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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, April 01, 1906, Image 2

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MISTER BILL.
In todar'« Issue of The Sun
day Call appear* tbe fourth In
stallment of Albert E. Lyons'
latest and most thrlllinsr
novel — "JlUtrr BUl"— a story
dealing with the exciting ex
periences of Western raining
life and the more Important
phase* of a strike, portraying:
the methods of a clique of
Eastern speculator* to take ad
vantage of the trying; times and
grain control of the properties
around which Mr. Lyons has
woven his Interesting: tale. -The
author has carefully selected
bis characters from everyday
life - and has produced In
"Blister BUI" one that will
strongly appeal to th e reader
as a man of the times.. "Mister
BUI" will be concluded in next
Sunday's CalL
Copyright, by Alfred E. Lyons.
<\u25a0 y' HOM do you mean.by
1 • Mister BIU? Mister
t~l CjH Waldronr*
m Kjfe / ff* "Sartin, sure! Who'
P] fy ft / M else could I mean,
fn WW Mj little one? 'Pears to
L]J I W /|R \u25a0 me you ain't over
11 » g*\ well acquained with
II I if Mister Bill after all,"
j\ 11 M EaJ<^ Dave « laughing
\ \ f{\ If I heartily at the rert
\ 11/lw sd inquiry of the little
ifjyj^n "How odd! And why
do y° u call him Mls
f/K/ysTs/^iti ter ' Bill instead of
&l/Cr/cSL l i Mister Waldron? Or,
if you prefer BUI, why not call him—
well. Just plain Bill?" she was curious
to know, much to his increased amuse
ment .
"W*ll. HtUe one. I'U tell you, aeeln'.
as how Mister Bill ain't done it himself.
No harm for you know, arid maybe you'll
thank me for tellin' you— all the more,
perhaps, as you'd never .be likely to
know. lt any other way. It ain't no great'
secret nohow and no ways a long story/
Tou see when Mister Bill first showed up
out there In our country he was a ten
derfoot. But he had plenty of sand and
all-round good sense, and he took to our
rough ways like a bird to, the wing, and
•twan't long afore he could; ride a horse,
shoot,* trail, trap, rope a steer and'any
thin* else a- chap need to do, -Jest about
as well as any of us,' ajid a tarnal sight
better'n most. Then he up and went us
some better, and done things we couldn't
do nohow, 'cause we didn't know enough.
We don't all^start from the same mark,
little one, an^ome of us ain't so much
to blame for things we don't know, -but
I ain't never discovered that eddicatlon
makes a man— anyhow It ain't sure bet-,
tin*. But it's a purty handy •thing to
have, and many a chap puts up a mighty
big bluff on the strength of It. Tou see,
be was one of us, but he was different.
We could see It- plain enough, and
thought a heap sight more of him for not
lettin' on as how he could see it. ,He
could turn his hand to most any thin. If
a chap broke his leg or anythln' short of
his head. Mister Bill could fix him up.
Anybody sick. Mister BUI was the doctdr.
Any .dockyments to be made out, Mister
Bill was the lawyer. Argyments and dis
putes were turned over to Mister BUI to
settle— he was on the level, and we,knew,
It dead sartln. \u0084 : . -.
"There's mighty few nights go by
there ain't prayers said for that boy,"
and he deserves 'em all. More than
one. poor devil, and woman .and, child,
owes him their lives, and he carries
marks he didn't bring into, the world
with him to show for 'it. •So you -see,
Miss, it- comes mighty easy for them
as knows him to call him Misterßlll-—
easier than- ariythin' else, /it's about
the on* vi way they have of lettin' him
know as «how they respect him differ-^
ent from any other Bill, or Joe or Dave.
It's no slouch to have \u25a0 'em call you
Mister out in that" country— they're
great sticklers for short, handles. And?
that, little Miss,, is why we call him -
Misterßlll." \u25a0-• V S:-'-^
"Oh, isn't that perfectly lovely!" im
pulsively cried the little j miss, with
difficulty. restraining theTtears that per-;
sisted in welling into her bright; eyes.
