Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 30, 1916)
THE SEMLWEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
Here we have the tale of a
young woman who Is thrust by
her greedy and lazy family Into
a world of human vultures to
win a fortune with her personal
charms. But she surprises them
all with her fine traits of char
acter. Her struggles and con
stant danger are frightening,
but she brings help and happl
ness to men and women who
need It much. This Is a story
with strong pulse.
Poter Knight flung himself Into the
decrepit armchair beside the center
table and growled:
"Isn't that Just my luck? Anil mo n
Democrat for twenty years. Thero's
nothing In politics, Jimmy."
Ills boh James smiled crookedly,
with a languid tolernnca bespeaking
nmusomciit and contempt.
"Politics Is all right, provided you're
a good picker," ho said, with all the as
suranco of twenty-two, "but you fell
off the wrong side of the fence, anil
you'ro nore. These -uintry towns al
ways go In for, tho reform Htuff every
so often. If you'd listen to mo mid "
Ills father Interrupted harshly:
"Now, cut that out. I don't want to
go to New York, and I won't." Peter
Knight tried to look forceful, but the
expression did not fit his weak, com
placent features. When ho had suc
ceeded In fixing a look of determina
tion upon his countenance tha result
was an artificial scowl and a palpably
falso pout. Wearing such a front, ho
continued: "When I soy 'no' I mean It,
and tho subject Is closed. I like Vnle.
I know everybody hero, and everybody
"That's why It's time to move," said
Jim, with another unpleasant curl of
his Up. "As long ns they didn't know
you you got past. But you'll never
hold another olllco."
"Indeed! My record's open to In
spection. I made the best sheriff In "
"Two years. Don't kid yourself, pa.
You got Into tho mud, but you didn't
go deep enough to And tho frogs. Fo
garty got his, didn't he?"
Mr. Knight breathed deep with In
"Senator Pogarty Is my good friend.
1 won't lot you question Ills honor, al
k, 'We're Going to Make a Change."
Uiough you do presume to question
"Of courao he's your friend; that's
why ho's fixed you for this New York
'"Department of water supply, gas
and electricity,' " sneered Peter. "It
sounds good, but tho salary Is fifteen
hundred a year. A clerkat my ngot"
"Say, d'you Biippose Tammany men
live on their salaries?" Jlmmlo In
quired, "wake upl This is your
chatico to horn Into tho real herd. In
New York politics Is a vocation; up
hero it's a vacation everybody tries
it once, llko music lessons. If you'd
been hooked up with Tammany Instead
of the state machine you'd have been
taken caro of."
At this Juncture Mrs. Knight, hav
ing finished the supper dishes and set
her bread to rise, entered tho shoddy
parlor. Jim turned to hor, shrugging
his shoulders with an air of washing
his hands of a disagreeable subject.
"Pa's weakened agalu," ho explained.
"He won't go."
"Me, a clerk at, my agel" mumbled
His wife spoke with brief conclusive
ness, "I wrote and thanked Senator Fo
garty for his offer and. told him you'd
"You what?" Peter was dumfound
ed. "Yes,'.' Mrn, Knight seemed oblivi
ons of , his wrath "we're going to
make a change."
A TOAEX. OF NEW YORK" UFB
ILVUSTRKTlom 4 r PARKER.
Mrs. Knight was n largo woman well
advanced beyond that Indefinite turn
ing point of middle ago; In her unat
tractive face was none of the easy
good nature so untnlatakubly stamped
upon her husband's. Peter .7., jindcr
easy living had grayed and fattened;
what had once been a mcasuro of good
looks was hidden now behind a flabby.
Indefinite mediocrity which an unusual
carefulness In dress could not disguise.
Ills wife was of a totally different
stamp, Allowing evidence of unusual
force. Her thin Hps, her clean-cut nose
betokened purppso: a pair of alert, un
pleasant eyes spoko of n mental activ
ity that was entirely lacking In her
mnte, and sho was generally recog
nized as tho sourco of what little
prominence he had attained.
