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The BALL of FIRE
by GEORGE RANDOLPH CHESTER and LILLIAN CHESTER ILLUSTRATED by C. D.RHODES copyn/ctir I ton or vtr pro floor COttPORtmOH I SYNOPSIS. At a vestry meeting of the Market Square church Gall Sargent listens to a discussion about the sale of the church tenements to Edward E. Allison, local traction king, and when asked her opin ion of the church by Rev. Smith Boyd, eays It is apparently a lucrative business enterprise. Allison takes Gall riding In his motor car. When he suggests he Is entitled to rest on the laurtus of his achievements, she asks the disturbing question: “Why?** Gall, returning to her uncle Jim's home from her drive with Al lison, finds cold disapproval In the eyes of Rev. Smith Boyd, wno is calling there. At a bobsled party Gall finds the world uncomfortably full of men, and Allison tells Jim Sargent that his now ambition Is to conquer the world. Allison starts a campaign for consolidation and control of the entire transportation system of the world. Gail becomes popular and Aunt Helen thinks It necessary to advise her as to matrimonial probabilities. Allison gains control of transcontinental trafflo and arranges to absorb the Vedder court tenement property of Market Square church. CHAPTER Vll—Continued. "How about the Crescent island sub way?” “Ripe any time,” and Tim Cornsan flecked the ashes from his cigar with a heavily gemmed hand. “The boost ers have been working on it right along, but never too strong.” “There’s no need for any particular manipulation in that,” decided Alli son, who knew the traction situation to the last nickel. “The city needs that outlet, and it needs the new ter ritory which will be opened up. 1 think we'd better push the subway right on across to the mainland. The extension would have to be made in ten years anyhow." "It’s better right now,” immediately assented Corman. In ten years he might be dead. “I think, too, that we'd better pro vide for a heavy future expansion,” went on Allison, glancing expectantly into Tim’s old eyes. “We’d probably better provide for a double-deck, eight track tube." „ Tim Corman drew a wheezy breath, and then he grinned the senile shadow of his old-time grin; but it still had the same spirit. I “You got a hen on,” he decided. In 'society,’’ Tim could manage very nicely to use fashionable language, but in business he found it impossible after the third or fourth minute of conversation. He had taken In every detail of the room on his entrance, and his glance had strayed more than once to the red streaks on the big map. Now lie approached it, and studied it with absorbed interest. “You’re a smart boy, Ed,” he con cluded. "Across Crescent island is the only leak you could snake in a rail road. You found the only crack that the big systems haven’t tied up.” “All you can get me to admit. Just now, in that the city needs an eight 'track tube across Crescent island, un der lease to the Municipal Transporta tion company,” stated Allison, smiling "All I Know It a Guess, and I Don’t Tell Guesses.” with gratification. A compliment of this sort from shrewd old Tim Cor man. who was reputed to bo the foxi est inan in the world, was a tribute highly flattering. “That’s right,” approved Tim. 'All 1 know is a guess, and I don't tell guesses This Is a big Job. though, Eddie A subway to Crescent island, under proper restrictions, is Just an ordinary year’s work for the boys, but this tube pokes its nose Into Oakland bay.” “I’m quite aware of the size of the Job,” chuckled Allison. “However, Tim. there’ll be money enough behind this proposition to (ill that tube with greenbacks.“ Between the narrow-nlittcd and pvffy eyelids of Tim Corinuu there gleamed a trace of the old-time genii. ' “Then It’s built.” lie rose and )eaned on his cane, twinkling down on the man whom, years before, ho had picked an a “comer.” “I’ve heard people say that money s wicked, but *fcey merer ha 4 any. Wheu I die. and go down to the big ferry. If the Old Boy comes along and offers me enough money. I’ll go to hell.” Still laughing, Allison telephoned to the offices of the Midcontinent rail road. and dashed out to his runabout just In time to see Tim Corman driv ing around the corner In his liveried landau. He found In President Ur bank of the Midcontinent, a spare man who had worn three vertical creases In hie brow over one thwarted ambi tion. His rich but sprawling railroad system ran fairly straight after It was well started for