NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES
3 3333 08106 5969
FATHER FINN'S FAMOUS STORIES
Each volume with a Frontispiece,
net, $1.25. Postage lOc.
CANDLES' BEAMS. Short Stories
SUNSHINE AND FRECKLES
ON THE RUN
BOBBY IN MOVIELAND
His LUCKIEST YEAR. A Sequel to "Lucky Bob"
PERCY WYNN; or, Making a Boy of Him
TOM PLAYFAIR; or, Making a Start
HARRY DEE; or, Working It Out
CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT; or, How the Problem Was Solved
ETHELRED PRESTON; or, The Adventures of a Newcomer
THAT FOOTBALL GAME; and What Came of It
THAT OFFICE BOY
CUPID OF CAMPION
THE FAIRY OF THE SNOWS
THE BEST FOOT FORWARD; AND OTHER STORIES
MOSTLY BOYS. SHORT STORIES
His FIRST AND LAST APPEARANCE
BUT THY LOVE AND THY GRACE
Here, Harriet,' he cried, 'you catch hold of the boy.'"-
FRANCIS J. FINN, S.J.
Author of "Percy Wynn," "Tom Playfair,"
"Harry Dee," etc.
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See
COPYRIGHT. 1917,, BY BENZIGEB B8OTHJKBS
Printed in the United Stales of America.
CHAPTER I AGE
Introducing an unkind father and an astounded son , 9
Introducing under rather extraordinary circumstances a
literary tramp 19
Discovering a winding path, an open road, a savage dog,
and dinner for two 35
Wanderings through woods, down roads, and in litera-
ture. Bob, captured by a band of children, escapes by
turning into an angel nurse . 44
From sorrow to joy, frui^i 'sunshine to storm. Bob and
Tom Temple, both in extreme fright, are rescued by a re-
markable ancient of the pscple , 52
Introducing the remarkable old man's remarkable old
wife, revealing the secret which had made Tom Temple a
wanderer upon the earth, and ending under dramatic cir-
cumstances with Tom Temple's disappearance .... 68
Introducing a doctor who puts service before money, and
bidding farewell to the repentant Tom Temple and the
once happy partnership, untimely dissolved 81
Bob in trouble returns to Mose, who in a striking way
demonstrates that he has not forgotten the Wild West of
'49. Canoeing on the Mississippi and farewell to the an-
cient fisherman 93
Bob at the Blue Bird Inn. He meets a jolly host and a
kindly hostess, buys The Wanderer, and meets one of the
important characters of the story 114
The Wanderer wanders for a fortnight, till it brings
Bob to the hospitable shores of a family so delightful that
he is constrained to stay over night 132
Fishing and bpatin^ ; -i day, o.n the 1 - riverj and farewell to
the Reades . 149
In which Bob makes fashionable: ,frJdnd, Hobo proves
to be the hero of the tfay> 'and . ^- Wanderer passes to
other hands 155
Discovering a new fairy island, and bringing Bob a new
friend and a new manner of life . . . 171
In which Bob goes into regular training with wonderful
results, becomes a bird charmer, and spends three happy
weeks in the woodlands 185
In which the birds desert Bob, and Hobo, the noble dog,
performs a supreme service for his beloved master . . 199
The Reade family again. Anita still insists on having
her way, with the usual result 206
Showing that even a hospital may be a delightful place,
and ending with a startling declaration from the mouth of
Miss Trainer 218
In which Bob discovers why he came to Cincinnati and
enters upon a new and ordered life 228
Introducing an unkind father and an
down," said a harsh voice. "Oh, I
say, pa, I can't see my hand in front of
my face. It's as dark as pitch."
The youthful objector had good reason for
his statements. Seated beside his father in an
automobile, which coincidently with the going
out of the headlight had come to a full stop, he
was looking out into darkness unrelieved by
moon or midnight star. In the light that had
just gone out he had seen the road before them
narrowing apparently to a cow-path with huge
trees and thick undergrowth on either side.
The occupants of the machine had been speed-
ing for full two hours, starting from a strange
village, the name and the situation of which
the boy did not know. He was long accus-
tomed to the darkness of a room; but in the
open, far from familiar sights, his ears shocked
10 LUCKY BOB
by the weird shriek of the owl and the cries of
unknown birds of the night, it is no wonder
that the lad became more than a trifle uneasy.
He put his hand, as he ceased speaking, ca-
ressingly upon his father's shoulder.
With rude and unnatural violence the man
caught the boy's arm and threw it off.
"Don't be a baby, Bob. Get out, I say."
As he spoke, the man seized the boy by the
shoulders and almost threw him out. The boy
stumbled as he touched the ground and fell.
"Ouch!" he cried, and slowly picked himself
"Now you needn't pretend you're hurt,"
cried the elder, harshly, as w r ith stiff awkward-
ness he alighted from the machine. "I want
no more baby acts."
"I don't have to pretend, pa; I've got a
bruise on my knee, and it hurts like fun."
Suddenly a small circle of fairy light shot
out, cutting into the palpable darkness. The
circle moved about swiftly till it focussed upon
a rather fat boy with a very rueful face, who
was holding his right knee with one hand and
rubbing it with the other. Also, it revealed
the harsh features of the man himself, who was
pointing the flashlight directly at the boy's
head. He was tall, thin, long of face, with
prominent nose, shaped so as to suggest some
LUCKY BOB 11
bird of prey, and heavy, frowning eyebrows
which emphasized his forbidding features. At
the moment, his thin lips were tightly com-
pressed, his forehead was deeply wrinkled, and
his nostrils were quivering.
For a few seconds he thus stood like a figure
in a tableau, while the chubby lad, suspending
the operation of rubbing, but still holding his
knee, gazed with growing trepidation upon the
other's forbidding features.
"Oh, pa," he cried at length, dropping on
his knee, "if it's all the same to you, put out
that light. I'm getting more scared of you
than I was of the darkness."
For answer the man tried to smile reassur-
ingly. Seldom was an attempt at smiling a
greater failure. His thin lips opened a little,
revealing a few teeth that were uncannily white
in the golden glow, his mouth widened, and his
eyes seemed to be straining from their sockets.
Bob meanwhile put his right fist under his chin,
supporting the elbow with his left hand.
" What is the matter, pa?" cried the youth
presently, his face paling with real terror.
"Are you mad at me? You haven't spoken a
dozen words since we took the train from Du-
buque early this afternoon. What is it, pa?
Please tell me."
The man leaned heavily against the side of
12 LUCKY BOB
the machine ; his face twitched ; he looked as if
he were about to have a paralytic stroke.
Through the silence came the long sad "to-
woo" of a distant owl. A sudden breeze arose
and sent the leaves of the surrounding trees
into a low, solemn lisping.
"I-I-I'm afraid," gasped Bob. The electric
glow revealed drops of perspiration upon his
"Listen, Bob," the man at length said. "Do
you know how old you are?"
"I'll be fourteen on September fifth, just
two months from to-day."
'When I was your age, I was obliged to
shift for myself."
"How did you do it, pa?"
"And," continued the father, ignoring the
question, "what I did I want you to do."
"Did your father throw you out, pa?"
'That's neither here nor there. The fact I
want to get into your head is that before I was
fourteen I was alone and supporting myself,
and to-day I am worth over forty ." Here
the man checked himself.
'The people in our neighborhood," said Bob,
"say you're worth seventy thousand dollars, if
you're worth a cent."
'Bother the people," cried the man peev-
ishly, becoming in his irritation more easy of
LUCKY BOB 13
utterance. "They don't know what they're
talking about. I'm not worth near anything
like what they think. Well, anyhow, what
was good enough for me ought to be good
enough for you. To-night I'm going to let
you go and shift for yourself."
"Yes, pa; I think I can easily get a job in
"Not at all; you're not going back to
"Well, where am I going?"
"Down the river. You can go to St. Louis,
if you want; or for that matter to New
Orleans; in any case, you're to go south and
"But aren't you coming with me?"
"Didn't I say you were to shift for yourself?
You are to go your way and I mine."
"Well, can't I go back to Dubuque, and bid
good-by to all my friends?"
"On no account," rasped the man. Mf you
dare show your face at Dubuque or near it,
you'll go to ]ail and stay there."
"Go'to jail! What have I done?"
"Never mind. I've got things so fixed that
you'll be arrested if you're discovered."
Bob, bracing himself against a tree, caught
14 LUCKY BOB
up his knee and began to rub it again, his eyes
meantime looking in undisguised amazement
at the elder.
"I suppose, then," he presently said, "that
you'll see me off to some station."
"You'll suppose nothing of the sort. I've
seen you off as far as I intend to already."
Bob dropped his knee and opened his eyes
wider. Once more he fell into his favorite atti-
tude ; right hand under the chin, the elbow sup-
ported by his left.
"What?" he gasped.
"For heaven's sake take down your hand,
and," continued the man with seemingly
unnecessary fierceness, "you are to change
"Change my name?"
'Yes, if you give out your true name, you
are likely to be arrested anywhere."
'Well, suppose I am arrested, what's the
difference? Bob Evans is my name, and Bob
Evans is going to be my name as long as I
"What? What?" roared the man.
'Well, aren't you throwing me off?" pro-
tested the boy. "You have left me without
home, or friends, or city or anything. You've
even taken my religion from me. And now
you want to take my name from me, too. It
LUCKY BOB 15
seems to me that as soon as you get rid of me
I've got a right to any name I want, or at least,
to my own name."
"I have not taken your religion from you.
It was a mistake that I ever let you know you
were baptized a Catholic. If you mean to say
I didn't let you be brought up a Catholic, it's
because I didn't want you to be numbered with
the scum of the earth and the offscourings of
the American people."
"You needn't tell me that little Angela
Clark, the lame girl, is the scum of the people,"
returned Bob with some show of spirit. "She
is an angel. And there's little Johnny Smith,
the blind boy. He's as good as gold. And
there's old Mrs. Keller, the woman who's
always sick and always cheerful everybody
loves her. And they are Catholics. And
"That's enough," roared Mr. Evans.
"You've spoken of three Catholics, one lame,
another blind, and the third bedridden. Nice
friends for a boy who's got to help himself!
How can such trash help you?"
"I can help them, father; and I love them.
And they have helped me a lot."
"Stuff! Forget them and your other
friends, crippled dogs and abandoned cats and
ragged children. Now, sir, I'm going to do
16 LUCKY BOB
more for you than was done for me. I'm
going to start you in life with fifty dollars."
Saying which, Mr. Evans produced from his
coat a sealed envelope. "Here, take it, and
go. Now as to your name "
"My name is Bob Evans," said the boy
"You may keep the Bob, but you must drop
"Honest, pa, I can't see it."
Mr. Evans, transferring his flashlight from
his right to his left hand, suddenly whipped out
a revolver, which he pressed against the boy's
"Kneel down," he commanded.
The boy, gasping, fell upon his knees.
"I I'm not ready to die," he cried. "Oh,
what have I done?"
"Now listen," continued the man. "I want
you to swear that you'll change your name, and
that you'll not return to Dubuque, nor write to
any one there, nor communicate in any other
way for at least one year."
"I swear it," gasped poor Bob, promptly,
"and I wish you'd put that pistol away. I
don't like the feel of it."
'Very good," answered Mr. Evans, return-
ing the revolver to his pocket. "Suppose you
call yourself Bob Ryan."
LUCKY BOB 17
"Sure, pa," assented the boy as he rose from
his knees. "Bob Ryan that's me. I never
knew a Ryan that I did not like. It's an hon-
"Now, boy, you may go."
"Pa, are you going to leave me here all
alone without a friend?"
"Friends are cheap," returned the man, as
he gave his attention to the automobile lamp.
It flared out in a moment, throwing its strong
light upon the tear-stained face of the wretched
"Father, father!" cried Bob, in accents that
would have wrung the heart of men accus-
tomed to grappling with misery and distress,
"are you going to leave me alone in the
"Stuff! The world is full of friends only
waiting to be picked."
"Well, aren't you going to bid me good-by ?"
As Bob spoke, he leaped upon the running
board of the automobile and stretched out his
trembling hand to the harsh and pitiless occu-
For a moment the man hesitated. A strug-
gle seemed to be waging within him. Pres-
ently he reached out his hand; but just as it
touched the boy's fingers, and just as Bob
raised his streaming eyes, he shot out an oath
18 LUCKY BOB
and roughly pushed the boy off the running-
There was a moment's silence, broken pres-
ently by the hoot of an owl; another silence,
then a moan followed by a cry as of a broken
heart. Bob Ryan had fallen senseless to the
Evans' face grew wan; the sweat stood out
upon his brow. He hesitated, then with
another oath started the machine, leaving in
the lone woods a lone boy, a sad boy, the lonest
and saddest boy happily unconscious in the
whole state of Iowa.
Introducing under rather extraordinary ctr-
cumstances a Literary Tramp.
THE sunlight, glorious, golden, of early morn
made a checkered and changing path
through the trees. The path advanced west-
ward to the sweet jargoning of early birds,
while light and glittering dew and woodland
fragrance played their parts towards ushering
in with due state a perfect morning in early
July. A tender breeze set the leaves into a
sibilant accompaniment to the fine careless
rapture of the feathered songsters. Light
and shadow changed places with each other to
the movement of the swaying branches. Pres-
ently the sun threw its gleams direct upon the
face of a chubby-cheeked boy, who, with face
to the sky, lay happily unconscious. Happily,
I say, for there was a smile upon his face.
The soul of the dawn had entered through the
portals of dreamland into the sleeping lad's
blood, and, without being aware of it, he was
gay with the birds, gay with the light, gay, in
20 LUCKY BOB
a word, with the wild freshness of early morn-
ing. Louder swelled the chorus of the birds,
brighter shone the sunlight, more insistent
grew the swish of leaves and branches. The
smile on the sleeping lad's face expanded.
Presently his mouth opened, revealing pearly
teeth, and he began to laugh aloud. Even as
he laughed he opened his eyes; and then sud-
denly all laughter ceased, though his mouth
The cause of this sudden change from gai-
ety to amazement was the sight of a strange-
looking man sitting beside him and gazing at
him with much solemnity.
The stranger was about twenty-five years
old. He wore a straw hat with a very defec-
tive brim. A fine silk shirt, spotlessly clean
and open at the throat, was in startling con-
trast to an old pair of blue jeans and a pair of
shoes which were cracked, down at the heels,
and almost without soles. The stranger's face
was rubicund, browned with the sun, and, it
must be confessed, somewhat bloated. A very
ancient pipe with an overpowering flavor was
in his mouth. A beard of several days'
growth, while far from adding to the beauty of
his features, failed to conceal a face which was
at once good-humored and strikingly intellec-
LUCKY BOB 21
The man, noticing the wonder on Bob's fea-
tures, removed his pipe.
"Do you always do that?" he inquired.
"Do what?" cried Bob, sitting up and rub-
bing his eyes.
"Wake up with a laugh that sends the echoes
into sympathetic merriment?"
"Won't you please say that over, sir?" asked
Bob, putting his fist under his chin, and sup-
porting the elbow with his left hand.
"Which I wish to remark, and my language
is plain, gentle Faun of Iowa, do you generally
wake up gurgling, chortling, and goo-goo-
"I often wake up laughing, sir, if that's what
"Boy, I stand answered. If I had your
directness of speech, if I knew how to call a
spade a spade, and a philanthropist a butter-in,
I'd be editor of some big magazine instead of
being a tramp."
"Oh, are you a tramp, sir?"
"At your service, gentle Faun."
"You talk like a book."
"That's one of my least defects. But
whence come you? Whither are you going?
And are you waiting a company of Dryads?"
"I'm hungry," answered Bob.
"Lord, boy! How you do come to the
22 LUCKY BOB
point ! Hard by purls a gentle brook, singing
its way to the Mississippi. The water is deli-
ciously cool. Taken in moderation it is worth
while. As for food, I have prepared you a
"Sandwiches, compounded by the neat-
handed Phyllis of a neighboring farm. I got
four, ate two, and for their purchase parted
gladly with me last ducat."
1 You'd call it a ten-cent piece; but no mat-
ter. To return to our subject. I spied you
sleeping here just about the time the sun was
gilding the east with heavenly alchemy. I
knew you'd wake ; I surmised you'd be hungry.
So I hied me to adjacent fields and gathered
luscious strawberries sparkling with dew.
Come, my son, arise and follow me."
Saying which, the self-styled tramp knocked
the ashes out of his pipe, stuck it jauntily in his
hat, and catching the hand of the wondering
lad, led him trippingly through a space of
woods, till they reached a gurgling steam, lim-
pid and inviting.
"Sit you down here, O Faun of Iowa, and
allow me to wait upon you."
Suiting the action to the command, the man
swung Bob to a convenient log, hurried to the
LUCKY BOB 23
water's edge, turned aside some leaves, and
revealed to the hungry lad's gaze a package
neatly done up in white paper and a tin plate
piled high with strawberries, redder far than
the boy's ruddy cheeks.
"Oh, thank you, sir!" cried Bob, biting into
a sandwich. "Gee!" he added, "this tastes
"It's the kind of sandwich mother used to
make," said the man gravely, "and you'd bet-
ter eat slowly. There's only one more left.
And at present I'm insolvent."
"Oh, I've got some money, all right, if that's
what you're worrying about," said Bob; and
reaching into the pocket of his knickerbockers,
he produced the envelope, opened it, and dis-
covered to his amazed host a roll of bills.
"O most noble Croesus, your most humble
and devoted servant," cried the man, doffing
his hat and bowing profoundly.
"My name isn't Croesus. It's Bob Ev
"If you had told me you were the son and
heir of John D. Rockefeller, I'd have believed
you, Bob Ryan. But may I ask, if it be not
impertinent, how under the round earth a fat
boy in knee-breeches happens to be sleeping
like the Babes in the Wood with untold wealth
upon his person?"
24 LUCKY BOB
"This isn't untold wealth," corrected Bob
as he addressed himself to the second sandwich.
"It's fifty dollars. Four tens, one five, and
five one-dollar bills. Here, look at 'em your-
"Correct to a penny," said the man, running
his fingers deftly over the bills. "As I hold
these in my hands," he continued pensively,
"my mind reverts to the happy days when,
carefree and in purple and fine linen, I
engaged at jackstones with golden eagles for
jacks, while gleaming fountains played, and
peacocks with feathers full-set to all the winds
that blow paraded proudly over swards green
as the heart of the emerald."
"Where did all that happen, sir?"
"In my mind's eye, Horatio."
"Call me Bob, please," pleaded the youth as
he turned with artless eagerness to the plate of
'That I will. Here, take your money."
"Put it away till I finish these strawber-
ries," said Bob.
4 What ! You trust me, a tramp, a thing of
shreds and patches, with untold wealth?"
"Put it away, sir. It isn't untold. You
just now told me it was fifty dollars, the same
as I told you. Of course I trust you. If it
LUCKY BOB 25
were a hundred times as much, I'd trust you
The cheerful stranger lost his air of levity.
A spasm of pain crossed his features.
"Thank you, Bob," he said simply.
"You're welcome," answered Bob, beaming
upon his chance acquaintance and putting
down with a lingering look the depleted plate.
"You've asked me how I came by this
money. Do you want me to answer you ?"
"Not for idle curiosity's sake," said the man,
"but because anything concerning you is of
deep interest to me."
"Well, up to last night, I was as happy a
boy as lived in you'll keep what I say a
"Cross my heart!" cried the man. "By
every Faun and Dryad these woods may hold.
Sure! What you say to me will go no fur-
"As I was saying, I lived in Dubuque, and
I was happy till last night; and then
Here the boy's features twitched convul-
sively, tears forced themselves to his eyes, a
lump arose in his throat; he could go no fur-
"Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dol-
26 LUCKY BOB
orem," soliloquized the tramp, delicately turn-
ing his gaze from the sad-faced youth.
"Whwhwh what's that, sir?" blub-
"Nay, sir me no sirs. Call me plain Tom,
which the same is my name. Tom Temple at
your service. As to what I was just saying,
I was remarking in the classic tongue that I'm
bidding you, O Faun of Iowa, to tell the untell-
able. Suppose you forget last night for a
while and let me know something about your
early days. I take it for granted, you began
life as a prodigiously fat baby."
"I reckon so, Tom; but I don't remember
that far back. My mother is dead. Pa says
she died when I was six months old. He is
some sort of a money lender. He's always
buying mortgages on farms and things like
that; and people say that if a man wanted to
get ahead of him, he would have to get up very
early in the morning and stay up all night."
"I fancy him," mused Tom Temple, "a nice,
gray-headed old gentleman, with gleaming
spectacles and soft, gentle, blue eyes, and a
smile that is always on duty with never a vaca-
tion, and fat rosy cheeks, and a ringing
"I say," protested Bob, "that isn't a bit like
LUCKY BOB 27
my father. He's not grayhaired, and he
doesn't wear spectacles, and his eyes aren't
blue, and his cheeks aren't fat nor rosy, and
when he laughs "
"Oh, he does laugh !" interrupted Tom.
'There's no ring about it. It's more like a
"I beg your pardon, Bob ; I fear I am mix-
ing him up with Mr. Pickwick."
"Anyhow," continued Bob, "he was always
good to me. He gave me a penny every morn-
"And did he caution you not to squander
"I mean, did he warn you each time not to
spend it all at once?"
'That's the only way you can spend a
penny," said Bob.
"I stand corrected. So he gave you a penny
'Yes, to buy my lunch at school."
"Such generosity moves me too deep for
tears," Tom observed with dry eyes.
"And sometimes," continued Bob trium-
phantly, "he gave me a whole nickel."
"At Christmas time, possibly," suggested
28 LUCKY BOB
"Say, how did you guess that? And he
never bothered me, nor whipped me, and once
he gave me a whole quarter."
"Pro-dig-ious !" gasped the tramp.
"He had an old house-keeper who was so
kind and good to me. I used to read stories to
her. She she loved me."
"Evidently the woman had taste."
"And I had all the books I wanted. The
lady at the library was so good to me. She
used to save up books she thought I'd like.
And my teachers at the public school were the
nicest ladies you ever saw."
"How their ears must be burning now.
And I suppose they were nice to you, too?"
'You bet they were. I'd do anything for
any one of them. The last one was the nicest
of them all. She was mv teacher in the sev-
enth grade. I just finished it three weeks ago.
and came out head of the class. But I'd never
have come out head, if she hadn't been good to
me. Oh, I tell you she was nice."
"As you speak," apostrophized Tom Tem-
ple, "I can picture her before me to the life; a
fair creature with golden hair, and dimples
upon chin and cheek ; and as to her complexion,
'there is a garden in her face, where roses and
white lilies blow' ; and a young voice, soft as the
fall of rose leaves, teeth of pearl, and a mouth
LUCKY BOB 29
which 'when her lovely laughter shows' looks
'like rosebuds filled with snow.'
"Oh, stop!" implored Bob; "this isn't a fairy
story. She weighed about a hundred and six-
ty-five pounds, and her hair was turning gray ;
there were no dimples that you could notice,
but she had gold eyeglasses, and the only roses
about her were on her desk now and then, and
she was old enough to be your mother."
"I plainly perceive," said Tom, "that I am
confusing your seventh-grade teacher with the
heroine of any story in the popular magazines
of the day. Once more, I beg your pardon."
"I loved her," said Bob simply. "She was
good to me and and she prayed for me
every day. She told me so."
"Ah, she was a deaconess !"
"She was a Catholic. And I'm one, too."
"Is there anybody else you loved?"
"I should say so. There was little Angela,
the cripple. She did ever so much for me
when I came to see her each day. You could
see she was glad to see me. I told her every-
thing I read, and she she taught me my
prayers. As long as I live I'll never forget
the little lame girl who taught me to pray."
"Didn't your father do that?"
"Say, Tom," said Bob confidentially, "that
was a queer thing about him. He never went
30 LUCKY BOB
to church, and never let me go, either. I'll tell
you what I didn't know I had any religion
till about a year ago, and then one day my pa
'What did you do to get him angry?"
"He caught me bringing in a lame dog that
I wanted to fix up, and he called me a Catholic
cur, and said he could see my Baptism sticking
out all over me."
"Did he seem to trace a distinct connec-
tion between Catholic Baptism and disabled
"He didn't say anything like that ; but after
he cooled down a little he seemed to be awful
sorry. He said that Catholic baptism didn't
mean anything, and that set me to looking it
up. Little Johnny Smith, one of my best
friends, told me a lot. He's blind, and I used
to go see him every day. And Mrs. Keller,
who is bedridden, told me a lot more. She's
one of my best friends, too. And little Angela
fixed me up, so that I've got nearly as far as
"Bob," said Tom with more gravity than he
had hitherto shown. "I'm not a Catholic my-
self, but I can't help respecting the most won-
derful institution in the world; and the man
who doesn't is either a Philistine or he has a
blind spot in his brain."
LUCKY BOB 31
"I guess you're right," said Bob, looking
"Any more friends?"
"Oh, just shoals of them. Even the girls in
our grade like me ; and they don't niind letting
"All the dogs and cats in your town love to
greet you, I dare say."
"Well, not all. All those in our neighbor-
hood and a lot of others I have met make a lot
of fuss about me."
"I thought so," mused Tom. "When I first
saw you I took you for a cherub, a fat Michael
Angelo cherub. When you handed me all
your money, I began to see the seraphic in you.
But now I've come to the conclusion that you
ought to be called Francis."
"After one of the sweetest and noblest men
that ever lived, St. Francis of Assisi. He was
a man who loved the birds of the air, the fishes
in the water, and every animal of the wood-
lands. He called the sun his brother, and his
love embraced everything that God had made
most of all the particular thing I happen to
possess in abundance just now."
"What's that, Tom?"
"Poverty. He called her 'My Lady Pov-
erty,' and so he loved the poor."
32 LUCKY BOB
'That's the kind of a saint I like," said Bob
emphatically, "and did he love little children?"
"Good gracious, boy, who doesn't? Even
soured souls like myself love the little ones."
"Don't you go and call yourself names,
Tom. When I grow up, I want to talk like
you, and be like you."
Tom Temple threw his pipe to the ground.
Bob Ryan," he said, slowly, emphatically,
before I'd have you come to be like me, I'd
prefer to see you as you are, lying dead before
Bob placed his right fist under his chin, his
left hand supporting the elbow, and gazed
amazedly at the solemnest tramp imaginable.
Now look you, my boy," continued Tom.
In this world we get what we deserve; and
we only deserve by giving. You have gone
through jfe loving your neighbor, inclusive of
cats and dogs, and as a result dogs and cats
without exception love you, and even human
beings return your affection. You are getting
precisely what you are giving, and so it will be
to the end. As you go on in life, you may
come upon things which may tend to sour your
affection but for God's sake, don't change.
You are right now, and if you change you will
be wrong. Everything that God made is
worth loving. As a poet you will one day love
'He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.'
"I'd like to read some more of that poet,"
"Well, now for the story of last night. Are
you ready to tell it?"
To the incidents related in our opening chap-
ter Mr. Tom Temple lent an attentive ear.
"Tkere's a mystery here," he said at the end;
"and I'll have to put on my thinking cap before
I make any comments. By the way, how
would you like to tramp south with me?"
"I should love it," cried the boy afire with
"How nice of you. Do you happen to have
any writing paper about your person?"
Bob put a hand in his inside coat pocket, and
drew out a memorandum book.
'Tear out what you want," he said.
Tom extracted five small leaves.
"And now if you'll excuse me," he then said,
"'I'm going to jot down a few ideas while I
happen to have them, and then for our tramp
34 LUCKY BOB
"And while you're jotting your notes, I'll
take a good wash."
When Tom returned fifteen minutes later,
it was with a smile upon his face. He had
reason to be happy ; for in the few moments of
separation he had committed to paper as pretty
a poem as had ever fallen from his imaginative
Discovering a winding path, an open road, a
savage dog, and dinner for two.
44 rFlHis road we're taking," observed Bob, as
< with lusty stride the two set forth,
"seems to be turning into a path a crooked
one, at that. Do you know which way it
"Listen, my son, to the words of wisdom
dropped from a modern pen, words that have
not as yet found their way into book form :
'I like a road that leads away to prospects
white and fair,
A road that is an ordered road, like a nun's
But, best of all, I love a road that leads to
God knows where.' "
"Say, Tom, I like that,"
"You do? A friend of mine, Mr. Charles
Hanson Towne, wrote it. Next time I meet
him I'll tell him what you said. Listen once
'You tramp along its dusty way, beneath its
And hear beside you chattering birds or
happy, booming bees,
And all around you golden sounds, the green
"Why, he must have been talking about this
very place," cried Bob. 'The way is dusty;
and now, after that poet man has said it, I like
it to be dusty. And the trees are shadowy.
