Image provided by: Morrow County Museum; Heppner, OR
About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 15, 1927)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, SEPT. 15, 1927.
mV Jim7v Michael J
IUu.tration Ijy Hanry Jjr L
Copyrltht Miokul V. Phillip
MUajad thru PablUhart tatlaoutsr Se-rvloe)
The Leading Characters.
EDISON FORBES, a young resident of
Scottdale with an inherent craving for
liquor is held for the death of a woman
who has been killed by a bootlegging truck.
Circumstantial evidence point to Forbea
and rather than tell the truth of the epi
acde, he stands trial which results in a long
prisop sentence, ile is soon pardoned, how
aver, but back in Scottdale he and
PATSY JANE, his pretty wife, agree
that publlo sentiment against him would
warrant their migration up north where
Eddie has a quarter section of land. While
. there they form the acquaintance of
ISAIAH SEALMAN, a shifty neighbor
who is anxious to buy their property. Ed
die learns that the back taxes total over
eight hundred dollars and must be paid in
five months to avert forfeiture. Sealman
makes a generous offer which is refused
Eddie thinking the land must have 'some
value unknown to him to warrant his
neighbor's interest. Things do not go well.
Eddie fails to get work and succumbs to his
old yearning by falling in with a bootleg
ger's gang, getting drunk and being shang
haied to Chicago. -Upon hia return he dis
covers that Pat has left him and will not
return until he has quit drinking. This he
determines to do. He secures work on a
nearby ranch, run by Davenant, and after
many temptations at laxt beats his enemy,
John llarleycorn. All this time he is slow
ly earning money but realizes that when
the tax is due he can't possibly have
enough. Sealman renews his olTerand is
again refused. One day
NANCE ENCELL, his former sweetheart,
calls, finds him alone, offers to pay the def
icit but is rebuffed. Then Nance kisses him
and is seen by Patsy who had called to
attempt a reconciliation with her husbaraj.
Pat leaves without listening to his explana
tion. Uroken-hearted, Eddie tries harder
than ever to earn the money and one morn
ing early while berry picking, notices fresh
tire marks on his property. '
A light truck was standing near the
scar jn the side of the mound the
scar which he and Pat had noticed on
the first day of their journey of ex
ploration. Two men were busily at
work, scrnping and shoveling the
sour-smelling earth into sacks which '
they loaded onto the truck. Orle of
them was the Long Portage express
man. Eddie's face hardened at sight
of the other. It was his companion
of the night of the accident, the youth
who had so cravonly deserted to avoid
the possible consequences of discov
. As Eddie came upon the workers,
the youth started. Then he leaned on
his shovel. He smiled insolently.
"Gee, you're an early riser," was his
"Have to be, to keep my farm from
being carried away. What's the big
"You mean this?" The youth nod
ded at the truck. "Well, they say
this stuff is good for stock, salt in it,
you know. So I was getting some for
the cattle at Encell's."
"Yes. I'm visiting over there, you
Eddie regarded him speculatively.
"Well, of course I'd like to see En
cell's stock do well," he suid mildly.
"But wouldn't it be courteous to ask
me first about this stuff?"
The sneer in the young man's smile
became more pronounced. "Why
should I ask you? You lose this place
on tax-title the first of next month.
I'm already the owner. I bought the"
title from the Brower estate by tele
graph two days ago."
"The Brower estate?" echoed Eddie
"Sure. You don't know what's go
ing on under your own nose," was the
contemptuous retort. "Old Brower
died suddenly, and the family doesn't
care about this northern Michigan
estate idea of his. All his tax titles
were put on the mnrket, I got this.
So, really I have more right here than
"Listen, kid," commanded Eddie,
quietly. '"You're off -away off. You
haven't any right here until after the
first day of next month. Then you
only have a right if I fail to redocm
the property. Well, it'll be redeem
ed, So right now you're a trespasser
and a thief. You're stealing my prop
erty." The lean-jawed expressman rubbed
his bristles nervously. "Don't blame
me, Mr. Forbes," he pleaded. "He said
he owned this when he hired me." Ed
die waved absolution.
