At that moment a horse and wagon came tearing up the road. F"armer Whipple was sta:nding up and pulling hard but ineffectually at the reins. To avert e. smash-up against the fence, Tom grabbed the gate and swung it open.
) OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY he had g He Weekl11-B11 Subsiwiption 12.50 per 11ear. Entered according to A.ct of Congress, in the 11ear 1907, in the oJflce of the Librariah h o/ Oongreu, Wa1hington, D. O., b11 Frank Touse11, Publieher, 24 Union Square, New York, sue a cf B:e were 10. 95 NEW YORK, JULY 26, 1907. PRICE 5 CENTS. corn1 mai . ST ARTINfi HIS OWN BUSINESS DB, TIIE BOY WHO CAUGHT ON By A SELF-MADE MAN CHAPTER I. INTRODUCES '.OOM: SHERIDAN AND HIS SURROUNDINGS. "Where are you bound, Tom?" asked Bob Pennington. "After the doctor." "For your aunt?" "Yes. She's very bad. I'm afraid she's going to die," said Tom Sheridan, gulping back a lump in his throat, while his eyes filled with tears. "Too bad," replied Bob. "I'm dead sorry for her. She's had a pretty hard time of it for some time back, ever since--" And then he stopped and kicked a. dent in the country road. "I know what you mean, Bob," saiq Tom solemnly. "She has had a hard time of it. No one knows that better than me. I've tried to make 'things as easy for her as I could; but Mr. Bagley has si1mply acted like a brute all along. He's down at the Corners, now, getting his usual jag on, I though where he gets the money to fill up on is a mystery to me. When she's gone he'll go to the dogs, not but that he's pretty near there now." "You'll pull out, I suppose," said Bob. "There's nothing else for me to do. I'd have gone away from here long ago, only for aunt. I wouldn't leave her to the mercy of that hog not for a million dollars." "You've done the square thing by her, Tom." "I've tried to. She was my father's sister, and was always good to me. I don't like to lose her, but she'll be happier away from this life." Tom leaned his a.rm on the rail fence and hid his face in the foldslof his jacket. B:e felt very badly, indeed, and his friend respected his feelings. "Well," he said, pulling himself together, "what's the use of kicking against fate? Are you coming my way?" "I'm going to the village." "Come on, then." B:alf a mile down the road the boys parted, Tom enter ing the gateway before a neat-looking cottage where Dr. Kent lived. The physician had just returned from visiting a patient, and his buggy stood in the back yard waiting for the hired man to take the horse out. The order to do so was countermanded, and Tom and the doctor were soon driving up the road toward the erable dwelling, where the lad lived with his aunt, Mrs. Sarah Bagley, and lier shiftless husband. Once on a time that wretched habitation had been a neat and comfortable cottage, with a good piece of ground for vegetables and fruit trees, the whole surrounded by a white picket fence. There had also been a hen-house, and pig-styes, and a small barn. All this, however, was altered now. The garden and small orchard had run wild with weeds. The pigs and poultry, and cow, had been sold, while the hen-house, pig-styes, a nd part of the barn had been pulled down for fuel. Ten years since that desolate place had been the well-
2 STARTI G HIS OW:N" BUSINESS. furnished, comfortable home 0 William Bagley and his contented wife, Sarah. He was a carpenter and builder and had plenty of work. He owned the cottage and ground, and was considered fairly prosperous. He had a little money saved, and he hoped one day to add a neighboring bit of property to his possessions. The owner of the property died suddenly, and the op portunity was offered to him to get the place cheap for cash. But he didn't have the cash, and he hated mortgage his own little property. While he was considering the matter lie discovered that a well to-do farmer on the other side, a man whom he hated, pas after the property, too. He was in a quandary, for he didn't want Farmer Whipple to get it. However, he had the adva._ntage of the first chance Unfortunately, at this juncture a reckless acquaintance of earlier years turned up. He had just come out of prison, but kept that fact to himself. He learned how Bagley was fixed, and taking advan tage of his old weakness for liquor, which he had, to a certain extent conquered, got him intoxicated one night and persuaded him to take part in an enterprise which promised considerable monetary results. It was nothing more nor less than the robbery 0 Farmer Whipple's home Bagley's friend, Tom Johnson, had sent a note to the fa.rmer, telling him that his uncle, a wealthy farmer in the next county, was dying, and that Whipple and his wife must come there at once. Johnson calculated that this would leave the house at his mercy. The scheme would probably have succeeded only it hap pened that the uncle in question had set out to make a visit to his nephew, and the two parties came together on the road. Farmer Whipple was much astonished to meet the man in good health he supposed to be dying. Perhaps he was also disappointed, for he yearned for his uncle's money. Explanations ensued, and these gave Whipple a strong suspicion that something was wrong. The combined party hunied back to the Whipple farm, arriving just in time to capture Johnson, and the intoxi cated Bagley, red-handen. Both were tried and seht to the penitentiary for :five years. When Bagley got out he was a changed man. His return to the village was eyed with suspicion. llis wife, who had borne up as well as she could under the disgrace, 11ad managed to get along after a fashion. She was the only one who gave him a welcome when he came back, the only one who stood his friend, and a poor return she got for it. He no attempt to go to work; in fact, nobody wished to employ him, and the first thing he did was to mortgage his home. With the money, he sought the questionable society at the Corners, and commenced the downward path. About this time, Tom Sheridan, a bright i.. trious lad, came to live with the Bagleys. Tom was an orphan, and Mrs Bagley was his ; father's only sister. The boy soon saw how things were going, and as grew older he remonstrated with Mr Bagley, who c him away from the cottage. Ile went to work for Farmer Pennington and with him about a year. Then his aunt was stricken with a lingering illne i Tom went back to the to do what he could fo1 for nobody else would stay with her on account 0 husband, who had got pretty low by this time. Several times she had seemed at the point of death, 1 had pulled through. Tom was her only consolation and support, and he nobly responded. On the day our story opens she had been taken with one of her sinking spells, and from the way she looked Tom was afraid that she wouldn't get over it. The only thing he could do was to go for the doctor. When they reached the cottage Mrs. Bagley seemed to. be better. The doctor's experienced eye saw that she could not live long-not many hours at the most-and after he had done what he could for her he took Tom aside and told him what he might expect The boy was shocked and upset, though he had pi;ac tically expected it. He smothered his grief as best he could and sat down by his aunt's bedside to stick to her to the last. Night found him still there. He made no attempt to get any supper for himself, as he had no heart to eat. His aunt, who had been in a semi conscious state for some time, came to herself about nine o'clock. "Tom, I am going to die," she said, in a weak voice. "I feel it here," putting her hand on her heart. "I shan't live till morning. Where is William, my husband? Hasn't he come home yet?" "No, aunt. He doesn't usually get baek till after mid night." "I must see him, Tom. I must see him before I die," she cried, feverishly "You'll see him all right," he replied, reassuningly. "But I must see him now He's at the Corners You'll go for him, Tom, and bring him to me, won't you?" she begged, earnestly. "There is no one to stop with you if I go, aunt." "No matter. I shall want for nothing. Do go at once and bring him home. I want to see him before I die." She was so insistent that Tom felt that he must oblige her. So he kissed her tenderly and departed on his errand. He made all haste to reach the Corners. This was the junction of three roads, two miles outside the village. H consisted of a blacksmith shop, a small, general store, several scattered houses and a roadhouse. The latter carried on a thriving business, especially in the barroom.
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. After raismg a s to be seen there at all. hours of the day while Bagley, catching the bottle, labelled whiskey, his wife was indee<;! night. staggered on his feet. That quieted one of all was William Bagley, who, in Tom, realizing that he was in an embarrassing position, as if he was sorr+ve years, had spent several hundred dollars sta1-ted to get out of it without regard to consequences Tom relented' Failing to disengage his arm be struck at the man who breakfast. 1 ed to be a profitable customer,. but because held him. Soon after eatWn a way, he was tolerated and furnished Swat! he had gone to tl n he couldn't pay for it. The blow reached the fellow's jaw and he fell against He turned Upti' wanted to find Bagley he would have gone Bagley. such a quarrelso of the roadhouse, and that is where the boy The latter lost his uncertain balance and both men fell He was easiJght as he could go. together. were glad to lleve:r been in the place before, and he hated The bottle was smashed against the table. Next dl! ity that forced him to go there that night; but Bagley held on to the jagged end and, as his hand corner of S no help for it. swung around, he struck his companion a glancing blow, mained o)lace was dim with tobacco smoke and at first cutting open his cheek\ in compa1s not able to see the object of his errand. The wounded man, bJ.eeding like a pig, jumped on Bag After ength he saw him at a table with three other men ley and began to pound him . 11roh talking and smoking, as if life held no bette; Tom made use of his chance to leave the barroom in a employment. hurry. He walked straight up to his aunt's husband and tapped him on the shoulder. The man turned his inflamed countenance toward him and recognized him "Oh, it's you, is it?" he said. "What do you want? How's the old woman?" The indifferent and insulting way the words were spoken made Tom's blood boil with indignation. It would probably have afforded him a certain satis faction to have struck Mr. Bagley to the floor. But he did not dare show his anger under the circum stances. "Aunt Sarah is dying," he said, huskily. "She wants to see you, and sent me to fetch you." "Oh, she did?" snarled Bagley, who was in a quarrel some humor. "She sent you to fetch me. You go back and tell her I'll come when I get good and ready "But she wants to see you now." "What do I care what she wants?" he cried, with an imprecation. "Do you s'pose I'm gain' to leave my friends just to oblige her? Not by a jugfull." "If you don't come you may never see her alive again," persisted Tom. "Well, not worryin' abo11t her dyin'," replied Bag ley, heartlessly. "She's been dyin' several times, but I notice she didn't turn up her toes, just the same. Now just go back and mind your own. business, d'ye under stand? Maybe you're dry and would like a drink, first. There's the bottle-help yourself." "I wouldn't touch the vile stuff," answered the boy, with much spirit. "You wouldn't, eh?" cried Bagley, with a wicked grin. "I've a great mind to make you, you sanctimonious little monkey What say? Shall we pour some down his throat?" he added, turning to ward his associates, and at the same time grabbing Tom by the sleeve of his jacket. "You won't pour any down m:y throat, Mr. Bagley," he said, resolutely. 0 h, I won't ? We'll see whether I won't He attempted to seize Tom around the waist, but the muscular boy shook him off. One of the other men, caught him by the arm, CHAPTER IL TOM IS THROWN ON HIS OWN RESOURCES. Tom started for the cottage, conscious that his errand had been fruitless. He saw that was little chance 0 Mr. Bagley ap pearing at his dying wife's bedside for some hours, and he did not know what kind of report to make to his aunt, who he knew was feverishly anxious to see her husband. His feelings toward Bagley, never of a pleasant char acter, were now. decidedly aggressive. He blamed him for all the misery that had befallen his father's sister for the past nine years, and especially for his treatment of her since he had returned from the peni tentiary. When he opened the back door and entered the kitchen, the very silence of the place struck a chill to the boy's heart. A strange premonition that something had happened to his aunt during his short absence fell upon him like an ice-cold blanket. He ascended the stairs to the bedroom on the floor above and sotly entered. His aunt lay on the bed, just as he had left her, the soft glow of the lamp shaded from her face, but to his sharp eye there was something about her that looked differ ent even across the room. He stopped and listened intently. Not the faintest sound or movement came from the bed. With a great fear oppressing him, he crossed the room and looked down at her. The dropped jaw and staring eye told their story. His aunt was dead . It was a terrible shock for Tom, and for some time he was quite overcome by grief, but at length he pulled him self together and proceeded to tie up her lower jaw and close her eyes, on which he put a couple of small pebbles that he found on a shelf. After that he sat down to pass the night as a silent an-1 mournful watcher. About two in the morning he heard a voice in the ro::!, : singing discordantly.
( 4 STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. "That's Mr, Bagley," he muttered, a hard look coming into his young face. "Well, I see his finish right here. The only friend he had in the world is gone. .After this he'll have to carry his jags somewhere else. The lawyer who foreclosed the mortgage months ago, but who per mitted us to live here because he didn't want to turn aunt out into the road, will now take possession of the property and turn it to some account." The door hanged downstairs as Bagley entered the kitchen. In a moment or two Tom heard him staggering upstairs. Finally he appeared in the doorway; clinging to the sides. He was a picture for fair. He had been badly handled in the scrap brought about by his ineffectual effort to force iiquor on Tom, and his face looked as ugly as sin. The boy, after one. glance at it, scented trouble, and he steeled himself to meet it. He was in a humor to stand no fooling from the dead woman's husband, and was plucky and strong enough to resist any aggression on the part of the drunken man. Bagley gazed around the room before entering, and his eyes rested on the boy. Then they began to twinkle with a tipsy fury, and roll ing up his sleeve as he advanced, he made direct for Tom. The lad got on his feet with a deliberation that showea he was prepa.red to meet the issue, whatever it might be, and his eyes fl.ashed resentfullv. "Now, you little monkey, I'v'e got you and I'm goin' to thrash you within an inch of your life!" snarled Bagley. "You'd better not touch me, Mr. Bagley, if you know when you're well off," replied Tom. "I've taken all I'm going to from you. If you had the feelings of a mouse you'd respect the presence of the dead, but I don't imagine that you have any." "Dead!" exclaimed Bagley, coming to a stop. "What d'ye mean?" "I mean your wife is dead. She died while I was over at the Corners trying to persuade you to come to her, as she begged me to do. But you wouldn't come. No, you preferred to stay with your cronies. Well, you'll have full swing after this to stay with them right along-if they'll let you. It's a long lane that hasn't a turning and you've reached the turn of yours. I hope you'll enjoy the sensa tion." Bagley turned from Tom and staggered to the bed. "Dead!" he muttered. "I don't believe it. You're only sha.mmin' to save that little villain from a lickin'. Wake up I Wake up I Or I'll pull you out of bed." He grabbed the dead woman by the arm and shook her roughly. "Let her alone; you brute!" fl.ashed Tom, springing forward and pulling him away. Bagley swung half around and crashed over a The shock sent the liquor fumes to his head. He made one feeble effort to rise, and then rolled over, stupidly, and presently was snoring in a drunken sleep. The boy regarded him with contempt. "You're a fine specimen to call yourself a man, you are," he said. "If I wanted a warning to leav.e liquor alone I'd find it in you. You ought to be photographed as you are no-w. The pictu'fe would make a i.. temperance l ecture." Tom grabbed him by the arms and his the opposite side of the room where h e h turned to his post. :r and as He replaced the pebbles on his a .unt's who c the rumpled bedclothes, and sat down to aviy' of morning. and .At length daylight dawned, and after wan he started for the Penning.ton farm.. .,. illne f He found Bob just commg out in the yarc!,1ld foi "Hello, Tom!" exclaimed his friend, in some t of seeing hlm so early. "What brings you here at tr How's your .th 1 "She's dead," replied Tom, sadly, but without a "Dead! My gracious, you don't say I When nobly die?" "Last night. I would like you to come over i me out a bit." "Sure I will. We'll have breakfast in a little while. You'll eat with me, of course. I'll tell father I'm going over with you." The P enningtons liked Tom, and they sympathized with him in his loss, though they believed that his aunt was far better off at rest. Mrs. Pennington said that she and her girl would go to the cottage in a little while and wash and lay out th e dead woman for burial. Tom thanked her for the proposed kindness. Mr. Pennington asked the boy if he needed any money for immediate expenses, and offered him a $20 bill. Tom accepted it gratefully, promising to repay it when he could. He said that the furniture and personal property of his aunt ought to easily cover the expenses of her fune.ral. If. there was anything left over he intended to expend it on a tombstone. "If Mr. Bagley with me in any way, or asserts his_,J'ight to the property necessary to bury my aunt, I'll swear out a warrant against him, and have him put in the lock-up as a vagrant," said Tom, resolutely. "I would,'' replied Mi-. Pennington. "What do you expect to do after the funeral, Tom?" "Hustle for myself," replied the boy, promptly. "I can give you something to do ort the farm for awhile, and that will g ive you time to consider the future." "Thank you, Mr. P ennington. I will accept your offer." After breakfast 'rom returned to the cottage with Bob. Bagley was st ill snoring away where Tom had left him during the night. With Bob's help, Tom carried the man into a back room, laid him upon the bed he was accus tomed to use since his habits had go. t so bad, and locked him in. "Now he's out of the way," said Tom. "If you don't mind staying here on watch, Bob, I'll call on Mr. Mold, the undertaker." Bob had no objection, and Tom departed on his errand. He came back with Mr. Mold, and while the under taker was performing his first duties with the dead, Bag ley woke up, fairly sober, and finding himself locked in side the room, started to ki
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 5 After raising a small ruction, his \\i.l'.e was indeed dead. Bagley discovered that outside of Liberty didn't 4n.press Tom with a sensE: of young Whipple's superiority. 1 That quieted him down, and for a little while i.t looked as if he was sorry for his conduct toward the poor woman. Tom relented toward him so far as to cook him some breakfast. Soon after eating it he disappeared, and the boys guessed he had gone to the Corners to drown his feelings in liquor. He turned up late that night, full, as usual, but not in such a quarrelsome mood. Re was easily persuaded to go to bed, and the watchers were glad to he relieved of his presence. Next day Mrs. Sarah Bagley was buried in a sunny corner of the village churchyard, and her husband re mained ober long enough to accompany the funeral party, in company with Tom, as chief mourner. After the funeral Tom went over to the Pennington farmhouse, where for tm next month he shared Bob's room and worked at odd jobs about the place. In the meantime the contents of the cottage was sold at auctiqn to liquidate the funeral and other expenses, and the property taken in hand by the owner, who proceeded to put it into shape for a tenant. Bagley, being thrown out on the charity of an un sympathetic world, disappeared, and Tom did not care if he never saw him again. CHAPTER III. TOM IIAS A RUN-IN WITH TIIE WHIPPLES-FATHER AND SON. Farmer Whipple, for the attempted burglary of whose house Tom Johnson and William Bagley had served a fiveyear sentence in the penitentiary, lived on a good-sized farm which adjoined the Pennington's. He was not a popular man in the neighborhood, but that fact didn't worry him. He was also a man of strong prejudices, who never for gave a real or a fancied injury, and his wife and son, Ezra, were very much like him. Bagley might have got off with a lighter sentence, as it was shown at his trial that he hardly knew what he was about the night of the robbery, but for Whipple's ani While Bagley was serving his time, the Whipple family made things as hard as they could for poor Mrs. Bagley, though everybod1 knew tha.t she had no hand in or sym pathy with, her husband's crime. Tom Sheridan, when he came to live with his aunt, also came in for his share of the Whipple family's aversion and suspicion. Ezra Whipple hated Tom becau&e he was much better looking than himself, and because he soon established him self in the favorable estimation of the girls and boys in the neighborhood which he never could do himself. He tried bis best to lord it over Tom on the strength of the fact that bis father was regarded as one of the most prosperous farmers in the county, because Tom was poor. But it didn't work very well, for Tom was independent and wouldn't stand any nonsense from any one. The fact that Ezra liveQ. in the finest and biggest house Both he and Bob had Ezra down pretty fine. They knew him for a blow-hard and a coward-a boy ready to make the most of any advantage that came his way, but the first to put up a squeal when things went against him. One morning, Mr. Pennington sent Tom o ver to Farmer Whipple's to borrow a small tool which he wanted to use, but found he could not buy in Liberty. Tom would rather have been excused from the errand, but as Bob had gone to the village for something, there was no one else to go. So he put on his best clothes, none too good at that, and started for the Whipple farmhouse, a rather imposing three-story, square-built frame structure fronting directly on the road. There stood a small barn between the fence surrounding the house and the fence encircling the field beyond, and Tom, seeing somebody at work therein, walked in. The somebody in question was Ezra in his working clothes. The moment his eyes lighted on Tom his brow clouded. "What do you want here?" he asked, in a surly tone. Tom mentioned the object of his errand 'in a pleasant way. "I don't know nothin' about the tool," replied Ezra. "Where can I find your father?" asked Tom. "Dunno. Go hunt for him," replied Ezra, ungraciously. "Is he out in one of the fields?" "No, be ain't." "Is he in the house?" "No, he isn't in the house." "Look here, Ezra Whipple, why can't you talk to a fellow in a civil manner?" asked Tom, disgusted with the snap pishness shown by the other. "I don't want to talk to you at all. I don't want nothin' to do with a common boy like you. Your uncle was a jail bird, and your aunt was a--" "Don't you dare say a word against my aunt," ex claimed Tom, threateningly. "If you do, I'll make you sorry for it." "Keep away from me or I'll hit you with this ilhovP-1," snarled Ezra. "If my father was here he'd kick you off the farm. We don't want you around here." "You're a nice boy, you are, I don't think," retorted Tom, holding himself in check with an effort. "Yah !" snorted Ezra, favoring him witk a vindictive look. "Why don't you go when I tell you we don't want you around?" "I'm going. I wouldn't waste my time on such a disagreeable young cub as you are," answered Tom, turning around and walking out of the barn. He walked to the corner of the field fence where there was a wide gate communicating with the pasture, and paused, undecided whether to wait awhile for the owner of the property or not. At that moment a horse and wagon came tearing up the road. Farmer Whipple was standing up and pulling hard but ineffectually at the reins.