And just think of his calling the bees happy,
booming bees. And he's got in the birds and
the leaves. I never noticed till now how nice
leaves sound when they're moved. Say, Tom,
I want to be a poet.
'You are one already, Bob.
'You are one a "
"Your life is a poem set to the music of love
with sunshine effects. You don't have to write
poetry yet. Now I'm a poet, people say,
myself; but of a different kind. I scribble
things that people read, but they are the
things that I have failed to get into my life.
In other words, I think poetry and live
"You aren't living prose now," commented
Bob. 'To walk along this way, not knowing
where you're going, with all the things around
LUCKY BOB 37
you that that poet talks about why that ain't
prose. Give us some more of re, Tom."
"By Jove, you're right, Bob. The poet saw
this place. In fact, that's the great thing with
poets ; they see things that everybody else sees,
only they see them differently. And when
we've read their words, we go out and look at
the same old things, only in another and far
more beautiful light. They lift the veil of the
commonplace from our eyes."
"I think," said Bob wistfully, "that I under-
stand you a little bit, just like a minute ago I
felt glad that the road was dusty."
"Exactly, Bob ; you understand what I said
more than a little bit. Poets and saints make
everything put on a new beauty and a new
glory. If we are saints, we see things in some
such way as God sees them, in some such way
as Christ considered the lilies of the fields, and,
like God, we see that all things are good.
That's why people were so jolly and happy in
the Middle Ages. They looked upon the world
with the anointed eyes of faith."
"I wish," said Bob admiringly, "that I knew
all the things you do."
"And I wish," retorted Tom Temple, "that
I felt all the things you feel But to return
to our poet. I repeat with you that he saw
this place. Listen to him once more :
38 LUCKY BOB
'A winding road, a loitering road, a finger-
mark of God,
Traced when the Maker of the world leaned
over ways untrod.
See! Here He smiled His glowing smile,
and lo, the goldenrod F
"That's so," said Bob with just the least
shade of indifference in his voice. After all,
he was but a seventh grade boy, and his atten-
tion was beginning, quite naturally, to flag.
It is easier for such a one to live than to talk
A few moments later the path took a sudden
turn, disclosing to the two tramps "an ordered
"Our dream is over," Tom observed. "And
now we go southwards."
They turned and, walking briskly, for some
time proceeded in silence.
"Look!" cried Tom presently. "See it
there ; the poet got that in, too :
'And here's a hedge, and there's a cot; and
then strange, sudden
Tom Temple left the line unfinished. A
startling interruption halted the words in his
mouth. Forth from the cottage yard sprang
a mastiff as fierce a looking dog as Tom
LUCKY BOB 39
Temple had ever seen and with savage bark
dashed straight towards the two adventurers.
"Stand back," roared Tom, catching the boy
around the shoulders and swinging him to the
"Let me do it," returned the boy quickly,
and before Temple could realize what had hap-
pened Bob thrust himself to the fore.
"Halloa, old boy," he cried out in high, clear,
and strangely caressing tones. 'This way,
old chap. That's the dog!" And dropping
human speech, Bob proceeded to utter a sound
that was neither a hiss nor a whistle, but some-
thing of the nature oT both, and, at the same
time, strangely soothing. And lo! the dog
ceased barking, trotted up quietly to the boy
as to an old friend, and held up his head expect-
antly for a caress. And Bob, sinking to his
knees, threw his arms around the mastiff's
"Give me your paw," said Bob.
Up came the paw, and the two, if the phrase
may be permitted, shook hands.
"Good-by, old fellow ; don't forget me," con-
tinued Bob, arising, waving his hand, and
catching the arm of Tom Temple.
As the two walked off together the dog gave
a low moan, gazing wistfully after the fat
voi hnd found such sudden favor in his
40 LUCKY BOB
eyes, and, still with a long, lingering look,
returned, a wiser and a better dog, to his
"Little St. Francis!" ejaculated the most
astonished tramp probably that ever walked
along that road. "You've given me a thrill.
That beats all my experiences."
"That's nothing," returned Bob. "All dogs
are nice fellows. They look savage sometimes
because they don't understand."
"I've met many a dog with never a bite for
the meeting," Tom Temple observed, "but
that's not my way of dealing with 'em."
"What's your way?"
"My way, as the poet Milton would express
it, is this : I kicks 'em in the slats."
"That's not the right way," protested Bob.
"Next time you meet 'em you'll have to kick
'em again. No wonder dogs get suspicious."
"Do you ever talk to fishes?" asked Tom.
"I never did that. How can you?"
"St. Anthony did; and they came up to hear
"I think that's another saint I'm going to
like. I'd like to have a talk with a fish. But,
I say, Tom, I want to tell you something."
"Fire away, gentle Faun; I'm all ears."
'Well, we're partners, aren't we?"
"Fast!" answered Tom emphatically.
LUCKY BOB 41
'Well, what's mine is yours. I've got a
little money, and you've got-
Here Bob hesitated, while Mr. Temple
"Well, you've got things that money can't
buy stored away under that old hat of yours."
"Loads of lumber," assented Tom, "which
by a stretch of the imagination might be termed
"Lumber!" echoed Bob indignantly.
"You're not a block-head! Anyhow, I want
you to act as treasurer in this partnership busi-
ness and do all the buying. I don't mind say-
ing that I like a square meal."
"And," put in Tom, "you like it three times
'That's it. And I want you to see that we
"I agree on two conditions, O forest Faun.
First, that you allow me to be the cook!"
"You do the cooking! Oh, I say, that's not
"I take a pride in my cooking, my boy. I'm
a born chef. Often, oh, how often, do I think
that in making profession of being an indiffer-
ent literary man when I'm not a tramp I
have robbed the world of a great cook. As the
senior member of this firm, I insist on acting as
42 LUCKY BOB
"All right, then," sighed Bob. "Anyhow,
you'll let me act as assistant."
"For the sake of harmony, yes. Now as to
the second condition. It's a burning shame
that I should use up on myself the money of a
boy who hasn't a friend at hand."
"I've got you!" cried Bob warmly.
"Good God !" the man burst out. He added
more quietly, "You don't krow me, boy, or
you'd not say that. Anyhow, when my ship
comes in and I've many a ship trying to find
a port in editorial harbors I insist that you
take back half our expenses."
"No, I won't neither."
Tom took his pipe out of his hat, lighted it,
drew a few slow puffs, then, standing stock
still, caught the boy's hand.
"Good-by, Bob. I'm going north."
"Oh, I say," protested Bob, "you're not
going to leave me? Shucks, if you feel that
way about it, you can pay me anything you
"All right, partner. Then ho! for the
sunny south on the open road in the summer-
time and the heart of a friend to lighten the
way. Southward, march!"
At noon they found a shady grove a few
LUCKY BOB 43
hundred yards off from the broad highway;
and by the time Bob had built a brisk fire Tom
Temple had gone and returned with bread,
condiments, coffee, and two pounds of beef-
Bob succeeded in being allowed to make the
toast, which he did in a manner creditable to
hand and to head. Doubtless there was many
a banquet in the land that day ; but nowhere, I
dare say, was there a guest who enjoyed his
feast as these two enjoyed their simple beef-
Bob had engaged to do the "cleaning up."
His work was simpler than he anticipated.
When dinner was over there was nothing left
Wanderings through woods, down roads,
and in literature. Bob captured % a band of
children, escapes by turning into an angel
YOUTH, poignant as are its sorrows, is quick
to forget. And so it came to pass that
Master Robert Ryan in the inspiring company
of Tom Temple entered upon a new phase of
gaiety and joy. Evening came, another
hearty meal, and then a bed in a hay-stack.
There followed another day on the open road,
much like the first. On the second night they
played the part of the Babes in the Wood and
slept tranquilly in the heart of a forest. That
the robins failed to cover the two wayfarers
with leaves is due, no doubt, to the fact that
both were up with the sun. And ever as they
walked, on dusty Or well-ordered road, Tom
Temple spoke of poetiy and of great writers,
especially of William Shakespeare. On va-
rious occasions, in the woodlands, he gave the
intent and eager youth almost the entire plays
of As You Like It, Midsummer's Night's
Dream, and Winter's Tale. Mr. Temple, the
LUCKY BOB 45
many-sided, was an actor, too. He had worn
the buskin, and in few years played many
parts. It is not too much to say that in these
happy days Bob Ryan was unconsciously
making a course in literature such as few boys
are lucky enough to receive and appreciate.
To the unconcealed gratification of the lad>
their daily expenses were very light. Bob
passed no child, boy or girl, without making
friendly overtures, almost invariably returned*
Fond mothers, seeing him so regardful of their
children, were quick to extend their hospitality.
Eggs and milk and cream and corn-cake and
fruit were pressed upon these cheerful knights
of the road, and, on the tenth evening, they
were practically forced to accept the shelter of
an honest farmer who was happy in a buxom
wife and nine children, these latter ranging in
age from two to sixteen years.
On that evening Bob was the central figure.
He sang not, he talked little, and had few
stories to tell ; yet somehow he held the children
spellbound. In the matter of games he was
quite ingenious and inventive. At ten o'clock,
two hours after their regular time, the children
were forced to go to bed, which they did, half
of them in tears. The youngest child, indeed,
kicked and howled and refused to accept the
situation with any sort of tranquillity.
46 LUCKY BOB
"I want Bob," he protested between yells
that were ear-piercing.
It looked for a few minutes as though there
would be little sleep in that house, as the infant
refused to be consoled. But our young hero
rose to the situation. Leaving the farmer and
Tom Temple, he followed the mother, whom
he found holding down by physical force the
love-lorn infant in his cradle, and, motioning
her away, took the babe's hands in his. And
then there came a great quiet upon the house,
save for the sibilant crooning of the beloved
fat boy. The crooning lasted for hardly more
than two minutes. Then it ceased, and Bob,
disengaging his hand, left the child locked in
The two wanderers were up, bright and
early, the next morning.
At breakfast the farmer hinted that he
would be pleased to add Bob to his already suf-
ficiently numerous family. When the chil-
dren got the idea, grasped first by the six-
teen-year-old girl and percolating down to
the infant, loud and tremendous enthusiasm
But Bob was adamant.
"I've got to go further south. It's awfully
nice of you to think of me that way; but I'm
under marching orders."
LUCKY BOB 47
Then the six junior members of the family
a pair of twins in the number fell upon
him. They insisted that they would not let
him go. A twelve-year-old boy, with the
enterprise so characteristic of his age and sex,
secured a rope, and was just about to tie Bob
to his chair surreptitiously, when an unex-
pected diversion put his machinations to
naught and sent the children scurrying away,
reduced to the habitual bashfulness so marked
in the youth living on farms.
A man entered without the preliminary of a
knock. He was apparently a well-to-do
'Why, Jones," cried the master of the house,
"what's the matter?"
"My little boy, my only child, is worse. He
won't eat, and he didn't sleep last night, and he
just lies on his bed looking up at the ceiling and
takes no interest in nothing."
"Can I do anything for you?" asked Bob's
'Yes; couldn't you get the doctor? I'm
afraid to leave the boy and his mother. Any-
thing might happen when I'm gone."
"Sure! Glad you asked me."
"Dad, let me go," pleaded the older boy.
"I was going myself; but all right. Saddle
the mare and lose no time."
48 LUCKY BOB
'Thank you ever so much," said Jones. "I
must hurry back at once."
"And," cried the sympathetic mother, "as
soon as I've cleared away the breakfast things,
I'll be right over. Is there anything we can
bring you eggs or fruit or wine?"
'We have everything," answered the man
gratefully; "but my wife will be glad to have
you, Mrs. Owens. God bless you all. Good-
Before the man had fully turned everybody
in the room was startled by a demonstration on
the part of Master Bob Ryan.
"Oh, say, mister," he cried, springing for-
ward and catching the man's arm entreatingly,
"let me go with you to see your little boy."
Mr. Jones, as was quite natural, looked
amazed. A very fat boy, a perfect stranger,
with an eager, sympathetic face and wistful en-
treaty in his eyes, was certainly out of the or-
dinary. He turned his eyes on that cherubic
face in momentary puzzlement.
"Take him along, Jones," cried Owens.
"By all means, take him," seconded the wife.
"He has a wonderful way with children."
"Come along, son," said Jones.
And before the children could rise in rebel-
lion, Bob was gone.
Jones' house was not more than half a mile's
LUCKY BOB 49
distance down the road. It was an attractive
bungalow with roses, red and plentiful, adding
their perfume and rich color to the beauty
of the exterior. Within, everything showed
taste, comfort, and the deft hand of a thrifty
"This way," said the owner, throwing open
a door and motioning Bob to enter.
It was a small, sunny, tastily arranged room,
with windows looking out upon the south and
east. Flowers were upon the sills; flowers,
newly gathered, upon a table beside a little
bed, its coverlet no whiter than the drawn face
of the little child who lay upon it. Beside the
bed sat a young woman, pale, agitated, and
"Oh !" she cried, "have you got him? I can't
bear it; I shall go mad."
"We've sent for him, my dear," answered
the husband, as the wife came forward and
caught him hysterically by the shoulders.
"He'll be kere soon."
"Look here," said Bob to Jones in an easy
tone as though he had lived in the house for
years, "you take your wife out and get her a
cup of tea. I'll watch. I've often waited on
"Come on, my dear," said Jones.
The woman looked in astonishment at the
50 LUCKY BOB
rosy-cheeked cherub, and her husband followed
Paying no attention to either, Bob Ryan,
quick of eye and of action, felt the sick boy's
brow, picked up a small towel, dipped it in the
water pitcher, and placed it with a caressing
touch upon the invalid's head.
"Come on, wife," whispered the man.
As the two left the room they heard a pecul-
iar sound a sort of cheerful moan, if one may
imagine such a thing proceeding from the
mouth of the Iowa cherub.
The door had scarcely closed upon them
when the little boy, stimulated by the strange
sound, suddenly removed his eyes from the
ceiling and turned them upon his new nurse.
His gaze was rewarded with the most genial
The little boy shut his eyes; then, after a
few seconds, opened them and gazed again.
No, he was not dreaming. It was a real smile
and this time it was accompanied by a low,
rich, rumbling chuckle.
Then the little boy did something he had not
done in days. He smiled.
"Howdy do!" cried the cherub.
The little boy's smile became more pro-
LUCKY BOB 51
"Howdy do!" sang the cherub, holding out
a chubby hand.
Then the little boy, who was wondering
doubtless whether all angels were fat, took a
hand from under the coverlet, a tiny, wasted
hand, and let it sink into the big, hospitable
palm of the happy nurse.
Holding the little hand, Bob chuckled rum-
In answer, tHe child laughed back a high-
pitched tiny laugh.
Mrs. Jones was at the door all this time, and
it is not to her discredit, I claim, that her right
eye was glued to the keyhole. When her little
Johnnie took his eyes from the ceiling the color
returned to her cheeks; when his hand came
forth from the coverlet she turned and nodded
her head cheerfully to her husband who stood
beside her; but when little Johnnie laughed she
arose, threw her arms about Mr. Jones, and ob-
served brightly that she'd take some tea.
Her husband joined her in that amiable re*
From sorrow to joy, from sunshine to storm.
Bob and Tom Temple, both in extreme fright,
are rescued by a remarkable ancient of the peo-
"171 7HEN the doctor arrived half an hour later,
he encountered upon the portico of
the Jones household a smiling woman and a
cheer ful- faced man sitting with clasped hands
and in utter silence. As he reached the stoop,
the woman released her hands and put her fin-
ger to her lips.
"What's the matter?" whispered the doctor.
"Is little Johnnie dead?"
"Oh, no!" whispered the woman radiantly.
"Not at all," chuckled the man.
"I must have got the wrong house. You
people," he went on to say, as the couple again
joined hands, "want a clergyman, I reckon-
but not a doctor."
"What's that?" asked Jones.
'You want to get married, don't you?"
The doctor was becoming sarcastic.
'Come on and look!" whispered the wife,
LUCKY BOB 53
tiptoeing to the door of the sick child's room.
The doctor noiselessly followed after, and the
husband, with a great awe upon his face, as
though he were ahout to gaze upon a vision of
the heavenly city, imitated his example.
Turning the knob gently, and slowly push-
ing open the door, Mrs. Jones turned to the
doctor as who should say, "Now what do you
think of that?"
It was not exactly a reproduction of the new
Jerusalem which greeted the doctor's eyes ; but
it filled his professional soul with delight.
Seated beside the bed, Master Bob Kyan,
his chin supported by his right hand and his
right elbow supported by the left hand, was
gazing serenely upon a little boy into whose
cheeks the color had returned and who was
sleeping peacefully with the suspicion of a
smile and of happy dreams upon his features.
The doctor tiptoed in, and laid his hand
gently upon the sleeper's brow. He felt
Johnnie's pulse, during which operation Bob
slipped from the room. For the first time
since his entrance into the house Bob lost his
presence of mind; for forthwith Mrs. Jones
threw her arms around his neck and imprinted
upon his blushing cheeks, as though they were
in France, two hearty kisses. Mr. Jones then
caught the boy's hand and gave it such a
54 LUCKY BOB
squeeze that Bob in struggling not to cry out
forgot his embarrassment.
Then out tiptoed the doctor in smiles.
'The crisis," he said, "is over. I had no
idea it would come so soon, much less pass so
quickly. When your boy wakes he'll be call-
ing for food, which, by the way, you will not
give him. I'll be around again in four or five
"And he'll get well?" asked the wife.
"He is well now only very weak."
"Thank you so much, doctor," said Mr.
Jones, reaching into his pocket and drawing
out his purse.
"Oh, no!" cried the man of medicine waving
him off resolutely. "If you want to pay any
one, pay that Michael Angelo cherub."
At this juncture, Tom Temple entered.
With the exchange of a few words he learned
"Bob!" he exclaimed, "the sun is high in the
heavens, and, from the reports I have just now
received, 'all's right with the world.' I hear
the call of the road, the open road, the road
that leads anywhere or nowhere, the broad
highway; and if you don't hurry, the whole
Owens family will be down upon you to bring
you back captive."
The happy couple and the doctor protested
LUCKY* BOB 55
as one ; but again Bob was adamant, and pres-
ently forth issued the two to face the open once
"You said," began Bob, "that you heard the
call of the road. Did you mean it?"
"In a way, I did, Doctor Bob."
"Well, there's something calling me. I
don't think it's the road ; in fact, I don't know
what it is but I feel uneasy unless I keep on
"Going whither, O enchanter of youth?"
'That's what puzzles me. As the song we
used to sing has it, 'I don't know where I'm go-
ing, but I'm on my way.'
"Do you know, Bob, that I've been thinking
a good deal about your father's conduct toward
"And have you found out what it all
"Let me ask you a question. Have you
ever signed any documents at your father's re-
'Why, yes; I did twice. It was just a few
"Ah! I think I have it. Your father, from
what you have told me, is keen on bargains.
Possibly some of his deals, while not actually
dishonest, might give him trouble, if brought
into court. Now it's just possible that your
56 LUCKY BOB
signature has to do with some such transaction.
The lawyers were getting after him, and so
he thought best to get you out of the road."
"Do you know, Tom, I think you've hit it?
I remember he wouldn't let me read those two
papers I signed ; and then, the morning of the
very day my father took me away there were
two queer-looking fellows hanging about the
house for hours. When my father saw them
he got very excited. Then he took me out the
back way, and the two of us made a sneak to
the railroad station."
"I believe I've hit it right this time. While
you were acting as doctor to that nice little
boy I got hold of a local paper and learned
that your father has disappeared, too. He has
not been heard from since the two of you left
Just as Bob was about to express his aston-
ishment the sound of running feet caused the
pair to turn. Breathless and flurried, Mr.
Jones caught up with them.
"Excuse me," he gasped, "for interrupting
you. But," producing a dainty, sealed envel-
ope, "my wife who is grateful to you, Bob, has
asked me to hand you this note. And you're
not to open or read it till noontime. You
"Anything she wants I'll do," said Bob, ac-
LUCKY BOB 57
cepting the envelope and putting it in his
"Thank you. If you ever come this way
again, do call and stay as long as you like."
Then Mr. Jones bade them a hearty fare-
After their twelve o'clock meal, Bob took out
the envelope and tore it open.
"O look!" he exclaimed, waving a crisp
"It's the price of a poem!" cried Tom. "Is
there no letter in the envelope?"
"Just a card which says 'With love and grat-
itude.' Say, Tom, would you mind walking
back with me?"
"So you're going to return the money?"
"Of course I am."
"Do you think the Joneses would be pleased
if you brought it back?"
"That's not the point."
"Well, it's one of the points. Suppose you
think it over while I turn aside and do a little
"Well, Cherub of Iowa," queried Tom Tem-
ple half an hour later, "have you done your
Bob, who was sitting on a stump, his chin pil-
lowed upon his hand, his eyes gazing into
space, arose at the question.
58 LUCKY BOB
'Yes, Tom, I have. I'm going to keep that
money; and I've got an idea."
"Good! Let's hear it."
'The night my father sent me to shift for
myself, I was quite willing to go to work. The
fact is I rather liked the idea of earning my own
living. But now I've changed my mind."
"Don't tell me, Bob, that you're going to
be a useless, no-account tramp like me. If
I've brought you to love this way of living, I've
added one more to my huge catalogue of blun-
"Don't call yourself a tramp, Tom. You're
not. You're a writer and a scholar."
"Or rather a cheap imitation. Bob, I want
you to understand that I'm a failure."
Bob was mystified.
"Anyhow," the boy went on, "that twenty-
dollar bill set me to thinking that I could earn
and save these summer months."
"Yes?" said Tom with the rising inflexion.
"And then I could go back to school."
'There's a school for me somewhere further
south. You see, Tom, I've been listening to
you talking about great books and quoting
poetry ; and I'd like to be able to talk like you
and think like you when I grow up."
Tom's far f nson under his tan.
LUCKY BOB 59
"You don't know me," he said humbly. "I
can't explain to you yet, Bob; but I will some
day some far-off day and then you'll under-
stand. I haven't the courage to tell you now.
Anyhow, kindly keep in mind that I'm a fail-
ure. But it's not on account of my reading or
studies. As for your resolve to keep on at
school, I think you have chosen the better part.
I would like to promise you that I'd help you
out ; but my life is full of broken promises, and
I no longer dare trust myself."
"Look here, Tom, you talk as if you were
"I have a presentiment, Bob, that something
is going to happen which will dissolve our jolly
fellowship and send us both drifting apart.
We are but ships that pass in the night."
As the issue will show, Tom Temple proved
to be, to his own poignant regret and keen
shame, a prophet.
On the following afternoon, they were
trudging along cheerily, when clouds suddenly
massed themselves in the east, the air grew
sensibly and suddenly cooler, and the rumbling
of distant thunder gave presage of a storm.
"We're going to get a drenching, I fear,"
Tom observed, looking up at the fast clouding
sky. "There's not a house in sight, and the
only shelter I can see are those woods, and
they're fully a mile away."
60 LUCKY BOB
As if to lend force to his statement, a flasH
of lightning cut its forked path through the
gathering gloom, followed a second after by a
dap of thunder.
"Let's run for it," shouted Bob.
For answer, Tom Temple broke into a trot.
The "Iowa Cherub" was not slow to follow his
example. For a few minutes all went well.
But the storm was at their heels and traveling
swiftly. Another blinding flash of light fol-
lowed almost instantaneously by a burst of
thunder had an extraordinary effect on both.
"My God," cried Temple, breathing heavily,
and putting his hands to his brow, "I'm all in."
Bob, meanwhile, was reverently making the
sign of the cross.
"What's the matter, Tom? You look
"My nerve is gone. Don't mind me, Bob.
I'm sowing what I have "
Just then the rain began to fall upon them
"Go on, Bob, you're not winded. Make for
those woods. Leave rne to myself. I'm sick
and ashamed. Save yourself."
"Here," said Bob, his chubby face aglow
with sympathy, "take this, and hold it in your
"What is it?" asked Tom as he received it.
LUCKY BOB 61
"It's the medal of the Mother of God; what
they call the miraculous medal. Hold it tight,
Tom. You're not a Catholic ; all the same I've
heard you say some mighty nice things about
the Blessed Virgin, and you can just het your
life she doesn't forget them."
A trace of color returned to Tom's cheeks.
"Come on," he said with a wan smile, and
resumed his jog-trot.
But the pitiless rain spared them not. They
were soon wet to the skin. Another blinding
flash, another ear-piercing burst of thunder.
"Holy Mother of God be with me," issued
in low tones from Tom's throat. He could
run no longer. His heart was pounding.
Bob put his arm about his companion's waist.
"Lean on me, Tom," he said.
And so they proceeded till in a short time
they reached the woods.
"Now we're all right," cried Bob cheerily, as
they threaded their way among the trees.
"How do you feel now, Tom?"
"I feel just the way I ought to feel," he re-
turned, with bitter self -contempt in his every
accent. "I'm no better than a yellow
"There are some mighty nice yellow dogs,"
"I'm a mockery of a man. A real man rises
62 LUCKY BOB
to the occasion; but there's no such reaction in
me. God forgive me; I am punished justly
for the follies of c* wasted youth; my courage,
my manliness is gone.
All this was more or less Greek to the sym-
"Here we are!" he said. "This is a mighty
oak-tree, and the rain doesn't get through.
We'll stay here till the storm is past. Say,
Tom, you're shivering. Are you cold?"
"I'm afraid," answered Temple, vainly en-
deavoring to control his chattering teeth, "that
I've got a chill."
Bob's distress was genuine. Here was a
case that called for help, and he knew not what
to do. The man needed warmth, heat, cover-
ing. Gladly would the boy have stripped
himself to shelter his friend; but his clothes
were wet through and through. While he was
still pondering and praying, Tom said:
"Bob, may I keep this medal?"
"Sure! Keep it forever."
The man raised the sweet image to his lips
and reverently kissed it. In the very act
there was a simultaneous flash of blinding
lightning and a violent explosion of thunder.
Round about the two rolled fiery balls; from
the branches above their heads dropped a
squirrel and a tiny bird, dead.
LUCKY BOB 68
"Holy Mother!" gasped Temple, holding
the image up. "I believe that but for thy gra-
cious kindness that stroke was meant for me."
Even Bob was now really frightened.
"I'm sorry," he said, "that I've never been
to Confession ; anyhow I made an act of contri^
The tragedy of their circumstances was at
this moment suddenly lightened by the ap-
pearance of the strangest old man that Bob
had ever seen.
An ancient hat, bright with braid and trim-*
mings, suggesting now the head-gear of a cow-
boy, now the Mexican sombrero, lent pictur-
esqueness to a venerable shirt open at the hairy
throat and to a pair of blue- jeans trousers,
patched here and there with canvas. Beneath
the hat was a strong, benevolent face, fall-
colored by life in the open, yet, despite the
strong bright eyes, betraying the old age of
its owner. Over his shoulder he carried a
fishing pole, and from his right hand hung 9
string of fish.
"Good-day, genteelmen. How do you
do?" cried the ancient fisherman, removing his
cap and bowing profoundly. "Say, genteel-
men, I tell you something. When de t'under
he smash, and de lightning he strike, you get
away from dem trees. Come wiz me."
64 LUCKY BOB
"Shake!" cried Bob joyously, catching the
old man's disengaged hand. "You're as wel-
come as the visit of an angel. Do you live
"No, boy; I tell you de troot. I am eighty-
one year old already two mont' ago."
Tom Temple, still unnerved, had taken
Bob's hand ; and, guided by that ancient fisher-
man, they were now pursuing an open path
through the woods.
"My!" exclaimed Bob, "that's a good old
age. But you're not too old to go fishing, are
"Yes/' said the old man. "I bin married by
my second wive already twenty year. My
wive, he is older dan I. My wive, he is not
Cat'lic like myselv; but he pray. He pray
'That's fine," said Bob, at once enthusiastic
and puzzled. "And she's strong and well,
"Oh, not wot I use to be," answered the an-
cient. "Twenty-five year ago I tell you de
troot, I will not lie to you, because I like you
I was de stronges' man from Dubuque to
Davenport. My chest, he still good; but my
legs dey iz roomatiz. Dis mornin' dey
pain me moosh, I knew, den, de storm he
LUCKY BOB 65
"You have wonderfully broad shoulders and
a splendid chest," pursued Bob.
"No," answered the old man earnestly. "I
did not get no education at all. I don' eider
read nor write. I don' know nuttin'. But
I tell you de troot my mudder, he brought
me up good, and my fadder, he paddle me
hard. Oh, yes, dey brought me up well, and
I good Cat'lic."
"That," said Bob heartily, "is better than
reading and writing, and a whole lot better
than what people call riches."
"No," answered the ancient readily, "I am
not reech. The money, much money, I had
him once. But he fly away so I"
Here the old fellow made a wide gesture
with both hands, as a result of which his fish-
ing pole and his fish gave a correct imitation
of his flying dollars.
