The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, September 20, 1923, Image 6
The Master Man By Ruby M. Ayres CHAPTER V Michael laughed afterwards when ho thought of the dismay in Effie Bhackle’a face; for a moment she stared at him open mouthed, then she turned and ran up stairs without another word. Michael followed Mr. Shackle into the drawing room; he found himself rather liking the old man. N He was honest and unaffected, and unfeignedly glad to meet the new owner of Clayton Wold. “I knew your father, Mr. Kolf,” he said. “I can’t say that I knew him well, but we used to pass the time of day when we met. A very reserved gentle man, if I may say so without of fence—a man it was difficult to make a friend of, so I’m told.” “Yop knew Miss Rolf, too, so ▼our daughter tells me.” Mic hael said. “I mean—Patricia.” The old man nodded. “Yes, we did—she used to come here when she felt inclined. I always keep open house for people who care to take advan tage of it. I like people, especi ally young people, about the place. Miss Rolf was a friend of my daughter’s—very kind she was to her, too, introducing her to people who hadn’t taken any notice of us, you know, and wo men think a lot of a thing like that. Effie was very fond of Miss Rolf, I know, and I liked her myself: a very handsome wo man she is. I’m sorry we shan’t be seeing so much of hei; in fu ture, though we are glad to have made your acquaintance instead, sir. Michael thanked him formal ly. “Miss Rolf is leaving this neighborhood entirely to please herself,” he said. “I have asked her to stay, but she does not wish it. I should be grateful if you and Miss Shackle would try and get her to change her mind.” Mr. Shackle looked faintly surprised., “I am not very likely to be seeing her,” he said awkwardly, “but if I do ... ” He broke off as his wife and daughter enter ed the room. Mrs. Shackle was over-dressed and over-coiffured; she gushed over Michael, and thanked him for his great kindness to her “treasure” as she called Effie. She urged him to stay to din ner, but Michael refused; some other time if ho might, he said— he thought it would be rather a good idea to call at the house' while Patricia was there. After a few moments desultory conver sation, he said good-bye. “Always pleased to see you any time,” Mr. Shackle said as they shook hands. He would have followed Michael to the door but his wife restrained him, and Effie moved forward in stead. “I do think it was horrid of you, Mr. Rolf, not to tell me who you were,” she said pouting, as they stood together by the car. “Whatever must you think of me for having chattered away so much nonsencet” Michael laughed shortly. “The fact of my being who I am does not influence my opin ion one way or the other,” he said with a sarcasm which she entirely missed. “I think it was kind of you to have so much con fidence in me.” “And you won’t tell Patricia anything I said, will you?” she urged. “Do promise me that.” “I certainly will, if you will promise me something in re turn.” She flushed with pleasure. | “I will—oh, of course, I will.” “Well, then, will you try and persuade Patricia to stay, if not in, at least somewhere near Clayton Woldt You will have plenty of opportunities I dare aay while she is here, and I shall be everlastingly obliged to you. There was a little silence, then Bffie said blankly: “But Patricia ie not coming here.” It was Michael’s turn to look amased. “Not coming! Why she told toe only this evening that she was coming to you tomorrow to stay indefinitely! She said how kind you had been to her, and that she was sure of a welcome.” Effie's face changed subtly; a •ort o$ shame filled her eyes. “Oh, then she can’t have got toy letter,” she said aghast. “Ska was to have come, but •Mae cousins of ours wired ask 0 ing if we could have them, as one of their brothers was ill with scarlet fever and the doctor said they must go away; so I had to put Patricia off, of course!' She will get my letter early in the morning, if sh has not had it to night.” Michael was very shrewd in some ways ,and he knevf in stinctively that this girl was not speaking the truth. In- a flash he remembered Patricia’s tears and the letter she had picked up from the grass so hurriedly when he joined her, and his face hard ened. He did not believe in the story of the cousins and the scarlet fever; he believed it was all a fabricated excuse to put Patricia off; his blood boiled with anger for her sake. But he was not going to let this girl see that he knew; he answered smoothly that of course Patricia would under stand and sympathize, but he > deliberately avoided shaking hands with Effie as ne got into the car and drove away. How hateful women could be to one another, he thought; no wonder Patricia had cried, be cause, of course, she had seen through the paltry excuse as well as he had been able to do. v He admired her pride for not having told him; he felt more kindly towards her than ever be fore, as