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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (April 3, 1917)
W TTICIC3! By CYRUS TOWNSEMD BRADY
JrJP) Jp c3 Jl jC-yi JE vJI n Father and Son
hum mum i inn m i "' """" 1 "
Heine Is a Powerful Stoiry of Falwe amd Sacrifice aed Love anndl Courage and Success
Copyright by Fleming H. Revell Co. I
CONFIDENCE and goodna
ture are easy for folks who
are already prosperous and
successful. The true strength of
a man's character Is revealed,
however, In adversity. Tear the
foundation from beneath one
who has always enjoyed advan
tagcs of wealth and position, and
see If he has the backbone to
conquer evil days to rise above
circumstances and win. In "Web
of Steel" we have the story of a
man whose foundation Is de
strayed. His fight to rebuild It
makes the novel. It is not mere
ly entertaining fiction; It Is a
pleco of Inspiring literature. Wo
feet sure all of our readers will
enjoy this Cyrus Towsend Brady
Love of Woman.
If meetings only lived up to their
anticipations, life would be u succes
sion of stnrtllng climaxes. It hud been
Homo months since Meade had fccd
Helen Illlngworth. Ho had dreamed
of meeting her every day nnd had pic
tured the meeting differently and more
rapturously after every letter. As a
mutter of fact the whole thing was
casual and ordinary to the last degree.
It always Is.
Doctor Severence, n retired physi
cian, who was vice president and
financial man, and Curtiss, the cldef
engineer of tho bridge company, were
hard upon Miss Illlngworth's heels ns
sho stepped down from tho car to tho
station platform, lie saw her, as it
were, surrounded by prosulc men. Tho
woman he loved got tho samo welcomo
and the same handshake ns her father
and tho other two men. It wns not
until big Abbott, who had been belated
by some sudden demand of work, camo
sweeping down tho platform to engage
the attention of the men that tho anx
ious Mcuda had a moment with tho girl
Now Helen Illlngworth had also been
seeing visions, so that sho had been as
disappointed as he. Tho only real sat
isfaction thai cither of them could tuko
In tho situation lay In tho fact that tho
other was there. It was midsummer
und tho girl was dressed in somo light,
filmy fabric which well becamo her ra
dlnnt beauty. Mcado could look at a
bit of structural steel work and tell
you .all about It. All that ho could
novo told you about the dress sho wore
was that It was exquisitely appropri
ate, but it never occurred to him that
with a great prlco to a great artist
Holen Illlngworth had obtained that
look of delightful simplicity.
Tho gown was not wasted on Meade,
sho decided, ns sho caught his raptur
ous glance. Sho hud never looked lovo
ller. Sho was not a fragile, ethereal
woman; qulto tho reverse. Thut was
ono of ten thousand things Mcado liked
about her. She could do all those ath
letic und practical things that modern
young women can do and sho could do
Meade was Intensely practical and
efllclcnt. Ho could do nil of thoso
things himself and many moro nnd ho
liked .to do them, nnd that is ono rea
son why ho had been attracted to her;
yet not for that nlono did ho loVo her.
On that soft summer afternoon sho
looked ns subtly delicate as every man
would tit ono tlmo or another liavo tho
woman ho loves appear, and us far re
moved from things strenuous ns if In
another world I llo was wcnrlng tho
rough clothes, flannel shirt, khaki trou
sers, heavy shoes and leggings which
were his habitual uso at work. Con
trasted with her filmy nnd delicately
colored fabric his well-worn ollvo
drab habiliments stood forth hideously.
That Is, ho thought so, and tho con
trast somohow seemed typical of tho
difference between them ns ho consld
' Thcro was tho careless insoucluuco
of conscious power In tho bearing of
tho engineer which differentiated him
from most ofttho men with whom sho
hud been thrown In contact during Iter
life. Tho International Bridgo was tho
biggest thing of tho kind tho Murtlet
company or any other American struc
turul plaut had over undertaken. It
had been a constant topic of converse
tlon wherever her father wns. Sho
had heard all about it, and although
strictly speaking, tho bridgo was tho
work of Mcudo, Sr., yot sho always
Identified it with Mcado, Jr. Thcro was
a feeling In her mind that it was her
bridgo nnd thut, through him, sho com
nmnded It. Sho was u supremely us
surcd and entirely confident young
lady, yet with tho man by her sldo sho
experienced a passing senso of uncus!
ness, such ns ono might coucclvo tho
butterfly would feel in tho presence of
iu stcum hammer.
