JN VERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. SAN DIEGC
3 1822 00210 7670
Washington State Federation
of Women's Clubs
Lowman & Hanford Co.
THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
LA JOLLA. CALIFORNIA
S. W. Hassell
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Rhododendrons Sophie M. C. Fisher 9
Queen Anne Fortnightly Club, Seattle.
Susan's Mountain .... Elizabeth Jane Haring 15
Shakespeare and Civic Improvement Clubs, Pasco.
Old Jud Watkins - - - Lula Shortridge Stewart 21
Women's Club, Spokane.
The Other Kind - - - Caroline Field Williams 35
Mutual Improvement Club, Marysville.
Reconciled Sara Byrne Goodwin 41
Queen Anne Fortnightly Club, Seattle.
"Rock of Ages" .... Gertrude Allen Knapp 47
Coterie Club, Seattle.
Deserted Louise Monroe Walton 51
Aurora Club, Tacoma.
The New Word - ... Jessie Hopkirk Davis 57
Twentieth Century Club, North Takima.
Tod's "Santy" Gertrude Allen Knapp 65
Coterie Club, Seattle.
Her Birthright - - - Gertrude Fulton Tooker 73
Mutual Improvement Club, Marysville.
The Disciplinarian Maude Farrar 81
Progressive Thought Club, Seattle.
"The Fine Country" ... Anna Brabham Osborn 87
Arts and Krafts, and Woman's Club, Puyallup
Twenty-two short stories were written by Wash
ington club women in a contest conducted by our
state literature committee. At the federation con
vention held in Spokane last June, the decision of
the judges was announced, the two stories ranking
highest were read and the enterprise was supposed
to be happily ended.
Some one said : "Publish them or at least a dozen
of them." The idea grew. There are now fifteen
thousand club women in the state. We are all more
or less interested in each other's work and would
want to read the stories. And so primarily they are
printed for our own club family and any profit
from the publication goes to the state endowment
There is another reason. Under the conditions
of the contest, the plot of each story was to be laid
in the Evergreen State. The result is they are full
of local color and have a value aside from their
Gentle reader or competent critic, whichever you
may be, if you enjoy only the literature that is
immortal you would better pass this little volume
by and reach up to the five-foot shelf for a classic;
if you must be thrilled or spell-bound, it were safer
for you to buy or borrow a best-seller; but if you
have broad sympathies and a heart that warms to
ward your kind, we are confident that you will find
something to like in our stories.
CLUB WOMEN OF WASHINGTON.
October the first, 1915.
I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God put another one in for luck
If you search, you will find where they grow.
But you must have hope and you must have faith
You must love and be strong, and so,
If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
The mountain-lover does not always gaze at Kai-
nier or Olympus. He has learned that the foot
hills have a charm and an interest of their own.
And they too point upward.
AWARDED FIRST PRIZE
I watched impatiently the men unwrap the pic
ture they had brought. It was a painting of Val-
iner's, a gift from Val himself. To possess a work
of his brush, was to be envied by the most discrim
inating collectors; it was to be classed with the
"fortunate rich;" it was to be numbered with the
ultra-faddists of the hour, for Valmer's work had
created nothing less than a storm of interest in
There was a power and fullness and beauty in his
work which held withal a subtle, sensitive quality,
difficult to define. It was a compelling, unexplain-
able thing of mind and soul that lay behind vision
and technique, and its message never failed to
reach me, in my exacting and saddening work as
an alienist, with a touch that refreshed and re
stored my questioning soul.
Valmer, tall, lean, distinguished-looking, followed
close upon his gift. The lion of the hour, compli
mented and courted, he had remained singularly
untouched by the world, with a heart dedicated
wholly to his art, and to one friendship. For me,
I believe, he reserved the only confidences he ever
gave, and our friendship was a fine, close-knitted
thing. We lighted cigars and Valmer adjusted the
"Ah! Rhododendrons! I can smell them, Val!
Smell them? Why I feel the little puffs of warm
air that blow over them from the sun-heated
Sound." With a sigh of anticipation I sank into a
chair before the picture, scarce hearing Valmer's
low, "Flatterer, you inveterate flatterer!"
I was lost at once in the suggestion of the scene.
Rhododendrons! I had seen such a bank. Where?
Where? I seemed conscious of a familiar, compos
ite breath, as of the sea and sappy green things and
the faint exhalation of rhododendrons. It carried
me back as an actual odor will often do, and I saw
again the great building where I had spent the first
years of practice and training in the calling I had
chosen. It was the state hospital for the insane.
The Washington State Asylum stood on a gentle
slope commanding distant glimpses of the Sound.
Behind it rose great, tonic firs and, on the south
and west, acres of flowering shrubs mingled with
the evergreen of cedar, fir and madrone. Heavenly
surroundings for so sad a place. The hapless in
mates were gray shadows in my memory now. One
only stood out in sharp relief, a wild-eyed youth
who had come, emaciated and unkempt, clinging to
a battered, black box. He had been assigned to my
ward and proved quiet and docile when left undis
turbed to paint hideous forms which he seemed to
wipe out only to repeat over and over again on the
same canvas. We were overworked at the time, so
beyond ordering nourishing food and comparative
freedom for the boy, a month perhaps elapsed be
fore I could give him more specific attention.
One day, observing the lad stooping over his
easel at a point where a bank of rhododendrons
was massed in full bloom against the blue sky and
distant Sound, I turned my steps in his direction.
He paid not the slightest attention to me as I drew
near, though a scowl darkened his thin face. I
looked over the narrow' back at the canvas he was
eternally bending over, and then I did the unfor
givable thing. I forgot professional caution and
cried out at what I saw.
The rose and mauve of that bank of bloom was
there, a living, glowing mass of color, blending
away into the silver and azure of the sky and
Sound, and it was done with the accuracy and
power of genius. In my astonishment I had re
laxed my watchfulness over the sullen figure and in
another moment I had caught the thin arm in a
quick strong grip, but to my utter dismay, I was
too late. With coarse, mad strokes he had drawn
a hideous form across the exquisite thing.
"Boy boy," I actually sobbed, "what have you
done what have you done?"
I had retained my grip on the thin arm but with
unlooked-for strength he tore himself free and
sprang to his feet. He faced me with the look of a
lost soul in his gaze, then flung himself face down
ward on the ground, shaking with hoarse, rending
sobs. I threw myself beside the poor, attenuated
form, filled with compassion for the anguish that
must be his in this hour of revelation. Had reason
come to him for a moment to show him the divine
thing he held within his breast only to leave him
again in the dark shadow where his soul had dwelt?
I stroked the neglected hair and held the stained
hand in my own.
"Harold, my boy, my poor boy, come, we'll cure
you yet ! Why, we send numbers away every year.
If you will obey me and take the food and other
things I order, you'll do that again, and, my boy,
I could sell a few of those pictures for enough to
send you to the best specialists in the country."
At my words the boy sat erect.
"Could you sell that?" he demanded excitedly,
pointing to the defaced picture.
"Yes, and sometime," I added soothingly, "you'll
again paint like that."
"Paint like that!" he cried, "why, I have been
doing nothing else ! I tell you," he hurried on, his
voice rising, "I have made dozens of sketches like
that, and though it almost killed me, I covered
them with those hellish things. I had to you see,
I was afraid to let anyone see them."
"Yes, yes," I replied sadly as I saw his increasing
excitement, "Come, shall we walk back to the
house?" But he refused to be diverted.
"Doctor, Doctor," he repeated, rather wildly now,
"you promise to sell that if I do it again?"
"I promise," I humored him.
"Then listen, listen ! I am not insane no more
than you are. You won't be angry with me? I
had to paint. My father was an artist, and so poor
I think he and my mother must have died from star
vation soon after they came west when I was
about ten. I used to paint with my father. He
was proud of me and would say I had it in me to
become a great painter; and because of his words,
but most of all because of something inside me, I
have worked and starved to buy paint and canvas
but I starved too often and I became ill. There
were times when I felt faint and dazed, but always,
I knew I must paint. One day I stole some tubes.
I was taken some place to jail, I suppose. When
the doctors questioned me, I was too tired to care
how I answered
"Then then I came here and you allowed me
to paint to spend all day in work, and it was so
beautiful, it was like like heaven to me. I
couldn't work fast enough to make sketches of all
I wanted to study. It wasn't food I had been starv
ing for it was just a chance like this. Then a
terrible fear came over me. I was in an agony of
dread lest I be sent away. I was afraid to show
my work, I was afraid to ask for another canvas,
and to keep up the appearance of insanity, I would
paint over the things I loved the horrible shapes
you have seen. It wasn't right it wasn't honest;
but I thought if I ate very little and now if you
sell my pictures I can pay you are not angry,
I could not answer for the aching pressure in my
throat. In the imploring eyes that burned into
mine, was no trace of dementia, and I knew I was
looking into the soul of one anointed, who had
kept the faith, almost at the cost of the frail body. I
could only throw my arm about the slender form
and draw him to the grassy seat beside me. There
we sat and talked until the shrubs above us cast
long shadows like giant crow's-feet across the path
and my name was called in the distance.
"And some day, you say, I may go abroad to
"In a year's time ; I pledge it, if it takes the last
sou you and I can earn."
I left him there among the rhododendrons, a
measureless gratitude in his eyes. And that was
twenty years ago !
On my hand the ashes from my forgotten cigar
fell soft and warm as a breath of that May day as
Valmer's lean arm slipped over the back of my
chair. I was scarce roused from the spell his pic
ture had cast and his vibrant voice came like an
echo to my thoughts :
"Doctor, it was twenty years ago today !"
Travelers passing through the town of Pasco
are wont to comment on the long row of red houses
which are rented by the Northern Pacific railway
company to their employees and which are so alike
in color, size and style of architecture that to the
casual observer there are no distinguishing features.
During the summer months of the present time
their ugly color and harsh lines are quite con
cealed and softened by green vines and shade trees,
and the lawns are spacious and well kept; but six
or seven years ago any little bird would have told
you that there wasn't a decent tree in Pasco, the
lusty poplars and strong-limbed locusts of today
being then only slips of promise.
From the station the eyes are now delighted with
the smooth macadamized pavement and concrete
walks, and the illumination at night of numerous
cluster lights gives the place quite a metropolitan
aspect, but at the time of this narrative, the streets,
billowy with sand, were flanked with uneven, nail-
studded board walks, and citizens went abroad at
night in the perils of darkness.
It was at this unattractive period that Susan
Wells, the wife of a locomotive engineer, lived in
number sixteen in the Row; and on this particular
day she was there alone, wretched in body and
It was in July and it would have been exceedingly
hot in the shade, had there been any shade, and Jim
and she had had their first quarrel! Now he had
gone out on his run, and she had not even put up
his lunch or said good-bye.
Many women under the stress of similar emotions
would have indulged in a good cry, but Susan had
such a horror of disorder that even now in genuine
grief and anger it was characteristic of her that
she should be sitting as she was, before the open
door, only the tightly clasped hands and brown
eyes mirroring the misery of her hour.
Before her a vast expanse of sage- and cactus-
dotted plain stretched to where the Columbia shim
mered placidly in the sun and waves of heat scintil
lated and danced in mocking spirals over the white
sand of her front yard.
Visualizing, in marked contrast to this, the little
white cottage with its lilacs and ivy they had left in
the East, Susan, bitter in rebellion, felt that to the
injury of giving up such comforts, Jim had added
an unexpected insult in suggesting that they take
his sister's little boys to raise as their own.
Naturally she, too, had been shocked by Nellie's
sudden death and had sympathized with her hus
band, for she knew that he loved his sister and there
was now no one to care for her children but him;
yet she felt that she had been very magnanimous in
offering to give up half her monthly allowance to
assist in their maintenance in some institution,
and at his uncalled for resentment at this disposal
of the boys, she had angrily made it clear that any
added burden to her already over-taxed strength was
not to be considered. Now he had gone and she
was unconsciously trying to justify her decision
by summoning before her all the disagreeable
phases of the situation.
Had she not swept and dusted and scrubbed con
tinuously ever since coming to this dirt-infested
region? And now to have the care of two boys!
