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Title: Mixed Faces
Author: Norton, Roy, 1869-1942
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mixed Faces" ***

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MIXED FACES

BY

ROY NORTON


GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

Made in the United States of America

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY

W. J. WATT & COMPANY

_Printed in the United States of America_



MIXED FACES



CHAPTER I


If Nature is infallible, there should be some philosophic or eugenic
professor arise and explain why she made such a grievous error in the
personal appearance, vocal qualities, and general gestures of the
learned judge, astute politician and hopeful statesman, Hon. J.
Woodworth-Granger and Mr. James Gollop, perigrinating drummer for a
chocolate house. Either the Honorable Judge should have been a
commercial traveler, or the commercial traveler a judge. Outwardly they
could have passed for specimen twins, given handicaps to all comers, and
easily won the blue ribbon. Inwardly their characteristics were as
different as those of any two animals could be, the Judge having the
ponderous gravity of a camel, whilst Mr. James Gollop was as sedate as
a monkey and twice as ebullient. The Judge suffered from a prodigious
sense of responsibility and dignity, whilst his double was given to
frivolities, a distressing sense of the ridiculous and was as
irresponsible and happy as a flea hurdling from one boarding house to
another in a dog pound.

The first intimation the Judge had that some other person dared to look
like him was when, as he strode into the lobby of the Media City hotel
in the best city in his state, a grinning porter rushed up, seized his
suit case and said affably, "Righto, Old Sport! Got here just in time
this trip and I'll send your cases to number two sample room, and open
'em up if you'll gimme the burglar's kit. The room you kicked for last
month--remember."

The Hon. J. Woodworth-Granger, who from force of habit never said
anything until he had formulated the complete sentence and then edited
it, and having a mind that moved with the frantic speed and wild agility
of a tractor engine pulling a carload of coal, glared ponderously at the
porter who took it as a joke. Gollop sometimes assumed that prodigious
seriousness when about to pass out specimens of his best humor.

"Spring it! Spring it! I'm ready to laugh," the porter encouraged him.

"Young man," said the Judge, "I am not accustomed to having those in
your evident station of life address me with any such familiarity. You
should be old enough to know that it is unseemly. You can not succeed,
even in a menial occupation, unless you cultivate that respect which is
due not only to your superiors, but to those who patronize the hotel, or
any other undertaking in which you are employed."

He might have gone ahead and imposed a fine for contempt of court, or
sentenced the unfortunate porter to ten years in the penitentiary, had
not other arrivals come surging through the door, which reminded him
that perhaps it were wiser to register ahead of all newcomers and thus
endeavor to secure the choicest room for himself. The Judge had the
trait which is shared alike by some human beings and many hogs, that he
demanded the best though every other human--or hog--has to suffer. He
liked to make sure that his own feet were firmly planted in the choice
end of the trough; so he hurried to the desk, leaving the jovial porter
still grinning, still expectant and quite hopeful that the tip would be
of its usual generous proportions. Jim tipped liberally, because his
firm was what is known as "easy on the tabs." Anybody can be liberal if
someone else furnishes the platinum. That's why trust magnates and
drummers can't be distinguished, because somebody else always pays the
bills, although there has never yet been invented any painless dentistry
for extraction of the purse. The room clerk in the hotel was new to her
job, and so was the boy who conducted the Judge to his room; but, sad to
relate, the chambermaid winked at the Judge and blew him a kiss. She was
rather pretty too. Now to have a pretty chambermaid blow one a kiss when
he arrives in a fine hotel is not objectionable to most travelers. It
shows such a friendly spirit, and makes one feel at home, or else fancy
that he is still in the running and not so old and ugly as he had begun
to believe. Some men immediately adjust their ties and brush their hair
and grin into the mirror; but the Judge wasn't that sort at all. The
proof that he was no gentleman lies in the fact that he scowled in
outraged dignity at that pretty chambermaid who had most prettily blown
him a kiss, and that she gasped, sniffed, simpered and said, "You ain't
forgot me, have you?"

"Forgotten you! Damn it! I never saw you before in my life!" said the
Judge, annoyed and exasperated to the rare point where his temper
overcame his language.

"G'wan Jimmy, you little josher! You'll be round chuckin' me under the
chin before the lights come on. Gee! There goes the bell again! I'll bet
my switch it's that scraggy old hen in forty-four, wantin' me to run out
and buy her some hair pins, or to hook her up so she'll look like a
prize winner at a wasp show. She makes me sick, she does! But I'll--Yes
Ma'am! Coming right away," she answered in a honeyed voice, as the lady
guest was heard calling her name through a transom somewhere in the
distance.

The Judge carefully shut and locked his door. He was a church member in
good standing and an unmarried man, so had to lock the girl out or
perhaps thought it best to lock himself in. One never knows! The porter
appeared with his suit case in his hand and perturbation in his soul,
the double burden sufficing to render him serious.

"The baggageman says your sample trunks ain't come. He says he went to
the baggage master and they had a look. He says you orter get busy on
the wires because maybe they carried 'em through on sixty-two and her
next stop is at Chicago, and you can't get your layout back before----"

"I have no trunks, I tell you," interrupted the Judge, with freezing
dignity. "Put that suit case over there in the corner and get out. Who
do you think I am, may I ask? A commercial traveler?"

He had intended this as a stern piece of sarcasm; but it had the effect
of causing the porter to blink, stare, drop the suit case and then blurt
out, "Good Lord! You're Jimmy Gollop what travels for the Columbus
Chocolate Company, ain't you? You're Jim Gollop what has stopped here
for years, ain't you? If you ain't----" He jerked off his cap, scratched
his red head and added--"If you ain't---- For the Lord's sake don't say
nothin'----"

"Jimmy Gollop! A commercial traveler! Me?" the Judge actually spluttered
and then, recovering all his overpowering magisterial arrogance,
responded loftily, "I am J. Woodworth-Granger, Judge of the Fourth
District Court. You go down and tell the manager of this hotel to come
here at once. I wish to see him. I demand an explanation for all this
outrageous flippancy. If his guests are to be subjected to such coarse
impoliteness, discourtesy, annoyance and familiarity, he should be
notified or ousted from his position. It is an imposition on the public
which can not be condoned by any one with a sense of propriety, or any
citizen with regard for public welfare. Go and get him!"

The manager, anticipating some rare practical joke, or perhaps
apprehensive of such, having experienced some of Mr. Jimmy Gollop's
freakish efforts in the past, appeared and greeted the Judge with, "Look
here, old man, for my sake let go. Don't pull anything this time. My
board of directors is to have a meeting this afternoon and----" But the
stern eye of the angry judge checked him.

The manager in his turn blinked, and gasped and then exclaimed, "Jordon
says you told him you were the Judge of the Fourth District Court. You
look to me like Jim Gollop. If you're really Judge Woodworth-Granger, I
beg your pardon and think you ought to get your face changed for your
own protection. If you're Jimmy Gollop--and I'm a Dutchman if you
aren't--have some sense and quit your kidding. This has gone far enough!
Look here, Jimmy, there's a limit to even one of your jokes. I can't
stand for it to-day when my board of directors is coming. The last time
you were here and put red fire on the roof and then turned in a fire
alarm cost me twenty-five iron men and the hotel company a round dozen
of Pommery. It's going too strong, I tell you! I'm a joke hound myself
but a starving Dutchman can get too much limburger if he's locked up in
a cheese factory."

Mutual explanations, and abject apologies on the part of the manager and
the porter followed. Everybody apologized, except the pretty
chambermaid, and the judge never saw her again. Also that was a detail
he didn't mention. He rather hoped she would come and apologize. In fact
he thought hopefully of what he might say to her in his kindliest
judicial manner, and occasionally took furtive glances into the hall to
see if she was coming. He was disappointed, perhaps, because she didn't
come, for he was positive he could say things for the good of her soul,
and--Oh, well!--he always subscribed for the Home Missionary Society.
Moreover she was a particularly pretty girl as chambermaids go, and
there is never an orchard without its peach.

So, in due time, the Judge got away from that hotel unscathed; but to
his extreme annoyance, now that he had openly plunged into politics and
felt the necessity for becoming acquainted with the larger cities in the
state despite the consequent discomforts of travel and sojourn, this man
Gollop always intruded. That unfortunate similarity in appearance and
gesture, voice and manner, was proven on a dozen occasions. That the
habits of the Judge and the drummer were divergent made it all the more
annoying. The Judge never had associated with, nor understood, what some
persons called "A bully good fellow." He thought it was a rank and
preposterous assumption on the part of a mere drummer to look, and talk,
and act like a real judge who nursed an ambition to be governor of the
state. It preyed upon his mind and caused him occasionally to say things
that he wouldn't have said if he hadn't lost his temper, become
momentarily a real human being, and found an unexpected safety valve in
speech. Men merely vary in the choice of words. One says "Oh, dear me!"
Another "Oh, Fudge!" another "Oh, Pshaw!" and so on down to the common,
vulgar, horny-handed sonofagun who blurts out "Damn it all!" or worse
and--the judge finally got to the limit. One writes this with glad,
cheerful hopefulness for the entire human race because it's a fine thing
to be natural and human, after all.

In the meantime Mr. James Gollop was working his Eastern territory.
Working it both ways and up and down the middle; selling chocolates to
people who thought they might do better with So-and-So, inducing some
men to overorder, others to underorder, tipping porters, buying--sody
pop (?)--now and then, spinning yarns, peddling the latest funny story,
explaining to his house why his expense account should be passed without
those querulous protests, and generally comporting himself according to
his own erratic and sometimes pyrotechnical ideas. And when Jimmy
breezed westward again and heard that the Judge of the Fourth Judicial
District was his double he chuckled, laughed, and finally beat his plump
legs at what was told him.

"By Gosh!" he chuckled to a confrère, "if that judge looks and sounds so
much like me, I'll make a trip up to Princetown just to have a look at
him and shake his paw, and congratulate him. We ought to make a right
good team, although I can't exactly recommend him for his judgment in
the choice of faces. I never yet won a beauty prize, although once upon
a time I did win a family photograph album at a pie eating contest.
Huckleberry too! Spoiled a forty-dollar suit of clothes and a two-dollar
tie to win a sixty-cent album at a town fair. Got the album to prove it.
Got it on the parlor table with the marble top down home in Maryland,
and every time Maw looks at it she smiles and says 'Jimmy may be not
much good at anything he's tried yet, but he can eat pie!'"

Now the peculiar part of Jim Gollop's makeup was that underneath all his
banter, and his lightness, and his irresponsible sense of humor, there
lurked something which made him keep his resolutions. He was a pretty
good sort after all. Just a very human, contented, work-a-day man who
liked other good fellows, was sorry for those who took life too
seriously, never did any person a contemplated harm, knew neither malice
nor envy, was always a booster and never a knocker, and whose sense of
humor was generously given out for expansion rather than preserved to
harass his own soul. So, one day, he made a sixty-mile journey out of
his way to see, become acquainted with, and felicitate this judge whom
he so startlingly resembled. For sixty miles he chuckled and bubbled
with anticipation and curiosity. He even thought of a forgotten joke or
two to spring and resolved that what he spent in entertainment for this
meeting should come from his own purse and never appear on the expense
account. True, it cost him a pang to forego that expense account, but he
didn't see how he could ever explain to his firm that it had been
necessary to travel sixty miles and entertain a judge of a state court
in the hope of selling him a big order of chocolate drops. He was afraid
the firm might be skeptical. Some people can't be convinced.

And so, picturing a mutual hand shaking, some lively interchanges and
facetious comments on what constituted good looks and bad looks, perhaps
a luncheon or a dinner, and a new friend through the strange accident of
nature, he climbed the stairs to Judge J. Woodworth-Granger's office
with a cheerful smile on his face, and after a gasp from the office boy
and some stares of astonishment from a clerk or two, was ushered in. He
had expected to enter the tropics. He found himself as "happy as a
Mexican hairless dog in the Arctic regions" as Marshall would say. Cold?
There may be in the vast, dead planets of space places much colder than
the North pole; but these would have been warm and comfortable compared
with the atmosphere of Judge Woodworth-Granger's austere office when he
turned his eyes on the person of Mr. James Gollop. Here before him,
grinning and sticking out a plump, friendly hand, was the man to whose
personal similarity he strongly objected, and of whose personal ways he
disapproved.

"And so, sir," said the Judge icily, as he stood up and scrutinized the
drummer, "you are the man who has caused me so much personal
embarrassment, indignity, familiarity, and--if I never loathed my own
appearance before, I can do so now after looking at you!"

Jimmy's grin froze on his face, became hard, and slowly changed to
something very different. His well-meaning hand slowly came back as if
half-paralyzed by such a reception. It had never before been rebuffed.
It was a liberal hand that had gone into its pocket many times to help
those in hard luck. It had never been slow in friendliness or that
courtesy which prevails between well-meaning and generous hands
throughout the sad old world. It had seldom been hastily raised in
anger. But now it shut hard and its owner said, "So that's the way of
it, eh? You're sore because I look like you. Why shouldn't I get hot
under the collar because you look like me? About the only difference
between us is that you're a judge and I'm a drummer. That doesn't keep
you from being a good sport, does it? I came a long way to get
acquainted with you and I like most people. It's not my fault that you
look so much like me, is it?"

"Look like you? It's your fault that you look like me!" snapped the
Judge as if that fault were an impertinence.

"Phew!" said Jimmy, puffing out his cheeks. "That's the sort you are,
eh? Guess I made a mistake."

"I guess you did," grimly said the Judge, mimicking Jimmy's voice
without in the least realizing it. And then he added, "Good day, Mr.
Gollop. I hope I may not see you again and that you travel in some
other territory than this."

As if incredulous, Jimmy stared at him for a full quarter minute and
then, recovering his good humor, clapped his hat on his head and
assuming a highly melodramatic air in imitation of the Judge's ponderous
methods said, "Harold, beware! Beware! I say! It's a long worm that has
no turning. Them papers shall be mine! I swear it on me lyfe." And with
a boisterous shout of laughter turned out through the door and down the
stairs. That ribald laughter still floated upward as he made his
departure, and the Judge was annoyed. Very much annoyed. He felt himself
soiled; quite as if the garbage van man had suddenly tried to kiss him
with brotherly affection. It was outrageous! Impossible! And a mere
drummer, too!

Jimmy retired to an hotel, pausing on the way to buy a pair of blue
goggles, and to fit them on, and to pull his hat down over his eyes.

"I don't intend to look like that old catamount in his own town anyhow,"
he said to himself. "If he's as popular with his fellow citizens as he
is with me it might not be safe. Wish I had a set of false whiskers to
wear during my sojourn. Wonder when the next train leaves? I'm like the
chap that got pinned down under a burning railway wreck and said he
thought he really ought to get away from there. That's me! I want to get
away from here."

In the hotel room he dug his pocket time table from his grip, and no
hungry reader ever plunged into the pages of the latest "Best Seller"
more avidly than did he thumb those flimsy pages. His capable fingers
turned the leaves rapidly and, being expert and highly trained in
working out the abstruse puzzles and problems with which time table
people always try to fill their books so that people will get tired of
seeking information and look at the advertisements, in less than five
minutes he slammed the book shut and almost viciously hurled it back
into his bag.

"By Heck!" he muttered, despairingly, "no train out till four o'clock
to-morrow morning and--I'll bet it smells of new laid milk and long laid
cows. There'll be an hour's delay while they fill the baggage car with
chickens in coops. Serves the chickens right for getting up that early.
Ought to go some place and have their heads chopped off. There'll be
one combination smoker car filled with yawning farm hands who wear
fertilizer on their boots. But it's me for that train!"

Then, recovering his cheerfulness, he sallied out to visit all the
confectionary shops; but met with no success and attributed his failure
to the hideous goggles and the fact that his customary happy and
seductive grin was slightly stiff about the corners as if his face
needed oiling. "Hang it all! Nobody but an undertaker could look happy
in this town," Jimmy thought after his final effort. "No wonder that old
cuss is so solemn. I'd be too, if I lived in a morgue!"

To escape the town he decided to make a pedestrian trip to where the
only big enterprise near Princetown was in full blast. It was spoken of
as "out at the falls" as if they were the only ones on earth. It was two
and a half miles from the town and the day was hot. "Thank Heaven it
might be worse," thought Jimmy. "I might have to tote a hundred pound
grip this far in the hope of getting an order, and now all I've got to
lug is my goggles." He took them off, wiped the sweat from his face,
stopped to watch some fish in a stream, regretted that he hadn't
brought some string and a fish hook, contemplated a swim, and then
trudged onward, whistling as he went and wholly forgetful of his woes.
He came in sight of "The Falls," and stopped.

"Whew!" he puffed. "Of course they're not as big as Niagara--except to
the folks of Princetown; but by Heck! They're some falls after all. And,
what's more, some live individual knows it. Bet he wasn't born in
Princetown anyhow. This looks like business."

He leaned on the railing of a bridge and speculatively regarded the
considerable manufacturing plant that was in full industry, saw that its
prosperity was evidenced by some big new buildings under course of
construction, and deliberated over a long white sign on top that read
"Sayers Automobiles."

He rather objected to that sign. If he had designed it it would have
been twice as high, twice as long and might have read "Sayers
Automobiles, best on earth for the money. Cheapest at any price. No home
complete without one."

He remembered that he had ridden in one a few days before and that it
was what he called "nifty and nippy." In fact he had thought he would
like to have one--just a very small one to suit his purse, and had
intended to ask what they cost. All his automobiling experience had been
at the expense of his firm; but he had done quite a lot of riding. In
fact the cashier had once asked him, sarcastically, whilst checking up
his expense account, if he took an automobile to bed with him.

Jimmy got out his goggles, and visited the works. He was fascinated by
the machinery, the noise, the way things were made. He wished that his
line was automobiles instead of chocolates; but regretfully concluded
that probably it took a long time to learn the patter, and how to run
one, and that the only hopeless individual in the world was a candy
drummer, because, "once a candy drummer always a candy drummer" was the
proverb of the road.

A whistle blew and with a start he looked at his watch, scarcely
believing it possible that he had passed the afternoon so quickly. He
walked out through the big gates and started his homeward journey, and
was surprised to realize that he was as tired as if he had done a heavy
day's work. Absorbed in reflections concerning automobiles, and trade,
he suddenly brought up with a jerk and heard behind him a man jamming
on the brakes of a car, and using several shining expletives. Jimmy made
the jump of his life and got out of the road just in time.

"Gee Whizz!" he exclaimed. "If I've got to be run down by a taxi let it
be on Broadway, not on a rube trail. Thank the Lord it wasn't a hay
cart, because it'd have got me, sure!"

The motorist, looking back in exasperation, abruptly brought his car to
a halt and turning half round in his seat shouted, "Sorry I missed you
so close."

"Why, did you want to get me? It was close enough to suit me," replied
Jimmy, recovering his grin.

"Of course I didn't know you were blind, sir. I'm very sorry," said the
man.

"Why? Do you prefer to run down the blind ones?" queried Jimmy, coming
abreast of the car and then laughing when he remembered that he was
still wearing those ridiculous blue goggles. "I'm not blind. I just wear
these for ornament. But it's all right, old chap. Don't you worry. I
reckon I was so busy thinking that I didn't hear you coming at all. I
get rather fond of myself when I think, which isn't often enough so but
that it surprises me to catch myself doing it. It's all right. No harm
done."

The man surrendered to that entrancing smile and the glitter of exposed
and perfect white teeth.

"Well the least I can do is to give you a lift, if you're going toward
town," he said, with a return grin. "Get in, can't you?"

"Can't I? Watch me, as the drunk said when the policeman tapped him and
told him he couldn't sleep sitting against a lamp post," and, grateful
for conveyance, he climbed aboard. "It's the first time I ever won
anything by missing anything," he said, laughing at his own paradox. "My
feet are so sore from walking over these country roads that after this
I'll never be able to look at a farm horse without tears in my eyes, and
I'll take him by the hand and give the poor chap a box of corn salve.
Phew! Pavements for mine. Do automobiles ever get sore feet out here?"

Jimmy learned that the driver was a foreman at the Sayers plant and was
very enthusiastic about the merits of the car.

"It's not old enough or advertised enough to be well known yet," he
said, "but she will be. I know. Been in automobile factories all my
life. Worked for some of the best of 'em. These are A-1. And Sayers is a
live one. Fine old feller, too. That's his house up there on the hill.
Some swell, eh?"

Jimmy looked up and saw a fine home that he had admired on his way out
and had deduced that it belonged to the nabob of the town.

"I could do with it first rate," Jimmy assented. "All except the society
stunt and that----" He concluded with a little cluck of his tongue.

The driver laughed.

"You don't know old Tom Sayers," he said. "Old Tom doing society stunts!
Humph! He began as a machinist. Then got to be a designing engineer and
now--well--there you are! Self-made man, Old Tom, and as fine as they
make 'em. I don't reckon he'd care for a house as grand as that but you
see he's married. Funny how some women first want to get married, then
want their men to get rich, then instead of bein' satisfied get the
society itch and after that are forever scratchin', ain't it? Mrs.
Sayers spends about half her time in Europe. Schools here weren't good
enough for her girl Margaret, so she took her over to some of those
nunneries in France and Switzerland, and goodness knows where. Gone
some time now. Mighty pretty girl. But Old Tom? If you think he's ever
gallivantin' anywhere except around his works, you ought to be up there
loafin' some day when you think no one's about to see you! Old Tom can
say things in five minutes that you don't have to learn by heart to
remember the rest of your life. He works four hundred men now and he
knows 'em all. Don't you doubt that!"

Jimmy, who was so keenly alive and imaginative that he was interested in
nearly everything and everybody, looked back over his shoulder at the
fine old remodeled colonial house on the hill with its broad sweep of
lawns, its background of splendid trees, mountains in the distance, and
the lively river at its feet, and, distinctly urban as he was, thought
that if Mrs. Sayers knew when she was well off she'd stay at home.

"If I had a place like that with Maw in it--say sitting up there on the
veranda, knitting--she's great on knitting, Maw is!--I reckon the show
hasn't hit Broadway yet that could drag me out for a single night.
No-sir-ee! Not if the whole chorus had chocolate legs!" he said to the
foreman, who vociferously agreed.

"Beats the Dutch how some folks get everything, and others nothin'," he
half grumbled.

"Cheer up, son!" said Jimmy. "You never get anything by envying somebody
else. Why, look at me! I haven't even ever owned a run-about! And I'm
not kicking! I like to see others have a lot of things I can't have
myself, because it makes me glad to think that most likely they're happy
owning things I'd like to have too, if I could afford 'em. By gosh! It's
the finest feeling in the world to know that other folks are happy.
Keeps you from feeling unhappy yourself. Makes it a mighty pleasant
world for all of us. All the money I've got in the world, if made into
cloth, wouldn't make me a patch if I had a hole in the seat of my pants
as big as a postage stamp; but I don't lay awake nights grieving for
fear I'll be pinched for indecent exposure. Not me! I just thank God the
hole's not any bigger and keep plugging along, and I whistle while I
plug. It helps. Plug & Whistle, I reckon, is the best firm on earth."

His benefactor had become so engrossed in his quaint passenger that the
car was driven squarely up to the hotel door to let him out.

"Got any kids at home?" Jimmy asked, and on being told there were three,
said cheerfully, "Wait a minute," and ran up the steps three at a time
to return with a box of chocolates purloined from his samples.

"Take that to 'em," he said to the driver. "They're all right, I know.
I'm a candy drummer. Good thing you've only got three because I couldn't
spare a bigger box. My boss isn't a bad old chap, but he did ask me one
time if I went on the road to sell candy or to give it away. The only
man in the world I'd like to change jobs with is Santa Claus. Much
obliged for the ride."

He loitered in the hotel lobby long enough to read a bill announcing
that there would be a mass meeting that night in the "Grand Opera House"
under the auspices of the Princetown Municipal Improvement League and
then saw in big letters, that the meeting would be addressed by "His
Honor, Judge J. Woodworth-Granger."

Jimmy had forgotten his rebuff, but now frowned a trifle at the
recollection aroused by that name. He was entertained at supper by his
sole fellow guest who sold machinery and hoped to get an order from the
Sayers' plant. And although the technical part was as foreign as Greek
to Jimmy, he was mightily interested and wanted to know all about it.
After dinner he sat alone on the veranda in front of the hotel and
watched people coming down the drowsy, shaded street or loitering in the
town square. There was nothing else to do. No theaters, cinema shows but
three nights a week, and this an off night. Some wandering fireflies
absorbed him for a while, and then they flew away, leaving him alone.
Suddenly he dropped his chair from where it had been tilted back against
the wall, and said, "Well, I reckon I'll have to go and hear what the
judge has to say about improving this place. It needs it!" He found the
Grand Opera House readily enough by following the slowly moving people
who traveled in but one direction. Also he found on entering that
there's not much in a name, its grandeur consisting of a lot of badly
worn wooden seats, dingy painting, and some strips of jute carpet in the
aisles that looked as if they had been collected after a cyclone. The
stage was the bright spot, due to the decorations of flags, banners and
bunting. Jimmy got a seat in the back row after some difficulty. The
Opera House was full, perhaps because there was no charge for admission,
perhaps because there was no other place to go; but Jimmy charitably
thought the town should be patted on the back for its interest in public
improvements. Two girls played a duet on a piano and played it rather
badly. And then there came in from the wings those who were to occupy
the chairs on the stage. They entered as solemnly as if each was alone
and about to recite Hamlet's soliloquy. Some of them threw out their
chests and glared at the audience, others slunk in like harness makers
visiting a lace factory. All were seated before there stalked in the
counterpart of the drummer in the back row, and there was some evidence
in the Judge's deportment that he had the dramatic sense to wait for a
proper pause so that the spectators might see him in all his aloof
magnificence. Had the two girls played "See the Conquering Hero Comes,"
he might have accepted it as befitting.

"Stranger here, ain'tchu?" Jimmy's neighbor, a dried up little old man,
queried.

"Yes, why?" Jimmy mumbled back.

"Come to stay long?"

"Never can tell," replied Jimmy aloud, and mentally added, "Hope not."

"Goin' inter business?"

"No."

"Lookin' fer a job? I hear as how old Tom Sayers is hirin' all the men
he can git to work on his new buildin's." A moment's wait and then,
"Ain't a bricklayer, be you? You don't look like one. Look more
like--like a feller that don't know much about hard work. Interested in
autymobiles?"

"Yes," said Jimmy, telling the truth.

The old man cackled and said, "By gum! I thought so--I can spot 'em."

"How do you do that?" queried Jimmy, instantly curious concerning this
new psychological art.

"They all wear goggles and scarf pins," said the old man, triumphantly,
and then, as a speaker got up to open the meeting, whispered, "That's
old Smith. He's the mayor. He can't talk. Wait till you hear the Jedge
spout. Then you'll hear somethin' if he gets goin' good. He can talk so
loud that when he was in court before he was elected jedge, you could
hear him four blocks away from the square. Best lawyer in the state
because you could hear him the furdest."

"Hope he doesn't get going to-night," said Jimmy, and listened to the
mayor, who mumbled something about "Distinguished fellow townsmen,"
"Ardent believers in City Beautiful," "Great and growing city of
Princetown," and "Future metropolis of the state."

"The object of this meeting is to raise money enough to build a band
stand in the middle of the square. Mr. Sayers has kindly agreed in
consideration of the city's building such, to donate the cost of the
instruments."

Jimmy's neighbor had cupped his hand behind his ear and was evidently
disappointed. He started to ask Jimmy for an explanation but was
interrupted by the applause which greeted the introduction of the Judge
and relapsed, doubtless, hoping that he could enjoy such a golden
tongued orator as one who could be plainly heard for four blocks when he
"got goin'."

The Judge got up and bowed as the audience applauded. He stalked stiffly
to the little center table in the forefront of the stage, buttoned his
coat, shot his cuffs, and said "Ahem!" After that he took a long pause,
carefully poured himself a glass of water, daintily wiped his lips with
his pocket handkerchief, and in a louder tone said, "Ahem!"

"It's a mighty fine speech so far all right," commented Jimmy to the old
man, who began excitedly, "You just wait! If he gets goin', I tell
you----"

"S-s-sh" hissed someone in front of them, turning and glaring at the
offender, and the conversationalist subsided and looked at Jimmy and
glared and said, "S-s-sh!" as if the latter were the culprit.

"Friends and fellow citizens," said the Judge, condescendingly, "I
esteem it a great honor to be called upon to address you to-night on a
subject so near and dear to my heart as the welfare of this, my home
city, the greatest city in the world as far as my affections can be
bestowed. I have lived amongst you for nearly ten years ever since
leaving the great universities beyond our borders, and I crave your
indulgence for putting some of my larger views before you ere I speak
on purely local topics. Friends and fellow citizens, we must make the
world free for democracy. Let freedom of the seas be that shining
shibboleth which through its ulterior meaning, when considerately
scrutinized to its utmost and ultimate, and defined as we Americans who
are fully cognizant of our grave responsibilities toward humanity and
the affairs of other nations, races, and peoples of this globe, which is
round--those responsibilities handed down to us by the father of our
country, George Washington--interpret as meaning that we wish freedom of
the seas. Not in the abstract, but in the concrete, not in modicum but
in unconditional unobstruction and under such international statutes and
regulations as shall confine sea spaces to neither the individual, to
the group, to those who live within certain prescribed boundaries which
constitute government by the people for the people and of the people,
nor yet again for any comity, compact, or treaty-tied group of nations.
Small nations must be free by the exercises of their God-given processes
of reasoning and power of thought to so constitute their affairs that
they may, by their own approval and their own desires, succeed in
securing that power of growth and expression which can come to a people
solely and singularly when permitted the right of self-government."

"What's that?" whispered the old man, cupping his hand to his ear and
looking a trifle bewildered.

"He means people ought to be allowed to govern themselves," explained
Jimmy.

"Good Gawd! Did it take him all that time to say that?" questioned the
old man.

"S-s-s-sh!" cautioned a highly impressed person in front, impatient lest
he lose any of these obfuscated words of supposed wisdom.

"The way to be a good citizen is to be a good citizen," said the Judge
impressively. "We learn by learning. The man who lives the longest is
the oldest. All of us who do our best do our best. Our country is the
home of the free and the brave, let us cherish its traditions. The best
townsman is the man who does the best for his town. I can not stand
before you to-night without feeling that the entire sentiment of the
people is with me, my fellow citizens, and I should deem myself unworthy
of addressing you here to-night, upon this platform, did I not make it
plain to you, or as plainly as I can, that I consider myself as one of
those in the vanguard of that high and lofty motive whose purity of
purpose none dare assail, municipal improvements!"

In the tumultuous burst of applause that followed the old man croaked to
Jimmy, "What was that he said?"

"He says he's for the band stand," Jimmy interpreted with great brevity.
"That is, that's the way I understand it. Maybe that's not exactly what
he means. It takes a lot of hard thinking and consideration to find out
what some men really do mean when they talk."

"To hell with the band stand. I been here forty year and we got along
all right without it, say I! If that's what he's talkin' about, I'm
goin' home. I understood it was somethin' about taxes we was to hear.
They got me taxed plumb out of my socks and----"

"S-s-sh!" cautioned those in the vicinity.

"And if they tax us for this I can't have any underwear at all! Lemme
outer this. I'm goin'!" said the veteran and Jimmy was compelled to
stand up to let him pass, and then, thinking this an excellent
opportunity to escape, himself fled. The Judge was still uttering
profound nothings when his last words were audible, and that proved that
he was a great and blossoming statesman for whom no dignity was too
high!



CHAPTER II


Jimmy found the train all that he had anticipated, and then some; but
being one of that fortunate cult who arise happily, sing in bathrooms to
the annoyance of neighbors who waken with a grouch, enjoy breakfast, and
tackle each day as if it were certain to be filled with sunshine, soon
found the position entertaining. Although he knew nothing at all about
the subject, he even indulged in a learned discussion on cattle with his
seat mate, and held his own until he suggested that if milch cows were
put in nice comfortable homes and liberally fed with condensed cream
mixed with flour paste they would give pure cream instead of pure milk.

The farmer stared at Jimmy wondering whether he was seated with an
insane man or not, and if so whether the latter might develop homicidal
mania.

"I've always believed that cows were badly treated," Jimmy explained
very soberly. "Their esthetic development isn't looked after properly.
Now milk ought to be rich, creamy, sweet, and fragrant. Feed a cow on
onions and her milk smells like onions, doesn't it?"

The farmer admitted that it did.

"Well then, here's an idea you could make a fortune out of. By Jove! I
don't believe it's ever been tried! Why not raise flowers on a dairy
farm. Pick out cows with naturally sweet and kindly dispositions. Make
nature fit nature. For instance, take a nice red cow and feed her on red
roses. Nothing but red roses. Her milk is specially bottled and sold as
rose milk. By and by, maybe, its color would be a beautiful red. It
would smell like red roses. White cows should have lilacs and lilies of
the valley. Yellow cows ought to be fed on daisies and such. Think of
the advertising possibilities. 'Try our Rose milk, or Lily of the Valley
milk or Daisy milk.' And say, what's the matter with feeding violets to
blue cows? Violet brand would of course be the favorite for blonde
women, and Rose milk for the brunettes. Make the cow's home surroundings
lovely. Don't shut her up in a filthy stall but give her a room, and a
nice bed, and pictures on the wall so she can have something to look at
besides the doggoned scenery she has to see during working hours, when
she's busy making milk and wishing the whistle would blow so she could
lay off her overalls and go home to her family. Cows, I tell you,
are----"

He turned towards his seat mate to find a vacant space and to discover a
man with wild eyes and hasty furtiveness making his way toward the door
of the other compartment, as if seeking safety.

"Well what do you think of that!" exclaimed Jimmy, sotto voice.
"Confound it. It's the darned farmers that need educating; not the cows.
I swear I believe cows have more sense of humor than some men. And I was
just beginning to get good, too!"

And then, chuckling, he consulted his watch, and began leisurely
collecting his belongings.

All his leisureliness vanished, however, from the moment when he issued
from his hotel, and he became as brisk and busy as a cricket intent on
ravaging an entire wheat field in a series of swift swoops.

"You seem to be in a mighty big hurry, Jim," complained one customer,
later in the day, "What's the rush?"

