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Crossville chronicle. [volume] (Crossville, Tenn.) 1894-current, November 22, 1922, Image 2

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Cross Cut
Courtney Ryley
Illustration by R. B. Van Nlcm
Ooprrigkt bj ta. Brawn On.
Again a moan from the man on the
bed, and at lust a slight resistance to
the sting of the batteries. An hour
passed, two; gradually Harry came to
himself, to stare aJout him in a won
dering, vacant nif.-nner and then to
fasten his eyes upon Falrchlld. He
seemed to be struggling for speech, for
co-ordination of Ic.eas. Finally, after
many minutes
"That's you, l;o. ?"
"Yes, Harry."
"But where are we?"
"We're in a hospital, and you're
knocked out. Don't you know where
fou've been?"
"I don't know anything since I slid
down the wall."
"Since you w!iat?"
But Harry had lapsed into serai
consciousness again. And it was not
until late in the night after the rescue.
following a few hours of rest forced
upon hiro by the Interne, that Fair
child once more could converse with
Ills stricken partner.
"It's something I'll 'ave to show you
to explain," said Harry. "I can't tell
you about It. You know where that
little fissure is- in the 'anging wall,
away back in tie stope?"
"Well, that's It. That's where I got
"But what happened before that?"
"What didn't 'appen?" asked Harry,
with a painful grin. "Everything in
the world 'an?iied. I but what did
the assay show?"
Falrchlld reached forth and laid a
hand on the brawny one of his part
ner. "We're rltfc, Harry," he said, "richer
than I ever dreamed we could be. The
ore's as good us that of the Silver
Queen I"
"The bloody Vll it Is !" Then Harry
dropped b-ck on his pillow for a long
time and almply grinned at the cell
ing. Son.ewhnt anxious, Falrchlld
leaned forward, bat his partner's eyes
were open and smiling. "I'm just let
ting it sink in !" ha announced, and
Falrchlld was silent, saving his ques
tions until "It" had sunk. Then :
"You were saying something about
that fissure?"
"But there is other things first.
After you went to the assayers, I
fooled around there in the chamber,
and I thought I'd just take a flyer and
blow up them 'oles that I'd drilled in
the 'anging wall at the same time that
I shot the other. So I put in the
powder and fuses, tamped 'em down
and then I thinks, thinks I, that there's
somebody moving around in the drift.
But I didn't pay any attention to it
you know. I was busy and all that,
and you of ton 'ear noises that sound
funny. So I set 'cm off that Is, I lit
the fuses and I started to run. Well,
I 'adn't any aiore'n started when
bloeyy-y-y, right In front of me, the
whole world turned upside down, and
I felt myself knocked back Into the
chamber. And there was them fuses.
All of 'em burning. Well, I managed
to pull out the one from the foot wall
and stamp it out, but I didn't 'ave time
to get at the others. And the only
place where there was a chance for
me was clear at the end of the cham
ber. Already I was bleeding like a
stuck hog where a whole 'arf moun
tain 'ad 'It me on the 'end, and I
didn't know much what I was doing. I
just wanted to get he'lnd something
that's all I could think of. So I shied
for that fissure In the rocks and
crawled back in ' there, trying . to
squeeze as far along as I could. And
'ere's the funny part of it I kept on
going I"
"You what?"
"Kept on going. I'd always thought
K was just a place where the 'anging
wall 'ad slipped, and that it stopped
a few feet back. But It don't It goes
on. I crawled along it as fast as I
could I was about woozy, anyway
and by and by I 'eard the shots go off
be'ind me. But there wasn't any use
In goSng back the tunnel was caved
In. So I kept on.
"After n while, I ran Into a stream of
water that came out of the Inside of
the 'ill somewhere, and I took a drink.
It gave me a bit of strength. And
then I kept on some more until all of
a sudden, I slipped and fell, just when
I was beginning to see dyelight. And
that's nil I know. 'Ow long 'ave I
been gone?"
"Long enough to wake uie gray
headed," Falrchlld answered with a
little laugh. Then his brow furrowed.
"You say you sllpied and fell just as
you were beginning to see daylight Y"
"Yes. It looked like It was reflected
from belnw, somewyes."
