Rose Interrupted. "I don't know what you are talking about." "You don't, eh?" The caller's wet cheeks grew redder; he blew like a porpoise. "Then call Esteban quickly ! There Is not a moment to lose." When the brother appenred De Castano blurted out at him accusingly: "Well, sir! A fine fix you've put yourself In. Perhaps you will be Interested to lenrn that Colonel Fernandez has Issued or ders to arrest you and your sister as agents of the Insurrectos." "What?" Esteban drew back. Rosa turned white as a lily and lnid a flut tering hnnd upon her throat. "You two will sleep tonight In Snn Severiuo," grimly announced the ro tund visitor. "You know what that means." Rosa uttered a smothered cry. "Colonel Fernandez," Don Mario proceeded, Impressively, "did me this favor, knowing me to be a suitor for Rosa's hand. In spite of his duty and the evidence he " "Evidence? What evidence?" Este bnn asked sharply. "For one thing, your own letter to Lopez, the rebel, warning him to be ware of the trap prepnred for him in Santa Clara, and advising him of the government force at Sabanllla. Oh, don't try to deny Itl I read It with my own eyes, and It means death." Rosa said faintly: "Esteban I I warned you." Esteban was taken aback, but It was plain that he wus not In the least frightened. "They haven't caught me yet." he luughed. "You say they Intend to arrest me; also?" Rosa eyed the culler anxiously. "Exactly I" "Who accuses .her, and of whnt?" Esteban demanded. "Thnt also I have discovered through the courtesy of Colonel Fernundez. Your accuser is none other thnn I'an cho Cueto." "Cueto 1" "Yes ; he has denounced both of you ns rebels, nnd the letter Is only part of his proof, I believe. Now, then, you can guess why I nm here. I am not without Influence; I can save Rosa, but for you, Esteban, I fear I can do noth ing. You must look out for yourself. Well? What do you say?" When Esteban saw how pale his sis ter had grown, he took her In his nrras, saying gently : "I'm sorry, dear. It's all my fault." Then to the merchant: It's very good of you ti warn us." "Ha!" Don Mario fanned himself. I'm glad you appreciate my efforts. It's a good thing to hnve the right kind of a friend. I'll marry Rosa within an hour, and I fancy my name will be a sufficient shield " Rosa turned to her elderly suitor nnd mnde a deep courtesy. "I am un worthy of the honor," said she. "You see, I I do not love you, Don Mario." "Love!" exploded the visitor. "God bless you ! Whnt has love to do with the matter? Esteban will have to ride for his life In ten minutes and your property will be seized. So you hnd better make yourself ready to go with me." But Rosa shook her head. "Eh? What alls you? Whnt do you expect to do?" "I shall go with Esteban," said the girl. This calm announcement seemed to stupefy De Castano. He "sat down heavily In the nenrest chair, and with his wet hnndkerchlef poised In one pudgy hand he stared fixedly nt the speaker. His eyes were round and bulging, the sweat streamed unheeded from his temples. He resembled some queer bloated marine monster just emerged from the sea and momentarily dazzled by the light. "You You're mad," he flnnlly gasped. "Esteban, tell her what It means." But this Estebnn could not do, for he himself had not the faintest no tion of what was In store for him. War seemed to him a glorious thing; he had been told that the hills were peopled with patriots. He was very young, his heart was ablaze with hatred for the Spaniards and for Pnncho Cueto. He longed to risk his life for a free Cubn. Therefore he said: "Rosa shall do as she pleases. If we must be exiles we shall shnre ench other's hardships. It will not be for long." "Idiot !" stormed the fnt man. "Bet ter thnt you gave her to the sharks below San Severlno. There Is no law, no safety for women outside of the cities. The Island Is In anarchy. These patriots you talk about are the blacks, the mulattoes, the lowest, laziest sav ages In Cuba." "Please! Don Mario!" the girl pleaded. "I cannot marry you, for I love nnother." "Eh?" "I love nnother. I'm betrothed to O'Reilly, the Amerlcnn and he's com ing back to marry me." De Castano twisted himself labori ously out of his chair and waddled toward the door. He wns purple with rage and mortification. On the thresh old he paused to wheeze: "Very well, then. Go! I'm done with both of you. I would hnve lent you a hand with this rascal Cueto, but now he will fall heir to your entire property. Well, It is a time for bandits! I I " Unable to think of n parting speech sufficiently bitter to match his disappointment, Don Mario plunged out Into the sun light, muttering nnd stammering to himself. Within nn hour the twins were on their way up the Yumurl, townrd the home of Asenslo and Evnngelinn; for It wns thither thnt they naturally turned. It was well thnt they had made haste, for as they rode down into the valley, up the other side of the hill from Matanzas came a squad of the Gunrdia Civil, and nt Its head rode Pancho Cueto. CHAPTER V. A Cry From the Wilderness. New York seemed almost like n for eign city to Johnnie O'Reilly when he stepped out Into it on the morning nfter his arrival. For one thing It wns bleak and cold: the north wind, hall lng direct from Baffin's bay, hnd teeth, and It bit so cruelly thnt he wns glad when he found shelter In the building which housed the offices of the Carter Importing compnny. The truth Is O'Reilly wns not only cold but fright ened. It wns not the effect of his report concerning the firm's unprofitable Cu- ban connections which he fenred Samuel Carter could take calmly the most disturbing financial reverse It wns the blow to his pride nt learning thnt anybody could prefer another girl to his daughter. Johnnie shook his shoulders and stamped' his feet, but the chill In his bones refused to go, He went to meet his employer as a man marches to execution. His heart sank further at the wel come he received, for the Importer gave him a veritable embrace; he pat ted him on the back nnd Inquired three times as to his health. O'Reilly was anything but cold now ; he was perspir ing profusely, and he felt his collar growing limp. To shatter this old man's eager hopes would be like kicking a child in the face. Carter had never been to enthusiastic; bo demonstra tive ; ,'there was something almost the atrical In his greeting. 