Image provided by: Morrow County Museum; Heppner, OR
About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 22, 1927)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 1$Z7
Michael J. Phillips
Illustration! lry Henry Jy L
Copyright MloWl V. Phillips
Released, thru Publlahara Autooutar Sarvlo
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 nan been killed by a bootlegging truck.
Circumstantial evidence points to Forbes
and rather than tell the truth of the epi
sode, he stands trial which results in a long
prison sentence. He is soon pardoned, how
ever, but back in Scottdale he and
PATSY JANE, his pretty wife, agree
that publio 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. Seasman
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 Mb
old yearning by falling in with a bootleg
ger's gang, getting drunk and being shang
haied to Chicago. Upon his 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 last beats his enemy,
John Harleycorn. 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 offer and 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 husband.
Pat leaves without listening to his explana
tion. Broken-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.
Eddie discovers that two men, one of
them the youth who deserted him the night
of the truck accident are carting away the
soil from a mound. He stop them, whips
the young coward and gets -the address on
a bag they have used. At Long Portage he
learns there is only three hundred and fifty
dollars instead of eight hunded for his first
year's taxes, which would enable him to
pay, but at the bank he also discovers that
a check he gave Sealman for five dollars
for a pig has been raised to five hundred,
completely wiping him out. Then he tries
to see Patsy, but learns that she is not at
Eddie puzzled resentfully as he
drove home. As all of Scottdnle had,
Patsy was condemning him without a
hearing, on circumstantial evidence.
Well, it couldn't be helped. How
ever, the impudent trespassing on
their property and the purchase of
the tax-title rather absolved him from
obligation toward the man who had
been with him the night of the acci
dent. He'd seen: perhaps he might
tell Patsy Jane, after all.
He filled in the suspenseful week
in wire about the land. He hurried
to the cutting of fence posts and re
stringing the wire, and went to the
mail-box each forenoon after the ru
ral carrier had rattled along the trail
in his little car. But the governor
did not write.
The eighth day he could stand it
no longer. When the carrier had
failed to stop at the box, Eddie drove
into town and wired Governor Al
bright. He spent the afternoon in
wandering about town, returning at
half-hour intervals to inquire for, a
message. Finally, at five o'clock it
"Sorry, but Governor is in Europe
until Christmas. Duff, Secretary."
He summoned a smile to his face
and drove to the garage. "They say
a man may be down, but he's never
out," he thought. "Well, here's where
I test the theory." To the garage at
tendant he said briefly: "Fill her up."
He had resolved to attempt borrow
ing the money at Scottdule. He could
have appealed to Nance Encell, but
that was impossible. Patsy Jane would
have to know where the money came
from. She would never accept her
home at Nance's hands. Furthermore,
to borrow from Nnnce would confirm
every mean suspicion. No; he'd win
or lose without that,
He bought food and headed south.
It was his intention to drive all night
and as much of the next dny as might
be necessary to reach Scottdale. For
the time was getting perilously short.
The first of September was but just
around the corner.
It had begun to rain at noon of the
31st day of August. Autumn comes
early in northern Michigan, and
there was the chill of leafless, deso
late landscapes over which the wind
may prowl untrammelcd, in the satur
ated air. The ton ' tVdio's car was
in bad condition. The spears of rain
found the weak places unerringly. Lit
tle strenms played upon him and
soaked through his clothing. His
hands were stiff with cold. An end
less succession of chuckholes devel
oped, through which the car jolted
Perhaps he would not have been so
responsive to the miserable weather
had his mission been successful. He
had trampled on his pride and ap
pealed to every likely person for the
loan which he needed. All had re
Some would have been willing to
advance the money. But they feared
the bleak disfavor of their neighbors.
The bun-ens had been a sounding-
board, apparently, and outstanding
incidents of his life there echoed in
ihe tqwn's. cars. All favorable angles
had been eliminated. Scottdale-heard
only the most discouraging.
They knew of his drinking bouts.
