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mimât WOODEN SPOIL By VICTOR ROUSSEAU ILLUSTRATIONS BY IRWIN MYERS ■ (Copyright, 1919, by George H. Doran Co.) MMa*Mé*aa*i liMMS I "DO NOT PRESUME TO SPEAK TO ME ANY MOREI" Synopsis.—Hilary Askew, young American, comes Into possession of the timber and other rights on a considerable section of wooded land In Quebec— the Rosny seigniory. Lamartine, his uncle's lawyer, tells him the property Is of little value. He visits it, and finds Morris, the manager, away. From Lafe Connell, mill foreman, Askew learns his uncle has been systematically robbed. Askew and Connell reach an understanding, and Askew realises the extent of the fraud practiced on his uncle. Askew learns that Morris, while manager of his (Askew's) property, Is associated with the Ste. Marie company, a rival con cern, of which Edouard Brousseau is the owner. Hilary discharges Morris and makes Connell manager. Askew discovers a gang of Brousaeau's men cutting timber on his property. After an altercation he la compelled to engage In a fistic battle with "Black Pierre," the leader, and whips him. He also clashes with Leblanc, his boss jobber. CHAPTER IV.—^Continued. How far could he count on them? To the last penny, perhaps, and liter ally. Their Jobs would hold them to him In spite of Brousseau, Just so long as their wages were forthcoming. Probably nine-tenths of them resent ed his presence In their country. His victory over Black Pierre had raised him In their estimation; they might hate him instead of despising him, but that was all. He could count on the devotion and faithfulness of perhaps one man besides Lafe Connell—little Baptiste. The gang was hard at work below the dam, strengthening the structure of the boom. Riviere Rocheuse, pour ing down from the foothills of the Laurentlans, speeds with great force through the gorge above St. Boniface, widens opposite the settlement, and, gathering Its waters there, shoots straight as a dart over the broken cliff Into the guif. If, when the Jam was broken, the pressure of the great mass of logs proved too strong fof the boom, In stead of passing Into the flume they would pour over the cataract Into the St. Lawrence, where their retrieval would be Impossible. Such an acci dent hnd happened on a small scale ence before. If It should happen now the loss would end all Hilary's hopes. He was glad Baptiste had seen this. Hilary searched for the figure of the little timekeeper and general utility man, but failed to find It. He ascended the hill beside the rush fng cataract. He was crossing /the waste land where the logs and tin cans were strewn when he saw Jean Marie. The little man was engaged In earnest conversation with Black Pierre behind a shed. Black Pierre seemed to be protesting vigorously. The presence of the man beside Bap tiste came to Hilary with a shock. Without changing his pace he ad vanced toward them, In his mind re peating Lafe's advice over and over. He was still Inwardly quivering, yet trying to appear unconcerned, when the two perceived him. Pierre turned toward him with a scowl on his bruised face. His eyes were black ened, and he looked the Incarnation of malignancy. He spoke to Baptiste quickly, and to Hilary's surprise Baptiste, without ac knowledging his presence, walked slowly away with him. Baptiste's sadden departure puzzled Hilary a good deal at the time, and much more afterward. CHAPTER V. Marie Dupont Lafe was as despondent as Hilary Hilary over Leblanc's treachery, had only one cause for satisfaction In the situation, and that was a purely personal one. He was glad that Le blanc's cancellation of the contract had left the Chateau grounds immune, and so had neutralized Brousseau's first move in the campaign. What galled him was the reflection that In this fight which Brousseau had thrust upon him he was fighting Madeleine too. He shrank from the thought of Madeleine Rosny as Brous seau's wife; he tried to think of her as sacrificing herself for her father's sake. But this picture would not hold together; she was most evidently ac quainted with Brousseau's designs, and approved of them. On the day after the Interview with Leblanc a new development occurred. Lafe, who had been grumbling nil day, came into the office and flung down his hat In utter dejection. "Something new?' asked Hilary. "There's talk of a strike," said Lafe tn disgust. "Brousseau has had his men at work among 'em, and they're saying that you're keeping wages down, and that Brousseau would give