Newspaper Page Text
PROLOGUE OF THE STORY.
John Harrington, a stockbroker of regular habits, dies. His widow Hurts included in her monger heritage il rac ing stable seerelly operated by her husband during iife under the name "John Duffy." "Widow" l'nrringtnu. after conferring with Mat Donovan, the trainer, decides to secretly con tinue ownership of the stable under the old name and live near the track. Her sistpr. Myrtle, and her (lance, Ralph Wood hurst, whose father is op posed to the race track, are interrupt ed in their lovemaking by Janet Stir ling, who annoys Kalph by referring to him as a model young man. Donovan arrives in quest of Mrs. Harrington and Hertie Ainsworth tries unsuccess fully to humiliate him. Mrs. Harring ton returns from an auto ride with Mr. Sanderson. John Garrison, a rich miner, a friend of two weeks' standing, proposes to the widow. Wildlife's chances of winning tile Ocean stakes on the morrow are being discussed when Dr. Woodhurst. the race track reformer, joins them unexpectedly, and Mrs. Harrington has an uncomfortable time getting rid of him. Chappy Ras ter, the egotistic jockey who is to ride Wildfire, calls on Mrs. Harrington to see "the owner of the John Duffy sta ble." John Duffy, a bookmaker, who is believed by most people to be the owner of the :-,able. has won the en mity of Garrison. who threatens to "break" him. Kalph secretly stakes a large sum on Wildiire and while at the track is met by Myrtle. Mrs. Harring ton puts in an appearance after thev leave and tells Chappy liaster how to run a winning race. Tin: jockey then meets Duffy, whom he thinks is the real owner of Wildfire, and agrees (o win only if a handkerchief is waved from the stable window. Hurt, the sta ble boy. overhears these instructions and informs the widow, who decides to defeat Duffy's object. When the race starts she manages to keep his at tention away from it. The Race. DJ lT'FFY noticed the move an 1 smiled in self flattery. "You're right." answered Duffy, turning his head to catch a glimpse of tee horses still at the post. "Come over here, won't you?" he begged. "Uh, Mr. Duffy." she fluttered. "Just to oblige me. 1 got a splendid reason," he urged, with a smile. "Oh, very well," she acquiesced, moving to his side. "And now what?" she begged, leaning toward him. Looking into her eyes anil in a voice laden with the deepest meaning, he answered her, "Anything you like." "Then tell me who is going to win this race?" she asked, anxiety almost betraying her. The query was not whal Duffy hart expected, but lie felt thai lie would have to humor her. Shu had under stood what he intended to convey and was only playing with him. "There's nothii to it but Jackdaw." he told her. "I thought Wildiire was the favor ite?" "She is. but Jackdaw will win just the same." This was the last blow to shatter her holies. What Hud had told her was all true. The favorite was to be beaten, not because she was not the best entry, but in the interests of blacklegging bookmakers. And John (Iarrison was one of them. ]t could not be true. He. of all men, to associate with such a degrading crew as. she thought, were leagued against her. "Is Mr. (Iarrison as sure as you are?" she almost whispered. Duffy was standing with his back to the window with his arms out stretched, his palms resting on the sill. He appeared to be biding the racers from her. At her question she realized that he could implicate her friend in the deal and pay off the score of the last encounter. He felt that she would never speak to Harrison again after hearing of his crookedness. Had she glanced into his faoe or caught sight of him biting his lips to keep himself from betrayal, she would have realized that he was lying. Elated at his success, he answered. "I should say he is Why. he's got it nil framed up. That's the reason lie bought Jackdaw this morning. He can't lose. I tell you." Mrs. Harrington grew faint when she heard of the treachery of Garrison as narrated by Duffy. Again she heard the cry, "They're off A muiiied roar swept over the tieid from the grand stand. Steadily it grew into cheers as Jackdaw swept to the front. "They're off this time for fair cried Duffy. "In less than a couple of min utes it will be all over." lie watched the horses for a moment keenly. His plans wer? worked out to perfection. Chappy was riding according to the or ders be had received. 