Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, August 20, 1916, EDITORIAL, Image 16

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The Grip of Evil
Author of "Til. Wings of th. Morning," "Tho Pillar of Light,"
"Tha Tarma of Surrander," "Numbar 17," Etc.
y lquis TRACY Nli,1 ,rom sj," ''"lp,,'j'' of tl sm Nm-
I I ' " '" hi 'l' J i Copyright, 1916, by Louia Tracy.
Sixth Episode The Hypocrites
The Tyrant.
I'ttcrly dispirited. John PmliMi
tenth tnatijuis ot tasth'toii. .Mitfhi
peace alter Ins l.nt iliMHuM.mmi til
His thoughts turned with i r a ! .( M
t lie quirt and seclusion of thr open
country. He cared not whither !ir
went. The one dominant ,1cm: r ot a
heart sick and ill at rase v.i. to Ket
far away trotn cities, to htnl lmne!l
under the hlne sl,ies. hreatlnn clean
air, mixing- for a while anionn tliosc
simpler folk who wrest a hard hm
i-oni Mother Karth.
So he packed a Krip with sunpie
necessaries, chose a tetnote district
at haphazard, and,'i the tram.
A directory, compiled for the purpose
by the railway company, save hun the
address of a small town hete sum
r.ier hoarders were receive,! He
refthrr wrote in advance nor made
any inquiry, hut preferred to trut to
luck, which surely would not alwas
p!a him false
He neither knew nor cared what
sort of place Kreshtield, Yl., iiukM he.
nor what sort of people he would en
counter in the Simms family, tenants
of the Mradowland farm. If the lo
cality suited his needs he meant to
remain there indefinitely. If trouble
befell as he had only too Rood
reason to dread he could leave the
place at a moment's notice.
Kor once in his lite, John Hurton
ielded to a selfish feeling. He want
ed rest. He wanted to escape from
the ever-present Shadow of 1 il
which seemed to attend his vexed pil
grimage through this vale of tears.
When, therefore, he alighted from
the train at Kreshfield, he was pleased
to find himself the only passenger
with business there that day. He
asked the stationmaster for directions
The man eyed him curiously. It was ,
quite evident that distinguished-look- j
ing yonng men. expensively, if quiet-1
ty, dressed, were rare birds in that :
district. 1
"The Simms farm lies a matter of
four miles away among them woods."
said the official, pointing across an
undulating landscape basking in the
sun of a summer's afternoon. "There
ain't no automobiles round about
here, mister. You see that old feller i
over there near the buggy? That's
Mike, and mehbe he'll take you to
Meadowlaml for a couple of dollars."
Some bargaining with Mike ensued,
but the price was quickly agreed on.
and John climbed up beside the driver
on the front seat of a vehicle which
reminded him of the deacon's "Won
derful One-Hoss Shay' 'in all but the
said shay's soundness of material. In
effect, the poor old buggy contrived
to keep intact, but the rotten harness
yielded on a hill towards the close of
the third mile and' repairs became
necessary. Mike produced a prickler
a id some whipcord. Evidently he was
prepared for such emergencies.
"How long before you're ready to
lake the road again?" inquired John
cheerfully. The delay did not irritate
him. His bruised soul was already
yielding to the spell of placid nature.
Here were trees and brushwood,
rountry lanes and tumbling grass.
What a blissful change from the
imooth ways of the city which led
with such deceptive ease to the haunts
of misery and crime I
"Reckon I'll be ten minutes or more
fixin' this darned trace," growled
"All right," said John. "Glv me a
hail when you're ready. I'll not be far
He sauntered into a wooded glade
and did some botanizing among the
wild flowers. This was a hobby he
had taken up. Somehow, by analyiing
the structure of plants he believed
he drew nearer comprehending the
great purpose of the Creator.
Flowers of many varieties grew in
profusion on a steep bank at some
little distance. Burton was busy
among them, having found no less
:han six differen'. species of butter
cups, when he was startled and sur
pr sed by the unexpected vision of a
young anc pretty girl falling head
.onj down the bank.
She rolled almost to his feet, having
obviously lost her balance at a critical
moment. He would have picked her
jp, but she gathered herself together
with the agility of a fawn, and, after
one shy and embarrassed glance, took
;o her heels again and ran swiftly out
jf sight.