Jimmy, mopping his forehead, for the first time appeared a trifle
diffident, flushed like a school boy and then blurted, "Well, to tell
the honest truth I am in a hurry. I'm trying to clean up and catch the
six-thirty train east. You see--I don't know as there is anything to be
ashamed of--I've got to get home to my mother."

Observing that this statement provoked no ridicule, he expanded.

"I suppose I've got as fine a mother as ever lived. She's down in
Baltimore and she's due to have a birthday in just three days, and--you
know, I've been with Maw on her birthday ever since she was born! That
is--I mean ever since I was born. No sir-e-ee! Never missed once. We
always looked forward to it, Maw and I do. Seems as if it was just our
day, and nobody else's at all! Maybe it's more important to her because
it happens to be my birthday too. I go home because I want to be with
her on her birthday, I reckon, and she likes to have me come home
because it's mine. So, come rain or shine, loss of business or train
wrecks, I'm home on that day, and--and the minute I step inside the
front door, I'm--I'm just a kid again."

Two days later there leapt up the cement steps of a neat old-fashioned
house in the suburbs of Baltimore a man who had come home to "feel like
a kid again," and with a shout bolted inside to be received by a gentle
gray-haired woman whom he picked up in his arms and kissed with boyish
demonstrativeness.

"By Gosh, Maw! You're looking younger and prettier, every time I see
you!" he exclaimed, holding her off at arm's length and studying her
solicitously. "I never see you without wishing I could stay here all the
time--just you and me. All alone! Just we two."

"Jims," she said, using an old pet name, "you'll get over that sometime.
And--it's about time, too, isn't it, that you stopped courting your own
mother, and began to remember that you're grown up. You will be
thirty-four years old to-morrow and I shall be----"

"Twenty-four! Always twenty-four."

"Sixty-four!"

"Twenty-four! Don't I know? Haven't I kept count?"

"I can keep my own count. Sixty-four. I hope you didn't bring me
another foolish thing for a birthday present. I always think of that
hat!" And she lifted her fine chin and laughed amusedly.

"That hat," Jimmy expostulated, "was bought in the best shop on Fifth
avenue and the girl that sold it to me put it on to show me how well it
looked."

"It must have been the girl rather than the hat that hypnotized you into
paying fifty dollars for something that would look better on someone of
about sixteen rather than sixty."

Jimmy did not appear to take the joke in his usual good tolerance but
soberly insisted that the hat was "A peach."

"No, the trouble with you is, Maw, that you don't realize how young you
look, and how handsome you are. It's not my fault you look like twenty,
is it? I told that lady hat drummer that I was going to give the hat to
somebody that was a darned sight better looking than she was, and she
said 'How old is the lady?' and I told her I wasn't discussing a horse
and that the age was none of her business, but that if she'd think of
someone who looked twenty, and get me a hat that would be the best in
the shebang in the twenty-year-old class, and tell me the price
and----"

"Well, Jims, don't you mind what I say," she interrupted with a smile.
"You are a good son, though terribly extravagant. You bought sealskin
furs that I can't wear, and a grand piano on which I can't play.
But----" and she went over and put her hands on his shoulders and looked
into his eyes with ineffable fondness--"Jims, what you gave didn't
matter because I knew that your heart, all of it, was there in the gift!
And often, when you are away, I thank God for giving me a son so
unselfish, so loyal, so thoughtful, so true!"

There were many of Jim Gollop's customers who would scarcely have known
him then; for there was a strange softening and adoration of his rugged
face, quite as if beneath that careless, half-cynical, humorous mask
there dwelt, abashed, seldom visible, some great tenderness of soul that
now issued forth without reserve. He bent forward with a sudden
reverence, very gently, with shining eyes, and then, folding her still
more gently to his arms, kissed her white hair, and for a moment held
her very close.

"Well, Jims," she said at last, slowly disengaging herself, "your room
is just as you left it. No--not quite. I take it back. We had to remove
your discarded shoes from the bed where you left them, and I think you
left one slipper in the bath room and the other in the grate. Also some
collars on the floor, some more scattered over the dresser, and a rather
smelly pipe on a chair. Otherwise it's ready for you and Bessie has by
this time drawn your bath, and----"

"I'm mighty glad about that pipe! I thought I'd lost it somewhere
between Plattsburg and Buffalo. Funny, isn't it, how you become fond of
a particular pipe? I always liked that one. This is a real home coming!
You see that pipe was given to me by Billy Baker. I've told you about
Billy, haven't I? He's the chap that lives down in Greenville,
Pennsylvania, who used to make the same ground I did, and sold that
Florodora line. Poor chap! Married now. Got a kid he calls Arture Davis
Baker! Now if he'd called that kid Jim----"

"It might have been as foolish as you! Hurry and come down stairs. We
have chicken Maryland, oysters out of season, and corn cakes, and--don't
moon about the bath room and try to sing, Jims!" His mother thrust him
towards the stairs and as he ascended like a bell boy expecting a tip,
watched him from sight.

Jimmy paused to look through his open window of his room at a big elm
whose branches he could almost touch. "Hello Bill, old feller. Glad to
see you looking well. How's the birds' nest business this summer? Oh.
Got a dozen aboard have you, and you say mostly robins? Well, well,
well! That's good! Tell 'em to sing to me at six o'clock to-morrow
morning, will you? Thanks!"

He smiled fondly at the lawns and homely flower beds in the rear and
thrust his head far out of the window to estimate the growth of a
creeper that he had planted with his own hands. It seemed to him that
there was no home, anywhere, as homelike as this old-fashioned house
that since the death of his father he had gradually modernized inside to
suit his tastes, despite his mother's protests against his extravagance.
He rarely thought of those hard years following the death of his father,
when the home was learned to be the sole remaining asset of what had
been regarded as a fine prosperity; of how he had insisted on its
retention; of how he had been compelled to work out of school hours; of
his and his mother's reluctant surrender of the cherished dream that he
might go through Yale; of how, long after he had found employment to
support his mother, he had doggedly insisted on night study to complete
his education following the foolish traditions of nearly every old
Southern family that its male members must have a profession. Sometimes
he remembered how reluctantly he had abandoned his dream of becoming a
lawyer because he could not afford to let an opening "on the road" at a
good salary pass by; but he was secretly proud of the fact that he had
bravely concealed all the disappointment.

"My mother, our home, a few good friends, a little more in the bank at
the end of each year and something each day to give me a laugh. What
more could a man wish!" This had become his creed and he lived up to it
in all ways, even if he had to create the laugh for his own amusement.
He had gradually learned the hard lesson that a wise man cuts his suit
to fit the cloth at his disposal and was thereby content. He had learned
to lose with a grin and win without a boast.

Mr. James Gollop, despite his unserious demeanor when abroad, never
departed from his home to resume his never ending circle "on the road"
without a sigh. It was so on the day when, his birthday holiday over, he
tripped down the steps throwing a parting joke over his shoulder at his
mother, and hastened to the end of the quiet residential street to board
a street car; but in the street car and later, in the train, he sat
soberly thinking and wondering if there was no way on earth by which he
could be at home each day.

"Maw's not getting any younger," he thought to himself. "Every day I'm
not with her is one day less on my account that I can never catch up.
And all accounts sometimes come to an end when the Big Auditor decides
it's time to close them."

He threw off his brooding when he reached New York, and was the old,
alert, bubbling Jimmy when he reached his firm's headquarters, where he
was prepared to wrangle with the auditor over items on his expense list,
demand better samples than the last lot, suggest some special cartoons
for a special trade, cajole the house in sending out some special
souvenirs for some special customers, and find out from the credit man
what he thought of Jones Jobbing Co. for a little larger order. And
then, all these affairs adjusted diplomatically, he went out to make
some personal purchases. He was reflecting on the fact that everybody in
New York seemed in a hurry to get to some place or another when he was
arrested by a cheerful voice so evidently aimed in his direction that he
looked up with a start; a rich voice that said, "Well for goodness sake!
Fancy seeing you here; but of course that is foolish, because I know you
have to come here on business at long intervals. How are you?"

"Very well, thank you," said Jimmy, accepting the proffered hand and
shaking it warmly, but at the same time mentally perturbed because he
could not think of the charming young lady's name, nor whence she came.
"And I am somewhat surprised to meet you here, too."

"Oh, Mother had to come to do a lot of silly things and dragged me along
to chaperone her, I suppose," said the girl with a laugh that exposed
teeth fascinatingly small, white and regular, between lips fascinatingly
generous and well formed. "And what is more, I hate New York and like
the country, and--I'm bored stiff with tagging around into millineries,
and shops, and such. I can get enough of shops at home!"

"Of course! Of course!" agreed Jimmy affably, but feeling himself a
little pompous through his failure to remember where such a charming
creature dealt out chocolates when on her job. His mind was working like
lightning and speculated, "Plague on it all! They look so different in
their go-away-duds from what they do behind the counters with nice white
aprons and nice little white caps and nice white linen gloves and--why
can't I remember!--Where does she work? She's familiar but--ummh!--It
never does to let 'em think you've forgotten 'em, because they resent it
and knock your sales when you come around again. Isn't she the
manageress at Bodley's out in Cincinnati? No-o--I think--I think she's
at the Bijou in Pittsburgh. Ummmh! It's up to me to make her believe
I've been thinking about her ever since I sold her place my last order."

Aloud he said, "Well you're no more bored stiff than I am. And I, too,
only come to New York because I have to. Which way are you going?"

"Nowhere in particular just now," she said, "except to look in that
shop window up there. Are you interested in windows?"

"If they've got chocolates in them," he replied with a wry grin, and she
laughed.

"Chocolates? I detest them!" she exclaimed, and Jimmy knew just how she
must feel about chocolates when all day long she saw people buying them,
and sometimes gobbling them.

They looked in the window and Jimmy was glad that it was a leather show
that had not only gloves and knickknacks but some good horse furniture
as well. His companion seemed to know all about saddlery and went into
raptures over a pigskin creation; but with a sigh, remarked that she
didn't feel able to afford it, and they explored farther. She kept Jimmy
too busy mentally to permit even his agile mind to indulge in continued
speculations as to her identity. He knew that his first duty was to
prove entertaining, and in some distress as to what might be the best
tack, suddenly took advantage of a sandwich man's conspicuous overcoat
that read, "The Marvelous Age. Matinee to-day. Royalty Theater."

"Oh, I'd love to see that!" exclaimed his companion, and that gave him
his cue.

"Off we go then," he said.

"What? You take me to a theater without a chaperone? I'm astonished!"
And then she laughed as if highly amused by something extraordinary.

"Mabel," he said, gravely, "you don't know me when I'm in New York. It's
the matinee for ours."

"The 'Mabel' settles it," she declared mischievously, and went with him
gayly down the cross street leading to the theater.

Dexterously as he fished to glean from her where she worked when at
home, he was still ignorant of that important point when, the
performance over, they emerged into the street.

"Now," she said, "you can leave me at the Holland House. That is, unless
you wish to come up and pay your respects to Mother; but come to think
of it, she may not be home yet."

"No," said Jimmy, in perplexity, "I have an appointment. You must extend
my respects and good wishes. But--say! There's the big Horse Show on in
Madison Square Garden to-morrow afternoon. Can't we see that? If you
will but say 'yes,' I'll book seats for your mother, and for you, and
for me. How about it?"

"Get Mother to a Horse Show? Heavens! But--I'd like to go." She spoke
with bright wistfulness that absolutely finished him.

"Well, your mother will let you, won't she?" he asked hopefully.

"Let me see," she said thoughtfully as they stood in the hotel entrance,
and drew from her bag a tiny silver mounted appointment book and
consulted its pages. "Oh, goody! Mamma has an appointment up town that I
can easily beg off from. Yes. Do get two tickets and we'll go."

"I'll call here for you at two o'clock," said Jimmy. "Will that do?"

"Excellently. But, mind you, no box! I like to see a horse show from
close down to the ground. They don't look so dressed up and silly as
they do from the boxes. I rather suspect that the horses don't like
those in the boxes," she said with a smile.

"Agreed," he answered, and made his devoirs.

He walked briskly as far as the corner, then turned and looked back to
make certain that she had disappeared. He hastened back, intent on
gaining the desk before others had reached it, but found himself too
late. He was compelled to bide his time whilst several people
registered, and then sidled up to the desk. A very haughty young man
swung the register toward him but he ignored it and, leaning
confidentially across, said, "There's a young lady and her mother
stopping here and I can't remember their names. Perhaps you could tell
me what----"

"Sorry! There are probably fifty young ladies and their mothers stopping
here," said the hotel clerk, icily. "If you're on the square in asking
for such information, I'm sorry I can't give it; but if you've got some
lay of your own, you're in the wrong nest. This isn't the Sports
Half-way House, you know."

"But see here. I'm in earnest about this, you know, and----" began
Jimmy, and was interrupted with a curt "Sorry! Nothing doing!"

He might have argued the point had not there been another interruption
and after a moment he left, shrugging his shoulders a trifle, and
condemning himself as an ass for his failure to remember who this
"Mabel" was. The failure rendered him doubly keen, for it was a part of
his business training, self-imposed, to remember names and faces. He
went to his own hotel and for an hour ran through the pages of his blue
book. It was a peculiar creation of his own. It was strictly private. It
contained details concerning customers. It was like a highly developed
"Who's Who," diary in his trade and made interesting reading.

"Barclay, James W. 114z Chestnut, Philadelphia. Credit AAA1. Rather
stiff. Likes to be Mistered. Teetotaler. Chief entertainment, Y. M. C.
A. lectures. Home mission movements and prayer meetings. Hot stuff on
religion. Show him the Zoo. P. S. Five children, all girls, oldest named
Martha. P. S. On Oct. 14 youngest kid, Ruth, suffering from the flu.
Note--don't forget mention it when next see him and express hope she has
recovered satisfactorily.

"Barnes, Thomas R. 1627A La Salle St., Chicago. Credit fair. Called
'Tommy.' Red hot sport. Horseraces. Prize fights. Poker. (Go easy on
stakes because unless careful will boost the comein.) Likes Pommery Sec.
P. S. Likes chorus girls. P. S. Dangerous josher when loaded. P. S. When
he expresses desire to spend quiet evening skidoo. P. S. Oct.
27th--Bailed Tommy out for hitting a policeman. Policeman not much hurt,
Tommy a wreck. P. S. Jan. 15th, sent bell boy 3 a. m. to my room to
borrow fifty bucks. P. S. Jan 17--Tommy paid the fifty. P. S. Jan 19,
got Tommy off on Century Limited, and separated him from girl named
Lulu. P. S. Feb 1, letter from Tommy thanking me for separating him from
girl named Lulu.

"Coldwell, Henry J.; Mgr. Fountain Conf. Co., Savannah. Credit A1. Likes
a decent show. No legs. Moony about wife and family when away from home.
Spiritualist. Wife a blonde who likes to think she's reforming lower
classes. Grandfather old cuss named Poindexter who was defeated for
Congress by but seventeen votes. P. S. Nov. 5, great grandmother a
Fairfax of which very proud. P. S. Dec. 7, great great grandmother a
Lee. P. S. Jan. 15, great aunt a Washington. P. S. Feb. 4, great
grandmother danced with Lafayette. Mar. 15, brought ugly old painting of
joker in wig and stock at second-hand shop Bowery and expressed to H. J.
C., with note that was assured this was portrait of ancestor. Total cost
$1.15, charged exs. Mar. 23--Enthusiastic letter thanks from J. H. C. in
which says exactly like miniature portrait in possession his aunt and no
doubt of its authenticity. Mar. 28, got biggest order ever received
from J. H. C. Hope cr. man will O. K. it"

There were some names and records in this interesting book that dealt
with employees. For instance:

"Bangs, Reginald, 1 R Mohawk St., Buffalo. AA1. Sentimental cuss. Quotes
poetry. Thinks has artistic temperament. Not much business head. Place
made a success by head clerk, Miss Norah Cahill, who runs it and him as
well. Play Norah to win, for first, second, and place. P. S. Jan. 13,
gifts and hot air wasted on Norah and no good. Got to have the goods and
the prices. P. S. Mar. 4, Cahill nearly scalped me over seventeen cents
difference in accts. LOOK OUT FOR THE LOCOMOTIVE when dealing with this
Cahill person. P. S. Cahill can be influenced by clerk named Mary
Mooney. $1.50 Dr. Exs. flowers for Mooney."

In nearly all cases where clerks or counter girls had influence on
orders, their names and foibles and identifications were carefully
registered as they were learned; and these were scattered through as
appurtenances to the different shops. "Mary Smith. Red-headed. Does
hair up like a Hottentot. Jingles with bangles and is color blind"; or
"Chief salesgirl Freda Isenheimer. Nose like prow of ship. Warts on her
neck, grin like a cellar door, teeth like an old horse. Flaps hands when
talks. Voice like saw mill and waddles like a duck lost on a desert."
And "Jenny Gray. All peach. Goo-goo blue eyes. About thirteen hands high
and chestnut in color. Well-gaited and has boss under thumb." But
although Jimmy carefully read all these and pondered each, he was still
uncertain regarding whither the name or place of the young lady he was
to entertain at the horse show. And, the most annoying part of it all
was that he, confirmed bachelor, suffered from an unwonted sense of
liking for this same girl. Her conversation seemed to him peculiarly
bright and entertaining. She looked so much more attractive than any
other girl he had ever entertained. There was something about her face,
and the line of her throat that he had discovered while surreptitiously
studying her there in the half darkness of the theater that was so much
more graceful, so much more refined, so much more beautiful than he had
ever observed in any other girl. It began to seem difficult to believe
that he could ever before have seen her, and yet failed to note such a
combination of charms. He thought he must have been blind as a bat when
he passed her by; but again he fell back on the excuse that a girl in a
shop uniform was an entirely different appearing person from the same
girl out on a holiday. He did not at all realize that his interest in
this unidentified queen of chocolates was becoming less and less of a
business nature until he finally blurted in desperation, "I don't give a
cuss where she peddles the sweets; but by gosh! I've just got to learn
her name and address because--Oh, hang it! Because!"



CHAPTER III


Jimmy Gollop, like most commercial travelers of the first flight, not
only knew how to wear clothes but what clothes to wear. And on this day
of days paid particular care to his appearance. He rather anticipated
that the candy girl would appear in some plain, tailormade gown. Her
hair, one of her chief charms of personal appearance, was heavy and
beautiful, and of a most baffling shade of color that shone brown in
darker shadows and yet in full light glinted as if subtly suggesting
gold. Jimmy, who had a natural sense for color, pondered over this and
decided that the tailormade would be of navy blue and that therefore
violets would be the correct thing in the flower line to show his
appreciation.

"But how in the deuce am I to send them up to her hotel when I don't
even know her name!" he thought.

However, he was sufficiently independent to buy the finest violets he
could find and to appear at the hotel entrance with them in his hand.
The young lady was not there. Jimmy tried to appear unconcerned, and for
a time stood like a rather modern statue of "Cupid bearing flowers." Now
and then he peered into the hotel lobby and it seemed to him that
whenever he did so the human icicle behind the desk was glaring in his
direction as if contemplating a call for the police, or sending a
message to the Ladies' Protective Association for Attractive Young
Females.

At last when he was becoming fidgety and consulting his watch at
intervals of not longer than three minutes, the girl appeared.

"Well, in the name of common sense," she demanded, "why didn't you send
your card up, or have the desk call me? I hope you're not in the habit
of expecting young ladies to meet you on the corner. I waited and
waited, and then was just about to----" She stopped at sight of his
lugubrious face, relented, and laughed. "Never mind! Don't take it to
heart, and--are those violets for me? You are a dear, after all! I love
them." She took them from his outstretched hand and buried her face in
them, whilst he, usually so nimble of tongue and ready of word, was
striving to overcome this alarming confusion and embarrassment that
rendered him about as quick of wit as a soft-shelled clam. In fact, he
felt like a jelly fish save that he was twice as incompetent.

"You see," he began lamely, "I didn't quite know what to do. I was
afraid that maybe your mother had objected to your going to the horse
show, and----"

"Why, you're not afraid of her, are you? You never seemed so before. I
thought--I thought you and she were rather good friends." There was a
vague tinge of sarcasm in her words and tone but like a wobbly legged
pup trying to catch a butterfly he mentally leaped at this offering and
began cudgeling his memory in quest of women who ran chocolate shops.
Could it be that she was the daughter of the widow Haynes who owned the
Bon-Ton in Detroit? Impossible! The widow was not more than thirty.
Maybe Mrs. Harris of Miami? No, if Mrs. Harris had a daughter she would
have that unmistakable Southern peculiarity of speech. This girl was
from somewhere farther north. It couldn't be that she was the daughter
of Mrs. Schumann of Milwaukee? Heaven forbid! For Mrs. Schumann was so
fat she shook like an unsupported pyramid of blanc-mange whenever she
moved.

"I had hopes for you yesterday," a voice aroused him from his lapse.
"You acted as if you could talk when you turned loose; but now you're
back in your old hopeless form. Come on! Wake up! Oh, I forgot to tell
you the great news. Like to hear it?"

"I like to hear you say anything," said Jimmy, hopelessly at her mercy
and speaking the truth, and nothing but the truth so help him Bob! and
glancing at her with that unmistakable sick-calf expression that seems
to be the inevitable accomplishment of all lovers, and that the original
Eve must have noticed in the eyes of Adam as he stood lolling around
Eden in his red flannel underwear.

"Mamma got an invitation to spend the winter down in St. Augustine with
the Charles K. Wilmarths, and she knows I hate them. She wanted to go
because, as you know, she thinks she's not at all well, and also because
the Charles K. Wilmarths are rather swagger. Either because she wished
to get rid of me, or because I raised such a fuss, she compromised. I'm
to be allowed to stay here for the next four months and take painting
lessons from Jorgensen. I intend to have a studio of my own. I'm to live
at the Martha Putnam hotel, which, as you know, never, never allows a
man farther through its doors than the waiting room. Happy? I'm so happy
I could shout!"

"Then you've no longer any interest in the business?" inquired Jimmy,
for the want of something better to say.

She looked out of the taxi-window for an instant, as if recalling
something and then said, slowly, "Yes, to tell the truth I have. It
means so much. I'll admit that I'm more or less a business person. I
like to see things grow bigger and bigger, and sell more and more, and
get to mean something. Not that the dollars and cents count so much,
after a time, but because a name somehow becomes a standard. Yes, I
shall miss what you call the business; but, after all, it will not stop
because I'm not there to enthuse over it, and----" She interrupted
herself with a half-suppressed laugh--"Mother doesn't look at things
exactly as I do. She detests it and is ashamed of it, I have an ideal!"

Jimmy never quite idealized the chocolate trade before; but there was
something rather fine in what she said, he thought. After all, maybe it
was one form of Americanism that she had voiced, and it became a trifle
nobler when he considered that it meant industry, energy, and honesty.
To do something and do it well. To be proud of doing something well. To
be proud that one wasn't a loafer or a drone, or a parasite on the body
economic. He was striving to correlate all this when made aware that the
taxi had stopped and that they were at their destination. He actually
submitted to an overcharge of a half-dollar inflicted by the
hatchet-faced brigand who had jerked his taxi-meter over with a bang
before his fares had time to inspect it. And then, resolving to forget
everything save the fact that they were entering the Horse Show, and
that he was somehow treading in ether because he had found a girl who
was different from all others, he became himself again.

"We're not so very late after all," he exclaimed as he glanced up at the
big tower clock. "I thought I waited an hour for you. But, anyhow, here
we are, and now for it!"

They sauntered in and he was proud to observe that many eyes were
turned in the direction of his companion. It made him feel rather
egotistical, for there were many girls there well worth looking at, and
people don't always go to horse shows to look at horses. Jimmy forgot
all about chocolates. Unconsciously he relapsed to his habitual self,
and, inasmuch as most any one who is unassuming and entirely natural is
entertaining, seemed to keep his companion happy.

"I like it all," she said, in an interval. "I like to look at those in
the boxes who came here for nothing else than to be looked at. It makes
them happy to see others looking at them. I suppose they must feel for
the moment that they are as good as the horses. Some people will make
mistakes of that sort, you know, and never learn the truth. And I like
the horses for themselves. They are so unlike. So like people. Some of
them are shy, some of them nervous, some of them conceited, and others
are as self-satisfied as if already they had won the blue ribbons.
Funny, isn't it, that I never suspected that you had any interest at all
in them?"

"Well, you see," said Jimmy. "We never had much of a chance to
understand really what either of us enjoys or dislikes before we met
here. It makes a lot of difference when, how and where people meet. I
suppose you'll laugh if I tell you when I first fell in love, because it
was with a horse. Honestly, it was! I'm in earnest about it. Things
didn't come any too easy around our house--I mean Maw's and mine--after
my father died. Somehow his death sort of changed me from a boy into a
man, and,--well, I just couldn't think of enough ways to keep her from
wanting anything. I felt as if I'd have to be a man big enough to fill
my father's place and to take care of her. There wasn't a way to make a
penny that I didn't consider just on her account. And I got a job after
school hours delivering stuff for a grocery store, down in our town. I
had to care for and drive a poor old feller with the string halt, and
spavins, and I used to wonder why I couldn't get his tail to grow
longer. Honestly, I thought all horses' tails were about eight inches
long until an old horse trader looked my friend over one day and said,
'Hello! That nag's been docked sometime! He didn't always pull a grocery
cart. Shouldn't wonder if there'd been some class and pedigree to him
sometime.' Then he had the impertinence to stick his dirty fingers into
my friend's mouth and hoist his upper lip and say, 'Methusalem was old,
but this plug could make him look like a suckling,' I remember that I
was angry, and that I wished that my friend had bitten him. I'd have
done it myself if I had been big enough, or a horse. You see, I was
proud of that horse, and liked him, and he loved me. As a joke the
hostlers down at the boarding stable where we kept him called him
Bovolarapus; but I called him Bo for short, because it didn't seem fair
that we shouldn't be familiar with each other. I'm sure he thought of me
as Jim for short; so I called him Bo. He used to take a kick at anybody
else who came near him, but I could put a hot iron on his poor old heels
without a single vicious jerk from him. He bit nearly everyone who got
too close or too curious, but he'd put his lips up to my cheek and kiss
me when something had hurt my feelings, and I'd get into some quiet lane
and tell him all about it--sometimes with my arms around his tired old
neck! I tell you he was mighty comforting to me when everything went
wrong. You won't believe it, but I used to fancy that sometimes he tried
to whisper into my ear and that he said, 'Take it quietly, boy! Just do
the best you can. I know that sometimes the hill is terribly hard to
climb, and bitterly long, but somewhere there is always a top. Don't
think of the load, the whip, or the hill, but keep thinking, always, of
what it's like on top. Many times they'll hurt you when you're doing
your best, because they're cruel, or don't understand. But most of those
who drive you--and someone or something must drive you as long as you
live,--don't really mean to be hard. It's merely because they don't
understand. Sometimes you'll be very tired, and out of breath, and the
sweat of hard work will drip and trickle from your ears down over your
eyes, and you'll think that another yard is beyond all you can do. But
keep on! Stick it! You can always do a little more than you think you
can if you've the courage to try. And there's always a top to every
hill, lad! It's only up there that you can breathe, and that the load is
light, and that there is rest!'"

A band that had been playing off up in the balcony at the far end
stopped, as if waiting for the next event, and abruptly aware that he
had said so much, and surprised by his own unmeasured loquacity, he,
too, stopped, abashed, and for the first time in his speech looked at
her and met her eyes. They were soft, filled with wonder, absorbed. He
could not have defined why he was so swiftly ashamed of thus openly
flouting that boyhood heart of his upon his sleeve. He could not have
explained what strange lapse had overpowered him to thus unbosom long
forgotten things. He looked away from her toward the entrance. Men were
bringing tall hurdles outward to place them in the arena. The jumpers
were coming for exhibit.

"But," she insisted breathlessly, leaning toward him, and her hushed
voice sounding distinct from all the murmur surrounding them, "Tell me
the rest of it!"

"Tell you the rest of it? There's nothing more to tell! Nothing
except--except----" He hesitated, then laughed as if in self-derision.
"My friend fell down one day, half way up a hill. The top was there,
just above him. The top for which he had so valiantly tried. I, a boy,
his only friend, got his tired old head up on my knees and cried. A
policeman came and shook his head and went away and phoned. A vet came
and said, 'The best thing to do is to shoot him,' and then the
policeman pulled out a gun, and went toward Bo's head and bent over the
brave and tired old eyes of my friend, and--I fought! Fought so hard
that they had to give us a chance, Bo and me. They laughed, but the vet
phoned my employers and what they said, I never knew; but I do know that
they gave me my friend, and that about midnight I got him home, weak and
tottering, and put him out in our back garden, and told Maw all about
it. I thought she would understand and she did. She understands
everything. Everything! No one else ever could. And so--um-m-mh!
Bovolarapus was the first horse I ever owned and the last. We had to go
without some few things, Maw and I, to pay pasturage for a year or two
until he died, but it doesn't at all matter now. You see he was a sort
of inspiration to me because he told me so many things, and--that
somewhere, a long way I fear from where I've ever reached, there's a top
to the hill. He taught me that be we driver or driven there's a heart of
things that has to be learned. That the driver may learn from the driven
and that there is always the promise that the driven may drive. And so
may God pity the man who thinks that he can drive his world alone,
because, as far as I can dope it out, everything in life is made up of
give if you would take, and take only when you give. I may be wrong. One
never knows. That's the pity of it all. But that's the way it looks to
me, and--that's the way communing with a poor old horse taught me, the
only game I try to play. It's only when we've lost the true sense of
things that we say 'Life's nothing but a horse show--after all!'"

Staring at the arena, and bringing his thoughts back to their
surroundings, he waited for her to speak; but for the moment they seemed
fixed in a little oasis of silence, embodying but them alone. It was the
girl who broke the peculiar stillness.

"I--I--never thought you were like that," she said, almost as if
soliloquizing. "I thought you were out for yourself and nothing else! I
didn't in the least think you could ever feel anything beyond yourself.
You humiliate me--in a way--my stupidity! And I feel like apologizing
for my past unkindness, because I didn't; as you say--because I didn't
at all understand!"

He couldn't quite grasp it all, although her every word had been audible
and distinct. To what did she refer? "Past unkindness?" He strove to
think when she had been unkind to him and where. The baffling sense of
having forgotten something he should have remembered, again disturbed
him and drove him to jest.

"Don't say that!" he cried in pretended alarm. "You make me feel like
the coon who was sentenced for stealing chickens when the judge said,
'You are incorrigible. This is the twenty-seventh time we've had you up
for this heinous, fearsome crime. But now you have gone the limit! You
stole two black hens on the night of April seventh.' Then he stopped and
glared at the nigger who leaned over the dock rail, hopefully, yet
frightened, and said, 'I think you should be sentenced to ninety-nine
years in the penitentiary!' And the nigger thought it over and looked at
the judge, then around the court and gasped, and said, 'Jedge, sah! I
thank my Gawd them chickens was black. It must have been the color, sah,
that made you so kind, because I reckon if they'd been white you'd have
sure had me hanged!'"

But she did not seem to accept it as a joke.

"I have been unkind," she said, with a shake of her head. "I had no idea
you could be like--well--like you are. So there! And besides, I don't
like to be made fun of."

"I'm not making fun of you," he declared. "I'm making fun of myself. I
can't help it. I've a sense of proportion. I know what a mut I am better
than anyone else does. It does me good to admit it whenever I get a
proper chance."

For another interval she studied him, curiously, looked away, and again
turned toward him as if still unconvinced of something, and then said,
"Well, if you were wise, you would keep on being just yourself. You've
something to learn from horses yet. I believe they are always natural,
and unassuming, and sincere. That's a beautiful animal there now, isn't
it? Well done! What a jump! Seven bars! That's pretty good for a
practice take-off, I should say. What do you think?"

"I'd jump higher than that to remember something I've forgotten," Jim
murmured; but his remark went unchallenged, due to a second splendid
leap in the arena that was so swift and graceful that it resembled
nothing so much as a glistening bay flash, a compound of splendidly
correlated muscle, nerve and sinew, and the spectators burst into a
storm of applause as the horse, proudly and daintily stepping on
springing hocks, lifted a beautiful head, pricked sensitive ears, and
stared through big, intelligent eyes at the boxes.

Even the perplexed and infatuated Jimmy forgot his secret questionings
and gave himself up to the joys of the display. Event followed event in
such rapid succession that he was astonished when the military band
struck up its dispersing air, and he and his companion "The Candy Girl"
as he had come to think of her, were caught into the leisurely maelstrom
that surged slowly toward the exits. He had even forgotten the fact that
he had as yet failed to learn his companion's name; but at the hotel
entrance maneuvered for another chance.

"Isn't it possible to induce you and your mother to see a show, or hear
a concert, or something of that sort to-night?" he asked wistfully.

"I wish we could," she said; "but I'm afraid it's quite impossible. We
are dining with some friends."

"What about to-morrow, then?" he insisted, somewhat crestfallen.

"To-morrow we are going to visit some relatives in Connecticut where we
shall spend the week-end."

His face, usually so cheerful and optimistic, might have competently
served for an artist's study of "Gloom." He felt as if the props had
been kicked from beneath a line on which swung all his best linen.

"I've got to get back to my work not later than day after to-morrow," he
lamented. "In fact I ought to take the five o'clock flyer west to-morrow
afternoon to keep up with my dates. I've sent out my cards that I am
coming."

"Then for goodness sake, go!" she insisted. "I'll see you at home--no--I
forgot I shall not be there for weeks, or perhaps months. I mustn't let
this Jorgensen opportunity go to waste. I'm very keen on it. But you
will be in town again and must come and call for me at the Martha
Putnam. I shall--I shall look forward to it!"

She suddenly flushed as if she had somehow committed herself, and before
he could reply had almost run from him into the hotel lobby. But he had
caught a look in her eyes that caused his heart to lose a beat, then to
thump like a bass drum in martial band. He was made suddenly aware that
he was gawking after her with his mouth hanging open and his eyes
bulging, by the delighted snickers of a pair of impertinent door boys
and the suppressed comment of one, "Betchu a nickel she's thrown him
down! Gee! Ain't he got it bad!"

