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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (March 12, 1922)
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Tilt: HEK: OMAHA. SUXPAY. MARCH 12. 1022.
Tte WANTED MAN iy Harris Dickson
Tlli STORY TflVSFAR.
OS eppo4U nde Lai Mtrmxm, m
MiMtMippl, are ruw W m -nmflf
urn, was' t-v Ma. ftsss-'
Surh. and Marmion, ovnd by Can. Boh
(lay ion. Jheir mmart hn-a been at faud
for many year a, fir at ihsr wi a aolu
rJ raw, s Uiw lauunt srr
boumUrr. than !ui that let Mai. Sr
a a tul leg. uJuU Oan. Clmum 14
In Salamanca, in Ladtn A merit a, wuh
hi Iuh ton Stuart. A$ tha 'T ".
U (Vte As. Mo). Saws' color
tenant, u donna by iha taadtida tmhan
uro fonuahls rtda tif in an anion ob da.
They hova hwd tJuU .Vtiurl Cirri on
hat rruunrd to Marmion, and lhy
Uon Vnrl Sat, vh u tvainm. They sis
qutionn Tlnrmn RaxMy, eraoU, who,
miH hi haauflai AiUUida, it tha
of Mai. tutrk and hi Wy sUsgn
nr Barbara. Tha eomtablr hova hand
ruffi uuh ihm, and art on a man hunt
foe Stuart, They lemva altar arranging a
rmdrrvout win I'ncla Vat and later twafc
Rauliy. i'ncla Mat telU htt ftnry at Ran.
tunfton Uouta and it came Adrlaida and
Barbara la bnrome Urani'ly tsriud.
There ara hinu of a mrunums tryrt in Iha
wood surrounding tha lakf.
Th Hotm In ihe Jungle.
MEANTIME old Nat kept fumbling and
digging through hi pockets, but
found nothing mora. "Mr. RasHIy."
he Inquired, "you never rot dat blue
colored letter whet come eVy day."
"No.- Razllly aniwered brietly, -they
eoroe from New Vork In the later maul"
"Den lit Jrs Hire dni to de major,'' Nat
aid, and hurried to the step.
Having- delivered the major's paper and
otherwise discharged bia fatiguing duties,
Uncle Nat now exercised hla privilege of sit.
tins on the steps with the rest of the family,
and moved cloee to the pillar beside which
Dr. Humphrey! eat. The doctor, an old time
comrade of Gen. Clayton, would be Inter
ested In a cargo of newt which Nat Itched
For a. long- time he eat and Itched and
held his tongue. The reatlesa Mr. Hastily
kept triding along: the gallery, halting now
and again to overhear the girl at their low
voiced chatter, while Major Stark burrowed
in hla chair and barricaded himself behind
a newspaper. Everybody appeared to be
studying about something else, when old
Nat tapped the doctor's knee and whispered
" Doctor, two strange, constables is hangln'
roun' dis plantation."
"Constables?" Doctor Humphreys saw
the negro's agitation, and leaned forward t
" Egzackly, suh," Nat answered breathless
ly. " Dey must be mighty high constable),
from de biggity way dey conduct delrserre."
" 'What do they want?"
"Pe's seekin' fer somebody, an' powful
not on gittln' him."
" Whom do you think they are after?" the
It Nat had suspected Major Stark of listen
ing behind his newspaper he would never
nave dared mention the forbidden name.
But the major seemed engrossed in reading',
so Nat wriggled closer to Doctor Humphreys,
and his voice rose with excitement:
"Des tain to grab Mister Stuart Clay
ton." Suddenly the major's paper fell, and two
stern gray eyes bored old Nat through and
through aa Major Stark demanded:
- What's that, Nat? What's that! "
Nat bounced op as if the atepa were too
hot to sit on, and started to dodge around a
corner of the house, when the boss stopped
" Come back here. What did you say?"
" Nathin' much, suh," the Negro stuttered.
-Nothin" tall. Mo an' doctor was Jes a
" Joking? Tou said something about Stu
"Who, me?" Nat looked surprised and
Injured. "Lordee, major, you nervw heard
me speak no sech words."
- Tea, I did. Out with it. Tell ft all."
