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County chap had been opposin' one an- livin' in Six Stars when you was keepin' other instead of you and Emily Holmes-I company with Emily Holmes." allow her name would have been changed to Emily Hope long ago, or you'd a-drownded yourself.

"But I never had any intention of marrying Emily Holmes," I protested.

"I know you didn't," Perry replied, thumping the table in triumph. "That's just the p'int. If the world was popilated by one man and one woman, they'd be a bachelor and an old maid. If there was two men and one woman, then one of the men would marry the old maid sure."

"I don't know how it would have been at all," I retorted hotly.

"Well, s'posin' when you'd walked four miles to set up with her, and thought you had her all to yourself, s'pose this Snyder County teacher with red whiskers and little twinklin' eyes, and new clothes, come strollin' in, and stretched out in a chair like he owned her, and begin tellin' about all the countries he'd seen-about England and Rome, Injy and Africa-and she leaned for'a'd and looked up into his eyes and just listened to him talk, drank it all in likes'pose all that, and then s'pose—”

"Your meaning is more clear," I said. Though Perry did not know it, I was meeting the same opposition that so aroused his "I'll suppose anything you like," said I, ire. In part there was truth in what he "except that I am in love with Emily Holmes said, for where opposition does not in- and that the Snyder County teacher is crease one's love, it surely quickens it. I putting me out. For example, let us put me doubt if I should have been making a in your place. I am enamoured of this fair journey nightly up the hill if I had not ex- unknown-of course I can't guess her pected to find Weston there. Of Perry I name—and this second man, also unknown had no fear, and it was not egotism in me to -he of the red whiskers, is my rival. Let be indifferent to him. He lives so far down us suppose it that way. the valley. It's a long walk from Buzzard's Glory to Six Stars, and the road has many chuck-holes. Perry is a man-about-thevalley par excellence, but he is discreet, so it had chanced we met but once at Warden's, and that was on the night we heard the story of Flora Martin and the famine in India. He knew me still as a friend, and not regarding him as a rival, I treated him as a companion in arms. To be sure, I could not see where he could be of much assistance; but we had a common aim and a common foe. That made a bond beWith that common foe disposed of, the bond might snap. Till then I was Perry's friend.

tween us.

"I agree with you partly," I said. "Still, it seems to me a man should love a woman for herself wholly, entirely for herself, and not because some other fellow has set his heart on her."

"You are right there, in part," Perry answered. "I have set my heart on a particular young lady, but the fact that another-a lean, cadaverous fellow with red whiskers and no particular looks or brains is slowly pushing himself between us makes it worse. It aggravates me; it affects my appetite." Perry smiled grimly. "It drives away sleep. You know how it 'ud have been if that Snyder County teacher had been

"If you insist," Perry replied. “Well then, you are settin' up with her. You've invited her to be your lady at the next spellin' bee between Six Stars and Turkey Walley, and she has said she'll think about it. Then you've told her that there is something wrong with you. You don't know what it is, 'ceptin' you feel all peekit like for no special reason; you can't eat no more, and sleep poorly and has sighin' spells. Then she kind of peeks at you outen the corner of her eye and smiles. S'posin' just then in comes this man and bows most polite, and tells you he is so delighted to see you, and makes her move from the settee where you are, to a rocker close to him; and leans over her and asks about the health of all the family as if they was his nearest and dearest; inquires about her dog; tells her she looks just like the portraits of his great-grandma. S'posin' she just kind of looks at the floor quiet-like or else up at him--you'll begin to think you ain't there at all, won't you? Then you'll concide that you are there but you oughtn't to be, and kind of slide out without your hat and forget your fiddle. I tell you, Mark, it's then love becomes a consumin' fire."

Perry looked at me appealingly. Men hesitate to speak of love-except to women. He had already shown a frankness that was

surprising, but then with a certain deftness. he had placed me in the position of the sentimental one with a problem to solve. He was seeking for himself a solution of that problem, and was appealing to me to help him.

Suppose again," said I, "that going another day to see the girl, I found her purring over a pile of books-all new books-just given her by this same arrogant interloper." Perry was silent, but when I paused and looked at him, I saw in his face that I was arguing along the right line. "Then the question arises, what shall I do?"

Perry nodded.

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I sat

There was the rub! With what? with my head clasped between my hands trying to answer him.

"With what?" I repeated, after a long silence.