And Jimmy, turning away with a heavy-villain air of dignity, was ashamed
of himself because he had blushed profusely in sight of two mere urchins
in brass buttons.



CHAPTER IV


"I suppose," said the buyer for one of the biggest middle Western
jobbing houses, addressing a friendly competitor across the table at
their club, "that Jim Gollop comes as near to being the synonym for
sunshine as any man can be."

"Yes, and that's why he succeeds so well. Somehow when I'm tired, or
depressed, I like to see Jim Gollop coming through the door. And he's
about the only commercial traveler I would ever say howdy to at those
times. He's like a tonic, Jim Gollop is. He just seems to radiate good
will, and friendliness, and optimism wherever he goes. I think I noticed
that surprising faculty of his more on this last round of his than ever
before."

The manager looked up thoughtfully, and said, "Come to think of it, I
noticed that, too. Not that he wasn't always cheerful, and persistent,
and smart enough in his business, but this last time he seemed to
fairly outdo himself. I asked him if his aunt was dead. 'Why?' says he.
'Oh, you're so happy I thought maybe you'd fallen heir to an unexpected
fortune,' I told him."

"What did he say?"

"Said 'Old man, I've found something that beats that all hollow. I've
found the philosopher's stone. I've found the back door at least to the
house of happiness.' And I'll swear I don't believe he was joking,
although it's sometimes hard to tell when Jimmy is in earnest."

"Humph! Must be in love," said the other man.

"Well, he might be worse off," said the manager. "If he draws as luckily
as I did--well--You've met my wife and kiddies."

And it did seem as if Jimmy, making his long rounds, was meeting with
inordinate success; for life smiles on those who smile and the happy
salesman is like the Happy Warrior, because all things, sooner or later,
come to his feet. The art of salesmanship is the art of winning, and
there is no such animal as a successful drummer with a perpetual grouch.
But just the same the astute Jimmy's progress was not so easily
profitable from the personal point as he had conceived, and as he had
ardently hoped. He had left New York in his customary optimism with the
boastful prediction, "I'll learn the candy girl's name, and where she
lives when she's at home, and when her birthday is, and all about her,
before I get back. And on the day I get her name I'll telegraph an order
to a New York florist to take her the biggest bunch of violets she ever
saw."

At the end of the first week he felt that the next week must surely
bring the coveted information, and at the end of the second week he made
a bet with himself that he'd find it out in the third. Then when the
third week proved equally barren, he doubled the stakes and lost them on
the fourth week.

"Anyhow," he communed with himself, "I'm more than half way through, and
shall win on the next stretch."

But his hopes, increasing as his tour of elimination progressed, began
to turn to anxieties as his margin for developments narrowed until he
was almost feverishly eager in his pursuit when he entered his last and
final week. Everywhere he went there were the same old names and the
same old faces. One or two customers had sold out, but invariably they
were men. It was on his last day, when hope had waned, that he found
what he hoped was a clue. Mrs. Ellen Sturgis, of Lansing, Michigan, who,
according to his blue book, was "quite a lady, credit A1, tall, good
dresser, very quiet, somewhat standoffish, fond of horses, because, owns
her own trap outfit and nice little cob," had sold out and gone to parts
unknown.

"Didn't she leave any address?" inquired Jimmy of the new owner, who was
an affable, elderly gentleman given to loquacity.

"Not with me. Probably at the post office. Hope I can do as well with
this business as she did, and I think I can do better. But she made
money here, all right. Of course she had a society pull to start with
because you see she was the widow of a man who was thought to be pretty
well heeled until he died; then she had to go into business to support
herself, and all the best people in the town patronized her and--anyone
can do business with that kind of a pull."

Jimmy closed his order and loitered around the mirror-garnished shop
until he got an opportunity to talk with a girl whose face was
familiar.

"Let me see," said Jimmy, thoughtfully, "Didn't Mrs. Sturgis have a
daughter who was 'most always here?"

"Nellie? Sure. You remember her, don't you? Nice looking girl with brown
hair and wonderful teeth. We all liked Nellie a lot more than we did her
mother. Stuck-up old dame, I called her. But Nellie was all to the
good."

Jimmy suddenly developed a mad desire to get away from there. He got as
far as the corner and was tempted to turn into an alleyway and do a
brief but sprightly dance on his own; but decided that he would lose no
time in finding the telegraph office.

"Got her! Got her at last!" he jubilated mentally. "Now for the violets,
then it's me for the hotel, and the long letter apologizing for not
writing sooner and--um-m-mh!--I'll tell her I broke my wrist in
Ashtabula. That's a good place to break one's wrist in. No--that won't
do. She'd wonder why I didn't dictate a letter to some blonde
hop-o-my-thumb in some nice quiet hotel. How about the flu?
Um-m-mh--afraid that wouldn't square up with my keeping on the road.
Urgent and continual business sounds too cold--considering how warm I
feel. I must never tell her the truth that I'd forgotten her name, and
what she looked like, and be the boob I am by admitting that I'd never
paid enough attention to her before then to take notice of her. Girls
don't like to think that anyone could possibly forget them after one
good, square look. Hurts their vanity, I reckon. And she's not the sort
I can write to and say, 'Kid, you made a hit with me and I'm your little
stick of candy from now until I go to some place so hot I melt!' No,
I've got to get some excuse that'll get by, or--go out into somebody's
town park and cut my throat. I'm hit so badly it hurts! And if anything
goes wrong with this deal it's--it's all off with Yours Truly. It just
seems to me that would be the one thing I've ever had happen that I
couldn't recover from!"

He had thought of her so much, by day and night, that he entertained a
strange sense of familiarity, as if he had known and loved her all
through life. So vivid were his impressions that he could not forget
little inflections of her musical voice, tiny feminine gestures, stray
sparkles of her eyes, the very echoes of her modulated laughter. All the
weeks of his search, forever arousing in him by disappointment an
increased determination, were but additions to their acquaintanceship.
All the smothered, dormant sentiment accumulated throughout his life had
been exploded, as by a spark, to burst into a brilliancy that filled his
entire horizon. Life was filled with dazzling and unexpected stars of
shining gold. There was but one moon in all his heavens, a warm,
friendly, almost mystic moon that rendered gentle and fine everything
upon which it bestowed benignancy. His universe could scarcely note the
extinguishment of a sun. He had never paused to analyze it, but had
fallen upon the truth that the love of a man of thirty-four makes or
breaks far more irrevocably than does the evanescent love of a boy. The
latter patient recovers amazingly. The former seeks a hospital alone,
and the soul of him dies!

Jimmy found less difficulty in telegraphing an extravagant order for
violets to be sent to "Miss Nellie Sturgis, care Martha Putnam Hotel,
New York," than he did in the composition of a suitable letter of
apology.

"I've never been so darned particular about what kind of stationery I
used before," he thought, as he stared at the display in a shop and
cogitated over what was the best. "In fact, come to think of it, hotels
have paid for all I've ever used, and most times I didn't care much
whether it came in reams or in rolls. Just so it would show where the
lead pencil had traveled across. About all I ever thought of a letter
was that one begins writing in the upper right hand corner, writes
straight across, then goes back to the left hand again and does it over
until the page is full, then turns it over and does some more, and at
last thinks whether he ought to sign 'Yours truly,' 'Yours sincerely,'
'Your friend,' or 'Your old pal.'"

He wished now that he had time to secure something in blue with his
monogram embossed either in the corner or the center, and with some
special envelopes to match. Ordinary paper, purchasable from a regular
shop, didn't seem good enough to be handled by those slender white
fingers he had longed to kiss. There was nothing good enough for them,
and anything less than the unattainable good enough might soil them.

"Dear me! What a particular, hard-to-please old crank!" said the young
thing who served him after he, the traveling ray of sunshine, had
departed with the most exclusive box of paper in the shop under his arm.

The fortunate, but to Jimmy Gollop unappreciated, fact is that this
world is at the present moment filled with men who have tried to write
just such letters, and that probably it always has been so since the
first cave man tried to write an excuse to the first cave girl on a
block or stone. Probably that cave man, too, lied with laborious
misgivings. Probably he pleaded everything from urgent business to a
broken head, or explained that the posts were delayed because for
thirty-four days a dinosaurus had been blocking the traffic. And
probably, just as now, the cave girl knew he lied, pouted, sulked, and
then forgave him. Perhaps in those vigorous days she swore. Perhaps some
of them do now. There are things of which, alas! one can never be
certain.

At 6:32 o'clock, p.m., after fortifying himself with dinner, James
Gollop retired to the writing room of the hotel and began. At 7:35
o'clock James Gollop thought he could write better in the privacy of his
room where there were no distractions intervened by a lot of fools who
should have been born dumb, but were unfortunately gifted with speech
that was devoted to subjects that were of no importance at all in
comparison with the epistolatory efforts of one James Gollop. By
midnight the persistent correspondent had used a box of stationery, and
had composed letters enough to have formed a book in the style of the
"Ready Letter Writers' Friend," containing everything from letters of
condolence to congratulation, and from stern business to effusive
sentiment The sole letter missing might have been one pertaining to the
birth of twins. And this was what he mailed:

     "DEAR MISS STURGIS: I have atoned for my seeming negligence by
     having some violets sent you to-day, fortunately remembering that
     those were the flowers for which you expressed a preference on that
     memorable occasion when we together visited the horse show. I am
     hoping to be in New York by Thursday next when I trust I shall have
     the great pleasure of seeing you at your hotel. Please transmit my
     cordial good wishes to your mother, and believe me,

     "Most sincerely your friend,

     "J. R. GOLLOP."

In the morning he blithely whistled and sang as he packed his samples,
and, following his custom, left his route card at the desk when he paid
his bill.

"Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and then home," he confided as he tossed the
card across to the clerk. "I don't suppose you'll get any mail for me;
but one never knows what the management of the biggest chocolate company
on earth might do. So I always play safe. Business first! That's my
motto. Got it hung on the lattice in my arbor in the garden down home in
Maryland. Keeps me from forgetting that I'm a drummer instead of a
millionaire and that I owe my feed to the firm that gives me work. So
long! Wish you house full and that you keep full too. Good-bye!"

He danced his merry way through Harrisburg so ebulliently that a string
of dazed patrons breathed not until after he had gone, and in
Philadelphia outdid all his former efforts and doubled his previous
orders. The world was filled with glory and happiness. New York was but
a little way distant and above it there arched a sky of promise. He
returned to his hotel that evening and was handed two telegrams. The
first was from his firm and read:

     "Mrs. Ellen Sturgis, formerly Lansing, opening new place in Easton,
     Pennsylvania, wishes you to take full order. Important."

The second was from the New York florists:

     "Must be mistaken address. Miss Nellie Sturgis unknown at Martha
     Putnam. Please advise."

For a moment he was stunned, then his optimism, buoying him above all
rebuffs, caused him to laugh at himself.

"Poor girl! Something happened! The New York studio, and the lessons in
painting by that chap with the crazy name blew up and she's had to go
back to work. Sorry! But--by heck--if she wants to take lessons in
painting she shall have a chance some day if I have to teach her myself!
Wonder what happened to the old lady's bank roll? Must have been
something unexpected. Hard luck! Will I go to Easton? By the first train
unless they've got an aeroplane service!"

At an early hour on the following forenoon Jimmy stood outside a shop in
the fashionable quarter of Easton and read the neat sign:

     The Elite Confectionery will occupy these premises Dec. 10th.
     Fittings and decorations being done by Merthyn Cabinet Co.

Eagerly he advanced to the open door through which the sounds of
industrious hammering and sawing issued, and paused for a moment to
admire the growing interior.

"She's going to have a nice place, all right," he thought. "It's
harmonious and strictly first class. That's the way to do it."

He spoke to a man who was polishing some newly laid tile, who replied,
"Mrs. Sturgis? I think she's in her office. It's straight back through
the door. She was there a minute ago, with her daughter."

Not Mercury of the winged heels advanced more swiftly than did Jimmy
Gollop, nor was Mercury's heart ever fluttering so gladly. In a
disorderly little office, plainly make-shift for the time being, sat the
proprietress whom he instantly recognized as "Mrs. Sturgis, formerly of
Lansing," and at a littered table beside her, checking up a collection
of bills, sat a redheaded girl wearing glasses and whose honest face was
illuminated by a friendly grin showing fine teeth, but who Jimmy
remembered as one always to be seen behind the counter in Lansing.

"I hope you remember me too, Mr. Gollop," she said, after he had
automatically shaken hands with her mother. "I'm Nellie Sturgis. The one
you used to call 'Sturgis Number Two,'" and the friendly simper she gave
him was about as welcome as a punctured tire in a road race.



CHAPTER V


Had Jim Gollop kept a diary, the entries for certain dates might have
ran thus: "Friday: Stood all day in front of Martha Putnam Hotel,
waiting for Candy Girl to come in or out. Very observant small boys in
neighborhood, and policeman who begins to suspect. No luck.

"Saturday: Stood all day in front of Martha Putnam hotel, waiting for
Candy Girl to come in or out. Small boys a nuisance. Policeman asked me
if I'd lost anything in that neighborhood. No luck.

"Sunday: Stood all day in front of Martha Putnam hotel waiting for Candy
Girl to come in or out. Boys not so bad. New cop asks questions. Gave
new cop a five.

"Monday: Got to Martha Putnam early, and at ten o'clock saw taxi arrive
and ducked across street, and----"

He never could have written the rest of it; for from the taxi there
descended a young lady who handed a light suit case to the porter, asked
him to pay the bill, and would have entered the Martha Putnam had she
not discovered a man nearly blocking her path, with an extended hand,
and with an ingratiating smile on his face, who said, "How lucky to meet
you just as I was about to leave. How are you?"

The policeman on the corner grinned, pulled his mustache, winked at
himself, jingled the change in his pocket left from that grateful five,
and then swung up his hand to caution the taxi driver as the latter
turned into the cross street.

"You're a nice one, I must say," she remarked, half petulantly. "You
might at least have dropped me a note to ask how I am getting along, and
whether I am industrious, and all that rot! But did you? No! You took me
to the horse show, and back to the hotel, and then vanished as if you
had withdrawn yourself into your musty old shell!"

It was on the very tip of his tongue to tell her there on the street of
his long days and nights of hope and fear, of his terrible remissness of
memory, and of his desperation; but he checked himself in time and
expostulated, "I did write you!" and then, his moment of honesty
passing to the tortuous ways of diplomacy asked, "Didn't you get the
letter?" And he inquired as sincerely as if he did not already know that
this was an impossibility because he had not addressed it to her real
name, whatever that might be.

"No," she said, "I didn't." But he saw by her glance of indignation
toward the hotel entrance that she believed someone therein remiss, and
credited him with thoughtfulness. His spirits raised and he was himself
once more, fencing as best he might for an opening.

"Well, it doesn't matter, now that I've found you," he said with such
profound gladness in his voice that it caused her to glance at him, half
bewildered, and half curiously, and then to play her own part, as if to
prevent him from betraying too much.

"I've been away for three whole days. Went up to visit some friends in
Montreal. Had a glorious time. Had my first lesson in skating and----But
tell me, how long shall you be here in town?"

He was swiftly depressed by the recollection that already he had
overstayed his time by a whole day, and must at the latest depart that
night or--resign his job! A job without her was nothing. She without a
job an impossibility! He bowed to necessity and said, almost somberly,
"I've got to pull out to-night. I must! I've been here now for three
days, most of the time right here in front of----" and then flushed like
an embarrassed boy, checked himself, and was immediately glad that she
did not seem to notice his unfinished sentence.

"Well, then, this whole day is yours," she said, gayly. "First of all,
come in until I run upstairs a moment. You can wait in the reception
room. Second, I'm gorgeously, terribly, awfully hungry, and you can take
me somewhere to lunch, or if you wish to call it so--breakfast. Thirdly,
you can then think over what we can do. I refuse to go to Jorgensen's
this day. It's been rather a poky all-work and no-play time for me ever
since you were here and--come inside. I shan't be more than five
minutes. You dear old thing! You are an oasis in the desert and I'm as
happy to see you as if I had never had a friend on earth!"

He was too stupefied with delight to take advantage of her temporary
absence to conduct adroit inquiries at the desk. Indeed, he was drugged
with happiness, and sat like a big half-embarrassed, half-dreaming
youth, twirling his hat in his hands, pulling off and putting on his
gloves, and tracing patterns with his stick on the carpet until she
reappeared, and then he was strangely lacking in self-confidence and
readiness.

He took her to one of the best uptown restaurants for breakfast and she
ate with an appetite that pleased him, giving, as it did, evidence of
glorious health. And then came his second fortunate moment of the day.

"I'd tell you a secret, Mr. Sobersides," she said with a brisk little
laugh, "if I wasn't a little bit afraid you'd give me away to Mamma, You
know how horribly conventional she is--and--and it's only lately that I
came to think one could trust you with a secret of this sort."

"Secrets," he assured her with a grin, "are my specialty. Secrets. Why
it's my business to know secrets!"

"All right! Here goes!" she said, leaning toward him and displaying a
mischievous smile. "You remember I told you I intended to have a studio
of my own? Well, Mother set her foot down on it as if I had invited her
to share partnership in a snake. Oh, you should have heard her. You
know how she can freeze one out! She said that if I thought she would
permit me to become one of a crowd of mongrel Bohemians and such, she
would drag me off to the Wilmarths' with her, or cancel all painting
lessons, or--Honestly! I think she threatened to have me sent to an
Orphans' Home, or a hospital for the feeble minded. Well, I'm twenty-two
years old, and Mamma doesn't seem to know it yet. Also, I'm able to take
care of myself, and to have an idea of what I want. I'm going to be a
painter, Jorgensen himself says I have talent, and between you and me,
my sketches were the only ones done by his pupils that caused the
critics to say much at his last exhibition. They gave me a quarter of a
column and all the other girls together got a paragraph. Wasn't it
lovely? So I'm going to have a studio of my own, and that's the secret!
Understand?"

"Not quite," he admitted.

"Stupid! Don't you see, Mamma mustn't know I have one, and so no one
else must, either. Honestly, you're the only one within the charmed
circle up to now. Listen! I've taken a studio in MacDougall alley under
the name of Mary Allen. No one must know but what a real Mary Allen
really has that studio. Down Acre I'm going to be Mary Allen and no one
else. Now don't you start in to shake your head and look shocked."

It dawned on him that this to him was like an anchor to a ship adrift.
He was in the conspiracy! He was participant in a location and a name!
He leaned back and laughed softly with exultation which she mistook for
amused support.

"I swear to you," he said, lifting his right hand with mock solemnity,
"that as long as you have the lease on this place, wherever it is, I
shall know you only as Mary Allen! I shall write you there as Mary
Allen! I shall send cards and flowers to Mary Allen! And I hereby
solemnly swear never to divulge to anyone, even the queen's torturers,
who Mary Allen is, that she is any other than Mary Allen, a poor
struggling artist who lives by work on pickles, jam, and paté de foie
gras! Is that oath enough?"

"Good," she responded, gleefully. "First rate! All we need to complete
the plot is some perfectly absurd title for you, and we have it
complete. How would Percival St. Clair do?"

"Make it Bill Jones, the Pirate, and I'll agree!" he declared.

"Bill Jones, Pirate, you are henceforth," she laughed. "Just fancy you,
of all people, leading a double life under the name of Bill Jones!" and
again she laughed so merrily that he joined in without reserve.
Fortunately there was none near save a staid old waiter to criticize
their freedom, and of him they were unaware.

He was still desirous, however, of inducing her to betray her real name,
and so rather adroitly asked, "But I can't see why you didn't take the
lease under your own name. Surely this town is big enough so that all
leases aren't published, or if so, it seems a safe bet that your mother
never would read them daily. Why not under your own name?"

"There you go, spoiling the sport!" she declared. "Do you know where
MacDougall Alley is? No? Well, I'll tell you. It's but a little way west
of Washington Square, is a blind alley in an old section, and is now one
of the best studio districts in New York. It's so famous that every once
in so often it is written up by enterprising special writers, and I have
seen pictures of it and its studios and frequent comments on the work
being done there by this or that artist or sculptor. So you see that,
sooner or later, Mamma would certainly hear of it if I used my own name.
That's the reason for Mary Allen!"

"And for Bill Jones. Don't forget that low-browed ruffian, Bill Jones,
the pirate of the piece," he replied, secretly baffled, but outwardly
amused.

Thinking it over afterward, Jimmy frequently wondered what ever became
of that wonderful day. He was assured that he had met the Candy Girl at
ten o'clock in the forenoon, and that he had bade her good-by in front
of the Martha Putnam Hotel at four fifteen, leaving himself not one
second to spare for reaching the railway station and by mathematical
computation that meant that he had been with her for six hours and
fifteen minutes; but as far as his sense of ecstasy was involved, that
day was certainly no longer than an hour in length. He recalled that she
took him to a private picture exhibit and that he was hopeful that her
signature on some of her work would give him knowledge of her name; but
that these were all signed with a funny little character rather than
with a name or initials; that he challenged her to show him the
published criticisms of her work, and that she again baffled him,
unwittingly, by declaring that she would mail them to him, and then
later decided that it was immodest to boast and would show them to him
only after she had repeated her success and felt her reputation
established.

Looking into the doorway of the Pullman he saw two other commercial
travelers whom in other days he would have joyously rushed forward to
greet, glad of good companionship. Time and again he had altered his
route that he might journey with them; but now he withdrew through the
corridor into the adjoining sleeper, hailed the Pullman conductor and
exchanged his berth for a stateroom in another car whither he retired,
shut and locked the door, and sat down like a man in a dream. He craved
privacy that he might be alone to review that wonderful day and dream.
Furthermore, the complexities of his situation had been augmented by her
last and hastily uttered caution just before he had parted with her:
"I'm going to take Dad into my confidence the first time he comes to New
York where I can talk with him--or possibly I may do so by letter. But
don't you say anything to him when you see him. You might upset things.
I wrote him that you took me to the Horse Show, and--well--he replied
rather oddly, it struck me! And--see here, I may as well tell you
something! Dad doesn't like you. You see, he doesn't know you as well as
I do. Mother's all right but--If I were you I'd steer clear of Dad
until--I'm going to have a talk with him! You know how obstinate he can
be, and--He once said that you lived in a universe that had no stars and
but one sun, and that this single sun was yourself. Keep away from Dad!"

His surmise that she was the daughter of a widow had thus been upset. It
was the first time he had been made aware that her father was alive.
Henceforth he must be circumspect with every male customer on his list
except jobbers and wholesalers. Any one of them might be the father of
Mary Allen, concealing a profound disapproval or active dislike. His
only hope was that this inimical one would betray his identity by
reference to the Horse Show!

He was unaware that daylight had given way to dark, that the lights were
on, and that he was still staring blankly out of the window until the
steward from the dining car tapped on his door and asked if he wished
supper.

"Yes, served in here," he replied, and so continued that pleasant
process of review and unpleasant consideration of obstacles. Not the
least ground for his happiness was the certainty that at last she did
have some name by which he could address her and a permanent address,
and--he liked that name, Mary Allen!

When he arrived at the hotel in Media City he discovered a strange air
of depression in the demeanor of the porters, bellboys and clerks until
he signed his name, when the ice thawed to a noticeable degree.

"What's the matter here?" he demanded of the girl behind the desk. "Am I
no longer popular around this caravanserai?"

"You are, Mr. Gollop," she replied with a laugh, "but the truth is that
since there are two of you we have to act cautiously until we find out
which one of you it is! Here, boy! Show Mr. Gollop up to sixty-one."

"I thought it was you, sir," said the boy with a grin that was at least
unrestrained. "I offered to bet it was you, and not that old stiff what
looks like you."

"Hello, Jim. Glad to see you again," said the manager, appearing in his
private office door. "Since that last trip of yours your double has been
here twice. First time everybody called him 'Jimmy,' and I had to
apologize again. Since then we've all been rather shy."

"Oh, you mean that judge, eh? Pleasant old party, isn't he!"

"Pleasant and palatable as castor oil mixed with asafetida," replied the
manager with a scowl. "But see here, Jimmy, he cuts considerable ice
here in this state. Don't forget that. And he doesn't like you at all,
at all. What he said when I explained that there was a drummer named
Gollop who looked like him wasn't flattering to you or to my sense of
observation. Seemed to take it as an insult. Said you should be kept out
of this state. Called you an impertinent ass."

Jimmy looked prodigiously hurt for a moment, and was then rather angry.

"Shucks! That's no way to act," he declared. "I can't help how I look
any more than he can. I reckon that either of us, or at least it goes as
far as I'm concerned, would change his looks if he could. If I had my
way I'd be as pretty as a cinema star and twice as soulful. Anyhow, I'd
look as different from that Judge as I possibly could. His face and
disposition would raise storm waves on a lake if it were filled with
glue. And he'd better look out! If he thinks he can run around this end
of my territory knocking me everywhere he goes I'll give him something
to talk about. I tried to be a good fellow with him, and--well!--I'm
just as sore as he is!"

The manager shook his head solemnly and rubbed his chin as if recalling
really unpleasant recollections.

"Don't blame you," he sympathized. "He's a pompous buck, all right. He's
out to get the Republican nomination for the governorship. Papers all
mention him regularly now. And the nomination in this state's just about
as good as the election. That's a cinch. He's a standpatter of the
gilt-edged variety. The only issue on which he hasn't shot his mouth off
is on votes for women. Nobody quite knows how he stands on that issue,
because he keeps dumb as an oyster on that point. But--I'm telling you
all this so you can see that in a way it's unlucky you look so much
alike."

"Good Lord!" declared Jimmy. "He ought to be mighty thankful he does
look like me. I'm a help, not a hindrance, to his campaign, if he had
sense enough to know it. Besides, as far as I can reason, politics isn't
of much more importance to the average individual than a rather pleasant
and easy dose of medicine he has to take about once every four years and
from which he never expects any benefit."

"Not so in this state," asserted the manager. "If you think there's no
interest in politics here, you'll find out differently before you make
your territory. Politics? It's all anyone will think of or talk about
for the next six weeks!"

"Politics may come and go, but chocolate runs forever!" declared Jim
with a wag of his finger, and then as the door blew open letting in a
draft of cold air, "Say, looks blizzardish, doesn't it?"

"If we don't get four feet of snow within the next two days we'll be
lucky," grumbled the manager. "Last winter at this time half the
railways were blocked, and for eighteen hours the mails couldn't get
through."

"Cheerful, merry cuss you are!" retorted Jimmy. "You certainly do fill
everyone you meet chuck full of hope and bright thoughts. Just the same,
I don't care to be snow bound here. But I think neither snow nor
politics will bother me at all."

All of which proved him a bad prophet, as he learned within the next
forty-eight hours; for both snow and politics did enter into his
affairs, first because it snowed as if intent on smothering the earth,
and second, because every woman with whom he dealt insisted on bringing
up the subject of national suffrage for women, even the discussion of
chocolates being for the time relegated to a secondary place.

"I traveled through the middle west after a drought; was on the coast
when they fought free silver; was in the northwest when it campaigned
for the referendum; in Wisconsin when they fought cigarettes and in
Maine when the original thirsty population tried to upset the
prohibition law; but of all places I've been in, and all campaigns I've
been through the outskirts of, this woman's vote thing here has the rest
looking friendly, peaceful and uninteresting!" he said to himself after
the second day. "I suppose women go to the polls in Heaven, and
according to reports it's a pretty well run sort of place, so maybe it'd
work down here."

His soliloquy was brought to an end by the appearance of a bell boy
bearing a telegram. It was from his firm.

     "Go Yimville Saturday attend court proceedings re discharge of
     Intermountain General Supply Company from bankruptcy Roncavour.
     Matador our attorney Wetherby Carmen."

He sat down on the edge of his sample case and said aloud, "Well, if
that isn't rotten luck! What in the deuce does Roncavour mean?"

He rummaged through his grip and found the firm's code book and
interpreted therefrom, "'Important to show courtesy for future business
relations when credit fully restored.' And 'Matador' means 'Introduce
yourself to' and 'Carmen' means 'Have notified him you are coming.'"

"Me the diplomat!" said Jimmy with a sigh, now opening a time table. And
again he was not particularly happy, because Yimville was a mountain
town up in another county, and the sole train he could take with any
degree of comfort was one that would land him at his destination at one
o'clock. A returning passenger train at 4:30 in the evening would bring
him back to his junction but it meant the loss of an entire day. It was
strange how much more important time had become to him--that is--how
much keener he was to return to New York at the earliest possible
moment. He had even begun the formation of a scheme whereby he had hoped
to steal two whole days out of his trip, and that, too, without the
knowledge of his firm. Such things have been done now and then by
gentlemen of the road.

"The only thing that can save me from going up there is for the snow to
fall twice as fast," said Jimmy, and looked hopefully out through the
window of the sample room. The outside air was filled with big, gently
falling flakes, and already the street was deeply paved by its heavy
blanket. Groups of boys released from school were pelting one another
gleefully, and Jimmy observed that the snow on the pavement was already
high enough to cover their knees. A big electric sweeper was struggling
to keep the tram lines clear. Down past the corner he could glimpse a
tiny section of a park. The trees therein were like white pyramids,
their branches bending heavily beneath the weight. On the roof of the
building opposite the hotel a mass of telephone wires, each with its
little drift piled up as if the air had been rendered motionless, was
being scrutinized by a lineman on whose legs were spurs for climbing
poles. The man appeared to be quite anxious. Jimmy's spirits rose
bouyantly, finding in each view some hopeful sign.

"Of course they'll keep the main railways open," he remarked, "and if it
blocks these branch lines I can have a good excuse for not going up
there. And it'll be all the better if the wires to Yimville fall down,
because it'll back up the account of the storm that I'll hand in as an
explanation why I didn't go. It's a good old world, after all!"

Indeed he passed a happy evening, playing billiards with another drummer
who was a very good cue, and went hopefully to bed. He awoke hopefully,
and through his bedroom window saw that the snow was still falling and
that it was deep. Very deep! At the breakfast table the headlines of the
morning paper announced that traffic was disorganized for the time
being, and that the wires in many directions were down. Also that by
strenuous efforts and the aid of relays of snow plows the main lines of
railways had been kept open, although timetables were slightly
confused. And then after smoking his morning cigar and exchanging jokes
with anyone who looked pleasant and happy, he inquired at the desk as to
the possibilities of reaching Yimville.

He loitered and whistled and hummed while the clerk phoned to the
station.

"All right," said the clerk, smiling as if bestowing glad news. "Line up
that way will be clear by noon. Wires are down, but that doesn't matter
to you, I know. You're still in luck!"

Jimmy's hopes went smash, and resignedly he turned away. He was in for
it, and was too conscientious to deliberately lie to his firm about the
impossibility of getting through. Promptly on time for his train he was
at the station and checked his baggage through to the "next jump," thus
relieving himself of impediments on this diplomatic side step of his to
Yimville. He boarded the train, but finding no one who looked very
approachable, and feeling eager for companionship, walked through its
entire length of three coaches, without discovering a single person he
had ever seen. Indeed, the coaches were nearly empty, as if traffic
were badly disrupted. The train caught up with a snow plow working
through great drifts in a cutting, and had to wait Jimmy got out and
watched proceedings with great interest. There was something fascinating
about the way those two locomotives drew back and then charged the snow
drifts furiously, and stirred up a miniature storm of white. Also, the
storm had ceased, and once the sun broke through for a few minutes.
Jimmy was glad for this, because now that a storm could no longer work
in his favor, he preferred everything to clear up. Sunshine fitted his
temperament. It was a good old sun, after all!

He did not even complain when his train arrived at Yimville a full hour
late. He had never been there before. It was a pretty place, he thought,
with its white hills all around it, and its red station under a roof
that looked to be made of white stuff three feet in thickness, and a
town omnibus with fat driver who waddled importantly, and a half dozen
loafers drawling comments. He was the sole passenger to descend and was
starting toward the omnibus when accosted by a man in a full coat who
said, "This way, sir. Mr. Wetherby couldn't come to meet you, as he is
makin' a talk up there now. We wasn't any too sure you'd get here, on
account of this plaguey snow fall, but he sent me down to make sure that
if you did you'd get to the court house on the jump. Right around the
corner of the depot is our old bob sled."

"That was decent of Wetherby. Hadn't expected to be met. Good old
Wetherby!" said Jimmy, climbing into the rear seat of the sleigh and
pulling a comfortable lap robe around his legs. A ripping team of bays,
sturdy, and eager to be off, fully occupied the driver's attention. The
sleigh bells sang a tune to thrill the blood. The steam from the horses'
nostrils blew out in regular spurts, ending in rhythmic and quickly
dissipating clouds. Jimmy Gollop enjoyed it all, and was glad he had
come. He leaned back and admired the road that stretched for a mile and
a half between the railway station and town.

"Some town!" commented Jimmy with enthusiasm born of delight in
admiration for clean, well kept, modern houses. "And--Hello!--Pretty
good little stores, too. And there's certain to be a town square. Whole
town looks on it of course. Always that way in county seats. Square,
court house in the middle, lot of trees. Hitching posts, maybe, with a
chain around the square. Lot of farmer's teams tied there. Some place,
all right!"

And his predictions were not far wrong, as was proven when the horses
came jingling out into the streets facing the square, the court house,
and the teams tied to the hitching posts. There were many of them, the
horses blanketed and unblanketed, drowsing where they stood. There were
stores and shops with a few pedestrians moving about their business--a
sleepy panorama of winter life in a nice, clean, comfortable little
town.

The sleigh halted with a flourish in front of the court house steps and
two men rushed out as if astonished, then hastened to solicitously
welcome Jimmy, who was somewhat puzzled by their demeanor.

