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\. . Wj Storm Country P m I by Grace Miller White Copyright by Little, Brown &. Co. THE FIQHT SYNOPSIS.—Occupying a i1lta.pl> dated shack In the Silent City, a squatter seulement near Ithaca, New York, Polly Hopkins lives with her father, small .Jerry, and an old woman, Oranny Hope. On an adjacent farm, Oscar Bennett, prosperous farmer. Is a neighbor, ■ He la secretly married to Kvelyn Robertson, supposedly wealthy gtrl of the neighborhood. Marcus Mac Konsle, who owns the ground the squattera occupy, la their deter mined enémy. Polly overhears a conversation between MacKensle and a etranger. In which the former avows his Intention of driving the squatters from his land. The stran ger sympathises with the squatters, end earns Polly's gratitude. Evelyn Hoher tson discovers from her moth er the» they ars 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. with a message to Bennett, telling him ehe can give him no more money. She already bitterly regrets her marriage to the Ignorant farm er. Polly conveys her meeeage and Oaesr makes threats. He Insists Evelyn meet him that night. Polly has her father and ! jerry Bishop, a squatter, take an oath to do Mac Kensle 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. She and MacKensle svow their love. At the arranged meeting that night Bennett threatens Evelyn with exposure unlees she gives him money. Polly meete Robert Per civsl, and they are mutually at tracted, Polly's feeling being adora tion, Kvslyn charge. Polly CHAPTER VII, To descrlhe Oscar Bennett's rnge w hen he left the two girls In Granny Hope's shack would Indeed he a tnsk. Of lipv Evelyn hud ceased to attract him. In the excitement of the court ship he had put his best find forward, and for a time after the marriage he had found a great satisfaction In the thought that she was tils. When the glamor of their secret honeymoon time hud worn off, and the farmer's crude, cruel nature had been disclosed, Hvelyn** mad Infatuation had dlsnp iH iiied In terror-stricken horror. As Kvelvn was ttmling In Marcus MaeKenzle a mate more to her tuste, licnnott's primitive liassions had hurst Into a sudden flame for Polly Hopkins. The squatter girl's scorn of him, her drawling ridicule, only made him de sire her Hie more. A couple of flays after the night scene with the girls, he left his house mid took Ids WHy to the lake. He crossed Ids fodder lot and plunged Into the MaeKenzle forest which lay between the railroad tracks and the water la tils pocket he had a letter for Kvelyn. He Intendeik to kill two birds with one stone. If he could find Polly Hopkins alone, he would tell her the decision lie had come to und give her the not« to deliver. Omar d'.d not relish entering the Klient City by the highway. The squat tors hated him as much ns he did lliem, imtre, In all probability; und ll was his habit to give the settlement a wide lierth. If he discovered any of them on Ids land, with the exception of l\.lly Hopkins, he drove them away furiously. Oscar was one of those who would rather have produced rot ou Ids him! than give It to Hie needy. Before vaulting the MucKenxle fence, the sound of people talking on the other side halted him. Pollyop's vo.ee came distinctly to him, ami an other voice, a man's, answered her. The deep well-bred times Bennett was sure did not belong to u squatter. He listened carefully to pick up Hie Im port of t!.e conversation. The bass voice mumbled something about a mother. In res|M>nse, the squatter girl's tones fell upon Ills ear: "Some day you'll Ik* the biggest an' most bwutHfuleat daddy In Hie world." Then followed the rush of departing hoofs. Jealousy ton* at Hie eavesdropper. It did not take him long to get to the top of .the fence. Some sound he made brought ttie squatter girl's heud around sharply from her survey of the picture. "What do you want?" she asked sul lenly. frowning at him. Usi ar Ju nped to Hie ground. "I come down lo see you. Pollyop," he rejoined, corning forward. "Who were you talking to?" The only safe way to get along with Hie farmer. Polly had concluded, was to have nothing to ilo with him. "Leave me he, Oscar Bennett I" she