Thoy wcro ub awkward and con
strained when left to themselves us If
ono had not been all over tho world
on man's jobs for a decade and tho
nicest girls of tho land for half ns
many years. And with thoughts burn
ing, passionate, nnd words embarrass
ingly torrential nt hand to give them
utteranre, they only spoke common
"How Is tho bridgo getting along?"
asked the girl, repenting her futher's
words of a few minutes before, ns
theso two fell behind tho others march
ing down the long platform, whllo tho
maid standing by the prlvnto car with
tho porter looked curiously after tho
moving group and wondered If that
grny-grccn, long-legged young man was
tho reason for tho New York gownl
"It's doing splendidly," was tho an
swer, and even with his heart full of
tho girl by his side whom ho longed
to clasp In his arms but did not even
dnro touch the hem of her garment,
somo littlo enthusiasm enmo into ids
voice. "It is tho grcutcst bridge that
wus over erected," ho suld.
"How you love it," suld tho girl.
Did Meudo lovo tho bridge? Ah,
thcro could be no doubt ns to thut.
Ho had studied Its growth hour by
hour. As the great steel web rose, his
I get so tired of black nnd while," sho
went on quickly to prevent him from
tuklng advantage of her Incautious ad
mission. "Hang tho clothes," suld tho man,
radiant once more In that admission,
"since you will allow it, I will come
with what I can rako up. But you'll
have to tell me which fork to use. I
have almost forgotten out hero In tho
"It Isn't six months slnco you wcro
at our house." t
"Six months I It's n thousand years,"
ho went on, "und I'm going to tnko you
out on the bridge after dinner. It's
great nt any time. It's tho most mng
nlllcent sight on earth oven now, but
In the moonlight thcro It is now," lie
pointed ns tho littlo group walked past
the station which hnd hid the view
and the grcnt structure suddenly was
reveulcd to them. '
Tho four men ahead hnd stopped
und stood silent. There wus something
nwe-lnsplring nnd tremendous about
tho great black, outreachlng, fur-
cxtcndlng arms of steel. Tho first sight
of It always gavo tho beholder u littlo
shock. It wns so huge, so massive, so
grandly majestic, and withal so ulry,
seen ugalnst tho impressive background
of deep gorge and palisaded wall und
far-off mountains. So ether-borne wus
it in its perfect proportion thut even
dull nnd stupid people and none of
theso wero thut felt Its overpowering
presence. Mcudo and tho girl stopped
too. After ono glance nt tho bridge,
sho looked nt him. And that was typ
ical. For the first tlmo ho wns not nt
tho moment nwnro of, or Immediately
responsive to, her glnucc. And thut,
too, wus typical. She noted this with
n pang of Jenlousy.
"You lovo tho bridge," she suld
Ho straightened up nnd threw his
head back nnd looked at her.
"I thought so," ho suld simply "un
til todny, but now" ho stopped nguln.
"But now?" sho nsked.
"I hnvo Just learned what lovo renlly
Is und tho lesson has not been tnught
mo by a bridge," he unswered directly.
Yet Bcrtrnin Meade, tho younger, did
truly lovo tho bridge which ho had
seen grow from tho placing of the first
shoe tho great steel baso on top of
tho pier which curries tho whole struc
heart expanded with It. Ho took prldo I ttire to tho completion of the soaring
In It oven moro when they began to cantilever reaching out to meet Its
push tho suspended spun across tho companion on tho otlier side the grcnt
river on tho outer end of tho completed International, which wus to bo the tlo
cuntllovcr, toward Its fellow rising on that bound, with web of steel, two
tho other side. Ho lingered about it
when tho rest of tho workaday world
care, constantly reporting tho prog
ress to his father, every step taken
under the superintendence of Abbott,
a man of great practical ability as an
erector, but of much less capacity as
a scientific designer or olllco engineer.