6 srl'ARTLi:JG HIS OWN BUSINESS. To avert a smash-up against fence, Tom grabbed the gate and swung it open. The horse, which was frightened and unmanageable, dashed blindly at the opening and passed through. The wagon was not quite so fortunate. The hub of the forward wheel came into collision with the gatepost. Crash! 'rhe wagon. came up all standing, the horse tore itself free and kept on, pulling the farmer, who had lost his balance through the shock, over the dashboard. Ephraim Whipple turned a half sommersault, struck the animal's back and tumbled, head first, into the dirt, where he was dragged several yards before the reins slipped from his fingers. Ezra hacl rushed out of the barn as the runaway ap proached the fence and saw Tom's prompt action which clearly saved the horse's life. Then he stood gazing, open-mouthed, at the stranded wagon which filled up the opening, while Tom vaulted the fence and hastened to Farmer Whipple's aid. "You're not hurt, are you, Mr. Whipple?" asked Tom, as he raised him up. The farmer spat out a mouthful of dirt and gazed about him in a bewildered manner. For the moment he hardly knew what had happened to him. If Tom had tolcl him that an earthquake had just shaken up the neighborhood he would have believed the boy. His face was all streaked with moist soil, anc1 his iron gray hair was plastered with it, w.hile his clothes looked as if they had been in a mangling machine. He was certainly a sight. "Who are you?" asked the farmer, as he began to come to himself. "Tom Sheridan." The farmer rubbed his eyes and stared at him with a hard look. "What are yoUJ doin' here?" "Mr. Pennington sent me over to bo.rrow--" "He ain't got no business to send you here to borry nothin'. I don't want you on my property, .cl'ye under stand. I won't have none of the Bagley brood around here. Fust thing I know my house might be robbed ag 'in." "What do you take me for, Mr. Whipple?" asked Tom, indignantly. "I don't take you for nothin' good. So git out of here jest as quick as you kin, or I'll sot one of the clogs on you." "All right. I'll report your generous reception of me to Mr. Pennington," replied Tom, thoroughly disgusted with the farmer. "If it hadn't been that I opened the gate your horse would have probably broken his legs, and you'd had to shoot him, while you might have broken your own neck. If you were half way decent you wouldn't treat me this way after what I clicl for you; but I suppose you don't know any better," concluded Tom, sarcastically, for he was pretty mad at the farmer's words. "What's that, you young whippersnapper?" roared Mr. Whipple, furiously. "You dare to talk to me in that fashion Just wait till I git my whip, I'll make your back tingle." He scrambled to his feet and started for the wagon. Tom, perceiving that the farmer intended to ac1opt rig orous measures, concluded not to wait for him to carry out his inhuman intentions. He jumped the fence as the man began to climb into the wagon after the whip. "Stop him, Ezra!" he shouted to hi.s son. "Don't let him git a .way. He insulted me, and I'm goin' to take it out of his hide." Tom ma.c1e no attempt to run, as he considered that would be both undignified and cowardly. He simply walked off without paying any attention to Ezra. 'l'he boy, however, encouraged by his father's presence, started to head Tom off. Tom made an effort to avoid him, but finding that he couldn't, stopped. "If you know what's good f you, you won't block my way, Ezra Whipple. I am on Tue public road n0w, so get out of my way." "You can't get away from here till you've had a lickin'." grinned Ezra. "Can't I? We'll see about that. Are you going to move?" "No, I'm not." Tom seized him like a flash and tripping him up walked on, leaving him wallowing in the dust and yelling that he was killed. Ephraim Whipple, whip in hand, leaped from the wagon and came tearing after Tom, with blood in his eye. "You young rascal! I'll skin ye within an inch of your life!" he shouted. Seeing that he could not escape unless he took to his heels, which he scorned to do, Tom stopped and faced the irate farmer. "I wouldn't advise you to touch me with that whip, Mr. Whipple," he said, calmly and deliberately. "You might regret it. You have no right to attempt to me for merely coming here on an errand for Mr. Penmng ton." Ephraim Whipple paused within arm's length of him and glaring at him, !laic1: "You've insulted me, you beggar's bra.t, and I intend to thrash you." "You mean you've insulted me several times yourself," returned Tom. "Lick him, father, lick him good!" shouted Ezra, from a safe distance. "Insulted you!" roared the farmer, amazed at what he considered the boy's impudence. "Why, you--" Rage prevented further utterance, but it urged him on to immediate vengeance. He raised the whip and lashed Tom around the body with it. Quick as a wink, the boy seized the lash, sprang forward, grabbed the handle and wrenched the whip from the farmer's hand. Then he tossed it over into a field on the opposite side of the road. As he proceeded to walk away, Farmer Whipple sprang at him, like a wild beast, aiming a blow at his head. Tom ducked, put out his foot, and his enemy measured his length in the road.
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. The boy took advantage of his opportunity to walk quickly away, which he was permitted to do without further molestation. CHAPTER LV. TOl\1 GETS INTERESTED IN A MONEY MAKIN'G SCHEME. When Tom got back to the Pennington farm he re ported the unfruitful result of his mission, and also told l\fr. Pennington of the run-in he had had with both Farmer Whipple and his son "I'm not particularly surprised at Ephraim Whipple's conduct," said Mr. Pennington. "He is the most pig headed and unreasonable man I have ever run across. His son is a chip of the old block, with the ignorance of youth added." "You don't blame me for resenting their attitude to ward me, do you, sir?" said Tom. "I didn't look for Mr. Whipple to thank me for saving his rig from a total smash -up, but I did expect he'd behave decent "Of course, I don't blame you, Tom. Whipp le only got a small portion of what he richly deserved. I guess I'll have to send you over to the Kenilworth Farm for that harness tool, though I am not sure that Brown has it. Whipple has it, I know, but I might have known that he's not an accommodating man. You needn't start till after dinner." "All right, sir," replied Tom, starting for the baJ.n to resume the job he had left unfinished. When Bob returned, Tom told him all about what had happened to him over at the Whipple farm, and Bob was tickled to death at his description of the tumble the old farmer had got when his wagon collided with the gate post. "I wish I had been there at the time," he chuckled. "It must have been as good as a circus act." "It was, if you can imagine Whipple as the clown of the show." "Then you tumbled Ezra intp the road, eh?" "I did that when he tried to hold me up so his father could get at me with his whip I just took him by surprise. Then he lay in the dust and velled "For a chap of his size aiid strength he's got mighty little pluck." "He acts as though he had none at all, though I've heard that he's brave enough when he tackles a boy of about half his age." "That's right. None of the boys like him, while they all like you It's the same way with the girls. That's why he's dead nuts on you Ile's jealous of you The old man is sore on you because you're related in a way to Bagley, and he hai.es Bagley because of his connection with that robbery. H Bacrley hadn't gone to the Old Bov of his own accord, I've no doubt he'cl have hounded hiri:; out of the county There's precious little charity in Whipple's makeup." "He and Ur. Bagley were not good friends before that unfortunate affair," said rrom. "Ai least my aunt told me so. 'J'hat probably accounts for Whipple being so hard on him the moment he got him in his power." "I guess so," replied Bob. At that moment the bell rang for dinner and the boys adjourned to the big kitchen, where the table was laid. When the meal was over, Tom started for the Kenil worth Farm. It was about five miles away, and he was going to walk the distance. It took him about an hour to reach the place, and he found l\Ir Brown, the owner, in his little office, which was an annex to the kitchen Tom handed him the note he had brought from Mr. Pennington l\1r. Brown read it, ancl said he had the tool in question and would be happy to loan it. Telling Tom to wait, he went out to his barn to get it. The Kenilworth Farm was the biggest fruit and pro duce farm in the State. The nearest railroad station to which he had to cart his goods every day, was three miles to the west of Liberty village, or nine miles from the Kenilworth Farm. This made the carriage of his products quite an item to l\Ir. Brown Just before Tom reached the farm, Mr. Brown had re ceived a letter from the freight department of the railroad line, notifying him of an increased rate that would go into effect on the first o.f the month. As 1\'.Ir. Brown's monthly freight bill was considerable as it was, he certainly did not relish the idea of paying more. His only sati faction was that his rival, the Ivanhoe Dairy and Fruit Farm, a mile distant, would be i:Q. the same boat. A few minutes later Hiram Jones, proprietor of the Ivanhoe Faim, made his appearance. Ile said he had called to see if he and Mr Brown, being extensive shippers, couldn't petition the railroad company jointly, with some effect, to secure a rebate from the new tariff about to go into effect. "This new schedule is bound to make a hole in our income, M:r. Brown," he said "I consider it an outrage, but i.hc railroad has us tied hand and foot because there is no other way by which we can get our stufl' to the Toledo market, If there was only some means by which we couL1 ship our stuff to Cherryville on the Maumee, where a con nection could be made with the l\Iaumee Navigation Oo.'s boat, I'd be in favor switching off from the railroad alto gether ancl sending our products all the way by water." "Cherryville is twenty miles from here via the Maumee Branch, and it is fori7-five miles by river from there to 'l'oledo. Transport of our goods by water, if such a thing was possible, would tafre three times as long as it does now by rail," said Mr. Brown. "Not quite, Mr. Brown," replied Mr. Jones "Remem. ber, it takes us a good hour and a half to carry our products to 1.hc station It woulcln't take but a third of that time i.o carry them to a convenient wharf on the Maumee Branch." "True enough; but what's the use of talking about such a thing when there i s no suitable means of carrying our stuff clown to Cherryville?" said Mr. Brown. "0.f course," said l\[r. Jones "This iclca of mine is purely a visionary plan, I must admit, but I wish some--
8 STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. body took a notion to send a steamboat up the branch as far as Liberty." 1'It wouldn't pay, I guess, or I have no doubt somebody would have put such a thing into execution before this/' "I think a small boat did run up the branch years ago before the railroad was built through this part of the State." appealed to Tom, and he grew quite excited over the possi bilities he thought he saw in it. At any rate, by the time he got back to the farm he was fully resolved to look into the matter for all it was worth, and when Tom Sheridan determined to do a thing he always did it if it was possible to get around it. CHAPTER V. "I never heard of it, but then you've livecl here longer than I. The railroad was very accommodating before it was absorbed by the P., Ft. w. & c., and made a part TOM VISITS CHERRYVILLE .A.ND MEETS WITH A GREAT of its system. These big trunk lines things their SURPRISE. own way, and shippers have to suffer The railroad makes That evening Tom talked the water freight route over the rate and we have to pay it. That's about all there is with Bob. to it. We'll either have to continue using the railroad or "'l'hat's a bang-up idea, Tom," said young Pennington, go out of business." enthusiastically. The gentlemen talked for some time lon ger on the sub"That's what I think. If I can get these two big shipject of the rapaciousness of the railroad, and once or twice pers to take a practical interest in it, I consider I'm sure of Mr . Jones referred to the river route again as something a job. They might even let me manage it for them, con much to be desired but not to be expected. sidering that I'm the person to bring it forward in workTom, inst ead of reading the magazine, founcl more ining shape." terest in listening to their conversation, and by the time "Why, of course you'd get a job, and a good one. the interview was ended he found himself speculating upon Brown and Jones are the most important people in this Mr. .Jones's ide a of a '.freight line down the Maumee section of the county. I'd like to get a job on the boat, too. Branch, which formed the southern boundary of the Pen-I'm sick of farming." nin gton and Whipple farms, to Cherryville. "Would your father let you make a change?" "I think there would be money in it," he said to him"Sure he would, if he thought it would benefit me." self, after the two men had walked outside. "If I had the "Well, I'd lilj:e to have you in with me, first-rate. By money to start such a thing I'd like nothing better than the way, do you think your father would help the scheme to go into it. I know a small steamboat laid up in Cherryalong by letting his wharf on the branch he used for a ville that would just fill the bill. I believe she could be steamboat landing?" bought cheap and run cheap. It's a wonder Mr. Brown "Why not? He doesn't use it now at all. Besides, he ancl Mr. Jones wouldn't buy her and run her in their own could then ship farm stuff himself by water instead of interest. But probably they don't know anything about carting it over to the railroad. I'll bet he;d take to your her. ,I think it might pay me to look into the matter in idea right off." their interest. I could find out the price of the boat, what "Then, another thing, Brown and Jones would have to it would cost to run her up and down the branch every get the right pf way from the county road, through yom day, and other pamiculars. Then I could submit the lane, down to the wharf, so they could cart their products scheme to Mr Jones, who seems to be stuck on a water to the river. Of course, your father would be entitled to route to Cherryville, and then if he liked it and sucCded sfJme concession for this privilege." in interesting Mr. Brown in the project, and they started "Oh, he wouldn't stand in the way if it was the matter it, I'd proba.bly be able to secure a good job on, or in conof public service. He isn't that kind of man. Now, if it nection with, the boat." was Farmer Whipple, you might make up your mind right Mr. Brown now came back with the harness tool that now that he wouldn't let any man alive use his lane if he Mr. Pennington wanted, and handed it to Tom, who thought any one was going to benefit by it." thanked him for the loan of it and started back for the "You're right; he wouldn't." farm. "He's got a wharf, too, and would expect the boat to He could think of nothing else on his way but the new stop at his place. It would make him boiling mad if he water freight route from that locality fu Cherryville, and was cut out and forced to keep on using the railroad." the more he considered it the more enthusiastic he grew "That would be poor policy-cutting off one's nose to over it. spite his face His money is as good as any one else's, anc1 He was tirec1 of farm work, and ambitious to get into I'd take it every time i I was running a freight line to something that promised a future for him. Cherryville." He was a born hustler, anyway, and thoroughly believed "If you were running the boat as your own speculation, in the old fable "that heaven helps those who help themand be knew it, I'll bet he'd rather send his stuff by rail selves." than throw a penny profit in your way." Many fascinating schemes had presented themselves to "That wouldn't suqJrise me," replied Toni. "He likes his mind before this, but as all required money to put me a whole lot, I don't think; especially after to-day" into practice, and as he had no money, nor saw an immeNext morning Tom told M:r. Pennington that he wanted cliate prospect of accumulating a sum large enough to fill to go to Cherryville for the day, and he received permis the bill, he had been obliged to forget them, for the time sion to do so, and some money to pay bis expenses being at any rate. He walked in to Liberty and took a trolley for the town Somehow or another this water freight route strongly of Carlyle, a distance of fifteen miles.
