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´╗┐Title: Tamawaca Folks - A Summer Comedy
Author: Cooke, John Estes
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 "Tamawaca Folks - A Summer Comedy" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                            Tamawaca Folks

                             Summer Comedy

                          By JOHN ESTES COOKE

                          THE TAMAWACA PRESS
                               U. S. A.

                          Copyrighted 1907 by
                             G. J. WILSON

               List of Chapters


     I The Lawyer                      9

    II Jim                            18

   III Wilder                         31

    IV Just Girls                     53

     V Getting Acquainted             66

    VI Found Out                      80

   VII The Meeting                    96

  VIII Something Doing               114

    IX Developing the Negative       122

     X Jim Gets a Raise              135

    XI Rough-housing                 152

   XII Mrs. Herringford's Party      161

  XIII Reconciliation                172

   XIV Of Course                     184

Tamawaca Folks


The author begs to state that whatever is contained in this modest
volume has been written in a spirit of the broadest goodfellowship, and
with malice toward none. He has met odd and entertaining people in all
quarters of the world and has brought them together in "Tamawaca Folks"
merely that he might weave them into his little romance, and with no
thought of being in any way personal. Therefore, since these are many
and variant types and can have no individuality for that reason, the
writer begs his reader not to attempt to fit any of the fictitious
characters to living persons, lest your neighbor try to fit one of
my masquerade costumes to you--which would be an impertinence I am
sure you would not like. The temptation, I admit, is natural, because
the people portrayed are all human and even their composites have
prototypes in nearly every locality. But desist, I entreat you.

Tamawaca exists, and is as beautiful as I have described it. I chose it
as the scene of my story because I once passed an entire summer there
and was fascinated by its incomparable charm. The middle West has no
spot that can compete with it in loveliness.




When Jarrod finally sold out the Crosbys he had a chance to breathe
freely for the first time in years. The Crosbys had been big ranch
owners and herders, mine owners, timber and mill owners, bankers,
brokers, bucket-shop manipulators and confirmed bull-dozers and
confidence-men. They played the game for big stakes always and won by
sheer nerve and audacity.

Jarrod was their lawyer and they kept him in hot water every minute.
They had a habit of rounding up other folks' cattle, cutting other
people's timber, jumping claims, tapping mines and misbehaving
generally. And Jarrod had to straighten out these misdeeds and find a
way to keep his clients from behind the bars.

Old man Crosby, who had been shot in the hip in a raid, ran the Bank of
Oklahoma, and ran it so crookedly that Jarrod was often in despair. No
one would believe a Crosby under oath, while Jarrod was acknowledged
by even his enemies to be square as a die and fair as the scales of
justice. So his position was extremely difficult. He saved the Crosbys
from their misdeeds for years, by dint of hard work and constant
diplomacy, and at last, when a thousand penalties confronted them and
could not be staved off much longer, the lawyer managed to sell for
them their entire holdings and induced them to retire from business in
general and lawlessness in particular.

When it was all over Jarrod went home to Kansas City, nodded to his
wife, looked curiously and with some interest at his children, and
then sat down in an easy chair and sighed. It was all new and strange
to him--this being "at home"--and he wasn't sure at first whether he
liked it or not.

Mrs. Jarrod liked it, though, and made much of him, so that gradually
his uneasiness wore off and he settled down meekly to the practice
of law in general. Four or five hours a day he spent in his office,
listening to the unimportant grievances of common folks and striving to
keep his nerves from jumping.

He hadn't thought to feather his nest, yet the Crosbys had
good-naturedly tossed a lump of money at him and he had accepted it.
But a nervous man must keep busy, even when those same nerves operate
to keep him cold and quiet as an alternative to dancing and yelling
like a madman. So Jarrod "held on to himself" and tried to enjoy his
devoted family and the petty details which were all that remained
of a business too long neglected to serve those wild Crosbys. The
reaction had set in following his recent months of hard work, and
before many days he felt himself both physically and mentally exhausted
and knew that unless he deliberately created a diversion his run-down
constitution would be likely to involuntarily create one that he
wouldn't like.

As fate would have it, on a balmy spring day he met an old friend--a
Dr. Brush--who was a prominent and highly respected clergyman. Said the

"You need a change, Jarrod. Why don't you go to some quiet, pleasant
summer resort, and loaf until fall?"

"Where can I find such a place?" asked Jarrod.

"Why, any of the Lake Michigan resorts are desirable--Tamawaca, Bay
View, Charlevoix or Petoskey. I've been to Tamawaca a couple of summers
myself, and like it immensely. It isn't so fashionable as Charlevoix
and Petoskey, but it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, bar

"What's there?" enquired Jarrod, listlessly.

"Lake Michigan, to begin with; and Tamawaca Pool, which is really a
lovely inland lake. You'll find there good fishing and bathing, a noble
forest running down to the water's edge, pretty cottages nestled among
the trees, lots of ozone, and quiet till you can't rest."


"I mean quiet so you _can_ rest."

"It sounds promising," said Jarrod. "Guess I'll go. My wife remarked
yesterday we ought to escape the summer's heat on the children's
account. This idea will please her--and it pleases me. I used to fish
when I was a boy. And hunt. How's the hotel, Brush?"

"Bad as possible. Take a cottage. That's the only way to enjoy life."

"How can I get a cottage?"

"Oh, ask Wilder, when you get to Tamawaca. There are always cottages to
rent. But stay! you might take Grant's place. He's a St. Louis man, and
I understand his cottage is for rent. I'll write and ask him, if you

"Do, old fellow. And thank you very much."

He went home and told Mrs. Jarrod, who was delighted with the plan.

"Where did you say it was?" she asked.

"On Lake Michigan, somewhere. I forget the name of the place."

"How do you get there?"

"I didn't enquire."

"And whose cottage are you going to rent?"

"Why,--it belongs to a man in St. Louis. Dr. Brush knows him."

Mrs. Jarrod asked no more questions, but she straightway put on her
bonnet and called upon Mrs. Brush. In an hour she knew all that was
necessary about Tamawaca.

The clergyman got a reply, in course of time, from Grant of St. Louis.
His cottage was in Wilder's hands to rent. Jarrod must see Wilder about
it as soon as he got to Tamawaca. It was all furnished and ready to
move into.

"Who is Wilder?" Jarrod asked his friend.

"Wilder! Oh, I forgot you don't know Tamawaca," said Dr. Brush.
"Therefore you don't know Wilder. Wilder is Tamawaca."

"I see," returned Jarrod, nodding.

"Oh, no you don't. You _think_ you see, I've no doubt. But there is
only one Wilder upon earth, and perhaps that is fortunate. You've been
in with those pirate Crosbys for years. Well, Wilder is the Crosby--in
other words the pirate--of Tamawaca. See now?"

"He runs things, eh?"

"Yes; for Wilder. A charming fellow, by the way. Looks like a cherub,
and acts like----"

"You interest me," said Jarrod, brightening. "I'm glad I'm going to

A few days later the Jarrods--bag and baggage, parents and
children--travelled up to Chicago and landed in the morning at the
Auditorium Annex. A little fat man stood before the counter in front of
Jarrod and winked saucily at the clerk. His face was moon-shaped and
rosy, guiltless of whisker, and bore an expression at once gentle and

"Gimme the best room you have," he called out, while scribbling his
name on the register.

"Ah, a twenty-dollar suite?" asked the clerk, cheerfully.

"Hear me out!" retorted the little man. "Gimme the best room you have
for four dollars a day."

"Oh," said the clerk, his jaw dropping. "Here, front! show the
gentleman up to 1906. Any baggage, sir?"

"Just my wife," sighed the little man, with another wink, and a stout
lady of ample proportions grabbed his arm and whisked him away. She
didn't seem at all offended, but laughed pleasantly and said: "Now,
George, behave yourself!"

Jarrod looked at the register. The little fat man had written: "Geo. B.
Still, Quincy, Ill."

The Jarrods shopped during the day, and bought themselves and the
children cool things for summer. In the evening they went down to the
river and boarded the big steel steamer that was to carry them to their



A whistle blew; the little tug strained at its cable, and snorting and
puffing in the supreme struggle it drew the great steamer "Plymouth"
away from its dock to begin its journey down the river to the open lake
and thence, discarding its tug, across mighty Michigan to Iroquois Bay,
Tamawaca, and the quaint city of Kochton.

The passengers thronged both the ample decks to catch the cooling
breeze that came as soon as they were in motion, for the day had been
especially warm for June. The older folks drew long lines of chairs to
the rails, while the young people walked up and down, chattering and
gay. To nearly all the voyage meant the beginning of a holiday, and
hearts were light and faces eager and expectant.

Jarrod had no sooner located his family in a comfortable corner than he
was attracted by a young man who sauntered by.

"Why, Jim, is it you?" he exclaimed, jumping up to hold out a hand in

The other paused, as if astonished, but then said in a cordial tone:

"You here, Mr. Jarrod?"

He was a tall, athletic looking fellow, with a fine face, a
straightforward look in his eyes and a clean-cut air about him that
was pleasant to behold. Jarrod had recognized him as the only son of
a man he had known in St. Louis--a man very prominent and wealthy, he

"What are you doing here, Jim?" he enquired.

"Why, I live in Chicago now, you know," was the reply.

"You do?"

"Didn't you know, sir? I left home over a year ago. I'm hoeing my own
row now, Mr. Jarrod."

"What's wrong, Jim?"

"Father and I couldn't agree. He wanted me to take to the patent
medicine business, because he has made a fortune in it."

"Very natural," nodding.

"The poor father suffers a good deal from rheumatism, you know; so as
soon as I left college he proposed to turn over to me the manufacture
and sale of his great rheumatism cure."


"And I balked, Mr. Jarrod. I said the proprietor of a rheumatism cure
had no business to suffer from rheumatism, or else no business to sell
the swindling remedy."

"To be sure. I know your father, Jim, so I can imagine what happened,
directly you made that statement. Did he give you anything when

"Not a sou. I'm earning my own living."

"Good. But how?"

"They don't take a boy just out of college for the president of a bank
or the director of a railway. I'm just a clerk in Marshall Field's."

Jarrod looked him over, critically. The cheap new summer suit--perhaps
it had cost fifteen dollars--could not disguise his manly bearing.
On another man it might have proclaimed its cheapness; on Jim no one
noticed its texture.

"How much do you earn?" asked the lawyer, quietly.

"Twelve dollars a week. But it's an interesting experience, Mr.
Jarrod. You've no idea how well a fellow can live on twelve dollars a
week--unless you've tried it."

Jarrod smiled.

"Where are you bound for?" he asked.

"A little place called Tamawaca, there to spend my two weeks'
vacation. Just think of it! After fourteen months I've saved enough for
an outing. It isn't a princely sum, to be sure--nothing like what I
spent in a day at college--but by economy I can make it do me in that
out-of-the-way place, where the hotel board is unusually cheap."

"I'm told it is as bad as it is cheap," said Jarrod.

"That stands to reason, sir. I'm not expecting much but rest and
sunshine and fresh air--and perhaps a nice girl to dance with in the

"I see."

"And, by the way, Mr. Jarrod," this with some hesitation, "please
don't tell anyone who I am, if you're asked. I call myself James
Ingram--Ingram was my mother's name, you know--and I'd rather people
wouldn't know who my father is, or why I'm living in this modest way.
They would either blame me or pity me, and I won't endure either from
strangers, for it's none of their business."

"I'll remember, Jim. Will you let me present you to Mrs. Jarrod?"

"Not tonight, please. This meeting has a little upset me. Wait till I
get settled a bit. You're going to Tamawaca."

"Yes. We shall spend the summer there, if we like it."

"Then, sir, I'll be sure to see you again. Good night, Mr. Jarrod."

The young man walked on, and the lawyer looked after him approvingly.

"He'll do," he muttered. "He hasn't crushed down the pride yet, and
I hope he never will. But he's got a backbone, and that's worth

In drawing a chair to the rail he found that seated beside him was the
little fat man he had noticed at the Annex. This jovial individual was
smoking a big cigar and leaning back contentedly with his feet against
the bulwark. Jarrod thought the expression upon the round face invited

"Going to Tamawaca?" he asked.

"Yep," said Geo. B. Still.

"Been there before?" continued Jarrod, leaning back in turn.

"Yep. Own a cottage there."

"Oh," said the other; "then I'm glad to meet you."

"Because I own a cottage?"

"No; because you can tell me something about the place."

"Sure thing!" responded Geo. B. "Climate's fine. When I first went
there I had a bad case of indigestion. Doc said I was as good as dead.
Told me to eat toasted straw for breakfast and have my wife get her
black ready. Look at me now! Would a crape manufacturer smile at my
picture? Pshaw!"

"You seem very well," remarked Jarrod. "Was it the breakfast food, or
the climate?"

"Climate, I guess. My taste don't run to breakfast foods. I'd make
a poor horse. So I shovelled in plenty of welsh rabbits and lobster
newburgs and corn fritters and such remedies, an' washed 'em down
with good beer and a few bottles of sherry. Why, sir, the treatment
worked like magic! Digestion perfect--pulse reg'lar--spirits gay and
unconfined--happiness rampant. That Tamawaca climate's a peach."

"Do you think I can rent a cottage there?"

"Sure. Ask Wilder. He'll fix you."

"Is there a grocery handy, where one can purchase supplies?"

"Yep. Wilder runs it."

"And a meat market?"


"Can I rent a good boat, for fishing?"

"Wilder has 'em."

"Good. Dear me! I forgot to get a bathing suit in Chicago."

"Never mind. Wilder's Bazaar has 'em. Two dollars for the dollar kind."

"What time does the boat get to Tamawaca?"

"Four o'clock in the morning. But you stay on board and ride to
Kochton, and get your sleep out. Then, in the morning you take a
trolley back to Tam. The steamer puts your baggage off at Iroquois Bay,
just across the channel."

"What becomes of it?"

"Wilder ferries it over for twenty-five cents a piece. It's too far to

"But isn't that a heavy charge?"

"Not for Wilder. It's a good deal, of course, but Wilder's deals are
always good--for Wilder. You're lucky he don't take the baggage."

"Oh. Is he that kind?"

"Exactly. What you get, you get of Wilder. What Wilder hasn't got, you
don't get. When you allow for expenses you want to figure on so many
dollars for living, and so much to Wilder for letting you live."

"But that's an outrage."

Geo. B. laughed.

"It always strikes a stranger that way--till he gets used to it," he
said. "I've been to a good many summer resorts, in my day, and always
there's somebody on hand to relieve the innocent resorter of his wad.
If there wasn't, you'd feel you'd missed something. It's like going
to law--don't matter much which lawyer you go to, you're bound to be

Jarrod smiled.

"Therefore, if you want Tamawaca, sir, you've just got to take Wilder
with it," resumed the little man; "and perhaps you couldn't be half so
happy there if Wilder was gone."

"Does he own the place?"

"Of course. He and old man Easton. Wilder has one-third and old man
Easton two-thirds of the whole place; but then, Easton also has Wilder,
just the same as all the rest of us have him."

