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Montana oil and mining journal. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1931-1953, August 23, 1941, Image 2

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London Ni&hfs Entertainment^^ ^
Copyright: 1941 By News Syndicate Co., Inc.
As the girls from the dress shop
ran downstairs for the last time their
high heels rattled unnaturally on bare
wood; for the carpets had been taken
up only that morning.
To Miss Croy, following more .slowly
behind, the sound seemed painfully
appropriate: heel-taps, she thought,
drum-taps, muffled drums at a mill
tary funeral; and this was the funeral
of the Maison Masque, a war-time
casualty, because no one now wanted
the exclusive designs, the personal
models, which had brought so much
fame and prosperity to the little salon
ln Bond Street. The Maison Masque
was dead.
"But I didn't go bankrupt, thought
Miss Croy grimly; Maison Masque had ,
at least gone down—to change the j
metaphor from the military to the j
naval—with flying colors. "The fash
ionable colors this year, to be flown ,
w'hile going down, will be acajou and.
Sahara . .
From the hall below came the voice,
of Miss Ponter, the kind and efficient j
head of the work-room.
"Have we forgotten anything, Ma- j
dame?" I
"No." called back Miss Croy, "I'm
What she had almost forgotten ner
gelf was that she was taking the entire
ßtaff out for a farewell supper. She,
would have given much to avoid it, but
ghe never shirked her obligations, and
this last melancholy feast was one of
them. Miss Croy continued slowly,
downstairs. She had rented the upper
part of the house only: the ground,
floor belonged to Hugh Brocard, pho - 1
tographer; and now, as she joined the
group of girls in the hall she saw that
he too was flitting. On his elegant
cream door was pinned a large notice:
"CLOSED." It wasn't even printed, It
was scrawled in a big sprawling hand.
It looked almost light-hearted. But
then Hugh Brocard was quite young,
"So Mr. Brocards going too!" ex
claimed Miss Ponter.
"Yes," said Miss Croy. "The house
will be empty."
The little girl who matched patterns
ran to open the door. But some one
was there before her. a small, wiry,
elderly body whom Miss Croy recog
nized as the Scotch char-woman. She
lived in the basement with two grand
children. and had the whole house
spotless before nine each morning.
Miss Croy felt in her bag for a couple
of pound notes.
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Montana Oil &
Mining Journal
Great Faite, Montana
If it's TEXACO
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Good bye, Mrs. Bridie, and thank
"Good bye. my leddy, and thank
So ^at W as that, and it was all
over and Miss cr oy stepped briskly
0U {. and d ; d not look behind,
At the big table in the Coronation
Restaurant the rules of precedence
were strictly observed as at any Am
^assadorlal banquet: on Madame's
j-jg^t sat Miss Ponter. on her left Miss
head of the show-room; the
foot was taken by Mrs. James, the
cutter> and in between were ranged
seven gj r ls and the tiny matcher,
.. Than)c heaven I haven't to worry
abou t them." thought Miss Croy. ob
serv t ng the cheerful faces: for the
girls were going all together into the
Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Miss
p on ter intended to train as a nurse,
the beautiful and languid Miss Daw
jj s}î was s i m ply getting married, and
Mrs j ames had been snapped up by
a mass-producing dress factory. Even
ma [ C her had found herself in de
Imand: she was going to be a Mother's!
Help t 0 a very nice lady with four
children _ ,
"I am the only one unprovided for,"
bought Miss Croy, lending a polite
ear to the glories of the Dawllsh trous
j whole table was genuinely and profes
sionally interested, and Miss Croy was
a ble t 0 s p a re a moment for the dis
passiorfate consideration of her own
They struck her as poor. She was
45 , and looked 10 years younger, but
w ith a heart that fluttered and paused
n ition factory, or hospital, or govem
men t office, were simply out of the
I and panties flowed steadily on, the
at any physical exertion. The inces
sant work that had gone to build up
her business had been possible only
on certain condition; a rest every aft
ernoon, for example, frequent taxis,
a constant husbanding of strength;
the obvious forms of war work in mu
She was an excellent woman of bus
iness and a brilliant designer, but
these now seemed to be peace-time as
sets only. She was essentially an ex
ecutive, and the thronging new organi
zations wanted not executives of 45,
but husky young 20 -year-olds ready
to run about and obey orders . . .
"You look tired, Madame," said kind
Miss Ponter.
"I am, a little," admitted Miss Croy,
She would have given much to be able
to order champagne, but the work
room girls were too young. "When do
you start your training?" she asked.
"On Monday? You will find it a great
"I expect I shall," agreed Miss Pon
ter cheerfully. "But we've got to do
our bit. And I'm looking forward to
it: there'll be lots of other girls start
ing, and I've always been one to make
"Whereas I," thought Miss Croy,
"have not." Acquaintances, yes—hun
dreds of them: in business, in the
theater, among the gay elegant party
givers who wore her designs and relied
on her taste; but for friendship she
had always been too fastidious, too
aloof, and above all too busy. Cer
tainly too busy for love. The building
up, and then successful running, of
j Maison Masque, had fully occupied
her. Maison Masque had been her
lover and her friend and her famDy
and her life.
"I am widowed," thought Miss Croy,
"but left comfortably off."
It was true; she had a modest in
come, the fruit of the last 10 years'
soaring profits. She wouldn't starve.
But Maison Masque was dead, and she
felt as though the table should have
been spread with funereal baked meats.
It was spread, In actuality, with the
empty dishes of 12 peach melbas, now
giving place to 12 cups of coffee. Miss
Ponter caught the eyes of Miss Daw
llsh and Mrs. James, and suddenly
rapped on the table with her spoon.
"Madame, and ladles—" began Mias
("She's going to make a speech. This
Is dreadful!" thought Miss Croy.)
"Before we all part—before we all
tread our new and different paths—"
("She's enjoying it!)"
"I'm sure you'd all wish me to say
how much we regret leaving Madame
and how we've all appreciated the priv
ilege of working for her. It's dreadful
to see a house like Maison Masque go
"But a war's a war, and when we*ve ;
won It I hope we may all some day
be working for her again. In the !
meantime. I'll Just say, Thank you, j
Madame, and au revoir, and good luck
to everybody." !
Eleven coffee-spoons hammered as j
one. "Speech!" cried Mrs. James. )
"Speech!" echoed the matcher—greatly /