"Mighty glad to see you, Judge!" declared the one who first clutched his
hand. "They told us down at the station that the railroad up to
Princetown from Media City was completely blocked. So we had given you
up. But you can see how interested in what you have to say the folks
around Yimville are when you get inside. Yes siree! Got the court house
full. Seems as if we had every farmer from forty miles around here,
and----" he stopped and chuckled loudly--"every farmer's wife and every
spinster! The women are certainly mighty anxious to know how you stand
on votes for 'em! Talk about home industries for the men, and the usual
bunk about protective tariff, but--go easy about national votes for
women, Judge!--Go easy. The men folks don't want it and they dassn't say
so for fear they'll get hit over the head with a maul or a fryin' pan at
home. Get me? If you say yes, that you're a woman's righter out and out,
you'll secretly lose the men's votes, but catch the women's. If you say
you're against 'em, Judge, it's most likely you're a plumb goner because
the women'll vote against you, and all the men that's for it'll vote
against you, and all them that dassn't do anything without askin'
permission from their wives'll hop you, and others won't count. So go
easy, Judge! Go easy! Keep on the fence as if you were a rooster that
had got frozen on the top rail. Bend a little this way and a little
that, so's to make both sides think you're for 'em. Say a heap that
means nothin' at all! Hurry up. They're waitin'!"

At first Jimmy was half-paralyzed by misunderstanding. Next he was
half-hypnotized by the voluble man's stream of rapid talk. Then his eye
wandered to a big sign on a board wired up to a pillar of the court
house entrance, where he read:

"GRAND PUBLIC RALLY! The distinguished Jurist, Hon. James
Woodworth-Granger, Judge of the Fourth District Court of Princetown,
will on Saturday, December 1st, address the voters of Yimville on the
issues of the campaign. TURNOUT! TURNOUT! and hear our next governor on
vital issues for the state welfare. COME ONE! COME ALL! EVERY MAN AND
WOMAN WELCOME! Time 2 o'clock P. M. sharp! Place, County Court House.
DON'T FORGET!"

He digested this in a flash, and comprehended the situation.
"But--but--" he said, "Wetherby was to settle that affair of the
Intermountain General Supply Company to-day and----"

"Oh, that was settled this forenoon, Judge," soothingly explained the
other welcomer. "Court got it out of the way so's the court room could
be open for the speech making this afternoon. Hello! Hear 'em? That's
the Yimville Silver Comet Band. Bill--I mean Mister Perry--has given the
band the tip you've got here. Come on! Now's the time!"

Any man less jocular, less nimble witted, and self-possessed than Mr.
James Gollop, would have then and there declared himself, and his
identity; but Mr. James Gollop's wits and humor, running in team and
usually at a gallop, were now racing like lightning. It was too late to
be a diplomat in behalf of his firm's future business with the
Intermountain people; and this boob of a country judge, pompous, slow,
egotistical, had been carrying a hatchet for one Jim Gollop ever since
he had suffered through the peculiar likeness to this unmentionable
candy drummer and--Jimmy suddenly grinned, buttoned his coat, cleared
his throat and in ponderous dignity bent stiffly forward and said, "I am
here! I am at your disposal! It will afford me great pleasure to express
my views to such an attentive audience. Let us make haste!"



CHAPTER VI


The distinguished Judge, as impersonated by that rank and, for the
moment, highly irresponsible, drummer, was led up a broad flight of
stone stairs and two men opened two big green baize doors in front of
him. The Silver Cornet Band played "See the Conquering Hero" with so
much zest that trombones cracked, clarionets made frantic goose-notes
and the cornets sounded as if made of anything other than silver. The
commodious court room was, despite the outer inclemency of road and
weather, packed with men and women who stood up and yelled a welcome
that for the moment dazed the impostor; but he recovered his nerve and
mischievousness instantly, and no actor ever fell into his part more
completely than did he. The Judge was ponderous, but Jimmy went him one
better. The Judge "threw a chest" when he had an audience, but Jimmy
swelled until his buttons strained. The Judge walked like the late
Henry Irving playing Mathias in The Bells, but Jimmy's feet dragged far
more lugubriously. Jimmy had observed that the Judge assumed what is
known as the "grave judicial" or otherwise "frozen face," and he
therefore looked as much like a wooden image as was possible. Not
immortal Caesar dead and turned to clay could have looked more claylike,
for Jimmy looked like a whole brickyard. He moved austerely up the main
aisle, now and then giving to right and left an imitation of the Judge's
peculiarly stiff and condescending bow, mounted the platform,
patronizingly shook hands with those thereon who hastened to greet him,
and then, when the band subsided for want of wind, advanced to the front
of the stage and was about to speak when he remembered the Judge's
procedure and deliberately buttoned his coat, shot his cuffs, barked a
stentorian "Ahem!" and poured himself a glass of water which he drank
with almost painful deliberation, still affecting the Judge's
mannerisms.

"Fellow citizens, I stand before you this afternoon," began Jimmy, in
the hush, "first to apologize for my delay in reaching your welcoming
and friendly greetings which, as you who have traveled so far on this
momentous occasion, may appreciate as being unavoidable. Knowing that
you would be here regardless of winter's snows and winds to hear me
expound my views, I can assure you that had it been necessary to come on
snow shoes to prevent your loyalty to me from being in vain, I should
have made the attempt, and perhaps like the youth who cried 'Excelsior,'
might last have been seen plodding through the shades of night into your
Alpine fastness, still striving to reach you."

Unwittingly he had made a flattering allusion to the locality, whose
residents firmly believed it a rival of the Alps in scenic glories and
hence he was well applauded.

"Didn't know the Judge was such a good campaigner," whispered one of the
local politicians to his neighbor.

"That's the mush for 'em," assented the other.

Mr. James Gollop, beginning to feel more thoroughly at home, was now
thinking with ease and adroitness. Needless to note that he was mentally
grinning.

"Inasmuch as I arrived so unavoidably late, and that the early darkness
of winter renders the roads so difficult for those who have long
journeys to make, I shall somewhat curtail the remarks I have in mind,"
he said, pompously, and took another long drink of water.

"The great issue before the nation to-day, my fellow citizens, is Tariff
Reform." And then he drawled and droned through a lot of stock arguments
familiar to every man, woman and child in America, but in the meantime
kept a furtive eye on the clock at the end of the court room, and
gleefully observed that the afternoon was waning, and that outside it
threatened an early twilight, intensified by a new fall of snow. He
decided that it was time to get in his precious work of assisting the
Judge's campaign with the final straws.

"Now, my friends," he said, confidentially and observing that his
audience was growing restless, "I have given you the customary platform
remarks concerning tariff and free trade; but I feel that I am in the
hands of my friends, so I shall tell you that personally it doesn't
matter a hang to me whether we have free trade or protection or tariff
reform, or any of that wash!"

A bomb shell dropped from a Zeppelin could have had but little more
effect. Everyone sat up and gasped; particularly the two or three local
politicians on the platform who half arose from their seats to protest.

"All I care about, to tell the honest truth," said the ingenious Jimmy,
"is to get elected to the fat job of governing this state. It pays well,
and I, as well as you, are aware that in addition there are some few
pickings and perquisites which are well worth having."

Somebody in the audience cried, "Shame! Shame!" and a few more hissed;
but Jimmy quelled the rising storm by holding up his hand for silence.

"Listen and have patience, My Friends!" he appealed, oracularly. "Other
candidates from time immemorial have come to you with a lot of talk, but
I am the first one who has ever dared to be honest with you. Isn't that
true?"

Some of his party adherents, doing their best to uphold him to the last,
loudly assented, and yelled, "Give the Judge a chance to finish! Let him
finish!"

In tense silence and expectancy they settled back in their seats.

"Politics are to me like the law," he said, thoughtfully. "All bunkum! A
man comes to a lawyer to get a tiny agreement drawn that if he had the
brains of a cow he could draw just as well himself. The lawyer looks
profoundly intellectual, terribly wise, considerably puzzled as if this
document might require a further course in a law school to be able to
handle, and so forth, but I tell you, My Friends, that down in his
innermost mind all he is thinking is, 'How much can I get out of this
gazabo for this simple little job?' and then he taps the poor victim for
all he thinks the latter will stand, pockets the fee, and after his
client has gone, hands a memorandum to a four-dollar-a-week clerk and
says, 'Jones, fill up a contract form with that stuff and mail it to
this John Doe person in Squashville.'"

The crowd by this time was hopelessly divided, some believing the orator
facetious, and the others for the first time in their lives having
sympathy with a lawyer and believing they had for the first time met one
who told the truth.

"Most judges, My Friends, are elected to the bench because their fellow
lawyers think they will prove easy marks after they get there, and not
because they are supposed to be particularly clever in the law. The best
judge is the one that whacks his decisions up so that Lawyer Skinem
wins this week, and Lawyer Squeezehard the next, and Lawyer Gouge the
next, and so on. If he can satisfy the lawyers he becomes renowned, and
as far as the litigants are concerned, they don't matter at all. If they
had any sense they wouldn't resort to the law anyway. Any fool knows
that!"

Wetherby got up behind him, red faced and angry, to protest, but the
crowd howled him down. And Wetherby, muttering, stormed indignantly out
of the court room. Jimmy observed that he did so by a corner entrance
near at hand and saw through the door that had been left open that it
led into a cloak room and thence out to the street. He noted this with
satisfaction. It increased his daring. Also by now it was getting dusk
and someone turned on the electric lights.

A tall, angular, mannish sort of woman, raw-boned, shrill, got up in
about the center of the audience, and said, "You've been honest I take
it, in what you said this far. But you don't dast to be honest, I'll
bet, if I ask you a plain out and out question, Mister?"

"You ask it and see if I'm not," retorted Jimmy combatively.

"Then what's your honest opinion about votes for women? That's what
interests a lot of us women more than all you've been talking about.
What about general national suffrage, eh?"

The woman sat down and immediately around her was a group that
vociferously and shrilly applauded, and Jimmy knew at once that this
must be the militant suffragette party of that vicinity in full force
and that it had come to try to put the Judge on record.

"First," he said, once more assuming great pomposity, "may I ask the
lady who just spoke, whether she does, or does not represent any
authoritative body of women of this grand and noble state?"

"You should know that, Judge. Don't pretend you don't; because you have
seen me at a dozen meetings before, when I asked the same question and
you hemmed and hawed, and straddled the fence and gave no answer at all
that meant anything at all. You know well enough that I am the President
of the Women's Suffrage Society of this state, and that sooner or later
you've got to answer my question. Are you going to do it to-day, or do
we have to keep following you?"

Jimmy looked carefully over to a chair at the edge of the stage where,
on his entry, he had deposited his hat and coat despite the invitation
of one of his supposed henchmen to hang them in the cloak room. Almost
involuntarily he edged closer toward that chair before making his reply,
and took time to drink another glass of water.

"Since that question has been so repeatedly asked, and hitherto, I
admit, evaded, I shall now endeavor to make myself completely, plainly,
and fully understood on that subject," he said, impressively, and waited
until in the silence nothing could be heard save suppressed breathings.

"As I understand it, I am asked what is my personal opinion concerning
the expediency and the justice of granting women of majority age the
right of franchise in both national as well as state elections. Am I
right?"

"That's it, precisely," came the voice of the woman who had asked the
question, and there was a considerable note of triumph in her tone as if
at last she had run her fox to earth.

"Then I say," said Jimmy, slowly, and emphatically, "that it is my
honest opinion that women should do as their mothers before them did,
stay home, work, and raise their families and keep out of politics.
Stop! Stop! Let me say what I have to say! I can't make myself heard if
you hiss and yell!"

Some of them were on their feet. Some of the men applauded. Most of the
women hissed; but they slowly settled back to hear him conclude.

"I say that a large majority--a very large majority!--of women don't
know enough about politics to vote, and that a big percentage haven't
brains enough to vote intelligently for a town dog catcher! And that if
I had my way any woman who wanted to vote would be arrested and given
six months in an imbecile asylum!"

And then, before anyone could surmise his intention, and in the midst of
a wild pandemonium of noise he made a jump for his hat and coat, took a
flying leap for the cloak room door, jumped through, bolted it on the
inside, and like a flash was out in the street. The noise from the court
room he had left behind sounded as if a riot had broken loose. There
were shouts, screams, yells, and sundry intimations that a certain part
of Yimville's population wanted either his scalp, or to decorate him
with tar and feathers. A boy driving a delivery wagon reduced to sleigh
runners was passing by and Jimmy hastily waylaid him.

"Sonny," he said, "I'm in a hurry to get to the railway station to catch
the four-thirty train. I've got just five minutes and if you make it for
me, you get a five dollar bill."

That boy was a genius of finance. He lost small time in making a
decision.

"Hop in, Mister. We'll make it or have a runaway!"

But short as was the delay, it had given time for the crowd in the court
house to fairly heave itself into the street. And foremost in the lot
charged a tall, angular woman, screaming to her followers, "Come on!
Come on! Don't let him get away!"

The boy brought his reins down on the horse's back with a loud thwack
and let out a yell for speed. The horse jumped like a sprinter taking
off the tape and it was then that the large angry woman who headed the
militant section of the state league, seeing that pursuit was futile,
found a pile of bricks conveniently left by some repairer and with
rather perfect aim let a chunk fly at the retreating orator. It caught
him neatly in its passage and although it barely grazed him, nearly
knocked him from his seat.

"Wow!" he shouted. "That was a close one!" and then rubbing his scalp,
burst into roars of delighted laughter as the mob was left behind. "That
woman ought to get out of the bush league and pitch for the New Yorks!
Who said a woman could never throw a brick?"

The boy, intent on earning the five, was on his feet and bending over
the dash board exhorting his horse into a run. The improvised sleigh was
careening madly as it took corners and an occasional bump, and in the
last glimpse Jimmy had of the court house square it looked as if a hive
of human beings had begun to swarm, or else that a nest of hornets had
been so badly disturbed that its occupants were undecided whither to
direct their stings. He looked hopefully forward as the station came in
sight, expecting to see the train standing there panting after its
previous run; but no train was in sight He began to speculate on which
way he could turn to escape the tempest of wrath he had aroused in case
he had missed the train. He doubted if he could induce the boy to take
him to the nearest town, and moreover, had no idea of the distance.
Also he doubted if he could escape a mob there, provided the news got
through. For once in his life he began to doubt the wisdom of practical
jokes.

The boy brought the horse up skating on its heels, by throwing his full
weight back on the lines and shouting pacifyingly "Whoa-a-a! Who-oa,
Bill!"

Jimmy leaped, out on the platform shouting, "Wait right there, son, till
I get some change. I think we're in time and--anyhow, you get the
fiver!"

He ran into the station and, finding the window closed, opened the
office door. A placid, disinterested young man wearing an eyeshade, who
was sitting with his feet on a window desk and reading a novel, looked
up at him and said, "Well?"

"Has that four-thirty train gone through?" demanded Jimmy, anxiously.

"Sixteen? Naw! She's off the map as far as I know."

Jimmy's spirits ebbed like mercury in a typhoon.

"And--when will the next train come through?" he asked, striving to
speak calmly.

"The next train? That'll be a freight. It's due now from Morgan City.
But you won't go on that?"

"Why?" questioned Jimmy, grasping at straws.

"Two reasons. One that she doesn't carry passengers, and the other that
she doesn't stop here at all. Just whistles up there by the tank, and
goes lobbin' along on her way."

"But--but couldn't you stop her in case of emergency?" asked Jimmy,
feeling like a petitioner.

"Only thing I could stop her for would be on an order from the train
despatcher," said the agent, with a grin of sympathy. "I'm not the owner
of the line, you know. They don't thank me for stoppin' heavy freights
on an upgrade such as they have to climb to get through here, just to
ask 'em how the weather is where they come from, or what time it is, or
to send a message to the engineer's beautiful daughter. Guess you'll
have to wait for Number Sixteen, Mister, or, if you're in too big a
hurry, hoof it. It's only eighteen miles to the next stop. Sorry!"

And then he yawned as if bored, and deliberately resumed his interrupted
reading. Jimmy realized that he was knocking on the locked and unbending
doors of an inexorable fate, and backed out. He went outside and hailed
his rescuer, who had found a piece of gum that he was extricating from
some wrappings that indicated a rather dirty pocket.

"Son, my brave youth, how far, I beseech thee, is it to the nearest town
from here?" Jimmy asked.

"On a railroad?" queried the boy, biting off the tip end of the stick of
gum and testing its flavor.

"Of course. What good is a town that's not on the railroad?"

"I guess it's about seven miles to Mountain City up to the north, and
about eleven to Hargus. Hargus is down south."

Jimmy thought for a moment and then said, winningly, "And do you think
you could drive me with old Bill as far as Mountain City?"

"Not on your life! Me drive you there? Humph! What's the matter with
Jones? He runs a livery stable. I deliver groceries for the Emporium
and--say! Mister!--if they find out I drove you down here for that five
dollars I ain't got yet, I'd get fired! Now about that five, did you get
change?"

Jimmy appreciated that boy's business sense and gave him a five dollar
bill that caused the young man much glee.

"Now," said Jimmy, cajolingly, "if you were to drive me to Mountain
City, and I were to give you ten, and you were to go back to the
Emporium with a letter I would write them when we got to Mountain City,
a letter that would cause them to pat you on the back and maybe make you
a clerk in the store; or if they didn't do that and fired you, and I was
to get you a nice job somewhere in New York, maybe you might find the
way to Mountain City, eh?"

The boy suddenly stopped masticating, and looked at him doubtfully.
Jimmy assumed his most seductive grin, took his wallet from his pocket
and exposed several bills, and fingered them with something like a
caress.

"I could find the way all right, and I guess the roads could be got
across somehow, and I'd like to make that money--Gee! I never had that
much in my life! But--somehow it don't look square to treat the Emporium
that way!"

Suddenly Jimmy was aware of a rumbling and roaring and puffing, and saw
the expected freight train approaching. It whistled at the tank, true to
form, and Jimmy ran across to the edge of the platform as it came
panting along, and stared at it wistfully. He wished that he were expert
in boarding trains, and then, as it passed, decided that it must be
traveling at a rate of at least a hundred miles an hour, although it was
barely doing fifteen. He made a desperate clutch at the rails of the
caboose, felt as if his arm had been jerked from its socket and his
heels into the air, and then found himself sitting in the middle of the
track with his hat some ten or fifteen feet away and a cooling mixture
of snow and cinders up his trousers legs. He got up, felt himself over
to learn that he was unbroken, and recovered his hat.

"By gee whiz!" he exclaimed. "Never knew it was so hard to hop aboard
one of those things before. Hoboes have it on me all right! My
education's been neglected."

His solicitous friend, the boy, had come to see if there was anything
left of him and said, "Hope you ain't hurted much, Mister? Humph! I
could have caught her all right, I bet you! You don't know how. The
minute you catch hold you want to jump. If you wait you can't do
nothin'. But I'll say you did look funny, all right, with your heels and
your coat tails and your hat all flyin' at onct!"

"Well, I'm glad I amused you, anyway," said Jimmy, cheerfully. "Now
about going to Mountain City, where were we? Oh, yes! The Emporium.
Would you go if I got their consent--for a ten dollar bill you know?"

The boy brightened visibly.

"If you can get old Wade to say I can, you bet I'll go!" said the boy
with marked enthusiasm. "He's got a 'phone, and there's one in the
depot. Ask him!"

Jimmy hastened inside as fast as his stiffness would permit and was
starting toward the ticket office to make a request for permission to
use the 'phone when he happened to glance through the window looking
toward the street. An arc light had sprung into being, and--he stopped
with a gasp. Down the street was coming a crowd that was evidently in
some haste and he recognized its leader. It was a large, bony woman, who
strode like a man, and Jimmy thought that she carried something in her
hand, something that he surmised might be a selected missile.

"Good Lord!" he breathed. "If she hit me a clip with a little chunk
before, what'll she do with a full-grown brick? Why, it'd be murder I
I've got to get away from here if I have to steal the horse and kidnap
that boy!"

Being quick in decision and swift in enterprise, and adaptable to sudden
emergency, he ran back out with great presence of mind and shouted to
the boy, "Come on, son! Get a move on you. Mr. Wade says it's all right
and for you to take me as fast as you can. Let's be off before that
crowd gets here looking for the train."

The boy barely caught the tail of the sleigh and thus proved that he
might have boarded the train; for Jimmy, not waiting for him, had
clutched the lines and stirred the restless nag to action by a
surreptitious slap with his hand.

"The shortest road is back the way we come," insisted the boy, as Jimmy
drove the horse recklessly across the end of the platform and into a
road that appeared fortuitously in front of him.

"But I certainly do like this way best," insisted Jimmy, urging the
horse to speed. "I've always been fond of this road."

"Well it's a mile outen the way," protested the boy.

"What's a mile to us, eh? You see it's such a nice clean road and it's
been so well traveled that it's better than--what? Turn to the left you
say? I always thought we went straight ahead here."

"Straight ahead would take us to the slaughter house," objected his
guide.

"Oh! I thought the slaughter house was somewhere around the depot," said
Jimmy with a grin at his own joke, which was entirely unappreciated by
the boy.

The station, with its menace, had by now been left behind in the whirl
of snow, and the heavy dusk of twilight. Jimmy was breathing again, and
cheerful, having escaped the most imminent peril. The horse was loping
steadily up the street as if imbued with the hope of a warm stall in a
warm stable.

"Turn to the right! The right! That's the way," insisted the boy, and
Jimmy, after a single backward glance to convince him that they had
escaped the mob, said, "Son, I don't know these roads as well as you do.
Maybe it'd be better if you took the lines. But whatever you do, keep
going. Mr. Wade says you are to hurry--that is for the first few miles.
You see, he's afraid old Bill will catch cold if he's not kept moving,
and they tell me that it's an awful thing for a horse to catch cold on a
day like this for the want of exercise. Make him hustle!"



CHAPTER VII


And Bill hustled them through the outskirts of the town, and into a road
that was fairly good going, and out to where snowladen fields and snow
weighted trees were on either hand before Jimmy's compassion swayed him
to suggest that after all there was no very great hurry.

"I'm sort of glad of that," commented the boy. "Bill's about winded.
He's my friend, and--and I don't like to see him puffin' like that. I'm
right glad you'd just as soon slow down. I was worried about Bill."

Jimmy thought about Bovolarapus, and then of Bill, and liked that boy.

"To-night," he said, as he settled himself into his seat, "Bill shall
have a box of chocolate caramels for dinner. And--say! son, are you
cold?"

"Not much," said the boy, looking up at him with a grin. "Just a little;
but I keep thinking about that fortune I'm to get and that sort of
keeps me warm."

Jimmy opened his overcoat and gathered his driver inside, and pulled up
the tattered lap robe and said cheerfully, "Sporting life, this, eh?"
But at the same time he was thinking regretfully of his ill-spent
afternoon, and more than ever convinced that jests of a public nature
were not worth while. And yet, in the midst of his personal discomfort,
he did not miss the enjoyment of a chuckle at the thought of what he had
left behind, and that fine harvest which the pompous Judge must reap. In
fact, he began to find a certain pleasure in his adventure; for the snow
stopped, the storm clouds moved restlessly, becoming ever more pallid,
and then the newly risen moon broke through and made all his
surroundings beautiful.

"The only things I miss," he muttered, "are sleigh bells and--Mary
Allen!"

"Mary Allen? Who's she?" The voice of the boy disturbed him.

"Mary Allen," said Jimmy grimly, "is a girl who isn't crazy to vote. She
likes horses. Probably she couldn't throw a brick. I've an idea she
never had a vote, and that if she had one she'd sell it as being the
quickest and easiest way to get rid of it. And--I hope to the Lord that
Mary Allen never visited Yimville before now, because if she hasn't,
I'll do all I can to spare her from ever going there in the future!"

"I can't seem to remember that haystack over there," said the boy, with
entire irrelevance, "but there's a house with a light in it, and--maybe
we'd best ask if we're on the right road. They'll tell you."

"Right road? Aren't you sure about it?" asked Jimmy, perturbed.

"Well, you see, it looks different with all this snow and--better ask
'em in there, I think."

"You go and ask them."

"I got ter watch old Bill. He runs away sometimes."

"I'll hold him. You ask."

The boy got down and advanced to the house where, after a time, a woman
appeared in response to his rapping and then, to point out the way, came
to the gate and thence to the road. She pointed with an extended arm to
the skyline and gave cautions about land marks at a point where three
roads met.

"If you'd taken the first road to the left instead of the second to the
right, down below there, you'd have been on the main track; but you're
not more than a half mile out of the way. And----" She stopped, suddenly
bent forward, and peered at Jimmy. "Oh, it's you, is it?" she said with
a toss of contempt. "You that believes women ain't got sense enough to
vote! Oh, I was down to the court house this afternoon and heard you!
And what's more, I can tell you it was mighty good for your precious
hide that they didn't catch you. If I'd known that it was you that
wanted to find the road to Mountain City I'd 'a' bit my tongue off
rather than let it tell you anything at all, you old puffed up smart
Alec! The only truth you ever told in your life, I'll bet, was when you
admitted that all lawyers is a lot of thieves. You, a judge! But let me
tell you that the women will get votes, and that when they do you
couldn't be elected judge at a chicken show. You're a mean-minded pig of
a man with no more manners than a pole cat! That's what the women who
heard you to-day think about you!"

And with that she turned, banged the gate, and hastened toward her house
where, in turn, she banged the door. Jimmy, who had said never a word,
but had gradually withered into the farthest corner of his seat, said,
"Whew! She likes me all right! I could tell that by what she said."

"Be you the man that made the speech in the court house?" asked the boy,
as he climbed into the sleigh and started Bill into action.

"My son," said Jimmy, "I am that very unfortunate man. But you don't
care, do you? You don't give a hang about voting, do you?"

"Not to-night," admitted the boy. "All I'm thinkin' about is how I'm to
get that ten dollars. It's a lot of money, ten dollars is. And--and," he
looked up at his companion rather speculatively, and added in a burst of
boyish confidence--"I don't think you're so bad as that woman said,
anyhow. I think I like you!"

Jimmy, feeling for the moment rather friendless, vented a fervent "Lord
bless you, son! We'll keep on being friends."

It began to seem to Jimmy that he was in for a chapter of accidents and
hardships. A snaffle gave away and they had to get out into the deep
snow and make repairs with fingers that were cold before the operation
was complete. They came to a stretch of unbroken road where the snow
was so deep that he had to climb out and break trail with the drift well
above his knees.

They toiled along for another mile then Jimmy decided that it was rather
a lonesome place; but philosophized that any place without either a
crowd, or Mary Allen, would be lonesome, and then further cheered
himself with the reflection that if he had Mary Allen with him he
wouldn't miss the crowd, or that if he had a crowd he'd not for a moment
miss Mary Allen, all of which made it rather a cheerful if paradoxical
world. Now that he had escaped the clutches of the irate militants of
Yimville, it wasn't such a bad predicament after all.

"Hello! What's that?" he exclaimed, sitting up with a jerk, as the boy
pulled the reins and yelled a loud "Whoa, Bill!"

It seemed as if something had gone awry with the prow of their ship.
They climbed out to investigate.

"They's a hame strap busted and Bill's loosin' all his furniture,"
explained the boy.

They got Bill's rig off to repair it as best they could. Again their
fingers got cold and their feet got cold, and the air got colder. Bill
was the only one who didn't seem to mind the delay and acted as if he
rather enjoyed a vacation.

"Now we're off again," said Jimmy, as they resumed their journey. "After
all, breaking a hame strap's nothing. Bill gets extra feed for that.
Anybody that can work hard enough to bust a hame strap has my approval.
I never did. You see, son, it was in a way rather lucky, because I'd
never have guessed what a good old nag Bill is if he hadn't proved it by
snapping that strap! People most always get acquainted through accident.
I certainly made a lot of acquaintances to-day! Also a lot of people got
acquainted with me who might never, never, never have really known just
what I was like!"

This pleasant reflection occupied his time for another mile, and then
suddenly Bill stumbled, his head went down and his heels flew up, he
seemed to stand on his neck for an instant, and then became a kicking,
obstreperous heap of horse and harness on the snow.

"Hooray!" shouted Jimmy, again springing into action. "Hooray! I'll sit
on his head, son, while you see how many pieces you can unfasten in his
harness. Keep away from his heels. Tackle his belly band first. That's
the ticket! Now see if you can get the tugs loose. Got 'em? Now stand
back. William, arise!! Whoo-e-e! Come up like baking powder or patent
yeast, don't you, Old Sport? There! There! Steady now. You're all right.
Concentrate your thoughts on food and it'll ease your mind. I've tried
it."

They restored Bill to his harness and backed him into the shafts.

"Now everything's all right again," said Jimmy, quite happily. "Just
think what tough luck it would have been if he'd broken his neck. It
doesn't pay to drive a horse with a broken neck. Just a waste of time.
Never buy a horse with a broken neck, son, unless you are in the tallow
business."

"Bill's all right, but--but--there seems to be somethin' wrong with the
shaft on this side. It wobbles," said the driver.

Jimmy went around to the other side and inspected it.

"Humph! Does wobble," he admitted. "It's cracked. However, that's all
right. Just think how bad it would have been if it had broken in two.
Now, as it is, maybe it'll last till we get to Mountain City, and I'll
pay for a new one. You see, partner, all these little things are sent
to try our fortitude and philosophy."

Again they moved ahead, and Jimmy whimsically homilized that it wasn't
how a shaft looked or felt that counted, but whether it did its work.
"Why, if everybody in this world who is cracked was chucked aside as
useless, I reckon there'd be mighty few folks left to do things," he
insisted. "There'd be milk without crocks, and jobs without men; girls
without sweethearts and churches without bells, son. Being cracked isn't
a sin, it's just being common!"

"Whoa! Whoa, Bill! She's busted for good now, Mister!"

The damaged shaft had snapped ominously and the harassed Bill this time
threatened to kick the whole exasperating outfit to kindling wood if his
heels held out long enough to accomplish such a worthy job.

"I'm getting used to this snow, now; I like it!" asserted Jimmy, as he
again got out to make an inspection. "We folks from Maryland always did
appreciate snow. It makes us understand the general air of chilliness
that seems to hover around New England Yanks. Well, looks as if we'd
have to steal a fence rail somewhere, boy, if we wish to continue this
delightful journey. Ah, there's a nice old stake-and-ridered layout over
there. I always knew they were the best kind of fences for country
roads. They do come in handy, all right. You hold William and explain
things to him while I grab one."

He waded into a ditch where the snow was waist high, floundered up a
bank, and selected a fairly straight fence rail that would serve his
purpose, and wallowed back with it. Once he fell and got snow up his
sleeves as high as his elbows.

"Now some folks would swear that was cold and uncomfortable," he
remarked as he shook it out in chunks, "but I like it, because I know
it's clean. It'd be awfully good in a cocktail just about now! Snow? Why
I've known time in a jay town down in Louisiana when I'd have cried with
joy for anything as cool as that to put in even plain water. 'We never
appreciate our blessings till we get 'em,' as the Mormon said just
before his seventeen wives swung him up on the limb of a tree."

For a time he watched Bill struggling along dejectedly, but was glad
that his improvised shaft support served and contemplated the passage
of time that must intervene before they reached Mountain City. And then
Bill again stumbled, and stopped as if in despair.

"I think maybe his feet's balled up," suggested the boy.

Jimmy climbed out and lifted Bill's extremities, hoof by hoof, patiently
digging off the snow stilts with his pocket knife, until at last he
found one hoof with a shoe missing.

"Well, well, well! No wonder you stumbled, old fellow," he sympathized.
"Cast a shoe, have you? Must have been back there where you fell! That's
too bad. You can't wear one of mine, or you'd be welcome. Must have
another put on up in Mountain City. Don't mention the expense. My firm's
rich. We often give horse shoes away on Christmas--paper ones, you
know!"

And the faithful and valiant Bill, relieved of one shoe and four big
collections of snow, hobbled forward again until he came to the foot of
a hill that seemed to stretch clear to the moon, and then for the first
time acted as if he had given up entirely and succumbed to misfortune.

"How far is Mountain City, now, son?" asked Jimmy, not without some
betrayal of anxiety.

"It's right up on top of that hill," said the boy, "But that hill's just
one mile and a half long."

"Good!" declared Jimmy, "you sit here and steer the beast, and I'll get
out and help and encourage him by leading him. I always was fond of
wading in snow. Cools off one's temper, walking in the snow does. If
every man who lost his temper had to walk a mile and a half uphill
through the snow, before he could say or do anything else, there would
never be a murder in this world, no divorces, and--by gosh!--maybe no
marriages either. That would be a calamity. Snow certainly does cool one
off."

An hour later when, after frequent rests and short but strenuous
efforts, they halted at the top of the hill and saw the main street of
Mountain City ahead of them, Jimmy said to the boy as he climbed back,
panting, into the sleigh, "Son, we learn by experience; but it's only
the wise and experienced man who knows that ignorance is bliss. There's
a lot of things in this life that I don't want to know anything at all
about in the future. Alpine climbing; politics, and votes for women are
all off my list. The only things I'd like to investigate are warm
drinks, hot grub, and the insides of a pair of dry socks, shoes and
breeches! And with that knowledge I'd be content. If you can find the
way to the hotel without straying, I'll forgive you for what you didn't
know about the way up here, and we'll begin all over again. Once more
we're on our merry way!"

Evidently Judge Granger was unknown to the hotel keeper of Mountain
City, for no comment was made on Jimmy's arrival and the place seemed
warm, comfortable, and luxurious after the snow drifts of the mountains.
Jimmy first phoned the railway station where he learned that Number
Sixteen was still belated but was expected through by midnight. Inasmuch
as Bad Fortune had been conquered by optimism, Good Fortune now smiled
upon the optimist. He purchased dry underwear, dry shoes, and dry
trousers for himself, and astonished the boy who had so valiantly
supported him by the presentation of a new suit of clothes, new red
flannel underwear, and new shoes.

"Lord! It'd never do for me to send you back home sniffling with a
cold," he explained to the lad. "Your maw would never forgive me, and--I
reckon I've got enough enemies amongst the women of this locality
without adding her to my list. Heaven help me if ever I go back there
again! They'd boil me alive in a soap kettle, and feed my fat to the
pigs! Now we shall look after the requirements of Rosinante, my little
Sancho Panza. Then we shall eat."

By liberal payment he succeeded in inducing the village wagon maker to
put in a new shaft that night, and the village blacksmith immediately
took on the work of replacing the lost shoe. Then he inspected the
stable where Bill was to sleep, bought a full bale of clean straw, a
double quantity of oats, and induced the hostler to give Bill an extra
rub and an extra blanket.