'Well, my boy, you made a fizzle of It didn't you?" The tone was almost complimentary. "Yes, sir, I'm a bright and shining failure." "Now, don't 'yes, sir" me. We're friends, aren't we? Good! Under stand, I don't blame you In the least It's that idiotic revolution thnt spoiled our business. You did splendidly, un der the circumstances." "They have reason enough to re volt oppression, tyranny, corruption." OReilly mumbled the familiar words In a numb paralysis at Mr. Carter's Jo vial familiarity. "All Latin countries are corrupt," announced the Importer "always have been and always will be. They thrive under oppression. However, I dare say this uprising won't last long". Johnnie wondered why the old man didn't get down to cases. "It's more thnn nn uprising, sir," he said. "The rebels have overrun the east end of the Island, and when I left Maceo and Gomez were sweeping west." "Bah ! It takes money to run a war." "They have money," desperately ar gued O'Reilly. "Mnrtl rnlsed more thnn a million dollars, and every Cu ban cigar maker in the United States gives a part of his wages every week to the cause. The best blood of Cuba Is In the fight. Spain Is about busted; she can't stand the strain." "I predict they'll quit fighting as soon ns they get hungry. The govern ment Is starving them out. However, they've wound up our affairs for the time being, nnd " Mr. Carter care fully shifted the position of nn Inkwell, a calendar nnd a paper knife "that brings us to a consideration of your and my affairs, doesn't It? Ahem! You remember our bargain? I wus to give you a chance nnd you were to make good before you er planned any er matrimonial foolishness with my daughter." "Yes, sir." O'Reilly felt that the moment had come for his carefully re hearsed speech, but, unhappily, he could not remember how the swan song started. Mr. Carter, too, was un accountably silent. Another moment dragged past, then they chorused. "I have nn unplensunt " Ench broke off ut the echo of his own words. "What's thnt?" inquired the Im porter. "No-nothlng. You were snylng " "I wns thinking how lucky It Is that you nnd Elsa wnlted. Hm-m! Very fortunnte." Again Mr. Carter rear ranged his desk fittings. "We some times differ, Elsa and I, but when she sets her henrt on a thing I see that she gets It, even If I think she oughtn't to have It. What's the use of having children If you can't spoil 'em, eh?" He looked up with a sort of resentful challenge, nnd when his listener ap peared to agree with hlnr he sighed with satisfaction. "Early mnrrlages are silly but she seems to think other wise. Maybe she's right Anyhow she's licked me. I'm done. She wants to be married right away, before we go west. That's why I watted to see you at once. You won't object, Kill you? We men have to take our medi cine." "It's quite out of the question, stammered the unhnppy O'Reilly. "Come, come! It's tough on you, 1 know, but " Johnnie had a horrified vision of himself being dragged unwil lingly to the altar. "Elsn'ls going'to hnve what she wants. If I have to break something. If you11 be sensible I'll stand behind you like a father and tench you the business. I'm getting old, nnd Ethelbert could never lenrn It. Otherwise " The old man's jnw set; his eyes began to glenm angrily. "Who Is Ethelbert?" . faintly in quired O'Reilly. "Why, dammit! He's the fellow I've been telling you about. He's not so hnd ns he sounds; he's renlly a nice boy "Elsa Is In love with another mnn? Is thnt whnt you menn?" "Good Lord, yes! Don't you under stand English? I didn't think you'd take It so hard I was going to make a place for you here in the office, but of course If Sny I Whnt the deuce nils you?" Samuel Carter stared with amaze, ment, for the Injured victim of his daughter's fickleness hnd lenped to. his feet nnd wns slinking his hnnd vigor ously, meanwhile uttering unintelli gible sounds that seemed to signify relief, plensure, delight anything ex cept what the old man expected. O'Reilly, In New York, learns of Rosa's plight The next In stallment tells what happened then. (TO BE CONTINUED.) First American Multimillionaire. The first American multimillionaire to attain International fame on ac count of his vast wealth was Stephen Glrard. Of the financial dynasties of today only the Astors and Vanderbllta were represented in Glrard's time, and the fortune of the distinguished Phlla delphlan exceeded that of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbllt or the first John Jacob Astor. Glrard was worth $9,000 000 nt the time of his death. Much of this money be left to the city of Phila delphia for public purposes, and $2,000,000 were applied to the building of a college for orphans. This institu tion has supported and educated tens of thousnnds of orphans and fitted them for their battles with the world Glrard was a free thinker. In New South Wales there Is mountain from which rock yielding 8C per cent alum has been mined for mow I than half a century. WOMAN'S NERVES MADE STRONG By Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound. Winona, Minn. 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She Was Used to It Mrs. Patrician remarked to the new servant : "I suppose, Mary Ann, you overheard my husband and me con versing rather . earnestly this morn ing?" "Indeed, I did that mum,' replied Mary Ann. "I hope thnt you did not consider that anything unusual was going on." "Nlver a bit mum. I wanst had a husband meself, mum, and nlver a day pa9sea tnat tne neignoors aian i do- lleve that one or the other uv us would be kilt entoirely . Where His Doubt Lay. Mr. George Kobey dearly lovea a ioke. Recently a certain well-known brother comedian whom he met casu ally In the street remarked to him that he had, a great mind to write a book. "I doubt it," replied George. "Doubt whnt?" said his friend In an' Injured voice ; "that I can write a book?" "Oh, no," was the reply; "that you have a great mind." Knowing G. It's reputation for be ing a bit of a wag his friend readily forgave him. Nothing Even Midway. Jetter "He's away ahead of his time with his Ideas." 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