Mechanically she noted that the atmosphere was
assuming the haziness attendant upon the ap
proach of a sand storm. The brilliancy of the sun
was gradually dimming and a bank of pale coppery
clouds was piling up in the west. A little current
of air whirled into the room, raced madly through
loose papers and sent cards and photographs flying.
With the hopelessness of a martyr, Susan began
closing doors and windows and the fact that the
air would consequently be agreeably cooled by the
storm was no compensation to her for the w r ork it
Loose clapboards began to flap, windows rattled,
a dense gloom descended and the storm broke with
Huge balls of dried "tumble weed' rolled merrily
by, old papers sailed high in the air and the sand
beat against the panes like rain.
All kinds of objects blew past and once an empty
five-gallon kerosene can hurtled itself upon the
porch and clattered into a corner. Across the
street a tin bill-board, posting glaring inducements
to buy land in the vicinity and the familiar slogan,
"KEEP YOUR EYE ON PASCO/' lurched drunkenly
and crashed forward with deafening clamor.
The back door opened with a rush.
"Anybody living?" called a woman's voice.
It was Mrs. Allen who lived next door; she al
ways announced her coming in this way and al
though Susan showed her disapproval of her fa
miliar and easy manner the little neighbor seemed
cheerfully impervious to rebukes and inuendoes.
While Mrs. Allen was known to be a graduate of
Wellesly and was a general favorite in the Row,
the fact that she kept house with a total disregard
of order and professed to enjoy sandstorms placed
her without the pale of Susan's regard.
"Isn't this great!" she panted, plumping into a
chair. "Billy and the kiddies are finishing up a
two days' mess of dishes and they sent me over
here to keep you company."
And "Billy" who was a very efficient civil engi
neer, openly adored this inconsequential little
"But," she rattled on, "I told them I was sure
you'd be delighted with this storm, for now you
would have a lot of new material for your moun
"Mountain !" repeated Susan blankly.
"Why sure," laughed Mrs. Allen. "You're for
ever digging for dirt and I suppose you contem
plate doing something with it eventually? Make a
pyramid or some such monument to your life's work.
This," indicating with a gesture the thick layer of
fine sand now covering window sills and floor,
"ought to cheer you up considerably."
At that moment the telephone rang and in the in-
terjectional conversation which followed, jests and
commonplaces were eliminated by a cataclysm of
real misfortune. Jim's engine had been wrecked.
Yes, he was seriously injured and she must get
ready at once to accompany him to Tacoma.
Afterward when her mind could adjust itself to
normal thinking, she recalled with surprise that it
was Mrs. Allen who had so capably managed her
affairs for her in her distress and it had been to
the little neighbor whom she had always regarded
as frivolous and incompetent that she had turned
in helpless subjection.
In the long days that followed, in the bare white
room of the hospital, with nurses and doctors in
grave-faced consultation over the bruised and brok
en body of her husband, she had ample time to
realize her own impotence and the insignificance
of the little things which had hitherto loomed so
large on her mental horizon. And how many
times in the innocent delirium of the sufferer was
her selfishness paraded before her agonized con
"Sue, dear," he would murmur, brokenly;
"they've put me into this clean bed with my greasy
overalls on and you'll never get these sheets clean."
"Honey, I wiped my bloody hands on that em
broidered towel and the stains w^on't come out. Gee,
look at the tracks I've made." Then he would
start up and groan with the effort.
Sometimes he would think she was Nellie.
"Ah, little sis, don't cry ! I can't help it. Sue's
worked to death, digging and scrubbing all the
time. I'll take care of your little boys, Nell, but
Sue ain't strong and I dassen't take 'em home."
Once he laughed out heartily :
"There ain't nuthin' cuter 'n a little kid all
smeared up like that with jam !"
The nurse smiled interrogatively into the wife's
eyes, "You have a baby?"
Susan shook her head dully and a new pain
crept into her already overladen heart.
The night came at last, when, the crisis safely
over, the glad light of recognition and the weak
pressure of his hand was Heaven itself for Susan;
and in that moment she conceived a resolution the
birth of which was to bring future happiness for
Slowly but surely Jim regained strength and the
time arived when he obtained his release and they
were preparing to go home.
"Jim," faltered Susan on that morning, stand
ing behind his chair and caressingly running her
fingers through his thick ruddy hair, "I'm through
working on my mountain."
"Mountain !" he ejaculated.
"Well, I'm not going to explain about that now,
but I just want to tell you that the letter I got this
morning was from Mrs. Allen." She handed it to
him and smiled joyously into his bewildered eyes.
"And she says that Nellie's boys, our very own
now, for I've attended to all that since we've been
here, arrived safely and will be at the station to
morrow when we get back to dear old Pasco !"
Old Jud Watkins
"Yes, siree, take it from me, every man that lives
has hidden somewhere in his make-up, the soul of
poetry, or whatever you want to call it, that
something can touch at some time in his life to
arouse in him "
Old Jud Watkins turned toward me as he spoke,
and catching a puzzled expression on my face,
inasmuch as I hadn't the faintest idea of what had
led to this unexpected peroration, he stopped,
gave a short embarrassed laugh, and explained :
"You see, I have been here alone so much that I
sort of have the habit of talking with folks in imag
ination, and I start out and finish my side of the
argument out loud and suddenly find that I have
been doing all the previous talking just in my mind.
So don't mind me if I kind o' surprise you at times."
While speaking, he had been idly tapping on
his knee with a letter which the rural route post
man had brought a short time before, so I drew the
natural inference that its contents had something
to do with the old man's thoughts.
Ill health had sent me away from my city home
in the east to this ranch in the picturesque state of
Washington, situated in the big bend of a wide river,
where beyond the long, even stretch of meadow and
grain field rose the snow-peaked mountains. It
was an artist's dream of the beautiful; but what
Old Jud Watkins
was more to me, it contained all that could be de
sired towards helping me to regain health and phys
I had found this particular spot through an olcf
friend, who was also a friend of Jud Watkins : and
here I was, partly ranch hand, partly boarder, but
best of all, the trusted and fortunate confidant of
the old bachelor ranchman who was doing more
with his quaint and wholesome logic and healthful
habits, to put me back in my rightful place among
men, than all else in the way of medicine and diet.
Just how he had so vitally changed my own warped
outlook upon the world and life in general, and set
my feet firmly upon the safe and sane road to my
individual happiness, is "another story'' as Kipling
used to say: and this is another's story, not mine.
Noting the interest in my eyes, old Jud Watkins
reached over and tapped his pipe against the porch
railing until it was emptied to his satisfaction, then
carefully refilling and relighting it, continued his
preface as though there had been no interruption.
"Yes siree; no matter what for looks a fellow
might be, he still has some where within that 'di
vine spark' we read about, which somethin' can
reach, if it comes jest at the right time ; the 'psycho
logical moment' they call it.
"You've heard me speak of Tom Millard, <No-
Speakum', the ranch hands named him, who was
here with me up to about a year ago? Well, he
was the one fellow who it seemed to me at times,
was totally lacking in any spot through which he
Old Jud Watkins
could be reached. But I will tell you about him
from the first.
"You see, he drifted in her one evening at dusk,
about two years ago. Although he was footing it,
I sized him up at once as not being an ordinary
tramp, or for that matter, an ordinary fellow of any
kind. He asked for a night's lodging and as I
never turn any one away, being so far from rail
road stations and boat landings, I let him sleep
down in one of the bunk houses. Next morning
he offered to pay for everything, same as if he had
stopped at some fine hotel. I told him to keep his
money and his breath too, as he started to insist,
for he might need 'em both at some future time,
He looked at me kind o' queer, and then dropped
down on an old piece of machinery and sat still so
long, gazing off into the mountains that I won
dered what ailed the man. He seemed to have for
gotten my presence and everything else and it was
plain that somethin' was bothering him terrible.
After a long time he kind o' roused up and asked
me how far it was to the nearest postoffice. I told
him, but it didn't occur to me to mention that I was
on a rural delivery route. My answer seemed to
satisfy him on some point, for he nodded his head
as if he was answering some question to himself.
Pretty soon he looked up at me and asked abrupt
ly: 'Can I work here for you, for my board?' I
didn't know jest what to say for a minute then I
told him that I wouldn't be needing help much till
a month or so later when harvest would begin ; but
Old Jud Watkins
as I talked I watched his face, and such a look of
disappointment settled on it that I finished by say
ing that if he really wished to, he could work for
his board until that time, and then if he wanted to
make a regular harvest hand, I would pay him the
usual wages. I won't soon forget the look of grati
tude he gave me, and it set me to wondering what
was back of it all; why a man of his brains and
polish should be so grateful for permission to bury
himself out here on my quiet ranch; and what it
was that had left such a mark on his face.
"Well he stayed on, and I grew to know as much
about him as I do of that tallest mountain peak over
there, which has never been climbed. I couldn't
talk to him, cause if a fellow talks too long to him
self he begins to realize he's logy; and talking to
that man was sure like talking to yourself when
you don't expect an answer. After a while I quit.
When the harvest hands came later on they tried
as I had done, to pick up some kind of conversation
with him, and with the same results. Some fellow
gave him the nick-name 'No-Speakum,' and that was
all he was known by from then on. To me he was
'Tom', for that was what he had told me to call him,
and I never knew what his last name was until after
he had been here about six months. One day the
postman (and I never will forget the look of sur
prise and anger that came over Tom's face that first
time he saw the rural delivery man come by here ! )
left a letter here addressed to Mr. T. J. Millard. I
called after the fellow as he started away, I had
gone down to the mail box when I saw him coming,
Old Jud Watkins
'Here, this is a mistake; there is nobody here by
the name of Millard.' As the postman started back,
Tom, who was near, spoke up quick as though he
had forgotten for the moment, 'Here, it is for me.'
I didn't say anything of course, but just handed the
letter to him, and the postman went on. But man
alive! When he looked at that letter and seemed
to recognize the handwriting, I never saw such a
look on any man's face as was on his ! He turned
chalky white first, then his eyes blazed like coals of
fire and he shook like a fellow with the ague. I
pretended not to notice. He hurried into the house,
caught up a pen and jambed it down into the ink
bottle, wrote something on the face of the envelope
after scratching off part of the address, then rushed
out of the house and ran a quarter of a mile like
a madman until he overtook the postman and gave
him that letter.
"For days after that, he seemed like a man in a
dream, and a mighty unhappy one at that ! I said
very little to him, and aside from asking the nec
essary questions, or answering one, he was more
silent than ever, if that were possible.
"Of course my curiosity was aroused by this
strange man. What could his past be? Certainly
he was not a criminal! nor was he a fugitive from
the law. (I won't say 'justice'.) He had as high
a sense of honor as any man I know, and I would
have trusted him with anything.
"About a month later, another letter came. This
time Tom wasn't at the house and I did not get the
mail until after the postman was out of sight. It
Old Jud Watkins
was addressed same as the first one, and I noticed
the writing this time as I carried the mail to the
house. It was a fine handwriting, surely a woman's
and easier to read than most of 'em. If what they
say is true about character showing up in one's
writing, I should have said the writer of that letter
was a good woman. Still, you never can tell.
Look at the writing of Jim Turner; clear cut and
fine as a copy book, and goodness, that fellow just
seems as if he never could be straight. And then
again, do you recall the handwriting of some of our
best men? Crooked and wobbly, as though they
had no backbone. I never could see as the hand
writing is much of a test. But I'm gettin' off my
story : When Tom came into the house and found
that letter lying there on the table, I just put it
there without calling his attention to it, as I didn't
know what else to do, that same look of white rage
came into his face, and it almost made me afraid
of him as if he could lay the blame on me. I was
busy with the newspapers that are always about a
week old when they reach here you know, and a
fellow is pretty anxious to know what's going on in
the world. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tom
take the pen as savagely as he did before, and
scratch the address and write something else on it,
then as if he was afraid of having the letter in the
house, he went down to the mailbox and threw it in,
although the postman wouldn't be by until next day.
"In about a month, another one came. Now I
suppose I did something that some fussy folks
would say wasn't just square, but I don't care.
Old Jud Wdtkins
Sometimes I think the end justifies the means, and
this wasn't a thing that disturbed my conscience
so's I couldn't sleep. When I took some of my own
mail down for the postman to collect, I picked up
the letter Tom had thrown into the box same as the
others, and looked at it. As I say, I picked it up
and looked carefully at what Tom had written on
it, so's to remember it.
