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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 11, 1920)
RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, CHIEF
c Mystery of
Copyright by Core II. Doran Co.
CHAPTER XIV Continued.
Ho paused nnd looked nt me ns If
to see wlictlicr ho won reaching nny
hidden spring which If touched nnd
sprung would open the secret. He
did not believe I wns truthful.
' "Mr. Sidney's life Is open, honornhlo
nnd full of nothing hut Rood for fifty
years back," Morgan continued. "Wo
Jrnvo investigated very thoroughly.
IBut fifty years bnek, Mr. Sidney dis
appears, evaporates. Thcro Is no Mr.
Sidney thnt enn be found. Wo find
)n young ninn of twenty, nnd nothing
back of lilm. Tlicro wo stop. It Is
n. blind alley. You como to nothing
but n wall. That stopped Investiga
tion. "Now, I go a good dcnl by hunches
call It Intuition, guessing, Inspiration.
It Is not good detective method. I
don't claim H'h good detective work.
I nover work on n hunch nnd neglect
a rational method, but frequently
when I do work on a bit of guessing
wo got results.
"I've been working, around here, on
n guess that was so wild when It first
started thnt It seemed too preposter
ous oven for me. I'll tell you that we
are not Investigating Mr. Sidney nnj
more. We aro looking fop nnother
person, nnd I believe wc arc going to
find him. Then we are going to find
some ono else. Doctor, I tell yo, If
you don't know It, ns you say, It Is
the strangest caso I ever have known.
It In ono of hate. Mind, I'm only
Thnt touch was so Impressive that
H betrayed an emotion. He saw 1U
"I had yon there," ho said.
I "Mr. Morgan," I said, "you will not
believe me, and for thnt reason It Is
lusclcss for mo to say and keep on say
ting that I know of. nothing hero I
icould help you on. You suggested
'something to me just now, and you
,saw that you had done so. But thnt
was because of a coincidence Imma
terial to what you call a case."
"Very well." said Morgan." "I did
not expect to get ahead by coming
here, but I wnnt to be fair and reason
able. You do not know anything, but
I am not nl lowed to talk to any ono
tho might know,"
"You huvo talked to Jed," I said.
Zou cannot reasonably expect to bo
tallowed to annoy the Indies of the
thousc or to flutter the servants. Mrf
fSldncy is very 111 nnd very weak.
SCven you would refrain from Introduc
ing your case to him If you saw him.
If wo seem to avoid your Inquiries,
It ils unfortunate. Wc Iiuve nothing
t "I follow my hunch," snld Morgan,
letting to his feet. "If I am right,
something will bo revealed that even
I could not compromise. I am nfrald
you must prepare yourself for somo
"I have told you before thnt you
must select your own course," I re
plied, nnd Morgan took his leave, driv
ing away through tho snow.
We had our Christmas evo In Mr.
Sidney's room. He was very feeble
physically and could bo raised on pil
lows In bed but nothing more. Hut
ho wns tho spirit of joviality. He
had Jed sit in a grtmt armchntr by his
bed, and early In tho evening he hnd
a bottle of claret opened for him.
Nothing would do but Mrs. Sidney nnd
Isobcl should have n bottle of Madeira,
and I had n whisky toddy. A great
punch-howl wns brought In, and Jed
mixed gallons of liquor and many
spices In It.
Four of tho men servants came In
with a great log' for tho fire, and had
Mr. Sidney Evidently Was Determined
to Corrupt the Whole Household.
large cups of punch beforo they went
out. Mr. Sidney evidently was deter
mined to corrupt tho whole household.
I'll never be able to give an ade
quate Idea of tho joviality of that
Ohrlstmas evo In tho sick-room. Mr.
'Sidney and Jed hnd conspired for
onto months to make a festival.
Our dinner, served In Mr. Sidney's
room, brought a boar's head, carried
by a laughing maid. Wine was Bent
to the semtnts. Tschri found a pes!
necklncc In what had seemed to be a
baked sweet potato. I fouud n gold
watch In n box under n few leaves of
lettuce. Mrs. Sidney found merely n
note In a hunch of violets which was
given her with ceremony.
She read It and had difficulty to re
main wholly composed. She aroso and
went to her husbnnd, taking ono of
his hands and putting an arm about
his shoulders. Then she kissed him
and stood a moment before the lire
before Bhe trusted herself to come
back to the table.