STAR'rING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 9 There he changed to the Cherryville line, which took him the ground together in a heap, the bundles flying out of through two other small towns en route, and finally landed the men's hands. him at his destination after a twentv-five mile ride from Tom, who was as agile as a monkey, was first on his fret Liberty. Then he was treated to the surprise of his life as the Cherryville was an enterpfising town at the junction men, with loud imprecations, picked themselves up. of the Maumee River and the Maumee Branch. He recognized one of them. The first thing Tom did was to go into a restaurant and It was his late aunt's husband, William Bagley get his lunch. The other was Tom Johnson, but Tom did not know him, Then he went to the agent of the Maumee River Navinever having seen him be.fore.' gation Co., down on the water front, and made inquiries The boy was fairly staggered by the unexpected meeting about the steamer Elsie French. with Mr. Bagley under circumstances that, to say the It was quite possible that the boat had been sold since least, were suspicious. he last heard about her, and that fact did not strike him "You-Tom Sheridan!" gasped Bagley, recognizing until he entered the agent's office. him. If she had been disposed of, that would knock his newly "Yes," replied Tom. "What are you doing herr ?" conceived scheme into a cocked hat. "None of your business!" snarled Bagley, looking On getting an interview with the agent of the steamboat around for his bundle. company, he found to his relief that the small steamboat "Yes, it is my business," replied Tom, pluckily. "You had n ot been sold. two have evidently no right in that house. You've been He found that she could be chartered by the clay, week up to some crooked business. Robbing the place, I'll bet, or month, or longer for that matter, at a sliding scale, acfor the peo;ple all seem to be away You've set the house cording to the length of time contracted for. on fire, too." The price included an engineer, fireman, pilot, who acted "Blast you! You young marplot !"roared Bagley "I've as captain, and two deckhands. a great mind to--" Tom got the freight rates from Cherryville to Toledo He raised his arm to strike at the boy when at that on all the products that he knew Messrs. Brown and Jones mombnt the cry of "Fire!" was raised in the street, and shipped East. several persons came running into the grounds. He inquired into all matters connected with the enter"Quick, you fool!" cried Johnson. "Let's get away. prise he had in view, and having transacted all the busiWe haven't a moment to lose ness that brought him to town he boarded a trolley car 'l'hey made a snatch at their bundles to continue their for Carlyle. retreat, but Tom blocked them. Both then made a vicious attack on the boy, to the As the car was passing through the suburbs of Cherryastonishment of the newcomers on the scene. ville, along a shaded street bordered by the better of "Gra.b these men!" exclaimed Tom, dodging a vicious residences, he noticed smoke issuing from the second story blow aimed at him by Johnson. "They're thieves and front windows of a handsome, tllree-story mansion, which incendiaries." stood well back from the sidewalk, and was surrounded by Bagley snatched up his bundle and made a. dash for the a well-kept lawn. back of the grounds. "Look!" cried Tom, excitedly, to the conductor. "That Johnson, abandoning his, followed on his companion's house is surely on fire." heels. "By George, it is!" replied the man. "That's, the home "Don't let them get away!" cried Toon. of Sidney French, president of the Maumee River N avi-Two men started after the retreating rascals, but Johngation Company. You'd better jump off and alarm the son and Bagley managed to elude them and got clear off people, for they don't appear to be aware of the danger under cover of the excitement. they are in. I'll give the alarm from the drug store at In the meantime the fire appeared to have got comthe next corner." plete control of the second story, the flames bursting from Tom sprang from the moving car and rushed into the several of the windows, and a dense cloud of smoke rising grounds where the fire was. into the comparatively calm afternoon air. He was rather surprised that nobody came running out The fire alarm bell was now ringing out its note, start in the usual panic-stricken fashion, crying "Fire!" and for ling everybody in town help. Crowds, attracted by the smoke, began to gravitate to Maybe the family is away, but there ought to be a serward the scene of the conflagration. vant or two around in the lower part of the house," he The two engines and the hook and ladder company were breathed. "I'll make for the kitchen." also on the wing by this time, creating more excitement on He ran toward the rear of the dwelling. the streets, and drawing boys and idlers in their train. He could not see a soul through any of the windows as A big crowd was lined up in the street before the blazing he passea. building, and scores of curious spectators invaded the The kitchen door was closed, and as he laid his hand grounds and surrounded the house at a safe distance. on the knob to try it, it was suddenly flung open in his A couple of men followed Tom into the kitche:a of the way, and two rough-looking men rushed forth, with bundles mansion, and the first thing they saw were the bound and in their hands. gaged forms of the cook and a maid, secured to chairs. They collided with the boy, and all three went down in. While the men were cutting them loose, Tom dashe d up
10 STARTING III OWN BUSI ESS. the back stairs to see to what extent the :fiie hacl obtained headway, and to make sure, if possible, that no other per son was in peril of their lives above. The smoke was not so dense at the back as'it was in the front of the house, where it was pol!ring down the main stnirs into the hall. Reaching the first landing, he opened a door communicating with the forward upstairs hall. A cloud of smoke rolled out into his face. Gasping and choking, Tom slammed the door shut again. Hecovering himself, he opened another door into a rpom. 'The air was thick with smoke, and the boy, dropping on his hands and knees, crawled toward another door that he dimly made out through the haze. Reaching up and turning the knob, he partially opened the door. Dense smoke rolled forth, through which he caught the bright gleam of the flames in the room beyond. Tom pushed the door shut and with his eyes tingling and his breath coming in quick gasps, he crawled back to the landing. There was a closed window on the landing. Tom staggered to it, and, throwing it open, leaned out to catch a breath of air. His appearance was greeted by a shout from those within range, who took him for an inmate of the house. With a jingle of bells the first engine and hose-carriage arrived on the scene. r The firemen began to get busy with a pair of hose lines At that moment a fresh and thrilling aspect was lent to the situa tion. The fire had by this time burned into the third story front, and from one of the winclows of that section of the buil
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. yourseli into a si.anding position. After that, throw your arim around my neck and hold on for your life." For a moment she hesitated, for it seemed to her as though c;h" mllf:\t fall to the ground. ]old back, he began to encourage her to make the effort. Throwing ::. Irightened glance behind her, and seeing the flames working rapidly toward the spot on which she stood, she no longer refused to take the risk Anything seemed better than being burned to death Tom's coolne:::s in the act 0 great peril, and his calm directions, greatly impressed the girl and gave her confi dence in him. Slowly she mac1e hel' way out on the window sill, laying hold 0 Tom's leg as a support, until at l ast she stood up on what was to her n, dizzy height "Now throw your arms around my neck an d cling on like grim death," he saicl. Closing her eyes, as a shudde r ran throug h h er f rame, she obeyed him. "Have you got a :firm hold?" he asked "Yes," she whispered, tremulously. "Now I'm going to swing off. He released his foot from the window and the b ranch surged downward under their united weight. He that it might snap off and braced himself or the shock 0 a all. The limb, however, was an u ncommonly strong one and only sagged about six feet Then they hung twenty feet in the air, but :free from the burning building, ..-The crowd cheered lustily and a half dozen 0 the :fire men gathered underneath to catch them and break their expected all Tom had no idea 0 letting go. He had muscles of steel and knew exactly what he in tended to do. As soon as the branch came to a rest he began to make his way, hand over hand, along the limb toward the trunk 0 the tree Everybody saw now that if the girl held on she was bound to escape unharmed, and their satisfaction and relief was great The hook and ladder ca.me rushing up at this juncture, and the men tore fiercely at the first ladder on top, a small one, to get it out 0 the way so they could get a longer one beneath. The flames, too, were bursting out 0 the window so recently vacated by the girl. The crowd saw that but for the heroic act the girl must have peri hed, for the hook ancl ladder had reached the scene too late to have ta.ken her from the window. By the time a ladder was rushed on the grounds, Torn, with his air burden, had reached a crotch in the tree when she was able to place her foot on one of the limbs below ancl thus relieve her gallant rescuer 0 her weight Turning around, he planted his foot on another limb and encircled the girl's waist with his arm. Both were now quite safe from any further danger, and the ladder was raisecl into the tree to assist them to de scend The girl w a s r e c e ived in h er fat her's arms and fondly embraced He had seen the greate r part 0 the rescu e with the deepest 0 anxiety, hard l y daring to believe that the b
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. "You must stay here till to-morrow morning at least," "So she really is your property?" insisted Mr. French, and Tom finally yielqed a reluctant "She is really and truly all mine." consent to so. "Why, I came to Cherryville to see if she was for sale." The family who bad tendered hospitality to their burned"Did you? Who wanted to buy her?" out neighbors, were glad to include Tom for the night, at "Well, no one wanted to buy her, Miss French, but I any rate, for they considered that his heroic conduct enwas thinking of getting a couple of people up my way to titled him to every consideration at their hands. buy her, if I could induce them to go into a scheme I had So Tom became as one of them for the time being. formed to help them ship their Eroducts to the Toledo The fire was got under control by this time through the market by water." well-directed efforts of the local fire department, and the "I am afraid that I wouldn't consent to sell the boat, part of the dwelling was saved, though most everyMr. Sheridan. Have ypu any objection to telling me thmg of rea.l value in the building was more or less inwhat your scheme is? Of course, I don't want to prJ. into jured by water and smoke. :your business, so you needn't tell me if you don't want to." J;Iowever, the place and its contents were f1.1lly insured "I'll tell you the whole thing, Miss French. I had a and Mr. French was not likely to suffer a very large finantalk with the company's agent, and he told me that the cia.l loss. boat was open. to a charter for an}' length of time on satis Elsie, after a time, took possession of Tom herself, and factory contract, so I thought that such an arrangement the two young people were soon on a most friendly footing. might be made to answer even better than if the boat had By the time the fire was out the silvery tones of a bell to be purchased, though, of course, it would be more ex announced that dinner was on the table, and all adjourned pensive in the long run to the persons I am hoping to to the dining-room, where Tom's embarrassment returned interest in my scheme." in the presence of a table display to which he was unused. "You have some transportation plan in view, then?" he managed to get through the meal without she said, with a look of internst. making any mistakes that might not be readily excused, "Yes. The general freight agent of the A. & T. branch and. it was with a feeling of great relief that he accompanied of the P., Ft. W. & C. road has just notified shippers Elsie back to the porch, where they found that the crowd along the line of an advance in freight rates to take effect had entirely dispersed and that the engines had departed, from the first of next month. This will hit several per only a watchman from one of the companies remaining sons in our part of the county pretty bad, and from what behind to guard the burned building. I heard one of them say I am almost sure they would welCHAPTER VII. TOM SECURES A FAIR AND INFLUENTIAL BACKER. "Do you know it seems most remarkable to me that it should turn out to be my fortune to save you, Miss French," said Tom, as he and Elsie sat alone on the veranda after dinner. "If it had been an.y other girl it wouldn't have been so significant." "I don't think I quite understand you, Mr. Sheridan," said Elsie, in some surprise "Then I guess I'll have to exp_lain," he replied. "I came to Cherryville on business connected with a small steamboat called the EISie French." "The boat that was named after me?" "I suppose she must have been, seeing that she bears yom name, and your father is president of the company that owns her." "The company does not own her. She belongs to me." "Does she?" answered Tom, not a little astonished. "Why, I thought--" "The company never owned her at all. She belonged to my father when he was the owner of the line that ran between Toledo and Fort Wayne. That was many years ago. When business increased so that the small boats were inadequate to the demands. of the business my father formed the Maumee River Navigation Company. Three large steamers were built and put into commission, and the smaller ones my father sold; that is, all except the Elsie French, which was the very first boat he had built when I was an infant. He ma.de her a present to me, and I have made quite a bit of pin mcm_ey out of her since." come a cheaper means of transportation to Toledo, even by water, if their products could be landed at the market in any sort of reasonable time. As the case sb:tlds, they have no way of reaching the boats of the Maumee River Navigation Company at this point, for their fanns are twenty miles up the branch Now, I thought if they could get a small s teamer to bring their stuff down the branch to Cherryville, the Navigation Company would be able to transport the freight from here to Toledo." "Of cour se, that could be done all right," replied Elsie. Tom then told the girl that his object was to secure a good job out of the scheme that he called himself the originator of. "If I only had money enough mis elf to start the enter prise I'd run it on my own hook as my own business and make money. Nothing would suit me better than to do that, for I am ambitious to get along in life on my own merits, and some day I will succeed in doing so," he added, with a determined nod of his head. 'Suppose that I was to let you have the use of the Elsie French, clo you think you coulcl nm the business you have in mind, profitably?" asked the girl. "Let me have the use of her?" "Yes. You know that in saving my life you have done me a service I never can repay in full. I should like to express my obligation in some manner, however, that would be of benefit to you. Jow, I am very much interested in this scheme of yours to carry freight down the Maumee Branch to this town. You have ju t said that if you had money enough to go into it yourself you would be glad to d o it, and that you think you could make money. Well, I want to help you carry out your ambitious views. You e hall have the Elsie French, fully manned and equipped,
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 13 just as I charter her, for six months or longer, if necesMaumee River Navigation Co. in a business-like way, and free of charge. Won't that give you the start you asked his advice on the subject. long for?" He told the gentleman of his daughter's generous offer "Miss French, you cannot mean that?" exclaimed Toin, and asked him if it met with his approval. almost bewildered by the proposal. Mr. French was very much interested in Tom's project "I do mean it. Furthermore, I am sure my father will :E-Te asked the boy many q,ue.:itions, and seemed to be make special rates with you on all freight that you transmuch struck with his ambitious ploos to start himself in fer to his steamers at this town for transportation to Tobusiness. ledo. He will be more than glad to do anything to help you He said that he was very glad that Elsie had made the make the business a success, for he will always be under offer to him, and assured Tom tk9", he could rely on his obligations to you for what you did for me. You will do advice and assistance at any and all times. well to have a talk with him this evening on the subject. "It is impossible that either of us can ever repay you He will help you put the business in shape, for he is thor-even a small part of the obligation we are under to you, oughly familiar with all the details oi transportation by but it will give us a great deal of satisfaction to assist iWater." you in any way we can," said Mr. French. "This navi"Miss French, you are giving me the opportunity of my gation project of yours naturally interesfo me, as it is the life. I am sure to succeed, provided, of course, that I can same business, on a limited scale, as that I have been in make a long contract with the two shippers in my neigh-so long myself. I think you will be able to make it pay borhood. But I cannot accept such liberal terms as you so far as, your needs are concerned, and it will give you an offer me. You will let me repay you out of the profits, education in the business that will be valuable to you here won't you? I should feel more independent." after. I will make you a special rate on all the freight "But I don't want you to repay me, Mr. Sheridan," she you turn over to our company at this town, so as to in said. "I want to do all this because it gives me the opcrease your profits Now, in order to help you to gain portunity to express my gratitude to you in what my father the confidence of these two shippers on whom you rely to would call a substantial manner." put the busi,ness into order, I will give you an "You are very kind to offer to put me on my feet in official letter endorsing your plan and guaranteeing to see this business, but I would rather make the bsiness pay you through a year's contract. That will enable them to everything. I think you will be doing all that I ought understand just where they are, if they sign an agreement reasonably expect if you will simply give me a start by for that time with you." allowing me to get into your debt until I am able to turn "I am ven.r much obliged to you, Mr. French," replied :myself." J Tom, gratefully. "That ought to fetch them, for Mr. "Perhaps you would agree to. another proposal on my Jones really only wants a good excuse to abandon the ra.il part. Would you accept me as a silent partner in your road." scheme. I will provide the steamer and cost of running her, you will provide t.he business to make her pay. We Mr. French then proceeded to give Tom some good, will form a company, say-you and I. You can be presipractical advice on navigation matters, and others points that he would need to know if he embarked in the enter dent and general manager, while I'll be the secretary. I think I should enjoy the sensation of being in business." prise he was trying to push through. "Why, tha.t would be just the thing!" cried Tom, with "Let me know as soon as possible how things are com-enthusiasm. ing, and by all means refer to me as your in the "I should want it understood, though, that it will, in. bus.iness when find such a recommendatlO'n will be o. ithe end, be your business. I am a girl, with a rich father, assistance to y.ou. . . 2nd consequently well provided for. You are a boy, who In the mornmg, biddmg Elsie and good will soon be a man, with a future to malfe for yourself. I by, Tom Mr. French to his office m the am going into this plan simply to help you. While I reagent's bmldmg. main in the company I will be your partner, but wh'en I The general offices of the company were m and retire from the arduous" she smiled "duties of the secthere was an agent at all the towns along the river that ' a retaryship, the company will thereafter be wholly yourself, the boats made a landmg. unless you care to take another partner." Mr. French We:J?.t to Toledo about a week, but "Anything you say goes, Miss French, though it is a transacted a good deal of the company's busmess at Cherl'1mighty liberal arrangement for me. I will talk to your ville. father a.bout the matter as soon as I get the chance. Then Mr." French introduced Tom to the local agent, and then I will call on the proprietors of Kenilworth and Ivanhoe taking him into his own office wrote strong letter sup farms and try to get them to give me their business on trial. porting Tom's navigation plan, and guaranteeing to coShould they refuse to make a change from the railroad operate with him from Cherryville to Toledo. when it comes to a pinch, then the whole scheme will, as He drew a schedule of rates from Liberty to Cherryville, a matter of course, fall through, and I will have to think and then added the company's rates from thence to Toledo of something els e in which to make a start in life." "You can make that the basis of your charges and subThey talked the matter over awhile longer, both being mit it to Messrs. Brown and Jones. As soon as you have inten s ely interested in it, and then Mr. French coming signed a contract with them and are ready to go right out, Elsie left Tom to open the subject t o her father. ahead I will let you know the rebate I will allow you on Tom laid the wl).ole scheme before the president of the your freight from this point, east."