"Yes, we'ro going to makon change."
sho repeated. "I'm glad, too, for I'm
tired of housework."
"You don't have to do your own
work. There's Lorelei to help."
"She's too pretty." said the mother.
"You don't realize it; none of us do.
but sho's beautiful. Whcro sho gets
her good looks from I don't know."
"What's the difference? It won't
hurt her to wash dishes. Sho wouldn't
have to keep It up forever, anyhow;
sho can have any follow In the county."
Mrs. Knight began slowly, musingly:
"You need some plain talk Peter. I
don't often tell you Just what I think,
but I'm going to now. You'ro past
fifty; you've spent twenty years put
tering around at politics, and what
liavo you got to show for it? Nothing.
Tho reformers are in at last, and
you'ro out for good. You had your
chanco and you missed It. You're
little, Peter; you know it, and so does
Tho object of tills address swelled
pompously; his checks deepened hi hue
and distended; hut whllo ho was sum-
nfonlng words for a defense his wife
ran on evenly:
'Tho party used you Just as long as
you could deliver something, but you're
down and out now, and they'vo thrown
you over. Pogarty offers to pay his
debt, and I'm not golng-to refuse his
"I suppose you think you could havo
done better if you'd been in my place."
Poter grumbled. Ho was angry, yet
tho undeniable truth of his wlfo's
words struck home. "That's tho won.
an of it. You kick becauso wo'ro poor,
and then want me to tako a flf toon-nun
"Bother tho salaryl It will keep us
going as long as necessary."
"Eh?" Mr. Knight looked blank.
"I'm thinking of Lorelei. Sho's go
Ing to give us our chanco."
"Yes. You wonder why I've never
let her spoil her hands why I've
scrimped to glvo her pretty clotlies,
and taught her to tako caro of her
figure, and made her go out with young
people. Well, I knew what I was do
ing; it was part of her schooling. She's
old enough now; and sho has, every
thing that any girl ever had, so far as
looks go. She's going to do for us
what you never havo boon and never
will be able to do, Poter Knight. She's
going to mako us rich. But she can't
do it in Vnle."
"Ma's right." declared James. "New
York's tho placo for pretty women; tho
town Is full of them."
"If It's full of pretty women, what
chance has she got?" queried Peter,
"Sho can't break into socloty on" niy
'Sho won't need to. Sho can go on
"Good Lordl Wliat makes you think
sho can act?"
"Do you remember that Miss Donald
who stopped at Myrtle Lodge last
summer? She's nn actress."
Nol" Mr. Knight was amazed,
'She told mo a good deal about tho
show business. She said Lorelei
wouldn't have tho least bit of trouble
getting n position. Sho gave mo n noto
to n mnna.ier, too, and I sent him Lore
lei's photograph. He wroto right back
that he'd glvo her a place."
"Yes; ho's looking for pretty girl
with good figures, nis name Is Berg
Jim broko In eagerly. "You'vo hoard
of Bergman's Kovuos, pa. Wo saw ono
last summer, remember? Bergman's
"That show? Why, that was rot
ten. It Isn't a very decent life, cither.'
"Don't worry about file," advised
Jim. "She can tako care of herself,
and she'll grab a millionaire eur
with her looks. Other girls are doing
it every day why not her? Ma's got
the right Idea."
Impassively Mrs. Knight resumed
her argument. "New York is where
tho money Is and the women that go
with money, It's the market place.
Tho stago advertises a pretty girl and
gives her chances to meet rich men.
Here in Vale thero's nobody with
money, and, besides, people know us.
The Stevens girls have been nasty to
Lorelei nil whiter, and she's never in
vited to the golf-club dances any
At this intelligence Mr. Knight burst
"They're putting on a lot of aira
since tho Interurban went through; but
Beu Stevens forgets who helped him
get the franchise. I could tell a tot
"Bergman writes," continued Mrs.
