A rise in life, or, The career of a factory boy

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A rise in life, or, The career of a factory boy

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Title:
A rise in life, or, The career of a factory boy
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
Creator:
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 pages)

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Wealth ( lcsh )
Entrepreneurship -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00035 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.35 ( USFLDC Handle )
031035435 ( ALEPH )
244393127 ( OCLC )

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serial

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STORIES OF B .OYS WHO MAKE MONEY. A R IBE II LIFE I ..... f AC TD RY BOY. [4/-/f $ELP#/l//EA/4#. The manager was about to cut the cords which secure d the wrapper when the door of the office was suddenly dashed open and Bob Chambers rushed in. "Stop, for Heaven's sake!" he cried earnestly. "That package contains an infernal machine!"

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Fame and Fortune Weekly r STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY ) lawe d Weeld 11-B11Sulncripti-On 12.50 per 11ear. Entered acco rding to A.ct of Oongreas, in th.e 11ear 190I, in the o jfl.ce o f th.e Librarian <1/ Conqreu, Wcuh.inqton, D 0., b11 Fran k Towei.'t Puolillh.er, 24 Union Square NetD Y or k. No. 19 NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9, 1906 I Price 5 Cents OB, The Career of a_ Fa_ctory Boy. By A SELF MADE M AN. C HAPTER I. RUBY NORTON. "No, y o u shan't see me home, Dexter Pritchard!" ex claimed pretty and spirited Ruby Norton, decidedly "Why not?" demanded the well-dressed youth who, cane in hand, confronted the girl on the walk in front of the Bay port Woolen Mills, where she was empl o yed as an operative. "Because I don't wish y o u to." ''You put on a lot o f frills for a mill hand," replied young Pritchard, in a disagreeable tone. "I should think you'd be glad to be seen walking with me." "Well, I'm not--eo there I" and she made a move to pas8 him. "Hold o n, I wan t to ta l k to y ou," said D exte r b arri n g her w&y. "But I don't care t o talk t o y o u. I want to g o home,'' she replied, a flush mounting to her face. "Then let me walk along with you," h e per sisted, giv ing his natty little cane a twir l. "No," she answered, flashing a d efiant look at him Dexter Pritchard wasn't accustome d t o bei n g c r ossed in his desires and he showed it i n the petulant way he received the girl's reply,. He was 1m o nly son and a spoil ed boy. His father, Duncan Pritchard, was president and chief stockholder of the Bayport Woolen Mills He was the best-dressed boy in that thrivi n g littl e New Engl and town; had plenty of money to spend on his own pleasures ; was accorded a great deal more respect than he deserved, becau s e his father was looked upon as the great man of the neighborhood, and what he didn't think of him self would have been hard to discover Ruby Norton was the prettiest, as well as spunkiest, girl in Bayport. There was nothing deceptive about Ruby. If she liked a person she showed it. That's why she and Bob Chambers, a curly-heade d and goodlooking mill hand of seventeen, were such excellen t friends. If she didn't like a person she took no great t roub l e t o c o nceal the fact. She didn't like D exter Pritchard, even if he was known to have money to burn, and his father practically owned the establishment where she put in six, long days every week for far from princely wages, and that all there was to it. Dexter Pritchard, on the contrary, was impressed with Ruby's good looks and piquant ways, and he wanted to monopoHze her society when he fe l t so disp o sed

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2 A RISE IN LIFE. ---. He couldn't see any reason why she shouldn't regard his moment Dexter had intercepted Ruby Norton on h e r way attentions as a distinguished honor, and it was a disagreehome, to overhear abl e surprise for him to discover that the girl didn't look Andy liked Ruby, too, in an unselfish way; but he well a t it in that light kn e w he wasn't in it with Bob, and he was too loyal a Don't you know I can have you fired from the mill if friend to get disgruntled over the matter. I've a mind to, Ruby Norton?" snarled Dexter, growing "You mean to fix Ruby do you?" continued Andy, shut w a r m under the collar at her persistent refusa l t o p ermit ting the gate and walking slowly back to the engine room hi m t o enjo y the satisfaction he coveted. pushing an empty wheelbarrow in which he had bee n carr y You wouldn't dare!" cr ied the girl, indignantly. ing a s hes to the dump. "You're jealous, 'cause she won t How do you know I wouldn't?" he retorted, thinking to have nothin' to do with you It would suit your little, me a n b ring her to her knees with this threat nature to get her discharged from the mill. It don't make "Becau s e it would be a c ontemptible thing for you to try no diff'rence to you, I gue ss, if her father i s down s i c k in t o do," she replied, with flaming cheeks bed, and there ain' t nothin' comin' into the h o u s e but wha t "Then don't make me do it," he s aid, pointedly she earns Like to see 'em all starve, wouldn t you, you "Make you d o it I" she flashed back, scornful ly. "You pesky young dude? What do you want with Ruby an y wa y ? ought to be ashame d of yourself, Dexter Pritchard I you She isn't in your class Yo u want the earth, don t you? the son of the preside n t of the company, to try to force y oUl' Well, don't you do nothin' to her or there ll be someth in' society upon me, a mill girl, against my wishes! If I to l d doin' you won't lik;e. Me and Bob won' t stand for any you what I think of your conduct, you wouldn't like it." harm comin' to her from nobody, b e tcher life," and the boy "You're a little fool!" snorted the nabob' s son, angrily. shook hi s s hock head in a very pos itive and defiant way. "Thank you for the complimen t," she said, disdainfully. "Hello, Andy, what are you muttering about and shak"Peop l e who live in glass houses shouldn't throw ing your head like a mechanical Chinese mandarin for?" "What do you mean by that?" he asked, suspiciously s aid a cheery voice at his elb'ow. I mean just what I said," she answered, with an inde Andy looked around and found that Bob C ham b ers had p endent toss of her s h apely head. "Please allow me to come up unper c eived, and was regarding him with a mis p ass." chievous smile. "Oh, it's you, is it?" S he stepped aro und him, w ith the air of a l ittle q ueen a nd was sever a l yards away before he recov ered from his "I don't know that it is anybody e l se," chuckled Bob. d iscomfiture. "What w e re you kic king about, anyway, old man?" "It wouldn t make you feel any too happy if I told you." "Y ah You think you can wipe your fe e t on me, do "Oh, the n I'm mi xed up in it, eh?" you Ruby Norton?" mutter e d the boy, with a burst of "No, but Ruby is, and I know wha t that m eans to you. passion. "Well I'll see about it. I ll make you pay dearly "What about Rub y ? Has anything happened to h er?" for all these airs you put on. I'll have you fired from your cried Bob, g ripp i n g And y by the arm, while a look of a p job, as sure as I stand here. So, you wouldn't let me s e e preh e n s ion fle w into his face you home But you let that beggar, Cha mbers, e s cort vou v "No; nothin' h as happened to her so far t o and from night school regularly. You p:i;efer a common "So far? Wh a t do you mean by that?" m ill hand to me. That shows the littl e sen s e you have. T here i sn't another girl in the mill but would fall all over "I s'pose I've got to tell you That dude, Dexter Pritchard, has been annoying her. her s elf to secure the honor I have Jus t offe r e d you. I'll fix "When?" c ried Bob, hot ly. you, :Miss Ruby You'll wish you hadn't insult e d Dexter "Don't g et excit e d It's all over." Pritcbard "I want to know all about it. What's he been up to?" He shook his cane threatenin gly a t h e r retre ating figure, "When tbe mill shut down half an hour ago he w as outtben turned on his hee l and walked away in the opposite s ide the f ence yonde:r: waii.in' for her direction "He was, eh? How do you happen to know th11.t, And y ?" As h e l e ft the S?ene, a small gate in the fence which had Cau s e I seen him near that side gate when I pok e d m y been s tanding open an inch creaked on its rus ty hinges and head out after whe clin' this load of ashes over to the dump. a sho c k of r e d hair appeared. I won' d erecl what he was doin' there s o I kept my eye o n Underneath was a grinnin g freckled face, in which were him In a f e w minutes along came Ruby, all b y h e r s e lf. set a pnir of particularly bright eyes. He s t e pp e d ri gi1t up and s poke to her Sh e answer e d him The eyes follow e d th e fig ure of D e xt e r Pritchard 1lntil he perlitely and was goin' on again when ho plank e d hi mself di sappcarcc1 around the corner into Main Stre e t. in front of her ''You' re a ni c e c hap you are, I don't think muttered "He did?" the watch e r, whos e name was Andy Ball. "That's what he did. He wanted to walk hom e wiih He was employ e d in the engin e -room of the mill, and was h er." a parti c ul a r friend of Bob Chambers I "He' s got a nerve." Pritchard. had uttered his sentiments in a tone loud I "Rn by wouldn t have it, all rig ht, and that mad e h i m enough for Andy, who had been behind the gate from the' mad. He tried to make her give in, but you ki;iow how

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A RISE IN LIFE. s s punh.7 she is When s he cloesn't want to clo anythin,' you can t make her, no how." "That's so," grinned Bob, who had had a varied experi ence with the girl himself, and he rather admired that quality in her. "When he found he could not have his way with her, he threatened her." "He did what?" roared Bob, instinctively doubling up his fists. "He threatened to have her thrown out of the mi11." "You hearcl him say that?" "I heard him plain enough." "He meant that as a bluff, of course." "No, he didn't mean it as a bluff He meant it in right down earnest." "You are sure he did?" "Yes, I'm sure he "Why are you so sure?" 'Cause after she left him I heard him speakin' to him self He shook that dud; '\ane of his at herJ and he said he'd get square with her. And he warn't foolin' for a cent. Hes down on her now like a thousand of bricks. He's ggt pull enough to make all kinds of tr' ouble for her And he'>! mean enough to do it, too." Bob looked troubled He knew well enough what that would mean for Ruby If she was discharged from the mill upon some trumpec1-up pretext, the Norton family, which relied on her to keep the wolf from the door, would be brought face to face with actual want. "Ogden Wells, the manager, is a. square ma .n," said Bob. "He wouldn't discharge her without cause." "I hope he wouldn't," replied Andy; "but he isn't the whole thing." "Yes, he is; so far as running the business is concerned. No one has any right to interfere with the details of his management, not even Mr Pritchard. He is the boss of the mill. He takes his orders from the president, it is true, but they relate only to the general conduct of the business. He is responsible for the economica l production of the fruit of the loom." "Fruit of the loom is goed," grinned Andy. "That's poetical, isn't it?" "Maybe it is I heard our night-school teacher use the expression the other evening, and I thought it fitted the case pretty well." "Then you think the manager wouldn't be in no hurry to fire Ruby?" said Andy, with a look of relief "I am sure he wouldn't." "Not even if Dexter Pritchard was to ask him?" "Certainly not." "Or his father?" "Duncan Pritchard would hardly suggest such a thing to the manager unless he had some very strong reasons." "Theri Dexter'll try to clo her some other way." "Not if I can help it, he won't," said Bob, resolutely. "And me, too," chimed in Andy. "He'll find his work cut out if he tries any games against Ruby, fot she is the pet of the mill. There isn't a man he r e but '.Vould take her part; and the girls, too, for that ma t ter." "Betcher life," said AndyJ ta1cing up his barrow again. "You're gain' home now, ain't yon, Bob?" "Yes." "I'll see you to night, then. So long.'I Andy wheeled away and. Bob cut across tl!,e yard and let himself out by the side gate. CHAPTER II. A lIINT OF COilIING TROUBLR 'Mother, I smell pork and beans," cried Bob Chambers, as he rushed into the srn.all kitchen of the l .itt l e cottage where the Chambers family lived on the outskirts of Bay port, grabbed his mother arouncl the waist and gave h e r a hug and a kiss "Why, what a bear you are!" smiled the little woman, looking proudly at her sta1wart son "Well, I'm hungry as one, at any rate," replied the boy, turning the faucet in the sink and proceeding to give his bright., young face a good sousing. "Supper is all ready and waiting," said Mrs. Chambe r s "I tell you, those beans smell good T hey hit my weak sp ot. I suppose Hattie is home." "She's been in an hour." Hattie Chambers gave music lesson's on the piano to a dozen-odd pupils in the town and in this way added ma terially to the family income, so that the Chambers lived very comfortably, indeed, in their own modest home, whic h Nfr. Chambers had bought and paid for during his life time. Bob's s i ster was watering the flowers at the dining-room window when he entered with a shine on his face whic h showed he had been using the crnsh towel with considerable vigor. He sneaked up behind, put his hands over her eyes, pulled her head back and yelled "guess" into her ear "You ridiculous boy!" cried the girl. "I'll sprinkle you with He kissed her with a l oud smack, grabbed her by the arms and began to waltz her around the room. "Aren't you just awful I" she cried; struggling to release herself. "What's the use of having a sister if you don't show he r some attention?" he said, letting her go and dropping into his seat at the table. "Do you know, sis, I like you just a shade better than I do pork and beans." .f "I suppose you wish me to take that as a compliment F" she sa id, laughingly "Sure it's a compliment," he said, helping himself to a liberal allowance of his favorite dish. "You wouldn't say that to Ruby Norton," she rep l ied, as she took her own seat