"He had written 'Return to sender,' and in the
corner was the name 'Mrs. T. J. Millard, Winns-
boro, South Carolina.' So he was married. His
wife had been writing to him, and he had been re
turning the letters to her, un-opened. And he was
a Southerner. I had suspected as much from his
talk; one of those hot-headed, proud sons of the
South who are governed by rash hearts instead of
"I was puzzling over the whole strange situation
that evening when Tom suddenly spoke to me in a
tone that made me fairly jump, intent as my mind
was on him. 'There won't be much work for the
next few weeks ; I'm going on a long tramp up into
"He was gone for about two weeks. When he
came back his face was thinner and more worn than
ever with such a tired look in his eyes that I pitied
him in my heart. No matter where the fault lay,
that man was suffering the torments of hell!
When I looked at him and realized what a woman
can do with a man's heart, well, I felt deeply
Old Jud Watkins
thankful that I had been left with some sweeter
memories than had been this man's portion.
"Well, I'm a bit ahead of my story again.
While he was gone, I got busy. I had carefully
made a note of his wife's address, so one night when
I sat thinking the matter over, I wrote a letter to
her. I told her who I was and that Mr. Millard
lived with me here on my ranch. And then as care
fully as I could, so's not to fumble things, I asked
her where the trouble lay, in case she wished me
to know, and offered as delicately as I could, to
be of help to them both if she would let me. I
knew I run a big risk of getting into trouble and
bein' told to mind my own business.
"Well, I mailed that letter and then watched
for an answer like some love-sick swain, hoping it
would escape the sharp eyes of Tom. It came one
day when Tom was on the far side of the ranch.
And such a letter ! Man that I am, I'm not ashamed
to tell you that the tears were running down my
old cheeks before I laid it down ! That poor little
girl didn't spare herself; she told me everything,
and I believed her! And right then and there I
vowed I'd do everything in my power to help her
and that meant him too, of course.
"No need to go into the details of her story. An
up-to-date story writer could have made out of it
one of those three-sided affairs that magazine read
ers go crazy over ; only this one, being a true story,
didn't have the kind of spice that makes good read
ing to some folks. This woman was a good woman.
I knew it.
Old Jud Watkins
"I pondered over it for days and weeks, trying to
see what I could do without spoiling everything in
clumsy, man fashion.
"One night some neighbors were in and we were
sitting around the fire here, it was in early spring,
and the talk turned on a murder trial the papers
were full of at that time. A man had been found
dead on a train, and poison had been found in an
empty bottle that had contained whiskey which he
had evidently drunk. The man had a handsome
wife and they had not been on the best of terms;
in order to make everlasting fame for himself, some
young state's attorney had the wife thrown into
prison and was making desperate efforts to prove
her a murderess. Luck seemed against him. The
outcome was still in doubt at this time.
"While we were discussing this point, I had a
sudden inspiration. With all the eloquence at my
command I launched into a defense of the woman,
and all her unfortunate sisters. Leading on from
this I told a lot of instances where women had been
wrongfully judged and their lives ruined everlast
ingly just through circumstantial evidence.
" <I knew a case once,' I said, 'where a man and
his wife were separated by some little thing, and it
was wrecking both their lives, just breaking their
hearts! And the whole thing was only a misun
derstanding. The young wife was full of life and
natural animal spirits, and in a spirit of dare-
deviltry was a party in some foolish escapade with
several others, who were smooth enough to lie out
of it, which looked bad for her and one man in
Old Jud Watkins
a manner that would have hopelessly compromised
her in the eyes of the world had not her husband
straightened the whole thing out and turned it into
a joke, to the entire satisfaction of every one ex
cepting himself. He believed she had lied to him.
He left her like one insane, rushing off to the far
ends of the earth without ever giving any one a
chance to help clear up the trouble, not even his
mother. Jest see the misery his rashness and blind
pride caused, both to himself and his poor little
wife. And she had told him the truth.'
"By the time I had got this far, Tom had bolted
for the door, and he did not come back until after
every one was abed and asleep. I had no way of
knowing whether he had taken anything I said to
himself or not; but I knew it had at least stirred
things up and maybe set him thinking, and that
was a whole lot. That is, if it had started him on a
different tack than he had been on these many
months. How I hoped and prayed the unhappy
fellow would jest let down the bars long enough for
me to reach him in some way.
"One day as I sat reading a Spokane paper, I
ran across something that brought the tears to my
old eyes, and it gave me a thought.
"You know on the editorial page of the Spokane
Chronicle, there is a column headed 'Old Favorites/
and under it they re-print old poems. What I had
come across was a poem by Bob Burdette that
would have softened a heart of stone it seemed to
me, it was so sweet and touching.
Old Jud Watkins
"I folded the paper so that page was uppermost
and with a devout prayer, laid it where I knew
Tom would pick it up as soon as he came in. Well,
he did that very thing. I sat like one froze to the
chair as I watched his eye light on this very poem,
then follow it down line after line. It was entitled
'Alone,' and this is how it goes for I know it by
" 'I miss you, my darling, my darling;
The embers burn low on the hearth,
And hushed is the stir of the household,
And still the voice of its mirth.
Rain splashes fast on the terrace,
The winds past the lattices moan,
The midnight bell rings in the darkness,
And I am alone.
" 'I want you, my darling, my darling;
I am tired with care and with fret,
I would nestle in silence beside you,
And all but your presence forget
In the hush of the happiness given
To those who through trusting have grown
To the fulness of love and contentment;
But I am alone.
"'I call you, my darling, my darling;
My voice echoes back on my heart;
I stretch my arms to you in longing,
And lo! they fall empty apart.
I whisper sweet words, you taught me,
The words we only have known,
Till the blank of the dumb air is bitter,
And I am alone.
" 'I pray for you darling, my darling;
With its yearning my very heart aches,
And the load that divides us weighs harder,
I shrink from the jar it makes.
Old sorrows rise up to beset me,
Old doubts make my spirit their own;
Oh, come through the darkness and save me,
For I am alone! Alone!'
Old Jud Watkins
"It must have been the 'psychological moment',
for that poem went straight to the mark. I
knew it by the way the muscles of his face twitched
and his quick intake of breath at the finish, almost
like a sob. My heart sent up a prayer of thankful
ness when he caught up his hat and started out on
one of his long walks. I knew I had won.
"When he came back I was prepared for his blunt
statement that he was starting for the nearest
station at once.
"He pressed my hand hard at parting, merely
saying he would write me soon. But I understood.
And some way or other, he seemed to feel that I
Again the old man seemed to drift off into his
dream country where the pictures made soft, ten
der reflections in his kindly eyes, and I was to be
forgotten for the time. Then turning as he had at
the beginning of the story when he had uttered his
belief in the divine spark in every man, he met my
expression of unsatisfied interest and it brought him
back to the present with an apologetic cough.
"Well, there isn't much more to tell." He looked
over at me with his benevolent, kindly smile that
had endeared him to me as much as the wholesome
philosophy which it usually accompanied. "If my
conscience ever had troubled me about the part I
played, it w r as soon appeased. Here is one of many
letters I have had from Tom Millard, you may
read it, but first, just look at this." And he drew
from the envelope a postcard photograph and
handed it to me. It was of a man and a baby of
Old Jud Watkins
perhaps a year and a half, and beneath was written
in a bold hand, "Tom, Jr., and Tom, Sr."
The picture alone would have put the right "finis"
to the story; for if ever I saw happiness, I read it
in the handsome, manly face in the picture, and
coupled with it was the just pride in the sturdy
little lad in his arms, a second edition of himself
in miniature. After just hearing his story, is it any
wonder I gazed with such interest at the pictured
faces of the principal actors in what might have
been such a tragedy but for the intervention of the
noble old man at my side?
He handed me the letter received that day, and
"Dear old friend: I am sending you the latest
of Tom, Jr., and his dad. The picture speaks for
"Just a year ago today since I reached home;
home! It seems ages ago, and yet but yesterday,
that I stepped unannounced into the home picture
of Edith, my poor little girl-mother, holding a
cooing baby in her arms, my son! of whose ex
istence I did not even know ! O, the self reproach
and misery that was mine!
"My pride my foolish, crazy pride broke then,
and my heart with it, as I dropped to my knees be
side my poor little girl, who had been left to pass
through that soul testing battle, for my sake,
alone! How I begged her to forgive me yet I can
never forgive myself! as I took them both in my
arms. And before I arose from my knees, I thanked
Old Jud Watkins
God for the good friend out there in the far west
who had helped bring about this awakening of my
real self. If you never did another act of kindness
in your life, this one alone has earned you heaven.
God bless you !
"Your grateful friend, TOM."
"The Other Kind"
The short September day was near its close.
Three-year old Milly was asleep on a roll of wraps
at her mother's feet; but Johnnie and Helen and
Arthur and Catherine were still trying to keep pace
with their mother in pulling the hops from the pole-
embracing vines, when a strange man came up to
"My name is Brown," he brusquely stated. "I
am the owner of these hop-fields." For awhile he
watched the workers in silence, as if reluctant to
carry out his purpose. "I have a message for you,
madam," he finally said. "I have been notified by
the sheriff that I am violating the child-labor law
by permitting children under twelve to pick hops,
so I am obliged to tell you that your children will
have to quit."
For a moment Mrs. Brewster was stunned. Dur
ing the whole summer her children had earned
enough in the berry fields to pay the family expenses
thus enabling her to save her earnings for the time,
near at hand, when she would be the only bread
winner. The few weeks remaining of hop-picking
would not amount to much, but the future without
the help of the busy little hands looked very dark
indeed. "It's pretty hard," she said, "when a
mother has to do it all."
"Are you a widow?" asked the man, softened by
the plaintive answer.
"The Other Kind"
"No," Mrs. Brewster faltered, "but I am all alone
for the present, my husband went away a year
ago to find steady employment and I don't know
when he'll return."
"Oh, I see," replied Mr. Brown. "Well, we
passed the mother's aid law for just such women as
you. Why don't you apply for a pension with pro
vision for these children?"
Mrs. Brewster gave an upward toss of her head.
"I am not one of that kind !" she flared. "I neither
accept charity nor allow my children to do so !
However hard they work and whatever privation
they suffer, they shall not be cheated out of their
birthright of independence as long as I have the
power to prevent it."
"That's just my style," applauded Mr. Brown.
"It's the good old-fashioned spirit that turned out
men and women of backbone instead of the weak-
kneed, spineless specimens of these days. Why, if
things go on as they are it won't be long before one-
half of the people will be supporting the other half."
Mrs. Brewster had not stopped working, and the
children, with the thoroughness of an army of cater
pillars, had stripped their side of the pole while she
cleaned off hers. "Huh, this ain't work!" put in
laughing-eyed Johnnie. "It's fun to earn your own
sweaters and things. When I go back to school,"
he added with a glance at his patched rags, "I'll
have everything new."
"Your kids don't seem to be suffering from over
work," grinned Mr. Brown, "they're as sunny and
sassy as so many dandelions."
"The Other Kind"
"That's just what I want them to be," laughed
the mother "and not only as sunny and 'sassy,'
but as vigorous and pushing and clean, and as in
"S'pose you'll go on picking? the man inquired
as he turned to go.
"No, I couldn't do more than earn our expenses,
working alone," was the regretful reply, "so we
may as well go home."
Before noon the next days, Mrs. Brewster with
her bunch of "dandelions," was in the city all
elated to the lightness of the airy balloons of their
prototypes at being even so insigniflcent a part of
splendid Seattle. As they approached their own
three-room dwelling in the outskirts, so homelike in
its envelope of vines, the recreant father had not
left them homeless, Johnnie ran ahead. "Hello,
a letter!" he cried as he opened the door. "Guess
it's from Papa !"
Mrs. Brewster coming up and hearing the word,
"papa," snatched the letter, her face alight with
expectation. "Huh, nothing but a city notice!"
she sighed. "Hope it's not another assessment. But
that's just what it is," she declared, after a glance
at the brief contents. "Twelve dollars on that
boulevard twenty blocks away that we shall never
even see. It does seem as if the folks that ride in
automobiles ought to pay for their own roads !"
"It looks as if we was handin' out charity to
them," asserted Johnnie, "and I should think
they'd be ashamed to take it !"