Not a word did the two exchange.
For one instant their eyes met. Then
ihe woodland sprite was in full flight
ind John was laughing heartily. He
new exactly what had happened.
This maid of the wild had been sur
prised in finding a stranger in her do
main. She had hidden in order to ob
serve him, but curiosity was stronger
than prudence hence the fall. John
returned to the broken-down buggy
and related his adventures to Mike.
"That'll be the Simms gal, Jessie,"
was all the information vouchsafed by
the grumpy driver.
John reflected that if the remainder
of the farmer's household was up to
the first sample he had seen,
some streak of belated luck must
have led him to Arcady. In
due course the buggy drew into
the farmyard of Meadowland. The
surroundings were somewhat squalid,
but that element did not worry John
at all. There was no sight of the
fugitive, Jessie. An elderly woman,
all a-flutter because of the arrival
of an uaexpected visitor, and wiping
soapsuds from her hands on an apron,
came from an outhouse and inquired
his business. Before John could utter
a word Mike explained.
"Reckon this young man wants to
board liere for a spell," he said, with
a knowing wink.
The very tone of his voice told
that prices were to be raised for the
newcomer's benefit. But John only
smiled. Even the bedraggled Mrs.
Simms looked honest enough, and
there could be no doubt whatever
that she was a woman who worked
hard to wrest a mere pittance from
the soil.
Mike, taking charge of the situa
tion, yelled to two bent figures hoeing
in a distant turnip patch. They
straightened, and came at the hail
Soon John was talking to Farmer
simms and his son, Peter, the latter
sturdy and bright-faced boy of 18.
The youth was very like his sister,
and John imagined, rightly as it hap
pened, that the girl was some
eighteen months younger.
The whole party entered the house.
Peter carrying John's portmanteau at
bis father's somewhat gruff command.
In the sitting room John met Jessie,
and the eves of the two tlahcd .hi
understanding. Nothing was said a
; to their culler encounter, howevei.
miicc John ini.iuieil that dav dream
, 1 1 1 K would not he Cll, oui .ine.l l the
i hard uoikiliK fanner and his wife
He went to his room to wash and
brush up after his Ionh' joururv. Thr
apaitmcnt was humhlv turiiished, hut
spotlessly dean. He frit at peace
with .ill the world. At last, he be
lieic'l. he had found true heaits
.dwelling in idyllic conditions.
t That evening after supper John
was icoiuk out for a -.moke, hut was
Hiwli to understand thai the taniily
athereil lor prayers, and would he
honored hv the presence of their
Sliest Nothing lothe. he listened to
the elder Sitnins leading a ilupter
from the llihle w ith an unction whi, h
condoned a Kreat maiiv inac
curacies. He could not help uoticiiiK that
both the ho and itl weic ic.toe.
hut attributed then attitude P the
natural exuberance of oiitli. When
the reading was finished, I'eter
sprang up eagerly and invited John
to come with hun to his attic, banner
Sitnnis frowned hut said nothing, and
his manifest disapproval was not no
ttced by the stiaiier.
J The reason for the hoy's request
; was soon laid bare. Hi' hail fitted a
small workbench in bis garret, and
hail constructed several crude but m
genious models of various sorts ol
t machinery
"I am ciav to be an cnymecr,"
be confessed, "hut father won't hear'
of it. Some day I'll have to Kit out
on my own. That's just all there is
to it."
The door opened, and Peter swung
round in a sudden alarm difficult to
undrr.stand Hut the intruder was
only Ins sister. Jessie had recovered
fiom her fit of shyness, and now car
ried a portfolio of drawings which
she was anxious to exhibit, yet girl
ishly diffident as to the opinion this
tall, reserved man with the singularly
expressive face would express on
John soon put the girl at ease.
Kxaniining the diawmgs. be found,
as was only to he expected, lhat they
broke every rule ot art, even as he I
understood it. Yet they displayed
some force of conception, and the
color sketches were distinctly good. i
To his thinking, both brother and I
sister tnrrely lacked training. Neither
might be a genius, but there was no
gainsaying the fact that the muses,
rather than the rough ways of hus
bandry, appealed very strongly to
these two.
Somehow, the girl seemed to be
excited to a pitch hardly warranted
by the conditions of the moment. Her
pretty face was flushed, her bright
eyes were shining, and her bands
manifestly trembled.
