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When the Colorado
Burst Its Banks and Flooded the Imperial Valley of California : By EDNAH AIKEN • (OopjrUrbl, BoMn-lfentll Compu;) RICKARD'S VIEWS DO NOT COINCIDE WITH THOSE OF HAR DIN, AND THE INEVITABLE COMES TO PASS. .iv. v:i:—-, ,, Synopsis.— K. C, Illcknrd, an engineer of the Overland Pacific rail road, is called to the office of President Marshall In Turn-on, Art*. While waiting Rickard rends n report on the ravages of the Colorado river, despite ihe efforts of Thomas Hardin, head of the Desert Reclamation company. Hardin had been a student under Rickard In nn eastern col lege and had married Oerty Unimex, with whom Rickard hud funded he was In love. Marshall tells Rickard the Overland Pacific must atep In to save the Imperial valley mjtl wishes to send Rickard to take charge. Rickard decline* because he foresees emhnrraxxment In supplanting Hardin, hut is won over. Rickard goes to Calexico and, on the way, learnk much about Hurdln and bis work. Rickard meets Mr. and Mrs. Hardin and limes llardln. the former's half sister, office* lie finds the engineers loyal to Hardin and hostile to him. At the company CHAPTER V—Continued. In to The door opened and Rickard came In. Almost simultaneously the outer door opened to admit Hardin. Who would Introduce the now general man ager to the dismissed one? The thought flashed from Maclean to Si lent, to the telegraph operator. Bode foldt doubled over the checkerboard, pretending not to seo them. Confu sion. embarrassment was on every face. Nobody spoke, Hardin was coining closer. "Hello, Hardin." •'Hello, Itlckard." It appeared friendly enough to the surprised office. Itoih men were glad that It was over. "Nice offices," remarked Hnrdln, hi* (a otttxpi le t), his hands la lit* pock eta. "Ogilvie tu satisfied with them." The men rather overdid the laugh. "Finding the dust pretty tough?" In quired tfnrdtu. "I spent a month In San Francisco last summer!" was the rejoinder. "Thli 1* u haven, though, from the street. Thought I'd loaf for today." Wus Hardin gum« to do the right thing. Introduce him a» the new chief to'his subordinates? Nothing. It de veloped. was further from his Inten tion. llanilii, his legs outstretched, kept before hts face the bland, Im penetrable smite of the oriental. It wn* clearly not Rickard * move. The checker player* fidgeted. Rickard's silence was Interrogative. llardln sllil sutlled The outer door opened. The newcomer, evidently it favorite, walked Into a noisy welcome, the "hoy** " embarrassment overdoing It. He was of middle height, slender—a Mexican with Oastlllun ancestry writ ten In his btgh-bred features, his grace and hts strulght. dark hair." "Good morning, Estrada," sakl Har din with the same meaningless smile. •'Cltssl morning, gentlemen." The Mexican's greeting paused at Rickard. "Mr. Estrada. Mr. Itlckard." Everyone In the office saw llardln *nul> his other opportunity, lie had betrayed to everyone his deep hurt, hts raw wound. When he had stopped down, under cover of n résig nai loo. he had saved his face by tell ing everyone that a rupture with Multland. one of the director* of the reorganized company, had made It Iroismslhle for them to servo together, and that Maitland's wealth and Im portance to the rompany demanded his own sacrifice. Two months before Rtckurd'* appearance Maitland had been discovered dead In his bath in a Lo* Angel«*» hotel, Th«>ugh no one had been witless enough to apeak their hope to Hurdln. he knew that ting hla Rickard's entrance w»« .mother stab to Ihelr chief, "The son of tho general?" The new mannger held out ht* hand. "General Kstrudn, friend of Mexican liberty, founder of steamship companies and father of the Imperial valley?" "That makes me a brother of the valley"— Estrada's smile was sensitive sod sweet. Extr»da looked at llardln. hesitated, then passed mi to the checker players and addressed MocLeun : "I saw your father In Los Angele*. He has boon chosen to fill the vacancy »de by Maitland's death." Macl.ean's eye* wavered toward llardln. whose nonchalance had not •d. Had he not heard, or did |h* know, already? "I'd like to have a meeting, a con rrow morning." Rickard was speaking. "Mr. Hnrdln. will you set the liour at your convenience?" Becaus»* It was so kindly done, Har din shoved hi* first resentment. "It will nor Is* possible for me to be there. I'm going to Los Angeles In the morn ing. He turned and left the office, Estmdu