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6/)e MIRROR / EDITED AND PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY THE INMATES OF THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISON. i ____ - _ i “IT IS NEVER TOO EATE TO MEND.” f ' ' ---- - ■' ■■■■■• : “ ' ' -= / y o l. XXIV.—No. 7. STILLWATEK, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 1910. Terms:!lVxmJ.Kmc d en“ w What a Night Brought Forth The Happy Ending of the Stormy and Tempestuous Career of a Young Man. “Well, of all the people I ever expected to meet tonight, you’re the last! But what’s on your mind? You look worried. Does the world hold the same dark, gloomy aspect to you yet that it did to both of us the night I was with you in St. Paul? Surely you ha vent been per mitting that same old grief to hold you down all these years. Let’s see, it’s four years since the night we were together in St. Paul, and you had then been brooding over the same sorrow for eight years. Good Lord, man, if you dont brace up and forget it pretty soon it will drive you to your grave.” “God! don’t talk about it, Dick. Havent I been trying all these years to forget? But it’s no use. I would to God I were in my grave. It al most drives me mad to think of it.” “Well, Fred, God knows we’ve both had sorrows that were trying to the utmost. But I have ceased to worry. It avails naught. I was wrecked on the road of Life through the malicious engineering of others and deserted on the prairie of dis honor. But I lived through the col lision and now those who were guilty of obstructing the track will have to supply the wherewithal to repair the remnants. Henceforth I mean to live up to the reputation which the world insists on laying at my door. Tonight the author and donor of said reputation, Mr. W. E. Black of the Square Deal depart ment store, shall be called upon to make the first donation. Oh, I have a goodly amount due me, Fred, and just as surely as there is a God in heaven I will collect every cent of it. Come into this restaurant here and I’ll explain the plan I have decided on carrying out tonight. You ap pear to be in the same circumstances as I, but you will be well paid for tonight’s work if you will take a hand in the game.” It was just nine o’clock when Dick McComb and Fred Morton entered the Crown restaurant. As the clock on the Central High school was striking the hour of ten, the two separated. At a few minutes of two a man stealthily emei-ged from the railroad yards and cautiously made his way up Second Avenue. He paused in front of the Michigan street entrance to the Square Heal department store. To remove the iron grating which covered the coal-hole in the pave ment was but the work of a moment. In another minute Harry Smith, alias Dick McComb, was on the main floor of the building. When he reached the private of fice of the proprietor, where the safe was kept, he was a little sur prised to find the door unlocked, lie had expected he would have to pick the lock. “Well,” he muttered, “that's that much time saved,” and was soon inside examining the safe, by the light of a dark-lantern. As he was kneeling before the safe re moving the tools from his pockets, the room suddenly became flooded with light. He dropped the tools and turned in surprise just as the door of an adjoining room opened and two men stepped into the of fice —Mr. Black, proprietor of the store, and Fred Morton. “Morton! Traitor!” exclaimed the amateur burglar. “By God, I’ll re pay you for this some day.” Before he could say any more, Mr. Black stepped forward and, tak ing the would-be burglar’s hand in his own, said: “Harry Smith, will you believe me when I say I am glad beyond the expression of words to see you here this minute?” “Indeed, sir,” replied Harry, “I can well believe that. You were not content to nave wrongfully ac cused and disgraced me in my home town; you had to hound me with the same falsehood for five years. No matter where I went I found myself face to faqe with the same damnable lie. Three times have I lost my po sition on account of it. And now that you have caught me red-hand ed, through the aid of a damned trai tor, in what you believe to be my second attempt to rob you, I sup pose you consider your revenge com plete. But I have lived through it all and I shall do my utmost to sur vive this, also, if only to make you pay for it.” “Harry,” said Mr. Black, “I can w ell realize your feelings toward me and I do not blame you for the con tempt in which you hold me. But before you go any further in your condemnation, sit down there and I will tell you something that w'ill cause you to change your plans for the future. When I have finished you w r ill thank God for your chance meeting w r ith your friend, Mr. Mor ton. You w'ill also thank him for playing the traitor. “You remember the bookkeeper who testified to having seen you enter the cashier’s office the day you w r ere accused? Three years later he w T as promoted to cashier. Lately I have suspected that things were not just as they should be. Yesterday I called in an expert and learned that the cashier was nearly tw r o thousand dollars short. At first he denied all knowledge of the shortage, but later made a full confession. He also ad mitted having taken the tw r o hundred dollars with the theft of which you were accused. Friends of his of fered to make good the amount if I would drop the charge and permit him to leave the city, w r hich I did. I went immediately to your mother, who still lives next door to my house, and returned the two hundred dol lars which she had paid me five years before. I then published the story in the Evening Tattler to clear your name, and offered a reward of one hundred dollars for information as to your whereabouts, which reward, by the way, now goes to our friend here, Mr. Morton, though he knew' nothing of it until this minute. And now T he may explain the part he played in tonight’s drama.” “Well, Dick, or Harry, rather,” said Fred, “when I could not per suade you to abandon your