0 Copyright by George H. Broadhurst. All over," Mrs. Harrington sighed under her breath. Hut to Duffy she said. "So Jackdaw can't lose?" ".Not unless he breaks a leg." assert ed the bookmaker in his enthusiasm. "I ve ir the swellest bet on him 1 ever had. And I'll tell you what I'll do." Me leaned over her and with leering eyes and shortened breath continued: "Ten thousand of it is yours, and you don't have to pay if he loses. What do you think of that?" Mrs. Harrington tried to peer over his shoulder to catch a glimpse of the horses who were nearing the stretch. "It's very kind of you. indeed," she answered hi:n absentmindedly. "Thai's nothing to what I'd do if we were real friends," lie insinuated. The beat of the hoofs drew his atten tion for an instant. "Hello They are coming into the stretch. Think we will be'.'" he panted. "Why not V" she cried, pressing closer to him to see Wildiire running easily at Jackdaw's Hank. "Say. you're all right. I'll make that ton thousand, win'or lose, (live me a kiss -give me a kiss to seal the bar gain." lie drew her into his arm.-. She offered 1,0 resistance. She was too heartsick to realize tin offense. All of her hopes and happiness were cen tered in the little mare lighting gamely lo win for her. Duffy, witli his arm about her waist, was clrawing her closer to his bosom. She caught a glimpse of his handker chief sticking from his coat pocket. Over his shoulder she caught sight of Chappy looking for the signal. In a Waved It Wildly Over the Bockio's Shoulder. Hash it came to her how. she might save the race. Deftly, almost blindly, she snatched the handkerchief from his po.-ket and waved it wildly over the bookie's shoulder, who. with low ered face and eyes, was searching t'ot her iips. A roar from the crowd told her that (.'happy had seen the signal and was urging Wildlife to win. l-'or the brief est space she remained quietly iu the arms of the deluded book.maker. With sudden strength born of anger and insulted womanhood she fought herself free from his loathsome em brace and with a!! her might si ruck him full in the face with oliivhed list. "You beast Yen brute she shrieked. The force of the blow had staggered Duffy. Hreathless with fear and anger lie cried. "What: do you mean'.'" In wildest exultation slip faced him and in a voice pitched high with emo tion she cried: "Wildiire wins That's what I mean. And you didn't kiss me —yon didn't, you didn't"— Then the strain snapped and she sank Into the chair by the desk and laying her lead 011 her arms, cried as only a happy woman can cry for joy. Unify sneaked out of the stable with er' looking back. The winning of the Ocean stakes by Wildl'.re was one of the most popular victories of the season. Chappy was. highly elated over his success. Dressed in apparel which for gorgeatisness ri vaieii the sunflower, he made his pa rarte of the hotels near the track Ac cording to instructions he had bet -So en Iris mount to win for Ilortense. With her winnings lie sent ln=r a note transmitting the startling information that Mrs Harrington owned Wildiire. Hud had met Chappy after the race to tell him what he thought of him for being a party to the plot. They coin pared notes and began an investigation ou their owa account. It was uot long 1 before they heard the story which Duffy was spreading industriously that Mrs. Harrington owned the Duffy stable. Duffy, foiled and beaten, had Ipft the stable vowing vengeanc? upon ihe widow for the loss of his small for tune and the blow which she had given him. He realized that if Dr. Woodhurst ever knew that Mrs. Har rington was interested in a racing sta ble he would break the match at once. Duffy tried to reach the doctor at his home by telephone, but received no reply to a constant, ringing of the boll. At the dinner table to his companions he related the story of (iarrison being in love with her and buying a horse to beat the favorite, which she owned. Hy hints and innuendoes he started the news, but did not tell why ("iarri son had bought the horse and that ho had schemed to have the race thrown. Mrs. Harrington appeared at the din ner table that evening as serene and beautiful as ever. She had hurried home immediately after the episode in the trainer's quarters and locked her self in her room for an hour. When she rejoined her friends she was in full command of herself, as she thought, for any emergency. However, many incidents were to happen in the few short hours before the lights of her home would be turned out. After .linner Hud brought Mrs. Har rington a note from Donovan. Seating herself at her desk, Mrs. Har rington read: "llau* a swell offer for Wildfire, but must see you before closing sale. That race today has sent our prices up to the rafters. Will be over lo see you as soon as possible. Duffy has found on' that you own the stable. 