Chicago, and fairly straight from that way point until It became drunken with the monotony of the western foothills, where It gangled and angled Its way to the far south and around up the Pacific coast, arriv ing there dusty and rattling, after a thousand-mile detour from Its course— but that road had no direct entrance Into New York city. It approached from the north, and was compelled to circle completely around, over hired tracks, to gain a ferryboat entrance. Passengers Inured to coming in over the Midcontinent, which was a well equipped road otherwise, counted but half their journey done when they came in sight of New York, no mat ter from what distance they had come. “Out marketing for railroads today, Gil?" suggested Alllßon. ”1 don’t know,” smiled Drbank. “1 might look at a few.” "Here they are," and Allison tossed him a memorandum slip. Urbank glanced at the slip, then he looked up at Allison in perplexity. He had a funny forward angle to his neck when he was Interested, and the creases in his brow were deepened un til they looked like cuts. “I thought you were joking, and I’m still charitable enough to think so. What’s all this junk?" "Little remnants and job lots of railroads I’ve been picking up," and Allison drew forward his clialr. "Some I bought outright, and in some 1 bold control." "IX you're serious about interesting the Midcontinent In any of this prop erty. we don’t need to waste much time." Urbank leaned back and held his knee. "There are only two of these roads approach the Midconti nent system at any point, and they are useless property so far as we are concerned; the L. and C., in the East, and the Sllverknob and Nugget City, in the west, which touches our White Ilange branch at Its southern termi nus. We couldn’t do anything with those.” "You landed on the best ones right away, smiled Allison. "However, I don't propose to sell these to the Mid continent. 1 propose to absorb the .Midcontinent with them.” Urbank suddenly remembered Alli son’s traction history, and leaned for ward to look at the‘job lots and rem nants again. "This list isn't complete,’’ lie Judged, and turned to Allison with a serious question in his eye. "Almost,” and Allison hitched a little closer to the desk "There re mains an aggregate of three hundred and twenty miles of road to be built In four short stretches. In addition to this. 1 have a twenty-year contract over a hundred-mile stretch of the In land Pacific, a track right entry into San Francisco, and this," he displayed to Urbank a preliminary copy of an ordinance, authorizing the immediate building of an eight-track tube througti Crescent island to the mainland. "Pos sibly you can understand this whole P' eject better if 1 show you a map " and he spread out his little pocket sketch. If It had been possible to reverse the process of time and worry and wearing concentration. President Ur bank of the Midcontinent would have risen from his Inspection of that map with a brow as smooth as a baby’s. Instead. Ills lips went dry, ns he craned forward his neck at that funny angle, and projected his chin with the foolish motion of a goose. "A direct entrance right slam into the center of New York!" he ex claimed. cracking all his knuckles \io lently one by one. "Vedder court! Where’s that?” "That's the best part of the joke,” exulted Allison, with no thought that Vedder court was. at this present mo ment, eliurch property. “It’s Just where you said—right slam in the cen ter of New York; and the building into which the Midcontinent will run its trains will he also the terminal building of every municipal transpor tation line iu Manhattan! From my station platforms passengers from Chicago or the Tar West will step di rectly into subwuy, L., or trolley. When thoy come In over the line which is now the Mldeontinent. they will be lauded, not across the river, or in some side street. but right at their own doors, scattering from the Mldeontinent terminal over a hundred traction linos!” Ills voice, which had begun In the mild banter of u man passing an Idle Joke, hud risen, to u ring so triumphant that he was ulmoat shouting. "Hut—but—wait a minute I" Urbank protested. He was stuttering. "Where moans obsbbvbb. does the Mldeontinent set to the Crescent Island tube?" “Right here,” and Allison pointed to his map. "You come out of the tube to the L. and C„ which has a long time tracking privilege over fifty miles of the Towando Valley, and termi nates at Wlndfleld. At Forgeson, how ever, just