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About The Times-herald. (Burns, Harney County, Or.) 1896-1929 | View Entire Issue (May 10, 1919)
Elk C r ")
CHAPTER I-K. C. Rlrkard, an ungl
nw of the Overland Pacific, la called to
the office of President Marshall in Tuc
son, Arli. "Casey" Is an enigma to the
office ferce: he wears "dude" clothes,
but he tint! resigned a chair of engineer
lag In the Kn.t to go on the road as a
fireman and his promotion had been spec
tacular. While waiting- for Marshall Itlck
ard reads a report on the ravages of the
Colorado, despite the efforts of Thomas
Hardin of the Desert Reclamation com
pany. This Hardin had be'-n a student
under Rlckard and had married Gerty
Holmes, with whom Rlckard had fancied
lie was In love.
CHAPTER II-Marshalt tells Rlckard
the Overland Pacific has got to step In
to save the Imperial Valley and sends
him to the break. Rlckard declines be
rause he does not want to supplant Har
din, but Is won over. "Rtop the river;
damn the expense," says Marshall.
CHAPTER TII-Rlckard Journeys to
Calexlco, sees the Irrigated desert and
icacr.s much ubout Hardin and his work.
CHAPTER IV At the hotel he meets
Mr. and Mrs. Hardin and Inncn Hardin,
Hardin s half sister. Disappointed In her
Sisband and an incorrigible coquette,
ra. Hardin seta her cap for her former
ver and Invites him to dinner.
CHAPTER V-Rlckard vlslta the com-
fany's offices and takes control. He finds
he engineers loyal to Hardin and hos
tile to him. Estrada, a Mexican, son of
the "Father of the Imperial Valley," tells
him of the general situation.
CHAPTER VT-Rlckard attends a
meeting of the directors and asserts his
authority. Hardin rages. Estrada tells
Rlikanl of his foreboding that his work
will fall. "I can't see It finished."
CHAPTER Vll-Innea Is discovered In
her garden 8he tries to cheer up Hardin,
who Is furious against Rlckard.
CHAPTER VIII A family luncheon of
the Hardins which throws light on them.
CHAPTER IX-Hardln discovers that
Rlckard Is planning a levee to protect
Calexlco and puts him down n Incom
petent. Gerty thinks her lord Jealous.
CHAPTER X-The Hardin dlsoier to
Rlckard discloses further the family char
acteristics. Hardin Is surly and sulky,
lnnes in hardly polite. Oerty plnns a
"progressive ride" In Rlckard' honor.
Innps longed up for Tom's nnswer.
Ills fuce was ugly with passion.
"Dnngpr! It's a bluff, u big show
of activity brro because he's buffa
loed ; he doesn't know how to tackle
the Job out there."
It had begun to look that wny to
more than one. It was talked over
at Coulter's store; In the outer gtTsN
of the D. It. company where the engi
neers foregathered; among the-chair
filters who Idled In front of the Des
ert hotel. "The man does not know
how to tackle his Job !" A levee, and
the gate held up! What protection to
the towns would he that toy levee If
the river should return on one of Its
spectiu-ular sprees? A levee, und the
Intake Itself not guarded? He was
whispered of as incompetent ; one of
Marshall's clerks. He was given a
short time to blow himself out. A
bookiiinn, a theorist.
"As well put sentinels n few miles
from prison and leave the Jnll doors
open !" This wns WoostCT'l gibe. All
saw tiie Colorado us a marauder at
large. "And a little hisap of sand
slacked up to acare it off! It's a
Mrs. Hardin fonnd It dlfumlt to
meet with diplomacy the confldencea
which Inevitably came in-r way, As
Hardin's, wife ihe was expected to en
Joy Hie universal ' runire the r n w man
was acquiring, deity's liht touches,
too slight for championship, paaaed as
a sweet charity. Her own position
those days was t r.vlnir. Bhe did not
yet know her diplomatic lesson.
Apparently unaware of Hie talk,
Rlckard spent tin- greater part of bis
lime superintending the i-i;. Ha
ould trust no one else to do It, no
one unless n wen Estrada, who wan
rushing Ids steel rails through to the
front and was needed tin i e.
Things were moving -under his eon
slant goading. The extra pay waj
showing results. He Should I"' at Hie
Heading now, be kept telling himself,
but tie was convinced thai the Instant
lie turned hla back, the work on the
icee niMini stop; aim all Hi,- reasons
excellent ! Borne emergency would bs
looked up to warrant the withdrawal
of the hands. Chafe as lie might at
the situation, it was in be guerrilla
warfare, Not a light in the open, ho
knew how to meet that, bul that liuf-
iling resistance, the polite silence of
the office when he entered "Well,
they'll be doing my way pretty soon,
or my name Isn't Rlckard. That's
He was fretting to be at work, to
dart the Wheels of the . P., lis vast
machinery Inward his problem. H
knew that that organisation, like welt-
drilled militia, was ready fur his call.