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A RISE IN LIFE. "How do you know I wouldn 't?" he said, with a rising color. "Oh, I know, she an s w e red, archly. "Ruby and I are the best of friends and we haven't any secrets from each other." "I don't wonder. A girl couldn't keep a, secret, to save her life." "The ideal I'll tell Ruby what you said, see if I don't.'' "Of course you will. Didn't I just say you couldn't keep a thing to yourself?" "Mother, will you listen to Bob?" "You mustn't mind what he says. He likes to tease you," said Mrs. Chambers, who was pouring out the tea. "This is fine buttered toastt. all right," said Bob, with his mouth full. "Your sister made it," said his mother. ,''Did she? Well, you're all to the mustard, Hat. If you want a testimonial any time just call on me." "You're too good. By the way, don't jump out o.f your shoes with sudden joy, but Ruby promised to take with us to-morrow evening, and then we'll all go to meeting together." "You don't say!" exclaimed Bob, in a pleased tone. "I don't want you to run off with my cologne bottle lik e you did the last time she was here. Do you understand sir?" "Pooh I I shan't want your old cologne. I'm going t o buy a bottle of Jockey Club for my own. particular use. A nd l e t me remind you not to sneak it out of my room when Parker Jewett comes calling on you again "Why, the idea! Jus t as if I would," cried Hattie blu shing like a June rose. l "Well, there s no telling what you girl s will do wl1en there 's a beau in the wind grinned Bob. "Mother will you make him stop teasing m e? "I'm not s aying a word," said Bob, a s s ober a s a judge, but with a twinkle in his hazel eyes "Jus t you wait till Rub y comes," threat e ned hi s s i s t e r W e ll, what then?" "I'll tell her about the way you've got her pi c ture di s played on y our bureau with a true-lover's knot of baby-blu e ribbon pinned to the bottom of it, and how I caught you kis sin g--" "Hattie Chambers, if you dare give me away like that, I won' t do a thing to you, cried Bob, with a red face. "Ha, ha, ha!" laughed the girl. "All right, you see. I'm going to tell Parker Jew ett--" "Now Bob! You re not going to tell him a thing about me. You wouldn t dar e ." "Then don't y ou say an y thing to Rub y ." "You know s he wouldn t say a word, Robert," interposed his mother. "She had b e tter not," replied Bob, wagging hi s curly head s uggestivel y After s upp e r Andy came around1 and the two boys went off together. It was Saturday evening, and there was no night school to attend. They were members of the Bayport Social Club, which had a modest room on the second floor of a frame adjoining the engine-house of Hercules No. 1, on Main Street. About twenty boys were connected with this organization all of them employed in various Bayport industries. During the winter they gave entertainments and dances in the town hall. They had a :football eleven and a baseball nine, both of which were strong enough to make things interesting for similar teams in the adjoining towns. Bob Chambers was the president and the most popular member. Parker Jewett, who was sweet on Hattie Chambers, was secretary. Andy Ball was sergeant-at-arms. The latest addition to the c}ub, and newest arrival in Bayport, was a young German named Jake Switzer. He dropped off a train one morning, applied at the mill for work and got it. He was a good mechani c thoroughly acquainted with woo l e n machinery and the manager soon came to r egar d h i m as a valuable addition to the establishment. When Bob and Andy reached the clubroom they found Jake outside waiting for somebody to open up. "Goat efenings. I peen vaiting aboud fifdeen minudes for vun off you shaps to come by der places so dot I got in," said Switzer, as Andy produced his key. "You' re an early bird," replied Bob. "I ped you," grinned Jake "I got me a leetle s h o b o n handt." What kind of a job?" "You didn t found oud already yet dot I vos a p o rn e d sign painder-no ?" "A sign painter!" exclaimed Bob and Andy in a br e ath after the three had entered the clubroom. "Sure ding. You see dos e bieces off c ardboard?" s aid Jake, takin g half a dozen from under hi s arm. "We couldn't miss them," grinned Bob. "They're big e nough." "Yell, lisden. I baint some ding s on dem for Bimler, d e r grocer." He drew a chair up to a table, took a small paintb o x from his pocket which bore a German trademark, filled a cup with water, and began operations und e r the c uriou s and intere s ted gaze of his two clubmates. That Switzer was an artist in this line was soon a p parent. In the center of the first card he painted a large e gg. "Gee!" ejaculated Andy "that looks natural enou g h t o pick up. If a hen saw that egg she would want to set on it away." I p e d you she vould," replied Jake. "Vunc e ubon a dimes I painted a nest mit six eggs in id, und lai d id on der grass to dry. An oldt she duck came by, sad on dot picture und hatched oud six shickens."

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A RISE IN LIFE. 1"That's pretty good for you, Switzer," said Bob, "but if I were you I wouldn't tell it too often." "Vhy nod?" beginning to letter the words "Fresh Eggs" ju a s emi-circle over the egg. "It might egg-cite some doubt in the minds of your hear ers as to its verisimilitude." Jake stopped work and looked at Bob. "Oxcoose me, but vhere did you found dot eggs-pressions ?" "In the dictionary." "S'pose dot you toldt me vot it means." "It means probability or the appearance of truth." "Is dot so? Maype dot's a bolite vay to call me a liar ain'd it?" "Oh, no. Only you oughtn't to stretch the truth too far. By the way, why you make that read: 'Fresh-laid Eggs ?" "For vhy? Eferypody knows der eggs vos fresh vhen dey VOS laid." "Eggs-actly, and that's all that it's safe for Bimler to say about them." "Vell, I got me noddings to do mit how long does eggs peen laid. I make me dis signs to suid Bimler." At any rate, the sign was a peach when he had finished it, and the boys praised it highly. "Dey toldt me dot you haf a new paby at your house, Andy, ain'd it?" said Jake, beginning a new sign about "Smyrna Figs "That's right, and he's a cookoo for fair." "Did you name him after his fader?" "No," grinned Andy, nudging Bob in the ribs, "we named him after a prolonged scrap, in which the whole family en gaged." "Is dot so-o-o." "So Bimler keeps Smyrna figs, eh. ?" said Bob. "I ped you he does," said Jake, putting the finishing touches on a bunch of the luscious fruit. "I thought he sold them?" "Vhy nod?" "How can he keep them and sell them at the same time?" chuckled Bob. "Ho, ho, ho!" gurgled Andy. "Ho, ho, ho!" repeated Jake, sarcastically. "Dot don'd peen funny for a gobber cent. I toldt you 9omedings petter as dot. You saw me vorking apoud der engine-room to day?" "Yes," admitted Andy. "I saw you, all right. You were doing something to the top of the boiler." "I found me oud somedings new aboud dot poilers." "What did you find out?" asked Andy, with a look of interest. "I found oud dot it vos hottest vhen id vos coaled." "Suffering jew's-harps !" cried Andy, falling back in Bob's arms. Just then a bunch of newcomers appeared in the room, among them Parker Jewett. Of course they all wanted to see what Switzer wa.s doing, and one and all declared him to be a wonder. Just before the meeting was called to order, Jewett took Bob aside. "I'm afraid there's going to be trouble at your factory." "In what way?" asked Bob, in surprise. "There's going to be a meeting of the stockholders next week-my father is one, you know-and Duncan Pritchard intends to insist on a general reduction of wages. As there. has been a ten per cent. cut already, I'm afraid the hands' won't stand for it. What ,do you think?" "I think there'll be something doing," replied Bob, with a sober face. CHAPTER III. THE STOOKHOLDERS' MEETING. Apparently, nothing came of Dexter Pritchard's threat to have Ruby Norton discharged from the mill. If he had made the attempt it was unsuccessful. Bob Chambers and Andy Ball were a bit anxious for three days, then they came to the conclusion that Ruby was safe enough. In the meantime, it hadtcome to be known from one end of the big mill to the other that another reduction in the wages of all employes was contemplated. At least Duncan Pritchard, who controlled so much stock that he was the ruling power in the corporation, was known to have such a plan on foot. Six months before, the mill hands had submitted, with very bad grace, to a cut of ten per cent. on the company's plea of over-production. The stockholders were to meet Wednesday afternoon and consider the matter. The mill hands were thoroughly organized, and the gen eral impression in town was that they would resist any re d'uction tooth and nail. On Wednesday at 2 p. m. the stockholders gathered in the large parlor of Mr. Pritchard's sumptuous residence overlooking the bay. The president called the meeting to order. Duncan Pritchard was a big, fleshy man, with a fat face ornamented with a pair of light-hued side whiskers, always carefully brushed, while his little eyes were sunk deeply under beetling brows. He dressed in the finest of broadcloth, with a massive gold chain swung across his vest from pocket to pocket, and his manner was always that of a man on excellent terms with the world. "Gentlemen," he began, in his consequential way, "I have called you together to consider a matter of vital interest to our corporation-namely, the advisability of making an other and more decided cut in the wages of our employes, I find, gentlemen, that the market is suffering from an over plus of the manufactured article and that we are no

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6 A RISE IN LIFE. able to obtain th e prices th a t w e ought to get for our finished product. Th e r e for e gen t lem e n, unless we are pre pared to submit to a redu c tion of our cus tomary six p e r cent. s emi-annual dividend, we mu s t che apen the cost of pro duction. Mr. W e lls and myself have gone exhaustively into the subject, and the only effective way we see out of the diffic ulty is to reduce wages all along the line . You hear, gentl e men, reduce wages say; ahem l fifteen per cent. I shall now be g lad to learn your views upon the subject." The stockholder s looked at one another in llll undecided way, and it was a full minute before any one of them made a move, then Mr. Jewett got up and said: "Gentlemen I am not in favor of this proposed reduc tion in the wages of our employees. With all due deference to the opinion of our worthy pre s ident, I think he has un consciously exaggerated the situation. While it is true that times are not quite as prosperous with us as they were a year ago,. I don't think, judging from the figures submitted to us by our manager, Mr Wells, that a cut of fifteen per c ent. in wages is neces ary at this time, nor, I may say, do I think it at all advisable. Our employes have already been compelled to accept a reduction of ten pet cent and even that is a serious matter with men who have large families. I c ould mention several cases that have come to my notice where children have been taken from school and sent to work in the mill since the cut in ques tion was put through. I hope, gentlemen ) that you under s tand the gravity of this matter. Emplo yes have rights that we ought to respect Before we make a decided move in this thing we ought to inquire whether this proposed cut may not be a real hard s hip to our intelligent and faithful workers. A cut in wages is always a s erious probltim and I trus t you will weigh the ques tion well before committing yourselves to it." While Mr. Jew ett was addressing the meeting, Dunc:m Pritchard frowned frequently and moved uneasily in his chair. When Mr. Jewett sat down, another gentleman, a pomp ous bank dire c tor from the next town, arose and s poke for some time in favor of the reduction. While h e was willing to admit that the worh'ing man had some right s h e t},lought capital ha.d more. He wande red frequently from the subject, and was not called to order by the president. He was followed by others who spoke for and against the object before the meeting, but it was apparent to Mr, Jewet t that the majority sided with the president Finally Ogden Wells, the manager; got on his feet, and the little odds and ends of conversation which had been going on aqout the room were suddenly hushed, and the sto c khold e r s prepared to give undivided attention to his words. "Gentlemen, while I do not wish you to understand that I oppose this proposed reduction of wages, I do not recom mend it. I am running the mill at the present time with the smallest number of employes possible to keep up with the orders in hand, and the total amount of the payroll has been r e duced to a cons id e rable e:.\ient while, at the same time the hand s are now wat c h e d c loser and o b li ged to wor k harder. As you will under s tand, this ha s c a used a good deal of dis content of lat e Th e refore I cons ider i t my d u ty t o say that if this cut is decided upon, and I am r e quired to enforce it, it will arouse a very determined oppositi o n on the part of our employes I am afraid it will bring about se rious trouble. It may even l e ad to a general s trik e f or I know that our workers ar e well or g aniz ed. I hope,-ge n t l e men, you will think thi s matt e r over s eriou s l y b e for e you vote for the reduction." The manager's speech proved something of a sen sation among the stockholders While no one doubted that a r e du c tion of wages in the mill would cause much opposition from the e m p loyes, the possibility of a strike on the part of the hand s had not o c curred to the minds of the pro s p e rou s g e ntl e men whose capital was invested in the Bayport Woolen Mills. This new phase in the situation s tiff e ned the backs of the minority who were opposed to the cut, and caused on e or two of the other side to waver. The pompous bank director from the adjacent town, however, arose to the occasion. He was in s ympathy with Duncan Pritch a r d In fact the plan had been cooked up between the two. There was nothing in common between him and labor-organized or unorganized. He looked on the working men and women as mere cattle, and did not hesitate to expre s s himself to that effe ct. "Gentlemen," he said, holding up hi s coat-tail s with one hand while he punctuated his speec h with the other "ar e we running this mill or are the hand s running it? Tha t's wliat I want to know. Do you propose to be dict a t e d t o by the working people? I s hould not. We have pu t our good money in this business, and I think, gentlem e n we have the right to carry on ou_r bu siness as we see fit. It's a pretty how-de-do if we have got to d e fer to the wis hes of those we employ Somebody has got to suffer for t hi s de pression. It remains with us to say who it s h a ll b .e-the mill hands, to whom, as I under s tand w e have been very liberal, or ourselves. Our mana g er ope nl y hin ts tha t these people will, ahem! strike if the cut i s carri e d into effect. Well, gentlemen, suppose they do strike? The i r places w ill be filled. There are hundr eds, yes thou s and s of men an d women waiting for positions throu g hout thi s Stat e who w ill be glad to come here at our beck. For my, part, gentl e m e n I would rather every loom in the mill s tood idl e for mont h s than that we should be compelled to bow to the demands of the people who would have the effrontery to tell u s what we shall and what we shall not do. Mr. Pres ident, I c a ll for the question." He sat down with the air of a man whos e words could n ot be disputed. Duncan Pritchard immediately put the question of a re duction in the wages to a vote. It was carried by a majority of two, ap.d the pre side n t then adjourned the meeting.

