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The river press. [volume] (Fort Benton, Mont.) 1880-current, March 29, 1882, Image 6

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"Can I sit with you ?"
"Certainly, sir."
"Nice weather."
"Splendid, indeed."
"Crops growing finely'?"
"Yes, couldn't do better."
I was sitting in a passenger coach on a
Wisconsin railroad, one day, years ago,
when a good looking, pleasant-spoken man
came along, stopped at my seat; and the
above conversation took place, the latter part
of it after I had given him a part of my seat.
Now I'am regarded as a social man. I like
a joke, a good bit; and I think a sour,-morose
man, wiho uses his tongue only when obliged
to, is bound to die of some terrible disease,
and go to pome place of red-hot punishment.
On entering a railroad car I always look
about for a talkative man, and then get as
close to him as possible, and drain him dry,
if the journey is long enough.
And I want to state one thing more. Left
an orphan before I could realize the event
that made me one,'I got kicked here and
cuffed there, and "grew up between folks,"
as they say. I ought to have had, at the
time of wki'sh I write, a prettyF thorough
knowledge of human nature, and' have beeh
enabled to read in a man's face if he idtended
me evil. I did not pride myself on being
over keen or extra ,sharp, but the knocking
around among strangers ought to give one
good experience.
Well, the stranger and I fell into an. easy
train of conversation as we rode on together,
and in ten minutes I began to enjoy his com
pany. He was a well-made fellow, finely
dressed, and be wore a fine watch and simon
pure diamond ring. I never saw a man who
could talk so easily and so pleasantly. I
seemed that he had but to open his mouth
and the words fell right out.
I had traveled º:n the South; so had he. I
had heard the loud roar of the Pacific; he
knew all about it. I had been up in a bal
loon, down in a mine; been blown up,
smashed up, and repaired again; my new
friend had experienced all these things, and
was waiting for something to turn up of a
more startling nature. We agreed on poli
tics, and I had never met such a railroad
" Did you ever meet a man who, though a
stranger to you ten minutes before, could
wrest from you secrets which you'd sworn
to yourself not to reveal ? Well, he was just
such a man. It was not.long before he com
menced asking me questions. He did not
seem to be trying to quiz or draw me out,
but he asked me questions in such a sly,
round-about way, that before I knew it I was
giving him my history.
I was just at that time on the point of be
ing admitted to the bar of Wisconsin as a
student of Law & Law, of Brierville.
'I'he firue were old lawyers, with a lucra.
live practice, and it had been talked over
that in about a month I was to become the
"Co." of the firm. A year before, an old
farmer named Pseston, down about four
miles from Grafton, had died, and his mat
ters had been put into the hands of Law &
Law for settltment. Preston had died rich.
He had money in the bank, railroad stocks,
mortgages, etc., and everything was settled
up to the satisfaction of the relict and the
About a year before his death, being short
for money and not wishing to sell anything
at sacrifice, Preston had given a mortgage
on his farm for $3,000 While the papers
read "one year from date," there was a ver
bal agreement that it should be lifted off any
day when Preston desired. A month after
when, having the money, he desired to clear
off bthe paper, the old money-bags holding
it refused to disgorge, wishing to secure his
interest for a year.
I was on my way to ascertain the date of
expiration. A fire among our oflce papers
had destroyed the memoranda, and I mut
go down and get ,he date from old Scrip,
who lives south of Grafton about five miles.
The stranger had pumped all this out of me
in ten mioute.; and yet I never once sus
pected that he was receiving information.
"I am not positive," I added, "but I am
pretty sure the time is the 18,h-which would
be Tuesday."
"And then your folks will send doown the
money and discharge the mortgage, of
coarse ?" he inquired.
"Oh, yes. I should most likely bring it
down," I replied; and it never occurred to,
me how imprueent I was.
He turned the conversation into other
channels and did not onte attempt to pump
me further. We got to Grafton at half-pastl
ten, and to my surprise he announced that he
was to stop in the town on business for a few
days. I had not asked his name or vocation,
while he knew everything about me.