desire for revenge, I decided to go to Mr. Black and ask him to help me save you from the life you w r ere about to begin. When he told me the story of your vindication I left without telling him of your plan. I hurried dow r n to the Bow'ery to find you and tell you the good news, but every place on the street was closed. I then came back here, intending to w'atch the store until you should ap pear. But realizing it w r as not safe for a stranger to be standing around on the street at tw’o o’clock in the morning, and fearing you might be in hiding near by and, not recogniz ing me in the dark, you might lose courage, abandon your plan, leave the city and again be lost, I decided to return to Mr. Black and tell him all. “We tried to think of some way of sparing you the embarrassment of this sort of a meeting. We walked the streets until after one o’clock, in hopes of seeing you before the time came for you to carry out your in tentions. Finally we decided that the only sure way of not missing you was to come here and wait.” Harry arose and extending his hand to his former employer, said: “Mr. Black, I do thank God for my meeting with Mr. Morton to night. I also thank him more than mere words can express for playing the traitor. But what must you think of me for what I intended do ing tonight! How can you ever for give me? God! if you could but put yourself in my place for a moment. Then you might be able to realize what caused me to thus decide.” “Harry,” replied Mr. Black, Ido realize everything. Believe me, I forgive you with all my heart. It’s not you but me who should ask for giveness. How can I ever atone for the wrong I have done you?” “You have already done that, sir, by assuring me of your forgiveness.” “Thank you,” said Mr. Black. “And now that everything and every body are forgiven, let us go into the gents’ furnishing department and see what can be dor. • in the way of rig ging you both up with a new outfit of wearing apparel. Then we will proceed to my house, from where we will send a hurried telephone call to your mother, asking her to come over at once. Being neigh bors, she has for years been greatly attached to my niece and her little girl, as you know, Harry. So she will no doubt hurry over at once, thinking that perhaps someone is sick or that an accident has hap pened. Then, what a happy sur prise she will have. “My niece has been in Buffalo the past two months, with her father who has been very sick. I expect her home on the steamer Dixon, due here at 12:30 but being three hours late, will not arrive until 3:30.” The meeting of Harry and his mother can better be imagined than described in words. After Mr. Black had explained to Mrs. Smith how he had been informed, just two hours before, of her son’s presence in the city, ( she was left in ignorance as to his object in coming back,) and how he had arranged it so the meeting of mother and son should take place in his house, since he considei'ed him self the cause of the long separation, Avhen these explanations were over, Fred Morton took his host by the arm and led him into the library. “Why, Mr. Morton, are you ill? You appear quite upset.” “No, Mr. Black, I am not ill, physically, but I could not bear to remain in there and look into the face of that beautiful child. Her eyes seem to recall the memory of a day that I have struggled desperate ly for years to forget.” “She is indeed a most beautiful child, Mr. Morton. Tonight she in sisted on staying up to meet her mother.” “Listen, Mr. Black. Twelve years ago, when I was twentythree years of age, I was employed in the of fices of a millionaire manufacturer. I fell in love with his beautiful daughter, who returned my love. Not daring to approach her father with the subject, we were secretly married. A few weeks later my wife took her step-mother into her confidence and told her of our mar riage. Her mother promised to ‘smooth things over’ with the old gentleman, and she did. He agreed that if his daughter would go abroad for a year with her mother he would, during that year, advance me to a higher position. Upon her return our engagement should be formally announced and we should be re married. “The day of her departure I re ceived a letter from her a few hours after she had gone. The letter stat ed that she had deceived both her self and me; that she had discu rered she did not love me and had gone to Europe never to return until I had promised her father to look up on our marriage as a thing that had never taken place. She said her father would give me all the T oney I needed to leave the country with and as the minister who performed the ceremony had died a few weeks later, nobody would ever be any the wiser. I went to her father and was assured of the truth of the letter. He said it was at her own suggestion that the ruse of going abroad was decided upon. He offered me ten thousand dollars to leave the city and never return or seek to meet his daughter again. While I de cided to leave at once, never to re turn, I spurned his money as so much poison. What amount of money could ever heal the wound my heart had received? That is the story. You see what it has made of me —a vagabond.” When his guest had finished Mr. Black arose, grasped Fred’s hand and asked: “Tell me, sir, is your name Ben ton?” “Yes, sir, my name was Arthur Benton twelve years ago.” “Ah, praise God for what this night has brought forth. Well might the eyes of that child recall the memory of your sorrowful past. She is your own daughter. Her mother is your lawful wife, who has been faithful and true to your mem ory and your child all these years.” “My daughter! My wife! Faithful and true all these years!” And Arthur Benton sank back into his chair with his head upon his arms and sobbed. “God! can this be true? Were we both deceived, after all? I have often thought it may have been so, but dared not believe it.” “Yes,” said Mr. Black, “you were both deceived by the cruel scheme devised by your wife’s proud, heart less and haughty step-mother. “ When Ethel arrived in London she was surprised to receive a letter from her husband, presumably, that had come by the same boat in which she had crossed. The letter con tained practically the same message as the one you received. It said that you had shamefully deceived her; that you were the husband of another woman; that you hoped she would forgive you, as she would never see you again. “When Mrs. Penner discovered that Ethel was soon to become a mother she wrote her husband to that effect. He swore he would dis own his daughter and never permit her to return to his home unless she first forsook the child. This she re fused to do. She went to a home for friendless women where the child was born. After working out as governess for two years she wrote to me, explaining her sad story. I sent her money and asked her to come and live with me, my wife having died the year previous. She came and has been with me ever since. “And now I must hurry to the docks to meet her and prepare her for the happy surprise in store for her. In the meantime you may en joy God’s greatest gift to man —the company and confidence of a pure hearted child.” When Mr. Black and his niece re turned a half hour later, they found little Ethel sitting on her father’s knee, with her arms lovingly en twined about his neck, for the first time in all her young life. The next instant husband and wife of twelve years before were locked in each other’s arms. “Oh, Arthur, Arthur, my husband! Thank God I have found you! Fa ther told me all when he was sick and thought he was dying. But now he is well again and his only wish is to find you and atone for the suffering he has caused us.” As Mr. Black left the room, that the three might be alone in their happiness, he met Mrs. Smith in the hallway. “Mrs. Smith, do you know why I asked you to come over here tonight, or this morning, rather?” “Why, I supposed it was that you might witness the happy meeting be tween me and my son.” “Yes, that is quite true. But I had another and more selfish purpose, still. Mrs. Smith, I have loved you for years, but dared not speak on account of the dark cloud that has hung over your life since Harry’s disappearance. I knew you would not listen. But now that the mist has cleared away, I am going to ask for my reward for the enduring patience I have exhibited all these years. It may not be considered chivalrous for a gentleman to summon a lady from Dreamland at two o’clock in the morning for the selfish purpose of begging her to share his lot in life, but, my dear Mrs. Smith, will you not complete this night of divine blessings by giving your consent to |my becoming Harry’s step-daddy?” “Say ‘yes,’ mother,” piped a voice behind them, “he’s a dear old man, after all, and I’d love to call him ‘dad’.” And Harry’s mother, with just the slightest feint of resistance, al lowed herself to be embraced in the arms of her future husband. Thus endeth the story of what a night brought forth. Old Repeater Interviewed The Mirror Sporting Editor Enjoys An Airless Interview With the Famous First Baseman. After several ineffectual attempts we have at last secured an interview with Old Repeater. Last week after an all day’s search we finally located him in the tonsorial parlors of Capt. Whelan’s large and commodious es tablishment. He was very busily engaged in trying out a new method for honing razors and after several fancy flourishes we were moved to inquire just what advantages the new method possessed. “This,” said Old Repeater, “is what is called a double bevel edge and it is the real thing, too. Why, you fellows wont have to lather at all when I use this razor, because it re moves at one stroke both whiskers and cuticle. Yes sir-ee, it will prove a great timesaver in the matter of lathering, yet it accomplishes the same results.” “Now, Professor, what is your opinion regarding the proposed for mation of a baseball league at the New Prison, as outlined exclusively in The Mirror?” “Well,” he replied, “you can take it from me that it’s just a little bit of all right. But I notice that you havent selected your staff of umpires yet.” We inquired whether he w r ould be willing to serve in that capacity. “My experience in baseball has been largely confined to the playing end of the game and there’s plenty here that will tell you I was always pretty well up in the official averag es —at that I’m no Ty Cobb y’under stand. But if I thought Heliograms could ‘come back’ I’d never consent to umpire, because as a star battery be and I have a little something on all the rest of these guys ’round here. We’ve had several workouts together this Summer and Helio grams has some speed left I can tell you. Just the other day he told me that beating a rug every morning kept his arm in good shape. Why dont you get him to umpire fpr you?” We intimated that perhaps Helio grams would not care to act in the double capacity of looking after the gate receipts and umpiring. “Oh, ho! so that’s his lay is it? Well, I might have knowm it. You see he occupies apartments adjoin ing mine and he has been boosting his own game in his sleep. Such expressions as: 'Two tickets, d’ye say?’ ‘Here y’are, me bhoy.’ ‘Twen tyfoive and fifty is a dollar. Mo? How’s that?’ ‘Well, it’s heads I win and tails you lose, d’ye see?’ Move on and let the others get up to the window.’ They kept me awake all night. Anyway you may announce that I am strictly in favor of this baseball proposition,” and the suave Professor smoothly tackled the next customer. A Fitting Design. “I want an estimate on ten thou sand letter-heads.” said the profes sional-looking man with the silk hat. “Any special design?” asked the engraver. “Yes, sir,” replied the caller, ‘in the upper left-hand coiner I want a catchy cut of Patrick Henry making his memorable speech, and in dis tinct letters, under the cut, his soul inspiring words, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ You see,” he add ed, “I’m a divorce lawyer, and want something fitting.” —Lippincott’s. A. O. H. Bobbles.