following him. "Oh. Mr. Hardin, you mustn't take It that way," he expostulated, concern In each sensitive feature. "I'll take orders from him, but he gave roe dom," growled Hurdln. "It's not what yon think. I'm not sore. Rut I don't like him. He's a fancy dude. He's not the man for this Job." "Then you knew him before?" It was a surprise to Estrada. "At college. He was tny— er —In structor. Marshall found him In the classroom. A theory »linger," »II t* for«-» was dally cxi rrlu-tatcmt'iit. SI fait tt-r. i ton my all the Estrada's thoughtful glance rested on the angry face. Was this genuine, or did not Hnrdln know of the years Itlckard bad served on the road; of the Job In the heat-baked barrancas of Mexico, where Marshall hud "found" him? But tie would not try again to persuade Hardin to give up his trip to Los Angeles. It might be better, after all, for the new manager to take charge with his predecessor out of the way, "MurLean's coming down tonight," he threw out, still watching Hardin's face. "With Babcock." "I won't be missed.' mouth was hitter. "Kstrudn, If I hud the sense of n goat I'd sell out, sell my stock to MacLoun and quit. What's In all this for me? Does anyone doubt iny reason for staying? It would be like leaving a sinking ship, like de serting the passengers and crew one had brought on board. God! I'd like to go! But how con I? I've got hold of the tall of the beur and I can't let go!" Hardin's ed to ing er. He so un it It It In he It the "No one doubts you trada. llardln turned away, with an ugly oath. The Mexican stood watch ing his stumbling anger. "Boor Hur dln!" begun Es In the office Rickard was speaking to MacLean, whom ho had drawn to one side, out of earshot of the checker players. "I want you to do something for me, uot at all agreeable!'' Hla tone Implied that the boy was not given the chance to beg off. "What time does the train pull out In the morn ing?" "SIx-ftfteen." "I'll have a letter for you at the hotel at six. Be on time. I want to catch llardln before he lenves for Los Angeles. If he's realty going. I'll give him today to think It over. But he can't disregard an order us he dkl my Invitation. I didn't want to rub U lu before the men." MacLean stared, then said that he thought he wus not likely tot Itlckard left the office In time to see Hurdln shutting the outer gate behind him. Ills exit released a cho rus of Indignant voices, "An outrage!" "A d-d shame !" Wooster, "Hardin'» luck !" on ihe other side of the door Rlck urd deliberated. The hotel and Its curi ous loungers, or hts new office, where Ogllvle was making a great show of This from « H it * si \ 3V, I inf. wa 7 , j/l m n 7 7 T, " «.»«no Hardin Turned Away With an Ugly Oath. occupation. He had not seen Estrada. He was making a sudden dive f«ir his hotel when the gentle volo of the Mexican hallet! him. "Will you «*inie to my car? It's on the sldlug right here. We am have a little lunch and then look over some maps together. I have some pictures of the river nnd the gate. They may be new to you." lticknrd spent the afternoon In the ear. The twin towns dt«l not seem so hostile. He thought he might like the Mexican. Estrada was earning his father's mantle. He was the superintendent of the road which the Overland Ba cille was building between the twin he towna'und the Crossing; a director of the Desert Reclamation company, and the head of a small subsidiary com pany which had been created to pro tect rights and keep harmonious rela tion with the sister country. Rickard found him full of meat, and heard, for the first time consecutively, the story of the rakish river. Particularly In teresting to him was the relation of Hardin to the company. "He has the bad luck, that man!" exclaimed Estrjda's soft, musical 'Everything Is in his hands, a he a to at It I If it In voice. capital Is promised, and he goes to New York to have the papers drawn up. The day he gets there the Maine Is destroyed. Of course capital Is shy. He's had the devil's own luck with men : Gifford, honest but mulish ; Rather, mulish and not honest—oh, there's a string of them. Once he went to Hermoslllo to get an option on my father's lands. They were alrendy covered by an option held by some men In Scotland. Another mnn would have waited for the three months to pass. Not Hardin. He went to Scot land,'thought he'd Interest those men with his maps and papers. He owned all the data then. He'd made the sur vey. 1 ? Estrada repented