As Bob helped the man who had seen better
days to recover his fish, he noticed that Tom
Temple was choking. He took a second look
at his friend. Tom Temple, he then discov-
ered, was choking with suppressed merriment.
The rain was now reduced to a light drizzle,
and the rumblings of the thunder wer^ fault
"Well, you've got life and you'v* got a
wife and "
06 LUCKY BOB
"No," continued the old man, convinced, as
Bob hesitated, that the boy had formulated an-
other question, "I live by the river mos' my
life, but my wive he live by the citeeze. 3 *
'Til bet she can read and write," Bob ven-
tured to say.
"Not by me, but by her firs' husbanY* re-
turned the smiling old gentleman.
"What?" roared Bob.
There was an audible chuckle from Tom.
"Yes, by her firs' husban' my wive he have
seven chillen; and me I have tree by my firs'
wive good Cat'lic woman. He be BOW up
dere." The huge forefinger of the speaker
"I hope we're all going there," said Bob.
"He is not much of a plaze," said the old
man simply and with an apologetic smile.
"What!" gasped Bob.
This time there was a laugh from the silent
member of the trio.
"No : my house," continued the genial guide,
"is wot you call a hut. It is poor, but you are
"Oh," said Bob, much relieved, "I thought
you were talking about heaven."
"For goodness' sake, Bob," broke in Tom
Temple, "can't you see that the man is deaf?"
"Ob," cried Bob, raising his voice, "I beg
your pardon, sir."
"Boy," said the old man impressively,
standing stock still, and holding up his big
forefinger. "I like you, and I tell you some-
t'ing. I tell you de troot, because why? I
like you. My name is Mose, and I am a little
"Much obliged to you for telling me,"
"Yes, boy. I tink de storm, he go south,
and de wedder he clear up."
"I'd like to see the sunshine again," said
Tom Temple with unaffected devotion.
"You'll see it," returned the ancient, "if you
look straight ahead."
The old man was not referring to sunshine
but to Ms house. They had just come out of
the woods, and before them, in the heart of a
big open space that bordered the mighty
Mississippi, stood, lone and solitary, a primi-
tive hovel, surrounded by several trees.
"Genteelmen," continued the man, "dere is
my J ome. I have de honor to ask you to come
in and be my jests."
He bowed them in; but what they saw and
said and heard and did is so strange and un-
usual that we must give it all the benefit of a
Introducing the remarkable old man's re-
markable old wife, revealing the secret which
had made Tom Temple a wanderer upon the
earth, and ending under dramatic circum-
stances with Tom Temple's disappearance.
A s Tom and Bob entered the ancient fish-
** erman's home, they took no note of the
simple but strangely ordered interior; of the
big iron stove at the left of the door; of the
three windows on the other three sides of the
hut ; of the trunk in a corner, beside it a large
wardrobe which had seen better days; of the
rude ceiling, the greater part of its carpentry
plainly revealed, a small portion over a double
bed protected by a cover of linoleum. A
square table and several chairs also escaped
their attention. For, on entering, their eyes
were focussed at once on a sight which made it
fairly impossible to pay regard just then to
Against the wall and beneath the window
opposite the entry, a very old woman, with
eyes of heavenly blue, was sitting full-dressed
LUCKY BOB 60
in the center of the double bed, her feet drawn
under her, and in her lips a pipe, at which she
was pulling furiously. Each ear was stuffed
with cotton, as the protruding tufts clearly in-
dicated. The old lady's face, though without
a wrinkle, was yellowed with age to the color
of mahogany. She was facing, as it hap-
pened, the doorway; and, as her eyes fell upon
the entering strangers, she removed her pipe,
and said in a clear voice:
"I hate these darned thunderstorms.
When they come I always get in bed, because
I read when I was a girl that the bed is the
safest place from the lightning. And I put
cotton in my ears so I won't be deafened by
that confounded thunder, and I smoke my
pipe because it seems to steady my nerves."
"Hey! Anna," shouted the ancient man,
"here be two nize genteelmen. They are very
"Say that again, Mose," cried the woman,
steadying her pipe between her teeth and pull-
ing the cotton wadding from her ears.
Mose repeated his first statement; where-
upon his venerable wife returned the cotton
to her ears, and, still puffing at her pipe, arose.
"Here," she said presently, as she handed
Bob a horse-blanket. "You put that on. I'll
go outside till you've changed. And here,"
70 LUCKY BOB
she added, giving a heavy white table-cloth to
Tom Temple, "is something for you to wear."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Bob.
"What's that?" cried the old lady, pulling
the cotton out of her ears.
"Thank you, ma'am," repeated the boy.
"You're welcome, I'm sure," she returned,
bottling her ears once more.
"I thank you, too," said Tom Temple, "but
I'm chilled to the quick."
"What's that?" she cried, again removing
"Anna!" put in the ancient fisherman, "de
t'under he am gone down de river. Trow de
"My husband," said Anna, obeying him lit-
erally as she spoke, "is very deef. You must
shout at him. Now what was it you were say-
ing, young man?"
"I was saying," said the chattering tramp,
"that I am chilled to the bone. Have you got
anything to warm a fellow up?''
"To what?" asked the old lady, watching
Tom's lips closely.
"To warm a fellow up ?" repeated Tom.
"Oh, yes," returned the bright-eyed lady,
turning those steady orbs of hers severely and
with some hint of warning upon her husband;
"we've got an excellent stove."
LUCKY BOB 71
"Oh, the deuce! So you have," faltered
"What?" shouted the woman, looking at
"I said, ma'am, that I noticed it; but it's
"Mose," said the aged lady, pointing with
her pipe to the door and raising her voice to a
pitch wonderful in one of her years, "you go
on out and find some dry wood; and be quick
"Wood! Dere is tree log behin' de stove,"
remonstrated Mose sweetly and with raised
"Go on!" yelled the old lady waving her
pipe wildly. 'We want more."
"The genteelman sore! Dey are not
"More, more, MORE WOOD," screamed
the old lady.
And Moses went.
No sooner had he gone than the wife be-
came very active. Hastening back to the bed-
stead, she bent under, and from some mysteri-
ous corner produced a pint flask half filled
"Here! Come quick!" she cried. "I al-
ways keep a little on hand in case of sickness.
But I don't let Mose know it. He's perfectly
72 LUCKY BOB
healthy now, but if he knew I had this, he'd
have a stomachache every day regularly." As
she spoke, she whisked a glass from a shelf on
the wall, and poured into it more than half the
contents of the bottle.
"Drink!" she continued.
Tom Temple swallowed it down with per-
"Child," continued the old lady, "will you
take a little?"
"The stove is good enough for me, thank
"Hey?" she cried. "What's that is good
enough for you?"
"The stove," roared Bob.
"You should be more distinct," returned the
old lady. "I thought you said 'stone.' If
you talk that way to my husband, he won't
understand vou at all. You see, he's deef.
Now, I'm going outside, and I'll give you
boys just about three minutes to change."
As the good woman, her pipe cocked at a
jaunty angle, went out, the venerable Moses
re-entered, bearing in his powerful arms sev-
eral logs of wood; and while Bob and Tom
changed with commendable rapidity, the head
of the house started a roaring fire.
When the woman returned, Bob, looking
like a blanket Indian, Tom Temple, a sheeted
LUCKY BOB 73
ghost, and Mose, a Rip Van Winkle of the
West, were grouped about the stove.
"Was ever home more cheery!" ejaculated
Tom, into whose cheeks the color had returned,
and into whose eyes there had come an ex-
pression which Bob had never seen before.
"Yes, Meestaire," returned Mose. "My
wive, he is always cheery, especially when he
"Drat this weather," said the wife. "It al-
ways makes Mose deafer when it rains and
"My wive, he is well educated," continued
Mose. "Her fader he was a ver' reech man."
"Bob," whispered the sheeted ghost to the
blanket Indian, "talk about romance! If this
woman would tell her story, I'll wager any-
thing that it would prove that truth is stranger
"Get her to tell her story, Tom. You could
make a book of it, I'm sure."
"That," answered Tom, shifting his sheet,
"is like advising boys to catch birds by putting
salt on their tails. It is only in novels that
people on invitation reveal the story of their
lives. Outside of fiction, there are two classes
of persons people who can't tell their life's
story, and people who won't. That old lady
won't tell it; and, what's more, I doubt
74 LUCKY BOB
whether she could, if she wanted to. Evi-
dently, she has seen better days."
"Has she?'* asked Bob.
"Not a doubt of it. And she wasn't raised
in the country. She is city bred. Look at
her now, very humped, and, save for her bright
blue eyes, looking like a witch. Ill wager
anything that sixty years ago she was a reign-
ing belle, and that she was the cynosure of all
the young men who met her, that she was
besieged by throngs of suitors, and that, in the
end, she married the most worthless of the lot."
"Excoos," broke in the venerable Mose, who
had meanwhile been helping the subject of
these remarks to prepare the fish for cooking;
"but Meestaire Tom, I want to see you out-
side jus' once leettle moment."
Tom in wonder followed his host.
"Shi" cried the old man, as he closed the
door, putting his finger to his lips and rolling
his speaking eyes ecstatically. "Come wiz
me ; I show you someting."
There was a well near by, securely boarded.
To this the old man led the way. Getting
down on his knees, he removed a single board,
reached under and produced a flask.
"Meestaire Tom, you are cold. Take a
drop of dis."
LUCKY BOB 75
Tom Temple took a pull at the bottle.
Evidently he understood the word "drop" fig*
"That's fine!" he said, catching his breath.
Mose carefully replaced the bottle and the
plank, pumped up some water and filled a
"Drink dis," he said; "and Meestaire
Temple, be sure not tell my wive. I tell you
de troot. He don' know I keep dis here. If
my wive know, he come here, and he drink it
"By the moon which ought to be shining in
yon dark sky, but isn't, because of atmospheric
conditions, I promise that ere I breathe a whis-
per of what has just taken place, wild horses
shall rend me asunder."
"Daz wot I always said," returned Mose,
nodding his head genially.
The two now filled their pipes and indulged,
before returning to the hut, in a hurried
smoke. This was done more as a matter of
"Tobacco," remarked Mose, "he take away
de smell of de liquor."
The old lady and Bob, in the meantime,
were not idle.
The Cherub begged leave to assist her, to
76 LUCKY BOB
which offer she most graciously assented ; and
while they both worked industriously their
conversation flowed freely.
"I'm glad you refused that liquor," said the
lady of the hovel, smiling for the first time.
"Drat the liquor anyhow. It brings people
from carriages to the gutter."
"Yes, Mrs. Mose," assented Bob. "You
must have had," he continued, "a good educa-
tion ; you talk so well."
"And never use profanity," continued
"Mrs. Mose." "It doesn't do you any good,
and it shocks your best friends. My father
had the finest wholesale grocery in Cleveland.
People used to cook for me, and now I cook
"And I think, Mrs. Mose," said Bob, "that
there are not many cooks like you."
"Books I like!" said the old woman; "but I
don't read books much nowadays. My eyes
are bad, and I hate my confounded spectacles.
I had beautiful eyes once."
"They're beautiful yet, Mrs. Mose," roared
"How nice of you to say so," returned Mrs.
Mose with a genial smile. "And I was
straight and erect, and carried myself like a
queen. Why, the young men of my day
wanted to marry me on sight."
LUCKY BOB 77
"I'm sure," yelled Bob, "that they had very
"And we had our own carriage," pursued
the old lady, removing the coffee from the
stove. "And now I'd be riding in my own
automobile, if I hadn't been such a darned
"Don't say that, Mrs. Mose," yelled Bob.
"I will say it. I married a fellow for his
pearly teeth and his black mustache."
"When you were very young?" cried the
"And the mustache was dyed, and the teeth
were false so was he. There was only one
good thing about him he died young. If he
had died younger," continued the aged crea-
ture, fixing her bright blue eyes upon Bob, "it
would have been better. He waited long
enough upon this earth to drink up all the
money I had ; and that's why I'm cooking you
"And mighty good fish it is, Mrs. Mose,
and a mighty good cook you are," yelled
the Cherub, very red faced from exer-
"Child," said the old lady, "you need never
kiss the Blarney stone." Here she smiled
serenely. "I'd be glad," she continued, "to
adopt you. Mose would be proud to have
78 LUCKY BOB
you. We're all alone, and we both love young
hearts and honest faces."
Bob was about to make answer, when the
two conspirators returned. Supper was an-
nounced, and all fell to with alacrity all
save Tom Temple. He was not hungry : he
wanted to talk.
And how he did rattle on! He quoted
poetry, he sang, he jested, he arose and made
a speech and all this* for the benefit of Mose,
at the top of his voice.
Had a stranger passed at this time that lone
hut on the Mississippi river, he would have
been much astonished. The shrill treble of
Bob, the high tenor of Tom Temple, the deep
tones of Mose, and the clear, incisive voice of
the crooked lady, formed a shouting, uninter-
mittent quartette that suggested pandemon-
ium. Had he looked in and seen the woman
with her pipe, Bob bull-blanketed, Tom Tem-
ple in what looked like a winding sheet, and
Mose ever with his huge finger raised impress-
ively, he would be confirmed in his suspicion
that a company of lunatics was holding car-
Before the supper was well ended, Tom
Temple, having asked a few questions about
the neighboring village, slipped from the com-
pany, and taking with him his clothes, now
LUCKY BOB 70
thoroughly dried by the fire, was absent for
over an hour.
When he returned, he opened the door and
beckoned mysteriously to Bob.
Excusing himself, Bob joined his com*
Taking his arm, Tom Temple led him to the
"Bob," he said in strange tones. "I wish it
was all over; I wish I was floating down that
"Good gracious, Tom, what's the matter?"
"I'm a traitor," said Tom in thick tones.
"I'm not fit to look you in the eye."
"What is it, Tom?"
"Bob, I'll tell you a secret; I've been drink-
Bob looked closely at his friend. Even in
the fading light he could see that the man's
eyes were watery and bloodshot, and that his
facial control was gone. Tom's lips were
"But that's not the worst of it," continued
Temple. "I've used some of your money to
buy that which a man puts into his mouth to
steal away his brains."
Then Tom began to weep. Poor Bob, not
knowing how maudlin men are wont to act,
was fairly overcome.
80 LUCKY BOB
"There's the stuff," Tom continued, draw-
ing from his hip pocket a flask not entirely
empty, "for which I made a beast of myself,
and betrayed a friend the best friend that
God sent me since I left home a disgraced man
on account of drink."
"You don't want any more of that, Tom,"
said Bob kindly, taking, as he spoke, the flask
from the unhappy man's hand, "and we'll send
it where it will do the least harm." Saying
which Bob tossed the bottle into the river.
"And that's where I'll do the least harm,
too," cried Tom, making for the brink.
"Hold on! hold on, Tom!" cried Bob rush-
ing after him. "For God's sake don't do
But before Bob could reach him, Tom
plunged into the river, and sank at once.
Introducing a doctor who puts service
before money, and bidding farewell to the
repentant Tom Temple and the once happy
partnership, untimely dissolved.
! help!" shouted the boy. "Help!
At about ten yards from the steep shore, the
face of Tom Temple came to the surface,
remained for a moment, and sank again.
Throwing off his blanket, Bob dived in
boldly and swam towards the spot where Tem-
ple had disappeared. As he reached it the
hapless man came up for the second time, and
Bob caught his arm. Then Temple threw
himself upon his would-be rescuer, and both
went down. When they came up, Bob was
free of only one arm and one leg. But Bob
was a natural swimmer. Handicapped as he
was, he struck out for the shore.
"Help! help!" he panted, striking out vig-
orously with his free arm. He made about
three yards, when he sank again. The two
remained under the surface for fully a quarter
82 LUCKY BOB
of a minute; and when they arose, Bob, who
had swallowed much water, was quke ex-
"Here! Catch hoi' I" cried a voice from the
Bob's despairing eyes turned and perceived
a long stick within easy reach. He caught it
"Easy now! Easy!" came the same mellow
voice the voice of Moses. "Hoi* on tight.
Do'n let go. Slowly! slowly! Hoi' on tight.
Do'n be 'fraid. Ze water, he on'y wet you."
As Moses spoke, he was pulling quietly at
the stick. Nearer and nearer came the boy
with his unconscious burden. The shore was
six yards distant five yards four yards
"I can't hold on any longer," cried the boy.
"Hoi* on," cried the ancient, giving the stick
a quick, sharp pull which brought the pair in
the water within two yards of the bank.
The jerk was too much for the exhausted
boy; his hand relaxed, and he and Tom went
Then Mose, who dreaded cold water and
had not bathed in twenty years on account of
his "roomatiz," jumped in, swam towards the
two, and becoming once more the Mose of
early days, the strongest man from Daven-
port to Dubuque, caught them in his mighty
LUCKY BOB 83
arms, and, going down with them, deliberately
walked under the water to the bank. Some-
how he managed to climb up, assisted it must
be said by the eool-headed Iowa Cherub, who,
strange to relate, kept his courage and pres-
ence of mind to the last.
While Bob, choking, shivering, and cough-
ing, hastened to wrap himself in his blanket,
Mose laid Tom Temple face down over a log
and used those means best calculated in his
judgment to rid a drowning man of water.
"Can I help you?" asked the boy.
"You see dat road?" cried Mose.
"Run down it till you get to the firs' house,
and tell them to tillybone for a doctor."
Then, while the blanketed Cherub, still
coughing and spitting, dashed for the road,
Mose threw Tom Temple as though he were a
sack of wheat over his shoulder and dashed up
to his hut. Looking at him then, one would
have said that Mose was not more than thirty
years of age, and that rheumatism was to him
When within a surprisingly short time Bob
returned with news that the doctor had
answered the telephone personally and would
start at once, he found Tom Temple lying on
the bed well wrapped and perfectly conscious.
84 LUCKY BOB
'Very good," said Mose, "and Meestaire
Temple, he want spik to you."
"Oh, Tom!" exclaimed the boy, catching his
friend's hand and blubbering.
The bath and the severe massaging given by
Mose had perfectly sobered Tom Temple.
"I'm enough," said Tom bitterly, "to make
the angels weep. So, you saved my life!
Who knows but you have saved my soul?
Bob, I've only one way to show you my grati-
tude. I love you, my boy, as David loved
Jonathan. And because I love you, and be-
cause I am grateful, I'm going to show both
by the thorny way of renunciation."
'You didn't know what you were doing,
Tom," pleaded the boy. "I'm sure you didn't."
"I hope you are right, Bob. But if it were
an act of madness, it was madness of my own
making. Now, I want to tell you something.
On the morning I found you asleep in the for-
est and smiling like a cherub, I had just spent
my last fifty cents on a bottle of whiskey."
"I didn't see any bottle of whiskey about,"
protested Bob, wondering whether his friend
was quite himself.
"I know you didn't. Strong drink has been
the curse of my life. It exiled me from home
and friends and" here Tom's voice quiv-
ered "mother. I left home several weeks
LUCKY BOB 85
ago to save her good name, and took to the
road, hoping that air and exercise and country
life would set me up. For over one month I
wandered and then, one dismal stormy day,
my taste for liquor came back on me suddenly.
For three days I fought it off. On the fourth
I gave in. Then I bought the whiskey and set
out to bury myself in the woods, there to
indulge in a day's debauch. But the sight of
you changed all that. You muttered some
words in your sleep; I think the words were
from the Salve Regina. It sounded like
'Turn again thine eyes of pity upon us, O
clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.'
'Those were from the last prayer little
Angela taught me," said Bob.
"I guess the Virgin Mary, clement, loving,
and sweet, must have turned her eyes of pity
on me, too; for I took that bottle unopened
and flung it into the stream, where, as you
remember, we breakfasted."
'That," said Bob gravely, "would be just
like the Blessed Virgin."
"And your company," continued Tom,
"somehow seemed to be an excellent substitute
for drink. The craving left me and did not
come back till that storm showed you and me
what a vile excuse for a man I am. The chill
that followed brought the craving back, and
86 LUCKY BOB
when I drank the liquor my will-power was
"That's funny!" Bob observed, sinking his
chin upon his fist in his wonted pose.
"It's not funny; it's tragedy, Bob! Think
of my going off and spending your money
you poor boy on a bottle of whiskey. That,
I believe, is the most contemptible thing I ever
"Forget it, Tom," implored Bob.
"I hope I may forgive myself, but I know
I can never forget," cried Tom. "God
grant the day may come when I shall be able to
make some atonement. Here, Bob, take your
money." And Tom, groping under the pil-
low, produced the roll of bills.
"Indeed, I'll not; you're the treasurer."
"Treasurer no more," answered Tom.
"Our goodly fellowship is broken through my
most grievous fault. Take it! I insist."
Bob ruefully accepted the money and put it
in his pocket with the air of a man swallowing
"You say we're partners no more, Tom?'
"I do. I'm not fit to be your companion.
Since I cannot trust myself, how can I allow
you to trust me. Bob, I'm going to be very
ill: I feel it. And the sickness is part punish-
ment of my folly."
LUCKY, BOB 87
"I'll nurse you, Tom," said Bob simply,
"day and night."
"No, Bob ; you must go your ways."
"Indeed, no. Do you think I'd go back on
a friend like you?"
"No, I don't, Bob. I think you are as true
and as loyal as any knight of chivalry. The
fault is with me. You must leave me; you
must go. Promise me promise me prom-
ise me!" Tom, as he spoke, sat up in bed.
His face was flushed with unnatural excite-
"I can't do it," said Bob.
"Promise me promise," cried Tom, his
excitement growing hysterical.
Bob fell into his familiar pose, chin sup-
ported by the right hand, and left hand under
"For God's sake," pleaded Tom, clasping
his hands together, and turning blazing fever-
ish eyes of entreaty upon the boy, "promise to
go your ways and leave me."
"I promise," answered the lad with a break
in his voice. He was too frightened to hold
Tom Temple sank back upon the pillow and
began mumbling somewhat incoherently of a
winding road, a loitering road, of the litany of
the leaves, of the Salve Regina, of a cherub
88 LUCKY BOB
from Iowa. Gradually his voice sank to a
whisper, growing softer and softer till it
trailed into silence. Tom was unconscious.
It was thus that Doctor Robertson, a tall,
clean-limbed, fresh-faced, athletic young man,
The doctor made a brief examination.
"Does he drink?" he inquired.
"Oh, no, doctaire," answered Mose, raising
his great forefinger. "I tell you de troot, doc-
taire; I would not lie to a man who know so
moosh as you. He take a glass of sometin'
jus' now and den."
"A thimbleful, as you might say," corrobo-
rated the old lady with a wave of her pipe.
The doctor looked enquiringly at Bob.
"I'm afraid, sir," said Bob, "that he was
once a heavy drinker; but he hasn't been tak-
ing anything for a long time; not till to-day.
He got a chill in the storm, and became very
nervous. Then he began to drink."
"It looks," said the doctor, "like a very
serious ease. I'm glad I came in my machine.
Here you, Mose ; have you a good thick blan-
"The fines' blanket you ever see," answered
"And don't you forget to bring it back, doc-
tor," added the old lady as she came forward
LUCKY, BOB 89
with the very blanket which Bob had worn.
"I am going to take this man to the hospital,
and hope to save his life," continued the doctor,
as he rolled the blanket around the unconscious
Bob looked as though he were about to
"Don't worry, boy," continued the brisk
young physician kindly. "From a cursory
examination, added to what you have told me,
I feel fairly certain that in drinking as he did
to-day your friend was in nowise responsible.
His will-power was gone. The circumstances
"Thank you, sir," said Bob, smiling
brightly. "And you'll be sure to tell him that,
"I will; and I'll tell him a few other things,
too, if I get his case under control."
"How long do you think he'll be in the hos-
"He ought to be himself if I pull him
through in ten or twelve days."
"And how much will it cost?"
"The hospital? About twenty dollars."
Bob took out his roll of bills and handed a
twenty-dollar note to the astonished physician.
"Whose money is this?"
"Eh-eh," stammered Bob, "ours."
90 LUCKY BOB
"It ain't," said the old lady. "It's the boy's
every cent of it. Tell the truth, Bob."
'We were partners," pleaded the boy.
"And how much money have you?"
"And he's got to start life on that," put in
Mrs. Mose. "He has no home."
"Boy," said the doctor, "when I received my
degree for the practice of medicine, the presi-
dent of St. Louis University, where I'm proud
to say I made my course, made us a short
address. He said that if we were going out
into the world primarily to make money, our
medical training had been a failure. 'Let serv-
ice be your watchword,' he said, with an ear-
nestness I shall never forget. Boy, take back
"I'd like to know that president," said Bob.
"He one dam fine man, dat presiden' !" cried
Mose, prayerfully clasping his hands, and rais-
ing his eyes to heaven.
"Drop your profanity, you old devil,"
admonished his wife with an air of superior
"I'm sure the recording angel will thought-
fully fail to enter it in the record of heaven's
chancery," said the doctor who was something
of a literary man.
"Can't I do anything?" asked Bob, throw-
LUCKY BOB 91
ing out Ms arms in a gesture expressive of
utter helplessness. "I can't nurse Tom; he
made me promise to leave him, and I cant
even pay for his care."
"You can help me carry him out to my
"Scoose me, doctaire," said Mose, bowing
profoundly, and then, raising his forefinger,
and shaking it with each word, he uttered : "I
no read nor write; my legs, dey is roomatiz.
But I tell you ze troot my arm, he strong.
I carry ze genteelman to ze machine."
In the final issue, Bob, Mose, and the physi-
cian bore him out conjointly, while Mrs. Mose
led the procession with something of the air of
a drum-major, her pipe doing service as a
Before departing the doctor gave Bob his
card and address.
"Come," said Mose gently plucking Bob's
sleeve, as the boy gazed wistfully after the
receding automobile. "Come wiz me. Stay
wiz us so long you like."
'Thank you, Mose," said Bob, shaking the
old fellow's hand warmly. "I'll gladly stay
the night. But to-morrow I start south."
"I don't see," observed the old lady, "why
you don't shake hands with me."
Bob was quick to take the hint.
92 LUCKY BOB
"And," she continued, "where are you
"And who's going with you?"
"I'm I'm alone."
Bob was near to breaking down ; he had lost
his best friend.
'If there isn't an angel or two with you,"
said the dame, poking the stem of her pipe into
Bob's chest, "I'll tear up my Bible and turn
Bob in trouble returns to Mose, who in a
striking way demonstrates that he has not for-
gotten the Wild West of '49. Canoeing on
the Mississippi and farewell to the ancient -fish-
the following morning, Bob Ryan, lying
behind the stove, which had been cur-
tained off for the occasion, was aroused from
sweet slumber by a strange voice outside the
hut. He sat up in terror at the first words.
"Look here, old man, I'm an officer of the
"Good mornin', Meestaire Officaire," came
the voice of Mose.
"Good morning, sir," said his faithful con-
sort. She added casually, 'The walking is
fine further up the road ; and it's nice and cool
for a tramp."
"I'm looking for a boy a man and a boy.
If you saw the boy, you would remember him.
He has been kidnaped. He is very fat, and
has rosy cheeks, and is uncommon good-na-
94 LUCKY BOB
"Meestaire officaire, I tell you de troot; I
would not lie to you, for you are an offieaire.
Ze boy and ze man, he was bot' here las' night,
an' de man he take seeck, an' de doctaire, Doc-
taire Robertson, he take him off to de hos-
"And did the boy go with him?"
"Meestaire officaire, I tell you de troot; I
would not lie to you. Ze boy he not go wiz
"Well, where's the boy?"
"Meestaire officaire, I tell you a secret."
Bob, at this point, padded over to the bed
and got under it. He was frightened.
"Go on ; we want those two badly."
"Ze boy, he take de train las' nide for Chi-
cago de train at 2:15 after midnide."
"Thanks. Good-by. I'll wire Chicago at
once and get the man at the hospital after-
"Any time you want information," said the
venerable lady, "just call in."
There was a few minutes' silence.
"Dang the law!" came Mrs. Mose's voice
presently. "Don't tell me that boy has done
"He good boy; so good," observed Moses
with much solemnity, "dat I lie for him."
LUCKY BOB 95
"You needn't boast about your good qualix
ties, sir," returned the wife. "I'd have done
Hie same thing myself. Only, I'd have done
Bob, I am bound to say, was more pleased
than edified by this bit of casuistry. So they
were on his trail! There was a reason, then,
for his father's strange conduct. The officers
of the law were after both. How astonished
they would be when they attempted to arrest
Tom Temple. And how astonishment would
seize on Tom on being called to account for ill-
doings in a city he had never seen.