When the dinner wns done nnd the
covers were removed, more wine was
brought In. A large Christmas tree
wns lighted, nnd nil tho servants were
called. Each found a vnlunble present
In the tree; each had punch from the
greut bowl, nnd each, coming to shake
Mr. Sidney's hnnd, wns given by Jed
an envclopo which, I learned aftor
ward, contained, a hundred-dollar bill.
There was no constraint nnd no
awkwardness such as might mark
such proceedings; the people of the
house knew Mr. Sidney too well. One
of the maids kissed him, nnd then we
hnd them nil doing It.
I wns fearful that the excitement
would Injure him, but ho wns placid,
smiling nnd happy. When we were
alone, wc sat an hour by the fire, and
then I dismissed every one peremptor
ily. Jed, who hnd been nbout his duties,
returned. The firo wns tended. An
other bottle of wine wns ordered. I
had my last look at Mr. Sidney alive
as I stood by the door giving Jed
his final Instructions for tho night.
Jed sat In the armchair. All the
lights except one by Jed's chnlr had
been extinguished. The Persian cat
was stretched by Mr. Sidney's side.
Tho cannrles were nsleep perched on
tho head of his bed. Tho Are was
"Good night, Mr. Sidney," I snld.
"Good night, Jed. A pleasant eve
ning." "Good night, doctor,"- said Mr. Sid
ney. "Just n minute, boy. Come here."
lie reached out his hand.
"Good-bye," he said.
Mr. Sidney died between three nnd
four o'clock Chrlstmns morning. He
passed so cqslly that Jed, sleeping
In tho lounge-chair beside him, did
not know thnt death had gone through
the chamber until an hour after the
event. Jed awakened me. In the case
of such an expected happening ns this,
the perceptions start slowly. The
fact that tho benignity which so Im
perceptibly had dominated the house
had ceased to exist took hours tous
Jed was composed when he aroused
me. Later, when the sun came up to
make radiant all the white witchery
the storm left, his sense of loss began
to nssert Itself, and acute ns was the
grief In tho house, nono wns deeper
seated or more profound than that of
tho rascally old servant.
Mrs. Sidney accepted the event with
a serenity which I discovered after
ward was born of n long-fixed resolu
tion. For years her life had been a
denial of her moral Instincts happy,
In splto of thnt, because of her great
devotion to tho wonderful man she
loved. The chapters which ho doml
'nnted In her book were ended. With
tenderness she laid them aside.
Isobcl did not permit herself In
dulgence In nny wenkness. What had
happened was written In the contract
of life. In later full knowledge of
Isobcl, I nover censed to admire the
wonderful ncceptlvlty with which she
met her trials. Nothing came to her
with catastrophic shock. She had
reality within her vision, and she per
ceived. For myself I saw the end of n mode
of life which, even when unhappy,
had been ecstatically so. My reason
for being In Hartley house lay dead
I should look hnck, I knew, many
times, as a struggling practitioner,
possibly In poorer districts of the city,
possibly In a small town, to tho
strange hut beautiful time when I was
at Hartley. This experience would ho
only nn episode, remnlnlng as the
memory of n time when my Ilfo halted
for a wonderful moment, satisfying,
rich nnd Joyful, and having hnd this
moment went on In tho drab fashion
ordained for It. An occasional kludly
letter from Mrs. Sidney, or possibly
from Isabel, might quicken tho mem
ory, but I nnd this period would fade
from their lives as It never could from
mine. I should be packing a pill
caso on late nnd unprofitable rounds
In thnt soul-destroying routine with
Its ceaseless Invasion of tho Intimate
personal economics of uninteresting
people, abnormally egoistic in tho pnln
of n small or largo disorder the
cheerless life of n small physician,
serving his useful purpose, I have no
doubt, but how little serving his own 1
We got through Chrlstmns day in
a dnted fashion. The necessary ofllces
for tho dend compelled a routine
which relieved the tension, although
they contributed a dulled terror to the
day those terrible, exacting practical
details witrt which some one In the
bereaved family must occupy himself.
Maatuary details aro Jocose to tho pes-
slmlst. I know no more comic figure
than an undertaker, no more gigantic
shaft of human egotism than u tomb
stone. Mr.- Sidney, we found, hnd left brief
hut explicit directions for his burial.