the Rlory Brandon und Marshall hud told, with little dis crepancy. A friendly refrain followed the nnrrntlve. "He has the bad luck, that maul'* "And the Scotched option?" remind ed Itlckard, smiling at hjs own poor joke. I "It was just that. A case of Hardin luck again. He stopped off In London to Interest sotn'e cnpltnl there ; follow ing up a lend developed on the steam er. He was never n man to neglect a chance. Nothing came of It, though, and when he reached Glasgow he found his man had died two days be fore—or bhen killed, I've forgotten which. Three times l)prdln's crossed the ocean trying to corner the oppor tunity he thought he had found. It Isn't laziness, Is his trouble. It's Just Infernal luck." "Or over-astuteness, or procrastina tion," criticized his listener to himself. He knew now what It was that hijd so changed Hnrdln. A man cannot travel, even though he be hounding down a quick scent, without meeting strong Influences. He had been thrown with hard men, strong men. It was un Inevitable chiseling, not a miracle. "I want to henr more of this some day. But this map. I don't under stand what you told me of this by pass, Mr. Estrada. Their heads were still bending over Estrada's rough work bench when the Japunese cook announced that dinner was watting In the adjoining car. MucLenn and Bodefeldt and several young engineers joined them. It had been outwardly a wasted dny. Rickard had lounged, socially and physically. But before he turned In that night he had learned the names and dispositions of his force, and some of their prejudices. Nothing, he summed up, could be guessed from the gentleness of the Mexican's manner; Wooster's antugonlsm was open and suupplsh. Silent was to be watched, and Hurdln had already shown his hand. The river, as he thought of It, ap peared the lenst formidable of his op ponents. He wus Imaging It as a high spirited horse, maddened by the fum bllug of its would-be captors. His task it wus to lasso the proud stallion, lead It In bridled to. the sterile land. No wonder Hardin was sore; his noose had slipped off one time too many I llardln's luck! CHAPTER VI. Red Tape. At ten o'clock the next morning Har din. entering the office, again the gen eral manager's, found there before him George MacLean, the new director, and Bercy Babcock, the treasurer, who had been put iu by the Overland Bacific when the old company was reorgan ised. They had Just come In from Los Angeles, the trip made In Mat-Lean's private car, to attend a director's meet ing. Rickard entered a few minutes later. Estrnda behind htm. Ogllvle followed Rickard to his desk. "Well?" Inquired the new manager. Ogllvle explained lengthily that he had the minutes of the last meeting. "Leave them here," Rickard waved htm toward Estrada, who held out his hand for the papers. Reluctantly the accountant relin quished the paper*. His retreating coattails looked ludicrously whipped hut no one laughed. Hardin's scowl deepened. "Showing his power," he thought, "lie's going to call for a uew pack." Estrada pushed the minutes through with but a few unimportant Interrup tions. He was sitting at the same desk with Rickard. Hardin, sensitive and sullen, thought he saw the meeting mnuaged between them. Several times he attempted to bring the tangled affairs of the water -em pailles before the directors. Rickard would not discuss the water compa nies. "Because he's not posted! H«'» b* a so ginning to see what lie's up against," ran Hardin's stormy thoughts. He was on his feet the next minute with a motion to complete the Hardin headgate. Violently he declaimed to Babcock and MacLean his wrongs, the injustice that had been done him. Mar shall bad let that fellow Maitland con vince him that the gate was not prac ticable; had It not been for him the gate would be In place now ; all this time and money saved. And the Mait land dam, built instead! Where was It? Where was the money, the time, put In that little toy? Sickening I Hts face purpled over the memory. Why was he allowed to begin again with the gate? "Answer roe that Why was I allowed to begin again? It's all child's play, that's what It Is. And when I am In It again up to my neck he pulls me off 1" This was the real Hardin, the un couth, overaged Lawrence student ! The new manner was Just a veneer. Itlckard had been expecting it to wear thin. "I think," Interjected Rickard, "that we all agree with Mr. Marshall, Mr. Hardin, that a wooden headgate oft silt foundation