"What sort of a man is Easton?"

"Fine old religious duffer, who loves to pray for your spiritual
well-fare while he feels for your pocket-book. Public opinion's divided
between the two partners. Some say Wilder's a highwayman and Easton's
a robber, while others claim Easton's the highwayman and Wilder's the
robber. You can take your choice."

"What a bad state of affairs!" ejaculated Jarrod, with twinkling eyes.
"I'm sorry the boat has started."

"Never mind. It isn't as bad as Atlantic City, by a long shot. Why,
last year a friend of mine went to Atlantic City with a letter of
credit and an automobile, and in three months he was working at the
hotel for money enough to get home and the hotel man was riding in his
automobile. Tamawaca isn't as bad as that, so sit up and look pleasant.
Tamawaca's the gem of the world--a heaven for loafers, lovers,
bridge-players and students of nature--including human. You'll like it
there. But as for Wilder and Easton--say! any combination lock on your
inside pocket?"


"Then use a safety pin, and keep your coat buttoned."

Jarrod smiled again. His spirits rose. He scented battle as a cat
scents cream. Here was a delightful condition of affairs existing in
a tucked-away resort where he was going to spend the summer, and the
chances were he would be amply amused. Any capricious manifestation of
human nature was sure to charm him, no matter what phase it exhibited,
and the man who had for years fought and conquered the terrible Crosbys
was not likely to shrink from a pair so frankly enterprising as Easton
and Wilder seemed to be. And, if he must put in three long months at
Tamawaca, Jarrod simply _had_ to be amused.

He slept well on the boat that night--the first sound sleep he had
enjoyed for months.



When Jarrod arrived at Tamawaca in the course of the next forenoon he
found all prophecies most amply fulfilled. Fronting the beautiful bay
was a group of frame buildings bearing various signs of one general
trend: "Wilder's Grocery;" "Wilder's Ice Cream and Soda Fountain;"
"Wilder's Model Market;" "Wilder's Boat Livery;" "Wilder's Post Office"
(leased to Uncle Sam;) "Wilder's Bakery;" "Wilder's Fresh-Buttered
Pop-Corn;" "Wilder's Bazaar;" "Wilder's Real Estate Office," etc., etc.

As the lawyer helped his family off the car a man dashed out of the
grocery, ran up to him and seized both his hands in a welcoming grip.
He was a stocky built, middle sized man, with round features chubby
and merry, a small mouth, good teeth and soft brown eyes that ought to
have been set in a woman's face.

"My dear, _dear_ boy, I'm delighted to see you--indeed I am! Welcome
to Tamawaca," said the man, in a cordial, cheery tone. "And these are
the dear children! My, my--how they _have_ grown! And Mrs. Jenkins,
too, I declare! Nora, my dear," turning to a pleasant faced woman who
had followed him out, "here are our dear friends the Jenkinses, that
Mr. Merrington wrote us about. Allow me to present Mrs. Wilder, my dear
Mrs. Jenkins, and I'm sure she's as glad to see you as I am myself."

"Pardon me," said the lawyer, a little stiffly; "my name is Jarrod."

"Of course--of course!" cried Wilder, unabashed. "Nora, my dear, help
me to welcome our good friends the Jarrods, that Dr. Brush has written
us about. How nice to see you at last in lovely Tamawaca! And the
children will have the time of their lives; and Mrs. Jarrod will be
delighted with our swell society--nothing sweller in all Michigan, I
assure you!"

"It's awfully nice to see you here," added Mrs. Wilder, as smiling and
cheerful as her mate. "Won't you come into the bazaar and sit down
for awhile? Perhaps Mr. Jarrod has some business to talk over with my

"Yes," said Jarrod, as his wife and children trooped after the pleasant
little lady into the roomy and well-stocked bazaar; "I want to enquire
about Grant's cottage. He says you have the rental of it."

Wilder's face fell, and his merry expression gave way to one of
absolute despair.

"Dear me!" he exclaimed, as if deeply distressed; "how very
unfortunate. Grant's cottage was rented only last evening. How sad
that I did not know you wanted it!"

"But there are others, of course," suggested Jarrod, after a moment's

"Let--me--see," mused Wilder, reflectively. "There's the Stakes
place--but that's rented; and Kimball's is gone, too; and Smith's, and
Johnson's, and McGraw's--all rented and occupied. My dear boy, I'm
afraid you're up against it. There isn't a cottage left in Tamawaca
to rent! But never mind; you shall stay with me--you and the wife and
the dear little ones. I live over the grocery, you know--really swell
apartments. You shall stay there as my guests, and you'll be very
welcome, I assure you."

"Oh, I can't do that, Wilder," said Jarrod, much annoyed. They had
strolled, by this time, to the porch of the grocery and bazaar--a long
building facing the bay on one side and the hotel on the other. It
had wide porches set with tables for the convenience of consumers of
ice-cream sodas. Inside, the building was divided into the meat market,
the grocery and the bazaar, all opening on to the same porch.

Jarrod sat down at one of the tables, feeling homeless and despondent.
He had eaten a dreadful breakfast in Kochton, an hour before, and
it hadn't agreed with him. Through the open door of the bazaar he
beheld Mrs. Wilder talking earnestly with his wife. She had given his
little girl a large and expensive doll to hold and his little boy a
full-rigged toy sail-boat to play with.

"Ah!" cried Wilder, slapping the table with emphasis; "I have it! You
are saved, dear boy--and not only saved but highly favored by fortune.
How lucky I happened to think of it!"

"What is it?" asked Jarrod, with reviving interest.

"Why, I've got Lake View for sale, the prettiest and finest cottage in
the whole Park. You shall have it, dear boy--you shall have it for a

"But I don't want to buy a cottage," protested Jarrod. "I've not even
seen Tamawaca yet, and I don't know as I'll like it."

"Not like it! Not like Tamawaca!" Wilder's voice was sad and
reproachful. "My dear boy, _everybody_ likes Tamawaca. You can't help
liking it. Come, I'll show you the charms of our little heaven upon
earth, and at the same time you shall examine lovely 'Lake View.'"

During this conversation a little group of people had been gathering a
few paces behind Wilder, all with anxious faces but a diffidence about
interrupting him. Wilder noted this group and excused himself from
Jarrod for a moment.

"Yes, Mrs. Jones," he said, in his earnest, winning tones, "give me
your baggage checks and I'll have the trunks up to your cottage in
a jiffy. Certainly, Miss Vanderslop, I'll be glad to telephone for
you--no trouble at all! Here, William," to his clerk in the grocery,
"cash this check for Mr. Chambers. What's that, Mrs. Harringford? the
bread sour? Too bad, dear girl, too bad! But accidents will sometimes
happen. William, give Mrs. Harringford her money back; the bread's
sour. What is it, Mr. Harden? Gasoline stove won't work? I'll have a
man up to fix it in half an hour; don't worry, dear boy; half an hour
at the latest. _Good_ morning, Mrs. Still! here are the keys to your
cottage. I've had the women clean it and put it in order and it's
all ready for you to walk into and sit down. No trouble at all--no
thanks--glad to be of use to you. What is it, my little man? a note
from mamma? Ah, yes; tell her it will give me great delight to reserve
a berth for her on tomorrow night's boat. And now, Mr. Jarrod, I'm at
your service."

"You seem to be a busy man," said Jarrod, with a smile.

"Usually I am," replied Wilder, mopping his forehead; "but there's not
much doing this morning; it's too early in the season; I'm resting up
for the busy days coming. Let us walk over to the Lake front, and I'll
astonish you with the beauty of our fairyland."

So Jarrod, leaving his family to be entertained by Mrs. Wilder, who
seemed an eminently fitting spouse for her cheery husband, followed
this modern Poo-Bah along a broad cement walk that led past the hotel
and through a shady grove. There were cottages on every side, clustered
all too thickly to be very enticing, but neatly built and pleasant
enough for a summer's outing. A few paces more brought them to a
magnificent view of the great inland sea, and soon they emerged upon a
broad beach lapped by the rolling waves of grand old Michigan.

Jarrod's eyes sparkled. It _was_ beautiful at this point, he was forced
to admit, and the cool breath of the breeze that swept over the waters
sent an exhilarating vigor to the bottom of his lungs and brought a
sudden glow to his cheek.

Along the lake front was another row of pretty cottages, running north
and south for a distance of half a mile or more. At frequent intervals
an avenue led from the beach back into the splendid forest, where,
Wilder explained, were many more cottages hidden among the trees.

"Some people prefer to live in the forest," said he, "while others like
to be nearer the water. The cottage you have just bought is near the
big lake, and finely located."

"I didn't know I had purchased it, as yet," remarked Jarrod, drily.

"I forgot," said Wilder, laughing. "There are a good many things for me
to think of, you know, and sometimes I get 'em mixed."

"I see."

"Here," continued the guide, as they went south along the wide beach
walk, "is the residence of the Father of Tamawaca, my dear partner
Mr. Easton. A fine man, sir, but erring in judgment now and then."
He stumbled on a loose, worn out plank, and came to a halt. "This
walk, dear boy, ought to be repaired. I've talked to Easton about it
more than once, but he says he's too poor to squander money on public
improvements. It's his idea that the cottagers should repair the walks."

"Isn't this in front of his own residence?" asked Jarrod.

"Y-e-e-e-s; seems to be. But Easton says, and with justice, that all
the people living above here are obliged to use this walk to get down
town--where the store and post-office are located--and so they ought
to see that it's kept in proper condition."

"Who owns the street?" enquired Jarrod.

"Why, we own it, of course--Easton and I. You see, this whole place was
once a farm and some men bought it and laid out and platted Tamawaca
Park. They incorporated under the laws of Michigan as a summer resort
company, and so they kept the control of all the streets and public
grounds in their own hands. It's a private settlement, you understand,
and when a man buys one of our lots he acquires the right to walk over
our streets as much as he likes--as long as he behaves himself."

"And if he doesn't?"

"If he doesn't we can order him off."

"Was the original plat recorded?" asked Jarrod.

"Yes; of course."

"With the streets and public grounds laid out in detail?"


"Then," said the lawyer, "the first man that bought a lot here acquired
a title to all your public streets and grounds, and you lost the
control of them forever."

"Nonsense!" cried Wilder.

"I've read law a bit," said Jarrod, "and I know."

"Michigan law is different, dear boy," announced Wilder, composedly.
"Still we mean to do what's right, and to treat every cottage owner
fair and square--as long as he does what we tell him to."

Jarrod's face was beaming. He had not been so highly amused for
months--not since the Crosbys had sold out. He hadn't seen Lake View
Cottage as yet, but already he had decided to buy it. A condition that
would have induced an ordinary man to turn tail and avoid Tamawaca was
an irresistible charm to this legal pugilist. But his cue was now to
be silent and let Wilder talk.

"Here, dear boy," that seraphic individual was explaining, "is where
Noggs lives, the wealthy merchant prince of Grand Rapids. And here's
the cottage of our distinguished author. Don't have to work, you know.
Just writes books and people buy 'em. Snap, ain't it?"

"Looks that way," said Jarrod. "What's that cottage standing in the
middle of yonder avenue?"

"Oh, that belongs to old man Easton."

"Why is it there?"

"Why, lake front lots are scarce, you know; but cottages on the lake
front rent for good money. So Easton built one in the street, and rents
it at a high figure. Clever scheme, ain't it?"

"Didn't the cottage owners object?"

"It was built in the winter, when no one was here. When the resorters
came in the spring and saw it, they wailed an' tore their hair. But
it was too late, then. While they swore, Easton prayed for 'em; he's
religious. The old saint's got lots o' cottages on public grounds, but
no one can make him tear 'em down because we control the public grounds
ourselves. Whatever's public here belongs to me an' Easton. Understand?"


"Here's where the big stock-yards man from Chicago lives. Pretty place,
eh? And here's the cottage of George B. Still, the magnate of Quincy."

"I've met him."

"Fine fellow, and so's his wife. One of the largest grocery bills,
sir, at the Park! Ah, here we come to the cottage of the famous
philanthropist from Chicago Commons--Professor Graylor. Used to be a
rich man, but spent everything he had to convert the heathen dagos
of the Windy City. Now all he's got left is this cottage and a clear
conscience--poor man!"

"Why do you say 'poor man'?"

"Because, dear boy, a clear conscience ain't an available asset. I've
got one myself, and I know," said Wilder, plaintively. "But here we
are at Maple Walk--one of the most picturesque avenues in town. Please
climb these few steps; it is on this walk your charming cottage stands."


"To be sure. No man of judgment, dear boy, would refuse to buy it, and
I can see you're a good bit wiser than the average resorter. I'm _so_
glad you came!"

"Thank you."

"You're just the sort of man we need, Mr. Jarrod--the sort we're always
lookin' for."

"To walk on your streets and repair your sidewalks?"


"And patronize your mercantile establishments?"

Wilder laughed heartily.

"Why not?" he asked, laying a familiar and caressing hand on the
other's shoulder. "You've got to live; an' poor Wilder's got to live."

"Poor Wilder can't help living, it seems to me," returned Jarrod,
reflectively. "All these people are forced to trade with you, because
there's no one else to patronize. You've established a monopoly here."

"It ain't that," said Wilder, becoming serious. "I don't want to
monopolize anything, I'm sure. All I want is for people to come here
and have a good time, and I can't trust anyone but myself to give 'em
the right service and the right goods at the right prices. That's why I
run everything myself--and lose money year after year a-doin' it."

"How can you lose money?"

"Why, on the folks that don't come here. If Tamawaca was double the
size, I'd make double the money, wouldn't I? But it's a small place,
you see, and no man's so energetic that he can get more than there is.
So I work every season just to accommodate the people. When you've
been here a little while you'll find that out. I'll cash your checks,
lend you money, run your errands, settle your quarrels with your
wife, reconcile your hired girl to sleeping in the basement and play
blind-man's-buff with your children. That's Wilder--everybody's friend
but his own, and too honest for his own good."

"Indeed, Mr. Wilder," said Jarrod, "I can see already that you are a
remarkable man. What could Tamawaca do without you?"

"That's it! Why, dear boy, it would bust higher than Guilderoy's kite!
That's why I take such good care of my health. But here we are at Lake
View. Behold your future home!"

Jarrod liked the place. It was high enough to command an outlook upon
the lake and to catch every breeze, yet not too high for an ordinary

"What's the price?" he asked.

"Just step inside and see the rooms. It's magnificently furnished."

"What do you ask for the place?"

"There's a fine pump in the back yard and a sideboard in the dining

"How much?"

"It was painted only this spring and everything's in apple-pie order.
Just step inside."

Jarrod sat down on the steps.

"I'll give you a thousand dollars for it," he said.

"My dear boy, the lot alone's worth fifteen hundred."

"Is the cottage on the lot?"

"Why do you ask?"

"It don't look it."

"Never mind that. I'll sell you the lot and the cottage. If the house
isn't on the lot it's somewhere in the neighborhood, and no one's going
to ask any questions."