Like a wary mule that doesn't mean to pat
Ills foot In a hole, old Nat felt his way along,
ready to Jerk back and retreat if ba made a
false step. Although Major Stark scowled
most savagely, he gave no halting signal, but
motioned for Nat to proceed, while Basfily
keenly eyed him.
" Tou see, major, it was like dis," Nat be
gan his blundering explanation. "Wnilst I
was gittin you' mail, two strangers come
rldin' long in a automobile, 'quiring for mo
to lead 'em to de back door of Marmion, so
Mister Stuart Clayton wouldn't 'spiclon dey
was comln'. I Aggers It, major, dat detn
constables is sot on grabbin Mister Stuart
"Then why the devil don't they go get
him?" Again Majjr Stark pounded his can
on the floor. "He's at Marmion."
So dem niggers say, so dey say. No, suh,
major, no, suh." Nat took a nimble back
ward step. " I ain't belt no talk wtd dem
Marmion niggers, not sence yo duet"
"Duel?" Adelaide burst out, and Kaailty
cut her short.
"But Clayton Is there, isn't he?" the Cre
ole questioned with such arcbr as to remind
old Nat that he had several times seen Mr.
Razllly examining the porch at Marmion
House through a pair of field glasses.
"Dunno, Mister Razzle," he answered non
feoznmittally, and Razllly would have further
pressed the witness if he hadnt caught the
frightened glances that passed between, hla
wife and Barttora Stark. Ha saw Barbara,
grip his wife's arm to put her on guard, and
noted the smile of comprehension with which
Adelaide reassured her friend. Now tha
young Creole woman moved along the top
sitep, nearer to tTncle Nat and to the major
while she queried Innocently:
" Uncle Nat, tell us about the duel."
Old Nat jumped as if somebody had flred
a cannon, and passed the buck to Major
Stark, himsetf declining to exhume that long
taboo discussion of a political disagreement
and a boundary litigation which had culmi
nated in pistols and punctilious oourtear.
and a crippled knee. Maybe Adelaide failed
to understand, or maybe she presumed upon
being such a pretty woman, but even Bar
bara gasped as the glowing Creole turned to
her father and begged:
" O, major; do tell me about your duel. I
sever heard anything so exdtmg."
- " Nothing to get excited about." the major's
voice came gruff and brief, while the pacific
Doctor Humphreys sat drumming on the arm
cf his chair and Barbara struggled to hold her
tongue. It was only Adelaide who did not
feel the icy silence which melted before the
Br in her face. For Major Kenneth Stark '
' surprised everybody by retting redder, to
the top of his bald head, aa he told about
a hostile meeting on tha lake bank, and all
details of the lawsuit between himself and
Clayton from the beginning to a final man-
Ai4, Ho 8'cgril that yu hsd ffjrhed an
Incorrect cuiicluoan on fre silver "
thm i jjadu t the gumption lo uo
drrMuml a Ilium ml propoitlilan! "
.Nobody 'lni would huve dared Uugh at
K'tifiiMli ;urk an old Mutt llumplirra
"llonfkt. Ken? Ilonrat? Jtiljht Iim In
the (Mihom cf the Unify, won't you' admit
thin our lid 44 are Ju.it a trifle hazy on Infr
imilunul fiiiunre? "
" Muyho mi," The majur rmihaid hi
i'lih-ment by another whurk. " Uul 1 w
" No nMttir ho wan right." hi friend in
!nled In a tune vhlrh exprenNod a lllrtlme of
r'gr'i. " poliUi'rtl differences never jtjMtlfy a
quarrel brtween two lad who wit rrared
like brother. That first ant you rriway,
ih) giilliiut luiti Clayton diod in exile brcauM
he couldn't biar to look aero thU lake at a
constant reminder that he had shot hla old
comrade of the First MlnslMlppl. And h did
not want to rear his on In an atmosphere of
Thrice the major winced and trlml to mut
ter Vim'thlng, but only held himself mor
riKld. with every line of his flguro denying
w hat Doctor Humphrey ald.
"Tlint'H true, Ken. and you know t. Bob
Clayton iloserted Marmion so that his eon
would not grow up with the nightmare of
having enemies. Bob wanted little Stuart to
fert that the whole world was his friend."