"I don't want you to feel afraid
merely because you are exhibiting
your work," he said soothingly, at
tributing her agitation to the natural
nervousness of one who was little
more than a child in years.
"Oh, it isn't that, Mr. Burton,"
tittered Jessie. "Soon after seeing
you today 1 was chased by a bull "
' You were not hurt?" be broke in.
She reddened more deeply, the hot
blood incarnading even the shapely
throat and neck.
"No," she said, with stammering
hesitancy. "I might have been but
a gentleman, an artist ran up and
and saved me I"
Now, the fact was that Jessie had
been rescued from a really grave pre
dicament by a young artist named
Robert West, who, like Hurton him
self, had fled front the city to seek
inspiration in the country. West had
quite valiantly chased away a young
bull which, in the stupid manner of
such animals, was angered because
Jessie happened to stumble and fall
while running across a field. He bad
thereupon picked the girl up in his
arms and carried her to safety, and
her whole being tingled yet with the
memory of that loverlike embrace,
since Robert West, impressionable as
any of his tribe, had been in no hurry
to set this delightful sprite on her
feet again.
Peter Simms was eying his sister
curiously, and to save the girl fur
ther embarrassment, John turned the
talk back to the sketches.
"It seems to me," he said, "that if
you were given lessons by a good
master, you could accomplish some
really excellent work. Yon have a
sense of atmosphere, and your ideas
of color strike me as daring, yet not
too farfetched."
The three heads were bent over the
sketch, which provided a text for this
criticism, when rough hands. snatched
away not onlv the drawint which
John held, but the whole of lessie's
collection. The farmer, suspecting the
purpose of this gathering in the attic,
had crept stealthily upstairs, and now
snorted like the bull which had threat
ened his daughter. He was sallow
with anger, and his deepset eyes
glinted evilly.
"This foolishness has got to stop
right here," he growled. You, 1 eter.
will be a farmer like me, and Jessie
will be a farmer's wife, like her
mother, or I'll know the reason why."
Then .in dour brutalitv. he tore up
the girls' drawings, and, turning to
the bench, seized a mallet with which
he smashed each of his son's models.
Jessie burst into tears and ran out.
: Teter's face blanched, and his fists
clenched, but John caught him by the
! shoulder and restrained him by a
i warning pressure, lie well knew that
protest was useless where a man of
Farmer Simms' bovine intelligence
j was concerned. Indeed. Simms him
, self regarded the incident as closet,,
: and went out. (jiving the distressed
boy a reassuring pat. Burton followed.
Overtaking Simms in the sittino-
room, where the latter was again
thumbing the Bible, he ventured to
suggest that it w as a mistake to si Im
press youthful talent in such an aroi
trary way.
"It's the Lord's will." grunted
Simms stubbornly. "If he had intend
ed them for anything else, he wouldn't
have sent them here. What's good
enough for their parents must be good
enough for them. Anyhow, mister,
there's no call for you to interfere. I
am master in my own house, aqd don't
you forget it."
So John's first dav in Meadowland
, farm did not close happily. He was
bitterly conscious that Jessie Simms
was sobbing her heart out in her own
room, while poor Peter was disconso
lately picking up the pieces of his be
loved models.
If n is v iv
Tlif fir x t day happened to be a I
Sunday, and a S.ibhatli peace de-,
srendrd on tin' household. John ac
companied the Simnises to church,
where the fanner was evidently held
in ImkIi cMeciii, heiiiK an elder of the
community. After the service, when
groups of residents gathered for a
few minutes1 chat before KhiK their
separate ways, a b.R. hulking fellow
approached and hailed the Simms
family with gruff cordiality. Simms
introduced the newcomer.
"This is Mr. Thorpe," he said, with
a sign i I ii" ;in t look at Hurton. "He's
tilt man who has spoke for Jessie,
ami he'll make her a good husband,
The significance of this needlrssly
frank statement was not lost on John.
It was clcarlv meant as a climax to
ttie strained situation of the previous
night. Thorpe grinned, and at once
took Jessie away in the direction of
the farm, so John merely uttered a
casual "Indeed?" and followed with
the others.
