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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 7, 1906)
By KATHERINE CECIL THURSTON,
Author of "The Circle," Etc.
Copyrltfht, 100S, 100-i.
mWO Incidents, widely tllftorcnt
In character yet bouml togclh
or 1y results, marked the night
of .Inn. 'Jit. On tlmt night the
blackest fog wlfliln a four years' mem
ory fell upon cfrtnln portions of Lon
don and al.so on Unit night came the
llrst ami nineoiiienl of the border ris
ings against the Persian government
In (he province of Khorassan the an
nouncement that, speculated upon,
oven smiled at, at the time, assumed
such signllleauoo In the light of after
At 8 o'clock the news spread through
the house of commons, but at 1) men In
the Inner lobbies were gossiping, not
m much upon how far Itussla, while
ostensibly upholding the shah, had
pulled the strings by which the Insur
gents danced, as upon the manner In
which the St. George's Gazette, the
Tory evening newspaper, had seized
upon the Incident and shaken It in the
laces of the government.
More than once before Lakely, the
owner and editor of the St. George's,
hnd stepped outside the decorous circle
of tradition and taken a plunge Into
modern Journalism, but tonight he es
sayed deeper waters than before and
utiiler an almost sensational heading
declared that In this apparently Inno
cent border rising we had less an out
come of mere racial antagonism than
a urst faint Index of a long cherished
Russian scheme, growing to u gradual
maturity under the "drift" policy of
the present British government.
The effect produced by this pro
nouncement, If strong, was varied.
Members of the opposition saw, or
thought they saw, a reflection of It lu
the smiling unconcern on the minis
terial benches, and the government
had an uneasy sense that behind the
newly kindled interest on the other
Hide of the house lay some mysterious
scenting of battle from afar off. But
though these impressions ran like elec
tricity through the atmosphere, noth
ing tangible marked their passage, and
the ordinary business of the house pro
ceeded until half past 11, when an ad
journment was moved.
The first man to hurry from his place
was .John Chllcote, member for East
"Wink. He passed out of the house
quickly, with the half furtive quick
ness that marks a self absorbed man,
4inl as he passed the policeman stand
ing stolidly under the arched doorway
of (he big courtyard he swerved a Ut
ile, as it startled out of his thoughts.
lie realized his swerve almost before
It was accomplished and pulled him
self together with nervous Irritability.
"Foggy night, constable," ho said,
with elaborate .carelessness.
"Foggy night, sir, and thickening up
-west," responded the man.
"Ah. Indeed!" Chilcote's answer was
absent. The constable's cheery voice
jarred on hlity and for the second time
he was conscious of senseless irrita
tion. Without a further glance at the
mini, he slipped out into the courtyard
and turned toward the main gate.
At the gateway two cab lamps show
ed through the mist of shifting fog
like (he eyes of a great cat, and the
familiar "Hansom, s'" came to him
He paused by force of custom and,
stepping forward, had almost touched
the open door when a new impulse
caused him to draw back.
"No," he said hurriedly: "no. I'll
The cabman muttered, lashed his
horse and, with n clatter of hoof and
harness, wheeled away, while Chllcote.
still with uncertain hastiness, crossed
the road in the direction of Whitehall.
About the abbey the fog had par
tially lifted, and In the railed garden
that faces the houses of parliament
the statues wero visible In a spectral
way. But Chilcote's glance was unsta
ble and IndllTorent. Ho skirted the
railings heedlessly and, crossing tho
rond with the speed of long familiar
ity, gained Whitehall on the left hand
There tho fog had dropped, and, look
ing upward toward Trafalgar square,
It seemed that tho chain of lamps ex
tended little farther than the Horse
guards and that beyond lay nothing.
Unconscious of this capricious alter
nation between darkness nnd light,
Cthllcoto c.fitlnued his course. To a
close observer the manner of his going
had both Interest nnd suggestion, for
though ho walked on, apparently self
engrossed, yet at every dozen steps ho
started nt soino sound or some touch,
like a man whoso nervous system is
Maintaining his haste, ho went de
liberately forward, oblivious of tho
fact that at each. 8teptho curtain of
by llnrper Cy Drothers
darkness npout lilm became closer,
damper, more tangible; that at each I
second the passorsby Jostled each
other with greater frequency. Then,
abruptly, with a sudden realization of
what had happened, he stood quite
still. Without anticipation or prepa
ration he had walked full Into the
thickness of the fog a thickness so
dense that, as by an enchanter's wand,
the figures of a moment before melted,
the street lamps were sucked up Into
Ills first feeling was a sense of panic
i.l tho sudden Isolation, his second n
thrill of nervous apprehension at tho
oblivion that had allowed him to be so
entrapped. The second feeling out
weighed the first, lie moved forward,
then paused ugaln, uncertain of him
self. Finally, with the consciousness
that Inaction was unbearable, ho
moved on once more, his eyes wide
open, one hand thrust out as a protec
tion and guide
The fog had closed In behind lilm as
heavily as in front, shutting off nil pos
sibility of retreat. All about lilm In
the darkness was a confusion of voices
cheerful, dubious, alarmed or angry.