I4i STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. After some. further conversation Tom parted from Mr. French and started for Liberty, feeling like a bird. CHAPTER VIII. DISCUSSING THE PROJECT. Tom built a great many air-castles on his way back to the Pennington farm, which he reached early in the afternoon. The first thing he did was to hold an interview with Mr. Pennington. He laid his transportation project before the farmer showed him the letter he got from M:r. Sidney French, and asked him what he thought about the scheme. Mr. Pennington was very much astonished. "Why, Tom, I had no idea you were such a progressive boy,'' be said. "But how can you expect to run such a business when you have had no experience in it?" "I'll nm it all right, Mr. Pennington," replied Tom, confidently. You seem to have great confidence in yourself. But tell me how did you manage to interest Mr. French in the matter? His letter indicates his willinrness to give you his unqualified support. In fact, he to see you through for. a year at least. Such backing as that from a stranger is unprecedented in my experience." "Well, I secured it through a most fortunate circum stance," answered Tom, who then described how he had saved the life o f Elsie French at her burning home. He explained to Mr. Pennington that bis visit to Cherry ville was wholly with a view to get information and rates to submit to Messrs. Brown and Jones, with the hope that they would take up the scheme themselves, in which event he expected to get a job on the boa. t. His rescue of Miss French, however, had entirely altered his original idea, a!1d put him in the position to start the b11siness on his own hook under the most favorable con ditions. "I can understand now how the case stands," said the farmer. "You are a very fortuna.te boy in having secured so powerful a friend, for even should this scheme iniss :fire throu g h the refusal of the two shi:w e rs to avail themselves of your offer to transport their products to Toledo by wate r, Mr. French is bound to provide well for your future in some other way." Mr. Pennington, even if everything turns out favorably for me in my interview 1vith Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown, I can do nothing without your help." o1 prepared to pay you for the use of it, either in money or in transportation privileges, for I can carry your produce to Toledo at a less rate than tlie railroad Qharges even under its present schedule which is to be superceded by a higher one on the :first of next month, as you probably know." "Don't worry, Tom. You shall have the use of both the wharf and the lane at a fair :figure. In fact, I welcome the prospect of a boat up the branch. It would save me a lot of hauling over four miles of road to the station. To be able to ship my stuff direct to Toledo right from my own door is a great consideration to me, and is of itself easily worth the rent of the wharf privileges." "Then you are willing to make a year's contract with me to that effect, are you, Mr. Pennington? And you will permit the right of way through your lane to any shipper that wishes to reach the wharf if I agree to pay you a reasonable "Yes, Tom," repli e d the farmer, whose admiration of the boy's energetic business ideas had expanded greatly since the commencement of their talk. "Thank you, Mr. Pennington. This is very friendly on your part and I shan't forget it, whether the scheme goes through or not." "I sincerely trust it may go through, my lad. Your tact and perseverence surely ought to succeed. At any rate, I will do all I can to help you reach the goal of you?' ambition." "Then I shall start the ball rolling with the big shippers to-morrow morning. I am anx ious to open negotiations with them before they commit themselves to the railroad for another y e ar." Aft e r s upper Tom and Bob went down to the wharf, and then the former told his friend all that had happened to him ]n Cherryville, and how successfully his scheme had panned out s o far. Bob was as astonished as his father. "Then you're going to start the business for yourself; run it yourself and capture all the profits." "That's the idea exactly," replied Tom. "You w e re certainly born for good luck. Did you cllrry a rabbit s foot in your pocket when you went to Clier:rx ville yesterday morning?" Tom laughed. ''I don't possess such an article," he answered. "I gu ess you don't need one. A fellow who tumbles into "How is that?" asked the farmer, in some surprise. "Why, I must ha.ve a landing place or wharf in this vi cinity where I can take freight. There are only two such good fortune as you have done can give cards and spades to those who rely on rabbit's feet. Well, as soon as you start this steamboat on the branch you're going to give me a job, aren t you?" "I'll be glad to do so if your father has no objections.'' "I'll answer for him. What do )'.OU suppose I can do?" "Well, you might be my chief assi tant. You could wharves suitable for this purpose. One is on Farmer Whipple's property, the other on yours. Of course, you wi11 understand that the Whipple wharf is out of the ques tion for me to consider. That farm e r would about as soon cut his head off as to l e t me have the use of it." Mr. Pennington nodded, with a half smile. "So," continued Tom, "I must rely on you to let me use your wharf if I am to engage in the business. Then to reach the wharf you will have to concede the right of way through your lane from the road to the wharf. That is a more serious matter for you to consider, but I am take full charge of this wharf, receive all freight brought here for shipment, make out the waybills in duplicate, see that everything was properly loaded on the boat, for I will be responsible for any damage to freight after it once has been d e livered at the wharf, and att e nd to such other mat ters as the local agent at this end will be expected to look after. Understand?" "Sure," replied Bob, enthusiastically. "That job will
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 15 just suit me, and I will attend to things right up to the queen's taste, see if I don't." "I'll have to l e ase a wharf, or rather the right to use one in part, up at Liberty. I'm going to call my business the 'foberty and Cherr y ville 'I'ransportation Compan y,' with the chief office at Liberty The agent of the Maum ee River Navigation Company at Cherryville will act as agent for m e in that place, so Mr. Fre nch told me, which will giv e tone and importance to my venture." "You can bet it will." "And, l e t me tell you a secret, Bob, which you mustn't give away, Miss Elsie French is going to take a personal inte r est in the line, and will manage, in a general way, the Cherry ville end." "You don't say!" exclaimed Bob, with open mouth. "Yes, she's enthusiastic over the idea of ha ving something to do in connection with my scheme. The boat I'm going to use is her personal property, and she's going to furnil'h me with all the funds necessary to start the enter pri s e." "Geewilikins !" ejaculated Bob "Why, you've fallen into a regular butter-tub." "Butter-tub or not, Bob, it's up to me to make good. I s hould f e el like thirty cents if I failed after getting such a s pl e ndid Rtart as I am assured of." "Don't worry. You'll make good all right: A fellow who can originate such a big scheme and push it through to a practical starl is not going to slip up." "I hope not! but the matter i sn't s e ttled y e t by a long way. Everything depends on my being able to talk Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown into a regular contract." "You ought to be able to do tha t with the ba c king vou have. 'l'hey can't lose, with Mr. Frenc h s behind the project." "That'R what I depend on, and I hav e very s tron g hopes of succeeding I'll bet the freight a.ge n t o f the A & T. will have a fit if the Els ie Fre:nch goes into commission between Liberty and Ohenyville." "I'll bet he will, too," grinned Bob. "He' ll have s everal fits. You'll hear from him before you're lon g in busi ness." "Why should I hear from him? H e won' t be able to interfere with me." "Of course he won't, but I'll bet the railroad will try to buy you off." "The railroad company can't buy me off,'' r e plied Tom, with a resolute shake of his head. "Then they'll try to make trouble for you." "How?" "I don't lmow how; but don't forget you'll be up against not alone the A. & T., but the powerful corporation of which the A. & T. is one of the feeders." "You mean the P., Ft. W. & 0. ?" "That's what I mean." "Mr. French will see me through." "He will if he can; but recollect there are a hundred millions or more back of that trunk line." "Oh, I'll only take a mighty small bit of their trade away. A mere :flee bite." "Everything counts with a big railroad company." "I don't care They won't bulldoze me out of business, you can take your oath to that. I may be only a boy, but I'll fight for my rights just as strongly as if I was a million a.ire." "The railroad may cut rates on you.'' "That won't hurt me much, for I'll have a contract for a y e ar at least with the big shippers." "That's somethin g of course "The shippers will understand, anyway, that the cut rates would only hold good until I was driven out of the bus iness, then the company would get back at the!Il with in c reas e d rates to make up its loss." "That's right. They'd be fools to desert you, for it woulcl cost them dearly in the end 'J'om and B o b then looked over the wha_rf. "It won't be lmge enough, do you think?" said Bob. "]'.es, it will," replied Tom "I'll arrange with your fath e r for the lease of a p01iion of this ground here. I'll build a good-sized weather-proof shed, with an office in it for you and your a ssis tant, if you need one, as I fancy you will. All freight will be stor e d under cover that arrives here for the boat. I'll have hand s enough aboard the boat to handle it e x peclitirmsly, so that there'll be no delay in loading up tli.e moment the steamer hauls in. "Shall you tali:e passengers, too?" "Sure. I'll. carry anybody that wants to go by water from Libert y It will b e a pl e asanter trip than b y trolley, with the chang e at OarlyJe, and five or six miles shorter as well." "That will b e fine. I'll b e t you'll have a good many passengers if y ou don't charge too much." "The fare by trolley fifteen eents I'll have to c harge a quarter, but it will be worth it." It was g etting dark now, so the boys returned to the ho use, but the y continu e d to discu s s the subject that was n ea rest their hearts until they got into bed Ne x t morning Mr. Penning ton loaned Tom a light rig to visit the two s hipp e rs in business-like shape. "I'll be on pins and needles till :you get back with good news," said Bob, who accompanied him as far as the road. "I'm ove r head and ear s inte r e sted in this scheme of yours, and I s hould feel awfully disappointed if it didn't go." "Oh, I gue s s it will go all right," said Tom, as he s tarted off. "I'm just stuck on that job he's going to give me," said Bob to himself, as he watched his friend out of sight. "It hits me on my weak spot It's several hundred times b etter than working about the farm. The boys will all be j e alous of my good luck, while the girls-well, say, I'll be s olid with them, then, bet your life." CHAPTE;:R IX. HOW TOM C.A.UGHT ON .A.ND IS THEN .ARRESTED. Tom had no difficulty in securing an interview with Jones, whom he first visited, as the boy judged he 1rould be the more eas ily influenced of the two shippers, and half the battle would be won if he succeeded in talk ing him over. The proprietor of the Ivanhoe Dairy and Fruit Farm was greatly surprised when Tom broached the object of his call. He listened with much interest as the boy laid the d17' tails of his scheme before hlm, and his interest assumed
16 STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. large proportions when Tom handed him Mr. French's letter and he read it over. "There is my scale of charges on all your products de livered from the wharf on Mr. Pennington's property, which I have secured, to Toledo, via Cherryville, in five to six hours." Mr. Jones examined the freight rates and noted that they showed an apprecia ble reduction from the present railroad charges. "If you will sign a year's contract with me, Mr. Jones," said Tom, "I will have my part guaranteed by Mr. French, so that you will be sure that tb:e agreement will be lived up to to the letter." Mr. Jones was evidently much impressed by this. He knew that Mr. French's endorsement would insure the carriage of his goods in good shape and on time. "Have you spoken to Mr. Brown on this subject yet?" he asked. "No, sir," replied Tom; "but I am going directly to his farm as soon as I leave you." "When will you be ready to take freight?" "On the first of the month." Tom then told him that he had secured the right of way through Mr. Pennington's lane to the wharf on the branch. .Re said that he would start at once to put up a first class freight shed at the wharf for the temporary storage of freight pending the arrival of the boat. The Elsie French, he said, would make connection with both the early morning boat at Cherryville from Fort W a yne, and the late night-boat for Toledo. "That will enable you by shipping fruit in the season :'.:rom my wharf at five o'clock to connect with the Toledo market at daylight, same as you have been doing by the night freight, and you would save the long haul to the station, ten miles from here." "That is a big object, certainly," replied Mr. Jones. "My rates are much lower than the railroad's." "That's true, too." "Then on the first of the month the railroad rates will be advanced." ilir. Jones nodded. "Well," he said, "go over and have a talk with Mr. Brown, and see how he takes to your offer, then come back here and I will give you my answer, which I will consider in the meantime "Very well. If Mr. Brown asks me what your views are on it shall I say that you consider them in a favorable light?" "Yes. You can tell him that I like the idea immensely, and am inclined to sign a contract guaranteed by the presi dent of the Navigation Company." Tom then drove over to the Kenilworth Farm and interviewed Mr Brown. Tom repeated a portion of the talk he had had with Mr. Brown, and announced his decision. "Very well," said Mr. Jones. "Bring me a contract containing the following insertions, guaranteed b_y Mr. French, and I will sign it, the contract positively to go into effect on the first of next month." "All right," replied Tom. "I will have the contracts here inside of two days." Mr. Jones invited him to dinner, as it was a little after noon, and Tom accepted the invitation. After the meal he called on another shipper, not so im portant as the other two, and succeeded in securing him also for a customer. '"My business is as good ::rs started now," Tom con gratulated himself on the road back to the Pennington farm. "The Liberty & Cherryville Transportation Com pany will soon be an accomplished fact, and the steamboat Elsie French will presently make the water fly twice a day up and down the branch. I wonder what Farmer Whipple and his son Ezra will say when they hear that I'm at the head of the new concern? Will thev have a fit? Well, say, they'll turn green with rage. If Mr. Whipple wants to get his produce to the Toledo market at low rates he'll have to see me." Tom felt about as good as any boy can well feel as he drove along the road As he approached a cross-road a buggy, with a boy in it, came up the other road. Both rigs came together at the crossing, and the other boy, who proved to be Ezra Whipple, whipped up his ani mal and tried to get ahead. He only succeeded in getting his wheel locked with Tom's forward one, and both vehicles came to a standstill. "What do. you want to get in my way for?" snarled Ezra, recognizing Tom. "I rather think it was you who got in my way," replied Tom, pleasantly. "You lie, Tom Sheridan! It was your fault," snorted EZl"a. "All right; let it go at that," replied Tom "Let's unlock." "Back your wagon, then," returned Ezra, who thought he had won his point. "That won't do any good. Back yours a bit so I can go ahead "I won't do no such thing. Do you s'pose I'm going to let you get ahead of me on tlh.e road?" "I don't see how you can help yourself the way things are." "I can help it. Back your wagon." "I can't back without carrying your wheel with me. You must be a fool if you can't see that," replied Tom, im patiently. He had a long and interesting conversation with that gentleman "Do you mean to call me a fool, you beggar!" roared Ezra, furiously. "You are acting like one, Ezra Whipple. And I want you to understand that I am no more a beggar than you are," added Tom, angrily. "Bring me a contra.ct, embodying the following points which I shall insist on, endorsed by Mr. Sidney French, and I will sign it. Remember, you must be prepared to accept freight on the first day of next month," was Mr. Brown's decision, which was quite satisfacto ry to Tom, who then returned to Mr. Jones. "How dare you call me a beggar?" "I didn't call you one." "Yes, you did." "Are you going to back your wheel a.way from mine?"
.STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 17 "No, I'm not." "Then I'm going ahead a.nd you can take the conse quences. Get up, Mollie." "Are you goin' to upset me?" "That's your lookout. "Wihoa, girl! I'll give you an other chance to draw out." "Back your wagon," insisted Ezra in a dominating tone. "Look here, Ezra Whipple, if I was to do as you say I might snap your wheel off. If you will back there is room enough for you to get clear." "I'm not gain' to take no orders from you," replied Ezra, sulkily. "All right. It's your funeral. Go on, Mollie." Mollie stepped out, carrying the front wheel clear, but Tom's rear wheel caught the buggy in such a way as to shove it toward the ditch and lift it up on that side as well. The consequence was that Ezra was spilled out into the bushes, while Tom drove on, leaving his enemy to pick himself up. His buggy was scratched and the front wheel wrenched. "I'll make you pay for .this, Tom Sheridan," he cried, shaking his fist after the retreating wagon; ".My father will have you arrested and sent to the lock-up. Ugh I How I hate you!" He got into his buggy after getting it out. of the ditch and resumed his way, nursing a lot of revengeful thoughts against the boy he disliked. "Well, Tom, what luck?" asked Bob, when his friend drove into the yard. "First-class. Brown, Jones and Robinson are going to sign a year's contract each." "Hurrah!" cried Bob, throwing his cap into the air. "Three cheers for the Liberty and Cherryville Transporla tion Company." Tom told him all the particulars of his visits to the three shippers, and Bob was tickled to death that things were coming out the way he wanted them to. Mr. Pennington was also pleased to learn of Tom's success, and said there was nothing now to prevent him from going ahead. "And I'm going right ahead, Mr. Pennington. I shall make my application to-morrow to the Liberty Town Coun cil for wharfage rights on the river front." "You'll get wihat you want, for it will be of public bene fit for you to run a steamboat up and down the branch from Liberty to Cherryville." "That's the way I figure it," replied Tom. After supper that evening Tom told Bob about his un expected meeting with his la.te aunt's husband in Cherryville at the scene of the fire. ,, . "He and that other chap had evidently robbed ifue house, and I guess they accidentally set the place on fire while doing it. Bagley has developed into a full-fledged criminal, and his finish will come pretty soon." Of course, Bob was surprised to hear that news. "You didn't tell me about this yesterday," he said. "No, I hadn't decided whether I'd say anything about it or not, but I don't mind telling you now. Keep it mum." Bob promised that he would. "By the way, Bob, I had a run-in with Ezra Whipple on the road this afternoon." "Did you? What about?" Tom told his story of how he and Ezra: had met at the cross-road, and got mixed up through Ezra's stubborn ness in trying to pass him at the wrong moment. "And you dumped him into the ditch, did you?" chuckled Bob. "I couldn't help doing it. I wasn't going to stay there all day just because he chose to be ugly 2nd wouldn't do the right thing." "You served him right. It's a wonilf\t he wouldn't take a tumble." At that moment a man drove into the yard in a light wagon. Mr. Pennington went to meet him as he alighted. The farmer recognized him as one of the town officers. "How do you do, Mr. Pennington," he said. "I want to see a boy named Tom Sheridan who is stopping with you." "There he is yonder with my son," said Mr. Pennington, wondering what t1'e officer wanted with Tom. They both approached the boys. "I believe you are Tom Sheridan?" said the officer, addressing Tom. "That's ill'.)' name." "You will have to go to town with me." "What for?" "I have a warrant for your arrest." "My arrest!" gasped Tom. "There must be some mistake," said the fa.rmer. "What is the charge?" "Assault on Ezra Whipple. He swore out the com-plaint with his father." Mr. Pennington looked astonished. "Do you know anything about this, Tom?" he asked. Tom explained what had happened in the road. "Why, this charge is ridiculous," said Mr. Pennington. "Well, that is for the magistrate to pass on," said the officer. "I must do my duty." "Their object evidently is to keep me in prison over night," said Tom, indignantly. "They shan't succeed," said tJhe farmer. "I'll go with you and bail you out." Accordingly, Mr. Pennington accompanied the officer and Tom to the village. The officer consented to drive to the magistrate's home, who, aiter hearing the boy's story, pa roled him ifl. the farmer's custody until ten o'clock on the following morn ing. CHAPTER X. GETTING INTO SHAPE TO START OPERATIONS Next morning, a little before ten, Mr. Pennington, Tom and Bob drove up to the magistrate's office, where they found Ezr:!i Whipple and his father already on hand to press the complafot against the boy they both hated. Tom was turned over to the custody of the officer and proceedings began. The charge was read to him and Tom pleaded "Not Guilty." Ezra was then sworn and stated the case as he viewed it. He also started to tell how Tom had knocked him down
18 STARTING HIS OWN in the r oad and also had insulted his father when he came over to borrow the harness tool, but the magistrate cut him short, a n d to l d h i m to stick to the facts of the case in h and. Tom asked permission to cross examine him, and was accord e d t h e privi lege. Questi oning Ezra c losely, he compe lled him to admit fa c t s s o damaging to his story that the magistrate threw the c ase out a n d d i scharged Tom from custody Ephra im W h ipp l e and h i s son withdrew, muc h dis gr u ntled over the magistrate's decision, while Tom re c e ived t h e congra.tulations of his friends. As soon as possib l e he took a cru: for Carlyle, where he for On h i s arrival m that town he found nir. French at his office. The p resi d ent of the Navigation Company was pleased to s e e hi m ba.ck so soon, and asked him what luck he had had wit h hi s scheme "I've ca u g h t the shippers, s i r; and they are ready to sign contra c ts, provi ded you w ill guarantee them "I'm read y to do that, my lad." "Here a r e the special points each wants inserted in his a g reem e nt. You can look them over, and if satisfactory I shall want y ou t o have three contracts drawn up in duplicat e Also an agreement with Mr. Pennii1.gton, cov ering t h e r ight of way t h rough his property and the wharf privile ge." Tom t h e n went into t h e details of his plans, which in clud e d the shed for freight at Pennington Landing, as he inte nded callin g it, the l easing of part of a wharf at Lib erty and oth e r m a t te r s o f importance to the new freight line. He remain ed o ver night at Cherryville, and when he left ne x t m ornin g he carried with him the contracts, and a s um o f m o ney sufficient to start the ball ro ll ing. H e reach ed L iberty in time to attend a regular meeting of the Town Counci l and put in his request for the wharf privilege that he r equired H is sta t ement that a freight and passenger steamboat was about to be put into commission between Cherryville and Liberty c r eated cons i derab l e excitement in the Council room. H e received the assurance of the members of the board tha t hi s req u est woul d be granted on very easy terms morning the tri-weekl y paper anno1mcecl that the "Liberty & C h erryv ill e T ransportation Company" would run a boat between the tw o p laces, beginning on the first of t h e month The publi cation of the p a r agraph aroused a good deal of in terest in the and many etf tbe citizens were of the o p inion that i t woul d give L iberty a boom. That d a y Tom presented the contracts in turn t o the three shippers, and they accepted and s i gned them The n h e got an estimate for the shed from a village car p e n te r, afte r he had obtained a l ease of the necessary ground fro m Mr P enningto n and on the day following work was b egun o n the bu il ding A s s o o n as h e conclu ded M'rangements with the Town Coun cil h e h ad a small shed put up at the head of the wharf, and di vide d i nto a t i cke t and freight office, an d a rec e ption-room for passenge r s The printing of tickets, freight waybills and other sta tionery was prepared for him at Cherryville by an employee of the Navigation Company, and Tom spent a portion of his time in that town in being coached in all matters con nected with the b u siness that it was necessary for him to know. All printed matter bore the name of the new transporta tion company, and the office stationery i n add i tion carried Tom's name as general manager Tom was introduced to the pi l ot captain of the Elsie French, who was instructed to look to the boy for his instructions in future. Bob Pennington having received permission from his father to accept the position o.f agent for the new trans portation company at Pennington Landing, was instrncted in his duties by Tom, who also hired a young and bright acquaintance to fill a similar posit i on at Liberty Handbills containing the following announcement were cirqu l ated in r.iberty and thro u ghout the neighborhood : L iberty & Cherryville Transportati on Co. Thomas Sher i dan, Gen'l Mgr. O n and after May 1 the Steamer Elsie French will make two trips daily (Sunday excepted) between Liberty and Oherryvillc, connecting with the fast palat i a l steamers of the Maumee River Na.vigation Co. at Cherryville for a ll p o ints east and west on the Maumee River, leaving Lib erty :'1.t 7 .A.. M. and 5 P M.; leaving Cherryville 2 and 8 P M Passenger fare to Cherryville, 25 cents Excursion, 40 cents Freight received at Meiggs' Wharf, Liberty, and at Pennington Landing (Pennington FM'm) For rates apply to agent at either wharf Office of company in Liberty, 119 Main Street A standing advertisement was also inserted in the Lib erty and Cherryville newspapers after a similar fashion. Bob saw to it that a bunch of the hand-bills were dumped into Farmer Whipple's fro n t yard after dark one night, and Ezra found uhem there next morning. He started to read one. "Thomas Sheridan, general manager," he muttered "Sarne name as that beggar over at Penni ngton's Then he read on and presently came t o "Penningt on Landing (Pennington Farm)." He rushed into the house to find his father "Say dad," he cried, excited ly, "there's a new steamboat line on the Maumee Branch .,) "Who says so?" growled the fa rmer. "This circula r says so. And wihat do you suppose, one of t he landi n gs i s at Penn i ngton's wharf "What! roared Farmer W h ipp l e "Let me see that hand bill." He a lso paused a momen t at Thomas Sheridan, gen'l mgr He did not, of cou rse, connect the name with the boy Tom whom he hated, but put it clown as a coincidence What i nterested h i m the most was Uhat this new com pany had established a l anding at P ennington's wharf It made him as mad as a h atte r to think that his own wharf shoul d have been overlooked when the selection was made H e fig ur e d tha t M r. P e nni ngton w o uld make a good
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. 19 thing out of it, and he felt that he ought to have had this good thing himself. He was jealous of Farmer Pennington's prosperity, al though he had no cause to kick about his own, and this extra slice of luck going to his neighbor in place of coming to himself, galled him terribly. He determined to go to the company's o.ffice and see if he couldn't make a deal to have the steamboat landing transferred to his property. In order to do Pennington out of it, he was willing to give the company the use of his wharf free for six months. With that resolve in his mind he harnessed up his and drove into Liberty about eleven olclock. He stopped in front of 119 Main Street, where a new gold sign pointed the way to the offices of the new company. 'It happened that Bob and T'om were both there at the time, making the final arrangements for the beginning of business on the following Monday. They were in the private office, the outer room being presided over by a smal,l office boy. "Is Mr. Thomas Sheridan,, manager o.f the steamboat line here?" Farmer Whipple on entering the outer office. "Yes, sir, Do yol,l. want to see him?" "I do." 1 "'What is your name?" "Ephraim Wib.ipple." Tlie office boy entered the private room and told Tom that a man named Ephrain1 Whipple wanted to see him. Tom and Bob looked a t each other in astonishment. "What the deuce does he want with you?" asked Bob. "I give it up," replied Tom. Then turning to his office boy he told him to ask Mr. Wihipple to walk in. CHAPTER Xl. OPlllNING Oil' 'rl:tl!l N!UW FREIGH't' LINE. Ephraim Whipple walked into the inner office as if he considered himself the most important man in the county, and he really did. When his eyes rested on Tom seated at his desk, and Bob by his side; he stopped short and stared, while a hard look came over his features. "I wish to see the manager," he said, aggressively, in tensely disgt1sted to find that Tom appeared to be attached to the office. "I am the manager, Mr. Whipple," replied Tom; litely. "You the manager!" sno'l'ted the farmer, angrily. "How dare you tell me such a lie!" "I am not telling you a lie, sir. I am the general man ager of the Libetty & Cherryville Transportation Company. What can I do for you?" Tom spoke with the dignity that he felt his positioh as the head of the company called for, and also with studied politeness. Farmer Whipple seemed to be thoroughly staggered by his statement. To his eyes it seemed so ridiculously improbable that he couldn't bring himself to believe it. He stood and glared in a most unfriendly manner a t the boy, while Tbm waited for him to speak. "I don't believe suc:h a preposterous statement," he plied at length. "I came here to see the manager of this steamboat line and not to see you." "Well, Mr. Whipple, I can. only repeat what I have just told you-that I an1 the manager of the steamboat company. I can't help it if you ddn't believe me. You had better go out and make a few inquiries in order to satisfy yourself. Then I shall be glad to know i;he errand that brought you here. If it simply refers to the matter of shipping your produce to Cherryville, or Toledo., I will refer you to Robert Pennington, here, who is agent for the company at Pennington Landing. He will be pleased to give you all the necessary Y Oll will find our rates much lower than those of the railroad, and we guarantee to land your stuff in Toledo via the Maumee River Navi gation Company's boats within six hours from the th;ne our boats leave this end of the route." "May I ask, is this new steamboat line nm by boys?" asked the farmer, sarcastically. "Well, sir, I am running it, and I am a boy, it is true, I can guarantee thorough satisfaction to shippers. At anv rate, Mr. Arthur Brown, of the Kenilworth Farm; Mr. Hiram Jones, of the Ivanhoe Farm, and Mr. Robin son, of the Robinson Farm, have confidence enough in the new line to warrant their signing a year's contract for the carriacre of all their products to r:roledo. Those three gen as you well know, are the largest shippers in this part of the county, and would no t be likely to break away from the railroad without good and sufficient reason.Ii 1Huh !" replied Farmer Whipple; wiping his brow wi_th his bandana handkerchief. "They must be crazy to take anv stock in a common boy like y9u. I certainly shall call on. them and let them know a few things about you that they probably are not aware of." "You are at liberty to do so, Mr. Whipple," answeti:!d Tom; "but I don't believe you will make anything b.Y -it. My business with those gentlemen is purely on a busmess basis. I might also inform you that this steamboat line is backed by the president of the Maumee River N avigatibn Company, and he guarantees all shipments made from up the branch." "Well, if you are the manager of this line I don't want anything to do with it." With those words, Farmer Whipple turned on his heel and strode out of the rooni, and thence out of the building. He was not only disgusted, but very angry. The very idea that such a boy as Tom Sheridan should have the management of a transportation line, even such a short one as between Liberty and Cherryville, fairly na use ated him. He couldn't understand it, and what he couldn't understand he had no faith in. He rode straight back home in a very ugly mood, and for the rest of the da. y made Ezra walk a chalk line, which did not pli:;ase that young man for a cent. On the afternoon o.f the 30th o f April, the Steamer Elsie French steamed up the branch and made fast to the wharf at Liberty. Quite a crowd of curiously disposed people came down to the dock to look at her.
.STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. She was a small boat, but a good one in her way. Having been used for some years merely as a chartered passenger boat, chiefly to take out excursion parties up and down the Maumee River, her cabin appointments were of an up-to-date and attractive order. Miss French had hired, through her father's agent, a couple of extra deck hands to handle the freight expe ditiously. IT'he pilot-captain brought his family and his belongings U]1> on the boat, and had them moved into a cottage he had already rented in Liberty. The rest of the men were to eat and sleep on board, and a cook was provided to look after them. There was a small amount of freight delivered late that afternoon on Meiggs' Wharf for transportation to Cherry ville, and this was put on board at once. _Mr. Pennington, Tom and quite a bunch of his young friends were on hand next morning to make the first trip on the boat to Cherryville. There were also nearly a dozen of the villagers who bought tickets for the initial sail down the branch. on tim: the little steamer, with a display o buntmg, and a tootmg of her whistle, pulled out from the wharf and headed down the river for Pennington Landing where considerable freight awaitea her. She was followed by the cheers of a good-n atured and en thusiastic crowd, who wished the new line all success. Bob was on the wharf in a new steamboat cap, with the words agent in gold letters printed on a blue band as the Elsie French approached the landing. He felt as big and as important as though he was the chief counsellor of the village. The steamboat ran alongside the little wharf and made ftJ.St. Then the deckhands got busy with their trucks and the freight was soon whisked on board. As soon as the last load had passed over the gangplank, the whistle its warning note, the lines were cast off, and the Elsie French steamed off down the stream and soon disappeared around a bend in the river. It took one hour and fifty minutes to make the run from LibeTty to OheTryville. Miss French, her father, and a. crowd of townspeople were on the Navigation Co.'s wharf to greet the arrival of the little boat on her rst trip. She was received with cheers and the lively strains of the Cherryville Cornet Band. Everybody aboard was glad he had come, and all were invited to a light collation spread in the Navigation Com pany's passenger reception-room. The :freight was hardly on the dock before the morning boat down the river came in sight. She was soon made fast alongside the dock, and her hands bundled the Elsie French's freight aboard in short ord er. A few passengers from Cherryville, bound for Toledo, went aboard and then she hauled out and continued her trip eastward. Everybody who had come down on the Elsie French re turned to Liberty on her when she started back at two o'clock. Tom was in high feather, for his business had opened in a small blaze of glory. CHAPTER XII. THE BOX OF MONEY. Ezra was standing on his father's wharf when the steam boat left Pennington Landing and passed up toward Lilr erty at about fifteen minutes of four. He gazed enviously at the boat a.nd the figure of Tom Sheridan outside the pilot-house, for he knew well enough now that the "beggar" was running the line. It was as much a mystery to him as it was to his father how Tom had secured such a fine opening for his talents; not that Ezra was willing to admit that Tom had any ability at all. He was :far too prejudiced against 'Sheridan to aclillowl edge what everybody else admitted that Tom was an un commonly smart boy. 'As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Tom was demonstrating by his actions what was really in him. "The idea of him, a poor lx>y, being made manager of a steamboat line," he muttered, discontentedly, for neither he nor his father had the remotest idea that Tom was really the originator and owner oi the new transportation busi ness. "I don't see how he came to get the job. However, he's bound to run it into the ground in no time at allthat's satisfaction, and then a man will be put in his place. My father must have been awful slow not to get the landing established at his wharf. Then I could have been the agent here, like Bob Pennington is now. Of course, he got it because the company took his :father's wharf. He's bound to put on airs now, and try fu lord it over me and the rest oi the fellows. I s'pose he thinks he looks awfully big in that new cap with the gold letters on the band. He makes me sick." 'I'he steamboat having passed out of view by this time, Ezra kicked a piece of wood into the river to relieve his feelings, and then saqntered back to the house, feeling as ii he'd like to punch Bob's head because he was so fortunate. The sudden cessation of shipments from the Ivanhoe, Kenilworth and Robinson farms, as well as the knowledge that a steamboat had been put on the branch to carry freight from Liberty to Cherryville, caused the :freight agent pf the A. & T. Railroad to sit llp and take notice He lost no time .sending a representative to call on Messrs. Brown, Jones and Robinson to see what was the matter. The company's man found out what was the matter, all right-that the shippers objected to paying the new freight rate, first of all, and that they found the short haul to Pennington Landing much more convenient and profitable to them than the long one to the station beyond Liberty. The result was that the agent notified the owners of the farms in question that he would _grant them a rebate on the new schedule that would bring the rate below even the old one. The three shippers replied that they had signed a con tract with the steamboat manager for a year, and they could not make a change within that time as long as the terms of the agreement was kept by the transportation companJ.. I
J STA R T I NG HIS OWN BUSINESS. Tom, in the meantime, called on all the farmers who had anything to send i.o market, and solicited their custom, pointing out that Cherryville and Riverport, five miles further down, were good marts for the sale of their products As ib.e offered satisfactory rates, he picked up a good bit of custom in this w.ay, and the company's books at the end of the first mpnth showed good results The business was paying from the very start, a n d Elsie congratulated Tom on the excellent showing that he was :making Bob was pulling through in great shape, and was hol ding his end up without any trouble. Tom went to Cherryville two and three times a week, and he never failed to call on Elsie, not alone to tal k business with her, but also for the pleasure of meeting her. The young people showed an increasing partiality for each other's company as time passed, and ne i ther was quite so happy as when they were together Mr. French's house had been Eractically rebuilt since the re, and it was there that the girl received the young steamboat lad, whom she \Vas proud to call her partner. He always stayed to one meal, sometimes two, a:nd was a great favorite with Mr. arid Mrs. French, who felt they never could do too much for the boy who had saved the life of their only daughter In this way two months and a half passed away and Tom found that his business was panning out better and better each week. One July afternoon both Tom and Bob went to Cherry ville on the five o'clock boat. This was the trip they carried the bulk of the d ay's freight on the steamboat. Tom had business with the Navigation Company's agent and did not go to the French residence. In fact, he had barely time in which to do his business, as the boat only remained one hour in Cherryville, as she was due back at Liberty at ten . It had been a very hot day, and soon after the ]1l sie French made fast to her berth at Cherryville, w)lich she reached at seven, there were indications in the sky of an approaching thunderstorm As the time drew near for her to leave, the heavens were almost covered by the storm clouds From the brilliancy of the lightning and the of the thunder, as the electric clouds came charging over the town, the storm promised to be a corker while it lasted Five minutes before starting time Tom was surprised to see Mr French step on board the steamer, accompanied by a well dressed man, who was a stranger to him. "Tom," said Mr. French, "this is Mr Parker. He is the cashier of the Cherryville Bank' Tom bowed to the gentleman, and then Mr. French con tinued: "Mr. Pa. rkcr wishes to send the sum of $15,00 0 in gold to the Liberty Bank, and I ha,ve assured him that you will take charge of it and deliver it in safety, so that there will be no occasion for him to scncl a special messenger with it. I will, of course, be responsible for the money, so I shall expect you to take unusual care of it. "I shall certainly do that, sir," replied Tom, who ap preciated the responsibility about to devol ve upo n h i m "Both Bob an d I will keep the money i n sight until we deliver it to the cash i er of the Liberty Bank." T he gold is at the agent's office in charge of a mes sen ger," said Mr Parke r. "I will have it sent aboard at once. Wihere shal l you put it?" "Th ere is a l ittle office on the cabin deck. I s h all keep it the re, and Bob Pennington. or myself w ill stan d gu ard over it all the way up the b r anch "When do you start?" J ust as soon as your m essenger bri n gs the money aboard." "You r e going to h ave a r o u gh trip, at least pa.rt of the way, Mr Sheridan," remarked the cashier of the Cherry ville Bank, as a terrific clap of thunder sounded almost immediately overhead and the sky was lit up by a vivi d flash of l ightning "Looks like it," an swere d Tom, as they stepped ashore on to the wharf. I w ill wait here at the gangp l ank for your messenge r In a few mi n utes the messenger appeared, bearing a heavy box o n his shoulde r. "It i s already receip ted for," h e sai d deliverin g it to Tom "All right," repl ied the young steamboat magnate. "Cast off, Captain Ford," to the pilot, who was waiting for orders "Follow me, Bob," he said to Pennington. As the steamboat swung away from the wharf, amid the crashing of the elements, t h e two boys walked u p the brass-bound stairs to the cabin floor No one had noticed in the darkness that two men had sneaked aboard the steamer, forward, and down under the tarpau l ins that protected some of freigh t billed for Liberty B u t such was t h e fact, and they were there for n o good purpose "This is the most valuable freight we've carried yet," said Tom, as he opened the door of the small room that the pilot used as a storeroom and office. "I should think i t is," replied Bob. "Whi l e I don't be lieve there is much danger of being Telieved of it, as nobody but Mr French, the bank cashier and his messen ger knows that a box of money is aboard, one of us, as you told Mr. Parker, must keep a constant watch over it. "You can bet your life on that. I'm not taking any chances with it. If I lost it I'd lose my reputation with it and then I might just as well throw up my hands The pilot has a revolver. I'm going to borrow it. Tom locked the door on the box of gold and put t he key in ;his pocket "You sit down here and watch that doo'l', Bob, whil e I get the gun," he said to his companion Bob took the seat and Tom went up to the pilot-house He was back in a very few minutes with the p ilot's revolver in his pocket. Then h e took his seat beside Bob, and one or the other of them had his eyes on the door all the time The fierce wind that accompanied the thunderstorm swooped down on the little steamboat, and she rocked about as if at the mercy of a heavy sea The thunder roared overhead at frequent intervals, and the l ightning fl.ashed a l most incessantly "We're catc hin g i t hot, T om," said Bob, as the uproar
22 STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. of nature interfered with their conversation to a consid erable extent "That's right, we are This is the biggest storm of the summer." "It's a corker and no mistake. Just listen to the wind I One might easily fancy that he was out at sea." "Some people coulc1 get seasick on this boat the way she rocks," replied Bob. "I guess you're right. I'm glad that I've no women passengers." The sto'rm continued at its height .for perhaps twenty minutes, during which the rain came down in a perfect deluge. The boys could hear it thundering upon the deck above their heads. Then the worst of it passed away to the northwest, but the darkness remained intense, not a iitar being visible in the sky The pilot had to feel his way up the branch, and watch out sharp that he didn't get the boat aground at any of the turns in the stream, of which there were se\teral. The result was that the steamer reached Pennington Landing an hour late. "You'll have to go on with me to Liberty UJ..night, Bob, on account of the money," said Tom "All right, old man, I'm with you. I'll have to open up the freight shed so the men can put those empty crates inside. I'll tell Mr. Ford to wait for me." "You'll find me here when you get back," answered Tom. So Bob hurried away to attend to business while Tom remained on guard. "I guess I'll take a look at that box to satisfy myself that it's all right," said 'rom to himself while the boat was lying at the wharf. "Of course it is, for we've been on watch conirinuously since the box come into my possession; but there is no harm in taking a. look. A fellow feels nervous when he has such a big responsibility on his shoulders." Tom took the key from his pocket, unlocked the door and looked into the little room. It was very dark, so he struck a match and :flashed it around. "My gracious I" he exclaimed. "Where is the It was clearly not, where he had placed it. He was about to look around on the floor when he noticed that the shutters of the single window were broken open and the sash swung inward. "Great Scott I The box has been stolen l" CHAPTER XIII. PURSUIT OF THE THIEVES. Tom was completely staggered by the loss of the box of money. How any one could have known the box was in that little room, and how the window could have been forced without he or Bob hearing the noise, was a mystery to him. Tom went to the opening of the window and looked out. Only a narrow six-inch projecting plank extended along the side of the boat under the window. It seemed impossible that one man could have entered the room and got the heavy box out of the window with any success at all unles s he had provided himself with a rope to lower it to the narrow space of deck below, be tween the railing and tbe side of the steamer. He must have had an accomplice. 'I'he job was done some time during the thun derstorm, when the roar of the elements deadened the noise of breakin g in the window, which an experienced eye would have Reen h'ld been accomplished with a jimmy. Probably the work was put through during the tail end of the storm, when the lightning was less frequent and dazzling, and the darkness was intense -enough to cover the moments 0 the thieves. But who were the thieves? Were two or more 0 the deckhands implicated in the robbery?" "One of them might have overheard tihe conversation between Mr. French and me at the head of the gangway at Cherryville, and put up the job with the help of a pal," argued Tom. "In which even they have hidden the box in the hold, with the purpose of smuggling it ashore at Liberty. Unless a better clew is fortncoming, implicating somebody else, Bob and Mr. Ford will have to maintain a close watch on the hands when the boat reaches her wharf, while I get a posse of officers to come down and search the steamer from stem to stern. This is simply a terrible misfortune. I was a fool not to leave the door wide open so that Bob and I could keep our eyes on the box continually. What will Mr. French think of me? And how will I ever be able to refund the loss? I must tell Bob at once." As he was about to leave the window he cast his eyes toward the stern of the steamer. There in the gloom he saw the indistinct forms of two men. All the hands were busily engaged in putting ashore the crates and wheeling them into the barn, so these men could not belong to the boat. Tom had only brought up one passenger, who he had just noticed r ead ing a paper in the cabin. Who, then, could these men be? One of them s tepped across on to the stringpiece of the wharf. The other stood against the rail apparently holding something in ibis arms. rrhe man on the dock reached out his arms and the other hari'ded him something that seemed to be quite heavy. As soon as he got it in his arms he started off in the gloom, followed by the other who had immediately sprung on the wharf. "Those are the thieves!" palpitated Tom. "Whoev e r they be they are certainly the men who have stolen the gold and are now carrying it away up.der cover of the gloom. I haven t a moment to lose if I hope to recover the money. I must follow them and shoot them both if they refuse to give up the box. They won't be able to go very fast with that load, but the trouble will be to track them across the farm in the darkness. They will probably make for the woods yonder first, and then the road, hoping that the robbery may not be discover e d until the steamer reaches Liberty. 'Dhat would give them a good start and plenty of time to arrange their future movements. It's mighty
STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS 23 lucky that I looked out this window at the critical moment." Tom rushed out o f the little room, flew dowri the stairs and dashed on to the wharf. He found Bob just locking the shed door. "What's the matter, Tom? You look excited," he saia, rather surprised that his companion had deserted his post before the door of the room in which he supposed the box of money still lay. "Come with me at once. The money-box has been stolen and we must recover it." "Stolen!" gasped Bob, in utter amazement. "You can't mean that?" "I do mean it. We haven't a moment to lose." "Why, how--" "Don't ask any questions now. Wait here till I tell Mr. Ford to go ahead." The pilot-captain was sta nding near the wheel-house, waiting for Bob's signal, and two hands held the gangplank partly drawn in, whiJ.e a man stood forward and another aft, ready to cast off the ropes. "All right, cap'n," said Tom "Go ahead. Bob and I are not going any further." :Mr. Ford at once gave qrders to cast off from the wharf, and the steamboat was soon sailing along her nal stretch. "Corne, Bob, follow me!" said Tom, starting off toward the line of woods, as fast as he could go, followed by tihe greatly bewildered Bob. Inside of ten minutes they reached the outskirts of the woods. "Keep your eyes skinned for two men, one of them carrying the box," sa.id Tom, hurriedly. They stood and listened intently, but no sound met their ears except the distant peals of thunder and the rustling of the trees in the night wind. Finally Tom, satisfied that the two men had already en tered the wood, if he had calculated their line of retreat aright, led the way in among the trees. Tom carried a heavy heart, for unless he was able to recover the gold he dreaded the interview he would have to hold with Mr. French over the 'phone in the morning The president of the avigation Company would, of course, make the bank's loss at once, but the theft would be sure to leak out, and it was bound to hurt the reputation of the new line as a trustworthy public canier of valuable property. 'rom set great store by the success of the transportation compa;ny he had established, and it certainly was ha rd luck to have such a terrible thing happen during the first three months e pecially. "Wihat will Elsie think of me?" he muttered, between his teeth. To lose her good opinion he felt wo11ld almost break his heart. Ile not only admired the fair girl, but was beginning to entertain a very strong feeling of regard for her, which every meeting between them deepened. '_\he very fact that he had been instrumental in saving her life macle his gro-wing attachment for her wa.rmer. She would not, of course, withdraw her friendship from him because of his misfortune in losing the box of gold, but he was afraid it would raise an indefinable barrier between them that might never be wholly done away with. He suffered acutely, but determined to be a man in his resolution to recover the lost money, and not give way to despair at the prospect he saw ahead of him if fai l ure ultimately rewarded his very best efforts. "They may have gone towards that old hut on our prop erty, which covers a kind of cellar where we once stored our crop of ice," said Bob, as they approached the other i;ide of the woods "True, they might. But as they are probably i3trangers in this neighborhood they will hardly strike it except by accident." "You are sure they are strangers, then?'' "No, I am not sure of it. I could not tell who they were in the darkness "It's funny, but I only noticed that we had one passen ger up to-night." "That was my idea, too. They certainly did not come into the cabin at any time or we would have npticed them.'' "Tilley must have stayed below on the freight deck, in which case some of the deckhands certainly saw them there, and Mr. Ford must have taken their tickets, so that if we fail to overhaul them we will be able to get their description to furnish to the police of all the towns around What mystifies me is how 0tihey got into that room and go,t away with so heavy a box right under our noses. They certainly did not enter .by the door, I can swear to that." "No, they broke in through the window on the outside of the boat." "They did!" cried Bob "They must have been mighty spry rascals to do that. They ba.d to climb up on a six inch foot-piece and hold on by the skin of their teeth while they were forcing the shutters and the window inside It's a wonder we didn't hear the noise they must have made." "They worked during the thunderstorm, which made uproar enough to drown any ordinary noise "But I don't see how they could acoomplish it in the pelting rain, with the boat wobbling like she did. Then the wind blew hard enough I should think to blow them overboard They must have been regular gymnasts "They were certainly professional crooks, for only an adept in that kind of business could have accomplished, successfully, what they did." By this time they were drawing nea,r the ice-house. Suddenly, through one of the cracks of the building, they saw a flash of light as if a match had been struck From the intermittent way the blaze came and went, the boys judged that some one was lighting his pipe. "I'll bet that's them now," whispered Bob, excitedly "It's lucky I got the pilot's revolver," returned Tom, as they crept cautiously up to the entrance of the hut. "I'm going to have that gold back," he added in a determined tone, "if I have to shoot both of them to get it." J___ CHAPTER XIV. RECOVERY OF THE BOX OF MONEY AND CAPTURE O F THE THIEVES. Lying close to the ground in the wet grass t h e boys heard two men talking inside the hut.
24 .STARTING HIS OWN BUSINESS. The tone s of one of them was s omewhat familiar to Tom, and he wondered where he had heard it b e for e He soon found out all about it, and the discovery was not a plea s ant one. The men w e re s moking and talking. "Fifteen thousand dollars in gold is a pretty tough load for a man to carry Bagl e y," said one of the and at the mention of the nam e Tom gripped Bob by the arm. His late a.unt' s husband was one of the thieves, and the other was probably the fellow Tom met in Bagley's com pany at the kitchen doorway of the French house at the time of the :fire. "It is a heavy load, Johnson," replied Bagley; "but I don't mind how tough it is to cany if we only get away with it." "We'll get away with it all right, don't you fret," an swered his companion, in a confident tone. "They haven't more than discovered its loss by this time; that will give us time enou g h to reach the Crossing s where you are known. We'll hire a room for the night like any respect able person. Then we'll break open the box, divide the swag and make a bundle apiece of our shares. That will make it easy to carry. We will then let ourselves out of the house by the window of the room, make for Stanton and catch the through freight for Toledo, that gets there at four. We ought to reach the city by eight o'clock at the outside. Then can take a boat for Buffalo, and a train from there to New York. Once in the metropolis we'll enjoy real life, and $7,500 apiece will go a long way toward the article." "The telegraph may head us off at Toledo," ventured Bagley. "I hardly think it will bring detectives to the A . & T. yards. If we think it best, we can drop off outside the city limits and walk to the steamboat dock by a roundabout way." "I leave the matter to you, Johnson. You know. the ropes better than me." "Yes, I guess I know a thing or two about hoodwinking the sleuths. This won't be the first time I've done it. This has been a mighty good haul for us, Bagley, and un expected at that. Your nephew nearly got us pinched that day in Cherryville. This i s where we've got back at him for it. He'll get into all kinds of trouble over the loss of this money." "Serves him right, the cantankerous little monkey! I hate him. I don t see how he got his job on the steam boat." "He's liable to lose it after to-night," chuckled John son. Bagley made no reply to that, and for a little while the men smok e d in s il ence. "It's time were startin' on, pard," said J ol;mson at last, knocking the ashes out of his pipe. "It's your turn fo act as pack mule." "How far d'ye expect me to carry it? Remember, I ain't as strong as you," said Bagley, with a growl. "Well, lug it as far as the road, and I'll relieve you for a spell." The boys heard the men get up inside, and they pre pared for action. box and will be a t a di s advantag e Slu g hi m good and hard. I'll hold John son up with m y gun." Johnson came out :first, and th e n Ba g ley f o llowed with the box on his shoulder. "Hold!" cried Tom, aimin g hi s r e volver at Johns on, who started back with a deep imprecation. Biff Bob's hard fis t landed on Bag ley's nos e and box and rascal went to the ground togeth er. Then the sturdy young agent jumped on Bagl e y's c hest and pinn e d him where he lay. "What in thunder does thi s m ean?" roared Johnson. "It means that you chaps are our prisoner s," r e plied Tom, resolutely. "You1 prisoners!" sneered Johnson. "I guess not." He ran his right hand to his hip-po c k e t and T om, be lieving that he was about to draw a weapon, fired at 1his arm. Johnson uttered a scream of pain and a s uc c e ss ion of gTOans, as his arm fell, useless, b y 1hi s s id e With a terrible string of profanity, h e mad e a da s h at Tom, rai s ing his left arm to s trike him. The boy stepped aside and the man fell over some creep ing vines and lay there, groaning with angui s h. Tom turned his revolv e r on Bagle y who was putting up a strong fight with Bob, in an effort to up s et him. "Surrender, Mr. Bagley, or I may treat you to a dose of the same medicine I just handed out to your side partner." Practically that was a oluff, as Tom had no intention of shooting Bagley. However, his resolute demeanor and stern words had the requisite effect. Mr. Bagley was a coward when hesaw a gun in front of him, and he threw up his hands, yielding sullenly enough. ''Tie his hands behind his back with your handkerchief, Bob. The company will present you with a new one." So Bob tied Bagley s wrist s together and then told him to get up. "See that he doesn't get away Bob, said Tom, turning his attention to Johns on, who was evid e ntl y suffe ring so much that all the spirit was taken out of him. "Get up, Johnson. I'm sorry I h a d to s hoot, but you were going to draw that revolver on me that I see sti c kin g out of your pocket, and self-preBervation i s the fir st law o.f nature. Get on your feet and I'll take you to a doc tor.:' Tom reach e d down, took possession of Johnson's weapon and handed it to Bob. Bagley's companion got up, with many g roans. Tom shouldered the money-bo;x and ordered the men to march. They were taken directly to Mr. Pennington's hou se, J ohnsoii was permitted to lie on the lounge in the sitting room. Tom went to the telephone and rang up the s olitary night operator in the Liberty telephone office. He first asked to 'be connected with Dr. Kent. "You tackle Bagley," whispered Tom. "He's got the When he got the physician on the wire he told him he wanted him to come out to the Pennington farm to set a man's arm, which had been broken by a revolver shot.
