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Storm Country Polly
THE “ANGEL* 8 YNOPBrß.—Occupying a dilapi dated shack In the Silent City, a squatter settlement near Ithaca. New York. Polly Hopkins lives with her father, small Jerry, and an old woman. Granny Hope. On an adjacent farm, Oscar Bennett, prosperous farmer. Is a neighbor. He la secretly married to Evelyn Robertson, supposedly wealthy girl of the neighborhood. Marcus Mac- Kenxle. who owns the ground the squatters occupy. Is their deter mined enemy. Polly overhears a conversation between MacKensie and a stranger. In which the former avows his Intention of driving the squatters from his land. The stran ger sympathises with the squatters, and earns Polly's gratitude. Evelyn Robertson discovers from her moth er that they are not rich, but prac tically living on the bounty of Robert Perclval. Evelyn's cousin Polly learns from Evelyn that the sympathetic stranger Is Robert Perclval. Evelyn charges Polly with a message to Bennett, telling him she can give him no more money. She already bitterly regrets her marriage to the Ignorant furm er. Polly conveys her message and Oscar makes threats. He insists Evelyn meet him that night. Polly has her father and Ijirry Bishop, a squatter, take an oath to do Mac- Kenzle no Injury. Evelyn unsuccess fully tries to get money from her mother with which to buy off Ben nett and Induce him to leave the country, giving her her freedom. Rhe and MacKenzle avow their lave. CHAPTER V—Continued. **l wanted to ’fess op to you this rooming, Poll,** Oscar ran on. “It's • funny thing, but I reckon I care more for your little finger than for Eve’s whole body. Maybe some day after I get all her cash- ** Polly coughed down a lump thnt persisted In coming up In her thront. “You needn’t spiel lovln’s to me. Os cat," she gulped, "an’ I believe In be in' hone.«*t So, before your woman comes. I might as well give you a bit of toy mind. If I owned you from your cap to yoor hoots. I wouldn’t use you for a doormat in front of Duddy's ahnnty !** He shed a look of amazement. The confident smile faded from his face, and hla lips sagged at the corners. Then fee. arose to his feet. “I been thinking about yon all day." be broke forth. “You’ve got* every thin#'—looks. action and brains. I wont you. PHlyop and I’m going to Mss yon thin Time, so help roe God !*' He took a Itep toward her and Polly scrambled np. Just at that moment Evelyn entered. Oscar Ben ner! tunwd swiftly, and Polly, very petal plaa«e? herself at Eve's side. And ■a tie wind foamed the lake to fury and shook Granny Hope's forsaken lit fM hot the man nnd two glrla stood afloat a long, tense minute. then Oscar smiled at Evelyr. a tri umphant, insulting smile. “So yon thought It best to mind me, my lady,” he laughed. “I guess after s while you’ll come to know I meati uhat 1 any." Eve tried to speak but could not. Polly squeezed her arm encouragingly. “You’re a mean duffer, Oscar,” she thrust In. “Your woman's scared of you, that's all. Try bein’ better, an' see how she likes It.” “Bhe’s got n good right to be d—d •cared," grunted Bennett. “Now out with It, Eve. What’s the rumpus? You haven’t sent me u cent for a month." With shaking lingers Evelyn pushed back her wind-blown hair. “I couldn’t get any money, Oscar." •he wailed. “My allowance is all gone. I gave every cent of It to you. You know very well mother won’t give me any more." She had one cnrd left to piny, and ■he hoped It would take the trick. "I might as well tell you,” she con tinued, the steel in her eyes wiping ■way the blue. "Mother hasn’t any money. All I thought we had belongs to Cousin Bob.” She ceased speaking nnd waited an Instant to note how her news struck her hushaud. He flung up a clenched (Ist. “The devil take you. Eve!” he cried. “Don't try to put anything over on me like that. You’re the biggest liar In Tompkins county." That he partly believed her showed in his manner. ”I‘il never ’a’ married you If I’d a known that two years ago.” Oscar as verted hoarsely. “You can be dead certain of that, my lady. You were pretty careful to keep your money troubles to yourself. Sit down, both of you! You’re shivering like two cats.” Impulsively Evelyn went toward him. “Oh, Oscar, listen, listen to me.” she ••Id, trying to steady her voice. “I wsnt to be free. I can't, I