he sped on towards Lon don. He was glad that chance had introduced him to the Shackles; he was glad that he had found out this thing, and yet in a way it made him ashamed of his own part in the affair with Chesney. He had wished to save his friend, not to humiliate Patricia. He made up his mind that to morrow he would go down and see her again and try once more to patch up some sort of truce between them. He was sorry for her—in a way he even liked her and admired her pride, but it filled him with impatience be cause he found her so difficult. Why could she not be reason able. Not one woman in ten thousand would have refused the offer he had made to her, he was sure. , As for the Shackles, he shrug ged his shoulders and dismissed them from his mind. Patricia had been wrong ever to make friends with them; the old man was the only one of the family worth anything; Effie was an empty-headed doll, and the mother—well, one could not seriously consider her. It was past midnight when he reached his rooms in town, and, though the long drive had made him tired, he hafdly slept at all. The thought of Patricia wor ried him, and he was glad when morning came and he could start activities again. He went round to see Mr. Philips and said that he was go ing to alter his offer to Patricia. “Five hundred a year isn’t enough,” he said. “Make it a* thousand, and tell her she can choose her own house if she ob jects to the Dower House.” Mr. Philips shrugged his shoulders. “I am afraid it will be quite useless,” he said dryly. “Miss Rolf is very determined.” Michael thrust out his chin ob stinately. “So am I,” he said, and Miss Rolf will have to give in to me. I am going down to Clayton to day to tell her so.” Mr. Philips smiled. * “Miss Rolf will not be at Clay ton,” he said. “She leaves early this morning to stay with some friends of hers—the Shackles.” “I know—she told me; hut she won’t have gone. I met the Shackles last night, and—by the way, have' you ever met them, Philips!” “I know Mr. Shackle—a very decent old chap I always found him.” “He is; but the wife and daughter—” Michael told him in a few words of his experience of the previous night. Mr. Philips listened sympa thetically. He liked Michael and knew perfectly well that he was not happy in hia mind with re gard to Patricia. “I can’t understand how she ever made friends with such peo ple,” Michael said exasperated ly “I believe that she merely did it because your father objected j to .them so strongly,” Mr. Phil I ips admitted reluctantly. “Ter ribly self-willed, she always has been. Why, I remember when she was quite a child tha£* she was warned not to play near the mill stream at Clayton—you know the mill stream of course, and what a strong current there was? WelJ, she went merely be cause she was told not to, and fell in. One of the men working near got her out; half-drowned she was. but not in the least re pentant. Your father sent for her and said he hoped she had been taught a lesson by the fright. ‘ wasn’t frightened,’ she said. 41 liked it.’ Now, what can you do with a girl like that?” They both laughed. “Well, I’m going to see her again today, anyway,” Michael said obstinately. “Hang it all, it’s not very pleasant for me to feel that I’ve turned her out of Clayton and spoiled her life.” 44That’s rather an exaggera tion, isn’t it?” Mr. Philips asked smiling. “Miss Rolf will be al right. She is one of those peo ple who were born to be lucky.” “I hope so, I’m sure,” Michael said lugubriously. “I wish some decent chap would come along and marry her,” he added boy ishly. Mr. Philips looked surprised. “I understand that your friend, Mr. Chesney—” he be gan. Michael colored. “Oh, Chesney! But she never cared for.him, and they would n’t have been happy together,” he said off-handedly. 4 4 Well,” said Mr. Philips, “there are plenty of men in the world, and Miss Rolf is young.” 4 4 She’s the greatest worry I ’ve ever had in my life,” Michael said ruefully. Mr. Philips smiled leniently, as he followed Michael to the door. “And you will let me know how you get on?” he asked. “I shall be very interested.” “Oh, I’ll let you know all right.” Michael answered dry ly. He had not got much faith in himself. Until Patricia was comfort ably settled he knew he should be able to make no plans for his own future, and he very much wanted to settle down. He had knocked about the world so much that there was something very pleasing in the thought of a home of his own, and perhaps a wife. But Patricia stood like the angel. of the flaming sword at the gate of his Qarden of Eden, and would not let him pass. “Confound her?” Michael thought as he raced through the Bunny roads once more to Clay ton Wold. “She’ll have to have lunch with me to-day, whether she likes it or not.” He drew up at the old house with a fine flourish just as it was striking one o ’clock. The door was shut, and he rang the bell and waited im patiently. The maid who yes terday had told him of Patricia’s distress opened the door after some little delay. “Is Miss Rolf int” Michael Eskcd* “Miss Rolfl” She stared at him. “No sirj she went away this morning.” Michael had passed her and gone into the hall, but now he, stopped dead and turned. “Gone awayl” he echoed in credulously. “Yes, sir.” But I thought— Michael began, then stopped. “She’ll bo home this evening, of course!’’ he added after a moment. “No, sir.” The girl shook her head rather sadly. ‘Miss Rolf said good-bye to us all, sir, and took all her luggage; she said she was not coming back to Clay ton any more, sir.’-’ “Not coming back any more!” There was utter incredulity in Michael Rolf’s face and voice. He stared at the girl blankly for ( a moment; then he laughed. “Oh, but that’s absurd!” he said. “There must be some mis take! Why—why, she hasn’t anywhere in the world to go.” The words escaped him ;before he was aware of it, and he hast ened to retract them. “Of course, she has friends— many friends, but—but—oh, there must be some mistake,” he said again, impatiently. The girl shook her'head. She did not think there was any mis take; she knew Patricia very well in some ways, and she could understand the impulse that had prompted this flight. “If you were to see her room, sir, you’d know that she didn’t mean to come back,” she said impulsively. “It’s all up set—she’s taken everything that was hers—all the things Mb. I R*5f gave her. *They-re mine, at least/ she said, when I asked if I was to pack them.” Michael turned on his heel and went into the dining-room. Where in the world could she have gone? he was asking him self in anger. It was like her to further embarrass him. She probably knew how he would feel about it. Had she gone to friends. He doubted it. From^what he knew of Patricia she was not the girl to risk another snubbing such as she had received from Effie Shackle; and yet—how was it possible for her to live alone! What money had shef Very little, he was sure. The maid followed him into the room. 'Can I get you some lunch, sir!” she asked diffidently. "No—no, thanks, I don’t want any.” Michael swung round from the window. "How long is it since Miss Rolf left th,e house!” "She went to London by the ten o’clock train, sir.” -He must have passed her on the way. Why the dickens hadn’t he come straight here in stead of calling to see Philips! He ought to have guessed that she had some such mad brained scheme in her head. Of course, it Was all done to annoy him. "Who drove her to the sta tion!” he asked. "Did she have the car! Which of the men drove her!’ ’ Miss Rolf hired a cab from the village," the girl told him hestitatingly. "I ordered the car, but she refused to use it." There was a touch of anxiety in her voice. "I hope Miss Rolf is all right, sir, * ’ she added timidly. "All right! Of course she’s all right," Michael answered. Shell come back in a day or two. Of course, she’s all right." "Miss Rolf said she should never come back," the girl in sisted. Michael laughed. » "She will," he said. % He went out again and drove away. He was at his wits’ ends wKtt to do or where to look for Patricia. He fully realized how difficult it would be to trace her once she had got to London. He drove to the station and asked a few questions of a porter there who knew Patricia. Yes, it was quite true Miss Rolf had gone up that morning by the ten train, the man said; true, too that she had had a lot of lug gage. The porter looked at Michael interestedly. "Nothing wrong, I hope, sir!" he ventured. "No—nothing." MichaeX drove to London. He went straight to Mr. Philips and told him the news. "She’s done this to annoy me," he said, pacing up and down with agitated strides. "Women are the very devil, Philips. And what in the world am I to do, I should like to knowt" Mr. Philips regarded him quizzically. "Tl^at depends what you want to do," he said, quietly. "What I want to do!" Mic hael echoed. "Well, I want to find her, of course. A nice thing for a girl like that to be roam ing about the World alone! What do you suppose people will sayt What do you suppose they will think of met" There was a little silence. Mr. Philips was tracing an intri cate pattern on his blotter. "It should not be a very diffi • cult task to find Miss Rolf," he said, after a moment. "She is the kind of girl whoni people would notice, and you say she has a quantity of luggage t" “Stacks of it, I should think," Michael said, dryly, with a sud den cynical memory of the won derful toilets which Patricia had worn on the houseboat for the enchantment of his friend. And at the thought of Chesney a deeper frown came to his brows. After all, it would have been as well if she had married him, and so settled her future once and for all. He had done no good1 by interfering; he had got no thanks either from Patricia or from Chesney. "How do I start to find her, for heaven’s saket" he demand ed, irascibly. "It’s like looking for a needle in a bunch of hay to search for anyone in Lon