Every Week

$100 a Year

Copyright, 1917, By the Crowell Publishing Co.
© August 27, 1917
Bonwell What I Did When I Lost My Job Stories of Practical Experiences

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What Can a Clerk Learn from Salesmen?



"He had ideas about collars."

FRED was only a twelve-dollar clerk at the men's furnishing counter of a bargain store. But he had a priceless bump of curiosity. He tore to pieces all the old collars and neckties that came his way, to see how they were made, comparing materials, workmanship, prices, and values. And, to get more information on those points, he talked with every salesman who came to the store and who had time to spare.

The drummers told him many useful things. About goods—how to tell linen from cotton, and to detect the loading in silk, and about what was coming in fashions. About keeping a store—how much capital was needed, and how to distribute it in stock, and how to keep goods turning over, and how to figure prices, profits, and expenses.

When Fred was able to open a little store of his own, he knew his business, and had ideas. One idea was about collars. To get a snug fit in collars himself, he bought imported English goods at thirty-five cents, the only kind obtainable in those days.

Other men must have necks that were not half-inch sizes, he reasoned. Why not sell quarter-size collars at regular prices?

He Told the Manufacturers What He Wanted

TO get a factory to make these involved a hard fight. Manufacturers said it could not be done for the money. Or, if it could, the retailers would simply have a doubled stock, with more work but no more profit.

Through his acquaintance with salesmen, however, Fred found a factory that was willing to try making the goods. And when he finally got quarter-size collars to sell at two for twenty-five cents, he had a monopoly of them for several years, before other manufacturers and merchants woke up to the possibilities.

That single specialty, developed by a clerk who was curious about goods he sold over the counter, laid the foundation for a chain of stores in one of our largest cities.

Can a clerk in a store learn anything from traveling salesmen?

Will a salesman waste time on a mere clerk?

The best way for a clerk to get answers to those questions is—try it and see. Ask the salesmen! He will find them not only willing but eager to give trade information.

For the traveling salesman has his eye on future sales as well as those of today. He is building up connections. He knows that it pays to cultivate the man and woman behind the counter. They are going to handle his goods after the merchant has put them in stock; and the more they know about them and the better they like the goods and himself, the faster stuff will move, and the larger will be the re-orders.

Then, too, a clerk may have much to say in his employer's selection of merchandise, and to-morrow he may be a buyer or a merchant himself. The traveling man thoroughly understands these tendencies, and is glad to meet the intelligent clerk more than half way.

His technical knowledge may point out a direct line of advancement.

How One Girl Got Out of the Cash Cage

A GROCERY store had a new cashier, a girl. One day she chatted with a coffee salesman while he was waiting to see the boss.

He told her things about coffee that were interesting and new. He said it was a pivot article in a grocery store, because it carries a fair profit, against staples, like sugar, which are sold for practically cost; and that it was also a fine article with which to make customers and hold them, because people are finicky about coffee, and like to change from brand to brand. Also, that poor coffee was not in the brand always, but in poor coffee-pots—and sometimes dirty ones.

He told her about the three broad groups of coffee taste—how some people like rich coffee, others mild, and others have to buy strong, cheap grades. Likewise, much about blends, prices, and profits.

The electric light company in that town sold electric coffee percolators. This cashier arranged for a store demonstration of good coffee-making, with a commission on each percolator sold.

She learned to humor individual coffee tastes, and she built up a coffee trade.

In a few months she was out of the cash cage, in charge of a thriving coffee department.

Traveling salesmen have helped many a clerk to get started in business for himself—right.

This Druggist Took a Salesman's Advice

THE prescription clerk in a city drug store had saved some money, and his father-in-law was able to find a little more, to open a pharmacy in a small city.

Largely through talking with traveling men, this venture was successful from the start.

Had the clerk followed his own plans he would have failed. For one thing, he was counting on too liberal an allowance of credit from the wholesalers to supplement his Cash capital—support that would only come later, when he had shown capacity for management. His plans called for too heavy an investment in fixtures instead of in goods to sell; and, being a pharmacist, he had also allowed too much for prescription stock.

The traveling men showed him how to keep this investment down to the minimum, because it would not turn itself quickly, and to put more money into candies and sundries.

The outcome was a store that was mostly live stock the day it was opened, and that immediately began earning profits.


"A salesman told the new cashier all about coffee."

War and Second Wind

IF you are an average person, one third of your breathing capacity is never used.

You pass through life filling and emptying only the upper part of your lungs.

Unless an accident occurs, putting an extraordinary demand upon you, the chances are you would die without ever discovering that you have unsuspected capacities for energizing your blood and increasing your power and joy in living.

On usual occasions we make a practice of stopping an occupation as soon as we meet the first effective layer (as we call it) of fatigue [says William James in "The Energies of Men"]. We have then walked, played, or worked "enough," so we desist.

That amount of fatigue is an efficacious obstruction on this side of which our usual life is cast. But if an unusual necessity forces us to press onward, a surprising thing occurs. The fatigue gets worse up to a certain critical point, when gradually or suddenly it passes away, and we are fresher than before. We have evidently tapped a level of new energy, masked until then by the fatigue-obstacle usually obeyed. There may be layer after layer of this experience. A third and a fourth "wind" may supervene.

Mental activity shows the phenomenon as well-as physical, and in exceptional cases we may find, beyond the very extremity of fatigue distress, amounts of ease and power that we never dreamed ourselves to own—sources of strength habitually not tapped at all.

I myself have seen this phenomenon of second wind—this release of extra-normal power in an individual who would not have believed it possible.

I remember a woman who for years had been an invalid, confined to her bed.

She knew she would never move again: the slightest vibration of the bed caused her agony.

Yet, one day when she was alone, without help, the house caught fire.

She leaped from her bed, gathered some of her belongings together, and with them set off down the road. Not until she had proceeded half a mile did it occur to her that the thing she was doing was an impossibility.

The physical shock of danger had brought to her the strength which all the doctors had failed to bring.

There is living in New York a successful and respected business man who ten years ago was in the gutter.

He had tried every known cure for drink. In spite of them all, he sank lower and lower, until finally his friends and his business cast him out, and he became a hanger-on at a Bowery dive.

One night, in the Jerry McAuley Mission, some word, some hymn—something—reached down inside him and unlocked a chamber of strength.

From that night he became a different man: he has won back all the success he ever had, and gained even more.

Physical shock—religious conviction—an energized will power—these are three keys able to touch the springs of that hidden strength which we call second wind.

And war combines all three.

Men and women, under the stress of war, work far beyond the ordinary point of breakdown—and are surprised to find themselves still fresh and strong.

They suffer reverses and sorrows which once they would have supposed too heavy to be borne—yet, from reservoirs never drawn upon, there wells up new strength.

A power is born into their lives, a richness of emotional life, that surprises all who know them—and themselves more than all.

England and France have seen this miracle in their people: we, too, shall witness it.

We shall emerge from the war less extravagant, more serious, with lung and heart and soul capacity deepened.

A people with capabilities greater and sympathies broader than we had supposed possible.

If war may be said to have compensations, this is the chief among them—the gift of second wind.

Bruce Barton, Editor.

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Open your package this way

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Painted for EVERY WEEK by C. Clyde Squires


C. Clyde Squires

THE adventure of war has always swung the youth of a country into the first ranks. The Civil War was fought, on both sides, by armies made up of boys. There are many instances of the heroism of boys of eighteen—one where the flag was rescued six times by men under twenty: one of them only sixteen. In the second year of the present war, Frank H. Simonds, watching the armies march over the dusty roads from Paris to Verdun, observed that they consisted mostly of men of middle age—the boys had gone months before.

At the battle of the Marne, a boy of twelve attached himself to a sub-lieutenant. For three days he remained under machine-gun fire at the battle of Bouillancy. When his lieutenant was wounded, the boy carried his sword, revolver, maps, and equipment for three hours while they looked for an ambulance.

Through the perils of war ninny men have come unscathed to ascend to high position. Farragut, as a midshipman, lived through a sea battle where three fifths of the crew were killed. Charles Gordon—"Chinese Gordon"—was only nineteen years old when, on winning a commission in the Crimean War, he went forty times to the trenches for periods of twenty hours. Justice Holmes can serve in the Supreme Court in spite of three wounds received in the Civil War.

Six out of every hundred boys who sail for France will not come back; but those who come back will have in their character a firmness and a power of endurance that might never have come to them otherwise. After such an experience, hardened as we who are far from the trenches can not comprehend, the ordinary trials of civil life must seem insignificant to them. In the great business of .the reconstruction theirs will be the leadership and the honors.

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Three fears dog the footsteps of many men: The fear of losing their health; the fear of losing their job; the fear of a dependent old age. I should like to feel that this magazine is doing something to lessen those fears—that letters like these, for example, would help a good many people to see that the loss of a job is not a fatal matter unless there goes with it a loss either of character or of courage. If you find these letters helpful, tell us so: and if you yourself have lived through some experiences that ought to help other folks, let's hear of that also. THE EDITOR.

Mother's Twenty-five Dollars

TWELVE years ago my wife, baby, and myself landed back in —— with eleven cents. I handed the conductor the last dime for our fares. Mother was waiting to receive us. Pulling from my pocket a big Canadian cent, and with a lump in my throat as big, I admitted that I was down and out. Having lost my job through the failure of the firm, we had been compelled to sell some of our furniture to get enough money to pay our way back home. Pattern-makers were on a strike in the city, so I could not think of getting a job at my trade; and, as I never had occasion to tackle any other line of work, I was at a loss to know what to do.

It was mother's birthday, and she had just received twenty-five dollars for a present. "Here, son," she said "take this money, go up street, and rent that little store and start a repair shop; you are handy with tools and you'll make a go of it." Mother knew; she had prayed about it. I had very little faith in the idea, and less in myself; but it was up to me to do something; so, to please. mother, I took the money.

I paid six dollars for rent, purchased some lumber for a bench, a few tools, and a small stock of supplies, spending $24.28 out of the $25. Then I painted a sign on a piece of tin:

From a Needle to an Anchor

put it in the window, and, when I closed up at night, had taken in $1.40—the first money earned in more than three months.

Each day there was a substantial increase, and in a short time we were kept busy from early morning until long after our neighbors were sound asleep. It did not take long to pay back the loan and send for our furniture. We rented a small cottage for six dollars a month, and started keeping house. As my wife helped me a great deal, the little two-room cottage was plenty big enough.

When we look over the pages of our day book, we are astonished at the number of different articles that were brought in for repairs; and I can not recall a single instance where a job was turned down. It was a case of living up to the sign in the window, and I did.

In the summer-time, bicycles, lawn-mowers, and filing saws kept me on the jump, and in the winter I had all I could do grinding skates and repairing furnaces and stoves.

By exercising strict economy, we were able, in four years, to rent the entire build- ing and add a nice stock of hardware. We sold out three years ago for a tidy sum, and engaged in other business. E. R. B.

Turning Despair into Action

MY worst experience of losing a job came in my sixth year of wedded happiness, when, after the arrival of our third youngster, I was impelled to earn more money. I left my regular business, "clerical work," and accepted a position in the life-insurance business. After a few months I failed to make good, just in the midst of the hardest winter I have ever seen.

After I was discharged I sought my old position. It was not to be had; neither was any other. The streets were filled with men begging for work. The coal-bin was low, the grocer stopped my credit, and I gave up.

But my plucky little wife did not. After a week she heard of a position in a store for the Christmas rush, at seven dollars a week, and prepared to take it at once. That awakened me. I saw that I was a miserable coward to let her go out to earn bread, while an able-bodied man despaired.

Next morning I told her she should not go, and I walked into the city. After trying all the stores without success, I chanced to pass a window where were displayed dry plants, known as "resurrection plants," that opened and turned green when placed in water. An idea struck me. I went in and talked to the proprietor. He offered to pay me fifteen cents on every one I sold at thirty-five cents.

I took out fifty of them, and after working all day without lunch in the bitter cold, I sold them all by demonstrating them as a beautiful Christmas plant.

The following two weeks I secured the services of three or four other men, and we sold the dealer completely out, my earnings totaling more than seventy-five dollars. With this I paid most of my bills; and the Christmas that had seemed so dark for a time was a very happy one.

The first of the year I applied for a position in my regular line. My new confidence in myself enabled me to secure a far better salary than my last one. My success has increased since then.

To-day I do not like to entertain the thought of losing- my job; but the one lasting resolution I took, as the result of that harrowing experience, was never to let my first day of unemployment go by without at least trying to do something. I owe that much to the three kiddies and the bravest and best wife in the world. P. T. McD.

More Room on the Sea

WHEN I lost my first job, I took the "last job" and obtained a first-class one. I lost it because I insisted upon having more pay. I was nineteen, a high-school graduate, and working in a lawyer's office for eight dollars a week.

The captain of a steamship said to me: "You don't know what a chance a young, clever, strong, steady fellow like you loses by not going into the sea business. Some people think that any kind of man is good enough for the sea; but, I tell you, it needs the best. Come with me as cadet, and if you prove o. k., I'll make you quartermaster after three trips. It will be easy enough to get to be third mate and second mate, and, if you're ambitious, first."

So I went down to Jamaica with him. My friends were very critical because I gave up an eight-dollar-a-week lawyer's job for the sea. "It's the last job," some said. "Nobody would take it who could get anything else," others remarked.

Well, I wrote letters for the captain, who was a Swede and could not write well; I took the temperature of the fruit- hold; attended to the baggage of the passengers; and cleaned the brasses, too.

The quartermaster found me efficient at the wheel and with the compass, and in three weeks I had his job. I became third and second mate in almost no time. Then I passed an examination, physical and mental, in the New York Nautical School, and received a first mate's license. My first mercantile ship sold out, and I looked for a job in the government. I got in by stepping down to the second officer's place upon a naval auxiliary, a collier going to the Philippines and Guam to coal war-ships. Then I was transferred to a distilling ship—for the navy distils its fresh water from the salt.

Now, at about thirty, I am commander of an auxiliary, with over sixty a week and best prospects, as you realize, for promotion. Those who sneered at my job are getting twenty-five dollars and less. Many who pronounced mine a risky and ne'er-do-well business are dead from all sorts of mishaps and misdeeds on land. It makes me smile when they ask, "How did you get such a job?" I say, "By taking it. The sea is deep and broad." W. H. McB.

He Didn't Spoil the Party

HALLOW-E'EN night, 1907, I came home much dejected, having been given two weeks' pay and dismissal, due to slackness in the trade.

My wife had planned a party for our boy. We had two children. My wife said, "Dear, we have arranged this party for to-night, and we will not spoil it." Thank God for my wife. Had it not been for her calm attitude, I shudder.

I got another job, and worked at it until Christmas. Then work in my line (jewelry engraving) again slackened. Not being built for outdoor work, and having given several years to one trade, it seemed a part of me. The next month we stored our furniture and went to Philadelphia to visit my wife's people. I decided to start in business for myself. It was against awful odds. The folks lovingly welcomed

us, and we paid board a short while. Then, as the little we had was diminishing, my wife insisted on renting a single room at a dollar a month and twenty-five cents for gas. I located a small store, suitable for a shop, renting for eight dollars a month. Fortunately, I owned my tools.

I walked miles mornings, collecting jewelry, and miles back. Then I engraved them, and delivered them, walking. While out I placarded the door, "Back in a few minutes." Tired? Gee—whiz! I slept those nights. Some days I averaged fifteen cents—on others twenty-five cents.

I pressed on. My faithful wife never complained. She always had that one room of ours cozy and clean. In the mornings the children had cereal, we one cup of coffee and butterless bread. At noon a pitcher of good soup. For dinner one potato each and alternately a half pound of hamburg steak or a quarter pound of bacon.

Discouragement came at times. My wife cheered me. I walked my legs nearly off, soliciting. Every day improved. By June our savings were all gone. I had battled for five months. A position was offered me. Here was the test. Should I take it? No! My wife was game. Bright prospects were ahead. Somebody gave me fifteen dollars to get a needed suit. My wife suggested taking that and selling her diamond ring, renting a house, and bringing the furniture on. We did.

No one guessed our struggles. In August our third boy was born. Having been very saving, by borrowing twenty dollars (soon returned) we pulled through.

In September the work brisked up: "I hired a boy for collecting and delivering, and this enabled me to get more work done, though it increased shop expenses. My wife did fifty dollars' worth of clerical work at home, which covered our coal bill, etc. We had a cheerful Christmas. The cheer comes from within, not without. Then the business began to flourish. We took a house with business accommodations attached, and later I located in the heart of the city.

