The Plattsmouth journal. (Plattsmouth, Nebraska) 1901-current, July 24, 1913, Image 5

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of Missouri
Copyrioht. 1911. by tho Bolbs-MtfrB
Tragedy en tha Road.
SHORTLY after noon the next day
Colonel Todbunter stopped In at
the Strlcklauds' on bU way
home, as was not unusual for
him to do. In reply to an apparently
careless question, Margaret Strickland,
Tom's eldest sister, told him that Tom
had gene Into town soon after break
fast Colonel Todbunter returned Into Nin
eveh at once, after explaining to Mar
garet Strickland that be had forgotten
to execute certain housekeeping mis
sions for Mrs. Todbunter before driv
ing out But be found no trace of Tom
Strickland until be came to a certuln
barroom frequented mainly by the
Yancey and Tucker factions In politics.
"Colonel," said the bartender, In an
swer to a question, "Tom Strickland
was in here, sir, about two hours ago,
lookln' for Stam Tucker. Not flndin'
him, and waltln' here quite awhile In
hopes of bis turnln' up, be wrote a note
yonder at that table and sent it out by
one of the town boys to Stam's bouse.
Then he went away, sir."
"nave you any Idea where he went?"
The bartender hesitated for a mo
ment Then: "Well, Colonel Todhunt
er," he said at last, "I believe, from
the way he was talkln, that be went
to see that girl, Lottie-May Doggett,
that the scandal's about now, sir. lie
was drlnkln' pretty heavy, colonel, and
he talked pretty threatenln about Stam
Tucker, and It seemed to me that the
two things was connected In some way
his trouble with Stam and his trou
ble wltb the girL I'm Inclined to tblnk
there's a difficulty brewln', colonel!"
Leaving tbe barroom, Colonel Tod
bunter drove directly out to old Rafe
Doggett's place. Neither the girl nor
her grandfather was at home. Return
ing Into Nineveh be encountered Sim
Blrdsong, who wore an anxious face.
"I've Just seen Stam Tucker, sub!"
cried Sim. "W aren't a bit too soon
In layln' our plans to prevent trouble,
Colonel Todbunter. lie's just got a
note from Tom Strickland tellln' him
to come Into town tonight If he don't
want to have serious trouble at his
own home Instead, so It's plain that
Tom Strickland's on the warpath, sun."
"What's Stam Tucker goin to do?"
"He ain't goin Into town, colonel.
He told me that he had an engage
ment to call on a young lady, so ho
wouldn't be at home anyway If Tom
came there lookln' for him, and, be
sides, he says he'll do most anything j
to prevent trouble Just at this time.
Fle's as anxious to get away on that
Qshln' frolic as we are to have him
Set away, Colonel Todbunter."
"I'm powerful glad to hear It." com
mented the colonel. "Well, with Stam
Tucker not goin' into town and not
stayin' at home and Tom Strickland
not knowln where he's to be found, I
reckon things are pretty tolerable safe
for tonight But don't you fall to get
Stam off on that fishing Jaunt before
laybreak tomorrow, Sim."
"I won't, suh," promised Sim Bird
song earnestly. "I'll get him If I have
to drag him by tbo scruff o' the neck I"
Arising early the next morning.
Colonel Todhunter drew in a deep
breath of fresh air, grateful of soul.
"Thank the Lord!" he said to him
self. "Stam Tucker's gona with Sim
ind the other boys, and we've got a
few days' breathlu' time anyway be
fore there's any further danger."
But even as Colonel Todhunter thus
moko young Stamford Tucker lay
lead at home. He had been shot the
light before, and Tom Strickland now
ins held a prisoner" In the little Nine
teh Jail neeused of his murder.
A messenger tearing these dreadful
:idings arrived ns the colonel stood on
;he front gallery enjoying the fresh
ness of tbo morning. He came from
Tom Strickland himself.
.Colonel Todhunter received the news
tj silence, his gray brows bent until
lis eyes were but two glints of metal- I
1c blue gray beneath, his grim lips set
n an lnflexlblo Hue.
"Tell Tom I'll be with him right
iway," he snld at the story's comple
tion. "And tell hlni to keep his cour
tgo up I'm going to do everything 1
:an for him."
Nevertheless the colonel's own heart
was heavy for Mary's snke, for Tom's
lire peril and knowing well that it
(vould all come near to breaking the
ieart of Colonel Bill Strickland, his
lifelong friend. But It was no time to
lit in cold Judgment upon Tom's sin.
