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About The Plattsmouth journal. (Plattsmouth, Nebraska) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 2, 1908)
T. - - MM. . f
CCyAOYTXH Sr AC.tCLttX too.
He started off as bapiy as ever I see
"How far will he have to ride?"
"Oh, 'bout 300 miles as the crow
flies, a little west of north, and the
better part of the distance, they tell
me. it's almighty rough country for
night work. But then Murphy, he
knows the way all right. Sorry you
didn't come along a little earlier," he
Bald, genially. "Do you know Mur
phy?" "I'm not quite certain. Did you
happen to notice a peculiar black scar
on the back of his right hand?"
"Sure; looks like the half of a pear.
He said it was powder under the Fk'-i."
A new look of reviving determina
tion swept Into Hampton's gloomy
eyes beyond doubt this must be hla
"How many horses did he have??"
"Did you overhear him say anything
definite about his plans for the trip?"
"What, him? He never talks, that
fellow. He can't do nothing but sput
ter If he tries. Hut I wrote out his or
ders, and they give him to the 25th to
make the Dig Horn. You wasn't plan
ning to strike out after him. was
"I might risk it If I only thought I
could overtake him within two days;
my business is of some Importance."
"Well, stranger, I should reckon you
might do that with a dog-gone good
outfit. Murphy's sure to take things
pretty easy to-day, and he's almost
certain to follow the old mining trail
as far as the ford over the Belle
Fourche, and that's plain enough to
travel. Beyond that point the devil
only knows where he will go, for then
is when his hard ridin begins."
The moment the operator mentioned
that odd scar on Murphy's hand, every
vestige of hesitation varnished. Be
yond any possibility of doubt he was
on the right scent this time. Murphy
was riding north upon a mission as
desperate as ever man was called
upon to perform. The chance of his
coming forth alive from that Indian
haunted land was, as the operator
truthfully said, barely one out of a
hundred. To the end, to the death if
need were, he would follow!
The mmory of his old plain craft
would not permit any neglect of the
few necessaries for the trip. He
bought without haggling over prices,
"but insisted on the best. So it was
four in the afternoon when he finally
struck into the trail leading north
ward. He rode a mettlesome, half
broken bronco, a wicked-eyed brute,
which required to be conquered twice
within the first hour of travel; a sec
ond and more quiet animal trailed be
hind at the end of a lariat, bearing the
He had, by persistent questioning,
acquired considerable information, dur
ing that busy hour spent in Cheyenne,
regarding the untracked regions lying
before him, as well as the character
and disposition of the man he pur
sued. Both by instinct and training
he was able to comprehend those brief
hints that must prove of vast benefit
In the pathless wilderness.
The night was already dark, but
stars were gleaming brilliantly over
head, and the trail remained easily
traceable. It became terribly lonely
on that wilderness stretching away
for unknown leagues in every direc
tion, yet Hampton scarcely noted this,
so watchful was he lest he miss the
trail. To his judgment. Murphy would
not be likely to ride during the night
until after he had crossed the Fourche.
There was no reason to suspect that
there -were any hostile Indians south
of that stream, and probably therefore
the old scout would endeavor to con
serve his own strength and that of his
horses, for the more perilous travel
About midnight, the trail becoming
obscure, the rider made camp, confi
dent he must have already gained
heavily on the man he pursued. He
lariated his horses and flinging him
self down on some soft turf, almost
immediately dropped asleep. He was
rip again before daylight, and, after
a hasty meal, pressed on. The nature
of the country had changed consider
ably, becoming more broken, the view
circumscribed by towering cliffs and
Late in the afternoon he reined up
his horse and gazed forward into a
broad valley, bounded with precipi
tous bluffs. The trail led directly
down toward where a considerable
stream of water shone silvery in the
gun, half concealed behind a fringe of
willows. And yonder, close in against
those distant willows, some black dots
were moving. Hampton glued his
anxious eyes to the glass. The leveled
tubes clearly revealed a man on horse
tack, leading another horse. The ani
mals were walking. There could be
little doubt that this was Silent Mur
phy. -Hampton larrated his tired horses
behind the bluff and returned to the
summit, lying flat upon the ground,
with the field-glass at his eyes. The
distant figures passed slowly forward
Into the midst of the willows, and for
half an hour the patient watcher
canned the surface of the stream be
AUTHOR Of J
. i. n.- .
yond, but there was no sign of at
tempted passage. The sun sank lower
and finally disappeared behind those
desolate ridges to the westward.