can't live this way any longer.” A coarse oath fell from Bennett's Him. “Too don’t need tft” ho ahootod. -Too got o home to come to—my home. Too can do the work my old mbtber'e doing. It’, your Job, not hen. Too're my wife, by ginger, and aa I ■aid ta PoUyop here, you lire with me, er you pay op. I don’t giro a tinker's d—■ which you do.” Hla voice grew deep ta he dnlabed, and aa nil, taunting atnlla drew op Upa. Haelpn ahnddered and awayad. by Grace Miller White Copyright by Little, Brown Sc Co. mid Polly slipped oue arm around her waist. "You want to be free from me. eh?. That’s It, Is It?" he sneered. "Some other guy looming up to love. I s’pose. Well. I don’t mind who gets my leav ings If you niuke It worth tny while. But If not " Evelyn’s pale, beseeching face lifted to his. She could not quit him with out his promise that she should have her freedom. Neither must he think that she could get him a large sum of money. "I can’t get another dollar." she re peated hoarsely. **l simply can’t. And —ami I must be free." A frown drew the mans heavy brows together until they touched, und he lifted his list to strike; but Polly Hopkins, by one swil’t movement, thrust Evelyn front under the man’s upraised arm and crowded In between them. Because Evelyn was his wife, he had the right to bent her If lie pleused, Polly thought, but he would not dare to strike Polly. "If you’ve got to swut some one. Os car.” she gritted between her teeth, "swat tne!" The beautiful white face came close to Bennett's, and the challenge In the' squatter girl’s flashing eyes stirred u feeling within him that he never hud bad for Evelyn Robertson. Oscar bad always believed that a woman must fear u man to respect him, und that to respect him meant to love him. He did not want Evelyn Robertson In the farmhouse, but he did want money und Polly Hopkins. If he could master her us he bad Eve, she would come to him willingly when he was reudy for her. Working on that principle, he struck out. As the huge list came In contact with Pollyop’s shoulder, she staggered backward. Her low cry was followed by Evelyn’s scream. The squatter girl sank to the floor limply. No one hud ever struck her before. "You’ve killed her," cried Evelyn; und Oscur Bennett, fearful that the girls’ clamor would summon some In quisitive squutter, turned swiftly’ to go. "Both of you keep mum about this, my lady," be ordered. "Pm off! See?” With thut he tore open the shanty door; und Evelyn stood panting with her hand on her heart until the sound of his running footsteps was lost In the windstorm. Then Evelyn led Polly Hopkins home. One arm hung at the squatter girl’s side; and the pain in her shoul der, where Oscar's fist hud landed, was terrific. On nearing the shack. Polly whispered: "Mebhe he’ll he quiet a while now. You’d best scoot home, huh?" A small box passed from Evelyn’s hnndbng to the squatter girl’s pocket. "I brought them for Jerry," said Evelyn softly, "and oh, Polly, what ever can I do for you to even up things? Perhaps—" "Scoot home," Interrupted Polly, "I'm goln’ In." Pollyop stole Into the shanty In the greatest torment she had ever known. Granny Hope and Daddy Hopkins hud gone to bed, and she could hear her father’s loud breathing from the back room. She was glud of thnt. for If he were to learn how she had been hurt, bis rage would know no bounds. She lighted a candle and looked about dazedly. The billy goat was snuggled against the wood-box; and Nannie Lamb poked her head up and 1)1 Inked at the light. Polly put down the candle and slipped the dress from her shoulder. How dreadfully It hurt her! Oh; how she wnnted something to make her misery less! But squatters did not have money to spend on drug store remedies. From nn obi can she poured a little coal oil on u rag and bathed the In jured flesh. Then she took up the lamb and dropped Into a chair by the table. In sheer exhaustion her bead sank down upon it. After a while she straightened up, threw hack her curls, and raised the lamb's face to hers, u wry smile flitting across her Ups. "It’s goln’ to he a hard Job lovin’ Oscar and’ Old Marc like Jesus loved wicked folk, Nnnnyop,” she said under her breath, "hut tnebbe now I been face to face with a angel, I can do It.” Again her bend fell forward; but almost Instantly she nrose. and with the lamb in her right