"Matt, whero'd you got all that Sunday
school Bttiff? " Major Stark blurted out.
"Tom Yandcll told me," the doctor answered.
I went down to see him and he told me how
Hob Clayton u.sed to pit staring at the sa
and wiKhlng to be back at Marmion. And
Bob always f poke of you s it no difference
?k A (Ribbon
I Jm & 1 iVttSyj.,y'l fVK y ..V'. .'. "- "Tom Yandcll?" At mcnUon of
I A'ifi ; J I. '' J.w.SJ iVv;vl.a .SiL ... C;-1 "Tom toid you mat?"
I TIl.T. J I II' 1 .iSrV&V VtJ-'' " Tes. He hud already
I j f l'f?v",75f ffplyvv .-.V'c5'v-J,-1 in Salsmanca when Bob Jollied him,
I r. fjAV-J l-l 'itdLrm. iV? I WX&ZZXC5!.rli became associated In various e
I liAf Yri t7TV " Y.-iLta ;,-iitVH Three years ago Tora visited N
?i S Jrsf Iff i
data of the Supreme court Then
he thumped the floor, and fin
ished: "So I got Barbara's land by
law every Inch of it to the
burnt cypress. After I beat him.
Clayton bundled up his brat and
left the country."
"Where did he go?" The in
satiated Adelaide kept asking
questions in spite of Barbara's
" Went to a place called Sala
manaca in Central Amorica.
" And raised a lot of trouble,"
Florian RasriHy spoke before he
thought, then shrugged his
shoulders when everybody
looked at him. "That is I've
heard he did in a general way'"
For one moment Adelaide
glanced queetioningly at her
husband with a puckering of her
brows as if she were tring to re
member something; but Florian
scowled so fiercely that she
turned again to Major Stark.
"O. major," Adelaldo ex.
claimed, clasping her plump lit- 1
tie hands and gazing unward
into his face. " So this young man who has
Just some back, he's the son of the general
with whom you fought the duel? How
"Romantic?" Barbara laughed outright at
the romantic language that her father would
use should he catch his daughter on the lake
bank, meeting; this ardent young exile from
"It sounds like a fairy tale," Adelaide In
stated. " Huh."' Major Stark snorted, and rose on
his gameleg to hobble away from all such
fairy tales. " Florian, get ready. It's time
to go for bass. Hurry, Nat; tell Neezer to run
out the motor boat Well have him tow us
down to the mouth of lone Oak Slough."
"Lone Oak?" Barbara repeated with a
startling gesture, and checking herself before
anybody noticed it except Razllly. During
Adelaide's grilling of the major, and frying
the fend out of him, this dutiful daughter
had never uttered a word, but sat staring
across the lawn and choking a propensity to
laugh while her parent swelled up like a
frog. She enjoyed that part of the perform
ance, but when her father intimated that he
would fish near the mouth of Lone Oak
Slough the gir changed countenance and
tried to appear quite nonchalant as she in
quired: "Tou are going to Lone Oak?"
"But I thought you were trying the upper
nd of the lake this afternoon."
"No. Neezer thinks that silver bass will
be feeding across the lower bar."
"O! The bar." That made all the differ
ence in the world, and Barbara settled back
with a sigh of satisfaction; for she knew that
from the lower bar her father and Adelaide's
husband could not see a certain log in a
certain little glade which wa their try sting
"Come on, Adelaide," she said and sprang
Again Florian RaxiUy detected the. byplay
. between the two conspiring women, as Ade
laide followed Barbara and they strolled
A the whispering girls sauntered away to
lose themselves amongst the shrubbery,
Florian Ratilly eyed hi wife with vague sus
picion, while Major Kenneth Stark wriggled
deeper in his chair and got wrathier every
minute. It made him hot in the collar to
think how that creol woman had pried into
his personal affairs; and he felt even more
indignant at himself for answering her.
" Ken." inquired Dr. Humphreys, when tha
restless Razilly had gone inside. " Ken, have
you heard anything about why young Clay
ton came home?"
" Not a word. None of my dambusiness."
At the flash old Nat dodged out of range
end stood listening for thunder. But it was
less of a clap than Doctor Humphreys ex
pected no ladies being present so he dared
call down another.