"S'posin' I got her a wreath." Perry offered the suggestion, and in his enthusiasm he forgot that in our premise I was the person concerned; but I was not loath to let him take on himself the burden of our perplexity.

"Is she dead?" I asked.

"I needn't get one of that kind," he solemnly replied. "Somethin' in autumn leaves ought to be nice."

"You might do better."

"A hand-paintin', then," he ventured timidly.

I smiled on this with more approval. "They have some be-yutiful ones at Hopedale," he said with more heart. "The last time I was down I was lookin' at 'em. They've fine gold frames and-"

"Why send her a picture of a tree when the finest oak in the valley is at her door?" I protested. Why send her a picture of a slate-colored cow when a herd of Durhams pastures every day right under her eye?" "That's true," Perry answered. "Hand paintin's is meant for city folks. But what can a fellow get? A statue!" His eyes brightened. "That's just the thing-a statue of Washington or Lincoln or General Grant-how's that for an idee, Mark?"

"Excellent, if you are trying to make an impression on her uncle," I answered. Perry shook his hands despairingly.

"You have come to a poor person at such business, Perry," said I. "What little I know of courting I have from books, and it seems to me that the usual thing is flowers violets-roses."

My friend straightened up in his chair and gazed at me very long and hard. From me his eyes wandered to the calendar that hung behind my desk.

"November-November," he muttered. "A touch of snow too-and violets and


He leaned toward me fiercely. "Violets come in May," he said. "This here is a matter of weeks."

"I'm serious, Perry," said I. "Books are the thing, and flowers; not wreaths and statutes and paintings. You must send something that carries some sentiment with it."

He saw that I was in earnest, and his countenance became brighter.

"Geraniums," he muttered, thumping the table. "I'll get Mrs. Arker to let me have one of them window plants of hers, and I'll put it in a new tomato can and paint it. How's that for a starter?"

"I've never read about men sending geraniums," I replied. "It's odd, but I never have. I suppose the can makes them seem a little unwieldy. Still-—————”

"I had thought of a fortygraph album." Perry spoke timidly again.

I had no mind to let him venture any more suggestions. His was too fickle a fancy, and I had settled on an easy solution of the problem. He was to send her a geranium. Somehow, I knew deep down in my own heart, ill versed as I am in such things, that I should never send her such a gift myself. I would climb to the top of Gander Knob for a wild rose or rhododendron; I would stir the leaves from the gap to the river in search of a simple spray of arbutus for her. But step before her with my arms clasping a tin can with a geranium plant? Heaven forbid! Perry was different. The suggestion pleased him. He was rubbing his hands and smiling in great contentment.

"I might send a po-em with it," he said. "I've allus found that poetry kind of catches ahold of a girl when you are away.

It keeps you in her mind. It must be singsong, though, kind of gittin' into her head like quinine. It must keep time with the splashin' of the churn and the howlin' of the wind. I mind when I was keepin' company with Rhoda Spiker-she afterwards married Ulysses G. Harmon, of Hopedale I sent her a po-em that run somethin' like this: 'I live, I love, my Life, my Light; long love I thou, Sweetheart so bright

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Perry's po-em never got into my brain, for as he repeated the captivating lines, I was gazing over his shoulder, out of the window, down the road to the village. I saw a girl on the store porch, standing by the door a moment as if undecided which way to go. Then she turned her head into the November gale and came rapidly up the road. In a minute more she would be passing the schoolhouse door. Tim's letter

was in my pocket and the sun was still high over the gable of the mill.

Rhoda sent me a postal asking me to write her a po-em full of Ks or Xs or Ws, just so as she could get the Ls out of her head, and-"

"Perry!" I broke right into his story and seized the lapel of his waistcoat as though he were my dearest friend. "My girl is going by the schoolhouse door this very minute. Now you help me. Take the school for the rest of the afternoon."

"Your girl?" cried Perry. His voice broke from the smothered conference tone and the school heard it and tittered. He recovered himself and poked me in the chest.

"Oh!" he said, "Widow Spoonholler-I seen you last Sunday singin' offen the same book-I seen you. Hurry, Mark, hurry; and luck to you! You've done me 'most a mighty good turn.”

(To be continued.)



By George Daulton


OLLISTER threw his bulky Sunday paper on the scoured whiteness of one of Jimmie's deal tables, and taking a painted chair, tilted it back to a comfortable

balance and felt at home.