But they didn't know that he had con-
quored liquor. They hnd heard of his
enforced trip to Chicago. They roll
ed under their tongues the delicious
morsel that Patsy had left him, and
assured that the Reparation was final
His fight to oust the motor tramp and
his thrashing of the other trespasser
were described as drunken quarrel
someness. Even his dismissiil by Da-
vonant had been distorted into some
thing mysteriously criminal.
It wbb dark when he approached
Long Portage. He was shivering vio
lently from cold and rain. He was
very hungry. But he felt he could pot
bear the looks which would be turned
on him In either of the town's restau
rants. His telegraphic appeal to the
governor for funds and the reply were
public property by now. There were
too many lounging in and out of the
railroad office who could see the mes
sage on the open file, even were the
agent silent and discreet which he
Long Portage knew hiB attempts to
get money there had failed. It would
read in his face that his journey to
the south had been a failure, also.
So he squashed through the mud of
the uneven main street and left the
yellow lights in the store building
Somehow, it seemed friendly out in
the barrens, though the night was
black. The rain whispered compan
ionably among the jackpines. The
twisting track was firm and free from
standing -water. He saw no ptrson
but a pair of fiery eyes staed upon
him from a bend in the road, and as
the car rushed past, he could see the
mild and shaggy head of a bear, who
was standing on' his hind legs in a
patch of blackberries.
When the last ridge had been sur
mounted he gave a start of surprise.
A light was shining from the win
dows of his cabin. He shut off the
power and brought the car to a stop
some distance away. The thought of
the motor-tramp came in to his mind
and he went forward cautiously to
rcconnoiter. He crept stoopingly,
keeping out of range of the windows
until he could peer into one of them
from the corner. Two small panes
had been broken out so that the un
bidden guests might unloose the sash
bolts. After a single glance he went
to the back door and thrust it open.
The three occupants of the cabin,
.lake, Culley and Oscar, looked up in
surprise. They were quite at their
ease, as much so as in their own
homes, or a stable. They had eaten a
bountiful meal from his provisions.
the disordered table showed. A
plate had been broken, and the pieces
carelessly kicked aside. Now Culley
was chewing tobacco, as the brown
splotches where he had spat on the
floor showed. The others were smok
ing. There was a blazing fire in the
fireplace. And a tall black bottle
partly full, stood in the center of the
They had removed their outer
clothing. Caps and mackinaws were
thrown on one of the bunks. Across
them lay three belts to which were at
tached holsters, each holster contain
ing a lnrge calibre automatic.
"Hello, kid!" greeted Culley, jov
ially. "Didn't find you home, so we
"So I see," returned Eddie.
"This rain'll hold up the ship may
be till noon tomorrow," volunteered
Oscar, "se we thoughht we'd eat un
der cover. Good grub you got here."
He began indolently to roll a cigar
Eddie's self-control was suddenly
broken. He snatched a 3iiotgun from
its pegs over hte door. The barrels
were loaded only with birdshot, it is
true. But birdshot will serve admir
ably at three feet.
"You hogs!" he growled. "You lasy
filthy crooks! Get out of here
Men who live by violence are use
fully educated. They know wuen an
adversary is bluffing and when he is
dangerous. They have the courage
of their careers, and they will take
ruthless steps against the bluffer. Hut
they bow to the dangerous man. So
the trio rose. Here was danger per
sonified. A false move would mean
the discharge of the shotgun, and two
dead men. They had no desire to
speculate as to who might be spared.
Keeping them covered, Eddie step
ped back until he secured the belts.
He removed the pistols with one
hand and threw the belts to the floor.
Backing again be pulled open the
front door. They saw his intention.
"Aw, say, kid," remonstrated Cul
ley, his voice between a whine and a
srarl, "don't throw them gats away."
His answer was to hurl the pistols,
one by one, out into the darknses,
and Culley spoke again: 'WhBt's the
big idea, anyway? You claim to be a
The bulky guard happened to be
nearest. Eddie thrust the gun ngalnst
his flabby stomach so that the twin
muzzle dented deeply the soft tissue.