1 tried (o give him the wrong steer, but he wouldn't stand for it. 1,00k out for him—lie means trouble." A Queer Elopement. A\( I.I.\'( his monocle from the cord liert Ainsworth said as he strolled into the room: "1 have been thinking it o.e.. Airs. Harrington —now, if my brother at home gets angry because I didn't succeed iu buying Wildlife I want you to"— Thi' ringing of the telephone bell in terrupted 11 iin. "Uli. shall 1 answer il he questioned. "it's soaie person named Duffy 011 the phone," he reported. "Oh. DuiTy. siie lahered. Tense, alert, she stood listening to Herties reply, endeavoring lo grasp the lull purport ol the cunei'sation. Rertic. with many stops and ejacu lations. resumed his ou\ersaiion with Duif.v. All tiie widow could hoar was: os- a you there'.' (Slight pause.i What's thai'.' Mow i.ouhl you answer if you weren't there.' You couii'.n't. That's I 111.' reason 1 asked if you were there islight pausei. Do 1 still want to buy imiire? Oi course I do (slight pausei. You'll tell tne the name of the owner'.' Thanks, awfully "lle'S going to tell him," gasped the widow in the lull of Bertie's tall-:, while Duffy told him the name of the owner. "Who?" asked Hertie. He repeated the query. "Who?" The information Hertie received did not affect him seriously. He turned toward the widow, who was burning with ioipaticnce, and laughed drolly. However, he made no comment, but. resuming his talk with Duffy, said: "(f course 1 don't beiie\e it, and if there wasn't a lady lien? I'd jolly well give you a piece of my mind islight pausei yes. a lady. A message for the doctor." was his next remark. "I can't say whether I'll deliver it or not. Oh, tommyrot:" he replied in disgust. "No. I do not want to kiss yon goodby and 1 won't deliver your message either." Hertie hung up the receiver v. i:11 a bang, crying: "The impertinence of the man The impertinence of the man 1 beg .\oiir par.loll, but he made me very angry very I" he finished, recalling the pres ence of Mrs. Harrington. "Just a moment. .Mr. Ainsworth,'' begged the widow, concealing her anx iety with a smiling face. Hertie stopped. "Dirt he say who owns the horse?" she asked, all innocence. *^es. but it's- oil. it's preposterous chuckled Hertie. "He said you owned Wi.dHre." "The message Mr. Duffy had for the lady is it worth repeating?" "Well, this Duffy person said that he was just about to telephone to Dr. Woodhurst for the purpose of inform ing the doctor that you own a racing st aide." "Oh Mr. Duffy is going tc telephone Dr. Woodhurst that 1 own a racing stable." replied tile thoroughly startled widow. "Yes, yes. Duffy also said that you would lie able to appreciate the infor mation at its full value." Mrs. Harrington, to hide her nervous ness, snapped her lingers. "So far as 1 am concerned it has 110 value what ever." she answered lightly. "But I hope that you won't think it worth while to relate the incident to Myrtle ami Kalph." "Cersainly not if you wish it." ac quiesced Hertie. "1 want to tell them about (he joke myself," she explained. "Wait till I see Duffy. I'll show him he can't kiss me goodby was Rertie's belligerent speech as he left the room. Mrs. Harrington, alone for a moment, planned her campaign quickly. Myr tle and Kalph must get married at once. After ceremony it would be easier to treat with the doctor. Ills opposition, if he learned that she own ed a racing stable, might, prevent their marriage. At least it would create a lot of gossip among the neighbors, a situation she wished to avoid. Once lier mind made up s'-.e acted quickly. First she borrowed the use of Sander son's automobile, saying she wished to send Hud on an errand that required speed. Calling Kalph and Myrtle into the room, she said to the young man: "You love Myrtle?" "Certainly," Kalph replied, with as surance. The same question was put to Myr tle. "You love Kalph?" "Why, of course I do!" was her en thusiastic reply, taking Ralph's hand in hers. "Then listen to me. Yon must be mar ried—immediately," announced Mrs. Harrington. "WliaC" they both cried, starting back in surprise. "Yes, right now!" wns her emphatic response. "Rut Henrietta interposed Kalph. "1 don't understand"— began Myrtle. Mrs. Harrington nervously attempted an explanation. "Now, don't get ex cited. You see I'm not—I'm just as cool and calm as I