He crawled out from under the bed, and,
kneeling beside it, said his prayers with un-
usual fervor. It was bad enough to be alone
and abandoned, but to be pursued, to be
hounded was ever a boy of thirteen in sorrier
He arose as the virtuous pair entered.
"Good mornin', Bob," cried the old man.
"You sleep well?"
"Good morning, Mose. Good morning, Mrs,
Mose. I -slept like a top."
"An' you feel fresh?"
"I feel like a bird."
"Say, Bob," said the old lady, "my husband
is deef and it takes him an hour to get to the
point. Did that Tom Temple kidnap you?"
96 LUCKY BOB
6 What!" cried Bob.
"That's what that bull-necked, pot-bellied,
lob-sided officer said," continued the dame.
"He didn't do any such thing," protested
"Well, they want him for child-stealing."
"That's crazy!" said Bob.
"And they'll be back for you as like as not
Here, boy, you'd better start at once. Take
these sandwiches, and eat them as you go."
"I guess you're right," said Bob, receiving
from the lady's once fair hands the thoughtful
gift. "Good-by; I'm ever so grateful to
"I'd like," said the old lady, grasping Bob's
hands, her eyes shining with enthusiasm, "to
drop that darned officer in the middle of the
Mississippi, with an automobile tied to each of
"Good-by, Mose," continued Bob, at a loss
to make appropriate comment in regard to the
old lady's devout wish. "Come outside with
me, won't you?"
As the two came into the open, Bob drew
out his money.
"Say, Mose," he began, "I want you to take
five dollars for all you've done for us."
"Bob, you too good; but it is too moosh -
the supper, he wort' ten cent* the sandwich, he
LUCKY BOB 97
wort' five cent, the sleeping by the stove ten
cent ; ten and ten he is twice ten, and five he
make twenty-five cent."
After some argument, Mose was prevailed
upon to take a dollar.
A leisurely young man passing southward
along the road, some fifty yards from the hut,
paused, watched the two during this trans-
action, and, unobserved, turned round and
retraced his steps.
At last the two parted, and Bob was once
more upon the open road. He stepped for-
ward briskly. The morning was cool and
bright. Far off, a bob-white was amnouncing
his own name in clear ringing notes. Birds
were chattering in the trees that lined his way.
For the rest, all was silence. The road about
a quarter of a mile from Mose's hut disclosed
the end of the forest.
Bob had drawn within a stone's throw of the
clearing, when directly in his path there
stepped out from the brushwood a young man
with a very ill-favored countenance. He had
a receding upper lip, large, crooked teeth, and
features which were regular only in their
"Good morning, sir," said our startled hero.
"Mornin'. Could you please tell me the
time of. <3av?"
98 LUCKY BOB
"I reckon," said Bob, "that it's about
"What is it by your watch?"
"I have no watch, sir."
Bob, as he answered the man, looked him
squarely and enquiringly in the face.
"What kind of a shirt is that you're wear-
in'?" went on the man, putting his hands upon
the boy's bosom.
I say," protested Bob, "what's the mean-
Just then the man's hand darted from Bob's
bosom to his trousers pocket, and fastened
upon the roll of bills.
It had been the intention of the fellow, who,
it is hardly necessary to state, had seen Bob
replacing the money after his talk with Mose,
to grab the money and run for it. But Bob
was too quick for him. Before the robber
could remove his hand, Bob caught his arm;
whereupon, with his free hand the man struck
him a severe blow under the jaw, with the
result that the boy was, as the saying goes,
"put to sleep." Bob crumpled to the ground.
The man looked at him, spat, pocketed the
money, and went his way north. He was sat-
isfied that Bob would not come to for some
Now in point of fact, Master Bob, hardened
LUCKY BOB 99
by his three weeks on the road, regained his
consciousness in a surprisingly short period.
Had it been a boxing match, he would not have
taken the count. He opened his eyes, then,
within ten seconds, and found himself so lying
that without moving hand or foot, or, indeed,
anything but his eyes, he could see the part of
the road he had just traversed and the aggres-
sor sauntering along like a gentleman of lei-
sure as, indeed, he had been all his life.
Bob indulged in a few minutes of watchful
waiting; then he rose, stretched himself, and
deliberated. Fatherless, friendless a few mo-
ments ago, he was now penniless. The situa-
tion was discouraging.
Finally, when many precious moments had
flown, Bob at a run took to the woods north-
ward, trusting to Providence not to get lost in
an attempt at making a short-cut to the home
of Hose. His trust was justified.
As he neared Hose's hovel, the old man him-
self came hastening forward to greet him.
"Bob! You are excite. Wot de mat*
taire? J '
"I've been robbed."
"Why don't the police darn 'em get
those robbers instead of running after little
boys, drat 'em," cried Mrs. Mose, who had
come a close second upon the scene.
100 LUCKY BOB
"Tell me queek, Bob. Where? When?
How? Spik up, boy."
Bob as concisely as possible told the details
of his misadventure.
"I see!" said the ancient. "Dat robbaire he
no good. He take de candy from de kid.
He love drink he go de road to Clinton.
Clinton four miles nort'. He no get to Clin-
"Darn it," said his lady. "Why don't you
go and stop him, instead of standing there and
shaking that old finger of yours?"
In response to this adjuration, Mose, with
the monosyllable "Wait" upon his lips, sud-
denly turned and darted behind the hut.
"I thought he had rheumatism," said Bob,
staring incredulously at the octogenarian
"He has when he's not excited."
"Oh," cried Bob.
'When he gets really worked up," pursued
his better half, "he's not near so deef, either."
The old lady was about to furnish another
pearl of observation, when Mose, stuffing what
looked like a bandanna handkerchief between
his rugged bosom and his ancient shirt, reap-
"Dis way, Bob, queek," and once more wa*
lost to view behind the hut.
LUCKY BOB 101
Bob ran at his call and found the youth of
eighty-two summers pulling away a long cover
of burlap, disclosing in the act as pretty and as
graceful a canoe as the lad had ever seen.
"You know how to canoe?" enquired the
"I've done it before," returned Bob.
"It would be just like you, Mose, to forget
them," put in the old lady, coming with alac-
rity from the house, and bearing two new
Mose rolled the boat over.
"Now, Bob," he continued, "you catch de
sharp end of de boat an' put it under your arm.
I catch it at odder end. He easy to carry dat-
Bob accepted this practical bit of advice,
and found that Mose was correct. In a few
seconds the canoe was brought to the river;
Bob, obeying Mose's gesture, seating himself
m the prow. Then Mose, giving the canoe a
shove, jumped in lightly.
"Pull, Bob, pull, pull," cried the old man.
"I steer. The rivaire he have current one
place, no current anudder. I know."
Bob was by no means unskilled with the
paddle. His stroke was quick and strong;
but it was nothing to the stroke of the old
waterman. In a few minutes, through quiet
102 LUCKY BOB
waters girding the shore, they were speeding
up the river.
"Dis canoe," said the old man, as he bent his
back to each stroke, "he no mine. He belong
to a fine genteelman who have no boat-house.
He ask me to watch it for him. To-day the
firs' time I use it myselv."
Fortunately the wind was in their favor,
and the current, due to Mose's accurate knowl-
edge of the river, on which in the olden days
he had been a raftsman, was skilfully avoided.
The boat was dancing over the water at a rate
that Bob could scarcely credit.
"What are you going to do, Mose?"
"De road, he very winding; our boat he go
straight," explained Mose, after he had made
Bob repeat his question three times. "We go
faster twice as he. We catch up."
"And when we do, what then?"
"Pull! pull hard, Bob," was the only answer.
Gradually the exhilaration of morning air
and swift motion and rippling water began
to lose its edge. Bob breathed harder and
harder. The sweat stood upon his face, rolled
into his eyes, trickled down his nose. His
arms under the strain grew weary. Bob was
on the point of giving out. He breathed a
prayer and mastered with difficulty the almost
overpowering impulse to rest. The old stager
LUCKY BOB 103
behind was striking the water, meanwhile, as
surely, as steadily, as easily, as though he had
Suddenly, impelled by the deft touch of the
steersman, the canoe shot towards the shore, a
clean, dry beach, upon which it slipped until,
when it rested, only that part in which Mose
sat remained in the water.
"Follow me, Bob," continued Mose, drop-
ping his paddle and leaping from the boat.
Leading the way, Mose, with the quickness
of a small boy, trotted up the bank, until he
reached a grove. Here, followed by the
amazed Bob, he proceeded more cautiously.
"Do ze way I do," he whispered.
Bending low, he moved from tree to tree,
until they reached a thick growth of shrubbery.
"Bob," he said, "you creep in dere, and go
on till you come in sight of de road. You kip
quiet an' watch for de tief . When you see him
come, you move de bushes and I understanV
Bob obeyed.* As Mose had said, the heavy
undergrowth extended as far as the road.
The boy began to wonder what would happen
next. Could Mose, an octogenarian, dare
face a husky young robber in the flower of
youth? Would the robber stick to the road?
Had he not possibly passed this spot already?
And if he r^- 1 -vld be expected of
104 LUCKY BOB
a boy of thirteen? The minutes went by very
slowly, so slowly that Bob fancied he must
have been crouching in the bushes a full hour.
In point of fact, not quite fifteen minutes had
elapsed, when, far down the road came the
cheerful whistling of a rag-time, done with
more accuracy of movement than of melody.
The tune presently ceased. Then there came
a loud raucous "Whoopee!"
"That's his voice sure enough," said the boy
to himself. He turned his head slightly with
the intention of giving the signal, when, in the
act, a vision fell upon his eyes which almost
forced him to express his wonderment in a loud
exclamation. Right behind him, crouched as
though about to spring, stooped the ancient,
done up so that his own mother would not have
His hat was gone ; in its stead, a flaming red
bandanna which came down to his eyes;
beneath this a yellow bandanna which left only
his mouth and nose exposed. Around the
shirt were two more bandannas; around each
leg, two more. Most impressive of all, in the
old gentleman's steady though wrinkled right
hand was a huge revolver of the days of forty-
"Don' move," whispered the apparition,
putting the finger of his left hand to his lips,
LUCKY BOB 105
while, as he spoke, there came upon the quiet
air another triumphant "Whoopee !"
In spite of the dramatic possibilities, Bob
could not refrain from grinning and wishing
that Tom Temple were present. How Tom
would appreciate the whole affair.
His reflections were broken by the appear-
ance, some distance down the road, of the jolly
robber. He was walking slowly and gesticu-
lating to some invisible audience.
"Step right up, fellers," he suddenly broke
out, "the drinks are on me. Set 'em up, Bill ;
beers all around."
The man raised his hand, threw back his
throat, and dashed down an imaginary stein.
"Who says another?" he continued, advanc-
ing a few steps. "I ain't no Morgan, but I've
got the price of another round, and then some.
Come on, boys, once more !"
Just then Mose sprang out directly in front
of the monologist, and, covering him with the
ancient weapon, cried in low, fierce tones :
The obedience was of the kind expected in
religious houses. Up went the fellow's hands,
while his eyes looked as though they were
going to pop out, and the color flew from his
"You move, I shoot," growled Mose, plant-
106 LUCKY BOB
ing the muzzle of his pistol against the man's
chest and passing his left hand quickly over
each and every pocket. It was the work of
hardly more than five seconds to discover the
roll of bills and extract it.
"Now run, run, run!"
There was another exhibition of religious
obedience. The man tore northwards up the
road. Slipping the revolver into his pocket,
Mose brought out from the same receptacle a
dry piece of wood, which he broke sharply
across one of his rheumatic knees. As a result
there was a sound as of a rifle shot, coinciden-
tally with which came a shriek of terror from
the fugitive, who leaped into the air, and then
broke into a burst of speed which in a few sec-
onds carried him out of sight.
"Dat pistole," explained Mose, rapidly
removing the handkerchiefs, "he no shoot.
But he look good. Here, Bob, put your
money away. We mus' hurry."
"I say, Mose," Bob enquired, seated in the
canoe, as the old man with a shove jumped in
and assumed his paddle, "what put it into your
head to play a Wild-West hold-up?"
"No," answered Mose, "we can't hold up
now. And we do not go west. We go south,
down ze rivaire. You res', and I myselve
LUCKY BOB 107
The ancient, turning sharply into the cur-
rent and paddling with a long sweep, sent the
canoe spinning down-stream at a rate which
was a revelation to Master Bob.
"But why," roared Bob, after waiting a few
minutes, till, as he judged, they were far
enough down-stream to be out of earshot,
"did you come to think of holding that fellow
up the way they used to hold up stage-
"Bob, I tell you de troot. I do not lie to
you nevaire. I good Cat'lic. Sixty year
ago, I drive a stage-coach. I bin hold-up my-
Mose, it may be added, told the truth; but
not all the truth. There was a time when his
religion fitted him so loosely that for years he
went without it.
"I'm awfully obliged to you, Mose," contin-
ued Bob earnestly. "You've been a true
friend to me, and I'll never forget you as long
as I live. Every day I'll pray for you."
"I want no pay," returned the canoeist.
"You my frien'. I am honaire to help you,
"Well," said Bob, "if I can ever do you a
favor, you can count on me."
"No, Bob," said Mose, whose activity witK
the oar made it difficult for him to catch the
108 LUCKY BOB
words clearly, "I don' know how to count ver'
well. I know nuttin'. I tell you wot, I can-
not read nor write."
Here the healthy victim of illiteracy, sus-
pending a stroke, waved his paddle towards
the shore. They were passing swiftly Mose's
hut. The old lady, dressed, it may be pre-
sumed, for Bob's especial benefit in her gay-
est attire, a black silk dress with a hooded cloak
which, combined with her strong features and
her pronounced stoop, gave her the appear-
ance of Mother Goose, was standing on the
bank, wildly waving her pipe. On catching
Bob's eyes, she smiled and dropped a curtsy
such as is nowadays seen onty in the revival of
"Aren't you going to land?" asked Bob,
after returning the good woman's ceremonial
greeting with much waving of arms and a bow
which almost capsized the canoe.
"I tell you wot, Bob. It is not safe to land
here. We go down the rivaire one hour more.
We stop near a leetle village. I Ian' you
there. Then, you safe."
"What does your wife do all day?"
"My knife?" queried the ancient.
'Your wife?" roared Bob.
"He cook, he smoke, he clean up de house.
And very often, by the hour he sit and think."
LUCKY BOB 109
Mose paused, then added: "Sometime my
wive, he only sit."
Bob's laugh startled an echo.
"Yes," said Mose; "he ver' funny woman.
My wive, he know wot he want, and he always
Mose then proceeded to give Bob good
advice. He told the attentive youth to keep
away from gambling dens, never to drink
whiskey raw, and to avoid policemen. When
Bob had explained that he had avoided all
these from babyhood, his mentor took up a
higher theme. He warned Bob earnestly to
be sure to go to Mass every Christinas.
"Every Christmas!" cried Bob.
"Yes, Bob; me, I go to Mass reg'lar eve'y
Christmas. I tell you de troot, I have not
missed in twenty year. I good Cat'lic."
"Good heavens, Mose ! don't you go to Mass
"Me!" exclaimed the ancient. "I am ver'
good Cat'lic; but I tell you de troot, Bob; I no
devote no saint."
"But you ought to go every Sunday," said
Bob. "The Church requires you to go."
"He does?" said Mose, ceasing to canoe.
"I don' know nuttin', Bob. When I was
leetle boy, dere was no schools."
110 LUCKY BOB
Bob now resumed his paddling, and, as they
sped southwards, began to think. Here was a
good simple man good, in spite of years of
rough life and bad company; yet ignorant of
the first principles of that Church which he
really loved. Had Bob only known of him
by hearsay, he would, in all likelihood, have set
him down contemptuously as a bad Catholic, a
disgrace to the great Church which mothered
him. And yet, it seemed to Bob the old man
was simply ignorant of his religion.
"I shouldn't be surprised," mused Bob, "if
this part of America were full of just such men
as Mose; good, earnest men, only ignorani,
and therefore dropping away from the true
Bob was correct in his opinion. The fields
are still white for the harvest ; the laborers still
The upshot of the boy's reflections was that
he induced Mose to land on an uninhabited
island in midstream, far from noise and dis-
turbance, where for more than an hour he
explained, according to his lights, some of the
more important teachings of the Catholic
Church. The ancient did incline to Bob's
words a most attentive and delighted ear.
Frequently, he burst into exclamations of
LUCKY BOB 111
"Jes' tink," he would say, holding up his
forefinger. "I eighty-two year old, and I
never hear dat before. My wive, I tell him.
Tell me more, Bob."
And Bob talked, and yelled, and gesticu-
lated till he almost lost his voice. Before the
conference came to an end, Mose, rolling his
expressive eyes to heaven and holding up his
great forefinger, vowed and protested that he
would go to Mass every Sunday, eat no meat
on Friday, and, most important of all, would
wait upon the priest of the nearest parish and
receive instructions in preparation for his first
Confession and his first Communion. His
gratitude to Bob was touching; to the sophis-
ticated, it would have seemed an exaggeration.
The two, Mose in a state of exaltation, Bob,
exhausted but glowing with the sense of a glo-
rious hour, resumed their trip. The sun was
directly above their heads, when Mose steered
"Good-by, Mose," said Bob. "It's hard to
leave you. And give this to your good wife."
Unbuttoning his shirt at the throat, Bob
took from about his neck a tiny chain with a
small gold medal, encased in glass.
"That's one of the things I love most," said
Bob. "Little Angela gave it to me. She
gave it to me just a day before I left. She's
112 LUCKY BOB
going to die soon, and she's waiting to die.
Mose, I think she knew I was going. She's a
Mose took the medal and chain, and, an un-
usual thing for him, was at a loss for words.
"Good-by, Mose," continued the boy, wring-
ing the ancient hand. The wring was re-
turned with interest. Bob feared that some
of his bones were about to crack.
"Bob, I tell you de troot; I nevaire, nevaire
forget you. Summer he go, winter he come
he be all same, I nevaire forget. And my
wive, when he see dis chain and dis medal, he
nevaire forget. Good-by."
Here Mose, his eyes swimming, although
there was a smile upon his lips, caught the boy's
hand and gave it another squeeze, which Bob,
because he was a hero, was just able to endure
without crying out.
Then Mose entered the canoe. Raising his
paddle and holding it in midair, he made one
"Bob, I want to tell you somet'ing. If
evaire you need a home, a meal, a bed, or a
servant I tell de troot, I lie not come wiz
His paddle was about to fall, when Bob
LUCKY BOB 113
"Hold on, Mose." Then Bob jumped into
the canoe and shook hands once more.
"I'd like to stay with you," he said. "In-
deed I would, if I thought I'd be safe. Now,
Mose, shake hands for the last time."
And "crabbed age and youth" parted with
Bob at the Blue Bird Inn. He meets a
host and a kindly hostess, buys The Wanderer,
and meets one of the important characters of
13 OB was presently going southward on a
*-* wide and shady road. Once more he
was alone, once more without friends. It is
true he possessed what seemed to him a small
fortune in cash. He took out his roll of
money, seeking shelter first behind a huge oak
tree, and counted it. He had started his new
life with fifty dollars; he was now owner of
sixty-three. And yet, strange as it may seem,
the ownership of this sum was just then a
cause rather of worry than of comfort. The
world was full of highwaymen. There were
scoundrels who would cut a man's throat for a
dollar bill. Moreover, a boy with so much
money on his person was likely to arouse sus-
picion. Bob with a sigh restored his money to
his pocket. Without knowing it he was suf-
fering on a small scale the pains and anxieties
of the millionaire.
It was much past twelve by this time, and
LUCKY BOB 115
the weather was growing warmer with each
hour. The boy was beginning to feel weak
and hungry. As he walked briskly on, he
strained his eyes for sight of some house.
Within a few minutes his gaze was rewarded.
Standing back from the road, with three noble
elm trees fronting it, stood a quaint, pleasant-
looking building over the door-post of which
swung a sign with the words, "The Blue Bird
Before entering, Bob made a reconnais-
sance. There was a bar to the left of the en-
Iranee. On the other side were several tables,
all empty save one, at which sat a youth of
about seventeen and three men of various ages.
Behind the bar stood a jolly- faced personage
busily engaged in mopping the counter, ap-
parently the owner of the place. He was fat,
too; built much upon the proportions of our
hungry hero. As Bob gazed, this pleasant
specimen of humanity raised his eyes and per-
ceived the youthful tramp. His smile grew
deeper and he bestowed upon Bob a cheering
nod. That settled it: Bob entered.
"Good morning, son," said mine host. "Do
you want to buy this place?"
"No, thank you," answered Bob, grinning,
"but I'd like to know whether I could buy a
meal here; I'm tired and hungry."
116 LUCKY BOB
'You're in the right church and the right
pew, too," answered mine host. "I can give
you an ordinary dinner for thirty-five cents,
or a chicken dinner for seventy."
"A chicken dinner!" echoed Bob.
"I don't want to boast," said the man, "but
I've got a wife who can fry a chicken that an
angel wouldn't balk at eating."
"Here," thought Bob, "is a chance to get
rid of some of my money."
Bob was already ceasing to worry after the
manner of millionaires.
"I'll take a chicken dinner, thank you," he
"Very good; you'll never regret it. Hey,
wife!" cried the man, opening a door behind
the bar, and speaking in a louder key, "a
chicken dinner for one, with extra trimmings.
Now, my boy, just let me fix you up a little
bit." Saying which, he dived beneath the
counter, came up with a clothes brush and,
making his way to Bob, proceeded to dust him,
giving forth with each sweep of the brush the
peculiar, traditional hissing sound which al!
hostlers employ in currying horses.
"Say," said Bob expansively, "you are aw
"I wish you'd tell my wife that," retorted
She jolly host, turning Bob round and round
LUCKY BOB 117
and surveying the dusted youth with growing
admiration. "Sometimes I don't think she
appreciates nie as much as I'd like her to."
"I'll bet she does appreciate you," said Bob.
Mine host winked and chuckled.
"We're a mutual admiration society," he
whispered. "Now, boy, don't you want a
"Thank vou; I surely do."
\j * /
The innkeeper led the smiling lad, who was
wonderfully quick to react to kindness, into a
"There you are," he said; "soap, towels,
bath, hot and cold water all at your serv-
"Gee!" said Bob, 'I'd like to be an inn-
keeper like you !"
The man departed, leaving in his path a trail
Fifteen minutes later, Bob, rosy, clean, re-
freshed and hungry, came from the bathroom
just as a smiling, brisk woman was setting
upon a table a dinner which to his hungry eyes
could not be surpassed. Saying hurriedly his
grace before meals, the Itoy bowed to the
woman and seated himself.
"Why, husband," said the wife, "why didn't
you tell me it was a boy a real boy," here
she paused to glance with favoring eyes at Bob,
118 LUCKY BOB
who was very actively employed, "with a
"Isn't that dinner of yours good enough for
anybody?" countered the host.
"It's good enough for most people," re-
turned the kindly woman.
"And I assure you, ma'am," volunteered
Bob gratefully, "that it's good enough for me.
It's as fine a meal as any boy could want."
"Go about your business, husband. I'll
wait on this boy myself."
By many questions the woman succeeded in
learning that Bob liked pie, that he could en-
joy a plate of ice-cream, and that he was fond
of cherries. Rejoicing, she departed to secure
these and other extras.
Left to himself, Bob's attention was at-
tracted to a conversation between the youth
and one of the three men at the table beside
"I'll tell you what, young feller," said the
man, apparently a well-to-do farmer, "I'll give
you forty dollars for your boat."
'I need fifty," said the boy, taking from his
mouth a cigarette and lighting a fresh one from
the first. His forefinger and thumb were yel'
low with the stain of nicotine.
"Forty is all I can spare," said the first
LUCKY BOB 119
"I paid one hundred for the boat three
months ago, and I've come all the way from
Minneapolis in it. The boat was considered
a bargain at the price I gave for it. If I
weren't strapped, I wouldn't sell it for a hun-
dred and twenty."
Bob continued to eat, the two to talk. They
were still arguing about the matter when he
arose from the table.
"I say, mister," he whispered to mine host as
he paid for his meal, "do you know anything
about that boat the young man over there
wants to sell?"
"Quite a good deal. It's a fine motor-boat
with a three horse-power engine in good con-
dition. The boat will carry six or seven
and is good for from six to eight miles an
"Is it worth fifty dollars?"
"Double that price at least; but the boy, who
has wealthy parents, doesn't care one way or
another about its value provided he can get
enough money to pay his bills here and else-
where and purchase his railroad fare home.
Why, are you thinking of buying a boat?"
"I didn't think of it till this morning," Bob
made answer. "When I was canoeing down-
stream a couple of hours ago, it struck me what
a fine thing it would be to travel by water in-
120 LUCKY BOB
stead of tramping along all sorts of roads and
meeting all sorts of people."
"Are you going far down the river?" pur-
sued the innkeeper.
"I I really don't know," said Bob. "I
think I am. Anyhow, whether I go far or not,
I can find plenty of use for the boat. Of
course, fifty dollars is a mighty large amount
"But, my boy, did it occur to you that you
can get your money back almost any time you
want to sell it, provided you take care of your
engine and keep the boat in good condition?"
"That's so," said Bob. "I believe I'll buy
"Hey, Earl Berter," called the innkeeper,
"come over here."
The young boat owner approached slouch-
'Would you mind showing your boat to
this boy?" pursued the host.
'What! do you want to buy?" gasped the
"If I like the boat, I may."
"But you can't have it for one penny less
than fifty dollars."
"I heard you saying that while I was eat-
"And I want cash."
LUCKY BOB Itl
"All right, then, come along/'
"Hold on," broke in the host, "I'll go along
with you, boy. Hey, wife, hey-
"What is it, dear?" answered the woman,
emerging promptly from the kitchen.
"Our little friend here is about to invest in
that boat; and as he's doing it mainly on my
advice, I want to go with him and see him
through. Would you mind taking my place
here for a few minutes?"
"Provided," answered the wife, "that you
come back after the sale and give me a chance
to see what my new friend has bought."
It was a short walk to the river. Tied to a
willow was a trim boat, fresh-painted and, to
the casual eye, in perfect order.
"It looks fine," said Bob with enthusiasm.
"It looks that way because it is," returned
the owner. "There's an oar for poling and a
fine camping bed, and a rubber cover for the
"Do those things go with the boat for the
"You may have them all. Do you know
how to run a motor f
"I think I do," said Bob, stepping into the
boat and seating himself beside the wheel.
Then Bob began examining the locker be-
122 LUCKY BOB
neath the central seat, taking out the various
tools and handling them with a practised hand.
From these he went to the motor itself.
"I see," said Berter, "that you need no in-
"Step in, both of you," said Bob, "and we'll
take a short run."
"Why," gasped Berter as he watched Bob
start the engine, "you know more about this
boat than I do!"
"I ran one just like this for a month at
well, somewhere else. Your engine is all
right. I think I can get eleven or twelve miles
an hour out of it down-stream; that bed suits
me too. And the boat seems '
"I can tell you about the boat," interrupted
the innkeeper. "I've done some carpentering
in my day. It's strongly built, on graceful
lines, and is practically as good to-day as when
it was built."
"And it sold," added Berter, "when it was
built, at one hundred and seventy-five dollars.
It is named The Wanderer/'
"I like that name," said Bob. "It suits me t
I am a wanderer myself. Honestly," he went
on, as he steered the boat neatly to the shore,
"I think it's too cheap at fifty."
"I know it is," said the owner; "but I'm
Homesick. I started out thinking I could earn
LUCKY BOB 123
my awn living, and the painter who promised
me a good job down below here fooled me. I
don't like to write home for help; and I'll be
glad to give you the boat, if you'll let me have
"Thank you," said Bob. "Here's your
money. And now as I have only twelve dol-
lars aad thirty cents left, I'll not be so much
afraid of being robbed."
Young Mr. Berter, hastily lighting a ciga-
rette, accepted the money cheerfully.
"Now let me show you something, Johnnie,"
he said. "You see that locker under the
"Well, here are two keys; one for the outer
and one, this skeleton key, for the inner com-
partment; and in that you can keep all your
money and valuables. I had it put in pur-
"I feel like a robber," said Bob.
"You're in luck, that's all," corrected the
innkeeper. "And somehow I think you're
getting what's coming to you. Here, Earl
Berter, you come along with me while the
wanderer is examining The Wanderer, and
you wait here, boy, for my wife. Good-by.
Any time you're around, call in. My house
124 LUCKY BOB
And now Bob Ryan, the actual owner of a
fine motor-boat, left to himself, was as happy
as the happiest child on Christmas morning.
He tried the keys, put away in the secret re-
ceptacle ten dollars, and hopped gaily from
one part to another of The Wanderer, discov-
ering at every instant new perfections.