"Why not?"

"Because they daren't. They're all in the same boat. There hasn't been
a surveyor allowed in Tamawaca for ages. When a man wants to build, he
buys a lot of me an' Easton an' then hunts for the lot. If he thinks
he's found it, he's lucky. If there don't appear to be a lot where
he thinks it ought to be, he just builds his cottage and takes the

"All right," said Jarrod. "I'll take my chances. How much for Lake

"Well, dear boy, I've taken a liking to you, and so I'm willing to
sacrifice. I'll pay good money to get you here as a resident. But it's
a dreadful shame to think how property's advanced here lately. I've
tried to keep it down, but I can't. Here's a case, though, where I can
forget high prices and be generous. You can have Lake View for four
thousand dollars."


"And I'll trust to luck to keep Nora and me out o' the poor-house."

Jarrod reflected.

"I'll give you two thousand," he said.

"Then it's yours. Do you want to go in and look around, or shall we
walk back and get your wife and children, so they can begin to enjoy
their new home?"

"We'll go back," said Jarrod, wondering to what extent he had been
bled. "I'll have plenty of chances to see the inside of my cottage

"True. And while we're down at the store we'll make out the list for
groceries and meats and gasoline and such things, and I'll send 'em up
in fifteen minutes."

Mrs. Jarrod was glad to see her husband again, although in his
absence Mrs. Wilder had thoroughly posted her in regard to everyone
of note at Tamawaca. She was rather astonished at the rapidity with
which they had acquired citizenship, but went to William at once to
order her groceries and supplies, while Jarrod drew his check to pay
for Lake View and then settled with Mrs. Wilder for the doll and the
sail-boat--one of which had been broken while the other his dear child
refused to part with without a scene.

Two hours later they had taken possession of their cottage, unpacked
their trunks and settled themselves for the summer. The children had
taken off their shoes and stockings and run down to the lake to paddle
around at the water's edge, where it was perfectly safe; Mrs. Jarrod
was instructing a maid that Wilder had promptly secured and sent to
her, while Jarrod himself--collarless and in his shirt-sleeves--had
drawn an easy chair out upon the porch and set himself down to think.

On a tree facing him was a sign that read: "Ask Wilder." These signs
he had noticed everywhere at Tamawaca, and as he stared at this one he
smiled grimly.

"There's no need asking Wilder," he murmured. "Let him alone for a time
and he'll tell you everything--even more than he imagines he does. But
I'm glad I came. Wilder's a genius, and his nerve is a challenge to all
the world!"



She was rather pretty, judged by the ordinary standards. The other
girls called her "the heiress," because she so frankly confided to
them the information that her uncle--an enormously wealthy man--had no
one to inherit his millions but herself, and so had made his will in
her favor. Meantime, while he continued to live, this estimable old
gentleman gave his niece "just anything I want, girls! He just _begs_
me to spend all the money I can, and is sorry I don't spend more."

Such opulence was not observable in the appearance of the young lady,
nor did it lead her to reckless extravagances. She bought about as many
ice-cream sodas as the other girls who were shy of rich uncles, and
dressed equally as well as the majority of the young women at Tamawaca,
but no better. She had no jewel cabinet, or automobile, or pug dog or
embroidered underwear; so her chums and comrades, who only knew her
at this summer resort, were wicked enough to rally her upon her vast
wealth and slyly insinuate "they were from Missouri" by dubbing her
"the heiress."

Clara accepted the title with much content. She felt she was entitled
to the distinction and held her chin a bit higher when she passed
common folks on the street.

This afternoon, however, she was not on dress parade. Dressed in her
bathing uniform she reclined upon the sands in company with several
companions likewise attired and listened eagerly to the comments of two
young ladies who had made an important discovery.

"He came this morning, girls," said Betty Lowden, impressively, "and
he's just the cutest thing that ever came off from the boat. Such eyes,
my dears!--and such lovely fluffy hair--"

"And the air of a real gentleman, girls," broke in Mary Newton; "you
couldn't mistake him anywhere; and before we passed him he looked at me

"No dear, once at the weather signal and once at you," corrected Betty.
"I noticed especially, for afterward he stared at me a whole minute."

"Why, you mean, disagreeable--"

"Seems to me," remarked little Susie, quietly, "that it's a bit of good
luck to have any sort of a young man drop down upon us so early in the
season. I'm told they're scarce enough at any time in Tamawaca, so I
didn't expect to meet a real Charles Augustus for a whole month yet."

"His name is James--James Ingram. Mary and I ran to look at the hotel
register, and he's the only man that arrived today."

"And you haven't met him yet, either," suggested Mary, with an
exasperating air of proprietorship.

"No?" said Susie, demurely, as she dipped her hands into the sands
and let the shining grains run through her fingers. "But," glancing
dreamily over the heads of the others, "I expect to meet him--within
the next half hour."

"Oh, Susie!"

"How absurd!"

"I'll bet you the sundaes for the crowd, Betty, that I'll be able to
introduce him to all of you in half an hour from this second."

"And you've never met him before?" suspiciously.


"You must be crazy," said the heiress, scornfully.

"Don't turn around quickly--take your time, Mary. But just let me know
if that's James," continued the girl, in a soft voice.

They gave a jump, then, and every one of them stared ruthlessly. They
saw a tall young man come down the walk at a swinging stride, glance
hungrily at the sparkling waves, and then enter "Wilder's Bathing
Establishment," which stood near by, at the water's edge.

"It _must_ be him!" gasped the heiress.

"It _is_ him!" cried Betty, triumphantly. "Isn't he splendid?"

"Say, girls," observed Gladys McGowan, "let's take Susie's bet. It'll
be worth a round of sundaes to meet our Jim right away, without losing
precious time."

"Half an hour, Susie?"

"Half an hour at the most, girls."

"Then it's a go! How will you manage it?"

Susie still played with the sands, while the others watched her
nervously. She was a tiny thing, and not especially beautiful, but
the girls liked her because she was "good fun" and exhibited a rare
cleverness at times. All they knew of her history was that Susie was
visiting at the Carleton cottage.

"You'll help me, girls?" enquired the adventurous one.

"Of course. But what's your plan, dear?"


Presently a bather emerged from Wilder's Establishment, walked down to
the shore near them, gave a glance of brief interest at the group of
girls reclining upon the sands, and straightway plunged into the lake
and swam out with bold, vigorous strokes.

Every feminine eye followed him.

"Jim can swim, all right," observed Gladys, admiringly.

Susie nodded.

"I thought he could," she said. "Now, girls, in we go!"

"What! Into the water?"


"And get wet?"

"It'll take a week to dry our hair again!"

Susie ignored the protests.

"Oh, we'll just putter around a bit. It won't hurt us," she said.

They arose reluctantly and one or two dipped a stockinged toe into
the cool water and cringed. But Susie waded in without a quiver, and
realizing the importance of the occasion they grew bold and slowly
followed her. The heiress waited until the very last, and hesitated
even then. But there was "Jim" in the water, and it wouldn't do to let
the other girls get an advantage over her.

So presently they had all trailed along the gently shelving bottom
until the water had reached their waists, and in the case of little
Susie, who was in the lead, it came quite up to her chin.

The young man had cleaved his way a good distance out; but now he was
returning more slowly, leaping and turning like a dolphin at play and
then floating luxuriously upon his back for awhile. As he drew nearer
to the girls Susie whispered:

"Now scream--and scream loud, mind you!"

In amazement they watched her swim out a few strokes--for the girl
could actually swim--and then saw her throw up her hands and heard her
cry out.

Wildly they shrieked a chorus. It was the real thing in the way of a
scream, and owed part of its vigor to the fact that Susie's action
seemed horribly natural.

Instantly the young man rolled off his back and elevated his head,
treading water. He saw a girl struggling madly and heard the shrill
outcry of her companions. A moment more he was dashing to the rescue.

Did Susie see him coming through one corner of her eye? She disappeared
entirely, and was under water an alarming time. When she finally
bobbed up a strong arm was folded around her waist.

"Don't struggle! Keep quiet and leave it to me," said Jim, calmly;
and the sound of his voice seemed to have a soothing effect upon the
drowning girl. She rested in his circling arm quite comfortably, and
before another minute he found a footing and then waded ashore with
_both_ arms around her, while Susie's envious friends scampered out
beside him and insisted upon helping to restore her.

Very gently the big fellow laid her on the sand and knelt anxiously
beside her. But she had been rescued at exactly the right moment, so
now she opened her eyes, smiled sweetly, and heaved a sigh.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you, sir, for saving me!" she said. The voice was
pretty husky for a girl that had to be held, but Jim was young and did
not notice that.

"Don't mention it," he replied, delighted to find she was likely to
live. "You'd better get home as soon as possible, and have a good
rub-down and a glass of tonic. May I assist you?"

"If you please. I know it's foolish and--and silly; but I'm so
frightened and weak yet."

"Naturally," replied the sympathetic hero; and then the heiress, who
could stand no more foolishness, jerked Susie to her feet before
she had a chance to smile into the boy's grave eyes again. That was
wasted energy, of course, for Susie just now absolutely controlled the
situation. Her delicate form swayed so visibly that the boy seized her
arm at once, and Clara thoughtfully usurped the other arm and began to
lavish such tender devotion upon her that Gladys laughed outright--a
cold, harsh laugh that sent a shiver down the heiress' back and made
her vow to "get even" at the first opportunity.

Mischievous Susie was dying for a good laugh herself at the complete
success of her stratagem; but she mastered the impulse and, letting
Jim support her as much as he would, tottered slowly along the beach
in the direction of home. The girls surrounded her, flooding her with
eager questions of how it had happened and how she felt, and generous
praises of her brave and noble rescuer. For none except the heiress
could withhold her admiration for Susie's cleverness or was the least
bit jealous.

On the way they were all introduced, in the most natural manner, to the
man of the hour, and then the heroine enquired in a languid tone that
could not disguise her meaning: "What time is it, Clara dear?"

"Oh, less than half an hour since you attempted suicide," returned the
heiress, composedly. "Brace up, Susie dear, for I'm going to buy you a
sundae tonight."

Of course the young man didn't understand this speech. He left the girl
"whose life he had saved" at the Carleton porch, and begged permission
to call in the evening and enquire after her--a permission instantly

Then, with Betty and Mary and Gladys and the heiress all chattering
in a breath as they surrounded him, Jim returned to the bathing
establishment, where they separated. The heiress was a pretty girl, and
the boy smiled as he bade her good-bye.

As he dressed himself he could not help congratulating himself upon his
good luck in meeting this "bunch of nice girls" on the very day of his
arrival. It augured a pleasant vacation.

As for the "bunch," Gladys said on the way home:

"Isn't Susie a deep one, though?"

"She thinks she is," answered the heiress, with a toss of her shapely
head. "Do you remember, dear, how the cat's paw once pulled the
chest-nuts out of the fire for some one else?"

"Oh, yes;" answered Gladys, sniffing. "It was for a monkey, wasn't it?"

Those sweet, sweet girls!



Mrs. Still, who lived but a few doors from the Jarrods, called upon
Mrs. Jarrod the next afternoon, and after welcoming her cordially
to Tamawaca and congratulating her upon acquiring pretty Lake View,
invited her and Mr. Jarrod to attend a card party at the yacht club
that evening.

Jarrod didn't play "five hundred," but when the good-natured Stills
called for them soon after dinner he complacently accompanied his wife
to the club, which was located half way around the bay and was reached
by one of Wilder's ferry-boats after a five minutes' ride from the
Tamawaca dock. It was a pretty building, gay with electric lights. On
the ground floor was a reception room filled with sailing trophies,
and a big room reached through swinging doors which was devoted to
the needs of thirsty men. The upper floor was one large room set with
card tables, and here Mrs. Still introduced Mrs. Jarrod to a numerous
concourse of merry folks who were all impatient to get at the cards
and gamble fiercely for two hours or so to win a set of prizes that
represented an outlay of about seventy-five cents in the aggregate.
When the "prizes" were won they were usually either dropped quietly
into the lake on the way home or reserved to be gambled for at some
other social gathering. I knew one lady who won the same prize seven
times in the same season, and likewise gave it away seven times. The
only reason that she kept it then was that her guests flatly refused to
accept it as a trophy, it having become sadly shop-worn.

Jarrod was ushered by Geo. B. into the thirst room and introduced to a
solemn group of three or four men who wore yachting caps and shirts,
and had brass buttons sewn on their blue serge coats.

"Howdy," said Berwin, a man with a bald head and serious eyes. "Hear
you've bought a cottage, Jarrod. Want to join our Club?"

"I'd like to," the lawyer replied, hesitating; "but I've--"

"Ten dollars, please. That's the price for season membership."

Jarrod paid it.

"But I've got no sail-boat," said he.

"That's all right," observed Stakes, a little fellow with a peppery and
pugnacious countenance. "None of the crowd upstairs owns a sail-boat,
but they're all club members, just the same. We four--Homperton,
Berwin, Diller and myself--own boats, and we're the yacht club in
reality. We built this shop on credit, and run it ourselves, but we
let the folks upstairs support it by paying ten dollars a year. It
pleases 'em to be members of a yacht club, you know, and helps us out
financially. Much obliged for your donation."

"Do I have a vote?" asked Jarrod, much amused by this frank explanation.

"Of course; but according to our constitution only men with sail-boats
can be officers of the club. So you must vote for us."

"Once," remarked Diller, a fine looking chap who was intently
interested in a squat bottle and a siphon, "I had money and ambition
and no sail-boat. Who was I, anyhow? A landsman! A nobody! Didn't
belong to a yacht club, or anything else."

"Except Mrs. Diller," interjected Geo. B., with a sly wink at Jarrod.

"Then I bought a sail-boat--"

"And a dingy," added Geo. B.

"And paid up the debts of the club and was made Commodore. Commodore
Diller! Who was I then? Why, ev'rybody said: 'Morn'n', Com-mo-dore!'
'Have a smoke, Com-mo-dore!' 'One more with me, Com-mo-dore!' Ah;
that's bein' somebody, that is. Commodore Diller! Com-mo-dore Dil-ler."

"Some men acquire greatness," said Jarrod, sympathetically.

"Fact is," remarked the solemn Berwin, "that Diller's a fine sailor.
Got a good boat, too. Every race we have, Diller's there."

"Where?" asked Diller, looking up with a puzzled expression.

"Oh, somewhere," said Berwin. "Only yesterday I said to Wilder--"

"Con-found Wilder!" yelled little Stakes, growing red with sudden rage
and pounding the table fiercely. "Why should that monster's name be
mentioned in the sanctity of the sanctum of this respectable Yacht
Club? Wilder's a robber, a thief, a con-man, a--a rascal, and a--a--a--"

"That's all right," interrupted Homperton. "He's an upstairs member,
and we've got his ten dollars."

"Well, that's something," admitted Stakes, calming down somewhat. "It's
a pleasure to rob a robber, once in awhile."

