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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 6, 1927)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, OCT. 6, 1927.
By MEREDITH NICHOLSON
COPYRIGHT CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS.
Released Thru Publishers Autocaster Service
Mrs. Howard Featherstone spent
much time thinking up things ?or her
brother, Archibald Bennett, to" do, and
as Archie was the ideal bachelor bro
ther, he accepted her commissions in
the most amiable spirit, and his serv
ices were unfailingly satisfactory.
"The agent who's been looking up
a summer house for us says this is
an unusual opportunity, as there are
a few places to let at Bailey Harbor
and this one 1b unexpectedly on the
market. Howard's simply swamped
with work and we'd all appreciate it
if you could run up there for us."
The many preoccupations of his brother-in-law,
who held a seat in Con
gress and took his job seriously, were
well known to Archie, and as Archie
had nothing on earth to do, it was
eminently fitting that he should as
sume some of Featherstone's domes
tic burdens. Archie had planned to
leave for the Canadian Rockies two
days later, but he obligingly agreed
to take a look at the Bailey Harbor
house that had been placed so provi
dently within reach of his sister.
"The owner belongs to that old New
England Congdon family," Mrs. Feath
erstone explained; "they date from
the beginning of time, and some of
them are a trifle eccentric."
"If you're renting a house from
that family it's just as well to look
into it carefully. All right, May, I'll
inspect the premises for you.'
Archie was' already mentally plan
ning the details of his trip with his
sustomary exactness. He traveled
constantly in the interest of his
health and knew train schedules by
Archies condition wr.s always a
grateful topic of conversation and
now Mrs. Featherstone, in her most
Listed tone, broached the subject of
"I haven't much faith in this idea
of your going to the Rockies; you
know you tried the Alps five yeas ago
and the altitude nearly killed you."
Archie smiled wanly. "I seem
i' corned to sit on the sidelines and
watch the game," he agreed gloom
ily. To look at him no one would bc
.ieve that he had a r.erve in nil tall
;cme. Once a friend carried h'.m off
to a farm where a nautocratic athletic
trainer rejuvenated tired budness
men, and Archie survived the heroic
treatment and reappeared bronzed,
hardened and feeling better than he
ever had felt in his life. But after a
v inter spent in an office and leisure
to think of himself as an invalid, he
lenewed his acquaintance with the
waiting rooms of specialists.
"There will be a few people in for
dinner tonight," remarked Mrs.
Featherstone as he rose to go; "very
simple, you know; and Howard just
telephoned that he can't possibly
come, so if you can arrange it, Ar
chieit will be a real help to me."
"All right, May. I was going to
have dinner with Weld and Coburn,
but if you really want me "
"Oh, that's prefectly fine of you,
Archie I And Isabel Perry will be
here; you know she's the dearest
girl, and I always thought you really
did like her. Her father lost all his
money before he died and she's had
a position as gymnasium teacher in
Miss Gordon's school. This summer
she's to run a girls' camp up in Mich
igan and she can't help making a
splendid success of it."
When he found himself sitting be
side her later at Mrs. Featherstone's
table she said to him:
"I passed you on the street the
other day and made frantic efforts to
attract your attention but you were
in a trance and failed to see my sig
nals." "I was taking my walk," he stam
mered. "My walkl'" she repeated. "You
speak as though you had a monopoly
on that form of exercise. I must say
you didn't appear to be enjoying your
self. Your aspect was wholly funereal
and your demeanor was that of a man
with a certain number of miles wish
ed on him."
"Four a day," Archie confessed,
with an air of resignation, "two in
the morning and two before dinner.
By the doctor's orders," he added
with the wistful smile that usually
evoked sympathetic murmurs in fem
"Oh, the doctors! " remarked the
girl as though she had no great opin
ion of doctors in general or of Mr.
Bennett's medical advisers in partic
ular. He was used to a great deal of
sympathy and he was convinced that
Miss Perry was an utterly unsympa
"What would you call a good
walk?" he asked a little tartly.
"Oh, ten, twenty, thlrtyl I've done
fifteen and gone to a dance at the end
of the tramp."
"But you haven't my handicap," he
protested defensively. "You can't be
very gay about walking when you're
warned that excessive fatigue may
have disastrous consequences!