The boy must receive all the help that
was In the power of m?rtal man to
Halting a moment at Hie Nineveh
Hotel to send a telegram to the Hon.
"William J. Btiickland, how himself
campaigning In northern Missouri,
Culouol Todbunter then hurried to the
Jail. Tlio inomcut bis eyes fell on Tom
Strickland's fuce ho knew that tho lad
had been drluklng heavily. The two
clHHpeJ hands and stood facing each
itlifr In silence. At last tho colonel
j I
; if V
"Tom," he said. "I want to tell yon
at the start that I'm goin' to accept
every word you say as gospel, and 1
want you to tell me the whole truth.
Then while we're waltln for your fa
ther to get here IH know better what
to do In bcglnnln' arrangements for
your defense. You must tell me the
God's truth, my boy."
Tom Strickland's plucky eyes, un
flickering, though still bloodshot from
overnight drinklug, held those of the
speaker In a level glance.
"I'll tell you the truth, colonel," he
answered. "I won't vary from It by a
hair if I know it."
"How did the meetln between you
and Stam Tucker come about, Tom?"
asked Colonel Todhunter. "Tell me
Just when and how you killed him."
"Colonel," replied Tom Strickland,
"I have no recollection of killing Stam
Tucker last night I don't even remem
ber meeting him."
"What do you mean by that?"
"I mean that I started out to meet
Stam, and that It was my intention to
kill him if he didn't publicly tell the
truth about him and Lottie-May Dog
gett hut I ain't clear In my mind as
to what happened after I left Nick
Bledsoe's barroom. I got to drinking
there, thinking while I was waiting for
Stam Tucker to keep an appointment
that I made by letter, and I got tired
waiting for Stam to show up, so 1 start
ed out to go to his bouse, seeing ns how
be wouldn't come to tbe place I had
named. This much I remember, and
I've got a confused recollection of wan
derlng about tho edge of town, but the
first thing I remember with any dis
tinctness after leaving Nick Bledsoe's,
is finding myself In tbe Nlucvch hotel
barroom drinklig again. Whatever
happened between is gone from my
memory. I was drinking hard, Colonel
Todhunter, and that's all there Is to It.
I started drinking because I bad lost
well, I didn't care what happened to
me, sir," Tom concluded.
"You were armed, of course, when
you went to meet Stam and have It out
with him?"
"Yes, sir; I bad my pistol on me."
"Well, then well, then, Tom when
you were arrested this mornlu' after
Stam Tucker's body was found on the
side of tbe road halfway between his
home and tbe town, what story did
your gun tell, boy? If you had bad a
shootln' scrape durlu' that time your
weapon would huve said so a man
In your condition, with this difficulty
settled, wouldn't have reloaded bis gun.
What fix was yours In, Tom?"
"That was the first thing the deputy
sheriff looked at when he placed mo
under arrest," said Tom Strickland,
his eyes dumbly perplexed. "Colonel
Todhunter, one chamber of my pistol
was empty., I reckon I must surely
have met Stam on tbo road and killed
"Tom," said Coionel Todhunter, al
most pleadingly, "whatever way Stam
Tucker was killed ho got one shot at
the man that killed him. Ills own
weapon was a-lajiu' right at his hand
when they found him, and one bullet
bad been fired from It. In God's name,
my boy, If you was that other man
you must have some sort of recollec
tlou of the shootln' scrape. It's the
truth I'm tryln' to get at Tom; the
truth of how Stam Tucker came to his
death. If you killed him we've got to
know it, because the whole line of de
fense has got to bo based on absolute
knowledge of the truth of whether or
not It was you that shot and killed
Stam Tucker lust night. Dig down in
your mind. Tom. My God, boy, you've
got to remember everything you did
every minute of the time you say you
was out lookln' for Stam Tucker!"
Tom Strickland drew a deep breath.
"It must have been me that killed
him," he said. "I was on my way to
do It And who else wanted to kill
him? But I can't remember anything
about it Colonel Todhunter. I'd bo
glad if I could."
Colonel Todhunter sat helpless for a
moment Finally, "Did you go home
after tho hotel bar was closed?" he
"No, sir. I slept nt tho hotel last
"Whnt time were you arrested?"
"About C o'clock."