" I'm going to get hold of that boy, and see
if he's in trouble," he said quietly.
"Certainly, is," snapped the major.
" Those Claytons were born for trouble."
During the past ten minutes Major Stark's
bald pate had been glowing like a ripe to
mato, and was just beginning to cool off
when Matt Humphreys fired it again. He
got up to move.
' Sit down a moment" the doctor urged;
" let's have a little talk."
Having already sweated through his cross
examination from Adelaide, the exasperated
major, didn't want to sit down; he didn't want
, to talk; he wanted to go fishing, and be ltp
" Talk about what? " he demanded.
"Nothing . in particular," Humphrey
nodded toward a chair, " Sit down."
Doctor Matthew Humphreys was one of
those strong men who preferably gain a point
by conciliation, without resorting to their
latent force; unwillingly the major obeyed
him, sticking out his stiff leg and gripping
the head of his cane as he sat bolt upright to
s gag at some bitter medicine.
" Ken," his tormentor began. " Ken. dont
you think these old animosities should be
"Forgotten? How can I forget? Look at
"Tes, I know. But in every quarrel
there's always a little right on both sides."
"Not a bit Clayton was wrong, dead
wrong. The courts said so."
' " But that boundary could have been ad
justed if you hadn't got so bullhead ed."
- Me? Bullheaded? "
" Tes. And you might have accepted Clay
ton's assurance that he meant no personal
offense by his speech at Issaquena court- (
" Didn't he speak plain enough for any fool
to understand?" Stark used his cane as a
safety valve and kept pounding the floor
while Doctor Humphreys continued:
"I was present and heard what Clayton
Howdy Mr. Stuart, howdy,"
ami Uncle Nat. But tha
young white man never offered
to shake hand.
had ever come between."
While the gray bearded mediator.talked on
and on he scanned the other's face. Beneath
the tightening of Stark's Hps,, beneath the
stubborn gleam of his eye, Humphreys read
his wavering thought even though the
major said: ,
" That's all rot. Rot! " ,
" But you can't refuse to believe what Tom
Tandell says? " '
"Of course not, but Tom was too infer
Then Humphreys leaned forward and
touched the hand of. his friend. " Ken," he
pleaded. " Don't cling to this grudge. Don't
Hate is worse than death to a man like you.
It sours his very souL"
" Rot! " the major retorted.
"And there was a time when you would
have given your right arm to make up with'
Bob. Don't you remember? I was here on
the night before Bob left Tou had your
horse saddled to ride to Marmion. But you
lacked the moral courage. Instead of telling
him how you felt, you walked up and down
your room all night long. No, don't shake
your head; I heard you. Next morning Bob
" Not a word of truth in it! Not a word! "
The gruff old major got up to leave, but Doc
tor Humphreys caught his arm and begged:
" Let me go to Marmion and invite the boy
here. Then we can find out what his trou
"Don't want to find out The major
jerked away, stalked across the gallery, and
wheeled at the threshold. " Matt Humphreys,
I invite none but friends to this house. And
I'd just as soon be friendly with a Repub
lican. Get ready now, I'm going fishing."
Doctor Humphreys continued to smile as
he heard the major's cane go thumping
through his hallway. For the first time in
years they had discussed the Claytons, and
he was making progress in being tolerated.
Safely hid from all spying husbands, the
excited young creole could scarcely wait
until she and her accomplice had seated
themselves behind a screening gardenia.
Then she whispered eagerly:
"He's the man that we've been meeting.
I jurt know it"
"Of course he is," Barbara agreed with
most astounding composure. "But aren't
you dreadfully worried about those officers?"
Adelaide shuddered at the very thought
"Constables?" A word expressed Bar
bara's contempt "They are probably look
ing for Mii Negro on his plantation. 14
briior be thluklng about lh forty Variolic
of Oln that father would ratae If he iu'
jeiMd me of flirting with C'syton."
" hat a romanrer
Jiomam-? It'll start a riot in lb Ftark
family, We mut be careful. Tbi afternoon
tli nu n will be nutting an near our log."
" O! t!" hir Creole fws lot shade of It
color a AdrtlJ ugt?riitt. " W d bltr
" tin? tVrumiy w shall a". Hut If you."
hUKliand and my fatlur go there, too, w
limy have an adventure."