She was not wholly without feeling
for her face grow grave for a mo
ment and she met his eyes searching'
ly, with something of tho professional
scrutiny to which he had long been
"Eyes clear, color very good; voice
a trifle weak and suggesting timidity
and feeble initiative. Introspective;
a little self-conscious, and unlmport
ant nervous symptoms indicated by
the rolling of bread crumbs."
"I've paid doctors large fees for
telling me the same things," he said.
"I wish you would write thoBe items
down for me. I'm in earnest about
"Your C8B6 Interests me and I'll
consider this matter of advising you.1
"I shall expect the document tomor
"You're a tremendously formal per
son, Mr. Bennett. What you really
need is a good hard Jar. Every morn
lug you know exactly what you're go
routine that kills. Suppose you were
to hold up a bank messenger in Wall
Street and skip with a sutchelful of
negotiable securities and then, after
the papers were through ragging the
police for their inefficiency you
would drive up to the bank in a taxi,
walk in and return the money, saying
you had found it in the old family
pew at Trinity when you went in to
say your prayers! Here would be an
opportunity to break the force of hab
it and awaken your self-confidence.
"Am I to understand that you prac
tice what you preach? I don't mean
to be impertinent, but really, "
"Oh, I'm perfectly capable of doing
anything I've suggested. I mean to
dig for buried treasure this summer,
realizing the dream of a lifetime.
Talk about romance being dead! My
grandfather was a planter in Missis
sippi before the Civil War. In about
lh60 he saw trouble ahead, and as he
was opposed to secession he turned
everything he had into gold, bought
several tracts of land in Michigan
and Hew York and secretly planted
his money. My father inherited the
land and that's where I'm opening my
"And the gold hasn t been found.
asked Archie, deeply interested.
Not a coin so far! You see grand
father made his will in wartime and
only divided the land, being afraid to
mention the buried treasure in a doc
ument that would become a public
record when he died."
"This is most exciting. It's only
unfortunate that it's not pirate gold
to give zest to your enterprise."
'Oh, the pirate in the story is a
cousin of mine, who inherited the
land up near the St. Lawrence and
has dug all over it without results.
My father gave the Michigan scenery
to me, but this .cousin of mine has
been digging on my land, most unwar
rantably! He's rather a dashing
When it came time for Isabel to
say good-night to her hostess, Ben
nett was hovering near to offer his
services in calling her car.
"Nothing like that for me! But
" she hesitated and said with
mock gravity, "if you're not afraid
of the night air or the excessive
fatigue, you might take me home.
That will add a mile to your prescrip
tion but you can ride back!"
Isabel was enthusiastic about tne
summer camp; if it succeeded she
meant to' conduct an outdoor school
lor girls, moving it from Michigan to
Florida with the changing staso m.
ihere was no question of her mak
ing a success of It, he saiu, marvel
ing at her vitality, her exuberance,
the confidence with which she viewed
I wish you all good luck," he said
when they reached the house of the
friend she was visiting. "The camp
will be a great success I'm sure, of
that. This has been the happiest
evening" I've Bpentsince "
"Since you began taking everything
so hard? Please quit looking on your
life as a burden; try to get some fun
out of it!"
"Don't forget me in the rush of
things! And particularly don't for
get that note of instructions. I'm
counting on that! If I don't get it I
will be terribly disappointed."
She surveyed him gravely, then an
swered lightly, "Oh, very well! You
shall have it, sirl"
Archie didn't know that the note
caused Isabel a great deal of trouble.
She must write a note that would not
require an answer; this she felt to
be imperatively demanded by the cir
cumstances. She thought Archibald
Bennett a nice fellow and she was
sorry for him, but no more and no
less sorry than she would have been
for any one else who failed to find
the world a pleasant place to live in.
Something a little cryptic, yet some
thing that woud discourage further
confidences without wounding him
this would solve the problem. Finally
she hit upon these lines and copied
them in her best hand:
He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch
To gain or lose it all.
After reading the lines aloud sev
eral times she decided that they
would serve her purpose admirably
and dispatched it to Mr. Bennett im
mediately. The note reached Archie just as he
was leaving his sister's house. He
had hoped for a long letter in the
vein of the girl's chaffing humor, and
the size of the missive Was a distinct
He opened it guardedly and his face
fell as he pondered the verse. It was
a neat, well-bred slap at him as a
man without initiative or courage.