"The Other Kind"
"That's so, my boy," agreed the mother, recover
ing her spirit, "but I would far rather give than re
ceive even if it does pinch us a little. The satis
faction of living without charitable aid is life-long,
while the miseries of want are only for the time
being. But I hope Papa will come home before this
assessment is due," she smiled.
Then the routine for the winter began. Milly was
sent to a neighbor's while the other four were in
school, and Mrs. Brewster toiled in a laundry, won
dering and worrying about what the "kiddies" were
doing all day without her care. The home washing
and sewing she did at night, leaving the children
to manage the rest.
"We're getting along famously," she declared one
day, as the united family were eating their supper
of pea-soup and corn-bread. "If this keeps up we
may be able to afford a visit from Santa Glaus ; the
old fellow isn't very fond of poor folks, you know."
"Is us poor folks, mamma?" asked Catherine in
Mrs. Brewster thought a moment. "Well, no,"
she soothingly replied, "we're rich enough in every
thing but money."
That very night a part of their riches took flight.
Milly came down with the measles. Of course it
ran through the family and when quarantine was
raised, the devoted mother became ill. Too weak to
rise, she lay on her hard bed and sighed her heart
out with the deadly fear of having to ask for aid.
"I'd rather see my children dead than eating the
bread of paupers," was the goading reflection, that
"The Other Kind"
like some disease-repressing medicament, reduced
her almost to the verge of the grave before its tonic
effects began to be felt. But at last the children
laughed again to see her about the house.
The day before Christmas, propped up in a chair,
she was making a necktie for Johnnie's present,
when her proud independence was put to the se
verest test. An automobile stopped before the
house. All the children but Milly were at a neigh
boring playground, so Mrs. Brewster tottered to the
door. A glance through the glass panel told her
what was coming. A large auto-dray, loaded to its
capacity, stood at the curb, and two men with arms
filled to overflowing were already on the porch.
"Some one has reported that we are destitute,"
was the thought that burned through her mind,
"and we are not. We still have food and fuel !" Her
face was no longer pale when she opened the door.
"There has been some mistake," she said to the fore
most lieutenant of charity.
"I have your name and address, madam," was the
firm reply. "There can't be any mistake."
"Well, I ought to know," flared the resolute
woman. "I never sent my name to your paper and
no one else had a right to !"
"You may as well have the things, anyway,"
smiled the man.
Mrs. Brewster thought of the bare cupboard and
the tiny heap of coal in the bin, and wavered. But
it was only for an instant. "You'll have plenty of
use for them," she said, and quickly closed the door,
shutting out her part of the bounty that a sympa-
"The Other Kind"
thetic newspaper had collected from a generous pub
lic to relieve the city's destitute. "God forgive me
if I have done wrong!" she silently prayed, as she
led Milly back to hover over the stove.
The next morning dawned sunny and mild, and
laughter and shouts of "Merry Christmas !" rang as
merrily through the Brewster household as through
a palace. The mother's poor little presents had been
joyously received and the children were decking
themselves in their made-over finery, when a heavy
step was heard outside. Fearful that it might be
another emissary of charity, Mrs. Brewster started
to turn him away, but was too slow. The door was
pushed open and the visitor burst into the room.
"Hello ! Merry Christmas !" he shouted.
"It's Santa Taus !" crowed Milly, seeing only the
arms and pockets filled with mysterious packages
and not recognizing her father so opportunely re
"We're all right, now," shouted the man as soon
as the jubilee was over. "I've got a steady job on
a big farm and a shack to live in and
"That's glorious, Jack," cried the wife, too de
lighted to wait for all the good news. "We won't
mind the hardest work if only we can always save
our self-respect! We're not the 'charity' kind!"
Florence Crichton, when a mere child, used to
watch from her home on a hill, the entrance of ves
sels to the harbor of Seattle, and she claimed the
finest of them and the harbor itself as her own.
With the coming of the automobile and the
growth of the city, boulevards were built to one
place and then to another. She grew with their
growth, and from playing the game of appropriating
all the beautiful things she saw, she came to live
the game. The first time her father took her out
on the boulevard overlooking Lake Washington, she
claimed the lake, twenty-five miles long, as her own.
And as they followed the drive into the deep green
woods, across bridges that spanned tiny brooklets
and great ravines and then swung out again into
the open, the great stretch of water below them
with its background of fir trees, and beyond, the
glorious Cascade Mountains, all seemed to her a
picture arranged for the sole purpose of complet
ing the joy of that wonderful drive.
The summer she finished her junior year at the
University, a fine road to Mount Rainier was com
pleted, and she was included in the first party to
drive over it. As the party left their machines and
climbed to a pinnacle nearby, she claimed, in her
accustomed manner, the mountain as her own, and
An untried optimist, she responded with love to
the native beauties of her birthplace, as simply and
naturally as a bird greets with song the dawn of
day in the spring time.
And as she stood on this pinnacle, drinking in the
beauties of the surrounding valleys, it seemed quite
fitting that Harold Comer should declare his love
and ask her to become his wife. There on the moun
tain top she made her vows of love, and as she de
scended the mountain, hand in hand with her lover,
the old, old story, ever new, glorified her face as in
all time it has glorified the face of maiden.
A year later, preparations for the wedding be
gan. Florence's life, thus far, had been one long
dream of delight. She had walked in perpetual
sunshine, a sunshine of love and happy dreams.
But one week before the day set for the wedding
her first cloud appeared suddenly, out of a clear
sky. And swiftly the tempest followed.
For the first time, illness assailed her. After a
few days of agonized suspense, and anxious weeks
of slow recovery, a consultation resulted in the an
nouncement that she would soon be all right with
the exception of her right arm, it was paralyzed.
This, her first trial, the first test of her strength
was met, by this erstwhile optimist, with blank
And when Harold, overjoyed with her recovery,
hurried to her exclaiming, "We'll be so happy, Little
Sweetheart! We shall not mind this small afflic
tion," her studied haughtiness was pathetic.
"Is it then so small a matter that the best medical
authority in the country has pronounced me a life
long cripple?" she questioned.
"But oh, my Princess," he laughed. "It will be
my privilege to serve "
She interrupted him with another attempt at
haughtiness. "Do you think then, that I am the
kind of girl to burden the man I love, and spoil his
career with the care of a crippled wife? Oh, can
you not see that everything is changed? We had
made such beautiful plans, and now, look at this."
She tragically lifted with the fingers of the left
hand, the poor limp member which hung helpless
whichever way she turned it.
"And more than this." She stopped him with a
gesture when he would have spoken. "Perhaps you
can not understand, but two months ago this was
all mine." And she made an eloquent gesture to
ward the panorama seen from the window. "Look
at the tints on the water, and on the Olympics, be
hind which the sun has just disappeared. And
look at Mount Eainier. Oh, Harold, it rained last
night and the air is as clear as it was in June.
Then this picture was all mine. I lived in it and
loved it. Every breath of mine was a response to
the beauty and joy of it.
"But now, I look at my beautiful landscape and
it mocks me. The sunlight dances gaily on the
water, and Rainier, my mountain, my beloved moun
tain cries, 'Aha! 1 am yours no more.' The whole
picture just screams at me, 'You are finished. We
care nothing for your misery! We are just as
beautiful just as complete without your joy.' '
"Oh yes," she continued rapidly, fearing an in
terruption, "my career was a happy one while it
lasted. But 'tis ended and in going down I shall
not take you with me. No half-way measures are
possible. I can not see you again."
Again he would have spoken but she stopped him
and continued, "I am going to ask my father to let
me go away for a while until I get used to this,
and learn to live this other life. Meantime I beg of
you not to try to see me. Go and leave me now."
He kissed the top of the bowed head and laid his
cheek against it. "My poor little sweetheart," he
said. "Such foolish sick fancies are not like you."
But she shrank from him, pleading: "Don't,
don't make it any harder. I can not bear it."
With another soft kiss on her hair, and a gentle
pat, he assured her, "Yes Dearie, I will go. You
are all wrong. I shall not argue now, but I know
your love is not going to change for a foolish whim.
You will soon be yourself again and all will be
And he departed, not doubting that she would
feel differently very soon. But despite the plead
ings of her family, she would not see him again, nor
open his letters. And at last they yielded to her
persuasion to let her go to New York.
It was three years later when she returned, with
the bitterness in her heart grown still more bitter.
She had cemented with self-pity the wall of unhap-
piness about her. Suffering had clouded her eyes,
and hardened the soft curves of her lips.
The week following her return, her dearest friend
was to marry Harold's brother. She refused to act
as bridesmaid, Harold was to be best man, but
she could not refuse to attend the wedding. She
greeted Harold coldly, but could not hide from
him the signs of her misery.
As her family and friends were all in league
against her, it was perhaps not entirely accidental
that during the evening she found herself alone
with Harold on the veranda overlooking Lake
Washington. Fortune smiled upon Harold as he
stepped to her side. For at that moment the moon
peeped from behind a cloud, and bathed the lake,
the mountain and woods in its glorious light. Re
treat was impossible, so for a moment she stood,
staring into eyes filled with the old-time love. Then
she looked out over the lake, the glory of the moon
light upon it seeming from this distance to be
something almost spiritual in its beauty.
For a long time they stood thus, the silence be
tween them tense, while the bitterness, false pride
and wretchedness in her heart struggled desperately
against the melting warmth of love, an unnamed
gladness and the scenes so welcome to her home
At last he spoke gently, and as if continuing
their conversation of three years past. "Yes, this
and the view from your father's windows were
yours. In the goodness of your heart you loved the
pictures and did homage to the Maker. But, for-
give me if I seem brutal, with your first misfortune
you forsook your better self, your love and your
homage. And, must I say it? you deserted me be
cause of your wounded pride."
Again the silence was tense. Again he spoke, and
his voice rang with love and pain. "Florence my
love, you can not remain false to both of us."
Once more there was a moment's silence, and then
"Yes, false to both," she repeated. "That is it."
And she turned to him a face radiant with joy.
"Look at this," and again she made an eloquent,
sweeping gesture. "I know now that I was wrong.
God's world was calling me to live life bravely
and to know myself. And I was afraid. I could
"But now, with the homesickness gone, and all
this loved scene before me, and the wedding and
all and you so near, my panic and blindness
have gone like magic. I know now that I shall
never again be afraid of life. Oh I feel again the
old throb of life and joy. Harold '
But Harold was staring amazed. And follow
ing his gaze, she too stared. They were looking at
her right hand, which unconsciously she had lifted
high in air, this time without the aid of strong
"Rock of Ages"
Mary Ann Baggs was in front of the cabin clean
ing two guns. Joash had planned to clean them
that morning, but a summons to court had come
the evening before, and he was off in his boat to
the main-land, on an unexpected trip, so Mary Ann
had promised to clean the guns. They said on
Vashon that Mary Ann was "mighty handy;" she
could row, fish, and hunt as well as any man on
the island, and she kept her cabin neat and her
She Avas a strong, capable Avoman. Her old sun-
bonnet was pushed back on her head, and her dark
hair and bright eyes added to her interesting per
The winter before a revival had been held in the
little school-house. Mary Ann had come under
conviction and got religion. It was the real thing
with her. She had a Bible and she read it; and
had taught her children the ten commandments and
the Lord's Prayer.
This morning as she worked she was humming
to herself "Rock of Ages," and thinking of the ser
mon of the previous Sabbath. The text had been
"Deliver us from evil." As she sang and worked
her eyes Avandered often to the waters of the sound
rippling in the morning sunshine. The tide Avas in
and the waves lapped gently against the jagged
"Rock of Ages"
rocks that rose as a natural barrier about the open
space in front of the cabin.
Back of the cabin stretched the great forest of
tall Washington pines and firs; the voices of the
children came from the edge of it where they were
Plenty of tradition hung over the lonely spot.
The pioneers on the mainland still related tales of
Indian orgies on the island, and of a certain cove
called "Smugglers' Cove." Even now the peaceful
atmosphere was threatened. For months past a
band of lawless men had been operating along the
coast, committing robberies and depredations, with
the island as their rendezvous. Recently the
island itself had been the scene of a dastardly deed.