"Sh--h!" said Geo. B., mischievously. "You forget that both Mr. Jarrod
and I are present, and have also been separated from our membership

"You don't mind," said Stakes. "You're good fellows, for folks that
don't own sail-boats, and your wives will get ten dollars worth of
struggle up stairs before the season's over. Eh?"

"I think so," said Jarrod.

Later in the evening the ferry-boat called for the card players, but
broke her engines just as she reached the dock. That was unfortunate,
for she had broken her engines only four times that day and this was
her last trip. Wilder was with her, and he promptly hustled all the
people aboard, collecting the fares as they crossed the gang-plank,
and then, after some delay, he informed his passengers in a despairing
voice that the blamed thing wouldn't go. Something was wrong with the
engines, but if they would be patient he would tie up to the dock and
overhaul the machinery and get things in shape again. Of course they
all trooped off to the dock again. One or two ventured to suggest a
return of their fares; but Wilder had gone somewhere for a lantern and
taken the pocketful of nickels with him. Before he returned his people
had formed a merry procession to the shore back of the club house,
where they struck the trolley-car tracks and tramped the half mile to
Tamawaca singing and joking and thoroughly enjoying themselves. They
were acquainted with Wilder's ferry-boat, and never allowed it to make
them unhappy.

Mrs. Jarrod was pleased and triumphant. She had won the third prize--a
nineteen cent handkerchief embroidered with the initial "S."--and it
was indeed fortunate that she did not overhear the remark of Mrs.
Sauters that it was the same one she had dropped at the last yacht club

Next morning Jarrod went down to the post office and met several of his
fellow cottagers. They were, as a class, highly respectable, well-to-do
and good natured business men, who sought in this delightful nook rest
and recreation after months of weary toil in their offices, factories,
mills or mines. They talked freely of the adverse conditions existing
in Tamawaca, of their abject dependence upon the whims of Wilder and
Easton, of the usurpation by these men of the cottagers' rights and
privileges, and ended always by expressing an opinion that the law,
if appealed to, would not support the owners of Tamawaca in their
autocratic actions.

"Wilder's all right," said one. "He's a good fellow, personally, and
mighty accommodating. But he owns only a one-third interest, so what
can he do against a man like Easton, who owns two-thirds and refuses to
spend a nickel to keep his own property in repair?"

"Easton isn't so bad," remarked another; "but he's an old man, and
weak, and Wilder makes him do anything he likes."

"Why don't the cottagers organize?" asked Jarrod.

"They are organized. The annual meeting is to be held next Saturday
night," was the reply. "But they never do anything at those meetings
except bewail their condition of slavery and mildly denounce Wilder and

"What we lack," said a grizzled old fellow with piercing black eyes
glinting underneath shaggy brows, "is a leader; an organizer. The whole
system of imposition here is a fester that is gradually coming to a
head. What we shall require presently is a clever surgeon with a sharp

As the speaker walked away Jarrod looked thoughtfully after him.

"Who is that man?" he enquired.

"Why, that's Colonel Kerry. Years ago he used to be one of the owners
of Tamawaca; but they say he quarreled with the methods of his partners
and sold out to them. That was before either Wilder or Easton bought
in; but the Colonel has never mixed in public affairs since."

"I wonder he doesn't use the lancet himself," said Jarrod.

"Oh, he's capable enough, I assure you; but the Colonel isn't hunting
trouble. He sticks to his cottage up on the hillside and minds his
own business. But he's a shrewd observer, and no one knows the inside
history of all the encroachments upon the rights of our residents
during the last dozen or so years better than old man Kerry."

Jarrod strolled along the walks for an hour or two, noting carefully
the conditions of neglect everywhere apparent. Nature had done wonders
for Tamawaca; man had done little but mar nature, if we except the
many handsome or cosy cottages that peeped enticingly from their leafy
bowers or stood on the hills overlooking the two lakes.

Tamawaca occupies the point between the channel and Tamawaca Pool to
the north, and Lake Michigan on the west, where a sloping height is
thickly covered with a noble forest that creeps past the dwellings down
to the water's edge. In the hills are romantic ravines, flower-strewn
vales and vine-covered cliffs. To a lover of nature nothing could be
more exquisitely beautiful.

Jarrod tripped and stumbled along the walks. The boards were rotted
and falling apart. In places the sand had drifted over and covered the
high-way completely. An air of neglect brooded everywhere in the public
places, and where a bit of land had originally been left for a small
park the ground was strewn with empty tin cans, bones, papers and other

It grieved him to note this condition of affairs. A little well
directed energy and a little well expended money would make Tamawaca
blossom like a rose; but both these essentials seemed lacking. The
cottagers would do nothing because they were told the streets and
public places were not theirs, and the owners would do nothing because
they figured they could get as much out of the cottagers without
additional investment. The people who built at Tamawaca, and lived
there during the summer months, were perhaps regarded as legitimate
prey by those who directed their fates during that time. Wilder and
Easton supplied them with everything. They owned the electric light
plant and the water works. Indeed, they owned and controlled everything
that the cottagers were obliged to have, and netted a fine income each

All this was a challenge to Jarrod. The fires of his mental energy must
be fed, even when he was "resting," and without the slightest personal
antagonism to Wilder and Easton, but simply because he saw there was a
battle to be fought for the cottagers, whose ranks he had joined, his
logical mind began to figure out ways and means to force the fighting.

A day or two later the lawyer took the electric car to Kochton and read
a little Michigan law in the office of a friendly attorney. The result
apprised him that he was uncovering nothing more than a huge game of
"bluff," which had been played so long and with such amazing assurance
that it had completely cowed its victims.

Jarrod came home smiling.

"There's nothing like a summer resort for quieting one's nerves," he
told his wife.



When Jim called to enquire after Susie on the evening of his adventure
he found her dressed in a fluffy white costume and sitting demurely
upon the porch awaiting him.

Mr. Carleton came out to thank the boy for rescuing his little guest,
and after one shrewd glance into the frank and manly face he retired
and left the young folks together, satisfied that Susie had made no
undesirable acquaintance.

They had plenty to talk about, although this was practically their
first meeting. But Susie had faithfully promised her girl friends to
bring Jim over to the hotel for the dancing that evening, so she was
obliged, although reluctantly, to curtail their pleasant chat and
invite him to escort her to the dance.

Jim was tremendously fond of dancing, so he accepted with alacrity.
When they arrived at the ball-room of the hotel, where cottagers and
guests alike were welcomed by the proprietor, they found Gladys and
Mary, Betty and the heiress all eagerly awaiting them. On the floor
were many couples of girls joyously dancing together, for boys of any
sort were scarce indeed, and their absence could not induce the girls
to forego the pleasures of the waltz and two-step. Jim promptly began
to participate by dancing with Susie, as politeness required, although
she was too short in stature for the big fellow and dancing was not one
of her best accomplishments. He did not allow her to guess they were an
awkward couple, however, and thanked her as gratefully as if he had not
barely escaped being tripped a dozen times.

Next he led out the heiress, who in addition to being pretty and
graceful was an especially skillful dancer. My! how Jim did enjoy that
two-step. He danced with Betty next, and with the heiress again; then
with Gladys and once more with the heiress. Mary's turn came afterward,
and he really ought to have asked Susie once more; but by the time he
had taken the heiress out for one final whirl the dancing was over and
it was too late.

Clara was glowing and triumphant. She had fairly monopolized the most
desirable young man in Tamawaca the whole evening, and it thrilled her
with delight to notice how Mary and Gladys frowned at her and shrugged
their shapely shoulders, and how saucily Betty stuck up her nose
when she found she could not look indifferent. But Susie only smiled
cordially at her rival and told Clara she danced as prettily as any
girl she had ever met.

Then Jim took them all across to Wilder's for an ice-cream soda--the
only entertainment by which it was possible to repay the girls for his
delightful evening; and if he shivered a bit when he paid the bill no
one could ever have suspected it from his manner.

"A few more of these treats," he thought, "will curtail my vacation
considerably. I must be careful, or I'll ruin my present opportunity to
have a good time."

You may be sure the heiress urged him to call the next day, and
equally sure that he accepted the invitation. Instantly he found
himself popular with all the girls, for every unattached female at
Tamawaca wanted to know the handsome youth. Presently he received so
many invitations to go boating and bathing and auto-riding, and for
luncheons, picnics, cards and dancing parties, that almost every waking
moment of his day was fully occupied.

Throughout this social revelry the heiress clung to her conquest like
grim death. However much her girl friends might accuse her of "artful
selfishness and selfish artfulness" she was clever enough to charm
the young man by her uniform good temper and her frank delight in his
society. Jim's heart was not mush, but he was human enough to enjoy a
mild flirtation. He did not neglect other girls of his acquaintance
entirely, but was most often seen in the society of the heiress; so
gradually the others came to acknowledge her priority and expected only
a modest share of his attention.

To Susie Jim remained always friendly and considerate, and sometimes
during that giddy first week of his vacation he would steal away to the
Carleton porch to sit down for a peaceful hour with the little girl
whose life he had saved. During these interviews Susie would praise
Clara's beauty and accomplishments until Jim looked at her curiously
and his face grew troubled. He would admit that the heiress was "good
fun," but refrained from more enthusiastic comment.

But there was only a week of this hero-worship. Then the sky fell, and
Jim passed out of the lime-light into comparative oblivion.

Katie Glaston came over from Chicago one day, and as she knew Gladys
and Mary she was joyfully welcomed to the select circle of "the bunch."
And of course one of her first experiences was to run against Jim and
Clara on the board walk. They were bound for a boat ride and the girls
halted them long enough to graciously introduce the "hero" to Katie.

She acknowledged the introduction with marked coldness.

"Glaston?" said Jim, reminiscently; "any relation to D. B. Glaston?"

"He is my father, sir," said the young lady, and turned her back to
speak with Betty.

Jim raised his eyebrows slightly, smiled with quiet amusement, and then
walked on beside Clara, who had noticed the snub and was angry and

"What impudence!" she exclaimed, when they had passed out of earshot.
"And from Katie Glaston, too! Why, Jim, her father is nothing more than
a manager in a department store."

"I know," said Jim, nodding. "He's my chief. I'm in his department at
Marshall Field's."

Clara shivered and stopped short. Then she walked on more slowly, with
a red face and eyes staring straight ahead.

"Don't joke, Mr. Ingram," she remonstrated.

"Oh, I'm not joking," rejoined the young fellow, with a light laugh.
"Didn't you know? I thought I had told you that I am a mere clerk in a
department store."

"I--I'm afraid one of my terrible headaches is coming on," she
murmured, with embarrassment. "It is so hot this afternoon. Would you
mind taking me home, Mr. Ingram?"

"Perhaps it would be better," he said, quickly. "The sun will be fierce
on the water, and a rest may save you from the headache."

They turned at once and retraced their steps. At the corner of
Misha-haken Avenue they again passed Katie and her group of friends.
The heiress marched stiffly by, but could not forbear one glance toward
the group and caught Betty's scornful smile as a consequence. Poor
Clara's humiliation was so great that she nearly sobbed outright. A
clerk! A mere clerk in Marshall Field's. And she had been devoting
herself to the fellow for a whole week!

Jim was not blind, and needed no explanation. Silently he escorted the
girl to her cottage, the amused twinkle in his eye growing stronger
every moment as he noted her indignation and resentment increasing. At
her porch she dismissed him with a mumbled word and ran in to indulge
in a good cry as a safety valve to her vexation. And the discarded
youth lightly retraced his steps to the hotel, whistling reflectively
as he went--which was ample proof that he did not realize how serious
was the wicked imposition he had practised.

Of course Katie had informed the other girls most fully of the fact
that young Ingram was "a cheap clerk in her father's department," and
although Gladys merrily declared it would be an added inducement for
her to trade at the store, the other shrewd damsels were quick to see
that such an acquaintance was quite undesirable.

"We really have no protection from such adventurers at a summer
resort," observed Betty. "I understand now why he picked out 'the
heiress.' Her supposed fortune interested him."

"Supposed, Betty?"

"Well, she doesn't display any moving pictures of it."

"We were too eager to get acquainted with a stranger, just because men
were scarce," Mary remarked, a little bitterly. "This ought to teach us
a lesson, girls."

"Hush! Here he comes."

They fell silent, every pretty back turned to the walk, and Jim swung
by without encountering a look or a word.

The young man had not been a clerk for more than a year without having
been forced to realize e'er now that his position debarred him from a
certain class of social recognition. It must be admitted that he had
purposely concealed his occupation while on this vacation, in order to
enjoy a bit of feminine society, of which he was as wholesomely fond as
every boy ought to be. And, being an optimistic young fellow, he now
congratulated himself upon the good times he had managed to secure,
instead of regretting the fact that he had finally been "found out."

For two days following his "discovery" he swam and walked and had a
fine time in his own company, saving himself from unnecessary snubs by
assisting his former girl friends to avoid him. Then, one afternoon as
he passed the Carleton cottage, Susie Smith ran out and seized him,
urging him so cordially and unaffectedly to come in for afternoon tea
that he could not well refuse.

Mr. and Mrs. Carleton greeted their guest with so much genuine kindness
that the lonely young fellow felt his welcome to be sincere, so he
passed the next two hours very delightfully indeed. Really, he had
not enjoyed those last two days. His nature craved a certain amount
of social intercourse with nice people, and he could not be entirely
happy without it.

But it would be wrong to deceive Susie and the kindly Carletons. When
he left, after accepting an invitation to an informal bridge party
arranged for that evening, Mr. Carleton walked down to the post-office
with him, and Jim promptly relieved himself of his secret on the way.

But the old gentleman cut short his explanation.

"I know, Ingram," he said. "Susie heard the story from some of her girl
friends, and it has pleased us to know you are able to enjoy a brief
relaxation from your tedious and confining work. But did you not once
tell me that you are a Cornell man?"

"Yes, sir."

"Couldn't you find a better opening than a clerkship?"

"Not at first, Mr. Carleton. I wasn't prepared for a profession, you
see, and I have discovered that people are suspicious of the ability
of boys fresh from college."

"How much longer does your vacation last?"

"Until next Monday. Three days more, sir."

"And then you go back to work?"

"Rested and refreshed, sir."

"Let us sit down a moment." They had come to a bench, and after they
were seated Jim suddenly resolved to tell the kindly old gentleman all
his story. He respected Mr. Carleton very highly, not because he had
achieved enormous financial success but because that success had not
destroyed his generous consideration for others less fortunate. So he
related his history briefly but fully, and when he had finished the
elder man said:

"I think you have been inconsiderate in dealing with your father, my
boy. I remember to have met him on several occasions, and he impressed
me as being an excellent business man and a genial, good-natured
fellow, as well. But think how much unhappiness your defection must
have caused him."

For once Jim was crestfallen, and seeing that his words had made an
impression upon the young man Mr. Carleton forebore further reproof and
rose to resume his walk. He spoke pleasantly of other matters, however,
and when they parted at the post-office Jim felt that the old gentleman
was still his friend.