Now I have a family of five healthy youngsters, and a home in the suburbs. Through great stress and difficulty, plenty of endurance and determination, we overcame together—rose from deprivation, not to riches, but enough. H. S.

Glad She Lost It

WHEN a little over sixteen I went to work in a factory. I worked hard, and in a year had mastered the technical details of the work so well that I was appointed assistant forewoman over a room of two hundred girl workers. I continued at this work two years, and twice received an advance in wages. Then the firm became involved in financial difficulties and we all received warning that the works were about to be closed.

I began to look for work in other factories, but found that each establishment, even in the same line of manufacture, had different methods and my hard earned experience would serve but little: I should have to go back to a machine and start all over again. By that time I had begun to weary of factory work and longed to work at something in which I could use my head as well as my hands.

I lost my job, and applied for work as saleswoman in a department-store. It was just before the holidays, so I got in—and, a good deal to my surprise, was kept on as a "regular" when the holidays were over The salary was much lower than I had earned in the factory, but enough for my mother and me to manage on.

Then I took up bookkeeping, and certain branches of English at a business school in the evenings, and began to understand what hard work really was. I kept up my work at the store, went to school four nights a week, and studied wherever I could—in the cars morning and evening, at lunch-time, every spare moment.

A few weeks before I was ready to graduate, I met my former employer and told him what I was doing. He approved, but strongly urged me to add stenography. He said that few girls attained any degree of success at bookkeeping, but, with stenography and typewriting combined, I could always be sure of a good position at a fair salary.


This impressed me so strongly that, though I had been looking forward to a rest, I enrolled in the stenography class as soon as I was finished with bookkeeping, and took up that most intricate of studies, shorthand.

It was a stiff tussle, and sometimes I thought I would never make it. But I won out. It took me almost a year. That was two years in night school.

After my graduation, through the influence of the principal, I secured a position as office assistant with a foreign exchange broker.

I found this almost as hard as school—there were so many new things to learn. But, after getting along so far, I simply couldn't bear to fail. So I worked harder than ever. I made, lots of mistakes, but tried never to make the same mistake twice. The proof that I succeeded was that in three years my salary was just doubled.

At the end of that time my employer received an offer to go to Chicago, and accepted; but before he went he gave me such a favorable reference that, without losing a day's pay, I secured a position as secretary and stenographer to an editor in a large publishing concern.

This work was beyond my capabilities; the vocabulary was far more varied and difficult than in the ordinary commercial office; but my new employer was willing to give me time to learn, if I cared to try. I was obliged to write out lists of the long words I could not spell or write easily in shorthand, and study them evenings.

However, to cut the story short, that was five years ago, and I am there still, at a larger salary. My work is pleasant and profitable, my surroundings congenial, and I am reaping the fruits of my hard climb.

This is what I did when I lost my job. Looking back, it seems one of the best things that ever happened to me that I did lose it. I might still be pegging away in that dusty, grimy factory, if I had not been jolted out of it. F. J.

She Got Experience

I HAD been working in a small-town shoe factory where cheap shoes were made and low wages paid. I could save nothing, having a very precious invalid mother to support.

When I lost my job, I tried every place in town, meeting only refusals. No one wanted even experienced help—which I was not, having gone straight from grammar school to the factory.

In desperation, I entered a dingy little grocery store I happened to be passing on my way home, and accosted the proprietor. I had not even picked out a busy store; I knew the customers here were few and far between.

"I want to work," I said.

"I don't need any help," he replied coldly.

My courage left me, and I mumbled: "I'll work for nothing; I just want to get experience."

He evidently thought me crazy, but said:

"Well, you can come and putter round a few days if you want to; but I can't hire you."

I arrived in good time next morning, cleaned his shelves and windows, rearranged his goods, and went home at night, sick with weariness and worry.

Next morning I asked permission to take the fly-specked goods out of his window and arrange it to suit myself. I had it done by noon, hoping it would catch the attention of some of the factory hands; and, sure enough, in the noon hour we made as many sales as in all the other hours of the day. I had placed in the window the things I thought would be most attractive to that crowd.

Each following day of that weary week, I dressed the window all new, with the most gratifying results in drawing trade; and on Saturday, at my suggestion, a special brand of coffee was exhibited, with a sign: "Step in and try a cup."

Hardly one weary factory hand went past that sign, besides many Saturday shoppers. Each was offered a small cup of steaming coffee and a couple of small salted biscuits. Before night every pound of the coffee had been sold, and many packages of the crackers.

At the end of the day the grocer manfully came forward with a ten-dollar bill for my week's work—twice what my shoe-shop pay would have been—and asked me to try another week.

I stayed a month, and on the different Saturdays we served cocoa, tea, etc: Then I went to a larger store, explained my ideas, asked for twelve dollars, and got it, stayed a month, then changed to another store for fifteen. Then I moved to a larger town to try more stores.

My work may not have been a new idea, but it was new to me when I started on it. I have always been thankful for having lost my job. D. D.

She Found Out Why

I WAS twenty-eight years old, and had two small children to support. I had held a position ever since my husband's death two years before.

That I deserved losing it I do not deny, as I was both irritable and impudent to my manager and to the public with whom I came in contact, to a certain extent. But it was the condition of my nerves that made me so. The worry of my babies, who were so sadly neglected during my absence, and the responsibility of my position, all combined to set my nerves on edge.

When told my services were to be dispensed with, I was indeed discouraged and bordering on nervous prostration. However, I very recklessly made myself believe I didn't care; nothing mattered at all; I didn't want that old job anyway, or any other. I would live as long as what little money I had saved lasted, and then I would just end our existence, the kiddies' and mine.


Thus ran my wild thoughts; but also right there lay my salvation—because, true to my reckless intention, I cared about nothing and refused to worry. I stayed at home and enjoyed my children to the full—those dears whom I had seen only intermittently for two years.

For six weeks I slept late, ate much, romped with my children, and altogether led a thoroughly irresponsible life, until I began to realize that my old irritability and nervousness were lacking.

With renewed health came a keen desire for work—any kind of work. My bit of savings was about exhausted, so I must get something to do quickly; and my, how I wanted to!

So, with fierce determination, I set about applying for a new job. After a few curt "I'll let you hear from us in a few days, Miss," I applied for and secured a position in a small candy and ice-cream shop. I liked my new place immensely, and after a year and a half, through my enthusiastic efforts and friendliness with the children customers, of whom I was really inordinately fond, the business increased to such an extent that an additional store was taken over, more help put on, and the management of the establishment given over to me, with a very attractive salary increase.

I successfully managed my new job for ten years, when I left it to establish a place of my own, which is one of the most exclusive confectionery shops in my city.

Furthermore,—and which is of vastly greater importance,—I have been able to have my children properly cared for, which was impossible to do with the salary of my first job.

So to be "fired" is not such a misfortune, after all, if one know the reason and sets about to correct it—even unconsciously, as in my case. E. L. C.

Bean Porridge Hot

I WAS a milliner by trade before my marriage, and, having been left a widow with one child of fifteen months, and a mother-in-law crippled with rheumatism, it was impossible for me to go to business. As we were very poor, having spent all our savings for doctors and burial purposes, we had a very strenuous time.

Well, one day when we had a dinner of beans,—I must state that beans were very cheap in those days—it came to my mind that if I cooked small pans of beans to sell to the poor families around me, I might improve our condition. So I got some small pans, and cooked several pans of beans, with a small portion of pork.

My pans cost only 2½ cents apiece, and I filled them for ten cents. I sold more and more every day.

It is wonderful how many dollars I made with my pans of hot pork and beans, and made quite a good living for my little family. Later I started a small store for millinery. But I always call it my lucky day when I cooked our poor dinner of beans. D. C.

A Widow Turns Baker

WHEN my husband died four years ago, leaving me a widow with four children ranging from two to ten years, I went to work in a shoe shop. I earned from nine to eleven dollars a week. Out of this I paid an elderly woman three dollars a week to look after the children. I did the washing evenings, and also the bulk of the cooking nights and Sundays. It was hard to make ends meet, but I managed—although I hated to be away from the children all day more than anything.

Two years ago I lost my job through the firm moving away. I tried in vain to get a job in other shops, but it was the slack season.

I wished there were something I could do so as to be home with my children. I let the hired woman go, as I could not afford to keep her. But it was my eldest girl who gave me my idea.

One day she came home from school and said, "Oh, mama, Mrs.—— says she would give anything if she could make such nice bread and rolls as you."

I wondered just how much she would give, and resolved to find out. I had always been a very good bread-maker. So I canvassed the neighborhood, and learned that, as hot weather was coming on, there were quite a few housekeepers who were willing to pay for good homemade bread and rolls.

I agreed to bake bread for five cents a loaf, the customers to furnish material.

Sometimes I would go to their houses when they lived near by, and do their baking, and for others I baked their bread at home. My boy would go with his express wagon and get their flour, etc. The first week I cleared over eight dollars, and the next week more, and have averaged about twelve dollars a week ever since. I also make doughnuts on the same plan, customers furnishing material, for five cents a dozen.

By being willing to help out with sewing, and being handy with the needle and able to make over things, especially children's clothes, I have earned many a dollar. At least, I have kept my little family together, and we are all happy and well fed. L. B.

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Practice Makes Cock-Sure


Illustrations by Frank Snapp

FOLKS that 'tends to their own business exclusive lead doggone tiresome lives. Even if I be a grocer, selling eggs and cheese and canned salmon, I'll go so far as to say my life hain't been tiresome. It's my hobby done it. Some folks collect birds' eggs and arrow-heads or stamps; some folks paint shiny plates to give to their friends, thus wounding the friendship, so to speak; some folks do other things. But my hobby is folks and poking my nose into things that probably hain't any of my business.

That's the way I run my grocery. I've been on this corner since before lots of my customers was born, and in a heap of cases I was dummed near present at the occasion. In the case of the Whittier twins I was late for the first, but standing right at the foot of the stairs when the second let out the first holler.

The Whittier twins was boys. Hammond and Wesley was their names, and they was as different as two eggs, one out of cold storage and the other out of a hen. Not that they looked alike, the way eggs does: for one was kind of small and dark and weazened and displeasing to the eye—which was Wesley; while the other was big and broad and straight, with kind of yaller hair and eyes that was always smiling at you—which was Hammond. Hammond is the fellow all these collar manufacturers try to make their advertising pictures look like.

I was consid'able het up with liking for Ham; but from the time I caught Wes sneaking bananas from the bunch in front of my store, I sort of figgered he was a mean one and shifty. As soon as you saw him the first time, you suspected he was the feller that done it, without waiting to find out if anything had been done.

Ham was no hero out of a Sunday school book. He done enough mischief; but Wes done mischief that struck folks as being mean mischief. The funny thing was that Ham always stood up for Wes, and tried to grab the blame for things. Seemed like he worshiped that weazened up brother of his. So far's I could see, Wes never put himself out any to return the favor.

IF these here twins hadn't been complicated by a leetle girl next door, I don't know as I should have got mixed up into things.

The girl was Marion Gray, and from the time she could grab holt of a man's nose and squeal till she was twenty-one, which is her present age, she didn't do anything but pass through a hundred different stages of being the pertiest thing that ever was. And every new kind of pertness she took on was pertier than the last. Man alive! she was jest naturally the sweetest, most beautiful-looking, up-and-down satisfying-to-the-eye human being I ever had call me Uncle Eli.

Well, Marion she lived across the street from the Whittier twins when she was little, and before all of them got to making too much money and moved on to a street such as the carriage trade lives on. The twins and she played together constant. Afterward they lived in the same block and went to the same school, and the twins and her kept on playing together constant.

Once, when she was about fifteen, she come into the store after some mixed pickles for her ma, and I says:

"Where's the twins? Hain't sick or nothin', be they?"

"The twins," she says, wagging her head, "are a nuisance."

"To be sure," says I. "Masculine folks always is a nuisance to feminine folks—exceptin' on pay-days."

"Every time I look, there are the twins," says she, "waiting for me."

"It's a tribute," says I, "to your mother's cookin'."

"What?" says she, flabbergasted.

"The trouble with twins," says I, "is that there's two of 'em."

"The trouble is," says she, "that there are any of them!"

"Yes," says I, growing sarcastic; "but I calc'late you could spare one of them twins some better'n you could the other. And," says I, "the one that could be spared hain't named Ham. Say, Marion, however you can stand that other young snoop around is a marvel to me."

She sort of studied over it a minute, and looked at me grave for a leetle girl like that, and says: "Folks don't like Wes as well as they do Ham, do they?"

"No," says I; "and nature didn't, either. She didn't waste a minute decoratin' him."

"He is homely," says she.

"And sneakin'," says I.

She didn't answer that, but jest looked grave at me, and took her pickles and went home.

WELL, the boys they went to college, and so did Marion. They come back twenty-four year old apiece, and she twenty. Ham had got to be a full-back or something, and. the most popular man in his class, and all them things like he deserved; and Wes, he hadn't got to be anything except what Ham had hauled him into by the bosom of his pants. Seems like Ham wouldn't join no fraternities nor nothing without Wes was asked too.

And Marion! Goodness! When I seen her after her being away a year, I was like to keel over ag'in' the molasses barrel. She jest stunned a feller.

And still Ham and Wes trailed around after her like they was handcuffed together.

"Wes," says I one day to the runt, "be both of you boys calc'latin' on marryin' Marion at once? Or do you frequent her together all the time because she's scenery and worth lookin' at? Eh? Do you regard yourselves as courtin' that young woman?"

Right there I began mixing into their affairs.

"Say, Wes," says I, "how is either of you goin' to make love to that girl with the other hangin' around?"

"Why—" says he, and stopped, his eyes sort of shifting to the floor, like they always do when you look at him.

"Courtin'," says I, "is a species of huntin' that's done without guide or companion," I says. "What chance has Ham and Marion to git married if you're always goin' to be plastered ag'in' the scenery?"

He looked up quick.

"Do you think, Uncle Eli," says he, "that Marion's in love with Ham?"

"I hope she is," says I, not regarding his feelings to speak of, "and I calc'late she'd agree with me."

He didn't say anything for a spell, but jest looked at my feet. Then he lifted up his eyes and gave off that disagreeable sort of sneering grin of his.

"Have you got this from headquarters, Uncle Eli?" says he.

"Marion never said so in that many words," says I, using the right kind of emphasis where it would do most good.

"Um," says he, and looked at my feet again, and kicked at a potato that had got out of the basket. "Um," he says again; and turned around, forgetting what he'd come after, and walked out slow without saying good afternoon. I watched him go, feeling that maybe I'd put a flea in his ear and done a mite of good in the world.

I guess it did do some good, too, for I begun to see Ham and Marion together considerable, without catching so much as a glimpse of Wes in the background. It kind of made me feel diplomatic—the smooth way I'd gone about it to let Wes know how he stood in the thing. I hadn't give Wes credit for that much sense.

"What's become of Wes?" says I to Marion one day, just to kind of watch how pleased she'd show herself to be to get him out of the way.

"Wes," she says, kind of short-like, "has gotten to be a business man. He's working so hard helping his father manufacture axles for automobiles that he hasn't time for—old playmates."

"Um," says I. "Hain't affected Ham that way, to speak of."


Frank Snapp

"The girl was Marion Gray, and she was jest naturally the sweetest, most up-and-down satisfying human being that ever called me Uncle Eli."

"Ham takes his work more reasonably," says she; but I didn't quite catch all the enthusiasm I was looking for.

WELL, sir, about two weeks after that, Jim Whittier—which was the twins' dad—came to my house in the evening and rang the bell. As soon as the light fell on his face, I says to myself that the market for automobile axles was busted and Jim's couple of millions was walked off with by some of them cute financial fellers with the up-to-date sand-bags.

"What's wrong, Jim?" says I. "Come in and set."

"Eli," says he, plunging right into the middle of it, "you've known my boys since they were born. Would you believe either of them would be guilty of a lowdown, despicable meanness?"

"Um—" says I. "Let's have the specifications."

"I couldn't go to anybody else with this, Eli," says he. "I couldn't go to the police. I couldn't tell it to anybody but you. But I've got to figure it out. It seems, Eli, as if there was some truth in what we hear about people's hearts breaking."

"To be sure," says I. "I've seen it done. What them boys been up to?"

"I— No, I can't even hope it wasn't one of them. It was one of them. It couldn't have been anybody else. It couldn't. And I've got to find out which. Eli, it's an awful thing to know one of your sons is a thief—but it's worse to know he's a sneak and disloyal. It's the disloyalty that hurts most, Eli—for I've loved those boys."

He stopped, and let his head lop down so his chin was on his neck-tie.

