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EVERY MAN HAS HIS PRICE ,nusEo " jjr I
D ERTRAM J. RITCHIE was a chemist in Dawson, and he was not making money. lie was a failure there, as he had been at home. Behold him pacing the floor of his laboratory and swearing aloud to the bare walls and meagre furnishings that he had but one desire in life, which was to get away from Dawion. The reason why he did not leave Daw eon was to be found in his trousers' pocket He could not pay his way. It was equally true that he could not re main, except to starve, unless fortune relented He would much rather have seen a chance to get out than a chance to stay and make his living He was In most respects it had proved to be just what he had anticipated He had always possessed a singular talent for discounting misfortune. It may be said that his single reason for satisfaction with himself was that he had never been so foolish as to look for good luck any where. Vet of all the calamities that !'C had foreseen in this particular advcn trrc none could approach in the qual ity of miser the one that he had en countered unexpectcdh. It struck him as a last proof of fate's injustice that in coming to that howling wilderness he should have run into a snare of love. I Vet he perceied it very early. The first time he met Jennie Winstcd he knew why she was there He reasoned it all out after their first half hour of acquaintance Miss V mstcd was in Daw son City in her father's care, though her version was that she had come to take care of body seemed to know very much in which respect he was by no means sin gular in that city He said that he came from Boston, and no man could prove the contrary. He seemed to have plenty of money, for he and his daugh ter lived as well as people could he in that region at that time It was said that Winsted was prepared to speculate in mining properties, but he was not i known to do anything of that sort in I the first months of his residence there. He was a singularly placid individual, on the surface; a man of strong frame, of a genial countenance such as Capi tal wears when depicted hand in hand m j with Labor in a "prosperity' cartoon and of most bmign demeanor. It is not to be supposed that he favored Ritchie's attentions to his daughter, yet he viewed them with the most unmoved I composure and put no perceptible ob stacle in the young mans way Untor tunately, the daughter was quite as calm as her father, by which token Ritchie knew that he had not one chance in a million of winning her. And it was all preposterous, anyway, because he was a poor beggar who would never be richer, and would probably starve to death in the coming winter. The only thing for him to do was to pull up stakes and get away, so that he might be spared the humiliation of starving in her presence. But a man must have either money or exceptional nerve to get out of that country, and Ritchie had neither The information which has been im parted to the reader was the basis of Ritchie s reflections as he paced the floor of his laboratory, anathematizing fate. His steps and the flow of his lan guage were interrupted by the sound of voices, and the creaking of a staircase. Prescnth three men entered the room. One of them he knew slightly, the sec ond he remembered having seen, and the third was a tall young Englishman who was a total stranger to his eye. ' Good-morning, Professor Ritchie," said No l, whose name was Athcrton. "Shake hands with my partner, Mr Tripp, and then with Mr Medway, of London " Ritchie said good-morning, and ac knowledged the introductions in the manner suggested "We've come on a little matter of business" Athcrton continued. "I sup pose you know all about my uncle's claim, up Burnt Creek?" "I know that your uncle died a short time ago," replied Ritchie, and that you were supposed to he bis heir I aiso knew that he had dug quite a hole in v'ne ground, alongside of Burnt Creek f tiie I believe he called it the Vellow Dog. aflnJ , didn't he?" J'JjJ "Right you are," responded Atherton ; aeTr "l&at was his name for it Well, the estate is all squared up now. and the jete" Vellow Dog is mine, or, to be exact, llDh two-thirds belong to me and one-third t0 Mr T"'PP T tell the truth. I didn't gd- believe the claim was good for anything unt 1 a few days ago when I got my jflC' legal business settled, and took it into ; my head to hove a look at the Yellow Jo' Dog Tripp and I went up there, and ' ( We c;imc back with the conclusion thai g P'j , that dog was a valuable animal. He i U'iite jrellow wtb gold, Drofessor. Mr. Med ; way, also, has had a look at him, and he wants to buy him " "Well, you know," said Medway, apol ogetically, "I'm considering I'm not altogether convinced ; but upon mv word the ore looks good and I've seen a good deal of that kind of rock; really, I