Thorpe did not go far. Waving a
hand to Simms, he lifted his hat in
awkward farewell of the girl, and
turned into a path leading to his own
homestead, whereupon Burton had to
hear a long discourse on the man's
qualifications as Jessie's prospective
bridegroom, his main asset, apparent
ly, being a well stocked farm clear of
any mortgage.
After the midday meal. Burton in
vited the two young people to accom
pany him for a walk. The farmer gave
a grudging assent and the three went
off. John purposely steered the con
versation clear of personal matters.
He spoke of the benefits of education,
even in agricultural pursuits, and tried
to show that farming ought to be as
scientific as any other occupation.
He laid particular stress on the quiet
happiness attainable by reading good
books, and, choosing a sunlit clearing
near a stream, invited the others to
sit down while lie read a lew selected
passages from Kuskin's "Sesame and
I'eter Simms listened eagerly, but
the girl's mind seemed to wander.
Whether by accident or design Bur
ton could never determine afterwards,
she got up after a little while and be
gan picking flowers. Soon she was
luTTden by the trees, but John and her
brother assumed lhat she was not far
distant. Now, the fact was that Jessie
either knew, or guessed accurately,
where a certain good-looking young
artist would be found at work. At any
rate, she undoubtedly met Robert
West, and the two began an earnest
talk, which quickly developed into
Jessie's posing as a model while West
sketched her.
This, of course, was very delightful
to the artistic temperament at sweet
seventeen, and the well-considered
compliments of the town-bred man
made strange music in the girl's ears.
In a word, matters were progressing
quite nicely when Bill Thorpe broke
in on an idyl. By unfortunate chance,
he happened to pass that way while
making for the Meadowland farm, and
his anger at the sight of what he re
garded as desecration of the Sabbath
was heightened by iealousv.
He approached so threateningly
that Jessie screamed, and W est
sprang up to protect her, whereupon
he was sent reeling by a blow from
a man twice his weight and of much
stronger physique. Disregarding his
prostrate rival, Thorpe seized the girl,
htted her in a near-like nug ana car
ried her home. Naturally, she
screamed and struggled, but her ap
peals fell on deaf ears. They did,
however, reach Burton and her
brother, who feared that some evil
had betallen her, and could not at first
determine where to search. When at
t last they hit on the right direction and
ran in swift pursuit, they were too
late to prevent Thorpe from fulfilling
his loutish purpose. Setting the girl
on the ground in front of her aston
ished father, who, with Mrs. Simms,
was seated in the porch, he bawled
"Nice thing, ain't it, that a feller
should find the girl he's going to mar
ry carryin' on with a dude down there
in the woods?"
"What d' y mean?" cried Simms,
rising slowly and blinking at the ac
cuser and his captive.
"Just what I've said," was the furi
ous answer. "Some artist chap ia
j layin' around Kreshtield, and your
Jessie was down there settin' fer him,
J fer a picture, on the Sabbth."
Kach phrase formed a wrathful
crescendo which seemed to arouse in almost maniacal rage. He
! eyed the girl vindictively for a few
1 "You just huld her right there," he
said at last to Thorpe, "and I'll teach
lier a lesson she won't forget in a
Lumbering into the house, he
emerged with a rawhide whip and,
without ttirther ado, hegan lashing
the shrieking girl mcrcilcssl v. The
unhappy mother tried to interfere, hut
Simms pushed her aside with a vio
lence that almost amounted to a blow.
This, then, was the scene which met
the eyes of John Burton and I'eter
Simms as they ran up a frantic girl
held in the grasp of one human bruite,
and quivering under the blows of
another, while her hapless mother
could only sand by in tearful dismay
and witness her degradation.
The Outcome of Tyranny.
No matter what the consequences,
Burton resolved to put a stop to this
outrage. He rushed forward and was
dimly aware that Peter, who had ut
tered an inarticulate howl when he
saw his mother struck, had raced
ahead of him into the house. Grap
pling Simms, he stayed the infuriated
man s arm for a moment, whereupon
Thorpe closed with him and, finding
an opponent of different metal to an
effeminate artist, put forth all his
great strength. John, therefore, had
to defend himself, and was bitterly
aware that the elder Simms was not
to be deflected from his cruel intent,
but was now holding the terrified girl
with one hand and wielding the whip
with the other. It looked as though
a very serious struggle was imminent
when every eye turned at a hysterical
yelp from I'eter Simms. The boy
was standing in the doorwav and
covering his father with a shotgun.