"Yes," says I; "I've noticed you lovin' 'em.

"I've got to know which," says he. "You can realize what that means. It means you've got to choose between your boys. It means that one minute you hope it won't prove to be Ham, and the next you hope it won't prove to be Wes. I've tried, Eli, to love both those boys alike—and now, God knows, I keep trying and trying to make up my mind which one of them will turn out to be square. I just keep at that, and it's unbearable."

"Yes," says I, "I calc'late a father would do that—never havin' been a father myself, and so competent to talk about all the emotions. What's the thing they've done?"

"Sold me out to the Bushman Axle Company," says he. "For two years I've been working on a new rear axle design—something new in mechanics—an improvement in the differential that would have turned the axle business upside down. And I had it worked out. Not a soul knew but myself, for I'd done it all alone, even to assembling the model. And when it was done I didn't patent it, because I didn't want to tip off the business to what was coming. I wanted to spring it on them with a smash."

His voice lost the clang of enthusiasm that had come into it, and he says:

"Two weeks ago I told the boys about it, and showed them the drawings. Nobody in the world but the three of us knew they existed."

"And now," says I, "somebody's swiped the drawings and sold them to the Bushman folks."

He just nodded.

"Jim," says I, "didn't you give them boys enough money to spend?"

"Yes," says he.

"What you thought was enough," says I, "or what they thought was?"

"They never complained," says he.

"Did either of 'em have any need for a wad that you couldn't see your way clear to give him?"

"No," says he.

"Um," says I. "Sometimes young fellers has need of money and dassen't ask

it of their dads. I've heard tell of sich things. Where was them drawin's taken from?"

"A safe in my office at the house."

"Boys knew the combination?"

"I tried to see the boys knew everything I did. Eli, since those boys came I've tried to live so they could know everything I did. Understand that? Just so they could know, Eli, I've tried for almost twenty-five years not to think a thing that would make them ashamed of me. And now—"

It looked like a minute when a feller ought to lay his hand on the other feller's arm soft-like, and I done it. There wasn't anything to say jest then.

After a while he says:

"Eli, I'm their father, and maybe I don't see clear. You've watched them for years. Could you believe a thing like this of either one?"

"Jim," says I, "this hain't no thing to do any b'lievin' about. You got to know. You can't send a boy to hell with b'lievin'—though it's been done. We got to find out," says I, "and find out so positive before we do anythin', that there hain't even the faintest whiff of a doubt left. Have you spoke to the boys about it?"

"No," says he. And I saw how, if things was let to go, he never would speak, and all the rest of his life would go along wrung and tortured by not knowing which boy was a skunk. I expect men get to loving their children that way.

"Jim," says I, "how do you figger on goin' after it?"

"I haven't figured, Eli," says he. "That's why I came to you."

"Groceries," says I, "is gettin' to be only a side line with me. Calc'late I'll open an office with one of them mahogany desks in it, and charge money for gettin' folks out of muddles. Practice," says I, "makes cock-sure. And I'm accumulatin' the practice. Now, you go home," says I, "and try and git some sleep, and make b'lieve you know 'twan't neither Ham nor Wes. Meantime, I'll see what's to be done."

He went like a man stepping voluntary under a dropping pile-driver.

NOW there was something to think about, wasn't it? Here's a father that's done about all a man can for his two sons, and loved them like they was the sight of his eyes—and one of them up and does him about the slinkingest kind of a trick there is. And him in the position where he's got to convict one of them bays in order to have the other left decent in his sight!

It might have been either of them, and it might have been both in cahoots; but I knowed blamed well it wasn't. I knowed it was Wes; but how to prove it was another thing. Ham wouldn't help me, even to get suspicion off of himself; and Wes wouldn't own up; and the folks he sold the drawings to wouldn't ever own up but what they had the idea and made the thing themselves. Somehow, it looked like a thing that nobody would ever get the truth out of, and that would leave Jim the rest of his life knowing he had a son that was a skunk, but not knowing which.

Well, when there's a thing that's got to be done, and you see you can't manage it, the only thing to do is to dodge and go to work at something else; so I went to running my grocery, store and 'tending to my own affairs till something turned up—which most generally it does.

THE something that turned up was Marion and Ham, and they come into the store about noon, on account of Marion wanting something or other which I forgot. I figured here was my chance to have a bit of a talk with Ham.

"How's your dad, Ham?" says I.

Ham's face took on a kind of a strained look, and he says:

"Uncle Eli, something ails dad. He's acted mighty queer for a couple of days—as if Wes and I had done something he didn't like. Why, he acts like he couldn't bear to look at us or be near us."

"Um," says I.

"Last night," says he, "he came into the library, where Wes and I were, and he stood in the door a minute looking at us in the darndest way, first at one and then at the other; and then he said something under his breath and bolted."

"No idee what's eatin' him?" says I.

"No; Wes and I went over everything we'd been up to for a year, and couldn't get a hint."

"Um," says I. "Wes couldn't give no hint either?" I says.

"No," says he.

"Ham," says I, "this listens serious. Where's Wes?"

"At home," says he.

"Telephone him to come over," says I—which he did. And in five minutes in come Wes, looking as weazened and shifty and low-down as ever.

"Marion," says I, "somethin' disagreeable and disillusionin' is apt to be said by me to these here boys. I guess you better run along."

"Do you know what ails their father?" says she.

"Yes," says I.

"Is it something the boys have done?"

"One of 'em," says I.

"Then," says she, "I stay. Don't I, boys?"

Wes he looks up at her quick and then drops his eyes to the floor; and Ham he looks at her level and square, and says if anything disagreeable is going to happen, he wishes she would hang around.

"All right," says I; "but you and she'll wisht she'd minded her own business."

She didn't budge, so I went on.

"Boys," says I, "if there's a thing that jest three people know exists, and it's put in a place that jest the three of them can


Frank Snapp

"'Folks don't like Wes as well as they do Ham, do they?' she says."

git into, and it up and disappears, what's the answer?"

Wes looked up at me quick, and then dropped his eyes again.

"You mean dad's rear axle drawings?" says he.

"Yes," says I; "how'd you know?"

He didn't answer.

"They've turned up," says I, "in the hands of the folks that would git the most good by 'em."

Ham looked at Wes, and Wes looked at Ham. For quite a spell their eyes seemed to clutch and hang on to each other.

Marion, pale all at once, looked at Wes. She never looked once at Ham, but just at Wes. And right off I knew I was right. He was the one she suspected; and a man's a fool that goes running contrary to woman's judgments of men she's knowed from the baby-cab up.

"Your father didn't take them drawings," says I.

"No," says Wes.

"So," says I, "it must 'a' been one of you boys."

"I don't believe it," says Marion.

Wes he sneaked another look at her, and one at Ham. Ham he smiled a bit like he was tasting lemon juice, and says:

"Thanks, Marion."

"Now, says I, "the boy that done that thing is a skunk. Your pa's 'most crazy because he's got to suspect both of you, and dassen't suspect either. Think of what he's undergoin'. Gosh all hemlock!" says I, "it's more'n a man kin bear."

"Is there any—evidence against either of us?" says Wes. I noticed he was doin' all the talking.

"No," says I. "But if you don't want your pa to go crazy, there'd better be. Have either of you boys needed money bad?"

Ham started to speak; but Wes shut him up. "Keep quiet," says he.

Then he took jest a leetle step toward Marion, and this time he looked into her eyes longer than I ever saw him look into anybody's—and he turned and looked into Ham's.

"Anybody," says he, "if he gets in the right place, is apt to do a dirty thing. It don't mean he'll ever do it again. Sometimes it means he'll be less likely to do such a thing than a man who hasn't—been guilty. Remember that, Marion—in case— Uncle Eli," says he. "I took those drawings out of the safe and sold them."

With that he turns quick and almost runs out of the store. Before you could wink, Ham he turns, too, and runs after him, leaving me alone with Marion.

She just stood pale and sort of clutching her throat, looking after them.

Then, the words just busting out of her like something mighty powerful was behind them forcing them, she says:

"He lied. He lied. He lied."

"I knowed it was him all the time," says I, feeling pretty self-satisfied.

"You knew," she says—and her voice sort of ripped into me like it was a ragged edge of tin—"you knew it was Wes because—because you don't like his looks; because he's small; because you've got a prejudice against him. You knew it was he because you don't know him. Nobody knows him but me. I know he didn't do it, whatever he says. I know Wes is good. Yes, good, and honest, and big. That's the word for him—big. Ham is good and honest; but would he be big enough to confess to doing a thing like that—because he loved his brother?"

"What's that?" says I.

"I mean," says she, "that I don't believe either of those boys took the drawings; but, if either of them did, it wasn't Wes."

"Shucks!" says I.

"He did what he did," says she, "just as he's been staying away from me so that Ham could have me. That was big, but it was silly. He couldn't make me love Ham when I already loved him, could he?"

"Eh?" says I, consid'able flabbergasted.

"I do love him," says she, "because he's— Oh, you never saw into his heart, Uncle Eli. It's sweet and clean."

"How about Ham?" says I, not square on my feet yet.

"He's a good boy—and honest," she says; "but Wes is something more than that. Men like Wes aren't born every day. Lots of brothers love each other, Uncle Eli. Lots of men love girls. But it isn't every day a man is born who is capable of a great love—like Wes. And he so afraid of himself, and—humble is the only word that fits him."

"Um," says I. "I calc'late you do love him."

"With all my heart," she says, simple, but kind of proud.

"Wimmin have made sim'lar mistakes before," says I.

She turned her back on me and started away.

"Where you goin'?" says I.

"To find Wes," says she, "and to tell him—and to ask him if he won't—marry me to-day."

"Go easy," says I. "I've observed that boy some close and continuin'; and I know he's a sneak, and always was a sneak."

"He's the best and truest boy alive," says she.

I SHUT up a minute and thought, and then I says:

"Marion," says I, "your sayin' that so doggone emphatic is evidence to the contrary, and raises what a jury'd call a reasonable doubt. Overlookin' the fact that he's confessed," says I, "I'll admit that there doubt, and we'll go into it further. You bein' in love with him complicates things. But," says I, "he owned up."

"Because," says she, "he loves Ham better than his own happiness; and because he—he loves me."

"He thought Ham done it!" says I.

"He knew he didn't do it himself," says she, "and—he thought I loved Ham. It was—a gift—to both of us."

"Now listen," says I. "All I got yet is a reasonable doubt, but I'll go ahead on that basis. You figger Ham done it?"

"Neither of 'em did it," says she.

"One of 'em had to," says I.

"Fiddlesticks!" says she, sharp-like.

"All right," says I; "then we got to look for somebody else who could 'a' done it."

"And we'll find them," says she.

"I wisht," says I, "that I'd give more attention to readin' detective stories, and less to inquirin' into the antecedents of


Frank Snapp

"'Please, Miss,' says the maid, 'don't let them send me or Pete to jail. Oh, Miss!'"

dairy butter. Honest, Marion, I hain't got no idea where to commence."

"Begin," says she, "with the idea that there was somebody besides the boys and their father who knew about the drawings."

"Uh-huh," says I. "What'll I do—advertise for him?"

She wrinkled her forehead all up with thinking, and I done a little of that kind of work too.

Pretty soon I says:

"You skedaddle after them boys and make 'em promise not to do no more confessin' till I say the word. And you, young woman, don't do no love-makin' to Wes till the same date. Otherwise I lay down on the job. See?"

"All right, Uncle Eli," says she, submissive as could be.

WHEN she was gone, I sliced me off a piece of cheese, and sat down on a barrel to give myself the full benefit of all that had happened; and the more I studied it, the worse it looked. On account of Marion I had admitted to a reasonable doubt; but it didn't go very deep—especially not in the teeth of Wes owning up he was the guilty party.

It was a nice mess, without her having to get in on the wrong side of it. In love with Wes! Whoever'd have believed it? If she was going to fall in love, why couldn't she have done like any sensible girl, and f 11 in love with a big, strapping, handsome young fellow that was all right, instead of with that measly, weazened young snake-in-the-grass? Between you and me, wimmin's falling in love is the dumdest thing in creation. It hits in the most unlikely spots, and manages to discover more virtues that hain't in folks that's built by nature to give short weight and measure.

Poor leetle Marion! She was due to get some considerable heartache when she was convinced that facts was facts.

But I'd promised to look into it; so I looked, neglecting the grocery business something shameful. And what did I find—by starting at the other end, so to speak, and working back?

I knowed where them drawings went to, so I began trying to see if I couldn't begin at that end and follow the tracks they'd left back to the safe in Jim's library.

THERE never yet was a big office that didn't have a man in it with more curiosity than is good for the firm, and that jest loves to stray around blowing promiscuous about what he picks up. I figured that there probably would be some what you might call visible signs of excitement around the boss's office the day them drawings was fetched to him; so, going over my list of customers, I found a feller, by name Jenkins, that worked for the axle concern; and when he come in the store, I done what the books call engage him in conversation.

"Perty responsible job you got," says I, deferential.

"Well," says he, "the company does set some value on me."

"I'll bet," says I, "and I'll bet again there hain't much goin' on that the boss don't consult you about." Him being, as I judged, a sort of second assistant bookkeeper or something.

He jest waggled his head important-like.

"I hear there's important changes contemplated," says I.

"You know there are," says he, "and it all came suddenly, too. Started last Thursday. Shouldn't wonder if the Whittier folks was mixing up in it," says he, like he was possessed of a heap of knowledge.

"Um," says I. "How you figger that?"

"Saw young Whittier—Wesley Whittier—having mighty close talks with the old man several times lately. Saw him in the old man's car Wednesday night—late. And then Thursday things break loose all over the office. Old man had in the engineers and boss mechanics, and after the conference they all looked like somebody had given 'em a million apiece."

"Hum,' says I. "Mighty int'restin'. Sure it was Wes Whittier?"

"Certain," says he.

WELL, that about settled it. I called Marion up and told her; but I might as well have put a sign on the molasses barrel for flies to keep off.

"Uncle Eli," says she, "I don't care if somebody saw Wes give the drawings to that man. I'd know just the same he didn't do it."

"All right," says I; "but my reasonable doubt's clean vanished."

"What are you going to do?" she says anxious.

"I'm goin'," says I, "to ease Jim Whittier's mind. It's stood this strain as long as it's safe."

"When?" says she.

"As soon," says I, "as I can collect Ham and Wes and take them to Jim."

"They're all at home for lunch every day," says she. "They'll be there at one o'clock."

"Then," says I, "one o'clock is when I perform a darn unpleasant duty."

SO at one I shoved my thumb against the Whittiers' door-bell, and was let in, asking to see Jim.

"Well, Eli?" says he, looking about eighty years old.

"Call the boys into the lib'ry," says I.

In they come, and we all sat there, looking at one another like we was expecting a sudden death to happen.

"Jim," says I, "I know who done it. First he confessed to it; but there was a reasonable doubt he might not be tellin' the truth, so I looked into it some more.

"The lookin'," says I, "proved he knowed what he was talkin' about. It's time you knew, Jim; for suspectin' two sons is a heap worse than knowin' one of 'em is a crook.

"Wes," says I, lookin' at the measly twin, "take your medicine."

Wes shut his eyes a half a second; then he stole a look at Ham; and in them there was a sheep-dog expression that made my throat lump all up.

"Uncle Eli is right, dad," says he—so low you could hardly hear him. "I took the drawings."

Ham jumped to his feet. "Dad—" says he.

"Be still, Ham," says Wes. "Think of her, Ham. Be still."

"Wesley," says Jim in an old man's voice, but a yearning kind of a voice. "Wesley—"

"I haven't any excuse, dad," says Wesley.

And Jim jest laid his head down on his desk like somebody had shot him through the heart.

THEN the library door opened, and who should stand there but Marion? She took one look around, big-eyed. Her hand went to her throat, and she sort of moaned a leetle.

"Oh," says she, "I was too slow!"

Wes stood looking at her, the color of ashes out of a wood-stove.

"Marion," says he, and stopped. "Marion—go away. You—you mustn't see this."

"Wes," says she, "don't you want me near you?"

"God knows I do!" says he.

And then she smiled at him.

"Marion," says I, "careful!"

She looked at me with regular scorn in her eyes.

"Wes," says she, "before anything else I want you to know that, whatever happens, however many times you confess, however many times they prove you're guilty—I—I love you. And, Wes, I'm going to marry you."

She smiled again.

Wes sort of swayed on his feet. Jim raised his head and stared at her, hardly comprehending what was happening.

Then she turned on me and on Ham and on Jim.

"You knew him," she says. "You're his father and you're his brother—and you, Uncle Eli! And you could believe this thing of him!"

