The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 05, 1904, Page 2, Image 2
m9- -f ' 'JfTTJWFIgBgg JglWsllllllTq WCT'wrvr'J y ' ' f " ?ir . i - rl - ttbe S a 1 1 flebraa&an BseS fc'. JBT..J ' ft- i ; i j & jf ) &. Si k t. :-:y rtts X ; fib is s ;' it- Wf ''- fc-., &' I' . ' ! WT ' ', r:,;: . I- 5, ooo Reward. i. The railroad company will pay five thousand dollars for any Information which will lead to the arrest of tho person or persons, who held up the east bound midnight express, threo miles west of , Iowa, on the night of tho first of Juno, 1878." This notice appeared In all tho lead ing Journals of tho country shortly af ter tho hold-up occurred. Tho hoat of a July day had becomo oppressive, and about the mlddlo of tho aftornoon, after making a hurried inspection of the hoist to see that everything was In running ordej, I loft the hot, close building with Its smell of oil, and clank of machinery, and taking a narrow foot path which led around the baso of a stoop hill, soon lost myself In tho deep, cool shadow of tho tall pines. I chose a secluded Bpot at tho foot of a great tree, and lay down on tho now, sweet scented plno needles which strewed the ground, and gazed up into tho clear blue sky, feeling at peace with all tho world. Light fleecy clouds floated across the face of tho sun, casting strange, fleet ing shadows on tho hill-side. Between the trunks of tho groat pines, I could catch a glimpse of tho hill which rode directly opposite mo In all the light and shadow of its gay summer attire. Tho light groon of tho over-quaking aspen, which faded Into tho darker color of tho wlld-chorry, and hazel and which In turn was absorbed by tho dark, heavy green of the pines. The warning bell in tho hoist clanged sharply and after a moment's pause., tho sharp, clear cut puff of tho ex haust could bo heard thorugh the still aftornoon air. I heard tho sound of footsteps and of some ono whistling softly a popular air on tho path be hind mo. and I turned about to see a woll- (Tressed man who had paused and was looking at me with a quizzical studying air as though ho would read mo through and through at first glance. Ho was a tall man, wearing a smooth face. His features were clear and good, from tho top of his stylish derby to tho sole of his well-fitting nvfordH. ho was well dressed, and my mind immediately pondered on the question of hlB being In this small, out of tho way corner of tho world, possibly In search of health from tho pure ox hlllaratlng air. Surely his appearance was not averso to tho solution, but in tho meanwhile, horo ho was. So I broke tho Bllonco with a cheerful salu tation. Ho answered mo with alacrity and camo forward. "Beautiful littlo spot," he remarked, as he seated himself upon tho ground at my Invitation. "Yes, rather," I responded, "but one grows weary of It; too monotonous." "Monotonous," he exclaimed. "Why it seems to mo to bo constantly chang ing. First the delicate suggestion of -the spring, then tho lull blown beauty of the summer, followed by tho Bcarlet and yellow and brown extremes, and lastly tho cold, still, whiteness of win ter. Ono hardly dees onought of each season to bo tlresom. Beautiful,," he continued to himself, gazing around. "Beautiful." I gazed at him In somo astonishment. What was this that had so mysterious ly como upon me to teach mo tho beau ty of myTilready well appreciated sur roundings? f "Been hero long?" I asked, after, a pause. He gave mo a quick, shafp look. "No," ho answered, with some re serve, "I arrived yesterday." Again a long pause, during which the warning boll In' tho hoist clanged Bharply.' Ho turned his head and lis tened a moment to the -"puff," "puff," of tho exhaust. "Must ho a mine near here," he said. "Yes," I answered, "tho ,,Holy Ter ror, just around the brow of the hill." "You connected with It?" I acknowledged that I was foreman of tho mill, and watched with wonder a look of strange relief pasB over his face. Tho hot aftornoon had gradually worn away as we sat there, the sup had climbed higher and higher up tho opposite . hill and a cool breeze came down tho narrow valley. "You Btaylng In town?" I askod, nodding in the direction of a clustor of small houses which bore the awo Inspiring namo, of "Witch Hollow." "Why, yes," ho answered. "Tho namo rather attracted me and I thought I might find a rostlng place horo." "Sure a jjood placo to rest," I re plied lightly, "If that Is what you want." I aroao'and began brushing the pine needles from my clothes as the hoist whlstlo Bcreamod out tho hour of six. I turned to my companion and held out my hand. "If wo are to walk to town together we might as well know each other's names. 