"Luck!" he cried. "Luck! It's more than
that. It's a blessing. Somebody's praying
for me." And once more he fell to a minute
examination of the machine. His studies were
interrupted by the arrival of the innkeeper's
wife. She was not alone. At her side
bounded a splendid young dog, behind her
came a man bearing in each hand two plethoric
"Oh, George," cried Bob, "what a dog!"
Here he flicked his fingers, and uttered a soft,
clear sound; whereupon with an eager whine
the dog leaped into the boat and laid his noble
head upon Bob's knees.
"Man and beast take to you alike," said the
Bob interrupted his caresses to greet the inn-
"Here, Jack," she said, after returning
Bob's hearty salutations, "put those hampers
"Why, what's all that?" said the boy.
LUCKY BOB 125
"Provisions," she answered. "I've put in a
stock for you that ought to last for five or six
"Oh, I say, ma'am," said Bob, as the man
laid them in the prow, "this is too much!"
"For one meal, yes," smiled the woman.
"If kindness could kill, I'd be dead and
buried," said the boy.
"And if a good heart were wealth," she re-
plied, "you'd be rolling in gold and buying up
"This world is full of nice people," said Bob,
with that smile of his which at once revealed
and won so much kindness.
"Do you care for reading, boy?"
"Call me Bob Bob Ryan, please. I
should say I do," he answered, caressing the
dog, which was now resting peacefully,
crouched at his feet.
"Say, Jack," she said to her attendant, "run
up to the library case in my room and take out
all the books on the top shelf, and bring 'em
here. And, by the way, Bob, are you well
supplied with gasoline?"
"I've enough for a day, I think."
"Have you room for more?"
"I've room for three gallons."
"And, Jack," she shouted, bringing the man
to a stop, "fetch three gallons of gasoline,"
126 LUCKY BOB
Bob blushed and gasped. What had he
done to gain all this kindness?
"I had a boy once," said the woman, as
though answering his thought. "Had he
grown up, he'd be just such a boy as you, I
think; he was so like his father stout, ruddy,
cheerful, brimming over with kindness. God
took him just as he was nearing his ninth year."
"I'll bet he's an angel now," said Bob, his
intonation rich in sympathy.
"And his sister, two years younger," she
went on, "was carried off by the same sickness.
Whenever I meet a little boy or girl who seems
to need help, I feel that my own little ones are
near me and whispering to me to do them every
kindness I can. Since I saw you, Bob, a far
stronger feeling than I ever had before came
upon me. My little children," she added, "are
with me now. I'm sure of it. And, Bob, they
"Say, come on in this boat; we'll take a
little ride while we're waiting for that man to
come back. Let's talk it over."
"Tell me about yourself," the woman said
as she stepped into The Wanderer.
The motor rumbled, thev shot out into the
shimmering river, and Bob, with such reserva-
tions as he thought himself bound to make by
his promise, told his strange and unusual tale.
LUCKY BOB 127
"And what do you want to do, Bob?"
"I've got two things on my mind," he an-
swered. "I want to find out why my father
acted so strangely ; but that question will have
to wait for one whole year. In the next place,
I want to go back to school to a Catholic
school, and finish at least the eighth grade."
"That's the funny part of it. I haven't the
least idea. My father wants me to go south,
and I'm obeying him. It is getting toward
the end of July, and I have at least six weeks
to make up my mind. I pray to do what's
right, and I'm sure that a lot of my friends in
Dubuque are praying for me. People say I'm
lucky; it's not luck at all."
"But, my dear boy, how are you going to
"First," answered Bob, "I'm going to sell
this boat when I get my price, and then I in-
tend to work and save. I'm pretty strong.
Then there's another thing; I reckon I can get
some sort of work out of school hours to help
pay my expenses."
"You certainly have courage, Bob. Now I
want you to promise me something."
"I'll promise you anything, ma'am."
"It's this: If you are ever in trouble or in
need, and you think I can help you, I want
128 LUCKY BOB
you to write to me at once. Here's my card."
Bob glanced at it and read the name of Mrs.
John Symmes, with the rural delivery address
"I'll write to you, anyhow, Mrs. Symmes,"
he said as he carefully put the card in his pock-
etbook. "And I'll never forget you even if I
live to be twice as old as my good friend,
"And if ever you want a home," added Mrs.
Symmes, "come to us."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Bob wistfully,
"I've never had a real home no mother, you
know and it's hard."
Here the dog, which had been intently
watching the boy's face, jumped up, planted
his forefeet on Bob's knees, and uttered a low
'There's a sympathetic dog for you," cried
the boy, putting an arm about the animal's
neck. "Do you know what he said? I do.
He said, 'Don't feel bad, little boy; I'm your
Mrs. Symmes laughed.
"There's Jack," she said, "and he's got
Dickens' best novels and a book of select poetry
for boys and girls."
"How can I ever thank you, Mrs. Symmes?"
cried Bob as he turned the boat shorewards.
LUCKY BOB 129
"By remembering me ana my husband and
praying for us both."
"I wish it were something harder, Mrs.
Symmes. Oh, these are fine books! I can
read them even when I am running this engine,
which really needs no care."
Jack, a countiy youth, who, too bashful to
talk, had contented himself with grinning at
Bob whenever he was in sight of him, here mus-
tered up courage and said :
"I hope you'll have a lot of fun with that
boat," with which he blushed under his tan,,
and took to his heels.
"Well, good-by, Bob," said Mrs. Symmes.
"And may God bless you, and may my two
dear little ones watch over you. I'm not a
Catholic, Bob, but I know you'll be glad to
hear that I allowed both of them to be baptized
by Father Ronald, a dear friend of my hus-
band's, before they died."
"They are certainly in heaven," cried Bob,
"and I hope you'll allow Father Ronald to bap-
tize you, too, and your husband. I'm awfully
glad to hear that. I just hate to say good-
Bob held out his hand; she took it, wrung it
with a fervor little less than his own, then threw
her arms about his neck and kissed him.
"I'm coming back some day," said Bob, get-
130 LUCKY BOB
ting into the boat. "Gee, but it makes me
lonesome to leave you and your husband!
Well, good-by. Here, dog, jump out!"
"Come here, Hobo," called the woman.
For answer Hobo leaped into the prow of
the boat and, hiding himself behind the portly
lad, emitted a low whine.
"Do you like dogs, Bob?" asked Mrs.
"Like 'em! How can I help it ? They like
me. And it isn't," continued Bob, smiling as
he got off his favorite joke, "because they take
me for a bone, either. Here, Hobo," he con-
tinued, turning to the dog and holding up a
warning finger, "you get right out."
With head low, trailing tail and funereal
gait, the dog made the length of the boat,
stepped out gingerly, and facing Bob, raised
his head to heaven and broke into a weird howl
"Take the dog; he wants you," said Mrs.
Symmes. "It's most extraordinary that he
should take to you the way he does. Call
"It's too much, ma'am. I can't do it."
"Who knows," pursued Mrs. Symmes, "but
you may need him? Why, my poor Bob, how
selfish I've been! Here you are going alone
into the world. That dog will be your friend
LUCKY BOB 131
and companion possibly your protector. He
wants to adopt you. Call him; I insist."
"Here, Hobo!" cried Bob, clicking his
With yelps of delight, Hobo lifted his head,
set his tail proudly to the breeze, and with three
leaps was upon Bob, who, unprepared for so
impetuous a greeting, fell over on his back.
He picked himself up laughing, and started
"Good-by ! good-by ! May we meet again,"
he shooted, still laughing.
The dog, facing his former mistress, barked
loud and long. He, too, was bidding farewell.
Mrs. Symmes, brave and smiling, but uttering
no word, stood facing them, waving her hand-
kerchief. She did not see them out of sight;
for, turning presently, she walked away
bravely with shining eyes.
The Wanderer wanders -for a fortnight, till
it brings Bob to the hospitable shores of a fam-
ily so delightful that he is constrained to stay
"C^OR the following two weeks Bob led an
idyllic life. Hobo, quick to learn, eager
to please, kept time from hanging heavily on
the boy's hands. The dog, naturally at home
in the water, came, under Bob's careful train-
ing, to be an expert swimmer and to perform
aquatic feats which few dogs, however good at
swimming, dared attempt. Not content w r ith
teaching Hobo to go after sticks, Bob trained
him to bring all manner of large objects from
the water. Many a swim the two took to-
gether. It was easy to bring the dog to ride
through the water, his forepaws perched on
Bob's shoulders ; but it w r as a work of patience
and of many hours to get Hobo to carry his
master in somewhat the same fashion.
Bob had no trouble in guarding his boat.
He could land anywhere and, making a sign
to Hobo, go his way to village or town, con-
LUCKY BOB 133
fident that on his return he would find the
faithful animal at attention in front of the
boat, ready to face all comers to the death.
At night, Bob, arranging his bed in the boat,
would lie down peacefully, beside him the dog
resting on his haunches and turning his eyes
hither and thither in a watchfulness that knew
no flagging. So far as Bob, a very heavy
sleeper, knew, Hobo watched all night.
It was in the quiet of the day and of the
river that Hobo, his head at his master's feet,
calmly rested; and it was then, too, that Bob
entered into that fairyland of warm-hearted
and imaginative youth, the land created by
the genius of Charles Dickens.
As luck would have it, Bob introduced him-
self to this enchanted realm of f ancv bv wav
of the Pickwick Papers. The first chapter he
found rather dull; the following, hardly less
so. Nevertheless Bob read on. It was a trib-
ute of his love to Mrs. Symmes that he should
show his appreciation of her gift by reading the
books she had given him. His gratitude pres-
ently came by its reward. The entrance of the
Fat Boy upon the scene a Fat Boy, be it said,
in nowise like himself roused Bob's sense of
humor. For the first time since opening the
pages, Bob laughed. Then Hobo jumped up
and looked with eager, inquiring, almost
134 LUCKY BOB
alarmed eyes upon the youth whom he adored.
Bob laughed again. Hobo didn't understand
it. He kept awake and at attention till the
laughter ceased, and resumed his broken nap.
Once Bob came to realize that the Pickwick
Papers was a funny book he began to see jokes
where jokes were intended, and his chuckles
became more frequent. In due course of time
it dawned upon Hobo that laughing was not a
symptom of some dread disease, but a some-
thing which made Bob Ryan feel good.
Awakened by those breaks of merriment he
would rise, frisk about, offer the congratula-
tory paw to be shaken, then fall to sleeping
with the heavenly feeling that his master was
Among the effects left by the late master of
The Wanderer was a good outfit of fishing
tackle, On their second day dowi. the river,
Bob, choosing an inviting nook, thre^v out a
tentative line. In an hour's time he secured a
string of fish mostly roach and channel cat
which, he calculated, would be enough to sat-
isfy the hunger of several large families.
At noontime he made for a shady grove,
built a fire, and treated himself- -not forget-
ting the dog to a fish dinner. While he was
eating it a native came up, entered into conver-
sation, and finally bought what was left of the
fish for one dollar and ten cents.
That settled it; Bob became a fisherman.
Each morning at early dawn he chose his place,
showing rare judgment in his choice. Before
most people were stirring Bob had his string of
fish ready for the market; and his treasury
began to grow at the rate of about one dollar a
Nor was Hobo his only companion during
these halcyon weeks. Here and there along
the river, especially on the hotter days, Bob
came upon parties of little children bathing
and splashing in the water ; on which occasions
he was wont to bring his boat to a stop along-
side, and, with his winning smile and hearty
voice, invite all who desired to take a ride.
Even the most timid child felt no fear of the
jolly youth, and his boat was almost invariably
filled with eager and laughing children.
While Bob steered the boat and beamed upon
all in sheer joy of their enjoyment, the
delighted Hobo, who quickly caught his mas-
ter's attitude toward children, would go from
one to the other, gravely and earnestly offering
the paw of friendship. Hobo became as pop-
ular as his master.
Not infrequently did our hero, on landing
136 LUCK BOB
his boat-load, condescend to don his swimming
suit and join the youngsters in their water frol-
ics- Hobo, of course, followed his master.
Sometimes Bob found it hard to get away from
his new friends.
One day to be precise, two weeks after the
purchase of The Wanderer about two o'clock
in the afternoon, having just disposed of an
unusually heavy string of fish, Bob came upon
a very interesting party of children. There
were five in all two girls and three boys, and,
as he presently found out, they were brothers
and sisters. They were diving from a large
dock projecting into the river, behind which
was an elaborate bathing-house.
"Good afternoon," he said with his usual
cordiality. "Do you folks care about taking a
"Oh, I should just love it!" said the older
"And so should I," said a bov of fourteen,
the oldest of the children, "but I think we
ought to ask mama's permission first, Alice."
"That's so, Tom; I forgot," said Alice.
"And I'm going to get it," said the boy next
in age, who was already out of the water and
racing up the bank toward a pretty cottage.
Meanwhile the four remaining children drew
close to the boat, whereupon Hobo gravely,
LUCKY BOB 187
almost religiously, shook hands with each, hav-
ing done which he turned his beautiful brown
eyes upon his master and, seeing the sheer
delight in his face, proceeded to do it all over
The enraptured children were unusually
refined. Tom, the eldest, having learned
Bob's name, introduced him to each and every
one. He complimented him upon The Wan-
der er, upon Hobo, and in a short space said so
many pleasant things that Bob was presently
quite in love with him. Alice was even more
"Bob/' she said, "if you don't mind, I'll ask
mama and papa for you to be our guest at
supper. Won't you stay?"
"I'm afraid Hobo wouldn't like it," returned
Bob playfully. "Would you, Hobo?"
The dog barked sharply thrice.
"Hobo says," translated Bob, "that he is
ever so much obliged to you, but that he is a
natural-born wanderer and he prefers to go
down the river."
"Did he say all that in three barks?" cried
"He can say a lot more in one bark, if he
wants to," answered Bob, laughing.
"Say! Say!" cried a voice from the land.
"Well, say it, Joe," cried Tom.
138 LUCKY BOB
"Can't you let me get my breath?" returned
Joe, who had run all the way back at top speed.
"Ma says it's all right and you are very kind,
and she is ever so much obliged to you, and
please not to go far away and not to stay out
more than ten or fifteen minutes."
With whoops and hurrahs the five youthful
bathers jumped into The Wanderer, the small-
est child, Anita, aged seven, nestling up close
to the master of the boat. Hobo conscien-
tiously made his way over to Joe and held up
the paw of friendship.
"Joe," said Tom, "that dog's given you a
lesson in manners."
"So he has," piped Joe. "Excuse me," he
continued, holding out his hand to Bob, "my
name is Joe Reade, and I'm awfully glad to
make your acquaintance."
Bob was, to borrow the expression of his fa-
vorite author, "one vast substantial smile."
On such occasions he was a boy of few words ;
and yet those with him grew to love him, won
by the very eloquence of his silence.
"Bob," whispered little Anita, "I like you."
"Same here," returned Bob; "I like you"
"I wish you'd stay for supper," she added.
"I would in a minute," said Bob, "only
Then everybody began to talk to Bob, whose
answers were mainly smiles of different
degrees of intensity. The happiness of the
party was nothing marred by the baby quarrel
which presently broke out between Anita and
her brother Pierre, aged nine. He wanted the
place next Bob ; and he went after it, little-boy
fashion, by shoving Anita aside and slipping
into the seat. Anita was near to tears. She
told Pierre in the simple vocabulary at her
command what she thought of him, and
insisted upon his restoring at once her particu-
lar "place in the sun"; but Pierre, old enough
to realize that possession is nine points of the
law, refused to budge. Passion, on both sides,
was mounting high. Something dreadful was
about to happen.
"Now, Pierre, don't forget yourself,"
"Anita," counseled Alice, "count ten."
Hobo, at this juncture, jumped between the
two contending powers and gazed with anxious
and pleading eyes from one to the other.
And then with one arm Bob reached forth
and lifted the raging Anita to his knees while
the other curled protectingly about the impeni-
tent invader of her rights.
"Now!" cried Anita triumphantly.
"Tell her you're sorry, Pierre," whispered
140 LUCKY BOB
"Anita, I'm sorry; and I won't never do it
Whereupon, from her throne on high, Anita
leaned down and kissed her offending brother,
" 'Oh, blessings on the falling out,' " quoted
" 'Which all the more endears,
When we fall out with those we love
And kiss again with tears.'
"Do you like poetry?" asked Bob, looking
with fresh interest at the big brother.
"I should say I do. I go to Campion Col-
lege, and Father Dalton, who's a poet, is a
great friend of mine. He taught me to love
poetry, though I'm not studying it yet."
"That's strange," said Bob. "I was thrown
in with the nicest man you ever saw for almost
two weeks, and he taught me to love poetry,
too. I've got a book full of poems which a
lady gave me, and I read some every day."
"Caesar!" ejaculated Tom, "how I wish you
were with me at Campion."
With a smile for answer, Bob landed them
at their swimming place. They all in turn
shook his hand, and each made a pretty speech.
They were evidently children trained to appre-
ciate and acknowledge each and every kind-
ness, however little. Anita's training, it musl
LUCKY BOB 141
be confessed, did not quite offset the innocent
wilfulness of her tender years. Seated beside
Bob, she calmly announced that she would
not, could not, leave the boat.
"I say, Bob, won't you come in with us?"
whispered Tom. "I'll get you a bathing suit
in a jiny.
"Oh, I've got my own, Tom, and I'll be
delighted to join you. It's a pleasure to be
with you all."
On learning that Bob intended swimming
with the party, Anita, bubbling over with joy,
left the boat incontinently, holding Bob's hand,
and escorting him with much ceremony to a
dressing-room. Hobo included himself in the
invitation, showing his gratitude to the little
miss by numerous offerings of his paw and by
other canine attentions.
The children for a time did very little bath-
ing. They watched Bob and Hobo. Never
was the dog in higher feather. Hobo knew a
good audience when he had it. When the dog,
his mouth fast closed, swam out with Bob rest-
ing on his neck, the children became uncontrol-
"Say, Bob," whispered Anita, nestling up to
him, upon his return to the platform, "can't
you get Hobo to carry me?"
"Can you swim well?" asked Bob.
142 LUCKY BOB
"Like a fish," returned her brother Tom.
"Anita's more at home in the water than any
girl of her age I know of."
"And are you a diver, Anita?"
"I love to dive."
"Hobo! Hobo! Come here!" shouted
The dog, wagging his tail for very joy at
being noticed by Bob, came to attention, fas-
tening his eyes upon the boy's face, as who
should say, "Won't you please tell me what
Then Bob, catching Anita in his strong
arms, held her up on high.
"Now, Anita, I'm going to throw you in.
When you come up, don't swim. Are you
"Oh, go on, Bob," cried the delighted Anita.
"Pitch me into the middle of the Mississippi."
Bob, at these words, flung her as far out into
the river as he was able, crying at the same
time, "Hobo, Hobo! There, Hobo!" pointing
towards the girl, "get her, old boy!"
As Anita came to the surface, Hobo with a
whine jumped in, and, before she could take a
stroke, got under her. Anita clasped the dog,
which, bearing her easily, began to paddle
about in uncertain fashion. Having secured
LUCKY BOB 143
the girl, the anxious dog did not know exactly
what to do with her.
"This way, Hobo; this way!" shouted Bob.
The uncertainty vanished. Hobo made
straight for his master, and, having reached the
dock, waited patiently until Bob, stooping
down, caught the child and placed her beside
When Hobo came to land he was the proud-
est dog in America, and received with unaf-
fected delight the endearments of his charmed
admirers, the way he wagged his tail and
panted being beyond description.
Then Pierre insisted upon being thrown in.
Pierre was landed with precision. Upon this
Anita took another turn, and then Joe. At
the end of fifteen minutes, Hobo was the hap-
piest and the most wearied dog on the banks of
the Father of Waters.
Towards the conclusion of these aquatic
sports, a tall, somewhat austere-looking gen-
tleman, arrayed in a Palm Beach suit, joined
the group. It was beautiful to see how his
austerity relaxed under the joyous greetings of
those who were proud to call him father.
Again there was on the part of Anita a strug-
gle for precedence. On this occasion she
bravely withstood each and every one of her
144 LUCKY BOB
brothers and sisters. And she was the winner.
It was Anita who with dancing eyes and in the
prettiest manner conceivable escorted her
father to Bob's side and introduced him
gravely as Bob Ryan, her best friend. A
kindly pair of eyes beamed from gold-rimmed
glasses and a hearty hand met Bob's.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," said the
father. "I've been watching you and the chil-
dren. It was all delightful. In the best sense
of the word, Bob, you're a genuine, up-to-date
master of revels."
'You've the the loveliest children I ever
met in all my life," said Bob, devoutly.
"And they're all the lovelier," returned the
pleased parent, "for meeting a boy like you.
My children are very human and they have lots
of faults but you have the knack of bringing
them out at their best."
"They're just what I thought they'd be
when I saw them," answered Bob.
"Good !" said the man, breaking into a laugh.
'You've got the secret. You get what you
expect in this world, if your expectations are
worth while. And yours are."
Suddenly whoops and screams of joy,
according to the sex of the children, rent the
air to the quick patter of ten bare feet. The
children were all scampering up the shore.
LUCKY BOB 145
Bob followed with his eyes the direction they
were taking; and a vision rewarded his wonder-
ing gaze. Coming towards them, arm in arm,
were two women, the older in the prime of
vigor and life, upon her face that sweet expres-
sion born only of mother love; the other, a
beautiful young lady, fair as a mistless dawn,
with the brow, mien, and the smiling gracious-
tiess of a queen who knows not trouble and
dreads no war.
"Lucille! Lucille!" cried Anita. "Come
and meet my friend Bob."
And while Lucille was duly presented and
then and there entered into a friendship with
Bob which, as the sequel will show, was to have
ft tremendous influence upon her life, Torn and
Alice were holding a secret conference with
She. too, w r as duly and proudly presented.
Even the oldest boy joined with the younger
children in thinking their mother the most won-
derful and the most beautiful lady in the whole
"Bob," she said, holding his hand, and beam-
ing upon the beaming youth, "the children, all
of them, are simply wild to have you stay over
At this all the little ones began to talk at
146 LUCKY BOB
"It's awfully kind of you, ma'am," returned
the boy, "and I'd love to; but somehow I feel
that I must go on. The longer I'd stay the
harder it would be to part."
"Stay all the time," cried Anita, catching
Bob's hand in both of hers.
"I'm jealous of my brothers and sisters,"
said Miss Lucille, the vibrant beauty of her
voice in perfect keeping with her handsome
features. "I understand you've given them a
delightful boat ride."
"Oh, Miss Lucille, won't you try one, and
you, Mr. Reade, and you, Mrs. Reade?"
Not waiting for a reply, Bob darted into his
dressing-room. He was out very quickly and,
taking advantage of the children's absence
all of them busy at changing the party of
four took a short excursion on the great river.
In the few minutes upon the water, Bob
learned much. Mr. Reade was a prominent
Iowa lawyer; his daughter Lucille, though nei-
ther she nor any of the family were Catholic,
had been educated at St. Mary's Academy,
Prairie du Chien. She had all the charm
which is born of a good home and of convent-
school training. Bob, while absorbing all this,
gave a brief sketch of his exile and of his adven-
tures on the road.
"How I should like to meet Tom Temple!"
LUCKY BOB 147
said Lucille. "There must be a lot of good in
"Believe me!" ejaculated Bob with tremen-
dous fervor. "I've sent a letter to that doctor
asking about him; but I've told him not to
answer till I can be sure of giving him an ad-
dress. When I write again, I'll tell Tom to
call this way and visit you at your home."
Every moment upon the water added to
Bob's sorrow at the thought of leaving this
lovely family. Just before they turned into
shore, Mr. Reade buttonholed the boy.
"Bob, as I understand it, you feel that in
obedience to your father you should go south,
and also that you have made up your mind to
earn money enough, if possible, during these
vacation days, to pay your expenses for at least
one more year at school."
"That's it, sir."
"Very good ; suppose we talk business. My
motor-boat happens to be out of commission at
present, and I am anxious to give the children
a treat. To-morrow I want to have an all-day
picnic, and I am simply going to engage your-
self and your boat on a purely business basis."
"And will you and Mrs. Reade and Miss
Lucille come, too?" asked Bob with sparkling
148 LUCKY BOB
"Good! And will you let me do the cook-
ing? Tom Temple taught me."
"Certainly, provided you allow Lucille to
be your assistant."
"Fine!" shouted Bob. "I agree with all my
The children, now daintily clad particu-
larly Anita, who was all bows and ribbons
were awaiting them impatiently at the landing.
"Hey, children," announced Mr. Reade, as
they drew within easy ear-shot, "I've good
news for you."
"What is it, pa I"
"I'm going to give you an all-day picnic to-
The youthful members of the family made a
faint show of hilarity ; but there was a want of
whole-heartedness in their manner.
"And Bob Ryan is to be captain and cook
and mate and everything else. I have char-
tered The Wanderer"
Then there arose such joyful screams and
hurrahs, in which Lucille, the stately, took the
leading part, as are seldom heard on bank or
For the first time in several weeks Bob spent
the night surrounded by all the comforts of
Fishing and boating; a day on the river, and
farewell to the Reades.
T T was early dawn when the silvery tinkle of a
tiny alarm clock coaxed Master Bob out of
a deep and a refreshing night's slumber. He
was sleeping beside Master Tom in that
youth's special room.
"Hey, Tom!" he said, catching his compan'
ion by the arms and shaking him. Tom gave
no sign of life.
"Fish, Tom, fish !" he shouted.
At the word "fish," magical to many an ear,
Torn opened his eyes.
"Fish!" he echoed.
1 Yes ; it is the best time to catch them."
Tom on hearing this became perfectly
The two dressed hurriedly and, carrying
their shoes in their hands, so as not to disturb
the sleeping family, made their way out, and
then dashed for The Wanderer.
Tom not only knew the favorite places, but
he was so skilled in the use of rod and line as to
150 LUCKY BOB
obtain the best results. While Bob watched
the engine, steering the boat close to shore,
Tom made cast after cast. In a few minutes
his industry was rewarded by the capture of a
fine bass. Thereupon he insisted on Bob's
taking a turn. Under Tom's cheerful and
inspiring instructions, Bob soon acquired the
art, and presently landed a fish larger than his
teacher's. In an hour's time they had secured
five black bass, enough to supply the Reade
family for breakfast, dinner and supper.
It was nine o'clock when the party, headed
by Hobo, who, due to his being off guard, had
spent a peaceful and slumberous night outside
Tom's room, squeezed themselves into The
Wanderer, and seeking amid the mazes of the
upper Mississippi inviting inlets, magic
streams, shady nooks, and crystal creeks,
enjoyed a boat ride made supremely delightful
by fair breezes, golden sunshine, gleaming
water, tonic air, and, above all, by mutual love.
Only one incident served to remind the
happy picnickers that they were still exiled
children of Eve and that Arcadia was still to
seek. Sheltered by thick willows, they were
skirting the Wisconsin side of the river, when
a gruff oath and a shrill scream startled their
unexpecting ears. Slowing down his motor,
Bob turned in closer to shore.
LUCKY BOB 151
"IVe had enough of you; go back to your
folks," came the cruel tones of a man.
"But, my God, Bill, IVe left them all for
you! I daren't go back; you promised to
"I don't care. Go on, now. Go back!"
"I can't I can't Oh, Bill!" Another
scream rent the air.
Finding an open spot between the willows,
Bob had effected a landing. He sprang from
the boat, took a few steps, and there saw one of
those awful scenes which ill-ordered love of
pleasure and lost sense of duty so often create.
A young woman, hardly more than a girl,
bedraggled in appearance and with tear-
stained face, was being throttled by a burly
brute not more than three or four years her
For the first time in this story of Bob Ryan,
the boy kindled with anger. Springing for-
ward he caught the man's arms, and endeav-
ored vainly to wrest them from the wretched
young woman's neck.
"You brute!" he said, releasing his hold and
striking the man with his right fist full in the
The fellow, with clenched hands, turned
upon Bob, and I fear it would have gone hard
with our hero had not Mr. Reade and Tom
152 LUCKY BOB
both hurried forward. Seeing them, the man
turned and fled, leaving behind him a deserted
young woman, half strangled, and with a dis-
It was Lucille who took the poor creature in
hand; it was upon Lucille's bosom that the
abandoned girl wept ; it was into Lucille's ear
that she poured the world-old tale of womanly
vanity and weakness and of man's brutality
The issue of it all was that the girl, softened,
repentant, and filled with gratitude to her res-
cuers, bade them adieu, and, provided with
railroad fare, promised to go home to her fa-
"Poor girl!" said Lucille as the party
returned to the boat. "But for God's good-
ness, I might be where she is to-day."
And so the subject was dismissed; and the
children, who, thanks to the prudence of their
mother, had been kept aboard The Wanderer
and screened from the horrible scene, once
more bubbled into joyous talk and laughter.