• I

,* eaid th• warden eharply, "don't yam
daring. They all cried out for a speech.
Miss Croy's heart fluttered; then she
drew a deep breath and held up her
thin, capable, unemployable hand.
"All I have to say is, thank you very
much. And if you work in your new
jobs as you've worked for me. you will
do very well. Indeed. Good luck!"
It was Miss Dawllsh who said It—
the languid, beautiful Miss Dawlish
who had somehow found in the Bond
Street salon her spiritual home.
"Maison Masque!" said Miss Daw
Eleven coffee cups were raised and
emptied. That was the very end. Miss
Croy signalled quickly for the bill. It
was absurdly small—no cocktails, no
wine. There was no need to wait for
change. Then she turned to Miss Pon
"Miss Ponter, will you see that the
young ones go home at once, before
dark? You and Miss Dawlish and
Mrs. James, of course, do as you please,
but the young ones-"
Madame, and get a good night's rest."
"Thank you, said Miss Croy, "I shall."
"I'll see they catch their busses,"
And I
said Miss Ponter, capably,
hope you'll go straight home yourself,
But she wasn't going home yet. She
was going back to the dead, the empty
shell of Maison Masque In Bond Street.
The hall was very dark. She felt her
way to the lift and propelled herself
up to the first floor. She dared not
risk the stairs, and yet, when her life
how absurd, how fantastic,
to take these precautions. • She was
Just going to take a last look round;
there was still a divan in the gutted
show-room, she would just sit down
on it a few minutes, and mourn a
little, watch a little, before she went
"After all, I have only myself to
worry about,
have no responsibilities,
elevator and put her key in the show
room door. The next Instant she had
the shock of her life.
There was someone there already.
There were two people, a boy in uni
form and a girl in tumbled hair. They
were on the divan. As she pushed
open the door they started up. But
they were not alarmed, not guilty,
they were simply angry with her.
"Go away!" said the girl sharply.
Miss Croy took a firm hold on her
thought Miss Croy. "I
She left the
"These are still my premises." she
said. "Who are you?"
"I worked for you last year," said
the girl. "You sacked me for thieving.
But I don't steal any more now. And
this Is my boy, and he has to go back
tomorrow, and we had nowhere to be."
All at once Miss Croy remembered
her: A red-haired baggage of con
I Natural Gas
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communities in four northwestern states through
more than 1,000 miles of high-pressure pipeline.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.
siderable charm but no morals. She
"How did you get in?"
"I had a key made from yours." She
threw it, and it tinkled at Miss Croy's
"I shan't need it now he's go
ing. He's going to Palestine! Can't
you leave us be?"
Automatically Miss Croy stooped,
picked up the key, and left them. She
felt outraged. She felt that the Mai
Masque had been outraged. And
she felt suddenly too tired to do any
thing about It. There had been a bit
ter passion In the girl's voice that was
frightening; she had never been able
to deal with emotion. So she stood
there irresolute, shut out, at a loss;
and at that moment the sirens wailed
over London in warning of a raid.
thought Miss
"I must get home,
The sky was full of searchlights.
She halted a moment on the pave
ment, watching, and Instinctively be
gan to design an evening cloak—a
rather exaggerated, first-night affair—
of black cloth slashed with silver.
Then she smiled wryly; not cloaks; but
trousers, were now the midnight mode.
Something small and swift slipped
out of the darkness and rubbed against
her foot. It was a kitten, a thin gray
alley-kitten, as light, when she picked
it up. as a dead leaf. Miss Croy rather
liked tats, admiring their elegance and
self-sufficiency; she stroked the crea
ture gently from ears to tail, and felt
its bones under her fingers. The kit
ten purred loudly. It
like a Spitfire. "That would be a good
name for you," said Miss Croy rashly;
for she did not yet know that to give
an animal a name is the first step to
wards adopting it. In fact, she In
tended to put Spitfire down at once,
but at that moment the larger and
more solid shape of a Warden diverted
her attention.
"Please get inside at once," said the
Warden sharply. "Don't you know
there's a raid on?"
Miss Croy stiffened. She was used
to giving, not taking orders.
"Thank you," she said. "I do know,
And I am just going to take a taxi
"Where to?"
"You can't start for Hampstead now.
Please go to the shelter at the end
of the street."
The giving of orders bad at least
taught Miss Croy a respect for author
ity, and she at once moved in the
required direction. But the Warden
stopped her again.
"Can't take the cat. Madam. No
animals allowed in public shelters."
It was one order too many. Miss
Croy had originally had every inten
tlon of putting the kitten down and
leaving it to take its chance. Now
she tucked it more snugly within her
arm and turned back to the door.
"I may take it, I suppose, into my
own premises?"
"You may," snapped the Warden.
"I should advise the basement. Be
quick, please."
He was naturally impatient; he had I
spied another loiterer at the end of the •
Come right in, sir!" called Mrs,
street; but he waited to see her put
the key in the lock, and open the door,
and shut it behind her. "
She could not go upstairs again, she
could not stand in the empty hall. So
she took the Warden's advice and went
downstairs and knocked on the base
ment door.
(Continued Next Week)
The Montana board of public wel
fare asked all counties to increase old
age assistance payments in accordance
with 1941 session laws and promised,
increases are available as soon as
Chairman O. A. Borgeson of Dillon
and Board Members D. S. McCorkle
of Conrad, Davis Graham of Missoula,
Harry L. Bums of Chinook and Mrs.
Belle Nye of Billings Issued a state
ment pointing out an appropriation
increase of $260,000 made by the 1941
session of the legislature for increased
old age pension payments.
The statement added:
"These increases (in old age pen
sions) cannot lawfully be made by the
board. . . . Old age assistance must
be based on need. ... All county
welfare departments . . . have been
requested to review old age assistance
grants in accordance with the need
of the individual t . . .
"Since the federal government con
tributes 50 percent of the amount paid
In old age assistance, any Increase
must be approved by the social se
curity board. Further, the present test
case pending in the Montana supreme
court may affect the amount available
to the various counties. For these rea
sons the board cannot at this time
determine or fix the amount of in
'The board believes that present
grants are too low . . , and the al
lowances must be Increased."