He attended the card party that evening and had a good time. Tamawaca
society is made up of many little cliques, as indeed is society
everywhere, certain people being attracted to one another through
congeniality or former association. So it happened that the Carleton
clique was one somewhat exclusive and removed from those to which Jim
had formerly been introduced, and he met with no humiliating slights.
Susie treated him exactly as she had before Katie Glaston's unfortunate
arrival, and made him grateful by neither overdoing her cordiality
nor referring to his humble condition in life. It was a friendly
atmosphere, and put him entirely at his ease.

The three final days of Jim's vacation were as merry and satisfactory
as the first week had been, and Susie's charming personality grew upon
him steadily, so that he had no reason to regret the companionship of
Clara or her particular group of friends.

The heiress, for her part, was amazed that Susie did not promptly cut
"the clerk's" acquaintance. "But," she remarked to Mary and Betty,
"the poor thing may not be much herself, and is glad to associate with
anything masculine. Some folks, you know, dear, have no occasion to be

Jim had intended to leave on Sunday's boat for Chicago, that he might
be at work on Monday morning. But Saturday afternoon he received an
astonishing telegram from his chief, Mr. D. B. Glaston. It read: "Your
services will be no longer required."



It did not take Jarrod long to decide that there were no grounds for
Wilder's claim that the streets and parks at Tamawaca were in his
control. On the contrary they belonged entirely to the cottage and lot
owners, neither Easton nor Wilder having any more legal rights thereto
than the most insignificant cottager.

They had usurped rights, however, of the most extraordinary character.
In the public parks, originally reserved in the recorded plats, the
partners had selected the best building locations and erected cottages
upon them, which were rented at good figures. They had also sold many
"lots" that were nothing less than public property to innocent or
ignorant purchasers, who had in some instances built expensive houses
upon them, relying confidently for protection upon the guarantee deeds
Easton or Wilder had given them.

This wholesale disregard of people's rights had been going on for
years--long before the present owners had bought Tamawaca. From his
observations Jarrod concluded that the former owners, of whom there
had been several sets or combinations, had all come to a realization
that their vandalism had rendered their positions unsafe, for which
reason they had presently shifted the burden to the shoulders of their
successors, who now were Easton and Wilder. Perhaps these two men,
because their predecessors had with impunity occupied public lands, had
become more careless or more grasping than any of the others, for their
usurpations were on a larger scale. Easton, for example, had impudently
placed a cottage directly in a public street, disregarding all rights
and protests.

One day, during his rambles, Jarrod came upon a fine cottage perched
high on the hill overlooking the bay. On the porch was seated an old
gentleman whom the lawyer recognized as Colonel Kerry.

"Come up and sit down," called the colonel, hospitably.

So Jarrod sat down to rest.

"I'm glad to learn you're a new resident," said Kerry. "You have bought
Lake View, I understand."

"Yes," acknowledged Jarrod. "There was nothing to rent, so I had to buy
a cottage or go elsewhere."

The colonel smiled.

"Plenty of places to rent," he observed.

"Wilder said not."

"He may have said so. See that cottage across the way? It's a very
nice place; belongs to Grant of St. Louis; has been for rent all this

"Oh. Wilder said it was rented. I tried to get it, you know."

Again the colonel smiled, and his smile was the sardonic kind that is
sometimes exasperating.

"Wilder wanted to sell Lake View," he exclaimed; "but he's been holding
the place for seventeen hundred and fifty, which is more than it's
worth. Perhaps you whittled the price down to where it belonged."

Jarrod did not reply. He felt rather uncomfortable under the colonel's
shrewd glance.

"Tamawaca's a beautiful place," said he, glancing over the wonderful
scene spread out before him--a scene with few rivals in America. Framed
by the foliage of the near-by trees, Tamawaca Pool lay a hundred
feet below him, its silver bosom dotted here and there with sailing
craft, launches, or pudgy ferry-boats speeding on their way, while the
opposite shore was lined with pretty cottages nestled in shady groves.

"Glad you like it, sir," said the colonel, following his gaze. "I'm
fond of the place myself."

"But your public affairs are in a terrible condition, Colonel Kerry."

"I agree with you."

"Why don't the people rise up, and demand their rights?" enquired
Jarrod, curiously.

"Simply because they're here for rest and enjoyment, and not to get
mixed up in law-suits and contentions."

"But their vested rights are being disregarded."

"To be sure. That is no secret, sir. But our cottage owners are mostly
business men who come here each year for two or three months of rest
and relaxation, and conditions which they would fight bitterly at home
they here tamely submit to, rather than risk involving their vacations
in turmoil and trouble. That's human nature, Mr. Jarrod."

"Perhaps so," said Jarrod, doubtfully. To him a fight was recreation,
but others might feel differently about it.

"And it's the salvation of Easton and Wilder," continued the colonel.
"As long as people can enjoy the sweet, fresh air, the grateful
bathing, the fishing and boating and other recreations, they won't
bother about their rights. I feel that way myself. No man knows better
than I how our people have been despoiled, for I've been here many
years and at one time owned an interest in the place myself. But others
know the truth as well as I do, and if my neighbors prefer to submit,
surely I am not called upon to fight their battles for them."

"Why did you sell out your interest?" asked Jarrod.

The colonel held a scrap of paper in his hands. He carefully twisted it
between his fingers into a neat spiral before he replied.

"There are two ways to make money," said he, finally. "I favored one
way and my partners the other. So I quit the business."

Jarrod sat silent for a time. Then he asked:

"Does your Cottagers' Association amount to anything?"


"Then why does it exist?"

"To save Wilder and Easton from the danger of a more serious
organization. They encourage it. Once a year the cottagers meet
and talk things over, and rail at their oppressors and become very
indignant. Then they go home with the idea they've performed their full
duty. Those meetings are good fun, Mr. Jarrod. Wilder always attends
them and welcomes every cottager as cordially as if he were giving a
party. Then he sits in a front seat and laughs heartily at the rabid
attacks upon himself and his partner. The next annual meeting is
tomorrow night. I advise you to go."

"I intend to," said Jarrod. "By the way, how do Wilder and Easton agree
with each other?"

"Not at all. They constantly quarrel over one thing or another. Wilder
resents the fact that old man Easton is pocketing two-thirds of the
profits, while Easton resents Wilder's habit of laying every unpopular
act to his partner, who is therefore bitterly hated while Wilder is
considered by many a good fellow. Each would be glad to get rid of the
other, if that were possible, but neither wants to be got rid of."

"I see."

"Outside of their business peculiarities," continued the colonel,
"both these men possess many good qualities. I don't want to give you
a wrong impression of them. Wilder is really kind and accommodating.
It is his nature to want to please people and to stand well in popular
opinion. Easton honestly believes that he is a Christian gentleman,
and he is said to be a good father and husband. But in their dealings
with the cottagers these partners have contracted a sort of moral
color-blindness; they can't distinguish their own rights from those of

"I believe I understand you. Good morning, Colonel."

"Good morning, Mr. Jarrod."

Saturday evening Jarrod attended the meeting. It was held in a big,
shedlike structure in the woods called the "Auditorium," where divine
services were held on Sundays. All Tamawaca was there, for the men
took their wives to enjoy the "fun." It was the only occasion during
the whole year when the cottagers got together, and here they were
accustomed to frankly air their grievances and then go home and forget

On the platform sat a dignified, pleasant faced old gentleman who
nodded courteously to each arrival. At the secretary's desk was a
little man intently perusing a newspaper.

When all had assembled the chairman arose and rapped gently upon the

"The meeting will please come to order," he said, and a sudden hush
fell upon the place.

"I believe the first thing in order is for the secretary to read the
minutes of the last meeting."

The secretary glanced over his paper.

"I've mislaid 'em somewhere," he said; "but they don't amount to
anything, anyhow."

The chairman looked reproachful when the meeting joyously applauded
this announcement.

"Ahem!" he said. "Are there any remarks?"

A tall, thin man rose from the benches and cleared his throat.
Instantly every eye was upon him. Someone beside Jarrod laughed, and
the lawyer turned around to find George B. Still seated there.

"La--dies and gen--tle--men!" began the orator. "We are gathered
together this evening to--ah--to meet one another. The--er--reason we
are so--ah--so gathered together in one meeting is to--er--consider why
we should be--er--should be brought in contact one with another for the
public welfare of Tamawaca this gathering!"

As he paused impressively Geo. B. murmured: "Gather up the sands from
the s--e--a sho--o--r--e!"

"I take it," continued the speaker, raising his voice aggressively,
"that we are met here with a purpose; I may say--er--an object in here
gathering together. It is my earnest wish, ladies and gentlemen, that
this--er--purpose may be fulfilled!"

He sat down amid a round of applause, mainly bestowed because he sat
down. But he held himself erect and didn't lean against the back of
the bench for a good five minutes.

"I call for the reports of the committees," announced the chairman.

A man arose and said:

"The committee on water begs to report that it has had the water
analyzed by a competent chemist and found the said water perfectly

Here a gentleman with a ruddy face jumped up and asked:

"Is the committee referring to the bathing water?"

"I refer to the drinking water," said the committee.

"Ah," ejaculated the red-faced man, a total lack of interest in his

Little Stakes jumped up.

"I want to know why the electric lights go out every night at ten
o'clock," he shouted, excitedly. "I want to know why we pay--"

"Look here--you're out of order!" cried the chairman.

"So are the lights!" yelled Stakes; but he sat down.

"I call for the report of the committee on lights," continued the
chairman, in deference to the protest.

There was an intense silence.

"The committee on lights will please report," said the chairman,
looking closely at Geo. B. Still.

The little fat man slowly arose.

"Am I the committee on lights?" he enquired.

"You are, sir."

"Are you sure?"

"Perfectly sure, Mr. Still. I remember Mr. Bennett nominated you and
there were several seconds."

"Oh. The minutes being lost, I supposed the seconds were lost, too."

"You were mistaken, Mr. Still."

"Well, the committee on lights, Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen,
finds that we are such good livers we haven't the gall to make a
report." And Mr. Still subsided slowly into his seat.

"Just like a lady's gown," said a wag, jocosely: "en traile."

"I'd like to know," roared a man on the back row of benches, "if the
street lights burn till twelve o'clock."

"Can't say," replied Geo. B. "I don't sit up to watch 'em."

"I move the report of the committee on lights and livers be accepted,"
said the wag.

The chairman gravely put the motion and it carried.

"How about the treasurer's report?" asked some one. "Did the secretary
mislay that, too?"

The secretary glared at the speaker. Then he laid aside his newspaper,
took an old envelope from his pocket, and read a memorandum evidently
penciled upon the back of it.

"Total receipts," said he, "one dollar and eighty-nine cents. Total
expenditures, two cents. Total cash balance on hand, one dollar and
eighty-seven cents. Respectfully submitted."

"What shall we do with the report?" asked the chairman.

"I want to know where that two cents went to," cried Mr. Calker, the
energetic gentleman on the back bench. "I demand an itemized report!"

The secretary and treasurer swore under his breath--or almost under his
breath, while the audience laughed.

"The two cents in question," he shouted, angrily, "was expended for one
postage stamp issued by the United States of America, on which there
was no rebate; and the stamp was thereafter attached to a letter to Mr.
Calker asking him to pay up his back dues to this Association--which
letter was absolutely disregarded."

"Then that expenditure was a misappropriation of public funds," said
Mr. Calker, in a satisfied tone.

"Move the treasurer's apology be accepted," said a voice.

"Move we adjourn," said another voice.

"Wait--wait!" cried the chairman. "We must elect our officers for the
coming year."

"Move the same officers be continued," said the last speaker.

"Second the emotion," said the tall man.

It was carried, unanimously but without emotion.

Then Jarrod arose to his feet, to the evident surprise of the

"Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen," he began, in his rich,
resonant voice.

The president bowed.



"Mr. Jarrod has the floor."

"I am a newcomer here," said Jarrod, "and have recently bought the
cottage known as 'Lake View.' With that property I acquired an equity
in all the parks and highways of Tamawaca; but I find that some one has
usurped portions of those parks and highways and erected cottages and
other buildings upon them. Those buildings must be removed, and the
public lands be restored to the public. I move you that your president
be instructed to appoint a committee of five cottage owners, who will
be authorized to take any necessary legal steps to enforce the removal
of all buildings now upon public grounds, and the restoration of all
public lands illegally sold and deeded to individuals."

Had a bomb been exploded in their midst the cottagers could not have
been more astonished. They gaped at Jarrod in open-mouthed amazement,
and were silent as bridge players struggling for the odd.

"Second the emotion," suddenly yelled Geo. B.

The chairman wiped his brow and looked worried. He repeated the motion
and asked for remarks. No one responded. Then he put the motion
to vote, and the people shouted "Aye!" with an enthusiasm the old
Auditorium had never heard before. For dimly they realized that at last
a leader had come among them, and proposed to do the thing they should
have done themselves years before.

"I appoint on this committee," said the chairman, "Mr. Jarrod; Colonel
Kerry; Judge Toodles; Mr. Wright and Mr. Teekey."

"Move we adjourn!" cried a voice.

This time the motion carried, and the meeting adjourned.



Wilder couldn't sleep that night.

"Something queer happened at the meeting," he told Nora. "I can't
understand exactly what it means, just yet; but I'll find out before I
need another shave."

So on Sunday afternoon he walked up to Lake View and interviewed Mr.
Jarrod as follows:

"Tell me, dear boy, what's the joke? It was awfully funny, and I
laughed as much as anybody. But what's your idea? Just to guy the

"My idea," said Jarrod, calmly, "is to sue you and Easton in the
courts and make you vacate wherever you've taken possession of public

"What! Sue me!"

"Exactly; you and Easton."

Wilder's merry face grew thoughtful.

"Do you mean it?" he asked, a bit uneasily.


Wilder thought again. Then he laughed.

"Why, it would ruin old Easton," he remarked, cheerfully; "ruin him
entirely. But he deserves it. I'd like to see his face when he has to
give up! It's what he's always been afraid of--that people would some
day wake up and make it hot for him."

"How about yourself?" asked Jarrod.

"Oh, it would ruin me, too, if you carried out the plan," admitted
Wilder. "But you won't carry it out."

"Why not?"

"Because you can do better."

"In what way?"

"See here, Mr. Jarrod," drawing his chair closer; "I take it we're
friends, and can talk this over confidentially. What Tamawaca needs
ain't to get back the few lots we've built on, but to improve what
there is left. We need new walks and driveways and a lot of public
improvements. We need to clear up the rubbish and make things look
decent. We need a new hotel, and a lot of other things to please the
people and make 'em happier and more comfortable."

"That's true," said Jarrod. "But why, as one of the owners of Tamawaca,
haven't you attended to these things?"

"Me? How could I? I've only got a third interest, and the man don't
live that can wring a nickel out of Easton for public improvements.
I've quarrelled with him and fought with him for years to try to get
something done; but he just won't. Says he hasn't got the money; and
perhaps that's true, for we lose money here every year."

"Oh, you do, eh?"