two dollars a day if you would." "He wants to get Into toy capital, ehr "It's just one way of hitting us. I tell you, Mr. Askew, It's a tough Job we've taken on. You know these men ain't got sense, been handing out free drinks In that shebeen of his at Ste. Marie, and tell ing them what a hard master you are, and they're just swallowing It." "We'll face that trouble when It de velops," answered Hilary. But Hilary did some hard thinking, and It settled/about Dupont. If Brous seau could buy out Dupont he was finished; he could never get a lumber schooner that year, and he must get out some shipments before navigation closed. He decided to appeal to Fa Simeon Duval has ther Lucien to help him out In this difficulty. But Father Lucien forestalled him with a visit that evening, agreeably surprised by the warmth of his welcome, heard Hilary attentively, and at once volunteered to assist him. "But there will be no trouble, mon sieur," he said. He was Captaln Dupont Is Independent, and he does not love the Ste. Marie people. "Father Lucien," said Hilary, was going to have a talk with T you later about certain things that are ob Jectlonabl the liqour trade, for In stance.' Father Lucien stopped and thumped his stick upon the chlpstrewn sand. "Now that Is exactly what was In my mind when I started out to see you today. Monsieur Askew, swered. he an They are bad people over at Ste. Marie, and they are making St. Boniface as bad as they are. They laugh at me when I speak to them. It Is bad ; but It cannot go on. Monsieur Askew, as I said to you the day I you, I 'ope we shall be frlen's. Now I know we shall be, and, please God, we shall at least keep the brandy out of St. Boniface." set They stopped and shook hands upon their compact, and then went on to gether, past the straggling outskirts of the village, beyond the wharf, until they reached Dupont's cottage. The cure tapped at the door. With in Hilary could hear the murmur of voices, which suddenly ceased. Then there came the splutter of a match, and the flame of a lamp. Hilary saw a girl's figure In silhouette against the shade. It was that of Marie Dupont, the captain's daughter, and Hilary remem bered that there was some mystery about her; he had seen her going her solitary way about the village, Ignored by all and ignoring all. At the same time he saw another figure slinking away into the shadows of the pines. Father Lucien saw it too. and darted forward and caught It by the arm, and drew It toward the bèaeh. It was a girl of about four and twenty, with a foolish, weak face and gaudy finery. "Nanette Bonnat,' said the cure very sternly, "how often have I for bidden thee to come here?" "Let me go !" cried the girl, whim pering and struggling. The door opened and Marie Dupont stood on the threshold. The flicker /, v \ 1 k\\ ft # n "Nanette Bonnat" Said the Cure Very Sternly, "How Often Have I For bidden Thee to Come Here?" Ing light of the lamp within fell on her face, Illuminating one side and leaving the other half In shadow. The face was pretty, but sad, embittered, and rather hard. The cure, still hold ing Nanette by the arms, turned to ward Marie. "So my Instructions count for noth ing!" hé said angrily. "Well, why should she not come here, Monsieur Tessier?" demanded Marie Dupont. "Have I so many friends In St. Boniface that I should turn from those few I have? In Ste. Marie they are glad to see me. Is It so wrong that I should go there with my friend to dance sometimes, when the doors of St. Boniface are closed to me?" The ringing scorn In her voice was characteristic of some latent strength; she seemed to Hilary like one who has been hammered Into strength upon the anvil of life. Father Lucien released N nette. "There, run along," he said, with pity In his voice. Nanette, her. said gently. The girl fled from him, sobbing, and Hilary could hear her sobs after she had been hidden by the pines. "Where Is. thy father?" asked the Do not come here again, He made a swift sign over God be with thee, Nanette," he cure. "He has gone to the store," faltered the girl. "I shall say nothing, Father Lucien. Monsieur Tessier —" answered But do not let this happen again. Marie," he contlnned, "thou hast won the love of a good man." Her face hardened, and she looked sullenly at the priest. "A girl should think long before re fusing a good man who loves her." 8he cast her eyes down; and there was the incarnation of rebellious stub bornness In the rigid figure. The captain's steps were heard, crushing the wood