Mcnde had watched Its daily growth
with tho closest attention. Like every
otlier man in similar case, tho work
had got Into ills blood. It had become
u part of his life, no loved tho bridge ;
yet moro ho loved Helen Illlngworth.
He Lingered About It
which wns concorncd with it hnd with
drnwn to rest. Frequently lato In tho
night ho hud arisen nnd hud left tho
sheet-Iron shack ho occupied nenr tho
work (for tho topography of tho land
and tho course of tho rlvor had deter
mined tho locution of tho bridgo far
from any town), nnd in tho moonlight
ho had gazed bewitched by tho great
web of stcol, all Its mighty trucery dell-
catoly silvered, faintly outlined, laco
liko, lofty, lifted high Into tho heavens.
Ho fell Into n littlo roverlo for a
brief moment from which sho recalled
"Well?" sho asked.
"Yes, naturally," ho found himself
saying In n conventional touo of voice,
'it means a great deal to me. My
"Oh, your father," sho began indif
ferently, although Bho know nnd liked
tho great engineer.
"It is his crowning work nnd '
"It Is not in me, or In nny engineer,
to begin whero my father left off," ho
suld. "But this will count n grcut
deal, becnuso through futher's kindness
I hnd somo hand "
"I bellevo you did It all," Interrupt
cd tho girl.
Ho broke Into sudden luughtcr, and
his merriment had that boyish ring
sho liked. Ho seemed to think that
was n sufficient answer to thut Btute-
mcnt, for ho went on quickly.
"How long shall you stay?"
And In splto of himself ho could not
keep his anxiety out of his voice
"I think father's going on to tho city
Bometlmo tomorrow probably lu tho
Meade's faco fell.
"So soon ns that?"
"I will try to persuade hltu to stny
longer. I'vo seen lots of bridges built
hut never ono llko tho International
and I should enjoy standing by and
watching you work."
"I don't do tho work. Abbott does
thnt, and tho men, of course."
"Your work Is tho work thnt mnkes
possible and profitablo tho lubor of tho
others," sho answered. "You plan, you
lend, tho rest only follow. By tho
wny, father told mo to ask you and
Mi. Abbott to dine with us tonight in
Mendo's mood changed Into posltlvo
"I can't," ho said dejectedly.
haven't nny clothes, neither has Ah
bott. Wo left our dross suits behind
us when we cnino Into tho wilderness
"Oil," sho laughed. "What dlfferenco
docs thnt muko? Como Just ns you arc,
other hud not queened It utuong. tho It will bo u relief, I llko you that wny,
The Witness for the Defense.
Ono of the plcnsant evidences of the
possession of riches Is in tho luxury
of n private- car. Although Colonel
Illlngworth was personally a man of
simple tastes as becumo un old cam
paigner, there wns no appointment
thut wit could dcvlso or that money
could buy which wns lacking to make
his prlvnto cur cither moro comfortable
or moro luxurious In Its napery, glass,
chlnn und silver, tho dining tablo need
ed not to npologlzo to any other any
where. Tho colonel was most punc
tilious in dressing his part nnd Mcnde others,
and Abbott wero both scrubbed to "Mr. Curtiss," said Meade, turning
within an Inch of their lives, but, to the chief engineer, "If it will ndd
climbing nbout tho bridgo, their hunds anything to your peace of mind, I will
were scratched, roughened, stained und assume my full share of responsibility
biggest thing In the world. It's tho
longest cnntllever, tho greutest spun,
tho henvlcst trusses, tho "
"I've heard all about it," interrupted
tho girl, waving him Into silence, "ever
since you began It. Sometimes I think
It's beginning to obsess me, too."
"You don't look like it," whispered
Meade, under cover of tho general
luugh thut greeted her rcmnrk.
"What do I look llko?" she whis
pered bnck quickly, In return.
But Meudo hnd no opportunity to
"It Is not exnetly n subject for din
ner conversation," said tho colonel with
sudden gravity, "but all of us here,
oven you, my denr, must rcullzo how
much that bridgo means to us. I won't
go so fur as to say that Its failure
would ruin us, but It would bo hard for
us to survive."