Hampton's knowledge of plainscraft
rendered Murphy's actions sufficiently
clear. This was the Fourche; beyond
those waters lay the terrible peril of
Indian raiders. Further advance must
be made by swift, secret night, riding,
and never-ceasing vigilance. This was
what Murphy had been saving himself
and his horses for. Beyond conjec
ture, he was resting mow within the
shadows of those willows, studying
the opposite shore and making ready
for the dash northward. Hampton be
lieved he would linger thus for some
time after dark, to see if Indian fires
would afford any guidance. Confident
of this, he passed back to his horses,
rubbed them down with grass, and
then ate his lonely supper, not ventur
ing to light a fire, certain that Mur
phy's eyes were scanning every inch
Darkness came rapidly, while Hamp
ton sat planning again the details of
his night's work. Then, with the two
animals trailing cautiously behind, he
felt his slow way on foot down the
steep bluff, into the denser blackness
of the valley.
The Haunting of a Crime.
Murphy rested on his back In the
midst of a thicket of willows, wide
awake, yet not quite ready to ford the
Fourche and plunge into the dense
shadows shrouding the northern shore.
Crouched behind a log, he had so far
yielded unto temptation as to light his
Murphy had been amid just such
unpleasant environments many times
before, and the experience had grown
somewhat prosaic. Even Indian-scouting
degenerates into a commonplace
at last. So Murphy puffed contentedly
at his old pipe.
But suddenly there was the faint
crackle of a branch to his left, and
one hand instantly closed over his pipe
bowl, the other grasping the heavy re
volver at his hip. There came a plain,
undisguised rustling in the grass,
some prowling coyote, probably; then
his tense muscles immediately re
laxed, and he cursed himself for being
so startled, yet he continued to grasp
the "45" in his right hand, his eyes
That single word, hurled thus unex-
"Hampton Glued His Anxious Eyes to
pectedly out of the black night, startled
him more than would a volley of rifles.
He sprang half erect, then as swiftly
crouched behind a willow, utterly un
able to articulate. For the instant his
very blood ran cold; he appeared to
"Oh, come, Murphy; speak up, man;
I know you're in here."
That terror of the unknown instant
ly vanished. This was the familiar
language of the world, and, however
the fellow came to be there, it was
assuredly a man who spoke.
"Who the hell are ye?" he blurt
The visitor laughed, the bushes
rustling as he pushed toward the
sound of the voice. "It's all right, old
boy. Gave ye quite a scare, I reckon."
Murphy could now dimly perceive
the other advancing through the inter
vening willows, and his Colt shot up
to the level. "Stop! ye take another
step an' I'll let drive. Ye tell me
first who ye be."
The invader paused, but he realized
the nervous finger pressing the trigger
and made haste to answer. "It's all
right. I tell ye. I'm one o' Terry's
"Ye are? Jist the same I've heard
yer voice afore."
"Likely 'nough. I saw service in the
Murphy was still a trifle suspicious.
"How'd ye git yere? How'd ye come
ter know whar I wus?"
The man laughed again. "Sorter
hurts yer perfessional feelins, don't it,
old feller, to be dropped in on In this
unceremonious way? But It was dead
easy, old man. Ye see I happened
thro' Cheyenne only a couple o' hours
behind ye, with a bunch o' papers fer
the Yellowstone. The trail's plain
enough out this far, and I loped 'long
at a pretty fair hickory, so thet I was
up on 1h"e "bluff yonl er,and saw ye go
Into ctmp yere Just afore dark. Yon
wus a-keepln yer eyes skinned across
the Fourche, and naturally didn't ex
pect no callers from them hills be
hind. The rest wus nuthin', an" here I
am. It's a darn sight pleasanter ter
hev company t ravelin", ter my notion.
Now kin I cum on?"
Murphy reluctantly lowered his Colt,
every movement betraying annoyance.
"I reckon. But I'd a damn Eight
rather risk It alone."
The stranger came forward without
further hesitation. The night was far
too dark to reveal features, but to
Murphy's strained vision the new
comer appeared somewhat slender In
build, and of good height.
"Whar'd ye say ye wus bound?"
"Mouth o' the Powder. We kin ride
tergether fer a night or two."
"Ye kin do as ye please, but I
ain't a huntin' no company, an' I'm
a' goin' 'cross now."