Knight, "that Lorelei wouldn't have
to go on tho road at all It she didn't
enre to, Tho real pretty show-girl
stay right In Now York."
Jim added another word. "She's tho
best asset we've got. pa, and If wo
II work together we'll land'hcr In the
Peter Knight pinched his full, red
lips into a pucker and stared specula
tively at his wife. It was not often
"We Were Just Talking About You,"
that sho openly showed her hand to
"Havo you talked to her about It?"
"A little. She'll do anything wo ask.
She's a good girl that way."
Tho threo were still burled In discus
sion when Lorelei appeared at the
"I'm going over to Mabel's," she
paused n moment to say. "I'll be back
In Peter Knight's eyes, ns he gazed
at his daughter, there wns something
nkln to Hhnmc; but Jim evinced only a
hard, calculating appraisal. Both men
inwardly acknowledged that the moth
er had spoken less than half the truth,
for the girl was extravagantly, be-
wltchlngly attractive. Her faco and
form would havo been noticeable any
where and under any clrcumstnnccs;
hut now, In contrast with the unmodi
fied homeliness of her parents and
brother her comeliness was almost
startling. Tho others seemed to har
monize with their drnb surroundings,
with the dull, unattractlvo house and
Its furnishings, but Lorelei wns in vio
lent opposition to everything about her.
Sho wore her beauty unconsciously,
too, as'a princess wears tho purple of
her rank. Neither In speech nor in
look did sho show a trace of her fa
ther's fatuous commonplncencss, and
sho gave no sign of her mother's coldly
calculating disposition. Equally the
girl differed from her brother, for Jim
was nuemic, underdeveloped, sallow;
his only mark of distinction being tils
bright and impudent eye, while she
was full-blooded, healthy and clean.
Splendidly distinctive, from her crown
of warm amber hair to her shnpely,
Blonder feet, it seemed that all the
hopes, nil tho aspirations, all the long
tugs of bygone generations of Knights
hnd flowered In her. As muddy waters
purify themselves In running, so had
tho Knight blood, coming through un
pleasant channels, tlnnlly clarified and
sweetened Itself in this girl.
In the doorway sho hcsltatqd an In
Htnnt, favoring the group with her
shadowy, Impersonal smile. In her
gaze there was a faint inquiry, for It
wns plain that hIic had lntecrupted a
serious discussion. She canio forward
and rested a hand upon her father's
thinly haired bullet head. Peter
reached up ami took it in IiIb own
"Wo were, Just talking about you,"
"Yes?" Tho smile remained sb the
girl's touch lingered.
"Your ma thinks I'd better accept
that New York offer on your account."
"On mlno? I don't understand."
Peter stroked the hand in his clasp
aud his weak, upturned face was
wrinkled with apprehension. "She
thinks you should sec the world and
make something of yourself."
"That would be nice." Lorelei's Hps
were still parted ns sho turned toward
her mother In some bowlldermcnt.
"You'd like the city, wouldn't you?"
Mrs. Knight Inquired.
"Why, yes; I suppose bo."
"Wo're poor poorer than wo've ever
been. Jim will have to work, and so
"I'll do what I can, of course; but
I don't know how to do anything. I'm
afraid I won't be much help at first1
"We'll Beo to that. Now, run along,
When sho had gone Peter gave a
grunt of conviction.
"Sho Is pretty," he acknowledged;
"pretty as a picture, and you certainly
dress her well. She'') ought to make
a good actress."
Jim echoed him enthusiastically.
"Pretty? I'll bet Bernhardt's got
nothing on her for looks. She'll have
u brownstone hut on Fifth avenue and
an airtight limousine one of these days,
see if she don't."