Jim looked at his son that had confessed, and says his name in a voice like praying.

Then Marion pushed open the door wide, and there was somebody with her—one of them housemaids.

"Nettie," says she, her voice hard like I'd never heard it, "tell these men."

The girl tried to drag herself away, but Marion grabbed her arm.

"Please, Miss," says the girl, "don't let them send me or Pete to jail. Oh, Miss!"

"Tell, then," says Marion, jest like flint.

And the girl told—told how she was engaged to marry a machinist in the other axle company, and how they wanted money, and how they couldn't save fast enough. She told how, like housemaids does constant, she'd listened around, jest out of curiosity, and heard Jim and the boys talking about the axle. And she'd told it to Pete, and Pete saw there was money in it, and got her to try to git her hands on the drawings. And how, Wednesday night, she come in the library, and found the safe unlocked, and grabbed them and shoved them under her apron.

From then on she talked, but nobody paid any attention to her.

MARION she walked over to Wes, and put up her face, and held out her arms; and Wes, looking like he'd seen through a window into heaven, took her to him slow and gentle.

But it was Jim that I looked at. I never seen a man with a noose around his neck get pardoned jest before the drop falls—but I guess Jim looked the way such a man would look. And Ham—just stared.

Marion got herself loose, and says: "Your father wants you now, Wes." And Wes went to Jim, and patted his shoulder and looked into his face.

"What—made you—confess?" says Jim.

"He thought it was Ham," says Marion for him.

"Why?" says I.

"Because," says she, "he knew he didn't do it, and it seemed that Ham was the only other possible person."

"But," says I, "why was he lallygagging with the boss of that other concern?"

Wes looked kind of confused, and then he says, ashamed-like:

"Classmate of mine worked there, Uncle Eli. Got into trouble—money. I—why, I had to see if I couldn't fix it up. They let me pay back what he took, and he's coming to work for us now."

"Marion," says I, "practice don't make so cock-sure, after all. I guess I kind of foozled this here matter. But say, how'd you got on to Nettie, here?"

"Our maid told me she was going to marry a man from that factory," says she, "and I guessed then. It was just a guess."

"After this," says I, "when folks gives me a problem to figger out with this here gigantic brain of mine," I says, "I'll jest fetch it to you—for one of them guesses. Good afternoon," says I. "And you Jim, and Ham, come along with me. I calc'late Marion and Wes has got some lost conversation to make up. Come on."

As we shut the door, I heard Wes say, in a voice that was glad and kind of awed: "You wouldn't believe it!"

"I couldn't," says she; "I'd seen inside your heart."

everyweek Page 10Page 10

Almanzar's Perfect Day


Illustrations by Hanson Booth


Hanson Booth

"Miss McCoy played the parlor organ, and Almanzar sang, the short, black young man and the slim, 'bright' young man unenthusiastically acting as audience."

ALMANZAR EVARTS usually lingered in the African M. E. Zion Church after choir rehearsal, to gossip with the other singers, and receive from them and the choir-master the commendation he had richly earned for the earnestness, quality, and volume of his tenor. On this Thursday evening, however, he hardly waited for the unctuous "That'll be all toe-night, ladies an' gen'lemen; please be promply on han' at ten fifty-five Sunday mawnin'," before making his exit.

"Why you in such a hurry, Br'er Evarts?" asked Miss Luna Meecham.

Miss Meecham had thought perhaps Almanzar would see her home.

"I have a impohtant business engagement," replied Almanzar, in his best imitation of the manner of Mr. Farnsworth, at whose house he was general house-boy.

He passed out through the church door to the street, and set out at a swinging gait toward one of the more aristocratic colored quarters of the city.

Almanzar wore a suit of blue serge, a hat of pearl gray with white band and binding, white-topped shoes of tan, a fancy shirt, and purple socks and neckwear. He was about to make a late call at the home of Miss Susietta McCoy.

Miss McCoy was a recent arrival from Galveston. Had she possessed no social position whatever, her face, figure, charm of manner, good clothes, and quite unusual culture would have made a deep impression on the colored people of her new home. But, plus all these things, she had come to San Antonio with her father, and her father had come to accept the position of head waiter at the Plaza Hotel.

Lest there be any who do not see the significance of this, let it be stated that the head waiter of the Plaza Hotel is, by virtue of that position, the undisputed arbiter of San Antonio colored society.

The very desirable Miss McCoy opened the doo in person, and welcomed Almanzar with a cordiality that visibly displeased two other young men who were sitting in her parents' parlor. There ensued an hour in which each of the three tried to outwait the others. During the struggle Miss McCoy played the parlor organ—she played rather well, having taken music lessons,—and Almanzar, without having to be urged unduly, sang.

His natural choice invariably vas sacred music, but he sang all kinds. He had a good ear, and could follow a score a little by what musicians scornfully call the "rope reading" method; and that evening leaning over Miss McCoy's shoulder, he learned a new selection. He almost forgot to be indignant at the staying qualities of the short, black young man and the tall, slim, "bright" young man who were unenthusiastically acting as audience.

THERE was a rule at the Farnsworth house that Almanzar could remain out as late as he pleased, provided only that he slammed the gate and whistled when he came into the yard, so his employers would know he was not a burglar. In this he had a decided advantage over the other young men, who were handicapped by domestic regulations at the houses where they worked.

At quarter past eleven o'clock the tall, slim, bright young man gave it up with a sigh, and said good night. At eleven-thirty the short, black young man also quit, giving Almanzar a look, as he departed, that would have awed a smaller and less irresponsible youth.

Almanzar desired to go not later than eleven-fifty. There were sundry dark and lonely streets on the way to the Farnsworth house that he preferred not to travel on foot and alone, and the last car left downtown at midnight. He wasted no time, therefore, in broaching a subject that was close to his heart:

"I was wonderin', ez I come by, ef you-all couldn't allow me to esco't you to the festerval at the big chu'ch to-morrow night."

"Lawdy, Mista' Evarts! You are the six' gen'leman has ask' me that!" exclaimed Miss McCoy.

"You ain't accepted any of 'em?" he asked anxiously.

"Not enti'ly definitely," she replied. "I wasn't sho' I wanted ter go." Her manner, implied that the activities of society bored her. "Is the festervals heah in San 'Ntonio interestin'?"

"Very," Almanzar assured her with enthusiasm. "Very interestin' indeed! Highly so. I don' remembeh any lady eveh goin' to festerval with me 'at didn' say she had er good time befo' the festerval was ovah. I aims ter make festervals pleasant fuh any lady goes with me."

"I don't guess, f'om you' looks, you spare pains to mek er lady enjoy herself," Miss McCoy remarked flatteringly.

"Well, w'en I takes lady to er festerval, I don't expect her not to enjoy huhself. I figures on enjoyin' myself—why not the lady too? That's what I says."

Seeing intense approbation of this sentiment in Susietta's face, Almanzar amplified with a detail that later he was to realize had been altogether too definite.

"W'en I takes lady to er festerval," he said, "I nevah buys jes' ice cream. Gen'leman 'at ain' able to do more'n buy jes' ice cream ain' got no business to tek lady to festerval, way I figure it. If they's san'wiches, I figures we ought have san'wiches. If they's salad, I figures we ought have salad. Besides ice cream an' cake. An' coffee an' lemolade, if such there be. Friend of mine, only las' week, was tellin' me he was fixin' to tek er lady to festerval, an' had only fo' bits. I says, 'Stay away, boy; stay away! Go fin' some crap game an' increase yo' income,' I says, 'befo' you expec' lady to get please' if you tek huh out an' ac' lak a pikah,' I says. An' those is sho'ly my sentiments, Miss McCoy. Ef you does it, do it right."

This declaration. of principles, which was really quite remarkable, considering that at the moment Almanzar had exactly thirty cents in the world, and a nickel of that must be expended for carfare home, seemed to touch a responsive chord in the young woman's breast. She leaned forward, her eyes glistening.

"I sho'ly appreciates yo' kind invitation, Mista' Evarts," she murmured, "an' it gives me deep pleasure to accep'."

Almanzar also leaned forward, in the rapture of the moment, and a terrifying sound smote him from the rear. At the same instant something clutched his right shoulder, and then let go. His eyes widened with horror at the realization that an accident had befallen his beautiful blue serge coat, an accident, his ears told Shim, that was not a mere matter of a rip; but a tear.

Even while the girl was exclaiming her regrets, Almanzar, on his feet, had removed his coat and surveyed the damage.

Certain of the McCoy furniture had come with them from Galveston. A rocking-chair, none other than the one Almanzar had selected, had arrived in a somewhat damaged condition, its back having come loose. The elder McCoy had repaired it by the simple process of driving a wire nail through; and the nail he happened to find was fully a half inch too long. The tear across the shoulder of Almanzar's coat was not less than seven inches in length.

"Ain' 'at er shame!" Miss McCoy cried. "I'm so sorry! An' it's sho'ly you' bes' coat, too."

BRAVELY, and without thought of consequences, Almanzar played out the part he had already assumed. To give him his due, for the moment he really believed he was speaking truth.

"Lawdy!" he exclaimed. "Don' let 'at botheh you, Miss McCoy. I done got other clo's besides these. I got bettah clo's—comin' to-morrow f'om my tailor. "I'll wear the new soot to morrow night. What time shall I call foh you?"

Continued on page 15

everyweek Page 11Page 11


A Little Lecture on Reincarnation


© J. T. Jennings.

WE have always been awfully fond of animals (except the Insectivoræ), and often on our country rambles we map out quite nice reincarnation futures for the different well disposed beasties that we meet. It seems to us that this cow is certainly well started toward a brilliant future as a prominent clubwoman. If you half close your eyes you can see her as plain as day, neatly and expensively clothed in a sand-colored dinner gown, acting as patroness for the Byron League's annual reception. Just a few more lives, a minute book, and some Causes—that's all she needs.


© J. T. Jennings.

BR-R-R-R-R-R! This is a bold, bad bandit, and, whether on the high seas or Os. high ways, we know that future generations will tremble at his footfall. The lines in his forehead come from nights spent in planning his bold enterprises, and his little eyes and snubby nose show a woeful lack of idealism in his dealings with unhappy wretches w ho happen to cross his wishes. One look at those perfect incisors, and we warmly congratulate ourself that in this incarnation, at least, he is only a bulldog, and the manmade laws about muzzles are pretty well enforced.


Photographs by J. T. Jennings.

"PUSSY CAT, pussy cat, where have you been?" We know where you are going. We can see you plain as day, after about eighty-one more lives, taking a million languid curtain calls on Broadway. You are a very lovely and a very heartless pussy, and you will evolve without turning a hair into "the most beautiful woman on the American stage." Home-wrecking, cold-cream-naming, retiring from public life, and showing up again to discompose your rivals after your positively last appearance—these will make up a very busy future life for you. But what can one do when she has purr-sonalitee?


Photographs by J. T. Jennings.

THIS little pony, which leaned over the fence so confidingly at us, will make, a few lives hence, probably the most popular bud of the season. She will frequently be found in a badly lighted conservatory with a Yarvard man, contributing the following gems to the conversation: "Oh, I don't know." "You do too." "How absurd—this next one is Eric's." She will have a nice, tired father to pay her speeding fines, and later on a nice, tired husband to pay her bridge debts. Gather ye sorrel while ye may, little quadruped. You have yet to learn what it is to be bored.


© J. T. Jennings.

OUR poor descendants! This is the fellow who will take all. their money away from them. We saw him yesterday driving several hens away from the interesting corner of the vegetable garden and devouring all the pleasing tidbits that they had laboriously scratched up. A prominent bank president he will be ere long, the fearless, able head of an association for the disregard of the interests of those people whose incomes amount to less than $500,000 a year.


Photograph by J. T. Jennings.

THIS angel child, who followed us for a mile and had to be carried home to his rightful master, may evolve into anything that is perennially young and guileless and funny and always knocking things over. If the Fates are too busy to bother about him, he will just blunder along through his life as a human, getting into scrapes and out again, and end up about where he began. But if the Fates have some time on their hands to look after him, he will go into the movies and win eternal fame and fortune as a Bunny-Chaplin II.

everyweek Page 12Page 12

The High Cost of Being Amused


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

IN rural ponds, bathing still costs no more than a pair of trunks. But here are people who enjoy the sport only where there is blue sea and yellow sand cut off from the rest of the world by a board walk where stroll an unending line of expensive gentlemen and ladies. Even though Annette Kellermann simplified the model, ladies often pay $65 for a bathing suit, $2.50 for sandals, and $5.50 for marine millinery, once recognized as a bathing-cap. Besides which, the beach necessitates a "permanent wave" for your hair, at $50 the wave.


© Underwood & Underwood.

AT horse shows you meet hundreds of rich and handsome and good-humored people. You see the chrysanthemums which cost one lavish patroness a thousand dollars a day. If you keep near to Cholly van Ducat perhaps you'll get your picture in a society magazine. So a horse show is amusing. But, to be really important, you have to pay five dollars. and bring a horse that costs thousands; four grooms to brush and comb him, to bandage his ankles, to pull on his neat traveling boots; a padded motor van to carry him to his private box. Durbar II won $200,000 for his owner at the 1914 Derby. Does that pay for his upkeep?


Photograph by Brown Brothers.

AT a cabaret, a reserved seat near the floor costs five dollars. A drink, be it a temperance beverage or no, costs on the average fifty cents. As soon as you have finished one drink and want for nothing, there is the waiter looking at you. You know what he means, so turn to the boys and say, "What'll it be?" The food is expensive in order to pay the salaries of the performers—250-dollar-a-week artists, supported by chorus girls. The night you go cabareting, draw your nest egg from the bank—in fives. And if the hat-check boy isn't sore at you when you go, you're in luck.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

A FINE pack of hounds, living in sanitary kennels, nursed and educated by a brigade of keepers, costs annually $40,000. George Washington and his neighbor Lord Fairfax introduced fox-hunting into America. In those days they had all Virginia and a pest of foxes. Now the Meadow Brook Hunt Club has only twenty square miles of valuable real estate and a few carefully guarded foxes. A horse that is a good hunter costs $1500, and a man who is a real enthusiast at the sport must keep many of these for the use of his guests and his sons-in-law.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

A FINE pack of hounds, living in sanitary kennels, nursed and educated by a brigade of keepers, costs annually $40,000. George Washington and his neighbor Lord Fairfax introduced fox-hunting into America. In those days they had all Virginia and a pest of foxes. Now the Meadow Brook Hunt Club has only twenty square miles of valuable real estate and a few carefully guarded foxes. A horse that is a good hunter costs $1500, and a man who is a real enthusiast at the sport must keep many of these for the use of his guests and his sons-in-law.


Photograph by Brown Brothers.

SAY you had an insatiable desire to attend the opera, and were tired of standing room only. Some of the boxes in the grand tier cost their owners $1380 a year, and at that they can be used only one night a week. Other boxes, with Goelet and Vanderbilt and other strangely familiar names written over them, are owned outright, like a piece of real estate. They pass to the owner's heirs when he dies. No one will tell us what they cost. Perhaps because our great-grandfather didn't move in society. He was an Elk, though.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

IN 1872 the army introduced polo into England from India. One ordinary family horse was considered good enough for any player. Then the Duke of Westminster, the richest duke, took it up and gave it its expensive tone. A first-class polo-player must have at least four ponies, costing from $500 to more than $2,000 a-piece. He must keep his own stable, with its boudoir-stalls, and hire a company of grooms. In fact, to be a first-class polo-player, get an income of a hundred thousand a year, and give no time to your firm, no matter how they plead with you.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

FEAST your eyes on several millions of dollars. No, we aren't discussing the Liberty Loan or Mary Pickford's salary. In 1915, 703,500 cars were built in this country, at a value of $523,464,000. That's a lot of money, but the car hardly belongs in the "amusement class" any more. It has put the country home and the city office side by side, and gladdened the heart of everybody except the president of the inter-urban streetcar company.