ten miles after the L. and L. leaves the Towando, that road—” "Is crossed by our tracks!" Urbank eagerly Interpreted. "The Midconti nent, after its direct exit, saves a seventy-mile detour! Then lt’a a straight shoot for Chicago! Straight on again out west — Why, Allison, your route la almost as straight as an arrow! It will have a three-hundred mile shorter haul than even the Inland Pacific! You'll put that road out of the business! You'll have the king of transcontinental lines, and none can ever be built that will save one kink!" His neck protruded still further from his collar as he bent over the map “Here you Bplit oft from the Mldcontl nent'e main line and utilize the White Range branch; from Sllverknob— My God!” and his mouth dropped open. "Why—why—why, you croßg the big range over the Inland Pacific’s own tracks!" and his voice cracked. Edward E. Allison, his vanity grati fled to Its very core, sat back com fortably, smiling and smoking, until Urbank awoke. “I suppose we can come to some ar rangement,” he mildly suggested. Urbank looked at him still In a daze for a moment, and a trace of the creases came back Into his brow, then they faded away. “You figured all this out before you came to me," he remarked. "On what terms do we get In?" CHAPTER VIII. The Mine for the Golden Altar. Vedder Court was a very drunkard among tenement groups. Its decrepit old wooden buildings, as If weak kneed from dissipation and senile de cay, leaned against each other crook edly for support, and leered down at the sodden swarms beneath, out of broken-paned windows which gave somehow a ludicrous efTect of bleared eyes. There had once been narrow strip of curbed soil iu the center of the street, where „.ee long-since-di parted trees had ,iven the quarter its ! name of "court,” but this space was now as bare and dry as the asphalt surrounding it, and, as it was too small even for the purpose of children at play, a wooden bench, upon which no one had ever sat, as. Indeed, why should they? had long ago been placed on it, to become loose-jointed and ! weather-splintered and rotted, like all ' the rest of the neighborhood. As for Its tenants; they were exactly the sort of birds one might expect to find In such foul neats. They were of many nations, but of just two main va rletles: stupid and squalid, or thin and furtive; but they were all dirty, and they bore. In their complexions, the poison of crowded breathing spaces, and bad sewerage, and unwholesome or Insufficient food. Into this mire there drove an utterly out-of-place little electric coupe. At the wheel was the fresh-cheeked Gail Sargeat and with her was the twin kling-eyed Rufus Manning, whose white beard rippled down to his sec ond waistcoat button. They drove slowly the length of the court and back again, the girl studying every de tail with acute interest. They stopped in front of Temple Mission, which, with Its ugly red and blue lettering nearly erased by years of monthly scrubbings, occupied an old store room once used as a saloon. "So this 1b the chrysalis from which the butterfly cathedral Is to emerge.” commented Gail, as Manning held the door open for her, and before she rose she peered again around the uninvit ing "court," which not even the bright winter sunshine could relieve of Its dlnglness; rather, the sun made It only the more dismal by presenting the ugliness more in detail. “This is the mine which produces the gold which la to gild the altar.” as serted Manning, studying the side walk. "I don’t think you’d better come In here. You'll spoil your shoes. ” ”1 want to see It all this time be cause I'm never coming back," insist ed Gall, and placed one daintily shod foot on the step. "Then I’ll have to shame Sir Walter Raleigh." laughed the silvery.bearded Manning, and. to her gasping curprisc, he caught her around the waist and lifted her across to the door, w-hereat several soiled urchins laughed, and ono vinegary-faced old woman grinned, In horrible appreciation, and dropped Manning a familiarly respectful curtsy as he passed. There was no oue in the mission ex cept a broad-shouldered man W'ith s roughly hewn face, who ducked his 1 head at Maiming and touched Ills fore finger to the side of hlB hesd. He was placing huge soup kettles in their holes In the counter at the rear of th|> room, and Manning called attention to this. A practical mission,'’ he explained "We sturt in by saving the bodies." "Do you get any further?" Inquired Gall, glancing from the empty benches