Chicago, that had outgrown his recognition, stretched flat as the table for more than twenty miles southerly along the lake, and a big, ugly lake freighter, new and strange to him in design, was slowly ploughing over a vast pool of sunshine that floated off-shore in Lake Michigan's blue. He had made his money and had returned home to live, as he had always promised himself, and now he was feeling homesick for the rough mining camp in the Rockies he had left but Thursday. He wondered, as he glanced out at the fashionable suburb on the opposite side of Devon Avenue, if he would ever again admire such shaven and clipped greenery,

and the accurate alignment that made the macadam, the curb, and the boulevard lamps disappear at the point of a perfect perspective. But here in the little lakeside restaurant he felt at home again, for "Jimmie's place" on the skirt of Edgewater, was merely a sheltering roof reared on enough posts to support it and inclosed in wire gauze, and Jimmie's little lean-to kitchen, hiding no unclean mysteries from the open view of his custom, reminded Hollister of his own tar-paper shack where he had "bached it" so long on the side of Bull Hill.

The queer little resort was deserted, but human interest was in the drift-wood fire, that was making audible protest at its confinement behind the dampers of Jimmie's shining range, and his bright copper kettle that was softly singing to itself. The neighborhood seemed to be still asleep; while Hollister glanced over his paper it was so quiet he could hear the gritty

crackle of bicycle tires wheeling down Sheridan Road, the hiss and puff of escaping air from the brakes of a trolley car three blocks away, and the pounding of a gasolene roadster coming up the shore.

Presently, as if by a signal, the vicinity awoke, a heavy door gave a muffled bang, and Hollister saw Dunham, in summer attire, strolling in and out of the shade of Kenmore Avenue to breakfast at the little café. Jimmie suddenly appeared from behind the breakwater with a fish basket, and the automobile, having a case of spasmodic sniffles that bespoke some serious disorder, turned into Devon.

"I'm glad you didn't take my laughing invitation to breakfast at Jimmie's as a joke," greeted Dunham, hurriedly entering as Jimmie came scuffling in from the sand. "I wasn't sure of you, or I'd have been here sooner. In the unusual quiet of a house just deserted for the summer I am likely to oversleep. Jimmie, I was praising your breakfasts to Mr. Hollister last night. What can you give us this morning?"

Jimmie grinned and raised the lid of his basket. Upon a bed of the grape leaves, with which his arbor was shaded, four shining white fish were lying, fresh from the lake.

"Well, it isn't good for some folks to go up into the mountains too suddenly," returned Hollister, in answer to Dunham's apology when the breakfast had been ordered. "On the other hand, I came down too quickly. I had to seek the open this morning; the change from the crate and cracker-box architecture on the shoulder of Bull Hill to that” Hollister nodded toward the big terra-cotta balls crowning the stately gables of his sister's home-" was too sudden; I had to get out." By fits and starts the automobile fussed nearer and nearer, and while Dunham was serving the melons out of their bed of crushed ice, the machine broke down, apparently not to be cajoled into making its elephantine wheels go by Jimmie's screen door. The huge vehicle was an interesting novelty to Hollister, and Dunham's witticism against the constant liability of all its kind to need repair was lost on him, while he intently watched the perspiring and irritating tinkering of the auto driver upon some part within its intricate vitals. The automobilist arose with an impa

tient jerk and softly cursed the machine, while he grabbled for something in the tool box; then he dashed the box-lid shut, and with a red and angry face strode into the restaurant to order a cup of coffee.

"Am I right in guessing that you need a washer?" asked Hollister, as the man impatiently glanced at his watch.

"Why, yes,” replied the other, as he took a hasty draught of coffee and glanced again at his watch. "I have lost all together nearly thirty minutes from my record for just one little washer. haven't such a thing about you?"


The question was impudently put, but Hollister arose beaming and brought up from the depth of his trousers pocket a handful of gold, from which he picked three ordinary iron washers.

"Then, I think, I can fit you out," said he. "Here are three sizes. You are welcome to the one you need."

The auto driver stood dumb for an instant with his cup raised in his hand. "Well, for the love of heaven! The very thing!" he burst out. "Thank you,

sir, thank you! This one is just it!'' He dashed out to his car, and the machine was soon pounding away as wickedly as at best.

"It's all right!" he called. "You've saved my life. Thank you again, and sorry you're not jogging with me."