chips Into the shin gle. The old man came quickly for ward Into the arc of lamplight ; quick ly, as If he feared the realization of some terror gnawing at his heart. For a moment Hilary saw the pale gray eyes.with the same menace upon his own. Then Duront knew him. "Bonsoir, Monsieur Askew,"he said, extending his hand. He opened the cottage door, but the cure did not enter. "Captain Dupont," he said, has been trouble between Monsieur Askew here and Monsieur Morris." "I have heard of It," replied the cap T there tain. "Ask him If he Is willing to accept his orders from me," said Hilary. The cure translated, aq$ the captain answered him, stroking his gray beard and speaking with slow emphasis. "It Is all right," said Father Lucien finally. freight where he finds It. He takes from your company in accordance with his contract. He will not break If Brousseau refuses him freight he can pick up all he needs on the south shore. You can rely on him." Hilary felt deeply satisfied. If the captain was staunch, not Morris nor Brousseau nor all his men should pre- " vent him from getting out a record cutting before navigation closed. "Tell Dupont we'll keep him busy," Hllary said. When he was with Father Lucien upon their homeward way he asked him a question about a matter that hnd puzzled him. "Why does Dupont look at me as If I were his mortal enemy?" he asked. "Ah, Monsieur Askew," said the cure, stopping to thump his stick upon the shingle, "there is a story there. So he looks at every man when first he meets him. He fears for the girl Marie—and unfortunately he Is right In his fears. For she has her mother's nature. "It was many years ago, nearly twenty, I think, and before I came up here, when Capt. Jules Dupont was a fisherman in St. Boniface. He was married to Marie Letellier, who was much younger than he, and gay and thoughtless. People said It was an ill made match ; but she loved him, and they were happy. "When he left his young bride to go sealing off Newfoundland the tongues n0 wagged, but he trusted her, and when he returned there was the child Ma- up rle, and a warm welcome. So three years passed. "When Jules Dupont returned the ' fourth year his wife was gone. With whom? Nobody knew. I know more than anyone In St. Boniface, but I never knew. Some wanderer from the I south shore; and six months later she was back with the child, pleading for Is, forgiveness. He sheltered her until her death soon afterward. Since then his fear has been that Marie will have In herited the mother's nature. He never makes a voyage but he returns In fear and haste. And he wishes her to marry Jean-Marie Baptiste, who loves her—but you have seen tonight to what her mind is turning. "The women recall her mother's fate, and their dislike has made her secretive and solitary. And It Is lone ly here; and Ste. Marie so near. Mon sleur Askew, you saw the girl Nanette, as She is from St. Joseph, of decent par ents, who mourn for her. She was lured from her home to Ste. Marie, of and I have fears that some one Is using her as a tool to get the girl Ma rle Dupont Into his clutches. But what can I do save watch and wait? "Therefore, Monsieur Askew," con tlnued Father Lucien, much agitated, of "I implore you to prevent this evil from spreading to St. Boniface. It Is ed Brousseau who debauches those poor people there. It Is he who Is respohsl ble for all this evil. He cares nothing a for the people, so long as he wields their votes for his creature in the pur- out Hument at Quebec. And this, mon sleur, was chiefly the cause of my er visit to you tonight, to urge you to keep the brandy und the dance halls in out of St. Boniface, for I hear It being to said that one of the Duvals boasts he will open n dance hall there." "No brandy shall be sold on the St. Boniface property. Father Luden." , "I nut glad, monsieur,'' answered the 1 Captain Dupont takes his it. "But Simeon Duval and his dure. brother Louis boast of Brousseau's protection, and they are dangerous men." "You have my promise," said Hilary, "that they shall not sell liquor in St. Boniface. And by heaven I'll smash any man who tries to corrupt my peo ple P he added, with a vehemence that surprised himself. Hilary slept poorly that night. Trou ble'seemed to be thickening about him. Had he, Indeed, the power to handle these wild people whose very tongue he could hardly understand? Then, out of the darkness, there rose, In vivid portrayal, the face of Madeleine Rosny. He admitted now how much she meant to him, enough to make