don." "If you will leave it to me—’’ Mr. Philips began. He was rather entertained by his client’s agitation.' Privately he consid ered that Patricia had behaved rather cleverly if she wished to attract Michael Rolf’s impartial attention. He was old-fashioned enough to still believe that the way to capture a man is to evade him. “They might do worse— both of them,” he thought as he looked at Michael’s wrathful face. “And they’d make a hand some couple.” “If you will leave it to me—” he said again. Michael cut in brusquely. “But there's no time to be lost If we’re going to find her. It’s hours now since she left Clayton. She’ may be out of the country for all we know.” “I hardly think it likely,” said Mr. philips, smoothly. “You will probably find that she is with friends .... ” Michael laughed ruefully. “She won’t find she has many friends now she’s lost her money,” he said. “It’s the same all the world over .... ” But he agreed to leave it in Mr. Philips’ hands, knowing all the time that ,he should do nothing of the sort, and as soon as he got out of the office he began evolving schemes in his own mind for means of finding Patricia. As he drove slowly back to his rooms he found himself staring at every woman he passed. Once he chased a taxicab for 4 couple of miles because it was piled with luggage, and because he had caught a glimpse of a girl at the window who faintly resem bled Patricia. Finally, he gave it up in disgust and took the car to the garage. He felt horribly helpless and beaten. He wished he could take Mr. Philips* ‘philosophical view and tell himself that Patricia would be all right, but this he could not do. He could only think of her as he had found her crying in the garden yesterday morning; only remember hqr with that air of unexpected help lessness. Michael stood still for a mo ment; then he turned and fol lowed. He caught his friend up at the outer door and called to him “Don’t be a,fool, Chesney, we shall find her all right. I’ve done my best, I give you my word. Wait a minute and I’ll walk along with you.’’ He ran back for his hat, and a moment later the two men were walking down the road. Chesney was inclined to be sulky still. He really blamed Michael for Patricia’s disappear ance. If only he had gone to see her when she asked him; if only he had answered that lettr in the way in which his heart longed to answer it, how different things might have been 1 At the corner of the road he stopped. At the corner of the road he stopped. “Look here,’* he said, dogged ly, “I give you fair warning that when I find Patricia again —and I shall find her—I shall marry her if she’ll have me, in spite of anything you can say. Good-night I’’ He turned, struck out across the road, and was lost in the darkness. Michael turned and began to retrace his steps. “Quixotic young fool!’’ he said, exasperatedly. under his breath. ' He walked on quickly; it was nearly midnight, and it was be ginning to rain a little. He had reached the block of buildings in which his rooms were situated, when a girl came running towards him. He could hear her quick breathing as she came up to him, saw that she fal tered a little and looked back hurriedly over her shoulder as if afraid of someone or some thing that was following her. Then suddenly he gave a stif led exclamation: “Good heav ensl Patricia!” (Continued Next Week BRIDE PROTESTS JAIL HONEYMOON Perjury Charges Brought By Father Says She Fibbed About Her Age Cleveland, Ohio—A solitary picture of woe after the fourth day of her honeymon, Mrs. Kathleen Paul, 18 year-old bride, tearfully declared that "the County Jail was no place to spend a honeymoon!" Mrs. Paul’s honeymoon abruptly hit a snag when, after she had de cleared she was 21 at the marriage bureau and married Joseph Paul, 19, In the face of parental opposition, she was placed under arrest on a: charge of perjury, at her father’s Instigation. Meanwhile the youthful Joseph scurried around to ralsee the $500 bail to liberate h!s bride, pending grand Jury action on the charge. The whole trouble arose from the law passed by the last session <tf the State legislature and recently put Into effect, wtalch requires a prospective bride to be 21, or have the consent of her parents. FRENCH SUSPECT GERMAN AIR PLOT ' Fear Saboteurs of Ruhr Ar« Guilty of Setting Fire / To Their Airplanes Paris—The spectre or another destructive German Invasion, with German Incendiaries, draft from the ranks of the Ruhr saboteurs, carry ing burning brands and setting fir* to France’s’ military aviation fields, has been raised by Colonel Rousset, of the French army. This offlicer. In an appeal in the Petit Parisian, be lieves he sees an enemy’s hidden! hand In the recent epidemic of fires I which have devastated French avia-1 tlon grounds. "Fire destroyed the hangars of! Paris” great airport, Lc~ Bourgetj witthin a few days a second fire on the same field burned a number of planes,” Colonel Rousset writes. “And now we learn that