The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923, February 24, 1905, Image 3
toh Tfif.v" -ni ' ' ( wft. $iiffiffilffii'"' ""' ''"'i )" X''H''H"H"H'H' !" lii-l'f . 4. 4..4. . ! - rt. X Blhfe II Gibe Gentleman .5 f m m " "It was iiiHotlriittin, wasn't It?" she aid. lie laughed, but she shook her bead. "Purest comedy." lie said gayly, "ex cept your part or It. You shouldn't have done U. Thl evening was not arranged In ho'ior of 'visiting ladles Hut you mustn't think mo a comedian. Truly. I didn't plan It. .My friend from Six Crossroads miNt he given the eredlt of devising the scene, though you divined it." "It wim a little too picturesque, I think. I know about Six Crossroads. Please tell uie what you mean to do." "Nothing. What should IV" "You mean that you will keep on let y ting them shoot at you until they -until Ju" She struck the bench angrily with her hand. "There's no summer theater In Six Crossroads. There's not even a church. Why shouldn't theyV" he asked grave ly. "I Miring the long and tedious even ings it cheers the poor C.rossroader's soul to drop over here and take a shot at me. It whiles away dull care for him, and he has the additional exercise of running all the way home." "Ah!" she cried Indignantly. "They told me yon always answered like this." "Well, you see. i he Crossroads efforts fbave proved so thoroughly hygienic for me. As a patriot I have sometimes felt extreme mortillcatlou that such bad marksmanship should exist In the coun ty, but I console myself with the thought that their best shots are, un happily, in the penitentiary." "There are many left. Can't you un derstand that they will organize again and come in a body, as they did before you broke them up? And then, if they come on a night when they know you arc wandering out of town" "You have not had the advantage of an Intimate study of the most exclusive people or the Crossroads, Miss Slier--wood. There are about thirty gentle men who remain in that neighborhood while their relatives sojourn under dis cipline. If you had the entree over there, you would understand that these thirty could not gather themselves Into a company and march the seven miles without physical debate In the ranks. They are not precisely amiable people, even among themselves. They would quarrel and shoot one another to pieces long before they got here." g "Hut they worked In a company onee." "Never for seven miles. Four miles was their radius. Five would see them all dead." She struck the bench again. "Oil, you laugh at me! You make a Joke of your own life and death and laugh at every thing. Have live years of Plattville taught you to do that?" "1 laugh only at taking the poor Crossroaderx too seriously. I don't laugh at your running into lire to help a fel low mortal." "I knew there wasn't any risk. I know he had to stop to load before ho " shot again." "He did shoot again. If I had known you before tonight, I" His tone changed, and he spoke gravely. "I am at your feet in worship of your divine philanthropy. It's so much liner to risk your life for a stranger than for a friend." "That Is a man's point of view, Isn't It?" "You risked yours for a man you had never seen before." - "Oh. no. 1 saw you nt the lecture. I heard you Introduce the Hon. Mr. Hal loway." "Then I don't understana your wisn lng to save me." She smiled unwillingly nml turned her gray eyes upon htm with troubled sun nlncss, and under the Bwcetness of her regard he set a watch upon his lips, though he knew it would not avail him long. He had driveled along respect ably so far, he thought, but he had the tentlmeiitnl longings of years, Htarved of expression, culminating In his heart She continued to look at him wistfully, soarchlngly, gently. Then her eyes trav eled over his big frame, from his shoes (a patch of moonlight fell on tliem; they were dusty; ho drew them nuder the bench with a shudder) to his broad shoulders (he shook the stoop out of thcin). She stretched her small white hands toward him and looked at them in contrast and broke Into the most de licious low laughter in the world. At this he knew the watch on his lips was worthless. It was a question of min utes till he should present himself to her eyes as a sentimental and suscep tible Imbecile. Ho knew It. He was in wild spirits. "Co'Jl you realize that ono of your dang'i) might be a shaking?" sho cried. "Is your seriousness a lost art?" TTnr himditer ceased suddenly, -aii, I understand Thiers said the no! 4 ' - X, & Copyright, I3D9. by Voubteday t3l McClurt Co. 1 ,!!ji Copyright. 1902, by MeCturt. Vhllttpj 3L Co. ? IHHi;4mtHliaSMLi'ii8iA.i..hAJ.AJ..