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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (July 21, 1927)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, JULY 21, 1927.
Michael J. Phillips
Illustrations' by Henry Jy Lea
Copyrijht Mickal V. Phillip
Released thru IVblishsrs Autocutsr 6rvlo
The Leading Characters,
EDISON FORBES, a youne resi
dent of Scottdale, goea on a little joy
ride with another young fellow. Some
liquor is consumed. They are stopped
suddenly by the sight of a booze truck
SCOTTSLIBBEY, a worthless char
acter, who has smashed his machine
into another car, killing its lone oc
cupant, a womi. Forbes' companion
and Libbey quit the scene hurriedly,
leaving the former alone to face a
constable who reasons that Eddie
with the BCent of whiskey about him,
must be connected in some way with
the accident. Accordingly Forbes is
A Doubting Wife
It was his own wife, Patsy Jane
Forbes, who first gave expression in
his hearing to the doubt of Edison's
story a doubt which hung over the
community like miasma from a swamp
in the succeeding days. Scotts Libbey
was not captured the night of the
tragedy. He slipped through the tel
ephone dragnet. No one had seen
him ; nor was trace of him found
Edison spent the night in the crun
ty jail. He was formally charged.
next morning, with manslaughter for
causing the death of Mrs. Maria
Knowles, the collision victim. Bail
was arranged and he was released.
He stopped at the ice and coal office
of Sam Hilton, where he was em
ployed as office manager, to explain
hisvtardiness before going on home.
He found that news of his arrest
was before him. Hilton, a grim,
narrow-faced man of sixty, prayed at
each Wednesday evening's prayer
meeting for the confusion of booze
and its supporters. He felU to bol
ster up his prayers with what he con
sidered good works, that he must dis
charge Edison. And he did so.
Forbes went on home. In the little ' at parties and dances.
his own accord. He has a good job;
he stands high here. It would be
awfully hard on his people. And
really, I'm to blame "
Patsy Jane let go his hand. "Oh,
indeed!" she commenced coldly. "He
does stand high, does he? And of
course you're being under arrest and
losing your job isn't hard on me!
You owe me something at home, don't
But he shook hia head, stubbornly.
"I can't do it, Pat. I've thought it
all over. In a way I'm responsible
for that woman's death. If I hadn't
persuaded Libbey to break into a
case at Burley, he might have not
gotten drunk. Don't you see? And
if, when this chap offered me a ride,
I had asked him to take l.ie h imo,
he would have done it. That's a!l
there would have been to it. Hut I
didn't. It's like pushing over a line
of dominoes. I gave the jhove, and
it's up to me to stand the gaff alor.e
Unless, of course, he offers to
help. That'll be different."
He could feel her stiffening with
resentment, and something lese. She
rose and began clearing away the
dishes. "It it almost looks as though
there might have been something dis
honorable," she murmured.
He knew what she meant, and
flushed. They had been married only
a year. Previous to her coming to
Scottdale with her father and step
mother to reside, he had been tacitly
engaged to Nance Encell, daughter of
the town's richest man. But Nance
was headstrong and highspnited.
They quarreled frequently and vio
lently. After one of the quarrels he
met, fell in love with Patsy Jane
and married her, all within the space
of three months.
Nance was one of the first to call
after they were settled in the little
white house. There was a good-hu
mored air of "let bygones be bygones"
on the surface, but, seemingly, a lurk
ing imp of malice beneath. She show
ed open favor for her old sweetheart
In a scathing arraignment
that lasted for 20 minutes
judge Randolph Parsons
sentenced Edison Forbes
to from five to fifteen
years in the state peniten
tiary at Jackson.
III 1 1 1 1
keep the faith, no matter what hap
pens next week or next year. Besides,
I really don't need your help. No
jury would convict on such flimsy evi
dence." He was curiously mistaken in this.
He failed to take into consideration
many elements which combined to
work against him with what appeared
to be personal malignancy. Mrs.
Knowles, the woman who had been
crushed to death, was admired and
respected in the community. Her life
had been a long struggle against
odds, which she had overcome with
noteworthy patience and industry.
It has been suspected for some time
that Scottdale was on the main booze
route between Canadian ports and
Detroit and Chicago. Furthermore,
there were hints that peace officers
were being subsidized to look the
other way when the trucks slipped
through in the night. This was keen
ly resented. The town had been dry
for years before the passage of the
Eighteenth Amendment, and the nu
merous violations had aroused public
Eddie Forbes had been popular. But
now that he was under arrest for a
mishap due to liquor, it was recalled
that he had been drunk with more or
less frequency in the past. Repudia
tion by his employer, a man of in
fluence, had done much to turn the
community against him.