This, In the enso of a man with life
so well conceived, wns strange, but
his wishes, ns we found them, were
simple nnd startling. He was to be
burled by tho river, close to the pool
which had been Invested with tho add
ed charm of a ghost-story. Ills grave
was to be marked by an unostenta
tious stone. The Inscription was to
be as he directed in n noto in a scaled
enclosure to bo opened nt the time
Mrs. Sidney thought appropriate.
It might be, he hnd written, that
Mrs. Sidney would not want the stone
erected during her life. Her wishes
wero to bo consulted. When the grave
was marked, If It ever, was, the In
scription wns to bo as he directed.
Mrs. Sidney, acquainted with the
terms of this extraordinary mortuary
note, said thnt It was her wish to have
the sealed envelope opened Immediate
ly and its Instructions carried out.
Chrlstmns night bad set in, and the
place was a fairyland of glistening
white. Fnr-off-church-bells sounded
faintly across tho snow. In the in
creasing cold, following the abatement
of the storm, timbers In the old house
creaked nnd snapped, and when one of
tho people of the house, on nn outdoor
chore, pnsscd within earshot, the sound
of footsteps wns audible und tho crisp
crunching which, oven ns does a high
wind, emphasizes the comfort of a
secure nnd warm shelter.
I, was In tho office when Mrs. Sid
ney's Instructions to open the sealed
enclosure were received.
I proceeded to do so. There was
a brief note, ns follows :
I desire tho marking' on my gravestone,
when It la put up, to read:
t Born May 22, 1840
I was holding that document, star
ing nt it, and grasping for elusive
threads of perception, when Jed came
In. He carried a manuscript fh his
Jed draw a chnlr up to the fire by
my side. It' was with a strange feel
ing of relief that I accepted the sig
nificance of the manuscript he carried.
"I'm a strange man, doctor," he said
by way of beginning. "You'd never
understand me. I'm a strange man
and I do strange things. I'm going to
do one now. I've seemed conscience
less, haven't I?"
"T'ia iinirnlt t.n.l nnnmint mif
opinion of you," I said.
"No, you hnven't. I like a candid,
man. Thnt's why I've always liked
you, although I can't say much for
your Intelligence But you're honest.
I'm not honest, but I'm intelligent.
I've looked nt my life an something
to make the best of, nnd I haven't
been foolish about scruples.
"I've managed my chances, nnd I
have not allowed scntlmcntallsm to
stop me when something real was to
be gained. It's it renl world, not if
fanciful one. That's tho wny I think."
"Half the people would be swinging
on gallows," I suggested, "If your nml
ablo Ideas prevailed generally."
"Thnt'H copy-book stuff that's so Ir
ritating," he said. "The only thing
extraordinary about me Is my candor.
My Ideas do prevail, but the people
who adopt them have less frankness.
But whnt I want to'sny Is that I'm
going to do a strange thing. You'll
probably think It an acP of contrition.
It Isn't at nil, but you'll think It so.
However, thnt's unlmportunt.
"You may not know It, but I was
very fond of Mr. Sidney. Ho wns the
best friend I ever had or ever shall
"Nov, I have guarded against act
ing Impulsively or sentimentally. I
know I am In nn acutely emotional
condition'. I have guarded against
that. I am still considering the world
ns n real world and myself as a real
creature In It. And here's the way
I llgure It. Mr. Sidney's death has
taught mo that materialism Is not
enough. It Is necessary, but there Is
something else. I'vo got to find an
other something else. That's more
important than nny money or comforts
physical that I can And.
"Where Is this something else to he
found again If not right here In this
family? I have determined to remain
In your service after you marry Miss
Sidney, nnd to twko care of you and
her -und Mrs. Sidney. I couldn't leave.
Tho roots are too deep. 1 could bo
cut down but not dug up. I'm too
old. So as a renl crcaturo In a real
world I consult my real good, now as
nlwnys, nnd I hope I do not seem to
you to bo acting sentimentally."
J,You seem to mo to bo wholly crazy,"
I snld. "When you speak of Miss Sid
ney's marriage to mo, you nro not only
lr6nlc; you are cruel. I should think
that this particular day might make
you nt least considerate."