Stop that 1 he cried, .stop it, I
tell yer, or I swear I'll shoot!"
lhat horrible whip, raised tor an
other blow, dropped to the farmer's
side, and the man gazed in sheer as
tonishment at the son who thus dared
to threaten him. He could scarcely
believe his ears. Never before had
any member of his family flouted his
authority. Thorpe, equally amazed,
wrenched himself free from Burton,
and was ohviouslv more inclined to
witness this new phase in a dramatic
situation than continue a struggle in
which he was likely to be worsted.
"Tut down that gun, Teter!" shout
ed John, authoritatively, striding to
ward the desperate boy.
"Not me I" came the defiant reply.
"I'll not see my mother and sister ill
used by any man, whether he's my
father or not! This horsewhippin'
proposition has to stop right now. or
I'll end it with an ounce of buck
shot . . . You hear me, father? I
mean what I sayl Drop that whip, or
I'll blow the top of your head off."
Farmer Simms could hardly have
been more staggered had his son lit
erally carried out the threat. He was
almost palsied with anger and be
wilderment The girl, rinding herself
free, ran to her brother as though
seeking from him the protection de
nied her elsewhere.
At last Simms recovered his senses.
He pointed toward the highway.
"Get out of this 1" he said, mouth
ing the words with bitter emphasis.
"Get out now! You ain't no children
of mine no longer. Neither bite nor
sup will either of you have under my
roof again. Get out. just as you arc I
You can both starve by the roadside
for anything that 1 care."
ihe hapless mother broke in, but
jher appeal was ruthlessly swept aside,
j "You've got to stay here, Marty."
i said her husband, "but them two arc
going. I've said it, and I've never
j gone back on my word yet."
It was quite certain that the man's
decision was final and irrevocable.
1 Even the maddened boy and the
i weeping girl were aware of that.
Peter's -chin lifted and a determined
i look replaced the momentary frenzy
: which had covulsed his young face,
j "Good," he said defiantly. "That's
what we want both of us. Good-by,
j mother. We'll see you later, I guess.
Come along, Jessie, Til take care of
you ail right.
Giving his father and Thorpe a
wide herth. and still clutcliing the
gun, he led his -sister to the gate.
Burton, quite at a loss to know how
to act for the best, realized that these
two waits were surely penniless and
wholly unprepared for being cast
: adrift in this fashion. He went after
j them.
j "Here," he said, pressing some
money and a card into the boy's
' hand. "This will serve your needs
; during the next day or two. Look
; after your sister, Teter, and conic
and sec me. I shall return home at
once, and will make it my busmen
i to help you."
Peter was sufficiently self-possessed
to murmur some words of thanks, but
poor Jessie could only weep as
though her heart was broken. They
passed away dovi e road until
hidden bv a bend. . Burton was
1 left to face the two infuriated men
; and a nearly distraught woman.
! Realizing that argument was use-
less, and seeing that Thorpe was by
no means keen on facing him once
! more in a fair fight, John entered
the house and packed his few belong-
ings. Then he made his way to the
! village and found Mike, who drove
! him to the station.
There was no newg of the two
young people, and Burton did not
I care to set gossiping tongues wag
ging by telling what had befallen at
: the farm. He half expected to find
! thein at the depot, but they did not
1 put in an appearance, so, with a sad
! heart, he ' took the next train for
1 However, the pair turned up at his
; house on the following afternoon.
Entrusting them to the care of a re-
liable man servant, he secured them
respectable lodgings, gave them suf
; ficient money to purchase a small
; stock of clothing and promised to
look after them until Peter was es
; tablishcd in an engineering works and
I Jessie had undergone a thorough
I training in an art school.
! Out of evil might come good, he
. fancied. Nothing but misery await
j cd such alert young minds in the
i sordid environment of Meadowland
farm. A break was bound to occur
j sooner or later. Certainly, the man
; ner of the change left much to be
: desired, but it was fortunate that the,
youngsters were still at an age when
I careful tuition was possible and char-j
acters might be molded anew. j
Some weeks passed in this way. Jes
! sic attended an art school, but Peter
; did not at once avail himself of a
proffered opening in the mechanical
i department of an iron works. He ex
plained that his utter ignorance
! would prove a serious handicap and
j wished to devote some time to text
hooks nefore undertaking practical
; work. Burton, mindful of his own
I early experiences, fully approved of
. this project.