arm like a baby, moved to the side of the bed. Then she* snuggled the lamb under the blankets and put Granny Hope’s Bible beneath her pillow. Carefully she slipped off her clothes and put on a coarse nightrobe. Then, having snuffed the candle, she crawled in beside th* lamb. CHAPTER VI. Twice had the golden sun snnk In a welter of splendid colors behind West hill, and twice had the warmth of his rising scattered the mists, from. the lakeside since the encounter In the hut, and Polly Hopkins was making ready for bar dally walk through the Silent City. It was her custom to go among the squatters and glee them courage, to tell them that they had a right *n their homes, to food, and warmth. How her gill's heart ached for their dumb ( nurvCTWl! WELLS RECORD misery! Surely the squutters had suf fered In the past year! Many a boy bad been taken from his home and sent to France, and many a mother had crept about the settlement with grief-worn face, waiting for news from over the sea. Pollyop understood what war meant. The squatters were always at war! Granny Hope had explained to her that, whenever people fought ami were cruel to one another, that was war. Hadn’t she warred but two nights ago with Oscar Bennett? She hud not seen him since, and the pain und humiliation he hud dealt her hud been lightened by Granny Hope’s assurances that love was the leveler of hute. So Polly, having quantities of love and sympathy to spare, sent it broadcast over the hopeless ones in the settlement and promptly put Os car Bennett’s cruelty out of her mind. She did not even remember sometimes how much the milk Oscar had be grudgingly given her was missed in the shack. To ofTset that deprivation, she was free from him and the ugly quarrels she had had to settle almost daily between him and Evelyn. This morning, while Daddy Hopkins was in Ithaca, Pollyop started out with her many Idves for a walk. On her shoulder perched Wee Jerry; at her side, in stately dignity, stalked the billy goat, and tied to one of her anus by a small rope guiuboled Nannie Lamb Hopkins. Through the Silent City she wan dered. helping people here ami there to see the sunny side of things. Be yond the row of shacks was the fence Marcus MacKenzie had erected to keep the squatters from trespassing on Ids woodland, and In front of it Polly Hopkins stood. A bill poster had passed and left on the fence a pic ture that caught her attention. It was a beautiful woman, her eyes saddened with tears, and she looked straight out of exquisite coloring at the wide-eyed squatter girl. In her arms was a withered, sick, little man. and Pollyop knew that somewhere over the ocean an enemy, perhaps a man like Old Mure, had hurt Idm. The woman held him close as sh 6 looked at Polly, and for a moment the girl's eyes stung with tears. Then she went Then She Went Closer to the Fence and Spelled Out the Words Under the Picture: "The Greatest Mother in the World.” closer to the fence an<l spelled out the .words under the picture: “The Great- Mother in the World.” a So she was, this protector of the l*w. t and the sick ! The Ited Cross poster carried Its wondrous message to the very bottom of the squatter girl's heart. A sound, close at hand, caused her to turn swiftly. A man on horseback hnd drawn up on the side of the rood. The blood come In swift leaps to Polly’s face. There was the “beauti ful angel” looking down upon her! What could she do hut stare buck at him? In onothcr instant he hnd dis mounted and was coming toward her. Jerry slid from her shoulders to the ground. Pollyop's hand clasped his; but she did not speak. What hod hap pened to her “angel?” He looked dif ferent; more like the other men she occasionally snw on horseback. That was It I He was not wearing the ollve drab uniform! To add to her confu sion Robert Percival was smiling at her In the most friendly way. Then he glanced up at the picture, his flue face saddening. “The Greatest Mother in the World, little girl,” he sold, and he smiled again. “The Greatest Mother In the World," repeated Pollyop, in awed tones. “Does tnat mean she's mother to the squatter kids what was hurt Id the war. mister?" “Y♦**,” be replied after a short pause. “Yea It means that, and more. She's mother to ererj hurt boy and brings comfort to ev,ry one on earth that | needs help.” “Golly, she’s some