could never be more than a makeshift. I understood that the first day he visited the river with you he had the Idea to put the ultimate gate, the gate which would control the water supply of the valley, up at the Crossing on rock foundation. Mr. Mar shall does not expect to finish that In time to be of first use. He hopes the wooden gate will solve the immediate problem. It wus a case of any port in a storm. He has asked me to report my opinion." "Why doesn't he give me a chance to go ahead then?" growled the de posed manager. "Instead of letting the intnke widen until It will be an im possibility to confine the river there at all?" "So you do think that It will be an Imposslbllty to complete the gate as planned?" Hardin had run too fast. "I didn't mean that," he stammered. "I mean It will be difficult If we are delayed much longer." "Have you the force to re-begln work at once?" demanded Rickard. "I had It," evaded Hardin. "I had everything ready to go on—men, ma terial— when we stopped the last time." "Answer ray question, please." "I should have to assemble them again," admitted Hardin sulkily. Rickard consulted his notebook. "I think we've covered everything. Now I wnnt to propose the laying of a spur track from Hamlin's Junction to the Heading." His manner cleared the stage of supernumeraries; this was the climax. Hardin looked ready to spring. "And In connection with that the de velopment of a quarry In the granite hills back of Hamlin's," continued Rick ard, not looking at Hardin. Instantly Hardin was on his feet His fist thundered on the table. "I shall oppose that," he flared. "It Is ab solutely unnecessary. We can't afford it. Do you know what that will cost gentlemen?" "One hundred thousand dollars!" Rickard Interrupted him. "I want an appropriation this morning for. that amount It is, in my opinion, abso lutely necessary if we are to save the valley. We cannot afford not to do It, Mr. Hardin!" Hardin glared at the other men for support; he found MacLenn's face a blank wall; Estrada looked uncom fortable. Babcock had pricked up his ears at the sound of the desired appro priation; bis head on one side, he looked like an Inquisitive terrier. Hardin spread out his hands In help less desperation. "You'll ruin us," he said, "it's your money, the O. P.'s, but you're lending It not giving It to us. You are going to swamp the Des ert Reclamation company. We can't throw funds away like that" One hun dred thousand dollars ! Why, he could have stopped the river at any time If he had had that sum ; once a paltry thousand would have saved them— "I didn't ask the O. P. to come in and ruin us, but to stop the river; not to throw money away in hog-wild fash ion." ne was stammering inarticulate ly. "There's no need of a spur-track If you rush my gate through." "If," Rickard nodded. "Granted. If we can rush It through. But suppose it falls? Marshall said the railroad would stand for no contingencies. The interests at stake are too vital—" "Interests!" cried Tom Hardin. "What do you know of the Interest at stake? You or your railroad? Coming In at the eleventh hour, what can you know? Did you promise safety to thou sands of families if they made their homes In this valley? Are .you responsi ble? Did you get up this company. In duce your friends to put their money in It promise to see them through? What do you know of the interests at stake? You want Jo put one hundred thousand dollars into a frill. God, do yon know what that means to my company? It means ruin—" Estrada pulled him down in his seat Rickard explained to the directors the necessity In his opinion of the spur track and the quarry. Rock in great quantities would be needed ; cars must be rushed in to the break. He urged the importance of clenching the Issue. "If It's not won this time, it's a lost cause," he malutained. "If It cuts a deeper gorge, the Imperial valley Is a chimera ; so Is Laguna dam." The other men were drawn into the argument. Babcock leaned toward Har din's conservation. MacLean was Ju dicial. Estrada upheld Rickard. The spur-track. In his ^opinion, was essen tial to success. Hardin could see the meeting managed between the new comer and the Mexican, and his anger I irapotently raged. His temper made him Incoherent. He could see Rickard, cool and Impersonal, "adding to, his points, and MacLean slowly won to the stronger side. Hardin, on his feet again, was sputtering helplessly at Babcock, when Kickurd called for a The