"Of course. Everything the company owns is run at a loss--electric
light plant, water works, ferries, hotel, boat liveries--everything!
By hard work Nora and I manage to make a bare living from our little
mercantile enterprises and the cottages we own and rent--just a bare
living. But the company property is a dead one. If things were kept up
better we might sell some more lots, and get more people here, and so
make a little money; but Easton don't see it that way."

"How does he see it?"

"Why, he just wants to putter 'round and lose money. I've tried to buy
him up, so as to make something of the place myself; but he won't sell.
That is, he wouldn't sell before this. But I imagine he would now."

"Because if we sue him he will lose it all?"

"You've hit the nail on the head! Listen, dear boy: you take your
committee to Easton tomorrow and threaten to sue him if he won't sell
out for--say, er--thirty thousand dollars. That's all the property's
worth. He'll sell, or my name ain't Wilder. Get an option to purchase
within thirty days."

"And then?"

Wilder turned half around and gave a solemn wink.

"Then if the cottagers can't raise the money, I'll raise it for 'em!"

"Good!" exclaimed Jarrod. "I think they'll raise it."

"And I think they won't," returned Wilder, smiling sweetly. "They're
a bunch of oysters. Whenever I try to raise a few hundreds by
subscription to build a new walk, they throw me down."

"Because it is your property," suggested Jarrod. "You and Easton owe a
duty to the cottagers to keep the walks in repair at your own expense."

"Well, it'll all be different if we can get the old man to sell out."

"Will you assist us?" asked the lawyer.

"Sure thing. I'll agree to take ten thousand for my third, although it
cost me a good deal more years ago. That'll leave twenty thousand for
Easton's share, and it's all he deserves. But never mind the details.
You just get that option for thirty thousand, and the game's won."

"I'll try," promised Jarrod.

Nora saw that her better half wore a broad smile when he returned to

"What's the result, presh?" she asked--the endearing term being a
contraction of "precious."

"The result hasn't happened yet," he answered, evasively; "but when it
does my dream will come true, little wife, and I'll own Tamawaca."

"That's nice," she replied. Then, as he turned toward the door: "Are
you going out again?"

"Why, I promised Nancy Todd that I'd stay with her father while she
went to Kochton on an errand," he said, resuming his usual cheery
manner. "Old Todd's all crippled up with rheumatism and helpless as an
infant in arms. Nancy hasn't any one to leave him with, so I told her
I'd look after the old man myself."

"I'm glad you did, presh," said the little woman, earnestly. "It'll do
Nancy a world of good to get away from him for a time. She's all used
up with the nursing and worry. And while you're over at Todd's I'll
drop in and see poor Mrs. Jones, who is sick in bed and needs cheering
up. We'll both be back by supper-time, I guess."

That was the way with the Wilders. Sharks in business and the tenderest
and sweetest of all humanity when anyone needed a helping hand.

I once heard an irascible old cottager exclaim: "Damn the Wilders'
scheming heads!" And then, after a pause: "But God bless their kindly
hearts!" It was the epitome of their characters, expressed in a
nutshell. How we all swore at them--yet how we loved them!



Jarrod got his Committee of Five together and looked them over. As
might be expected they were a queerly assorted lot and promised to be
difficult to manage.

The promise was fulfilled during the several meetings of the committee
that were quietly held on back porches. Colonel Kerry was the one tower
of strength; but a man used to managing thousands of miners and keeping
them in order was not likely to be easily managed himself. Kerry was
odd as Dick's hat band and had little to say at the meetings. He read
Jarrod's purpose clearly, and endorsed it; but the old fellow couldn't
stand the arguments and wandering suggestions of his fellow members
on the committee. While he listened he tore a fragment from an old
letter or newspaper and rolled it with infinite care and skill into the
inevitable spiral, shaping the thing between his fingers as carefully
as if it were something precious. But if anything occurred to annoy
him he promptly destroyed the spiral, put on his hat, and walked home
without a word. Then Jarrod had to go after him and urge and explain
until Kerry consented to come back to the meeting.

The members of the committee were all prominent men. If Kerry could
have cursed them freely everything would have been harmonious--as far
as he was concerned. As he couldn't swear his only recourse was to quit
and go home.

The author fellow, Mr. Wright, was another hard proposition. He was
stubborn, loud-mouthed and pig-headed, and wanted to carry everything
with a high hand, the way they do in novels. He had about as much
diplomacy as a cannon-ball, and his fellow members had to sit on him
twice a minute to keep him from spoiling everything. Judge Toodles
knew a heap of law but was sure to get tangled in its intricacies, and
when he tried to unravel himself was nearly as lucid and logical as a
straw in a cocktail. Teekey was an unknown quantity. He owned a fine
cottage built on public property, and although he had originally been
an "innocent purchaser" his doubtful title so worried him that he was
accustomed to obtain from Wilder and Easton a new deed about once a
year, and each deed he filed gave him a little more public land. He was
reputed a wealthy and eminently respectable gentleman, and the chances
of his fighting on the side of the cottagers and jeopardizing his own
property to assert the principles of right and justice were considered
good--but not gilt-edged.

With this ill-assorted material Jarrod labored until he molded it
into shape. For it must be admitted that in the end the members of the
committee stood shoulder to shoulder and did their full duty by the
cottagers who had appointed them. By these five Tamawaca was redeemed
and its incubi unseated.

Meantime Jarrod had reluctantly indulged in several interviews with
old Easton. This man was a most peculiar character. He loved to sing
hymns and made an excellent exhortation at any religious gathering.
Indeed, one milk-fed preacher who lived on the hill was openly jealous
of his evangelistic abilities. But the miserly instinct was predominant
in Easton's nature and, as Wilder expressed it, he could "squeeze a
cent till it hollered." It was this characteristic that subverted all
the good in his nature and made him universally detested. Wilder, his
partner, pursued his system of graft with the grace and cheeriness of
a modern Dick Turpin. Wilder was open-handed and charitable, generous
on occasion, always hospitable, and more crafty than roguish. Easton
was deliberate and calculating in his extortions and, like the ostrich
who hides his head in the sand to escape observation, fondly imagined
that no one suspected his persistent brigandage. He derived a fat
income from the necessities of the cottagers but pleaded poverty as
an excuse for not doing his duty by them. His methods were sly and
stealthy and he looked grieved and hurt if any exasperated cottager
frankly called him a damned scoundrel.

Jarrod forced himself to cultivate Easton's society in order to study
the man, for the elder partner's mild blue eyes and innocent expression
puzzled him at first. Easton, for his part, considered Jarrod an
impertinent meddler, but resolved to use him as an instrument to carry
out a pet scheme he had for dispossessing Wilder.

"With Wilder's interest out of the way," he would observe, "everything
would be well at lovely Tamawaca. If I were the sole proprietor here
the cottagers would soon find out how dearly I love them. Wilder
obstructs all my generous plans to improve conditions, and I'd like to
buy him out."

"Why don't you?" enquired Jarrod.

"He won't sell to me," was the reply. "But perhaps we can fool him."


"I'll explain--in confidence. You buy out his interest. Tell him you'll
make it very uncomfortable for him if he refuses to sell. See? I'll
furnish the money, and afterward you can turn the whole thing over to

"Would that be fair and honorable?" asked Jarrod, gravely.

"Would I propose it, otherwise?" returned Easton, as if surprised at
the question. "Mr. Jarrod, my feet are in the straight and narrow
way, and I will not diverge from the path of rectitude. But if in that
path appears a snake, I am surely justified in scotching it. You buy
out Wilder, as I said, and then I'll buy you out. Nothing dishonest in

"I'll think it over," said the lawyer. "I may decide to buy you both

"Of course. As a blind. But only as a blind, you understand."

"I don't understand everything just now, Mr. Easton. I must give the
matter some careful thought."

During several similar conversations, however, Jarrod came to know
his man intimately, and as his knowledge grew his respect for the
"Father of Tamawaca" decreased. Neither Easton nor Wilder believed
the cottagers would ever assert their rights, and therefore each was
scheming desperately to oust his partner and get the control in his own

Finally Jarrod decided the time had arrived to act. He got together
his committee of five, explained to them his plans, and received the
assurance of their loyal support. Then, a meeting being arranged, they
called in a body upon Easton at his office and frankly stated that the
partners must sell out to the cottagers all their interests at Tamawaca
or prepare to stand a law suit for the recovery of the public lands
illegally sold and occupied by them.

Perhaps Easton imagined that Jarrod had taken his cue and was acting
upon it. He tried to restrain a smile of triumph in order to listen
gravely to the proposition.

Wilder sat in a corner and hugged himself gleefully. The old man was
"up against it" at last, and Wilder was responsible for forcing him to
"face the music"--at least that was Wilder's belief.

Jarrod, in behalf of the cottagers, began the interview by calmly
stating their case. They had been robbed of certain public lands that
belong to them in legal equity, and the partners had not only sold
these lands to themselves, individually, and built cottages and public
buildings upon them, but had conveyed many of these lands to others,
giving them warranty deeds in lieu of clear titles. If the matter was
brought to the attention of the courts Easton and Wilder would be
obliged to make these warrants good; in which case, so extensive had
been the fraudulent sales, such an order from the court would involve
the partners in financial ruin.

However, it was not the desire of the cottagers to ruin their
oppressors. They much preferred to buy out their holdings at Tamawaca,
and be rid of them forever. Therefore they offered thirty thousand
dollars for the property, assuming in addition to the purchase price
some six or eight thousands of standing indebtedness.

Jarrod might be carrying out "the blind," but something in his manner
as he made this clear and uncontrovertible statement disturbed
Easton's equanimity and rendered him suspicious that the lawyer had
not properly swallowed the bait that had been dangled before him. But
in this juncture he could think of no way to escape. Whichever way he
looked he encountered the cold eyes of the determined and resentful
committee of five, and to delay his answer until he could sound Jarrod
was impossible. Moreover, Wilder, who acted his part admirably, seemed
to Easton to have tumbled blindly into his trap. The junior partner
declared that he was willing to dispose of his one-third interest for
ten thousand dollars, and the fear that he might retract this offer led
Easton to close with the proposition made him by the cottagers. At the
worst he could wiggle out of it in some way, he believed; so the one
thing to do was to nail Wilder on the spot.

The final result of this serio-comic interview was that Wilder and
Easton both signed an option in favor of Jarrod as trustee for the
cottagers, agreeing to sell the entire real and personal property in
which they were jointly interested for thirty thousand dollars, at any
time within thirty days following that date.

When the option was signed and in his pocket Jarrod felt that his
purpose was accomplished. His committee had redeemed this beautiful
summer resort from all speculative evils, ensuring its future control
to the cottagers themselves, whose best interests would now be

It was indeed a great triumph, and the Committee of Five solemnly shook
hands with one another and went home to tell their wives and neighbors
of their success.

Wilder, in the seclusion of his own home, danced a jig of jubilation.

"They've got the option," he said to Nora, "but they've got no money.
I'll furnish the money to take up the option--and the deed is done!"

"Will they give you the option?" asked Nora.

"Why not? Somebody's got to make the bluff good, and I'm the only one
that can afford to. What do these folks want of a summer resort? They
couldn't run it properly for five minutes. And Easton's the man they
hate, because he's always stood in the way of public improvements.
Wilder's their friend--eh?--and they'll all be glad when he's the whole

Easton was a bit less sanguine. "The situation," he told his better
half, "is not as clear as I wish it was. But I've never yet failed to
get my way with the cottagers, and a little diplomacy ought to enable
me to win this time. My only fear is that Jarrod may not be honest."



Jim opened the fatal telegram in the post-office, and his face must
have been a study; for Jarrod, who was observing it from a distance,
became interested and at once approached his young friend.

"No bad news, I hope, Jim?"

The boy laughed and held out the telegram.

"Just a kick in the dark, Mr. Jarrod, and it only hurts because it was
so unexpected. I've been a model clerk, you know, and now that I've
just spent my surplus capital on a vacation, I'm granted another and
longer one, without pay. Well," with an involuntary sigh, "there are
other clerkships, of course, and I'll probably get one. But you've
no idea, sir, how much labor it takes to find a job at twelve a
week--especially in the summer season."

"Jim," said Jarrod, thoughtfully, "this is a bit of good luck, if
judged from my own selfish viewpoint. I need some one very badly, to
help me clear up a lot of accumulated work. Would you mind being my
clerk for a few weeks?"

Jim's face was beaming.

"Do you really mean it, Mr. Jarrod? Can I be of use to you?"

"Indeed you can, my boy. You'll have to stay at Tamawaca, but as a
worker instead of a drone. Can you run a typewriter?"

"Yes; I used one at college for a couple of years, and got to be fairly
expert. But I know nothing of short-hand."

"That isn't necessary. I shall require your services every forenoon,
but you may have the afternoons to yourself. I'll give you twenty
dollars a week and pay your board at the hotel."

"Isn't that too much, Mr. Jarrod?"

"Not for the work you must do. Any intelligent man would cost me that
much, and I will need you but a couple of months--until I go home."

"Very good, sir. I'll do my best to please you."

"Then you're my secretary. Come around to my cottage at nine o'clock
Monday morning."

"Thank you, Mr. Jarrod."

That evening Jim told Susie he would not have to bid her good-bye, as
they had expected, for he had been discharged as a dry-goods clerk and
employed as a private secretary, which was a distinct advance in his

Susie listened gravely, but was evidently much pleased.

"The girls told me yesterday," she said, "that Katie had written her
father and asked him to discharge you, because you had been impudent
enough to become acquainted with the exclusive young ladies of Tamawaca
under false pretenses."

"But I didn't, Susie! I met them through your accident, and they never
asked me how I earned a living."

"I know; but they forget that. They say you imposed upon them by
assuming that you are a gentleman."

Jim laughed merrily.

"Where do you draw the line, Susie, between a gentleman
and--and--what's the other thing?--an undesirable acquaintance?"

"Perhaps so. I don't draw the line, myself, so you must ask the girls
to explain. Perhaps, now that you've become the private secretary of a
famous lawyer, you will be cultivated instead of being snubbed. But I'm
not sure of that."

Jim started work Monday morning and found his task no sinecure. Jarrod
had a lot of correspondence to answer and a good many papers to be
copied. Also there was an inventory to be made of the property covered
by the option given by Easton and Wilder, and their books to be gone
over. But Jim was both industrious and intelligent, and seemed to "fit
the job" very well indeed.

Katie Glaston's triumph was brief. She had actually boosted Jim several
pegs on the road to fortune, and when the girl discovered this she was
so provoked that she left Tamawaca and went to visit friends at Spring

The other girls began to be properly ashamed of themselves, although
the heiress refused to alter her opinion that "a poor young man had no
business at a summer resort."