possibly can be Be sides, you were to lie married yester day—today—I mean tomorrow—any way, weren't you?" she said. "Yes. Hut"— Myrtle wanted to know the reason for all this haste. She felt that as the bride she ought to be consulted. "Get your things." commanded Mrs. Harrington. "And you have a license?" she asked Kalph. "Got it this afternoon," Ralph an swered. While she helped Myrtle put on her hat and adjust her veil, Mrs. Barring ton gave the young couple their instruc tions. "Then don't ask any questions, be cause I can't answer them just now," she said. "The situation is simply this: If you don't get married right away I'm afraid you won't get married at all. Now you get iu Mr. Sanderson's automobile and have the chauffeur take yott direct to tlie Itev. Mr. Lind sa.v's—you know, down the Shell road —and ask him to marry you at once." "What in tile world Is the matter?" demanded Kalph. "1 exported to wear my wedding dress"—there were tears of disappoint ment in Myrtle's voice. "You're losing time, children," warn ed Mrs. Harrington. "Kalph, ring the bell for Hortense. I tell you I can't explain anything. Hortense, send Bud in here at once." she said to the girl when she appeared in the doorway. "Hut. see here," expostulated Kalph. She held up her hand for silence. Willi a look of deepest affection at the young couple, she said. "You know I hue yon both, don't you?" "Yes." they answered in all sin cerity. "Then you must trust nie and do what 1 ask. for ui.v sake." she hugged. "I'd do anything for your sake." re plied Myrtle warmly. "So would I." chimed in Ralph. "I shall be on pins and needles until I know you are safely married,'' she told them. "You want me. lady?" yelled Hud a he ran into the room. "Yes, Rial. I want you to do some thing very important for me. These young people are going to be married at oii'e and you are to go with them to the minister's. After the ceremony they will take the train for New York." Of Kalph she asked. "You have mon ey?" 'Tlenty." he answered. Mrs. Harrington continued her in structions to Hi Hi- "As soon as the wedding is over you will gel into the automobile with the chauffeur, come back here as fast as gasoline will let you and tell me nil about it." "I'm 011. lady. I'm on," he assured her. "Then go. all of you, quickly. Please, please!" she begged. Kalph put his arm about Myrtle's waist and cried. "Come along, dear Myrtle paused to kiss her sister. "Goodby. sister she cried. "I'm not a bit nervous." was her spoken boast. "Neither am 1." laughed Kalph "You're a dear, good girl." warmly replied Mrs. Harrington as she kissed her again. "Leave everything to me. Goodby, sister cried Hud, with great self as surance. "If they don't meet the doctor every thing will lie all right." she continued as the young people rushed from the house. From the chug of the automobile she knew that they were on the way to the rectory. She had foiled Duffy, and the out-look for her plans was rosy. She need only await Hud's return with the happy news. Sanderson's entrance to the room and his greeting. "I'm back.'" startled her. "Oh Mrs. Harrington cried in alarm. I Seeing Sanderson, sue said. "I'm glad you are." "Yott promised me an answer." I "Not now, please. This has been a very strenuous day for me. Mr. Sander son." Mrs. Barrington pleaded, rais ing her bauds in protest. "But you promised me an nnswer to night." he insisted. And Mr. Sander son was 11 very insistent person. "I know I did. but I"— Mrs. Harring ton sought in vain for an excuse. "Please don't put me off any longer. Say 'Yes,' and let me drive, and I'll'guarantee we'll reach our destina tion without an accident," was the plea of her impetuous wooer. Mrs. Harrington laughingly retorted: "So you want to drive the car of mat rimony, do yott? Suppose I wish to handle the steering wheel once in awhile. I'd be able to. you know." "Whenever you wish I'll resign in your favor, and if anything goes wrong it'll be you for the comfortable seat by the roadside and me for the hammer and the tools, and the 'recumbent posi tion underneath the car,' he finished with an imitation of Dr. Woodhurst. "Don't be rash." warned Mrs. Bar rington. "When I get started and my blood is fairly up am liable to set a pace that will fracture all speed limits and will surely land us before a stern justice of the peace. 