Falrchlld nodded.
"Isn't there quite a spring right by
Crazy Laura's house?"
"Yes; It keeps going nil year;
there's a earrent and It don't' freeze
up. It comes out like it was u water
fall and there's a roaring noise he
'lnd It."
"Then that's the explanation. You
followed the fissure until It Joined the
natural tunnel that the spring has
made through the hills. And when you
reached the waterfall well, you fell
with It."
"But 'ow dl.l I get 'erer
Briefly Falrchlld told him, while
Harry pawed at his still magnificent
mustache. Robert continued:
"But the time's not ripe yet, Harry,
to spring it. We've got to find out
more about Rodaine first and what
other tricks he's been up to. And
we've got to get other evidence than
merely our own word. For Instance,
In this case, you can't remember any
thing. All the testimony I could give
would be unsupported. They'd run me
out of town If I even tried to start any
such accusation. B'tt one thing's cer
tain: We're on the open road at last,
we know who we're fighting and the
weapons he fights with. And If we're
only given enough time, we'll whip
him. I'm going home to bed now;
I've got to be up early In the morning
and get hold of Farrell. Your case
comes up at court."
"And I'm up In a 'ospital!"
Which fact the court the next morn
ing recognized, on the testimony of
the Interne, the physician and the day
nurses of the hwpital, to the extent of
; a continuance until the January term
In the trial of the case. A thing which
the court further recognized was tha
substitution of five thousand dollars
In cash for the deeds of the Blue Pop
py mine as security for the bailee.
And with this done, the deeds to his
mine safe in his pocket, Falrchlld went
to the bank, placed the papers behind
the great steel gates of the safety de
posit vault, and then crossed the street
to the telegraph office. A long mes
sage was the result, and a money or
der to Denver that ran beyond a hun
dred dollars. The . Instructions that
went with it to the biggest florist In
town were for the most elaborate
floral design possible to be sent by ex
press for Judge Richmond's funeral
minus a card denoting the sender. Fol
lowing this, Fairchild returned to the
hospital, only to find Mother Howard
taking his place beside the bed of
Harry. One more place called for his
attention the mine.
Health returned slowly to the big
Cornlshman; it would be a matter 'f
week3 before he could be the genial,
strong giant that he once had repre
sented. And In those weeks Fairchild
was constantly beside him.
Nor that there were no other things
which were represented In Rober':
desires far from It. Stronger than
ever was Anita Richmond In Fair-
child's thoughts now, and it was with
avidity that he learned every scrap of
news regarding her, as brought ttr-hlm
by Mother Howard. Dully he heard
that Maurice Rodaine had told friends
that the passing of the Judge had
caused only a slight postponement in
their marital plans.
Finally, back to his normal strength
once more, Harry rose from the arm
chair by the window of the boarding
house and turned to Fairchild.
"We're going to work tonight," he
announced calmly.
"When?" Fairchild did not believe
he understood. Harry grinned. "To
night. I've taken a notion. Rodaine
'II expect us to wo;'k in the daytime.
We'll fool Mm. We'll leave the guards
on In the daytime and work at night.
And what's more, we'll keep a guard !
on at the mouth of the shaft while I
we're inside, not to let nobody, down.
Falrchlld agreed. He ki.ew Squint
Rodaine was not through. And ie
knew also that the fight against he
man with the blue-white scar had only
begun. The cross-cut had brought
wealth and the promise of riches to
Falrchlld and Harry for the rest of
their lives. But It had not freed them
from the danger of one man a man
who was willing to do anything in the
world, it seemed, to achieve his pur
pose. Harry's suggestion was a good
Well, then Harry ran, to do much as
Falrchlld had done, to chuckle and
laugti and toss the heavy bits of ore
about, to stare at them In the light of
his carbide torch, and fLially to hurry
Into the new stope which had been
fashioned by the hired miners in Fair
child's employ and stare upward at the
heavy vein of riches above him.
"Wouldn't It knock your eyes out?"
he exclaimed, beaming. "That vein's
certainly five feet wide."