The trial overwhelmed him like a
landslide. The prosecution produced
witnesses to prove that he had been
seen sitting alone on the truck, on the
main street of Burley, less than two
hours before the accident. This was
while Scotts Libbey conducted the
wretchedly ill Barney Oik to the Bur
ley House a short distance away. But
Harney had entered the hotel alone.
Hearing of the accident, he disap
peared next morning before he could
No one had noticed Forbes' com
panion and the latter's car on the ex
pedition to Burley. This was because
Eddie had left them on a side street
while he skirmished the liquor. Noth
ing could be found to substantiate his
story that the missing Scoots was re
sponsible for the accident. There was
little to connect Libbey with the
truck. There was a Mackinaw coat
on the driver's seat. In one of the
pockets was a partly-emptied bottle
of liquor. The cargo was intact ex
cept for one case which had been
opened, and from which two bottles
had been taken.
The prosecution argued that Barney
Oik was the driver and sole attend
ant. That he had broken into the
case and abstracted the bottle which
was found in the Mackinaw. That the
coat belonged to him. That he had
become sick by reason of overindul
gence and stayed at Burley. And that
hoibes had volunteered to take the
truck on to its destination. The next
step in the hypothesis was that Eddie
had also helped himself to the liquor
between Burley and Scottdale. That
he had become drunk, he could not
manage the truck, and the accident
Eddie was on the stand in his own
defense. But he did not help his case.
He told his story strictly in accord
ance with the truth. He steadfastly
refused to give any hint of the identi
ty of the person with him in the car.
The sheriff had tried to prove up by
a search for distinguishing tiremarks
in the narrow lane leading from the
river road to the highway. But as
so many cars had followed the route
to the accident no evidence was forth
coming. Into the minds of the judge, the
jury and the spectators seeped the
belief that the Btory he told was, in
the main particulars false. They
reasoned that the prosecutor's theory
must be the correct one. In the cold
light of day his Quixotic defense of
another, even at the possible expense
of his own freedom, did not seem
They went a step further. " If, by
any chance he was telling the truth
he had an unworthy motive, and not
a worthy one, for keeping the name
of his companion a secret. His court
ship of Nance Encell was remem
bered. Their friendliness since his
marriage, innocent though it was, had
been a subject of comment in town.
So was the next step in their minds
if he wasn t driving the truck, then
he was joyriding around with that
Encell girl while his poor little wife
was at home.
The jury brought in a verdict of
"Guilty." Interpreted, it really meant
Guilty on appearances and general
principles." In a scathing arraign
ment that lasted for 20 minutes, Judge
Randolph Parsons sentenced Edison
Forbes to from 5 to 15 years in the
state penitentiary at Jackson.
Edison made the few hours' trip to
the prison city in a daze of misery.
The deputy sheriff in whose charge he
was, Linus Beal, was a schooitime
fiiond. He sympathized deeply with
the prisoner and respected his tragic
bewildeiment. He did not insist on
sitting with Edison. He realized that
his prisoner preferred to be alone.
The outstanding thought in Edison's
mind was that he hud been a fool, a
crackbrained, overgenerous fool, in
protecting one who could not be saved
by protection. And one who did not
appreciate hissacrifice. The coward
ly note the morning after the accident
proved that. So did the young man's
avoidance of him since his arrest.
His thoughts ran: "If I'd have known
they'd convict me, I would have told
who was with me."
The train puffed into Jackson. Beal
signaled a taxicab. They were driven
to the , prison whose sinister walls
towered above the railway tracks.
Edison shuddered as they passed
within the gateway of discolored gray
stone. The whole place seemed to
recover slowly from the recent siege
of wet weather. There were puddles
in the worn flags of the foot walk.
The ivy dripped as it clung to the
cold stone barriers.- There was the
same cold dampness in the prison
office, and a strong smell of ilisin
fectants, both depressing and degrad
Linus received a receipt for his
prisoner and went away after a silent
handclasp. His mouth twitched with
emotion, so that he dared attempt
no word, the clerk in charge had
barely started on Edison's pedigree
when the warden entered.
"Never mind, Jerry," he said to the
clerk. And then to Edison: "You're
Forbe of Seottdale?"
( Continued next week)
Good harvest cook and husband
want position. Husband can help in
kitchen or do other light work. In
quire Mrs. M. L. Oney.
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and spring range and summer permit
on Malheur forest. Can giva tims on
land. Address, or call on F. L. Officer,
Dayville, Oregon. 12-25.