"Yesterday afternoon, when you had
been to Nick Bledsoe's barroom for tho
Dr8.Ltl.mei. diiLjoutheiLgoojiLta-aco
Lottie-May "RogsHt a you told" Nick
you was a-golu" to do?"
"Yes. sir."
"Did you see her?"
"Yes, sir. I asked her to tell the
truth and acknowledge that I bad
nothing to do with her disgrace. I
told her If she didn't I was going to
see Stam Tucker and make him do It
or else kill him."
"What did she say to that?"
"She laughed at me. That girl's a
she devil. Colonel Todhunter. She
wouldn't even acknowledge to me that
she bad lied in telling Mrs. Todhunter
what she did. She Just laughed."
. "You also hluted to Nick Bledsoe that
there was some serious trouble brewln'
between you and Stam about Lottie-.
May. didn't you?"
"I believe I did. sir."
"And you told him you were bound
for Stam Tucker's when you left his
barroom last night?"
"I seem to remember saying some
thing of the sort, Colonel Todhunter.
1 reckon I gave blm a pretty good Ink
ling of the whole affair."
"The man you sent to tell mc of your
arrest says that Stain Tucker's mother
and sister says that Stam left his
home about the same tinio, accordin'
ib Nick Bledsoe's story, that you left
Nick's place to go out there."
"It's likely, sir, that he was coming
in to meet me in answer to my letter."
"Tom, that would have brought you
and Stam Tucker together about half
way between his home and the town."
"Yes, sir."
"And Stam's body was found beside
the road Just about hulfway between
his home and the town."
"I know It, coloneL The evidence
against me is about as complete as It
could be, unless somebody saw me kill
Stam. I wish they did, If I killed blm,
It wouldn't look so much like a cold
blooded murder lu the dark then."
Colonel Todhunter went direct from
the Jail to the home of Lottie-May Dog
gett. This time he found the girl there.
She met blm with a defiant look In
her eyes, but it seemed to Colonel Tod
hunter that there was something of
dread as well, and her manner, despite
a certain bravado, suggested a hauut
"If It's grandfather you want to see,
Colonel Todhunter," she said, hq voice
not quite steady, "he ain't al hme
right now. He got some work ielpln'
Lute Burroughs with his bosses, and
it keeps blm over there most o' tbe
"It ain't your grandfather, Lottie
May," replied Colonel Todhunter; "it's
you I come to see. But I wish he
was here, because I reckon I've got to
have a right plain talk with you, and
I'd rather Rafo was present while
we're a-havln' it"
The girl shrank back suddenly,
"Then maybe you better call again,"
she quickly suggested, uneasiness and
the hope of iAay expressed in her
face. "It 11 keen till some time when
he's home surely, Colonel Todbunter,
"No, Lottie-May. it won't. That's
why I've come straight out to see you
after leavln Tom Strickland a prison
er In the Nineveh Jail. Stam Tucker's
been shot and killed, and Tom's acens
ed of murderln' him. Lottie-May."
Tbe girl gave a little cry, whitening
te the lips. She stood facing the colo
nel with horror stricken eyes.
"Lottio-May," continued Colonel
Todhunter, "the time has conio when
you must tell the truth about Tom
Strickland. His life Is lu danger, not
to speak of bis bcln' disgraced through
what you said about him and your
story caused him to be lookln' for
troublo with Stam Tucker and we've
got to know the truth as to whether
it was him or Stam Tucker that you
had tho right to accuse before every
body at the party that night"
A sudden light of flory venom leap
cd Into Lottie-May Doggett's passion
ate eyes.
"It ain't me that's to blame!" she
cried. "Tom Strickland wanted to kill
Stam Tucker becnuso bo knew that
"The time hat come when you must
tell the truth about Tom Strickland."
Stam Tucker would marry Miss Mary
Todhunter, your daughter, now that
she's got to throw him over. It's her
that's to blame for the kllliu' not mol'
Something came Into the girl's throat
that seemed to cboko her. Sho threw
her bands up to her eyes and began
"Ho wa'n't thinkln' about mo at nil:
Bho cried brokenly. "And Stam Turk
cr didn't really care not bin' for me
neither. They wus Loth 'em think
In' about. Miss Marx Todhunter. I aJn't
Dothin' but poor white trash in their
eyes, to be th'owed like a rag to one
side. And Tom Strickland knows I
love him with all my heart and all
my soul!" Here her voice broke piti
Then, "And he wouldn't ha' known
anything about Stam Tucker's makln'
love to me if I hadn't told him myself
Yet be don't think nothln' about me
lt's only how be can clear his own
skirts by loadln' the blame on Stam.