"If it were expensive enough to be fashionable they would ride threshing machines, and then I'd buy wheat for all I was worth," remarked Dunham, gazing after the automobile as it thumped out of sight. "I never saw your equal, Hollister, in an emergency," he added. "Thrown out of a three-pair-of-stairs window you would alight on your feet as careless as a cat."

Hollister laughed, and spun the two remaining washers on the table.

"No," he said, "the virtue is in the washers. There are times, of course, when events seem to fall in a sequence that is inevitably all one way: sometimes for good that all perdition can't prevent; sometimes for bad that heaven itself cannot help. The Bull Hill Bank had such a run of luck while I was with it—a run that was nothing but evil, until a few bags of these little iron washers never said a word, but turned in and put the concern on Easy Street."

"I didn't know," interposed Dunham, "that solid little institution was ever anywhere but on 'Easy Street.""

"My boy," returned Hollister, "if you had known the bank a matter of twelve years ago you would have thought it was doing business at No. 13 Thirteenth Street. It was shortly after I went out to the mountains," he continued, "kid that I was, and, like a young goat, jocularly daring anything. Why, I took up two or three gross of mining claims, annexing enough of the hills and gulches of the Spring Valley country to cover a congressional district, if they could have been flattened out on a prairie State. A bank is the place for marketing and financing mining deals, and it was for that reason, and that the work would still leave me ample time for the outside care of my property and the development of the Alma Mater Mine, that I accepted Hadley's offer to make me his assistant.

"The Bull Hill Bank was as good a concern as any of its class in the mountains nearly all of them had done a more or less wild-cat business. Hadley had the pride of a young financier; if he had ever jeopardized the depositors by certain little manipulations of securities and accounts, it was only to make a showy balance for the stockholders, and that is what many another young and ambitious bank has done and grown into a steady-going institution, with never a day of precious excitement to enliven the monotony of its eminently respectable money-getting career. Bull Hill had sown its wild oats when I went into it, but it was certainly caught off its base that fall.

"I had been with the bank some eight or nine months when the run of bad luck struck us. First there was an utter collapse of some mining stocks in our district, which made slumps in others, all involving the bank and many of its depositors in irritating losses and settlements. It wasn't our fault that the Dial pinched out, nor that the water raised in the Olentangy nearly to the grass roots, nor that the manager of the Golden Zone overworked the mine and then lit out with everything in sight; but everybody was mad at us for the perfectly legitimate settlements that grew out of them. We lost a few accounts, but it was not till we had to withdraw our

patronage from two of our depositors, Mosier and Rand, an assayer and a prospector, whose rascality lost us the commission on the sale of a mine, that the malcontents began to get it back at us.

"Hadley had been called to Chicago to promote some of our mining deals, and I was in charge with old Blasland, our president, merely a fussy old figurehead, subject to bad turns with his heart. Things were running smoothly enough, but our working funds, which we usually kept in the neighborhood of forty thousand dollars, had been suddenly checked low by some of our ranchers, who were buying stock, and I was just thinking I would have to wire our Denver correspondent for ten thousand by express, when in walked the two glowering gentlemen I have mentioned and drew out their measly accounts, and before the bank closed two or three others had followed suit.

"Things were beginning to look serious and the old man nearly had a fit. We sent a cipher dispatch to Denver for thirty thousand dollars, and closed the safe with less than twenty thousand in it-Blasland, in his nervous meddling, attending to the time "lock" himself.

"I was at the bank bright and early the next morning, but the old gentleman was there before me, looking pale and anxious, with a message from the Denver bank, stating that our telegram had been delivered too late to make the Overland Express, and that they would ship the money the following day. We would have to run the bank, then, for the next twentysix hours on the money we had in the safe.

"I was mechanically filing the telegram in a tumult of thought of how we should bluff our way through the day, when Robert, our clerk, rushed out of the vault. 'I can't get the safe open,' he panted; 'I've tried my best, but the lock is set!'

"We all crowded into the vault, even to Jerry, our watchman and janitor. I threw myself upon the handles of the screw door, but it was as solid as though it were welded in its place. I hoped that the little lock setting the screw bar had failed to act, but Robert showed us how freely the tiny key worked, and the oily thuds of the well-fitting steel told that the bolt released the bar which should unscrew the great, round steel door and swing it out on its

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