"And was he ever— was he really' and y
truly hit-^sl.it, I mean? -»nd are those^
the marks you mean, ' Mr. Bishop?"
queried the little mite i of curious fem
ininity, 'with fearsome concern/.'
-"Well/how, little on^' laughed Dave, "
patting her reassuringly on \u25a0 the shoul-.r:
der, "don't you go to . worryin' about \u25a0
Mister-Bilk fHe can take care ; of hlm
self, and no trouble howsomever.vHe's
never been put on his ; bac^; yet ; as I '\u25a0'<
knows of, and the man Vmay . live' "as-;
can do.lt— l ain't sa^yrn'-he'don't^-but
he ain't n«yer showed up. " JiEistilijt^that ''7
boy think he's "right, and ; . bless \u25a0"you,-
Miss, you can't stop him nohow. He's
a fighter that don't know how to quit
till he sets that he's fighting for."
, "Ob, Isn't that: grrand!. 'And just to
think, Cathy and Maude, we ( have
known, him all this time, and' nev«r
knew how very brave, and rood he is.
You •see. Mr.'.' Bishop, he has : never told
us very much about v; himself. We
thought we: knew * him, , but we dldii't
When I 'ask him to ; tell Ime about him
self and' the ? things } he I has done, he
tells-, me somethinV ; funny.-. . He seems
to, think- 1 am : only; a little Blrl— -6r a
Joke— and he Is never quite' serious
when he tal ks with ; me. V. He 1 told me
about an unruly/ horse '- throwing • him
Into a creek., when he .'was a tenderfoot,
and. how a very bad maru was goingr to
make him dance the way those I horrid
men do by; shooting 'at: his" feet." * ? :
,-.- "Did" he C say * what happened to the
bad man, - littleT brie?" ; ?'•?,
'"He'J said' they— they compromised, I
think/- •**'""'\u25a0 --- A^ --"-ri- -\u25a0 -V
"Well. .well, that's ;.,;; purty good!' 1 ,
chuckled Dave. --"If' lt- was acompro-;
mise 'I ""guess -'as -.' now* the bad /man was j
miarhty} glad Jit*;: want: no ' fight.;" _But i
that's " abo'ii t Vas much * \u25a0 satisfaction \u25a0 as
you're liable' to set; to' let Mister Bill
spin --the yarn.'.- "-.' '\u25a0'>} "; ; '•\u25a0".-.'"; -•\u25a0 ! '-•\u25a0'.'":'
. "Please tell :me"somethin6r that Mis- j
ter I Bill « has don e-^really , and truly. - 1
think* Ij'rather ; llke, that fiinny': name
aftervaii^6n^your;kiriB?"r"T.;'; \u25a0Sx V
;i;^deed/U:do^7lHhiiik-it Just splenr;;
did!" declared ;' Maude;^enthusiastfceily>
/ iiiotVtheUeaBt; I WtyBur-'«
prised ;i}tTs'eexns-_ as Utj. 1 I had^known^lt i
all the while.",,? Cathalee,' however,l^.ven
tured no comment, ; nor, raised - her ,eyes':
from her work. . . ?- ' '" ~"':-^>^;
"Do you : think,, Mr. Bishop, that he "\u25a0\u25a0,
/THE XSAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY -CALL:
1 would mind if . I called him Mister Bill?" ,
' inquired Edith, I very ' seriously. ' .
.'• './'Well,, little one, that's purty hard to
say," replied Dave, equally serious,; "but
.' I , have; an idee that 'your little heart ;
wouldn't ache long for anythin' you could
ask of -Mister; Bill,' and I guess you're
' safe-; in : callin' ; him jest about ; any thin*
you take a notion.^ ;; Leastwise, if
; have any doubts, jest try' it on, and. if he
"kicks up disagreeable ;Uke,:teir: him", that
old Dave Bishop egged !hlm^ on, ; and" be- •
: tween us"both;i'giiess we can bririg;him
.'round i ; right,*',' \whlch : suggestion,
seemed to amuse the speaker no less sthan
his listeners.- v ' .. .-•".. :j: j
'• r -'.'I Protest thet I am' an unwilling
complice to a ; base v'cbrisplracy— I feel
gui! ty alieady ,'t laughed Maude.'