"You're using pretty rough lan
guage, Forbes," commented the youth,
coolly. "Thief, eh? I'll show you
the first of the month. Where would
you get three hundred and fifty dol
lars to tnke care of that tax-title?"
He laughed ironically. "Everyone
knows that you're broke, that your
wife has left you and you're just
stalling here because you don't dare
show your face in Scottdale. Why,
you escaped being a jailbird because
that old crook of a governor pardoned
you. So don't get fresh with me."
"So that's it, eh?" was Eddie's com
ment. "Well, I don't think those few
sacks of earth are worth much. But
you'll leave them, just the same. Un
load." The youth's reply was to drop his
shovel and rush, a scowl on his weak,
dark face. Eddie met him with a
straight right hander that puffed the
loose lips. As a fight it did not com
pare with the fierce battle against the
motor-tramp. This adversary had
neither the courage, the strength nor
the resolution of the wanderer. His
eves were blackened and his nose
' bleeding, though ho had scarcely left
a murk on Eddie, when he turned his
back and clamored onto tho.truck.
"All right, you big bully! " he com
Dlaincd. "I'll have the laugh when
the sheriff throws you off. You put
your foot on here and I'll shoot you
like a dog. Yes, I Willi" he raved,
the expressman started the truck.
"And you keep away from Nance En
cell, or I'll drill you anyway."
"So that's it?" mused Eddie. "'.
remember that he always did like her,
Of course he woman t have been so
nasty if it hadn't been for booze. His
breath was like a distillery. He got
away with that dirt, after all. Oh,
well, I guess he paid for it." He
Absentmindedly he picked up an
empty sack, one which had been left
and which had been overlooked. A
name and address were printed on the
sack in black letters. He whistled
when their significance came to him
with the others'. He was, the slick
one, a director of the bank, Eddie re
called. When he drove back to the big
ranch, Davenant himself, black W)th
passion, met him at the door of the
"(et your dirty traps together,
Forbes, and make tracks," snarled the
"Why, Mr. Davenant, what's the
matter?" asked Eddie, in surprise.
"Matter?" echoed Davenant, doub
ling his fists, and Eddie noted that
the formidable knuckles were barked,
"matter? You've been giving liquor
to Millig, that'B all."
Millig, another farmhand had man
aged heretofore to keep, Mb potations
from the notice of the owner. But he
had seemingly been careless, "had
been thrashed when he grew impu
dent, and discharged.
"But I didn't give him liquor," pro
"You did. Don't lie to me."
"I tell you I didn't," returned Ed
"Well, he got it from you. You had
"He didn't. "I" he began, and
stopped. He recalled the bottle in
"Hah!" growled Davenant at his
hesitancy. "You'd better admit it,"
Eddie entered the bunkhouse. His
suitcase open, lay in the middle of
the floor. The bottle was gone. He
returned to the outside. "You're
right, Mr. Davenant," re acknow
ledged. "There was some liquor in my bag,
and it's gone. I didn't give it to him,
or teil him "
"But you had it." The owner's voice
rose to a shout. "You know how I
hate booze, but you brought it here.
I suppose you figured on a spree your
self. I've a notion to give you what
I gave him." He advanced, his arms
"Well, maybe you can, but you'll
get something in return," snapped
Eddie. "You won't be beating up a
drunken squarehead if you try any
funny business with me. J'll leave
you a few marks, anyway."
"Get off my place," shouted Dave
nant, more furiously than before. But
his advance ceased. Eddie came out
to load his possessions in the car,
the owner was nowhere to be seen.
Bull, the foreman, was and he. was
legretful and sympathetic.
"Sorry to lose you, Forbes." He
glanced over his shoulder as he spoke,
toward the main ranch house, a com
modious two story log house, as
though fearful of being overheard.
