1 7z& Elk C r ") 8YN0PSI8. 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 Bcrean !" 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 Hat." 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- EDNAH AIKEN J 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 might full. "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 hundredth year. 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. CHAPTER XIII. 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 far nlleid. 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 CHAPTER XII. Maldonado Had Confirmed Their Por. tents. 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 swift doom. 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 Hardin's Luck. 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 transbay town. Rlckard drooped tlui receiver. "Where's Hardin'" 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 right" "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?" "Yesterduy." "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 ter tower." "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 from Casey." 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 tho hearers, to tfJ though. She Spent Most of Her Days at tho Sewing Machine. 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 ! band! 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 i T7M0& WLm Lf d"7g "ljjaT rww ta m i m su '. atgay A4v71sP it " LLwmilK Of fi i iSteer Into Us if you want graduate mechanics to keep your auto up to snuff and out of trouble. . We get on our knees to work on your car. And our brains and hands deal out results that will satisfy you. Thai kind of treatment brings us business. Dependable Vulcanizing We are equipped with standard Vulcanizers and with men who know how to use them. 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