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A RISE IN LIFE. 7 CHAP'r ER IV. THE IlEDL"CTION OF WAGES. "It will be a very serious thing for most of us if a strike is decided on," sai d Bob, earnestly "It means a loss of our wages for an indefinite time It means that many of the hands and their families will suffer actual want before the matter is settled, if it ever is, in our favor." Next day printed notices were poste d up in different. "Y ah. Dot ain'd no lie, I peel you," acquiesced Jake. places throughout the big mill notifying the hands that a "You don't mean you would throw up the sponge without :fifteen per cent. reductio n in the wages of all employes making a fight for your rights, do you?" asked Andy, look would go into effect with the beginning of the first week ing hard at Bob. of the next month. "Certainly not," replied the boy, with a resolute expresN otwithstanding that the mill people had heard that a sion on his face. "I'm ready to go out with the rest if the cut of some kind was under consideration by the stockholdmajority say so; but I hope it may not come to that. I ers of the company, it was not generally believed that hope 11fr. Wells will look at the issue in the way "e shall it would be adopted, therefore the announcement came as present it to him, for there is no doubt that a committee will an unpleasant surprise and shock to the hands be selected to wait upon him to protest against the injustice O g den Wells, the manager, when he through the i of the cut, that he will represent the matter in such a various departments of the mill that afternoon, could not way to 1\Ir. Pritchard that the reduction will be rescinded." fail to notice that there was a change in the usual demeanor "You dink so? Yell, I don'd dook much stock in dot of the hands. shances. I peel you dollars der order stoods, und dot .... The men look ed snllen and determined, the girls silent' ve vill haf to pud ub mit id or valk by der mills oud." and uncomfortable. At this point, the president of the protective association It was as if a storm was brewing in the air. appeared on the platform and rapped for order. Bits of paper were passed around from hand to hand The hum of conversation throughout the hall ceased at _In this way, every empk>ye in the building was notified once, and all eyes were turned in his direction. that an indignation meeting would be held that night in He stated the object for which the meeting had been Washington Hall, which was the place "\trhere the regular called, which, of course, everybody knew beforehand, and "monthly gatherings of the BaY,Port Woolen Mill Protective invited the members of the associati?n to express their sen Association were convened. timents .on the s ubject. At eight o'clock .the little hall was uncomfortably The first speaker was one of the foremen, and he didn't crowded hesitate to say just what he thought about the announced It looked as if every girl, and every man and boy, em-c'ut. ployed in the Bayport mill was present. It wasn't at all complimentary to the stockholders of the They gathered in groups and the momentoui.> company in general and the manager in particular question of the cut in wages. He said he hoped all hands would resist it to the bitter Mo t of the girls look ed anxious, a few really di s tressed, end. while the men showed in their faces a stern resolve that Then oth e rs spoke, and all were for striking at once if they meant to resist the reduction to the end the reduction in wages was enforced. In one corner, not far from the door, Bob Chambers, 1\Iany of tne girls, plucking up courage, had something Audy Ball and Jake Switzer were standing together. to say on the subject, too, so that the feeling throughout the "Yell," said the German boy, "vot you dinks, anyway,! room seemed to be unanimous. apoud id?" I The most outspoken of all the men was Jim Flanders, a "I think it's a blamed shame," spoke up Andy. big husky fellow, who worked in the packing-room. Bob nodded his head without speal
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8 A RISE IN LIFE. in a square and orderly way; but if any questionable meas ures were resorted to they would surely forfeit the good will of the community, and be placed at He then appointed a committee to wait upon Mr. Wells. They were instructed to request, in a polite but deter mined way, that the cut in wages be reconsidered, on the grounds that it was manifestly unfair, and could not but entail a great deal of hardship upon the majority of the workers, most of whom had been for many years in the company's employ, and were, therefore, entitled to a fair deal. The meeting was then dismissed. On the following morning, while Ogden Wells was dictat ing several letters to his stenographer, one of the office clerks announced that three of the men employes wished to see him. Surprised and annoyed, he asked: "What do 'they want?" "They didn't. say, sir," replied the clerk. "I will see them presently," he answered, and went on with his dictation. In a quarter of an hour he had finished and sent word to the outer office for the men to walk in. He easily guessed what the object was of their call. In fact, he expected something of this kind. He knew that the announcement of a cut in wages woulcl breed trouble, and he was prepared to meet the issue. The committee, chosen the previous evening to wait upon him, entered, and lined up in front of his desk. "Well," he said, in his short, snappy way, "what can I do for you?" 'rhe spokesman of the visitors cleared his throat and said: "We are a committee from the hand s of this mill, whom we have been chosen to represent "What is your grievance, for I pres1ame you have one?" "We have come to see you about this reduction in our wages, the notice of has been placarded up all over the mill." "Well?" "We would ask that our wages be maintained at the present standard, as we are working now at tP,e lowest poa sible rates on which "e can live. It is--" "The question has been decided by the stockholders," in terrupted Manager Wells, impatiently. "I have been in structed to make the reduction as announced." "But, sir, we think the matter ought to be reconsidered," protested the spokesman of the committee. "We are not being fairly treated." "I have nothing whatever to do witP, that, my men," re plied the manager, brusquely. "I cannot do otherwise than as directed." "Do you mean to say that the cut will be enforned ?" "Undoubtedly." The committee was taken all aback by the firm attitude of the manager. The spokesrn1.1n started to say something more, but Mr. Wells cut him short. "I think you have said all that i s necessary,'' he iie marked. "I am very busy this morning, therefore---" "Good morning, sir," replied the chairman of the com mittee, with a cloudy brow. "Good m orning," answered the manager, curtly. Then the three men filed out of the private office with hope crushed out of their hearts, and sought the president of their association to report the failure of their mission. CHAPTER V. BOB AND RUBY. The news that the committee had been turned down in a rather brusque manner by Manager Wells was known to every hand in the mill during the dinner hour. It raised a subdued feeling of indignation among the g irls, and a muttered protest from the men. Everybody had something to say to his or her neighbor about the matter, and the manager's ears ought to hav e tingled, the way all hands talked.about him. The committee asserted that he had handled them with out gloves, cutting short the spokesman's effort to set the matter squarely before him. For this reason Manager Wells, who had, heretofore, bee n looked upon as a fair man, was abused right and let. Down in the packing-room Jim Flanders addressed his associates in a strongly anarchistic style. "Strike! Why, of course we'll strike!" he cried, with an oath, "and if I could have my way I'd do wuss than that, d'ye hear?" "'l'he derned mill ought to be sot a-fire," growled Luke Sparrow, wagging his head in a significant manner. "That would be carrying things too far," remarked one of the other packers, who didn't believe in extreme methods. "I s'pose you wouldn't mind workin' .at lower wages, eh?" exclaimed Flanders, with a threatening look at the pacifically disposed packer. "Not on your life, Jim Flanders," repljed the man, reso lutely; "but I don't go in for doing up other people's property." "Yah You make me sick, Frank Dungan. It's mealy mouthed fellows like you that stand in better men's way. These bloated capitalists will trample all over us and rub it in unless we show them we won't stand for it." "That's what they will," chimed in Sparrow. "They hain't got no more heart than this box," and he thumped the wood with one of his hairy fists. "Are we worms or slaves?" roared Flanders. "What I say is this: that the life of a man ain't worth livin' if he's got to feel that a manager can take the bread out of his mouth and leave his wife and young 'uns without bite or sup, just when he pleases. A man's a man, I say, and ought to be treated as such." "That's a.11 right," said Dungan. "We're entitled to our

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A RISE IN LIFE. 9 rights and we're going to get them, I hope; but there's a right way and a wrong way about trying to get them." "Bah!" snarled Flanders. "There hain't but one way to get anythin' out'r these money sharks, and that's to frighten 'em. If the mill was to burn down it'd take a heap of money to build it up ag'in, and stock it with new machinery. That'd make them stockholders sick." "You kin bet it /VOuld," said Sparrow, with a grin. "You forget, the mill and its contents are heavily in s ured, and if it was to burn down it wouldn't hit the stock holders as hard as you think," said Dungan. / Flanders and his side partner hadn't thought of that, and it took the wind out of their sails for the moment. Before anything more could be said on the subject, the one-o'clock whistle sounded, and work was resumed. The principal topic of conversation in townlnow became the wage issue at the woolen mill. By far the larger part of the population began to side, either openly or secretly, as their interests dictated, with the hands. Duncan Pritchard and Ogden Wells suddenly became un popular, though, of course, no one openly showed this sentiment' to the two gentlemen themselves. Dexter P.ritchard, however, was received with a certain degree of coolness, but he wasn't bright enough to notice the difference. While it was generally believed the mill hands would go out on strike, nothing yet had been definitely arranged by the new committee that had the matter in hand. On the following Monday evening Bob Chambers called for Ruby Norton at her home, one of the humblest in Bay port, and took her, as usual, to night school. The school was dismissed at nine o'clock, and, as was their custom, they started off on a roundabout way back, in order to make the last as long as possible. They walked slowly, and the chief topic of their conversation was the probable strike. "I'm afraid it will go hard with you, Ruby, to be out of work especially at this time, when your father is ill in bed." "Yes, Bob," she answered, the big tears coming into her pretty eyes. "It's too bad; but I'm afraid it can't be helped. The hand s are determined not to work for less mdney than we're getting now, and it only remains for the committee to say what course will be adopted after the first of the month."-"And that is only one week away." "That's all." "I think the rich men who own tM mill ought to be a s hamed of themselves for reducing our wages a second time, and all within a year, too," said Ruby, "They don't look at the matter from the same standpoint we do. I have heard that the market is oversto c ked just now with the line of goods we turn out. This would natu rally affect the price. When the profits begin to shrink, the worker is usually the first to suffer." "Well, it isn't fair." "No, it isn't. The owners of this mill can much better afford to stand a temporary loss than the hands, who no surplus, as a rule, to fall back on." "It is bad enough to work for a quarter less wages than we had six months ago, but think what it will be when we are out of work altogether. Oh, Bob, what will some of us do?" "I hate to think, Ruby. It isn't so bad for me, becausk mother owns the cottage and Hattie makes quite a lot teaching music. In any case, if we do go out at the mill, I don't mean to hang around town with my hands in my pockets." "Why, what will you do?" "Tackle something else till the trouble is "But you've never worked anywhere but iJ?. the mill, Bob," she cried. "I h"Ilow that, Ruby. But you don't suppose that fact would 'kept me from looking for another job." "This is such a small town that it won't be easy for you to find an opening "Then I'll go to Millbrook or Marshfield; they're not so far away." "Oh, Bob, I don't want you to go away," cried Ruby, im pulsively. "Don't you, little girl?" he said, with a thrill of pleasure. "Do you really want me to stay here?" Ruby blushed furiously when she realized what she had said, and didn't answer at once. "Mother and sis wouldn't want me to go, either, I know," he continued; "but I suppose I could get around them somehow." ''But you won't go, will you?" asked Ruby, looking very hard at the ground. "Well, I'm not stuck on going. I've never been away from home in my life, and I guess I'd fell pretty homesick if I were to light out. I know' everybody here, while in Millbrook, or Marshfield, I'd feel like a cat in a strange garret." "I'm sure you would," she said, softly. "However, one has to dig out sometime, I suppose, and I believe in taking the bull by the horns at the start. But it is rather early yet to talk about leaving Bayport. I think we'll change the subject." So they talked about other things until they reached the Norton cottage. They etood at the gate for another twenty minutes and then Bob started for hom 'e. A smart of rain came on before he was more than. half-way home, and Bob took refuge in an old disused shed. Hardly had he done so before the sound of men's voices fell upon his ear-voices deep and angry, speaking words which riveted his attention; for he heard the name of Og den Wells uttered threateningly and coupled with violent curses. Whoever the men might be, Bob had no wi&h to run against them. .He heard them coming on, talking

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10 A RISE IN LIFE. More than once they seemed to stop m the path and stand together, speaking in lower tones He could only distinguish a word now and then, and gen erally that was an oath. Bob peered out through the heavy shower, which they didn't appear to mind no more than if they were a pair of ducks. Suddenly they turned out of the path and made for the shed. As soon as the boy saw that, he drew back into the gloom of the interior, and feeling an old barrel near one corner he crouched down behind it. CHAP TER VI. A DIABOLICAL SOlIEM:E. Almost immediately the two men entered the shed Their voices now s ounded familiar to Bob, and, coupled with the brief and somewhat indistinct view he caught of them through the darkness and the rain out s ide, he thought he recognized them as Jim Flanders and Luke Sparrow, the most rabid partisans of the strike movement. A moment later all doubts as to their identity were swept away when one of them struck a match to light his pipe, and the bright glow of the match illuminated both of their faces They were not pleasant faces to look at either, for th e y were distorted by a sullen anger at that mome nt. "You're sure you've been very careful, Jim, about ad dressin' that box?" "Don't you fret, Luke; leave such thing s to me," Flanders answered, with a hoarse chuckle. "Nobody'll ever gue s s who sent it." "How did you do it?" "I found an old envelope addre s s e d to Well s in the yard. I cut out the name and address and pas t e d it on the box. "Jim, you've got a great head," said Sparrow, admiringly. "I'm no fool, at any rate." "There's no danger the thing will blow up in the mail bag?" "No. It's safe enough. I've got it so fixed it can't ex plode until the cover is pulled off. Wells will do that him self, after he removes the wrapper "And then ?" "It will be all day with him," replied Flanders, grimly. "Curse him! I'd like to be in the office when it goes off. "So would I. He can't be laid out a.ny too quick for me." "Where did you mail it ?'r "I didn't mail it, you fool. I met a farmer on the road to Millbrook, and I gave him the box and a dollar, told him to post it and keep the change for his trouble." "Jim, you're about as smart as they come. "I'm smart enough not to put my head in a noose." "When do you s 'po s e that pa c ka ge' ll arriv e at t h e m ill? "It'll c_ome by the early morning mail." "I guess we' ll hear the explo s ion, eh?" "We' ll hear it, and no on e' ll b e the wis er wher e the box came from." "That's. what I'd like to know, for it would go kind of hard with us if we happened to get ketched at s u c h a game." "We're not goin' to get ketched, Luke Sparrow. Nobody knows nothin' about this infernal machine but you an d m e You put it together, and I wrapped it up so it looks l i k e an ordinary package. We've both a hand in it, so n e i t h e r of us can give the other away without puttin' his own h o o f i n it," grinned Flanders, but the grin was los t in the d ark. "If this blow-up don't settle the wage ques tion, w e' ll fix another and s end it to Duncan Pritc hard," s aid S p ar row. "That's what we will. We'll scare the duff out of the m stockholder s one way or another." The men continued to smoke away, peer out into t he r ai n, and vent the .ir spite in coar s e langua g e a g ain s t Ogcl.en Wells, Duncan Pritchard, and the -\vhole bunch of t he s tockholders of the Bayport Woolen Mill s Bob, from his post of concealm ent the barr e l, h a d heard every word they s aid after ent e ring the s h ed. Gradually he began to under s tand the meanin g of their conversation. c Th e ir murderous object bec ame clear to him, and it made his blood run cold. They had manufactured s ome kind of an infern a l ma c hin e which Flanders had sent by mail t o the manager of the mill. It was due to reach Mr. W e ll s in the mornin g The manager was accu s tom e d to recei ve a ll ki nd s or s mall packa ges, and, of cour se, h e woulU o p e n i t at his d e s k whe n he went through hi s mail. Apparently it was cons truct e d s o as to explod e w h e n the cove r was pulled oft": Bob had read about similar ma c hine s some o f w hich h a d brought about appalling result s to t h e v i c tim, w h ile oth e rs had bee n det e cted in time to rend e r th e m harmless. It was a brutal and c owardly mean s o f w ork in g vengea n cr upon a marked man. "It's right in line with the natures of s uch fell o w s as Flanders and Sparrow to get up such a vill aino u s sch e m e," breathed Bob, with a thrill of indignation. "It i s luc ky the rain drove those chaps in here. I'll a spok e in t heir wheel and save Mr. Wells from falling a v ict im t o t heir design." At that moment Bob's foot slipped and made a slight noise on the floor of the shed. "Hist!" Flanders. "I heard some thing move. "So did I," answered Sparrow, in an uneas y ton e They listened intently, while Bob, whose h eart jumped into his throat at the thought that hi s presen c e the r e mi ght be di s covered, kept very quiet. A silence like that in a grave vault followed. "I guess it was a rat," said Fland e rs, at l e n g th.