have, you know." We want you to make the assay," said Tripp "There's a boxful of speci mens outside, on a wagon They were taken under Mr Medway's eye, and ac cording to his directions and I'm bound to say that he's all right when it comes to that sort of business" "I sampled the main lode at intervals of ten feet," said Medway. "breaking the ore across the full width You 11 find everything in good shape for your work, and when that's done we shall know as much about this matter as any body can know about a mine." "You see," said Atherton, "this is all an open negotiation All we want is to get at the real value of the property, and no advantage to be taken on either side. Is that right, gentlemen?" Tripp nodded with a somewhat savage emphasis, for he happened to be biting off a piece of plug tobacco at the time, and the Englishman said, "Quite so," very politely. During this conversation Ritchie had been consulting his memory regarding Athcrton w ith a result exceedingly mea gre in the matter of good report He had had so bad a reputation just before his uncle's deatl that that event had been viewed by many with suspicion As frequently happens in such cases, the discovery that the suspicion was base less had gone far to rehabilitate the Tuung mail in " v'.j i d i BtWfcllli .muic over, he will gain friends who falls heir to property, and Atherton's uncle had been reputed well off. though he was one of those men whose left hand docs not know what the right hand doeth. Tripp had the air of an "old-timer," and he did not look honest. Medway, the Englishman, bore himself like a gentleman He was probably thirty years old. but he looked much younger, and he had the unduly confident manner of a smart boy. Altogether, the case seemed clear enough a matter of a lamb and two wolves The chemist felt a strong dis-inclination to assist in the slaught er. However, if certain samples of ore were offered him for analysis he could hardly do less than put them through the process and pocket the fee At the suggestion of Atherton, his partner and the Briton went down to get the box of ore No sooner was the door closed behind them than Atherton turned quickly toward the chemist, and walking up close to him, said in a low, intense tone: "There is money in this for you, if you do the right thing." Ritchie felt that he ought to be angry, but it simply wasn't in him He had worried and suf fered until he hadn't energy left for a strong sentiment of any kind "Bogus report, I suppose '" he said, wearily, sinking down into the only good chair in the room. "Don't let that bother you," said Atherton "I know how you're fixed. You can't afford to be honest Your name is Dennis if you do I'm right onto you. You haven't got money enough to do one thing nor the other You can't either quit or hang on. Here's where you get your chance. That fel low Medway has got more money than a horse can haul down hill, and he's no baby Anybody that can fool him will tarn what he gets You ought to have seen him at work out there in the Yel , low Dog There ain t a man on the Yu kon that could have made a better ex amination of a claim He's fair game, that fellow I "If he's so sharp a man." said Ritchie, "why didn't he tumble to the fa-t that the claim was no good?" "That rock would fool anybody," re sponded Atherton "Tripp and I know there's nothing in it, but you won't until you've run it through your mill Now, quick; what do you say?" "I won't do it," said Ritchie; but he spoke without spirit. "W ill you take the stuff in here and keep it till I can have another talk with you to-morrow?" Before the chemist could answer, Tripp and Medway appeared at the door with the box. They put it on a table, and invited Ritchie to take a look at it He complied like a man in a dream This thing had fallen in so opportunely that he was dazed by it He had been declaiming his willingness to do any thing that would get him out of Dawson ; City, and Satan had taken him at his word Did fate mean to make a rascal i of h im? If so, judging by the record of his past performances, he would prob I ably become one Anything to ob t lige destiny was his motto. ; The ore looked good. As Atherton - had said, it would fool anybody. Ritchie found it hard to believe that the stuff was worthless, though he had once or twice seen equally promising rock with no tangible value Tripp and Atherton were obviously anxious to get their victim away, and they succeeded before Ritchie could make up his mind upon a course of pro cedure. When they were gone, the chem ist sat by the table trying to think He made poor work of it, being deadly tired in the brain He would fancy himself engaged in formulating a line of action, and would wake with a start to find his thought busy with a problem of years gone by, a question of conduct long ago decided the