"Have you ever known unythlng thnt
my fnthcr designed to full?" usked
Mcnde somewhat hotly.
"No, nnd that Is why we took his
plans In spite of "
"In splto of whnt, sir?"
"In splto of Curtiss hero and sonic"
said the girl, standing by the door.
"I want to see It when tho workmen
nro nil off und It Is all quiet, In tho
"Very well. You hnd hotter chungo
your dress, Helen, beforo you go," suld
tho colonel, turning to Abbott nnd en
gaging him In conversation on techni
"I'll wait for you at the front door
of tho car," said the engineer, his heart
beating llko n pneumatic riveter and
sounding utmost as loud lu his cars.
"I won't bo long," she whispered aa
she left him.
Helen did not want to waste tlmo
nny moro than Monde did. So, Instead
of tnklng her fnthcr's ndvlce, all sho
did was to cover her beautiful shoul
ders with n light wrap and hasten to
the enr door in the shortest possibla
time. Every moment they were npart,
slnco the sum-total In which thoy could
be together wns so small, was u mo
'Now," she snld, coming out of tho
door of the car and descending tho
steps toward him, cugerly expectant,
I want a prize for my swiftness."
A prize 1" returned the man, "why,
ou'vo been gone years, nnu you
hnven't even changed your gown. You
great countries which lay breast to
breast; already in touch save for tho
mighty river that flowed between them.
By no means would Mende, tho
ouugcr, huvo been charged wltli tho
great responsibilities of the bridgo had
It not been for his exhaustive prepara
tion nnd wldo experience. To n thor
ough technical training at Uarvurd, in
tho Lawrcnco Scientific school, had
been added a substantial record of
achievement. A fine bridgo which ho
hnd erected In faraway Burma, trlum
phantly nchlevlng tho design despite
all sorts of difficulties, hud uttructcd
tho nttentlon of old Colonel Illlng
worth, tho president of tho Murtlet
Ho had kept tho young mun under
his eyo for n long tlmo. When ho com
missioned lits fnthcr, Bertram Meade,
Sr., to prcparo tho plans for tho grent
International, tho most-sought-for and
famous of bridges, ho had noted with
satisfaction that tho older man, who
stood first nmong bridge engineers on
tho continent, hud associated with him
self his son. Meade, Jr., had recently
returned from South Anierlcn, where
ho hud again shown his mettle. Tho
two worked together In tho prepurntlon
of tho designs for whut wns to bo tho
crown nnd triumph of tho older man's
life, tho most stupendous of nil the
cuntllovcr bridges in tho world.
Tho great engineer had n high Idea
of his only son's ability. Ho was will-
lug to proclaim It, to maintain it, nnd
defend It against all comers except
himself. When tho two wills clushcd,
bo recognized but one wny, his own.
Tho rotations between tho two wero
lovely but not Ideal. Thcro wns lead
ership not partnership, direction rather
than co-operation. Tho knowledge nnd
experience of tho boy for so ho loved
to cull him whero of courso nothing
compared to thoso of ills father. When,
lu discussing moot points, tho younger
man hnd been unconvinced by tho cal
culations of tho elder, ho hnd been
laughed to scorn in n good-natured
way. His carefully set forth objec
tions, even in serious matters, hud been
overborne generally, and by trium
phant calculations of his own tho fa
ther had re-enforced himself In his con
clusions; und the moro strongly be
causo of tho opposition.
Young Mendo's position was rather
anomalous. Ho hud no direct super
vision of tho construction. Ho was
thcro ns resident engineer representing
his father. Ho had welcomed the posi
tion becnuso it gavo him nu opportu
nity to seo from tho very beginning tho
erection of whnt wns to bo tho great
est cuntllovcr bridgo tho feet of tho
world hnd over trod upon, tho wheels
of tho world hnd ever rolled across.
Ho hud followed with tho utmost
torn. Aside from thut, Meade wns cer-
tnlnly most presentable, nnd old Ab
bott, In splto of his Indifference to
such matters, looked tho able and pow
erful mun he wns.