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A RISE IN LIFE. 11 "Or, mebbe, the rain," muttered Sparrow, drawing a breath of relief. "Well, I'm goin' to make sure we're alone,') went on Flanders. He struck a match and looked carefully around the interior of the shed. Bob was well out of sight, so neither of the rascals detected him. Flanders, however, saw the empty barrel, and his sus picious nature induced him to walk over and look into it. While he was in the act the dying match burned his fingers, and he dropped it. He struck another match and peered into the barrel. "There ain't nothin'--" he began, but just then the flare of the match, as he raised his hand, lit up the top of Bob's hat. With a terrible curse, Flanders reached down behind the barrel and grasped at the object his sharp eyes saw there. Bob realized a crisis had come, and he tried to elude the scou ndrel's clutch. He was not successful, and a moment later Flanders drew him out his place of concealment. "Strike a match, Sparrow," roared Bob's captor. "I want to see who I've got here. It's a boy, at any rate." A match flared up, and the two men looked at their captive. "Bob Chan1bers !" both exclaimed, in a breath. It was an unpleasant surprise to them that a mill hand had, in all probability, overhead their conversation. Not only that, but Bob bore the reputation of being an honest, upright lad, who had no bad habits, attended meet ing regularly on Sunday, and was well liked by every one, the few turbul ent characters alone excepted, from the man ager down. He was the la s t person in town Flanders and Sparrow would have wanted to get an inkling of their dastardly plot. "What are you doing in here at this time of the night?" demanded the chief ruffian, holding the boy firmly by the collar of his jacket. "I came in to get out of the rain." "You were here when we came, then?" "Yes." r "Why were you hidin' behind that barrel ?I' Bob made no reply to this question. "Are you goin' to answer me?" "I don't know that it's any of your business," said Bob, defiantly. "It is our business," snarled Flanders, giving him ii rough shake "What difference can it make to you if I was resting myself until the weather cleared up?" It was an ingenious excuse, but it didn't satisfy the sus picions of the m e n. "It makes a heap of diff e rence gritted Flanders. "If y ou don't want me here I'll go," replied Bob. stopped raining." "I dare say you'd like to go, but you're not goin' any the more for that," said the burly villain, with a somewhat brutal laugh. "Anyway, not yet. We didn't expect the pleasure of your company, you know," with some sarcasm, "but now you're here you've got to stop till we say yon kin go. The boy's answer to this was a sudden jerk, squirming out of Flander's grasp, and rush to the door of the shed. Sparrow, however, reached for and caught him in the dark, so the effort to free himself was a failure on Bob's part. "You're mighty spry, my lad, but not quite spry enough," chuckled Flanders, once more securing a grip on the boy. "What do you want with me, anyway?" demanded Bob, a bit uneasily, though he had a pretty clear idea what was in the wind. "We want to know if you've been listen.in' to what we was talkin' about since we ca.me in here." Bob might easi ly have denied that he had oYerheard a word, and no doubt most boys would have done so under the circumstances, but our hero scorned to tell a direct li.e, and the only thing he could do was to take refuge in silence "Did you hear what we said after we came in here?" repeated Flanders, in a threatening tone "I heard a great deal," admitted .the boy, desperately. "About that box, eh?" hissed the rascal. "Yes." "You hear that, Sparrow?"' "I hear," snarled his companion, in shaky tones. "Look here," snarled Flanders, in a voice of suppressed fury, "wh y didn't you go when you found we were talkin' about matters that didn't concern you?" Not knowing what reply to make to this, Bob said noth ing. "Why didn't you go?" "I didn't .ca.re to have you know I was here," answerecl Bob, doggedly. "You didn t eh? If we hadn't ket c hed you a-listenin' behind that barrel you'd waited till we went off and then you'd goIJ.e and blowed the whole thing. Ain't that what you meant to do?" Bob didn't answer. "You cantankerous imp!" cried Flanders, passionately. "If you don't open your jaw I'll choke the truth out_of you," and the fellow gripped Bob by the throa.t. ''Tell me now what you meant to do if we ha.d not caught you before we left the shed?" "I meant to try and stop you from carrying out your plan to kill Mr. Wells with that infernal machine you have mailed to him," said the boy, boldly. "You meant to do that, eh?" asked the villain, and his voice was harder and his manner harsher than bt3for.e. "Yes, I did. I meant to try and save you from the com mission of a crime," said Bob, spealcing confidently and bravely. "Ho!" answered Flanders, with a sneer. "That's very good of you, you cantin' little hypocrite! Havin acci dentally overheard us, you wanted to turn the information

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12 A RISE IN LIFE. to our moral good. I s'pose you didn't :figger it would send us to jail, did you ?" Bob was silent. "S'posin' we let you go, what'll you do?" "What will I do?" "Yes." "I shall try to save Mr. Wells." "YOU will?" "I will "You'll tell all you k now and have us two jugged." "No. I'm willing to give you a chance," said Bob, eag erly. "How?" "I'll warn him against the package, but I won't say anything about you or Luke Sparrow." ''You're very kind," replied Flanders, in jeering tones. "And you think we are green enough to trust you, eh? At any rate, you mean to balk our scheme i you get the chance. What shall we do to him, Sparrow?" "I dunno," replied the other rascal, in some trepidation. "Well, I know. He's got to be silenced, do you understand?" 1 "How are you gain' to do it?" "How?" and Flanders uttered an laugh. "I'm not gain' to State prison to save a little psalm-singin' mon key li,ke this chap from a squeeze on the throat or a knock on the head." "You don't mean to murder him?" gasped Sparrow, in a tone 0 protest. . "What would you do? Let him go so he could blab on us?" the other. "No. We can't let him go. We could take him some where and keep him out 0 sig1tt." "Where would you say to take him?" snarled his companion Sparrow scratched bis head in a perplexed way and was silent. "You're mighty ready with your suggestions, Luke Spar row, but what do they amount to? S'posin' we clid hide him away somewheres, we'd have to eed him to Keep mm alive, wouldn't we? I we forgot to do it, or somethin' prevented us doin' it, he'd clie, wouldn't he? It will save a lot 0 trouble and thinkin' i he's made to slip his wind first instead of last." .. "I don't like the idea of--" began Sparrow, slowly. "Well, you've got to like it. You're in this thing with me, sink or swim, and you're gain' to do your share, or bv Christopher I'll make you wish you'd never been born!'' cried Flanders, f11ri@sly. "What do you wtmt me to do?" asked Sparrow, evidently COWfCl. "I want you to help me carry this chap to the cut." CHAPTER VIL IN THE RAILROAD CUT. The cut to which Jim Flanders referred was the rail road cut about half a mile from the shed,'just outside the town limits. Four tracks of the Eastern Railroad spanned the narrow break in a long, low hill, running northward to Millbrook and southward to Marshfield, the nearest stopping places either side of Bayport. cut was a lonesome spot at all hours, but particularly so at night. Just why Flanders proposed to carry Bob Chambers to that locality was not exactly clear to the somewhat dull comprehension of Luke Sparrow; but he was afraid to in quire into the matter in his companion's present frame of mind. So the two men trudged along in silence, bearing their burden between them. The rain had ceased some time back, the clouds were breaking away, and the rest of the night promised to be clear. There were a couple of switches near the entrance to the cut and a switchman's shanty As they approached the place they saw a dull gleam of light shining from the solitary window of the hut, which showed that the night switchman was on duty, as he should be. The red light of one switch and the white light of the other aced them as they tramped slowly along. Finally Flanders, who was leading the way, came to a halt a short distance from the entrance to the cut, and mo tioned to his companion to drop the boy. They laid Bob down on the damp ground and Flanders put bis foot upon his chest to keep him there. "There' ll be a freight train along here soon," said the chief rascal, in a low tone. "What of it?" asked his companion in guilt. Flanders gave utterance to a hoarse chuckle, which seemed to come from his boots, and then said: "It'll save us the trouble of knockin' this chap on the skull, or chokin' the breath out of him." "How will it?" "Look here, Sparrow, you seem to be thicker than the mud out in the harbor. We've g6t to get rid of this boy, hain't we? Well, what's an easier way than to lay him on the track down the cut yonder, just before the freight cornea along? The engine and long train'll chaw him into little bits. That'll rid us of him for good and alL No fear, then, of any information about that box gettin' out of him." "'1'o t11e cnt? Wl1at or?" asked Luke, in surprise. "Ynu"1l r e when you get there. Just wait a moment till Bob, where he lay on the ground, heard every word of this honiblc suggestion, and its import sent a cold chill to his heart. I f 1 < trn 'rm md hi.; ja:w," and lw proceeded to gag F -1 .... 111 ,.., rl:rtv rr.n handkerchief. llTbat'll do. Now gr1 J :_;:; l e_;s and follow me." "Ain't there no other way?" asked Span-ow who didn't seem to have any heart in the cold-blooded di s posal of the boy, although he did not feel the least remorse about send-

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A RISE IN LIFE. 13 ing Manager W e ll s of the mill, to his death in an equally t errible w ay. "Ro, t h e re ain 't/' snarled Flander s impatiently. "He's got to die, and that's all there i s to it. It' s his own fault for buttin in where he wasn't wanted'..'' "I ain t got nothin' ag'in the boy, except he knows too much," said Sparrow. "Ain't that enough?" "It'll be a hangin' matter i it's traced to us." "How ll it be traced to us ? No one has seen us etchin' tarnation young monkey?" said the rascal, addressing the boy he gripped tightly by the arms to prevent him from getting away. 'ty ou've got just about two mini ts to live, and then you'll be under the wheels of that there fre-ight you kin hear comin' this way. As I ain't spiteful enough to make your suffer any more'n necessary to put a stop to that tongue 0 yours, I'm goin' to fix you so you won't never know you've been chawed up by that train Bob had been thinking very hard from the moment he realized the ate in store for him him along s o far, and there's no one 'round here to see us He was now in a state 0 utter desperation, and though carry him up the track, except the switchman, and hEfs he appeared to be passive he was mustering his strength for toa s tin' his toes by the stove in his shanty." one final attempt to save himself. "Well, I hate to do it," answered Luke, reluctantly. He felt the crucial moment had now arrived "Do you know what it would mean i we let him go Putting every ounce 0 his energy into the effort, he tore so he could give the snap ag'in Wells away? It would himself free, struck Flanders a staggering blow in the face, mean a twenty-year spell or you and me at the State prison. and turned to :flee. How does that strike you, eh?" said Flanders, grimly. The attempt would probably have been successful, for "Twenty years is a long time," answered Luke, waverFlanders had been wholly taken by surprise, and the blow, ingly. no light one, had momentarily dazed him, while Luke "You kin bet it is. I knowed a man once who'd been Sparrow was not in a position to hinder the boy's escape, through that mill,. and he said it's wuss than bein' hanged." but for the unfortunate fact that Bob's ankle turned under "But the boy promised not to give us away." him and he ell b e tween the tracks. believe that, do you ?" sneered Flanders. He staggered to his eet and ell again. "He' ll agree to that to save his life. I know I would if Before he c ould rise a second time, Flanders jumped on I was in hi s shoes." him like a tiger. "I don t mean to take no such I wouldn't A desperate struggle ensued, in the miclst 0 which came trust no boy livin'. He's got to turn up his toes, I tell you, the prolonged whistle 0 the freight as it approached the andtthere ain't the least use of you arguin' ag'in, Luke Sparentrance to the cut. row. There s the whistle 0 the freight now. It goes up Chug-chug! Chug-chug! came the panting engine, on this here track. We've got to sneak into the cut before a s i complaining about the heavy, rumbling load it was the switchman pokes his nose outside, which he'll do in pulling along ove r the rails. about three shakes 0 a lamb's tail. That whistle may be "Blast you!" cried Flander s as the glare 0 the headlight a signal to him for all we know otherwise." began to glisten along the rails. Flanders reached down and grabbed Bob by tlie shoulHe struck fiercely at Bob, and the blow, though only a ders, while Sparrow got hold 0 him once more by the legs, glancing one on the head, dazed the boy, and he fell back and in that shape they filed into the cut, and were immenerveless at the man's mercy. diately lost in the gloom of the pass. :J3elieving b e had thoroughly stunned Bob, which was As they walked forward, the heavy panting 0 the freight his original intention, Flander s threw him half across the engine in their rear reacheq their ears, as, at reducedrail, in s uch a position th a t the train would cut the lad in s peed, it came rumbling along through the suburbs 0 Bay-. two. / port, where the yard rule had to be observed by the engineers. About half-way through the cut there was a break in the hillside, where some rude wooden stairs had been set up or the accommodation of railroad men who lived on the hill beyond. There was a sign at the top 0 the steps marked "Danger which warned the casual pedestrian against using the stairs. This was the spot selected by Flanders, who was well acquainted with the locality, for carrying out his fearful purpose. "Drop him!" he c r ied to Sparrow. Luke let go of Bob's legs, but Flanders held the boy upright "I s 'pose you understand what you're up ag'inst, you Then he sprang away, seized the conscience-stricken Spar row by the arm, and dragged him toward the wooden stair!'. "Quick! Up with you!" he cried, fiercely, "or we shall be seen." Luke allowed himself to be hustled up the steps, and the two villains reached the top 0 the hill as the freight, with gradually inc,reasing speed, came rolling along through the cut. They paused a dozen yards away. Although they could no longer see the train, they could tell by the sound that it was passing the spo} where Bob Chambers lay stretched across the track. "That settles his goose!" breathed Flanderi:;. "bfothing now stands between us and Ogden Wells." But Luke Sparrow didn't hear a word hill 13mnpanion said.

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A RISE IN LIFE. wa8 through the darkness to"'ard the cut, his t': .:,; ti is tended with horror and his limbs shaking with a pa ::;y o f ear. Alrcudy he felt the brand of Cain upon his brow. CHAPTER Vlll. .A. CLOSE CALL. \.t that moment there came to the ears of the two scoun drels the sound of approaching voices from in front. Two boys, who for some reason or other were out lai.e, for it was now clo s e on to midnight, were com ing toward the cut. One of them at least appeared to be unusually happy, for he was singing after a hilarious fashion a popular air : "I'm der kid dot's all der candy, I'm a Y enkee Dootle Danty, I'm gled I am, So's Uncle Sa m. I'm a real life Y enkee Dootle, Made mine name, und fame und bootle, Yu s t like Miscler Dootle dit, Riding by der pony on--" "Oh, come off, Jake!" interrupted the voice of Andy Ball, "you can't sing worth a sour potato." "Py shimmany Ghristma s D e r madder mit you is dot some ears for moosic you don d got I pcd you." "Do you call that yawp you wer e gettin' off singin ?" "Yah. Vhy nod?" "If it i sn't the worst ever I'm a liar," cried Andy, in a dis g u s ted tone. "De n oxcoose me o-ff I say you pe e n a liar twice dim e s over." "Don't call me a liar, you bunch of miser y or the re ll b e some thin' doin' "Is dot so-o-o? V ell, I ped you off I bid you vun c e und you cl on' cl fall clown l'.U look und see vot you vos tie d to." "Well, if I hit you once somebody will have to taJ,e you to the hospital." "I clink you vos dalking py your hat drough." "You c1o, eh?" "Yah. "Py shimmany Ghristmas Dot vos a glose call I peJ you." ""Well, don't do it again.' There's the stairs in front of you." "Vell," said Jake, sagely, s ome beoble don'd know s o much pefore some dings habbens as d e y knew aftervards, ain' t id?'} They went down the steps and started across the track s when Jake tripped over something yielding in his path "Py shinsher !" he exclaimed, as he picked himself up. "I pelief I haf cracked mine yaw." "Se rves you right!" grumbled Andy, who was in a hurry to get home. "Why don t you look where you're go i n', and not tangle your feet up with the track." "I ped you dot don'd peen no tracks dot dook from under me mine feets "Oh, rats! Come on!" retorted Andy, impatiently. "Y1\st vaits a liddle. I haf some curiosity to seen v o t dot dings vos. Jake s tooped down and took a close look at the obstruc tion. "Py Shorge Id's somepody py der tracks upon. Off he s tay s py dis blaces he vill pe pretty soon alretty yet kil t I ped y ou. Here, Andy, hellup me took him py der dan ge r oud." "Who is he? Some drunken tramp?" asked And y, r e -turning to lend his assistance "Nein. He vos a poy." "What's the matte r with him? Got a fit?" "Ve ll, dere vos s omedings der madder mid him." ViTJ.1ile Jake lifted the unfortunate to a sitting pC>Sture Andy struck a match. "Bob Chambers!" cried Andy, droppin g the matc h in his astonishment "Shimmany Ghristmas I Vot peen he do-ing oud h e r e? g a s p e d Jake. "I say, Bob," s aid Andy, anxiously, shaking his friend by the arm, "what does this mean?" Bob was fa s t coming to himself, and in another mom en t he look e d at the indistinct forms of his two friend s "Is that you, Andy?" he a s ked. "Sure! And here's Jake If h e hadn't tumbl e d over you we never would have known you were h e re. What' s the trouble, old chap?" "I've a great mind to give you a biff on the solar plexus." "I vouldn't did dot off I vos you. You vill seen your Bob got on his feet, look e d around and shudde red. "I've just had a narrow squeal for my life," he said. "How is that?" inquired Andy, curiou s ly. mistake pr ett.y soon already yet." 'fhey were now abreast of Flanders and Sparrow, who shrank away into the gloom "You make me sick!" growled Andy. "Ts clot so-o-o? Off I vos you den I vould seen der doc tor so soon as now." "If you don't look where you're goin' you'll need a doctor to sew you together W'hat are you tryin' to do fall into the cut?" Switzer bad very nearly made a misstep which would have sent him head foremost down onto below. Andy reached out and yank e d him back jus t in time. "Yah," chipped in Switzer, "how dot com e apoud ?" "I wan brought out here to be made into mincem eat by that freight train which just passed." "What!" g a s ped Andy, while a similar e jaculation gurg led down in Jake's throat. "That's right," asserted Bob, with a shiver. "If it hadn't been that the villain s plac e d me on the wrong trac k I s hould hav e b ee n a mang led corp se by this time. "Who done dot wickednes s ?" a s ked J aJrn. "You will hardly believe me I tell you." "Well, let us hear, if you know," said Andy.