THERE are unfortunate people in New York and other metropolises who don't see any fun in playing anagrams at home of a winter evening. They must have their fancy dress balls. Twenty dollars a ticket, if the ball is for charity or Belgium; a costume that a Sultan wouldn't be ashamed of; a taxicab or preferably one's own motor. All evening a man must keep buying seven-dollar bottles of champagne, and drinking those that others buy. Then supper is ordered—Russian caviar and everything that goes after it. At three o'clock in the morning the Hawaii orchestra gets tired. The only way to encourage them is to put ten-dollar bills on the leader's baton. And after three of such balls, a man has to go to Bermuda to recuperate.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

THE yacht has been called "the rich man's ferry-boat." You can buy quite a nice yacht for $15,000, and a first-class one for $50,000. But if you want to win the cup that King George V has offered, you will have to go to some great designer of racing sloops and order an entirely new model that no one has thought of before. The New York Yacht Club is another expensive factor in being a yachtsman. With its club dues, it has built stations along the Atlantic coast, costing $18,900 to build and $7000 a year to maintain.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

AT the New York Dog show 20,000 dogs are exhibited, at an entrance fee of $5 apiece. No puppy worth less than $250 can enter, and many a dog sells for as much as $10,000. Once a year all these valuable animals are brought in their little knitted silk sweaters to Madison Square Garden. The lucky dog wins a ten-dollar prize. Here is Miss Barbara Clare with her famous Samoyedes dogs. They are pure white, and come from the Arctic Circle, and there are very few dog families like them in this climate. Isn't family resemblance a wonderful thing?

everyweek Page 14Page 14

Want a Wife? Advertise


Photograph from J. R. Henderson.

WHILE Eagle Plume was away at school, behold, oil was struck on his lands, and he returned to find that all he had to do the rest of his life was to ring once for hot water, twice for ice water, and three times for a man to come and press his trousers. He changed his name to John Little John, and still he was not happy. He was lonesome. So he advertised. To test the nerves and disposition of the lady applicants, John met them in full Indian costume. Some fainted, some screamed, some turned wrathfully away. But the third day arrived a trim young woman who did none of these things. So they were married.


Photograph from Hinton Gilmore.

WE reach out a friendly hand to W. S. Dickerson of Ellendale, Delaware, a brother newspaper man. Mr. Dickerson is correspondent for a paper at Milford, Delaware; and, in writing up the wedding of an Ellendale lass, Mr. Dickerson added a sentence wondering what little girl would he willing to make life happy for a lonely newspaper man. Before he knew it his mailbox was as full of lavender and pink letters as ours is of seed catalogs in spring. And one of the writers Mr. Dickerson married. Editors and actors don't get much money, but think how many girls write to us.


Photograph from J. R. Henderson.

QUINCY G. WHITTSCARTOR, forty-six, prosperous farmer, having sold a big wheat crop at high prices last year, concluded he might take time off to think on the subject of matrimony. He sent ninety-eight cents and a five-line ad to a matrimonial paper. And what happened? Letters, of course. But worse than letters. Two applicants got on the train, stepped off at Mr. Whittscartor's station, and arrived at his farm simultaneous—as it were. Fireworks, hot words, unladylike language, and presto! The man who had had no wife was threatened with two. Mr. Whittscartor finally escaped. He expresses the opinion that every woman in the world will answer a matrimonial ad if given half a chance. We wonder.


"WIFE wanted at once. I never was married, but wish to be in the near future. I maintain a high standard as a gentleman. None can give better references. I am no late reformer. She must be a Christian, middle-aged, unencumbered, some means, good disposition. I don't smoke or drink coffee. Photos exchanged." Dick Arnold, fifty-three, had hardly reached home after inserting this advertisement before the R. F. D. man was at his gate, bent almost double with mail. At length Dick decided to take the letters to a widow friend of his who had often advised him. He did—and wound up by chucking the letters into, the fire and marrying the widow.


Photograph from the Federated Press.

EDWARD L. HUTCHINSON, a New York farmer, had a farm left to him by his bachelor uncle, on condition that he marry within two years. Why should a bachelor leave such a horrid will as that? "The evil that men do lives after them." Anyway, Edward inserted a small advertisement in a Syracuse newspaper. and within a short time received more than 5000 answers, of which more than a thousand contained photographs of the fair applicants. Taking the whole great bundle of mail-order affection with him, Edward went away to think it over. He has a year in which to decide. It won't do any good to think, Eddie. Whichever one you marry, you'll always wonder if you wouldn't have done better with one of the other 4999.


READERS of the sporting pages, step forward, please, and meet Mr. Arthur C. Tilney, of whom you have probably already heard. Mr. Tilney is the champion one-legged bicycle rider of the Northwest. Being busy at his trade of cobbler, and not wanting to take time to tramp up and down the earth looking for the one girl, Mr. Tilney advertised. From far-off Kentucky came an answer. The letters continued. Cupid, the little rascal, tampered with the U. S. mails, and at length the two met, and were married an hour later. Both Mr. and Mrs. Tilney claim that the mail-order method of courtship has great advantages, and that the government ought to reduce the postage to 1 cent on all envelops that have "Love Letter" plainly written in the upper left-hand corner.

everyweek Page 15Page 15

—Continued from page 10

He wished, as he waited for his car, he had not spoken quite so confidently. He thought of it more and more as he rode home. He was still considering the matter deeply as he strode into the back yard of the Farnsworth house, slammed the gate, and began to whistle loudly. When he turned on the electric light in his little house, laid his torn coat across his lap, and gave himself up to a cold, calculating analysis of the situation, he was almost convinced that he had been a little foolish.

It was a fact that he had a new suit coming; he always had a new suit coming. But it was not coming to-morrow, and it was not being made by a tailor. It was neatly reposing on a coat-hanger, in the emporium of the Paris Gents' Outfitters, an instalment house that dealt principally with Mexicans of an unprosperous class and with colored people. And in the ordinary course of events, even under exceptionally favorable circumstances, he had not expected to come into possession of it under three-weeks' time.

The policy of the Paris Gents' Outfitters, as regards the instalment accounts of Afro-Americans, differed somewhat from the methods of instalment houses in certain more northern portions of the country. The indubitable success that had come to Messrs. Eph Katz and José Garcia, who were the Paris Gents' Outfitters, was in no small degree due to the fact that San Antonio negroes saw nothing unusual in these methods. In brief, the system was this: A colored man, desiring to purchase clothing, selects it, makes an initial payment, and goes on his way. From time to time, as agreed or otherwise, he makes other payments. When he has made the last one, he gets the clothes.

To sundry persons who at one time and another had protested to Mr. Eph Katz that this was no more than paying in advance and waiting for delivery of the goods, Mr. Katz had replied, with a modicum of truth:

"Colored folks, y'understand, wouldn't ever save up enough cash to buy a pair of pants yet, let alone a whole suit, so we should worry about losing the trade to a strictly spot-cash house."

Almanzar had a suit, ordered and saved for him under such a contract as was customary, hanging in the store of the Paris Gents' Outfitters. Its total price was $14.70. He had paid, on account, $11.70—at the rate of a dollar a week except once, when, on his way to the store on a Saturday evening, he met two ladies of the younger A. M. E. Zion Church set, and felt impelled to buy three ice cream sodas. That week the Paris Outfitters' books credited him with seventy cents.

He still owed three dollars. He knew the hopelessness of asking Mr. Katz or Mr. Garcia to trust him. His wages were already drawn ahead with Mrs. Farnsworth.

Sighing, he hung the damaged coat across a chair-back and prepared for bed. It was no use worrying over something that would not become an acute problem until to-morrow. He wondered how he could go about it to get the new suit. Calmly wondering, he fell asleep.

MRS. FARNSWORTH, leisurely dressing the following morning, stopped suddenly and spoke to Mr. Farnsworth, who was trying to sneak in a beauty nap:

"For goodness' sake! Do you hear that?"

"Hear what?" he murmured drowsily.

"Almanzar. Out in the yard. He's cutting kindling."

"Must be a norther just arriving."

"But there isn't. It's a beautiful morning. I never knew him to do that before in all his life. I never knew any house-boy to do it until it was absolutely necessary."

Mr. Farnsworth slid off into the nap during these remarks, and forgot them when, ten minutes later, he finally awoke and began to dress. Becoming a little snore alert and coherent after his first cup of coffee, he noticed that the breakfast was unusually appetizing. Almanzar came in from the kitchen on some errand, and his employer spoke appreciatively:

"These are as nice waffles as you ever made, Almanzar."

"Yassuh," Almanzar replied simply, and slipped from the room.

"Now you've certainly done it!" Mrs. Farnsworth declared.

"Huh? Done what?"

"Let me in for whatever it is he wants me to do. Do you know what that boy has been up to this morning?"

"He's been up to some good cooking; I can swear to that."

"He has chopped enough kindlings for three cold days. He has cleaned out the refrigerator without being told—even the drain-pipes. He has polished the living-room andirons. And right at this minute, between jobs, he is washing the kitchen windows."

Mr. Farnsworth asked rather blankly: "Who usually washes the windows?"

"He does—about the third day I fuss about it. And I have to stand over him every minute. I never, told him to do a single one of those things to-day."

Mr. Farnsworth laughed as he folded his morning paper and reached for a cigar, preparatory to leaving for his office.

"Something tells me," he said, "that within a few hours you are going to be made the victim of an artistic touch."

The expected happened along toward luncheon-time. Almanzar started briskly for the kitchen after receiving some


Hanson Booth - '17

"Almanzar set out to see to it that Miss Susietta had the time of her young life. It was one of the most successful festivals, every one agreed, that the city had ever seen."

instructions as to the dinner order, and turned back.

"Oh, Miz Fahnswo'th," he said softly, as if it had that moment occurred to him, "will you let me have three dollahs an' a half, please ma'am?"

"Three dollars and a half! You've drawn all your this week's pay but one dollar already."

"Yassum. I'd like to have three dollahs an' a half, please. I gotta get some clo's."

"Clothes! Why, you haven't had that blue suit but—"

"Yassum. I done tore it. Tore it bad, Miz Fahnswo'th. Caught it on er nail. I'll get it an' show it to you. It jes' natchully kain't, be repaihed a-tall. An' I gotta go to a festerval this evenin'; I already invited a girl to go with me, Miz Fahnswo'th. At the big chu'ch."

"I'll let you have enough money to have it mended."

"No ma'am. It kain't be mended, excep' to weah eve'y day. An' I need to get new soot I got waitin' down to the Paris Gents' Outfittehs. I gotta mek jes' a li'l' payment to get it. Please let me have three dollahs an' a half, Miz Fahnswo'th. You kin take it all out nex' week."

Mrs. Farnsworth—who knew, if she did take it all out the following week, that she would sink into the class of cruel and unnatural employers—tried to compromise.

"Three dollars and a half is a lot of money, Almanzar. Perhaps I could— Go get me the receipts on the clothes. Let's see how much you owe."

The servant was back promptly with the blue coat—the rent in its shoulder aggravatingly displayed—and his receipts from the Paris Outfitters. These showed a balance against him of three dollars, a fact of which he was perfectly aware; he wanted the other four bits for ice cream and similar luxuries. He showed great surprise, however, when Mrs. Farnsworth, by simple addition and subtraction, demonstrated that the balance was less than he had stated, and lowered his request to an even three dollars.

After some discussion, during which he listened, with a tolerance that even approached interest, to a repetition of peculiarly Caucasian ideas as to saving money and taking care of clothes, he got the three dollars. Then he asked for an afternoon off, in order that he could get the clothes. Mrs. Farnsworth told him he could go immediately after luncheon, if he would be sure to return in time to get dinner.

SOON after two o'clock Almanzar appeared in the store Of the Paris Gents' Outfitters, laid down on the counter three dollars, and asked for his new suit.

Mr. José Garcia, after consulting a large book, said briefly:

"You owe six dollars on that suit."

"No suh," protested Almanzar. "I paid 'leven-seventy, an' I owe three dollahs."

"You paid eight-seventy," Mr. Garcia replied coldly. "Give me six dollars and you get the clothes."

"But I got the receipts," the boy cried desperately.

"Give them to me," demanded Garcia. "Give them to me and I'll see whether you have or not."

If Mr. Garcia had merely asked for the receipts in a friendly manner, Almanzar undoubtedly would have handed them over; but the harshness of his demand stimulated suspicion. Almanzar suddenly remembered that he had heard it gossiped among his people that this had happened before—that boys who had purchased clothes and thought they had enough money to make the final payment found they were mistaken. Many negroes, not understanding the importance of keeping receipts, mislaid them. Almanzar had sense enough to know that if he ever passed those receipts across the counter to Mr. Garcia they might never come back into his hands.

"I got 'em home," he declared. "I'll go get 'em."

He returned the three dollars to his pocket and made a hurried exit.

Five minutes later he was sitting in the shabby office of J. Montgomery Clodden, attorney-at-law. Mr. Clodden, a shifty-eyed mulatto of middle age, had amassed a considerable quantity of real and personal property by looking after the interests of colored folks in trouble—second. He looked after the interests of J. Montgomery Clodden first. Almanzar told his troubles, producing the receipts.

"Hm!" Clodden put on gold-bowed spectacles and studied the slips. "I should say there would be no difficulty whatever recoverin' at law—by suit, sequestration, and judgment."

"Yassuh," replied Almanzar. "Does you think you can get my clo's?"

"Have you got the three dollars?"

Almanzar handed them over.

"Wait here," the lawyer commanded. "I'll go over an' see these people. Then I'll come back. Wait here."

He was gone twenty minutes. When he returned, his manner was grave.

"I am sorry to say, young man, that they absolutely refuse to deliver the clothes. I think they are in a conspiracy to—ah—prevent you from receivin' the use an' behoof of your raiment."

Almanzar, who understood only the first sentence; took back the receipts.

"Can't you get me my soot?" he asked.

"Oh, yes. It will be a very easy matter. We bring proceedin's, first applyin' to a justice of the peace for a writ of sequestration, and then— How much money have you got?"

"Three dollahs. You've got it."

"Can you get five more?"

"But I don' owe 'em but three dollahs."

"The five would be for the costs of the proceedin's." The lawyer rose. "Go get five dollars an' bring it to me, an' we will promp'ly institute proceedin's at once."

"Yassuh," agreed Almanzar. "Well, I reckon I'll be goin'." He held out his hand. "My three dollahs, please, Mista Clodden."

The lawyer smiled paternally.

"I have to have that as a fee for goin' to see these people an' bein—ah—retained in your case. Come in when you get the five."

Almanzar found himself standing helplessly and hopelessly in the corridor.

IF no white people had been involved in the transaction at all, Almanzar probably never would have thought, desperate as was his need, of appealing to whites to help him out. That would have been to "tell cullud folks' business." But the Paris Gents' Outfitters were white.

Clearly Lawyer Clodden could not secure him justice. He knew who could.

Mr. Farnsworth, immersed in a lot of important figures, called "Come in," to a knock on his private office door, and a clerk from the outer room entered.

"That colored boy that works for you is outside," she said, "and says he wants to see you on something important."

"Bring him in," said Mr. Farnsworth. "Hello, Almanzar. What's up?"

IT took the servant but three or four minutes to pour out his woes. It took Mr. Farnsworth but a moment more to look at the receipts.

"You leave these receipts with me and I'll fix it up to-morrow," he said.

Almanzar became panic-stricken.

"Please, Mista' Fahnswo'th!" he implored. "I done tore my do's, an' I'm goin' to er festerval to-night. I jes' natcherlly got to have that soot this evenin'."

Mr. Farnsworth got his hat.

"If you've got to, I suppose you've got to," he fumed, "but I wish you could arrange your troubles so you didn't have to pick my busiest days every time I get you out of a mess."

"Yassuh," grinned Almanzar.

"Where did you get three dollars all at one time?" Mr. Farnsworth asked, as they went down in the elevator together.

"Miz Fahnswo'th done advance' it."

"Oh, yes. I remember."

Almanzar vaguely wondered what it was Mr. Farnsworth remembered. They arrived together at the store of the Paris Gents' Outfitters, where Mr. Farnsworth stated the situation, as he saw it, with some force. Mr. Garcia contented himself with merely repeating that the books showed a balance due of six dollars, and that he certainly did not propose to surrender the clothes unless it was paid. He added that Mr. Farnsworth could come back later, however, and see his partner, if he wanted to.

Mr. Farnsworth spoke with some heat.

"If you think I haven't anything to do except come to this store two or three times to get a colored boy a suit of clothes that he is entitled to, you are mistaken," he said. "Now I want you to give this boy his clothes, and give them to him now. If you don't, I'll start something that will get them mighty quick!"

Mr. Garcia did not know Mr. Farnsworth, and he did not like gringoes. "Starting something," in Mr. Garcia's experience, meant something physical.

"You will, eh?" he exclaimed. "Well, mister, suppose you start it!"

And Mr. Farnsworth, with a shock, realized that the Mexican, idly dropping his hand to the counter beside him as he spoke, had rested it on the handle of a knife with a blade about five inches long.