"When do you plan to leave?" fal
tered the father,
Mrs. Knight answered with some
satisfaction: "Behearsals commence in
Mr. Campbell Pope was n cynic. He
had cultivated a superb contempt for
those beliefs which other people cher
ish. Most men attain success through
love of their work; Mr. Pope had be
come an eminent critic because of his
hatred for tho drama and nil things
dramatic. Nor was he any more enam
ored of Journalism, being In truth by
nature bucolic, but after trying many
occupations and falling In all of them
he had returned to his desk after each
excursion Into otlier fields. First-night
audiences knew him now, nnd had
come to look for his thin, sharp fea
tures. His shapeless, wrinkled suit,
that resembled a Bleeping bag; his flan
nel shirt, always tleless and frequently
collarlcss, were considered attributes
of genius: and, finding New York to be
amazingly gullible, ho took a certain
delight lu accentuating his eccentrici
ties. At especially prominent pre
mlercs he affected n sweater under
neath his coat, hut that was his nearest
approach to formal evening dross.
Further concession to fashion ho mado
Owing to the dearth of new produc
tions this summer, Pope "had under
taken a series of magazine articles de
scriptive of the reigning theatrical
beauties, and, while he detested wom
en In general and the painted favorites
of Broadway in particular, ho had
forced himself to write the common
laudatory stuff which the public de
manded. Only onco had he given free
rein to his Inclinations ami written
with a poisoned pen. Tonight, how
ever, ns he entered the stage door of
Bergman's Circuit theater, it was with
a different intent.
Regan, the stage-door tender, better
known sluce his vaudeville days as
The Judge," answered his greeting
with a lugubrious shake of a bald head.
"I'm n sick man, Mr. Pope. Same
"M-m-ni. Kidneys, isn't it?"
"No. Rheumatism. I'm a beehive
Hwarmln' with pains." The Judge
leaned forward, and a strong odor of
whisky enveloped the cellar. "Could
you slip me four bits for some lini
Tho. critic smiled. "There's n dollar,
Regan. Try Scotch for a change. t It's
oeiicr ror you man inese cneap menus
And don't brcatho toward a lamp, or
The Judge laughed wheezlngly. "I
do take a drop now and then. See
here, yoh know all the managers, Mr,
Popo. Can't you find a Job for Lottie
"Lottie Devlno. Why, she's your
wife, Isn't she? She's a trifle old, I'm
Huh! Sho wigs up a lot better'n
some of the squabs In this troupe. Be
lieve me, she'd fit uny chorus."
"Why don't you ask Bergman?"
Mr. Regan shook his hairless head.
"He's dippy on 'types.' This show's
full of 'em; real blondes, real brunettes,
bold and dashln' ones, tall aud state
lies, blushers, shrlnkcrs, laughers, and
sadllngs. Ho won't stand for make-up;
ho wants 'em with tho dew on. They've
got to look natural for Bergman. That's
somo of 'em now." He nodded toward
a group of young, fresh-cheeked girls
who hnd entered the stage door nnd
were hurrying down tho hall.
"Pvo come to Interview one of Berg
man's 'types; that now beauty, Miss
Knight. Is she here yet?"
"Suro; her and the back-drop, too.
She carries ,the old woman for seen
cry." Mr. Regan took the caller s card
and shutlled away, leaving Popo to
watch tho stream of perforniers as
they entered and mado for their quar
ters. There were many women in the ,
number, uud all of them wore pretty.
Most of them were overdressed lu the
extremes of fashion; a few quietly
garbed ladles and gentlemen entered
the lower dressing rooms reserved for
Meanwhile he exchanged greetings
with tho etnr a clear-eyed man with
tho face of a scholar and the limbs of
an athlete. The latter had studied for
the law; ho had the drollest legs in the
business, and his salary exceeded that
of Supreme court Justice. They were
talking when Mr. Regan returned to
toll tho interviewer that he would be
Popo followed to the next floor and
entered a brightly lighted, overheated
dressing room, where Lorelei and her
mother were waiting. It was a glar
ing, stuffy cubbyhole ventilated by
'"The Iron Trail""
" The Silver Horde" Etc.