and the atrociously colored "religious” pictures on the walls to the windows, past which eddied a mass of humanity all but submerged In hopelessness. "Sometimes," replied Manning gravely. "I have Been a soul or two even here. It la because of these two or tlr-eo possibilities that the missloif Is kept up. It might interest you to know that Market Square church spends fifteen.thousand dollars tt year lit oharlty relief In Vedder court alone." Gall's eyelldß closed, her lashes curved on. her cheoks for an Instant, and the oorners of her Ups twitched. "And bow much g year doaa Market Square church take out of Vedder court?” "I was waiting for that bit of Im pertinence," laughed Manning. ”1 shall be surprised at nothing you say since that first day when you char acterized Market Square church as a remarkably lucrative enterprise. Have you never felt any compunctions of conscience over that?” "Not once," answered Gall prompt ly. She had started to seat herself on one of the empty benches, but had changed her mind. "If 1 had been given to any auch self-injustice, however, I should reproach myself now. 1 think Market Square church not only com mercial but criminal." "ITI have to give your soul a chas tisement,” smiled Manning. "These people must live somewhere, and be cause Vedder court, being church property, Is exempt from taxation, they find cheaper rents here than any where In the city. If we were to put up Improved buildings, I don’t know where they would go, because we would be compelled to charge more rent,” "In order to make the same rate of profit," responded Gall. "Out of all He Dropped Behind to Slip Something Which Looked Lika Money. this misery. Market Square church is reaping a harvest rich enough to build a fifty million dollar cathedral, and I have sufficient disregard for the par ticular deity under whom you do busi ness, to feel sure that he would not destroy It by lightning I want out of here." "Frankly, so do 1,” admitted Man ning; "although I’m ashamed of my self. It’s all right for you, who are young, to be fastidious, but your Daddy Manning is coward enough to want to make his peace with heaven, after a life which put a few biota on the book." She laughed at him speculatively for a moment, and then she laughed. "You know, 1 don’t believe that, Daddy Manning. You’re an old fraud, who does good by stealth, in order to gain the reputation of having been picturesquely wicked. Tell me why you belong to Market Square church." "Because It's so respectable." he twinkled down at her. "When au old sinner has lost every other claim to respectability, he has himself put on the vestry." He dropped behind on their way to the door, to surreptitiously slip some thing, which looked like money, to the man with the roughly hewn counte nance, and as he stood talking, Rev. Smith Iloyd came In, not quite breath lessly, but as if he had hurried. “I knew you were here," he said, taking Gall's slender hand in his own; then bis eyes turned cold. “You recognized nty pink ribbon hows," and she laughed up at him frankly. "You haveu't been over to sing lately." "No." he replied. "Will you be at home this evening?" "I’ll have our music selected," and, in the very midst of her brightness, she was stopped by the sudden sont berness In the rector's eyes. Simple little conversation; quite trivial Indeed, but It had been attend ed by much shirting thought. To be gin with, the rector regretted -the ne cessity of disapproving of a young lady so undeniably attractive. She was a pleasure to the eye and a stim ulus to the mind, and always bis first Impulse when he thought of her was one of pleasure. An Incident flashed back to him. The night or the tobog gan party, when she hud stood with her face upturned, and the moonlight gleaming on her round white throat. He had trembled, much to his later sorrow, as he fastened the scarf about her warm neck. However, she was the visiting niece of one of his vestry men, who lived next door to the rec tory. Gail Jerked her pretty head Impa tiently. If Rev. Smith Boyd meant to be ub somber uh this, she'd rather he'd stay at home. However, he was the rector, and her Uncle Jint was a vestryman, and they lived right next door. "You Just escaped a blowing up. Doctor Boyd,” observed "Daddy" Man ning. joining them, and his eyes twinkled from one to the other "Our young friend from the West !r lmrsh with the venerable Murket Square church." "Again?" and Rev Smith Boyd was gracious enough to smile. "What Is the