At the dinner table she had expressed
much the same thought that was con
densed in the verse, but the quota
tion, unrelieved by her smile, carried
a sting. Perhaps this was the way
Isabel Perry thought of him, as a los
er in the game of life; but he experi
enced a pleasant tingle in the blood
when he reflected that this may have
been the wrong reading and very dif
ferent from the sense she meant to ,
convey. His spirits soared as he de
cided that the last line was intended
to be read unbrokenly and that it con
stituted a challenge flung at him with
a tos3 of her head, a flash of her
Archie was lulled to sleep by the
encouraging thought that what she
had done was to give him a commis
sion to redeem himself by strange and
At two o'clock he reached Bailey
Harbor. He stepped into the only
taxi in sight and drove to the village
druggist's for the key to the Cong
"Just go in and take your time to
it," said the man. "Lights and water
haven ti been turned off and if you
take the house your folks can step
right in. If you don't find it con
venient to stop here again, just leave
the key under the door mat."
"I guess you'll find the place all
shipshape," said the driver, as they
set off. "Folks came up early but
didn't stay long. Left in a hurry.
Family troubles, I reckon! I don't
know nothin', mind ye, but there's
talk she had trouble with her hus
band." The confidences of the chauffeur
only mildly interested Archie. It was
unseasonably warm and the air was
lifeless and humid.
"Think it will rain?" he asked the
"Yep," he replied with a elance at
the sea. "There's goine to be a livelv
kick-up before mornin'."
They reached the house and Archie
discharged the driver. In a moment
he was standing in a big living-room
that exhaled an atmosphere of com
fort and good taste.
Fully satisfied with his investiga
tions, Archie picked up a book, be
came absorbed and read until he
was roused by a clap of thunder that
seemed to shake the world. Hurry
ing to the window he found that the
storm had already broken, and that it
would be impossible for him to catch
He turned on the lights and sat
down to think. The roof and walls
rang under the downpour and he de
cided that after all to spend the night
in an abandoned house would be a
The storm showed no sign of abat
ing and as nightfall deepened the
gloom he set about making himself
comfortable. Feeling twinges of hun
ger, he explored the kitchen pantry.
The Congdons had left a well-stocked
larder and, finding 'bacon, eggs, nd
bred, he decided that the cooking of
supper would be a jolly incident of
the adventure. In arranging the ta
ble he found a telegram under a plate
at what he assumed to be Mrs. Cong
don's place. His curiosity overcame
his scruples and he read the mes
New York, June 10, 1!)17.
Mrs. Alice B. Congdon,
Bailey Harbor, Maine.
Your letter has your characteristic
touch of cruelty. We may as well
part now and be done with it. But
the children you cannot have. Re
member that I relinquish none of my
rights on this point. I demand that
you surrender Edith at once and I
will communicate with you lutr
about the custody of Harold until
such time as he is old enough to come
The cautious hint of the taxi driver
that domestic difficulties were respon
sible for the breaking up of the Cong
don household found here a painful
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After speculating on the affair for
a few moments he went ahead with
the preparation of his supper. He
wished Isabel could see him and know
that for once the routine of his life
had been interrupted only to find
himself resourceful and the easy mas
ter of his fate.
He made a point of washing the
dishes and putting them carefully
away. These matters attended to, he
roamed over the house which now
had a new interest for him since the
Congdon family skeleton had come
out of its closet and danced round
the dinner table. In a drawer of the
desk waa an automatic pistol and a
box of cartridges. This Archie thrust
into his pocket, thinking it not a bad
idea to be prepared for invasion.
Then he switched off the lights in
the lower rooms and established him
self in the guest chamber. He was
half asleep when he was roused by
footsteps on the verandah below.
: CHAPTErt III
It was close upon midnight and th
presence of a prowler on the prem
ises caused his heart to gallop wild
ly. He seized the pistol, crept to the
window and peered cautiously out,
when a sound in the room below re
newed his alarm. He gained the door
in two jumps. He could hear the
opening and closing of drawers and
see the flash of an electric lamp as
the intruder moved swiftly about.
Then through the vast silence of the
big house the unknown gave voice to
his anger and disappointment:
"Well, I'll be damned!"
A series of quick flashes on the
wall gave warning of the intruder's
invasion of the upper rooms.
Archie drew back and waited. His
thoughts and emotions in this hour
of danger interested him. It was im
mensely gratifying to him to realize
that while his heart was beating
quickly, his pulse was regular.