The call lagged, not that he did not
need nun, hut there was no place
ready for Hum. The camp, Hail was
another rub, There was no camp I ii
was not equipped for a sudden inlla
llon of men. The inSHiclrmy of the
projectors of this desert scheme had
never teemed so criminal as when be
had surveyed Uuv equipment al ill, in
lake. "(Jet ready tii i ; your tools,
your stoves; your bods." That wg the
training of the good executive, of men
like Marshall and Mncl.cau. Nothing
to be left to Chance tO foresee enn r-
gentles, not to be tuken by thum uo-
aware. The reason of nnrdln's down
fall was bis slipshod habits. How could
he be a good officer who had never
drilled as a Roldlcr? There was the
I'lill fit lh,. 1 1 , 1 . 1 .. ll-n.lii.V ,. i, ,1 .. . , i n
r ......., r. .. ......
lolly, widened from one hundred feet
to ten times the original cut; widening
every day, with neither equipment nor
camp adeiiuate to push through a work
of half the original niacnllude. Cut
ting away, moreover, was the Island,
Disaster Island ; It had received apt
christening by the engineers, Its bap
tismal water the Colorado. The last
Hoods had played with It as though It
were n bar of sugar. There was no
rock at hand; no rock tm the wny, no
rock ordered. Culd anyone piece to
gether such recklessness?
Rlckard knew where he would get
his rock. Already he had requisitioned
the entire output of the Taena and
1'atagonlu quarries. He had ordered
steam shovels to he installed at the
quarry back of old Hamlin's. That
rock pit would bo ids first crutch, and
the gravel bed thut was a find! As
he paced the levee west of the towns.
he wu planning his campaign. Por
ter was scouring Znciiteeas for men ;
he himself had offered, ns halt, free
transportation; the ()'. I. he knew
would hack him. He was going to
throw out a spur-track from the Head
ing, touching at the quarry and gravel
pit, on to the main road at Yuma.
Double track most of the way; sidings
every three miles. Hock must bo
rushed; the trains must bo pushed
through. He Itched to begin. It never
Occurred to him that, like Hardin, he
"Though It's no pink tea," he told
himself, "It's no picnic." At Tucson
lie knew that the situation was a
grave one, but his talk with Brandon,
who knew his river as does a goisl In
dian, made the year a significant,
eventful one. Matt Hamlin, too, whoso
shrewd eyes had grown river-wise, he,
too, had hud tales to tell of the tricky
river. Muldomido, the half-breed, had
be that twollilrds ol' liN glib II ..iii
were false, yel a thrend of truth co
incident with the others, Itrnndon and
lliiuilln and Cor'nel, might be pulled
mil of his romantic fabric.
"When the waters of Hje fjlln run
red look mil for trouble!" lie doubt
ed that they ever ran red. lie would
ask Cor'nel. He had also spoken of
a cycle, known to Indians, of a hun
dredth year, when the Dragon grows
restless; ihls he had declared was a
Following bis talk with Mnklonndo
and the accidental happy chance meet
ing with Coronel at the Crossing Kick
nrd hnd written his first report to Toil
Marshnll. Hefnrn he had come to the
Mending lie had expected to advise
against the completion of the wooden
liendcatc at the Crossing. Hamlin
had given him a new viewpoint. There
was a fighting chance. And lie wanted
to be fair. Next to being sucecssiul
he wanted to he fair.
"It's time to be hearing from Mar
shall," Rlckard wiis thinking, as be
walked back tod hotel. "I wonder
what he will mm." lie felt It had
been fair to put it up to Marshnll j
i rsooally, he w.mld like to begin with
a dean slate begin ri;.''it. Clumsy
work had I n dona, It wnf. true, yet
there wt re urgent reasons now for
baste; and th gate was nearly half
done) lie li.ul cone carefully over
the situation. The heavy st,e Tall, BB
preeeileiiled for venrs, a hi,', 'red. BC
Cordlng to, the ladlrns on liie Wind
Hover ' lountrttrts the lake-, swollen
with Ice. the (ii'u restiesa, He- 'limner
floods yet I,, lie met ; perhlipH, he BOW
thought, he li.nl been orerfala in em
phasizing the arguments foi the head
gate, l-'or the hundred feet were now
a thousand feet yel he had spoken
of that to .Mai-shall: "Calculate for
yourself the difference In expense
since the Mond widened the break. It
is a vastly different problem now.