STARTING HIS OWN BUSI ESS. 25 He then got put in connection offit e r. with the village head I It now became generally known that Tom Sheridan was He tol
26 .STARTING H I S O WN BUSINESS. When the gir ls, who were invited, found that neither Tom nor Bob, who were by l ong odds the most poi;ular lads in the neighborhood, were going to be at the party, the majority of them decided to stay at home, and they did. Most of the boys, when they l earned, in one way or an other, that their particular gir l was not going to attend, also stayed away. The result was that the party was sol\lething of a frost, and Ezra fel t cheaper than sour app les. Of cou rse, Tom and Bob heard that the Whipp l e party had been a fai l ure and they grinned quiet l y to each other, for they knew what Bzra had aimed at when he got up his party, and they wer e rath e r tickled b ecause h i s sch eme had missed :fire. CHAPTER X VI. CONCLUSION. With the reduction of freight carried, Tom had to re duce his help some. Three deckhands were sufficient to do all the w o rk on the steamer. Bob's assistant was also laid off. On the first of December a trip up and down the branch every other day was enough to handle all the business that came Tom's way. He was satisfied if the boat paid expenses, and some times it didn't do that. Most every business has its dull spell, and the young steamboat magnate was now experiencing his. While he had loads of time on his hands he amused him self planning for the next season There was a l arge town ca l ied Colfax, three miles west of Liberty It was l ocated on the A. & T Railroad, the station and freight sidings being on the side facing Liberty. This was the place where Messrs. Brown, Jones and Robinson, the fruit, produce and dairy product. shippers had been obliged to send their stuff for shipment by rail before Tom started his steamboat line Colfax was a lso close to the head of the Ma. umee Branch but owing to the fiats a mile below the town that is ' ward Liberty, no craft of any draft could pass up to its water front Tom, however, got an idea in his head that a channel could be dredged through the flats The question was, how much would the work cost and also could the channel, if made, be kept open at small expense? One clay he went to Toledo to consult with the manager of a La .ke Erie dredging and wrecking company. This man declared he could furnish no opinion on the subject without one of his experts weBt over the ground and made a thorough examination. This woul d cost a certain amount of money and might yield unpromising re.sults, after all. '11om returned to Cherryville and laid the matter before Mr. French "It would mean a whole lot to me if I could get my boat through to Colfax Would you advise me fo undertake the expense of a survey?" "Tom, rep l ied Mr I w o u l d rather you'd use your own judgment in this matter. It is ever so much better for a boy or man to rely on himself, as a rule, for it brings out any latent energies he may possess, and vastly strengthens his grip on the strenuous conditions of life." Tom went home and thought the matter over, with the result that he ordered the Toledo company to make the survey and submit an estimate if the project was practicable. The survey was duly made, and the manager of the dredging company notified 'i'om that his diver had dis covered a :filledup channel through the fiats He said that in the spring he would undertake to dredge it out for so much, and that in his opinion it could be kept clear by looking a fter it once a year. Tom was delighted at the prospect and called on Elsie to consult with her about the matter. She told him to go ahead, if he thought it best to do so. Accordingly, at the proper time the dredging company sent its fioa. t up to the branch, and commenced operations. The channel was opened up, and after running the Elsie French through to Colfax one day, to the great surprise of the people along the water front, Tom publicly an nounced that the steamboat would make regular trips between Colfax and Cherryville, via Liberty, until further notice He changed the name of his line to the Colfax & Cherry ville Transportation Co., and removed his office to Colfax. He inserted a standing advertisement in the town news papers, and called personally on the more important ship pers, to whom he submitted through rates to Toledo and intermediate points He encouragement enough to guarantee the complete success of his venture, and the receipts during the year were more than double what they had previously been on the original route. The running schedule was only increased by :fifteen min utes, but the carrying capacity of the Elsie French was frequently severely te tecl, and sometimes freight had to be refused for certain trips. At the close of the year Tom mustered up the courage to ask Elsie if she would enter into new articles of part nership, the term of which should be for life. Her answer was "Yes," and in the following June she changed her name to Elsie Sheridan, in the presence of a large crowd at the church she attended in Cherryville. Tom now has two steamers on the Branch, both paying well, and has proved beyond all doubt that he is a boy who, in starting his own business, caught on. I THE END. Read "A CORNER IN STOCK; OR, THE WALL S'IREET BOY WHO WON," which will be the next number (96) o.f "Fame and Fortune Weekly." SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are a lways in print. If you canno t o btai n them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mai l to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, N-EW YORK, and you will receive the copies y o u order b y re turn mail.
.. F .Urn Al\ D UNE WEEKLY. 27 Fame and Fortune W eekly NEW YORK, JULY 26, 1907. Terms to Subscribers. Single Coples ............................................. One Copy Three non tbs ................... .............. One Copy Six nonths .................................... One Cop:r One Year . .................................. Postage Free. How To SEND MONEY. .05 Cents .65 .. $1.25 At our risk send P. 0. Money Order, Check, or Registered Letter; remittances In any other way are at your risk. "Ve accept Postage Stamps tile same as cash. When sending silver wrap the coin in a s eparate piece ot paper to avoid cutting the envelope. Write l/O'Ur name and address plainl11. ..d.ddress lette,.s to Frank Tousey, Publisher, Union Sq., New York. GOOD STORIES. In India there is still burning a sacred fl.re that was lighted by the Parsees twelve centuries ago. The fire is fed with sandal and other fragrant woods, and is replenished five times a day. "Tips? Oh, yes, we get them, but not from all our customers, said a waiter in one of the principal hotels. "The strangest I ever got? Well, it was from a man who looked prosperous, ate an expensive meal here, and after paying his bill thrust his hand into his vest pocket and handed me a cough drop. Evidently he mistook it for a coin. Another man, whose appearance led me to believe that he was a preacher, gave me a small piece of ch ewing tobacco Both m e n w ere in deep thought, and probably only half aware of what they were doing. I've seen them often since, but, no, I mentioned those tips." "It is a great wonder to me," said an old chemist, "why more boys do not take up chemical experiments as an amuse ment. Why, I can do things with the common materials of every-day life which really seem to be more magical to the uninitiated than any of the wonders that are ordinarily performed by magicians on the public stage. Some of them are so simple that by carrying them out at a parlor enter tainment a bright boy could achieve the reputation of a magician. Now there are those curious l!ttle bubbles of glass known variously as 'Prince Rupert' s drops' and as 'Dutch ears.' Apparently they are merely l!ttle globules of glass with elongated tails made by h eating a small glass rod in a flame and allowing the molte n drops to fall into wate r After they have cooled you may pound the thic k part with a hammer or mallet, yet you cannot break the m On the other hand, if you break a l!ttle piece off their tails, or touch any part of them with a quartz crystal, they will disappear Into the surrounding atmosphere quicker than snow will melt on a hot fire. To the person who doesn t know how this has happened the performance is so astonishing as to seem uncanny." During the rush of Christmas shopping a young woman entered a store in this city and bought a smoking jacket. "Of course, you will pay the express charges on this for me?" she s a id, with a winning smile. "Certainly madam," replied the clerk. "We will pay ex pres s anywhere within one hundred miles "What will the express charge be to Blankville, W. Va.?" she asked. "Never mind how much it will be," said the clerk. "What ever it may be, the amount will be paid." "But I want to know the cost," she persisted. "I would have to 'phone the express company to get it. Why are you so anxious?" "Because I am going. to Blankville, and I will carry the package out there myself and deliver it. I want you to deduct from the price of it the amount you would have to pay the express company." And then with the sweetest of s miles she added: "Remember the saying of the good old woman, 'Let nothing go to waste.' The cost to a nation of entertaining monarchs varies ac cording to the monarch. The cheapest sovereigns to enter tain, judging from the bills Great Britain has had to pay, are the German Emperor and the King of Italy. It cost about $5,000 to entertain each of them. The King of the Belgians costs $20,000 a week; the late Shah cost $100,000 a week. The expenditure on decorations, etc., is not included in these figures. When the Czar of Russia made his historic visit to France the cost to the Republic amounted to $335,000. Nearly every house in Japan has in the main reception room a recess containing a raised platform on which sits the familiar Idol of the Dai Butsu (Buddha). If the family hold to the older faith of Shinto. there is also a statue of the goddess of mercy, Kaunon. Around these idols are ar ranged the swords armor, ornamentstand the ihdi, the sacred tablet which bears the name of the dead father, and the date o f his death. The shrine containing the relics is made from the holy sun wood (hi-no-kl) This recess in the Japanese home is the heart of the family life, and corresponds to that niche in the mansion of ancient Rome wherein were placed the Lares and Penates. JOKES AND JESTS. "I wonder how a defeated candidate feels?" "I don't know; I have never been a defeated candidate; but I have been sea-sick.'' "What's that got to do with it?" "I presume the feeling is much the same; one seems to h'lve lost everything." "Say," said the politis:al reporter, "what's the first name of Hanks?" "Nancy, you chump, answered the sporting reporter. This precipitated an argument which it were idle to chronicle here. Letter to a Schoolmaster-My son will be unable to attend school to-day, as he has just shaved himself for the first time. "She thinks her husband is a deep-dyed villain." "Why?" "Well, she's never been able to catch him doing anything wrong.'' Madly the throng pressed about the woman. "What's the matter?" a stranger ventured to ask. "Aw, you're green," responded a native in the patois of Manhattan; "d.'0.t's a loidy wot once knowed de sister of the valet of the guy dat's on trial fer murder." The president had been tendered a golden pass admitting him to all baseball games. At first he hesitated about accepting it. "Does this carry the privilege of roasting the umpire?" he asked, with some concern. Assured upon this point he wavered no longer. Teacher-Children, what creature is that in ornithology which has a very long neck, has something to do with trim ming hats, does its :fighting by scratching and kicking, and often gives cause to men to be afraid? Eager Pupil-I know,' teacher! Teacher-Well, Sammy, what is it? Sammy-An old maid!
28 FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. A DI i uoND BUTTERFLY I "You have come, I presume--" llJU 'To give information about some lost property of yours. Precisely." "Have OU found it?" queried Mrs. Walsingham, eagerly. "Well, that's just what I wish to ascertain," said the By Alexander Armstrong. stranger, suavely. "My name is Sawder-Fred Sawder-late of Scotland Yard," he continued, turning to the colonel. "I'm a detective, and a few hours back I came across a piece of jewelry answering to your description." When Mrs. Walsingham lost the diamond butterfly which "You don't mean to say so?" cried the colonel, excitedly. her husband had given her on the first anniversary of their "Where did you find it?" wedding day she was naturally much perturbed by her loss. "Well, it's a long story," said Mr. Sawder, deliberately, For two seasons Mrs. Walsingham's bw.tterfly had been an "and brings in matters which are, so to speak, professional absorbing topic of conversation whenever pretty Mrs. Wal-secrets at present. But there-the whole account will be in singham herself happened to be present, and on more than the papers to-morrow, so there's no harm in my telling you." one occasion it had attracted the admiring attention of Roy-Both the colonel and Mrs. Walsingham waited anxiously for alty. him to go on, and after a few seconds' pause he was gracious-And now the butterfly was lost. The world-or rather such ly pleased to do so, pointedly addressing himself now to Mrs. portion of it as was crowded into the Court Theater on that Walsingham. disastrous night-had Reen the jeweled insect flashing and "Of course, madam, you have heard of the great Fenton scintillating in Mrs. Walsingham's pretty brown hair all the Court robbery?" time of the performance. But when husband and wife stood Mrs. Walsingham made a motion of assent. in the light of their own hall lamp, the former had uttered an "Er-well-the fact is, to-day I had the good fortune to re-exclamation of dismay. cover nearly all that stolen jeWE)lry. I have just telegraphed 'l'he butterfly was gone! to Mr. Fenton to come up and identify the things to-morrrow." Everything had been done that is usual in such cases. The "You have got back the diamonds?" colonel had looked carefully in the carriage, and had made a "Everything, madam, as far as we can tell." thorough examination of each separate fold of his wife's dress. "Tell us all about it," commanded Mrs. Washingham, in her Next morning he had gone off to the theater, and had him-pretty, imperious manner, while her husband's face seconded self searched the box in which they had been sitting. Then, her request. with commendable prudence, he had cautioned his wife "Oh, well, there's not much to tell, ma'am. From informa against speaking about her loss, even I to the servants, and in tion received, we made this morning a raid on the house of the advertisement in which he offered a considerable reward a party called Sleepy Jim-sleepy, because he just isn't sleepy, for the recovery of the missing trinket, he had described it don't you see, madam? Well, Jim was very easy and care as "a jeweled insect (paste), valuable to the owner because less, and we searched and searched, and not a thing would we specially designed for the Polish wife of Prince Boris Ivanitch, find, and at last we gave it up. I was the last to go, and as I when she secretly sold the Ivanitch diamonds to supply her went, I heard-for my ears are quick-I heard Jim give the compatriots with funds for a revolutionary uprising." least little bit of a sigh. The colonel was very well pleased with the wording of this 'Come back, men,' I shouted, 'the things are here, and we advertisement, and read it aloud with a great deal of com-won't be such numskulls as to go away without them. Let's placency to his wife. have one more look round.' Then it occurred to me that Mrs. Walsingham was not quite so pleased as her husband. Sleepy Jim had not been,sitting on the table for nothing all She objected to the slight put upon her cherished possession the time we were turning his place upside down. So I just by describing it as paste, and the aristocratic flavor of its pushed him and it on one side, kicked over the square of mythical history did not console her. carpet on which the table had been standing, and lo! and be "Even if I do get it back," she murmured plaintively, "I hold, there were plain signs that the boards llad been raised shan't care to wear it if everybody imagines it is paste." pretty recently. When, however, the colonel pointed out that he had re"We had those boards up again in a jiffy, and there in a ferred the public in the fii;st instance to a neighboring stadeep hole underneath was all the Fenton Court jewelry!" tioner's, and that there was nothing whatever in the adver-The detective paused, impr.essively, and looked at his two tisement to suggest to a captious world that Mrs. Walsing-eager listeners, as though challenging their admiration. ham's famous butterfly was in question, she was greatly im"Well, -and my wife's butterfly?" asked the colonel, inquir-pressed by her husband's cleverness. ingly. That evening the Walsinghams did not dine out, but had a "I am coming to that, sir. Among the things there were cozy tete-a-tete dinner at home, so as t o be on the spot if any several pins and brooches not included in the list supplied to one came with news of the stolen jewel. us at Scotland Yard. l had seen your advertisement, and I "Not. that I am at all sanguine," said the colonel, as he thought one of the miscellaneous articles looked very much thoughtfully peeled a banana. "If the thief had happened to like your insect. So I just asked Sleepy Jim about it, and be a stray pickpocket, we might hope to see the 'fly' again. he told me that it had been brought to him by a man who had It's more likely, though, that the vagabond who has the thing picked it up in Sloan street, and had been afraid to pawn it. now had his eye on it for some time past." Jim gave him thirty shillings for it; for he saw the diamonds But even as he spoke the solemn butler came softly in. were uncommon good paste, and--" "A person to see you, sir," he announced deferentially; "he "But they are nothing of the sort," put in Mrs. Walsing-won't give his name, but he says Foster (the stationer) has ham, indignantly; "that was only my husband's idea to call sent him, and that you will know all about it." them paste." Mrs. Walsingham gave a little start of delight, and the "Ah! That was smart, sir, very smart. You ought to be 1:olonel could scarcely conceal his excitement. one of us." "Show him in here,. Bailey,'' he said, quickly, "it is some The colonel looked gratified. one we are expecting." "Won't you take a glass of wine, Mr. Sawder?" he said, The butler withdrew, and in a few seconds ushered in a pushing the decanter over to him. slight, gentlemanly-looking man, with sharp gray eyes and "Thank you, sir, I don't mind if I do," replied Mr. Sawder, smooth face. helping himself, and he required very little pressing to be "Col. Walsingham, I believe?" began the stranger, taking induced to repeat the action several times in the course of the with easy self-possession the cllaJ.r w.hir.h the colonel indicated next hour. at the far end of the table, As a consequence, he soon grew exceedingly communicative The colonel assented. and entertained the colonel with the most thrilling Scotland