And If be killed him he killed blm for
your daughter Mary's Hake, out o' Jeal
ousy, and nothlu' else in the wide
world! Well. I've done said my say,
and you all got to take it for the truth
whether you're willln' or not Stam
Tucker's dead and gone, but that ain't
t-goln' to clear the way for Tom Strick
land to marry Miss Mary Todhunter.
I've told her mother tbe truth, and you
and Mrs. Todhunter can't let her marry
Tom Strickland with the blame for my
ruination restln' on his good name."
She threw back ber head and laugh
ed at him mockingly.
'You've come here to make me help
you to get Tom Strickland out o dan
ger, ain't you, Colonel Todhunter?
You're Just like all the rest of 'era. I'm
settled and done for. I'm dirt under
you all's feet "But maybe 1 can help
save Tom Strickland If I tell tbe right
sort of a story-thafs It ain't It?
Well, I ain't goin' to do It Colonel Tod-
"Tom Strickland's got Just one chance
for his life, Lottie-May," said Colonel
Todhunter, "and that Is, to prove that
you accused him of a ein that ought to
ha' been laid at Stam Tucker's door In
stead and that he quarreled with Stam
and killed him for refuslu' to acknowl
edge publicly that this was the truth.
Even this ain't much of a chance, but
if we don't get It Tom Strickland's go--
in' to the gallows Just as certain as the
sun rises and sets. t you told what
ain't so, Lottie-May, his blood will be
on your head."
The girl shrank back and shivered
as If she had been struck. Then, again,
the hard mocking light leaped Into her
eyes, and she laughed aloud.
"And if I change my story to please
you all," sho scoffed, "what does it
amount to, Colonel Todhunter? Just
two things, and I'll tell you what tbey
are. I help to get Tom Strickland out
o' danger for klllln' Stam Tucker, and
I clear bis good name so be can go
straight and marry your daughter
Mary. That's what I do-if I'm wlllin'
to tell the story you all want me to
tell, and so lift my shame off'n Tom
Strickland and put it on a dead man
Instead put it on Stam Tucker, that
was shot and killed by Tom Strickland
because both of 'em loved Miss Mary
"I'm askln' you to tell tbo truth,
Lottie-May!" said Colonol Todbunter;
"that's all. I'm askln' you to tell me
now what you will surely have to tell
under oath In the Nineveh courtroom
at Tom Strickland's trial unless you
mean to perjure your soul by klsslu'
the Bible and then swearln' to a He.
That's where you are, my girl I If you
told the truth In what you said to Mrs.
Todbunter about Tom Strickland I
ain't got another word to Buy. But.
If you didn't, for God's sake tell It now,
Lottie-May. and help me and Tom's
father to save bis life!"
Again the girl's face had whitened
as Colonel Todhunter so suddenly ac
quainted her with the fact that le
must needs be n witnuss for or ugolnst
Tom Strickland when he was placed
on trial for his life. And again, suc
ceeding this, ber eyes hardened with
the deadly rancor born of her secret
"I told Mrs. Todhunter the truth,"
Blie replied. "What 1 told her I -I'll
tell lu court, if 1 got to. I might tie
willln' to tell-I might be wlllin' to
tell a lie for Tom Strickland's sake It
It wa'n't for Miss Mary Todhunter,
but I can't do It for ber, aud I won't!
It ain't In my Mood to let another wo
man walk on no to get to the man I
love, Colonel Todhunter, and you and
all the rest of 'em might ns well know
It onco and for all! I got tho same
shame on me now that my mother had.
and I'm her daughter, body and soul!"
Colonel Todhunter looked at Lottie
May Doggett long and silently. Ills
face was gravo when ho spoke.
"That's all I wanted to see you
about, Lottie-May." he said finally.
"It looks like I boon on a fool's er
rand, but I've done tho best I could.
Ooodby, child, and you better think
over what I'vo been sayln' to you after
I'm gone." '
Oddly enough, n little sol) broke
from the girl's throat as the colonel
spoke. The next moment, with one
hand fluttering nervously at her Ikh
om, she closed the door behind Itlni.