(..t..,1r,tl, j ii'nti 11 ii i- A i'iit .t. 1 t.r. --- -- J2.jk 1 1 .1, ....... .....'.i.,....., .,. - By 'Booth TAHKiffCTO French luv.gh always in order not to weep. I haven't lived here five years. I Bhould laugh, too, If I were you." "Look at tin' moon," he responded. "We rinttvllllans own that with the best of metropolitan!', and, for my part, I see more of It here. Y'ou do not ap preciate us. We have largo landscapes In the heart of the city, and what other capital has advantages like that? Next winter the railway station Is to have a new stove for the waiting room. Heav en Itself Is one of our suburbs it is so close that all one has to do is to die. You Insist upon my being French, you see. and I know you are fond of non sense. How did you happen to put 'The Walrus and the Carpenter' at the bottom of a page of Flsbue'.s notes?" "Was It? How were you sure It was I?" "In Carlow comity!" "Ho might have written It himself." "Fisbce has never in bis life read anything lighter than cuneiform in scriptions." "Miss Briscoe" "She doesn't read Lewis Carroll, and It was not her hand. What made you write it on Flsbeo's manuscript?" "He was here this afternoon. I teased him a little about your heading In the Herald 'Business and the Cra dle, the Altar and the Grave isn't it? nud he said It had always troubled him. but your predecessor had used it, and you thought It good. So do I. He asked me If I could think of anything that you might like better and put in place if it and I wrote 'The Time Has Come because It was the only thing I could think of that was as appropri ate and as fetching as your headlines. He was perfectly dear about It. He was so serious. He said he feared It wouldn't be acceptable. I didn't notice that the paper tic handed me to write on was part of his notes; nor did he, I think. Afterward he put it back in ids pocket. It wasn't a message." "I'm not so sure he did not notice. He is very wise. Do you know, I have the impression that the old fellow wanted me to meet you." "How dear and good of him!" She spoke earnestly, and her face was suf fused with a warm light. There was no doubt about her meaning what she eahl. "It was' John answered unsteadily. "He knew how great was my need of a few minutes' companlonablcness wlth-wlth" "No," she interrputed. "I meant dear and good to me. I think he was think ing of me. It was for my sake he wanted us to meet." It might have been hard to convince a woman If she had overheard this speech that Miss Sherwood's humility was not tlie calculated affectation of a coquette. Sometimes a man's unsus plelon is wiser, and Hnrkloss knew that she was not flirting with him. In addition, he was not a fatuous man; he did not extend the implication of her words nearly so far as she would have had him. "Hut I had met you," said he, "long ago." "What!" she cried, and her eyes danced. "You actually remember?" "Yes. Do you?" he answered. "I stood In Jones' field and heard you singing, and I remembered. It was a long time since I had heard you sing: "I was a ruffler of Flanders And fought 'for a florin's hire. You were the dnmo of my enptnin And sang to my heart's desire. "Rut that is the bnlladlst's notion. The truth Is thnt ycu were a lady at the court of Clovls, and I was a heath en captive. I heard you sing a Chris tian hymn and asked for baptism." Sho did not seem ovcrpleased with his fancy, for, the surprise fading from her face, "Oh, that was the way yott remembered," she said. "Perhaps it was not that way alone. You won't despise me for being mawk ish tonight?" he asked. "I haven't had the chance for so long." The night air wrapped them warmly, and the balm of the Ilttlo breezes that stirred the foliage around them was the smell of dnmask roses from the garden. The creek splashed over the pebbles at their feet, and a drowsy bird, half wakened by the moon, croon ed languorously in the sycamore "The girl looked ant at the sparkling water through downcast lashes. "Is it be cause it is no transient that beimtv a ! pathetic," she said, "because wo can i never como back to it In quite the same way? I am a sentimental girl. If you are born so It is never entirely , teased out of you, Is it? Resides, to night Is all u dretta. It Isn't real, you know. You couldn't bo mawkish." Her tone was gentlo as a caress, and It made him tingle to his finger tips. "How do you know?" he neked. "I Just know;. Do you think I'm very bold and forward?" she said dreamily "It wiih your song I wanted to be sentimental about. 