Disaster Island, which they figured on
for tnchnr, Is a mere pit of , rodlng
sugar In the channel, An Infxol Col
orado CfUld wash away. However,
n lot of Work has already I n done,
and a lot of money spent. There Is n
lighting chance. Perhaps the bad year
is all Indian talk."
A gin s. at beat, whatever they did I
It was purs gamble what the tricky
Colorado would do, Anyway, he had
given ihe whole situation to Marshall.
In Ills hox at the hotel was a li-lo-gram
Which had been sent over from
the ofllce-from Tod Marshall. "Take
the lighting chance. Hut remember to
speak more respectfully of Indians."
"Marshall all over," laughed his sub
ordinate. "Now It's a case of hustle I
Hut dollars to doughnuts, us Junior
says, we don't do It!"
had a picture of tortured, Iwl I
iron, iff ruined machinery, Hie inn
chliiery for bis dfedge, lie saw li lying
nice a spent Lanoaao, writhing in lis
last slruifgle. He hlauied himself for
leaving even such a small detail as the
hastening of the parts In Hardin's
(are, for Hardin wasn't (It to tin trust
ed for anything. No one could tell
hltn now" the man was unlucky ; he
wns a fool. A month wasted, end
days were precious. A month? Months.
Hardin's luck. Oh, belli
Then he began to speculate as he
cooled over the trouble up yonder. A
whole city burning? They would suro
ly get It under control. He began to
think of the Isolation ; the telegraph
wires all down. That might happen
anywhere! lie walked to the door
and looked thoughtfully at the cmn
puny's big witter tower. Thut wasn't
such a laid Ideal He picked up mr
lint, and went out.
The Wrong Man.
Mrs. Hardin heard from every
source but Ihe right one that lUekard
had returned. Kach time her tele
phone rung, It was Ills voice she ex
pected to heeir. She began to rend a
meaning Into his silence. Bba could
think of nothing alas than the strange
coincidence that had brought Iheir
lives Bgaln close. r wiis II II coinci
dence? That Idea sent her thoughts
She was thinking ton much of him,
for peuee of mind, those days of wait
ing, but the return of the old lover
bud made u wonderful break In her
Maldonado Had Confirmed Their Por.
confirmed their portents while they sat
together under his oleander, famous
throughout that section of the coun
try. And powerfully had Cor'nel, the
Indian wlio hud piloted K.st rutin's party
across the desert, whom Kiekard had
met nl Ihe Crossing, deeply had he im
pressed him. The river grew Into u
malevolent, mocking personality; he
could see it a dragon of yellow waters,
dragging lis slow, sluggish length
across I be baked desert sands; deceiv
ing men by Its Inertness; luring ihe
explorer by a mild mood to rise sud
denly with its wihi feiiow, the ii iii,
sending boat and lioiilmen to their
Rlckgrd w'as thinking of the half
breed, Maldonado, as he Inspected the
new streleh of levee between the
towns, lie him I -d from others be
sides Batrada of the river knowledge
of this descendant of trapper and
squaw, and had thought It worth while
to ride the twenty miles from down
the river to talk with him. The man's
suavity, his narrow silts of eyes, Hie
lips thin and facile, deep lines of cru
elty falling from them, had repelled
Ids visitor. The mystery of the place
followed him. Why the 'dobe wall
which completely surrounded tho
small, low dwellings? Why Ihe cau-
iinus admittance, Uta atmosphere of
suspicion? Rlckard hnd seen Hie wife,
u frightened simdow of a woman i hud
seen her tllnch when the brule called
for her. lie iiad questioned Cor'nel
abOlll the lialf-bieeil. He was leinem
beriiig llio-wrlnklcs of contempt on the
old Indian's face as he delivered hint
keif of an oracular grunt
"While man? No. Indian? No I
Coy,, I e I"
Though he suspected Mnldoniido
would lie on principle, though, it ijiltlil
Two days Inter there was a shock of
earthquake, so slight that the hipping
of the water in Hlckard's hath was bis
Intimation of the earth's uneii'-nii--.
In the dining room later be found ev
eryone discussing It. "Who could re
member an earthquake In that desert?"
"The flrst shake!"