Presently, on an island, deep-wooded and
high above the water, they selected their picnic
ground. It had been arranged, as we have
already seen, that Bob was to be chef, with
Lucille as his assistant. This plan did not find
favor in Anita's eyes. She insisted upon help*
LUCKY BOB 153
ing, too. Much as he loved young people,
Hobo regarded all this with mixed feelings.
It seemed to worry the nohle dog that his edu-
cation had not embraced cookery. Under the
circumstances, then, he did the best he could,
getting into Bob's way, upsetting Anita, and
embarrassing the stately Lucille by untimely
offers of friendship. It was during these
hours of preparation for dinner that Bob
cemented for life his friendship with the ami-
able and cultured young lady of the family, not
neglecting, in his exquisite taste, to show due
attention to Anita. All this was very hard
upon Hobo. His expression seemed to indi-
cate that he was beginning to revise his opinion
of young people and that they were not the
unmixed blessing he had hitherto considered
The dinner was served with a taste and finish
which, as Bob said, would have drawn approval
from Tom Temple himself. In the golden
afternoon the party resumed their voyaging,
and in the light of an opalescent sunset they
arrived happy, hungry and weary at their
Then after a hearty supper came the sweet
sorrow of parting. One would have thought
that Bob and the Reade family had grown up
164 LUCKY BOB
"Put this in your pocket, Bob," said Mr.
Reade, as with his entire family he escorted
Bob to the landing. "It's a small payment for
your material service; I'm not trying to pay
you for the things that cannot be measured by
money. If I read you aright, you are going
to succeed in pretty much anything you under-
take. Therefore, let me give you one piece of
advice : Hitch your wagon to a star."
As Bob, chin pillowed upon his hand, with
Hobo perched upon the prow, moved out into
the waters incarnadined by the afterglow of
sunset, Anita burst into loud lamentations,
Hobo gave three solemn whines, and as the
boat sped down the river the last sight of the
Reade family revealed to our sad hero Lucille,
the beautiful, the stately, waving with one
hand her handkerchief, with the other patting
the golden hair of her weeping little sister.
In tvMch Bob makes fashionable friends,
Hobo proves to be the hero of the day, and
The Wanderer passes to other hands.
A s I have already said, it was Bob's custom
** to lav to whenever the occasion offered
and watch the children bathing in the river.
Were it not for this pretty custom, this chapter
in all probability would be quite different and,
in fact, the whole story would be other than
Just three days after his never-to-be-forgot-
ten picnic with the Reades, he came upon a
party of children, arrayed, all of them, in
extremely fashionable bathing suits. There
were nine or ten in the group, varying in ages
from ten to fifteen most of them, seemingly,
having a great dread of wetting their costumes.
Our storv has to do with only two of this aristo-
eratic party a boy of fifteen and a girl
slightly his junior.
"Hello!" called Bob, cheerily, as he eame
close to the landing on which most of the
prospective swimmers were contemplating tbe
156 LUCKY BOB
water. "Would any of you like to take a little
The faces of the individual members of the
party became, with one exception, irresolute.
The exception was that of the boy of fifteen,
evidently their leader. Towards him they all
looked inquiringly. Upon his haughty fea-
tures there flitted a sneer, followed by a smile
"Nothing doing, Johnnie," he said disdain-
fully. "That boat's not fast enough for us."
"But," put in the girl, who was standing
beside the haughty youth, "we're very much
obliged to you." And she smiled very sweetly.
'You're quite welcome," said Bob, conceal-
ing as well as he could his wounded feelings.
"Say, Harriet," continued the leader, "sup-
pose you swim out with me to the island.
These people here are afraid of getting wet."
"I never swam that far in my life," said
Harriet, shaking her head. "I'd be afraid to
The sound of their voices came clear and dis-
tinct over the water to the quick ear of Bob,
who, at his lowest speed, was resuming his
southern way. He raised his head and sur-
veyed the island. It was, he estimated, at the
very least two hundred yards from the bathers.
Bob stopped the engine and allowed his boat to
LUCKY BOB 157
drift in the shade of the willow trees skirting
the island bank.
"You don't know what you can do till you
try," returned the leader. "I've seen you
swim before, Harriet, and I'm sure you can
make it easily. If you get tired out, just let
me know, and I'll lend you an arm."
Some of the listeners hereupon giggled.
"What's the matter with you people?" cried
the youth. "At our academy I was reckoned
the best swimmer of all the boys in attendance.
Come on, Harriet it's no distance at all not
more than a hundred yards."
"Oh," cried Harriet, "is that all? I thought
it was more. I feel quite sure I can swim a
hundred yards : I've done it before. Come on,
"Let's dive," said Roydon.
"One hundred yards," echoed Bob from The
Wanderer. "If that boy is as good a judge of
swimming as he is of distances, he may not be
able to make it himself." And Bob, as he
spoke, started his engine gently, turning and
moving slowly, noiselessly up-stream.
It must be admitted that the two dived very
gracefully, emerged in due time and, with pic-
turesque overhand strokes, pushed out into the
"I don't like the overhand stroke for any-
158 LUCKY BOB
thing but a short swim," murmured Bob, the
concern growing on his face ; and he unlaced his
As Roydon and Harriet came midway
between the landing and the island, the com-
mander of The Wanderer observed with no
little trepidation that the girl's stroke was
becoming less graceful and more rapid.
Bob took off his shoes and removed his coat.
"I'm I'm afraid!" suddenly came, sweet,
pathetic and pleading, the voice of Harriet.
"Come on," returned Roydon, a note of
indecision in his voice. "Come on. We've
got to make it."
Then Bob noticed a change in Roydon's
stroke. The swimmer was evidently nervous.
Bob made the sign of the cross, and putting on
the engine's full power, headed towards the
two swimmers. They were farther away than
he could have wished, and were being carried
Suddenly Harriet, drawn by the current to
the side of Roydon, cried out as she neared him,
"Help me, Roy, help me !" And, as she spoke,
she laid one hand upon her companion's shoul-
Then something occurred which caused Bob
t@ shiver with horror. Roydon shook himself
LUCKY BOB 159
free and swam for himself. The girl sank.
The Wanderer, going for these few seconds
its full speed, was now close to this most dis-
tressful scene. Shutting off the engine, Bob
leaped into the water and, striking out vigor-
ously, was in time to reach the girl as she came
to the surface.
"Catch my hand, miss," said Boh, turning on
his back and raising his arm above his head.
The girl clutched it with a force which pulled
Bob under water.
"Don't be afraid," he continued as he arose
with her. "Just put both your arms across my
chest. There's not the least danger!" And
Bob, on this occasion a real hero, actually suc-
ceeded in smiling the smile which invited per-
fect trust and which few could resist.
The affrighted girl was not of the few; she
laid her hand quietly on Bob's breast, and that
valiant water-rat, still on his back, struck out
with hands and feet for the boat, which was but
a short distance down-stream. On reaching
the side, a new difficulty presented itself: how
to get in. Bob was not obliged to study this
plan at any length, for a sudden splash beside
him brought a ready solution. Hobo had
jumped into the water, and drawing up beside
his master, looked with tender, anxious, inquir-
ing eyes into the beloved face.
160 LUCKY BOB
"Tell me what to do, and I'll do it." This
was Hobo's message, expressed in perfect pan-
"Here, Hobo! Here, old boy! Hold her!
Now, miss," continued Bob, "just let me put
your hands on my dog. He'll hold you why,
he can hold me till I'm ready, in less than no
time, to lift you into the boat." And Bob
Harriet was obedient. She laid her hands
quietly upon the dog, while Bob cautiously
climbed into the boat. Then, leaning over, he
caught the girl under the arms and lifted her
in. Gently laying Harriet in the boat, with
her head resting on the seat at the stern, Bob
was about to transfer his attention to Hobo,
who, skilled swimmer as he was, had not yet
mastered the art of climbing from the water
into The Wanderer, when cries of alarm, pro-
ceeding from the shore, caused him to turn his
eyes in that direction.
"Roydon! Roydon! He's giving out!"
came the message in answer to Bob's gaze of
Bob at once turned his face towards the
island and saw Roydon quite near the shore,
beating the water wildly. One step and Bob
reached for Hobo and pulled him into the boat ;
another step, and with one strong, sure turn of
LUCKY BOB 161
Ihe wheel he set the engine going. As they
started toward the island, Roy don sank.
Just then the misfortune that comes when
least looked for happened : the engine, hitherto
so helpful, stopped. Bob thought quickly.
It would be impossible for him, by swimming,
to reach Roydon from their present distance.
Again, before he could start the engine, the
boy might be drowned. Ah !
"Hobo, Hobo!" called Bob, placing his arms
about the valiant dog's neck. "Look, look!"
and Bob pointed towards Roydon, who had
just come up and was struggling wildly.
"Get him, Hobo ! Get him !"
With a whine which plainly said, "I'd die for
you, my master," the dog leaped from the boat
and set out at a speed far beyond Bob's possi-
bilities for the struggling Roydon.
At the same time Bob got down on his knees
beside his motor, studying it carefully. Dan-
ger, dire peril, stupefies many; others it arouses
to keenest thought and quickest action. Bob
belonged to the latter class. Just as Hobo
reached the side of Roydon Bob succeeded in
starting the engine. And it was none too
soon. Roydon had completely lost his head.
Literally, he would not allow himself to be
saved. He grabbed the dog in such wise that
both went down. Poor Hobo in Roydon's
162 LUCKY BOB
grasp could use only one foot. It was very
distressing to the devoted dog. Here he was
willing, nay burning, to save the big boy, and
the big boy would not give him a chance to
swim. Nevertheless, Hobo managed to bring
the panic-stricken lad to the surface; he man-
aged, as he rose, to turn loving, wistful, implor-
ing eyes upon the master whom he adored.
He managed, too, to utter a low whine, breath-
ing the soul of heart-breaking farewell, and
then sank once more.
Harriet, little the worse for her experience,
was now sitting up and, eager-eyed, taking in
the situation with tense interest.
She turned from contemplating the sinking
dog to the face of the lad at the wheel. The
pathetic and low whine had brought tears to
Bob's eyes. Harriet was startled when Bob
actually blubbered, choked, passed a quick
hand over his eyes and with a steersmanship
which would have excited the admiration of any
water man brought The Wanderer just beside
the two strugglers as they came once more to
the surface. It was the work of a second for
Bob to stop the engine, reach over and grasp
Bob could have caught Roy don more easily;
but he did not.
LUCKY BOB 163
"Here, Harriet," he cried, "you catch hold
of the boy."
Harriet did so ; she had learned to obey the
wonderful fat boy.
"Now you just hold him quietly. Keep his
head above water."
While Harriet carried out these injunctions,
Bob forced Roydon's hands from their hold
upon Hobo, and tenderly lifted the devoted
and exhausted dog into the boat. Then he
performed the same office for the unconscious
Harriet and Bob were still striving to
revive the youth, when a large motor-boat, car-
rying two men drew alongside. A middle-
aged man wearing the tense features we asso-
ciate with "business" stepped into The Wan-
derer and, leaning over, gazed intently into
Roydon's face, feeling at the same time for any
"Why, he's all right," said the newcomer.
"He's breathing perceptibly I'm the boy's
father," lie added, addressing Bob.
"Glad to meet you, sir," said Bob, standing
aside to let Roydon's father and the other
stranger take charge.
"Suppose you steer for shore," suggested
the second man.
164 LUCKY BOB
Bob obeyed. Hobo meanwhile went over to
Harriet and held out his paw. She shook it
warmly, whereupon Hobo turned to his master
and held up his head in woful inquiry.
"My master, did I do it the way you wanted
me to?" Hobo's look expressed all this.
"You're the greatest dog in the world,
Hobo," answered Bob, putting his free arm
about the dog's neck. Whereupon Hobo
wagged his tail vigorously, threw up his head,
opened his mouth, panted joyously, and looked
as noble as he really was.
"May I tell you," said Harriet to Bob, "how
grateful I am? You saved my life, and I'll
never, never forget!"
Bob smiled and bowed, while Hobo once
more held up his paw to Harriet, and then with
great satisfaction submitted to her patting him
upon the head.
It was at this point that Koj^doii opened his
"Where am I?" he asked.
His father, who had been sprinkling water
upon his head, explained the situation.
"I lost my nerve," said the boy, sitting up.
"I don't know why."
Bob kept his eye on Roydon during these
words, and, as he listened, noticed how deeply
stained with nicotine were the forefinger and
LUCKY BOB 165
thumb of the boy's right hand. Bob, without
knowing it, saw the answer. Those fingers
told the tale of nerves excited to the point that
no growing boy can endure without loss of
"I'm sure," said Mr. Spain, Roydon's
father, "that you lost your head, Roy don, or
you would not have acted as you did. If it
hadn't been for this wonderful boy and that
extraordinary dog, Harriet and yourself
would have been drowned. What is your
name, boy?" he added, addressing the owner of
"Bob Ryan, sir."
"We're indebted to you deeply, Bob Ryan.
I shall see that you are suitably rewarded."
Bob flushed ; he was annoyed and hurt.
Tlie Wanderer had now reached the land-
ing; Harriet shook Bob's hand warmly; Roy-
don, somewhat dazed, said as he passed, "Much
obliged." Hobo followed the girl to land, and
jumping in front of her held up his paw. She
shook it lovingly.
"Here, dog, shake!" said Roydon, unbend-
ing himself and speaking quite graciously.
Hobo swept his eyes over Roydon, and then
turned tail and walked away with great dig-
nity. Hobo was a wonderful dog.
"Now," said Mr. Spain, while these leave-
166 LUCKY BOB
takings were going on, "I want to pay you for
your service, Master Bob Ryan." And Mr.
Spain took out his pocketbook.
'What services, sir?" said Bob, still seated
beside his engine.
'Why, saving my boy and Harriet."
'Things like that are not paid for, sir," said
Bob, losing for the moment his cordial smile.
Mr. Spain, who had been counting out a
number of bills, paused in his action and took
another look at the boy.
"Oh, beg pardon," he said. "Business and
money have spoiled me. I was a gentleman
once. Really, I'm very grateful. My boy
may not be what he ought to be, but he's the
only child I've got a spoiled one at that. As
for Harriet, she's the only daughter of the only
friend I have contrived to hold after ten years
of business. Had she been lost, it would have
ruined her father's life. It's good to have at
least one friend. I'll wager on this, Bob
Ryan, that you have plenty of friends !"
"I'm a lot richer that way," returned Bob
with his old kindly smile, "than you are, sir."
"Anyhow," continued Mr. Spain, "you have
more sense than to measure everything in
terms of dollars, as I did a minute ago, when I
wanted to pay you for saving lives. I should
not have put it in that way. Look you, Bob
Kyan! Tell me honestly, do you need any
"Not now, sir."
"But you will soon?"
"I am saving up to make a year at school
before I go to work."
"Do you see your way through ?"
"Not vet, sir ; but I have several weeks ahead
"How do you expect to earn it?"
"I average a dollar a day by fishing. And
then I expect to sell this boat."
"What's it worth?"
"I paid fifty dollars for it to a man who
bought it for one hundred. It's a fairly new
boat, and was worth when first sold one hun-
dred and seventy-five dollars."
Mr. Spain spent a few minutes examining
"Do you want to sell it?" he asked presently.
"Not now, sir; I can use it vet."
"And what do you expect to sell it for?"
"For one hundred dollars."
"Bob, do you know that this boat is practi-
cally as good as when it came from the factory?
In fact, the short service it has given simply
has proved that it is an unusually good boat.
Now I want to make you a proposition. I
need that boat. In fact I want to present it to
168 LUCKY BOB
Harriet. It will be a souvenir of this rescue
to all of us, and it will be a form of apology to
Harriet's people for the unpardonable fool-
hardiness of my son. It is very unlikely, if
you wait, Bob, that you'll get more than one
hundred dollars for that boat; not because it
isn't worth it, but because it is second-hand.
I'll give you its worth one hundred and sev-
Bob gasped; such a sum looked almost big
enough to allow him to carry out the desire he
had most at heart.
"Thank you, sir. But that's not fair. You
ought to take off something for wear and tear."
"But there is practically no wear and tear to
speak of. I've taken stock and find that
you've got everything in first-class order.
The boat is as good as new, and has the guar-
antee of use to show it is W 7 hat it ought to be.
It's worth every cent I offer."
"I'll take one hundred and sixty," said Bob,
after he had nestled his chin in his favorite atti-
"Here you are, Bob Ryan. You will
notice," continued Mr. Spain with a wry smile,
as he handed Bob a roll of bills, "that in buying
this boat I take no account of its value from the
sentimental side. As you said, I thank you
LUCKY BOB 169
for reminding me, there are some things we
can't pay for; and in giving you this money
for your boat, I realize that I am still your
"Thank you, sir," returned Bob. "I hope I
wasn't rude. I'm afraid I didn't understand
you at first."
"Ah! but you did understand me. And
you've set me to thinking. Now another
thing, Bob how about that wonderful dog of
yours? Would you care to name a price for
"Hobo! Hobo!" cried Bob. "Come here!"
With two eager leaps, the dog was beside
his master. "Now, Mr. Spain, call him to
"Hobo, Hobo!" cried the man. "Come,
Will 37011 leave me, Hobo?" 1 cried the boy,
his voice rich in affection.
Then Hobo closed his mouth and groveled,
absolutely groveled at his young master's feet,
laying his head between them.
"Mr. Spain," said Bob, "Hobo is the only
friend I am allowed to keep. I have many
others, but they are far away, and I may not
see them again. I wouldn't sell my dog fo>
all the money you've got."
170 LUCKY BOB
Then Hobo arose, planted his feet on Bob's
shoulders, gave three short yelps, and gazed
lovingly into his owner's face.
"It's a new way for me to look at things!"
said Mr. Spain after a tense pause; "but I
think I understand."
Discovering a new fairy island, and bringing
Bob a new friend and a new manner of Ufe.
QUITE early next morning, Bob Ryan, still
lamenting the loss of The Wanderer, was
sitting on a log beside the Mississippi, which
was dancing into thin wavelets to the music of
the breeze. Rich in money, Bob had not felt
poorer since the night he was sent forth by his
father into the world to shift for himself.
There was nothing left him but his beautiful
Hobo. Since selling his boat he had come to
realize more and more how much he loved it.
Then, too, his books, his camp bed, they were
gone. It is true he had not sold these; they
were kept by Mr. Spain to be forwarded when
their owner should need them. Bob, without
being able to put his thoughts into words, was
beginning to understand the bitterness of part-
ing the agony of separation.
"There was never such a boat!" he ejacu-
Hobo, considering that the remark was ad-
172 LUCKY BOB
dressed to him, placed his fore feet upon his
"Will you please make that remark over
again?" his eyes indicated. "I don't think I
quite caught your meaning, my master."
'What I really ought to have said, Hobo,"
returned Bob, "is that you're the best dog in all
If Hobo failed to comprehend exactly Bob's
words, the loving smile of his master gave him
the clue to their import. Perfectly satisfied,
he resumed his natural position and barked
long and loud for sheer joy.
"Here, Hobo, get this." And Bob as he
spoke threw a stick far out into the water.
If there was one thing Hobo was certain of,
it was that swimming after sticks arid bringing
them back to his master was one of the most
important things in the world. To do it
speedily and in a workmanlike way, was, he
considered, the whole duty of a dog. It was at
once the most serious and the most joyous
service he could offer.
Hobo, then, dashed down the bank and into
the river with a vim, an earnestness worthy of
any cause howsoever sacred.
He reached the stick, secured it, and, with
the same tremendous earnestness, was return-
ing when the ears of Master Bob were greeted
LUCKY BOB 173
by the sound of as pleasant a singing voice as
he had heard since his departure from Du-
buque. The voice was a noble bass, a rum-
bling bass ; and the words came clear over the
Campion will shine to-night,
Campion will shine!
Campion will shine to-night,
Campion will shine!
When the sun goes down and the moon
Campion will shine!
These simple and ecstatic words made no
impression upon Hobo. With ail possible
haste he gained the shore and held up his head
till Bob accepted the stick, whereupon Hobo
wagged his tail with the air of one who had
performed a feat worthy of a Carnegie medal.
The wagging tail was lost upon Bob, whose
eyes were just then held in admiration by the
spectacle of a canoe appearing around a bend,
a canoe graceful as a kitten, green as an emer-
ald, pretty as the smile of tender innocence.
In the canoe, seated at the stern, sat the singer,
a young man, wielding an easy and strong
stroke. He perceived Bob, and catching the
smiling eyes drew his paddle from the water
174 LUCKY BOB
"Good morning!" cried Bob, "I like your
"Good morning!" returned the canoeist;
"and I like your dog."
"Are you a Campion student?"
'You win," returned the singer.
"I know a boy from Campion," said Bob in
his most cordial manner. "He's one of the
best friends I've got. His name is Tom
"You don't say !" cried the canoeist. "Have
you known him long?"
"Not more than two days," answered Bob.
"Oh," said the other, with one stroke bring-
ing his canoe alongside the bank. "You're
pretty swift, aren't you?"
"Row's that?" asked Bob.
"Swift at making friends."
"I've got to be," answered Bob. "If I don't
they're gone. The only thing I can hold on to
is this dog."
"What kind is he?"
"He's mixed," replied Bob, expandjpg into
a grin made up of amusement and affection.
"He's got all the good qualities of six or seven
breeds, and the faults of none."
"I like that dog," continued the canoeist.
"And I say can you use a paddle?"
"I think so."
LUCKY BOB 175
* Well, would you like to take a spin with
me? Or have you anything special to do?"
"The only thing special," answered Bob,
looking up, "is breakfast. I'm still fasting."
"Here, jump in! And bring your dog.
That's it. If you want breakfast, you've come
to the right shop. Get your paddle going, and
I'll steer you to my den and feed you and the
dog too. That's it ; why, you have a splendid
Hobo, in the middle of the boat, rested upon
his haunches, held up his head, opened his
mouth, and gratefully inhaled the air, giving
the impression that he had lived his life in that
"And your dog what's his name?"
"Well, Hobo, whatever his breed, is a regu-
lar water dog. The more I see of him, the
more I like him. And the more I like him, the
more I like his owner."
"Thank you," returned Bob. "I think I'd
like that Campion College you were singing
about, if all the boys there are like you and
"Put down your paddle and listen," ordered
the canoeist. "As to what I am about to sing,
all I've got to say is, them's my sentiments."
With this prelude, the singer, to the tune of
176 LUCKY BOB
"Altogether," rendered the song of Campion
College, while the canoe drifted idly.
Sing the song of Campion College,
Every loyal son!
Her fair motherhood acknowledge,
Bless the name of Campion !
Who can forget her
Hills and woods and waters dear?
What friends are better
Than the friends she gave us here?
By thy gates Marquette won glory,
Mother of our youth !
And the Martyr Campion's story
Tells us how to die for truth.
Airs of high endeavor
Herald thee of nohle race ;
We, thy sons, will never
Bring a blush into thy face.
Far and widely we may wander
In the years to come ;
But with fondness we shall ponder
On our good old college home.
LUCKY BOB 177!
Rise, gather near her !
Hail her with our loudest cheers!
She will be dearer
With the passing of the years.
'When you sang that," said the delighted
Bob, "I felt like a Campion boy myself."
"You couldn't feel better, then," returned
the vocalist. "But to return to your remark
about Campion and Tom Reade and myself, I
think I may say that there are a lot of boys
there like me. But I must also say that there
are not many like Tom. He's not in my divi-
sion. He belongs to the junior division ; but it
is pretty well known that he has the nicest man-
ners and the finest head of any boy there. If
he were a Catholic, he would be prefect of the
Junior Sodality. He's a handsome boy, too
pretty as a picture; but there's nothing soft
about him, and though he hasn't our faith, he's
good to the core."
"Say, I just love to hear you talk like that
of him," said Bob.
"Because he's my friend."
'You are lucky to have such a friend. By
the way, my name is Matt Morris; what's
178 LUCKY BOB
"Shake!" cried Matt, holding out his paddle.
Bob extended his till the paddles met.
"I'm awfully glad to meet you," pursued
Bob, renewing his stroke. "I was very lone-
some just now, and feeling rather blue."
"Oh, on account of a lot of things. I'm
alone. Last night I gave up my motor boat,
The Wanderer. Oh, it was a peach of a boat !
And now the only thing I've got left is good
"Do you know," said Matt, "that it's a queer
thing to pick up a decent boy like you all alone
on the banks of the upper Mississippi a boy
with a fine dog and not knowing where he is
going to get his breakfast?"
"It is queer," admitted Bob. "And in fact
my whole story for the past six weeks is queer,
"Would you mind telling me your story?"
asked Matt. "Apart from the fact that I'm
naturally curious about it, I want to say that I
have a better reason than that for asking you.
And besides, I've got a little story of my own."
"I'll be glad to tell you," said Bob.
"Well, we land here; and after your break-
fast well have an account of all your adven-
Into a cozy little cove, Matt Morris steered
the canoe. Drawing it up from the land, he
slipped it, with the assistance of Bob, between
a growth of bushes, so that completely con-
cealed on every side it was protected from the
rain by the overhanging branches of a huge
"Now you just follow me," proceeded Matt,
"and you shall see what you shall see."
The way led upward on a path skirted by a
stream clear as crystal and magic with the
music of falling water. Trees and shrubs lined
"Is this the way to fairyland?" ejaculated
"It depends on who climbs it," Matt made
answer. "I'm in hopes that it will be fairy-
land to you,"
Then out sang a yellow bird, a canary, so
blithely that it sounded to Bob's enchanted
ears like a song of welcome. He paused, put
his hands to his mouth, and gave a birdlike call ;
whereupon the tiny canary, after cocking its
head in momentary silence, broke into an ec-
stasy of melody and, drawing quite near,
circled about Bob's head.
Hobo was delighted with that bird; he
wanted to extend the paw of friendship.
"Say, you're a wonder !" Matt exclaimed.
Making no reply to this tribute, Bob put his
180 LUCKY BOB
hand to his mouth and uttered another bird
call. In answer the grove became vocal.
Every bird in the neighborhood apparently
took a part in the multitudinous sweet jargon-
'This is fairyland," ejaculated Bob, glowing
"And you are Oberon," returned Matt.
"Where's your Titania?"
'Tom Temple told me the story of Midsum-
mer Night's Dream; so I just happened by ac-
cident to know what you are talking about.
My Titania is a good many miles up the river."
"Well, I declare!" gasped Matt.
"Her name," Bob went on serenely, "is Lu-
cille, and she's a young lady, Tom Reade's old-
est sister. She's a queen, all right Hello!
There was a good reason for Bob's burst
of wonder. Beside the stream, just a little be-
low a miniature waterfall, was a natural stone
platform, almost perfectly smooth, running
back some thirty feet into the mouth of a cav-
ern. The half of the platform nearest the cave
was completely screened off, revealing to Bob
an open-air apartment equipped with chairs,
tables, boxing gloves, paddles, Indian clubs,
dumbbells, and a variety of articles, all, taken
LUCKY BOB 181
in combination, telling the tale of an owner
who loved athletics and the open.
"That's my place," answered Matt proudly.
"I discovered it myself. Hardly any one ever
comes here. The cave is for keeping pro-
visions and things that can't stand wetting, and
it comes in handy for shelter in bad weather.
"But the wire netting that's the thing! I
live screened by that netting in the open day
and night and bats and mosquitoes and flies
and other creatures can't get at me."
"Why, this is fairyland!" said Bob once
more. "A real cave that goes in over twenty
feet, high and dry, and a room that's a room,
and yet isn't a room. It's the best arrange-
ment for living I ever saw."
"I'm mighty glad you like it," observed the
proud owner, as he unlocked the one door at
the center. "Now come in, sit down at that
table, and I'll have your breakfast ready in a
There was a slight hollow near the middle of
the part screened off. Matt brought from thft
cave a few sticks and a piece of paper to this
particular spot, struck a match, and as the
flames sprang up, re-entered and returned with
some stale slices of bread, and a bit of beef
fastened upon a pronged stick, seeing which lat-
182 LUCKY BOB
ter Hobo began to show signs of unusual in-
"Let me do my own cooking," pleaded Bob.
"No, you're my guest. Suppose, while I'm
getting things ready, you let me have your
Thus adjured, Bob began. Breakfast was
served, and he continued. Breakfast came to
an end, and he still went on. And Matt, cook-
ing, serving, cleaning up, listened, neverthe-
less, most intently.
"Bob," he said, when the youngster had
come to an end, "that story of yours is a regu-
lar picaresque romance. It's a great story. I
envy you. I'd walk a hundred miles to see old
Mose and that wonderful old woman, his wife.
