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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 18, 1927)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 1927.
Michael J. Phillips
Illustration by Henry Jy Lee
Copyright Michael V. Phillip
Released thru Publishers Autooutar 6rvlce
The Leading Characters,
SCOOTS LIB BEY, a worthless char
acter, who has smashed his machine
into another car, killing its lone occu
pant, a woman, rorbes companion
and Libbey quit the scene hurriedly,
leaving; the former alone to face
constable who reasons that Eddie,
with the scent of whiskey about him,
must be connected in some way with
the accident. Accordingly Forbes is
EDISON FORBES, a young resident
of Scottdale with an inherent crav
ing for liquor, is held for the death
of a woman who has been killed by
a bootlegging truck. Circumstantial
evidence points to Forbes and rather
than tell the truth of the epUode,
which would clear him but cast an
other friend in a bad light, he stands
trial and is sentenced to a long term
in prison. The governor of the state,
an old friend of Eddie's father, be
lieves him innocent and pardons him
shortly after his arrival at the jail.
Back in Scottdale he and
PATSY JANE, Eddie's pretty wife,
agree that public sentiment runs too
high against him. Accordingly they
migrate up north to some land that
has been in the family for years. Set
tled in their log cabin
ISAIAH SEALMAN, a neighbor,
pays the Forbes a visit and intimates
that there are some back taxes for
the young couple to pay. Sealman
offers to give Eddie a job after he
goes down to Long Portage, a nearby
town, and learns about the taxes.
The next day while walking about
their property they discover a mys
terious mound that contains out
crops similar to salt. At the tax of
fice Forbes learns that the back taxes
amount to over eight hundred dollars
and that the certificates are held by a
Chicago capitalist who is eager to
obtain the property. Eddie has five
months to pay. A few days later he
helps a booze truck out of the mud
bnd is presented with a bottle of
whiskey which he hides before walk
ing over to interview Sealman.
Not finding him in, Eddie imbibes
too freely of his liquor and as a re
sult Patsy warns him that the next
occurrence of a similar nature will
result in her depurtui ,. Seilman
hears of the trip to the tax office and
makes a generous offer for their
place, but Eddie, scenting something
in the air, declines. Sealman refuses
him work and several weeks puss.
Then one day, Eddie's resolves weak
ens and he accepts a ride aboard an
other liquor truck. He drinks heavily.
Eddie lay for many hours in a stu
por so profound it was deathlike. For
other hours he was in a delirium shot
through with the misery of real ill
ness. His head ached. His flesh pro
tested as though it were being torn
from his bones. The bones them
selves seemed packed with pain. He
was immured in a violently-moving
hell which screeched and clattered be
neath him, and tossed him unfeeling
It was early night of the second
day before consciousness returned.
He was very weak, and his head
throbbed violently. He was able after
many attempts to sit up, bracing him
self against a wall or partition while
he groped in the maze that netted
First, he was in darkness, clangor
ous and complete. Second, he was in
a. railway freight enr in full motion.
How he got there he could not recall.
Think as he would, his head between
his hands, he could remember noth
ing after the first drink on the rum
cruiser. It was a long time before he could
stand up. His trembling fingers re
vealed that he was prisoned in a nar
row space running between the two
doors in the center of the car. There
were cross wise partitions holding in
place a cargo that pounded and rasped
with the motion of the train. Fur
ther explorations told him the cargo
was hardened bolts about four feet in
He tried the two doors. Ho was
able to slide each of them a little
way. He could not open them, be
cause they were sealed. It was ap
parent that they were now in the out
skirts of a most ideal railroad center.
Pencils of twilight from successive
strectlamps pierced the darkness of
the prison flcetingly. The train rat
tled interminably over switchpoints.
The droning sound of their progress
proved that long lines of cars par
alleled them on sidings.
Resolution overcame weakness. He
had to get out! He crawled up the
partition on his eft. There was space
for his body between the topmost lay
er of bolts and the car roof. He wrig
gled forward, toward the little door,
high up, in the end of the car.