He advanced a few strides toward
his horses. Then suddenly he gave
vent to a smothered cry, so startling
as to cause the stranger to spring
hastily after him.
"Oh! My God! Oh! Look there!"
"What is it, man?"
"There! there! The picture! Don't
"Naw; I don't see nuthin'. Ye ain't
gone cracked, hev ye? Whose pic
ture?" "It's there! O Lord! It's there!
My God! can't ye see? An' it's his
face all a-gleamln with green flames
Holy Mary an' I ain't seen it
afore in 15 year!"
He seemed suddenly to collapse, and
the stranger permitted him to drop
limp to thVearth.
"Darn if I kin see anythin', old
man, but I'll scout 'round thar a bit,
jest ter ease yer mind, an' see what I
kin skeer up."
He had hardly taken a half dozen
steps before Murphy called after him:
"Don't don't ' go an' leave me it's
not there now thet's queer!"
The other returned and stood gazing
down upan his huddled figure. "You're
a fine scout! afeard o' spooks. Do ye
take these yere turns often? Fer if
ye do, I reckon as how I'd sooner be
Murphy struggled to his feet and
gripped the other's arm. "Never hed
nuthin' like it afore. But but it was
thar all creepy an' green ain't seen
thet face in 15 year."
"A a fellow I knew once. He
The other grunted disdainfully. "Bad
luck ter see them sort," he volun
teered, solemnly. "Blame glad it
warn't me es see it, an I don't know
as I keer much right now 'bout keep
in' company with ye fer very long.
However, I reckon if either of us cal
culates on doin' much ridin' ternight,
we better stop foolin' with ghosts, an'
go ter saddlin' up."
They made rapid work of it, the
newcomer proving somewhat loqua
cious, yet holding his voice to a judi
cious whisper. It was he who led the
way down the bank, the four horses
slowly splashing through the shallow
water to the northern shore. Before
them stretched a broad plain, the sur
face rocky and uneven, the northern
stars obscured by ridges of higher
land. Murphy promptly gave his
horse the spur, never once glancing
behind, while the other imitated his
example, holding his animal well in
check, being apparently the better
They rode silently. The way be
came more broken and rough as they
advanced, causing them to exercise
greater caution. Flying clouds ob
scured the stars, yet through the rifts
they caught fleeting glimpses suffi
cient to hold them to their course.
And the encroaching hills swept in
closer upon either hand, leaving them
groping their way between as in a
pocket, yet ever advancing north.
Finally they attained to the steep
bank of a considerable stream, found
the water of sufficient depth to compel
swimming, and crept up the opposite
shore dripping and miserable, yet with
ammunition dry. Murphy stood swear
ing disjointedly, wiping the blood from
a wound in his forehead where the
jagged edge of a rock had broken the
skin, but suddenly stopped with a
quick intake of breath that left him
panting. The other man crept toward
him, leading his horse.
"What is it now?" he asked, gruffly.
"Hev' ye got 'em agin?"
The dazed old scout stared, point
ing directly across the other's shoul
der, his arm shaking desperately.
"It's thar! an' it's his face! Oh,
God! I know it 15 year."
The man glanced backward into the
pitch darkness, but without moving
"There's nuthin out there, 'less it's
a firefly," he insisted, in a tone of con
tempt. "You're plum crazy, Murphy;
the night's got on yer nerves. What
is it ye think ye see?"
"His face, I tell ye! Don't I know?
It's all green and ghastly, with snaky
flames playin' about it! But I know;
15 years, an' I ain't f ergot."
He sank down feebly sank until he
was on his knees, his head craned for
ward. The man watching touched the
miserable, hunched-up figure compas
sionately, and it shook beneath his
hand, endeavoring to shrink away.
"My God! was thet you? I thought
it was him a-reachin' fer me. Here,
let me take yer hand. Oh, Lord! An
can't ye see? It's just there beyond
them horses all green, crawlin', dev
ilishbut it's him."
"Brant! Brant 15 year!"
"Brant? Fifteen years? " Do you
mean Maj. Brant, the one Nolan killed
over at Bethune?"
"He he didn't"
The old man heaved forward, his
head rocking from side to side; then
suddenly he toppled over on his face,
gasDlng. for. breath. . His companion
caught him and ripped open the heavy
flannel shirt. Then he strode savage
s' across In front of his shrinking horse,
tore down the flaring picture, and
hastily thrnst It into his pocket, the
light of the phosphorous with which -It
had been rubbed being reflected for a
moment on his features.