wrong way. Again, he would picture himself denouncing Atherton, on the following day speaking a speech to him full of high moral principles and absurdly unsuitcd to the person ad dressed While his mind was thus running around like a squirrel in a revolving cage, accomplishing nothing at great ex pense of energy, he was suddenly aware of Medway, who entered in haste "I've got rid of those fellows," said he, "and now I want a few minutes' quiet talk with jou." "You can t talk too quietly to suit me," replied Ritchie; "'c got. nervous pros tration " Medway looked as if he thought the chemist expected him to laugh, and then he shifted to the serious side of the proposition "You've been having a hard time," said he. "I know that; and it's the real cause of my being here Atherton thinks it's your reputation for honesty, and that I trust you. No, sir, you're hard up, love of heaven get to work on that assay as soon as you can I'm scared gray headed for fear some one else will come along and make them an offer for that property. Ten thousand dollars would buy it, and unless I've lost my ee, it's worth fifty times as much. My terms with you will be these: A full price for your work, anyway and you can get an other one out of Atherton, so you're a winner, anyhow and, if my game works, ten per cent of the difference between what I pay for the mine and its honest value " "Get out," said Ritchie. Medway laughed, and made a hurried exit, raying, as the door closed : "Think it over , think it over " Ritchie tried to think it over; but the harder he tried, the less he accom plished Experience had taught him that when he got into that condition he could find some small relief in work. So, having nothing else to do, he began to prepare some samples of Yellow Dog ore for assay. No sooner were his hands busy than his brain evolved a ra tional idea. "I II make an honest assay of this stuff." said he to himself, "and force those fellows to pay for it. I'll charge them enough to get me out of this for saken wilderness, and they won't dare to refuse, for fear I'll blow the whole story." W ith this inspiration, he went to work in earnest, find was speedily conscious of a betterment of spirits. Presently he found himself thinking of Jennie Winstcd, and in a pleasant vein In utter hopelessness he was trying to earn enough money to take him forever out of the sight of her. and yet as he worked he indulged himself in day dreams of success in the world and the winning of her favor. He ate with appetite at noon, and his pipe was more than ordinarily satisfac tory when he set it alight in the labora tory after returning from dinner. He remembered to have felt this unrea sonable sense of cheer, many years ago, just previous to his one brief run of good luck Was the sensation pro phetic ? This problem occupied a good share'of his thought for an hour or more, and then a most unexpected oc currence drove it out of his head This was no less than the appearance of Mr Winstcd. Ritchie had never been thus honored before, ond he was childishly pleased, the more that Mr Winstcd should have found him busy, and such a weight of ore upon his table The coincidence was astonishing; indeed, it is probable that Winstcd was surprised by what he saw. but he was far too well-bred to say so. He greeted Ritchie most polite ly and snt down on a cracker box with 'he grace r, i one who is at homo in the drawing-rooms of the rich and great "Very fair looking rock," said he, indicating the ore "It is, indeed," replied Ritchie. "Any objection to telling where it comes from'" "No objection to telling you," re joined the chemist "It is from a claim on Burnt Creek that they call the Yellow Dog " The statement seemed to make a considerable impression on Winsted. He rose from the cracker box and paced the width of the room twice or thrice. "Do you know a man named Syd. Cullom''" said he, suddenty. "Never heard of him," responded Ritchie, frankly meeting a searching glance from Winsted. "Why?" "lie told me this morning that I'd better look into the Yellow Dog property," said Winsted "I didn't know but he might have had the tip from you. That wasn't in my mind when I came here, however. I was only thinking that perhaps you could help me to get a line on the value of the claim." "I don't knqw anything about it myself, yet," said Ritchie "I'm go ing to make an assay for young Ath erton and an Englishman named Med way who may purchase " "One assay for both parties?" "Yes; it's an open business. No, it isn't either Why should I lie to you? It's a crooked game on both sides " And he told Winstcd the whole story. When he had finished, the elderly gentleman went to the door, and soft- "THEKE IS MONEY IX THIS FOR VOU, IF YOU DO THE RIGHT THING." and you've made up your mind not to stand it any more." "Suppose I have," said Ritchie "What then ?" Medway leaned forward and tapped him on the knee. In the Briton's hand were some coins, which jingled as he tapped "You'll give me a prhatc report on that ore," said h- Ritchie had hardly expected the lamb in this transaction to show so much worldly wisdom. "Why, what's the game'" he asked, stupidly "They think the Yellow Dog is no good," said Medway. "and thev intend to bribe you to make a favorable re port to me Take their money; take my money, and make three reports, one pri vately to Atherton that the claim is no good, another privately to me, stating the facts, and a third to all of us, con taining whatever they want you to put into it " "You can all go to blazes!" cried Rit chie. "I don't want anything to do with you " Medway laughed "You 11 feel better about this to-mor-row," he said. "Sleep on it. But for the ly opened it There was no one in the hall, so he closed the door again and walked up to Ritchie "Give me an advance report on this stuff, said he, " and I'll make it worth your while." Ritchie whistled "This is a pretty good day for brib ery and corruption," said he. "Never you mind that, my son," re sponded Winsted. "Remember which side your bread is buttered on, and let others attend to their own. Those fellows arc trying to cheat each other; whv shouldn't an honest man step in and get the property Your English man thinks ten thousand would buy it, if offered spot cash. I'll put up the money and give you a tenth interest " It is unnecessary to follow the con versation in detail. The charitable reader will remember Ritchie's un fortunate condition of mind and his still more distressing condition of heart, and will pity rather than cen sure him for agreeing to this nefarious proposition. When Winsted had gone, the young man sat for many minutes with his head in his hand, a prey of remorse Then he sprang up and began to rave. He swore that all was fair in love and gold mining: that the moral law was well known not to ex tend north of the fifty-fifth parallel of latitude, and that any man alive would do the same under similar con ditions. Having relieved his mind in this way, he went to work with vigor No leisure and short allowance of sleep was his rule from that time forth, during the course of these analyses. He was occasionally interrupted by one of his three tempters four, in deed, counting Mr. Tripp and he agreed to every proposition made to him; but he touched nobody's money. It was four o'clock on a certain morning when he finished his work. and made the last of his calculations From the full report, he made a brief abstract in which the results of his anafyses were shown in three classi fications, as follows: Ounces of Value gold per ton per ton No. 1 6.44 $137.70 No. 2 5.89 . 117 96 No. 3 6 27 125 48 The Yellow Dog was a surprisingly good property, judging from this as say and from what Medway had said about the general characteristics of the lode. If Winstcd could buy it for $10,000 he ought to be a good father-in-law to the man that had given him the opportunity This thought in confused form was in Ritchie's brain, as he turned from his work in utter exhaustion Throw ing an old fur coat upon the floor and drawing the first thing he could get his hand on over him for a coverlet, he prepared to sleep upon the problem involved in his singular situation. When he awoke it was noonday, and the problem had solved itself, for there sat Winsted beside the table di gesting the result of Ritchie's labors. The young man had forgotten to lock his door before he slept "Well, upon my word." he ex claimed, raising his stiffened and ach ing frame from the floor, and glaring at his visitor. Winsted nodded pleasantly, as he thrust the report into his pocket. "It's all right," he said, "I'm going to find Atherton "You'd better take another nap " He was gone before Ritchie could .interpose any objection As quickly as possible the chemist followed. Winsted was out of sight. In these circumstances it seemed to be Rit chie's duty to hunt up Atherton and Medway, and make a report to them. He sought them all day, and for some hours of the evening, vainly. At last, in great weariness, he went to bed. On the following morning he decid ed that the best thing to do would be to wait in his laboratory. It should be a certainty that those he wished to see would come there during the day At four o'clock in the afternoon they had not appeared. At five there came a young Indian with a note, It was from Jennie Winsted, and it ran as follows: "Dear Mr. Ritchie- I know that you are perfectly innocent, but father is crary Atherton, Tripp and Med way have decamped together Of course, you know by this time that father bought the mine for $15,000 cash. It was all a swindle The ore that you analyzed never came from the Yellow Dog mine It was bought somewhere else Medway, of course, was in the plot. They got that fellow Cullom to give father the tip, and they knew he'd go to you, because we all i..