Crossing the country road a few
rods from the gate leading into the
Doggetts yard, Colonel Todhunter
stopped to spouk to Aunt Mlrandy
Ransom, the old Degress whom ho had
lost met In tho Nineveh town square
and who now stood at tho door of her
little cabin. After talking with her
some brief time he resumed his way
Into town.
Ho met tbe Hon. William J. Rtrlck
land at the entrance to tho Nineveh
Jail. Tho father's face was gray with
anxiety. Colonel Todhunter held his
hand with a grip of comforting friend
"The boy's in boll's own hole, BUI."
ho said. "But you and mo Ml pull him
out of it if we've got to bust tho
breechin' doiu' itjjuli"
(To Uo Uontinuod.)
0. V. Barnhill and wife of Mis
notila, Montana, wens in the, city
today for n few hours, en route
from fllonwooil to Auburn! Neb.,
for a visit. Mr. Jlarnhill was
here Home years ago in charge of
ilie Kraft clothing store, and has
become tbo owner of a storo in
the Montana city.
Abcolutcly Puro
Economizes Butter, Flour.
Eggs; makes the food more
appetizing and wholesome
The oaly Caking Powder made
from Royal Grape Cream ol Tartar
Local Hews
From Tuesday's Daily.
Miss Mary E. l'oster was a pas
senger this noon on the flyer for
Union to visit with her parents
for a few hours.
Dan Rice and wife returned this
morning from Glenwood, where
they had been visiting with rela
tives for a few days.
Jacob and Cornelius Hengen of
near Mynard were in I he city to
day for a few hours looking after
some business matters.
P. S. Barnes, justice of tho
peace for Weeping Water, was in
tbe city yesterday, being called
here on business matters.
J. M. Meisinger, from west of
1 Ii e city, was in town today, being
called hero to look after some
trading with the merchants.
Miss Clara Woblfarth returned
(hid morning from Loretta, Min
nesota, where she had been en
joying an outing at tho lakes.
George II. Lehnhoff and family
of Omaha motored down Sunday
and visited with Mrs. F. D. Lehn
hoff and daughter, Miss Tillie.
William Mendenhall was a pas
senger this morning for Pacific-
Junction to attend to somo mat
ters of .business for a few hours.
Mayor Fred Gorder of Weeping
Water was a passenger this
morning on the early Hurlington
train for Omaha, where he spent
the day.
Mrs. Charles Martin and son,
Hilt, returned last evening from
Lincoln, where they had been
visiting with relatives for a short
Henry Brinkinan departed last
evening on No. 2 for Peoria, Il
linois, where he will visit for a
few weeks, and also at Pekin, with
John Bajeck was a passenger
this morning on No. 6 for Pacific
Junction and Glenwood, where ho
will look after his cigar business
in those cities.
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' 4
Mrs. Henry Snyder of Fairfield,
Iowa, came over yesterday after
noon for a short visit with her
aunt and uncle, Mrs. Dora Moore
and George Dldham, in this city,
Mrs. Mary Allison, who has
been visiting with relatives at
Wichita, Kansas, for a few weeks,
has returned to her home in this
city, after a most enjoyable visit.
Monte Franks and wife of Opal,
S. I)., who have been visiting with
relatives and friends in Iowa for
a few weeks, arrived in this city
yesterday and will visit hero for.
a lime.
Misses Nettie, Jessio and Delia
Moore returned this morning on
No. 15 from Loretta, Minnesota,
where they have been enjoying a
short vacation trip at tho lakos,
and they report a most pleasant
Frank Thomas and wife and
two little daughters, of Lincoln,
who have been here for a few
days visiting with relatives, de
parted this morning for their
home. This is Mr. Thomas' llrst
visit to the old home in eight
Mrs. J. D. Young and daughter
of Lincoln, who havo been here
for a few days visiting at the
home of Mrs. Young's brother, A.
W, Smith and family, departed this
morning for their home. They
were visiting in Missouri and
stopped off hero Friday to visit
their relatives here.
Mrs. If. B. Burgess is in the
city for a few days, a guest at the
home of Dr. and Mrs. T. P. Liv
ingston. Mrs. Burgess has been
residing with her son, Dr. Frank
Burgess, at Cedar Rapids, Neb.,
since tho death of her husband,
Canon H. B. Burgess, and is mak
ing a short visit here with her
old friends.
Everybody's friend Dr. Thom
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