shrilled. "I don't want nothin' to do with you. I'm goin' home." ' To cut off her retreat, Oscar needed to take hut a couple of strides, and he promptly took them. Metnlny crickets!" he expostulated. "Don't tie so confounded short, Pollyop ! Yoi» needn't be mad because I swatted you one. You aren't my woman yet, but yoc;-e going to be Just as soon as I can get shut of my ludy Robertson.'' Ohservtue no signs of softening In the girl's fnce, he «witched his attack "Huy. where'd von get that lamb?" TM* query «Molded n«*w terrors foi folly. She nail not Boug„i of th. ..nt. *w- ..ii"luir to anyone out •»erself * Had she not found him dylug In the water and loved and fed him ever since? She looked first at the mnn, then down at the lamb. "He's mine, Oscar," she hesitated. 'Tve bad hlii) two hull days now." Oscar laughed. "A likely story!" he Jeered, long since squatters raised sheep? Where'd you get him?" "Found him," she answered, putting her hand on the little animal. "Then he Isn't yours," he retorted, "and he can't be anybody's but mine. I thought I was missing some lambs." Polly's eyes filled with alarm. She va* trying to frame an argument In favor of herself and the creifture she loved. 'How "When you.find a thing dyln' in a creek, Oscar," she faltered at length, "you can t'lke him home an' love him, now can't you?" The man's loud guffaw brought a deep flush W the girl's face. She plnced herself directly between him and the iamb. "He's mine," she Insisted. "He'd drowned sure If I hadn't Jumped Into the drink an' pulled him out." Her words made the farmer certain where the creature came from. "Dead or alive, he's mine I" he ex claimed. Besides coveting the lumb, he hated the squatter girl's way of fondling ani mals. When he got her, he deter mined, he would take all of that kind of nonsense out of her. With one sweep of his mighty hand, he thrust her aside, and, whipping out his knife, he cut the rope that held Nanny Hopkins to Polly's arm. Then, In spite of the girl's frantic cries and her desperate fighting against It, Os car picked up the lamb. Pollyop screamed frantically, for from the look on his evil face, she saw Instantly what he Intended to do. He was going to kill Nannyop! Again she flew at him, hut he was tall and strong and held the lamb aloft In the air, high out of her reach. With a rough oath he pushed the girl from him so roughly timt she fell. When Polly scrambled up, he hnd the lamb In one hand and a large stone In the other. "Oscar 1" she shrieked. She dropped to her knees, clasped Wee Jerry In her arms, and shrouded his face and her own In her curls. When she dured look up agnln, Oscar had thrown the dead lamb on the ground. "There," he gritted, "that's to tencii you a lesson, Miss Poll Hopkins. And now I'll open your eyes to something else." As he crossed to her, she tried to struggle to her feet; hut her legs were weak, and she was sick over the quiv ering body there in Hie # rond. In an other minute Oscur hnd snatched her Into tils arms. She shrieked aguln and again; and Jerry's loud cries followed, ns she fought desperately with the burly farmer. Once out of sight of the Red Cross poster and the little group in front of It, Perclval checked Ills horse. Bay ! <1 A v mV « >1 [o ./ -St ly* "What Do You Want?" Sho Asked Sul lenly, Frowning at Him. Dexter shook his head and champed Ids lilt In disapproval, customed to uind. harum-scarum gal lops, and he loved them ; hut this morning, especially since the pause by the fence corner, he had been pelted to mog along' like a worn-out, old nag. His master was thinking, really and seriously thinking. Happily born and the heir to an immense fortune. Ids way through life so far had been marked out for him. He hnd gone to var cnrelessly, In n mood of hot po irtdHsm and because It was the thing o do. Over there he had done his Imre and gained, especially from hi 'reach comrades, an inkling of life - ital purpose. He had decided that. He was nc com I when he returned, he would do some thing worth while, something to make the world a little better because lie had lived In If. Now he was home; and almost the first day had come to him this appeal. He smiled ruefully at the