We went to the hotel, had c.oner, and then
I at cured a livery team anddrove out, gettih g
thnrough with the buness mso that I was back
to take the half-paut two express east. My
friend waU on the porch of the hotel as I
drove p cartrinlg that sae hlbet, digniaed
"Well, did so ad oueat ?" he Iaquired, in
"IV'eom h1ir&atbt, als eaxtedt " I tepied
We bad iunch therki, aned vu we
shook hendeat d pWatsI1 & b A aaor. idee ot
ameagh, m _ Gi. hlter I .ha.. rOt k*g
•·t· :A; ·.
Everything at the office went on as usual,
and the 13 h came at length. Law & Law
had arranged for me to go down with the
money, and I looked upon at it as a business
of no special importance.
"We know you are all right," remarked
the senior partner, as I was athout to go; "but
I want to give you a word of warning, nev
ertheless. Don't take any strangers int6
your confidence until you have passed out
the money; and lookout who sits next to
It was something new for him to caution
me, and I could not but wonder at it; in the
tbstle of getting on board the train I forgot
what hp said. Ordinary prudence had in
duced me to place the money, which was all
in bank bills, and divided into three packages
where the deft hand of a pick-pocket could
not reach it.
Interested in a newspaper, time flew by as
the train flew west, at length, the hoarse voice
of the brakeman warned me that I had
reached Grafton. I had leaped down and
was making my way to the livery stable
when I heard a familiar voice, and looked
up to see Raleigh. He was seated in a buggy
and had, seemingly, waited for me to come
"Don't express your surprise," he began
as I stopped at the wheel. "I did intend to
go away, but I changed my mind, and like
this section so well that I am going out to
day to look at a farm, with a view of pur
chasing. Come, ride up to the hotel."
We rode up ordered a lunch, and while we
were discussing it Mr. Raleigh discovered
that the farmhe was going to see was just
beyond the Script's.
How fortunate ! I could ride out with
him, see the farm and return in his com
pany, and he would be greatly pleased.
I was also pleased. If any one had told
me, as we got into the buggy, that George
Raleigh meant to return with my money in
his pocket and my blood upon his hands, I
should have believed him a lunatic. And
yet George Raleigh had planned to do that
very same thing.
It was a lovely day in June, and the cool
breeze and the sight of meadows and green
groves made my heart grow larger.
My companion was very talkative, but he
didn't even hint at my errand.
"O, excuse me," he exclaimed, after we
has passed a mile or so beyond the village
and were among the farm houses, "1 should
have offered you this before."
He drew from his pocket a small flask of
wine and handed it to me. Now, I was tem
perate in regard to drink. In fact I detested
the sight and smell of anything intoxicating;
but I had not the moral courage to tell him
so and hand back the flsak, and when I look
ed around again be was just removing it
from his mouth as if he had drank heastily.
Ia about five minutes I began to fee! queer.
The fences ,long the road seem to grow
higher, and the trees to glow larger; some
thing got into my ears, so that the rattle of
the buggy sounded a long way off.
"How strange ! why I believe I am going
to be sick I" 1 exclaimed, holding en to the
seat with all my might.
"You do look strange," he replied, a sick.
ly smile stealing over his face. "I shouldn't
wonder if it was apoplexy."
1 did not suspect the game he had played.
His words were like an echo, and his face
seemed twice as large as it usually was. My
head~began to snap and .cracK, and I was
greatly fIrightened.
"You are badly tff," he cohtinued, looking
into my face. "'1 will drive as fast as posui
ble and get a doctor."
My tongue was so heavy I could not re
ply. I clutched my seat, shut my eyes, and
he put his horse at his ~est pace. We meet
a tarmer's team and I can remember that
one of the occupantt of the wagon called
out to know what ailed me. Raleigh did not
reply, but urged the horse forward.