He could not devote much time to
actual supervision of the young peo
ple's studies, but contented himself
with a weekly visit, when it was his
habit to settle their accounts in the
boarding house and hand to Peter a
few dollar bills wherewith the inevit
able expenses of residence in a city
might be met. Generally he called on
a fixed day, though Peter was sup
posed to be always at home in steady
devotion to hi hnnlcs whilp If cci'c
hours at the art school were limited
I to the mornings only.
One week-end Burton decided to go
' out of town, so he paid his wonted
. visit to Peter and his sister a day
j earlier than usual. They were at home.
: as he anticipated, but even he, a pre-
occupied man, never inclined to be
suspicious ot his fellows, could not
help noticing that while Jessie, to all
intents and purposes, was dusting the
furniture, her jacket and a decidedly
smart hat had evidently been thrown
aside in a hurry. Peter, too, though
seated at a table with an open book
and a copybook in front of him, had
clearly not made many notes of late.
hecause the ink was dry on the paper
! and the pen he held in his hand had
i not been plunged in the inkstand.
Ihe weather was line, however, and
it was only natural that two healthy
youngsters should plan an outing to
gether, so John merely asked as to
theirwell-being, and was assured that
they were working hard and felt very
happy. Then he gave them their reg
ular allowance of pocket money.
Something in Jessie's manner im
pelled him to hand her an extra five
dollar bill.
"There." he said pleasantly, "you
girls are always in need of some small
frippery or other. You can be extrav
agant this week."
She thanked him with a grateful
smile, and he went out soon after
ward. He would certainly have been
surprised and shocked had he heard
brother and sister chortling with glee
when the door closed on him. But en
lightenment was nearer than he im
agined. He had not been at home
mure than an hour, and a man was al
ready packing a grip for the projected
journey, when a visitor was an
nounced a lady with whose name
Burton was unfamiliar. He received
her in the library, and found himself
looking at a woman of very attractive
appearance, but whose somewhat too
flashy attire impelled him to give his
manservant a secret signal which
meant "remain within call." Unhap
pily such safeguards were essential if
a young man of great wealth meant
to avoid certain snares laid for lrfs
unwary feet.
The lady, however, seemed to be in
genuine distress. She seated herself
with an air nf abandon. When she
lifted her veil, John saw that her eyes
were swiimni'i:; wit!: tears.
"I hnpc yov. will pardon this in
trusion," she -sail!, obvious!)- spenkin
with a cahnnesa induced by strong
effort, "but I know you are interested
in the welfare of a girl named Jessie
Sim m j "
"Yev what of her?" he broke in
anxiousiv, because this woman's ma:;
ner conveyed a hint ol threatened dis
aster. ''Mif govr;.' ilie di!H' way as I've
goih', ,in d liun.irr .!:- nioi'i.' hU nit."
i an it the jtassioiKite itittl.ursi. "'s
v !iy Tm hen-, Mr. 1'ut'i"!:. Tin h-(
dead htt on suvi':;; her. Why shoul-1
1 he? But I'm p'uy::ig my own hand.
-I'nti! she cnn- t, thi city I sto.,d
ail right with KoVn Wet, the cele
brated arti.-t, you know. ! was
Model, and evcrytKu,; was O. K.. but
lU'W he wants no m;ic except Jf-ssie
Simms. He's simply craj her."
Kobe-l West! " as not that the
name ol the man whose devotion to
art on a certain unfortunate Sunday
had led to the disruption of the Simms
household? Burton glanced at nis in
formant keenly.
".V re you sure of ymir tact s r" he
demanded. "No matter what your
quarrel with Mr. West muy be, you
should not drrig an innocent girl into
"Innocent girl, indeed! I like that!
She put my nose out of joint in l-'S
than a week, anyhow. If you don't
believe it, come and ee for yourself."
John was sick with apprehension.
The woman's words were horribly
convincing, yet he strove bravely to
defend an ideal.
"Surely you are mistaken," be said.
"Little more than an hour ago I left
this girl and her brother hard at work
in their apartment."
The other laughed shrilly.