"You'ro the blindest man I ever
knew," said Jed, "but I'm not dealing
with what you think but with what
I know. I told you onco your engage
ment wns nn unreal thing and that
I did not consider It at all. Later I
took that back. Now I can tell you
that It Is a very real thing, but It is
different now with me. I have suffered
a shnptc. Something's the mm : '
my world. It Is not so hold or en
"What I'm getting at Is this.' I
held up the manuserlp' "This Ir
.Sidney's diary. I hav; talked to M
Sidney. She thinks, as I think, tl.
you should read It. You'll ptohuli
want to confirm whnt I say: You
have to ask Mrs. Sidney. I know'yo
arq Itching to read It. I also kno
that If one of .your scruples lute,
vened,' you'd let your Itch go uiiscrate!
ed. Hut this Is what I came in foi
utid here's the manuscript.
"You understand that In giving I
to you I surrender unconditionally. 1
know 't, hut I wnnt friends. The onlj
one I had is dead ; I must make othei
T?io extraordinary fellow shook mj
hand, left the manuscript In my hit
add went out, a more pathetic llgun
of sorrow than I ever expected U
see in Jed.
I went nt once to Mrs. Sidney. Jed
I snld, had left the dlury with me
"I Think You Should Read It, John,"
Would It serve nny useful purpose for
mo to read It, or should It not go di
rectly to the fire?
"I think you should read It, Jotm,"
she said. "I told Jed so. Ho Is very
shrewd. Ills Judgment and mine la
this case agree."
I went back to tho office, put n log
on the fire and sat down to read the
I shall not pretend to give more
than an Idea of the manuscript I rend
there by tho fire that night It was
narrative and reflection nnd contained
tho story of the life of Arthur Dohson,
known to me heretofore as Mr. Sid
ney. I shall give extracts from It:
"A family is nn odious imposition
of cruel conventionalities upon Indi
viduals who, accepting conventions,
however odious nnd cruel, are helpless.
The bond of blood Is one no animal
(animals being rationalistic) tolerates,
even recognizes, but It Is Imposed up
on li,uman beings, who find that the
most antagonistic natures must rec
oncile themselves to an nrhltrary rule
of life which can come only to hide
ousness. "Tlicro were In our family two chil
dren, my brother Richard and myself.
Our parents were tho ordinary folk
who marry and have a family. My
father was an uncommunicative man.
whether from n habit of silence or n
lack of anything to say, I do hot
"My mother, as I recall her, was
gentle but, I Imagine, futile. I think
If she had had a chance of establish
Ing a nerlunullty my silent, glum fa
ther had destroyed It.
"Richard was my elder by two yenrs,
My father was wealthy, very, wealthy,
and Richard and I were not disciplined
ns to money. My father was not pe
nurious, but I never knew a man who
obtained so little good of his money.
He had no social Instincts ; he had no
"He liked occasional ostentation n.
petty form of vanity and egotism. 1
regarded him, or my memory of him.
ns wholly detestable a sentiment
which will offend the sentimentally
conventional, or the conventionally sen
timental. I know lie wns the last man
I would have chosen as a father.
(TO DK CONTINUED.)
Autograph Hunter's Coup.
Autocranh hunting sometimes
proves u most profitable pursuit. Lud
ovlc PIcard, a French Bohemian of
the TiOs, mado n stendy Income out ol
It for several years.
One of his most successful coups
wns accomplished with a letter In
which ho posed as "a member of tho
unhappy raco of tho unappreciated
who Is meditating suicide nnd seeks
for counsel and aid in this hour of
This drew a number of celebrities,
Including Bernnger and Heine. Lncor
dalre sent him ten closely written
pa,ges, which were promptly converted
. Dickens also fell n victim of his
wiles nnd took the trouhlo to nnswor
him in French. Eventually PIcard waa
shown up In tho press by Jutes San
deau and had to seek auotl'ier occupa
tion. Why the Aspen LeafNQulvers.
Tho aspen leaf quivers easily be
cause It Is broad and placed dn n long
very flexible stock. The upper pari
of tho stalk .Is flattened, nnd, belnj:
at right angles with the leaf, lo liable
to ba moved by the falateat Lrvt'zu.
92, FEARS PRISON
Craves Freedom for the Few
Days of Life Remain
ing to Him.
San Frnnclsco, Cnl. "There Isn't!
nny V'nco left In the world for me.
Kven If I did hnvo a homo It wouldn't
he any use. I'm too near the end."
The white head of William Smith,
ninety-two years of age. held In the
enmity Jail at San Jose on counter
felting charges, was sunk In bitter
Ho was" ragged and dirty and old.