any venture worth the while. He thought of their last meeting; and In spite of It he dared to dream of a happier one to come. Before he fell asleep he had decided to go to Quebec and try to secure some jobber to take over Leblanc's lease. At the same time he would look up the land records and get an accurate Idea of the extent of the Rosny seigniory. Characteristically, he put his plan Into practice two days later, when the down boat arrived, Instructing Lafe to hold up the dynamiting till his return. Lafe saw him off, and he had hardly arrived on board before discovering that Morris had embarked at Ste. Marie. Hilary suspected him of hav ing learned of his plan and spying on him. The two men eyed each other, but did not speak. Hilary put up at the Frontenac and, having business with the customs office with reference to a shipment of ma chinery, a small matter requiring a re fund, he called there, and was disgust ed to see Morris coming out of the rev enue department In conversation with the assistant chief. he of He failed entirely In his attempts to get a Jobber to sublease Leblanc's tract. There were plenty of small men willing to do so on the installment sys tem, but none willing to risk an Imme diate Investment on a territory with such a reputation as St. Boniface had unjustly acquired. Hilary knew he had to thank Morris for that. He returned to St. Boni face next day with only one thing ac complished. He had seen the land map and ascertained that'the upper reaches of Rocky river had been surveyed and that the creek was wholly on his own land. ' Tm S lad you've come," he said, as they drove to the mill together. " ThIn 8 8 were pretty bad on Saturday nl £ ht -" "They're striking?" "No, Mr. Askew. That's the brlght e8 t point In the situation. MacPherson, the foreman, tells me that it's called °^' Brousseau's dropped that ver ' for 80me reason of his own." "What's the trouble, then?" 4,1 8 uess Brousseau's off on another tack, Mr. Askew. All the hands was over to Ste. Marie on Saturday night by 8pec,al invitation from Simeon Du va, > who °wns the biggest dance hall there. There was free drinks for every bod y. and the whole place was In uproar till Sunday morning. Not a stroke of work has been done here till yesterday, which means a four-day week. The men are only Just sobering up now . "However, that ain't the worst, by ,on ® 8, 6bt. It's a sort of open secret that they're going to open up St. Boni face w,de - and Simeon's—" " y ou mean Simeon has dared to start one of his hells here while I was away?" cried Hilary angrily. "Not yet," said Lafe. "There ain't n0 more liquor being sold here than usual—yet. But they're going to open up lf they can. Simeon's brother Louis bas rented that house by the old sta bles that Jean Baptiste used to occupy ' as t year before It began to go to Pieces, and he's going to have a dancs hall there and sell brandy—" Hilary rapped out an oath. "Not lf I have anything to say," he answered, "Nor me," said Lafe. "The trouble Is, where do we start In? We can't fight the whole town single-handed. I was wondering whether we couldn't wire the revenue people—" "No !" said Hilary sharply, fight our own battles, Lafe." Lafe subsided In a hurt sort of way. The evidences of demoralization obvious In St. Boniface. The men were slow and surly, the women sullen, slatternly and hopeless-looking. It was clear that they had little hope Hilary could counter this new project. Hil ary was aware of a feeling In the air, as lf he was being tested. furtive glances as he went by, he ognlzed reluctance In the sullen touch of the cap and the unsmiling faces, while not hostile, watched him with something like resentment, as lf his attitude toward the Duval proposal was discounted beforehand. Hilary hud kept In his mind a plan of cutting along the bank of the river, without waiting for the snow. It seem - ed to him a feasible plan to fell right beside the water, and float the logs down, this requiring no teams to haul, a process impossible until the snow was deep. On the Saturday he went out afoot to survey the timber In the upper reaches. In order to get a clear er view, Hilary took the public road that ran along the eastern bank, with in the Ste. Marie limits, and ascended to an elevation opposite the low-lying tract on the west side, He hud nearly reached the branch rond which ran In toward Ste. Marie , along which Lafe and he had driven on 1 t'at first morning, when he perceived He found, too, with some sur prise, that a large Island