mother, •»«« she?” breathed Polly soberly. "She s . beautiful too. Squatter mammies has too many kids to stay handsome like her." She made a backward motion with her thumb toward the fence and searched his face gravely. A choking sensation In Roberta throat made him cough. The girl a statement was like a charcoal draw ing in which a few broad lines tell the whole story. He felt his Interest in her increase. She was the quaintest, prettiest and most solemn child he had ever seen. Yes. he knew she was un inhabitant of the Silent City by the clothes she wore, and the thin, bow legged child, to say nothing of the be whiskered goat and woolly lamb that were with her. "What's your name?" he inquired. “Just Pollyop,” was the answer. "Polly Hopkins. My daddy Is Jere miah Hopkins, the mayor of this set tlement.” Surely! Robert remembered very well MacKenzie speaking of Hopkins, and he remembered too the painted invitation over a hut door us if it were before his eyes. Looking Pollyop over from the top of her curly head to the tips of her bare feet, he decided that she had written it. Question after question he flung at her, and answer after answer came from Polly’s lips. She told him where she lived, und how she cooked the beans, bacon and fish Daddy Hopkins provided; how cold it was in the shanty when the cruel north wind swept up the lake; and how wet it was when the rain fell and clammy fogs shrouded the world in gray; how Granny Hope was sick with pains. She gave iiim an inside view of life in the Silent City. Long before she had fin ished her recital. Perclval’s courtesy hud put her ut her ease, and she was chattering like a magpie. “Can I do something for you, Polly Hopkins?" queried Robert, us she fin ished telling about life in the squat ters’ city. She flung out both hands in a com prehensive gesture as much as to soy he could see for himself how much she needed. "Sure, sure you can,” she said with fierce emphasis. "You can make Old Marc leave us squatters be. You're blgger'n he is! The squatters need you awful bad." Her voice broke. Robert took a long breath. Of course he could help this girl and her people. He would, tool As far as money gave power, he could equal and surpass Marcus MacKenzie. "I did try to talk sense into Mr. MacKenzie's head,” he returned pres ently, “but now I will make him leave you alone." In spite of the curved Ups about which a smile lurked, there was Appre hension in her voice when she asked: “Can you lick 'im to a finish, mis ter?" "Yes, I think I could," laughed Rob ert; “bat it won't be necessary.” "Then I see us Silent City folks bein’ happy again." sighed Polly. "We got a awful lot of thiugs an’ folks to take care of here." Robert made a sweep with his arm that encompassed the group before him. “You have, evidently!" he laughed. “An’ I got more home." interjected Polly. “I got Daddy Hopkins an’ Granny Hope—an’ this brat is my brother, an’ this goat Is Billy Hopkins an’ this lamb's Nannyop. Oh, sure, sir, I’ve got a hull lot to love in this good old city." Polly mode an upward motion with her hand toward the picture on the fence. "She’s got a bunch to love, too," she said softly. "Ain’t she?" He wnlked to her side and contem plated with her the pictured woman, making her silent appeal to them for the wounded boy In her arms. "Of course she has," answered Per civnl reverently. "She’s the Greatest Mother In the World, Polly Hopkins, and—and—" his gaze dropped upon her, and he continued, "and you’re the littlest mother in the world." A glnd smile widened the girl’s lips. All the fear that had been as a ton weight upon her had fallen away. She wanted to pay him the highest compli ment she knew. When he hud mount ed. she told him gently: "Some day you’ll be the biggest an’ most beautifulest daddy in the world. Good-by.” • “Then Percival stepped In. Two well-planted thumps laid Bennett like a log oa the ground." (TO BE CONTINUED.) A Sporting Judge. “Thirty days In the workhouse. That ought to cure you of speeding.” “It certainly will, your honor. Would you like to use my car while I'm la durance vile?" "No, thanks. I’ve seen you riding la that old bus of yonra. It couldn’t do over forty miles aa hour."—Binning bam Age-Herald. FURTHER PAY CUT EXPECTED (40,000,000 IS estimated reduc tion FOR RAILWAY EM- ’ PLOYES. NEW WAGE REDUCTIONS 200,000 RAILWAY CLERKS WILL RECEIVE BULK OF LATEST WAGE CLASH. (Wtsttrn S«wp«p«r Union Newi Service.) Chicago.