This was an angle to a business difference that Mr. Farnsworth never had encountered. He instantly realized the futility of further argument, turned without a word, and walked through the door to the street. Almanzar was waiting for him on the sidewalk three doors away. It occurred to Mr. Farnsworth, afterward, that the boy had been right at his shoulder when the Mexican reached for the knife.

Almanzar looked trustingly into his employer's face.

"All right, Almanzar. We'll fix it. Come on," Mr. Farnsworth said; and marched, as fast as he could walk, to the offices of Judge Lee Stevens.

"Hello, Fred," hailed the judge.

Mr. Farnsworth was too excited to waste time in preliminary courtesies.

"Say, Lee!" he exclaimed. "I've started something I can't finish. I guess you'll have to help me out. A gang of instalment pirates is trying to trim my nigger—I've got him out in the other room—and I went over to try to get him a square deal, and— Say, Lee! Darned if a greaser didn't pull a knife on me!"

Rapidly he recounted the whole story.

"What's the answer?" he concluded. "Ought I to go to the police?"

"I wouldn't," advised the attorney. "It's your word against this Garcia's about the knife, and what you want isn't to get him arrested, anyway, but to get your boy's clothes. No question about the nigger being right, I suppose."

"No. Here are his receipts. And he's a good boy, anyway."

Judge Stevens looked them over.

"Let me have these, and the money for the balance, and I'll go right over there. You run back to your office and attend to your work."

"Fine!" exclaimed Farnsworth appreciatively. "Send the bill to me, of course."

"There won't be any bill, Fred. Give me the three dollars, and tell the boy to come along with me."

Mr. Farnsworth opened the door.

"Come in here, Almanzar," he called. "Judge Stevens is going over with you to try to get your suit. You do just what he tells you. Give him the money."

Almanzar twisted his hat in confusion. "W'at money, Mista' Fahnswo'th?"

"The three dollars Mrs. Farnsworth let you have."

"Yassuh. I done give it to 'at cullud lawyer—Clodden."

"This is new to me " Mr. Farnsworth said. "You didn't tell me about that."

"Yassuh. No suh. I done give it to him to go ovah an' pay fuh the clo's en when he come back he says he couldn't get 'em. So then I come to you, suh."

"But the three dollars?"

"Yassuh. Mista Clodden he said he natchully had to keep it. He said it was a detainin' fee, I think he said, suh."

"Sounds like Clodden," Judge Stevens remarked. "Kiss it good-by, Fred; it's gone."

"You ought to have known better than to give it to him," Mr. Farnsworth sputtered to Almanzar.

"Yassuh. I wanted him to go ovah an' get my clo's."

"Oh, well," Farnsworth sighed. "Here's the three dollars."

He turned sternly on the colored boy.

"I'm not giving you this money," he said—"only lending it to you. Mrs. Farnsworth will take it out of your wages."

"Yassuh," grinned Almanzar.

"Come on, boy," said the Judge.

At the store of the Paris Gents' Outfitters, Judge Stevens left Almanzar out on the sidewalk, and entered alone. Mr. Katz had come in, and advanced to meet the lawyer, who handed him his professional card. Mr. Katz read it and looked inquiringly up at the attorney. Mr. Katz was five feet five inches in height. Judge Stevens was six feet one.

"I've been retained by Mr. Frederick Farnsworth," he said, "to see you about a suit of clothes his colored servant bought here. The servant's name is Evarts—Almanzar Evarts. He has paid $11.70. He owes you three dollars. Here is the three dollars. I want the clothes."

Mr. Katz assumed his sternest manner.

"More trouble we are having over that one suit of clothes," he said, "than we should have if we was outfitting the army and navy of the United States. Twice already, my partner tells me, somebody has been to get that suit of clothes, and a man comes in here, with this here big nigger as a body-guard, y'understand, and threatens my partner that he will start a rough-house unless—"

"I know all about that. He didn't. But your partner started to pull a knife. I might stop to remark that if anybody in here starts to pull a knife or a gun on me, I shall not wait to send for the police. Here are receipts for $11.70, on your regular receipt forms." Mr. Katz extended an eager hand. "Wait a minute. Before I give you those receipts, I want to mention that I am merely handing them to you for you to look at, and that I expect you to hand them right back to me. If anything should happen to them while they are in your possession—if they should happen to get torn, or dropped into a drawer—you are going to have me to deal with—personally. Do you got me?"

Mr. Katz evidently did; the eager gleam died out of his eyes. His partner, who was now at his shoulder, did not participate in the conference. Mr. Katz took the receipts, ran over them perfunctorily, and handed them back.

"Three of them receipts," he remarked coldly, "is a forgery. The amount due on the suit is six dollars."

"All right!" Judge Stevens replied promptly, restoring the slips to his pocket. "Now I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going over to the court-house and bring suit for these clothes, and have an order of sequestration issued. And if you think this colored boy forged any of these receipts, you bring charges against him and send him to the pen, if you can. And if you try it, his employer is back of him, and I'm back of him, and we'll give you the finest run for your money you ever had in your life."

"I should worry," said Katz. "There's a proud chance a jury would take the word of a nigger, y'understand, against a merchant of the city, which he is in good standing and—"

"But you won't be a merchant of the city, either in good standing or out of good standing, by then. When I leave the office of the justice of the peace, about fifteen minutes from now, I'm going to drop in on the district attorney. I'm going to tell him what kind of a place you're running—a store to trim colored folks out of their money. And I think I'm going to send you to jail."

He had nearly reached the door when Katz called to him:

"Oh, mister! Judge Stevens! Just wait a minute!" The merchant was smiling ingratiatingly as the lawyer faced him. "Say, lissen, judge! This is certainly one on me, y'understand. Mr. Garcia, he tells me just this minute that he is looking into the books and he rinds that this here now Evarts did pay that three dollars, just like he said, only it got accidentally credited to the account of another nigger named Evans. Mistakes will happen, Judge, in any good business house."

Judge Stevens stepped to the door and called Almanzar. Five minutes later the darky, trying to hide a succession of grins, had the new suit safely in a box under his arm. Judge Stevens had caused him to identify it carefully before accepting it.

It suddenly occurred to him—as Judge Stevens, on the sidewalk, told him to run along home, be a good boy, keep out of trouble, and never trade with the Paris Gents' Outfitters any more—that it was getting terribly close to time to get dinner. He therefore rode home, instead of walking. This left him only twenty cents. Life wasn't an unalloyed joy, after all: first came one problem, then another.

HE prepared and served a very good dinner. Then, after Mr. Farnsworth had gone into the den to read his paper, Almanzar approached Mrs. Farnsworth.

"Please, Miz Fahnswo'th, will you let me have fo' bits?" he asked.

"Certainly not. My goodness, Almanzar, you must think I am made of money! Fifty cents! After all you've had to-day."

"Yassum. I'm goin' to festerval, Miz Fahnswo'th—at the big chuhch—en I ask' a cullud girl to go, en I got to have a li'l' change."

"You had already drawn all this week's pay but a dollar before this morning. Just one dollar you had coming to you tomorrow night. And then I let you have three dollars, and this afternoon you got three dollars more of Mr. Farnsworth. Why, you won't have a single cent coming to you next Saturday night, unless maybe I let you have a dollar then on account."

"Yassum. You an' Mista' Fahnswo'th certain'y good to me. Fo' bits I need, Miz Fahnswo'th, to tek this cullud girl I ask' to the festerval. It costs twenty cents fuh us to get in, and two ice creams is twenty cents mo', an'—"

"Haven't you any money at all?"

"Only twenty cents. An' at the festerval—"

She compromised on a quarter.

Almanzar, attired in his new clothes, found it was getting late, and took a street-car downtown. Forty-five cents would pay for the two admissions, and purchase ice cream, and leave five cents over. Five cents wouldn't buy anything at a church festival; he might as well spend it for carfare.

As he stood waiting in the dusk for his car to come along, three or four people came and waited on the same corner. One of them was colored; in the headlight's glare, as the car approached, he saw it was Lawyer J. Montgomery Clodden.

The car was already crowded. There was quite a jam in the rear vestibule as the new passengers got on. The white people went first, then the colored lawyer swung his bulk up the step, in a slow, middle-aged way. Almanzar was directly behind him.

Over the lawyer's shoulder, Almanzar saw that Clodden was paying his fare with a dollar bill out of a bill-book that he took out of his hip pocket. He noticed that there were exactly three one-dollar bills left in the pocket-book.

Almanzar's tendencies were honest. If there had been ten dollars in the lawyer's little pile, he probably never would have thought of doing what he did. But there were three—his three dollars.

Clodden, crowding forward, slipped the bill-book into his hip pocket. His coat caught on the top of it and left it exposed in front of Almanzar's eyes. It screamed temptation. His own money!

More people got on at the next corner, and Almanzar was pushed forward, jostling Clodden. The pocket-book was in front of the boy's hand. It felt loose. A second later it was in Almanzar's pocket. He left the car at the next stop.

He started to walk across town. As he walked he thought quite coherently. Lawyer Clodden would sooner or later discover that he had lost his purse. Somebody might have seen Almanzar on the car. He might be suspected.

Continued on page 23

HEREWITH is the smallest large contributor to the Red Cross, accompanied by the most valuable piece of veal in the country—Maurice Peairs and his golden calf Ida, who sold for $10 a pound. "Dear Editor," wrote Maurice to a Chicago paper: "I want to join the Red Cross, but I haven't got any money. I will give my pet calf Ida if you can sell her for enough so I can join the Red Cross. Ida is a lady calf, not a gentleman, and is


Photograph from Underwood & Underwood.

very gentle and lovely."

Maurice's patriotic offer so moved the kindhearted editor that he sat down and wrote Maurice to send Ida right on and he would sell her. When Ida arrived in state, she was met by a brass band. Overnight Ida became the most famous calf in America; and, while every one was talking about her, she was auctioned off for $750. Now Maurice and his four brothers have life memberships in the Red Cross.

everyweek Page 17Page 17

The Abandoned Room


Illustration by Robert McCaig


"'You acknowledge those footmarks were here, Mr. Blackburn?" 'Certainly.' Bobby answered. 'I knew Howells connected them with the murderer.'"

YOUNG Bobby Blackburn, called home by a message from his cousin Katherine, who lives with Bobby's grandfather at the Cedars, leaves a gay supper with Carlos Paredes and Maria, a Spanish dancer. He is a little hazy as to how he reaches the train, and afterward his mind becomes a blank. He wakes up the next afternoon in a deserted house in a wood near the Cedars. Walking to the house, he learns that his grandfather is dead—Howells, the county detective, thinks murdered. Katherine tells Bobby the old man, exasperated by his grandson's neglect, planned to change his will, cutting the young man off. Restless and unable to sleep, he retired the night before to an unused bedroom, where a few tours later he was found dead. Paredes appears at the Cedars to "help" Bobby. In the house also is Hartley Graham, of whom Bobby, in love with his cousin, is jealous, in spite of their friendship. That afternoon Silas Blackburn's body is found turned, so that a round wound is disclosed at the base of the brain. That night Howells determines to sleep in the bed from which Silas Blackburn's body has been removed, on the theory that the murderer will try to kill him to destroy his evidence. Bobby takes a sleeping powder and goes to bed. Katherine calls him in the night. Throwing on a dressing-gown, he finds in the hall Graham and Katherine, who says she has again heard a noise that has twice foretold disaster in the room of death. They call Howells, without response, and Bobby and Graham break down the door. Howells is lying dead, a wound at the base of his brain. Bobby and Paredes go in an automobile for Dr. Groom. Driving through the forest, they come on the deserted house where Bobby found himself. There is a faint light emanating from the house, but an investigation is fruitless. That night, before the return of the coroner, Graham and Katherine persuade Bobby to remove from the dead detective's body the "evidence"—a handkerchief bearing Bobby's initials, found under the bed in the abandoned room, and the cast of a footprint found in the path to the house. Bobby, against his own inclination, finally goes to the room with a lighted candle. Putting out his hand toward the body, the candle suddenly goes out, and in the darkness the dead man moves beneath his hand.

BOBBY'S inability to cry out alone prevented his alarming the others and announcing to Paredes and Dr. Groom his unlawful presence in that room of death. In the moment that the shock held him silent, motionless, bent in the darkness above the bed, he knew there could be no doubt of his ghastly and loathsome experience. The dead detective had altered his position as Silas Blackburn had done; and between the extinction of his candle and the commencement of that movement—only a second or so—the evidence had disappeared from the dead man's pocket.

Bobby relaxed. He stumbled across the room and into the corridor. He went with hands outstretched through the blackness, for no candle burned in the upper hall; but he knew that Katherine was on guard there. She must have sensed something wrong immediately, for she hurried to meet him.

"You got the cast and the handkerchief, Bobby?"

And when he didn't answer at once, she asked, with a sharp rush of fear:

"What's the matter? What's happened?"

He shuddered. At last he managed to speak:

"Katherine! I have felt death cease to be death."

Later he was to recall that phrase with a sicker horror than he experienced now.

"You saw something!" she said. "But your candle is out. There is no light in the room."

He took her hand—pressed it. "You're real!" he said, with a nervous laugh. "Something I can understand. Everything is unreal. This light—"

He strode to the table, found a match, and lighted his candle. Katherine, as she saw his face, drew back.


"My candle went out," he said dully, "and he moved then in the darkness. I tell you, he moved beneath my hand!"

She drew farther away, staring at him.

"You were frightened—"

"No. If we go there with a light now," he said, with the same dull conviction, "we will find him as we found my grandfather this afternoon."

THE monotonous voices of the three men in the lower hall wove a background for their whispers. The normal, familiar sound was like a tonic. Bobby straightened. Katherine threw off the spell of his announcement.

"But the evidence! You got—"

She stared at his empty hands. He fancied contempt in her eyes.

"In spite of everything, you must go back. You must get that."

"Even if I had the courage," he said wearily, "it would be no use; for the evidence is gone."

"But I saw it. At least, I saw his pocket—"

"It was there," he answered, "when my light went out. I did put my hand in his pocket. In that second it had gone."

"There was no one there," she said—"no one but you, because I watched."

He leaned heavily against the wall.

"Good God, Katherine! It's too big. Whatever it is, we can't fight it."

She looked for some time down the corridor at the black entrance to the sinister room. At last she turned and walked to the banister. She called:

"Hartley! Will you come up?"

Bobby wondered at the steadiness of her voice. The murmuring below ceased. Graham ran up the stairs. Her summons had been warning enough. Their attitudes, as Graham reached the upper hall, were eloquent of Bobby's failure.

"You didn't get the cast and the handkerchief," he said.

Bobby told briefly what had happened.

"What is one to do?" he ended. "Even the dead are against me."

"It's beyond belief," Graham said roughly.

HE snatched up the candle and entered the corridor. Tremblingly Katherine and Bobby followed him. He went straight to the bed and thrust the candle beneath the canopy. The others could see from the door the change that had taken place.

The body of Howells was turned awkwardly on its side. The coat pocket was, as Bobby had described it, flat and empty.

Katherine turned and went back to the hall. Graham's hand shook as Bobby's had.

"No tricks, Bobby?"

Bobby couldn't resent the question, in the light of what had happened. The candle flickered in the draft.

"Look out!" Bobby warned.

The misshapen shadows danced with a multiple vivacity across the walls. Graham shaded the candle flame, and the shadows became like morbid decorations, gargantuan and motionless.

"It's madness," Graham said. "There's no explanation of this that we can understand."

Howells' straight smile mocked them. As if in answer to Graham, a voice sighed through the room. Bobby grasped one of the bed-posts and braced himself, listening. The candle in Graham's hand began to flicker again; and Bobby knew that it hadn't been his fancy, for Graham listened too.

It shook again through the heavy, oppressive night—a faint ululation, barely detaching itself from silence, straying after a time into the silence again. At first it was like the grief of a woman heard at a great distance. But, without gaining in volume, it filled the room, seemed finally to have its source in the room itself.

After it had sobbed thinly into nothing, Graham straightened and placed the candle on the bureau. He seemed more startled than he had been at the change in the dead man.

"You heard it?" Bobby breathed.

Graham nodded.

"What was it? Where did you think it came from?" Bobby demanded. "It was like some one mourning for this—this poor devil."

"It must have come from outside the house," Graham answered. "There's no use giving way to fancies where there's a possible explanation. It must have come from outside—from some woman in great agony of mind."

Bobby recalled the woman he thought he had seen moving with a curious absence of sound about the edges of the stagnant lake. He spoke of it to Graham.

"I couldn't be sure it was a woman. There's no house within two miles. What would a woman be doing wandering around the Cedars?"

"At any rate, there are three women in the house," Graham said—"Katherine and the two servants, Ella and Jane. The maids are badly frightened. It may have come from the servants' quarters. It must have been one of them."