Now and then a sleeve brushed his or
a hand touched him tentatively. It
was a strange moment, a moment of
possibilities, to which the crunching
wheels, the oaths nnd laughter from
the blocked tralllc of the roadway,
made a continuous accompaniment.
Keeping well to the left Chllcote still
beat on. There was a persistence In
his movements that almost amounted
to fear a fear born of solitude tilled
with Innumerable sounds. For a space
he groped about lilm without result,
then his fingers touched the cold sur
face of a shuttered shop front and n
thr'M of reassurance passed through
lilm. With renewed baste and clinging
to his landmark as n blind man might,
he started forward with fresh Impetus.
For a dozen paces ho moved rapidly
and unevenly, then the natural result
occurred. lie collided with a man com
ing In the opposite direction.
The shock was abrupt. Both men
... ..,1.. .!... 1..W1. lti.w.li
I BWOre HlUlUllllllUUllHi, uiuu umu miiBti-
ed. The whole thing was casual, but
Chllcote was in that state of mind
when even the commonplace becomes
abnormal. The other man's exclama
tion, the other man's laugh, struck on
his nerves. Coming out of the dark
ness, they sounded like a repetition of
! Nine out of every ten men in London,
given the same social position and the
Mime education, might reasonably be
expected to express nnnoyauce or
amusement in the same manner, possi
bly In the same tone of voice, and Chll
cote remembered this almost at the
moment of his nervous jar.
j "Beastly fog!" he said aloud. "I'm
trying to And Grosvenor square, but
the chances seem rather small."
I The other laughed again, and again
tho laugh upset Chllcote. He wonder
ed uncomfortably If he was becoming
a prey to Illusions. But the stranger
sspoke before the question had solved
"I'm afraid (hoy are small," ho said.
"It would be almost hard to find one's
i way to the devil on a night llk this."
Chllcote made a murmur of amuse
ment and drew back against tho shop.
"Yes. We can see now whore the
blind man scores in the matter of sal
vation. This is almost a repetition of
tho fog of six years ago. Were you
out in thnt?" It was a habit of his
to Jump from one sentonco to another,
n habit that had grown of late.
"No." The stranger had also groped
his way to the shop front. "Xo, I was
out of England six years ago."
"You were lucky." Chllcote turned
up tho collar of his coat. "It was an
atrocious fog, as black as this, but
more universal. I remember It well.
It was the night Lexington mndo his
great sugar speech. Some of us were
found on Lambeth bridge nt 11 In the
morning, havlug left the houso at 12."
Chllcote seldom indulged in reminis
cences, but this conversation with an
unseen companion was more liko a
soliloquy than a dialogue. Ho was
utmost surprised into an exclamation
when tho other caught up his words.
"Ah! Tho sugar speech!" he said.
"Odd that 1 should have been looking
It up only yesterday. What a mag
ulficent dressing up of a dry subject it
was! Whnt a career Lexington prom
ised in those days!"
Chllcote changed his position.
"You aro interested In tho muddle
down at Westminster?" ho asked sar
castically. "I?" It was the turn of tho stranger
to draw back a Btep. "Oh, I read my
newspaper with tho other 5,000,000,
thnt Is nil.. J am an outsider. nia
voice sounded curt. The warmth that
ldmlratlou had brought Into It a mo
ment before had frozen abruptly.
"An outsider!" C'hllcote repented.
"What an enviable word!"
"Poiilbly. to tlnno who are veil In
side the ring. But let us go ba k to
Lexington. Wh.t a pluinicle tl e man
reached, and what a drop he bad! It
has always seined t. me an otior
dlnary Instance of the hum in leaven
running tlirovgli tw all. YVIt.-t w tV '
real cause of his collnpieV" he -iVkvI I
suddenly. "Was It drugs or d-ln1 V I
have often wished to get at the trut'i "
Again t'hllcote changed 1:1m attitt do.
"Is truth ever worth getting at?" he
"In the case of a public man -yes.
He exchanges his privacy for the Inter-
ost of t',u ""'".T' ! ,ie uu'
masses the details of his succor, why
not the details of his failure? But was
It drink that sucked him under?"
"No." Chilcote's response came after
Again Chllcote hesitated. And nt
t e moment of his Indecision a woman
jriihlieri past lilm laughing boisterous
:. The sound Jarred lilm.