About three miles from Grafton was a
oug stretch of forest, and this was soon
reacLted. The pain in my head was not so
vi lent, and I was not so badly affected by
opening my eyes. I had setted Into a sort
ot dumb stupor, with a brain so benumbet
that I had to myself, "this is a tree, this
is a stumlp," etc., before I could make sure
that I was not wrong. Half a mile down
the road, after we struck tihe forest, and then
Raleigh turned the norse int. the blind road
leading back into the woods. I could not
understad what he intended. I tied to
grap. it with the question, but I could not
silve it.
"Well, here we are," excliamed Rileigh.
when he had reached a point about tufrty
rols from the road.
He stopped the horse, got out and tied him
and then came arouud to the wheel.
"You don't feel just right; but I guess
you will be better soon," he remarked
"come, let me help you down."
He reached up his arms and I let go of the
seat and fell ilto thm. It seemed to me at
if [ weighed a ton; but he carried me along
wiurout an fEfort and laid me down within
a red of the fence which ran alobg on one
ni e of an old pasure,. Just now tlhet.fect
offtb baid il *aring off, andi I begaut
wto ea 1itti bqt an nIgpt a faeint sum
but I wa oee.rlo. to arno a limb; the
reeayso waMike that wI bW your foot goes
to 'Slep
"UHe you speakr ?'aquired R delh, bend.
I* ov Sto, " .t i ift yeIa tJ- .iStI
;ri youbse nt- aowed that sosd4 ?
Now Ibhean to reUalise my aitaoad. His
.. .-... .
face looked natural again, and the .,load was
off my tongue.
"George Raleigh, are you going to rob
me ?" 1 exclaimed, finding my voice at
"Well, some folks might call it robbery,
but we dress up the term a little by calling
it the only correct financial way of equaliz
ing the flating currency, so that each one
is provided for, and no one left out."
"You shan't have the money; I'll die
first !" I yelled, rising a little.
"Bh, I see, you didn't take quite enough,"
he coolly remarked. "Well, I have provided
for this."
He went to the buggy, procured ropes and
a gag, and kneit down beside me. I had but
little strength yet, and he conquered me in a
moment. Laying me on my right side, look
ing towards the fence, he tied my hands, and
then forced the gag into my mouth.
"There, now, you see, you are nicely fixed
up, and all because you acted like a fool, in
stead of a sensible young lawyer, soon to be
admitted to the bar.
While he was speaking-indeed while he
was tying me-I had caught sight of the
face of a little girl looking at us between the
rails of the fence. I could see her great,
blue eyes. There was red stains about her
mouth and on the little hands retting on the
rails,and I knew that she was some farmer's
daughter searching for strawberries. I could
not warn her of bet danger, and I feared she
would be seen or heard. While Raleigh was
tying the last knot I winked at the girl as
hard as I could, hoping she would see me
and move away. But she did not go.
"Well, now for the money," said Raleigh.
and he began searching my pockets. He
went from oqe to the other, removing all the
articles, and finally passed his hand over my
bosom and discovered the money.
"Ah, here it is," he exclaimed, drawing
out the packages ; and he was cool enough
to go at it and count the money. As he
commenced the girl waved her hand at me.
My heart began thumping, for 1 expected
she would utter a word or shout; but she
sank down from sight and I caught a glance
of her frock as she passed through the
"You see, my young friend," remarkeu
Raleigh, as he drew off one of his boots and
deposited some of the bills in it, "there is
nothing like transacting business as it should
be transacted. Some men would have shot
or stabbed you; but it's only apprentices
who do such work. All the gentlemen of ou:
calling do b..siness as gentlemen should."
He drew 'ff the other boot and placed
some fifties and twenties in it, and then con
tinued :
"I have it all planned how to deal with
you as soon as I get this money disposed ot
,round my person. I shall lay you on your
back and pour the balance of this wine
down your throat. There's enough of it t,,
make you sleep till to-morrow night, and
by that time I will be hundreds of miles
away. As soon as I see that the drug has
taken effect I shall untie your hands and re
pove the gag. When you come out of your
sleep-if you ever do-you had better crawl
out to the road, where you will he most like
ly to meet with psome traveler. I want to use
the horse and bugy, otherwise I should
leave them for you."