'M-m-m-m—ten dollars and costs'—you know what. I mean," she said, mimicking a justice of the peace, "Indeed I do, and so long ns I am with you will pay the fine willingly," laughed Sanderson. Hortense interrupted the wooing by entering the room with a note. "A note for you, ma'am," she said, handing it to her. "Excuse me," she begged Sanderson. "Certainly." "I think it's from Mr. Garrison, ma'am. His servant am waitin' for an answer," suggested Hortense. Mrs. Barrington made no attempt to conceal her annoyance. "There is no answer," she said sharply. Sanderson relieved the strain by pre tending not to have observed her little flight of temper. "Well, what's the decision? I don't have to tell you what this means to me—you know that it means every thing." He spoke very sincerely. "Does it?" she asked as she crushed the note In her hand. Yes," he replied, continuing in a lighter vein. "What a wedding trip we'd have, a new roadster model, through shady lanes with a chauffeur who is deaf and dumb and strapped to the seat so he couldn't turn around. Doesn't that tempt you?" In a more serious mood he finished: "There is nothing that I would not do to win you —fairly. And if I should win you there is nothing I wouldn't do to keep all care and sorrow from you. Say 'Yes!' Perhaps you don't love me yet, but if you love no other man"— Mrs. Barrington glanced at Garri son's writing as Sanderson was pro posing her mind was already made up, but she needed just this one inci dent to bring it home fully to herself. "1 don't," she assured Sanderson. "Then marry me and I'll chance the rest because I know I'll make J'ou love me. Say 'Yes.' he begged. Mrs. Harrington looked long and earnestly at Garrison's letter. Then she slowly and deliberately tore it up and threw the scraps Into the waste paper basket. Sanderson watched her closely. When she looked up at him lie cried exultantly: "Then it's-'Yes?' "It's"— she began, but never finish ed, for Hortense announced Dr. Wood burst. "He knows already!" she cried In alii rm. "How could he? It's only just hap pened," said the bewildered Sanderson. Mrs. Harrington had to laugh. "Oh, it's nothing! Well, Dr. Woodhurst and I have a very serious matter to dis cuss." she apologized. "I must tell the others he shouted in his happiness. "Not yet." she begged. "I must tell some one," Sanderson pleaded. "Not yet." "I'll write home." This came to him as a happy thought. "Not yet," was her answer. "They won't get it for three days." lie explained as lie left her to face Dr. Wood hurst. Dr. Woodhurst whirled into the room. Never in his life before had this regu lator of other men's lives been so thor oughly excited. His brain spun iilce the blades of an electric fan. and his body tried to follow the same gyra tions. So great was the news he wish ed to transmit to Mrs. Harrington lie could not speak distinctly. Mrs. Rarringtou's heart sank. "Good evening: good evening!" he spluttered. "Pardon me. I am quite out of breath. 1 came right to you as soon as I heard the news." "It's all over." she said aside, await ing the explosion. "Never before in the whole course of my life did the telephone bring me such a shock.'" he announced as he aimlessly sorted the bundle of letters and telegrams he carried In his hands. Mrs. Barrington laughed just a little hysterically and replied: "Yes, that's the trouble with .the telephone—it's al ways saying something it shouldn't say. I'm going to have our telephone taken out entirely." "I feel as though I wanted lo get ou a hilltop somewhere and scream scream." The doctor's voice broke in a squeak rather than a lusty yell he desired so ardently to emit. "Yes. I could do a little screaming, too.'' said Mrs. Harrington, sotto voce. "I can scarcely realize the signifi cance of the news!" cried the exuber ant doctor. "No. of course not. It's so difficult to be significant when you realize— I mean—to realize"— The widow was too nervous to think. The complica tions were upsetting her. "It has absolutely made a different man of me." he shouted. •Hl hope so—I mean, that's good. that's good: but. of course, doctor, it wasn't altogether my fault." "No. not altogether your fault. Mrs. Harrington, but you helped." gallautly remarked the doctor. "Yes—of course—1 helped—and I am deeply sorr.v because"— She began a plea for forgiveness. The doctor interrupted her. He cried: "Sorry! Sorry! Why should you be sorry, Mrs. Harrington? You have helped a great and glorious cause. Don't you know what has happened? Don't you understand? My anti-bet ting bill has passed the legislature." "Your anti— Is that what you learn ed?" she faintly gasped, sinking into a chair. Hurriedly she added: "Was that the only