"Shut up and get outl" he com
manded. Culley obeyed, carrying his coat
and belt with him. Eddie shepherded
them along the path. He kept his
flashlight spraying on the trio to pre
vent a surprise attack. The booze
truck, headed north, stood by the aide
of the road. They clambered into the
sent, after Oscar hod kindled the
lights, and thundered away. They
hurled back curses and threats from
a safe distance. Eddie smiled Into the
darkness after them before turning
bnck to the house.
'I wanted them to think I was a
simp and an easy mark till something
ten on tnem, he mused. "But I guess
the shock of finding out wasn't less
unkind tonight than it would have
been later. Now for a bite to eat.
And then it s a cubo of back to town
At the Office.
tight trucks, bull-nosed and Im
mensely powerful, stood humped un
der their tarpaulins like strange pre
historic animals. Their guards and
drivers walked restlessly and down
or huddled under protecting canvas
aprons. Three skiffs floated by the
dock in the bootleggers' cove. There
was an attitude of expectancy and
impatient waiting over the score of
men making up the expendition.
It was well past noon of the first
of September. Yesterday's rain per
sisted, although the large drops had
now dissolved into many small ones,
and a thick white mist threw a blan
ket over them. It was impossible to
see farther than a short distance. Bad
weather, fog and a high sea had de
layed the Canadian rum-runner. She
was hours overdue.
As the men stamped their feet and
talked insensibly the atmosphere be
came lighter. The mist, little by lit
tle, began to dissolve. A cold wind
came up and swept away the rem
nants. The clouds kirned from a
dreary dark gray to lighter shade.
They became fleecy; patches of blue
sky appeared. The rain stopped.
"There she is!" several voices cried
at once. Only a few hundred yards
away, heading straight inshore, was a
squat, broad-beamed fishing tug. She
was low in the water; there was a
bone in her teeth and spray dashed
over her square bows.
" A plume of steam arose from the
craft, and a single inquiring note of
ner siren rolled over the water. One
of the men raised a long bamboo pole
on which was a square of white cloth.
He waved it vigorously. It was the
"All clear signal."
For everything was all clear, of
course. The runners would be un
molested up here in this jumping-off
place in the barrens. The tug drove
on. The canvas which swarthde her
sides to a height of ten feet was being
stripped en. It could be seen that
the deck was piled hith with nine
boxes of handy size. They were
cases of Canadian liquor, hundreds
of them, retailing at curren tquota
tions at one hundred and twenty-five
dollars per case. The cargo was
worth a fortune.
The skiffs put out from the dock.
rowed briskly by two men in each.
A man in the bow of the tug raised
his hand and shouted. She had come
inshore as far as it was safe and,
with the reversal of her engines, the
forward motion ceased. The crew
gathered at the rail, removing the
final lashings. As the skiffs came
alongside and were made fast, they
handed down the cases.
Two small boats came back cau
tiously to the dock, laden to the
water's edge. The waiting group
formed a chain. The cases were
passed from hand to hand until they
were piled up on the nearest truck.
In a few minutes the skiffs were
empty, and were rowed to the tug
Two motorboats shot out from a
notch in the shoreline, just above the
cove. High banks on either side of
the shelter and thick, overhanging
vegetation had effectually concealed
them before. The boats were long,
high in the bow and equipped with
roaring engines that sent them flying
through the water at racing speed.
Each was manned by a half dozen
young men, in the forest-green uni
form of the Michigan state police.
Every man was armed, and a machine
gun thrust an omnious snout forward
from the bow.
All hands went up on the tug and
the skiffs. There wus no hope. The
tug was too slow to run away and her
crew could not hope to stand off this
superior armament. The completeness
of the surprise made the thought of
organized resistance out of the ques
tion. The crowd on shore looked on the
flying craft with horrified amazement.
The jig was up up most emphatical
ly. It was every man for himsell
The trucks furnished them with a
means of escape and th.y turned
frantically to the wuiting vehicles.