—AVuge reductions estimat 'd at not exceeding $40,000,000 for 355,- XK> additional railway employes wliose wages the carriers seek to lower through the railroad labor board, are expected to issue from tin* board with in a few days to be effective July 1. The new decisions will make a total of approximately $150,000,000 to be cut from the annual pay rolls of the roads. The bulk of those whom the new cut will hit are railway clerks who number approximately 200,000. 1 heir pay, it was said, would not lie cut more than 5 cents an hour, however, and certain chief clerks and other su pervisory clerical forces may not feel the order at all. About 5,000 train dispatchers, gener ally considered as subordinate offi cials, while coming under the pending decision, will not suffer any reduction, according to authoritative Information. Supervisory officials in the shop crufts whose pay was slushed $00,000,000 like wise received no cuts. Coal passers, oilers and water ten ders, including in the general classifi cation of stationary engineers and firemen, and freight handlers and other common labor included in the station employes’ group, are expected to receive a reduction of approximate ly 5 cents an hour, the same cut up plied to common lubor in the main tenance of way department. There are about 125,000 unskilled laborers in these two elasse. The signal men and marine employ es. numbering 15,000 and 800 respec tively, are expected to come tinder the reduction, hut no figures were obtain able to indicate the amount of their cut. Anticipating a reduction, however. D. \V. Helt, president of the signal men, declared the hoard would “prob ably hamstring us.” adding that lie could find no justification for the cut to present to his men anil that he expected them to vote to strike as soon as a decision was issued. K. H. Fit* gerald, president of the clerks, like wise declared a further cut was unrea sonable and that his organization would begin a strike vote lni?M*»' , f**te>*’ when the decision is announced, In line with tlie agreement ot toe c-.cve.i organizations affected by the cuts to tuke strike votes, made at the confer ence In Cincinnati recently. Explorer to Fly Over North Polo. London. —Cupt. Roald Amundsen, the explorer, who Is about to begin a five-year expedition into Arctic re gions. says that the plan was for his ship, Maud, which sailed from Seattle, Wash., recently for Nome, to drift across the I*olnr ocean, while short reconnaissance trips would he made in smull planes. Developments, however, had caused considerable change in the flying plans, and should conditions al low lie would start with Lieutenant Omdul, his pilot, from Point Barrow, flying across unknown regions of the Polar basin, across the nortli pole and thence to Cape Columbia (Grant land) where a depot Imd already been es tablished. Labor Face Fight for Existence. Cincinnati. —Facing a fight that leaders of organized labor regard as one for tlie very existence of union ism, the American federation here opened its forty-second annual conven tion, which was marked by the pre sentation of many issues to he consid ered during the next two weeks, and a speech by President Gnrapers, de claring “we do not fool ourselves into any fancied security.” The issues were brought before the delegates by the report of the federation’s execu tive council. China Recalls Li Yuan Hung. Peking.—L Iluun Hung, who five years ago was forced out of the presi dency of China by the militarists, has arrived here, and resumed the post of the nation's chief executive. Li came from Tientsin In response to the call of the revived Republican parliament, which recently met there, that lie again assume the direction of China's af fairs. President Li Yuan-Hung Issued his first mandate shortly after assum ing office, appointing as premier Wu Ting-Fang, former minister to the United States. Vassar Senior* Lot* to Father*. Poughkeepsie, N. Y.—Fathers of Vassar seniors permitted themselves a self-congratulatory smile at class-day festivities. Undaunted by the presence of three professors on the baseball nine of the Vassar senjor team, fathers defeated daughters by the score of 11 to 3. 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