During the morning, unfathered, ns
rumors are horn, the whisper of dis
aster somewhere spread. Their own
slight shock was the edge of the con
vulsion which had been serious else
where, no one knew quite where, or
why they knew it at all. The men
who were shoveling enrlli on the leveo
began to talk of Han I'rnncisco. Some
one said Hint morning that the city
was badly hurt. No one could confirm
the rumor, bul It grew with the duy.
Rlckard mel it nt tba ofBca lata in
Ihe BfterMOa. He went direct to the
telegraph operator's desk.
"(iel l.os Angeles, the ). I'. ollice.
And he ipilck about II."
In leu minutes he was Iel' In" to
Babcoi !.. liabcock said thut the duin-
uge by the earthquake to that city was
HOI known, but II was nine. San .lose
had confirmed it. Oakland had report
ed the Banies creeping up the ret I
dence kills or thai gay Wi .tern city.
Cinders were already falling in Ihe
Rlckard drooped tlui receiver.
Tom llardln emerged from a knot
of men who were talking In u corner
by the door.
"Where's that machinery V"
"what machinery f'
Rlckard saw the answer to his ques
tion In the other' luce.
"The dredge mmilner,v. Hid you
attend to lluil? Did ou send for If?"
"Mi, yes, that's all right. H'm all
"Is It here?"
Hardin attempted Jocularity, "I
didn't know as you wanted it bore. I
ordered It sent to Vunlii."
"Is It at Vuma?"
Hardin admitted that It was not yet
at Yuma; It would be there soon; he
had written; oh, It was all right.
"When did you write?"
llardln reddened under (he cate
chism of questions. lie resented he
lng held up before his men. The oth
ers felt Hie electricity in ihe air. llar
dln and his successor were glaring ut
each other like belligerents.
"I asked when did you write?"
"Yesterday!" Hlekard ripped out
an oulh. "Yesterday, Why at all, I'd
like to know? Did you understand
Hint you were ordered to get thut
here? Now. it's gone."
"ConcV" Tho others crowded up.
"San i'liincsleo's burning." lie
walked Into his Ii r office, mad clear
through, lie was not thinking or the
ruin of Ihe gay youtlg fit) ; no a
thought yel did he have r tin. humuu
tragedies enacting there; of homes,
lives, fortunaa swept i,it thut bugu
bonfire. As it affected the work al ihu
liver, Ihe first block in his cnmp.ii u,
the catasliophu eame home to him. lie
mr 7 JKSrfWjk mil I
J Jl -JI5sacSaC -" -BS I
if ' v eSRjfisLi8 as!''
swT utwULHSBBftSsu WbnR o'
I t 'J JVSMBBSBSSSfJBBBBB f,
each ilay lo Hie po itonice to r.re
It from lulling Into his hnn-l tj
gave It a quick offhand glance.
"Aout the drive, of coin i
per h getting cold. IOok at t lint (rta
letra, Don't wait to wash up. it,
he like leather."
When she hnd finished her mcid.
read tier letter Willi a fine show of I
difference. "He sets a date for
drive." Hhe put the letter cnrekl
Into her sicket before her huhn
could stretch out his hand. Ii wo
never do for Jealous Tom to read n,
Hut life I "Your letter was received two we
ago. rardon me for appearing to baa
forgotten your kindness."
"Tiie nerve," growieu Join H,
his mouth full of Oerty's omal
"To take you up on mi Invitation m(
that. I call that pretty row."
xou must reineinner we are sari
old friends," urged his wife,
knew I meant It seriously."
".lust tne same, it's nerve," (mi
hied llnrdlu, helping himself to m
herself. st the omelette, now a flat ruin In (j
It may center of the Canton platter. His
sentment find taken on an ciiea
hatred since the episode of the dre
machinery. "To write to anyone
my house! He knows what I thinki
him; an Ineffectual ass, that's whatl
Is. Hlumh ring around with his lilt
levees, and his fool work on the s
"The water tower?" demanded hj
sister. "What's be doing with thatf
"Oh, I don't know," rejoined 5fa
largely, his lips protruding. He
neen itcning to iisk some one &
Ricknrd was up to. Twice, he hi
H-cn mm go up, wltn Sluci.enn
Batrada. Once, there a large ilnrei
light. Hut he wouldn't ask 1 Some i
his fool tinkering!
(To be continued sext week.)
Those day of mlsprjwbefore she
convince hcr-eli thai sin- had been In
love with love, not with her fleeing
lover! llardln wu-t there, eager to be I
not Iced. That affair, she could see
now, bad lacked finesse.