The conversation at dinner wns at
first light and frivolous.
"I'm lost," begnn Abbott, "overpow
ered with nil this silver nnd glass and
"Yes," lnughcd Mende, "wo should
huvo brought along our granite ware
and tlncups, then wo would bo free
from tho dreadful fear thut we ure go
ing to drop something or brenk something."
"You can brenk nnythlng you like,"
said the colonel with heavy pleasan
try, "so long as tho bridgo stnnds."
"And thnt is going to be forever, isn't
It, Mr. Mcnde?" nsked nelen quickly.
"I don't think nnythlng built by man
will survive quite thnt long," ho an
swered ns much to her fnthcr and tho
others ns to her, "but this gives every
promise of lasting Its time."
"Yon know," observed Curtiss, "there
wns some question in ray mind nbout
these big compression members. When
I first studied your futher's drawings,
I wondered if he hnd made tho luclug
strong enough to hold the webs."
"Thnt matter was very thoroughly
gone Into," snld Meade quickly. "It
was tho very point which I myself h nd
questioned, but futhcr is absolutely
confident thnt wo provided lnttlclng
enough to tnke up nil tho stresses. I
looked Into that matter myself," ho
went on with much cmphnsls.
"I guess It's nil right," said Curtiss
lightly. "I examined the webs nnd lac
ings carefully this afternoon. They
seem to be as right ns possible."
"Those trusses," said Abbott emphat
ically, "will stand forever. You need
not worry about that."
"Are you going to finish his Job on
time?" nsked Severence, tho vlco presi
dent. "You know the financial end of
it is mine, und much depends upon tho
dnto of completion."
"That depends upon you people nt
tho shop, doctor. If you get tho stuff
it Had Been a Part of His Life.
hero to me I'll get It in place in short
order," answered Abbott.
"Wo aren't worrying about anything
with you nnd Meado on tho Job, Ab
bott," snld the colonel genially.
"Yes, you are, father," said tho girt.
"Ever Blnco the International lias been
started you have scarcely been nblo to
glvo n thought even to me. I'm tired
of It. I hopo tho old thing will soon
bo finished, so that wo can nil go bnck
to norinul llfo nguln."
"I hopo so, too," assented the colonel,
"and I guess you nro right. Tho fact
is tho bridge Is an obsession with us
nil. It Is tho biggest Job the Martlet
has over handled. Indeed, it is Ute nnd"
for the nintter. You know the books
by Schmldt-Chemnftz, the great Ger
man bridge engineer?"
Curtiss nodded. ,
"At first I thnt is, we thought that
there might possibly be weakness in
those compression members, but I
checked them with the methods he ad
vocates and then submitted the figures
to my fnthcr, and then ho went through
tho whole calculation nnd nppllcd co
efficients ho felt to be snfe."
"I'm willing to tnke your father's
Judgment in the matter rather thuu
Schmidt-Chemnitz', or nnybody's," said
Curtiss, "so successful has been his ca
"Now thnt I have seen the members
in plnco I have no doubt that they will
stand," said the colonel
"Suro they will," added Abbott with
supreme and contagious confidence, nn
nssurnnce which helped even Meade to
"Of course we nil know," safd Doc
tor Severence, who hnd been long
enough in touch with engineering to
lenrn much nbout it, "that there Is ul
wnys more or less of experimenting in
the design of n now thing like this."
"xcs, said the colonel, "but we
don't want our experiment to full In
"They won't," said the young man
Ho had long since persuaded himself
that ho hud been nil wrong und his
father nil right, so that he entcrcdS
upon his defense nnd the defense of
the bridge with enthusiasm. He was
rendy to brenk n lnnco with nnybody
on Its behalf,
"Well," began the colonel, "we hnve
every confidence In your father and In
you. I don't mind telling you, Meade,
It need not go nny further, that when
tills bridge Is completed we shall bo
prepnrcd to muko you pcrsonnlly n
very ndvnntugeous offer for futuro re
lations with the Murtlet company if
you enre to accept It. On the strength
of your probable acceptance we nro al
ready planning to venture Into certuin
foreign fields which we hnvo hitherto
not felt It to our Interest to enter."