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A RISE IN LIFE. us. "Two of the mill hands-Jim Flanders and Luke Spar row." "You don't mean it gasped Andy, astonished. "Shim Flanders und Luke Sharrow V ell, I alvays dought dey peen pretty pad eggs. For vhy did dey done dis ding to you?" "Because they caught me listening to a plot they had hatched against Ogden Wens." "So. Vot were dey going to done to him?" "Blow him to pieces with an infernal machine they have sent him through the mail." "Oh, come off, Bob You're drawin' it pretty strong, ain't you? said Andy, incredulously. "You wouldn't think so if you had heard those two chaps going over the thing as I did. They were in earnest, all right. If it wasn't the real goods they wouldn't have tried to murder me for getting on to them." "Tell us all about it, Bob," said Andy as the three boys walked out of the cut and started up the first street at hand. Bob at once told them the complete story 0 his night's adventures. "Wen, you did have a close call for a fact," commented Andy. "I ped you,'' chimed in Jake. "Altogether too close to be pleasant," replied Bob ."What are you goin' to do about it? You'll have Flander s and Sparrow pulled in right away, of course?" "I rather guess I will. I shan't do anything till morn ing. That'll be time enough. It will be an unexp ecte d sur prise for them, as they think I am done for, no doubt." "1Iow about that box in the mail?" fast and started for the mill, where he had to report prompt ly at seven o'clock On his way he stopped at the residence of Ogden Wells, but found that the manager had left town the previous af ternoon and was not expected back till eleven o'clock that morning. "I haven't time to go to the police now on my own hook,'' l!e mused, as he walked rapidly along toward the mill. "I'll have to let the matter rest till I see Mr. Wells. He'll be at the office at eleven. I'll be on the lookout for him." Bob kept a wary eye out for Flanders and Sparrow, as he didn't want them to see him, but it happened neither of the rascals showed up for work that morning. The fact of the matter was, both had got intoxicated after their return from the railroad cut to the former's lodgings, and were no w s leeping off the effects. The early mail arrived at the mill about half-pa.st eight. At nine o'clock Bob mana ge d to get out of the operating room, where he was employed, and went downstairs to the general office. He went up to the office-boy, whose duty it was to bring the mail from the postoffice, and asked him if there was a box, or package which might contain a box, in Mr. Wells's mail. The boy was surprised at the question, but told him there was nothin g of: the kind among the pile of letters and news paper s he had laid on the manager's desk. "When do you go for the n ext mail, Eddie?" "Eleven o'clo ck. Bob returned to his work, keeping a frequent eye ?11 the clock It wanted a minute of e l even when the foreman called the ''I'll see Mr. Wells first thing in the morning and warn boy and told him to !!O clo" n to the engine-room, whic11 was good spell for their a si n g l e story annex to the mill itself and fetch a certain tool he wanted. him about it." "Those fellows will go up or a villainy." "There isn't any doubt about it. They can easily be convicted on either charge. They'll get from fifteen to twenty years, I should think." "Serve 'em right. They've been makin' a lot of trouble for the society, one way or another. .Frank Dungan, one of the packers, said they were talkin' of settin' the mill afire to bring the stoc kholders to reas on. What do you think of that?" "I think it'll be a good thing to get them out of the way." The boys parted at the next corner, each going his own way. CHAPTER IX. Bob hustled to obey this order. As he passed around on the outside of the building be look ed in at the window of the manager's office. Mr. Wells was at hi s desk. haven't any time to lose," breathed hurrying on to the engine-room. The tool he came for was not found at once, and he had to wait about until the engineer got reacly to look it up. This caused a delay of more than :fifteen minutes, and the boy stood around in a fever of impatience until the implement was finally put in his hands Then he started back as fast as he could go. As he repassed the private office window he glanced in again. The manager was holding an oblong pa ckage in his two hands, apparently looking at the addres s on it. THE INFERNAL )IA.CHINE. "Great Scott!" breathed Bob, excitedly. "Suppose that should happen to be the box sent by Jim Flanders? I As Bob sometimes out late at the club, nothing must warn him without a moment's delay." was thought of hi s g0tting home after midnight on this par-He would have rapped on the window, but he couldn't ti cular occas ion. approach it on account of several cases which stood_ in the He got up at his usual hour ne xt morning, ate his break-1 way.

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16 A RISE IN LIF E S o he d id t he o nly t h i ng t hat occu r red to him. He ru s hed for the door of th e out er office O g d e n W e ll s was gene r ally at his desk .at nine' o'clock i n t h e m orni ng This pa r t i c ula r day w a s an excep t i on. He ha d gone u p to Boston on t h e prev i o u s a f ternoon t o make a pro v isiona l arrangement with a w e llk nown agency to sup pl y bir;n w ith hand s in the event that t he mill em. ployes went on s trike on the first of the month. Judg ing from the temper o:f the old hands, as well a s from information of what had taken place at their last meet i ng, which was s ecr e tly obtained for him, he believed a stri k e was imminent. So h e took t i m e b y the forelock, in order to be prepared for a n y eme r gency. Th e t r ain from Bos ton reached Bayport at 10.45, and 1f r. W e ll s was at his desk a couple of minutes before eleven. IIe founa the mail as u s ual piled upon hi s desk. H e p u t th e pap e r s a s ide and read the lett e rs, making n o tes for r e plie s Th e n h e c all e d his stenographer and dictated half a l'.o'zen bri e f answers. Whil e thus engaged, Eddie, the office-boy, brought in the second mail. Thi s cons isted of three letter,s, a paper and an oblong pa c kage-the latter strongly and carefully wrapped and cor d ed. A f t e r goin g through the letters, Mr. Wells took up the package and loo ked at it. The address its elf was writt e n on h eavy en v elope paper a nd past e d on the package wrapp e r and part of an old post mark appeared at one corner. Und erne ath the address w a s writt e n in a heavy hand, diagonally across the face of the package, the word "S.amples." Mr W ells turned it over once or twice in his hands and th e n looke d for liis sh e ars. They w e re not whe r e he u s uall y kept th e m but after a :fe w moments' d e lay he discovered them in his letter-basket tra y on top of hi s desk. Th e manager was about to cut the cords which secured the wrapper, when the door of the office was suddenly dashed ope n and Bob Chamb e r s rushed in. "Stop for hea ven's sake!" he cried earne s tl y "That package contain s an infernal mac hine!" 'l'he boy' s whirlwind and his s tartling words, produced a sensation in the private office. O g den W e lls, the shears pois e d in one hand, the packa g e in th e oth e r looke d at the y oung intruder in s urprise. Th e h e ad bookke eper, who had entered the room a few minute s b e fore for some document he required turned ar o und and eyed Bob, with a look of cons t e rnation in his face; while the pr etty s tenographer who was on the way to th e manager's desk with some typewritten letters in he r hand s topped s hort and gave a shriek of terror. But Bob didn t stop until he reached Mr. Wells' s side and then pointing at the unopened package in the manager s hand said: "Don't ope n that! It' s dangerou s sir. There's some k t nd o:f app aratus in it which is arranged to explode and kill you the moment you take off the cover. O g den Well s was not a coward. He was cool and collected under the mos t trying cir cum s tance s He looked calmly at the boy's :flushed and excited :face, and then said: "How do you know?" "I'll tell you the whole story if you'll let me, sir." "Certainly. Bring up a chair and I will listen to you." He put down the package as he spoke and waited for Bob's explanation "Do not be alarmed, Miss Sutton," he turning to his stenographer, whose frightened countenance at that moment attracted his notice. "You may hand me those letters." . The girl gave him the sheets she had in her hand and then returned to her desk, but she was clearly incapable of going on with her work for the present. Bob took his seat by the managers side and detailed to him what he had overheard in the deserted shed the night before; how Flanders caught him hiding behind the barrel, and what he and his companion, Luke Sparrow, had after ward done to him for the purpose of closing his mouth forever. "I was discovered on. the track by Andy Ball and Jake Switzer, and they are ready to testify to that fact." Ogden Wells heard the boy through without interrupting him. Then he questioned Bob on several points not quite clear to him. Without making any comment on the story he drew his office telephone which connected him with the various departments of the mill, toward him, and putting the stopper in a certain hole placed the receiver to his ear. He had placed himself in communication with the pack ing department. "Are Flanders and Sparrow at work this morning?" he asked, in reply to a distant, "Well sir?" "No, sir. They've never been both away at the same time before "That is all ,'' replied the manager, who then connected with another department. "Is Switzer on your floor?" "Yes, sir." "Send him to the office, please." A similar messa g e was sent to the shuttle-room for Bob . Both o:f the boy s appeared together, and were admitted to the private office at once. They corroborated Bob's statement that they had found him in a sem1-unconscious condition on one of the tracks of the Ea s tern Railroad in the cut the town limits. Manager Wells dismissed And y and Jake with the caution not to open their mouth s on the subject. Then he telephoned for an officer of the police. One of the Bayport force soon appeared. "I have reason to believe that this package contains some

PAGE 18

A .RISE IN LIFE. t 17 kind of a bomb or infernal machine. As it came through the mail, I don't think there is any danger of it exploding through mere handling in its present shape; but to be on the safe side I would advise you to carry it carefully. Take it to the station and soak it well. I will follow you pres ently to consult with the captain about it." The policeman didn't relish the job; but it was in the line of his duty, and he couldn't well :cefuse to accept the dangerous package. He carried it gingerly out of the building, to the immense relief of the stenographer especially, who hadn't been easy in her mind from the moment Bob entered the room and made his sensational announcement. "Now, Chambers," said Manager Wells, "take off your working rig; I want you to go with me to the police sta tion." He had already thanked and complimented the boy for the part he bad played in the and promised to see that he was rewarded, Bob protested that he didn't want any reward, as he be lieved he had only done his duty; but the manager assUl'ed him that the awful risk he had faced in connection with the matter entitled him to something more substantial than an ordinary vote of thanks, and he would see that he got it. At the police station, Bob told his story over again to the captain of the force, who immediately issued an order for the arrest of Jim Flanders and Luke Sparrow, and officers were sent out to find the two rascals. After the package had been soaked for an hour in a pail of water, the wrapper was carefully and the con tents found to be a wooden box six inches long, two inches wide and an inch deep. This was replaced in the pail and soaked a considerable while longer. The box had a sliding cover, but instead of opening it in the regular way, the cover was pried off, when the true character of the package was revealed. There were two parlor matches set heads downward in the sliding cover of the box, so that when the cover was withdrawn the heads of the matches would ignite by strik ing on slips of emery paper in the bottom. Packed in brownish cotton in the box was a sina.ll cylin der of cardboard containing i1ffipowder, plugged at the ends with cotton. In one end of the box were two 32-caliber revolver cart ridges, with notches :filed in the rims of the shells in such a manner as tt! expose tpe powder. There were also several slugs of lead, irregular in shape, loose in the box.' "Well," rem arked Ogden Wells, when he was called to examine the c01;1tents of the box, "that is a most ingenious bomb. It wouldn't have done a me if it had ex ploded in my hands." "That's right," replied the police captain, "it would have laid you out for keeps. You owe your life to that boy." And Mr. Wells agreed with hi,m. CHAPTER X. BOB IS REWARDED. .. Jim Flanders and Luke Sparrow were not arrested, ac cording to programme. From some unknown friend they got warning in:' the nick of time to save themselves, and while the officers were entering the house where the men had slept off their drunk, by the front door, they slipped out by the back way, so that when the policemen went to Flarn;lers's room tbe bird s bad flown. The town was searched for them, but they managed to get off. Ogden Wells called on D ncan Pritchard at his home, and told him the story of the infernal machine. He suggested that the company ought to reward Bob Chambers for his zeal in preventing a terrible catastrophe. Mr. Pritchard agreed with him, and instructed the treas urer by telephone to draw a check for $1,000, pay.able to the order of the boy, and send it to him for his signature, as all the company's checks had to be countersigned by its president. That afternoon the check was sent to the manager, who called Bob to his office and handed it to him, together with a neat gold watch and chain from himself as an expression of his gratitude to the lad for saving his life. "I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Wells," Bob, accepting the testimonial. "I shall place great value upon this watch as coming from you.'1 "It is very insignificant in comparison with the obligation you have placed me under by your brave and manly conduct. You will please remember yoii have always a friend in me henceforth." Of course, Bob couldn't keep the facts from his mother and sister now, for the evening paper had a full account of his adventure, "'which led to his saving the life of the man ager of the Bayport Woolen Mills from the infernal ma chine, which came through the mails, and by nightfall all Bayport was talking about the boy and the affair. "And you never said a word to us this morning about th& awful experience you went through last night," said his sister, as soon as he came home that evening. "Oh, Robert, how could you keep us ignora n t of your peril I" crie4, his mother, stroking his hair and kissing him fondly, the tears comsing down her cheeks. "For the very best of reasons, mother-I didn't want to worry you. But it had to come out, you see. However, I'm all right; haven't even slipped a cog, so what's the use saying anything more about it?" "But it's so terrible to think that you might have been killed and mangled in a frightful way, and nobody could have guessed the cause of it all." "That's true, mother; but as as it didn't occur you have no cause for worry. A miss is as good as a mile." "You take it very easy, you bad boy!" cried Hattie,