"Adventur? I'gh!" Adelaide ahlvered at
lirr rum inating pi-ril, and ruddled closer to
HurUr.i. With H I'renrh Intuition and
rurloxity, she envied the more fortunat girt,
and sighed. "O dar, It' wonderful for a
woman to have her romance."
" Why Adelaide!" Barbara clasped an arm
around her friend. " tou have vour romanc;
jou married your lover."
" Not so." Adelaide promptly denied both
It was paradoxical how circumspect this
convent girl could to In certain matter, and
how astonishingly frank In others. Fact
of nature to which Barbara would never
allude In the present' of a man, the creol
d!scued with utartllng candor; and then
Adelaide would be virtuously shocked at th
American girl riding In her car. alone with a
bof whom she had known all of her lire.
The two wor bred In different atmoipherea,
nnd Adelaide now emphasized their differ
ence by making no concealment of a slttia.
tl n which Barbara would have burled In her
For eome time Adelaide remained Uent
and thinking before she spoke again with
French directness. "O, maybe one affair.
Maybe after a while Florian he com. Flo
rlun he get provoked and kill my lover, per
haps. But that I too sad, too sad." Her
bubbling vivacity refused to dwell upon such
a sadness. Changing her tone, ahe caught
Barbara's hand and asked: " My dear, whit
doe your lover call you? Ho does not know
your name. Tou must have a nom d'amour."
"Sure! I have a bully nom d'amour,"
Barbara answered complacently. "My nom
d'amour Is ' Adelaide.' "
" What! My name: "
"Tes, the first name I could recall In a
hurry. Now, don't fly off the handle Ilk
that. It Just popped out accidentally. Ti
terday we were sitting together on the log,
and It seemed too comical to hear him say
'Miss,' 'Miss,' when all of a sudden he shot
the question: ' Tou must have a beautiful
namo. What is it?' He took me by sur
prise. I couldn't think of any name except
yours and the house girl's. ' Mandy ' isn't
poetic, so I told him ' Adelaide.' "
With all dramatic effect the Creole sat
down beside Barbara and whispered:
" Florian had a secret motive, to visit here."
"A motive?" Barbara wondered. People
generally visited Bennington because they
" Tes, Adelaide spoke Jerkilly. " He tell
mo nothing, I guess. Many times you invite
us, Florian always say no. He could not
leave his bank. Last Sunday the Salamanca
consul dined i our house. They hav much
business together. I hear him speak with
Florian the name of "Clayton, Clayton.'
After consul he go, Florian Bay to me, MU
Barbara Stark lives near General Clayton's
.'old home?' I reply to him Tes.' Then
Florian give me his orders, 'Telegraph Miss
Stark wo come to visit her at once.' So we
arrive, and Florian never imagine I know he
have one other affair than to catch small
"What affair can he have?" Barbara
could imagine no business that might bring
the young New Orleans banker to their home.
"That I do not know." Adelaide gave a
shrug to deprecate her ignorance. "But it
concerns Mr. Clayton."
" Well," Barbara decided, " if Mr, Claytm
knows anything about it ''11 make him tell
"But you will never tell, Florian, never,
never, never? "
"Heavens, no! Florian and I n not con
fidential. Come along now. There go the
men. We must ride, quickly."
Together they raced up the front steps;
through the wide open hallway they sair
their three fishermen go flnling out of the
back gate to the wharf at which Neezer's
motor boat lay moored.
"Now, they've sone!" Barbara's fa.-e
flushed with anticipation. " Hurry, Adelaide,
hurry! We must ride much farther today,
and approach Irom the low end. If w
travel along our same old road your husband
may see us."
Unlike the two young ladies, old Nat
Stark never . tarried to change into riding
togs; neither did he consume time by powder
ing his nose, as Adelaide had done with fas
tidious care; nor in sprinkling his handker
chief with a suggestion of new mown hay, aa
Barbara always did. It was her distinctive
perfume. Uncle Nat paid no such tribute to
his personal pulchritude. He tarried for noth
ing, but slunk Immediately out of sight until
Neezer's motor boat had towed the white
folks beyond all possibility of their shouting
back a Job for him to tackle.