'Mine is Williams, Frank Williams." His reply rather staggorod me. "You look llko ono who tended his own business and let other people tond theirs. Mine is Wats, John Wats." Wo shook hands In silenco, thereby binding a friendship. The end and out come of which wo either of us little guessed. II. Summer had given placo to bright, many colored autumn, which was be ginning to lose its brilliancy and the first advances of rude winter" were be ginning to bo noticeable, but still Wats remained in Witch Hollow. Speculations as to IiIb past and pres ent life, his object In coming to such an out of the way mining camp had long Binco boon abandoned as fruIt-4 leBs, for as ono of tho men about the mine had said: "You might as well try to mine gold In a pine tree as to get any Informa tion out of Wats." Despite his great reserve and mys terious past, for ho certainly had one, thlB strange man and myself had be como fast friends. I found him to bo tho possessor of no mean education He had traveled far and seen and learned many things of the varied ways and habits of that most interesting ani mal, man. Upon his travels he talked with perfect freedom, and very enter tainingly, but any attempt of mine to draw from him any history of his past life were repulsed with a kind firmness which showed them to be fu tile. The one day In the week which I had off duty we alwayB spent to gether, sometimes wandering over tho hills, sometimes reading together in a quiet spot, like children, laying on our backs in the soft plno needles, build ing great castlos in tho white cloudB that floated over our heads. Wo were returning one Sunday after noon from ono of these walks, when an Incident occurred which though It may Eeem trifling, has boon strongly im pressed upon my memory, because in It I now serf tho beginning of a most mysterious ending. Tho track of the railroad which ran through tho town made an abrupt turn around the brow of a hill, Just boforo entering the Witch Hollow, leaving only a small stretch of track vlBiblo from the station to the turn. Wats and I descended the hill Just below tho. curve and walked to wards tho track. I was a littlo In tho lead, and had just placed a foot be tweon the rails, when Wats seized me and jerked me back violently. "Are you stone deaf?" ho said, some what angrily, as I recovered myself. "Not that, I know of," I retorted. "Well you must be, If you didn't hear that train," ho Bald smilingly. By this time the train had had plen ty of time to round the curve, but no train appeared. "You must have been dreaming?" I said, laughing. "There wnajnc-. train, and besides, It's not train time lor two hours yet." I glanced at Wats. Ho had grown pale and his oyes were riveted on tho curve. "Como old man," I Bald, lightly. "Wako up, Wake up!" He' turned quickly, and tried to smile. "I must have been mistaken," he said In a low voice. "But I cer tainly heard that train. I certainly heard It." The following day the hoisting en gine at tho mino broke down, and 1 was kept very busy for the best part ot the week, during which time I saw nothing of Wats. On Friday night he sent' for mo. I found him In his room, confined tp his bed with an attack of mountain fover. Now I had seen, mountain fever be-r fore and knew what It meant, espe cially to a man like Wats, unused to tho country, so, as things wore run ning smoothly at ,tho hoist, I deter mined to lay off for a few weeks, and nurse this case myself. Tho physician employed by tho company for which I worked was a good one, and I hoped (Continued on page 6.) aAjQJLSAitSAiJjeAi THE P. D. SMITH CO. Carry all the best' grades of domestic coals, among which will find the Rex Lump at $7.25. Rock Spring, Wyoming Lump at $8.00, and the best Maitland you ever saw at $7.50. 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