"And two hundred dollars to thq
ton," added Fairchild, laughing. "No
wonder Rodaine wanted It."
"I'.l sye sot" A loDg time of con
gratulatory celebration, then Harry
led the way to the far end of the g.-af
cavern. "'Ere It Is!" he announced,
us he nolnted to what seen ed to both
of them never to be anything mo.v
lliH'i a ti Kure In .lie rock. "U s ihe
thli-g tl at uved my life."
Kulrclilld stured into (he darkness of
the hole In the eurth, a narrow cnick
In the rock barely large enough 10 .1!
low a human form to i-queeze within.
H- ' h-d
"You must have made yourself
preiij niiiml. ilany."
"What? When I went through there?
Sye, I could 'ave gone through the eye
of a needle. There were six charges
of dynamite Just nbout to gJ ofT be'ind
me !"
Again the men chjckled as they
looked at the fissure, a natural, usual
thing in a mine, and often leading, as
this one did, by subterranean breaks
and slips to the underground bed of
some tumbling spring. Suddenly, how
ever, Falrchlld whirled with a thought.
"Harry! I wonder couldn't It have
been possible for my father to have
escaped from this mine In the same
"'E must 'ave."
"And that there might not have
been any killing connectel with Lar
sen at all? Why couldn't Larsen have
been kpocked out by a flying stone
Just like you vere? And why?"
"'E might of, Boy." But Harry's
voice was negative. "The only thing
about It was the fact that your father
ad a bullet ole In 'Is' ead." Harry
leaned forward and pointed to his own
scar. "It 'It right abou 'ere. and
"But the gun? We didn't find any."
"'E 'ad It with Mm. It was SIssle
I.arsen's. No, Boy. there must 'ave
been a fight but don't think that I
mean your father murdered anybody.
If Sissle Larsen attacked Mm with a
gun, then 'e 'ad a right to kill. But
"We're Going to work Trnight," He
as I've told you before there wouldn't
'ave been a chance for 'm to prove Ms
story with Squint working against
Mm." He ceased and perked his head
toward the bottom of the shaft, listen
ing Intently. "Didn't you 'ear some
thing?" "I thought so. Like a woman's
"Listen there It is again I"
"Mr. Fairchild I"
They ran to the foot of the shaft,
and Falrchlld cupped his hands and
"Who wants me?"
"It's me." The voice was plainer
now a voice that Falrchlld recog
nized Immediately.
"I'm I'm under arrest or some
thing up here," was added with a
laugh. "The guard won't let me come
"Walt, and I'll raise the bucket for
you. All right, guard l" Then, blink
ing with surprise, he turned to the
staring Harry. "It's Anita Richmond,"
he whispered.
The oucket was t the top now. A
signal 'from above, and Falrchlld low
ered It, to extend a hand and to aid
the girl to the ground, looking at her
with wondering, eager eyes. In the
light of the carbide torch, she was the
same boyish-appearing little person he
had met on the Denver road except
that snow had taken the place of dust
now upon the whipcord riding habit,
and the brown hair which caressed
the corners of lier eyes was moist
with the breath of the blizzard. Some
way Falrchlld found his voice, lost for
a moment.
"Are are you In trouble?"
"No." She smiled at him.
"But out on a night like this In a
blizzard. How did you get up here?"
She shrugged her shoulders.
"I walked. Oh," she added, with a
smile, "It didn't hurt me any. The
wind was pretty ctlff but then I'm
fairly strong. I rather enjoyed It."
"But what's happened what's gone
wrong? Can I help you with anything
Then it was that Harry, with a roll
of his blue eyes and a funny waggle
of his big shoulders, moved down the
drift toward the stope, leaving them
alone together. Anita Richmond
watched after him with a smile, wait
ing until he wm out of hearing dis
tance. Then she turned seriously.
"Mother Howard told me where you
were," came quietly. "It was the
only chance I. had to see you. I I
maybe I was n little lonely or or
something. But. anyway. I wanted to
see you and thank you and "
"Thark me? For what?"
"For everything. For that day on
the Denver road, and for the night
after the Old Times dance when you
came to help me. I I haven't had an
easy time. Most of the people I know
are afraid and some of them aren't
to be trusted. And you well. I knew
the Itodalnes were your enemies and
I've rather liked you for it."