Bow co,)lly he talked ! He treated the
matter as if it was a regular business trans
action in which I fully acquiesed. He had
me a fast prisoner, and I felt that he could
do just as he pleased. Wnile I was thinking
I saw the little white face appear between the
rails again ; but in a moment it faded away
and its place taken by the sunburned phiz
of a farmer. He looked from me to RIleigh
and back again, and I winked to him in a
way which he readily understood. His face
disappeared, and I felt that I should be
"No, old Script won't get his tin to.day,"
mused Raleigh, storing away the bills in his
pocket. "You will go back to Law & Law,
feeling put out and cut up. But they
shouldn't blame you-it is not your fault at
all. True, had you minded your business on
the cas and not Deen so free with a stranger
this wo(uld not have happened I was on my
way to Milwaukee, and had no thought of
such rich pickings here."
'"How, in just about a minute, we'll be
through with this business," he remarked
trying to put the mouth of the fi sk between
.my jaws.
I rolled my head to one side, and he did
not succeed. He was jamming the glass
against my teeth, when I caught the sound
of a soft footstep, the crash of a club, and
Rdeighl rolled tff my bdy. He tried to leap
up, tutthree or four farmers struck him
down, and one of the blows rendered him
senseless. B tore he came to, I was free of
ropes and gag, and we had him nicely bound.
Over beyond the pasture a tarmer and his
hands were raking up h.by. "Little Blue
Eyes," only eight years old, had wandered
,ff after strawberries, and fortunately had
witnessed .part of R-leigh.'s proceedings.
she had bahurried back to her fatier and told
him "a manwasal tledup there" and he
hsd, rmureed to the fence. Uiderstandio g
tbeuaiion, habedsay1 his eti had moved
aroud go as to sec to the advtuinage. Ra
lei'a pcaptqre wa the resalt.
Wq took blan to GrafStun; aM whea I
las saw him he was on his way to eie
penitentiary to rvr a sentenoasof fteepd
T. C. POWER & BR0.
Farming Implements,
Sheep Men's Supplies,
Miners' Supplies,
Dry Goods, Groceries.
-L --o
Being agents for the celebrated WOODIS FARMING MACHINER IR, we have constantly
on hand
"----" O'"-
Wool Sacks, Twine, Sheep Dip.
Garden Seeds,
We have now on hand a large, and varied assortment of Garden Heeds, fresh from the old
eaoted house of D. M. E.ERBY & CO.
Dry Goo s, hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes
Our stocks in the above lines will be complete on the arrival of the eirt beon, and is large,
selected with great care, and shipped direct from Eastern nmrkt. Being large
buyers, our goods come from first hands, which awwsm fur the rip
utarion we bave for
Low Prices and First-Class Goods.
We can furnish low figures on application on all kinds of Hardware, Glass Ware, Queens
. ware and Wooden Ware.
All Ye People be Clad
At the News Received by
The Largest and Most Extensive
Clothing House in Montana.
From the Parent House in New York.
Office of GANS & KLEIN, 42 & 44 Greene Street,
New York City, January 28, 1882.
Messrs. GANS & KLEIN.Benton, Montana:
Gentlemen:--We have just completed and have ready for shipment
to our store in Benton the largest, finest and best stock of Clothing and
Furnishing Goods that we have ever manufactnred. And our EXPR1SS
INSTRUCTIONS to you are to close out your present stock even at a
saorifioe, for you MUST make room for the goods which will be shipped
in a few days. Respectfully yours, GANS & KLEIN.
In accordance with the' above communication from headquarters we have marked down
our entire stock of
Gents' Furnishing Goods,
(iUa: -i~ deaflb ed.ue AllOrderi'from the couatry wall receive prompt attention.
RWittVlbiM BI re' W seniitng a.t AT COST to clear the way aud make room for
our new spring stock, which will sooa iaVe.
Fort Benton, M. T.
Ps* St..* aear QIeatee Clr, 14*e a Ca' eld stnea. I
::.'*"L'..''. : ~-::." ··:·: " ·i·-t- c ' ·" . - ,: " . . . ... -.. . 1.. .. .

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