But Bobby saw that Graham didn't believe what he was saying.

"It didn't sound like a living voice," he said simply.

"Then how are we to take it?" Graham persisted angrily.

"I shall question Katherine and the two maids."

It wasn't necessary to question Katherine, for she stood in the corridor, her lips parted, her, face white and shocked.

"What was it?" she asked.

She put her hands to her ears, lowering them helplessly after a moment.

"Where did you think it came from?" Graham asked.

"From a long way off," she answered. "Then I—I thought it must be in the room with you, and I wondered if you saw—"

Graham shook his head.

"We saw nothing. It was probably Ella or Jane. They've been badly frightened. Perhaps a nightmare, or they've heard us moving around the front part of the house. I am going to see."

Katherine and Bobby followed him downstairs. Dr. Groom and Paredes stood in front of the fireplace, questioningly looking upward. Paredes didn't speak at first; but Dr. Groom burst out in his grumbling bass voice:

"What's been going on up there?"

"Did you hear a queer crying just now?" Graham asked.


"You, Paredes?"

"I've heard nothing," Paredes answered, "except Dr. Groom's disquieting theories. It's an uncanny hour for such talk. What kind of a cry—may I ask?"

"Like a woman moaning," Bobby said.

He’d Never Sell His Cellar


Photograph from Montogomery Evans.

HENRY M. BANDY, of Norton, Virginia, reads in his newspaper that coal has taken another jump, and laughs to himself. It can go to a hundred dollars a ton without causing him a moment's worry. For, in enlarging his cellar to form a playroom for his children, Mr. Bandy discovered that his house is built on top of a coal mine. All he has to do now, when the temperature begins to drop, is to hire a miner for a few hours to knock around the walls of the cellar, and presto!—'tis done. Who invented that phrase about all men being born free and equal? Some get a coal-mine in their cellar, and some of us get only water.

"And, Doctor, Howells has changed his position."

"What are you talking about?" the doctor cried.

"He has turned on his side, as Mr. Blackburn did," Graham told him.

Paredes glanced at Bobby.

"And how was this new mystery discovered?"

Bobby caught the implication. Then the Panamanian clung to his doubt of Katherine. Before he could speak, Graham was answering Paredes:

"The crying seemed to come from that room. We entered."

Paredes bowed gravely.

"It is very curious that a woman should cry about the house."

"It was probably one of the servants," Graham said. "Will you come, Bobby?"

AS they crossed the dining-room they heard a stirring in the kitchen. Graham threw open the door. Jenkins stood at the foot of the servants' stairs. The old butler had lighted a candle and placed it on the mantel. The disorder of his clothing showed the haste with which he had left his bed and come downstairs. His wrinkled, sunken face had aged perceptibly. He advanced with an expression of obvious relief.

"I was just coming to find you, Mr. Robert."

"What's up?" Bobby asked. "A little while ago I thought you were all asleep back here."

"One of the women awakened him," Graham said. "It's just as I thought."

"Was that it?" the old butler asked, with a quick relief. But immediately he shook his head. "It couldn't have been that, Mr. Graham, for I stopped at Ella's and Jane's doors, and there was no sound. They seemed to be asleep. And it wasn't like that."

"You mean," Bobby said, "that you heard a woman crying."

Jenkins nodded. "It woke me up."

"If you didn't think it was one of the maids," Graham asked, "what did you make of it?"

"I thought it came from outside. I thought it was a woman prowling around the house."

Graham turned to Bobby.

"Katherine and you and I," he said, "fancied the crying was in the room with us. Jenkins is sure it came from outside."

"Wherever it came from," Bobby said softly, "it was like some one mourning for Howells."

Jenkins started.

"The detective!"

Bobby remembered that Jenkins as yet knew nothing about Howells' murder.

"Howells has been killed as my grandfather was," he said.

Jenkins moved back, a look of unbelief and awe in his wrinkled face.

"He boasted he was going to sleep in that room," he whispered.

Bobby, studied Jenkins, not knowing what to make of the old man; for into the awe of the wrinkled face had stolen an emotion that bordered on the triumphant.

Graham grasped his shoulder.

"What's the matter with you, Jenkins? One would say you were glad."

"Oh, no, sir. It is terrible. I was only wondering about the detective's report."

"What do you know about his report?" Bobby cried.

"Only that—that he gave it to me to mail just before he went up to the old room."

"You mailed it?" Graham snapped.

Jenkins hesitated.

"I'm an old coward, Mr. Robert. He told me the letter was very important, and if anything happened to it I would get in trouble. He couldn't afford to leave the house himself, he said. But I'm a coward, and I didn't want to walk through the woods to the box by the gate. If I waited until daylight it would only be delayed one collection. So I made up my mind I'd sleep on it, because I knew he had it in for you, Mr. Robert."

"You've done a good job," Graham said excitedly. "Where is the report now?"

"In my room. Shall I fetch it, sir?"

Graham nodded, and Jenkins shuffled up the stairs.

"What luck!" Graham said. "Howells must have telephoned his suspicions to the district attorney; he must have mentioned the evidence. But what does that amount to, since it's disappeared along with the duplicate of the report, if Howells made one?"

"I can fight with a clear conscience," Bobby cried. "I wasn't asleep when Howells' body altered its position. Do you realize what that means to me? For once, I was wide awake when the old room was at its tricks."

"If Howells were alive," Graham answered shortly, "he would look on the fact that you were awake and alone with the body as the worst possible evidence against you."

Bobby's elation died.

"Let's look at the situation frankly," Graham said. "I have no faith in Paredes. My man has failed to report on Maria. That's queer. You fancy a woman in black slipping through the woods, and we hear a woman cry. I want to account for those things before I give in to Groom's theories. Here's Jenkins."

"If trouble comes of his withholding the report, I take the blame," Bobby said.

Graham snatched the long envelop from Jenkins' hand. It was addressed in a firm hand to the district attorney.

"There's no question," Graham said. "That's it. We mustn't open it. We'd better not destroy it. Put it where it won't be easily found, Jenkins. If you are questioned, you have no recollection of Howells having given it to you. Mr. Blackburn promises he will see that you get in no trouble."

They watched Jenkins go upstairs with the report.

BOBBY followed Graham to the hall, where Katherine, Graham, and the doctor waited by the fireplace. They had heard nothing from the authorities.

"But they must be here soon," Dr. Groom said.

"Did you learn anything back there, Hartley?" Katherine asked.

"It wasn't the servants," he said. "Jenkins heard the crying. He's certain it came from outside the house."

Paredes looked up. "Extraordinary!" he said.

"I wish I had heard it," Dr. Groom grumbled.

Paredes laughed.

"Thank the good Lord, I didn't. Perpetually, Bobby, your house reminds me that I've nerves sensitive to the unknown world. When I was a child in Panama I had a nurse who, unfortunately, developed too strongly my native superstition. How she frightened me with her bedtime stories! They were all of men murdered or dead of fevers, crossing the trail, or building the railroad, or digging insufficient ditches for de Lesseps. That tiny strip across the isthmus is crowded with souls snatched too quickly from torn and tortured bodies."

Paredes said no more, but for several minutes he paced up and down the hall, glancing often with languid eyes toward the stairs. He had the appearance of one who expects and waits.

The whirring of a motor reached them.

"They're coming," said Bobby.

Graham joined him at the door.

"Yes," he said. "There will be another inquisition. You all know that Howells, for some absurd reason, suspected Bobby. Bobby, it goes without saying, knows no more about the crimes than any of us. I dare say you'll keep this in mind if they try to confuse you. After all, there's very little any of us can tell them."

"Except," Paredes said, with a yawn, "what went on upstairs when the woman cried and Howells' body moved. Of course, I know nothing about that."

Graham glanced at him sharply.

"I don't know what you mean; but you say that you are Bobby's friend."

"Quite so; and I am not a spy."

THE automobile drew up at the entrance of the court. Three men stepped out and hurried up the path. As they entered the hall, Bobby recognized the sallow, wizened features of the coroner. One of the others was short and thick-set. His round and florid face, one felt, should have expressed friendliness and good


THIS is not a morning-after photo- graph. It shows. Richard Washburn Child and S. S. McClure at ten o'clock on the morning before they went to the Japanese Parliament at Tokio to witness its opening by the Emperor. It is said that they are the first Americans, not officials, to be accorded this honor. Mr. Child has several times been accorded the higher honor of having a short story published in this magazine: and another one is coming soon.

humor rather than the anger that marked it now. The third was a lank, bald-headed man, whose sharp face betrayed more determination than intelligence.

The lank man nodded.

"You're right, Mr. Robinson. There'll be no more nonsense about the case. If Howells had made an arrest he might be alive this minute."

Bobby's heart sank. These men would act from .a primary instinct of revenge. They wanted the man who had killed Silas Blackburn principally because it was certain he had also killed their friend.

"This is Dr. Groom, I know," said Robinson. "Which is young Mr. Blackburn?"

Bobby stepped. forward. The sharp eyes, surrounded by puffy flesh, studied him aggressively. After a moment the man turned away.

"Who is this?" he asked, indicating Graham.

"A very good friend—my lawyer, Mr. Graham," Bobby answered.

Robinson walked over to Paredes.

"Another lawyer?" he sneered.

"Another friend," Paredes answered easily.

Robinson glanced at Katherine.

"Of course you are Miss Perrine. Good. Coroner, these are all that were in the front part of the house when you were here before?"

"The same lot," the coroner squeaked.

"There are three servants—a man and two women," Robinson went on. "Account for them, Rawlins, and see what they have to say. Come upstairs when you're through. All right, coroner."

HE paused at the foot of the steps.

"For the present, no one will leave the house without my permission. If you cared to come upstairs with me, Mr. Blackburn, you might be useful."

Robinson evidently wanted Bobby where he could watch him. Graham prepared to accompany them.

"If you need me—" the doctor said. "I looked at the body—"

"Oh, yes," Robinson sneered. "I'd like to know exactly what time you found the body."

Graham flushed, but Katherine said:

"About half past two—the hour at which Mr. Blackburn was killed."

"And I," Robinson sneered, "was aroused at three-thirty. An.hour during which the police were left out of the case!"

"We thought it wise to get a physician first of all," Graham said.

"You knew Howells never had a chance. You knew he had been murdered the moment you looked at him," Robinson burst out.

"We acted for the best," Graham answered.

His manner impressed silence on Katherine and Bobby.

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"We'll see about that later," Robinson said.

In the upper hall he snatched the candle from the table.

"Which way?"

Katherine nodded to the old corridor, and slipped to her room. Robinson stepped forward, with the coroner at his heels. Bobby, Graham, and the doctor followed.

At the door Robinson paused and looked at the broken lock.

"So you had to smash your way in?"

He walked to the bed and looked down at Howells.

"Poor devil!" he murmured. "Howells wasn't the man to get caught unawares. It's beyond me how any one could have come close enough to make that wound without putting him on his guard."

"It's beyond us, as it was beyond him," Graham answered, "how any one got into the room at all."

In response to Robinson's questions, he told of the discovery of both murders.

"Then you and Mr. Blackburn were asleep," Robinson said. "Miss Perrine aroused you. This foreigner Paredes was awake and dressed and in the lower hall."

"I think he was in the court as we went by the stair-well," Graham corrected him.

"I shall want to talk to your foreigner," Robinson said.

He shivered.

"This room is like a charnel-house. Why did Howells want to sleep here?"

"I don't think he intended to sleep," Graham said. "From the start, Howells was bound to solve the mystery of the entrance of the room. He came here, hoping that the criminal would make just such an attempt as he did. He was confident he could take care of himself, get his man, and clear up the last details of the ease."

Robinson looked straight at Bobby.

"Then Howells knew the criminal was in the house."

"Howells, I dare say," Graham said, "telephoned you something of his suspicions."

Robinson nodded.

"He was on the wrong line," Graham argued, "or he wouldn't have been so easily overcome. You can see for yourself. Locked doors, a wound that suggests the assailant was close to him; yet he must have been awake and watchful, and if there had been a physical attack before the sharp instrument was driven into his brain he would have cried out. Yet Miss Perrine was aroused by nothing of the sort, and the coroner, I dare say, will find no marks of a struggle about the body."

The coroner, who had been busy at the bed, glanced up.

"No mark at all. If Howells wasn't asleep, his murderer must have been invisible as well as noiseless."

Dr. Groom smiled. The coroner glared at him.

"I suggest, Mr. District Attorney," he squeaked, "that the ordinary layman wouldn't know that this type of wound would cause immediate death."

"Nor would the ordinary man," the


Rinex Soles

doctor answered angrily, "be able to make such a wound with his victim lying on his back."

"On his back!" Robinson echoed. "But he isn't on his back."

THE doctor told of the amazing alteration in the position of both victims. Bobby regretted with all his heart that he had made the attempt to get the evidence. Already complete frankness was impossible for him. Already a feeling of guilt sprang from the necessity of withholding the first-hand testimony that he alone could give.

"And a woman cried!" Robinson said, bewildered. "All this sounds like a ghost story."

"You've more sense than I thought," Dr. Groom said dryly. "I never could get Howells to see it that way."

"What are you driving at?" Robinson snapped.

"These crimes," the doctor answered, "have all the elements of a ghostly force."

Robinson's laugh was a little uncomfortable.

"The Cedars is a nice place for spooks, but it won't do. I'll be frank. Howells telephoned me. He had found plenty of evidence of human interference. It's evident in both cases that the murderer came back and disturbed the bodies for some special purpose. I don't know what it was the first time, but it's simple to understand the last. The murderer came for evidence Howells had on his person."

Bobby could not meet the sharp, puffy eyes. He alone was capable of testifying that the evidence had been removed as if to secrete it from his unlawful hand. Yet, if he spoke, he would prove the district attorney's point: he would condemn himself.

"Curious," Graham said slowly, "that the murderer didn't take the evidence when he killed his man."

"I don't know about that," Robinson said; "but I know Howells had evidence on his person. You through, coroner? Then we'll have a look, although it's little use."

He walked to the bed and searched Howells' pockets.

"Just as I thought. Nothing. He told me he was preparing a report. If he didn't mail it, that was stolen with the rest of the stuff. Rawlins is right. He waited too long to make his arrest."

Again Bobby wondered if the man would bring matters to a head now. He could appreciate, however, that Robinson, with nothing to go on but Howells' telephoned suspicions, might spoil his chances of a solution by acting too hastily. Rawlins strolled in.

"The two women were asleep," he said. "The old man knows nothing beyond the fact that he heard a woman crying outside, a little while ago."

"I don't think we need bother about the back part of the house for the present," Robinson said. "Howells' evidence has been stolen. It's your job to find it, unless it's been destroyed. Your other job is to discover the instrument that caused death in both cases. Then maybe our worthy doctor will desert his ghosts. Mr. Blackburn, if you will come with me, there's a slight possibility of checking up some of the evidence of which Howells spoke. Our fine fellow may have made a slip in the court."

Bobby understood and was afraid—more afraid than he had been at any time since he had overheard Howells catalogue his case to Graham in the library. Why, even in so much confusion, had Graham and he failed to think of those telltale marks in the court? They had been intact when he had stood there just before dark. It was unlikely that any one had walked across the grass since. He saw Graham's elaborate precautions demolished, the case against him stronger than it had been before Howells' murder.

Graham's face revealed the same helpless comprehension. They followed Robinson downstairs. Graham made a gesture of surrender. Bobby glanced at Paredes, who alone had remained below. The Panamanian lounged and smoked in the easy chair. His eyes seemed restless.

"I shall wish to ask you some questions in a few minutes, Mr. Paredes," the district attorney said.

"At your service, I'm sure," Paredes drawled.

He watched them until they had entered the court and closed the door. The chill dampness of the court infected Bobby as it had always done. It was a proper setting for his accusation and arrest. For Robinson, he knew, would not wait, as Howells had done, to solve the mystery of the locked doors.

Robinson, while the others grouped themselves about him, took a flashlight from his pocket and pressed the control. The brilliant cylinder of light illuminated the grass, making it seem unnaturally green. Bobby braced himself for the inevitable denouement. Then, while Robinson exclaimed angrily, his eyes widened, his heart beat rapidly with a vast and wondering relief. For the marks he remembered so clearly had been obliterated with painstaking thoroughness, and the slate seemed perfectly clean. He was sure his unknown friend had avoided leaving any trace of his own. Each step in the grass had been carefully scraped out. In the confusion of the path there was nothing to be learned.

The genuine surprise of Bobby's exclamation turned Robinson to him with a look of doubt.