matter with It this time?" •'ll is not only commercial hut crlm teal." rspMtsd Manning, with a sly smile at Gall, who now wora a llttl* red spot In each eheek. Rev. Smith Boyd’s cold eyes turned green, sb he glanced at this daring young person. In offending the dignity of Market Square eburch she offended his own. "What would you have us do?" ht quietly asked. ’’Retire from business," ahs In formed him, nettled by the covert sneer at her youth and inexperience. She laid aside a new perplexity for future solution. In moments such as this the rector was far from minis terial, and he displayed a quickness to anger quite out of proportion to the apparent cause. "The whole trouble with Market Square church Is that they have no God. The creator has been reduced to a formula." Daddy Manning saved the rector the pain of any answer. “You're a religious anarchist," bt charged Gall. Her face softened. "By no means," she replied. "I am a devoted follower of the divine spirit, the divine will, the divine law; but not of the church; for It has forgotten these things.” "You don’t know what you are say ing," the rector told her. "That Isn’t all you mean.” she re torted. "What you have tn mind Is that, being a woman, and young, 1 should be silent. You would not per mit thought If you could avoid It, for when people begin to think, religion lives but the church dies, as It Is doing today.” Now Rev. Smith Boyd could be triumphant. There was a curl of sar casm on his lips. "Are you quite consistent?" he charged. “You have just been object ing to the prosperity of the church." "Financially,” she admitted; "but It is a spiritual bankrupt. Your financial prosperity Is a direct sign of your re ligious decay. Your financial bank ruptcy will come later, as It has done In France, as It Is doiug In Italy, as It will do all over the world. Humanity treats the church with the generosity due a ouce valuable servant who has outlived his usefulness.” "My dear child, humanity can never do without religion," Interposed Daddy Manning. "Agreed," said Gall; "but It out grows them. It outgrew paganism, Idolatry, and a score of minor phases in between. Now it Is outgrowing the religion of creed. In Its progress to ward morality. What we need Is a new religion.” (TO BE CONTINUED.) Activities of Women. Women are paid ten cents a day for making army shirts in France. Of the 79,94(1 women registered for war work tn England, only 1.915 have been utilized. Very few of the nearly 400,000 woman school teachers in the United States are married. As soon as the war Is over Miss Genevieve Caulfield, a teacher at the Pennsylvania Institution for Instruc tion of the Blind, will Bail for Japan, where she will devote her life to teaching the blind there. Should Dr. Ella B. Everitt of Phila delphia accept the presidency of Wil son college, Bhe will be obliged to saerifleo a large medical practice j which she now enjoys In the Quaker City. Mrs. B. Castleton. ‘ who has just been graduated from the Atlanta law school, took up law mainly that she might have an understanding sympa thy in the work of her husband, an Atlanta attorney. Found That Enemy Could Shoot. A correspondent, sending news ol himself, sends this hospital experience from the British front: “He und 1 were occupants of neighboring beds in the same ward. He had come from the trenches with a hole through bis nose. I was Inquisitive and lie re sponsive. ‘I got this ’ere just by Noove Chapel. Pal o’ mine said the blighters could shoot; I said they couldn’t hit me if I give ’em a chance. 1 stuck up me 'ead an’ looked at ’em. ’E got 't tanner an’ 1 got pipped.’ Of course, the surgeon could only plug the nose of such a man with cheek.” Seville Nights. in all the principal plazaa and gar dens of Seville moving picture screens are erected and small tables and chairs set out, the exhibitors either making their profits from the drinks sold or by rental of chairs at two cents each. Thousands of people go nightly to the different plazas and gardens, and the entire life of the city for about four months centers around these moving picture shows.—From Commerce Reports. Couldn't Be More So. “How was the party last night at the Gadders’ house?” “Oh, the usual flubdub und foolish ness.” "Was there no serious note?” “One. I overheard Mr. Gadders tell Mrs. Gadders in a whisper that an other blowout like that would break him.” His Justification. “Why did you strike this man?" asked the court. “He told me to übc my head,” plead ed the prisoner. “Weil, that's no crime, is it?” “But, your honor, I was crushing stone at the time.”