Ills white hair hung In shaggy, un
kempt locks about his pitiful, fright
ened face. His paralyzed arm In tho
ragged overcoat sleeve hung limp ut
"I hnvo worked for eighty years.
My father died when I was two, and
nt twelve I had to leave .school and
go to work. I feel as though I hud
lived for centuries, always tolling.
"I wns apprenticed ns n carpenter
and sent away from my home in Hng-
Trf II .1
He Was Ragged and Dirty and Old.,
land. I soon forgot whnt a mother
nnd a home were like. Nothing but
work, work, work.
"I cnifte to Callfornln In 1800. For
a time I worked on Ross ranch at
Snn Jose. Most of my life here has
been spent about San Jose and the bay
"I was not nfrald of any tomor
row that might come. I felt I had
my two strong hands and could work.
But the years went on., and ut Inst I
found that the world had little use
for Its old helpless men. I began to
be afraid. 4.
"One morning I nwoke Ih n cheap
lodging house In Snn Frnnclsco. My
left arm ,vns paralyzed. I do not
know why It should hnvo come upon
"Well, thnt was the end. I tramped
nbout, grinding scissors. It was all
I could do. It Is all I can ever do.
"I wns old and homeless and lonely.
There wns little I wanted, yet
I could not get even thoo few things.
The Vimes I tramped by, tfle people
turned me from their doors.
"One day I raised a $1 bill to .$10.
"When I was caught I find to serve
a year at McNeil Island. Then I was
turned put on the world ngaln. Whnt
can nn old man do? I struggled for
a time, then I raised more bills. Even
there ore nights In winter when. I
hnve to sleep out of doors In ,my rag
"If they send mo to Jail I will die.
I am near my Maker, very nenr. ' 1
was treated 'better In Jnll than ever
before In nil my hard life. But oh,
I don't want to go back into tho
The sad old mouth quivered and
the pale blue 050s sickened with fear.
"I want to he free," ho whispered,
choking. "Oh God, every ono wants
to ho free. I don't want to die In
Smith was asked If he would like to
bo sent to n home, or a charitable In
stitution. This seemed to terrify
him as much ns tho mention qf Jail
"I am afraid of those places," he
Bald. "I've heard stories that frighten
me. I Just wnnt to ho free. I'm too
old for nnythlng else."
When nrrested Smith hnd In his pos
session $27, tho result of much pains
taking 'work on tho part of his ono
Jailed for Kissing.
Madrid. A severe reprimand nnd n
warning not to let tho mls,demennor
occur ngaln has Just been adminis
tered to n visitor to Madrid, wTio,
when he assisted his wife Into a cab
at tho door of his hotel on tho Puerta
del Sol, kissed her good-by. A po
liceman led him off to face his cap
tain, who Informed tho offender Ig
norance of tho law waa no excuse, but
that he had vlolated'a law df Madrid
wh'ch forbids a man to kiss any wom
an whHo In the streets of tho city,
with or without her consent
The Cause of such Symptom.
and Remedy Told in This
Syracuse, N. Y.-"Whon I con
menccd the Chango of Life I was poorly.
naa no nppotite and
had fainting spells.
I Buffered for two
or thrco years bo-
fore I began takine
Lydia E. Pinkham'a
Vc go tab la Com
pound and tho Liver
Pills which 1 saw ad-
vcrtisod in tho
papers and in your
little books. I took
about twclvo bottles
of vour Veirotablo
Compound and found it a wonderful
remedy. I commenced to pick up at
once and my Buffering was relieved. I
have told others about your medicine
and know of somo who hnvo taken it.
I am glad to help others nil I can."
MrB. It. E. Deming, 437 W. Lafayctta
Ave., Syracuse, N. Y.
Whilo Chango of Life is a most crit
ical period of a woman's existence, the
annoying symptoms which accompany
it may bo controlled, and normal hoalth
restored by the timely use of Lydia E.
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Moreover this- rcliablo remedy con
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owes its efficiency to tho medicinal ex
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Ladies A few days' treatment with
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There is many a blp hearted, rich man
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A. friend told tno of your wonderful olnt
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The Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Com
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address C P. Humell, Seey. Lincoln Tele
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HCEK KJIum ilevlopd free where prlnta
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W. N. U., LINCOLN, NO. 45-1820.
mm mi jmiimmmi
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