"The brother is just as had as the
sister." she vociferated. "If you want
him now, you'll find him in a pool
room, playing with the money you
were fool enough to give him. But
I'm not worrying about him. Jessie
Simms is in West's studio at this min
ute. You have a car. haven't you?
Take me there and you'll soon find
out whether Tin lying or not."
There was nothing else for it--Button
had to face one more" disconcert
ing exposure. Deferring his departure
from the city to a later train, he
ordered the car and gave the chauf
feur an address supplied by his com-
fanion. They alighted at a studio
iiiilding. The lady, being well known
there as a model, had no difficulty
in leading Burton to West s flat with
out being announced.
"Now." she whispered vindictively,
halting in front of a closed door ana
producing a latchkey, "walk right in
and put the double cross on Mr. Rob
ert West"
The woman seemed so sure of her
position that, after a momentary hesi
tation, John opened the door, trav
ersed a carpeted passage and entered
a room which his guide indicated by
a silent gesture.
No intruder could have appeared at
a more awkward moment. There was
no sketching toward. Jessie Simms
was in West's arms, and their lips had
just met in a long and lingering kiss!
Of course the two started apart.
Jessie uttered a slight scream, but her
pretty eyes sparkled now with angry
dismay rather than girlish confusion.
She realized that this discovery meant
the killing of the goose which Ilid
the golden eggs. As lor West, ne
was inclined to bluster, but a hot
protest died on his lips when he
caught sight of Burton's companion. '
Somehow he guessed Burton's
identity, Jessie having been quite out
spoken as to the circumstances which
preceded her dramatic departure from
the farm. He knew, too, that he ami
the girl were the victims of a woman's
vengeance. Still, putting a bold front
on matters, he bellowed a demand
lor an explanation, John did not an
swer, but gazed sadly at Jessie
Simms, whose fortitude promptly de
serted her, because she hid her
flushed face in her hands and began
"I've nothing to say." he announced
at last, "I neither explain nor apolo
Ki.'e. That poor girl can tell you why
! .oh here."
lie turned and went out, paying no
heed to the bitter taunts which the
discarded model was now flinging at
I lie artir. Entering his car, he bade
the man go home. He was minded
at til s' to call and see I'eter. but felt
iinc-(tia! to any further strain that
day. When all was said and done ;
lie had kept his word to the boy afuY"
his si ter, and meant visiting them
duriiit' the following week, when per
haps the i.'irl might have repented her
folly and be willing to start afresh. .
His mind was so taken up with
brooding thoughts that he did not
notice a disturbance in the street ;
until the ear stopped, being unable '
to advance further owing to a dense
crowd which had gathered in front
of a saloon. The heads and shoulders
of a couple of policemen were tossinp
to and fro in the center of the mob,
and at last the uniformed men seemed
to swing the crowd with them in the
direction of a police telephone box.
John let down the window and
leaned out.
"What is the matter?" he inquired
of a bystander.
"Oh, nothing much, sir," said the
man. "Just a couple of young drunks
started fightin' in the saloon. They
wouldn't quit, even when they was
chucked out, so now the cops have
got 'cm and they're in for thirty days
The car moved on. One of the
policemen was ringing for a patrol
-rr,,r, , o 1 1, o nlh.r lia , th.
W'ould-be combatants at arm's length.
And one of them was I'eter Simms,
the student, whom Burton himself
had seen that same afternoon porfttj?
over his hooks and, of course, quite V
sober. He halted the car again, mean
ing to interfere. It happened that
the man to whom he had spoken be
fore was walking alongside, and John
addressed him excitedly.
"Why, I know one of those boys."
he said. "His name is Simms, and I
can vouch for it that little over an
hour ago he w-as no more under the
influence of liquor than I am."
"Are you the gentleman who pays
his board hills and gives him money?"
inquired the other curiously.
"Yes "
"Well, take my tip, sir, and let up
on the game. He's just playing you
for a sucker. I was in that very
saloon when he came in and told the
crowd you had flashed an extra five
spot on him and his sister this week!"
Utterly disheartened, John sank
back into a corner of the luxurious
limousine. Evil showed no signs of
relaxing its grip on humanity. His
well-meant assistance had only made
easy the 1 downward path for Jessie
Simms, and opened the prison door
to her brother.
(End of Sixth Episode.)
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