—Buffalo Express. Hardest Thing to Ride. Tin'll' Ih nothin* ho bard to rids ai a youn* broncho," said the Westerner "Oh. I don't know," replied the man from back East. “Did you ever try the water wagon T" WESTERN MINING AND OIL NEWS Western Newnpapor Union Nawa Servlca Metal Market Values. Lead, N. Y., offered—ss.4o. Bar silver—s4c. Spelter, St. Louis— $14.80. Copper, casting—sl9.so. Arizona. Construction work on a dam at Sir blno cufion will be begun soon. Copperfleld Porphyry Copper Min ing Company began the work of ex ploiting Ita big acreage near Minerat Park. Work at the Ruby Copper Company —the old Mansfield camp—ls expect ed to start up again in the Patago nia district the first of the year. The Tom Heed has drifted into the? ore body on the 1,175 or twelfth level of that great mine and finds it as rich ns on any of the other levels. The shaft in the Golconda Exten sion in the Kingman district encoun tered stringers of ore at depth of 350 feet which give high values In gold and silver. Twenty-five students of the Uni versity of Arizona are taking the mine rescue course under the instruc tion of the workers with the govern ment mine rescue car for Tucson dis trict. New Mexico. The Black Cloud mine near Magda lena has resumed operations. Activity in the mining districts near Carrizozo is on the increase. The Southwestern Oil Development Company has been organized at Co lumbus. The Silver Cell group of mining claims, near Silver City, is to be de veloped extensively. M. M Crocker Installed a gasoline hoist at his wolframite mines near Cage, twenty miles west of Deming, and will sink his main shaft. The Azure Mining Company haa taken over the Contention mines in ihe Tres Hermanns mountains south of Deming, from S. D. Swope, which are paying zinc mines. That practically the entire top of Dark Thunder mountain, a few mile;* from Twin Peaks. Is an immense body of low grade zinc ore, is a discovery recently made by Paul Crowley. Wyoming. The Big Horn basin in northern Wyoming is the scene of unusual en thusiasm and activity in oil and gas because of several recently completed oil and gas wells. There is more activity about the oil lands adjacent to lender at the present time thau there was fifteen or moro years ago, when launder had the only producing field in the state, the Dallas field. Drilling into the second strata of oil sand in the Elk Basin the Ohio Oil Company struck a real gusher and opened a well that is believed by oil men to bo the largest struck in any of the Wyoming-Montana oil fields The Hudson Oil Company brought. In their ninth producing well at lou der, at a depth of 1,150 feet. While not a rlowing well as is No. 8, it is as good a producing well as the com pany have, und is the last one they will drill this winter. Colorado. At Leadville the American Smelt ing and Refilling Company is expend ing about $250,000 in making im provements at the Arkansas Valley smelters, where six furnaces are now in action. The Ingcrsoll-Rand Company ha* declared a dividend of ten per cent on its common stock. Shipments from the deep workings of the Jerry Johnsou mine at Cripple Creek were held up through road con ditions. It is reported tliut Summit county mine* have produced $1,788,388 in 1915, dredgers taking $859,567 of this amount. At Cripple Creek the C. K. A S. mine shaft has been sunk to a depth of 850 feet, and from the levels, drifts and stopes several thousand feet in extent, ore slightly exceeding $2,000,000 has been produced. In Gilpin county the Pioneer Min ing and Milling Company seems des tined to bo the leuder in opening up what undoubtedly will he one of the greatest sections of gold-producing ground ever opened In the county. Clear Creek county reports that five feet of gray copper ore has been cut on the 400-foot level of the Oneida property at Freeland that is worth S2O per ton. The oro is under an old stope which yielded $600,000 many years ago. Anent tungsten, at the Colorado School of Mines the assistant profes sor of metallurgy, E. J. Ditties, has engaged to examine the heubneriu ores in the ,\foird district which carry from $6 to S4O per tpn in gold in ad dition to a large percentage of tung sten. The Vindicator Consolidated Gold Mining Company distributed cheeks for an extra three per cent dividend. Involving a cash expenditure of $45,- 000 and making fifteen per cent for the year on a par value of $1,500,000.