recollection of Polly op's plea. He had promised to help the squatters, and he meant to do It. Suppose It did bring him Into filet with Marcus MaeKenzle 1 He knew how to fight, and a good fight was not bad fun. Faintly from the direction he had ridden, the sound of cries came to his ears. Idly he wondered what the row was. Some squatter man disciplining his wife, he decided ; but he could not stand to "have a woman beaten I He vaulted into the saddte and raced back over the road. It was not long before he located the place where the screams came from. Then Bay Dex ter had an opportunity to show all the speed he had. The sight of Pollyop writhing in the strong arms of a man he did not recog nise made Perclval see red. He was off his horse with one leap, and two long strides took him to Oscar's aide. One blow from his powerful knuckles In the farmer's face staggered Bennett and freed Polly so quickly that she fell to the ground. Instinctively she crawled out of the way of the battling men. The blow tliat had released her had done no damage to Bennett ex cept to aggravate his rage. He recov ered himself and confronted his assail ant, dripping oaths like ruin from a cloudburst Bennett took the offensive, his fists flying like flails, his arms around the other fellow, to trip him and make the fight a rough and tumble on the ground, but Percl val avoided, the rush, and struck as Bennett went by. Again ami ngnln Benodtt tried to come to close quar ters. But he could not; neither could he hit his elusive opponent. At length lie hesitated, distressed as much by his own efforts as the blows lie had received. Then Perdlval stepped In, and quick ly It was all over. Two well-planted thumps laid Bennett like a log on the ground. Itohert dusted off his hands, picked Wee Jerry up, und handed him to his sister. "Did he hurt you, Polly?" he queried, and her answer was positively gleeful : "Nnry a bit, sir, an' I reckon the big lummox's got a plenty this time." Robert brushed off his clothes slow ly. The fnrmer still lay on the ground. "Get up." ordered Perclval scornful ly, torching the prostrate man with the toe of Ills boot. "Get up and make off If you don't want me to lick you uguln." Oscar rolled over and crawled slow ly to bis hands and knees. "The ground's kinds wubhly, ain't It, Oscar?" Polly gibed. "Oct out," commanded Robert, once more. Bennett'scrambled to his feet, shook his fist at Polly, snatched up the little dead lamb, and In unother moment hud climbed the fence and was gone. "What were you fighting about?" begun Robert, looking keenly at Pol lyop. Tears hung on the girl's lashes, and the sensitive underllp quivered. "Oscar said as how Nannyop were Ids," she murmured. "Weren't It awful for him to swat It with that stone that way?" "Did you—•*' He broke off the ques tion uhruptly. He wus going to ask her If she had stolen the luiub; hut an expression In the pleading, misty eyes stopped him. 'T found the little feller drownin' in the creek, sir," she explained with bowed head, "I just took him home to love him, thiit wus all." The strange, thrilling emotion that hud overcome Robert but a short time ago in the presence of this squatter girl attacked him aguln. "What can I do to help you, child?" he demanded sharply. Polly flung out her hand. Help! that was wliat the squatters wanted. The little lamb wus dead. Nothing could ever hurt It any more. But, there were her people— "Just help Daddy Hopkins"—she choked and went on—"an' all the poor folks In the Silent Çlty, an'—nil—I'll love you forever and forever!" COII He wanted to get « After that the "llttlest mother" mude large strides upward toward the "greatest mother." Every little wor ried thing In the woods, every heavy heart in the squatter settlement fett the difference- In Polly Hopklri". She smiled more, she talked umre ; and, when she found n group of her women folks wondering how tlielr absent lad dies were, she led them In smiling ns suiunce to Old Marc's fence and there repeated what Robert Perclval hud said about the Greatest Mother In the World. One morning Pollyop wus cleaning the shnnty and Granny Hope was seat ed by the stove. A sharp rap came on the door. When Polly