! '"It wiirbe Jolly /to surprise.him by call-,
ing. him ;MistorßllU; won't: itr-girls?V But"
then, of oourscr he,will ; be*sura to know;
, who told us,, won't he. Mr. \u25a0 Blshdp?'.V
;, "Mighty Hkely*. to guess .first .time, .'I V
should ; say; little one. -A /real - arid truly
story? ' Well, Miss, I couldn't tell you' no
other. I've never read books.' no 'account,- 1
and the ,only.: kind I ' know Is jwhat* you ]
call . real and *'. truly^-and ' theio \u25a0 inj plenty.'
The ; story --I'm • i goin' k '; to - yarn -ain't ;, very ;
; long, ; and ? amount to much , writ
out In a book,': like (enough, - but" > it | may,
: mean more •to yoii-rsame as it does ' to me v
•^than^all; the; storiesl iri^t,hem flnej. books .^
1 upi'tliefe— gdjid *fin& :^'all!riht'ierioVs^ t -nb';'
sore of doubt. A! chap ;can sayVa' heap .
things -; that ;. wbuldn' t airiourit Ito - much ' if '
some'/fellef^'-didn't ;'i prove':-, that", * JestT as,'
smart \u25a0 arid '* lest ; as .; brave " men ; live. ;. arid \u25a0
breathe as is writ about..' *
.. "One winter, about five \u25a0 year : ago," he
:\u25a0 \u25a0 / \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 - \u25a0 -: :
began, with great deliberation, "a poor
devil, ; lookin' as how he .was purty nigh
done for, dragged what was left of his
misarable ; old body into a ralnin' camp
out in the Colorader mountins. t The boys
hauled him Into one of the shanties and
poured enough licker down his throat to
most put /out the mighty small spark of
life left In : him. He'd been staggerin'
along through the snow draggin" one foot
af tei- : the '» other without knowin'.- it, . Jest
, 'cause he'd set his mind on keepin*, goln*
-so long as he could stand up. He didn't
seem '; to know : he'd 'reached camp • and
kept -on ; fighting the > trail— he was plumb
loco. ; , The boys worked over him for. a
spell, and finally i managed to bring '^his
senses back, but he '• was purty well " used
up,' and 'mighty \ small stakes for! a ; man.
He told "• the boys \u25a0 as how \u25a0 his^ pard ': had
took « alck Jn [ their .camp, ] and ; . they had
run 'out "of "grub, arid! with .;; starvation
starln' ,'em both in the face, he, had start
ed, out to' make' the .big camp; kind of
hopin' agin: hope , that he might ( hold' on
long e'neugh ; to reach : It*, but mighty.'un
; sartlri. Said -; his would sure ;, die
if he -: didn* t ; get grub , and 'medicine
mighty soon;' as how^ he would start "..back
himself If he could stand on' his old frozen
feet— his will was .'all right, but . his ; old
'body was way shy of the mark. : Snowed
: off ; and ;*6n for a week, . and mo sign :j>t
lettin' " up— one Tof '• them '-^ blaTck /.snorters •
you never seed- the llke'of. little one.:; The
trail • was all gone and ; snow ' six or ' seven
• feet 7 on ' the level. \ and ; no - tellln* how
deep' ":-, up the , mountains" and . in the
gulches, and niaybe ,' the whole mountih'
side -niight take to; slidih*. and "cover a
man : up "mv a * Jiff y. Not ;,a ' minute
: b"ut " soniethin' or other was liable to
knock him' over/' even' lf jie didn't lose his
beafin's,' ho Iways" unlikely,*, and besides,
'twas' : crazy cold-^and \u25a0 that* means, purty
cold. The ' poor devil was sure in hard
luck^r'Hls. pardner. starvin' up -there." in
jthe ; mountains ; for fa ; few ; bites ' ofjgrub, /
and ; hlin" havin' ,to , ask ; a; man jest about \u25a0
thesame* aVifo j)ut "and ' junip~ in htie river
—which'; alnX r no"; easy thing" to do! - r You ;
• see, • Missy fhie' kne w ; there was jest [about*
one chance"; in \ a-- hundred 'i : that ; a.'man '
could pull through.^' ;; .V.- \u25a0'\u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0• - : : ; ;;.';. <.