"Thank you. But" and Fairchlld's
voice became a Mt frigid "I haven't
been able to understand everything.
You are engaged to Maurice Rodaine."
"I was, you mean."
"Then -
"My engagement ended with my fa
ther's death," came slowly and there
was a catch In her voice. "He wanted
It It was the one thing that held the
Itodalnes off him. And he was dying
slowly. It was all I could do to help
him, and I promised. But when he
went I felt that my my duty was
over. I don't consider myself bound
to him any longer."
"You've told Rodaine so?"
"Not yet. He's coming after me at
midnight. We're to go away some
where." "Rodaine? Impossible!"
"They've made all their plans. I I
wondered If you If you'd be some
where around the house if you'd "
"I'll be there. I understand." Fair
child had reached out and touched
her arm. "I want to thank you for
the opportunity. I yes, I'll be there,"
came with a short laugh. "And
Harry, too. There'll be no trouble
from the Rodalnes!"
She came a little closer to him then
and looked up at him with trustful
eyes, all the brighter In the splutter
ing light of the carbide.
"Thank you It eems that I'm al
ways thanking ;ou. I was afraid I
didn't know where to go to whom to
turn. I thought of you. I knew you'd
help me women can guess those
"Cud they?" Fairchild asked It
eagerly. "Then you've guessed all
along that "
But she smiled and cut In.
"1 want to thank you i'or those flow
ers. They were beautiful."
"You knew that too? I didn't send
a card." ,
"They told me at the telegraph of
fice that you had wired for them.
They meant a great deal to me."
"It meant more to me to be able to
send them." Then Falrchlld stared
with n sudden idea. "Maurice's com
ing for you at midnight. Why Is It
necessary that you be there?"
"Why " the Idea had struck her
too "It Isn't. I I hadn't thought of
It. I was too badly scared, I guess.
Everything's been happening so swift
ly since since you made the strike up
"With then?"
"Yes, they've been simply crazy
about something. You got my note?"
"That was the beginning. The m'.n
ute Squint Rodaine heard of thestr'.ke
I thought he would go out of his head.
I was In the office I'm vice president
of the firm, you know," she aTJded,
with a snrcastlc laugh. "They had to
do something to make up for the fact
that every cent of father's money was
in It."
"How much?" Falrchlld asked the
question with no thought of being rude
and she answered In the same vein.
"A quarter of a million. That's why
I'm vice president."
"And Is that why you arranged
things to buy this mine?" Fairchild
knew the answer before It was glvan.
"I? I arrange I never thought of
such a thing."
"I felt that fiom the beginning. An
effort was made through a lawyer in
Denver who hinted you were behind it.
Some way I felt differently. I refused.
But you said they were going away?"
"Yes. They've been holding confer
ences father and son one after 'in-
other. T y re both excited about
something. Last night Maurice came
to -ie and told me that It was neces
sary for them all to go to Chicag,
where the hend offices would be est
Hshed, and that I must go with him.
I didn't have the strength to fight hlin
then there wasn't anybody nearby
who could help me. So I I told him
I'd go. Then I lay awake all night,
trying to think out a plan and I
thought of you."
"I'm glad." Falrchlld touched her
small gloved hand then, and she did
not draw It away. His flri5rs moveJ
slowly under hers. There was no re
sistance. At last his hand closed with
a tender pressure only to releas3 t.er
again. For tlure had come a lauA
shy, embarrassed, almost fearful and
the plea:
"Can we go back where Harry Is?
Can I see the strike again?"
Obediently Falrchlld led the way,
beyond the big cr.vern, through 1'ie
cross-cut and Into the new stope,
where Harry was picking at out with i
gad, striving to find a soft spot In
which to sink a drill. He looked over
his shoulder as they entered and
grinned broadly.
"Oh," he exclaimed, "a new miner"
"I wish I were." she answered. "I
wish I could help you."
But Harry had turned and was star
lng upward. His eyes had bmiHj
wide, his head had shot forward. Ms
whole being had become one of straltod
attention. Once he cocked his head,
then, wltii a sudden exclamation, he
leaped backward.