appropriation was carried. to not vote. Hardin's face was swollen with rage. Rickard then called for a report on the clam-shell dredge being rushed at Where was the machinery? the all this. I'm da's Yuma. Was It not to have been finished in February? "Why not get the machinery here? What's the nse of taking chances?" de manded Rickard. Hardin felt the personal Implication. He was on his feet in a second. "There He lobked at Mac nre no chances. Lean. "The machinery's done. It's no use getting it here until we're ready." "There are always chances," Inter rupted his opponent coolly, going to take none. _ din, gentlemen, appointed a committee of one to see that the machinery Is de livered at once, and the dredge rushed." The working force was informally discussed. Hardin said they could de pend on hobo labor. Rickard agreed that they would find snch help, but it would not do to rely on It. The big sewer system of New Orleans was about completed ; he had planned to write there, stating the need, there was a man in Zacatecas, named We are I want Mr. Har it. been And Porter— "Frank Porter?" sneered Hardin, "that—murderer?" "His brother," Rickard answered 'Jim furnishes the men ther and pleasantly, for the big mines In Sonora and Sina loa. He'll send us all the labor we & on to he at it see f , ( I I 1 $ t \ 7 /\ t. eTT I H I j Instantly Hardin Was on His Feet by der The An tle a of a man he want, the best for our purpose. When it gets red-hot, there's no one like a peon or an Indian. "You'll be infringing on the Interna tional contract law," suggested Mac Lean. "No. The'camp is on the Mexican side," laughed Casey. "I'd thought of that. We'll have them shipped to the nearest Mexican point, and then brought to the border. Mr. Estrada will help us." • The meeting had already adjourned. They were standing around the flat top desk. Estrnda Invited them all to lunch with him, in the car on the sid ing. MacLean said that he had to get back to Los Angeles. Mr. Babcock was going to take him out to Grant's Heading In the machine. He had er been there. They had breakfasted late. He looked very much the colonel to Rickard, his full chest and stiff riage made more military by his trim uniform of khaki-colored cloth. "May I speak to you about your boy, Mr. MacLean?" nev far Hardin caught a slight that intended. He pushed past the at the door without civility mony. The steady grave eyes of the big frame looked at Rickard inquiringly. "He wants to stay out another year I hope you will let him. It's not disin terested. I shall have to take a stenog rapher to the Heading this was not group or cere rels. a _. , summer. There is a girl here; I couldn't take her, and then, too, I'm old-fashioned • I don't like women in offices. My posi tion promises to be a peculiar one. I'd like to have your son to rely on for emergencies a stenographer could not cover." „ tion He » and MacLean s grave features relaxed as he looked down on the engineer, who was no small man himself, and gested that his son up in stenography. 'That's the least of it." "I hope that he will _ pled sug was not very well make a sroocl stenographer 1 Good morning, gentle At table, neither Estrada nor his guest uncovered their active thought which revolved around Hardin hurt. Instead. Rickard had to ask his host on river history they talked, it came to him that' thing was amiss—Estrada was curate; he had all his facts, enthusiasm, sympathy, he lacked? ently he challenged him with it Estrada's and his questions As some ae Was it Bres eyes dreamed out nf «>,„ window, followed the gorge of the New river, as though out there, the answer hovered. "Do you mean, do you doubt it?" claimed Rickard, watching the n " cboly in the beautiful ey«! " elan ' Estrada shook his head, but with« » decision. "Nothing you'd not l au » Rickard waited, not sure th.,7 thing more was coming The can's «lark eyes were troubled - » ^'T brooded in them. "if s a „ '. puzzle tive sense that I've had. since child. Something falls h^t. 1 S and a plan. If I „ I would be_somethi--!» u as " ve "> It ■ . Hls Voiee f somewhere. ex ists me ghost of tunefulness. "And It's— A blank—I know then It's It Is terribly Now, I When It fails, I to a nothing. not going to huppen. It's happened, often. tinuli wait for that—veil, know what it means." have had that—sense "And you about this river business?" Estrada turned his pensive gaze on the American. "Yes, often. I thought, after father's death, that