I'd give anything to have a friend like Tom
Temple, in spite of his one weakness. And
that landlord and his wife are just stunning.
Best of all, you're lucky to have friends like
the Reades. Lucille, according to you, walks
in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and
starry skies. And that little Anita is almost
too good to be true. As for your friend Roy-
don, all I can say is I'd like to have him here
for three weeks. I think I'd make a man of
'I really believe you would," returned Bob y
gazing in admiration at Matt Morris. The
LUCKY, BOB 183
young man was as light and as quick upon his
feet as a cat ; his physique was almost perfect ;
health and strength revealed themselves in the
glow upon his face, in the bright and clear eye,
in the quick play of muscle, clearly evident
despite the negligee shirt and duck trousers.
"But," continued Matt, "as I can't have him,
I want you, Bob Ryan."
"How do you mean?" asked the boy.
"I want you to be my companion and rough
it with me for three weeks or so. It won't cost
you a cent."
Bob looked about him, and deep longing
came upon his face.
"Matt," he said, "I never found it so hard
in all my life to say no as now. I'd just love
to live with you, but I feel I must go on."
"You're over-weight," urged Matt. "I'll
train you down so that you'll be fit as a fiddle
for your school year. You can just go and
study your head off."
"Don't tempt me, please," implored Bob.
Matt Morris took a few turns, then he said.
' You were saying a while ago you were dead
anxious to go to Confession."
tf l am I certainly am, especially since I
tried to save Hobo first, preferring him to
Roydon. That's near worried me sick."
<c Well," said Matt smiling, "I don't blame
184 LUCKY BOB
you much. Hobo was a hero, Roydon was a
cad. All the same, putting feeling aside,
there's no doubt that Roydon, being a human
being, should have had first chance. But to
return to the main question, if you stay with
me for three weeks, I'll prepare you for Con-
fession and Communion."
In lieu of reply, Bob jumped to his feet and
danced; Hobo, unable to miss such an oppor-
tunity, barked gleefully and, leaping, brought
his paws on Bob's shoulders. The dog got
more than he bargained for, when Bob, catching
both paws, put him through a vigorous and
most athletic one-step. Hobo seemed to con-
sider this very undignified ; and so a one-step is-
for a dog; but he submitted gracefully, out of
love for his master.
"There, Hobo," said Bob pointing to Matt,
"there's our new partner."
Hobo thereupon walked over and held out
his right paw. Matt shook it. The left paw
was in turn offered and received. Finally
Hobo, to show perfect confidence in their new
friend, put his forefeet on Matt's shoulders.
A new society limited to three weeks wa?
thus to the sound of running waters and whis*
pering leaves and twittering birds happily in
In which Bob goes into regular training with
wonderful results, becomes a bird charmer, and
spends three happy weeks in the woodlands.
Two hours later. Bob, Matt, and Hobo were
in the canoe.
"While you do the canoeing," said Matt,
"and goodness knows you need the exercise
for your weight 180 pounds "
"I weighed 190 when I left Dubuque," in-
"And you'd be heavy enough at 160, prob-
ably ten pounds over weight. And now, while
you paddle, I'll tell you my story."
"Fine!" said Bob, putting his enthusiasm
into his stroke.
"To begin with, up to the age of fifteen
that is, up to three years ago I was a very
delicate, sickly boy."
"I certainly was. At fifteen I was in second
year high at Campion College."
"How sorry I am I never ran up to see that
college," said Bob. "It is only eighty miles
186 LUCKY BOB
or so by the river from Dubuque. Excuse me,
Matt, go on."
'Towards the end of the school year I got
so weak that I was sent home. OOF family
doctor examined me, and was puzzled. He
brought in a specialist, who thumped me
pretty hard, and told me I had consump-
'That sounds like a joke," said Bob. "Peo-
ple who have consumption die of it. They do
not turn into athletes."
"That's what I thought when he told me,"
said Matt with a smile. "And I said to him,
'Well, doctor, how long have I to live?' Then
the doctor laughed, and said, 'Get this into
that head of yours and keep it there : Consump-
tion can be cured. What you need is plenty
of air, sunshine, and plain, good food. It's
April now. If you keep to the outdoors for
four months or so, I'll engage that you'll be
able to go back to college in better health than
you've ever been in your life."
"And the doctor was right, was he?"
"He certainly was. I came back to Cam-
pion in September, and got into the basket-ball
team, and began to take part in all the outdoor
games. The next summer I discovered this
cave, and fixed it up. When I came back to
Campion I won prizes in the Junior Division
LUCKY BOB 187
for running and jumping. Next year I'm go-
ing to make the football squad."
"And so you're cured?" asked Bob.
"Yes; and there are thousands and thou-
sands of men and women throughout the coun-
try who could be cured as I was, if they'd only
use common sense, which, in their case, would
mean open air, sunshine, and nourishing food."
"I didn't know that," commented Bob.
"Well, you're in the same boat with hun-
dreds of thousands. There's hardly a city in
the country but has a league for stamping out
consumption. They call it the Anti-Tubercu-
losis League and although the members spend
most of their time and money in publishing the
cheering fact that consumption can be cured,
people go on believing that it can't, and for
that reason, go on dying when they might live
to do lots of good work."
"I'm glad to know that," said Bob.
"And now," continued Matt, "that I'm
cured, I intend to stav cured. I want to do
something in this world. Some day I hope to
join a religious order, and that's why I spend
six weeks of vacation at my cave."
"That's fine!" cried Bob.
"And I'm going to put you into shape, too,"
Matt went on. "You're going to shed one-half
a pound a day at least for three or four weeks,
188 LUCKY BOB
and when you leave me, you'll be as hard as
nails. You've the makings of a giant; but
you're just a bit flabby."
"You ought to have seen me when I left Du-
buque, Matt. I've picked up a lot since I
started out over a month ago."
'You'd have picked up more," said Matt, "if
you had rowed and walked more and motored
less. But we'll have great times. You ought
to know that I intended having a classmate
with me, so that we could box and fence and
wrestle and canoe together. But my friend,
through no fault of his, disappointed me; he
was obliged to stay home on account of the
serious illness of his mother. So don't think
I'm doing you a favor in keeping you; it's the
other way round."
"It's a tremendous favor," said Bob.
"To begin with," Matt went on, "I'm going
to give you all this afternoon to write to Tom,
Lucille, Anita, to Mose and his wife, to the inn-
keeper and, above all, to Torn Temple."
"I'm worried about Tom Temple," put in
Bob. "And I pray every day for him."
"And besides," Matt resumed, "you had bet-
ter write at once to Mr. Spain to send on your
camp bed and your books. The postoffice is
only a mile off. When you've done all that
then you'll be ready for regular order."
LUCKY BOB 180
f What's that, Matt?"
"First of all, we rise at five."
"I've been getting up with the birds right
along 9 " said Bob.
"Early to bed and early to rise," commented
Matt, "On rising we say our prayers, run
down to the river in our swimming suits, take a
ten-minute splash, then dress and canoe just
one mile or so down stream. It's only five
minutes' walk to the church, where we hear six
"That will be fine," cried Bob. "I've been
to Mass only a few times ; my father wouldn't
let me go. Little Angela explained it to me,
and I love it."
"I serve the Mass regularly," added Matt.
"And will you teach me to serve too?"
"Gladly. And besides, I go to Communion
' That ought to mean a lot to you, Matt."
"I should say it does. Do you know what
daily Communion means to a boy, Bob, from
fourteen years and up?"
"It means clean thought, and clean speech,
and clean living; and a lot more."
"How I wish I could go too," sighed Bob.
"I'd like to be like you, Matt."
"To go on with our order: we leave the
190 LUCKY BOB
church about 6:40, get back by 7:00, cook our
breakfast, eat it by 7 :30, and allowing time for
reading or writing an odd letter, we take half
an hour gymnastics at 8 :30."
"Bullv !" said Bob.
"At nine," resumed Matt, "we have an hour
of catechism; from 10:00 to 10:30, boxing;
from 10:30 to 11:30, a brisk walk up the hill-
side; at 11 :30, a swim, and then dinner."
"Why, that's just glorious!" cried Bob.
"After dinner, we rest and talk till 1:15;
then fencing for three-quarters of an hour.
From 2 to 3, reading; from 3 to 4, more cate-
chism; and at 4, more gymnastics, with some
boxing and running, ending with a swim before
supper. Supper's at 5 ;30."
"I think I'll be ready for it," said Bob.
"After supper, we go canoeing up the river
into the sunset, then drift slowly down, watch-
ing the beautiful Mississippi sky. We are
home by nightfall, and in bed by eight o'clock."
"If that isn't fairyland!" Bob exclaimed,
"it's just as good in every way and in some
Bob spent what was left of the morning and
a good part of the afternoon in writing to each
and every one of the friends he had made on
is way down the river; and after a hearty sup-
LUCKY BOB 191
per and a delightful canoe trip went to rest,
and slept till early dawn.
The next three days were almost perfectly
delightful marred, to some extent by the
stiffness that came upon Bob from such un-
wonted exercise. On the fourth day Matt an-
nounced that the regular order would be dis-
"You're pretty stiff, Bob; and besides, it's
Saturday, and I intend giving you most of the
morning for extra instructions ; and this after-
noon we're going to Confession."
Again Hobo was puzzled. Why should his
master skip and dance?
Bob, thoroughly prepared, made his first
Confession on that memorable day, and was
told by the kind pastor to go to Communion on
the next morning, and to continue going each
day till further notice.
And the love which Bob brought to his fel-
lowman, he brought also to Christ, the Lover
of his soul. That Sunday in August, the day
of his first Communion, remained a consecrated
On Monday there came letters from Tom
Temple and from Anita, Tom wrote as fol-
"My dear Bob: I see you have forgiven me;
192 LUCKY BOB
I know ncrt why. Well, I'm going to leav ^ the
hospital to-morrow, cured! With God's help,
I'll be what I ought to be. I am going to try
myself out for a few months. If I succeed
in conquering myself, then, like the Prodigal
Son, I intend to arise and go to my father's
house. My father's house! Precisely. I
purpose to join the Church which I have al-
ways loved. And then, to reduce the sweet
phrase to an earthly meaning, I am going back
home where I know my dear old mother waits
for me and prays for me, morning, noon, and
'This is my first letter since my sickness, so
it must be short. I am going to make it my
business to call on mine host and his buxom
wife, and, if I can only command the courage,
upon that darling Anita, and the wonderful
Lucille, and Tom, and all the Reade family.
"God bless you, Bob! If I'm ever^a man,
I'll owe it, under God, in great part, to you.
'Your devoted debtor,
T. S. I think, I really think, that some of
my ships are about to come in. T. T."
Anita's letter was, clearly, a work of much
LUCKY BOB 193
4 'Dear Bob: When your lovely letter came, I
put off my supper to read it; and I read it
three times more, and I would have forgot my
supper, only Mama reminded me. Lucille
wanted to see my letter,, but I would not let her
see it. Don't you think I was right? I have
put your letter away where no one can see it
but myself, and I will keep it forever. I think
of you a good deal, dear Bob. Do you think
of me? Do you think of me often? Tell me
about this when you write. I miss you so
much. I miss you more than Lucille does.
When are you coming back? Here! here!
x x x x x x Lots of love.
Bob put both of these letters carefully away ;
and with new spirit gave himself to Matt's
daily order. Beginning each morning with
the reception of Holy Communion, the boy
made wondrous strides physically and spir-
itually. Each day his features became more
clean-cut; each day he grew lighter, stronger,
more enduring. He found Matt a most con-
genial and unselfish companion. From him
he received lessons in boxing, fencing, and
wrestling all of these given and received with
enthusiasm. Bob was fast becoming an ath-
194 LUCKY BOB
Matt, much to Bob's delight, continued the
instructions in catechism, taking out of the al-
lotted time occasionally a half hour or more for
talks on literature; as a result of which, Bob's
desire for another year of school became more
intense each day.
In the course of a week, the screened room,
in which the two lived all night and part of the
day, became a gigantic bird-cage. First, there
arrived one morning, at Bob's call, the little
canary bird. She fluttered in through the door
held open for her by him, and, perched upon
the haft of a sword hung up against the screen
opened her sweet throat and filled the air with
"Evidently," said Matt, "that bird was once
"She's mine now," said Bob, cooing softly.
Presently the canaiy flew over to the boy and
circling around him lighted upon his shoulder.
From that moment began a friendship between
bird and boy which mightily annoyed Hobo.
The noble dog, it is true, liked the canary ; and
he adored his master. But he really seemed to
opine that the bird was too familiar with the
boy, being wanting, as Hobo saw it, in respect
for so exalted a personage : and therefore, when
the bird alighted on Bob, Hobo threw his
head up to the sky and barked in plaintive pro-
LUCKY BOB 195
test. Sometimes, indeed, it looked as though
Hobo were jealous; but I have not the heart to
admit so mean a feeling in so noble a dog.
One day Bob found a tiny bird, a thrush,
which had evidently fallen untimely out of its
nest. The bird was slightly crippled. Bob
took it up tenderly and brought it to his cave
home, where with much care and great dexter-
ity of finger, he succeeded in rounding the tiny
thing into a fairly good condition. While he
was thus engaged, a larger thrush came near,
and beating its wings against the screen, gave
manifest indications of her interest in Bob's oc-
cupation. The boy opened the screen door
and cooed softly, whereupon Mrs. Thrush en-
tered gingerly. She seemed rather to like the
place, and though always careful, in the literal
sense of the word, to keep her distance, showed
in various wild ways that she thoroughly ap-
proved of Master Bob, that she tolerated Matt,
and that she considered Hobo about the best
thing there could be in the way of a dog.
On the second day of her arrival, Mrs.
Thrush gave Bob by her cries and flutterings
clear indications that she wanted to get out.
Bob opened the door, and Mrs. Thrush, with
great deliberation, hopped out, casting as she
went longing, lingering glances at her libera-
tor. She returned that afternoon, singing as
196 LUCKY BOB
she came, and assisted in the music by five little
thrushes. They all followed their mother in,
and celebrated their arrival with a concert
which Hobo listened to gravely and without
prejudice; and which brought into the swelling
bosom of the canary the first pangs of jealousy.
When her turn came, the tiny yellow bird
rendered a solo with trills which it would have
done Tetrazzini good to hear.
Then a blackbird without took up the theme
and, charmed by Bob's cooing, entered the
screen and remained, like the other birds, a
prisoner of love.
Within a few days, the little thrushes, begin-
ning with the one Bob had picked up, came at
the young bird-charmer's call and perched on
his shoulders. There were concerts morning,
noon, and early nisiit.
Three happy weeks flew by. Bob was now
stout and wonderfully strong, but no longer
fat. He was a fair fencer, a good boxer ; but
as a wrestler he was extraordinary. In this
pastime the disciple had become the equal of
Bob and Matt had been trying their utmost
one afternoon to best each other at wrestling,
until, after fifteen minutes of fierce struggle,
both decided to rest. The two, perspiring
freely, were breathing easily. It was a diffi-
LUCKY BOB 197
cult task indeed, and a long one, which would
wind either of them.
"Well, Bob," said Matt, rubbing himself
down vigorously, "aren't you glad you
"Glad?" echoed Bob. "Glad is no name for
it. It isn't so much that I'm strong and hearty
as that you've made me into some sort of a
Catholic. Matt, you're next to Angela in my
heart. I wouldn't have missed these three
weeks for anything in the world."
"Nor would I have missed them for any-
thing in the world," said Matt. "God has
given you the body of a giant and the heart of
a St. Francis."
As Matt spoke, the canary dropped quietly
upon Bob's right shoulder. Hobo, not even
protesting at the familiarity, placed his fore-
paws upon Bob's knees and gazed into the boy's
face as though he were just discovering some-
thing new and wonderful therein, while two
tiny thrushes, with some tussle for right of
perch, settled upon the boy's other shoulder.
"The heart of St. Francis !" repeated Matt.
"That's just it. I wish I could take your pic-
ture now : the dog adoring, the canary meditat-
ing on one shoulder, and the thrushes fighting
for place on the other,"
"Say, Matt," said Bob, patting Hobo and
198 LUCKY BOB
looking radiant with the love which reached
from God to man, and from man to every liv-
ing creature, "this thing is too good. I'm too
happy; and just now, as I looked into Hobo's
eyes and Hobo is the best dog that ever lived
I felt a sort of a of a "
"A presentiment?" suggested Matt.
"That's it; a presentiment that this can't
As he paused, the birds flew away, and the
dog, whining, brought his paws to Bob's shoul-
ders and gazed with a sort of new wistfulness
into his master's eyes.
"Don't cross your bridges till you get to
them, Bob," counseled Matt. 'I say," he
added, "I'm going down to see if I can't catch
a fish for supper."
"And I," said Bob, "am going to take Hobo
out for a run. He needs exercise."
So the two parted.
Bob, as the next chapter will show, was un-
wittingly a prophet.
In which the birds desert Bob, and Hobo, the
noble dog, performs a supreme service for his
A s Bob, returning from his tramp with the
** delighted Hobo, approached his casern
home, the tiny canary, evidently much dis-
turbed, came flying to his shoulder and twit-
"Why, what's the meaning of this? Who
let the bird out?" he exclaimed. 'There must
be something wrong! Here, Hobo, Hobo!
Go," continued Bob, pointing towards the
river, "and bring Matt back. The door is
open, something's wrong, Hobo."
The dog whined, and showed extreme reluc-
tance ; he refused to obey his master's voice.
"Go!" commanded Bob.
Hobo whined and groveled, raising his head
for one moment to reveal eyes that were pa-
"Go!" shouted Bob sternly. He was cruel,
as he thought, only to be kind.
Then, in utter desolation, the dog obeyed the
200 LUCKY BOB
command, and Bob hurried to the open door.
The lock had been forced. He entered
quickly. All was silent; the birds with their
sweet songs and happy twitterings were gone.
The canary had risen from Bob's shoulder as
he entered and flown away.
'There's something wrong," mused Bob,
standing before the fireplace on the center of
the platform. "I feel that some one's been
He looked about; there was no apparent
sign of disorder. Then he peered into the
cave. It was quite dark within, the evening
sun being now in shadow from the surround-
ing trees. Bob could see nothing.
"By George!" he whispered to himself, "I
feel it in my bones that somebody is here now."
Cautiously he stepped forward into the cave.
He had not advanced more than two yards into
its interior, when suddenly there dashed by him
at full speed a man dashed by him so close
that the stranger's body touched Bob's right
arm. Quick as thought Bob turned in pur-
suit, seeing in the act a stout, undersized man,
the pockets of whose ragged coat were bulging.
Not in vain had Bob been in training. Before
the man could quite reach the gate Bob was
upon him. Leaping into the air, the boy came
down with all his weight upon the man's shoul-
LUCKY BOB 201
ers, and with such force as to bear him to the
"Here! You let me alone!" remonstrated
the man, a weazen-faced, unshorn young rascal
with ferret eyes. "I ain't done nothing. 3 '
Bob, nevertheless, sitting upon him, pinned
him down, and quietly went through his pock-
ets. He found that the fellow had taken
nearly every small object of value in their pos-
session. The man lay quite still while Bob
emptied out the contents of his coat ; but when
the boy started to examine his trousers pockets,
he struggled violently.
Then Bob caught the man's head and
bumped it smartly against the solid rock.
"Keep quiet," warned the boy, "or I'll give
you a bump that will put you to sleep !"
Presently, out of the man's hip pocket Bob
drew the famous roll of bills, the savings of his
six or seven weeks in the open.
"Now," said Bob, rising and dusting him-
self, "I think you had better go, or there'll be
"I'm starving," said the man.
"You smell of beer," returned Bob.
"It's easier to get beer than food," urged the
fellow, his eyes shifting from one side of the
enclosure to the other. "Can't you give a fel-
low a piece of bread anyhow?"
202 LUCKY BOB
"Perhaps," thought the kindest boy in Iowa,
"this man is hungry. It must be that which
has driven him to be a thief . Well," he
said aloud, "if you wait a moment, I'll get you
Bob turned and made for the commissary de-
partment in the cave. Suddenly a sharp yelp
Hobo's yelp caused him to whirl round;
and, as he turned, the yelp was followed by a
cry of pain. A horrible sight greeted poor
Bob's eyes. The thief having picked up one
of the canoe paddles had been about to bring
it down in one murderous blow upon his head.
Hobo, who had returned in the nick of time,
had jumped under the would-be murderer's
arm and gripped him savagely, eliciting from
the fellow the scream of agony.
Bob took one quick step forward; but he
was too late. Shaking Hobo from him, the
enraged thief brought down with all his force
the paddle upon the devoted dog's head. A
low moan came from Hobo as he collapsed.
Again the man raised his paddle, but before he
could renew the attack, Bob, his eyes blazing
with anger, struck him with clenched fist a blow
under the chin which sent him reeling. Fol-
lowing this, Bob caught the thief, whirled him
around and with a strength made more than
normal by his burning rage, kicked him to the
LUCKY BOB 203
door, through the doorway, and with one final
kick that sent the fellow sprawling, returned at
break-neck speed to Hobo.
The dog was lying flat, his eyes closed, the
blood trickling from one side of his head.
"Hobo! Hobo! dear Hobo!" cried Bob,
throwing his arms tenderly about Hobo's
At the sound of his master's voice Hobo
raised his eyes, eyes of love, and opening his
mouth licked Bob's hand.
"Oh, Hobo, Hobo!" continued Bob, "don't
leave me! I love you, Hobo, I do!"
Hobo whined weakly. How wistfully he
gazed at Bob ! It was the wistf ulness of love ;
the love which is too big for expression. Then
the dog with an effort stood up and raised his
eyes once more.
"That's it, Hobo, that's it, old boy. You'll
be all right by to-morrow."
Hobo whined again, and with an effort
raised his paw. Bob took it with one hand,
putting the other in an affectionate embrace
about the saver of his life, and gazing with all
tenderness into the dog's pathetically wistful
eyes. Hobo read that glance; the wistf ulness
vanished, calm and quiet took its place, and
then, with a short sigh, a sigh, as it seemed to
Bob, of sheer bliss, the noble dog, whose one
204 LUCKY BOB
desire was to please his master, closed his lov-
ing eyes to open them no more.
"I knew it couldn't last," said Bob that
evening. "He was, I firmly believe, the best
"So he was," said Matt warmly. "And he's
had a death which is just the kind he would
want. Don't you know, Bob, that often when
I've seen Hobo looking at you, it seemed to me
he wanted to say that he'd like to die for you.
And that's just what he did. After he trotted
down to call me, he barked savagely, then hur-
ried back to you, beating me by several min-
"By the way," said Bob, "what became of
that awful man?"
'He'll not come around here any more," re-
sponded Matt grimly. "I picked him up
where you left him, and helped him into the
river. I just stayed long enough to see that
he could swim. He has two lovely black eyes,
and a bump on his head which you gave him
the size of an ostrich egg. God forgive me !
but I did lay into him hammer and tongs be-
fore I dropped him into the river to cool off."
"I guess we had both better hike over to
Father Smith and go to Confession," said Bob
smiling ruefully. "And I'm afraid it will take
LUCKY BOB 205
me full half an hour to get all the malice I have
against that man out of my heart."
"You're right, Bob; we'll have to clean up
our souls. And, now, Bob, I hate moralizing,
but I'm going to do a little on this occasion.
I've been thinking about Hobo. God made
him, and gave him that wondrous wealth of
love which he lavished on you. That dog
thought you worthy of his love "
"I wasn't!" said Bob huskily.
"Well, anyhow, God has given us the same
wealth of love and more. And He is Himself
"I see your point, Matt. The memory of
Hobo ought to show me how I can love, if I
have sense enough to know that my Master is
worthy of everything I can give Him."
"By Jove," laughed Matt, "we're talking
like mystics. All the same, it's good common
And so the two, sorrow-laden as they were,
went to Confession, and turned homewards
with lighter hearts. Anger and revenge had
been driven out; peace and love had returned.
A surprise awaited them on their arrival.
Standing at their door, sadness and anxiety
upon his features, Bob recognized Mr. Reade.
The boy's heart sank.
"There's more trouble corning," he said.
The Reade family again. Anita still insists
on having her way, with the usual result.
" exclaimed Bob, run-
ning forward, "this is a great surprise!
Is there anything wrong?"
"There's sore distress in our family, Bob,"
replied the lawyer, catching Bob's hand in his,
"and I've come to ask you to do me a great
"Anything I can do, I'll do gladly," replied
Bob. "Mr. Reade," he continued, "here's the
boy who took me out of the wet three weeks
ago and has been doing all he can to make me
a Christian and a man, Matt Morris."
"How do you do, Mr. Reade?" said Matt.
'I could tell you from your boy Tom. He's
the dead image of you, and as clean-cut a boy
as goes to Campion College."
"Thank you, Matt," returned Mr. Reade,
smiling for the first time. "My boy is what he
is because of his mother. She's a true mother,
if ever there was one. I'm glad to say that I
know you well by reputation. Tom has often
spoken of you ; you are one of his swans.'
LUCKY BOB 207
"But what's the trouble, Mr. Reade?" broke
in Bob. "There hasn't been an accident!"
"Anita," answered Mr. Reade, "your little
Anita is very, very ill."
"But she'll get well?" Bob asked.
"I don't know. It's a case which seems to
baffle the local doctor. Bob, she's been call-
ing for you for three days."
"She has!" exclaimed Bob.
'Yes; and I've come here, having traced you
down the river for the past thirty-two hours,
to ask you whether you won't sacrifice yourself
to return with me and see my dear little girl,
It may help."
"That won't be a sacrifice, Mr. Reade ; it will
be a privilege. When do we start?"
"If we leave here," answered Mr. Reade,
looking at his watch, "within an hour, we'll be
able to catch a train which will bring us back
by nine o'clock to-night."
"Say, Matt," said Bob grasping his friend's
hand, "don't think I'm ungrateful; but I must
go. It's hard to leave you; it's it's another
wrench. You have done so much for me, and
I've been so happy; but I really must go.
Anita and I are fast friends. She's ill, and I
love to help any sick child, even when I don't
know them. So you'll excuse me, won't you ?"
"Of course I will, Bob."
208 LUCKY BOB
"It looks ungrateful," continued Bob, "for
me to leave you after all you have done for me.
I hate to think of you staying here alone."
"Oh, for that matter," said Matt, "I'm going
"Yes; for two good reasons. First, your
company for these three weeks has given me a
chance to get in as much work in the way of
physical exercise as I would else have got in
five weeks. I'm fitter than ever I was in my
life. Secondly, I wouldn't care to be here
without you, Bob. I'd miss you too much.
We've been too happy. I understand now
what Tennyson meant when he said that 'A
sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering hap-
pier things.' I'll break up camp to-night."
"I see, Bob," observed Mr. Reade, kindly,
"that you still keep up your pretty trick of
making friends as you go."
"And losing them," said Bob ruefully. "I
lost one of my best ones a few hours ago."
"Indeed! Who was that?"
"Hobo, that splendid dog? Tell me about
Bob then related his story, beginning with
the loss of The Wanderer, and finishing with
his encounter with the ill-favored thief. As he
LUCKY BOB 200
spoke, the feeling came over him that possibly
Anita, like The Wanderer and the faithful
dog, was to be taken away untimely, so that
towards the end of his narrative he could hardly
command his voice for grief over the past and
apprehension for the future.
Very soon all was ready for their departure,
and Bob bade Matt a sad farewell.
"I believe," observed Mr. Reade, as he and
Bob took their seats in the drawing-room car,
"that love is the most powerful thing in the
Bob smiled; he had no comment to make.
"What is creation, after all," continued the
lawyer, "but an act of love!" He added
dreamily, apparently forgetting Bob's pres-
ence, Coleridge's wonderful quatrain:
" 'All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.'
For a long time the keen lawyer descanted
on this theme. Love with him was the biggest
theme in the world love in its widest, all-em-
Anita, watched over by Lucille, was lying
still in her little bed, very pale and with ab-
210 LUCKY BOB
normally brilliant eyes, when Mr. Reade and
Bob entered tbe room.
"Oh, Bob!" exclaimed Lucille, with a smile
which expressed her welcome more eloquently
"Bob!" echoed Anita, a slight flush coming
upon her cheeks. "Is he here?"
"I'm here, Anita," said the boy, slipping
to her side, and grasping her two hands in
Anita sighed deeply, a sigh of utmost satis-
faction, and closed her eyes.
Presently she opened them.
"I want to see Bob, alone," she said.
At this moment a trained nurse entered.