Ctfjriih, By lltrftr a Bntkiri
means of a hall door and a tiny win
dow opening from tho lavatory at tho
rear. Along the sides run nnr-ors, be
neath which was fixed a wide make-up
shelf. One section of the wall wns de
voted to telegraph nnd cable forms,
bearing messages of felicitation nt the
opening of "The Revue of 101.1." A
zoologist would have found the display
uninteresting; but n society reporter
would have reveled In the names nnd
especially In the sentiments inscribed
upon tho yellow sheets. Some were ad
dressed to Lorelei Knight, others to
Lllns Lynn, her roommate.
Pope found Lorelei completely
dressed, in expectation of his arrival.
She wore the white nnd sliver first-net
costume of the Fairy Princess. Both
she nnd her mother were plainly non
plused at tho appearance of their
caller; but Mrs. Knight recovered
quickly frpm the shock and said agree
ably: "Lorelei wns frightened to death nt
your message yesterday. She was al
most afraid to let you Interview her
after what you wrote about Adoreo
Pope shrugged. "Your daughter Is
altogether different to the star of the
Palace Garden, Mrs. Knight. Demo
rest trades openly upon her notorloty
nnd I don't like bad women. New
York never would have taken her up
If she hadn't advertised as tho wicked
est woman In Europe, for she can nei
ther net, sing nor dance, nowover.
she's become the rage, so I had to in
clude her In my series of articles. Now,
Miss Knight has mado a legitimate
success ns far ns she has gone."
He turned to the girl herself, who
was smiling at him ns she had smiled
since his entrance. He did not wonder
nt the prominence her beauty had
brought her, for even at this close
range her make-up could not disguise
fier loveliness. The lily had been
painted, to bo sure, but the sacrilege
was not too noticeable; the lips 'were
glaringly red now, but the expression
was none the less sweet and friendly.
"Thero's nothing 'legitimate' about
musical shows," she told him, In reply
to his Inst remark, "and I cau't act or
sing or dance as well as Miss Demo
"You don't need to; Just let the pub
lic rest its eyes on you and it will be
satisfied anyhow, it should be. Of
course everybody flatters you. Has
success turned your head?"
Mrs. Knight answered for her daugh
ter. "Lorelei has too much senso for
that. Sho succeeded easily, but she
Then, In response to a question by
Pope, Lorelei told hlra something of
her experience. "We'ro up-state people,
you know. Mr. Bergman was looking
for types, and I seemed to suit, so I
got an engagement nt once. The news
papers began to mention me, and when
he produced this show ho had the part
of the Fairy Prlucess written In for
mo. It's really very easy, and I don't
do much except wear the gowns nnd
speak a few lines."
"You're one of tho principals," hor
mother said, chldingly,
"I suppose you're ambitious?" Pope
Again the mother nnswered. "In
deed she is, and she's bound to sue
coed. Of course, she hnsn't had any
experience to spenk of, but there's
more than one mnnager that's got his
"Tell Me What You Think of Our
Flourishing Uttle City."
eye on her." The listener Inwardly
cringed. "She could bo starred easy,
and she will be, too, in another sea
son." Pope resented Mrs. Knight's share in
the conversation. He did not like the
elder woman's face, nor her voice, nor
her mauner. She Impressed him as an
other theatrical type with which he
was familiar the stage matmna. Ho
found himself marveling nt tho dis
similarity of the two women,
"Of course a famous beauty does
meet a lot of people," ho said. "Tell
me what you think of our flourishing
little city and our Now York men."
But Lorelei raised a slender hand.
"Not for worlds. Bcvldes, you're
making fun of me now. You are con
sidered a very dangerous person, Mr.