HELENA.—The Montana land board
decided to sell one Issue of government
bonds and buy another, a transaction
which would net the state a $310,000
profit and Increase the Income from
a $3,000,000 Investment by $10,438 an
Commissioner J. W. Walker said the
issue which will be sold is a non taxable
issue, while the issue to be bought j
is taxable, resulting in considerable >
LzLi 1
Coll in Sotony-Vdtuum for
Correct Lubrication
The correct lubrication of mechanical
equipment contributes to the long life of
machinery and minimum expense for
repairs and replacements of worn parts; it
saves labor, conserves power, helps to avoid
shut downs, and is a vital factor in main
taining maximum production at least pos
sible cost.
In thousands of plants of every description
throughout industry, the expression
"Correct Lubrication" is synonymous with
Socony-Vacuum Lubricants and specialized
lubrication engineering service.
First Notional Bonk Bldg.
final Foil*
saving in market price. The state will
not be required to pay taxes on the
new issue.
The board, at its monthly meeting,
also authorised Rutledge Parker, state
forester at Missoula, to advertise lor
sale the timber on 1.340 acres of the
Swan river state forest in western
The Big West Refining Co. was
awarded oil and gas rights on 1,700
acres of state land in Toole county on
a bid of $3 an acre, plus royalties.
The Butte public stockyards, which
was opened recently has «me of the
finest and most modern plants in the
United States. That is the opinion of
leaders in the livestock industry of
the nation, who have Inspected the
$ 200,000 plant south of the city.
"Butte has one of the finest stock
yards in the nation today," was the
opinion expressed by Tom Fife of
Sioux City, la., manager of the Pro
ducers Commission association,
Butte Stockyards
Highly Praised
MILES CITY.—Fire of undetermined
origin caused loss estimated at from
$45,000 to $50,000 in the business dis
trict here.
Sea otters had not been seen off
Southern California for 21 years when
a herd of 100 was reported off Mon
terey In 1938
applied to oil
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ial interest to the oil geologist,
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facts. at
and ma
alyaes o
.Montana Oil and
Mining Journal
Great Falte, Montana

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