Not half a mile from where Mary Ann stood was
the deserted cabin of old man Lumley. He was
known to have money and had been robbed and
murdered by members of the band. Clint Boyd, the
leader, had been caught and jailed. His examina
tion was now in progress. Joash had gone as a wit
ness for the prosecution. Meanwhile the rest of the
band were still at large, threatening vengeance. A
rumor had come that some of them had been seen
a mile or two away.
Mary Ann was a strong advocate of peace at all
times ; but Joash believed that "forewarned is fore
The sun rose higher; the guns were about fin
ished; the children had come from play and were
watching their mother.
"Rock of Ages"
A man on horseback came suddenly round the
bend in the narrow roadway leading up from the
shore. He was followed by another; and at once
two more came into view. Mary Ann gave one
look. "The Boyd gang, sure enough!" she said
under her breath, "but Joash isn't here. Praise the
Lord !" Then her thoughts turned to the old wallet
behind the loosened bricks of the chimney. It con
tained their savings to buy the bit of cleared land
adjacent to their own holding. Outwardly she was
calm. She picked up the guns and with Seth and
Hetty close at her heels, walked to the little veran
dah in front of the cabin.
The men dismounted, tied their horses to the
fence, and entered the yard. The foremost, evi
dently the leader, came rapidly towards the steps.
He wore brown corduroy trousers and a black shirt.
His trousers were tucked into high boots in typical
western fashion ; on his head was a slouch hat. His
face was dark and determined.
Mary Ann placed the guns against the side of the
house and turned to greet him.
"Somethin' to eat and that mighty quick, woman;
set out some bread and bacon and make the coffee
strong; now get a gait on ye. We're hungry men
and no time to fool. Must be out o' here in twenty
minutes." Without replying, Mary Ann disap
peared into the cabin, quickly prepared the food,
set it forth on the deal table, and called the men.
They filed in, a ruffianly-looking lot.
As they sat down, Mary Ann, standing at the
head of the table, said quietly: "Gentlemen, we
"Rock of Ages"
allus have the blessin' before we eat," then she
folded her toil-worn hands, closed her eyes, and in
a solemn voice began the Lord's prayer. Hetty and
Seth stood on either side of their mother, and from
force of habit mingled their childish voices with
"Cut it out," began one of the men, but stopped
at a look from the leader.
The petition finished, the men in awed silence ate
rapidly and voraciously. Again and again Mary
Ann filled up their plates. Suddenly the leader ex
claimed : "Time's up, boys," and they rose from the
table. Mary Ann's heart stood still.
The leader turned towards her. "I want ye to
know that we ain't much on religion, but we do
know a brave woman when we see one. It ain't in
our minds to harm ye or the young 'uns, and we are
obleeged for the provisions."
With these words he strode through the door and
down the path. He was followed by the other men
and they mounted and rode away.
Mary Ann stood for a few moments in silence
looking down the way they had taken. Then she
brought the guns in, put them in their places in
the rack near the ceiling and went about her work.
As she worked, she sang, softly,
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."
"What is that you say, Betty?"
"The railroad is coming," exclaimed Betty. "Jack
just returned from The Dalles. He was talking
with the men. They are building rapidly this way.
Now if they buy your land, father, for the depot
site and pay for the right of way through here, our
fortunes will be made."
The old man shook his head and said, "Yes, if
they will. We have waited for so long, Betty, I
have lost faith in that Northern Pacific Railroad
Company. Your mother was just a slip of a girl, not
as old as you are, when we filed on our homestead,
and here we have lived and waited for the railroad
all these years. How many loads I have hauled to
The Dalles and back again in that time ! I do hope
I've hauled my last one."
The old man walked to the end of the porch and
shading his eyes with his hand stood looking to
ward the Old Town gap. "There is no other way
to get through the foothills except through that gap,
its got to go through my land ! "I don't mind for
myself, I have gotten used to it. But if mother's
hopes could be realized," he mused. "If Ben could
finish his college course and she could go back to
see him get his sheepskin. Bless her, she has never
been back to her old home since we left on our
honey-moon trip to take a homestead in Washington
Territory. What a brave little girl she has been,"
thought the old man.
Spring had come very early that year, in fact
there had been very little winter weather and now
the garden was filled with blooming flowers. A
long row of hollyhocks stood guard between the
flowers and the vegetable garden. Back of the veg
etable garden a row of tall trees made a wind-break,
from which the breezes wafted the sweet odor of
the balm buds. Clover in blossom along the irri
gating ditches filled the air with its fragrance.
The little town on the river was filled with blos
soms, both wild and cultivated, for these old set
tlers were lovers of beauty and had taken time to
grow flowers and vines in profusion. Every house
was covered with climbing roses, and although
there were few tea roses and bulbs, there were all
the old-fashioned flowers and some of the newest
and latest things from the East.
Betty ran back to her own home across the
street and the pioneer went into the house to talk
it all over with his wife.
As she had just finished her work for the day,
they walked out into the garden, talking of the
prosperity that would come with the railroad. As
they passed the bed of white daisies, she stooped
and gathered a handful and said, "Ben, can't you
see little Margaret sitting there in the grass making
her daisy chain? Its twenty-five years since we
laid her away, and I never see those daisies with
out seeing her."
"Yes," said the father, "she looked just like you,
blue eyes and golden hair. I can't get over wishing
we could have kept her."
They walked on to the honeysuckle arbor and
set talking of their young life together. "Here,
Jack courted Betty. How happy they have been.
And over there under the sunflowers little Ben had
his garden," said his mother.
They watched the setting sun paint the dull gray
foothills gorgeous red and gold and then drop
down behind the mountains.
What dreams filled the mother's mind as she
slipped away in slumber that night, dreams of see
ing her son graduate from the State University
where she had attended school, and where her old
school-mate's son was studying now.
What a beautiful world it was to her that night
as she planned her trip and visit with the old friends
of her girlhood days.
"I told you so, Benjamin, 'All things come to him
who waits.' '
"Yes, if you wait long enough," said the old man.
The weeks flew by on wings of hope. The whole
village was in a flutter of excitement. The rail
road official had been there the day before trying
to make a deal for the depot site, but as corpora
tions have no souls, the fact of the destiny of many
lives had no weight.
The official wrote hurriedly in his notebook, "Old
Yakima depot site too high priced," and ordered
the engineers to go on four miles north of the old
Yakima site and lay out a new town in the sage
The old settlers called a meeting in the church.
What did this mean? How could the railroad pass
through the town and not have a depot?
The mystery was explained by a railroad official
who caine in a few weeks and announced that the
company was ready to move every house off its
foundation up to a new lot in the new town of
North Yakima, which the railroad company had
The women huddled together with tears in their
eyes. "Must we leave our flowers, our lawns, our
shade trees and our berries and fruit and go up
there to live in the sage brush? Not a blade of
green grass, nothing to be seen but sand and sage
brush for miles around !"
The younger men said, "We have no choice, the
railroad will make the new town and kill the old
New comers were already arriving at the new
town site. Lots were selling rapidly. There was
no time to stop and grieve. In a few days only a
half dozen houses were left standing. A few of
the old settlers would not move and were left to
tell the tale, among them Benjamin Brown and
The old pioneer said, "Jack, you and Betty go,
you are young and can make a home in the new
town, but mother and I will stay on the old place.
You will want a cool, shady place to spend your
Sundays; so we will stay here. A railroad surely
is a great thing when it can make or unmake a
town in a day. Well ! one generation must live
for the next. Our children will all be rich some
His prophecy did come true, for Jack opened a
real estate office in the new town and could hardly
handle the business. The new town was wild with
excitement. Sales were frequent, with the same
lots being turned over two or three times, each time
at a big increase.
Many men had come through from the East with
the first train, eager to take up homestead claims:
Shacks sprang up like mushrooms in the night.
Lumber was scarce, but tent houses with board
floors were put up by the hundreds. Fortunes were
made in a day and the new town conquered the
desert and caused it "to blossom as the rose."
Young Ben Brown came back West without his
diploma and was elected mayor of the new town of
North Yakima. "I don't see," said his proud
father, "but Ben gets along all right without his
"Well," said the mother, "he might have been
president of the United States some day, if he could
have graduated with his class."
In the old town, the yards and gardens filled the
air with their sweetness, but the blossoms were left
to fade alone, deserted. The birds taught their
young to fly unmolested by the small boy. Only a
few old couples sat on their porches in the evening.
They looked longingly toward the North Gap
where their children had gone to build a new city
in the desert.
The New Word
"There's an exquisite suggestion !"
The exclamation fell from the lips of a passenger
on the slowly moving train. Instantly the man's
face had undergone a transformation. The deep,
gray-blue eyes flashed with pleasure, and the
corners of the tightly-closed mouth softened into
something that hinted of delight.
Pillowing both elbows upon his knees, he con
centrated his attention upon his magazine. Almost
audibly he read again : "There is an old legend that
runs something like this. On the day when the
Christ toiled on that upward path, with heart pal
pitating and muscles straining under His burden,
when it seemed He could go no farther, out from
the shadow stepped the sweet Saint Veronica, Ten
derly, with upturned face, and with lips murmuring
a prayer, she drew from her girdle a handkerchief,
and gently and lovingly wiped the damp brow of her
Master. And, the legend has it when she held
up the square of linen, all about her were amazed
and awed to see implanted there a perfect likeness
of the Savior's face."
The traveler ceased to read, but he did not move.
Nor did he arouse from his revery until someone
The New Word
near him uttered a low cry of wonder. Then he
turned to the window.
The Northern Pacific train was threading its way
over the Cascade Divide, and they were passing
through a fairyland of sunlight, of mountain tops
aglint with blinding brightness and of huge fir trees
shouldering, with never a swerve, their burden of
ice jewels. The light that shone upon the eager
young face as he read the legend, was intensified
by a reflection there of the dazzling beauty without.
The Greatest of Magicians had surely been at work.
The man drew a deep breath that was full of the
spice that only the pine mountains know. He
shaded his eyes with his hand as he smiled out upon
the glory of the morning.
But the train was beginning to descend now, and
what was that just below them? No but, yes, it
must be a cloud, for they were already in the midst
of it. Suddenly drops of rain beat hard and fast
upon the window pane. The train sped on swiftly
through a thick fog to the Sound city.
The smile vanished slowly and gradually a frown
replaced it. After thrusting his note-book impati
ently into his pocket, the man opened the bag at
his feet and took from it a roll of type-written
pages. He glanced at them and then crammed them
back into the valise like so much waste paper.
It was sometime before he settled himself in a
restful attitude. Then he relaxed and mused of his
journey's end, where he expected to find the girl of
his dreams. Soon something conjured up before
The New Word
him the picture of a girl and boy walking home
together from the rural school "in those dear old
golden rule days, when she was his queen in calico,
and he was her bashful, bare-foot beau." He saw
them later in Broadway High School in Seattle.
And still again his mind's eye viewed them walking
slowly across the Washington University Campus.
He had completed his journalistic course, and was
telling her, his under classmate by two years, good
bye. The sweet eyes were full of proud tears, for
she had foreseen great things ahead for him.
Nearly two years had elapsed since he had seen
the girl and he felt that he could wait no longer.
But what was he taking her? Had he "won his
joust"? Was he ready to go to her and ask for
that wonderful thing that he knew was his? Could
he face her with a traveling bag full of manuscript
worn with marks of their many journeys? A posi
tive shrug of the broad shoulders was answer
enough. On the mountain summit he had been tre
mendously uplifted, first by the startling beauty of
the old legend, and again by the sunlight wealth
of the Divide. But they dropped from the summit
and the sunshine, and grasp at it as he would, the
vision slipped away and failed to gild for him the
fog and the rain. He knew that he possessed real
ability to write. He knew as well that something
was lacking, but what it was
"Is John Gregory in this car?" The words were
thundered by the conductor. Our friend nodded in
The New Word
recognition and received the yellow envelope. His
blanched face soon told the story. He could not
proceed on his journey to the girl.
At Auburn a tall, stalwart figure swung off the
step before the car stopped and took the first train
back to his boy-hood home among the hills. He
found the brave little mother very near death but
she had waited for her boy. Never could he forget
the long night when his lips endeavored in vain to
frame a prayer out of the depths of his anguish.