You're thlnkiDg of my story about
tho Demorest woman acain." he
"Is she really as bad as you have
"I don't know, never having met tho
lady. I wouldn't humiliate myself by
n pcmonal Interview, so I built n Btory
on the Broadway gossip. Inasmuch
ns she goes lu for notoriety, I gave
her some of the best that I had In
stock. Her photographer did the rest."
The door curtains parted, and Lilas
Lynn, a slim, black-eyed young wom
an, entered. She greeted Pope cor
dially as she removed her hat and
handed it to the woman who acted as
dresser for the two occupants of tho
"I'm Inte, as usual," she said. "But
don't leave on my nccount." She dis
appeared into the lavatory and
emerged a moment later In a combing
Jacket. "Lorelei's got hor nerve to
tnlk to you after the panning you gava
rjomorest," she continued. i'Aren't
you ashamed of yourself to strike a
Popo nodded. "I am, nnd I'm
ashamed of my entire sex when I hear
of them flocking to the Palace Gar
den Just to see a woman who has noth
ing to distinguish her but a reputation
"Did you see the crown Jewels tho
King's cabochon rubles?" Lorelei
"Only from the front I dare say
they're as counterfeit as she Is."
Miss Lynn turned, revealing a
countenance as shiny ns that of an
Eskimo belle. With her war-paint only
half applied nnd her hair secured close
ly to her small head, she did not In
tho least resemble tho dashing "count
ess" of the program.
"Oh, they're real enough. I got that
Campbell Pope scoffed.
"Isn't it true about the king of Sel-
dovla? Didn't she wreck his throne?"
eagerly queried Mrs. Knight.
"I never met the king, and I haven't
examined his throne. But, you know,
kings can do no wrong, and thrones
are easily mended."
But Mrs. Knight was insistent; hei
eyes glittered, her sharp noso was
thrust forwnrd inquisitively. "They
say she draws two thousand a week,
nnd won't go to supper with n man foi
less than five hundred dollars. She
says If fellows want to be seen In
public with her they'll have to pay foi
It, and she's right. Of courso she's ter
ribly bad, but you must admit she's
done mighty well for herself."
"We'll have a chance to see her to
night," announced Lllns. "Mr. Ham
mon Is giving a big supper to some ot
his friends and wo'ro going Lorelol
and I. Demorest Is down for bet
'Danse de Nult They say It's the
"Hammon, tho steel mnn?" queried
the critic, curiously.
"Sure. There's only one Hammon,
But nix on the newspaper story; this
Is a private affair."
"Never let us speak ill of a poor
Pittsburgh millionaire," laughed Pope.
"Scandal must never darken tho sool
of that village." He turned as Slos
son, tho press agent of the show, en
tered with a bundle of photographs.
"Here are the new pictures of Lore
lei for your story, old man," Mr. Slos
son said. "Bergmann will appreciate
the boost for one of his girls, nelp
yourself to those you want. If you
need any more stuff I'll supply it."
"Don't go to the trouble," Pope hast
ily deprecated. "I know the story.
Now I'm going to leave and let Miss
"Don't go on my account," urged
Lllns. "This room ia like a subway
stntlon, nnd I've got so I could 'change'
In Bryant park at noon nnd never
shook n policeman."
"You won't say anything mean about
us, will yon?" Mrs. Knight Implored,
"in this business a girl's reputation la
all she has."
"I promise-." Pope held out hi
hand to Lorelei, nnd as she shook It
her lips parjod in her ever-ready smlle-
"Nlce girl, that," the critic remarked,
as ho and Slosson descended the stairs.
"Which one Lorolel, Lllns, or the
"now did sho come to choose thai
for a mother?" muttered Pope.
"One of nature's inscrutable myste
ries. But wait. Have you seen
"No. Who's he?"
Do you believe that Campbell
Pope, Instinctively liking Lor
elei, will show her a way to
shake off her greedy and mon
daclous family father, mother
and son, all bloodsuckers? And
do you believe he will help her
to get ahead legitimately?
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
Powered by Open ONI