"Nothing's too good for us to-night, son," he explained to his admiring
supporter. "I feel like going on a bat. Just the same as Daniel probably
did after he got out of the lion's den. I'll bet ten to one that the
first thing he said after they hoisted him out was to ask the king what
he'd have to drink. Hospitality, my boy, is the guarantee of
appreciation. Both those who give and those who accept are satisfied,
which is unlike nearly all other bargains made in this world. This is
applicable to everything except jails. Remember my preachments after I
am gone, and you'll never get into the latter--that is--if you can run
fast enough!"

They still tell, in that hotel, of the meal he had specially prepared to
celebrate his escape from the Philistines. Long before it was through
the boy was speechless.

"Gee! Can't eat any more," he declared after a third piece of hot mince
pie.

"What's the matter? New suit of clothes too tight? Well, son, here's
another piece of advice," said Jimmy, as he helped himself. "Trouser
bands aren't made of rubber because all tailors are rich men who never
get hungry. By leaning toward the table and pretending to fool with your
serviette, it's easy to open the top buttons under your vest without
anybody noticing that you're going to make a fresh start. This is a form
of politeness that is necessary lest you alarm your host. Always do it
that way, and in the meantime, if you can think of one, tell a funny
story. It serves to distract attention from what you're doing, which is
the success of all card tricks, sleight-of-hand performances, and
getting a tummy full. Also that is probably the reason why napkins are
worn in the lap instead of in the neckband of your collar. Incidentally
I see there is a neglected raisin sticking to your chin, which leads me
to further observe that food is worn inside and not outside your face.
That's right! Don't waste it! I knew you wouldn't!"

He stopped suddenly, looked at his watch and said, "Great Scott! I
forgot one thing! How late does the Emporium keep open? Nine o'clock?
Oh, then I've got time. I must telephone Mister--Umm-m-mh!--Wade, did
you say his name was?"

The boy looked alarmed, but Jimmy explained. "You see he expected you
back to-night. He didn't know how bad the roads were. I must tell him
you'll not be back before to-morrow morning. What's the 'phone number?
37? Good. I'll go now and tell him. You stay here until I come back.
We're going to have coffee."

Jimmy hastened out to the 'phone and was thankful that it was
conveniently placed in a cabinet, for he was rather uncertain what might
be said, or, indeed, whether the telephone might not explode from heat
generated at the other end of the line. He got Wade without difficulty,
and again Fortune smiled.

"Mr. Wade," he said in his customary cheerful voice, "I made an address
at the court house this afternoon, and--er--the exigencies of my
departure led me to commandeer the services of your delivery boy, Tim, I
think his name is. What's that?"

He stopped, puzzled for the moment by the loud burst of laughter from
the other end of the line, and then a question, cautiously uttered as if
the speaker were afraid of being overheard, "Where are you, Judge?"

"Mountain City Hotel."

"Oh, up there, eh? Glad you got away safely. I heard that you were last
seen eloping with Tim and my nag Bill. And--can you hear
me?--Yes?--well, secretly I was tickled to death that you got away! This
thing of votes for women--you understand! Glad you handed it out
straight. Of course I can't say so out loud, but----"

"Thanks!" said the relieved Jimmy. "I'm sending Tim and Bill back in the
morning. Also I'd like to give Tim an envelope with a ten dollar note in
it to pay for the use of the rig if you'll accept it."

"S-s-s-h!" came back over the telephone. "Don't say a word! I'll not
have it! You can pay the keep for the boy and horse up there. That's all
I'll accept. That and a promise that you'll not give me away! It
wouldn't do for me to let it be known that--you understand, Judge!"

And Jimmy left the telephone box in an extraordinary good humor and
sauntered back to his coffee.

He insisted on inspecting the room that he had engaged for his guest,
and extravagantly ordered a fire for it. He insisted on his guest
retiring, but the guest, reduced to a state of adoration, rebelled and
saw him off when the train pulled out from Mountain City at 11:30 that
night.

Mr. James Gollop settled himself comfortably into a seat therein and
emitted a great sigh of content.

"As the copy book used to say at school," he thought, "'Count that day
lost whose low descending sun, views o'er thy work without some worthy
person done.' And if in one place in his bailiwick I haven't fried that
codfish Granger to a crisp, it's not because I haven't been industrious.
I've been as busy as a horse with a wooden leg trying to win the
Derby!"



CHAPTER VIII


Recovering his luggage at the junction with the main line, and traveling
an additional forty miles after such a strenuous day, predisposed the
indefatigable Mr. Gollop for a long night's rest. Finding himself again
in a modern little city with a first class hotel, and a luxurious bed
aided the ministrations of nature, so that it was after ten o'clock in
the morning when he whistled his way to his bath and then carefully
selected a clean outfit for the day's work. He hummed like a
particularly lucky hummingbird while he shaved, and felt like
hoppity-skipping down to the grill room, where his healthy appetite
might have full play. He found himself a nicely cushioned alcove through
whose window he could look out on the clear, brilliant morning with its
dazzle of snow, and at the same time luxuriate in the steam heated
atmosphere within. The world seemed turning very well and happily, as
far as Mr. James Gollop could observe and feel, and he gave his order
and was rendered grateful when an excellently trained waiter laid before
him the morning papers. And then Mr. Gollop sat up and grinned with the
culminating joy of the morning!

The paper he had first glanced at was rabidly Democratic and sported a
huge headline completely across the front page which read:

     "Gubernatorial Candidate Mobbed in Yimville."

Then followed a series of banks and subheads:

     "Loses temper and offers insults to women voters! Excoriates his
     own profession whilst in violent temper and ridicules bench of
     which he is member! Admits that all he seeks is office. After
     amazing outburst, proving unfitness for any public trust, narrowly
     avoids tar and feathers and escapes. Present whereabouts unknown."

Special passages from the now famous speech were carefully selected,
duly edited to make them sound the worst, and printed in black-faced
pica. Other passages in the speech were in italics. The whole plant of
the newspaper had been utilized to give adequate expression to this
unparalleled forensic outburst. A much garbled report "in full" was
given of the wording, and as lurid yellow as was ever mixed went to make
up the account of the incidents in Yimville. According to the report the
mob numbered thousands and strong men of both parties wept and gnashed
their teeth in their frantic craving to wreak vengeance on the orator
for the insults offered to their mothers, wives, daughters, and
sweethearts. Indignant women, forgetting the softness of sex, had arisen
in just wrath to execute this brazen-faced apostle of mammon. Half a
column was devoted to the mystery of the Judge's disappearance from the
scene and it was stated that he was believed to have terrorized a boy
into driving him away into the mountains, in which case, it was feared,
owing to the blizzard, that unless they found refuge in some isolated
farm house they might have perished. Jimmy noticed that most of the
concern expressed by the newspaper was for the welfare of the boy. He
was chuckling gleefully to himself when interrupted by the return of
the waiter.

"Pity they didn't get that buzzard and hang him, isn't it, sir?" he
commented indignantly.

"It certainly is," agreed Jimmy.

"Not as I believe in votes for women myself," added the waiter, "but I
don't believe in openly insultin' 'em in public. And think of the likes
of him sayin' as all he wanted was to get elected and as if he didn't
care how! Why he ought to be in that Tammany Hall gang back in New York!
That's the only place in all this United States, I reckon, where folks
stand for that sort of stuff. It's understood back there that all they
want is a fat job and the people be damned, but people out here ain't
educated up to looking at things that way. They ain't any people in the
world that'd stand for what them people in New York does! I worked there
one time for about three year and I know. I'll bet that galoot murdered
that boy. Probably took him as far as he wanted to, then threw the poor
little feller out of the sled into the snow to freeze. All that they'll
ever find of that poor little kid'll be an icicle."

"I'll bet you're right!" agreed Jimmy, again, vociferously. "This paper
says the Judge said some nasty things about Union Labor. I should think
some of you chaps would start something on what Union Labor thinks of
him and his kind."

"By jingoes! You're right about that!" the waiter declared, and then
added, as if overcome by the brilliant opportunity for advertising
himself, "I'm president of the local Waiters' Union, and I'll lay off
this afternoon and look after that myself. We'll show them that thinks
they can knock us a thing or two before we've done with 'em! Down on
honest labor, is he? And he thinks he can get elected if all of us is
agin' him!"

Jimmy read a column on the weather in which it was stated that the storm
was the most unprecedented in twenty years and that on nearly all the
branch lines, where wires were down and a snow blockade complete,
conditions would have to remain as they were until traffic was restored
on the main trunks; but that the railway company hoped to clear the
branch lines within twenty-four hours, and that already telephone and
telegraph linemen were out on snow shoes.

At four o'clock that afternoon Jimmy boarded the train bound for the
last city he would visit in the state, and attracted by the cries of a
newsboy, "All about Judge Granger! Latest news from Yimville," bought a
paper and settled himself down to read.

The latest advices from the scene of his latest escapade told of the
return of Tim. They were published in a Republican paper which began by
stating that the reports of the Judge's speech were mangled distortions
of what the speaker had, in his well known eloquent manner, expressed,
or deliberate lies manufactured by his enemies; that there had been no
riot at all, and that neither had there been a demonstration save a
small uproar created by a branch of the Militant Suffragettes, headed by
that modern prototype of Carrie Nation and her hatchet, the state leader
of that body, whose previous records of disturbances were sufficient in
themselves to convince all thoughtful-minded women, as well as men, that
probably the speaker was justified in whatever he had said to this
professional heckler. Furthermore, as evidence of the depths to which a
totally unscrupulous and irresponsible press could descend in its
efforts to ridicule a great leader, the whole story of flight was, from
the beginning to end, a malicious controversion of fact. This was proven
by the statement of the driver, Timothy Jones, who had that morning
returned to Yimville. The driver was known as completely trustworthy and
honest, and, furthermore, his statements were fully corroborated by his
employer, Mr. Wade, general manager of the Emporium, one of the most
prominent business men in that part of the state.

Judge Granger, after making a most eloquent, lucid, and brilliant speech
which had been unduly prolonged by his patience in replying to questions
addressed by the disturbing element, had found his time for boarding the
regular train so curtailed that he had but a few minutes in which to
reach the station. He had very courteously asked young Jones if he could
drive him thither, there having been an unfortunate lack of foresight in
providing an equipage for his return. Jones drove him to the station,
where, to the Judge's distress, he learned that, owing to the storm,
there would be no train through for an indefinite time. Having other
highly important engagements, he found it necessary to drive to Mountain
City, where he could be more certain of catching a train near midnight.

"All those who are familiar with the great punctiliousness and
responsibility of Judge Woodworth-Granger will therefore not be
surprised to learn that, despite all the fatigues of the day, and the
hardships of such traveling, he courageously braved the blizzard,
fearless in his sense of duty to be performed. That he made such a
difficult night drive merely to keep his pledged word and engagements,
when others might have quailed, or accepted the storm as sufficient
excuse for remaining comfortably in shelter, is in itself a sufficient
tribute to the sterling worth of this distinguished man's character. He
must have inherited from those ancesters of his, who with bleeding feet
trudged through the snows of Valley Forge, some of that patriotism and
high fealty to duty which has ever been the stamp of the true American.
This courageous self-sacrifice to public duty alone is sufficient
evidence that he is the man to guide the destinies of one of the
greatest states in the Union, and those who are to meet in convention
for the choice of a leader will do well to reflect upon what must be
considered as a sterling achievement bespeaking the character of this
honored and distinguished jurist who has somewhat reluctantly yielded to
the demands of his fellow citizens. Those who mendaciously accused him
of office seeking, should hide their heads for shame. Failing to find a
single flaw in the private, public, or professional life of this
distinguished man, his political enemies now seek by ridicule and
innuendo to attack him. To such depths as these has the Democratic party
in this state fallen. Had there ever been the slightest doubt that the
Hon. J. Woodworth-Granger will be the nominee for governor of this
state, it is now dissipated by the scurrilous attack made upon him--an
attack of desperation that must and shall inevitably bring its own
reward. Verily a man is known by the enemies he makes!"

After reading this editorial Jimmy reverted to the news page where the
faithful Tim's defense was given. It was eulogistic. It was colorful. It
told of the vicissitudes of the trip, although it neglected to mention
the episode of losing their way and what was said by the farmer's wife.
Jimmy thought that either Tim or the reporter who wrote the alleged
interview had shown tact in that suppression. But it was beautifully
written! There was no doubt of that. Stinging sleets, biting winds,
desperately fatigued horses, valiant and persistent battles with snow
drifts, icy cold temperatures and everything pertaining to heroism in
the Arctics were there.

"Tim and I have got Scott, Peary and Admunsen all looking like a lot of
pikers!" thought Jimmy as he read. "If the fellow who wrote this can
write stuff as warm, comforting and appetizing on chocolates as he can
about coldness, courage and cramps on that trip to Mountain City, he'll
make a world-beater in the advertising line! He's a whirlwind--no--a
cyclone--when it comes to throwing the guff."

The interview told of the great man's magnanimity and generosity. Not
even his solicitude for old Bill's comfort was overlooked. In fact the
great man wouldn't trust the hostler, but fed Bill bran mash with a
spoon. The suit of clothes he bought "Mister Timothy Jones" was lined
with silk. The underwear might have been of red gold instead of red
flannel. Thus did a brave man reward those who served him in time of
stress. It even intimated that Timothy Jones might retire for life on
his monetary rewards.

It was the next day at luncheon when the cheerful James was given reason
to think less happily of his exploit, and to wonder what happened to a
worm that turned once too often. The newspapers contained the statements
that the wires were now open to Princetown and that in that flourishing
city dwelt a man whose feelings were outraged, who was indignant, who
asserted he had not been in Yimville on the day of the speech, in fact
had never in his life made a speech in Yimville, and that if he had made
a speech in Yimville he most certainly would not--never, never,
never--have expressed the sentiments so brazenly attributed to him. He
was an office seeker in the interests of public rather than personal
welfare, and for no other reason. He had yielded to the overwhelming
petitions of his friends, indeed, not without considerable pain. And
then Jimmy read something that for the first time caused him to
appreciate the possible grave consequences of his ebullient imposture:

     "'I am not at the moment in a position to make any definite and
     specific charges,' his Honor told the representative of the
     _Morning Star_: 'but I have certain well-defined grounds for
     believing that the citizens of Yimville, for whom I have the most
     profound respect and admiration, knowing that they include some of
     the most intellectual and patriotic ladies and gentlemen in the
     whole of the United States, have been imposed upon by an individual
     who (I have been told) faintly resembles me as far as personal
     appearance is involved. Yet how this person, who is, I regret to
     say, but a common, vulgar ignoramus, could have the barefaced
     effrontery to address an intelligent audience either in his own or
     an assumed character, I can not comprehend. Needless to say I shall
     at once take steps to learn the truth, and the impostor shall be
     made to suffer the extreme penalties of the law providing for the
     punishment of such flagrant acts against the public and private
     welfare of duly constituted citizens. The world must be made safe
     for Democracy. Those who are guilty of lack of observance for those
     common and well-defined and closely stipulated rules that govern
     the intercourse existing between individuals or those collections
     of individuals which are in turn by mutual consent formed into
     committies, must hereafter be consistently regulated by those able
     to dictate either by force of arms or the divine influence of
     reason, until they can no longer prove a menace to the rules
     governing, by consent of the governed and the voice of the
     governed, human relations in general, in particular, and in
     private.'"

Jimmy pondered over the last sentence a long time.

"I suppose he means 'The guilty shall be punished,'" he said, and then
added, admiringly, "By gosh! If he were a Democrat he'd be president of
the United States yet. He surely would! He can use more words to say
less than any other man living, and, come to think of it, he has the
greatest assets of stupidity, which are pompous silence, and a
patronizing grin. The art of so obfuscating his expression with words
that neither his friends nor his enemies can come to any positive
conclusion as to what he means. But if I'm not mistaken, this same J.
Woodworth-Granger, Judge by election, is after the scalp of one James
Gollop, drummer for a living, and--humph!--wonder when the next train
leaves that will take me out of this state's jurisdiction? It seems to
me, Jim, that you should be on your way. Good Lord! Some men can never
take a joke! The idea of raising such a fuss over a little thing like
that!"

And, so potent was his increasing apprehension, Mr. James Gollop did not
actually smile again until seven-thirty that evening, when he received a
reply to a question addressed to the conductor of the eastbound train.

"Are we over the state line yet?" was the question asked.

"By about thirty miles, I should reckon," was the reply.

"Thank heaven for that!" said Mr. Gollop, resuming a placid mental
attitude, and the celebrated Gollop grin. "It's a wise man who knows
where he's not welcome. Both celebrity and notoriety are distinctions to
be shunned. A mud-cat is the most secure of all fish because nobody
wishes to either catch and eat, or play with and caress him. His sole
virtue is his obscurity, the sharpness of his bones his only protection.
I'd rather be a catfish than a salmon after all!"

And the conductor, passing on his way with his nickel-plated lantern
deftly anchored by his arm and his nickel-plated punch industriously
working in his hand, mumbled, "Happy man! He's got just what he wants.
Wish I was general passenger agent of this line. I'm not a catfish
because I want to be one. He seems to be--just that!"



CHAPTER IX


Jimmy retired to the smoking compartment in the Pullman and sat down to
think it all over. It had but one other occupant, a huge man with heavy
shoulders who lowered the paper he had been reading and looked at Jimmy
through a pair of clear, gray, appraising eyes that conveyed such a
sense of directness as to slightly disconcert one with a guilty
conscience.

"Great Scott!" thought Jimmy. "Hope he's not a sheriff or a United
States marshal looking for me," and then indulged in an inward smile at
the absurdity of his being of sufficient importance to have a federal
officer on his trail. He seated himself and took a furtive glance at the
man's face. It was a distinctly attractive face, due to its marked
indications of character. It expressed not only firmness and
intelligence but a sense of humor. Jimmy decided that this individual
should appreciate a joke and wondered who he was.

"Funny old chap," he thought. "Might be a banker, but I think he's a
drummer. Wonder who he's out for? Somehow he's mighty familiar; but
surely I'd never forget an old Trojan like that. Maybe I've met him
sometime, and he's got all that gray around his temples since then. Gray
hairs do make a difference."

He was still puzzling over this lost identity when the man laid the
newspaper to one side, lighted a fresh cigar and, turning toward Jimmy,
said, "Funny about that affair over in Yimville, isn't it? Have you read
about it?"

Jimmy had to look away lest the twinkle in his eyes betray him, and then
decided his best policy would be to take it with a laugh. A laugh he
decided was the most disarming of human manifestations. He emitted one.

"Yes, I read about it in the papers yesterday and to-day. That fellow at
Yimville does seem to have kicked up an amusing controversy. One set of
papers says he was mobbed, and the other that he made a hit.
But--pshaw!--of course it has no effect whatever on Judge Granger's
chances for the nomination! Tempest in a child's teapot that will last
about as long."

"Perhaps! I'm not to sure about that. Moreover, I'm not so certain that
Granger, unmolested, could have got the nomination. He would have been
up against a good stiff fight. I understand that he's a trifle too
self-satisfied to be a very popular candidate. Nothing hurts a man with
a swelled head like ridicule. Ridicule will trim men that can't be
touched with any other weapon under the sun. And--" he chuckled as if
amused--"the whole state has something to laugh over now, whether he
made that speech, or whether he didn't!"

The man looked out of the window for a moment and then, as if no longer
interested in the Yimville episode, inquired, "Didn't I see you getting
some sample cases aboard the train? What's your line?"

"Chocolates. Columbus Chocolate Co. of New York. Are you on the road?"

"Well, not exactly. I'm in water power plants at present."

"Something I don't know much about," said Jimmy. "But I wish I did.
Mighty interesting. In fact I never took the trouble to look one over
until a little while ago."

"Where was that?" inquired the man.

"Up at a place called Princetown. Good water power there. Big plant, I
suppose you would call it."

"Yes, I suppose they have good power up there. I have heard so," said
the man, inspecting the ash of his cigar as if interested in how long it
would last without breaking. "Let's see--automobile factory there, isn't
there?"

"Yes. Sayers Automobile Company. Fine cars, too, but unknown except out
here. At least I should say so. That's the trouble with half the
enterprises in the country. They can make first class articles but they
can't sell them. Sometimes I think we Americans aren't such good
hustlers after all. We've got the reputation in Europe, I am told, of
blowing about our stuff; but I'm not certain that we do. If I were a
manufacturer, I'd not make anything that wasn't the best I could make.
I'd put everything I knew and everything I could learn into whatever I
made. I'd not have a man work for me fifteen minutes if he didn't
believe that it was the best thing of its kind on earth. And then I'd
know that when that man went out and talked about my line of goods,
whether he was a salesman or not, he'd swear that it was the best on
earth."

The man smiled, "In other words, even your workmen blowing, eh?"

"I don't think it's blowing to say what you honestly believe about your
line. When a man is absolutely convinced that he is offering the very
best thing on the market and gets hot under the collar if anybody
questions it, he becomes a good salesman. He never can be that unless he
is honestly positive that he is talking truth. Telling the truth isn't
boasting. It's the way to sell goods. Blowing means ignorance or lying.
A man can not lie about anything he has to sell--if it's nothing bigger
than hairpins--and get away with it very long. I never lie about my
line--never! I really believe that some of our stuff is the best of its
kind made. I say so. I honestly admit it when some other house brings
out a certain line that beats ours, and then I hustle back home and put
on my spurs, and get out my hammer, and try to get my firm to see it,
and to meet the new stuff and if possible to go it one better."

Jimmy had forgotten all about Yimville, now that he was expatiating on a
pet hobby of his. Evidently, too, Yimville had passed from the mind of
his companion, who seemed pondering over salesmanship.

"But--but how would it be applicable to power plants?" he demanded.

"I don't know," admitted Jim, "but the principle is the same for
chocolates, or power plants or--automobiles. That's what started me
off--those Sayers automobiles. I never heard about that car until I saw
one in the street. I don't know anything about them. But the one I saw
looked so pretty that I talked with the man who owned it, and he was in
love with the thing. So, because I never heard of it, and no one else
seemed to have done so, it proves that there's something wrong with the
Sayers selling organization. They haven't handled their capital right,
because every dollar invested in advertising is a dollar in the value of
the plant--in that intangible asset called 'goodwill,' without which
neither a house nor a man can succeed."

"Young man," said his companion, "you are in the wrong line. You ought
to be selling advertising space. I told you I was in power plants
but--I'm in some other things as well. Did you ever solicit advertising
contracts for any first class advertising firm?"

"I never did," admitted Jimmy, "But I have given some advice about
advertising that has paid the purchasers. And I've pondered over sales
organization for years. I tell you--it's a science! If ever I get a
chance to test these theories of mine--I'll----" He paused as if ashamed
of his serious enthusiasm, and as usual, derided them--"I'll probably
fail!"

"Why deride yourself?" queried the man, regarding Jim with grave and
interested eyes. "If sales organization is a hobby of yours, why not
ride it? Evidently you've thought about it somewhat. What is wrong with
the average sales organization? Where does it fail? What improvements
can you suggest in prevalent methods? Have you thought of anything new
and original to improve them? If so, I'd like to hear about it, because
I'm one of those who are never too old to learn."

Jimmy accepted and launched into his argument with all the vim of an
enthusiast discussing a subject to which he had given thought.

"Have you got one of your personal cards with you? Hope you don't think
I'm impertinent," said the man, after Jimmy had run down.

Jimmy laughed and gave him the card and while he wondered what was
coming next, his companion carefully slipped it into his pocketbook.

"If ever you decide to get out of chocolates," he said, thoughtfully,
"you might call on me--or--let's see! Here!" He took another card from
his pocket just as the train came to a stop and the porter came hurrying
in and shouted, "Sorry, sah! Done forgot to call you sooner. Corinth!"

Both Jim and his fellow traveler jumped to their feet and hastened out.
Jimmy saw that the card was that of "Mr. Charles W. Martin, Suites
105-7-9-11 Z, Flat Iron Bldg., New York. Specialist in everything
pertaining to power plants."

Out on the platform Martin asked, "Where do you stop here in Corinth,
Mr. Gollop?"

"At the City Hotel," said Jimmy. "Good sample rooms there. Good grub.
Good beds."

"I think I'll go there, too," said Martin, and together they entered the
hotel bus and were driven away.

As usual Jimmy was welcomed by his first name, and informed that there
was some mail there for him. When he looked around from its perusal
Martin had disappeared and he did not meet him again until he was seated
in a corner of the restaurant alone, when a voice behind him said, "Hope
you don't mind if I join you, Mr. Gollop," and looked up to see his
traveling companion.

"Not at all, Mr. Martin," he replied. "Always glad to have good company.
I'm a sociable sort of cuss myself. I detest traveling alone, eating
alone, or loafing alone. I suppose I'm gregarious."

A troubled, thoughtful shadow chased itself over the elder man's face,
as he said, with a half-sigh, "I understand. It's not good for a man to
be alone. And the older he becomes, the more he feels lonesomeness, and
the more he wants--home!"

The word was the magic one for Jimmy. Somehow that word always moved him
and brought out his great undercurrent.

"Why, do you know," he said, leaning across the table with shining eyes,
"if I didn't have a home to go to, always, after I've made my round,
I'd be like a horse that had been robbed of his stall? I live for it! I
work for it! I look forward to it all the time! But you see, I'm
different than most men. Luckier, I think, because my mother's there!
And if I didn't have a thing in the world but her, I'd be rich. And if I
had everything else but her, I'd be poor! I'm mighty proud of my home
and my mother. I shall be leaving here for home to-morrow afternoon,"
continued Jimmy. "After I've hustled around and seen about a dozen
customers. Being a drummer and having a craze for home, are two pretty
tough propositions to combine. But--what would home be without
chocolates? Why, do you know, I don't think I'd have been able to have a
home at all without 'em! By chocolates Maw and I live or die. Funny,
isn't it, that if there was an earthquake that wiped a spot off the maps
and hurt me when I read about it, I'd keep going on just about the same;
but if everybody stopped eating chocolates, I'd be wiped off the map,
and I reckon the world would be going on just the same? Sometimes I
think every man's world is the smallest thing there is because it's
bounded only by his own happiness or tragedy. He's just one of
billions, but if his pet dog dies, he's astonished because the universe
isn't covered with gloom and probably he's the only one that's sorry
about the dog, or that even knows the dog has croaked. Maybe somebody
else hears about it and is glad--the chap that the dog bit the week
before he went to dog-heaven. But--anyhow--I'm bound for home to-morrow.
Back to Baltimore, as the song goes."

"Baltimore?" said Martin. "That's a coincidence! I go to Baltimore
myself to-morrow. Struthers people. Know them? Make tools of precision."

"Everybody in Baltimore knows of them," declared Jim with full civic
pride.

"I shall take the two-thirty train," said Martin. "Maybe we shall travel
together."

"That's the one I take," said Jim. "Match you to see who engages berths
for both of us."

"I'll gladly engage one for you without matching," declared Martin, a
proffer which Jim immediately accepted.

They lounged together that evening, and the more Jimmy knew of Martin,
the better he liked him. There was something homely and sane about the
man that appealed to him. For a time he kept subconsciously questioning
why he maintained a peculiar feeling that this was not the first time
they had met; yet this sense of unrest was dissipated by the respect he
had formed for him, quite unaccountably. He was, indeed, surprised with
himself for his liking when he realized how satisfactory it was to have
Martin sharing his journey on the following day. In his perpetual
journeyings he had met many men who were congenial, men of the
goodfellow type, but here was a man who had but little of the customary
"goodfellow" attributes and habits, and who yet won his regard. There
was the disparity of ages, the contrast of taciturnity with free
expression, and a large lack of mutual experience; but somehow all these
barriers were not supervened to the detriment of their fellowship. Jim
felt as if he were with an acquaintance--most friendly too--of years
standing, long before they arrived at Baltimore.

"Perhaps you can recommend me to a good hotel," said Martin, as they
neared their destination. "I've never stopped in Baltimore. In fact, I'm
a total stranger there."

"Why stop at a hotel at all?" suggested Jimmy, generously. "Why not come
out and put up with me? My mother's the finest there is! We're pretty
plain people, but it ought to beat being in a hotel. I'll have three
days home this time, and I'll show you down to Struthers' place, and--by
jingoes!--you shall be introduced to big Bill, my pet tree, in his
winter clothes, and if I can't make you believe in Maryland hospitality,
it won't be my fault."

Martin accepted as directly as he appeared to decide everything. And the
beauty of it was that Mrs. Gollop, who shared her son's hospitable
nature, accepted and made welcome the guest that Jimmy brought home as
if she were thoroughly accustomed to her son's unconventional methods.

"Does he always bring strangers home like this?" asked Martin, with a
faint smile, on the second day of his visit after Jim's mother had been
eloquently expatiating on Jim's idiosyncrasies and virtues during the
latter's temporary absence.

"You never can tell what Jimmy will do," she replied with a laugh, and
then thoughtfully stared through her window into the street. "But I am
always certain that he will do the honest, decent, and generous action.
He laughs his way through the world, but in the laugh is never malice
nor cruelty. His sole failing is that he cannot resist a joke. He has
always been so. His sense of the ridiculous is absurdly out of
proportion to his serious side. I used to feel hopeless for his future
because he laughed so much; but now I know the difference. One may still
laugh and be loyal in all things. He has no false ideas or unattainable
ambitions. He has no false pride. He believes in doing his best in all
things. He is sorry for those who are unfortunate, and unenvious of
those who have succeeded. He is sincere, and he is unassuming, a good
friend, and a tolerant enemy. His tastes are simple, his pleasures
homely."

She stopped, flushed and, added, "But I boast too much! Yet I can't help
it because--well--because there has never been such a son as mine, and
I'm not ashamed to feel proud of him!"

But Mr. Martin was now looking out of the window, and, Mr. Martin did
not smile.



CHAPTER X


At the end of three days, Mr. Martin, professing much gratitude and
pleasure for the hospitality shown him, departed for the South. At the
end of four days, Mr. Gollop, making the excuse of urgent business,
entrained for New York. Not that Mr. Gollop, having regard for the
_expressio falsi_ as compared with the _suppressio veri_, was strictly a
prevaricator or that he told the exact truth, because he had slipped
four whole days up his sleeve for his own entertainment; four whole days
in which he had not the slightest intention of visiting his firm; four
whole days that he intended to devote to art research, and
exploration--exploration of a wilderness known as MacDougall Alley. So
accurately did he time his movements that he invaded MacDougall Alley at
just eleven a.m., which he considered a proper hour to find an aspiring
artist at work while the light was most perfect and amenable. He was not
disappointed, which he regarded as proof of acumen; but he was
surprised by his surroundings. No bare-walled studio, this, but a rather
luxurious place. With a real rug on the floor, and real chairs to sit
upon, and a cosy seat, and electric lights instead of bare boards,
benches, charcoal brazier and tallow dips stuck in the necks of bottles
blown for better contents.

"See here! What troubles you, Bill Jones? Have I done anything you
didn't like?" demanded Mary Allen, as she extricated her thumb from the
hole of a palette on which oil paints proved that she had forsaken for
the moment her love of water colors.

"Why--why--I don't understand!" exclaimed Jimmy, helplessly.

"Don't understand? I thought you promised to write?"

"I did," admitted Jimmy; "but, you see, I was so busy and there were so
many people to talk to in my most seductive manner, and there were so
many things to be done, including people, that I clean overlooked it! I
did! I confess. But--I'm going to be here now at least a week," he added
hopefully, and not without insinuation.

"Hope you enjoy your visit," she said, and added rather maliciously, "I
am entirely engrossed in my work--this week."

He stared at her with a face as frankly dejected as that of a hurt boy;
then, his ever-present bouyancy reasserting itself, queried, "That's
good. By the way, do you ever use models?"

"Of course," she replied.

"Well, I've got nothing to do this week," he replied enthusiastically.
"I'll sit for you as a study in Disappointment, Flat-busted, or Return
from the Races. The title doesn't matter, because I'll be such an
excellent study for any sort of man whose hopes have all been knocked
flatter than a pancake."

"I know you can be gloomy enough when you wish to be," she said,
relenting a trifle; "but you're the first man I ever had promise to
write me a letter that I admitted I should welcome, and then had the
impudence to forget me. The one thing a woman can't forget is to be
forgotten."

Jimmy felt decidedly perturbed by this statement. He wondered what she
would say if he boldly admitted that he had in reality forgotten her
very name and where she came from, and then followed it with a
confession that since the first day he had met her in New York some
months ago, he had made amends by thinking of her continuously
throughout his spare time. But he did not dare. He feared banishment,
and that, he concluded, desperately, would be worse than death.
Something of his mental distress must have been observable, for the girl
suddenly relented, smiled a trifle and then said, "Well, perhaps I can
indulge myself--not you, understand?--by going somewhere."

She regained her palette, and turned toward her easel with a
businesslike air, quite as if she were a painter for a livelihood, and
said, "Now suppose you run along and let me work. You can come back here
for me at--say--one o'clock, and take me to luncheon; that is--if you're
not too busy!"

And Jimmy, transported with delight, made a vast pretense of business
and hastened away, lest she change her mind. He had the wisdom to let
well enough alone, and knew that time is the best medicine for
annoyance. But he was there in MacDougall Alley,--just the same--with
marvelous punctuality.

And there can be no question that he was a master host when it came to
luncheons, dinners, suppers, or midnight lunch counters. With him it was
an art, cultivated to the highest point of efficiency. Moreover,
timorous and fearful lest he blunderingly lose his advantages, he did
not press his suit too far and, as a result, Mary Allen forgot his
seeming neglect. There was but one embarrassing moment when, after a
moment's silence she said, "Do tell me, is there anything at all new
down home? Dad is so uncommunicative that he never has much to say about
the town itself, and everyone else is too busy to write me."

"Nothing new that I noticed when I was there last," said Jimmy. "Of
course, being on the road all the time I'm--well--I'm so busy
that--ummmh! Isn't that our waiter? Some of those pears over there on
that other table look good enough to eat and--wish we could get some
strawberries! Do you like hot-house grapes?"