"A dirty, miserable, low-down trick,"
he niuUered. "Poor old devil! Yet
I've go to do it for the little girl."
He stumbled back through the dark
ness, his hat filled with water, and
dashed It Into Murphy's face. ' Come
on. Murphy! There's one good thing
'bout spooks; they don't hang 'round
fer long at a time. Likely es not this
'un is gone by now. Brace up, man.
for you an' I have got ter get out o'
here afore morninV
Then Murphy grasped his arm and
drew himself slowly to his feet.
"Don't see nuthin' now, do ye?"
"No. Where's my horse?"
The other silently reached him the
loose rein, marking as he did so the
quick, nervous peering this way and
that, the starting at the slightest
"Did ye say, Murphy, as how it
wasn't Nolan after all who plugged
"I'm damned if I did. Who else
"Why, I dunno. Sorter blamed odd
though, thet ghost should be a-haunt-In'
ye. Darn if it ain't creepy 'nough
ter make a feller believe most any
thin'." Murphy drew himself up heavily
into his saddle. Then all. at once he
shoved the muzzle of a "45" into the
other's face. "Ye say nuther word
'bout thet, an I'll make a ghost outer
ye blame lively. Now, ye shet up If
ye ride with me."
They moved forward at a walk and
reached a higher level, across which
the night wind swept, bearing a touch
of cold in its breath as though coming
from the snow-capped mountains to
the west. There was renewed life in
this invigorating air and Murphy
spurred forward, his companion press
ing steadily after.
When the first signs of returning
day appeared in the east, the two left
their horses in a narrow canyon, and
crept to the summit of a ridge. Below
lay the broad valley of the Powder.
Then Murphy turned his head and
looked back into the other's face.
The Verge of Confession.
Murphy uttered one sputtering cry
of surprise, flinging his hand instinct
ively to his hip, but attempted no
more. Hampton's ready weapon was
thrusting its muzzle into the astound
ed face, and the gray eyes gleaming
along the polished barrel held the fel
"Hands up! Not a move, Murphy!
I have the drop!" The voice was low,
but stern, and the old frontiersman
obeyed mechanically, although his
seamed face was fairly distorted with
"You! Damn you! I thought I
knew the voice."
"Yes, I am here all right. Rather
odd place for us to meet, isn't it? But,
you see, you've had the advantage all
these years; you knew whom you
were running away from, while I was
compelled to plod along in the dark.
But I've caught up just the same, if it
has been a long race."
"What do ye want me fer?" The
look in the face was cunning.
"Hold your hands quiet higher,
you fool! That's it. Now, don't play
with me. I honestly didn't know for
certain I did want you, Murphy, when
I first started out on this trip. I
merely suspected that I might, from
some things I had been told. When
somebody took the liberty of slashing
at my back in a poker-room at Glen
caid, and drove the knife into Slavin
by mistake, I chanced to catch a
glimpse of the hand on the hilt, and
there was a scar on it. About 15
years before, I was acting as officer of
the guard one night at Bethune. It
was a bright starlit night, you remem
ber, and just as I turned the corner of
the old powder-house there came a
sudden flash, a report, a sharp cry. I
sprang forward only to fall headlong
over a dead body; but in that flash I
had seen the hand grasping the re
volver, and there was a scar on the
back of It, a very peculiar scar. It
chanced I had the evening previous
slightly quarreled with the officer who
was killed; I was the only person
known to be near at the time he was
shot; certain other circumstantial evi
dence was dug up, while Slavin and
one other no, it was not you gave
some damaging, manufactured testi
mony against me. As a result I was
held guilty of murder in the second
degree, dismissed from the army in
disgrace, and sentenced to ten years'
Imprisonment. So, you see, it was not
exactly you I have been hunting,
Murphy, it was a scar."
Murphy's face was distorted into a
"I notice you bear exactly that kind
of a scar, my man, and you spoke last
night as if you had some recollection
of the case."
The mocking grin expanded; into
the husky voice crept a snarl of de
fiance, for now Murphy's courage had
come back he was fronting flesh and
blood. "Oh, stop preachin' an' shoot
an' be damned ter ye!"