"But you know how it is. The old
mon'a nro.V Ml tha auhiprt. of llQUOr.
Thev sav his son drank himself ton
death a year ago. What in thunder
did you want to keep that bottle
around for? You might have known
that nut Millig would smell it enjt."
"Oh, I don't know, I'd forgotten it,
more or less," replied Eddie. "I'm
sorry to have to go, Bull. I like work
ing for jfou. Well, if you'll give me
what's coming "
The foreman went to the ranch
house and returned, presently, with
Eddie's nay check for wages to the
end of the month. He bought Ed
die's pig, which had thrived wonder
fully, for eighteen dollars. As the
discharged farmhand drove homeward
and later, as he was disposing his
goods and chattels to make the cabin
cosily livable, he had tmie to ponder
on two things which had been crowd
ed to the back of his mind by more
"The address on that sack means
something," he thought. "It's up to
me to squander a little something on
telegrams to find out exactly what.
His story about carting the stuff away
as salt for the stock is all bosh. The
pure salt is on top.
What about the other remark of
his? What did he mean by talking
about three hundred and fifty dollars
for the 'first' tax title?. Didn't I get
the dope straight from the county
treasurer? Guess I'll get downtown
right away and find out where I'm at."
Ho drove to the railroad station
and sent tfway two telegrams. He
went to the county building and stat
ed his errand to Peter Wimple. That
official nodded, as though confirming
something that had long been a mat
You know, Forbes," he explained,
miffing on hia pipe, "I've thought a
good many times that maybe you did
n't understand me. I suppose you
knew that a tax-title issues for each
year of back taxes, but that you have
two years from the date of issue of
each to redeem them.
"There are two such plasters out
against your property. To settle
them both would be eight hundred
and thirty-odd dollars. But if you'll
pay the two-year-old one the first of
tho month, you'll still have a year for
the other one."
Eddie swallowed jerkily. "How
much is the first one?"
Peter consulted his canvas-jacketed
book. "Three forty-eight, seventy-
two," he reported. "Seems pretty
heavy, It makes it pretty binding,
built two roads and widened and
doopened Portage creek, all in th
same year. Then the penalties are
hevay. It makes it pretty binding,
even though the improvements were
spread over three years."
Eddie went out with his nose in the
air. He had 'given the tough old
world en under hold and pinned its
shoulders to the mat, first flop. He
had licked booze and he had saved
his home. Now to find Patsy Jane
and tell her what pride had forbade
his telling before; The identity of his
companion the night of the accident.
And, also, take her home.
For he needed but three hundred
and fifty dollars, and he had more
than that sum in the Long Portage
bank. He consulted the stub of his
checkbook. He had about four hun
dred dollars a young fortune! And
more in his pocket.
Of course he had no job. But he
could get one. Of that he felt cer
tain. And he would begin building
up his land against the day he would
crop it and stock it and make it pay
He went into the bank to deposit
the Davenant check and the loose
cash he was carrying. There were
three persons behind the cheap par
tition of white pine stained to look
like hardwood, and iron grills stained
to look "like bronze. Gray little Gil
man, the cashier; Harold Faunce, the
young bookkeeper; and Sealman, slick
and rotound, combing hia beard with
his fingers as he talked earnestly.
"We were just about to get in touch
with you Mr. Forbes," began Gilman
nervously, as he swept forward the
currency and checked the deposit slip.
"Why?" asked Eddie. He felt Seal
man's Might, bold eyes upon nim.
"I wanted to notify you of your
overdraft Mr. Forbes." The latter
exclrination was a flustered remon
strance. For Eddie, thrusting an arm
through the wicket, seized his deposit
and pulled his bankbook from the
cashier's fingers, so. that the uneasy
pen left a long, black mark down the
"Now, say that again," commanded
"You're account is eighty-four dol
lars overdrawn," returned Gilman.
He glanced over his shoulder in hunt
ed fashion as if to make sure that
Sealman were there in support.