"Was It drugs?" the stranger went on
aaslly. "I have always had a theory
that it was."
"Yes. It was morphia." The answer
came before Chllcote had realized It.
The woman's laugh at the stranger's
quiet persistence hail contrived to
draw it from lilm. Instantly he had
spoken he looked about lilm quickly,
like one who has for a moment for
gotten a necessary vigilance.
There was silence while the stranger
thought over the Information Just given
him. Then he spoke again, with a new
touch of vehemence.
'So I Imagined," he said, "though, on
my soul, 1 never really credited It. To
have gained so much and to have
thrown It away for a common vice!"
lie made an exclamation of disgust.
Chllcote gave an unsteady laugh.
"You Judge hardly," ho said.
The other repeated Ills sound of con
tempt, ".lustly so. No man has the
right to squander what another would
give his soul for. It lessens the gen
eral respect for power."
"You ure a believer In power?" Tho
tone was sarcastic, but the sarcasm
"Yes. All power is the outcome of In
dividuality, either past or present. I
find no sentiment for the man who
plays with it."
The quiet contempt of the tone Btung
"Do you lmnglne that Lexington
mndo no tight?" he asked Impulsively.
"Can't you picture the man's struggle
while the vice that had been slave
gradually became master?" Ho stop
ped to take breath, and In the cold
pause that followed it seemed to him
thnt the other made n murmur of In
credulity. "Perhaps you think of morphia as u
pleasure?" he added. "Think of It, In
stead, as a tyrant that tortures the
mind if hold to and the body If cast
off." Urged by the darkness and tho
silence of ills companion, the rein of
his speech had loosened. In that mo
ment he was not Chllcote, the member
for East Wark, whose moods and si
lences were proverbial, but Chllcote
the man whose mind craved the relief
"You talk as the world talks-out of
Ignorance and self righteousness," ho
went on. "Before you condemn Lex
ington you should put yourself In his
"As you do?" the other laughed.
Unsuspecting and Inoffensive as the
laugh was it startled Chllcote. With n
sudden alarm he pulled himself up.
"I?" lie tried to echo the laugh,
but the attempt fell Hat. "Oh, I mere
ly speak from-from Do Qn'ncoy. But
I believe this fog Is shlfu.g-I really
believe It Is shifting. Can you oblige
me with a light? I had almost forgot
ten that a man may still smoke though
he has been deprived of sight." He
spoke fast and dlsjolntedly. lie was
overwhelmed by the idea that he had
let himself go and possessed by the
wish to obliterate the consequences.
As ho talked he fumbled for his ciga
Ills head was bent as he searched
for it nervously. Without looking up
he was conscious that tho cloud of fog
that held lilm prisoner was lifting,
rolling away, closing back again, pre
paratory to final disappearance. Hav
ing found the case, ho put a clgaretto
between his lips and raised his hand
at the moment that the stranger drew
n match across his box.
For a second each stared blankly at
the other's face, suddenly made visi
ble by the lifting of tho fog. The
match In the stranger's hand burned
down till It scorched bis fingers, and,
feeling the pain, lie laughed and let It
"Of all odd things!" he said. Then ho
broke off. Tho circumstance was too
novel for ordinary remark.
By one of those rnro occurrences,
those chances that seem too wild for
real life and yet belong to no other
sphere, the two faces so strangely hid
den nnd stmngcly revenled were Iden
tical, feat uro for feature. It seemed
to each man that ho looked not at the
I face of another, but at his own face
reflected in a flawless looking glass.
Of the two the stranger was tho first
(Continued on Poo Six,)
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2 for 75c
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Rising 5c per size
Children's; separate Cotton Garments
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2 1-2C rise per size
Children's Cotton Garments, extra
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Rise .jc on each size
Union Suits in Cotton at 25c, 50c, 60c
Union Suits in Wool at $1 00
Ladies' separate Garments at 25c, 50c
Ladies' separate Garments, extra
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Our stock of Yarns was never
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INFANTS' WOOL HOSE at 15c and 25c
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Dry Goods, Laces
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individual can secure one of tlieso splendid Regulators by sending in
ten now yearly Mibsisiiptions. The rotail price of this Clock is $7.00.
Address all communications to
THE CHIEF PUBLISHING CO.,
Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Description of the
I ioiglit !17 inches.
Width lC"f inches.
Dial, diameter 12 inches.
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Retail price $7.00.
Tin: CuiKr has made arrangements
for piooiiriug 100 of tho abovo hand
some eight-day Regulators, and they
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upon the following plan:
Each porson sondiug in 10 now year
ly subscriptions to The CuiEr will bo
entitled to one of the clocks.
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ono of tho clocks.
Nobody barred 1 School districts,
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