x t'Mistef'- Bill/ was; on * hand? arid { thawed
out the f rost tbltesj of ; the used-up ]c6uri- v
terf eit, ; fixed ' him ' iip > some f porridge V and
fed .it; to him fast ; as he , could \u25a0 stow, it
away,* and Jest naterally nursed him back
ALBERT E. LYONS
to life. '- He asked the poor chap" all about
his pardner and the whereabouts of thalr
camp, talklh' to him jest conversational
like, and made him forget how so account
he was. When he was feelln' sort" of
comfortable. Mister Bill straightened up—
I tell you, little one. he looked mighty
big and strong— and raised good-natexed
and careless like— jest ake he allus talks,
'All right, old man, don't worry. ' "We'll
op«sn up communication with your pard —
not exactly telegraphic, but more.satis
factory to a hungry man,' and down he
goes to his cabin and was back agin In a
few minutes ready for a trip that meant
about ninety-nine -chances .agin him to
one— not exactly in his favor. . The boys
tried mighty, hard to keep him from goin'.
All hands agreed .* 'twas . next to , sure
death. Some said the chap might be dead, -
and no ' use ;makfn' a* bad matter worse.
Some more thought maybe it might clear
I up - tbinorrer and! he'd better hold on a
Awhile 'longer. They purty, much all had.
aoraethin'.to say, but; Mister Bill only
. laughed and said -as how they were ' all
mad j 'cause he .had got^ the_ flrat. start
that any of 'em would go. in a minute if
he didn't.'. Besides, he ; knew the " trail-f- :
'"or '.where if ought to be-~better than
them, and maybe' a, man's .stomach
wouldn't^ wait for' the weather to .shift.'
.and a few crumbs might encourage It to
hang on a lee tie longer, and off he went.
"The poor cuss left behind wished. he i"
was twins,, so as he could go^himself. He,
seemed to think it was a heap sight easier
to die twice himself than, to send another
f efter ; to* die for lilm.' ' He was purty: nigh .
• r crazyhe was so helpifss." You see,- Missy,
If he-kept' Mister'Biir.from goin'— which •
.he "could no \ ways' do— his .pardner ; would «
sure die. and he might.dle anyway.jand
Mister Bill besides. And . little " one"," i
gently -patting /the sunn^ little head, . tears /
weillngTlnto his. honest eyes and his voice
.; tremblinßt Vir V t . !l emotion, ' -Dave . Bishop . '\u25a0
hopes he'll n^yer have another \ such ' load
on his \u25a0miserable "old conscience in all; hia
born ' days.'tfor -it r was (me, little, "girl, .'
stretched -out . in that -shanty "and old Joe
? Slitter 'tip i there in the mountains, 4 and me .
Mister Bill off to .almost sertin
-deathr and * not I able . to -raise my , hand '• to V
stophlni.*- % There's'some things, little onej
! jdo'n' I like to be . responsible for, arid
it's mighty lucky they're taken out of
our . hands when \u25a0 they get too heavy for
us to handle.
"Mister Bill never had much to say
about that trip. It was no ways a pleasure
jaunt, but he- made the cabin somehow
. with the medicine and rations that savtd
old Joe's life. Joe says Mister Bill jest
fell hito the -cabin all in a heap, he was
: that .far gone. And old Dave Bishop
thanks God for glvin* the boy", strength
to get up to that cabin— that same
Dave , Bishop would no ways cars
• about" llvln" If Mister BUT had
never come back ' from y* that trip.
I don't know nothin* about how a father
holds his. boy, but I nary believe a dad
ever thought more of his own flesh and
» blood than Joe and me thinks of Mister
Bill. And that's one reason, little Miss.'
why two rough old duffers. love Mister
Bill," and ain't ashamed to say so." A
Womanly hearts were too v little proOT
against the homely pathos of the simple
tale, and heads bowed lower and lowȣ
over the work in hand, while bright eyes
filled with tears, and one of the little
circle — Cathalee, by name— took abrupt
leave and hurried away upstairs.