Gladys and Betty began nodding to Jim as he passed by, and although
he returned the salutations with graceful politeness he never stopped
or attempted to resume the old friendly relations. He had grown
wonderfully fond of plain little Susie, who had remained his faithful
adherent, and her society seemed just now fully sufficient to satisfy
all his needs. He even took her to some of the dances, and found her a
much more satisfactory partner than on that first evening when he met
her and tested her accomplishments as a Terpsichore. She was still a
bit awkward, but the little speeches they whispered to each other made
them forget they were dancing until the music stopped and reminded them
of the fact. The heiress had a new beau--a bulky blond named Neddie
Roper--who was reputed a social lion and a railway magnate, although it
afterward transpired he worked in the Pullman shops. Therefore Clara
positively ignored "that Smith girl and her dry-goods clerk," who ought
to have felt properly humiliated, but didn't.

Wilder came to Jarrod in a day or so and said:

"Well, dear boy, I've got the cold cash in hand to take up that option;
so if you'll turn it over to me I'll settle the matter in a jiffy."

"In what way?" asked Jarrod.

"Why, I'll pay Easton his twenty thousand and let him go. And then I'll
begin an era of public improvements, and try to induce the cottagers to
fix things up a bit."

"I can't let you have the option," replied Jarrod. "It was given to me
as trustee for the cottagers, and belongs to them."

"Have they got thirty thousand dollars to take it up?"

"No; not yet."

"And they never will have it," declared Wilder. "Your cottagers are a
lot of corn-cobs, and you couldn't squeeze any juice out of them with a

"I'm not sure of that," returned Jarrod, smiling. "Anyhow, the option
is theirs to accept or reject, and I've called a meeting for Saturday
night to find out what they wish to do."

That worried Wilder a little until he reflected that the cottagers'
meetings were all "hot air and soap-bubbles." They couldn't raise
thirty thousand dollars for Tamawaca in thirty years, and sooner or
later the option would be turned over to him as a matter of course.

Meantime old man Easton had been quietly observant of the situation,
and after the meeting of the cottagers was announced his suspicions
that Jarrod was "not honest" took definite form and threw him into a
condition bordering upon nervous prostration. He made a bee-line for
the lawyer's cottage, and found Jarrod sunning himself on the front

"Good morning, Mr. Jarrod," he began, cordially.

Jarrod nodded, but did not ask his visitor to be seated. He had just
been going through the books of the partners and had discovered things
that to his mind rendered social intercourse with a man like Easton

"I've called around to get that option," remarked the old man, seating
himself upon the porch railing.

"What option?"

"The one I gave you so as to fool Wilder. You know what I mean," with
an attempt at a jocose laugh which ended in an hysterical gurgle.

"Do you refer to the option you granted to me, as trustee for the
cottagers of Tamawaca?" asked the lawyer, coldly.

"Why--why--that was only a bluff, you know. I gave you the option so as
to buy out Wilder. You know that well enough."

Jarrod shook his head.

"The option belongs to the cottagers," he said. "You can't have it,
Mr. Easton."

"What! Can't have the option!" His voice expressed both astonishment
and reproach.

"By no means."

"I--I'm--afraid I'm going to--to faint!" gasped Easton in a wailing
voice, as he fanned himself with his hat.

"I wouldn't," remarked the lawyer.

"But I--Oh, this is terrible--terrible!" gasped the old man, piteously.
"If I don't get that option, Mr. Jarrod, I shall be ruined--utterly

His frail body swayed from side to side, and with eyes half shut he
watched the effect of his misery upon the stern faced man seated before

"Quite likely," said Jarrod, yawning.

"Ruined--ruined! At my age to face the poor-house! Oh, my poor

He leaned backward, threw up his arms and fell over the rail of the
porch to lie motionless on the soft sand beneath.

Jarrod laughed. After a minute or so of silence he said calmly:

"There's a red spider crawling up your left pant-leg."

Easton sat up and with a nervous motion shook the bottoms of his
trousers. Then he glanced at his persecutor, who was just now gazing
reflectively over the smooth waters of the lake, which showed between
the foliage of the trees.

"Sir," said the old man, in a voice trembling with emotion, as he
dusted the sand from his clothes and once more mounted the steps of the
porch, "you are a cold-blooded brute!"

"I know," acknowledged Jarrod. "But I'm not as bad as I used to be. Ask
my wife. She'll tell you I haven't knocked her down and stamped on her
in over a month."

Easton sighed. He must change his tactics, evidently.

"I take it," he remarked, in a mournful voice, "that this is a business

"You should have taken it that way before," said Jarrod.

Easton brightened.

"Of course," he rejoined. "How careless of me! But now, I trust, we
understand each other. How much, Mr. Jarrod?"


Easton glanced furtively around to assure himself there were no

"How much will you take to deliver to me that paper--the option I gave
you the other day?"


"That's all right. Get as indignant as you like, Mr. Jarrod. I admire
you for it. But just state your figure and I'll write you a check." He
took out a check-book, and began to unscrew his fountain-pen. "Every
man has his price, of course; but I know you won't rob me, Mr. Jarrod.
You'll be reasonable, because I'm an old man and can't afford to----"

A door slammed and he looked up startled. The porch was empty save for
his own astonished person, and after waiting five or ten minutes for
the lawyer to return Easton slowly slid his check-book into his pocket
and tottered home with feeble, uncertain steps.

After that interview Jarrod seemed different, even to his friends. His
jaw was set and his eyes had a steely gleam in them that boded no good
to any who might interfere with his purposes. Never before, even in
those wild days when he strove to control the Crosbys, had he felt so
humiliated and humbled in his own estimation, and his one desire was to
have done with this miserable business as soon as possible.

The cottagers' meeting was a surprise not only to Wilder, who
took pains to be present and had pains because of it, but to the
participants themselves. Jarrod's report of what had been accomplished
set them wild with enthusiasm, and when they realized that their
committee had faithfully served their interests and found a way to
release them from the bondage of Easton and Wilder, they promptly awoke
from their customary lethargy and voted to take up the option. Every
person present agreed to subscribe for stock in a new company composed
exclusively of cottagers, which would thereafter own and control
Tamawaca and operate the public utilities without profit and for the
benefit of the community as a whole.

"But," said Wilder to Jarrod, next day, "you can't issue stock until
you have the property, and you have no way to raise the thirty
thousand to get the property. Why not turn the option over to me
without any more fooling?"

"Wait," replied the lawyer, smiling. He did not resent Wilder's
eagerness to get the option, because he was frank and straightforward
in his methods. But his one word was so far from encouraging that
Wilder looked at him and shuddered involuntarily. Never in his
experience had he encountered a man like this, who didn't know when he
was beaten and couldn't be cajoled or bulldozed. From that moment his
fears grew, until he was forced to realize that in carrying out his
clever scheme to oust his partner he had also ousted himself from a
peculiarly profitable business enterprise.

Wilder was right in his statement that it had always been impossible to
induce the cottagers to put any money into public improvements; yet
that was because they realized they were asked to pay for things that
Easton and Wilder should have done at their own expense. But conditions
had now changed. Jarrod could have had a hundred thousand dollars as
easily as the thirty required to take up the option. A dozen stood
ready to advance the money, but the lawyer selected three of the most
public spirited and liberal of the cottagers, and made them popular
by letting them advance ten thousand each. The option was taken up,
because neither Easton nor Wilder could find a way to legally withdraw
from its terms, and the transfer was consummated, all the property
being formally deeded to the newly incorporated Tamawaca Association.

Thus ended one of the most amusing financial intrigues on record. The
amount involved was insignificant; Tamawaca itself is almost unknown
in the great world. Yet the three-cornered game was as carefully
planned and played as any of the campaigns of Napoleon, and it was
won because each of the partners conspired against the other and was
finally content to be a loser by the deal as long as he could cause
annoyance to his enemy. Never, in all probability, could the cottagers
in any other way have been able to secure control of the beautiful
resort where they had built their summer homes.

As for Jarrod, he hid to escape congratulations that were showered upon
him from every side, and in the seclusion of his side porch breathed a
sigh of relief.



Jim speedily found himself upon friendly terms with all the "resorters"
at Tamawaca. He worked for Jarrod mornings and in the afternoons and
evenings enjoyed himself thoroughly. When "Regatta Week" arrived--the
week of the Yacht Club boat races, when the four yachtsmen competed for
the prizes that were donated by the liberal merchants of Kochton and
Grand Rapids, and divided the spoils amicably--during that week Jim
helped to get up the annual "Venetian Evening," the one really famous
attraction of the year.

On this occasion the entire bay was enclosed with lines of gorgeous
Japanese lanterns placed in artistic designs along the shore. The Yacht
Club, the hotels at Iroquois Bay and Tamawaca and all the buildings
facing the bay were elaborately decorated with bunting and lanterns,
while the sail-boats anchored upon the mirror-like surface of the water
displayed a like splendor. Bands played on the ferry-boats, bonfires on
the neighboring heights glared and twinkled, many launches brilliant
with colored lights moved slowly over the bay, while rockets and roman
candles sent their spluttering displays into the dim sky overhead. All
the world was there to see the sight and the popcorn and peanut men
reaped a harvest.

It has been seriously asserted that Venice in its palmiest days has
never been able to compete with Tamawaca on "Venetian Evening."

During the delightful August weather social functions at the resort
reached their acme of enjoyment and followed one another as thickly as
the fleeting hours would permit. In some circles these affairs were
conducted with much solemn propriety; but many folks who suffered
under the imperious exactions of "good form" during the rest of the
year revolted from its tyranny while on their summer vacations, and
loved to be merry and informal. They were gathered from many cities of
the South, East, North and West, and here thrown together in a motley
throng whose antecedents and established social positions at home it
would be both difficult and useless to determine. So certain congenial
circles were formed with the prime object of "having a good time," and
they undoubtedly succeeded in their aim.

Jim, who before he quarrelled with his father had been accustomed to
mingle with the 400 of old St. Louis, was greatly amused at some of
these entertainments, many of which he attended with demure little

Rivers, a jolly fellow who owned a lake front cottage--one of the
titles to distinction at Tamawaca--organized a "surprise party" on
George B. Still (another lake-fronter) one evening. A band of some
twenty people assembled at the cottage of a neighbor, all carrying
baskets laden with frosted bricks in place of cake, beer-bottles filled
with clear spring water but still bearing Budweiser labels, mud-pies
with nicely browned crusts, turnips fried to resemble saratoga chips
and other preposterous donations of a similar character.

Then they stole silently to George's cottage, and when he opened the
door in answer to their timid knock burst into a sudden flood of
merriment that never subsided until after midnight.

The Stills were as pleased as could be, but no one paid much attention
to them. Somebody thumped the piano while everybody else danced a
two-step regardless of interfering toes or furniture.

Little Drybug, a dapper man who weighed about seventy-six pounds but
didn't look so heavy, cavorted with blushing Mrs. Still who weighed
something less than three hundred--but not much--and nearly committed
suicide in the attempt. Commodore Diller danced with Grandma Jones, a
rosy-cheeked antiquity who blushed as charmingly as a girl of sixteen,
and the general mix-up was about as laughable as could well be.

In the breathless pause that presently ensued as a matter of course,
Mr. Idowno, a solemn faced gentleman who had attended the party with
his smiling, chubby wife but could not dance a single caper, protested
in an audible tone that it was time he must be going. "I have to work
for a living, you know," explained this individual, who was director in
several banks and controlled a number of business enterprises and could
not get them off his mind.

But the company laughed him to scorn and decided to play "five
hundred" for a series of prizes that had not been provided in advance,
and were therefore invisible.

So the self-invited guests rigged up card tables and chose partners
and fought and quarreled for points until Mrs. Rivers rung a gong and
invited all to supper.

Then they jumped up and trooped into an adjoining room, where the
frosted bricks and mud pies had been spread for a banquet; and although
George B. accepted his donations with good humor the guests began to
wonder if the joke was not on themselves, after all, since their jolly
exertions had created a demand in their interiors for real food.

"Well, I must be going," said the solemn Idowno. "I have to work

"This way, please!" called Mrs. Still, cheerily, and threw open another
door, disclosing an enticing array of provender that caused a stampede
in that direction.

"How on earth did you happen to have all this on hand?" Susie enquired
of Mrs. Still, as she and Jim squeezed themselves into a corner.
"Didn't Mrs. Rivers keep her surprise party a secret?"

"Of course, as secret as she can keep anything," answered the laughing
hostess; "but I had an intuition there'd be a lot of hungry folks here
tonight, so we've been busy all day getting ready for them."

After the supper, which consumed two hours in being consumed, Mr.
Idowno once more claimed he must be going; but the guests rose up and
loudly demanded the prizes they had won at cards. From the size of the
hubbub it appeared that nearly every one present was entitled to a

For once the Stills were non-plussed. They really hadn't thought of
"prizes" for their surprise party, and hesitated what to say or do.
But their guests settled the matter in their own way.

Mr. Iward took possession of a Japanese screen; Mrs. Rivers grabbed a
mantel ornament; Mrs. Jarrod seized upon an antique candlestick she had
long coveted and plump Mrs. Diller grabbed a picture off the wall. Mrs.
Purspyre found a Bible and appropriated it because she had always had a
curiosity to read it. Mr. Bowsir espied a paper-cutter of ivory, which
he secured after a struggle with George B., who wanted it himself,
while Katherine Pance swiped an embroidered cover from the center-table
and Mr. Connover took the table itself.

And so, amid screams and laughter, the pretty room was despoiled of its
treasures, for the Stills were greatly outnumbered by their guests and
powerless to protect their property.

As the heavily laden company trooped away down the walk, singing
as blithely as the forty thieves might have done, Mr. Wright, the
author-man, who had really won a prize but found the place stripped
when he returned from the dining-room (where he had been to hunt for
one last sandwich) gave a sigh and lifted the front door from its
hinges, carrying it home with many protests that "it was just about as
useful as any prize he had won that year."

And so ended the "surprise party," but little Minnie Still said
confidentially to her chum next day:

"We had a rough-house at our cottage last night, and they behaved just
dreadful! Why, if we young folks ever acted the way those old married
people did, my mother would send me back to Quincy in double-quick

Such commentaries by children upon their elders are doubly sad when
they happen to be true.



"Jim," said Colonel Kerry, meeting the young man at the post-office,
"that cottage of Grant's, up near mine, has been rented at last. The
parties took possession today."

"Who got it, Colonel?"

"One of the big millionaires of St. Louis, they say; and he's arrived
with his wife and daughters and a whole gang of servants. Jarrod says
he's a capital fellow, but didn't mention the size of the capital.
Money won't buy health, Jim, and the poor Midas is an invalid and came
here to try to brace up."

Jim was white and staring.

"You--you didn't hear the name, Colonel?"

"Why, yes; it's Everton."