"That Is most kind of you, Colonel
Blingworth," snld tho young mnn grate
fully, "nnd it nppenls to mo very
strongly. I hnve been associated with
father latterly. Ho wnnts to rotlro
with the completion of this bridge, nnd
beforo I open nny office of my own I
should like the ndvuntngo of further
experience. Such n connection as you
propose seems to me to bo Ideal, from
i y point of view. No mnn could hnvo
any better bucking thnn the Martlet
"Well, we shnll look to you to bo
worthy of It," said the colonel kindly,
nis glance vaguely comprehended
his daughter ns he spoke. Colonel
Illlngworth was a very rich man. Tho
Mnrtlet Bridge company wns neurcst
his heart, but ho hnd many other In
tercsts, Ills only dnughter would event
ually bo the mistress of n grent for
tune. Mende was not poor. Of course,
his means wcro limited compared to
Colonel Illlngworth's great fortune, but
what he had earned, saved, and Invest
ed wns sulllclent yes, even for two,
And ho would Inherit much more. Old
Meade had not been tho greatest engl
ncer of his generation for nothing. In
dependent and self-respecting, young
Mende could not bo considered n for
tune hunter by nnybody. He wns tho
kind of man to whom n decent father
likes to Intrust his daughter. Old
Colonel Illlngworth found himself gaz
ing wonderingly nt tho two,
After dinner the men snt out on tho
observation platform with their cigars
und coffee. For thoso thnt liked It
thcro wns something In tnll glnsses in
which lee tinkled when tho glnsses
were agitated, but Meado declined nil
"With your permission, sir," ho said,
"I am going to take Miss Illlngworth
out n the bridge. The moon is rising
They Saw Her Round, Red, Full Face.
can't go out on a bridgo In that gown
and thoso slippers, trumping over dirty
trucks, piles of steel, rough wooden
planks, paint nnd "
"Can't I?" she said; "you just seo."
"I hate to see you spoil your dress,"
ho said uncertainly ns she stopped.
Itcnlly what gown on earth was
worth half an hour of her society? At
leust that Is the way ho felt abont It
and evidently she felt the samo way.
"It is settled, then," sho said, slip
ping her arm through his as they
walked down the long wooden plat
form neur the siding. At the end of
tho plutform, ns they turned nbout tho
temporary station nnd storehouse, be
foro them rose the bridge. Tho moon
wns rising over tho high hills that
sprang up from the steep clifflike bank
of the other side of the vnst river.
They saw her round, red, full faco
through an Interlacing tracery of steel
Tho lower part of the bridgo was still
in deep shadow. Indeed, tho moon had
just cleared the hills of the opposlto
bonk of the great gorge cut by tho
brond river flowing swiftly in Its dark
ness far below. At the fnrther end of
the suspended urm extending fur over
the wuter tho top of tho traveler glis
tened. Tho cnntllever on the opposite
shore, Incomplete und sunk under n
high rise of snnd, wns still in shadow
nnd not yet discernible.
Unwittingly the woman drew a littlo
near the mnn. He beenme moro con
scious thnn before of the light touch
of her Jinnd upon his arm. It wns very
still whero they stood. Tho shucks
of tho workmen hud been erected be
low the bridgo nbout n quarter of n
mile to tho right nlong tho banks of
the littlo nlllucnt of the main stream.
They could hear fnlut but Indistin
guishable noises that yet Indicated hu
manity coming from thnt direction.
The fires In the mnchlno house und in
tho engines wero bnnked. Lazy curls
of smoko rose to be blown away in tho
limitless areas of tho upper air. In tho
darkness all tho unsightly evidences of
construction work were hidden.
"Oh," said tho woman, drawing a
long brenth, "I don't wonder that you
lovo It. Isn't It beautiful, flung up in
tho nlr that wny? Ono would think It
wasn't steel but silver nnd gold und"
"Time was," said the man, "when I
loved n thing llko that nbovo every
thing except my'luthcr, but now"
Young Meade comes out of
his dream with a terrific bump
the real story begins with the
next Installment Tell your
friends to read "Web of Steel,"
the best serial of the year.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
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