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18 A RISE IN LIFE. throwing her arms around his neck for the second time and hugging him as if she never meant to quit. "Come now, Hat, it's awfully nice of you to hug me, but you might reserve a little Qf it for Parker Jewett, when the time comes," with a provoking smile. "Aren't you too mea.n for anything!" cried the girl, blushing furiously. "Don't say a word, folks, see what I have got," and Bob exhibited his handsome gold watch and chain and his check for $1,000 from the company. "Don't that make your mouth water, sis?" Mother and daughter were simply delighted, and per haps they were not proud of the fortunate son and brother! That night Bob was welcomed at the club by a full house. As soon as he appeared in the room somebody called for three cheers for the president, and they were given with a will thl'l..t raised the dust from the uncarpeted floor, and jarred the atmosphere so that the flags and draperies waved to and fro while the din lasted. "I ped nie your life you vos der whole ding py der town do-night, ain'd it?" said Jake, his full-moon countenance expanding in a broad grin. "Oh, come now!" remonstrated Bob, "you fellows will give me the swelled head if you don t quit. Any one of you boys would have done exactly as I did under the circum stances "Ve vould, I don'd think! It dooks a prave poy mid a glass eye to done vot you dit, I ped you." "All right. Let it go at that." Next day when Bob appeared at the mill he was regarded by all hands as a hero. There were smiles and nods, and an occasional congratu latory word for him on all sides. The girls certainly looked on him with a new intere s t while Ruby Norton was sure there wasn't another boy lik e him in the world. About the end of the week there was another big meetin g of the mill hands, and it was unanimou s ly voted to go on strike if the new wage scale was enforced on the first of the month. A new committee was appointed to wait on Manager Wells and present this ultimatum. President Pritchard was in the manager's office when the committee presented themselves. When Mr. Wells assured the mill hands' representatives that the cut would certainly go into effect as announced, the spokesman of the committee said: "Then, 11ir, I am instructed to inform you that the hands will strike in a body." "Strike, will you ?'I exclaimed Duncan Pritchard, who had been an impatient listener during the brief interview, in an angry tone. "We'll fill the places of every one of you." The spokesman smiled grimly, but made no reply. "Perhaps you think we can't?" almost shouted the offi cial head of the woolen mill. "Remember, every man ancl woman of you who fails to report as u s ual for duty next Monday morning will consider themselves discharged. Discharged, do you hear? And you won' t be taken back, either -not one of you. Not if you come a-begging for your jobs!" And Duncan Pritchard shook his finger menacingly at the committee. l "It is quite out of my power to alter the mandate of the s tockholders of this company," concluded Ogden Wells. "They have adopt e d the new rate, and I am obliged to put it into effect. Of course, if the hand s quit work I shall try to get new ones to fill their places. It seems to me fool ish for you people to strike-nine out of ten strikes are failures." The manager turned to his desk, as a signal that the in terview was at an end, and the committee retired. That aft e rnoon's paper contained the statement that the manager of the Bayport Woole n l\Iill s had r efused to mak e any concessions in regard to the new wage schedule which was to go into operation on Monday, and in consequence the old hands would certainly go out on strike. This announcement creat e d quite a breeze of excitem ent in the little New England town, and people began to ask one another what cour s e the strik e rs would take, and whether there would be any clisturbance. When the girl s filed pa s t the pay-window Saturday after noon and received their envelope s it was noticed that every one of them carried with her a small bundle vf her belongings she was accustomed to keep in the mill. The men also brought away all their personal propert y This significant fact was reportecl to l\Iana g er Well s who accepted it as conclusive evicle nce that none of the r e gular employes would report f o r work on Monday. Before he went home for the day he s ent a t e legram to the Bos ton agency which hacl contract e d to furni s h him with all the help he required. That afternoon it was noticed that Dexter Pritchard as he paraded up and down Main Street wit h little Ma lacca cane, wore a s elfs ati sfied grin on his face. He was pl eased to d e ath that the re was going to be a s trike at the mill. And chiefly because it-would put Ruby Norton out of a job. He had failed in his attempt to get her discharged. "I hate her!" he muttered to himself. "She puts on too many lugs for a common mill hand. The strike will be a failure, anyway, and she won't be able to get back. I guess she'll have to get out of town or starve. If she'd acted decent with me I'd stand by her now. She's gone on that Bob Chambers. He's another per s on I'd give something to do up. The people seem to be making a great fuss over him because he found out about that infernal machine. They make me s ick. Well, I guess he'll be out of a job same as the rest. But I don't suppose he ll care, for he's got $1,000 to fall bac;k on. My governor was a fool to hand him out so much. One hundred dollars would have been loads, to my way of thinking. If I could only queer him and Ruby Norton I'd feel better satisfied; Perhaps I can who knows?"

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" A RISE IN LIFE. b With this charitable feeling in his heart he continued his promenade as far as the Bayport Billiard Parlors, where he turned in, and finding some of his boon companions there, took a hand at a game of pool. make a disturbance, certain it is they made no demonstra tion beyond the few hoots and groans here and there. CHAPTER XL THE STRIKE. As the last new hand passed inside, Andy yelled out: "Three groans for Ogden Wells!" The crowd right around him took the cue and groaned lu sti ly, and the sound rolled right along down the two lines. At this moment Bob Chambers and Ruby Norton ca.me walking s lowly down the stree t. They did not mingle with the others, but stood on the other side of the way and watched the proceedings with much interes t As the mob broke up into groups again, Jake and Andy Long before seven o'clock on Monday morning sma ll saw Bob and Ruby, and joined them. groups of the strikers began to gather in the immediate "Did you seen 'em ?-dose new handts ?" asked Switzer. vicinity of the mill. "No," replied Bob. At half-past six, when the smoke usually began to pour "Dey don'd ]ast, I ped you." out of the tall chimney there wasn't even a whisp of vapor "That's right," chirped Andy. "We won't do a thing to be seen. to them when we get the chance." The engineer ancl his as.sistant had joined the olcl hands, "Better keep out of trouble, Andy," advisM Bob. "You and there was nothing doing in tho engine-room. know what the orders a re. No rough-house, or anything By anCl by the timekeeper appeared at the gate, and he of that was greeted by a chorus of derision from the younger fry c:' Are we going to l et these newcomers keep our jobs from standing near. us? Well, I guess not!" and Andy looked.-as if he was Among these were Jake Switzer and Andy Ball. just aching for a scrap. "Yell,'' remarked Jake, "vy you don't got busy, Yohn "There's a big committee appointed to look after that," Thomas? Vot you vos hired for, anyvays? To stood py said Bob. "We can't win by raising a rumpus." dot obenings und ),pok opd? Maype you vos looking for "They've no business comin' h ere when they know there's der beoples to come, ain'd id? Ven, off you look lon g a on," persisted Bob. enough you vill seen 'em pefore Ghristmas, I don'd think." "What's the use kicking? You'll always find lots to The timekeeper grinned, but made no reply. do that in every trade." "I don'd hear me dose vistles," went on Jake, making a "Then they ought to be treated as they deserve, that's bluff of listening. "Id vos seven py der glock yqst now. what I say." Vot's der madder py der engi n e -room? Maype der boilers "Vot you dinks apoud id, Miss Ruby? asked Jake. vos on der strike too." "I think it's a shame that the company cut our wages "Here comes the manager," piped up Andy. and made us go out in self -d efense," she replied, spiritedly. O gpen Wells was. walking smart ly down the stree t to"Py s hin sher You vomens ought to got ub a proces-wa.rd the mill. sions, und valk py der bresident's house, und spoke to him By this time there were more than sixty of the old em& yust somedings like dot. Maype some imbressions id vouli ployes near the gate make on him, ain'd id?" The manager paid no attention to them, but entered the "I'm afraid not," said Bob. "Duncan Pritchard isn't yard after exchanging a word with the the kind of man that's easily moved from his purpose. I At half-past seven he left by the office entrance and understand he's at the bottom of the reduction. If so, the started toward the railroad station women and girls wQuld only be wasting their breath on The 7.45 train from Boston brought about fifty men ancl him." girls from Boston who hacl been sent to take the of "Vell, a man dot vould all der brofits dook vos a hogs, the st ri kers. und I yust as soon said dot py his face." Manager Wells and two policemen met them and piloted "Betcher life he is!" chimed in Andy. them to the mill. Another chorus of hooting s from the workers attracted Their appearance was greeted by a chorus of hoots and their attell;tion. groans from the str ik ers, now augmented to more than a This was occasioned by the appearance of a dozen women hundred, who had formed a l ane from the gate to the street and girls who had come over from Marshfield in a wagon. 1 corner, and through which the newcomers had to pass. The strikers blocked .the way of the v e hicle and the oc-The majority of the old hands contented themselves with cupants began to grow frightened, though no actual vio viewing the strike-breakers with solemn displeasure, maklence was intended. ing no effort to prevent them from entering the mill yard They were beset on all sides by requests from the old Whether they were detcyred by the presence of Ogden hands to go back. Wens, whose face wore a resolute look, or the two policeThe driver tried to urge his horsE!s forward, but could men, o r because their l eaders had instructed them not to make no headway through the crowd.

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20 A RISE IN LIFE. Some threats were uttered, and several sticks were waved in the air by way of intimidation, then two strikers began to push the animals around. At this point Ogden Wells and one of the officers ap peared at the and came to the rescue. They were greeted by ho ot s and catcalls, but that was the extent of the interference. After much trouble the wagon was driven into the yard. When it came out again empty, the driver was pelted by the many urchins about, with sticks and clods of earth. The 9.50 Boston train brought in another lot o.f girls and a few men from the city, and a larger crowd of strikers being present, half a dozen policemen were called on to escort them to the mill. They \vere received with many manifestations of anger and hostility by the old hands, but there was no actual collision. "What do you want to come here and take honest folks' work for?" shouted the angry wife of one of the foremen. "Aye, aye, aye!" echoed along the line. "Stand back, there!" commandAf the two in the lead. "Vouldn't dose bolicemans make you s ick?" said Jake, in a tone of disgust. The crowd now seemed on the pooint of losing its tem per, for it surged about, excitedly. "Down with the scabs!" cried a stentorian voice. A great uproar ensued, in the midst of which half a dozen men, in the form of a football flying wedge, pushtd through the crowd, scattering strikers and newcomers right and left, and th. rowing the whole street into a scene of con fusion. The air was filled with shrieks, hoots and derisive laugh ter. Manager Wells and the officers were mixed up and de tached from the new hands and for a few moments a scene o:f pandemonium ensued. When order was finally somewhat restored, more than half of the fresh itrrivals had disappeared, and no one seemed to know where they had vanished to. When the strikers realized this there was a great burst of cheering. It was the :first victory. CHAPTER XII. DEXTER PRITCHARD GETS UGLY. The police now got busy in earnest, and drove the crowd of strikers away from the immediate neighborhood of the gate. They were hooted and jeered at, and given as much trouble as possible, but no one ventured to resist them ope.Ply. The smoke now began to pour out of the big chimney. An engineer and fireman had been secured. Just then a light buggy drove up to the office entrance of the mill. In it were Duncan Pritchard and his son Dexter. They were received with a howl of derision. The elder Pritchard got out and e!Xered the office, and then Dexter turned the horse around and started off up the street. At the moment Ruby was crossing the road to speak to one of her friends. Dexter saw her, and whipping up his anipial, de liberately ran her down. At least that seemed to be his intention. The three boys,-Bob, Andy and Jake-happened to be looking at him at time. Andy and Jake threw up their hands and shouted to Ruby to look out. Bob, however, with a cry of anger, rushed for the horse's head. Ruby saw the animal almost upon her, and stood right where she was, paralyzed with fear. Bob reached the spot not a moment too soon, and grasped the mare's bridle. "Let that horse alone!" roared Dexiier, furiously. "What's the matter with you?" cried Bob. "Do you want to run over her?" "Get out of my way, you beggar I" exclaimed the young aristocrat, snapping the whiplash about Bob's ears. The young m .ill hand caught the lash with one hand and jerked the whip out of Dexter's hand. "Give me my whip, you villain!" sputtered Dexter Pritchard, in a rage. "Py shinsher I vould gif you dot vhip in a vay you vouldn't like off I had id, I ped you!" shouted Jake, shak ing bis fist at the magnate's son. Dexter, mad with anger, lashed his horse with the reins. She reared up and tore herself free from Bob's hold, swerved to one side and dashed forward, just clearing the brave boy by a bare inch. Ruby, with a little cry, fainted dead away in Bob's arms. "Py Shorge !" cried Jake. "Dit you efer seen any dings like dot?" "He ought to be kicked from here to the bay," said Andy, angrily. "Veil, off I vos Bob Shambers I know vot I vould done to him vhen I seen dot snoozer again, I ped you. I vould leaf det mab off Yarmany by his face ubon." Bob carried Ruby to the sidewalk, where several of her girl .friends took charge of her. "What the dickens did Dexter Pritchard mean?" asked the boy, in some excitement. "He might have killed or injured us both the way he acted. His father ought to be told of this. I won't stand for anything like that from anybody." "Von vould dink he had took leaf off his senses." ,"I'm going to have an explanation or I'll know the reason why," said Bob, resolutely.