"You're crazy," was the brief re
tort. "Here are your vouchers. See for
yourself," invited the cashier, de
Eddie leafed them over. They were
all in order Hold on, the check to
Sealman for the pig had been raised
from five dollars to five hundred.
"Looks to me as though the bank
is out four hundred and ninety-five
dollars," he announced. "This check
has been raised. Of course you know
that, Cilrnan. This man has told you
it was written for five dollars."
"I haven't told him anything of the
kind," returned Sealman.
Eddie turned the check over. It
was endorsed "I. Sealman," but just
below was another signature in a
smooth and flowing script. "Henry
W. Robbins." He reverted to the face
of the check again. The forgery had
been cleverly done, though close scru
tiny revealed how the "hundred" had
been cramped because of limited
"Any jury would call that a raised
check," said Eddie, scornfully, shov
ing it back. "Loks as though this
bank was negligent in taking it."
"We'll have to ask a jury to decide
it," returned Gilman. "This bank
disavows responsibility. You were
negligent in drawing it. If the line
after 'Five' had started closer to the
'e' and had been drawn clear through,
there would have been no negligence.
But you left a space and the forger
took advantage of it."
So that was it. Maybe Sealman
was not responsible for the forgery,
but he had taken advantage of it to
tie up his funds until after the pass-
Again This Year
We invite you
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and to make
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Rest room for the ladies 1
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Heppner Bank Oregon
age of tax-day, two weeks away. He
thrust his head and shoulders through
the wicket, so that the flimsy grill
creaked under the strain.
"Sealman, you damned crook," he
said harshly, "you've been trying ever
since I came here to swindle me out
of my place. You've connived at this
trick to tie up my money. But it
won't do you any good. You'll never
put a -finger on a grain of that white
aand. You hear?"
"This is slander Forbes," warned
the other, his combing fingers moving
fgitatedly. "I have witnesses."
"Witneises be damned," retorted
(he angry man. "You daren't go into
court." He turned on his heel and
strode out, banging the door violently
behind him. He had barely reached
the street when he heard his name
called. Sealman must have said his
name rapidly, for he was in the tiny
vestibule of the bank. He came hur
riedly toward Eddie.
"Now, Forbes, there's no use in hav
ing trouble over this," he began, pla
catingly. "I don't deny the check was
for hve dollars. I passed is on for a
load of huckleberries to a stranger.
He didn't want to take them to town
because it was late. I've never seen
him aince. How was I to know he'd
raise the check?"
"Well, what else?" demanded Eddie.
"I don t want you to lose your
place and get nothing for it. I want
it, Forbes, it goes well with my land.
I'll make you a good offer."
"You will, eh?"
"Yes, I'll give you thirty-five hun
Eddie's answer was to place the
heel of a work-roughened hand
against Sealman's high-bridged nose
and push violently. The bearded man
tottered from the edge of the walk
into the gutter. Whereat he uttered
a venemous oath, quite out of keep
ing with his sleek placidity.
Eddie went on up the street, think
ing rapidly. That morning he had
had two strings to his bow. One had
been snapped. He cmld not borrow
money from Davenant. But the gov
The postoffice at Long Portage oc
cupied a corner of the largest general
store. Eddie bought a pencil tablet.
He stood at the post office desk and
wrote the governor, outlining his sit
uation and asking for a loan of three
hundred dollars. He told of his bat
tle with liquor, ai d how he had won.
He stamped it and affixed a special
delivery postage. H carried it to the
station himself, and handed it to the
clerk on the southbound trtfln. The
governor would have it early next
morning in his office at Lansing.
Always there had been with him the
thought of Patsy. Now he went to
Attorney Kinnane's-, office. The old
lawyer was alone. "Where's my wife,
Mr. Kinnane?" he asked.
"Not here just now, Mr. Forbes.
She's out in the country for a few
To Eddie's look of bewilderment he
added: "She comes in quite frequent
ly. If you wish to reach her a letter
in my care will be delivered promptly-"
(Continued Next Week)
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