- "You see. Miss, It ain't ao much, of a
rftory. No high soundin* words like you
read maybe every day. but jest a little
picjtur of our rough life out there among
the mountins, but it's real and . truly—
tnat's what you wanted. . "And If you
think a rough old fellow's advice Is worth
. rememberin', little woman, jest rest easy
•with .the real and truly, and' you'll never
be bothered by the things as ain't, and
. there's a mighty sight of 'em in this
world/ head
; ,~, - - .CHAPTER XXV. A,
.\u25a0"."... .The. Ilold-Vp Party. •
vThe Davidge mansion' was^-a scene of
tight. \u25a0 music 'and mirth this Inlght. The
annual charity affair was InVf ull • swing.
"The name, indeed! I'was not even per
mitted the privilege of naming my own
party," Cathalee declared. . "By a unan
imity simply marvelous my friends per
sisted In presiding at the christening, and
carried the day by sheer force of num
. bors. It is none other than 'The Hold-Up
Party.' Such a terrible name! Yet it
commends itself to the extent of calling
a spade a spade, and on the whole re
lieves me of a certain responsibility," she
explained, with amiable resignation.
In a corner of one of the spacious par
lors was a small stage from which cer
tain- features of entertainment were dis
pensed. The efforts of the performers
were admirable exhibitions of nerve and
physical force, and occasionally succeed
ed in* rising above the reigning confusion
; to the extent of making.lt apparent that
something or other was transpiring in the
direction of the stage. "The stage enter
tainment—so called* by courtesy— and the
dancing were the only, untaxable fea
tures of entertainment. Tribute was lev
led upon the just and unjust alik«, and
the unfortunate who labored under the
delusion that trade formalities' were rec
ognized was destined to suffer* an early *
and a rude awakening.
' Maude and Edith had come- to town
for the affair. The former was one of
Cathalee's prime assistants, while
Edith was in charge of Mrs. Worthing;
ton. very little in evidence, and alto
gether considerably subdued by the.
very austere mien of her . chaperon e^ .
and the general worldly aspect ' oX t^4
gathering.* .
Jack was an early arrival aecoralns;
to Instructions, and meeting Maude and
Edith in the hall grreeted hia sister
with true brotherly, affection, and
seemed not Inclined to .overlook th«
prerogatives of a sweetheart, but
Maude was a charity girl • this night.
"Free-list entirely suspended," sir!
KL?ses don't buy shoes for barefoot or
phans," Maude coldly \u25a0 declared. • pro
ceeding to attach a boutonniere to his
coat. "Mrs. .Davidge: says that I am
to have nothing whatever;, to do with
sentiment this evening, but must at
tend strictly to business — one dollar,
please." ' . .
my own family has turned
against me." he sighed. "What la your
specialty. Sis?" he demanded, regard
ing with some suspicion." the' demure .
young "miss ' intently 'watching this
Questionable proceeding. "Thank you.
my 'dear." he said, with unmistakable
cynicism.- handing Maude a two dollar
bill, which she dropped carelessly Into
her/basket, with a matter of fact.
"Don't mention it, my dear."
/"Don't, I, get a dollar back?" meekly
inquired the victim of misplaced conft
deaceO "My, youth and Inexperience
are" being imposed upon," he .declared,
upon being informed, that there was no
precedent for such a proceeding.
"What. is the matter, Jack?" inquired
Cathalee. , who appeared at' that "mo
ment. "Indeed, young man. you are in
huge luck! Think had It been- a ten
nert" "she told him. consolingly, when
he bad explained! the "hold-up." as he
termed his Initiation.;
\u25a0•Then I'm -eight dollars ahead. Much
obliged, Cathy, but I don't like your
system— the percentage is against the
butsider.'^H^BHHB^MBBQGsSHI
Jack's experience was but one of
many; continually transpiring throughA
out the. evening as new arrivals put lnJ
an appearance, affording no UUie
amusement for those who had preceded
and undereQue a similar Initiation.

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