1 am like one 'who through long days of toll'-only that doesn't quite apply 'and nights devoid of ease but I can't claim that one doesn't sleep well here; It Is Plnttvtllo'a specialty like one who "Still henril In Ida soul the music Of wonderful melodies." "Yes," she answered, "to come here and to do what you have done ami to live this Isolated village life that must be so desperately dry and dull for a man of your sort, and yet to have the kind of heart that makes wonderful melodies sing In Itself oh," she cried, "I say that Is line!" "You do not understand," he return ed sadly, wishing before her to be un mercifully Just to himself. "I came here because 1 couldn't make a living anywhere else. Anil the 'wonderful melodies' I have only known you one evening and the melodies" He rose to his feet ami took a few steps toward the garden. "Come." he said, "let me take yon back. Let us go before 1" He linished with a helpless laugh. She stood by the bench, one hand resting on It. She stood all In the tremulant shallow. She moved one step toward him, and a single long silver of light pierced the sycamores j and fell upon her head. He gasped. "What was It about the melodies?" she said. "Nothing. I don't know how to thank you for this evening that you have giv en mi'. 11 suppose you are leaving to morrow. No one ever stays here. I" "What about the melodies?" He gave it up. "The moon makes peo ple insane!" he cried. "If that is true, then you need not ho more afraid than I, because 'people' Is plural. What wore you saying about" "1 had heard them in my heart. When 1 heard your voice tonight I knew that 7t was you who sang them there, had been singing them for me al ways." "So!" she cried gayly. "All that de bate about a pretty speech!" Then, sinking before him in a courtesy, "I am beholden to you," she said. "Do you think no man ever made a little flat tery for me before tonight?" At the edge of the orchard, where they could keep an unseen watch on the garden and the bank of the creek, Judge Briscoe and Mr. Todd were ensconced under an apple tree, the former still armed with his shotgun. When the young people got up from their bench, the two men rose hastily, then saunter ed slowly toward them. When they met, I lark less shook each of them cor dially by th2 hand without seeming to know it. "Wo wore coining to look for you," explained the judge. "William was afraiil to go home alone thought some one might take him for Mr. HarklcsH and shoot htm before he got into town. Can you come out with Willetts In the morning, llnrklcss," he went on, "anil go with the young ladies to see the parade? And Minnie wants you to stay to dinner anil go to the show with them in the afternoon." Ilarkless seized his hand and shook It and then laughed heartily as he accept ed the Invitation. At the gate Miss Sherwood extended her hand to him and said politely, while mockery shone from her eyes: "Good night, Mr.. Hark less. I do not leave tomorrow. I am very glad to have met you." "We are going to keep her nil sum mer, if we can," said Minnie, weaving her arm about her friend's waist. "You'll eome in the morning?" "Good night, Miss Sherwood," he re turned hilariously. "It has been such a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for saving my life. It was very good of you, indeed. Yes; in the morn ing. Good night, good night." He shook hands with all of them, Includ ing Mr. Todd, who was going with him. He laughed all the way home, and Wil liam walked at his side In amazement. The Herald building was a decrepit frame structure on Main street. It had once been a small warehouse and was now sadly in need of paint. Close ly adjoining it, In a large, blank looking ynrd, stood a low brick cottage, over which tho second story of the o',d ware house leaned in an effect of tipsy nf fectlon that had reminded Ilarkless, when ho first saw it, of an old Sunday school book woodcut of an inebriated parent under convoy of a devoted child. The title to these two buildings and the blank yard had been included in the purchase of the Herald, and the cottage was the editor's home. There was a light burning upstairs In the Herald olllcc. From tho street a broad, tumbledown stairway ran up on tho outside of the building to tho second floor, and at the stairway rail ing John turned and shook his com panion warmly by tho hand. "Good night, William," he said. "It was plucky of you to Join In that muss tonight. I shan't forget it." "I Jest happened to come along' re plied tho other awkwardly. Then, with a portentous yawn, ho asked, "Ain't ye goln' to bed?' "No; Parker wouldn't allow it." "Well," observed William, with an other yawn, which threatened to ex