"You acknowledge those footmarks were here, Mr. Blackburn?"


Photograph from George F. Stratton.

THE men of the First Battery, National Guard of Utah, are many of them ex-cowboys; yet the only horses they have to practise on at the armory are made of wood. The practice is solely in the harnessing of the horses, and the wooden ones do very well. It was a wooden horse that won the war for the Greeks against Troy. Does history repeat itself? Will these boys, trained on wooden horses, be whistling "Yankee Doodle" in the streets of Berlin some fine afternoon?

"Certainly," Bobby answered. "I saw them myself just before dark. I knew Howells connected them with the murderer."

"You made a good job of it when you trampled them out," Robinson hazarded.

But it was clear that Bobby's amazement had not been lost on him.

"Or," he went on, "this foreigner who advertises himself as your friend! He was in the court to-night. We know that."

SUDDENLY he stooped, and Bobby got on his knees beside him. The cylinder of light held in its center one mark, clear and distinct in the trampled grass; and with a warm gratitude, followed by swift apprehension, Bobby thought of Katherine. For the mark in the grass had been made by the heel of a woman's shoe.

"Not the foreigner, then," Robinson mused; "not yourself, Blackburn: but a woman—a devoted woman. That's something to get after."

"And, if she lies, the impression of the heel will give her away," the coroner suggested.

Robinson grinned.

"You'd make a rotten detective, coroner. Women's heels are cut to a pattern. There are thousands of shoes whose heels would fit this impression. We need the sole for identification, and that she hasn't left us. But she's done one favor. She's advertised herself as a woman, and there are just three women in the house."

Before Bobby could protest, the doctor broke in with his throaty rumble:

"One of those, or the woman who cried about the house."

Bobby started. Could there have been actually a woman at the stagnant lake that afternoon and close to the house tonight—some mysterious friend who assumed grave risks in his service? He recognized Robinson's logic. Unless there were something in that far-fetched theory, Katherine faced a situation nearly as serious as his own.

Robinson straightened. At the same moment the scraping of a window reached them, and Katherine leaned out. The coincidence disturbed him. In Robinson's mind, he knew, her anxiety would assume a color of guilt. Her voice, moreover, was uncertain, full of misgivings:

"What is going on down there? There have been no—no more tragedies?"

"Would you mind joining us for a moment?" Robinson asked.

She drew back. The curtain fell over her lighted window. She came hurriedly from the front door.

"I saw you gathered here. I heard you talking. I wondered."

"You knew there were footprints in this court," Robinson said harshly—"that Howells connected them with the murderer of your uncle."

"Yes," she answered simply.

"Why, then," he asked, "did you attempt to obliterate them?"

She laughed.

"What do you mean? I didn't. I haven't been out of the house since just after luncheon."

"Can you prove that?"

"It needs no proof; I tell you so."

The flashlight exposed the ugly confidence of Robinson's smile.

"I am sorry to suggest the need of corroboration."

"You doubt my word?" she flashed.

"A woman," he answered, "has obliterated valuable testimony. I shall make it my business to punish her."

She laughed again. Without another word, she turned and reëntered the house. Robinson's oath was audible to the others.

"We can't put up with that sort of thing, sir," Rawlins said.

"I ought to place this entire household under arrest," Robinson muttered.

"As a lawyer," Graham said easily, "I should think, with your lack of evidence, it might be asking for trouble. There is Paredes, who acknowledges he was in the court."

"All right; I'll see what he's got to say."

He started for the house. Bobby lingered for a moment with Graham.

"Do you know anything about this, Hartley?"

"Nothing," Graham whispered.

"Then you don't think Katherine—"

"If she'd done it, she'd have taken good care not to be so curious. I doubt if it was Katherine."

They followed the others into the hall. Bobby, scarcely appreciating why at first, realized there had been a change there. Then he understood. Robinson faced an empty chair. The hall was full of cigarette smoke, but Paredes had gone.

Robinson pointed to the stairs.

"Get him down," he said to Rawlins.

"He wouldn't have gone to bed," Graham suggested. "Suppose he's in the old room where Howells lies?"

But Rawlins found him nowhere upstairs. With an increasing excitement, Robinson joined the search. They went through the entire house. Paredes was no longer there. He had, to all appearances, put a period to his unwelcome visit. He had definitely disappeared from the Cedars.

WITH their electric lamps Robinson and Rawlins ferreted about the rear entrance for traces. The path there was as trampled and useless as the one in front. Rawlins, who had gone some distance from the house, straightened with a satisfied exclamation. The others joined him.

"Here's where he left the path right enough," he said. "And our foreigner wasn't making any more noise than he had to."

He flashed his lamp on a fresh footprint in the soft soil at the side of the path. The mark of the toe was deep and firm. The impression of the heel was very light. Paredes, it was clear, had walked from the house on tiptoe.

"Follow on," Robinson commanded. "I told this fellow I wanted to question him. I've scared him off."

Keeping his light on the ground, Rawlins led the way across the clearing. The trail was simple enough to follow. Each of the Panamanian's footprints was distinct. Each had that peculiarity that suggested the stealth of his progress.

As they continued, Bobby responded to an excited premonition. He sensed the destination of the chase. He could picture Paredes now in the loneliest part of the woods; for the trail unquestionably pointed to the path he had taken that afternoon toward the stagnant lake.

"Hartley!" he said. "Paredes left the house to go to the stagnant lake, where I fancied I saw a woman in black. Do you see? He didn't hear that crying all the rest of us heard, and when we told him about it he became restless. He wandered about the hall, talking of ghosts."

"A rendezvous!" Graham answered. "He may have been waiting for just that. The crying may have been a signal. Perhaps you'll believe now, Bobby, that the man had an underhanded purpose in staying here."

"I've made too many hasty judgments in my life, Hartley. I'll go slow on this. I'll wait until we see what we find at the lake."

Rawlins snapped off his light. The little party paused at the black entrance of the path into the thicket.

"He's buried himself in the woods," Rawlins said.

They crowded instinctively, closer in the sudden darkness. A brisk wind had sprung up. It rattled among the trees, and set the dead leaves in gentle rustling motion. Abruptly, to Bobby, the thought of penetrating the forest became frightening. The silent loneliness of the stagnant lake seemed as unfriendly and threatening as the melancholy of the old room.

"There are too many of us," Robinson was saying. "You'd better go on alone, Rawlins, and don't take any chances. I've got to have this man. You understand? I think he knows things worth while."

The rising wind laughed at his whisper. The detective flashed his lamp once, shut it off again, and stepped into the close embrace of the thicket.

Suddenly Bobby grasped Graham's arm. The little group became tense, breathless. For across the wind, with a diffused quality, a lack of direction, vibrated to them again the faint, mournful grief of a woman.

To be continued next week

everyweek Page 21Page 21


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Getting the Wind Up


ANOTHER of Captain Corcoran's stories of trench experience, which help us to know what war really is like. Is there any question you would like to ask Captain Corcoran? Any subject on which you would like him to write? He was in the thick of things from the beginning of the war until he was discharged as incapacitated; and he knows.

THEY call it "getting the wind up" in the trenches. One man sees a "sniper," or maybe only a shadow, and sends a few bullets out "on his own." His chums follow. Soon the traverse is at it, and it spreads for a mile or two along the line. For an hour, or perhaps two, they continue potting, with nothing in particular for a target. Then the flurry dies down, as it began. There's no harm done, and the nerves are somewhat quieted.

If, three years ago, you mentioned nerves apropos of the army, you would have been laughed to scorn, and perhaps called a coward for your pains. "Dash" was the quality then associated with soldiers—a military swagger and a romantic love of risk.

I'll tell you a story of such a soldier who went to France in August, 1914. He was a fine chap, a captain in a British regiment, and a good leader, who was adored by his men. In the early scraps and all through the great retreat, when individual courage and initiative counted for more than they do now, this man worked wonders. Then the war settled down to steady business, and the monotony of trench life began.

You've had experience, no doubt, of genuine thunder-storms, when the sky seemed to rip asunder overhead with horrible, ear-splitting crackles. You weren't afraid, of course, but you didn't feel exactly safe. Still, it never lasts more than a few hours.

But suppose that storm lasted for weeks, and that every crackle was followed by a loud explosion close at hand, and that every explosion was followed by death, and at any moment it might be your turn to go up in smoke?

That was the life our captain settled down to—our captain who was famous for his "dash." What happened? The call came for another battle. This time it was the scrap at Neuve Chapelle. In the middle of it they found this soldier eight miles back of the line, when he ought to have been in the front rank, leading his men.

"Looking for his company," was the excuse he offered, when they brought him before a court martial.

He was cashiered out of the army—though he was a brave man, and probably his judges knew it. Still, discipline is discipline, and leaders must not run. But they let him reënter as a private, and he has since died.

It is such cases as his that make it legitimate to discuss- army "nerves." He let his for a moment get the best of him.

I was six months in France, when they sent me home to England to recover from a slight wound. On returning to the front, I went out with a company that had never before been on the firing line. During our passage across and our transportation to the trenches, I had a chance to observe these "makings" of soldiers. Later I had the good luck to see them get their baptism of fire. Probably a psychologist could have foretold how each temperament would have been affected. I'll give you the result of my unscientific study.

First, there was the type I shall call Charlie. Before the war he had been somebody's indifferent clerk, with somewhat more energy than ability. His tastes, I should imagine, had run to cricket and to clothes. When the first wave of patriotism struck his country, Charlie had been on the top crest of the billow, bellowing his ardor with all his little might. He was still glowing when I ran across him; but his enthusiasm was now tinged with impatience. The inefficiency of the transport system and the slowness of the French trains combined to drive him mad with irritation.

"Damme, you'd think it didn't matter if we never got to the front!" he would growl, with considerable scorn.

"Never mind, youngster. You'll be in time enough to stop a bullet," one of his comrades would console him. He was of the type I shall call Bill.

If Bill was at all interested in the general proceedings, if he had any desire to help in the great fight, you would never gather it from his manner or conversation. Of course, as a rule, his mouth was occupied with a pipe, which he puffed slowly, with obvious content. Usually he was quiet, though occasionally caustic. Nearly always there was a smile lurking in his eyes.

Something far different lurked in the eyes of Jim, the boy we all pitied and admired. That he was present in our crowd was due entirely to his principles. Fighting was by no means in his line. Highly strung and imaginative, he was really frightened at the thought of war; and at times he could not keep the panic out of his eyes. But he never voiced his fear, and he kept up a bold front.

Then they all went under fire.

Now, there is no man, probably, in whom the thought of an attack does not "put the wind up." The thing is to keep it from sweeping him off his feet.

These chaps were to "go over the top" at 4:20 on a certain Saturday afternoon. They knew it a day beforehand. But the last hour was, of course, the worst time of all. It took them all differently.

Charlie, his enthusiasm dead, now sat on the firing step, grinning inanely all round. Occasionally his old spirit would return. Then he would wander nervously up and down the traverse, cursing and grumbling at one and all. At times a low voice would interrupt his litany.

"Give us a match, youngster," you would hear from Bill. And the hand stretched out to take it was quite steady. At times Bill talked now—of the Empire or the Hippodrome.

"It's just about Ethel Levey's turn now. I wonder what she's at!"

And perhaps he would begin to hum an old favorite. Very often you would see him anxiously eyeing the "boy." White and quiet, Jim sat in the trench, his cigarette hanging dead between his lips. But so great was his self-control that he never moved a muscle.

"Have a light, Jim?" Bill would say to him, and he would turn on a mechanical smile.

A perfect treasure was Bill.

And then the order came. All the men were on their feet. Charlie made for the step with uncertain gait, walking as one in a daze. Bill's step was slow and deliberate. For the moment, Jim hung back. Would he flunk? Not he! With a sudden rush, possessed by some demon of determination, he made for the top, and was out ahead of them all. And then—well, then they were all men. There's nothing like action to keep one's courage up.

To every man going to this war I would say: Prepare to be frightened. It is inevitable, if you know human fear. Also I would say, Prepare to face the waiting; for that is by far the worst part of all. If you can smoke, play cards, shoot crap, so much the better: it will help you while away the time. While your fingers are busy your brain won't work so fast. It is imagination that makes cowards of us all.

But, for your consolation, I would tell you that the fighting is comparatively easy. Once in a scrap, you forget your fear. When another man is out to kill you, you may be confident you'll have the courage to hit back, and hold your own.

Making a Movie Thunder-Storm


Photograph from Edward Tooze.

AMONG the heartless beings of this world are scenario writers, who casually call for a train wreck, the collapse of a twenty-story skyscraper, or the destruction of a fleet of dreadnoughts.

Recently a producer selected a script that called for a thunder-storm scene, with plenty of rain, violent wind, and an occasional flash of lightning. The studio workers ordered from the stock room:

One wooden trough, perforated with holes, to be placed over a garden scene;

Several partitions to darken the set;

One aëroplane propeller, belt-driven by an electric motor.

When all was in readiness for photographing the scene, two stage-hands climbed up to the perforated trough, carrying water-pails. The electric motor was started, driving the aëroplane propeller, which created a strong, gale-like draught.

The rain poured; the gale howled through the garden; one of the helpers set off a flashlight charge—lightning.

And a few weeks later, in the theater, you exclaimed: "Isn't it wonderful!"

everyweek Page 23Page 23

Almanzar's Perfect Day

—Continued from page 16

He sighed; there was always a fly in the ointment. Mr. Farnsworth had a folding bill-book very much like this one, which he had often coveted. But bill-books, he told himself, could be identified; but money—just money—all looks alike.

Passing through a patch of unusually dark shade, he opened the bill-book and transferred its contents to his pocket. He came to a bridge spanning the river. It might not do for him to be seen throwing something into the stream. He stopped, stood looking over the rail. He tucked the empty pocket-book into the waist-band of his trousers, and shook his leg until it fell out beside his foot. A slight kick, and he heard the faint plat as the leather struck the water. He struck out swiftly for the home of Miss McCoy. As he walked he hummed a happy refrain.

COLORED society was out in force at the Union Baptist Church. It was a grand occasion—one of the most successful festivals, every one agreed, that the city had ever seen. Almanzar set out to see to it that Miss Susietta had the time of her young life.

They had eaten sandwiches and salad and cake and ice cream. They had drunk coffee and lemonade—three glasses of lemonade apiece.

A passing youth stopped to gossip with them, where they sat satiated with food and drink.

"Did you heah w'at happen' to 'at or Lawyer Clodden?" he giggled. "He done los' his pocket-book with all his money, an' had to go back home an' get some mo', er else miss the festerval."

Almanzar achieved a look of intense boredom.

"F'om w'at I heah of this ol' Mista' Clodden," he said, "I expec' maybe it do him good to lose a li'l' money once in er while. I've heard he meks it pretty hahd fuh people 'at has to have him do things fuh 'em. Me, I don' have him. W'en I gets in any trouble, I always has a white lawyer—us'ally Judge Stevens. I bet maybe ol' Clodden didn' lose no money. An' if he had any, it prob'ly belong' to somebody else."

A stout, perspiring young woman, chairman of the festival entertainment committee, came bustling up.

"We all ready foh you to sing, Mista' Evarts," she said. "Miss McCoy is goin' to play you' accomp'niment, ain't she? Listen! The rev'ren' is jus' gettin' ready to call it."

Sonorously the preacher announced:

"I am requested by d' committee in chahge to rise at dis time to say we shall now be favohed by a tenoh solo selection by Misto' Almanzar Evarts. Miss Susietta McCoy, who has recen'ly arrive' in ouah midst, will favoh us by accomp'nyin' Misto' Evarts on d' piano."

Almanzar walked to the platform and sang his new song—the one that Miss McCoy had taught him the evening before. As she played the accompaniment, she looked up into his eyes.

Almanzar was absolutely contented and happy. He had come near to not getting either clothes or money—but that was past. He had mortgaged his wages for nearly a fortnight—but that was something to be considered when it pinched. His appetite was sated, his conscience was as clear as crystal—and Susietta had expressive, appreciative, soulful eyes. His voice mounted with unusual expression as he sang the last lines of the refrain:

An' you find, at the end of er perfec' day,
The soul of a friend you've made.

IF you're wondering about a gift to, the boy who is going away, why not send him the editorials from this magazine, which have been gathered into book form? The announcement is in the advertising columns of this issue.


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Do You Know This Gentleman?



Germany is very fond of him; she wouldn't disturb his peace of mind for anything. In fact, she hopes he will not wake up until sauerkraut is established as the universal breakfast food (by royal edict) and a Verboten sign has been planted firmly on the front lawn of the world.

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