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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 3, 1925)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THUR SDAY, DEC. 3, 1925.
Gaorg Ban McCutchaoa
Cspyrlflu. Ball Sndlcatt (WNU Ssnka)
CHAPTER I. Oliver October Baxter, Jr..
waa born on vile October day. Hit
parents were prominent In the commercial,
ocial and spiritual life of the town of
Rumley. His father waa proprietor of the
hardware tore. The night that Oliver Oc
tober waa born a sypsy queen readi hli
father's fortune and tells him what a won
derful future hi, son haa before him, but
after the reading, the rope become! angry
and leavea the houae in a rage after telling
Mr. Baxter that hit ion will never reach
the age of thirty, that he will be hanged
for a crime of which he ii not guilty.
QHAPTER II. Ten jreara elapae and 011-
ver'a father Ii the owner of a business
block in the town. Mrs. Baxter died when
Oliver waa Hearing seven. Josephine Sage,
wife of the minister, causea a sensation
when ah leaves Rumley to go on the stage.
She becomes a "star" and later goes to
London, where she scores a hit. Her daugh
ter Jane and young Oliver become greatly
attached to one another. After finishing
college, young Oliver accepts a position in
Chicago with an engineering company. He
goea to' China on an important mission for
his firm. Upon his return he enlists in the
fJHAPTER III. The war is over, Oliver
returns to Chicago and is told by his
employers that his services are no longer
required. He returns home. He hears Jane
is in (ova with Doctor Lansing. Jane and
Oliver meet again. Oliver is reprimanded
by hie father for not getting another posi
tion. Oliver threatens to leave home,
PnAPTER IV. Despite Mr. Baxter's
pleading to Oliver to remain In Rumley,
Oliver decides to accept a position in Chi
cago. Mr. Baxter accompaniea Oliver thru
a swamp on the way to the Sage home.
On the way they quarrel over Olivers re
fusal to stay in Rumley. Mr. Sage tells
Oliver his father fears the thing the gypsy
predicted and wants his son to stay home,
where he can watch over him. Oliver de
cides not to leave him. Mr. Baxter fails
to return home and is believed by some to
have perished In the swamp. Oliver tells
the authorities of the quarrel with his fa
ther, but they do not accuse bim of having
anything to do with his father's disappear
ance. Oliver takes charge of his father's
business. Three months remain of the last
year allotted to Oliver by the gypsy queen.
Uncle Horace Goooh announces himself as
a candidate for sLite senator. Friend start
a boom for young Oliver as candidate for
state senator against old man Gooch. Jane
forces Oliver to enter the race against his
f-JHAPTER V. Oliver employs ditch dig
gers to drain part of the swamp where
his father is supposed to have disappeared.
Mr. Gooch's campaign managers urge him
to withdraw from the race for senator, as
they realise that Oliver is the most popular
candidate. Mr. Gooch refuses to quit. Rev
erend Sage la happy when his actreas-wife
cables him that she is sailing for home.
Mr. Sage and his daughter go to New York
to meet her. Mr. Gooch, convinced he
would lose the election to Oliver, plans to
try and intimidate him by demanding a
thorough investigation into the disappear
ance of Oliver's father.
PHAPTER VI. Hundreds of persons are
at the depot in Rumley to greet Mrs.
Josephine Sage after an absence of 23
.years. Jane notices piiver is not in the
throng at the station and is told by Sammy
Parr that something of a political nature
must have kept him away. Oliver goes to
the Sage home.
fJHAPTER VII. The sheriff unwillingly
serves papers on Oliver after the prose
cutor refused to lay the matter of Mr. Bax
ter's disaptwarance before the grand Jury
as requested by old msn Gooch. but accedes
to his demand for an unofficial investiga
tion. A few hotheads in the town talk of
tar and feathers for Mr. Gooch. The de
tectives start digging in the swmp for Mr.
Baxter's body .
It was the fourth week in Septem
ber when the detectives arrived in
Rumley. The city editor of the Dis
patch interviewed Detective Malone,
the chief operative in charge of what
the newspaper man was jocosely in
clined to classify as the "expedition,"
'.'Where do you Intend to begin
excavating, Mr. Malone?" inquired
the editor, notebook in hand.
Mr. Malone was very trunk about
It. "In China," said he. "We're go
ing to work from the bottom up. If
you'll go out to the swamp tomorrow
and put your ear to the ground you'll
hear men's voices but you won't un
derstand a word they say. They'll be
The editor eyed him in a cold, in
imical manner. "Umpht" he grunted,
flopping his notebook shut. "It's a
good thing you've got your Chinese
army, because you won't be able to get
anybody to work for you In this
. town." '
"I guess that's up to the authori
ties," said the other coolly. "I'm
here to boss the job, that's all."