PAGE 22

A RISE IN LIFE. "Dot' s righd; but off you vos me I vould lick him fe-erst und eggsplanations took after dot." "I'll take this whip into the office and see Mr . Pritch ard about the matter," and Bob, after seeing that Ruby had recovered, started to carry out his intention. But the incident didn't stop there. The affair had attracted the attention of many of the s trikers, and they gathered around and wanted to know all about it. Switzer and Andy Ball made no bones about what Dexter had done, in fact they represented the matter in its worst light. Their story roused their listeners to a fever pitch of in dignation, and Ruby's white face added to their anger. One of the agitators in the crowd seized the chance to address the strikers in a revolutionary way, and he didn't have much trouble to arouse bad blood. He handled the Pritcbards without gloves, denounced the upper class generally, and did not forget to drag in Ogden Wells for a share of his venom. There is little doubt but an incipient riot would have ensued if it hadn't been for the quick action of several of the leaders present, who, scenting trouble, ha s tened to ad dress the crowd, begging their fellows to be. calm and not allow themselves to be Jed into any act they would aft e rward regret. This course had the desired eJTect, and the mob cooled down. Another batch of outsiders were brought to th e mill clmfog the aternoon, but they were not tho u g h th e striker s appealed to them not to go to the mill without succe ss. The police maintained the utmost vigilance abont th e mill property, and kept the disgruntled old hancls at a rel'p ect able distance. Nearly all the girls and women left the neighborl1ooc l early, while the men remained to canvass the situati on, anc l patronize the nearest saloon. By five o'clock most of the crowd had dwindled away to the regular pickets, and the members of the committee wl10 had the strike-in charge. They waited patiently about for the mill 'to shut down and the newcomers to come out, intending then to argue the matter with them. This plan was frustrated by Ogden Wells, who had se cured a big building near-by and turned it into a tempo rary boardingand lodging-hon e. When the new force knocked off, they were mustered in the yard and marched in a body, under police protection, to the building. After they had entered two poliq_emen were left to stand guard at the door, and the strike committee, seeing the fu tility of further interference, withdrew with the pickets until morning. In the meantime, Bob Chambers obtained an interview with Duncan Pritcli.ard nnd called his attention to the singular conduct of bis son. The magnate was rather annoyed at the incident, but naturally was inclined to gloss over Dexter's behavior. "Ahem young man, I think you are making a out of a molehill," s11id Mr. Pritchard, loftily. "Why should my son try to run over Miss Norton, or, in fact, any one else? Why, the idea is ridiculous. The horse is a spirited one, and must have become frightened and some what unmanageable by the crowd in the street." "There was no crowd in the street at that point. Ruby was crossing--" "Yes, I know," interrupted the president of the com pany, impatiently; "but it is really preposterous to sup pose that Dexter would deliberately try to 'do either of you an injury." "Then, sir, you discredit my statement," replied the boy, indignantly. "I certainly believe you are mistaken in the matter. By the way, I think you are the boy who warned Mr. Wells a bout that infernal machine, are you not?" "I am, sir. "You received $1,000 from the company, did you not?" "I rec eive d a check for that amount." Th e n let me say, young man, you have shown very poor ta H tc-v e ry } )Oor taste, I repeat, by deserting the company with th e rest of th e men. Common gratitude should have s uggest e d to you the propriety of sticking by those who so munific ently-I believe that is the proper word-rewarded you. That ts all young ma.n. You may go." The m a nager was present and heard the entire intervie w U c nocldccl to Bob when the boy was leaving t h e room, and Bob politely acknowledged his salutation. "Tt i s cle ar I h a v en't gained much by appealing to Mr. Du ncan P ritc h ard, s aid the lad to himself. "I might have g ueei.:ctl h e would ha v e s tood up for his son I'll have to Lie ttl c ihi s wjlh D e xt e r myself." Y e ll, B o ppy," a s ked Jake, when Bob rejoined his "vot
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22 A RISE IN LIFE. CHAPTER XIII. THE SCRAP ON MAIN STREET. By Wednesday, the third day of the strike, the company liacl managed to secure about two-thirds of the required help to run the mill. That morning, however, the new engineer didn't show up, and the manager had to send to Boston for another, so that the machinery didn't get in motion till after the noon hour. The Bayport Daily News, which published both a morn ing and afternoon edition, came out fiat-footed for the strikers. It printed a good deal of unpleasant reading matter for Duncan Pritchard and the stockholders of the company. As almost every person jn town sympathized more or less with the old hands, the owners of the mill experienced a coolness in the social and business atmosphere which they had never noticed before Some of the stockholders privately expressed regret that they had voted for the reduction Those who had voted against the cut took care to let the fact become h."Ilown. Duncan Pritchard, however, believed he could afford to defy public opinion. 'Vb.en interviewed by the reporters he was aggressive and defiant. He repeated his assertion that tbe old hands were out of the mill for good. Dexter Pritchard owned a very handsome little sailboat, in which he and some of his friends cruised around the harbor, and sometimes along the coast outside, when the weath e r conditions were satisfactory to him. 1 On Wednesday afternoon he and two cronies left the Bayport Billiard Parlors and started for the private wharf on ,the Pritchard prop erty, off which +he "Spray" was an chored find out you won't be permitted to endanger people's lives in this town merely to gratify a personal spite you have against them. And the fact that you are the son of the richest man in Bayport won't save you." By this time face was white with rage. "You-you pauper! You common mill boy! I've a mind io strike you to the sidewalk!" he cried, passion ately. "You'd better not try such a thing if you know when you're well off," replied Bob, coolly. Dexter's answer was to bring his upraised cane down full on the mill boy's head. But it didn't land as the young aristocrat had intendecl. Bob hacl seen his purpose in his eyes, dodged quickly, seized and tore the cane from his grasp, and promptly knocked Dexter down. "It's a fight!" grinned Andy to Jake. "I don'd dink !" answered the German boy; "pud off it vos dot udder fellers don 'd peen in id for a gobber cent." Dexter looked dazed and confounded. He hardly knew what had happened to him, the shock had come so sudden. He sat up and stared stupidly about. "Vill I hell up you ub ?" asked Jake, making a bluff to offer his assistance, as the dude's companions stood well back and never ofl'ered to i:\lter.fcre. "I nefer oxpected to seen you scddin' yourselu.f down py der sidevalks to rest, l\Iisder Pritchard." Dexter kicked out his legs with unexpected suddenness, and gave Switzer such a whack on the shins that the German lad lost his balan c e and sat clown, too. "Ha, ha, ha!" roared Andy. "I hope you didn't make a hole in the sidewalk, Jake." A small-crowd began to gather to see the fun. "Tuncler uncl blitzen Vot you beobles found to laugh ad?" cried Jake, in a tone of disgust, as he picked him self up. Dexter also scrambled to his feet and shook his fist at Bob. They were. going to take a sail. "I will make you pay for that, you villain!" he cried, It happened that Bob Ohamber.s, Andy Ball and Jake furiously. "I'll have you arrested for striking me, you Switzer were coming out of their club as Dexter and his.asscum!" sociates ca:qrn along Main Street. "Bah! Why don't you put up your fists like a little Bob, who was som. ething of an amateur sailor in his way, man?" jeered Andy, who felt disappointed that the mix-up had borrowed a catboat for that afternoon, and was going was so brief. to take Andy and Jake clown the bay with him. "Py shinsher He can pud his feets ub like a liddle As soon as Bob caught sight of the son of Duncan Pritchdonkey, I ped you!" growled the German boy ard he walked up and confronted him with a. stern face. "Give me my cane!" roared Dexter, making a snatch "I want an explanation from you, Dexter Pritchard, of at it. your attempt to ride over Ruby Norton on Monday," he Bob stepped back, deliberately broke it across his knee demanded. and threw th. e pieces into the street. Dexter started back, glared at Bob, and raised his little Dexter, almost wild with rage, rushed at Bob and struck Malacca cane in a threatening way.. at him with both :fists, but the mill boy, with a smile, "How dare you stop me on the you interfering easily warded off the blows. puppy!" blustered the magnate's son. Then the magnate's son kicked viciously at him. Bob's eyes flashed at this insult, but he kept cool. Bob caught his foot and he went down like a shot. "I want an answer from you, Pritchard, and if it isn't I The crowd laughed and jeered at young Pritchard, whom satisfactory I'll see that Ruby has you arrested. You'll. they recognized.

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A RISE IN LIFE. 23 The mill boy had sympathy. time the mouth of 'the bay was almost reached the catboa't "Py Shorge You don'd done dot twice dimes mid im-had overhauled and passed the "Spray'? to the leeward. bunidy, I ped you. Der next dimes you pud mine shins "Shall we come about or go outside?" asked Bob, as they against you feets I vill done dot, too." were passing abreast of the island. "It's pretty rough "Come, let's go," said Bob to his two co!Ilpanions. "This yonder, and will give us a good shaking up." little affair has attracted too much attention to suit me." "Oh, keep right on!" replied Andy. They pushed their way through the grinning mob, and "I doJJ.'d know apoud dot," objected Jake. "Off id pen were crossing the street when Dexter was assisted up uy much rougher as here, you vill oxcoose me off I said nid. '' one of his friends. "Ho! If you're afraid, we'll put you ashore on the is The young dude was in ai furious rage over his discom-land and take you up when we come back." :fiture. "I didn't said I vos afraidt; bud off id peen ali der same Not seeing Bob, he glared at the circle of amused spectaI yust so soon stood by der beach ubon a liddle vhilc s tors, some of whom passed rather uncomplimentary remark s mineseluf to resd." about him. "Hello!" cried Bob, at this juncture. "Those chaps His friends, not relishing the situation, took hold of him yonder are.in trouble." and led him away. He pointed to the "Spray," which was now flonderin g They all they could do to pacify him. about in the trough of the sea, sweeping in from the 4tFinally he cooled down and the three continued on their lantic, her boom threshing th'e water way to the leeward. way to the Pritchard grounds. The fact of the matter was a sudden flaw had wrenched CHAPTER XIV. THE TAMING OF PRITCHARD. Two hours later a finely modeled sloop yacht, about eigh teen feet in length, and a trim-built catboat, not quite so long, were nearing a wooded island at the entrance to Bay port harbor. Both, under bellying main sai l, were heeled to starboard, and darted ahead before the stiff six-knot breeze blowing off / 'I'he wind had steadily increased s inc e the boats lelt their moorings, and Dexter Pritchard, who was steering the "Spray," was beginning to grow nervous. He would have turned back, but he was ashamed to do so, as he had boasted of his ability to handle his yacht under all weather conditions. Be s ides, she was practically safe, having four copper air-tanks, so that she would not si nk with hall a dozen per sons aboard,. if s he were full of water. Dexter, however, was by no means expert in the knack oI sailing a boat, and now every time she made a sudden dip, when a sharp flaw struck the mainsail, he turned. pale and wished he was on shore. It was different with Bob Chambers, in ihe "Foam" catboat He had taken lessons from the boatman who owned the little craft, and who was very friendly with him, and able to handle the boat almost as well as its owner. He loved the water, and went out on the bay in the "Foam," or in swimming off the Point, whenever he got a chance. The "Spray" was the faster boat of the two, but was han dicapped under her green owner. Dexter and his friends had got afloat fir st, yet by the the main-sheet out of De xter Pritchard's hand, and the boom, in consequence, had got away from him. It placed the party in an unpleasant position, which a skilfu l boatman would instantly have remedied by bringing the yacht up into the wind, when the boom would have swung back, and the sheet-line have been recovered. It was a simple thing to do, but Dexter lost his head and became terrified when he ought to have remained cool. He looked helplessly at the truant boom, and did noth ing. The "Spray" was s teered by a horizontal wheel-the tiller moving in the direction opposite to the way the wheel was turned. Finally, Dexter, in hi s confusion, did the right thing ac cidentally-he pulled the wheel toward him-he was seated on the weather side of the steering gear. The boat at once answered to her hlm and the boom swung in. Before it came qnite within his reach, he stood up ancl reached for the sheet. Just then another flaw struck the sail, and away it went back again, for Dexter had let go oi the wheel. The boat Clipped sma rtly to the leeward, the boy lost his balance and was precipitated overboard. "By George!" cried Bob, who," with his companions. was watching the "Spray" intently. Dexter Pritchard is overboard!" He altered the "Foam's" course at once, and bore down on the spot where the young aristocrat had disappeared be neath the rough water off the island. "Py shinsher He vos a gone goose, I ped you!" exclaimed the German boy, in some excitement. "He is if he can't swim a little," said Andy. "I don'd seen him, do you Boppy?" "Yes, there he is, just a fathom or so beyond his hat." "I vill got der poat-hooks und pull him oud, off he don'd gone py der bottoms too quick." Before the "Foam" got close enough for the boys to reach Dexter, h e disappeared once more.

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24 A RISE IN LIFE. "Dot's pad cried Jake, when he saw thewater close over Pritchard' s head. "Do you dink he peen deat now for sure, Boppy ?" "I hope not," !eplied Bob, anxiously for he was all eagerness to save the life of his enemy. "He ought to come up again. Keep your eyes skinned for him, fellows; it' s his last chance." "There he is!" exclaimed Andy, presently. Dexter had come up not six feet away. "Py shinsher I I got him now, I ped you!" cried Switzer, reaching for the drowning boy with the boat-hook. But he hadn't. A flaw struck the "Foam," the boat dipped, and Bob had to luff her up. The German boy, feeling he was losing his balance, dropped the hook into the water, where it sank at once, and grabbed Andy to save himself. Bob saw that it was all up with Dexter unless he took the promptest kind of action. "Take the helm, Andy!" he cried, in ringing tones. Peeling off his hat and jacket, and kicking off his lowcut shoes, Bob plunged into the water, diving straight at young Pritchsrd, who, now quite unconscious, was slowly for the last time . He caught the boy a foot under the surface and came to the top with him. As soon as he appeared, Jake flung a rope to him, which he caught. Inside of a minute the two were dragged into the cockpit of the "Foam." "Py Shimmany cribs Dot vos a narrow squeak for Mistler Pritchard, I ped you!" "We'll have to go ashore," said Bob, "and bring Dexter to his senses." They laid the half-drowned boy :face downward in the cockpit and about half a pint of salt water ran out of his mouth. Bob ran the catboat under the lee of the outermost point of the island, and held her close to the beach, while Andy and Jake carried Dexter ashore. Then, after telling them what to do with their charge, he steered out after the "Spray," which still rolled about at the mercy of the waves, and was drifting out to sea, the boys on board of her not knowing what to d<> in the emer gency. As he approached her stern from the leeward, Bob watched his chance, let his mainsail down by the run, and then leaped aboard of the "Spray," with the painter of the "Foam" in' his hand. It was a risky move, but the only thing to be done under the circumstances. If he hadn't timed his movements to a nicetyhe would probably have landed in the water instead of where he aimed for. With Bob it was then but the work of a moment to re cover the stray boom and sheet. After that he sailed the "Spray" to the island, towing the catboat after her, and s ecured both craft to the beach by passing their painters around a big s tone. Dexter's friends were pretty well frightened by their re c ent experience, and were glad to feel th e s olid e arth under their feet once more. Pritchard was brought around aft e r a tim e but he was a pretty fishy-looking object. how you feldt now?" Jake asked him as soon a s he was able to sit up. His arrogant manner had completely di s appeared and h e was as humble as any boy could be. He seemed to realize that he had escaped death by the s kin of his teeth, and that fact made a powerful impres sion on him. When one of his cronies told him that Bob Chamber s at the risk of his own life, had salved him from a watery grave, he didn't say a word for some time. Finally he motioned to Bob, who was wringing the wat e r out of his garments, and the mill boy, curious to hear what he had to say, went up to him. "I want to thank you for what you did for me," he said, in a low voice, with downcast eyes. "I don't see bow you came to do it, as I haven't been a friend of yours. But you slian't regret it. I'll make it all right by you-at least my father will. I'll see that he gives you another $1,000. He cal\ afford it." "Stop!" cried Bob. "You mustn't talk about paying me for what I did for you. I'm not such a cannibal as to see you or any one else drown if I could help it. I'm glad I managed to save you. I don't expect, nor will I accept, anything but your gratitude, if it's in you, for my ser vices, which you are welcome to." "I suppose you've a right to be down on me," answered Dexter, without looking up. "I'm not down on you. I'm satisfied to let the past go if you say so." "I'm willing to be friends if you are," Pritchard said at last, though the word evidently cost him an effort. "I'rri afraid you'll change your mind when you get over this shock," answered Bob, doubtfully. "No, I won't. I mean what I say. You've done me a good turn-you've saved my life. You might have let me drown after the way I've treated you. You're different from any of the other fellows I know. I'm going to be your friend if you'll let me. I'll see that you get back in the mill, and that Ruby Norton does, too, and your friends here also. My father will do anything I want." "Well, if you want to be friendly with me I'm not going to object. I'm only a mill boy, you know, and not in your social class." "That doesn't make any difference with me as far as you are concerned, Bob Chambers. Will you shake hands with me?" "Certainly," and Bob held out his hand. Dexter got up and took it. "We are friends now from this out," he said with an earnestness strangely at variance with his old-time manners; and Bob wondered how long his regeneration would last.