He might have gone through an entire horticultural catalogue, had not
his roving eyes at that moment suddenly been arrested by something that
caused them to open widely and fix themselves. The something was a
keen-looking man seated at another table who was glaring at time with a
steady and highly interrogative look. For once Mr. James Gollop's cheery
self-confidence deserted him and he was highly distressed; for the
keen-faced man happened to be his employer and his employer up to that
moment believed one James Gollop was out on the road some hundred or so
miles from New York looking after the interests of the Columbus
Chocolate Company. Jimmy recovered sufficiently to bow and the bow was
somewhat frigidly acknowledged. Jimmy's wits worked fast--very fast.

"Pardon me, won't you please," he addressed Mary Allen; "but there is a
man sitting over there to whom I wish to speak for just an instant. Got
to make an appointment with him, and this is opportune."

"Certainly," replied the lady, and Jimmy got up, crossed to his
employer, and without giving the latter a chance to say anything, thrust
out his hand and said, "Howdydo, Mr. Falkner. Howdydo! Got in off the
run early this trip and was coming down to see you as soon as I had
lunch."

"Oh, you were, were you?" dryly remarked his "boss," and the unhappy
Jimmy distinguished a tone of sarcasm. "Very kind of you, I'm sure.
We've been wanting to hear from you for several days. I'll expect you at
just three o'clock this afternoon."

Stunned by this unusual lack of cordiality, Jim said, "Very well, sir,
I'll be there," and with as much dignity as he could command, turned and
walked back to his table, but wondered heavily, what on earth he had
done; what was wrong; whether some prominent customer had gone bankrupt
or if Falkner merely had a grouch.

"I thought you went to see a friend, but you look as if you had been
talking with an undertaker," commented his guest.

"And that's just the way I feel about it," admitted Jimmy. "Because I've
got to meet him at three o'clock this afternoon, and I had anticipated
the pleasure of going somewhere with you."

"The mean old thing!" she exclaimed, impulsively, and Jimmy's heart
bumped at the knowledge that she, too, was disappointed.

"But," he suggested, hopefully, "if I called for you at the studio at
about six o'clock couldn't we dine together?"

And when she accepted his invitation with unconcealed enthusiasm, his
spirits again soared and he forgot even the baleful presence of Falkner
for a time, and when he did remember him, discovered that his "kill joy"
had gone.

Promptly at three o'clock he breezed into his firm's offices with all
habitual cheeriness, exchanged a swift run of badinage with those he
met, and was ushered into the manager's office. Falkner did not meet him
with the customary smile of welcome.

"Well," he said, "you seem to have raised a devil of a row out West, and
if you can offer any explanation at all for such conduct I'm prepared to
listen to it before we go any further. If you think that's the kind of
advertising a reputable firm wants you're about as poor a guesser as
ever traveled on a mileage book."

"Why--why--what's up?" blurted Jimmy.

"What's up? You've got a nerve to ask that!" roared the manager, banging
his fist on the top of his desk. "Here, look at these!"

He handed Jim a small sheaf of sheets consisting of letters and
telegrams. The first was from a jobbing firm:

     "Cancel order given your man Gollop. Sorry, but entire board of
     directors are Republican and resent Yimville affair."

A second was from another firm which had been one of Jim's best
customers and read:

     "Advise Gollop not to make this territory again until Yimville
     affair blows over. Granger's supporters buzzing like live hornets."

A more portentous looking document bearing the heading of the "State
Republican Committee Headquarters" bore the concise statement that
unless an immediate, full, and public apology was forthcoming from one
James Gollop for impersonating the Hon. J. Woodworth-Granger at an
important political meeting in the city of Yimville were not immediately
forthcoming, legal action would be taken for damages, on the ground of
misrepresentation, false pretense and willful intent to damage the
reputation and political career of one of the most distinguished men in
the state. Another letter was a round robin, signed by several firms,
demanding the immediate discharge of "that contemptible practical joker,
James Gollop," and still another was from no less person that the Judge
of the Fourth District Court, in which what was said of the same James
Gollop was enough to wither that unfortunate individual. Someone had
sent a stack of newspaper clippings three inches in thickness, from
which Jimmy gathered that it had taken but a day or two to pick up his
trail and expose him beyond all possible dispute.

"Good Lord!" exclaimed Jimmy, aghast, and wiping beads of perspiration
from his forehead. "I didn't have any idea of kicking up such a fuss as
that. I just blundered into a chance to have some fun with that pompous
old rooster that hated me because we looked so much alike and----" In
the midst of all his woes he could not suppress a laugh of amusement.

"So you still think it's a joke, do you?" snorted the irate manager,
exasperated by this further evidence of irresponsibility. "Well, you'll
not think so any longer. I'll attend to that. You turn your samples in
and go to the cashier with your expense account. You're fired! Maybe you
can understand that! Fired! F-I-R-E-D!"

"You needn't have troubled to spell it out," remonstrated Jimmy. "I get
you. But--hang it all, man!--you might at least put me into some new
territory. I didn't mean anything by it. I'll admit I was a chump; but I
can sell stuff, and you know it."

He stopped and stared at the floor with a face so frankly troubled and
perplexed that the manager for the moment forgot his wrath. The boy in
Jimmy Gollop was never more manifest than at that moment. There was
something very appealing about him that Falkner could not fail to
discern.

"Jimmy," he said, gravely, "I'm sorry, but it has to be done. What on
earth made you such a fool? You must have been crazy!"

"I sort of reckon I must have been," admitted Jimmy, dolefully.
"But--honestly!--I didn't mean to do any real damage to that old stiff
Granger, and certainly not to the firm. The firm? Why Mr. Falkner, I've
stuck up for it for nearly ten years because it has treated me white,
and because it's an honest firm that makes honest goods. But--well--all
I can do is to square matters up as best I can. You people have been
very good to me. Very good and very kind. I've drawn your money
and,--prospered, and so I'll write the public apology or confession, or
whatever you call it, that those chaps out there demand, and take all
the blame. And I'll write to every customer that has communicated with
you and tell 'em that, although I'm out and gone, the orders were
solicited in good faith and that it's not fair to make you suffer for
that fool joke of mine. I'm done with jokes of all sorts from now on.
I'll do anything except this--I'll not write one word of apology to that
man Granger!"

Falkner looked out of the window as if troubled, and then said, with a
sigh of regret, "Well, Jim, I'm sorry, but it can't be helped. You're
the best man we ever had out, and--by Jove!--I'll put that into writing
so you can have something to show, and you can use me personally as a
reference when you strike someone else for territory. But, mind you, I
shall have to tell them confidentially the reasons why we had to let you
go."

"Of course! That's only fair," said Jimmy, his sober common sense
impelling him to this admission.

"And--when this tempest blows by, you can have any other territory that
comes open, Jim," volunteered Falkner; "that is--provided that you cut
the jokes out. Surely you've had fun enough by now to last you a
lifetime!"

"I have! I have!" assented Jimmy lugubriously. "I've played the biggest
joke of all on myself. By heck! I've joked myself out of my own job, and
that's the limit. Joe Miller never did that and Mark Twain, Josh
Billings, Bill Nye and George Ade, none of 'em ever reached that height
of humor. The only difference between us is that they got cash for their
jokes, whereas all the pay I get is the boot and the chance to go
yelping down the street with a washboiler tied to my tail. Well, if a
fellow puts grease on the front door steps he shouldn't squeal if he
forgets and falls down himself."

It was not until he stood outside the main entrance to the building that
he had a full sense of homelessness. It was not until then that he knew
what it meant to be without anchorage. It seemed to him that all of
those who hurried past in the winter's twilight had something to do and
that he alone was adrift. He alone had dipped into the depths of folly
and he alone had proved irresponsible. And his employment just then
meant much to him. Subconsciously, he had builded with such confidence.
He was now aware that he had based all upon a permanency of income that
he had conceived to be fixed. His home, his mother's contentment, his
dreams of winning life companionship with the only girl he had ever
loved, seemed to have depended upon the employment he had lost. And now
all was gone! Swept away. He was a most forlorn and melancholy optimist
as he stood there in the early twilight of winter, confusedly
considering his position.

"Well," he thought at last, "they can't keep a good man down," and then
after a moment's further reflection added, "But they can give him an
awful wallop!"

The staring eye of an illuminated clock reminded him that MacDougall
Alley was some distance away and he suffered a peculiar mixture of
sadness and gladness as he began his journey. It seemed to him that he
was a different person from the James Gollop who had happily invaded
MacDougall's artistic precincts that morning from the James Gollop who
was now disconsolately making his way thither. That Gollop of the
morning had been happy and bright because he had a job; but this Gollop
of the evening, jobless, and with a black mark against him that was too
notorious to escape the amused attention of all possible employers in
his line, was but a sad dog. It required conscious mental effort on his
part to assume a cheerful demeanor when he climbed the studio stairs. He
wished that he dared tell the "Candy Girl" all about it, but decided
that it would be ungenerous to bother anyone else with his woes, and any
indecision in this regard was ended before the evening was over because
she was so frankly and unaffectedly happy that he hadn't the heart to
say anything that might possibly mar it. Yet, even whilst they sat in a
theater listening to a most cheerful musical comedy the sober and
responsible side of his mind was weighing necessities. The first of
these, he knew, must be economies; for he anticipated that it might be a
considerable time before he could again be earning an income, and there
was always the little home down in Baltimore and its occupant to be
considered first, and his own pleasures must be relegated to a secondary
place. He was therefore rather heart-broken, but firm in his final
explanation that night as he parted from her in front of the Martha
Putnam Hotel.

"That business session I had this afternoon," he said, trying to keep
his voice from betraying his trouble, "has unfortunately upset all my
plans. I can't have that little four days vacation I had been planning."

"What? How horrid!" exclaimed the girl. "I--I thought we were to----"

Her disappointment and distress were so manifest that Mr. James Gollop
had a first-class fight with himself to keep from blurting out the truth
there in the hotel rotunda and telling her that on the next morning he
was starting on what promised to be a long hunt for employment. But he
escaped such confession by saying that he had great hopes of returning
to New York within a few days. In fact he actually predicted that it
would be so. And after all, the only lie he told was embodied in that
word "Return."



CHAPTER XI


Mr. James Gollop discovered in the course of the following three days
that although most business men enjoy a joke, their sense of humor is so
deficient that they don't care to combine jest and business. His
ill-fame had preceded him, and in addition thereto, it was the
off-season, and vacancies few.

"We'd like to have you, Jim," said one sales manager, "but the trouble
is that we should want you to take up the territory where you are well
known, and that, of course, is impossible."

Others told him to call later in the season. Others who would have given
him samples were firms of such small caliber that he could not see any
future, and several were willing to take him on commission sales only.
The only thing that helped him was that prodigious store of optimism
which impelled him after each rebuff to hope for a change just around
the corner.

It was when he felt at rather low ebb that he passed, rather
disconsolately, the Flat Iron Building and remembered Martin. Having no
other place to go, he decided to call upon that shrewd gentleman and
gather from such a source of hard common sense fresh courage. He turned
in through the big swinging door that let a gust of winter into each
compartment as it whirled, trundled it around and belched it into the
great hallway, and somewhat absent-mindedly collided with a man who was
coming out.

"Hello! She bumps!" said Jimmy good-naturedly and then--"Why--why it's
you, is it, Mr. Martin? I was just coming up to your offices to see if
by chance you happened to be in."

There was no mistaking the heartiness of the hand grasp that caught his.

"Well, we can go up now," said Martin, cheerfully. "In fact, I've been
thinking about you quite a lot. Been rather eager to see you again.
But--hold on!--the office is anything but a confidential resort. Suppose
you come with me to the Engineers' Club where we can have a nice quiet
talk."

Jimmy, feeling as if he had at least one friend left in the world,
readily accepted, and thought it rather lucky that they were the only
men in the club lounge room; felt that the chairs were very
comfortable, and the atmosphere summery.

"How are things with you?" asked Martin shrewdly eyeing him through the
first blue smoke screen of a cigar.

"Oh, so-so," replied Jimmy, evasively.

"Everything all right?"

"In a way. In a way."

"Chocolate business flourishing?"

"It was--up to a week ago."

"But now? How about now, Gollop?"

For a moment Jim scarcely knew what to answer, and looking up from an
overly prolonged inspection of his cigar caught the humorous, quizzical
twinkle in the friendly, keen eyes of his host.

"By jingoes!" he exclaimed, "you know something! You've heard the news.
You know I've been fired."

"Yes, I do know it," answered Martin, with a grin. "I was--rather
curious to learn how you took it. Suppose you tell me all about it. I'm
your friend, you know. We've shared salt. I've been entertained in your
mother's home. Now cut loose."

Jimmy laughed, sobered, shook his head and said, "You see, that's where
the worst of the trouble is unknown. I can't--well, I can't worry Maw.
She doesn't know it yet. I've been trying to get another job before I
broke the news to her and--well, I haven't succeeded! Those worth while
are afraid of me, or else have no opening. For the moment I'm the under
dog; but--I'm not whipped!"

And then he told the whole story to Martin, who listened, asked an
occasional question, smiled as if at some secret thought, and finally
remarked, "Your story agrees with what I've heard. But that man Granger
must have been a vindictive brute to carry it so far. By the way, did
you say your firm gave you the letter he wrote? Let's see it."

Jimmy took it from his pocketbook and gave it to the wise old man, who
stuck glasses on his nose awry, and at an angle well down toward the
point, and scanned the missive.

"Humph! Sounds like that sort of man," he commented, as he handed it
back. "What do you think of it?"

Jim considered the question for a time.

"At first I was sore because he couldn't take a joke. Then I remembered
what kind of a man he appeared to be when I met him, and decided that
it was just his way. Not a fault, you know, but something he couldn't
help. Men are not all alike. Personally I can't keep a grudge. Life's
too short for that. I never try to play, even, in a malicious way. If a
man really hurts me, I 'most always think of his side of it, and if I
decide I'm in the wrong, go to him and say so. If I think I'm in the
right,--just forget him. If he gets the best of me in business, I
congratulate him. That's part of the game. This chap Granger really
never did me much harm and I think maybe that I, without really
intending it, did him quite a lot. So I did the best I could to square
it."

"How?" asked Martin with another one of those quizzical glances of his.

"I wrote to all the newspapers I could get knowledge of out there, and
said that I was the guilty man; that I had played a fool joke under the
impulse of the moment and that the Judge was in no wise responsible for
anything at all that I said any more than he was for my actions."

"Is that all?"

"Yes, I suppose that was the most of it."

Mr. Martin laughed and shook his head, and then said, in a kindly
voice, "No, that wasn't all you wrote. I read some of your
communications as they were printed. You not only apologized for your
practical joke, but you ended by the declaration that you regarded Judge
Granger as a man worthy of confidence, and asserted that if you were a
resident of his constituency you would vote for him. I call that pretty
forgiving."

"But--you see I had done him an unmerited injury," said Jimmy, soberly.
"And so I did all I could to undo it. It was merely playing a white
man's game."

"In spite of the fact that he had cost you your livelihood and done all
he could to hurt you?"

"Oh, that had nothing to do with it! I did him an injury, and--I did the
best I could to undo it."

Martin sat and looked at him admiringly, for a time, and then asked,
"But what are you going to do now that all your trade is aware of your
predicament, and are afraid to employ you?"

"I'll be hanged if I know!" Jimmy admitted, with an air of gravity.
"But--I'll keep on trying. You can bet on that! I'll find some way out
of it, even if I have to begin again in some other line. They all of
them have to admit that I'm honest--that's an asset that nobody can
dispute. We can't all be brilliant and honest at the same time. Some men
are brilliant but fail to gain confidence. Other men are honest but
can't be brilliant. I'm honest but haven't proved brilliant, or
unbrilliant, so I've got the best of the situation--up to date. Someone,
therefore, will give me a chance. So I'm not discouraged. Maybe it's
because I've got imagination. When things go dead wrong with me, I just
imagine that they're not so bad, after all. Cowards and pessimists are
the only ones to whom imagination is a curse. Why--even a crippled dog
has dreams of hunting in his sleep, and he wakes up with hope!"

Jimmy's host seemed to ponder over this crude philosophy for a time as
if bemused by its possibilities, and then suddenly straightened himself
in his chair and leaned forward.

"Do you remember what you said to me in the train one day as to a man's
having faith in whatever he sold? And you talked about an automobile
called the Sayers car? You do, eh? Well, here's something that may
interest you. The Sayers Automobile Company is going to reorganize its
sales organization. It wants a man with imagination who will take hold
of that department. It seeks a man with ideas--none of the old, worn
out, hackneyed stuff, but--a man with original ideas that will prove
good. The Martin Company handles its advertising. Do you think--really
and honestly think--that you could reorganize its sales department and
bring to it additional success if I recommend you to the Sayers people?"

"You bet your life I could!" asserted Jimmy. "I've thought about that
car a lot. And in the last few days when nobody seems to want me, I have
wondered if it wouldn't be a good move for me to get into the line of
motor cars."

Martin seemed to ponder over the situation for a moment and then said,
with a sly grin, "Of course the first step for you to take would be to
go out to the Sayers works, meet Sayers and his superintendent, make a
study of the sales methods they have been employing, and then put before
them a full outline of what you propose. If they like it, they will
probably give you a chance to demonstrate what you can do. And if you do
get the place, and make good, I believe old Sayers is just the sort of
man who would appreciate your work and make it mighty well worth your
while to stay with him permanently. But I tell you this much, that he
believes in efficiency and will have no one around him who can't deliver
the goods. Now do you want to tackle it?"

"I do! I do!" replied Jimmy with fervency, stopped, and then emitted a
groan and said, "But good Lord! The Sayers plant is out near Princetown,
and Princetown is the home of Judge Granger, and--they'd lynch me if I
showed up there--that is, unless I could get the infuriated populace to
make another mistake of identity and hang the Judge in the belief that
he was me!"

"Um-mh! Granger lives in Princetown, eh? That's rather awkward, isn't
it? What do you propose?"

Jimmy thought a moment and slapped his leg with an air of cheerfulness.

"I've got it. I'll do as I did before--hide all of my face I can. I'll
wear big blue glasses, and grow a mustache and get my hair dyed black.
And if I can arrange it I'll go through Princetown like greased
lightning, and stop at the works while there."

Martin chuckled with amusement and then said, "I think Sayers would send
a car to meet you at the train if we wrote him when you were coming, and
I have no doubt that you could find some place to stop out near the
works. Did you notice if there were any houses near the plant?"

"Yes, lots of them. Neat little places, most of them. Sort of a model
city, I should say."

"You are at least observant," commented Martin, and then promptly arose,
went to a writing desk and wrote for a time, whilst Jimmy's spirits
soared up and up until he was glad that he had been foisted out of the
chocolate trade.

"Sayers knows I belong to this club," said Martin, returning to his
seat; "so will think nothing of my letter being written on club, rather
than business stationery. Besides I shall confirm these letters along
with other matters, when I return to the office. Now here is a letter to
old Tom Sayers, and another to Mr. Holmes, his general superintendent.
Letters of introduction--both--as you can see. I think they will suffice
to put you in right, and then it's up to you to formulate a general plan
for a selling organization that will suit Sayers. If you can't show him
something to catch his approval, you'll have wasted your time. If you
can, it's almost certain that you'll be given a chance to show what you
can do. But--mind you!--he's been probing around on this matter for some
time, and has probably had all sorts of schemes suggested and proposed,
and you've got to show something that is better than anyone else has put
forward. In that way it's sort of competitive. And--see here!--if I were
you I'd not wait to grow a mustache and get my hair dyed and all that
rot; but waste no time at all in getting out there lest someone beats
you to the place."

"Good!" said Jimmy, promptly. "You just wire them that I'm coming. I
remember the timetables. You tell them to send a car to meet me at a
train that arrives in Princetown at ten o'clock to-morrow morning! I'm
going to start west on the train that leaves the Pennsylvania station in
just thirty-five minutes from now."

"Oh, that means an all-night ride and a breakneck connection, doesn't
it? There's no such rush as all that," expostulated Martin.

"There's no such thing as too quick action when looking for a job,"
declared Jimmy with all his accustomed energy. "Good-by, and thank
you--ever so much. I'm off to try to make good! Good-by!"

Martin looked at him approvingly as if this was the sort of hustling he
liked, and accompanied him out to the street. Jimmy bolted into the
traffic, dodged under horses' noses, disregarded the shouts of drivers
and traffic policemen, mounted a slowly moving taxi, shouted
instructions to the driver from the running board, and the last that
Martin saw of him was a hand waved through an open window.

"Well," soliloquized Martin after this breathless chase, "if he moves
that fast when at work it would take a cyclone to catch him. It strikes
me that he's going to land that job, all right!"



CHAPTER XII


The train that ran up the branch line to Princetown was comfortably
filled when the man wearing blue glasses and with his coat collar pulled
up around his ears as if they were cold boarded it and found a vacant
seat in the smoker, into which he settled with a sigh of relief. He had
passed through a distressing hour when the main line train was delayed,
fearing every moment that he would miss his connection to Princetown and
thus make an unpropitious start in the estimation of Sayers. And a very
different traveler was this from the jovial Mr. Gollop who customarily
sought information on all points pertaining to the country through which
he passed, for now he was like the Irish section boss who sternly warned
his garrulous men with, "All we want is silence; and damned little of
that!" He was about to arise and discard his overcoat, when suddenly he
subsided with a gasp. Two men had entered the coach and taken the
unoccupied seat immediately in front of him and one of them was Judge J.
Woodworth-Granger.

Jimmy looked for another place, but none was vacant. The train began to
move and the fact that other men came through in quest of a seat, found
none and stood up, convinced Jim of the futility of searching other
coaches. The car speedily filled with smoke and got hotter. No one
seemed to care for ventilation. Jim's overcoat gave him the pleasant
feeling of sitting in a sweat bath but he dared not doff it. The Judge's
voice, loud and slow, floated back to his ears, and his previous
discomfort was as nothing when he heard the Judge say, as if in response
to some comment of his traveling companion, "No, of course not! Gollop!
I'm so sick of hearing that man's name that I could wish it banned. His
apologies only made matters worse, because there are idiots in this
state who actually took that flagrant outrage as a joke! And you have
observed what capital the Democratic press are making of it? They
declare now that I'm vindictive because I got the scoundrel discharged!
As if a citizen had not the right to protect himself from the villainous
impositions of a coarse, low-browed ignoramus who turns everything into
a practical jest. And, what is more, if ever that man enters the state
jurisdiction I'll bring the law to bear and make an example of him that
will forever deter other miscreants from such enterprises. That man
Gollop has done me an incredible amount of damage!"

Jimmy wriggled and twisted in his seat.

"By jingoes!" he said to himself. "I'm like that old fellow at the town
meeting. I've just got to get out of this; because if that geezer ever
spots me, the only steady job I'll ever get in this state will be
breaking stone!" And so, to the relief of his seat companion, he seized
his bag, as if about to approach his destination, slid hurriedly out
into the aisle with an averted glance, and fled from the coach and back
through the train. Standing in an aisle for an hour was preferable to
the risks of having the angry Judge turn in his seat and recognize him.
A place on the blind baggage platform, enshrouded in cinders and fanned
by the frosty winds would have been comfortable compared with that seat.
He went, in a panic, through the entire train and did not stop until he
reached the rear platform and closed the door behind him. He breathed a
sigh of relief and for the first time that day felt cool. A brakeman
jerked the door open behind him and said, "Hey! You can't stand out
there! Against the rules! Can't you read that metal sign on the door
that says it's forbidden?"

Jimmy turned and faced his tormentor.

"Please--please let me stand here! I'm sick, man. I'm sick! Forget the
rules. Here, take this and buy a drink of lemonade when you get to
Princetown if you can't get a prescription for something better from the
doctor!" And he extricated a five dollar bill from his diminishing
bankroll and tendered it.

"For that," said the brakeman with a grin, "I'd let you ride on the tin
roof!" and banged the door shut and stood guard with his back against
it.

At intervals the local train stopped and emitted passengers, but Mr.
James Gollop clung to his platform as if having no frantic longing for a
seat. And at Princetown he patiently waited until the crowd thinned, and
with one eye glared through blue glasses forward to make certain of the
Judge's departure. He descended from his perch and looked anxiously
around to meet the inquiring stare of a man who was evidently in
waiting, and toward him rushed as to a refuge.

"Are you looking for anyone?" Jim asked, and added, "because if you're
from the Sayers works----"

"Mister, I'm just doin' that same thing," the man replied. "I'd 'most
given you up. Thought you didn't ketch the train. Come on out this way.
I got her hitched to the end of the platform."

Jimmy carried his bag and followed his guide, who stowed him into the
depths of a car, threw the switch of an electric starter, deftly let in
the clutch, and the smart little machine picked up and slid away. For
the first time for hours Jimmy breathed a great sigh of relief; but so
apprehensive of accidents was he that while they passed through the town
he shrank into his coat as a turtle shrinks modestly into its shell. He
was terrified lest the man have some cause to stop in front of a shop.
All he craved was the country, and a whole lot of it, with untenanted
roads.

Out at the works he produced his letters as a passport. The big office
thrummed with typewriters and activity. From outside came the strident
sounds of industry and somehow they cheered and encouraged him. His
bouyant nature leapt to the call. He was eager to become part of it, and
to be identified with it. He forgot his tribulations and was Jimmy
Gollop again when led through an opened door into the presence of Mr.
Holmes, general superintendent. The man arose to meet him and thrust out
a firm hand.

"So you are Mr. Gollop, eh? Name's familiar around these parts. Hope
you're not the chap that played the joke on old Granger, because if you
are--well--you'd better stay away from Princetown, is all I've got to
say!" And his laugh was so free and hearty that Jimmy acted on intuition
and whispered most ruefully, "By heck! I am! Help me out, can't you?
They'd----"

"Tar and feather you!" laughed the superintendent. "But--are you really
the famous Mr. Gollop? Those spectacles----"

Jimmy dared all and swept them off. The superintendent scrutinized him
closely and then exclaimed, "Well, upon my word, it's remarkable! You do
look like the Judge's twin. What on earth made you look like that old
stiff? You two must have come from the standardized face factory. If I
looked like him, I'd be sad. But I hope to heavens you aren't like him.
I've as much use for him as I have for a three legged elephant with an
affectionate disposition who is looking for someone to lean on for
support. Well, now to business. I got a telegram explaining things. I'm
at your disposal. We need a live man to handle the sales and publicity
end of this concern if ever anyone did. That's the only part that the
old man has ever neglected."

"I've got a letter to him also," said Jim, producing it.

"I was told that," said the superintendent, reaching for his hat; "but
unfortunately Mr. Sayers is not here. Won't be back for a week or ten
days. Gone scouting to see what the rival concerns have got in the way
of improvements. They can't steal a march on him. He's absolutely the
keenest man in his line on earth! And--see here!--I'll give you a tip.
If you can make good with old Tom Sayers, you've no need to worry. He
runs this whole plant as if it were a family. Knows every man in it.
Calls most of the men by their first names. Gives bonuses and
encouragement to the right ones, and fires the dead wood. Doesn't care a
hang about anything except making the Sayers car the best on earth
because he's proud of it. And--it is! I say so!"

Jim liked that spirit. It promised well. And while he was disappointed
not to see Sayers, he was ready to plunge into work with enthusiasm, and
did.

Two days later he said to the superintendent, in the privacy of the
office, "My conclusion is that your selling organization is a muck. It's
been neglected. It's no good. It runs itself without any real head. In
fact, you've no head to it at all except Wiggins, the old chap with
antiquated ideas, but who is a man I would advise keeping on. He knows
he can't handle it, and says he would like to work under someone with
new ideas."

And then for a half hour he expanded while the superintendent listened,
asked questions, sometimes argued, and finally approved.

"Of course," he said, finally, "your ideas are new. But they are
ingenious, and I think very promising. I shall back them up. I like
them. They sound hustling. I will recommend them to the old man for all
I'm worth, and I believe if you can make him see them, adopt them, and
carry them out, we can work together and make things hum. Now here's a
bit of advice. Old Tom Sayers likes plain, practical statements that he
can weigh and consider. Put all your proposed plans into writing. Put
down hard, concrete facts in terse English. Make it as brief as
possible. Don't be afraid to criticise if you can suggest improvements.
Don't mince words. He loves simplicity and frankness. And if you do as I
say in that regard, and make plain to him the ideas you've made plain to
me--you'll get the job, and we'll make a success because I'll work with
you to make it succeed. I believe in the old man, and in what he makes,
and defy anyone to turn out a better car than we can."

He thumped his fist on the arm of his chair as if challenging Jimmy or
the world at large, and Jimmy was highly encouraged. There was but one
great fear in his mind.

"Do you think--do you think--that Granger affair is likely to prejudice
me in Mr. Sayers' estimation?" he asked, almost appealingly.

The superintendent frowned thoughtfully for a moment and then said, "I
don't know. Honestly I don't! Mr. Sayers is a peculiar man. Nobody ever
quite knows what he thinks until he opens his mouth, and then it comes
out straight and plain. No frills. No evasions. If he likes a man, he
likes him. If he doesn't like him--that ends it. I don't have any idea
what he really thinks of Granger. The Judge visits the old man's house
when Mrs. Sayers and the daughter are there, but Mrs. Sayers is not the
old man--by a long shot! She's a social climber. The old man doesn't
give a hang about society, or pink teas. He makes automobiles and
believes in efficiency. Granger's not the old man's sort at all. Too
stuck up. If I were you, I'd wait until the old man finds out that
you're the man who played the joke, and when he asks you about the
inside of it, tell him the truth just the same as you did me. If you can
show him, before then, that you are the man to market the Sayers car,
it's my opinion that the Judge, and his likes, or dislikes, will amount
to about as much as a tallow candle at an arc-light party. Anyhow, I
wish you luck, and I'll boost for you because I think you deserve it!"

Holmes studied for a moment and said, "By the way, if you could dictate
your plan for the new sales organization, I could lend you a bright
stenographer who is chain lightning at--well, what is it?"

He stopped and swung around in his swivel chair as a girl from the outer
office entered with a card which she handed him.

"That's the name he gave, sir. He said he must see you at once, because
he's the deputy sheriff."

Jimmy's heart lost a beat. The superintendent grinned, pursed his lips
as if to whistle, and then he said, "Tell him I'm busy but will be at
leisure in less than five minutes. Tell him to wait outside. Five
minutes, remember!"

The girl went out and the door had barely closed behind her when Holmes
muttered to Jimmy, "Here! Come here, quickly. Into this wash room with
you, and lock the door on the inside. Keyhole it if you wish, because
this sounds mighty funny to me."

And a minute later when the deputy sheriff was invited to enter he found
the superintendent alone, and the listening Jimmy heard, "What can I do
for you?"

"The office has been told that there's a chap named Gollop around the
works here--chap who looks like Judge Granger. You know what he's
wanted for. Got a warrant for his arrest"

"All I know is that he ought to be arrested if he looks like the Judge,"
growled Holmes, and then, "No, can't say that there's any such a man
here. You might look through the works. But--who told you there was such
a man here?"

"We got the tip from your man Wiggins."

"Oh! Wiggins, eh? Wait a minute."

Jim heard a buzzer and then the voice of a clerk, "Yes, sir."

"Send Wiggins in to me immediately," ordered the superintendent. There
was an interval of silence and then further conversation.

"Oh, Wiggins. Have you seen that man Gollop around lately? If so where
is he now?"

"Why--why--I thought he was--thought he came this way, sir," stammered
Wiggins with an embarassment that was palpable to the listening Jimmy.

"You thought? Mr. Wiggins, I'm afraid that some day thinking too much
will be the death of you! What time does Mr. Gollop show up in the
morning?"

"He's usually here when I come, sir," replied the perturbed and
conscience-stricken Wiggins.

"Well, to-morrow morning when he comes send him in to me, but--Wiggins!
Don't say a word what I want him for. You can go now."

A door banged, and Jimmy heard the superintendent's voice assume a
highly confidential tone.

"That makes it easy, if he's the man you're after. I doubt that,
however. This chap is near-sighted and wears blue glasses. But here's
what I'll do. When Mr. Gollop comes to-morrow I'll keep him here in my
office and will telephone you, then you can come out at once and see if
he's the culprit. Will that do?"

"Certainly the very best way to do it," said the deputy sheriff, and
then Jimmy heard him depart with apologies and thanks for a cigar that
Holmes had evidently given him.

Immediately afterward the door opened and the superintendent growled,
"Now you see how evil companionship contaminates a man! You've got me
into this infernal mixup of yours; but--hang it all!--I can't see a good
man get the worst of it on account of that egotistical, swell-headed
Granger. And--besides, I've had a letter from the old man himself
telling me confidentially that the Martin people recommend you very
highly and suggesting that in case you get into trouble through the
Judge I'm to look out for you to the limit. The limit with old Tom
Sayers has never yet been found. So I've got to make good. Besides all
that, there's another reason that's entirely my own, which is that I
think this shebang needs your services, and I work first, last and all
the time for the best interests of the Sayers Automobile Company. So I'm
not going to let a tin rooster like Granger interfere with our business
in any way if I can help it. Where's your luggage?"

"Over in Mrs. Clancey's house--the place where you recommended me to
stop while here."

The superintendent stepped to the door leading out into the office and
beckoned to a confidential clerk, who promptly came into the office.

"Smith, go over to Mrs. Clancey's and pack Mr. Gollop's suit case and
bring it here as soon as you can. Tell her Mr. Gollop has gone--called
away hurriedly; just in time to catch a train; no time to pack. And--see
here, Smith--you're to forget it all the very minute after the job is
done! Understand?"

"Very well, sir," said Smith, with a grin, and disappeared.

Before the door had closed Holmes was at the plant telephone, and Jimmy
was compelled to admire the way in which he avoided all waste of time.

"Garage?" questioned the superintendent. "Good! Tell Hawkins to get out
that new roadster we fixed up for Mr. Sayers, see that she's all ready
for a run, and bring her around to the office door for me."

As he hung up the receiver the whistle blew and outside could be heard
the droning diminuendo of machinery brought to a stop, denoting that
another day's work was done, and this was followed by the thrumming of
feet and the murmur of voices as the workmen departed. The
superintendent got up and pulled down the window shade.

"Just as well to make certain that no one sees you sitting in here," he
said, as he again reached for the 'phone, called up his home and said
that he would not be home until late that night because he was detained
on business, and then proceeded in a deliberate and methodical way to
clear up his desk.