out In the Gulf was part of the Rosny domain. It hnd not appeared on Morris' rough map. Lnfe, who met him at the wharf, looked worried. maneu an n ■We'll were He saw rec I Madeleine Itosny and Brousseau Ahead of him, at the top of the rise. They seemed to be talking earnestly, and Hilary held back, unwilling to surprise them. Presently he saw Brousseau spur his horse and gallop away In the direction of Ste. Marie, while Made leine came slowly toward him. She saw him and turned her horse aside to let him pass. She had been crying, and there were traces of tears still on her cheeks. She woulb have waited for him to go by, her face averted, but Hilary placed his hand upon the horse's bridle. "Mademoiselle Rosny —" he began. "Let me go on," she said 1A a low tone. his St. of a an to on re "I want to speak to you. And If you are in trouble I want td help you: She smiled wearily. "I am not In trouble, and If I were I should hardly ask your aid, Monsieur Askew," she answered. Then, with sudden ve hemence, "Why did you come here?" Why could you nc|t have left St. Boniface alone, Instead of stir ring up hatred? Is It not enoujçh that my father should have been compelled to sell yôur uncle our trees, Without your coming here to exult oVer our shame?" she cried. "I have not exulted, Mademoiselle Rosny; I am sorry." "Take back your pity. We don't want It What has Monsieur Brous seau done to you—or Mr. Morris?" "Morris, since you Inquire, häs swin dled me out Of several thousand dol to a\v\ Ü t J M 'L«t Me Go," 8he Said in a Low Tone. lars' worth of lumber, Mademoiselle Rosny. As for Monsieur Brousseau, the trouble Is of his own seeking." "You went upon Monsieur Brous seau's land and quarreled with of his workmen, and you Ill-treated him shamefully, Just because you are big and strong, and not aftfaid of a weaker man. And you and your hired men—our men who serve you—have taken Monsieur Brousseau'^ lumber, and you are going to sell It as your own. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you outlaw !" "You're altogether wrong. Mademoi selle Rosny," answered Hilary quiet ly. "The quarrels were noné of them of my seeking. Monsieur Brousseau, who Is quite capable of taking care of himself, lays claim to land and^lum I suggest, Î aye not our hos one her which Is not his. mademoiselle, that you shown sufficient cause for tllity. ' I have done you no wrohg," urged Hilary. "I have come her« to take charge of a legacy which my uncle left me. It Is all I have in fhe world. It has been my hope to raakp the task successful and. In succeeding, to elder my neighbors and help my ployees. Is not this a cose for working amicably togetherj as you suggested In the case of i Monsieur Brousseau? Come, Mademoiselle Ros ny, let us forget our quarrel and be friends." con em our She did not take the haijd that he extended, but she looked at him In wonder. "You spoke of my goodwill," she said presently, with a touch of mock ery. "What is that to yon? Surely my father's feeling toward you, which Is mine, can have no power to help or injure you?" "It means much to me, your good will, Mademoiselle Rosny," said Hilary. She leaned forward In her saddle. "Monsieur Askew, to me If you value my good-will you shall have It on one condition." "On any condition." "That you leave St. Boniface. "Except that," said Hilary. "It Is not that I grudg possession," resumed the girl hurried ly. "Believe me, I am not jthlnklng of that. As you said, the she sfliid, "listen you your oney was paid, and the rights are yours. But this Is no place for you, monsieur. I could esteem you and—and give you my good-will if you said T have made a mistake,' and went, stay here, to stir tip trouble and agi tate us all? What Is It you want, that you will not take the value of your trees from Monsieur Brousseau and go?" "I have a natural objection to being driven out of my own property," said Hilary. "It should never have b Monsieur Brousseau wanted It, but my father—" She broke off in agltatibn. Hilary laid his hand lightly upoh the rein, near her own. Why do you een yours. "Mademoiselle Rosny, conscious that he was as agitated as she. he urged, "I want to ask you something. I do not want you to go to Ste. Mnrie. I said I wanted to help yob. Perhaps I had no right, bat I do not want! yon to go there. It Is because I honor you, and—" She was staring at him In greater distress, she understood. "If Monsieur Brousseau—" hue oe gan, half-choking. "Forgive me, mademoiselle, ibut does he mean so much to you as