He found It, but it, too, was locked.
He could not budge it. He inched
backward to the center of the car,
crossed the open space, and mounted
the other partition to the piles of
timber in the rear half. These tiers
were not piled so high. He was soon
examining the rear end door. It was
fastened, but Beemed weak. He found
a slender bolt which could be han
dled as a battering-ram.
Half-sitting, half-crouching, he
drove It against the little door which
had been cracked across in the past
by shifting cargoes. Soon he had
broken away two of the boards com
posing it, so that he could rench out,
twist off the seal and remove the hasp,
The door slid back easily.
He was free. But another problem
presented Itself. The train puffed
steadily onward. The wheels made
evil noises on the many curves, and
the cars leaned sharply to tha new
direction. How could he, in his weak
ened condition, crawl out the narrow
doorway, find the grab-irons and de
scend them in safety? He was sure
to fall between the cars and be ground
Fortune Inclined to him in friendly
fashion. There was a long whistle
the train slowed, stopped. He could
hear a blast from the locomotive, and
the men calling to one nother. The
train was standing by a long freight
shed, whose platform was illuminated
by many arc-lights. Seals were being
broken; there was a rattling of hand
trucks. The stop was a permanent
He crawled out of the little end
door dizzily, found the grab irons, and
descended in the darkness on the side
opposite the platform. He was in a
narrow aisle between two lines of
cars. He turned in the direction from
whence he had come.
The terminal was Chicago. This he
learned from electric signs when the
yards broadened out beyond the end
of the train. He was several hundred
miles from Long Eortage. The first
problem was food; the second, to get
back to Patsy Jane as soon as possi
ble. Remorse scourged him as he
thought of her alone in the cabin in
the wilderness, worrying over him,
torn with suspense at his absence.
He thrust his hands into his pock
et. Suspicion became a certainty.
The rum-runners had drugged and
shanghaied him. To make results
more effective, they had robbed him
of the few dollars he had had. Their
motive was a mystery which could be
left to the future for solution. Mean
time, there was satisfaction in the
thought that he had opened an ac
count in the Long Portage State bank,
a few days previously, and deposited
nearly all his money.
He carried a dollar bill for emer
gencies in a small pocket of his trous
ers, and this had been overlooked.
When, on the windows of a dingy!
store on the street beside the rail-
from the chimney of the cabin. All
was right with the world. With Pat
beside him he could make good and
show the world that its persecution
was as unfair as it was cruel. He
would get a job, redeem this home in
the wilderness they had both come
to love. And he would never drink
He began to note ominous signs.
Ttye place had a down-at-the-heel and
neglected air. There was an unsight
ly litter by the woodshed. Papers
were strewn about the sandy yard.
Something was wrong. He veered
cautiously to bring the garage be
tween the open back duor and him
self. He did this after u cry of greet
ing had died unuttered on his lips.
This didn't look like Patsy Jane. It
was as squalid as a city slum.
His teeth set themseit'es hen he
noted the composition ?f the heaps
i. rout the woodshed. It was his own
furniture and bedding, bundled out,
unsheltered. He applied his eye to a
crack in the rear of the garage. A
small car, much more battered and
rusty than his own, with soiled giviny
sack bundles on the sagging running
boards was within.
He guessed correctly that the oc
cupant of the cabin was cooking a late
breakfast in the kitchen. The door
of the kitchen opened to the south
and there was no window on the west
side, from which he approached. He
guined the door without detection.
As his shadow fell across it, the
sole occupant of the small room look
ed up from his task. He was a mean
faced, narrow-eyed man with a stub
ble of beard on his lined cheeks. He
was in the garb of the motor-tramp,
soiled cotton shirt, the sleeves rolled
up; khaki breeches, stained with
grease, worn canvas leggings; and
stubby brown shoes. A cigarette hung
from his lip. He was in the act of
turning a strip of bacon in the frying
He clinched still more
tightly, his head bur
rowing downward and
road grade, he was invited to "Eat
Here." he descended. He spent sev
enty cents for coarse filling food. I
It revived him wonderfully. When
he took to the grade again his aches
and pains had grown more subdued.