pose tho veritable soul of him, "I d'kuow how ye stand It. It's closto on 11 o'clock. Good night." John went up tho stops, singing aloud "For tonight we'll merry, merry be, For tonight we'll merry, merry be," and stopped on the sagging platform at the top of the stairs and gave the moon good night with a wave of the hand and friendly laughter. At this It suddenly struck him that he was twenty-nine years of age and that he had laughed a great deal that evening; laughed and laughed over things not In the least humorous, like an excited schoolboy making a first formal call; that he had shaken hands with Miss Hriscoe when he left her as If he should never see her again; that he had taken Miss Sherwood's hand twice In ono very temporary pudlng; that he had shaken the Judge's hand five times and William's four. "Idiot!" he cried. "What has hap pened to me?" Then he shook his fist at the moon and went In to work, ho thought. CIIAPTKlt V. II R bright sun of circus day shone Into Ilarkless' window, and he awoke to tlud himself smiling. For a little while he ny content, drowsily wondering why he smiled, only knowing that there was something new. It was thus as a hoy he had wakened on birthday mornings or on Christmas or on the Fourth of July, drifting happily out of pleasant dreams Into the consciousness of long awaited delights that had come true, yet lying only half awake In a cheerful borderland, leaving happiness midi'llncdS The morning breeze was fluttering at his window blind, a honeysuckle vine tapped lightly on the pane. Birds were trilling, warbling, whistling, and from the street came the rumbling of wag ons, merry cries of greeting and the barking of dogs. What was it made him feel so young nml strong and light hearted? The breeze brought him the smell of June roses, fresh and sweet with dew, and then he knew why he had come smiling from Ids dreams. He leaped out of bed and shouted loudly: "Zen! Hello. Xenophon!" In answer an ancient, very black darky, his warped and wrinkled vis age showing under his grizzled hair like charred paper In a fall of pluo ashes, put bin head In at the door and said: "Good uiawn', sub. Yessuh. Hit's done pump' full. Good mawn', sub." A few moments later the colored man, seated on the front steps of the cottage, heard n mighty splashing within while the rafters rang with stentorian song: "Ho promised to buy mo n bonny blue ribbon, He promised to buy mo a bonny bluo ribbon. He promised to buy mo a bonny bluo ribbon, To tlo up my bonny brown hair. "Oh, denr, what can tho mntter bo? Oh, dear, what can the mutter ho? Oh, dear, what can the matter bu? Johnnie's so long at the fair!" The listener's Jaw dropped, and his mouth opened and stayed open. "Illm!" he muttered faintly. "Slngln'!" "Well the old triangle know tho music of our tread; How the peaceful Seminole would tremble In his bed!" sang the editor. "I dunno hucccuie It," exclaimed the old man, "but, bless Gawd, do young man happy!" A thought struck hlin suddenly, and he scratched his head. "Maybe he goln' away," he said quer ulously. "What become of ole Zen?" The splashing ceased, but not the voice, which struck into a noble marching chorus. "Oh, my Lnwd," said tho colored man, "I pray you listen at dat!" "Soldiers marching up tho street. They keep tho time; They look sublbno! Hear them play 'lite Wncht am Rhcln.' They cull It Schneider's band. Tra la la, la la." The length of Main street and all sides of the square resounded with the rattle of vehicles of every kind. Since earliest dawn they had boon pouring In to the village, a long procession, on ev ery country road. The air was full of exhilaration; everybody was laughing and shouting and calling greetings, for Carlow county was turning out, and from far and near the country people came nay, from over tho county line; and clouds of dust nrose from every thoroughfare and highway and swept into town to herald their coming. Dlbb Zanc, the "sprinkling contract or," had been nt work with the town wnter cart Blnce the morning stars were bright, but ho might as well have wa tered the streets with his tears, which, Indeed, when the farmers began to come in, bringing their cyclones of dust, he drew nigh unto nfter a burst of profanity as futile as his cart. "Tlef wle das Mecr soil delno Lleba seln," bummed the editor in the cottage. Ills song had taken on a reflective tone, as that of one who cons a problem or musically ponders which card to play. He was kneeling before an old trunk In bis bedchamber. From one compart ment ho took a neatly folded pair of duck trousers and a light gray tweed coat, fron