The thief had become more cau
tious and was tiptoeing up the un
carpeted treads of the stair, still
sending occasionally a bar of light
ahead. He was now coming boldly
down the hall as though satisfied that
the house was empty. A flash of his
lamp fell upon the door frame just
about Archie's left hand. A flash
clipped the dark for an instant. Then
a hand groped along the wall seeking
the switch. Archie could hear its
soft rasping over the wall. As the
switch snapped the room flooded with
light. The bewildering glare leaping
out of the darkness held the man in
tlie doorway and he raised his arm and
passed his hand over his eyes to
shield them from the light. The
burglar's shoulders drooped as he
gaped at Archie's figure which was
reflected in a long mirror. The eyes
of the two men met, the gaze of each
gripping and holding that of the oth
er. Then swiftly the intruder jerked
a pistol from his pocket and fired
pointblank into the mirror. The re
port crashed horribly in the room,
followed by the tinkle of fragments
of glass. Archie aimed at the door
way, but his shot seemed only to
hasten the man's flight. A run slip
ped and the fugitive fell with a
frightened yell that rang eerily thru
the house. In the hall Archie turned
on all the lights and gaining the
landing fired at the retreating figure
as it lurched toward the front door.
At the crack of the gun the fugitive
stopped short, -clapped his hand to his
shoulder and groaned, then sprang
through the front door and Bennett
heard immediately the quick patter
of his feet on the walk.
The lock bore no evidence of hav
ing been forced. The frame of the
photograph of the young girl that had
so charmed him lay on the floor face
down. Bennett picked it up and
found that the picture had been re
moved. It was a curious business,
but he dismissed the subject from I
his mind to consider the graver bus
iness of how to avoid the disagreeable
consequences of his encounter. He
must leave the house and escape from
Bailey Harbor before daybreak, and
he went upstairs and hurriedly be
At one o'clock he was drinkii.g cof
fee and munching toast and jam to
fortify himself for his journey.
He had shot and perhaps killed a
man, and his mind surged now with
self-accusations. He needn't have
fired the shot the thief was running
away and very likely would not have
molested him further. He was sorry
for the fellow wounded or dead; but
in a moment he was shuddering as
he reflected that the bullet that had
splintered the mirror had really been
meant for him, and it had struck
with great precision just where the
reflection of his head had presented
a fair target to the startled marks
man. He turned out the iights and, plac
ing the key under the door mat stole
through the garden. The man he
had shot down might even now be
lying dead in his path, and he lifted
his feet to avoid stumbling over the
corpse. But more appalling was the
thought that the fugitive might be
lying in ambush, and he carried his
fistol before him at arm's length
against such an emergency.
He gained the road, glanced toward
the house, and set off in the general
direction of tne New Hampshire bor
der. (Continued next week)
FOR SALE Heppner residence
property; 7-room house, one acre of
ground, orchard, bam, modern con
veniences. See or write Geo. McDuf-
fee, Heppner, Oregon. 22-tf.
or leave orders at
Phelps Grocery Co.
Home Phone 1102
TTf ffffir .rnr wmr nm nnr wnt-nm wwr imi'imri-i anr am nwr nwi irrr iwr irwr rini'Tl'
IS BAKING A GRIEF OR A
If you are using SPERRY FLOUR there
isbutoneanswer-JOY. For SPERRY
Flour is always the same, uniform, de
for which we are Heppner headquarters,
is a SPERRY product.
We also carry a full line of SPERRY cer
eals including Farina, Pancake Flour, and
many different breakfast foods.
You will not go wrong if you
Ask for SPERRY'S
Phelps Grocery Company
At Ben Thomas Ranch, Eight Mile
SATURDAY, OCT. 8
Commencing at 1 P. M.
A PARTIAL LIST OF ARTICLES OFFERED AT THIS SALE
6 Head of Work Horses.
2 Milk or Beef Cows.
1 Heifer. 2 Calves.
1 Mandt Wagon.
1 Hay Wagon.
1 3-bottom Oliver Plow.
1 1 6-in. Walking Plow.
i j 1 14-ft. Blade Weeder.
1 50 Chickens and Turkeys.
! I Harness and all other equip-
i ment. Household goods of
I I all kinds: Tables, Stoves,
I Beds, Chairs, Dishes, and
I I many other things.
ins to every hour of the day. It's