that was what It meant. But it came again. It kept coming. I had It while you were all talking, Just now. I don't speak of this. It sounds chicken-hearted. And I'm In this with all my soul—my fa ther—I couldn't do it any other way, but—■" "You think we are going to fall?" "I can't see It finished," was Estra da's mournful answer. He turned again <to stare out of the window. "Who are the river men in the val ley?" demanded the newcomer, want to meet them, to talk to them." "Cor'nel, he's an Indian. He's worth talking to. He knows Ms history, its legends. Perhaps some of It Is his tory." I "Where's he to be found?" "You'll run across him ! Whenever anything's upy he is on hand. He senses it. And then there's Matt Hamlin." "I'll see him, of course. Has he been up the river?" "No, but I'll tell you two who have. Maldonado, a half-breed, who lives some twenty miles down the river from Hamlin's. He knows the Gila as though he were pure Indian. The Gila's tricky! Maldonado's grandfa ther was a trapper, his great-grandfa ther, they say, a priest The women were all Indian, He's smart. Smart and bad." Estrada's Japanese servant came back Into the car to offer tea, freshly iced. "That's what I want, smart river men, not tea !" laughed Rickard. "I want river history." "There's another man you ought to meet. He was with the second Powell expedition. He's written the best book on the river. He knows it, If any man does. You wanted these maps." trada was gathering them together. "Thank you. And you can just strangle that foreboding of yours, Mr. Estrada. For I tell you, we're goiug to govern that river !" Estrada's pensive smile followed the dancing step of the engineer until It carried him ont of sight. Perhaps? Because he was the son of his father, he must work as hard as if conviction went with him, as if success awaited at the other end of the long road. But it was not going to be. He would never see that river shackled— Es CHAPTER VII. A Garden In a Desert His dwelling leaped into sight Hardin turned the corner of the street. There was but one street running through the twin towns, flanked by the ditches of running water. The rest were ditches of running water edged by footpaths. Scowling, he passed der the overhanging bird cages of the Desert hotel without a greeting for the loungers, whose chairs were drawn up against the shade of the brick walls. The momentum slackened as HardiD neared the place he called his home. An inner tenderness diluted the that disfigured his face. He could Innés as she moved around in the lit tle fenced-in strip that surrounded her desert tent. She insisted on calling It a garden, in spite of his raillery. Gerty s in bed, I suppose," thought Tom. He had a sudden vivid picture of her accusing martyrdom. His mouth hardened again. limes, stooping a rose, passed out of his vision. It came to Hardin suddenly that a man has made a circle of failure when he dreads going to his office and shrinks from the reproaches at home. "A 'has-been' at forty!" he mused. Where were all his ships drifting? Innés, straightening, waved hand. un sneer se i over a gay She s raising a goodly crop of bar rels. His thought mocked and ressed her. Her garden devotion a tender Joke with him. ca was „ —- He loved the ardin trait In her, the persistence which will not be daunted. An occupa tion with a Hardin wus a dedication. He would not acknowledge the Innés » ood in her. Like that fancy mother others? lunes was a Hardin through and through! "It's in the blood, "She can't help it. ran his thought. _ , .. All the Hardins work that way. The Hardins always make fools of themselves !" lunes, lifting her eyes from a crip pled rose, saw that the black devils were consuming him again. Will you look at this wreck!" she 4 cried. Innés Hardin feels a bitter re sentment against Rickard be cause of his supplanting her brother, whom she loves devot * J" Gerty's emotions are of a different character, but she fully conceals them, hover over the Hardin house 0| d. Watch for the next in care* Storms stallment t TO PE CON TINUED.) Unskilled Labor. , n 7 er rcallzes what the term bohliv "'l Inbor " can mean until ho faucet« ° U " teors to repair the water taucets and take doors.—Washington A man down the screen Star. O'dest Known Element elcm!n« U . r .u ° Ue of the olllest known ists V7 ' , le , nnc l en t Assyrian alehem coinhiisH rde ^ 14 ns the Principle of literally 1 ! 11 * "T* It "brimstone." literally burning stone.