another a straw hat with a ribbon 'of bright colors. lie examined these musingly. They had lain In tho trunk for a long time undisturbed. Ho shook the coat and brushed it. Then ho laid the garments upon his bed and proceeded to shave himself carefully, after which he donned the white trou sers, tho grny coat and, rummaging In tho trunk again, found a gay pink cra vat, which ho fastened about, his tall. collar (also a resurrection from tlm trunk) with a pearl pin. He took a long time to arrange his hair with a pair of brushes. When at last It suited him and his dressing was complete, ho sal lied forth to breakfast. Xenophon stared after htm as ho went out of the gate whistling heartily. Tim old darky lifted his hands, palms out ward. "I.an' name, who dat?" ho exclaimed aloud. "Who dat In dem panjlngcrlos? Ho gone Jlne de circus!" His hands fell upon his knees, and he got to his feet rheiimatlcally, shaking his head with foreboding. "Honey, honey, hit bald luck, bald luck slug 'fo' breakfus Trouble 'fo de day be done. Trouble, honey, great trouble. Bald luck, bald' luck!" Along (he square the passing of the editor In his cool equipments was a progress, and wide were the eyes and deep the gasps of astonishment caused by his festal appearance. Mr. Tlbbs and his sister rushed from the post ofllce to stare after him. "He looks Just beautiful, Solomon," said Miss Tlbbs. Ilarkless usually ate his breakfast alone, as "he was tho latest riser In Plattville. There were days lit the winter when he did not reach the hotel until H o'clock. This morning he found a bunch of white roses, still wet with dew and so fragrant that the whole room was fresh and sweet with fhelr odor, prettily arranged In a bowl on the table, and at his plate the largest of all with a pin through the stem. Ho looked up smilingly and nodded at the red faced, red haired waitress who was waving a long lly brush over his head. "Thank you, Charinlon," he said. "That's very pretty." "That old Mr. Wlinby was here," sho answered, "and he left word for you to look out. The whole posselucky of Johnsons from the Crossroads passed his house thts mornlu', coniln' this way. and he see Bob Skilled on the Bipiare when he got to town. He left them flowers. Mrs. Wlinby sent 'em to e. 1 didn't bring 'em." "Thank you for arranging them." She turned even redder than slio al ways was and answered nothing, vig orously darting her brush at an imag- inary lly on the cloth. After several minutes she said abruptly, "You're wel come." There was n silence, finally broken, by n long, gasping sigh. Astonished,' he looked at Hie girl. Her eyes were! set uufathomahly upon his pink tie.' The wand had dropped from her norvoi less hand, and she stood rapt and im movable. She started violently from , , 'Ioncy, hit bald luck slno 'fo' breakfus'." her trance. "Ain't ye goln' to finish yer coffee?" she asked, plying her In strument ngaln, and, bending slightly, whispered, "Say, Kph Watts ls over there behind ye." At n table in a far corner of the room a large gentleman In n brown frock coat was quietly eating his breakfast and reading the Herald. He was of an ornate presence, though entirely neat. A sumptuous expanse of linen exhibit ed Itself between the lapels of his low cut waistcoat, and an Inch of bcdla monded breastpin glittered there like an lee ledge on a snowy mountain side. He had a steady bluo eye und a dissi pated Iron gray mustache. This per sonage was Mr. Kphralm Watts, who, following a calling more fashionable In the eighteenth century than In the lat ter decades of tho nineteenth, had shaken the dust of Carlow from his feet some three years previously at tho strong request of the authorities. The Herald had been particularly insistent upon his deportation. In the local phrase, Ilarkless had "run him out o town." Perhaps It was because tho Herald's opposition, as the editor had explained at tho time, had been "mere ly moral and impersonal," and the ed itor had confessed to a liking for tho unprofessional qualities of Mr. Watts, that thero was but a slight embarrass ment when the two gentlemen met to day. Ills breakfast finished, Ilarkless went over to tho other and extended his hand. Cynthia, the waitress, held her breath and clutched tho back of a chair. However, Mr. Watts made no motion toward his well known hip pocket. Instead he rose, Hushing slight ly, and accepted the hand offered him. "I'm glad to soo youMr. WnttsJ. (Contluued on Pago Sovon.) I Hi m imi m , m in ' U i j 71 Ji ..-,,,-.MlMMlllllBBBBmM.iiia8MaMtliBBBBBBl BMbBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB , i 1 '