opened It and ecognlzed the caller, she would havt dosed the door and barred It If .mil's heavy hoot, thrust across th .hreshola. had not prevent-.. J her. h liiere Id bis riding clothes, haughty and frowning, stood Marcus MucKeu * 1 «. "Where's Jeremiah Hopkins?" he demanded, eyeing Pollyop sternly. She fidgeted with tne edge of her apron. Had MaeKenzle come to harm her best beloved? ''My daddy's gone out," she returned finally. In a low tone. "Then I'll wait," said Marcus. "I'll sit down and wait.' Polly set out a chair for him, her legs trembling so she could'scarcely stand. Granny Hope grunted out a word of greeting, but the man gave her no ansVver ; and, after blinking at him a few times, thi old woman fell asleep. "This Is a rotten hole," spat out MaeKenzle presently, looking at the girl. This scornful comment on the quar ters Daddy Hopkins worked so bard to support touched the squatter girl to the quick. She kept 'the hut ns clean as broom and lake water could niuke It I "It's our home, mister; all we got," she replied, and she straightened her shoulders with dignity. "Rotten, Just the same," repeated Marcus. "Say, you I Come and stand here before me." He touched a spot on the floor with his riding whip; and Polly stepped upon It. "Now you listen to me," he said sternly. "I've come with a proposition to your father, and If you've any Influ ence with him, you'd better talk him Into It." Polly's face brightened a llttf*. Then It was not real harm coming to Daddy Hopkins today. She wished now that he would come In ; and, almost as If in answer to the throbbing of her nerves, Hopkins passed through the doorway with Wee Jerry clinging to his neCk. ? W gV ià fj n /A Z'- J "Now You Listen to Me," He Said Sternly." The trembling girl saw- his face grow gray at the sight of his powerful enemy. Jeremiah made an awkward bob of his head to Marcus, slipped Jerry Into Ills arms and without a word sat down. And Pollyop, full of curiosity and anxiety, snt down too, her bril liant eyes steadily leveled upon Mac Kenzie. "Hopkins," began Marcus, "I've come with a proposal to you. If you've got any sense, you'll Impress Its value on the rest of your fellows here, for by hook or by crook, I Intend to break up this settlement and burn these shucks." One long gasp enme from Polly. Her fallier said nothing but looked back at the speaker as if he had not heard. "Daddy ain't got the hull right to say what's what," she interrupted sud denly. "There's lots of squatters." "Then call In some of the others,'' MaeKenzle snapped. "And don't be long about It. I want to know what's going to be done before I go." Polly flashed a glance at her father. "Go get 'em, brut," he directed. "An 1 bring Larry." Out Into the settlement she went, and when she came back Into the «hunty. there followed her nn nngry set of llly-elotlied inen ; and outside a sullen group of women waited to hear what Old Marc had to offer. One by one the men silently ranged themselves in a row around the hut w'all while Polly stood at her father's shoulder, one hand resting upon It, and the other on Wee Jerry's head. Marcus MaeKenzle knew the group of men he had to deal with. He knew' their wicked ways, how they thieved, how they used tlielr nets nguinst the law, and how they shot game out of season. He remembered, too, how many had lieen sent to prison with his aid, hut this day he hoped to get rid of them alt at once. "I want to pay you fellows to go away from Ithaca." He plumjied the proposition at them baldly. "If It hadn't been the easiest Way out, I wouldn't have considered It a minute. But after talking It over with my law yer, I've decided to give you all a sum of money if you'll leave peacea bly." bava to bora your buta «bout your hoods P* "Out you'll aU gu, if «TO BE CONTmVBD.» WRKLEYS 1 A ,'r M & r m lii / ' AFTER EVERY MEAL Select your food wisely, chew it well, and—use WRIGLEY'S after every meat Your stomach will thank you. It is both a benefit and a treat—good, and good for you. And, best of all, the cost is small. Sugar jacket "melts in your mouth" and gum center remains to give you all the usual Wrigley's benefits. 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