Nobody could paddle a dugout with the
skill and speed of this dexterous old Negro,
who shoved off from Bennington wharf and
steered northward, keeping well out of
- Neezer's return course in the motor boat.
For Nat didn't want to risk being given a
wood chopping contract By the time Ade
laide and Barbara had mounted their horses .
they could see Nat's solitary figure winging
its flight across the lake, once In a while lift
ing his fishing pole and displaying it con
spicuously upright as an advertisement of
Green young willows, like a semi-submerged
forest grew far into the water on the
western banks, and wary perch fed in hiding
places beneath. Into this concealment Old
Nat plunged the prow of his canoe, then
furled his fishing pole and began paddling
swiftly among the treetops. With strong,
sure strokes he urged his dugout through the
greenery toward a point on shore from which
an ancient path led to the rear of Marmion
House. There he stepped out and secreted
his canoe. '
"Not ten feet away, In the densest, darkest
brake, he heard what sounded like the tram
ple of a bear. Being hemmed in so tight
Nat couldn't run. Then eometing snorted.
" Nothin' but a hoss," the Negro felt easier.
" Huh! dat hoss is wuseed scared dan what I
was. Wonder how come he done strayed
down here? Tain't no hossea belongs her! "
Curiosity led him through the brake to wher
he found the horse, a blazed face, stocking
foot sorrel, frequently ridden by Mr. Bart
Scurry, the manager of Marmion. . It would
have been mysterious enough to discover tbe .
sorrel In such a jungle at all, but it made Nat
study a heap when he found that tbe animal
was saddled and bridled ready to rid
Moreover, the sorrel stood hitched, and had
probably remained bitched for several day;
anybody could ten that by a glance at the
trampled ground, hr hi nllans had
mad a narrow clearing for hlmif bide his
bo of feed.
"Pis sho I purkrulUr?" th tsUdr4
Negro mumblnd, " I'ey hitch dat hoa here
n' dey feed dat ho hre. How eomaV
"I'm nabriy "blrd to fini out abut
dis," he dlrmlnd.and turned lit follow
roundabout path toward th rrarof Marmmn
For a, white Iha old Vgro hung b- k in the
brush, blinking and smiling st hi rrwmnnea.
II saw a fat black cook sitting Jum outside
her door, keeping th flies In circulation with
a palmetto fan and s-oldlng at her naked
Children, who wallowed In tha dual like pr.
trtdg, !sy hounds lounged In th shads,
Ignorant of an alien prwnc. and n the
wily guinea ralaed no alarm. Queer doings
might be afoot smongrt the whit folk, but
no hint of unrl showed up In Marmion
bark yard. And yet. deirplt th mellowing
Influence of vanished day. tfld Nat could
not dlalodge th nipper" d th saddled
borse from hi mind.
No sound came from th great house; ns
face looked out from any window. By not
Insa. maneuvers, without shaking a bush, old1
Nat gained a ponltlon from which be could
reronnolter the front gallery, wher be saw
Mr. Bart Scurry, th big faced manager,
leaning allently against a column. This
should not have aroused suspicion, for Mr.
Bart was a chronic leaner when he wan't
busy doing omethlng else. But a manner
In which he leaned made old Nat look
harper, and get a hunch that Mr. Bart wa
intently watching the road.
At the Instant when Nat howd hlmelf
Mr. Scurry detected him nd hurtled down
the steps, advancing In the manner of a
ntinel. When be recognlied the Innocent
invader the tense line softened In Scurry's
face and be hailed Nat loud enough for any
person within the house to hear. It Im
pressed old Nat that Mr. Bart was talking
for the ear of other folk Inside.
"Hello!" Scurry called out. "It's Uncle
Nat SUrk. Where you .come from? How'
everything at Bennington?"
" Fine, Mr. Bart fine. U got a nice stand
o' cotton, but a Utile shower wouldn't hurt."
"Well," inquired the manager, "what
brings you over here?"
it sounded strange, the tone of Mr. Bart in
speaking those words. During the general'
dy nobody on Marmion had ever questioned
why Uncle Nat had come or how Jong he
' meant, to stay. They Just hollered for him
to light and hitch and come In. it was mighty
nigh dinner time. But from the short word
of Mr. Scurry Uncle Nat felt compelled to
state his business.