"Look out!" he exclaimed. "'Urry,
look out I"
"But what Is It?"
"It's coming down! I 'eard It I" Ex-'
citedly he pointed above, toward the
black vein of lead and silver. "'Urry
for that 'ole In the wall 'urry, I tell
you !" He ran past them toward the
fissure, yelling at Falrchlld. "Pick 'er
up and come on ! I tell you I 'eard the
wall moving It's coming down, and it
It does. It'll bust In the 'ole tunnel I"
Hardly realizing what he was doing,
or why he was doing It. Falrchlld
seized Anita In his arms and, raising
I "r to his breast as though she wert
i. child, rushed out through the cross
cut and along the cavern to the fis
sure, there to find Harry awaiting
"Put 'er In first!" said the Cornish
man anxiously. "The farther the safer.
Did you 'ear anything more?"
Fairchild obeyed, shaking his head
In a negative to Harry's question, then
squeezed Into the fissure, edging along
beside Anltn. while Harry followed.
"What's doing, Harry?"
"Nothing. That's the funny part of
It !" The big Cornlshman had crept to
the edge of the fissure and had stared
for a moment toward the cross-c.it
leading to the stope. "If It was com
ing, It ought to 'ave showed up br
now. I'm going back. You stay 'ere.
A long moment and he was back,
almost creeping, and whispering, as
he reached the end of the fissure.
"Come 'ere both of you! Corns
"What Is It?" -
"Sh-h-h-h-h-h. Don't talk too loud.
We've been blessed with luck already.
Come 'ere."
He led the way, the man and wom
an following him. In the stope the
Cor.ilshman crawled carefully to the
staging and, standing on tiptoes,
pressed his ear against the vein above
him. Then he withdrew and nodded
"That's what it Is!" came his an
nouncement at last. "You can 'ear it I'
"But what?"
"Get up there and lay your ear
against that vein. See If you 'ear any
thing. And be quiet ubout It. Put
scared to make a move, for fear .
somebody Ml 'ear me."
Falrchlld obeyed. From far away,
carried by the telegraphy of the earth
and there are few conductors that
are better was .he steady pound,
pound, pound of shock after shock as
it traveled along the hanging wall.
Falrchlld turned, wondering, . then
reached for Anita.
"You listen," he ordered, as he lift
ed her to where she could hear. "Do
you get anything?"
The girl's eyes shone.
"I know what that Is," she said
quickly. "I've heard that same sort
of thing before when you're on an
other level and somebody's working
above. Isn't that It, Mr. Harking?"
Harry nodded.
"That's It," came tersely. Then
bending, he reached for a pick and.
muffling the sound as best he could be
tween his knees, knocked the head
from the handle. Following this, he
lifted the piece of hickory thoughtful
ly and turned to Fairchild. "Get your
self one," he ordered. "Miss Richmond,
I guess you'll ave to stny 'ere. I don't
see 'ow we can do much else with
"But can't I go along wherever
you're going?"
"There's going to be a fight," said
Harry quietly. "And I'm going to
knock somebody's block off!"
"But I'd rather be there than here.
I 1 don't have to get In It. And Td
be scared to death here. I wouldn't it
I was along with you two, because I
know" and she said It with almost
childish conviction "that ycu can
whip "em."
Harry chuckled.
"Come along, then. I've got a 'unch,
and I can't sye it now. But It'll come
out in the wash. Come along."
They started up the mountain side,
skirting the big gullies and edging
about the highest drifts, taking ad
vantage of the cover of the pines, and
bending against the ."orce of the blb
zard, which seemed to threaten to
blow them back, step for step. No
one spoke; instinctively Falrchlld and
Anita had gueusjd Harry's conclu
sions. The nearest mine to the Blue
Poppy was the Silver Queen, situated'
several hundred feet above It In alti
tude and less than a .furlong away.
And the metal of the Silver Queen
and the Blue Poppy, now that the
strike had been made, had assayed al
most identically the same. It was
easy to make conclusions.
Always the fishing in every place
was better "summer before last.

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