That afternoon the sheriff and the
prosecuting attorney stopped elec
tioneering long enough to pay a hasty
visit to Oliver.
Hnlf an hour later they left. De
tective Malone and his partner, who
had joined the county officials at the
Baxter house, remained behind. They
were smoking Olivers cigars.
"How long do you figure it will
take you, Mr. Malone, to finish up the
Job?" inquired the young man,
Malone squinted at the tree-tops,
"Our instructions are to work slowly
and surely it may take six or eight
"In other words, you aro not ex
pected to be through before election
"Unless we find what we are after
before that time, Mr. Baxter," said
the other. "It's a big job, as you
can see for yourself. Like looking
for a needle in a haystack, eh, Char
His partner nodded his head in at
, "We'll go out and tako a walk
around the swamp tomorrow," said
Malone. "If you've got the time to
spate, Mr. Bax'ter, you might stroll
out with us now to the place where
you last saw your father. Then I'll
want to question your sevants. It
seems that he Is supposed to have
come home to chnnge clothes after he
said good-by to you."
"Ho did not say good-by to me,"
corroctod Oliver, "We parted in an
"Do you know a man named Peter
Hlnes, Mr. Baxter?" asked Malone
"Pete Hlnes? Certainly. Ha Is
tenant of my father's. Lives in a
shack up at the other end of the
swamp. He has don odd jobs for us
since I can remember. He also does
most of the drinking for the estate,"
ne concluded dryly.
A souse, eh?"
'I've never known him to be com
pletely sober and I've never heard
of him being completely drunk."
By the way, have you ever seen
me before today?"
Not to my knowledge."
Well," said Malone, with a twinkle
in his eye. "I've been hanging around
this burg since last Monday five
days in jlII. I'm the fellow that sold
Mra. Grimes the beautiful illustrated
set of Jane Austin's works day before
yesterday. I also sold an unexpur
gated set of the Arabian Nights to
Mr. Samuel Parr. He tells me your
father carried a $15,000 life policy.
I tried to sell a set of Dickens to Rev.
r. Sage, and succeeded in having a
long talk with his daughter. I've had
dealings with Mr. Sikes and Mr. Link,
Banker Lansing, John Phillips and a
number of other citizens, male and
female." He laughed quietly. "Of
course, the books will never be de
livered, Mr. Baxter. Shall we stroll
down to the swamp, Mr. Baxter, or
would you rather wait a day or two?
We re in no hurry, you see."
This is obvious, said Oliver, curt
ly. "I must notify you, Mr. Malcne,
that if you or any of your workmen
slip into one of those pits of mire out
there and never come up again, I am
not to be held accountable."
'Right-o!" said Malone cheerily.
They were well around the corner of
the house on their way to the swamp
road before Oliver spoke again.
You are at liberty to go as far out
as you please, Mr. Malone."
I shall," said Malone crisply. "I
am an old hand at' this business. I
don't believe such things exist as a
bottomless pit. Now, just where was
it that you and you father parted
company that night? As I understand
it, you and he sat for some time on
that log there. It was a clear night
and the road was very dusty. There
had been no rain in over three weeks.
Am I right?"
Oliver stared at him in amazement.
The other detective had turned down
the slope and was striding off toward
the nearest ditch.
"You seem to be pretty well posted,"
said Oliver, his eyes narrowing.
Well, I am an inquisitive sort of
cuss," drawled Malone, "And I'm not
what you'd call an idle person."
"Who told you we were sitting on
that log. We did sit there for ten
or fifteen minutes. That was before
we began to quarrel. Then we got
up and walked on a little farther,
down the road. We stood there argu-
ng for nearly half an hour. But who
told you we sat on that log?"
"If you don't mind, I'll not answer
that question," said Malone.
"You asked me a while ago if I
had seen Pete Hines that night. Was
it Peter Hines?"
Malone hesitated. "Well, it was
Pete Hines who is supposed to have
seen you, Mr. Baxter, but it was not
he who told me about it."
A Blow for Sammy
MALONE changed the subject ab
ruptly. "That's a great fish
story they tell about the gypsy
prophesying you'd bo hung before you
"If you will excuse me, Mr. Ma
lone, I must be getting back to the
house. It's nearly seven o'clock, and
1 am expecting people to dino with
me," said Oliver a little coldly.
I'm sorry I've detained you," said
tho detective apologetically. "I'll
stroll back with you, if you don't
"Where is your partner?" inquired
Oliver, looking out over the swamp.
Charlie? Oh, he'll be along di
rectly. Ho is seeing about how long
It would take a man to walk out to
the edge of the mire and back," said
Oliver looked at him sharply. "So
that's the idea, eh?" he remarked,
after a moment.