Forever would ring in his memory her last words
of faith and confidence in him. "I count on you,
my son, to fill your measure of a man's work to over
flowing. And when you come to the dark places, I
shall be there too, and my arms shall enfold you,
and when you come to the high places, there I shall
be too with my hand in yours." And then she
smiled and through Eternity would linger with
him the wonder of it.
The next day he made a path to the woods, far
out to the hills. He loved the companionship of
the lone bird's call and the wind in the trees. Be
fore many days the spirit of the woods lured him
as in his boyhood, until by and by it seemed that
a silent messenger dwelt in those bleak places and
brought him peace.
Then before he knew it, spring came along. Ever
since his mother's death, he had been working with
nervous determination upon a new book. He traced
his first inspiration for the story back to the legend
he had read that morning on the mountain summit.
The New Word
But it was the mother's smile that had led him on,
and on, until his subject had gripped him with a
feverish energy, and now the book was well under
One May morning he followed his path to the
woods. The south wind caressed the crisp, wavy
hair, and kissed away the last line of pain from
the youthful face. All about him there gleamed
and sang a symphony of glory and life and glad
ness. And rising out of it all, he seemed to see
the radiant face of the Besurrection Angel walking
toward him in shining garments and with out
stretched hands. John Gregory bowed his head.
But what fragrance was that wafted to him across
the violets? It must be from that wondrous burst
of bloom but a few feet away. Could it be, yes, it
was the very shrub that a few weeks ago had seemed
absolutely dead. In fact he had doubted greatly
that it would ever live again. He laughed aloud as
he touched the exquisite thing to make sure it was
real. The pine tops forgot their diginity and bent
and swayed to the rhythm of a joyous spring-song,
and it w r as echoed among the swelling rhododendron
buds and the leaves on the ash trees.
The boughs of the oak w r hispered to him of cour
age and strength, and told him a wonderful secret,
that at that very moment hundreds of dead-appear
ing acorns were sprouting with the faith that they
too would become mighty oaks. The clear call of
a lark sounded and he reached up both arms as he
moved toward it. Happy as a child was John
Gregory as he darted from this to that new delight.
The New Word
He was relearning the secrets of root and mold
and leaf and flower and bird. Flashes and glimmer
ings of a new understanding lifted and buoyed him
with a strange consciousness. He saw and loved
life this morning as never before.
But what was that gleam of color yonder? Ah,
the first wild Iris! How often he and the girl
had gathered them near this same stream! How
well he recalled her childish delight when long ago
in this very spot he had told her what Euskin said
of the Fleur-de-lis, that it was the Flower of Chiv
alry "with a sword for its leaf and a lily for its
heart." He smiled tenderly as he remembered how
their young hearts had thrilled as they vied in re
hearsing for each other the stories of those brave,
pure-hearted knights of old.
Hereafter this flower would be to him alwaj^s a
symbol of hope and faith. It should stand for all
that he had learned today. There was a mist in
the man's eyes as he gathered an armful of the
glorious blue. Keluctantly he turned toward home,
but he carried with him hidden among the blossoms
something more priceless than gold.
It was Commencement week at the University.
The girl was hastening across the campus. Her day
had been full of pleasure and triumph, and tomor
row she walked more slowly now, and a wistful
smile lurked about the sweet mouth, she had so
hoped but a friend interrupted the revery. "Oh,
Ruth, a box has just been left for you. Do hurry
and open it now!"
The New Word
A moment later the girl lifted from the box an
immense bunch of magically hued Iris. When she
was alone she opened the note that she had seen
peeping from the mass of blue. It contained only,
"I'll call for you at six John."
Long had they sat there beside the friendly rho
dodendrons. Soft for an hour had come the lapping
of near-by waves, mingled with the whisperings
among the alders. At last with luminous faces
they sought the beckoning water.
The lowering sun had charmed upon the restless
waves of Puget Sound a long, narrow line of won
derful color. The air was very clear and the distant
Olympic summits glowed with the rose light of
John turned to Euth. That which had gleamed
at him from the upturned face of the legendary
saint, that which his mother's smile had breathed
into real life, and which had been fostered by the
wild Iris and the larks and the pine-tops, was now
clarified and consummated in the girlish figure be
side him. He could scarcely wait to finish the last
chapter of his book.
He drew the girl close until he breathed the fra
grance of the blue flower in her gown. Together
they gazed out over the wild tossing Sound waters
toward where they knew there was the mighty calm
ness of the Pacific beyond, and then out of the
strugglings of the man's soul was born a mighty
sense of peace. He felt the glad, promised pres
sure of that dear unseen hand, and then he knew
The New Word
that he had sought out one of the highest of the
He seemed to see a word emblazoned in shining
letters of gold against the jagged, magic-hued peaks
of the Olympics; he seemed to hear falling softly
from unseen lips, as in a benediction, that new word,
The "special" had come and gone, and the local
train, "The Owl," that had been sidetracked for
twenty minutes, switched to the main line.
Tod was behind the big sign by the water tank.
A little distance away on the end of a log, a brown
object had just appeared; sitting erect on its hind-
legs, it began to industriously manipulate its front
paws. Tod, oblivious to all else, watched it, fascin
ated. All at once, he started towards the log. The
brown object pricked up its ears, jumped off, and
disappeared into the ground right before Tod's as
tonished eyes. "It's sure a Jackie wabbit! A
Jackie wabbit!" he shouted and ran to tell Uncle
Nate and Rod, or anyone of the wonderful happen
ing. He emerged from behind the sign and looked
and looked again. Nothing in sight near him save
the tank, the tall Washington firs and pines and
the little spring. In the distance, rounding the
curve and speeding away from him was the local.
On it were mother, Uncle Nate, and Eod, his twin
Tod stared for a moment, then he began to howl.
The jack-rabbit had come out of its hole, and heard
w r ith amazement the unusual sound. As the train
entirely disappeared from view, Tod ran down the
track after it as fast as his short, fat legs could
carry him. Suddenly he stopped, overcome by a
sense of desolation. It was a lonely spot, the nar
row entrance to the valley; the lofty range of the
Cascades rose on either hand, and the big trees
grew down close to the track save where a little
clearing had been made near the spring and the
tank. It was the only stop in the long stretch be
tween the big lumber camp and the valley town
thirty miles away.
Finally Tod turned and trotted slowly back to
the tank. All about him was silence and the great
trees; the rabbit had disappeared again. Near the
tank, stood the big new sign. It advertised the
fact that the Valley Mercantile Company was
"Headquarters for Santa Glaus." A generous sup
ply of red paint had been used to portray the old
fellow himself, lifesize, with his pack on his back.
Tod looked up at the big, red Santa Claus, and a
feeling of comfort stole into his little heart. "Santy
is coming tonight; on the train and everywhere;
mother said so. He will find me. He surely will !"
The ruddy face of Santy seemed to smile upon him,
and he thought there was a twinkle in his eye. At
length, overcome by exhaustion, he crouched down
in front of the sign, close to Santy's feet and fell
The December sun had dropped out of sight be
hind the mountains the wind was rising and moan
ing among the tops of the pines. Snow had begun
to fall in large flakes, few and far apart.
A horseman riding slowly down the trail stopped
at a bend in the path and looked cautiously up and
down the track. "Coast is clear," he said aloud,
"nothing due now until ten o'clock tomorrer. Tom
said as how he would cache the provisions in that
clump of trees, same as t'other time. I'll get 'em
and be making tracks back afore it gets too dark.
Looks like we're in for a big storm. I shan't ob
ject." He rode across the track, straight up to a
clump of cedars on the opposite side. Dismounting,
he pushed away a big stone lying there, and a hole
in the ground was revealed. He reached in, and
pulled out a canvas sack.
"Bacon and meal, I judge, and coffee an terbacker
from the smell. Good for you, old Pard, you allus
know what a feller wants." He rolled the stone
into place, fastened the sack to the animal's neck,
and mounted again.
When he reached the track, he turned and rode
towards the spring. "Might as well give the cay use
a drink. Blamed if the Valley Mercantile Company
hasn't put up a new piece of architecture since I
was here afore. 'Headquarters for Santa Claus,'
and old Nick himself! Big head for business some
one must have ; something red on the ground there.
It's safe to investigate, I reckon."
He rode nearer, and looked down on Tod in his
red sweater, curled up against the sign, fast asleep,
two tears still visible on his freckled cheeks.
"The little vagabond ! what in the name of King
dom Come is he doin' here? Must have got left
somehow. Sorry we can't turn into a rescuin' party,
but circumstances are plumb agin it." He watered
his horse and came back to the sign. "Hate to leave
the little chap, but it's too risky." He looked anx
iously around; night was coming on and the snow
was falling fast. His cap and old mackinaw were
The child stirred uneasily and opened his eyes.
The man stooped over him. "I fought you'd come,
Santy," murmured Tod sleepily, "Did you bring the
reindeer?" "You bet," replied "Santy," "the whole
six on 'em." "But my name's Jake," he muttered,
too low for Tod to hear, and "I'm in for it now."
Holding the child half-stupefied with cold with
one arm, with the other he guided the sturdy little
cayuse up the trail. The wind was blowing straight
from the canyon. Before they had gone a mile, a
furious storm was raging. Horse and man fought
their way in the teeth of a blizzard ; steadily higher
and higher they mounted to a little shack that faced
Jake carried the child in and laid him on the rude
bunk built against the wall. Raking up the em
bers in the fire-place he piled on fuel until the
whole room was lit by a cheerful glow; then he
went outside, cared for the cayuse and brought in
the sack of provisions.
Tod was awake and was sitting up in the bunk,
looking around in bewilderment. Jake carried him
to a seat in front of the fire and as he began to
remove his shoes and sweater, Tod found his
tongue. "Is this your house, Santy"? Then, all at
once, he wailed, "I want my mother, an' I want
Uncle Nate and Roddy."
"All right, all right, Kiddie, we'll find 'em ter-
morrer. The reindeers will be ready to take us to
the ten o'clock, but we'll have to stay here tonight
on account of the storm. It's too much for my
reindeers, though they're pretty tough. Now you
just sit and toast your toes, while I hustle around
and get somethin' to eat."
Tod, warmed and fed, cuddled down in Jake's
"You're a funny Santy," he said after awhile,
"but I 'spose you're all right. I hope you brought
my little auto, I wrote you 'bout it, you know;
you may give it to me now, if you want to."
"Better wait till tomorrer, kid," replied Jake,
"you kin have this tonight," and he pulled out a
Tod took it and was silent for a time, turning it
over and over, in the firelight; then the torrent of
questions broke forth again.
"Did you bring presents to the Babe of Bethle
hem, Santy? when he was lying in the shed with
the cows and sheep? It's his birthday tomorrow,
mother said. I'm four years old, and I get presents
on my birthday. Did you 'member Him when He
was down here? I 'spose you've been alive ever
since the Lord made little boys and girls, haven't
you?" Suddenly he began to sing:
"While shepherds watched their flocks by night
A sitting on the ground."
"Mother sings that I don't know but just those
The fire on the hearth burned low. Jake put
Tod back in the bunk, and covered him carefully
with his old coat. The child slept peacefully.
When morning broke, the blizzard had spent its
force. The snow lay in huge drifts on the moun
tain sides. Above the cabin towered the snowy
peaks of the Cascades bathed in the morning sun
Very early, Jake with Tod in front, astride the
cayuse, started down the trail. He knew full well
the risk he ran in making the ten o'clock, but his
promise to the child must be kept. There was no
Sometimes they waded snowdrifts that came to
the animal's neck; again the ground was bare, but
covered with ice that made traveling difficult. Tod
was happy and very sociable, but Jake grew very
quiet as they drew near the track.
"There's the train," cried Tod as a shrill whistle
was heard in the clear, still air, and the rumble of
wheels reached their ears.
"And there's Uncle Nate," he added, as the train
reached the tank and a well known form appeared
on the platform.
"I'm here, Uncle Nate," he shouted. "I stayed
all night with Santy. He's here too. I've had a
splendid time. Looky! Looky." He held up the
battered watch. "It's mine. Santy gave it to me."
The train stopped just long enough for Jake to
place Tod in his uncle's arms. "Tell me your name
and where to reach you," said Uncle Nate. Jake
shook his head.
"Good-bye, Santy," piped a little voice. "You're
sure I'll get the auto." "Sure, sure," answered
Jake. "Good-bye, Kid."