at Bron. near Lyons, a hangar, 100 yards 1 long by sixty wide, burned Ilk*1 a straw heap, demolishing 27 Nleu port planes valued at more than 3,000,000 francs. “The Germans, as everyone knowst are counting entirely upon a war in the air to avenge their defeat, and they wouldn’t shrink from any tactics to prevent France from surpassing them In the air. They know that the only obstacle they have to f«ur would be a powerful and largs force of French airplanes, whch Would b* ready to bar Germany’s t»*y in case of a sudden attack and return blow for blow. To hinder the develop ment of French aviation the Germans certainly would not recoil before any act; they would accept opprobrium gracefully provided they secured a benefit from it.” Colonel Rousset demands that th*j causes of the flresllt :Dwde,flmingd t French con*re-espionage service make! a thorough Investigation Into th* causes of the fires to make sure that* a German hand is not behind th*| destruction. ' Southern Delegates. From the New York Poet. They aren’t what they used to be., Time was when they made up a: fourth of a national Republican con vention. In 1916. however, a new rule of apportionment went Into ef-j feet, by which the number of dele gates to which a Congressional dis-i trlct was entitled depended somewhat1 upon the size of Its Republican vote. This cut the Southern contingent byi one-third, reducing the number from 252 to 174. Next year the number will be somewhat larger, owing to thtfj huge Republican vote In 1920. The reduction in the number of Southern delegates is given as a rea son why President Coolldge’s friends: will not go after them. It is a rea son which does credit neither to their hearts nor to their heads. Re publican candidates for President who have tried to win any consider-; able number of Southern delegate* of recent years have had their fing ers burned. President Coolldge is independent of them. If he makes good It will be hard to prevent his** nomination for President. If he does not, possession of every delegate south of Mason and Dixon’s line wilfc not help him. Driving Fitness Minnesota Sparks Isn't It about time that something Is done eoward inquiring Into the fit ness of people who are driving anto mobiles upon our congested streets and highway ? e venture the belief that not more than 76 per cent of the people who are driving should be allowed to do so. Of course, we do not believe there would be a falling off of 26 per cent of our drivers 1? we undertook to wake them, all pass an examination as to their fitness, as some of the unfit would naturally escape. We do believe, however, that there are many thousands of drivers today whonot only do not know of the provisions of our .state and loval laws and or dinances, but haven't the slightest idea of road practise or coutesy. We have long hesitated recom mending putting to which they are now subjected or the establishing of any more ’’bureaus,’* but automobiles are becoming so numerous and the consequent crop of inexperienced drivers so large that we feel, in Justice to themselves, there should be some test to which every driver of a car should be subjected before being al lowed to drive. Investigations of a number of recent accidents seem to prove that they were caused In a large measure through Inexperienced drivers, either they didn’t know what to do at the right time or dldn'tknow at all; loss htelr heads, so to speak. Of course, It would be difficult to legislate against losing one’s head, but this rarely happens to an experienced or capable driver. Jfnd the sort of punishment that should be meted out to the idotla parent who teaches- young hopeful how to drive at the age of 7 and de clares it is all right for him to do so as long as he la seated beside him, we would leave to those of our readers who aren’t fond parents, and thus be assured he would get his just desert* Origin of Famous Hymn. From the Chicago Journal. The first man to sing the lmmorta hymn. "Lead, Kindly Light," was a boatman, the place an orange boat becalmed on the Mediterranean off the island of Caprera, the time 90 years ago. John Henry Newman, afterward the great cardinal, was a passenger on the boat. Ill in body and mind, ho was idling in the Mediterranean in the hope of recovering his health. He was especially depressed on that day when the orange boat was be calmed and sought to soothe his spirits by composing a hymn. The result was "Lead, Kindly Light." The composition occupied but a few hours, and the boatman, who spoke English and was possessed of a fine voice, was asked to sing it. As the day melted into darkness a breeze sprang up and the becalmed voyagers were guided by the “kindly lights’* along the Caprera shore into a safe harbor. The composer, with health restored, soon returned to England^ and became a leader in the Oxford movement, until in 1848 ho went over to the Catholic church, which later rewarded his ability and devotion byi the bestowal of the rod hat.