They faced a skirmish line of for
est green. More troopers had arisen
from among the sand dunes. These
nere armed with rifles and automat
ics. And oach held a dark metal ob
ject, about the size and shape of a
goose-egg, in his right hand. The
line was a fearsome one. Over each
head was drawn a dull cloth bag that
fitted tightly around the neck and end
ed in front in a sort of elephant's
trunk. Two great staring glass disks
were turned forward like n ercilnss
Only one man was not so equipped,
but his mask Tested on his head, ready
for adjustment. He stepped forward
toward the huddled, doubtful booze
runners. 'Gas-bombs, boys," he an
nounced quietly, holding up his own
goose-egg. "No false moves, or "
He drew back his arm slightly. "And
it's a painful way to die."
The truck crews were made up
mainly of men who had dodged serv
ice in the great war. They had abun
dant courage, and would have shot it
out with the troopers. But they
knew nothing of gas, and they feared
it with panicky fear. Every hand
clutched at the sky, including the
plump, tapering figure of a rotund
person' with silky brown beard who
stood in the foreground.
Every hand? Not quite. A man
Also Asks Apology
A BETTER OIL
A modern oil
STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA
Again This Year
We invite you
to attend the
and to make
this store your
Rest room for the ladies
Phelps Grocery Company
ized the Henry Ford Peace Ship
now requests Mr. Ford's apology
"to clear herself," she says, "of
eharces OTnwino rmf nf th nn,it.
cessful mission in 1915 to get the
Kyi out ot the trenches by Xmas
on the wharf, protected in part by
the trucks above, raised his auto
matic with a desperate gesture and
fired at the leader of the troopers.
He missed. But the sergeant who an
swered it did not. The man on the
dock clasped his arms about his stom
ach and fell into the shallow water.
"Steady!" commanded the leader.
"He's done. Don't throw, men."
Eddie Forbes ran from among the
troopers, throwing aside his gas mask
as he came. "I'll get him out!" he
cried. For the runner who had fallen
was too valuable to be drowned. It
was Scoots Libbey, whose mishandling
of a liquor truck months before had
started all his trouble.
It was within a few minutes of five
o'clock, closing time in the county
offices, when Eddie mounted the step3
of the new brick building wearily. A
sense of responsibility had kept him
with the state police until the pris
oners could be lodged in the county
' or leave "orders at
Phelps Grocery Co.
Home Phone 1102
jail. For it had been his telephone
call of the night before which had
precipitated the most successful liq
uor raid in the state's history.
Fortuna'ely, a troop of the state
police, working on shore with motor-cars
and horses, and on the water
with their fast motor cruisers, had
been beating the north for rum-runners,
and were stationed only a few
miles away. Orders from Lansing
had started them during the night to
the rendezvous he had selected. The
rain had helped them to establish
themselves undetected in position to
3pring their coup.
Now there was a let-down, a des
pairing sense of loss and failure. He
was conscious that he had eaten only
sketchily for two days, that he was
not shaven, and that his misshapen,
wrinkled clothing had been wet by
the rain, had dried upon him, and had
been wet again to dry again. He won
dered rather stupidly why he was
going to the courthouse at all, he
had no money to meet the taxes.
Peter Whimple had company, Eddie
found. There was the youth he had
beaten up for trespass. He was sit
ting on a straight-backed pine chair,
and Nance Encell was beside him. A
keen young man in city clothes was
tilted against the wainscoting of the
Eddie advanced a few steps and
paused uncertainly. The stranger
lowered the front legs of his chair
and prepared to rise. His late ad
versary scowled, but Nance smiled
and said cheerily, 'Hello, Eddie. Well,
I see yon made it, after all."
Made it? He had mad nothing
but a mess of it. Why had he com
here to be laughed at by Nance En
cell and her companion, of all peo
ple? And why was this other chap
staring at him so curiously?
(Continued Next Week)
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property, 7-roora house, one acre of
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