Itlckard had certainly loved her, or
why bud In never iiinrrlcdV Why had
he left so abruptly hll boarding house
In midterm' Doesn't Jealousy confess
love? Some day, he .votil.'l tell her.
what a hideous mistake hers had
been! She ought not to have rushed
Into thai marriage. She knew now It
hnd always been Ihe other.
wns not finished, yet !
The date set for her summer
"widowhood" hnd come, but she lin
gered. Various reasons, splendid and
sacrificial, were given out. There was
much to be done.
"I wlh she would be definite," ln
nes' thoughts complained. Hhe was
restless to make her own plans. It
had not yet act nrred to her that Oerty
would stay In nil summer. Kor she
aver had so martyrised
"Some one must bo with Tom
spoil my trip. Hut Oerty never thinks
of thut." She believed It to bo n
simple matter of clothes. It always
took her weeks to get ready to go uny
wbdre. "But I won't wnit any longer than
next week. If :he does not go then, I
will. Absurd for us both to be here."
it wns already fiercely hot.
Oerty, meanwhile, had been wonder
ing bow she could suggest to her sls-ter-ln-law
that her trip be taken flrst.
Without ,i rousing suspicions! Ter
ribly loud In her curs sounded her
thoughts those days.
Her husband flung a letter on the
table one ovenlug. "A letter to you
She tried to make the fingers that
i rinsed over the letter move casually.
j Hho could feel them tremble. What
v. oimiI she say If Tom asked to see It? Chauncey Depew says that
It was addressed to her in her nus- ,lbnc speaking Is an sntldote ts
I hand's care. Hardin had found It at , o)(, ,t BOnletimeg teluU
i ineomce in nis man. Ana sue going
She Spent Most of Her Days at tho
life. Her eyes were brighter; her
smile was less forced. She spent most
of tier days at the sewing machine. A
lot of luce was whipped onto lingerie
frocks of pah- colors. She was u dis
ciple of an Kastern esthete. "Women,"
he had said, "should buy Ince, not by
the yard, but by Ihe mile,"
As her fingers worked among the
laces and soft mulls, her mind roved
down avenues that should have been
closed to her, a wife. She would have
protested, had anyone accused her of
Infidelity In those days, yet duy by day,
she was striiylnu' farther from her hus
luilid's slii,-. She COnVlnCSd herself
that Tom's gibes and Ill-humor wero
gelling harder lo endure.
It was Inevitable thai the woman of
harem training should relive the i aw-
rcuce days. The eiilully of tttOSS tWO
men, i, oil, ber buers, was pregnant
v ih romantic suggestion. The drama
of desert and river centered now in tin
story of Oerty Hurdln, Itlckard, who
had never married! The deduction,
: oi.ee unveiled, lost all lis shyness. And
ev.ry one saw mat be il, silked her bus
She knew now that she bad m-ve,
loved Tom. She hud turned to him in
those days ff pride when Rlckard'a
auger still held him aloof. Bow many
times had she gone over those unreal
I hours! Who could have known thai
his anger would last? That Imnr in
the honeysuckles; his kisses! None of
Hardin's rougher kisses bad swept her
memory of her exqulsile delight de
lirious as was her Joy, there was room
for triumph. She bad seen herself
clear of the noisy boarding house. er-
self, Oerty Holinae, the wife of a pro
fessor; able tO have the things she
Craved, tO have (ham openly; no longer
having tO scheme for them,
It was through Klckard's eyes that
she hud seen Ihe ihortCOmlngl of Ihu
college hoarding house. She had ac
quired a keen consciousness of those
quizzical eyes. When they had Isolated
her, at last, appealing lo her sympa
thy or amuse it, separating her
from all those boisterous students, Iier
dream of bliss had begun.
In these days, hIic had s i llardln
through tiie eyes of -he young Instruc
tor, younger by several years llnin his
pupil. Her thud of disappointed anger,
of dislike, when Ihe face of llanllu
peered through the leafy screen! To
have waited, prayed lor thai monienl,
and to have II spoiled like that ! There
bad been days when -he had wepl he
cause she had not shown her anger I
How could she know- lluil everything
would end Ihere ; end, Just beginning I
Her hnu'rdiug-housc training hud
tailglit her to ho civil, it was silll
vivid to her, her aiixhly, her ireinu-
lousneaa- with Hardlu talking forever
Of u play he hud Just seen ; Rlckard
growing siiiier, angrier, refusln
look nl llioe lips still warm with hll
And the nexl day, ;-ll!l angry Willi
beri Ah, Ihe puasled desolation of
Hume weeks before .-lie had IlllVed her
hull ; with pride, und then with love I
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t'tfprlna; l-vwr" and Common Heasa
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