The young man gave a low, solemn whistle and walked away with a
guilty and disturbed demeanor, while the colonel favored a group that
had overheard his remarks with further particulars concerning the new

There was considerable excitement in quiet Tamawaca over the advent of
the Evertons; for while the resort boasted several families of great
wealth, none was so marvelously rich or of such conspicuous note as the
well known patent medicine man who had won mountains of gold by the
sale of his remedies. And when it was understood his own poor health
had brought him to this place to seek relief the folks were really
shocked, and George B. Still declared he would send the poor man a
bottle of "Everton's Magic Healer" and ask him to read the printed
testimonials. The affair was a nine days' gossip because the people
had for the time exhausted the subject of Easton & Wilder and craved

When Jim went to Susie with a hanging head and told her his father
had come to the very place where he had himself taken refuge, the
girl counselled with him seriously, and advised him not to run away
but rather to meet his family frankly and if possible resume friendly
relations with them.

"The only thing that Mr. Carleton urges against our engagement," she
said, "is that you have not treated your parents fairly in this matter.
And your poor father is ill, they say, and must be unhappy over the
desertion of his only son. How do you feel about it, Jim?"

"Why, I haven't looked at the matter in that light before, Susie," he
replied. "But I'll think it over and try to do what is right. What do
we do this evening?"

"We're invited to Mrs. Herringford's party, and I'm curious to go
and see what it will be like. The old lady is the mother of Mrs.
Drybug--you remember the Drybugs, don't you? Both the little dears
weigh about as much as a healthy schoolboy, and they remind one of ants
because they're so busy and you have to be careful not to step on them."

"I remember. If Mrs. Herringford is the mother of the Drybugs she ought
to be able to do stunts."

"Well, let's go."

So they went, as curious as every one else who had been invited, and
were glad they did not miss the show.

The oldest inhabitant could not remember when Mrs. Herringford had ever
entertained before. At the Yacht Club card parties she was always in
evidence, and the little lady played such an earnest, strenuous game
that the men rather avoided being her partners. Once George B. Still,
being caught, "bid" with such desperate recklessness that he set back
poor Mrs. Herringford far enough to ruin her game, and she went home
broken-hearted. But usually she glared at her partner so fiercely that
he played with unusual care and made the game a business and not a
diversion. Every one liked her, when she was at some other card table.

Tonight the lady wished to repay all her social obligations in a bunch
by giving a party at her cottage. Being rather nervous, she asked Mrs.
McCoy and the Widow Marsh to assist her to receive. Mrs. McCoy was a
sweet little woman who was every body's friend and therefore could
refuse Mrs. Herringford nothing that might please her, while the Widow
Marsh was possessed of such grace and beauty that she charmed every
male heart in spite of her modest ways and made the women with husbands
nervous whenever she was around.

With two such drawing cards the Herringford party could scarcely fail
of success, yet as the guests slowly arrived the atmosphere of gloom
that hung over the place was hard to dissipate. Mr. Idowno, one of the
first comers, began to look at his watch and suggest that it was time
to go, as "he had to work for a living;" but the Widow Marsh suspected
his intention and made him forget his worries by sitting at his side
and telling him how young he was growing.

The invited guests were so slow to arrive that some never came at all,
but bye and bye there were enough to start the card playing, and then
the hostess made them a clever speech.

"I haven't any prizes for the winners," she announced, "because I want
a very harmonious gathering here tonight and prizes always result in
disappointment, malice and envy. Besides, they're getting expensive.
But I hope you'll all play in a friendly spirit for the honor of
winning, and that you'll have a real good time."

Instead of applauding this speech, Mr. Idowno looked at his watch, but
his wife pinched him and made him put it away and take a seat at one of
the card tables.

It is impossible to repress Tamawaca folks when they are out for a
good time--which is the only reason they are ever out. "These people,"
whispered Lucy Kerry to her neighbor, "would enjoy themselves at a
funeral." "True," was the reply; "especially if they could pick the

To relieve any chill in the temperature they at once began to laugh
and joke with one another, while Mrs. McCoy and the Widow Marsh
fluttered around to see that all were properly paired and the cards
were rightly sorted. The game began with as much energy as a lack of
prizes would warrant, but no effort could make it a whirlwind of joy,
so presently they gave up the cards and played blindman's bluff and
puss-in-the-corner. Mrs. Herringford was worried to death lest some one
should catch her and kiss her, but no man was so ungentlemanly.

Although these youthful frolics served to while away the front of the
evening, there was no temptation to linger very late, so when Mr.
Stakes suggested that they all "go home and have a good time" the party
was on the verge of breaking up.

"Wait--wait!" cried Mrs. Herringford. "We're going to have

Being cowed by wonder and made curious by the unexpected revelation,
they waited.

The hostess disappeared into the kitchen.

"It hardly seems possible," murmured Mrs. Purspyre, "but truth is
stranger than Mrs. Herringford. We shall see what we shall see. Her
grocery bill was twenty-eight cents last week, and she is said to have
half a million in government four-per-cents. Perhaps she's going to
open her heart, to prove she's alive and not a resuscitated Egyptian
mummy, as Mr. Wright claims she is. Let's wait."

They waited, and waited so long that the Widow Marsh and Mrs. McCoy had
hard work to prevent a stampede through the front door. But finally
the hostess appeared, bearing two plates and radiant with the joy of
generous hospitality.

"Run, Lucy and Grace and Ada and Mary," she called, "and help me bring
in the plates. The refreshments are all ready!"

They ran and brought in the plates. Upon each one was placed with
dainty care one soda cracker, one withered ginger-snap and one puffy
cracknel. The guests took the "refreshments" in dismal silence and
began to gnaw.

"But there's no plate for you, my dear," said Mrs. McCoy to the
hostess, in a solicitous tone.

"Never mind," returned the little lady, cheerfully; "I ain't hungry, so
I guess I can wait till breakfast."

Mrs. Purspyre choked on the puffy cracknel and was saved to the world
by a glass of water. Mrs. Herringford thoughtfully brought water for
them all.

"You'll find it nice and fresh," she said, with pardonable pride, as
she poured the precious fluid with a lavish hand.

"Then it's different from this ginger-snap," remarked Mr. Wogie,
nursing a jarred tooth.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" announced Mr. Sherlock, getting upon his
feet and waving one arm. "Let us thank Mrs. Herringford for her kind
entertainment, which will be a red letter event in our calendar of
glorious memories. This dissipation is unusual with us all, but I
hope in no case will it prove fatal. Once in a while it is good for
stagnant humanity to indulge in high life and cracknels--"

"Bravo!" shouted one of the Naylor girls, who had pocketed her
refreshments to carry home as a souvenir.

"Therefore," concluded the orator, "let us leave the glamour and
bewildering gaiety of these festivities and seek a more common-place
seclusion. Let us thank Mrs. Herringford once again--and go home."

"Bravo!" yelled Idowno, jumping up, and instantly the meeting



"Mr. Jarrod" said Jim when he went to work next morning, "father's

"I've just been to call upon him," returned the lawyer, looking
steadily at the young man; "but you haven't."

Jim flushed.

"Does he know I'm here?" he asked, hesitatingly.

"I told him. He didn't know it until then. Your mother and Nellie and
May are all delighted and eager to see you."

"And father?"

"He did not express himself as glad or sorry. You've offended him
deeply, Jim."

The boy thrust his hands into his pockets and looked thoughtful.

"I'd like to see mother," he said, musingly. "She's as tender and
sweet as any mother can be, Mr. Jarrod; but the poor dear is entirely
under my father's thumb, and even his frown terrifies her."

"Hm," said the lawyer. "I thought that kind of wives became extinct
years ago."

"Mother's the old-fashioned sort, sir. And the girls are all right, in
their way--for sisters. But dad has a dreadful temper, and when he gets
on his high horse all I can do is to jaw back."

"No two in a family should try to ride the high horse at the same
time," observed Jarrod; "and you must remember that the head of the
house controls the stables. He's sick, Jim, and his pain makes him
crabbed. Why not try to bear with him, and be friendly?"

"That's what Susie says. Perhaps I really ought to go up to the cottage
and call."

"There's no question about it. Go now."

Jim hesitated.

"I said I'd never darken his doors again, you know," he intimated,

"These are not his doors. It's Grant's cottage."

"So it is. Well, I'll go."

He pulled his hat down over his ears desperately, buttoned his coat in
spite of the heat, and with tense muscles but trembling lips marched up
the hill to the Grant cottage.

Before he could knock the door flew open and he was in his mother's
arms. The poor lady was sobbing with joy, and led her errant son into
the room where his father sat propped with cushions in an easy chair.

"Here's Jim!" she said, trembling with uncertainty and a well founded
fear of the interview to follow.

Mr. Everton looked at his boy and nodded.

"Sit down, Jim," he said. The tone was not harsh, but lacked cordiality.

Jim sat down.

"How are you, sir?"

"Pretty bad. I don't seem to find any relief."

Once Jim had wickedly suggested that he take his own rheumatism cure;
but the remark had led to all their trouble, so he twirled his hat and
answered perfunctorily:

"I'm sorry, sir."

Such mildness of demeanor ought to have placated the father. But
Everton was eyeing his son suspiciously.

"They tell me you're working. A lawyer's clerk."

"I'm Mr. Jarrod's private secretary, sir."

"Huh! Good job for a college man, isn't it? Nice investment I made when
I sent you to Cornell."

Jim wondered what he would say if he knew he had until recently been a
dry-goods clerk.

"Haven't you had about enough of this two-penny folly?" demanded his
father, more harshly.

"Oh, I've discovered that I can earn my own living," said the boy,

"That isn't the point. I reared you with the expectation that you would
be of some use to me when I grew old and feeble. That time has arrived.
I need you to help look after the business. Look here: do you owe
nothing to me?"

Jim examined the pattern on the rug.

"Just as much as I owe myself, sir. Surely not more."

"Then pay your obligation to me first, and you can do as you please

"All right. That's fair."

His mother, who sat beside him silently holding his hand, hugged him
again, and even Mr. Everton seemed pleased by the frank answer.

"You jeered at the business once, and called it a--a fake!" resumed
the elder man, somewhat bitterly; "but it's nothing of the sort. Every
one of the Everton Remedies is prepared according to the formula of a
skillful physician, and they've helped lots of suffering people. Is not
my name highly respected? Answer me!"

"I think it is."

"Very well. You shall be my assistant and have an interest in the
business. I'll allow you ten thousand a year."

"Good!" said Jim, brightening suddenly. "Then I can get married."

"Oh, Jim!" cried his mother.

"To whom, sir?" asked his father.

"Why, to Susie. Perhaps you haven't heard of her. She's a girl I met at

"What's her other name?"

"Smith. Susie Smith," dwelling on it lovingly.

"Smith! Well, who is she?"

"The sweetest girl in all the world, sir."

"Bah! Who are her people? Where does she come from?"

"I don't know."


"I haven't asked about her family. Why should I, when she's all right
herself? She's stopping with Mr. Carleton--W. E. Carleton, the railway
contractor. He says he knows you."


"Susie lives in New York, I think, or some Eastern city. Her mother is
dead but her father is still on deck--I'm positive of that, for she
often speaks of him."

"What does he do?"

"Can't imagine, I'm sure."

"Jim, you're a fool--a doddering imbecile!"

"All right."

"Oh, Henry--please don't quarrel!" exclaimed Mrs. Everton, beginning
to weep anew.

But the invalid was suffering twinges and would not be stayed.

"You'll have to give up that girl for good and all," he roared. "Susie
Smith! Some cheap stenographer or a paid companion to Mrs. Carleton, I
suppose. Some designing hussy who thinks you'll have money, and wants
to get her clutches on it. Susie Smith! For heaven's sake, Jim, why
can't you have a little sense?"

Jim got up, slowly and with a white face.

"Father, I don't know much about Susie except that I love her and mean
to marry her. And I won't have you sneer at her, even if you are ill
and bad tempered. You have no reason to say a word against her."


"I know," a smile creeping over his face to soften its fierceness; "but
I'll change that name, pretty soon. Susie Everton isn't so bad, is it?"

"Give her up, Jim. Don't let her come between us."

"She's there, Dad, and you can't thrust her away."

"Give her up."

"I won't!"

Mrs. Everton was sobbing softly. The invalid turned on his cushions
with a sigh. But his jaws were closed tight and his brow bent to a
frown. Jim had quite regained his composure.

"I hope you'll soon get better, sir," he remarked. "I shall be in
Tamawaca for some weeks yet, and if I can be of any help in any way,
let me know. Good bye, mother."

As he turned to go the door burst open and Nellie and May dashed in
and threw themselves upon their brother with glad cries and smothering
kisses. They were bright, pretty girls, and Jim loved them and was
proud of them.

"Is it all made up, Jim?" asked Nell, anxiously.

"Not quite, little sister," smiling at her.

"Oh, but it must be! It's all wrong, dear, for us to be separated this
way. Tell him so, father!" turning appealingly to the invalid.

"He refused my overtures," said Mr. Everton, testily.

"Oh, no!" laughed Jim; "he refused my sweetheart."

The girls clapped their hands gleefully.

"We've heard all about it, in the town," said one. "Oh, Jim, you lucky

"And whom do you think it is, Dad?" asked the other eagerly, as she
seated herself beside her father's chair.

"I don't know; and Jim don't know."

"But _we_ know! She's an old friend of ours. We knew her at Wellesley,
and we've just called upon her and kissed her and hugged her for old
times' sake. Father, it's Susie Smith!"

"Smith!" with a snort of contempt.

"The only, only child of the great Agamemnon Smith, the richest
Standard Oil magnate after Rockefeller himself!"

Jim fell into a chair and stared at his father. His father stared at

"And that isn't all," said May, gushingly. "Susie's as lovely as she is
rich--the sweetest, cutest, brightest and cunningest little thing that
ever lived."

"To think that Susie Smith will be our sister!" cried Nell, clasping
her hands ecstatically.

"And--and--Jim can change that name of Smith, you know," faltered poor
Mrs. Everton, glancing at her husband nervously.

The invalid roused himself and looked up with a smile.

"So he can," he observed, drily. "Hang up your hat, Jim, and let's talk
it over."

Jim hung up his hat.



Things settled into easy grooves at Tamawaca.

Now that Wilder was no longer a public autocrat people accepted him
in his new role as an humble member of the community, according him
the consideration due any well behaved cottager. Easton kept out of
the way for a time, and gradually folks forgot him and regained their
accustomed cheerfulness. He had been a thorn in their sides, but
the wound soon healed when the thorn was removed. Few of us care to
remember unpleasant things, and communities are more generous than we
are inclined to give them the credit for being.

The "New Tamawaca" began to arouse the interest of the cottagers, who
threw themselves heart and soul into its regeneration. Things were
done for the first time in the history of the place, and done with a
will and enthusiasm that accomplished wonders in a brief period. Miles
of cement walks were laid through the woods, and a broad thoroughfare
now extends the length of the lake front, where once it was dangerous
to travel on foot. To the visitor it is the chief charm of the place.
There are new public buildings, too, and the little parks that were
formerly dumps for refuse are made sweet and enticing with shrubs and

Because of all this, and the era of prosperity that has dawned upon it,
Tamawaca is growing steadily and many pretty cottages are springing up
on the vacant lots. One of the most attractive of these is owned by Jim
and Susie, who have ample reason to be fond of the delightful resort
where they had the good fortune to first meet.

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