His head was clearer; he was no
longer so terrifyingly dizzy. Fortun
ately the night was warm for April.
After two hours of walking a lumber
yard invited him. He crawled through
strands of barbed wire and laid down
on some sheltered planks, odorous
with the scent of the north. He slept
Winning his way home was not
easy. He wos lnexpenencea in steal
ing rides. He walked many miles.
Eating was a problem, though not a
serious one. When he asked for food
at back doors, he offered so earnest
ly to work for it that he was rarely
refused. When the work was efficient
ly performed, the grateful housekeep
er usually gave him a package of food
for the coming meal.
He passed through Scottdale at
night on the bumpers of a fast freight.
It was early, but the little town
slumbered peacefully, its arcs illum
inating empty streets. Nostalgia and
self-pity possessed him as he clung to
brakebeam and rumbled through
the place where he was born. He
yearned toward it, even though it re
garded him as a criminal, an outcast
and a failure.
He dropped from an empty car at
daybreak, the sixth day of his ab
sence, in the Long Portage yards. He
was tired and hungry and dirty; but
he could not wait, He hurried up the
cement sidewalk which flnnked the
broad main street. His footsteps
clicked hollowly in the hush that set
tles on the world just before sunrise.
He was well beyond the town when
the sun appeared on the winding san
dy track ahead of him, sentineled in
its arising by two stubs of what had
once been giant pines.
Fatigue slowed his footsteps th the
waist of the long tramp. He saw no
one; there was no friendly motorcar
to offer a lift. Ho scanned the hori
zon ahead with increasing eagerness
as the sun mounted, and signs told
him he was approaching the end of
his journey. There, at last, was the
ridge marking the western boundary
of their land, from which he could
see the cabin.
He hurried until he was almost
running. A sigh of thankfulness
welled up; Patsy Jane had not carried
out her threat. Smoke was rising
The man was startled, but his quick
recovery showed he was not unpre
pared for a visitor. The fork on which
the bacon was impaled clattered into
the pan and the man dodged into the
livingroom through the door behind
him. It was his intention to close
it, but he was not quick enough. Ed
die's body crashed against it; his
foot thrust itself into the narrowing
Seeing that he had failed, the motor-tramp
withdrew his weight sud
denly, so that Eddie was overbal
anced and fell into the livingroom on
his hands and knees. The stranger
retreating to a bunk in the farthest
corner, had snatched up a rifle. Now
he covered Eddie, the weapon against
Eddie came slowly to his feet. He
was careful to take no forward step.
For the man's eyes were deadly. Here
was a killer, who would shoot with
out conscience and without mercy if
it seemed expedient to shoot.
"What are you doing in my house?"
"Your house? Say, you got a
nerve!" was the insolent response.
"This old shack is empty, goin' to be
sold for taxes, and you talk about
'your' housel It ain't yours aB much
as it is mine."
"You lie!" snapped Eddie. "It's
mine. Get out of here, quick."
The deadly eyes narrowed. "Bet
ter not call me a liar, sport. Go on,
yourself, before I have to drop you."
Eddie moderated his tone and his
language. The stranger had the up
per hand. "See here, my friend, you're
in wrong," he said. "I own this place.
My name is Forbes. They'll tell you
in Long Portage it's my property. I've
been away; that's all."
Since Eddie kept his distance and
seemed disposed to argue, the tres
passer accomodated himself to the
situation. He shifted the rifle from
his hip across his body, holding it
slightly higher than before. It was
still reasonably ready for service.
"I'd say you been away," was his
jeernig comment. "No one's lived
here for years. I was here last four,
five weeks. I brought that stove. This
place is as much mine as it is yours."