It was just twenty minutes later when the two men walked out of the
office and to the waiting roadster. The big plant looked idle and
deserted. The superintendent gave some words of caution to the man
Hawkins, took his seat, told Jim to climb in, and the machine moved
slowly forward, picked up speed as if glad to be off on a journey, and
began singing its steady, rhythmic song of the road.

"I've got twenty-eight miles to run to get you across the state line,"
said the superintendent, settling into his seat and handling the wheel
like a veteran driver. "In summer I could do it in just twenty-eight
minutes with this car, but it'll take a little longer now. Once across
the line you can twiddle your thumb up against your nose at anything
Granger can do, and go back to New York, or any other place you choose,
to make out your written report for the old man. Either give it to the
Martin people, or forward it to the works in my care, because I can't
give you the old man's address. He jumps here and there like a kangaroo
when he goes on one of his scouting trips. We never know where he is.
Some car, this, eh?"

Jim's teeth rattled as he shouted his agreement; but, notwithstanding
his desire to get out of the state, he would have preferred to take a
little more time for the journey. The frost-laden wind threatened to
tear him to pieces; behind the goggles with which he had been provided
his eyes streamed rivulets of tears, and he wondered how many
somersaults the car would turn if it happened to hit any solid obstacle.
The coolness of Holmes, who appeared to be lolling back in his seat with
an air of calm indifference to wind, weather, and speed, exasperated
him, but he dared not show the white feather and beg for mercy, so shut
his teeth, clenched his hands and tried to keep from holding his breath.

Their pace did not slacken in the least when they came to two white
posts and he heard the superintendent's shout, "Across, all right! Two
miles more to town and I think we'll get to the railway station in time
for you to catch the eastbound flyer. Looked up the time-table in the
office before we started. Take chances on speed laws----" and then
fragmentary words of comment not always audible.

They whizzed through the outskirts of a town, skidded a corner, saw a
railway station from behind which a plume of smoke and steam was
ascending, and came to an abrupt halt by a platform. Jim had no time to
purchase a ticket but made a flying leap with his suitcase and caught
the train after it was in motion. He looked back and waved his hand at
the superintendent, who was already turning the roadster for its home
journey, and it seemed to Mr. James Gollop that this was the first time
in several hours when he had been able to take a full, comforting, and
free breath.

"If that sort of riding is part of the regular automobile business," he
said to himself as he fell into the nearest seat, "you're foredoomed to
be a failure, Jimmy, my boy! You ought to practice on something slow,
like a comet or a cyclone!"

His equanimity restored he went to the Pullman conductor and applied for
a berth.

"Got just one left--an upper--number seventeen. Here, boy, go and bring
the gentleman's baggage to seventeen in this car."

"Everything is coming my way! My luck has turned!" quoth Jimmy, relieved
by the knowledge that he would not be compelled to ride all night in a
day coach. "She's a joyous world, after all!"

So happy was he in his optimism that when installed in his Pullman seat
he gave the porter a bright, new dollar, and began to think forward to
the delights of the dining car. The man who had the lower berth in the
section seemed one of those individuals who prefer to keep aloof from
others; for, absorbed in a newspaper that he held high above his face to
catch the light from behind, he had never even so much as glanced at his
prospective section companion. As if he had finished reading something
of especial interest he now for the first time lowered it and suddenly
sat erect and exclaimed, "Well, I'll be confounded!"

And Jimmy, startled, recognized Judge Granger and retorted, "You
confounded well might be! Toss you to see who jumps off this train--you
or I."



CHAPTER XIII


"This," growled the Judge, glaring at Jimmy, "is an outrage!"

"Agreed!" retorted Jimmy, at first sufficiently annoyed to have wished
that he and the Judge were in some situation where they might punch each
other's heads, and then, reverting to his habitual good humor, smiling
and finally emitting a chuckle. "You do seem to get in my way a lot.
Honestly, you've no idea what an annoyance you are to me."

"Annoyance to you? That's good!" growled the Judge. "I annoy you!"

"You do! You do!" retorted Jimmy. "I suppose you've caused me more
trouble one time and another than any other man I ever met. Isn't it
about time we buried the hatchet and forgot all about that joke of mine
up at Yimville? I've apologized in every way I could think of."

As if the reference to Yimville had proved unfortunate, the Judge's
face flushed with anger and he bent forward and shook a threatening
finger at Jimmy and declared, "I never make terms with a malefactor. If
you had an idea that I am the type of man to use as the butt for a
silly, asinine jest, I'll teach you to think differently. Mark that and
remember it!"

"Oh, come now!" Jimmy protested. "That's no way to look at things. It's
unbecoming of a man of your importance to cherish animosity for an
insignificant chap like I am. If we can't be friends, you might at least
be big enough to leave me alone."

The Judge snorted with contempt.

"How far are you going?" he finally growled, after a prolonged
inspection of the imperturbable Jimmy.

"Baltimore. Why? Like to get off where I do so you can keep with better
company than yourself? You can get off there if you wish. I don't own
the town."

This seemed the final straw to the camel's burden; for the Judge
suddenly popped up in his seat, called to the Pullman conductor who
happened to be standing at a little distance down the aisle, and when
the latter approached asked, "Isn't there any possible way of
exchanging my berth for another?"

"Yes, do help him out, Conductor," implored Jimmy with marked
solicitude. "He doesn't like me a bit."

The Pullman potentate stared at the two men incredulously, now that he
noted their physical similarity, and, accepting it as a banter,
remarked, "Can't see why twin brothers should disagree."

"I'll not brook any of your impudence," thundered the Judge in such
unmistakable anger that the conductor speedily became apologetic, and
consulted his book.

"Beg pardon, sir," he said; "a stateroom reservation ordered for
Harmonsville has been canceled. You are going through to Washington,
aren't you? Well, you can have that on payment of the extra fare."

"Let him have it. I'll pay the difference if he's at all short," Jimmy
urged, hopefully. "It's very kind of you, Conductor, because he's not
feeling at all well. What he needs is a long rest."

"What you need is a jail," growled the Judge, and ordered his luggage
removed to the vacant stateroom.

"See that the windows are closed, Conductor," said Jimmy. "He catches
cold so easily. Frightfully delicate and sensitive. Been that way since
he was but a dear little child. Do take care of him, won't you?"

But the Judge, purple with anger, stalked majestically away from his
tormentor without arriving at any adequate reply, and Jimmy was left
alone. In the gray, cold dawn of four o'clock the next morning, as Jim
followed the porter out, he paused behind just long enough to rap loudly
on the Judge's stateroom door and to explain, "Baltimore. I'm leaving
you now. Pleasant journey!"

But presumably from the Judge's remarks, this little parting courtesy
was not appreciated, although it afforded the cheerful Jimmy some
amusement as he made his way out of the station. Indeed, considering
that inhospitable hour of the morning, he was made fairly happy by what
the Judge said. Furthermore, to palliate the dreariness of the winter
morning, was the thought that now he could break the news of his
discharge to his mother because he could couple it with a hopeful
prospect.

For two whole days, and considerable portions of the nights, Jimmy
plunged headlong into his proposed organization of a sales and publicity
department for the Sayers Company, and his lively imagination stimulated
itself as his enthusiasm grew. Expert salesman that he was, and
untrammeled by traditions of the motor car trade, his originality found
full vent, and, all unaware of it, he proposed plans that would have
been seized upon by any progressive and daring firm in the automobile
industry. In fact "he builded better than he knew"; but, after his
manuscript had been duly typed and mailed, he suffered anxious hours
thinking of how this or that part of his scheme might have been
improved, and went through all that mental agony with which every
composer reviews his completed work when too late for alteration. At the
end of the second day's wait he became fearful, and at the end of the
third day was beginning to lose hope. On the fourth day he said,
somberly, "Well, Maw, I reckon it was a flivver! I've got to get back to
New York to-morrow and look for a job in my own line."

His optimism was being sorely tried; but his courage was still
unweakened. It was while he was packing his suit case on the following
morning that a telegram came.

     "Meet me at Engineers' Club at noon to-morrow, Martin."

Even the message offered small consolation or encouragement; but it was
his way to hope for the best, so he whistled bravely as he left his
home. He put in all his spare time, after arrival in New York, in
visiting automobile agencies and studying as far as possible their
selling methods, and he absorbed information as a dry sponge thrown into
a whirlpool absorbs water. He made notes in his memorandum book after
each visit and soliloquized, "If nothing comes of the Sayers thing, I'll
have learned a whole lot more than I ever knew about this car business,
and some day it might prove worth while. I can at least walk up to a
motor car now and look it in the face and shake its hand as if we were
old acquaintances; I used to take off my hat to a taxicab, but now I
regard 'em as errand boys running here and there through the streets.
This car line is a mighty big game, after all."

And it was with this feeling that he entered the Engineers' Club and was
met in the hallway by Martin, who had just arrived.

"On time, I see--I like that," was the elder man's greeting. "Now, first
of all, we shall have lunch, because I'm hungry. I never talk business
during meals. I believe in relaxation."

"But--but--what's the use in eating when there's anything more important
to do?" asked Jimmy, eager to hear Martin's verdict.

"Nothing is as important as eating when one is hungry," was his host's
remark, and Jimmy had to be content. "Hope you had a nice trip out to
Princetown?" was Martin's next remark, and Jimmy gave him a highly
humorous account of what that nice trip was like, much to Martin's
amusement.

"This--this Granger person does seem to bear you a grudge," he
commented. "Have you made any attempt to calm him down by rubbing his
ears, or stroking his fur the right way?"

And then Jimmy became serious and said, "Yes, I did try to get him to
bury the hatchet when I met him on the train," and detailed that
unhappy conversation. "You see," he added, boyishly, "I didn't care much
what he thought of me; but I thought it was my duty to get the whole
affair wiped off the slate if Mr. Sayers decided to give me a chance. It
wouldn't be fair to Mr. Sayers to have a man of the Judge's influence
angry with one of the company's employees. If I get that place, I've got
to fill it well. I've just naturally got to do it!"

"Um-m-mh! Do you intend to tell Sayers all about it?"

"Of course I do."

"But--but suppose, after he heard the story, he declined to employ you?"

"I can't help that," said Jimmy ruefully. "It wouldn't be fair and
honest to take the place unless he knew all about my reputation out
there."

"Is it your habit to confide all your mistakes to your employer?" his
host asked, as if surprised.

"Of course," asserted Jimmy. "When I work for a man, I'm his and whether
he likes it or not he's more or less responsible for what I do. And,
what's more, I feel responsible for him. If anything fails in the goods
I sell, I'm as hurt over it as if I had made 'em. I worked for one man
I didn't like, and he didn't like me; but we got along for the sole
reason that we both believed in his line of stuff because it was honest.
It was the only thing we ever did agree on. And I suppose I'd have been
with him yet if he hadn't sold out to a company that began to make
inferior stuff to add to the profits."

After luncheon they found a secluded corner and Martin said, "Well,
young man, now we shall get down to brass tacks. I read that report you
made and I can think of a few objections you might have to meet before
you can get the position, and there are some other points that might
come up and require explanation."

And then, with shrewdness, he began his discussion of Jimmy's plan, and
no expert investigator could have made a more exhaustive examination
than he did. Jimmy's wits were sharpened by this catechism, and his
ideas improved and grew apace. He even admitted that he had studied the
sales methods of other firms and apparently gained the elder man's
approval for his activity and judgment.

The afternoon daylight had waned before they realized the passage of
time, and Martin consulted his watch and said, "So far we seemed to
have threshed this matter out pretty thoroughly; but there's one very
important detail you've neglected, and that is to state what you expect
in the way of salary."

"By jingoes!" exclaimed Jimmy, straightening in his seat. "I forgot all
about that. Do you know, I got so interested in working out this project
that I never so much as gave the pay part of it a thought?"

Martin laughed as if delighted by such an absurdity.

"Well," he remarked, "if that's the way you handle your private affairs
it doesn't look promising for whoever employs you. No, I'll retract
that, and on second thought reverse that judgment. I'll say that if you
invariably put your employer's interests before your own your sole
chance to succeed is to become a member of any firm you work for. I
suggest that you put that up to--Sayers."

"Don't quite get you," said Jimmy, as if puzzled. "You aren't having fun
with me, are you?"

"I am not," asserted the shrewd old business man. "I'm in earnest."

"But mightn't Mr. Sayers think I had an awful nerve? Perhaps he'd not
give me a chance at all and--I want that job because I'd like to prove
that there's a little more to me than a comic supplement. I need money,
but about the biggest reward a man can get is the absolute conviction
that he made good."

Martin studied Jim's face with a look of warm approbation, but Jimmy,
entirely unaware of the scrutiny, stared into the fireplace with eyes
that seemed glowing with big dreams.

"If I thought Mr. Sayers wouldn't think me a fool," he said, almost as
if to himself, "I'd like to have him give me a chance with these schemes
of mine on this basis: That I'd go to work for him for my bare living
expenses--I'd work for just half the salary I got from the Columbus
people--and that he would give me a percentage and all the increase of
sales. And--I'd like to take that payment in stock in the business, so
that if I did make a big success of it, I'd feel thereafter, year by
year, that I was hustling for myself as well as the Sayers Company."

"You know that it's not an ordinary corporation, don't you?" Martin
asked. "No? Well it's the closest corporation I know. Sayers owns
seventy-five per cent of it. His daughter is the next largest
stockholder, and his superintendent has practically all the remainder
which, by the way, was given him as a bonus for efficient work."

"Phew!" exclaimed Jimmy. "I didn't know Mr. Holmes was a stockholder, or
I'd have been more circumspect. Good Lord! I criticised the selling
organization and roasted it from top to bottom, and even told him one or
two things I thought might improve his plant. Just my luck! I'll never
get sense enough to keep my mouth shut about things over which I
enthuse."

"There's where you are wrong. The superintendent has given you the
biggest boost I ever knew one man to give another. He says you are the
livest wire he ever met and that the plant must have you at any price;
says that he never met a man in his life whose head was so filled with
new and original ideas and that half the time you had him dazed with
trying to keep up with you. So, you see, it paid you to be frank and
outspoken with him at least, and--Sayers thinks a lot of what that
superintendent says! I can tell you that."

He stopped, relighted his half-burned cigar, appeared to consider for a
time while Jimmy, waiting his friendly advice, watched him eagerly, and
then said, "Well, Gollop, I'll tell you something more. I've been
authorized to go fully into this thing with you, and to decide it. The
job is yours, on the terms you propose, save for this. You shall draw
exactly the same salary that the Columbus Company paid you. You shall
have a full year in which to prove that your management of your
department is good, or a failure. If you succeed, you're made for life.
If you fail you can expect nothing at all in the way of leniency from
old Tom Sayers, because he's as hard hearted an old wretch as ever began
at the very bottom and worked himself to wherever he now is by hard
knocks and worshiping efficiency."

Jimmy suddenly gasped, and then impulsively reached forward and clutched
the elder man's hand in both his own.

"I'm not going to fail," he said, simply, "because that would be a slam
on your judgment and--you've been mighty kind to me, Mr. Martin and--I
can't throw down a friend. If for no other reason on earth I'll make
good or bust myself trying, just because you got me the chance. I mean
it! I do! And----" He hesitated and then added, almost timidly--"I'm so
desperately eager to make a big success of this that--would you mind, if
I get worried, or doubtful--like a chap does sometimes if--if I came to
you for advice? You're so deucedly sane and wise, and the only thing I
seem to lack is plain horse sense!"

He was so ingenuous, so frankly in earnest, so open in his gratitude and
admiration, that Martin, square-jawed, taciturn, and repressed, turned
away to hide the sudden flash of liking that warmed his eyes.

"I'll take it as a favor if you'll ask my advice," he replied. "In fact,
I'll probably give you a darned sight more advice than you'll either
like or follow. Well, what are you going to do now?"

"Send a wire to my mother," said Jimmy, "You see, Maw's worried,
and--it'll make her so happy that I can't put that off for another
minute. Do you mind if I tell her that I got the job through your
kindness?"

"If you wish," said Martin, with a smile. "You can step to the desk over
there and find a form, and I'll have it sent from here."

Jimmy rushed to the desk and returned in a few minutes, with a jubilant
face. Martin took the message outside to have it sent and was compelled
to read it to settle a question of the count of words and read this
eulogium:

     "Martin finest man on earth. Never knew any so good and kind. Got
     Sayers job for me on better terms than I could dare ask for.
     Glorious chance. Martin will help me make good. Marvelous fund
     common sense. Can't fail when he so kind and friendly. Writing long
     letter. Love. God bless you. Jimmy."

"Lack of gratitude certainly isn't one of his failings," thought Martin;
but somehow his face appeared neither harsh nor cynical, from which it
might be surmised that he was not at all displeased. He sauntered back,
rejoined his guest, and then said. "When do you propose to begin work?"

"I've already begun," said Jimmy, looking up at him. "Been thinking
about it since you left. But--I can't see just how I'm to do it until I
can meet Mr. Sayers and tell him all about Judge Granger. I think I
should go back to Princetown first of all and get full knowledge from
the superintendent of our technical advantages over all other cars. And
if I go back there Granger will have me pinched! Isn't it rotten luck?
What a chump I was! That man hates me because we look alike. It's not my
fault at all. I didn't make his lookings. If I had, I'd have tried to
make a better job of it. It seems to me that either he or I will have to
change his face. He ought to wear whiskers. A Judge without whiskers
isn't any good, anyhow, I reckon. So here I am with the biggest chance
of my life, and it's all mucked up because I can't get that chap to
forget that I helped him out with a single speech I made for him up at
Yimville. Why, if he had sense enough to appreciate it, I gave him more
free advertising than he ever had before in all his life! That apology
of mine should have made more votes for him than he'd ever have grabbed
through his own eloquence. I wouldn't harm him for anything and yet he
hates me. I tried to make it up when I met him. I went the limit. But he
was so sore he wouldn't even think of sleeping in the same section with
me, although I had the upper berth and never snore nor talk in my
sleep! He's a big man and I'm a slob; but all of that doesn't seem to
count with him. He can't forgive me because we look alike. If I were in
his place I'd feel sorry for the other chap. I'd hold conference with
him about our mutual predicament. I'd send him clippings from
interesting folks who make things for noses and tell how to grow
eyebrows and how to flatten ears and make wide grins into sweet,
diminutive smiles. I'd put him next to people who change gray eyes into
brown ones, and purple eyes into greens. What on earth am I to do to get
a passport into his state from J. Woodworth-Granger so I can keep my
job?"

He spoke almost tearfully, as if contemplating an unsurmountable
obstacle, but Martin appeared unimpressed by his woe. Indeed, he
chuckled as if amused.

"It might take time," he said, "to persuade the judge; but--suppose you
leave it to me. I have an idea that I can do it within a week or ten
days, or at least gain an armistice. And you needn't worry about Sayers.
I'll tell him how the matter stands. You can put in your time for a week
or two scouting around car agencies here in New York, and in the
meantime, can consider yourself employed. Meet me here to-morrow at
three o'clock."

Jimmy experienced several paradoxes in his surroundings when he stepped
briskly out of the skyscraper wherein he had been entertained. It was
nearly five o'clock in a dark afternoon, but the universe seemed filled
with sunshine; heavy flakes were falling softly, but they appeared rose
petals; men and women wore overcoats but the air was benignantly soft
and warm; each sputtering arc light had a rainbow or a beautiful halo;
street cars clanged, taxis honk-honked, the wheels of trucks screeched
and ground across paving blocks and metal rails; but the whole blended
into a strange triumphal march as if performed by some immense band of
music. Mr. James Gollop had to fight an impulse to sing, dance, shout
and altogether conduct himself with the improprieties that are
chronicled against one King David, who played on timbrels and recklessly
jazzed himself out of his job. Unlike King David, he came to his senses
in time to commune with himself and to admonish himself.

"Steady, Jimmy! Steady! Whoa there! Back up! Ca'm yourself! Ca'm
yourself. You've got the job, but there's a lot of work to be done
before you become part owner of the finest car on earth, the peerless
wonder of the transportation world, the winged victory of the roads.
Don't let your head swell, James. Better keep it solid bone than have it
turn into a toy balloon; because the latter can be pricked with a bare
bodkin."

But nevertheless his happiness was so great, his hopes so high, his
dreams so insurgent, that he longed, most fervently, to share his glad
news with someone. As he said to himself, "If I can't tell someone
pretty soon, I'll just naturally blow up! That's all there is to that!"

And evidently the "someone" he wished to make his confidant was pretty
well known in the back of his head, for he suddenly hurried out to the
nearest corner and boarded a car that would take him into old New York.

As the car came under the big electric sign reading "Gonfaroni's" it
shone up there in the heavens like a lighthouse to a homecoming mariner,
and he blithely stepped off and hastened down the side street to the
entrance of MacDougall Alley. It was dark, chill and deserted. Lights
shone through the cracks of one window at the far end, but the studio
which was his Mecca was rayless.

Jimmy stood for a long time in front of it, staring up at its darkened
windows, and derided himself for his pangs of disappointment.

"This can't go on any longer," he told himself, savagely. "To-morrow
I've just got to know Mary Allen's real name. I'm a big enough man
now--prospectively at least--to dare to walk into that Martha Putnam
hotel, glare at the ogress who guards the pearly gates, and tell her to
send my card up to Miss So-and-so and to step lively. Here I am, just
bubbling over with glad news like a tin tea kettle on a red hot stove
spouting steam, and I can't go uptown to that hotel and send up my card
because I've never had the courage to ask her real name. I've been a
coward all along, but now it's got to stop."

Nevertheless he did return to the uptown precincts and for a long time
stood guard in front of the distinguished woman's caravanserai, hoping
against all common sense that Mary Allen might appear. He remembered
reading an article in a Sunday newspaper on telepathy, and stood across
the street frowning at the Martha Putnam and concentrating his mind on
the object of his adoration, and beseeching her to come to the
elevator, and thence down into the cold street in response to his great
desire. But somehow the telepathy stuff didn't work at all according to
propaganda. He shut his eyes and tried more earnestly until aroused by a
voice. "Hey! You can't sleep in that doorway. Move on! Wiggle your
stumps!"

A fat policeman stood regarding him. Jimmy was discouraged, for he knew
that any policeman, anywhere, is an unfeeling wretch, who, if he met the
great god Cupid on the street, would promptly arrest that light of the
world for indecent exposure and perhaps carry him to the nearest station
by the tips of his golden wings as if he were but a vagrant chicken
destined for the sergeant's pot.

"Come! Fade away!" the enemy ordered, belligerently.

And Mr. James Gollop, crestfallen, faded.



CHAPTER XIV


At exactly three-thirty o'clock on the following day in the Engineers'
Club the taciturn Mr. Martin, after some further questioning, took from
his pocket a contract and duplicate that assured Mr. James Gollop
employment.

"I've been in a peculiar situation in this affair," said Martin. "I've
had to fight against some personal likings and inclinations, and stand
as a mediator; for I must look after the best interests of the Sayers
Automobile Company as well as the interests of Jim Gollop. However, here
you are. Sign these."

Jimmy signed the contracts with as glad a hand as if he had been
affixing his signature to some document of inheritance that would bring
him a million. He put his own copy in his pocket with as much care as if
it were precious beyond computation.

"Now," he said, "when do I meet Mr. Sayers?"

"Sayers," said Martin, as he put the original contract into his pocket,
"is going somewhere West to-day. You'll see him soon enough. His
instructions are that you are to go immediately to San Augustine,
Florida, to see what is being done by rival concerns down there at the
beach races. I suppose he expects you to pick up points and information.
Keep track of your expense account. Learn all you can. Then report at
Princetown."

"But--about Granger! Am I to----"

"You'll be away at least two weeks," said Martin. "Many things can
happen in that time. If I were you, I'd forget that the Judge is on
earth. I'll--I'll tell Sayers about this matter," said his benefactor,
with the first sign of hesitancy that Jim had ever seen him display.
"And in the meantime, I'll do all I can to get that Judge to show some
sense. You can be certain of that. Well, may good luck go with you!"

At exactly seven-thirty that evening Mr. James Gollop reluctantly
departed from the street in front of the Martha Putnam hotel, where he
had taken up sentry go after convincing himself that MacDougall Alley
was dark.

"Got to catch my train to San Augustine," he warned himself. "Can't put
it off a minute longer because the meeting is on there day after
to-morrow, and it won't wait until I can tell Mary Allen all about it!
But if I don't straighten this matter out so that hereafter I can at
least write her, or send her a wire, I'm no organizer at all and my
chance with the Sayers Company isn't worth a tinker's curse."

As if he were forever scraping under the wire just before the barrier
fell, Jimmy got the last vacant berth in the sleeper and, recovering
from his Martha Putnam disappointment, whistled blithely as a porter
carried his suitcase to the Pullman steps. He stood outside to enjoy the
last of his cigar and was mildly interested in the final rush of
passengers when a porter came rapidly wheeling an invalid's chair in
which sat a man bodily broken and hideously scarred. The porter halted
the chair and the man asked, anxiously, if it were possible to secure a
berth.

"Sorry, sir," said the Pullman conductor, "but we're full up. You should
have engaged one earlier for this train. It's always crowded now."

"I didn't know until half an hour ago that I could come," said the man
in the wheel chair with such evident disappointment that Jimmy's
sympathy was enlisted. "Isn't there some place you can put me?
It's--it's like a day out of my life if I miss this train to San
Augustine!"

That was more than Jimmy could endure.

"Give this man my berth," said Jimmy to the conductor. "No. 12 in this
car. I can stick it through the night in the smoker. I've done it heaps
of times!"

And with that he brushed the porter aside, bent forward, lifted the
wreck from the chair and with his sturdy strength carried him up the
steps and to the relinquished section.

"There," he said cheerfully, as the porter came bearing the cushions
with which to make the invalid comfortable. "Now you'll be right as a
top."

The train took on motion and Jimmy was starting to carry his suitcase
forward when the Pullman conductor, proving that kindliness commands
kindliness, came hurrying forward and said, "Here! Let the porter find a
seat for you. It's pretty crowded out there now. Or, if the gentleman
has no objections, you might sit here with him until it's time to make
the berths down. The day coaches and smokers usually get thinned out a
little by ten o'clock at night."

And thus it was that Jimmy made a new friend.

"You see," explained the man he had befriended, "this race meeting down
there means a lot to a chap smashed up as I am. It's about the only
thrill I ever get since--since--I had to live in a chair. My name is
Carver. Dan Carver. What's yours?"

"Jim Gollop," said Jimmy, puzzling his excellent memory to recall why it
was that the name Dan Carver suggested something, and then, after an
interval, blurting, "Carver? Are you the man who used to be a famous
race driver two or three years ago? The man who wrecked himself in the
Vanderbilt Cup races rather than take a chance on throwing his machine
into the crowd at a turn?"

"The same--what's left of him," Carver admitted.

"Then," said Jimmy, "I wish I could have given you a whole Pullman
instead of just one berth! By gosh! You deserve it. The firm you drove
for ought to have seen to that."

"Firms forget, when a man is no longer of use," said Carver with a shake
of his head.

"Some of 'em do. Mine isn't that sort. But, you see, my firm is head and
shoulders above the others--in some ways. The Sayers Automobile Company
isn't one of these big, swollen concerns. Old Tom Sayers looks after his
people."

He was in true form again, proud of his firm, boasting its merits,
advertising it and ready to defend it quite as valiantly as if he had
been with it from its beginnings.

"I've heard of it," admitted Carver, politely. "Suppose it's because I'm
so out of the game that I don't know more about it than I do. My fault!
How long you been with 'em?"

"Since about five o'clock this afternoon," said Jimmy.

The crippled record breaker took out his watch, consulted it, and
slipped it back in his pocket.

"Long time, isn't it?" he commented. "That's nearly three hours. I've
broken a few records in my time, but you beat anything I've come across.
It took thirteen years for me to learn that one concern I worked for
was no good. It took you three hours to learn the one you work for is
the best there is."

"But I believe it!" declared Jimmy, with his unquenchable enthusiasm.
"Why? Because I believe in Tom Sayers. I believe in his honesty, and his
reputation, and--well--because he gave me a chance."

"Know him very well?" his seat mate asked.

"Never met him," Jimmy admitted.

"Know anything about his cars?" Carver somewhat cynically asked.

"I know that some of those who have them brag about them," said Jimmy.
"And I know that the men who work for him, from the superintendent down
to the yard boy, believe in them and say so, and would tear to pieces a
man who says they aren't the best. That's good enough for me. Know
anything about cars? Um-m-m-mh! I reckon I don't know a thing on earth
about 'em. If my life depended upon starting a car that somebody had
handed me on a platter, I suppose I'd be a deader. But a man doesn't
have to know it all to succeed. Noah couldn't have started the
_Aquitania_; but he did navigate the ark pretty successfully, and nobody
denies that he was the first admiral that ever sailed the seas. Admiral
Nelson and Commodore Paul Jones got there, somehow, but if they had seen
a motor launch tearing down on them at twenty miles an hour, I can
imagine both of them diving off the poop!"

Before they parted that night, the expert and the novice had become
friends. Before the race meeting was over, Mr. James Gollop knew more
about the merits of cars, the advantages of one over the other, and the
prevailing failings and universal obstacles than he had ever dreamed
before. Incidentally, he had established a friendship that lasted and
was to be of mutual benefit thereafter. He jubilated when considering
fortune. All things were coming his way. He would have accepted it as a
part of the regular procedure had he found a twenty dollar gold piece on
the pavement. His luck was in.

And so, like a happy victor, Mr. James Gollop of the Sayers Automobile
Company returned to New York one evening and, knowing that it was too
late to base any hope on either MacDougall Alley or the Martha Putnam
hotel, repaired, in lieu thereof, to the palm-garden precincts of the
place in which he had last dined with Mary Allen. He made plans for the
morrow, thought of what he might say to her, determined that the mystery
should end, and was anything but discontented. He ate leisurely, enjoyed
his food, and perused an evening paper. He liked the black coffee, and
felt civilized when he resorted to the finger bowl. He got to his feet
leisurely, well content, and then stopped, bent to one side, moved a
pace and through a screen of palm fronds stared as if transfixed. What
he saw was Mary Allen seated at a nice little table, inspecting a bunch
of violets in her hand, whilst across from her, stiff, pompous,
self-conscious, but entirely self-satisfied, sat the man who might have
been Mr. James Gollop but who was, indubitably one J. Woodworth-Granger,
Judge of the Fourth District Court. Others might not identify him, but
Mr. James Gollop did and for a moment his mind was in a turmoil of
surprise and anger. Granger! That wind bag had somehow, probably by mere
accident, met the only girl on earth, taken base advantage of his
likeness to one Jim Gollop, and was profiting thereby! How dare he! To
impersonate another man under ordinary circumstances was in itself
sufficiently culpable, but in private affairs, extraordinary and
personal, it became outrageous.

A great wave of indignation surged Jimmy Gollop as if he had been thrust
into a turbulent sea and was being helplessly bobbed up and down
thereon. He was undecided whether to create a scene by rushing forward,
seizing the impertinent Judge by the short hair at the back of his neck,
which country barbers had encouraged to a bristle, or to stalk
deliberately forward like the long lost hero in the cinema and--after
the screen had announced his words, "This girl is mine!"--scornfully
indicate to the impostor the door through which the latter, crestfallen,
must inevitably depart. For about a half-minute that seemed a
half-century, he didn't know what to do. And then, upsetting all ethics
and standards of the melodrama and the movies, he did just what anyone
else would have done in like circumstances; stalked majestically toward
the hat pirate in the outer hall, fumbled for his hat slip, presented it
with humble fingers, got his head covering and his overcoat, and
shuffled out into the street dejectedly to ponder over the exigencies of
this calamity, this tragedy, that threatened to end the world. How dared
the Judge to look like him! What a dirty trick to take advantage of
their unfortunate resemblance and impose himself into such a situation!
It was incredible, and base. He didn't know what to do about it, because
she was involved. He felt himself in a peculiarly helpless position. He
could but pray that the Judge's intentions were honorable.



CHAPTER XV


After a rather disturbed night in which he slept by fits and starts,
mostly starts, and occupied the intervening wakeful hours in considering
the Judge's unparalleled effrontery, Jim dawdled over a breakfast for
which he had no appetite, reflecting meanwhile what he could do.
Ordinarily his nerves were equal to any strain; but now he found himself
fidgety, which but added to his general perturbation. For her sake, as
much as his own, he was indignant over the deception practiced upon Mary
Allen, and resolved to punish the impostor if ever opportunity offered.
He decided that his first move must be to warn her. That, too, presented
its difficulty, as his one certain chance of finding her was at her
studio, and he doubted if she would be there before the late forenoon.
He scanned the list of hotel arrivals and learned that the Judge was a
guest at the Van Astor.

"That," he soliloquized, "is worth knowing; because after I have had a
talk with Mary, I'll call upon that human airship or write him a note
telling him what one James Gollop thinks about him!"

He was still perplexed and absent-minded when he somewhat listlessly
walked out into the morning sunlight and started rather aimlessly down
town; nor was he aware that he was passing the Van Astor until disturbed
by a sharp "Harrup! Ahem!" snorted out as if by a hippopotamus that had
just emerged from deep water, and looking around saw the object of his
indignation advancing toward him. If Jim's usual frown looked black, the
scowl that was on the Judge's face was cyclonic.

"You unspeakable scoundrel!" the Judge exclaimed, as he confronted
Jimmy.

"That, sir, is precisely the term I should have applied to you!"
retorted Jimmy. And then, before the Judge, who was not so quick on the
up-take, had time to recover, Jim poked his face belligerently forward
and added, "The sole condition that prevents me from giving you just
what you deserve--a punch in the jaw!--is that we are here on the
street; but I'll promise you this, you infernal windbag, that if ever I
get you alone, I'll change your facial boundaries until you'll never
more be mistaken for me."

"You--you--how dare you!" exclaimed the Judge, drawing back as if
aghast, and considerably alarmed by the threat of physical peril.

"See here," said Jim, advancing a step as the Judge retreated, "we'll
mention no names, but I'll say this: that if ever again you take
advantage of our resemblance to force your attentions on the young lady
with whom I saw you last night, I'll expose you. You should be ashamed
of yourself. There is a limit to everything, and your actions are beyond
the lines of decency--you--you--hypocritical blackguard!"