- ci mnrh and voti have been seen so often with father and me It's dreadful, but don't you worry. I won't let father do anything bad A little bit of money won't hurt him. He is very rich, richer than you'd be lieve if I told you. So cheer up, I'll stand by you. Through thick and thin, I am "Yours most truly, "JENNIE WINSTED." For one instant Ritchie was stunned. An alternating current of bad and govd news had shocked him to the marrow Then he slowly came to a realization of what it all meant "The old man's abuse of me has done the business'" he cried. "It has put Jennie on my side, and all is won. Now let me starve or freeze, I am content with any fate. Heaven blcs Atherton, and Tripp, and Medway May all their past sins be forgiven and all their future ones be profitable They have saved me and made a man of me. It is the turn of the tide " He danced around the table, to the great amazement of the youthful In dian, whom, at last, he surprised even more by a large gratuity Ritchie saw nothing of Winsted in ' I I ' fWlK several days. He received, however, l&fflfi several notes from Jennie describing BwraB the varying conditions of her father's PygSgj feelings, and her own warfare upon kTw Ritchie's side. Then, one fine day, EtwP Winsted walked into the laboratory, K'l!l2 smiling as sweetly as ever, and with BmkIs extended hand. ffirlwo "I've thought this thing out," he farf said, "and you're not to blame I iFHaftf swindled myself; that's the fact about it Jennie has shown me how the case btSlI really stands. She's a bright girl, and feV she likes you. She wants you to come ffrj up and take dinner with us to-day. K: 1 And I like you, myself; be hanged if SV'I I don't. She's talked me into it. I rv.'-i'5 think vou and I can make some kind iR-x'Yia. of a partnership. I believe you're an honest man, and I need your advice. !t,!v.Vl I I want you to help me soak some- H body else with that Yellow Dog x' I claim " H ' :' "As an honest man," said Ritchie, f , "I can't view that proposition with p V ' 'favor. But I will go to dinner." - 'r- Copyright, 1912, Century Syndicate. k I WISE AND OTHERWISE. I If all we had to cover us was our f religion, most of us would be going about in a Salome costume. j ... A long talker is a short thinker. I I Love is brotherhood. Passion It human nature. I . H The way to a woman's heart ii through a millinery shop. - Miss Fortune is blamed for every thing when Mrs Fortune really causer the most trouble. I It is only the other man's wife wht looks charming in a kimona. ' , An agnostic is a man who doesn't i know any more about it than a theo I logian I I "I can tell anyone's age," said the parlor magician. Miss Ancient got up hurriedly. "Don't go. dear, he would' n't be so mean as to tell yours." "My auto is smashed again." "Welt, hurry and have it fixed. If it isn't ready for the cook oh her off day, she'll lca e us." . . . "People always laugh at my jokes. "I think you are mistaken; they laugh when you are around, whether you I spring a joke or not." "Why do they say good people die young'" "Well, you never saw a strictly good adult, did you?" "Out at our country estate " "Why, I thought you lived in a city boarding house?" "I do, but we have an old hen of a landlady; her hus band is a hog, and the star-boarderess is a cat, her son is hounding us all the time for a penny; one of the boarders is mulish, another has a hoarse-laugh, even I seem to be a lion among the women there. And as for the rest of it. one of her daughters is a pipin, another a peach; their aunt is a lemon; there's a regu lar pumpkin-head there and a But the enquirer had fled. "Did you know Abraham Lincoln invented a flat-bottomed boat to run in very shoal water by steam ?" "No, ( did he?" 'Yes, the model is in the patent office now " "Well, well. Old Abe must have bought one of them high and dry seashore lots ana in vented the boat to get to it in." "Beware of the fickle summer girls, my son." "Oh. I don't mind being jilted a few times, father." "That's jj just it, boy, your mother was a sum mer girl, and I reckoned on her jilt, ing me, and see how I came out!" "And why do you think she's a real society lady. Mary" Why, sh cusses just like one." "Take me, mister. I'm a good office boy I don't care anything about base ball." "You don't' W ell. you won't ' do, for you're either a fool or a liar.' "What is a diplomat?" "A diplo mat is a man who can make a lie seem more reasonable than the truth, can , guess a woman's age without getting it too old or so young a to be ab- surd, and can do a man an injury and make him believe he has done him f favor " "What the RlOSt alluring thing about golf?" THE HIGHBALLS ON THE CLUB VERANDA."