message that came over your telephone, doctor?" "The only message! Isn't that enough?" lie almost wailed. "Do you understand what It means to me? The anti-betting bill has now become a law. Think of it! The dream of my life! Not another dollar can ever be bet on race track in New York." "I am glad I got mine today," chuc kled the widow. "1 beg your pardon!" The doctor had not beard her aright. Mrs. Harrington twisted her remark into, "1 say, I'm glad It's been such a. fine day." "1 was away from home all the aft ernoon. I went to the station to se* my friend off—the Rev. Dr. Lindsay." "What?" was her startled question. "Yes, Dr. Lindsay ha# gone on a aum mer vacation," blandly explained Dr. Woodhurst. "And is there nobody at the rectory T* she asked faintly. "Oh, yes, yes, a very fine man! Th« Rev. I)r. Rabbit from Now Haven. He will have charge until Dr. Lindsay gets back. And do you know, Mrs. Barrington, by a strange coincidence the moment I entered the house the telephone rang--it was the long dis tance from Albany giving me the joy ful news. 'Then the telegrams began to arrive, and I felt that the first one to share my happiness must be you, Mrs. Harrington." "Oh, doctor, you are kindness itself," she sweetly murmured. As she spoke she heard the faint honk honk of an automobile. Mrs. Barrington breathed more freely. Bud had performed his mission and the young folk, she presumed, were now safely 011 their way to New York as Mr. and Mrs. Woodhurst. The venerable reformer pursued his ponderous explanations. "So I picked up my telegrams and rushed over to tell you all about it, 1h cause I know how deeply you are in terested. Do you mind if I open some of these and read them?" he begged. "Of course not. I wouldn't for worlds do anything to mar your per fect happiness," was her reply as she went, to the window to catch sight of the lights of the auto. "'Dr. Woodhurst, Hempstead,' he read. 'It, was a glorious victory. Never again will the grand stand re sound with the shrill cry of the book keeper.' "The gentleman probably means bookmaker," she laughed. "I see. And do tbe.v cry?" he asked, glancing at her over his glasses. "They do cry occasionally." He continued reading his messages: "'I congratulate your warmly,' signed Senator Bltsenhauser. From nfcegliis' Cross Roads, Schoharie county, N. Y. One of my most ardent supporters. He knows all about tile evil of horse racing," was his explanatory adden dum. "Learned It at the county fair. I sup pose." sarcastically observed Mrs. Har rington. Sanderson's automobile swept up tie fore the house. Hurt did not wait un til it came to a full stop. but. throw ing open the door, he jumped out. risk ing Ills neck, and ran Into the room. "Oh. ladv. lad.v! It's a muddy track, and our entry Is scratched!" lie panted,' paying 110 attention lo the doctor. "Goodness gracious What Is the meaning of this?" gasped that worthy, who reset his glasses 011 Ills nose to get a better view of the wildly excited stable boy. .Mrs. Harrington was frightened by Hnd's remark, but she realized that she must handle the situation delicate ly to learn the facts from Hud and yet keep the doctor In the dark. "Oh. please don't mind him. -doctor. It's our little errand boy. and he has a most excitable nature. I sent him 011 an errand, and lie has jnst. come back to report. Please go 011 reading your telegrams." The widow permitted her most charming smile to dazzle tin? doctor, who stepped aside, saying: "Oh. of course, of course." "Now. Hud. be careful. Is every thing all right?" asked Mrs. Harring ton. "Nothin" is all right." Bud was very much disgusted at the turn of affairs, and so expressed himself. Mrs. Harrington glanced nervously at the doctor. Luckily he was Immersed in his perusal of congratulatory tele g.-ams and paid no attention to her or Hud. \vho was twisting his cap and his feet in his helplessness. "Aren't thev married?" she asked." Tears of disappointment came into her eyes. "NIIW der regular handlcapper Ins gone to give himself a boil at Hoc Springs, and his substitute is a fluff. Our entry is still at the barrier, ami" the flag ain't dropped yet I" cried Hud "Well, what has happened. Hud? What ha. happened?" was her anxious question. "De substitute says he has got to be insured that, thi: ain't an e'opement and lie says if you will call hint up 011 the telephone and tell him it's all right!, he'll drop de Hag and de.v'II be off iu 11" bunch." explained Hud. pointing to thf telephone on her writing desk. fTo b* continued.]