"You do me a grave injustice. Mur
phy. Your slashing at me down in
Glencaid hasn't left so much as a
sting behind. It's completely blotted
out, forgotten. I haven't the slightest
desire to kill you, man; but I do want
to clear my name of the stain of that
crime. I want you to tell the whole
truth about that night's work at Be
thune, and when you have done so,
you can go. I'll never lay a finger on
you; you can go where you please."
"Bah! ye ain't got no proof agin
me 'sides, the case Is closed It can't
he opened agin by law."
"You devil! rdbe perfectly justi-
Don't Use a
sell, and what your prices are. Nine times out of ten your prices
are lower, but the customer is influenced by the up-to-date adver
tising of the mall order house. Every article you advertise should
be described and priced. You mjust tell your story in an inter
esting way, and when you want to reach the buyers of this com
munity use the columns of this paper.
The Farmer's Elevator Meeting
The members of the Farmers' Ele
vator Company met on Monday for the
purpose of ratifying the articles of in
corporation and the by-laws that were
contrary to and violated the anti-trust
law, and upon a vote they went elimin
ated and made to conform to the state
We are glad this was done and now
that they are in business on an equal
footing with others we hope they will
all pull together and make it a success.
It has been said that you could never
get farmers together on anything
that there would always be a few that
would kick out, but we hope that in
this instance it will prove untrue.
The board of directors have contract
ed with Henry Heebner to manage the
elvator, and from this you will know
that it is in good hands, and. that the
farmers" business will be well cared
for. They take the elvator, and assume
active operation March 1st. Nehawka
George Sayles jr. Buying Corn
George Sayles jr. has accepted the
position of manager of the Elevators at
Plattsmouth, Oreapolis and Cullom, for
the Duff Grain Company, and has an
office in the Gund Building, where he
can be found by the farmers, who may
have grain to sell. Mr. Sayles is an ex
emplary young man and will always be
found attentive to busieess. He tells
us his father is rapidly improving and
when the warm weather shall have re
turned he thinks he will lie able to take
charge of the business again himself,
when it will be turned over to him.
Cut Out Day Telegraphing.
Beginning with tomorrow the Mis
souri Pacific will cut out the day tele
graphing, and will only do such work
from 7:00 p. m. until 7:00 a. m. This
will include all railroad telegraphing,
it will not be possible to ascertain when
the trains will arrive except as per the
published cards. When the trains ar
rive you will know it if you are at the
station, otherwise you cannot find out.
They are observing the nine hour law.
The Stock is Good.
Plattsmouth Telephone company stock
has paid 10 per cent annual cash divid
ends for the past eight years.
Beginning with April 1, 1908, the
company will pay the stockholders the
dividends every three months on April 1,
July 1, October 1, of each year.
Every dollar received from the sale
os stock is invested right here in our
own territory in the sight of our own
While you are not very busy is a very good
time to study at home. You now have the
time we have the books. Call and examine
them. Here is the list. They are up-to-date
and practical: Machine Shop Work,
Tool Making1, Gas Ingines and Producers,
Carpentry. Masonry Construction, Re-in-forced
Concrete, Mechanical Drawing-, The
Electric Telegraph, Machine Design, Practi
cal Lessons in Electricity, The Steam Engine,
Estimating-, Contracts and Specifications,
Stair Building and Steel Square, Valve Gears
and Indicators and Pattern Making
DRUGS, WALL PAPER, PHOTOGRAPHIC SyPPLIES.
To Drive Away (he
Mail Order Wolf
drive liini out
OU UC tllf tIKWl
order houses' own weapon
advertising. Mail order
concerns are spending
thousands of dollars every
week in order to j;ct trade
from the home merchants.
Do you think for a minute
they would keep it up if
they didn't kret Hie busi
ness? Don't take it for
granted that every one
within a radius of 35 miles
knows what vou have to
in any considerable amount is
dangerous. Don't flatter your
self that your habit of doing so
is unnoticed. Thieves make it
their business to find out such
things. Better be on the safe
side and deposit your money in
Bank of Cass County. The
sooner you do so the better. An
ounce of prevention is better than
a pound of regret.
THF BANK OF CASS COUNTY
WHEN THE KETTLE SINGS
it's a sign of coal satisfaction. Want
to bear the music in your kitchen?
Easy order coal from this ottice and
yard. The output of the Trenton
mine the fuel we handle has no su
perior anywhere, its equal in few
J. V. EGENBERGER,
'PHflWP I'lattsmouth No. 22.
PLATTSMOUTH, - - NEBRASKA'
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