that?" She started and twitched the rein You are Insolent!" she cried. the low He hardly knew whether away. "How dare you question me or lay down the law to me? heard enough. Stay, then, Monsieur Askew, and cut down the trees that you have bought, and sell them; but do not presume to speak to me any more !" She touched her horse with ner spur, and the beast bounded away, al most flinging Hilary to the ground. Her face was flaming; ye*, as she rode, Hilary could hear htt sobbing No, I have If In she again. He was sure that B.ousseau was He re ve our the cause of her distress, called Lafe's words to himself on the night of their first meeting. Brous seau's grasping hand was stretched forth not only on the seigniory but on its heiress—and he vowed that the battle between them should be fought out on this ground also. dol CHAPTER VI. Inside the Dance Hall. It had been the general expectation that Louis Duval would open his sa loon that evening. Hilary was aware that Lonls and two assistants were en- . gaged in carpentering behind the closed door of the shanty. However, evening came and the house remained closed. Furthermore, there was a gen eral exodus toward Ste. Marie, and when the news came that Louis him self had gone It became'clear that he had postponed his Inauguration of the test of Hilary's authority, for reasons known best to himself, or perhaps to Brousseau. Hilary came to the decision to ride over to Ste. Marie that night and see what was transpiring there. Lafe, to whom he confided his scheme, thought It risky, but, when he could not Induce Hilary to change It, asked permission to accompany him and made him promise to avoid trouble. It was about an hour after dark when they turned up from the beach Into the main street which held the chief dance halls. Simeon Duval's place was working full blast, as were half a dozen more, and Hilary recognized numbers of his own men en route. Nobody appeared to notice them, however, and they reached Simeon's place unnccosted, and, stand ing upon the porch beside the door, looked In. It was a large wooden building, within which a score of lumbermen were dancing, mostly with one an other; but a few had women partners. There was no pretense of secrecy In respect of the sale of liquor. Simeon Duval, whom Lafe Indicated to Hilary, was a stoutlsh, middle-aged man In shirtsleeves, with pale blue eyes and a thin crop of reddish hair, turning gray. He wore spectacles, which gave him a strange, scholastic expression, and the arms beneath his upturned sleeves were a mass of fat and muscle. The Interior S was vilely hot, gusts of fetid air càtne rolling out with the to bacco smoke, and the din was deafen a of of ing. As the two stood there Hilary was astonished to see little Baptiste push past them and enter, agitated, and he seemed to see noth ing but his objective. He Strode through the dancers toward one side of the room, where two girls were seated. Hilary had observed one of them decline several Invitations ito dance and drink, though apparently urged by the other ; now be recognized them as Nanette and Marie Dupont. Baptiste strode straight up to Ma rie and stood before her. Hilary could hear nothing, but he saw the little timekeeper gesticulating, and appar ently imploring her. He saw Marie shrug her shoulders and avert her face. Nanette was laughing, and two or three of the lumbermen nearby watched the little scene with His face was v amuse ment. Baptiste grew more vehement Marie turned on him angrily. A dance hall—and the beginning of more trou ble. (TO BE CONTINUED.) "Kitchen Middens." Kitchen middens are great mounds, some 100 feet long and 250 feet wide, found in Denmark, England, Scotland. France and tn parts of Europe, North and South America and Australia. They are supposed to be the refuse heaps of prehistoric periods, and composed chiefly of oyster, periwinkle, cockle and mussel shells. In them are found Implements of wood, stone, bones of animals and cinders. I are Sea-l stand Cotton. Practically all of the sea-island cot- • ton Is produced In the states of Geor gia, Florida and South Carolina, the finest coming from the chain of Isl ands off the Carolina coast. It Is well named sea-island cotton, as when grown away from the coast the fiber rapidly degenerates Into upland cot ton unless seed grown In the Isl ands is obtained for planting succes sive crops. Alcohol From Moss. A Swedish syndicate is planning to distill alcohol spirit from white moss, there being enormous Quantities of U available.