" Mister Bart" he explained, " yo' nigger
keeps a sayln' dat Mister Stuart's done com
home. So I Jos' Mowed to ramble over an'
set a while wid him."
" Sure, sure. Mr. Clayton' In the houe."
Scurry still kept his voice upraised. "Walt
here, Nat and I'll tell him who you are."
"O, Stuart," Scurry shouted from the door.
" It's Uncle Nat old Nat Stark."
" Who?" a man's voice called out from th
"Tou remember Uncle Nat Stark? From
Bennington? Used to go fishing with him
when you were a boy?"
"Tes. O, yes," the voice agreed. Then
Nal could hear a whispering behind the but
ters, before the voice spoke again. ,
"Tell Uncle Nat to wait," it said. " TT1
The loyal old duck legged Negro had pad
dled across Lake Marmion and fought his
way through thickets In the serene faith of
a welcome. Whatever else might be happen
ing, the Claytons were always proud to ae
their friends. And Uncle Nat likewise had a
notion that he could serve his friend by
putting him wise to Mr. Foxyjaw. No Ave
dollar bill in cash, nor twenty in prospect,
could Induce old Nat to keep his mouth ahut
whilst foreign constables were contriving to
grab Mr. Stuart Clayton.
Bart Scurry didn't let Nat out of his sight,
and he didn't sit down. He stood up, eyeing
the door and talking loud as If to drown a
whispering that came from behind the shut
ters. Old Nat sat listening for the whis
pers, yet pretending to laugh as Mr. Scurry
retold many pranks of Stuart Clayton's boy
hood. And Mr. Scurry hollered so loud as t
convince Uncle Nat that he wa really shout
tag for the benefit of. somebody else.
Over hla right shoulder he plainly saw
Mr. Razllly, fishing near the south end of the
lake, alone in his boat, and occupying the
one position which commanded a view of
Marmion porch. Again the Negro wondered
why Razilly had kept gazing across the wa
ter through his spy glasses, why he talked
with Marmion tenants, and why he bad
stopped the constable's auto.
Nat kept studying mighty hard until his
attention was recalled by a tread in the
hallway, and he saw a man, the man whom
Mr. Foxyjaw had led him to expect. It was
a tall, swarthy man, with tiny black mus
tache and goatee, wearing the khaki
breeches, light gray coat and flop brimmed
hat of the. constable's description.
"O, Stuart," said Mr. Scurry as the young
man halted uncertainly at the threshold.
" Stuart, here's your old friend. Uncle Nat
Stark from Bennington."
Then Nat rose up from the top step, a
pathetic figure whose wistful gaze was seek
ing to peer through this grown man and see
once more the romping lad that he had
"Howdy, Mister Stuart? Howdy?" He
wiped a hand on his breeches in anticipation
of the cordial grasp which should aet all
doubts at rest.
But the young white man never offered
to shake hands, his uneasy glance passing
by old Nat to fasten itself upon Mr. Scurry.
" That's all right Stuart," Mr. Scurry as
sured him, "Tou remember Uncle Nat
"Of course, 'i remember Ujicle Tat" the
young man asserted, with tbe air of daring
anybody to contradict him.
"Uncle Nat," Scurry corrected.
" Sure, I mean Uncle Nat. So this Is Uncle
Nat?" Now he turned to look at the Negro.
" Suttingly, Mister Stuart; suttingly. Dis
is me. I never is fergot you." The Negro
stood up expectantly and tried to smile. It
seemed mighty strange for Mr. Stuart not to
shake hands, but Just to sit In a rocking
chair and ask:
"Well, old man, what did you want with
The tone was utterly devoid of sympathy
or comprehension. It took the starch out of
Uncle Nat who eased himself down again on
the top step and leaned against a column.
Nobody spoke a word; Mister Scurry kept
on eye on the road, while the other eye
watched Nat with visible anxiety. Both
white men seemed waiting for whatever th
black man might do, and this sensation gave'
Nat the fidgets. Once, when he turned his
head, he felt sure that another pair of eye
were spying upon him from inside the par
lor window, peering out through the blinds.
(Continue! J?ext Sunday,