We intend to conduct this inves
tigation in an open and above-board
manner, Mr. Baxter,"
And I shall be open and above
board with you, Mr. Malone," said
Oliver, a trace of irony in his voice.
"I hope, therefore, that you won't
take it amiss if I suggest that the
sensible thing for your man to do
would be to make his calculations at
night, when progress would naturally
be a great deal slower and infinitely
"I've taken that into account," an
nounced the detective, looking
straight ahead. "1 was about to gay
that it's going to take a good deal of
tight squeezing, Mr. Baxter, to get
you indicted, tried and executed in
side of the next thirty dnys. The
time is pretty short, eh?" He laugh
Oliver turned on him. "I ll knock
your d d head off, Malone, if you
make any more cracks like that. Re
member that, will you?" he cried
Malone was genuinely surprised
He went very red in the face.
"Yes." he said thickly. "I'll be
sure to remember It."
Oliver apologized to Malone as they
were on the point of separating in
front of the home. They had traver
sed the hundred yards or more In si
"I'm sorry I spoke to you as I did,
Mr. Malone, I hope you overlook it.
Malone held out his hand. "I'vo
been spoken to a good bit rougher
than that In my time, Mr. Baxter,
and never turned a hair," he said
good-naturedly. "I don't blame you
for calling me down. I guess I was
fresh. But I assure you I didn't
mean to be."
A little Inter on Oliver sat on his
front porch, waiting for his guests
to arrive. Mrs. Grimes, in her snug
fitting black silk dress, rocked im
patiently nearby, Tho guests were
"It's Josephine Snge," she observ
ed crossly, breaking a long silence,
"Sho's the one that's making 'em late."
Ho looked at his watch. "It's only
7:')0, Aunt Sereptn. I've been losing
my temper again," he said gloomily.
"Probably made an enemy of that
"What difference does that make?
He's not a votor in this county," said
the old lndy composodly. "Here thoy
come. Goodness! The way that Parr
boy drives! He ought to be locked
up for "
But Oliver was at the bottom of
the steps waiting for the automo
bile. It swung around the curve in
the drive and came to an unbelier-
ably gentle stop.
"The best trained automobile in
America," said Sammy, with his cus
tomary modestyr "Kindness is what
"So sorry to be late," said Mrs.
Sage, as Oliver ceremoniously hand
ed her out of the ear.
"What is that I hera, Oliver?" said
the minister as he stepped out of the
ear. Jane and Mrs. Sammy had pre
ceded him. "Is it true the detectives
are here and expect to start that rid
iculous search tomorrow?"
"They're here, all right," replied
Oliver. "One of them tried to soil
you a set of Dickens the other day."
"What!" cried Jane, gripping Oli
ver's arm. "What, that man a de
tective?" She was startled.
"No less a person thanMr. Sher
lock Hawkshaw Malone, the renowned
sleuth," said Oliver, smilinp.
"At any rate," said Mr. Sage com
placently,, "he did not succeed in sell
ing us a set of Dickens.'
Jane started to say something, but,
instead, abruptly turned away and
joined the other women on the porch.
A queer little chill of misgiving stole
"Hey, Oliver!" called out Sammy
from down the drive where he ws
parking the car. "Come here a min
ute, will you? Say," he went on,
lowering his voice as Oliver came
up. "I've just picked up something
rich. Fellow came in day before yes
terday and showed me a volume of
the 'Arabian Nights,' absolutely un
"I know. And you fell for it, didn't
"Sh! Not so loud. My wife doesn't
know a thing about it. But say, who
told you about it?"
Then Oliver told him. Sammy
leaned against the mudguard and
"Say, I wish I could remember
what I said to the guy about about
your father. Lord, he had mo talk
ing a blue streak. Darn my . fool
eyes! You'd thnik I'd have sense
enough to Oh well, go ahead and
kick me, Ollie, right here. Just as
hard as you like."
"Come on. They're waiting for us.
You needn't worry, old boy."
Sammy and Oliver entered the sit
ting room. Mrs. Sage was standing
almost directly under the chandelier,
talking to dumpy Mrs. Grimes, who
nevertheless bravely stood her ground
and faced comparison with all the
hardihood of the righteous.
Mr. Sage, with a distinctly bewil
dered and somewhat embarrassed ex
pression keepnig company with the
proud and doting smile that seemed
to be stamped upon his lean visage,
stood across the room with his daugh
ter and Mrs. Sammy.
'Do you mean to tell me, Oliver,
that thone blighters intend to begin
digging up your place tomorrow?"
Josephine asked incredulously.
Oliver laughed. "I think we'll all
rather enjoy the excitement. Aunt
Josephine," he said. "I suppose they'll
begin prying up the kitchen floor to
morrow, or digging trenches in the
cellar, or tearing up the flowerbeds."
She looked at him narrowly.