H. M. Olden and Claud Huston took
out a new Wood Bros, thresher Sat
urday which they will use in thresh
ing the crops on their farms. Thejr
expected to begin the harvest this
Get the Money
Key. b. H. Divine, liantist mm
Isti-r of Bloomineton. 111., who has
conducted campaigns for 13 years
id nuance more than 400 m H.
western churches and for a total
of .10 million dollars
white-painted house which they rent
ed on Scottdale's second-best street,
Patsy Jane cried over her hurband
and petted him. The jail breakfast
had not been palatublc; she made
coffee and cooked eggs and bacon.
With the boyish smile and frank sim
plicity which were his chiefest charms
Eddie told her the story of the pre
"Now you go ahead and walk over
me, Pat," he concluded. "For I cer
tainly deserve it. I've acted like a
fool and I've lost my job, all on ac
count of a bottle of hootch. But be
fore you start I want to tell you that
I'm done, through, completed, finis.
No more booze for mine. I'm off the
stuff for life. When T saw what it
did last night it opened my eyes, 1
can tell you. Oh, I know I've said all
this before. But this time I mean it.
I'm done; that's all."
"You didn't say who was with you,
Eddie," was her comment.
"No, I didn't, Pnt," he replied. "I'm
not going to tell anyone."
She looked at him in surprise. "But
at the triul you'll have to, won't you?"
"Not if I don't want to; and I
"Well, it's like this," ho began,
shamefaced and Mushing. He was
about to confess a determination to
do a generous thing, and it embar
rassed him. "The fellow who was
with me wasn't one of my particular
cronies, Pat. He has a good job. He
doesn't take a drink once in six
"I didn't intend to go to Burley last
night. I was headed home after get
ting a balance on the month's busi
ness. But there was a smell of spring
in the air. It was moonlight. I was
tired out; 1'vo been working extra
hard for six or eight weeks. This
fellow drove along and the idea pop
ped into my head from nowhere to go
hunt a drink. When ho offered me a
lift I puk it up to him. He , well,
he sort of acted on impulse the way
I did. The first thing we knew, we
wore on our way to Hurley."
"I know, Eddie." The wife Bhook
with tonder impatience the hand she
was fondling. "But he's free, white
and twenty-one, isn't ho? lie's able
to boar his share of the responsibility,
isn't he? Why, you may have to go
to jail unless you tell. Or he does."
He smiled tolerantly. "Oh, no, I
won't. But he must come forward of
She came and went as she pleased.
She had her own car. Its powerful
motor was frequently henrd roaring
at unconventional hours along Scott
dale's quiet streets. It might look,
thought Eddie, moodily, after he had
kissed his wife goodbye and startid
downtown, that he had been out rid
ing with Nance last night and was
concealing the fact. Well, if Patsy
Jane was silly enough to believe that,
let her. He would keep silent as to
who his companion was. That was
the only square, decent thing to do.
Of course, if that companion chose
to come forward voluntarily, the com
plications would be smoothed out.
He hud left the bock in which his
home was situated when he met a
small boy on a bicycle. The boy dis
mounted, handed him a plain white
envelope on which was typewritten
only Forbes' name, and rode olT ngain.
He tore it open curiously. There was
H half sheet of paper inside. There
were a few words, also in typewriting,
upon it. He read:
"For God's sake, Eddie, stand by me.
If you tell about last night I will be
disgraced. It will break my people's
hearts." There was neither saluta
tion nor signature.
Ho tore the note into small pieces
as he walked nlong and allowed them
to sift into the new grass. He was
contemptuous, but the appeal streng
thened his determination to protect
the weak youth. "If I don't do it, he'll
just about go to the dogs," thought
For his companion was not of the
stuff of which martyrs are fashioned.
He was easily led, easily oppressed
by disapproval. He was of the type
whose face registers with hangdog
faithfulness for days the record of a
few hours' dissipation, "Well, you're
ft weak sister, kill," he summed up,
"which is all the more reason I have
to stand by you. If 1 told, your
father would probably kick you out;
they'd tire you down nt the office,
just the way I was fired by old Sam.
You'd slink away to the big town and
be a bum."
"Oh, I know if I save you this
time you'll probably stub your toe
sooner or later, anyway. Hut that's
not my affair. I won't be to blame.
I have my course mapped out. I must
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Heppner Bclllk Oregon
SUMMER EXCURSION FARES
IN EFFECT MAY 22 TO SEPT. 30
RETURN LIMIT OCTOBER31, 1927
ROUND TRIP TO
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DES MOINES 81.es
ST. LOUIS 85.60
A I LAN ! A 121.6S
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