. I ] FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY. 29 Yard narrative s, all illustrative of the cleverness of rogues and the superior astuteness of detectives. 1 "It's not that the criminal classes are so especially clever," ').e remarked, judicially, as he wound up one of his tales; "but .he public is so uncommonly soft. The colonel acquiesced. There was a great many fools in the world, he opined; but for his part he had no pity for them. He himself had never been taken in in his life. "I can quite believe that," said Mr. Sawder, politely; "and if I may make so free, I repeat again you ought to be one of us." The colonel did not at all resent Mr. Sawder's freedom. He was particularly pleased with him and his stories, and in the fullness of his heart he told him he was going down to his club for half an hour, and would be charmed to give him a lift. Mr. Sawder quite sensible of the colonel's condescen sion, and accepted the offer with effusion. Having arranged with Mrs. Walsingham that she was to come down to Scot land Yard the following morning, he went off with the colonel into the adjoining room, waiting there while this gentleman got ready to go out. This room was a sort of sanctum of Col onel Walsingham, and while he drew on his gloves he passed in review his collection of fire-arms and other objects of war like predilection. The detective seemed a bit of a connoisseur, and his en thusiasm was sufficiently dashed with discriminating knowl edge to be particularly pleasing to the colonel, who actuall:y deigned to bring out from a cavernous cupboard his latest ex travagance; to wit, a handsome fur lined coat he had recently imported from Russia. "What do you think of that?" he asked. "Think?" said the detective, "why, that it's not a thing to be left in the hall." "Rather not," laughed the colonel, "we keep it in the cup board in this room. Why, that coat cost me eighty guineas." "It looJi:s as if it had," said the detective, warmly, and the colonel being now ready, the two gentlemen got into their hansom and drove off. It was scarcely half an hour afterward that there was a hasty pull at the door bell. Mrs. Walsingham was tired and had gone to bed, and the household had followed her example. The butler alone was still up, busy with the silver in his pantry. "Why, master's forgotten his latch-key!" he cried, hurry ing to the door; "it' s lucky for me he's come back so early." But it was not Col. Walsingham who stood in the doorwayit was Mr. Sawder. "Sorry to trouble you, my man," he said, speaking very fast, and slipping a shilling into Bailey's hand; "but I left some most important papers behind me, which I was showing to Colonel and Mrs. Walsingham. Will you giye them to me?" "Papers, sir! I haven't seen any." "But they must be here," cried Mr. Sawder, looking very worried. "The fact ii;;-I dare say Mrs. Walsingham told you -those papers have to do with the Fenton Court robbery. We nabbed the man and the swag this afternoon, and the owner's coming up to-morrow. So you see the papers are aw fully important." "Of course, they must be," said the butler, unbending his solemn dignity on the instant. "Well, I'll just light a taper and see if they are anywhere in the dining-room. I may have overlooked them, but I don't think I have." The detective followed him into the dining room and helped in the search, but no papers were to be found, and he grew more and more anxious. "I tell you what it is," he began in a vexed tone, "Mrs. Walsingham must have noticed them directly we had gone, and, knowing their importance, must have locked them up somewhere. Now if you can get them for me to-night I'll not forget you." Bailey's kindness, or his affection for the prospective coin, made him consent, after a little demur to do what he could. "I'll go upstairs and call up one of the women servants," he said, "and then send her to 'ask Mrs. Walsingham. I'll shout up to the under housemaid," he added; sh e ll com e Eke wink ing she hears my voice." It took longer to get the housemaid to come down, however, than the butler had anticipated, but at last she had gone off on her embassy, and had brought her mis t ress' answer to Bailey, patiently waiting on the upper landing. "I'm sorry, sir," he began, as he descended the last flight of stairs, "but Mrs. Walsingham hasn't s een your papers." Then he stopped short. The rosy tints fled from his well nourished face, and a bilious hue took possession of that broad expanse. The street door was open, and Mr. Sawder had disappeared. "A '-do,'" murmured Bailey, faintly; "a real old 'do.'" He thought of his plate, and almos; breathed again as he remembered that he had deposited it in the plate-chest and turned the key before he had let the insidious stranger in. "Depend upon it, he's only gone off with master's umbrell::'.,'' he said, trying to reassure himself. The next moment he struck his hands wildly ant:: rushed into the colonel's study. When he came back he was perfectly green. The c0Jo11el' s fur coat, for which he had paid eighty g11ineas only a C c Y r weeks back, was nowhere to be found! The officials of Scotland Yard next morning listened w;th polite attention to Col. Walsingham's account of what had happened. "A clean-shaven man, with gray eyes, you say?" "Yes,'' was the answer. He gave the name of Sawder Fred Sawder." Sawder! The man was James Groft, alias Sleepy Jim, the cleverest rogue in the United Kingdom and as slip as an eel. I am afraid you will n e ver se e your coat again, sir." And he was right, for the colonel never did. But one result of his little experience was that he completely changed hts views of criminals. "It is not that the public is so stupid," h e was often heard to say; "it is those scamps who ar so horribly clever." President Roosevelt was the second man elected to the highest office within the gift of the nation wh'le wearing a moustache. The first was Grover Cleveland. According to a census taken about two years ago, St. Peters burg has a population of something over 1,500,000, and of these one-third are unable to read and write. The coin of smallest denomination ever made by this country was the half-cent piece. It also enjoyed the dis tinction of being the first coin issued, and the first retired from circulation. On e of Alaska's pioneer farmers is J. D. Johnston, of Bear Lake, near Seward, who has taken up a homestead and is putting it under cultivation. After two years' work he can show a comfortable, well-built home, a dozen acres ploughed, thirty acres seeded down for pasture and a considerable part of his claim cleared. He is successfully growing clover, and has planted many varieties of fruit trees, berry bushes and flowers, most of which are thriving He reports that he finds much profit on Plymouth Rock chickens. Last year he hatched and raised 168 chickens, besides selling eggs to the value of $20 a month. He estimates that each hen has cleared $4 above the cost of henfeed. He also keeps cows, and sells their milk at a profit. Mr. Johnston has proved that farming in Alaska is both practical and profitable. About the beginning of the nineteenth century there was a change in the "rule of the road" in England, and carriages were supposed to go to the left. In order to remain mindful of the new regulation drivers were in the habit of repeating the following quatrain: "The rule of the road is a paradox quite: In driving your carriage along, If you go to the left, your are sure to go right; If you go to tM right, you are wrong."
Everything I .!. COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! These Books Tell You Eacti book consists of sixty-four pages, printed OD good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in 311 attractive, illustrated cover. ,.os t of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are exp lained in such a simple manner that aJ!Y "'1ild can thoroughly understand them Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know anything about the subjec'8 men t io ned. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS F ROM THIS OFFICE ON RECEIPT OF PRICE, TEN CEN'rS EACH, OR ANY THREE BOOKS )J'OR .rwENTY-FIVE QEN T S. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN TIIE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. M ESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO MESMERIZE,_:_Containing the most approved methods of ; also how to cure all kinds of d iseases by animal magiJetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof. Leo H ugo Koc h, A Q. S., author of "How to Hypnotize," etc. PALMISTRY. N o 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Containing the most approved methods of reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and t h e key for telling character by the bumps on the bead. By Leo Hugo Koch A C. S. Fully illustrated HYPNOTISM. No 83. HOW T O HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuabl e and in-1tructive inform a tion regarding the science of hypnotism Also ex plaining the most approved methods which are employed by the leadin g hypnot ists o f the world. By Leo Hugo Koch, A.C.S. SPO RTIN G No. 2 1. HOW T O HUNT AND FISH.-The most complete hunti n g and fishing guide ever publish ed. It contains full in s t ru ction s about gtlns bunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, tog ethe r with descriptions of game and fish. No. 26. HOW TO R OW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT.-Fully Illustra ted. Every boy should know how to row and sail a boat. F ull instructions are given in this little book, together with in struction s on swimming and riding, companion sports to boating. No 4 7 H O W TO BREAK, RIDE AND DRIVE A HORSE. A compl e te tre a t i se on the horse Describing the most usefu l horses for bu si n ess, t he best horses for the road; also valuable recipes for disea se s p ectJ!iar to the horse. No. 48. HOW TO BUILD AND SAIL OANOES.-A handy book for boys, containing full directions for constructing canoes and t h e m os t popu lar manner of sailing them. Fully illustrated. B y C. S tansfiel d Hicks. e P'ORTUN E TELLING. No. 1. N APOLEON'S ORA.CULUM AND DREAM BOOK. Containing the great o racle of human destiny; also the true mean in g of a lmost any kind of dreams, together with charms, ceremonies, and c u rious games of cards A complete book. No. 2 3. HOW '.1'0 EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybo ph.,ne and other musical ins truments; together with a brief de scription of nearly every musi cal instrument used in ancient o r modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald for twenty years bandmast e r of the Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW '.l.'O MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.-Containing a d escription of the lante rn, together with its history and inventio n Also full directions for !ts use and for painting slides. Handsomel y illustrate d. By John All e n No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Containinc complete instructions for performing over sixty Mechanical Trickl. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. Nd 11. HOW TO WRLTE LOVE-LE'.l?TERS.-A most com plete little book, containing full directions for writing love-lettert. and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects ; also letters of introduction. notes and requests. No. 24 HOW TO WRITE LET'rERS TO GENTLEMEN. Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects ; also giving sample letters for instruction. No. 53. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you bow to write to your sweetheart, your father, mother, sister, brother, employer; and, in fact, everybody and any body you wi s h to write to. Every young man and every youn g lady in the land should have this book. No 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRElCTLY.-Con taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; also rules for punctuation and comp osition, with specimen letters.
THE STAGE. No. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S J O K E BOOK.-Containing a great variety of the latest jokes used by the m
Latest Issues ...._ ''WIDE AW AKE WEEKLY'' COLORED COVERS CoNTAINING STORIES OF Boy FIREMEN 32 PAGES PRICE 5 C ENTS 5 8 Young Wide Awake's Dynamite Crew; or, Blowing Up a Burning Vill a g e 5 9 Youn g Wide Aw;;tke's Fire Test; or, The Belmont Boys' Gr eatest Stroke. 60 Young Wide Awake's Fire Patrol; or, Running Down a D es p e rate G a ng. 61 Young Wide A w a k e s Longest Leap; or, Swift Work With the J..ife-Lines. 62 Young W id e Awake' s Signal Call; or, Fire Fighting to the Las t Ditch. "THE LI BER.TY 63 Young Wide Awake's Cascade of Flame; or, Withi n an Inch of a Fiery D eath. 64 Young Wide Awake's Fire Fight; or, Holding Up the Bel mont Life Savers. 65 Young Wide Awake's Bravest Rescue; or, Snatching a Victim from Death's Jaws. 66 Young Wide Awake' s Junior Firemen; or, Skip and Ted at Their Best. 67 Young Wide Awake's Big Reward; or, Caught in a Blazing Wreck. BOYS .OF '76" COLORE D COVERS CONTAINING R EVOLUTIONARY> STORIES 32 P AGES PlUCE 5 CENTS 334 The Liberty Boys' Silent March; or, The Retreat from T i c ond e roga. 335 The Liberty Boys Fighting Ferguson; or, Leagued with Strange Alli e s. 336 The L i b erty Boys and the Seven Scouts; or, Driving Out the Skinners. 337 The Liberty Boys' Winning Volley; or, Fighting ;\.long the Mohawk. 3 3 The Liberty Boys and the Hessian Giant; or, The Battle of Lake Champlain. 339 The Liberty Boys' Midnight Sortie; or, Within An Inch of Capture. 340 The Liberty Boys on Long Island; or, Repulsing the Whaleboat Raiders. 341 The Liberty Boys' Secret Enemy; or, Exposing the Gun powder Plot. 342 The Liberty Boys on the line; or,.Ohasing the Royal Gree ns. 348 The Liberty Boys and Sergeant Jasper; or, 'Xhe Engagement at Charleston Ilarbor. SER.VICE ' '' S p CR.ET } OLD A N D YOUN G COLORE D COVERS KING BRADY, DETECTIVES 3 2 PAGES PRICE 5 C ENTS 435 The Bradys Among the 'Frisco Gold Thieves; or, The Blac k B and o f Old Dupont Stre et. 4 3 6 T h e Bradys a nd the Doctor' s D eath League; or, The Mys t e r y of the Bo y in R ed. 437 T he Bra d y s and the M a n or, Hot Ti:r;nes on Whirlwind Lake 4 3 8 The Bradys and the House of Skulls; or, The Strange Man of Five Points. 439 The Brady s Daring D eal; or, The Bargain With Dr. D e a t h 440 The Bradys and the Coffin Man; o,. Held in the House of the Mi s s i ng. 441 The Bradys and t h e Chinese Dwarf; .or, The Queue Hunter of the B arbary Coast. 442 The Bradys Among the Handshakers; or, Trapping the Confiden c e Men. 443 The Brady s and the Death Trunk; or, The Chicago Secret Seven. 444 The Bradys and Mr. M a g i c ; or, After the Thumbless League. For sal e by all n ewsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N. Y IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS of our Weeklie s and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut put and fill Jn the foll ow i n g Ord e r Bl ank and send it to us with the price of the weeklies you want and we will send them to you by return m a il .. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................................................... .......... FRANK TOUSEY Publi s h e r 2 4 Unioh Squa re New York. : 190 DEA R Srn-Enclose d find ...... cents for which pl ease send me: .... copies of W ORK A N D WI N, Nos .......................... ., " WID E A\VAKE WE E KLY, Nos ................... . : " WILD WE S T WE E KLY Nos .................. " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ................ " PLUC K AND LUCK, Nos ....................... " SECRET S E RV1CE, Nos ......................... . " FAME AND FORTUNE WEEKLY, Nos ........... " Ten-C ent Hand Books, Nos ............ -........... ..... s J!f ame .................. Street and No ............. .. Town. . . . . tate ..........
Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES. OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY By A SELF-MADE MAN COLORED COVERS PRICE 5 Cts ISSUED EVERY FRIDAY 32 P A G E S This Weekly contains intetesting stories of smart boys, who win fame and fortune by their ability to take advantage of passing opportunities. Some of these stories are founded on true incidents in the lives of our most successful self -made men, and show how a boy of pluck, perseverance and brains can become famous and wealthy. ALlrnADY l'UilLlSHED. 8 The Wheel of Fortune; or, The Record of a Self-:'llade Boy. 33 \Vinning the Dollars; or, The Young Wonder of Wall Street. 9 Nip and Tuck; or, The Young Brokers of Wall Stree t 54 .Malting His Mark; or, The Boy Who Became !'resident. 10 A Copper Harvest; or. The Boys Who Worked a Deserted l\ilne. 55 Heir to a i\llllion; or, The Boy Who Was Born Lucky. 11 A Lucky Penny; or, The Fortunes or a Boston Boy. 56 Lost in the Andes: or. The 'reasme of the Burie d City. 12 A Diamond In the Rough ; or, A Brave Boy s Start in Life. 57 On His Mettle; or, A Plucky Boy In Wall Street. 13 Baiting the Bears; or, 'he Nerviest Boy in Wall Street. 58 A Lucky Chance; or, Taking Fortune on the Wing. 14 A Gold Brick; or, The Boy Who Not he Dowi;ied. 59 The Road to Success; or, The Career of a Fortunate Boy. 15 A Streak of Luck ; or, 'b e Boy Who 1 eather e d His ;\est. 60 Chasing Pointers; or, The Luckiest Boy In Wall Street. 16 A Good Thing; or, The Boy Who i\lade a Fortune. 61 Rising In the World; or, l<'L'Om Factory Boy to Manager. 17 King of the lllarket; or, '.rhe Young Trader in Wall Street. 62 From Dark to Dawn; or, A Poor Boy' s Chance. 18 Pure Grit; or. One Boy in a Thousand. 6ceipt of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. IF YOU WANT ANY B .ACK NUMBERS of our Libraries and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fill in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRANK 'rOUSEY, Publi s h er, 24 Union Square, New York. . . . . : ................. 190 DEAR Sm-Enclosed find . . . cents for which please send me : .... copies of WORK AND WIN, Nos ................. ........... .......... : .......... ... ........... " FAME A:N'D FORTUNE WEEKLY_. os .... ......................... : . ................ " WIDE AWAKE WEEKLY, Nos ................ . . .............. ..... . . ............. '' VVILD WEST WEEKLY, Nos ........ .............. . . ................ . . ...... ....... " PLUCK AND LUCK, Nos .. ...... ............... .... ....................... .......... '' SECRET SERVICE, Nos ..... .... ................ .............. .......................... " THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '7G, os ......................... ..... ............. ......... " Ten Cent Hand Books, Nos . : .................... . ............ ......................... Name ......... .... ....... : .... . Streetand No .... .............. Town ......... State .. ............. ,. I