"You know I'd been here," replied
Eddie. "You saw my stuff, and threw
"No one was here when I come,"
replied the man, doggedly. "I like it
here. I'm goin' to stay. You better
His eyes had wavered about the
room as he spoke, and Eddie took the
slender chance offered. He flung him
self across the room and hard against
the man's stomach. The latter, an in
stant too late, saw his danger and
tried to swing the gun. But Eddie
was inside, his arms around the oth
er's body. He forced the tramp
against the wall.
His adversary shifted his tactics.
His arms, holding the gun, were free.
Eddie was under them- A hand near
either end, he raised the weapon to
crash it down crosswise on hn as
sailant's head. Eddie sensed the move
though he could not see it. He clinch
ed still more tightly, his head bur
rowing downward and inward.
The weapon struck him a glancing
blow on the back of the head, the
main force expending itself harm
lessly on his back. Ti;e trigfjer
guard tore his scalp, however, and he
could feel the warm blood trickle
down. Now his right hand went up
to the other's throat, jamming his
head back against the logs. The tramp
was, of necessity, compelled to drop
the rifle to avoid strangulation.
He tripped Eddie and they fell. But
Eddie, more active, was only briefly
underneath. He turned the tramp
over with a thump, and struggled to
mount astride. A heave of the other's
body broke his hold and sent him
Eddie had no clear picture of what
happened, was happening. He was in
a white rage that prevented clear
thought. He was lumping against
this hard-faced man everything that
had happened in recent days, and
fighting for revenge for those hap
penings. Their scuffling feet pushed the rifle
partially under a bunk. Neither dared
stoop for it. They fought with their
fists. A wave of savage blows on his
face and body, but he did not feel
their hurt. He was knocked down,
and rose to grip the other man and
hurl him against the walls.
Another blow sent Eddie on bis
head and shoulders. The srtanger,
with a grimace of triumph, tried to
leap upon him. A frantic foot-thrust
stopped the motor-tramp. The boot
heel caught him fairly, so that blood
flew from his smashed nose.
It was soon after that the stranger
stooped to the fireplace for a blud
geon. It was a sizeable stick that
had burned in two, leaving one piece
more than a foot in length and pyra
midal in form. He caught it by the
smaller end, as if by a handle. His
face was contorted into the snarl of
a maddened huskie-dog as he threw
it with all his might at Eddie's head.
Eddie dodged just in time. The
missle grazed his temple, struck the
logs and rebounded in front of him
so that it was almost under his feet.
The throw left the stranger off bal
ance. A heavy table stood against the
wall at Eddie's left hand. He jerked
it in front of him. With both hands
on its nearest edge and the full pow
er of his 160 pounds behind it, he
drove the table ahead of him along
It caught the srtanger across the
thighs, jamming him against the wall.
With a growl of triumph, Eddie seiz
ed him by the hair and dragged him
face downward across the table. He
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held the table like a vise with one
hand and his knee. He belabored the
tramp with th other fist. But he
could not get enough power behind
the blows and the man's struggles
threatened to free him.
The bludgeon of pine was near. He
swept it from the floor at the second
attempt and swung it like a war club
in a wide arc. It struck the man as
he straightened below the ear. He fell
forward across the table again, out
(Continued next week.)
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BUMMER EXCURSION PARES
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RETURN LIMIT OCTOBER 31, 1927
HOUND TRIP TO
KANSAS CITY.... 75.60
DES MOINES 81 M
ST. LOUIS 88. BO
' PITTSBURGH 124.08
NEW YORK 151.70
Low fares also to other points in
Middle West, South and East.
Liberal ttopovert permit visiting
Zion National Park
Orand Canyon National Park
Yttuowstono National Park
Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park
For Illustrated Booklets,
Reservations and Information,
address Agent named below.
IUI OVERLAND ROUTS
C. DARBEE, Agent
OR 1827, Ookland, Calif.
FOUND A neck chain of beads, or
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RAMS FOR SALE Homneys, Ram
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famous Coffin ranch, Yakima. See J.
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WANTED Housekeeper for family
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PIANO MUST BE SOLD.
Will sacrifice fine piano in storage
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