What utter rot! Do they expect to
find your father buried in the cel
lar or under the kitchen floor?"
"They don't expect to find him at
all," replied Oliver, with uninten
He glanced over his shoulder at
Jane. Their eyes met and their gar.e
held for some seconds. He detected
the clouded, troubled look in hers
and was suddenly conscious of what
must have seemed to her a serious
intensity in his own. He knew that
he was in love that he always had
been in love with Jane, that he al
ways would be In love with her. He
compressed his lips and fought
against the strange, mad impulse to
shout that he was in love with her,
that she was his all his and that
no man should take her way from
And she? She was thinking of
that dry, hot night when he came
to see her, after leaving his father,
out of breath, his shoes covered with
fresh black mud. There had been no
rain for weeks. The roads were thick
with dust. And Lansing, too, had
noticed that his shoes were muddy
Ho had spoken to her about them, he
had wondered where Oliver had been
to get into mud up to his shoe topsl
And she, herself, had never ceased
Oliver was Btrangely restless dur
ing the dinner, and immediately after
the company rose from the table at
its conculsion he asked Jane to come
with him for a little stroll in the
"I want to speak to you about some'
thing," he urged. "Better throw some
thing over your shoulders. The night
"Ought you to go off and lcavo the
others, Oliver?" she began, a queer
little catch, as of alarm, in her voice,
"Muriel and Sammy "
"Come along," he pleaded. "They
won't mind. I must see you alone
for a few minutes, Jane."
"I will gc my wrap," she said,
after a moment's hesitation. "It may
bo chilly outsido."
"Why, you're shivering now, Janie,"
he whisporcd anxiously as ho threw
her wrap over her shoulders, "Are
She did not reply. Ho followed
her out on tho porch and down tho
steps. No word passed between them
until they had turned tho bend in
tho drive and were outsido tho radius
of light shed from the windows. He
was the first to speak.
"See hero, Jane," ho blurted out.
"I m I'm terribly troubled and up
set." That was as far as he got,
speech seemed to fail him.
She laid her hand on his nrm.
"Is It about about the detective,
Oliver?" she asked tremulously.
"No," ho answered, almost roughly,
"It's about you, Jano. You've just
got to answer mo, Aro yon going to
"Yes," she said, her volco so low
ho could scarcoly hear the monosyl'
They walked in sllonce for twenty
paces or more, turning down the path
that led to the swamp road,
"I I waa afraid so," he muttered.
Then fiercely: "Who are you going
She sighed. "I fcm going to marry
the first man who asks me," she re-,
plied and, having cast the die, was
instantly mistress of herself. "Have
you any objections?" she asked, al
If he heard the question he paid
no -heed to it. She felt the muscles
of his strong forearm grow taut, and
she heard the quick intake of his
breath. She waited. She began to
hum a vagrant air. It seemed an
age to ber before ho spoke.
"Jane," he said gently and steadily,
"if you were a man in my place I
mean in my predicament would you
go so far as to ask the girl you love
better than anything else in the
world to marry you?"
"There couldn't be any harm in
asking her. She could refuse you,
'There's the gypsy's prophecy," he
murmured thickly. "It it may come
"It it cannot come true," she
said. "It cannot, Oliver."
"Still, it is something to bo con
sidered," he said heavily and judi
cially. His hand closed over hers
and gripped tightly. "If you were
in my place would you hesitate about
inviting her to to become a widow?"
Oh, I love you, Oliver, when your
voice sounds as if it had a laugh in
it," she whispered.
'In a month I will be thirty," he
went on, his heart as light as air. "I
might ask her to give me a thirty
day option, or something like that."
He pressed her arm to his side, and
was serious when he spoke again,
after a moment's pause.
'I have neevr asked a girl to
marry me, Jane.- Never in all my
life. Do you know why?"
She buried her face against his
shoulder. A vast, overwhelming thiill
raced through him. His arms went
about her, and drew her close.
'I never realized it, Jane I never
even thought of it till just a little
while ago but now I know that I
have always loved you."
Her arm stole up about his neck,
she raised her chin.
'I began calling myself your wife,
Oliver, when I was a very little girl
when we first began playing house
together, and you were my husband
and the dolls were our children."
He kissed her rapturously. "Oh,
my God!" he burst out. "YouH never
know how miserable I have been
these last few weeks how horribly
jealous I've been."
She stroked his cheek possessive
ly. "I haven't been very happy my
self,'! she sighed. "I I wasn't quite
sure you would ever, ever ask me to
be your wife."
That Teminds me," he cried boy-
fchly. "Will you marry me. Miss
"Of course I will. Didn't I say I
would marry the first what was
As she uttered the exclamation un
der her breath, she drew away from
him quickly, looking over her shoul
der at the thick, shadowy underbrush
(Continued on Page Six)
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