"Not another word! Not another word!" roared the Judge, as if he were
admonishing a highly obstreperous witness in his court "It's all I can
do to keep from turning you over to the police, and----"

"And it's all I can do to keep from putting my fist into your face until
someone calls for an ambulance! By God! I think I'll do it anyhow!"
exclaimed Jim with such evident intention that the Judge got from reach
not an instant too soon, and, deciding that he might as well continue
his progress after such a flying start, did not pause until he had
reached the security of the hotel rotunda. Jim's first impulse had been
to assist his departure with his boot, but after his leg had got
half-way into the air he recovered his senses, and then angrily turned
and walked down the avenue. Once around the corner of an intersecting
street he stopped, got out of the line of traffic, and despite the
coldness of the day, removed his hat and wiped moisture from his
forehead.

"Good Lord!" he muttered, "what a narrow escape! I came as near to
making an absolute fool of myself then as ever I have in my life. If I
hadn't controlled myself at the right moment I would have probably
booted the Judge; but would have kicked away my new job at the same
time. Will I never, never, never learn sense?"

The fact that the Judge had opened a meeting with an insult that
scarcely any red-blooded man could have failed to resent, did not, in
Jimmy's sober self-arraignment condone his own conduct.

"What I should have done," he thought, "was to keep my temper cool, and
let him know beyond any chance of misunderstanding just where we stand,
right now and in the future. I'm not going to run away from that big
bluffer any more. It's come to a show-down between him and me! I'm
done, not only with apologies, but, with side-stepping. If ever he
sticks his nose into my affairs again I'll make him wish he'd taken it
to a shipyard and had it armor plated. But how on earth did he happen to
bump into Mary? And where? That's what gets me!"

He thought he could picture it all--the chance meeting, her cordial
greeting, the Judge's joy at being hailed by such an extraordinary
beautiful and attractive creature when all the girls he had hitherto met
had been of the small town or tea-party variety, and his tacit
pretension that he was her accepted friend and pal, James Gollop.

"I reckon he'd smirk, and bow, and try to be clever and witty, and all
the time he'd be either patting himself on the back for his luck, or
envying or hating me," thought Jimmy. "When I let the people out in
Yimville think I was him, it was a joke; but this is a serious matter
and--it's positively indecent! That's what it is! It's an outrage!"

Imbued with a frantic wish to have Mary Allen share his indignation, he
started toward MacDougall Alley. And then his consideration for her
feelings and wish to shield her from distress caused him to ponder
whether it were not the best to avoid mention of the Judge unless she
broached the subject of the supposed James Gollop's actions on the
preceding night. That brought him to another tormenting question, which
was how long this affair had been going on. How long had the Judge been
in town? How many times had he met and entertained her? And--horrible
condition!--suppose of the two men she had learned to like Judge
Woodworth-Granger better than James Gollop? That would be a tragedy.
Never a doubt entered his mind but that the Judge would speedily fall in
love with such a paragon, and throw himself at her feet. It was
impossible that he should be such an imbecile as to do otherwise! Any
man in the world would do the same. It was to be expected, in the
natural course of things. Being something of an opportunist, he decided
to stop pondering over everything until he was in the presence of Mary,
and then to guide himself by his reception. He hoped that the Judge had,
as nearly as his capabilities permitted, lived up to the high standard
of the Gollop form, or, as Jimmy himself might have expressed it, that
the Judge "hadn't queered his pitch."

"It'd be just like him to make her hate me after one interview.
Considering how I hated myself after one meeting with him I couldn't
blame her," he admitted, dolefully.

With an unwonted trepidation he climbed the studio stairs and rapped on
the door.

"Come in." Her voice, sounding to Jimmy like a long unheard and
beautiful song, responded and he turned the handle and entered.

She was sitting in front of an easel and the forenoon light from outside
lent finer lights and shadows to her face as with her head half-turned
over her shoulder she regarded him.

"Oh, hello! It's you, is it?" she greeted, and then got to her feet
quickly, and stepped toward him as if to inspect him at shorter range,
or else as if wondering what mood he might be in at the moment. There
was a palpable uncertainty, curiosity, and perhaps reserve in her
attitude, as if she wondered whether he would begin talking pompous
platitudes or, on the contrary, breezing into some whimsy. He didn't
quite know what to say or do. He felt like a human interrogation point;
aware of the necessity of finding out something and adapting himself to
that knowledge.

He had kept away from her when discharged from the old employment and
sought her when his outlook was brightened by the new. He had tried to
find her when his dreams were flashing fast. He had anticipated this
interview. His imagination and love had so gilded her and her
surroundings with glamour that now, as he stood there, awkward,
irresolute, with hat in hand, everything seemed unreal. Everything
seemed reduced to hard realities. The fire that warmed the studio was a
real fire. The light that entered through the windows was real light.
The studio was but a real working room, and she but a real
flesh-and-blood girl standing there in a paint-soiled apron with a
palette in one hand and a brush in the other.

And then her voice brought him back to earth.

"For goodness sake! Can't you speak?" she asked, and extricated a thumb
from the palette, and turned to lay it and the paint brush on a littered
table near her easel. Inasmuch as her eyes were for the moment diverted
from him he succeeded in recovering some of his customary wits.

"Speak? Speak! I've got so much to speak that I'm smothered with talk,"
he replied. "Aren't you going to shake hands before I begin?"

"I suppose it's polite," she said, extending a hand which, with all the
delightful inconsequence of a man infatuated with love, he had
frequently craved to hold forever. "Suppose you sit down to tell it!"
she suggested, withdrawing her hand from his. "I'm--I'm rather curious
to hear you talk."

"Why?" he asked. "Don't I talk enough--usually?"

"Yes, but----" She stopped, appeared to hesitate, and then almost
irrelevantly said "You've never said what you thought of my work. Do you
think I should continue it, or drop it?"

Jimmy was so astonished by the unexpected that he forgot his
embarrassment.

"Drop it? Of course not. How absurd! It was never in me to do anything
very well," he added almost wistfully, "for I have no gifts. But if I
could sing even a little, I would cultivate my voice. And if I but knew
how to paint at all, I would work to paint better, always hoping that
some time I might do at least one picture. But--isn't it unusual for you
to be either discouraged, or questioning?"

"Perhaps," she said, looking away from him. "But--suppose I had to give
it up?"

"Why?" he cried solicitously. And then, remembering that all his recent
worries had been of a financial nature, he was fearful that some wolf of
poverty had thrust its head into the studio door. "If--if--it's money
that keeps you from going ahead as you have been, I--look here! Your
work mustn't stop. We're too good friends to be falsely modest. If--if
you're broke, I'd like to let you have some money. I haven't got much,
but--Mary--I'm going to make some. I'll--I'll buy a picture. I'd like
one. I've always wanted one of yours."

She smiled a trifle sadly and shook her head in negation. He thought she
doubted the affluence of a mere chocolate salesman and it brought his
mind back to his own good news.

"See here, Mary Allen," he expostulated, "a lot of things have happened
since I saw you last. I'm no longer Jimmy Gollop, candy drummer. I'm Mr.
James Gollop, Sales Manager for one of the best institutions on earth,
and I'm going to make good. I know I shall. I feel it here," and he
tapped his breast with his knuckles. She did not observe his gesture,
for she had turned still further from him, and was looking out of the
window as if half distracted by her own thought.

"Why," he blurted, "you'd be as unhappy without paint as I'd be without
work. Rather than have you give it up, I'd--I'd send you down to
Maryland to my mother. Why not do that? You'd love her, because everyone
does. And she'd love you because--well--just because she couldn't help
it. Mary--if you'd only go down there you could have a home--no fussy
hotel, and--and--I'd be so happy to----"

She suddenly turned toward him with a tiny gesture, then laughed. He was
rather hurt, and felt that possibly she was ridiculing his honest and
generous offer. As if she read his thought she came quickly toward him
and held out her hand and caught his and said, using the old jocular
name, "No, Bill Jones, Pirate, it isn't money! But don't think for an
instant that I don't appreciate the offer that comes from your big, fine
heart! I do! And--I wish I could accept it. I think I know what your
home is like--and what your mother is like."

She dropped his hand and now turned toward the easel, smudged a blotch
of paint with a slender finger tip in awkward pretense at being
interested in her study, and without looking at him said, "It's not
money. It's because the man to whom I am engaged to be married
disapproves of my little hobby and has asserted so in most emphatic
terms."

It seemed to Jim that the whole room was reeling, and that there was a
great burst of sound, followed by a stillness so profound that the
distressed beating of his heart had become loudly audible. His knees
trembled. His hands clutched and quivered. He felt mentally and
physically stricken, tried to speak, could utter no sound, and then, to
conceal his hurt, turned almost mechanically to the chair she had
proffered, groped blindly for its arm, and slowly subsided into it. He
was pitifully thankful that she had not observed his distress; that she
was still standing there in front of the easel. This betrothal was an
intervention that had never entered into any of his thoughts or dreams
of her. He had always pictured her as free, quite free, following her
whims and ambitions within the limitations of a meager purse. He sat
there, stunned, for a moment, and then remembered, dully, that he did
not even know her name. The absurdities of his position, and the
futilities of all his long aspirations and love dreams seemed magnified
through the shock of sudden and bitter knowledge. In a moment of bitter
disappointment, he wondered how he had ever dared to advance from the
accident of a chance meeting to friendship, and from friendship to love.

"I--I congratulate you," he said, lamely, for want of something better
to say.

"On what?" she asked. "Because the man to whom I am engaged doesn't
understand what this daubing of mine means to me?"

"No, not on that; but on being betrothed," he replied, and then added,
bluntly, "You see,--I--I didn't know it. You never told me. No, you
never told me anything about it in all these months in which--in which
you've been just Mary Allen, and I, Bill Jones!"

He was not aware of the sorry tragedy in his voice that contrasted so
sharply with the banality of his words. He felt that he was but a
pitiful jester who was like a clown, compelled to play a merry part
when there was anguish in his mind. But--he must play.

"I don't know why I was such a fool!" he declared. "Why I thought it
could go on in this way--with you as Mary Allen, and I as Bill Jones.
You see--I may as well tell the truth--now that it's come to this--You
see, I didn't know your name, or who you were! I thought on the day that
we met in Fifth Avenue you were someone in the trade, and I was ashamed
to admit that I'd forgotten where you came from. You knew who I was, but
I couldn't remember you. And so, after that first meeting, I was a
coward. I'm a coward now, Mary! Now that it doesn't matter!"

He sat staring at the rug and striving to his utmost to think of
something to say in his own defense.

"Well," she said, "since you have been so frank, I suppose that I may as
well add my confession. I never knew, until within the last five
minutes, who you were. Therefore I had nothing the best of you."

"What? What's that?" he asked as if incredulous, or in fear that he had
not heard her words aright.

He lifted his eyes and saw that she was now facing him.

"It's the truth," she bravely admitted. "I never knew that your name was
James Gollop, and that you were a commercial man, until within the last
five minutes! If there were need I could swear it."

"Then," he demanded, blankly, "who in the deuce did you think I was,
anyhow?"

"I thought," she said with a slight shrug, "that you were Judge James
Woodworth-Granger, of whom I suppose you have never heard. He is the
Judge of the Fourth District Court, seated in a small city called
Princetown."

He was so astounded that for the moment he was speechless. It seemed to
him that all his chickens had come home to roost.

"Granger? Judge Granger--that inflated, stiff-necked, egotistical bag of
conceit! And--and--you thought I was Granger!"

There was reproach in his voice as well as words.

"Yes," she admitted, "I thought you were Judge Granger. But--please wait
a moment--I thought that you were different when away from your
judicial position, admired your reticence concerning your profession,
and--and I thought that I knew the real man better than anyone else. And
I liked the change."

She uttered the last almost defiantly.

"I can at least thank you for that preference," his said, lowering his
eyes. "I've come to dislike myself since I met him. He's bothered me a
lot. Maybe I've bothered him. I played a joke on him one time and--he
hasn't ever forgiven me, although I've tried to patch it up. I think
he's about the most stupid, unforgiving, inhuman bounder that--"

"Please!" she objected, and Jimmy saw that she had turned toward the
window, and so paused whilst she walked toward it, and stared out before
again facing him. He wished that the light from without were less
glaring, for it rendered her face and expression indistinct.

"It's not quite fair for me to listen to anything disparaging Judge
Granger," she said. "That wouldn't be playing the game. Judge Granger is
the man to whom I am betrothed."

He was incredibly shocked. Mary Allen betrothed to Granger! It was like
the last blow--his ultimate humiliation. Had it been anyone but Granger
it might have been less unendurable.

"I apologize," he said, mechanically. "I didn't understand the
situation. Judge Granger is--is a very prominent man."

"Quite so," she assented. "A man who is distinguished, and I think will
be more so."

"I expect he'll be a governor, and then a senator, and--maybe a
president," said Jimmy, helplessly, and feeling his own insignificance.
"But--but does Judge Granger know that you knew me? I ask this because
I'm afraid that if he does, he might object to our--our
acquaintanceship. He doesn't exactly approve of me."

Somewhat to Jimmy's surprise she laughed as if amused.

"No," she said, "I don't think he does know that we are friends. Indeed,
I'm rather certain of it. But--just the same, if you are such
enemies--it's not fair for me to show friendship under existing
circumstances, is it? See here, Mr. Gollop--that's a terrible name!--You
could scarcely respect me if I who am engaged to marry Judge Granger
were to stand here and let you criticise him. There is a limit to most
things, isn't there?"

"There is," agreed Jimmy, soberly. "You are quite right in your
attitude. I'm helpless." He paused, got to his feet, buttoned his coat,
looked absently for his hat, found it on the window ledge, and seemed
undecided. It was the old, boyish impulsiveness that made him turn to
her in what he believed to be a parting and say, "But--Mary! Mary Allen!
It doesn't matter what I am, or anything about the accidents and the
misunderstandings--nothing matters now--to me--only this, that--that you
believe that I was honest to you and to myself when you were but Mary
Allen, and I but Bill Jones!"

"No," she said, "nothing else matters. That is something quite yours and
mine--our own. Conditions are about as we all make them for ourselves.
Sometimes they run away from us. But we can't alter things that have
been. This has been a mixup. Neither of us could help it."

He could find nothing to say, for he seemed involved in a cataclysm that
had crushed him, and so moved toward the door. She walked by his side
and stepped back when he opened it. He held out his hand as if to bid
her good-by, for the last time, but she appeared to disregard it and
stood quietly by his side.

"It--it seems a travesty--a blunder," she said, at last. "I--I don't
know quite what to do about it all! I feel as if this were a farewell.
I--I don't like to think of it as such. You have been so kind, and so
encouraging, and you are so frank and--Can't we have one day more? Can't
you come back to-morrow afternoon,--here--and be just Bill Jones, the
Pirate, for another day? I think we'd be happier--afterward--if you
could, and if we could forget certain things. Say you will come."

And as he walked dejectedly up the narrow confines of the blind little
alley after leaving her he loathed himself for his weakness in promising
that he would.



CHAPTER XVI


It's a long way from MacDougall Alley to Fort George at any time. It is
rendered longer when the wind is chill; but Jimmy, no longer the jester,
could never remember how he reached there on that wintry afternoon, and
its hills, bleak with snow, were no more drab and cold than the dead
fires of his dreams. The skies above were leaden, with no ray of
sunlight. Away behind him the smoke of the city seemed leveled like a
shroud. Its distant monotone of sound became a dirge. Unmindful of the
chill, he found a bench, brushed the snow from a corner and sat there
for a long time, seeing nothing, unobservant of his surroundings, and
thinking of all that somehow seemed left irrevocably behind. It was as
if it had been ages ago! It had been ages ago since happiness had fled.
There was not a laugh left in all the sad world that had abruptly grown
old, and savorless. A vagrant, aged, dirty, ragged, accosted him,
begging alms, and without looking up, Jimmy thrust a hand into his
pocket and took therefrom a dollar note. The beggar mumbled thanks,
stamped his feet, turned away, and then came back and said, "Hope you're
not down on your luck. I wish you luck, sir!"

"Luck? Oh, no. It's all right. I'm not down on my luck. Only--'They're
hanging Danny Deever in the morning!'"

The vagrant shuffled away, shaking his head. He did not in the least
appreciate the sorry quip. All that he knew was that sometimes
well-dressed men who came and thus sat in the parks, were sometimes
found in the same place by a policeman--and usually such men had holes,
self-inflicted, in their heads. But long before he had passed from sight
Jimmy had reverted to the thought that to-morrow was the end. To see her
just once more, and after that--nothing to look forward to, nothing to
hope for, nothing to dream about. Strangely enough it is the men whose
laugh is readiest, whose mental sufferings and depressions are greatest.
Often the laugh is but a forced cloak for grief. Well, to-morrow he
would laugh! Be Bill Jones for the last time! Make a decent finish of
the dream! Leave with this girl he had so loved a kindly recollection
of a strange adventure as he made his exit from her life! There should
be neither sighs, sentiment, nor repining.

Despite the fact that he had slept so little on the previous night, he
moved restlessly about his room all that evening, standing before his
window now and then to look out over the lights that flared and
glittered from electric signs, hearing absently the hoarse whistles of
ships out in the harbors, and the clamor of street cars that surged up
and down the arteries of the city and went heedlessly on with its
existence. Jimmy wondered, as the street life of the night waned and the
lights went out, if there were others out there in the darkness as
unhappy as was he. His new employment that had so elated him with its
promise of golden opportunity sometimes came to his mind, but now he
felt that success was empty without Mary Allen to share it with him. It
was not until dawn that he fell asleep, exhausted, and even then trouble
pursued him in his dreams.

When he awoke, at noon, he tried for a few minutes to imagine that it
was still a very happy, prosperous and promising world; but it was all
in vain. He sat on the edge of his bed, and again thought that if he had
lost to any other than the Judge, it might not have been so distressing.
He got up and looked at his own face in the glass, and hated it for that
peculiar resemblance. It was certain now, after her confession, that all
the time she had believed him to be the Judge and yet, because when with
Mary Allen the Judge's very existence had been forgotten, Jim could not
accuse himself of having fostered her illusion. Honesty would compel her
to admit that. And, on the other hand, thinking it over, he could not
remember that he had ever talked of the road, his business, or
commercial adventure, because it was a rule of his never to "talk shop"
out of hours. He thought she had already experienced too much of that
and she had told him once that she detested chocolates. The only feature
for which he could at all censure himself was for lack of frankness.

"If I hadn't been such a rotten coward, and had told her plainly after
the first afternoon I ever had with her who I was, that I'd forgotten
her name and all, it would never have come to this!" he soliloquized,
and then, an instant later, reversed himself, considered that if he had
been frank he might never have got to love her at all, and--to have
loved her for so long and to have been with her so many times, was worth
more than all else. Could he but have that measure of delight again, and
then die, Death wouldn't be so grim and hopeless as this present pass.
He flattered himself that she could never imagine all his folly of love.
He was grateful to Fate that he had never uttered such avowal and
suffered its inevitable rejection; for now she could always remember him
as a friend. Rejections, he decided, must inevitably leave unpleasant or
harrowing memories. He throttled all his sad eagerness for the farewell
visit and resolutely delayed it until late in the afternoon. He schooled
himself to the determination that there should be no sentimental speech
or action lest she suspect his wounds and perhaps be thereby saddened.
He had come to her with a laugh, he would leave her with a laugh. That
was the brave way.

When he entered the studio for the last time, it seemed in twilight, for
the shadows of a midwinter afternoon were already long. He saw that she
had set out a dainty little tea table and his heart gave a throb when he
discerned in its center, in a cut glass bowl, the violets that he had
brought her on the preceding day. They seemed to scent the room with a
definite and yet elusive fragrance, quite like her personality that was
so soon to be but a memory.

"Well, Bill Jones, Pirate, you are late," she said, as she took his hat
from his hand, while he removed his overcoat and hung it on the tiny
little cloak stand in the corner, thinking as he did so, that there it
brushed, honored, against her hanging garments.

"The obsequies of a pirate are best held in late afternoon," he replied.
"It's a time-honored form. I'm very formal, as you know."

"I suppose Mary Allen has to die, too, doesn't she? That's the way
pirate romances should end," she retorted. "I don't see why we never
hear what becomes of the pirate's lady friends. Surely any decent,
self-respecting pirate who is an honor to his profession, should have a
woman somewhere to either mourn his loss or--as I suggested--go to the
gallows and hang with him."

She turned to shift the tiny brass tea kettle that was beginning to
steam in the little grate, and, fascinated by her grace, he forgot to
speak. He thought he should always remember the firelight on her
profile--there in the shadows of the room.

"Remember the time we had tea together in that funny little inn out on
Long Island?" she asked, and then, before he could answer, laughed,
gently, and added, as if pleased by the reminiscence--"and the car broke
down on the way home, and we had to walk three miles to get another? And
then we were so hot and thirsty that we stopped in the inn and had
beer--plain, frothy beer--while the chauffeur was trying to start his
old contraption into life. Um-mh! That seems a dreadfully long time
ago."

"It does! It does!" he assented glumly, and fell to staring into the
fire as if therein he could bring it all back to vision. "We agreed,
then, that some day when summer came again, we'd do it all over. And
now--there will be no more summers!"

Unconsciously he had betrayed himself in a despair of voice and twitch
of movement.

"Are--are you sorry?" she asked, softly. "Are you sorry that Bill Jones
and Mary Allen are finished?"

All his previous resolutions were forgotten, swept away as it by the
hand of grief. All his pre-imagined repression vanished. He was but the
heart-broken jester now, impulsive, outspoken.

"Oh, if I could live these few times over again, I think I could die
happy! Mary! Mary! I never knew until yesterday how precious they were.
Never knew that when Bill Jones died, the heart of me died with him!
I'm--I'm----" He checked himself, shut his hands tightly over the arms
of his chair, and exclaimed, "I'm sorry I said that. I didn't mean to
tell you anything; because I've no right to say anything of the sort to
you--now that Bill Jones is dead! I can't seem to remember that he was
executed in that moment when you told me of your betrothal."

She abruptly dropped the steaming kettle back into the fender and he
feared that she thus indicated resentment of his outburst. She got to
her feet and walked across to the window where the rapidly waning light
seemed hastily pulling drop curtains over their brief romance and he,
fearful that he had offended her, sat dejectedly in his chair.

"One imagines many things! One is curious about them, sometimes," she
said, softly. "And so--and so I wonder what you would have said, if
Bill Jones had not passed out."

She stood as if considering something of grave importance and then, as
if resolved, turned and came back until she stood near the chair in
which he sat with bent head and shoulders, so unlike the buoyant, erect
man she had known.

"It is but a week ago when being--being somewhat tired of neglect, I
wrote a letter. Oh, I could kick myself for that! I suppose it must have
been rather--let's say--familiar. It was addressed to Judge Granger. By
return mail came a proposal of marriage and--well--I accepted it. Then
he came on and--oh, it was a dreadful mixup! After just one evening
together I knew that he wasn't, and never could have been, Bill Jones,
the Pirate. And I didn't know what to do, or who, or what Bill Jones
really was, and--and I was furious, disappointed and humiliated, and
then you returned and--and----"

She paused and he looked up to find that her eyes were not on him, and
that she was twisting her wisp of a handkerchief between her fingers
quite as if considering whether such fury, disappointment and
humiliation could ever be forgiven. He felt that he was on trial and
that his future hung upon her judgment.

"But--but--it wasn't altogether my fault--Mary," he pleaded in a voice
in which contrition, distress and desire were eloquently blended. "I
didn't mean to be dishonest. Coward I may have been but--but--oh, Mary!
What can I say or do to be forgiven? To be at least kindly remembered?"

He bent forward again, resting his elbows on his knees and clutching his
temples in his palms as if utterly given over to despair. It seemed to
him that there was a prolonged wait in which she was coming to her
decision, an interval filled with portent and so lifeless and still that
tiny sounds from without became magnified.

Her voice, hesitant, and low, but, to his relief, gentle, broke the
interminable spell.

"Suppose--suppose I were to tell you that--that I'm not going to marry
Judge Granger, because after you came here yesterday I knew how
impossible it was and wrote and told him so. And----"

"Mary! Mary, don't make it supposititious," he appealed, leaping to his
feet. "That would be cruelty! Tell me that it's true, and that I am
free to tell you that I love you--love you! You know that I do, and that
there's no use in my trying to hide it."

She retreated from him a trifle, as if to escape his impetuosity, then,
when he paused as if fearing to frighten her with his ardor, smiled at
him and said, "Yes, Bill Jones. It's true!"

He caught her in his arms. For a moment he held her close while she made
her last resistance, and then slowly lifted her hands upward until they
came to rest about his shoulders.

"That's why I made you promise to come back," she said. "I--I couldn't
let you go! I couldn't! I don't care what anyone thinks of it, I am what
I am, and--I love you!"

They were suddenly aware of heavy steps climbing the studio stairs and
she pushed him away hurriedly, bashfully.

"My Father!" she whispered. "I--I forgot that he was coming to get me.
But--you'll love Dad," and then, as if suddenly remembering something,
she laughed softly and added hastily, "I don't believe you even know my
name. Don't forget it, now that Mary Allen is dead. My name is
Sayers--Margaret Sayers, and my father's name is Sayers, Thomas Sayers,
and he's in the motor business and--for heaven's sake!--pretend we've
known each other for years and years!"

"Good Lord!" exclaimed Jimmy, panic-stricken, as she hastened toward the
door. "Tom Sayers! My job's gone bust! I'm done!"

The door opened and her hand swept up to a light switch in the lintel,
there was a click, and the room was brilliant.

"Dad," she said, trying to suppress some trepidation of voice, "I want
you to know Mr. Gollop. And I'd like to have you like him, because you
see, I'm going to marry him, if you do."

Jimmy had been tempted to run; but now stood bending his head forward,
blinking, and holding his breath in astonishment

"Martin--Martin--Mr. Martin--and you are not Martin, but are Mr. Sayers,
and----"

But the man he had known as Martin smiled, for the moment ignored him,
permitted his daughter to cling to him, and as he caressed her hair with
tender fingers, said soothingly, "There! There! Don't be afraid of me,
my girl. I've known this boy Jim for some time. I knew that he knew you,
and I satisfied myself what sort he was, too, before things went too
far. I never did like Granger. When you first told me that you had met
Granger here in New York, I knew it couldn't be so, because I had seen
him going through Media City on the previous day to keep some political
appointment. And then I met Jim, and--I fooled him a little bit because
I wanted to know just what sort of a man it was who had dared to look at
you, and to take you to a horse show. Let go now! Let go, while Jim and
I shake hands. But--inasmuch as your mother has always belonged to the
Granger party, I suppose--I suppose she'll just raise hell! That's a
part of the affair that I reckon you two had best leave to me. There's
time enough, because, mark you both, there'll be no wedding bells in
this firm until Jim satisfies me that he can make good."

And then he turned discreetly to hang up his overcoat and hat as if
unaware that Mary Allen, struggling artist, and Bill Jones, Pirate,
jubilant and unabashed, were again in each others' arms.


THE END


       *       *       *       *       *


FLORENCE L. BARCLAY'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.


THE WHITE LADIES OF WORCESTER

A novel of the 12th Century. The heroine, believing she had lost her
lover, enters a convent. He returns, and interesting developments
follow.


THE UPAS TREE

A love story of rare charm. It deals with a successful author and his
wife.


THROUGH THE POSTERN GATE

The story of a seven day courtship, in which the discrepancy in ages
vanished into insignificance before the convincing demonstration of
abiding love.


THE ROSARY

The story of a young artist who is reputed to love beauty above all else
in the world, but who, when blinded through an accident, gains life's
greatest happiness. A rare story of the great passion of two real people
superbly capable of love, its sacrifices and its exceeding reward.


THE MISTRESS OF SHENSTONE

The lovely young Lady Ingleby, recently widowed by the death of a
husband who never understood her, meets a fine, clean young chap who is
ignorant of her title and they fall deeply in love with each other. When
he learns her real identity a situation of singular power is developed.


THE BROKEN HALO

The story of a young man whose religious belief was shattered in
childhood and restored to him by the little white lady, many years older
than himself, to whom he is passionately devoted.


THE FOLLOWING OF THE STAR

The story of a young missionary, who, about to start for Africa, marries
wealthy Diana Rivers, in order to help her fulfill the conditions of her
uncle's will, and how they finally come to love each other and are
reunited after experiences that soften and purify.

       *       *       *       *       *

ETHEL M. DELL'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.


THE LAMP IN THE DESERT

The scene of this splendid story is laid in India and tells of the lamp
of love that continues to shine through all sorts of tribulations to
final happiness.


GREATHEART

The story of a cripple whose deformed body conceals a noble soul.


THE HUNDREDTH CHANCE

A hero who worked to win even when there was only "a hundredth chance."


THE SWINDLER

The story of a "bad man's" soul revealed by a woman's faith.


THE TIDAL WAVE

Tales of love and of women who learned to know the true from the false.


THE SAFETY CURTAIN

A very vivid love story of India. The volume also contains four other
long stories of equal interest.

       *       *       *       *       *

EDGAR RICE BURROUGH'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.


TARZAN THE UNTAMED

Tells of Tarzan's return to the life of the ape-man in his search for
vengeance on those who took from him his wife and home.


JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN

Records the many wonderful exploits by which Tarzan proves his right to
ape kingship.


A PRINCESS OF MARS

Forty-three million miles from the earth--a succession of the weirdest
and most astounding adventures in fiction. John Carter, American, finds
himself on the planet Mars, battling for a beautiful woman, with the
Green Men of Mars, terrible creatures fifteen feet high, mounted on
horses like dragons.


THE GODS OF MARS

Continuing John Carter's adventures on the Planet Mars, in which he does
battle against the ferocious "plant men," creatures whose mighty tails
swished their victims to instant death, and defies Issus, the terrible
Goddess of Death, whom all Mars worships and reveres.


THE WARLORD OF MARS

Old acquaintances, made in the two other stories, reappear, Tars Tarkas,
Tardos Mors and others. There is a happy ending to the story in the
union of the Warlord, the tide conferred upon John Carter, with Dejah
Thoris.


THUVIA, MAID OF MARS

The fourth volume of the series. The story centers around the adventures
of Carthoris, the son of John Carter and Thuvia, daughter of a Martian
Emperor.

       *       *       *       *       *

JAMES OLIVER CURWOOD'S STORIES OF ADVENTURE

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.


THE RIVER'S END

A story of the Royal Mounted Police.


THE GOLDEN SNARE

Thrilling adventures in the Far Northland.


NOMADS OF THE NORTH

The story of a bear-cub and a dog.


KAZAN

The tale of a "quarter-strain wolf and three-quarters husky" torn
between the call of the human and his wild mate.


BAREE, SON OF KAZAN

The story of the son of the blind Grey Wolf and the gallant part he
played in the lives of a man and a woman.


THE COURAGE OF CAPTAIN PLUM

The story of the King of Beaver Island, a Mormon colony, and his battle
with Captain Plum.


THE DANGER TRAIL

A tale of love, Indian vengeance, and a mystery of the North.


THE HUNTED WOMAN

A tale of a great fight in the "valley of gold" for a woman.


THE FLOWER OF THE NORTH

The story of Fort o' God, where the wild flavor of the wilderness is
blended with the courtly atmosphere of France.


THE GRIZZLY KING

The story of Thor, the big grizzly.


ISOBEL

A love story of the Far North.


THE WOLF HUNTERS

A thrilling tale of adventure in the Canadian wilderness.


THE GOLD HUNTERS

The story of adventure in the Hudson Bay wilds.


THE COURAGE OF MARGE O'DOONE

Filled with exciting incidents in the land of strong men and women.


BACK TO GOD'S COUNTRY

A thrilling story of the Far North. The great Photoplay was made from
this book.

       *       *       *       *       *

ZANE GREY'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books an sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

  THE MAN OF THE FOREST
  THE DESERT OF WHEAT
  THE U.P. TRAIL
  WILDFIRE
  THE BORDER LEGION
  THE RAINBOW TRAIL
  THE HERITAGE OF THE DESERT
  RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE
  THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS
  THE LAST OF THE PLAINSMEN
  THE LONE STAR RANGER
  DESERT GOLD
  BETTY ZANE


LAST OF THE GREAT SCOUTS

The life story of "Buffalo Bill" by his sister Helen Cody Wetmore, with
Foreword and conclusion by Zane Grey.


ZANE GREY'S BOOKS FOR BOYS

  KEN WARD IN THE JUNGLE
  THE YOUNG LION HUNTER
  THE YOUNG FORESTER
  THE YOUNG PITCHER
  THE SHORT STOP
  THE RED-HEADED OUTFIELD AND OTHER BASEBALL STORIES

       *       *       *       *       *

KATHLEEN NORRIS' STORIES

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list


SISTERS. Frontispiece by Frank Street

The California Redwoods furnish the background for this beautiful story
of sisterly devotion and sacrifice.


POOR, DEAR, MARGARET KIRBY. Frontispiece by George Gibbs.

A collection of delightful stories, including "Bridging the Years" and
"The Tide-Marsh." This story is now shown in moving pictures.


JOSSELYN'S WIFE. Frontispiece by C. Allan Gilbert.

The story of a beautiful woman who fought a bitter fight for happiness
and love.


MARTIE, THE UNCONQUERED. Illustrated by Charles E. Chambers.

The triumph of a dauntless spirit over adverse conditions.


THE HEART OF RACHAEL. Frontispiece by Charles E. Chambers.

An interesting story of divorce and the problems that come with a second
marriage.


THE STORY OF JULIA PAGE. Frontispiece by C. Allan Gilbert.

A sympathetic portrayal of the guest of a normal girl, obscure and
lonely, for the happiness of life.


SATURDAY'S CHILD. Frontispiece by F. Graham Cootes.

Can a girl, born in rather sordid conditions, lift herself through sheer
determination to the better things for which her soul hungered?


MOTHER. Illustrated by F. C. Yohn.

A story of the big mother heart that beats in the background of every
girl's life, and some dreams which came true.


_Ask for Complete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction_

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK





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