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A RISE IN J ... IFE. 25 CHAPTER XV . I BOB MEETS WITH A SURPIUSE. It was getting near sundown and Bob prop-0sed that they ought to return to town. Dexter Pritchard protested that he couldn't think of going back till he had dried his clothes. So all hands gathered a quantity of brush and driftwood and made a bonfire. While their garments were being dried, Bob and Dexter took refuge in the handsome little cabin of the "Spray," where the two boys talked together as i they had been old friends instead of recent enemies. "Where's Jake?" asked Bob, while he was putting on his dry clothes. "He saw a squirrel on that log yonder, and gave chase to it,'\laughed Andy. "He's the craziest fellow I ever saw." "Hi, Jake!" shouted Bob, fashioning his hands into a speaking trumpet. "We're waiting for you." All the same Switzer didn't answer, nor did he appear within the next ten minutes, although all hands yelled to him several times. "Where the dickens can he have got to?" said Bob. "We'll have to hunt him up, for it's time we got a move on." Leaving Dexter seated on a rock, the rest of the boys scattered the brush and the wood beyond, yelling, "Jake!" every once and a while; but never a sign of the Germ;m boy did they see. Bob followed a sort of ravine among the rocks and scrub leading toward the center of the island; and got separated more and more from the other three. Suddenly, as he turned the corner of a big rock he ran smack into the arms of a man. Before he knew what was in the wind, he was thrown down, his arms secured behind, and a handkerchief tied tightly over his mouth. Two men had hold of him, and it didn't take but a glance for him to rec_ognize them. They were Jake Flanders and Luke Sparrow, and they looked the very picture of hard luck. "So we've got hold of you ag'in, eh?" said Flanders, with a malicious grin. "You put a spoke in our wheel a week ago, and we had to cut town at a lively gait .. How you managed to escape the wheels of that freight beats me, but it seems you did. We'te been watchin' you chaps since you landed on the island, and a-figgerin' how we could _put our flukes onto you, and now you kindly walks into our parlor as the fly did to the spider. Now we've got you where the hair is short, we'll pay off the score we've ag'in you." "What are you gain' to do to him, Jim?" asked Sparrow. "What should we do to him after he went and sp'iled that scheme of ours to do up Wells and got us spotted by the p'lice ?" said Flanders, savagely. Sparrow regarded the boy vindictively, but didn't say anything. "We've ketched him jest in time, seein' as we were gain' to cut and run to-night after we've fixed that job at the mill. It'll be a satisfaction to know we've got square with this young jigger." Flanders yanked Bob along by the collar, if he were a bale of goods, and thrust him through the bushes into 'a dark aperture among the rocks, where they left him. In the meantime the rest of the boys came upon J qke, watching the end of an old decayed log into which the squirrel he was after had disappeared. They soon found there was an opening at the other end through which the cute little animal had got away, and they gave Switzer the laugh. Then they returned to the shore, where they waited for Bob to turn up. It was now beginning to grow dark, and Dexter decided that he couldn't wait on the island any longer. So he and his friends embarked on the "Spray" and started for town, leaving Andy and the German boy won dering what had become of Bob. "Vot you dinks, Andy, do we staid here all night?" asked Jake, when the gloom grew deep on the surface of the bay. "Search me, Jake. We can't go without Bob." "Dot's righdt; bud vhere he has tooken himseluf off do, dot's der questions." "Ask me somethin' easier." / "Maype he felled down somevheres among der rocks, vot you dinks ?" asked Jake, a bit anxiously. "I hope not. It's all your fault, anyway, for chasin' that squirrel," growle1d Andy. "What did you do such a fool thing for?" "For vhy did I done id? I haf a veaknesses for a life squirrel. Andy snorted and kicked a hole in the sand with his heels. As time passed; the boys grew more anxious and im patient. They kept the fire on the up, to let the absent Bob know they were waiting for him, as well as to serve as a guide for him. "I don't see how we can go and hunt him up in the dark," said Andy. "It will be a nice thing if an accident has happened to him." "Couldn't ve dook a lanterns mit us?" Jake. "Dere vos one py der poat cabins." "We ought to do somethin'," said Andy, who was greatly perplexed over the situation. Finally he decided to get the lantern, and go off and search the island with Jake. They piled a lot of fresh :fuel on the fire, including a good-sized log, and then started on their quest. They came to the which Bob had entered and stumbled along through the brush and rocks, swinging the lantern to and fro. "Dis peen der vorstest sh obs I ef er seen, I ped me w:our life," said Jake.

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, 26 A RISE IN LIFE. At that moment he tripped over a tough creeper ru11-ning across his path and pitched against the side of the ravine. "Shimmany cribs! Hellup !" Sandy stopped and swung the light of the lantP{n in that direction. Half of the German boy's body had vanished through the bushes and he was beating the night air with his heels His voice came to Andy in a mufl1ed strain, as if he was half-smothered in a hole. f..ndy put the lantern down ancl dragged him out of hiF. predicament by the heels. Jake's face was scratched and covered with soft clirt. "Well, you're a sight for sore eyes," growled Andy. Switzer spat out a mouthful of dirt, with a grimace. "Don'd say nottings, bud gif me der light. Dere vos somedihgs alife in dot holes, uncl id don'd peen an animals, neider "What are you givin' me?" replied Andy, incredulously. "You vaits a liddle." He bent down the bushes, and the lantern rays disclosed a yawning hole among the rocks. Jake thrust the lantern into the aperture and then gave a yell. shinsher Off clot ain'd Boppy in dere, you vos a liar I" "Get out!" cried Andy, in some excitement. "Yell, clook a look vor yourseluf, off you don'd pelief id." Andy got down on bis ha"ncls and knees and looked into the hole. "By jingo! It is, for a fact. What' s he doin' jn there, with a handkerchief over his mouth and his hands behind him?" Bob heard them outside and kicked vigorously with his legs. "Dit you efer seen an:reings like dot?" cried the German boy. "He is kickin' his feets like fun. Somedings vos der madder mid him. Grab his feets und ve haf him cmd righdt avay quick." Each ca .ught one of Bob's limb s an cl pulled. Out he glided into the circle of lantern light. "Why, he's bound and gagged!" exclaimed Andy, in amazement. rr)ie German boy's eyes stuck out like goggles Andy yanked the handkerchief off Bob's mouth and then fished in his pocket for his knife. "Thanks, old man," said Bob, drawing a long breath of relief. "How came you to be in this shape', Bob?" asked Andy, as he cut away at the cord which held his fricm.l."s hands. "Who did this?" "Who did it? Jim Flanders and Luke Sparrow. They've been hiding on this island since they skipped from the po lice," replied Bob, regaining his feet. "You don'd said so!" ejaculated Jake. "Hidin' on the island, are they," cried Andy "Then we'll hurry back to town a:id send the cops down here after them." "l'm afraid that won't clo any good now," replied Bob, shaking his head. "Why not?" "Because I guess they've gone away by this time. They've got a boat somewhere along shore. I heard them say they \Vere goin' to leave this section to-night. Before they go they're going to do something to the mill. Set it afire, I dare say, if they can manage it. We must prevent them." "But why did they tie and gag you, and stow you into that hole?" "In revenge for my exposure of that infernal-machine plot of theirs." "Great Ci:esar's ghost You might never have been found till long after you had starved to death. What cold-blooded rascals they are "They meant to do me up all right,'' said Bob, as the three came in sight of the glowing embers of the bonfire. "Und dcy meant' to done you ub dot nights dey pud you py der tracks on in der cud. Yell, id's a fine dings do peen horned luggy, I ped you. You fall your feets on efery dime, Boppy." "vVhy, where is the boat?" asked Bob, looking around the spot where the "Foam" had been moored Jake and Andy looked, too. The catboat had mysteriously vanished CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUSION. "I believe those chaps have taken our boat," said Bob at last. "Glory halleluyah What are we goin' to do, then?" .gasped Andy, in dismay. "Yah. Ve arc lrft pehindt in der soub." "This is tough," remarked Bob, looking at the blank faces of his friends. "I should say it is,'' grumbled Andy. "Yell, I peel. you." "If Flanders and Sparrow took the catboat they must have left their own boat somewhere about. They never could have come to this island without one." "Most likely it was a rowboat,'' said Andy. "That's why they sneaked i.bc 'Foam.' "No matter what it iR, we must hunt it up if we want to get away .from this place to-night. I'm anxious to prevent rascals doing any injury to the mill. If it burned down, people wou lcl say the strikers-set it on fire, and it would be bound to hurt us." "It would that," admii.i.cd Andy. "Well, come along; we'll examine the shore, and see if we can find a boat of any kind," said Bob, starting forward along the water's edge with the lantern. They walked halfway around the island before their

PAGE 28

A RISE IN LIFE. search was rewarded by the discoYery of a small flatboat drawn up on the beaeh of a little cove. One pair of rudely-made oars lay under the water which half-filled her. "She's a pea-ch of a boat to get back to town in," re marked Andy, regarding the shaky-looking craft with dis gust. be swamped before we got half-way there." "We ean do better than that," said Bob. "We'll row over to yonder shore, which isn't more than half a mile away, and walk to town." "That's a pretty big walk, I'm thinkin'," grumbled Andy. "It is; but what else can we do?" ."' "Dot's righdt Off ve could valk der whole vays I vould sooner done id," said Switzer, who preferred the land, any day, to the water. Under Bob's directions they lifted the flatboat on edgt> and dumped out the water that had accumulated in her. Then, after a great deal of trouble, they shoved her afloat. Each of the lads took a turn at the oars, for though the distance was short from this point of the island to the main shore, the boat was clumsy and made slow progress against the tide which was running out. It was after ten o'clock when they landed. They started for town, following the shore line, but had to go out of their way all of two miles in covering an in dentation, which butted n like a horseshoe. When they had gone half-way they were stopped by a creek too deep to wade, and they had to follow it a mile be fore a rude bridge enabled them to cross. By the time they reached the vicinity of the mill it was past midnight. The big brick structure, surrounded by its tall, white washed fence, loomed up before them dark and silent "Andy, you go to the police-station, and tell the officer in charge that Jim Flanders and Luke Sparrow are in this neighborhood, and have designs on the mill to-night," said Bob. Andy immediately on his errand. "Now, Jake, you go down to yonder corner of the fence and keep your eyes wide open for intruders. Those fellows will have to scale the fence to get inside the enclosure. lf you see anything suspicious come back and let me know." Bob, left alone, crouched down at the corner and kept a close watch on two sides of the mill property. It was not a bright night The sky was overcast, and a light mist hung in the air, making it difficult to see objects clearly at any distance. Presently Bob's heart gave a jump. Two forms came slouching up from the road. They passed ,VJ.thin two yards of the boy without noticing him. Bob immediately identified them as Flanders and Spar row. They sneaked along the fence, the boy creeping after them, till they came to the small gate beyond the engine house. Here they paused, and soon Bob beard the cracking of wood. The door was forced and the rascals vanished inside the enclosure. 'l'he boy cautiously followed. Flanders and his pal knew their way like a book, and headed for a window opening into the packing-room on the ground floor. The windows were not protected by bars, only the usual catch holding the sashes together. The catch of one of these windows was broken, itnd had not been repaired. Flanders and Sparrow knew about this, and they slunk up to that particular window. They raised the lower sash and entered, shutting it down again. Bob came up and tried to peer through the glass. All was dark inside. "That room is full of inflammable material," breathed the boy, "and those cha.ps know every nook and corner about the place. I must find the watchman." He ran quickly from point to point, without seeing the night guardian. At l engt h h e reached the side door of the office. Ther e he found the watchman seated on the step with his head against the jamb. He was snoring loudly. "Well, you're a pretty fellow to guard other people's prop erty," cried the boy, with a look of disgust. "Wake up!" he shouted in the man's ear, at the same time shaking him violently. The watchman didn't wake worth a cent. Bob bent down and caught the overpowering fumes of liquor from his mouth. "Intoxicated!" gasped Bob;" and at the moment when he's most wanted. vVhat shall I do? The police won't be here for a while yet. Ten minutes will be enough time for those scoundrels to set a blaze that will :fhiish the mill." Bob tried the side door and found it unlocked. He stepped over the watchman's inert body and entered the Then he removed his shoes a nd moved quietly in the di].'ection of the packing-room, where the danger threatened. He paused at the door and listened. He could hear nothing With much caution he opened the door and entered. Then he could make out the two rascals moving about at one end of the room. Presen tly a match was struck and soon little spurts of flame began to curl up around a pile of shavings and wood in the midst of a lot of empty cases . The peril of the building was imminent. Throwing every other consideration to the winds, Bob dashed forward with a wild whoop. The sta rtled rascals darted for the window to escape, while Bob devoted his energies to trying to subdue the ris ing flames.

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28 A RISE IN LU'E. Flanders then noticed that the boy was alone, and he f'topped his companion's headlong rush with an oath. "It's only a boy," he grated to Sparrow. "Come back." They das hed at Bob like a pair of enraged tigers. He saw them coming and snatched up a stick of wood to defend himself. The light bf the fire flashed in his and they recog nized him. "You here!" roared Flanders, with another o ath, both he and Sparrow staggered at sight of the boy they thought safely secured on the island. "Yes, I'm here," replied Bob, fearlessly, the police will be here in a moment, too." "They will, eh ?" hissed Flanders. "Blast you for the interferer you are! I'll kill you this time if I never draw :mot h e r breath." He tried to grapple with Bob, but the lad eluded his grasp. "Catch him, Sparrow, and brain him." Spariow seized a sticK and struck at Bob. 'rhe boy warded off the blow, but it' s force sent him stagge ring against a pile of boxes. He s lipped and went down. "Now we have him!" cried Flanders. 'l'he two rushed upon him, when the boxes above, that had been s o rudely shaken, toppled over and fell with a crash, burying the villains under them. Bob, half s tunned, crawled out from under, the blood strea ming from a na sty wound on his head. Flanders and Sparrow never made a move. Seeing the fire was beyond hi s efforts to subdue, Bob reeled out of the room, staggered to the door of the -office, lrnrst it ran to the telephone and sent the alarm over the wires. Then he fainted away, and was found there five minutes afterward when Andy and three policemen rushed into the building . The smoke was pouring through the place, and the fire gaining great An officer took the receiver from Bob's nerveles s hand and sent the second message to the fire department. The packing-room was a sea of flame when the fire com panies reached the scene. By energetic action the fire was confined to the basement and finally subdued. Bob was, in the meantime, revived and told his story. Manager Wells was aroused from his sleep, and reached the mill in time to listen to it. "My brave boy," he said, "you certainly have saved the mill." Once more Bob Chambers became the hero of the hour. ion, through the Daily News, forced Duncan Pritchard to call. At this meeting the wage question which had caused the st rike was recon s idered and the action of the previous meet nig reversed. Manager Wells was ordered to dispense with the new hands and put all the old employes to work again, which he did at once, to the great satisfaction of all concerned. Bob Chambers was called before the stockholders' meet ing, complimented in warm terms for his intrepid con duct, and presented with a check from the company for $5,000 The insurance 'companies holding risks on the mill combined in testifying their appreciation of the boy's splendid efforts toward saving the mill from des truction to the ex tent of a check for $1,000. The Boston papers published the story of the affair, giv ing Bob full credit for courage and presence of mind, and the majority of the New England pap ers reprinted the same, s o that for some time the name of Robert Chamber;; became somewhat famous through that section of the count:i:y. Contrary to Bob's expectation, Dexter Pritchard did not go back on hi s word, but made good as a friend of the boy who had saved his life. Duncan Pritchard sent for Bob, expressed the gratitude he and Mrs. Pritchard felt for what he did for the family, and tried to force his check for on the boy, which Bob politely but firmly refused to accept.' Then Mr. Pritc hard promoted him to an excellent posi tion in the office of the mill, with the view to his ultimately Blling the office of manager. A year later Bob became assistant to Manager Wells. It is generally understood by the friend s of both the yoU11g people that Bob and Ruby will be married next spring, when the former attains his nineteenth year. While the strike of the Bayport Woolen Mills is a thing of the misty past, Bob always refer s to it with pleasure as marking the beginning of his RISE IN LIFE. .THE END. Read "A BARREL OF MONEY; OR, A BRIGHT BOY IN WALL STREET," which will be the next num ber (20) of "Fame and Fortune Weekly." His desperate fight with Flanders and Sparrow, whose SPECIAL NOTICE. All back numbers of this weekly charred remains were found in the ruins of the packingare always in print. If vou cannot obtain them from any room on the following day, was graphically reported in t ,.,) N d t th h 1 t talk' newsdea ler send the price m money or postage stamps by nex mormn5 s ews, an se e w o e own mg about the boy. mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION A week later there was another meeting of the stockSQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies holders of the Bayport Woolen Mills, which public opin-you order by return mail.

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