As the train moved on, suddenly a shot rang out
and several horsemen rode into view, coming down
the opposite hill.
"We've got him all right," exclaimed Big Sam,
the sheriff, as he saw Jake reel and fall. Dis
mounting, he ran to the side of the prostrate man.
Jake opened his eyes, his dying glance fell on the
sign, and a smile drifted across his lips. "Christ
mas, and the little tad took me for Santy."
Louise Whitman paused in her dusting and
studied thoughtfully the rugged western landscape
framed by the window, pines, cedars and tama
rack in the foreground, volcanic rock in the middle
distance, and far away against a cobalt sky, many
purple mountains. She remembered how, when
her eyes had first rested on the scene, she had
thrilled at the prospect of reproducing it. Painting
had always given her a peculiar joy. She responded
with exalted emotion to any happy juxtaposition of
colors about her, and the successful transferring
to canvas of a mood of nature gave her acute
Five years ago ! And for nearly a year now she
had not opened her paint box. Her baby, now three
years old, had quite fully occupied her time, but
she knew that he had not been the real obstacle.
On the contrary, she saw that, other things being
equal, he might have contributed to her inspiration.
For the first year she had worked diligently and
happily, although she found with keen disappoint
ment that her husband took no interest whatever
in her efforts. About the end of the year however,
Paul's business affairs began to go badly, and at the
same time his attitude towards her painting
changed gradually from indulgent toleration to im
patience and active hostility. Then the baby ar-
rived, and for the next two years Louise was so
completely occupied with the normal and satisfy
ing cares of motherhood that the issue was lost
One bright May morning when the air was vi
brating with sunshine, Louise tucked the baby into
his go-cart, and taking her paintbox under her arm,
started off for a nearby park intending to make a
day of it. From the first however everything went
wrong. The baby kept getting his fists into her
paints; she found that two years of almost com
plete idleness had played havoc with her skill, and
what divided attention she managed to give to her
canvas produced only the most discouraging results.
About the middle of the afternoon she gave up and
returned to the house. Paul had arrived, driven
home early it appeared by a headache, after an un
lucky day in business. His mood had not been im
proved by half an hour in the empty house, and
upon seeing the painting materials he gave vent to
his ill-temper in a bitter denunciation of her pas
sion for painting and her extravagance in indulg
ing it. Louise was deeply hurt, but after consid
ering the matter calmly she saw that the founda
tion of his complaint lay in money matters, and in
order to make her avocation, at least, pay for it
self if possible, she determined to make a few
sketches and try to sell them. For the next few
months she worked passionately and secretly; but
although she was able to do two or three things
which satisfied her moderately, she knew intuitively
that they were too impressionistic for any general
appreciation or market. Her pictures stood about
in an art store gathering dust until she removed
them in chagrin. After that she painted no more,
and tried conscientiously to fill the void in her life
with her domestic duties and her child.
Today as she looked out on the familiar scene it
failed to stir her. Had she lost her responsiveness
to the beautiful, she wondered? She finished her
dusting and went out to the kitchen to prepare the
"Hello, Louise," called Whitman as he entered
the house that evening, "you'll never guess who's
"Why, Harry Collins, of all people!" Louise ex
claimed as she warmly grasped both hands of the
Collins, whom both of them had known since
childhood, had become the editor of one of Chicago's
great dailies. He had the alert, intelligent look of
a man who is keenly alive in an interesting world.
During dinner the talk centered about old
friends and doings "back east." Collins showed
himself to be an active participant in Chicago's af
fairs. He spoke of politics and the Press Club, of
the Thomas Orchestra and the Art Institute, in each
of which he had a personal interest.
"Harry," said Louise after a while, "it strikes me
that your own development has been quite as sur
prising as Chicago's. You used to be a very prac-
ticl sort of boy. How do you happen to know so
much about music and art?"
"Well," said Collins smiling, "I think this is the
first time I was ever called on to defend myself on a
charge of undue mentality, but if you must know,
I think I'll have to follow the example of Adam
and throw the blame on a woman. The fact is that
my wife has been educating me. Before I was mar
ried I used to think that the only suitable pleasures
for a man were hunting, baseball and poker. My
idea of absolutely nothing doing was Grand Opera
or a picture gallery. My wife has taught me that
the most satisfying pleasure in life comes through
studying things. Take Art for instance. Four
years ago I had never suspected that Art could be
interesting to anybody but an artist, and I thought
that artists were born, not made. Now it's my
favorite hobby, and in a small way I'm a collector.
What started me was a little book my wife gave
me on "How to look at pictures." It was delight
ful. I followed it up with a course of lectures at
the Institute, and I've been studying the subject
ever since. I have an idea that almost any subject
is interesting if you study it, and for a guide to the
good things in life commend me to an intelligent
and educated woman. What do you say, Whit
"Well," said Paul, "I subscribe to your senti
ments about women. I did my part in putting
through the suffrage bill. But as to the rest I have
my doubts. I don't know a thing about art myself,
and I don't believe there is any of it in me. It sim
ply doesn't interest me."
"It doesn't interest you because you never gave it
any of your august attention. You probably prefer
billiards. We men are all alike, and we're really an
awful set of asses. Here, come in the parlor a
minute," he continued, "and I'll prove to you that
pictures are interesting. Here for instance is a
sea-view. It isn't bad, but it doesn't compare with
that little landscape over there. See how true that
perspective is; you could walk among those trees.
Now look at the sea-scape. Don't you see that there
is something just a little wrong about the colors?
The water hasn't the solid, rolling look of a real
ocean, and "
For half an hour he talked, not pedantically, but
in the simple conversational way of a man who
knows his subject and wants to share his pleasure
in it. Louise saw with secret delight that Paul
was genuinely interested.
"By the way, Louise," said Collins finally, "it
just occurs to me that you used to paint. In fact
you were supposed to be quite a budding genius.
Are you keeping it up?"
"No," she replied laughing in embarrassment,
"if I ever had any genius I'm afraid it's a case of
'the light that failed.' "
"The light of genius never fails unless it's smoth-*
ered," he commented.
"Well," she answered, "a baby is pretty smoth
ering, and "
"Look here," said Whitman suddenly, "I guess
the fact of the matter is that I'm the smotherer."
"No," said Louise quickly, "that isn't true. I
have just lost interest. I was thinking of it today.
I don't long to paint as I used to. The baby and
the housework keep me busy, and I seem to be
"If that is true," said Collins, seriously, "it cer
tainly is a shame. You mean that you have given
up the immense pleasure of real work of striving
after the unattainable, for the pitiful satisfaction
of doing your drudgery well. It's a case of Esau
and the mess of pottage."
"Oh," she laughed, "I don't think I have sold
mine entirely. I have dabbled a little since we
came west. That little sketch in the parlor that
you seemed to like was mine."
"I suspected it," said Collins, calmly, "but I
meant every word of what I said about it. It's good.
It's the real thing. I'm positive I can sell it for a
hundred or so if you care to part with it."
"No," said Whitman quickly, "I want that sketch
myself. It's the first picture I ever saw that I cared
Collins staid until midnight, and then Whitman
left also to take him to his train. The next morn
ing at breakfast Paul began courageously:
"Louise, I believe that if the dog in the manger
had ever learned to like hay himself, he would not
have been so mean about the matter. He probably
thought it was all foolishness for the cow to eat the
stuff. I'm ashamed of myself my dear, and I'm
sorry. I want you to go on with your painting and
I want you to educate me as Collins' wife did him.
Will you do it?"
For answer she reached a hand across the table
and Paul pressed it tenderly.
When he had gone, Louise stood at the window
and looked across at her favorite scene with shining
eyes. She knew just how she would begin to paint
Thomas Carmichael was one of the pioneers of
the Sound country and all the people in the valley
loved him. His large heart yielded sympathy as
his broad acres yielded harvests and his farmhouse
was a caravansary from which no traveler was ever
turned away. And this capacious farmhouse with
its labyrinthic interior enabled his daughter Jennie
to elude the household order of rising with the lark.
This shrewd and tactful Jennie was soft and
round and dimpled and pink, the baby of the family
and pampered withal, notwithstanding her father's
efforts to bring her up in the way she should go.
Her winters were spent in a boarding school and
her summers in the hammock and in making raids
on the pantry between meals. Also, she exerted
some time and energy in trying to find a place to
sleep where her father could not find her and get
her up at sunrise in the morning.
When breakfast was well under way and the fam
ily and its helpers were awake and abroad, it was
Uncle Tom's habit to make a roundup of the house
to find Jennie and get her out of bed in time for
breakfast. This was no small part of the morning's
work, for Jennie changed her bed every time her
father discovered where she slept and it was often
difficult to locate her. But Thomas Carmichael's
interests were manifold and his attention had often
to be withdrawn from his sluggish daughter and
given to more important matters, whereby Jennie
Among his civic responsibilities was the chair
manship of the board of directors of the Rhododen
dron School. He sent no children to the school,
himself, his own having married and gone their
way except Andrew and Jennie, who w r ere supposed
to have outgrown the district school. But his in
terest in the local seat of learning was none the less
deep and he discharged his responsibility faithfully.
When harvest was in full swing and all hands in
the field hurrying in with the hay, a young woman
from another community came to the house to apply
to Uncle Tom for the winter school. They told her
that he was in the field with the men, and invited
her to stay over night and see him at supper time,
which invitation she accepted. The need of some
repairs to the machinery took Mr. Carmichael to
the station that afternoon and he did not reach
home until late at night, making it impossible for
the teacher to see him until morning.
The delay made no difference. It was expected
that Uncle Tom would give her the school because
it was hard to refuse a woman at any time, also
because his son Andrew had already spoken for
her. Andrew's interest in the young woman lay in
the fact that he had met her at country dances
down the river valley and had gotten himself en
gaged to her. To be sure, Andrew's engagements
were not taken very seriously by any one except
himself and the woman engaged, because there had
been so many of them. He had been making en
gagements since he was in his teens, and the girls
in the neighborhood who had once been engaged to
Andrew Carmichael were married and happy and
numbered their children by twos and by threes.
But one young woman near by, to whom he had
pledged his faith while he was yet a minor, was bid
ing her time. Clemmie Whiteside did not want re
venge, she wanted Andrew. She knew his character
and she knew his past; she knew all of his weak
nesses, and she wanted Andrew. She was not
handsome, red-haired and lofty, as was Mary Ham
ilton, the teacher, but she knew what she wanted
and she could wait.
Not long after Miss Hamilton was installed in
the house to await the return of Uncle Tom, led by
some instinct, Clemmie Whiteside came over to
sit in the hammock with Jennie and by some process
of telepathy impressed the thought upon Jennie
that she must ask her to stay all night; and while
Mrs. Carmichael and the women were at work in
the kitchen, Jennie was sent up stairs to make ready
a room for Miss Hamilton, who had been left read
ing in the living room. Clemmie went up with
Jennie. Half-way up the stairs she stopped to
steal a glance from ambush at the girl who had sup
planted her. Andrew had deserted the haymakers
as soon as he had learned that Mary Hamilton was
in the house and had found his way to her presence.
He was in his happiest mood. He was bantering
her and calling her "Mary Carmichael," and sing
ing snatches of Scottish folklore to her.
"You are fit to be a queen's maid of honor, any-
day," the girls heard him say, "and you shall live
to wear the name of two of Mary Stuart's maids
of honor, and surpass them both in beauty." And
then he trailed off into the swan song of another
Mary Hamilton who lived three hundred years be
fore her :
"Last night there were four Marys, tonight there'll
be but three;
There were Mary Beaton and Mary Seaton and
Mary Carmichael and me."
"Do you know who the other one was, my red-
haired sweetheart," he challenged. "She was Mary
Hamilton; and I know another Mary Hamilton, a
modern Mary Hamilton, who will be Mary Carmi
chael before the year is out, and who will have all
the graces of them both. I only asked dad to give
you the school so we could have you in the house
and I could make love to you every day."
But it became apparent to Clemmie on the stairs
that Mary Hamilton was hard to court; and that
she seemed only half in love with the ardent An
drew. She secretly exulted. "Come on," she said
to the waiting Jennie, "we have work to do up
stairs. Where are you going to put her to sleep?"
"Don't know," answered Jennie. "Don't know
where to sleep myself, to keep out of dad's way."
"Does he still whip you in the morning to get you
out of bed?"
"Yes, he does, if I don't keep out of his way. He
can't always find me."
"Where did you sleep last night?"
"In the room under the hemlocks."
"Did he find you?"
"Yes, and he will be back there again in the
morning, looking for me."
"Well, put her in there ! Put her in there !"
Jennie giggled. "Yes, but I don't know where
we can go, ourselves, there are so many people in
the house in haytime."
"That room opens on the veranda," suggested
Clem. "Put her in the hemlock room, and we can
sleep on the veranda. We can rig up some kind of
a curtain and make a bed on the veranda." Jennie
In the morning they were awakened by the sound
of a shingle at work in the hemlock room, as they
called it, and looking through the window they saw
Uncle Tom bringing it down on the sleeping girl
"Now, will you get up? Now, will you get up!"
"A red head shot up from the pillows and a terri
fied voice answered :
"Oh! yes, yes, I'm getting up! I'm getting up!"
"When she got possession of her faculties she
saw glaring over her an old man who looked like
Andrew, and she knew it must be his father. She
turned on him with scorching eyes:
"I am getting up, yes indeed ! and I am going just
as soon as I get dressed, and if this is the way you
treat people who come to your house, I am glad to
know it before I am led into marrying the son of
a man like you !"
All this went on while Uncle Tom was recover
ing his breath and taking in the situation. He was
as much surprised at the red head which came up
out of the pillows as she was at the shingle. He
stared and stammered and choked, then bolted for
the door. He did not stop until he reached the hay-
barn and jumped into the hay to hide.
"What under heaven is the matter, father?"
asked Andrew, who was feeding the stock. "You
look as if you had broken a blood-vessel !"
"I don't know whether I have or not," answered
the old man, "but I know I've broken your engage
"What ! What ! What do you mean !" exclaimed
"I've spanked the teacher! I thought she was
Jennie and I took a shingle to her to get her out of
bed! I suppose she will go and get out a warrant
and have me arrested, and I don't blame her if she
does ! I ought to be locked up in an insane asylum
for such a blasted blunder as that! I feel as if I
ought to go to town and surrender to the marshal."
Not Aunt Millie and Jennie and Clemmie and An
drew combined could placate the injured Mary. She
took her departure in lofty indignation, throwing
her engagement ring at Andrew's feet.
Not until Clemmie Whiteside was Andrew Car-
michael's wife by all the authority of the law and
the church did Jennie tell the secret of Andrew's
"The Fine Country"
AWARDED SECOND PRIZE
Helga was happy. She sang as she made the
toothsome small Christmas cakes with Elsa pud
dling with a bit of dough at the other end of the
fine table Oscar had made from the boards of a
"It's the fine Christmas we will have," chirruped
Helga shaking a spoon playfully at little Oscar who
lay in his basket and stretched his thin little arms
toward his mother with a wan smile.
"It's the fine country. Is it not? Yes?" the
happy mother prattled on. "Green grass right to
the door and it Christmas, and the Christmas tree
growing on the hill behind the lot and such greens
Her eyes came to rest upon a wreath of Wash
ington holly, gay with a bow of red tarlatan, thrift-
ly saved from a fruit basket, that hung in the win
The Sandgrens had seen hard times. First, there
came the illness of Mother Sandgren, the expensive
operation that was not successful, and the simple
funeral that had swallowed up the last of the sav
ings. Then came the strike with Oscar out of work,
and the little family shifting to a poorer tenement,
and Oscar's being obliged to let his insurance "go
back," and many days when the cupboard rivaled
Mother Hubbard's for bareness.
"The Fine Country"
Into these troubled anxious days little Oscar was
born, pale and puny. Often there was no fire in
the poor little rooms. Helga snuggled her frail
baby in the feather bed and trembled at the thought
of the winter.
Then came news of a far country of wonderful
climate and an abundance of work. Mother Sand-
gren's hand-woven sheets and table covers and the
quaint lace collars of strong thread and intricate
pattern procured the tickets to Seattle. The poor
little cottage on the ragged outskirts of the city;
with the red rambler stretching its bare runners
along its frail porch, looked like Heaven after the
crowded tenement. Little Oscar lay in his basket
under the naked rambler and breathed in the air
smelling of kelp and invigorating with a tang of
salt and stopped his pitiful moaning.
Each day Oscar went thankfully to his job where-
ever chance or good fortune called him and looked
forward hopefully to the spring and steady employ
ment in his own calling.
"For the Christmas," smiled Oscar, slipping a
gold coin into his wife's hand.
"Five dollars !" marveled Helga with happy won
der, "so much can we have? A rocking chair and a
rug it will buy, and a Teddy for little Oscar and a
Kewpie for Elsa."
That was the way Helga found Miss Grace. "It's
the church ladies' rummage sale for the grand bar
gains," Mrs. Kruppner told Helga.
"The Fine Country"
Miss Grace's booth was in a hubbub. There had
been a near-accident. Investigation proved a badly
torn gown was the worst of it.
"It's like new, I can fix it," offered Helga, "my
mother do the fine sewing in the old country."
While the skilled needle flew in and out, Helga,
with little Oscar tucked under one arm and Elsa,
a flaxen-haired little fairy, pressed close to the
other side, opened her heart to the kindly inquisi
tive young ladies. The hard, hard days of the
strike, the bright little cottage "all to our own-
selves," and the happy Christmas-making under the
leafless rambler, all came out.
And, lo, the purchasing power of that gold coin !
a really good rocker, a serviceable rug for the little
house, a cosy lounging jacket for Oscar, an open-
and-shut-eyed dolly for Elsa, a Teddy bear, a woolly
dog, and a red ball for little Oscar, not to mention
a dainty apron and a string of beads for Helga her
Winter flowed on into spring. Little Oscar grew
plump and frolicsome. Helga worked happily in
"So early the lettuce and the peas," she mar
veled to Mrs. Kruppner. "The fine country! Is
it not? Yes? In the old country all the time it is
the wars. The mothers raise their babies for the
Then came the promise of Oscar's steady work.
"Tomorrow, I begin," he exulted, pulling the rocker
upon the rug and Helga upon his knee, with a glass
of beady brown home-brew held high, he toasted the
"The Fine Country"
fine job. "The pay will be so fine. Soon we take
out the insurance one time more. Maybe some day
we buy the little place. Little Oscar will go to the
free school and get to be the boss. The fine country !
Is it not? Yes?"
It was thus Miss Grace found them. "A Rem-
brandt! A Rembrandt," she cried at sight of the
In an hour she was back with a present for Helga.
It was a small framed print of Rembrandt with his
wife, Saskia, upon his knee. He held aloft a glass
of wine. "An Hour to Happiness and to Wine,"
she interpreted for Helga.
The next day, as Helga worked contentedly in
her garden, a workman appeared, rolling his hat in
embarrassment and stammering his tale with sor
row-choked gasps. At last, Helga understood. In
dustry had taken its toll. It was Oscar. Her
heart died within her. The springs of happiness
ran dry. She had seen this come to a score of
women. Now it had come to her. She could not
have quoted Kipling:
"Lift ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path
more fair or flat
Lo, it is black already with blood some son of Mar
tha spilled for that.
Not as a ladder from Earth to Heaven, not as an
altar to any creed
But simple service, simply given, to his own kind in
their common need."
but in her heart she knew the law and it crushed
her to an inarticulate stupified thing. Dumbly she
"The Fine Country"
sat in the undertaker's room beside her loved clay
and held the cold hand that had held the glass of
ale to toast the fine job.
"So fine the pension you will get," comforted
Mrs. Kruppner. "It is twenty by the month and
five for each of the three children, Mrs. Slavonski
gets for her man."
But Helga recked nothing of employers' liabil
ities, and of pensions. Oscar, her Oscar was gone.
She seemed deprived of all power to move on into
the blackness ahead. Tearless and stricken, she
sat in the rocker on the rug and gazed with un
seeing eyes at the Kembrandt, her brain shocked
out of all capacity for thought. The children, their
pinafores soiled and their pretty faces unwashed,
crouched in a corner over the battered Christmas
toys, silent and joyless.
It was thus the charity commissioner found
things at the little cottage, for it appeared there
was to be no pension after all. A tardy enrollment,
a trumped-up charge of carelessness, somewhere
the corporation lawyer found a loophole. That was
his business, to find loopholes.
The conditions at the little cottage confirmed the
reports brought to the juvenile court. The charity
commissioner had to do his duty. At last he pierced
the pall lying over Helga's mind and she was made
"Give up my babies," she shrieked, clasping both
darlings to her breast.
"The Home will give them good care," soothed
the officer, "and you could go out to service."
"The Fine Country"
"Without my babies, I not cook ; I not eat ; I not
live," cried Helga panic-stricken. "They take my
Oscar. They not have my babies. I work. The
garden! the fine sewing! little Oscar go to the
free school! he get to be the boss. My Oscar say
But the officer shrugged his shoulders and bore
them away to the juvenile court. It was his duty.
Rumors of all this reached Miss Grace. In the
court she made her plea and the case was given into
The place she secured for Helga was in a large
department store. Helga was grateful. In the lit
tle housekeeping rooms down town, seated in the
rocker placed on the rug, her babies clasped in her
arms, her eyes on the Rembrandt, the blessed tears
came, at last, a long cleansing, saving flood.
"So fine the job I have," she told Mrs. Kruppner
on the last trip to the little house, "not till nine
of the morning do I go to work, and a stool to sit on
like any lady, and eight hours by the clock I work.
And all the day, the babies so happy at the grand
day nursery. So fine the lunch they have and such
pretty manners and games they learn, and only the
few cents to pay. And at night, " she folded her
arms passionately over her breast and spoke with
a tense fierceness "they are mine, mine. We sit
in the rocker on the rug and look at the fine pic
ture and feel Oscar right by."
But the hard times crowded their way over the
mountains into this favored land. Trade was slow
at the big store. There were anxious whispers'
"The Fine Country"
among the shop girls. "Last come; first go," flung
out one with meaning looks at Helga.
The approach of Christmas brought a slightly
brisker trade, but still below the usual Holiday
"So tired my feet," panted Helga dropping upon
"There'll be plenty of rest after Christmas,"
grimly from a dark browed girl at the notion
"Wouldn't wonder if there would be some vaca
tions passed around for Christmas presents in the
next pay envelopes," mirthlessly laughed a big
blonde by the thread cabinet.
"Ah, cut it out," ordered the dark one gruffly,
"she's got kids."
Again Helga understood. Her pay envelope con
tained one of the predicted vacations. Laid off ; no
job ; the rent ; the babies ! Miss Grace in California !
too well she understood. What could she do against
the hard times? Even her Oscar had been power
All night, she lay wide-eyed, dry-eyed, her babies
pressed close to her side. She tried to think of the
Christ child. She tried to recall what the kind
matron at the nursery had said about the Father
of the fatherless and the Friend of the widows. But
through her despairing mind beat the refrain : no
job ! the babies ! they would take them away.
Next morning Christmas morning she remem
bered the lesson of the juvenile court and tidied the
little rooms and washed and dressed the babies with
"The Fine Country"
care and gave them the stockings filled with the
Then came the dapper little man with his blanks.
She was expecting him. It had come. Her babies
were to be torn from her.
Dully she answered his questions. Yes, she was
an American citizen. Yes, her husband was dead.
Yes, she had been in the state one year.
On down the list he went. The last question,
twice repeated, galvanized her stunned brain into
startled activity. What was he saying? Would
she maintain a home for her children if granted
a pension by the state?
A pension! A pension for what? For being a
Slowly Helga took it in. Would she maintain a
home for her children! Would she! She laughed
and she cried. She hugged her babies as if she
would never let them go. She wanted to kiss the
hand of the kind man. And oh, what a Christmas
The next day she scrubbed and polished the lit
tle house with the naked rambler running over its
"It's the fine pension I will have," she chatted
to Mrs. Kruppner. "With the garden and the fine
sewing we will do fine. It's twenty by the month
I'll get from the state until little Oscar is fifteen.
By then he be through the free school. He work.
Soon he get to be the boss. The fine country! Is
it not? Yes?"