She had been on duty from the first day of the
"Anita is raving," she observed calmly, dis-
engaging Bob's hand from Anita's clasp, and
motioning him away. In a matter-of-fact
manner she took Bob's place, and made it
clearly felt that she was unaware of his exist-
Miss Trainer, the nurse, was an uncertain
young woman of an uncertain age. She was
single, because in her younger days, she had
been so intent on having a good time as to take
no thought of life's responsibilities. She be-
longed to the ranks of the foolish virgins; and
LUCKY BOB 211
is not for one moment to be confounded with
these brave and noble single women who have
elected to live a life of virginity in the world
because they have chosen for love of Christ
the better part, or because unable to give them-
selves entirely to God in the religious life, they
have sacrificed themselves on the altar of self-*
denial, giving up all for the sake of imperative
duty or for those near and dear to them. Nor
is Miss Trainer to be considered in any way a
representative of the splendid body of trained
nurses whose lives are lives of unselfish service.
She had become a nurse for the sake of pin-
money. Her service was a matter of dollars
Anita was far from being pleased with Miss
Trainer's proceedings. She glanced at the
nurse with reproving eyes.
"I want to be alone with Bob," she said.
"Some other time, dearie," said the nurse
with an attempt at a smile.
"Now!" said Anita.
'We're old friends, rniss," explained Bob
with his kindliest expression. "I'll do my best
not to let Anita get excited, and I'm very
pleased to make your acquaintance," he added
Miss Trainer softened.
"I really think," she said, smiling naturally
212 LUCKY BOB
this time, "that you've got the right manner
with sick people. If Anita gets excited call
"Bob," said Anita when the two were alone,,
"am I very sick?"
"What makes you ask that?" asked Bob
"Because I heard our doctor say something
to the nurse, and I heard him say 'very sick'
and 'death.' Do you think I'm going to die.
"O, dear Lord, no!" protested Bob. "I'll
not let you."
"Now, Bob; promise me this: if I'm in dan-
ger I want to be baptized."
"Haven't you ever been baptized?"
"No, Bob; and I want to be a Catholic."
'That's fine, Anita; what put it into your
'You did; you're a Catholic."
"But suppose I were not, wouldn't you want
to be a Catholic, then?"
"Yes," answered Anita after a pause during
which she picked the coverlet. "I would. My
brother has told me ever so many things that
he brought from Campion College ; and Lucille
is always talking about Catholics and what
they believe. She's going to be one, too."
"But why don't you ask your father?"
LUCKY BOB 213
"You see, Bob, he's not a Catholic. Now,
Bob, won't you promise me?"
"Sure, Anita; and I'm going to explain the
whole thing to your father." Saying this, Bob
went to the door and called for Mr. Reade and
"Mr. Reade," he said, "our little girl there
wants to be a Catholic."
Mr. Reade looked startled, then puzzled,
"So do her mother and Lucille and Tom.
Certainly, let her be one. The whole family is
going that way thanks to Tom and Lucille."
A little gurgle of delight came from the
"And if she gets dangerously ill," continued
Bob, "she wants to be baptized right away."
"In that case, I'll go for a priest myself,"
said Mr. Reade.
Very soon the grateful Anita fell into a
gentle slumber with Bob at her side. As the
night wore on, she became restless.
"Miss Trainer," said Bob, as the clock was
striking eleven, "don't you think that Anita is
Miss Trainer, who, taking advantage of
Bob's vigil, had been sleeping quietly in an
armchair, arose, felt the child's pulse, and took
214 LUCKY BOB
"I'm afraid she's much worse," said the
nurse; and going to the telephone, she called
for the doctor, who when he arrived found the
entire family at the child's bedside.
The doctor seemed at a loss.
"It's a peculiar case," he said, addressing
Mr. Reade, "and I confess I don't quite under-
stand it. Anita is now, I firmly believe, in a
very dangerous condition."
"Is the danger acute?" asked Mr. Reade.
"I dare not say it is not," the physician made
answer. "If the child gets through the night,
and rallies sufficiently, I would advise you to
take her to Cincinnati to my friend Dr. Bern-
son, who is the best specialist I know of in chil-
"And so you think there's immediate dan-
ger?" asked Bob.
"There may be," returned the doctor. "I
fear there is : we can only hope."
"Mr. Reade," said Bob. "How long will it
take to get a priest?"
"At least one hour, my boy."
"Then," said Bob, "we've got to do it at
'Without a priest?" asked Mr. Reade.
"Dear father." said Lucille, "in case of ne-
LUCKY BOB 215
cessity, any one may baptize. That's what the
Catholic Church teaches. Bob, here, by pour-
ing the water and saying the words can make
Anita a child of God and an heir of heaven,
so that in case she dies, she will be received
forthwith in the arms of her Saviour."
Anita, who for some time had apparently
been unconscious, raised her eyes.
"Baptize me, Bob," she said.
Mrs. Reade threw her arms about the child's
neck, and bestowed upon the little one all those
fond endearments which only mothers know.
Lucille hastened away, returning at once with
a vase filled with water.
Then, while the mother and the older sister
supported the fast-failing child, Bob with a
fervor which was in itself a sermon to all pres-
ent, first prompting Anita to making acts of
faith, hope and love, poured the water on her
head, saying slowly, distinctly and reverently,
"I baptize thee in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
Bob after a short pause held a crucifix to the
child's lips. Anita kissed it, then throwing
her glance upon all present, smiled, said in
triumph, "Now," and sank into unconscious-
Father," said Lucille, the tears shining in
her beautiful eyes, "I think it would be the
216 LUCKY BOB
proper thing now to wait on the priest at St.
Raphael's and tell him what has been done."
"Yes," said Bob. "We've done our best;
but surely he can do more."
"I'll motor over to Father Lilly at once,"
said Mr. Reade.
When, escorted by the lawyer, Father Lilly
entered the sick-room, he was startled and edi-
fied to discover the entire family kneeling in
prayer about the unconscious child.
"First," he said after a hurried greeting.
"I'll read a blessing over little Anita."
Taking out his stole and a tiny booklet,
Father Lilly sprinkled the room and the child
with holy water, and proceeded to read certain
prescribed prayers. Finally using the Eng-
lish tongue he said, while holding his right hand
upon Anita's brow, "They shall lay their hands
upon the sick, and they shall recover. May
Jesus, the son of Mary, the Lord and Re-
deemer of the world, through the merits and
intercession of the holy apostles Peter, Paul
and all His saints be favorable and gracious
unto thee. Amen."
There was a moment's silence, broken by a
gentle sigh from Anita, who then opened her
eyes, once more threw a glance of triumph
upon all present, and again said with still
greater emphasis, "Now!" But she did not
LUCKY BOB 217
close her eyes this time. She directed her gaze
upwards and said :
"I feel that blessing. It's good."
She no longer gasped: her breathing had be-
"I think," remarked the priest with joy on
his face, "that there'll be no need to give Anita
"She's wonderfully better," added the nurse.
"The danger, for the present, is past."
"And to-morrow," said Mr. Reade. "I
take Anita to Cincinnati."
Then Anita looked interested.
"Can Bob come?" she suddenly said.
Mr. Reade looked inquiringly at Bob, who
nodded his head.
"Anita," said the father, "your mother must
stay with the children. But Lucille and I will
go, and Miss Trainer " Here he paused.
O," sighed Anita.
And Bob!" he added.
Anita closed her eyes, and said chirpingly,
Showing that even a hospital may be a de-
lightful place, and ending with a startling dec-
laration from the mouth of Miss Trainer.
FT was a beautiful morning in the first days
* of September. In a spacious and airy
jToom of the New Good Samaritan Hospital in
Cincinnati, Anita, seated, or rather reclining in
a Morris chair, was holding high court, sur-
rounded by her willing slaves, Bob, Lucille,
Mr. Reade, and, now fully as devoted as any of
them, Miss Trainer.
Six days have passed since we left them,
Anita is convalescent ; the glow has returned to
her cheek, gladness to her eye, and radiant ani-
mation to her sweet features.
She has been from her arrival the unspoiled
pet of the Hospital. Internes, nurses, and
gentle Sisters have vied with one another in
showing her every possible attention. The little
child has received all these manifestations of
love with easy grace. But she has been bois-
terously delighted with the way in which Bob
has won the affections of all.
Dr. Benson, the specialist in child's dis-
LUCKY BOB 219
eases, has pronounced Bob the most perfect
physical specimen of a boy he has ever met;
he has also been pleased to add that as a nurse,
Bob is in a class by himself. Indeed, the good
doctor has more than once expressed the opin-
ion that Bob, and not himself, had effected the
little one's cure; an opinion in which he has
been strongly backed by Anita herself.
Bob has won the heart of every sick child in
the splendid hospital. Among them his popu-
larity has become so great that Anita has had
to struggle continuously against her feelings of
Most wonderful of all, Miss Trainer has
completely changed her attitude towards our
big-hearted hero and his friends. For the first
time in her life, the nurse has been brought to
see what big things are done by love and by
that lofty self-sacrifice which is the daughter of
love. Miss Trainer has been looking critically
into her own life: and has recognized, for the
first time, how empty and unlovely it has been.
Love has at last entered into her heart, and she
gives promise of being another woman for the
rest of her days.
"Bob," said Anita, "I'm almost ready for
my first Communion. Sister Clarence, after
my lesson this morning, said I might make it
220 LUCKY BOB
"And I'm going to serve the Mass that day,"
cried the boy joyfully. "I knew all my Mass-
prayers, except one long one, before I left
Matt. I've learned that now, and Sister Hen-
rietta has only to show me a few little things
I've got to do. I'm going to decorate the al-
tar: Sister Henrietta says I may. All the
flowers will be white : and the priest will wear
white vestments; and I'm getting up a choir
from the nurses, and we'll have the prettiest
celebration ever held in this Hospital."
"Anita and Bob," said Lucille, "I envy you
"Why, Lucille?" asked the boy.
"Because you belong to the Church I have
loved since my first days at St. Mary's Con-
"If I were in your place," said Bob sympa-
thetically, "I'd feel that way myself."
"Lucille," said Mr. Reade, laying his hand
on Anita's hair and stroking it fondly, "I have
something to tell you, which has an important
bearing upon what you have just said. When
we reached this hospital a few days ago, Sister
Henrietta led me into the chapel. I was very
despondent. The relapse which had come
upon Anita on the train worried me more than
I allowed myself to show; and the fear had
come back to me that I was to lose my dearest
LUCKY BOB 221
little girl. I really believe that Sister Henri-
etta read my thoughts. She's a wonderful
woman, holy, gentle and tactful. When we
came before a statue of the Virgin Mary, she
touched my arm lightly and whispered: 'Tell
her. tell the mother of mothers, about your lit-
tle Anita.' Before I knew it, I was kneeling
before the statue and begging for Anita's life.
Now comes the strange part. I said half
aloud, 4 O Mother Mary, if you spare my little
darling, you may have Tom and Lucille.'
"What did you mean, father?" asked Lu-
"That's what I've often asked myself since.
It was a strange thing for a lawyer to do to
make a promise first and afterwards to ask
himself what he meant by it. But that is pre-
cisely what I did. After thinking it over, I
have come to the conclusion that what I really
meant was that you, Lucille, and Tom are free
to join, as both of you have so often asked me,
the Catholic Church."
Bob jumped into the air, knocking his heels
together three distinct times- -Bob, who had
been the fat boy, now down to one hundred and
fifty-five pounds^ and as light upon his feet as
any athlete. Lucille, with a cry of joy, threw
her arms about her father, who, in turn, caught
Anita up and hugged her warmly.
222 LUCKY BOB
"Why," cried Lucille, flushing into new
beauty, "I may be baptized next Saturday and
go to Communion with Anita!"
"Glory, glory, halleluiah," broke in Miss
Trainer, adding in softened undertones,
" 'Yes, we shall gather by the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful bright river s
Yes, we shall gather by the river,
By the river's shining shore.'
Miss Trainer was getting religion.
"O Lucille," piped Anita, "hug me, hug me %
or I shall blow up."
An interruption brought this happy group
to earth again. Just as Miss Trainer \vas
breaking into "Onward, Christian Soldiers" in
a voice that had seen better days, Sister Henri-
etta entered the room.
"Good morning," she said brightly. "What
business have you in a hospital, Anita? If
you're sick, the whole world is in a dying condi-
tion. Here, Bob, are some letters for you."
While Sister Henrietta and the others fell
into a cheery conversation, Bob ran through his
"O listen," he said presently. "Here's a
letter from Mrs. Mose. Do you want to hear
LUCKY BOB 223
There was enthusiastic and unanimous as-
My dear Bob :
Your big package of tobacco and the twv
pipes came to us with your sweet letter. I'm
sorry that your friend Matt Morris didn't keep
that murderer of Hobo in the water till he was
drownded ; and Mose, who is deafer than ever,
joins me in my sorrow. Mose wants me to
tell you that he goes to Mass every Sunday,
and has made his first confession and Com-
munion. Mose was always good; but he is
now better than ever, never curses when he
thinks of it, and, if he weren't so darned deaf,
would be just perfect. His rheumatism
bothers him when he hasn't any thing else to
worry about. We talk of you every day, and
we hope every day that you'll come and see us
again; and stay as long as you like, and the
longer you like to stay, the more we'll like it.
The tobacco is fine, and the pipes are so pretty
that we hate to spoil them by smoking in them.
So we have hung them over our bed, and every
time we look at them we think of
ANNA AND MOSE.
P. S. Mose made me read him this letter
twice. He wanted me to read it a third time;
224. LUCKY BOB
but I told him I couldn't shout all day. He
wanted me to remind you that he can neither
read nor write, and that in his day he was the
strongest man from Dubuque to Davenport;
and he says that there's something wrong about
the ending of this letter ; but I can't make out
what he means.
'We'll have to visit Mose some day," said
"I love him," said Anita. "He is Bob's
"O goodness!" Bob suddenly exclaimed,
'just look at this !" And Bob held up a money
'What! More money, Bob?" exclaimed
"It's for fifty dollars," Bob continued.
"Now I have money enough to carry me
through another year of school."
"Did Mose send it?" asked Miss Trainer in-
"I rather think," said Mr. Reade, "that if
Mose had fifty dollars in possession at one
time, he would die of heart disease. More
likely it has come from John Symmes, the
landlord of the Blue Bird Inn, or his wife."
LUCKY BOB 225
"No," said Bob. "But listen, and you shall
hear. It's from Tom Temple."
"The tramp? My goodness!" said Lucille.
"Here's what he writes:
"My ships are beginning to come in. In the
last three weeks, six of my poems have been
accepted. There are four more out, and all
of them were written while you and I were
partners. From the time I met you, till, un-
der the saddest circumstances, we parted, I was
in a lyric mood. You brought poetry and love
into my life : and I translated them into verse.
One hundred dollars have been paid me for
those six poems, and as we were partners when
I wrote them, you supplying the capital and
the elan, you are entitled to half the profits;
and now that I have discharged this debt, my
spirits are rising, I am in lyric mood again, and
I am going to devote one week to verse : then,
ho ! for the open road. I purpose seeking The
Blue Bird Inn, that inn where the Blue Bird
really does mean happiness, and I intend
also, armed with your introduction, to visit that
family of nightingales, the Reades."
"What does he mean?" broke in Lucille, her
eyes shining and her cheeks aflush.
"I reckon," explained Bob, "that he gives
226 LUCKY BOB
you that name because I said the children all
had such pretty voices, and never spoke
roughly, but always gently; and that in doing
this they were trying to be as nice as Lucille
and their father and mother."
'Thank you, Bob," said Lucille, bowing low.
"But pardon the interruption. I like that
Tom Temple. Go on, please."
"If," Bob read on, "Miss Lucille is as gra-
cious and queenly and as beau-
"Skip that, skip that," implored the fair
subject of these encomiums, flushing more
deeply than ever.
"Well-er-hum O, here it is," continued
"I'm no longer, dear Bob, on the road that
leads nowhere. I've ordered my road, and
I'm going, God helping me, to follow it. It's
a road which is hedged in by discipline and self-
restraint, and it is loveliest in this that it leads
to home and to mother and to the smile of those
angel faces that I have loved long since but
"He is quoting Newman's Lead, Kindly
Light," Lucille interrupted. "I like any one
who likes that poem. I've used it as a prayer
whenever I'm in trouble. But go on, Bob."
LUCKY BOB 227
"God bless you, Bob. If I could get some
of your love into my poetry, my stuff would be
worth reading. Pray for
"Your unworthy friend,
"I'll pray for Tom Temple every day," said
"I should be pleased," observed Miss
Trainer, "to nurse Mr. Tom Temple through
typhoid fever or or yes, even through a bad
ase of small-pox."
In which Bob discovers why he came to Cin-
cinnati and enters upon a new and ordered life.
4 ' IVf R * ^ EAJDE >" sa id Bob, when the group had
-*** begun to recover from the effects of
Miss Trainer's rather startling statement,
"have you a good cigar about you?"
"Why eh yes," answered the puzzled
lawyer. "But you haven't taken to smoking,
Bob, have you?"
"O, no, sir ; that's not the thing for a grow-
ing boy. But there's an awful nice man on
this floor that I want to visit. He's stocky
and has the most likeable face. I've passed his
room several times, and he's always smiling. I
noticed that a lot of nice boys have been calling
on him, and they bring him flowers and fruit,
and they talk and laugh when they're with him.
He must be a mighty nice man, or those boys
wouldn't be coming from all over town to see
Mr. Reade drew from his coat pocket a
"There!" he said. "It's full: and I want
LUCKY BOB 229
you, Bob, to hold up the honor of Iowa. One
cigar! Give him the whole case."
"Thank you, sir. You always do more than
"Come in," said a cheery voice, as Bob
knocked at D 18.
Lying upon the bed, dressed in a lounging
robe, was the stocky man, whom Bob had so
favorably considered. He was on the sunny
side of middle life, with a square head, and dark
hair kept from curling by being cut rather
short. Beside him sat a boy of thirteen, neat
in dress, bright and alert in expression. On
Bob's entrance, the young visitor rose.
"Good morning, sir," said Bob with his very
best smile. "I've passed here several times,
and I noticed that you smoke. Would you
mind trying these?"
Instead of taking the case of cigars, the in-
valid caught Bob's arm and gazed closely upon
his features. It was a friendly gaze, not at
"Say, when you grow up, the world is going
to lose a great Center Rush."
"I never played football in my life," he
"But it's not too late. You will. I'm sim-
230 LUCKY BOB
ply delighted that you've come in to see me*
and I'm glad to have these cigars. And your
name is ?"
"Bob Ryan, sir."
"It's as good a name as Kelly or Burke or
Shea," said the man, shaking Bob's hand heart-
ily. "Bob Ryan, I want to introduce you to
my best scholar, Joe Kelly."
"Glad to meet you, Bob," said the smiling
Joe. "Gee! how I wish you had been in our
'Thank you, Joe. You you don't mean to
say that you're a teacher!" gasped Bob, turn-
ing to the invalid.
'That's the one thing I'm living for," an-
swered the healthy invalid, taking a cigar from
the case while Joe Kelly produced and lighted
"He's the teacher of our eighth grade," said
Joe proudly, "and it's the best eighth grade in
"Joe," said the man laughing, "you're preju-
"No, I'm not: it is the best."
'The eighth grade," gasped Bob, changing
"You seem to be very much interested," said
the teacher, taking a few grateful puffs.
"I should say I am. Why, the one thing
LUCKY BOB 231
I've been working for and dreaming of all this
summer is to make my eighth grade. Only-
Here Bob paused and blushed. "I want to
make it in a Catholic school."
Joe Kelly and his teacher broke into a laugh.
"Why, Bob," explained Joe. "Our teacher
is a Brother of Mary, Brother Cyril, and our
school is St. Xavier's."
"Excuse me," said Bob, and sat down.
"Are you feeling sick?" asked Brother Cyril
"No," said Bob. "I'm I'm startled.
Brother Cyril, I am awfully glad to meet you.
May I come back to see you ? I want to go off
and think. There are a lot of things buzzing
in my mind now: I'm just all upset. May I
come back? I want to have a talk with you."
"Indeed, I want you to come back. Let's
see : it's Thursday : suppose you come on Sun-
day afternoon. I want you to meet Father
Carney and Brother Winifrid, my superior.
They will both be here then."
'Thank you, Brother: and I'm awfully glad
to meet you, Joe: and I hope we'll meet often
And Bob, bewildered and dazed, went to the
chapel, remaining there for full half an hour.
The New f^-^ 1 Famaritan Hospital never
232 LUCKY BOB
had a more devout first communicant than little
Anita, a more fervent convert than lovely Lu-
cille ; a better server than Bob ; a more devout
choir than the sympathetic nurses and gentle
nuns. Miss Trainer attended the services:
she was so carried away that two tears of en-
thusiasm trickled down her face, the first tears,
positively, ever shed by her for anybody ex-
cept herself. Miss Trainer was beginning to
be liked : and she, in turn, was learning that a
little love for others goes a great way in this
not altogether unpleasant world.
At breakfast, held in honor of Lucille and
Anita, in a special room, Miss Trainer, blush-
ing, and looking for the nonce quite young,
presented Anita with a locket, and Lucille with
one of Father Lasance's prayer-books. She
had bought them with her own money.
Anita hugged her ; and once more the unself-
ish tear came to the woman's eye. For nearly
two weeks, she had been an unconscious pupil
in the school of kindness, one of the most catch-
ing and communicable things in the world.
"I want to announce," said Mr. Reade, "that
we start for Davenport next Tuesday : and I'm
sure," he added, "that much as we love our new
friends here, we'll all be glad to go."
The rejoicing was not general. Bob looked
troubled. Sinking his chin upon his fist, and
LUCKY BOB 233
supporting the elbow with his free hand, he
looked into space.
"What's the matter, Bob?" asked Mr.
"I don't know what to say, sir. I- -I'm not
sure that I'm going!"
"What!" was the general cry.
"If I don't," went on Bob, "if I have ta
leave you and Anita and Lucille and Miss
Trainer, it will be it will be medicine."
"Ugh!" shuddered Anita, the memory of
many a late potion still vivid.
"But," Bob continued, "I think I'll know by
When Bob entered Brother Cyril's room
that afternoon, he was received with open arms.
Brother Winifrid, the superior, a pleasant man
of fresh, rosy complexion, and winning man-
ners, and Father Carney, in charge of St.
Xavier's school, won his heart on sight.
"Aren't you rather old for the eighth
grade?" asked Brother Winifrid.
"I'm not quite fourteen, Brother."
Father Carney and the head brother ex-
changed glances of surprise.
"You look sixteen," said Father Carney.
"If Jack the Giant Killer were around, he'd
try to slay you out of hand."
"No wonder," put in Brother Cyril, "that
234 LUCKY BOB
Doctor Benson classes him as a perfectly nor-
mal and healthy boy the most perfect he has
"But you ought to have seen me two months
ago," said Bob apologetically. "I'd have
been a candidate for a fat man's race. In that
time I've taken off at least thirty pounds."
"You must have had some adventures, I
fancy," said Father Carney.
"I should say I had lots of them."
"And would you mind telling us your story,
Bob?" asked Brother Cyril. "And while
you're doing it, we'll each smoke one of your
very excellent cigars."
For the first time Bob told his adventures
without suppression. He felt that having fol-
lowed to the letter and in the spirit his father's
injunctions, he was now free to keep nothing
back. He had a most attentive audience.
"Who says that romance is dead?" cried
Father Carney when Bob had come to an end.
"It sounds like a fairy tale," said Brother
"But the funny part," added Bob, "is that
when I was talking with Brother Cyril here the
other day and I found out that he was a
Brother of Mary and teacher of the eighth
grade, it struck me all of a heap that without
thinking of it, I had come south and met my
LUCKY BOB 235
teacher and found my school; and that also
meant that I was to give up Anita, Lucille and
all the Reades, the nicest family I ever met."
"Oh," said Brother Cyril. "Now I under-
stand why you suddenly sat down and got so
"Just a moment before I met you, Brother,"
Bob went on, "I received a check for fifty dol-
lars from Tom Temple earned by him during
our partnership, and I said, 'That gives me
enough money to pay my way during my
eighth grade.' And even then it didn't dawn
on me that I ought to stay in Cincinnati."
"We'll be delighted to have you at our
school," said Father Carney. "Here," he
added, taking out a slip of paper, and writing
a few lines, "are the name and address of a
good woman on Pioneer Street, who will fur-
nish you with board and lodging, probably at
five dollars a week. I can assure you an ex-
cellent room and a good table."
"I think I can almost afford five dollars,
Father, and will it be near the church?"
"Three minutes of slow walking the way I
walk when I have a bill to pay will bring you
to St. Xavier's."
"And I can serve early Mass?"
"Certainly at half -past five o'clock, if you
236 LUCKY, BOB
"And now, Bob," said Brother Cyril, "sup-
pose you come over beside me. I want to find
out how you stand in the various branches."
While Bob and Brother Cyril entered into
close conference, Father Carney and the head
brother discussed from various angles the boy's
"Did you notice," commented Brother Win-
ifrid, "how lucky Bob has been?"
"No; I can't say I did," answered Father
"Take for instance his meeting Tom Tem-
ple just when he needed a friend."
"Yes ; but it was Temple who was lucky. It
was Temple who needed the friend. And
besides, Bob had to give him up."
"Well, then," pursued the brother, "take his
meeting with good old Mose. That was
"Luck for Mose yes. He's saved that old
fellow's soul and made him and his wife very
'What about the boat then, Father Carney?
He made $110.00 on the deal."
"He bought in the lowest and sold in the
highest market. That's business," returned
the priest with a grin.
'Well of course, you won't give in, and I
know you love to argue for the sake of argu-
LUCKY BOB 237
ment but what about the way he got into the
good graces of the Blue Bird Inn people, Mr.
and Mrs. Symmes?"
"That wasn't luck ; it was politeness. Don't
you teach your boys that it pays to be polite?"
"And just think, Father Carney, of his run-
ning in with Matt Morris. There's luck for
"It was Opportunity knocking at Bob's
door, and lucky Bob opened and welcomed his
"I suppose," said Brother Winifrid, throw-
ing up his hands in mock despair, "that you'd
say there was no luck about his finding his way
into the heart of Anita and Lucille, and the
entire Reade family."
"I certainly would," said Father Carney
stoutly. "Bob Ryan simply got what he gave.
And that's what happens to most of us in this
world. If we're small, we get small returns ; if
we're big, we land whales."
"What do you call luck, then, Father Car-
"Finding a pearl in an oyster."
"I just said Bob was lucky in order to start
you, Father ; for I know pretty well your senti-
ments on that subject."
"Oh, you did. Wanted to get me excited,
eh ? Well, you did take a rise out of me. But,
238 LUCKY BOB
to be serious about the niatter, did you notice
that Bob always enlarged upon the bright side
of telling his story. He spoke of the kind-
nesses he received; of the friends he made \ but
he said hardly one word of his hardships."
"Hardships!" exclaimed Brother Winii'rid.
"What do you mean? He had none." As
the head of the boys' department uttered these
words, there was a twinkle in his eye, which
escaped Father Carney.
"Oh, no; according to your ideas, a hardship
would mean losing a leg or a meal or a tooth
or a suspender button. It seems to me," con-
tinued Father Carney with renewed earnest-
ness, "that if I had met Bob Ryan three months
ago, I would have been extremely puzzled."
"As to what, Father?"
"As to how he would grow up. There he
was, a superman in good nature, overflowing
with love, and living in a town where blind cats
used to devour him with eyes of affection, and
lame dogs delighted to frisk about him, and
children, as though he were Castoria, used to
cry for him. Everybody loved him; he loved
everybody. But how was it all to end?"
"What's the answer, Father?"
"There's the trouble: I don't know the an-
swer. Love was the keynote of his life but
undisciplined love. Of course, we all know
LUCKY BOB 239
that love, properly understood, is the greatest
thing in the world; but we also ought to know
that love may have the defect of its qualities.
The affections have played the very deuce in
history. So, there was, I firmly believe, a
danger lurking for Bob in the years to come.
Then God stepped in (He loves that boy, I
fancy, in quite an extraordinary way), and
treated Bob as He treated Abraham. He sent
him into exile, cutting him off from the blind
cats who were to see Bob no more, from the lame
dogs, stopping their frisking, from the chil-
dren, from all his friends. I suppose, Brother
Winifrid, you'll say that was no hardship?"
"A small one."
"It would be small for me," said Father Car-
ney modestly; "but for Bob, who loved much,
it was terrible. The author of the Imitation
says, 'There is no life of love without pain.'
Because he loved, Bob suffered."
'That father of his was an unfeeling brute,"
said Brother Winifrid.
"Not at all; I think he must be a very nice
'What!" exclaimed the brother, getting
excited himself, "after throwing him defense-
less upon the world!"
"Oh, he wasn't cruel at all."
240 LUCKY BOB
'Oh, look here, Father Carney-
'I repeat," interrupted the priest, "that his
father is a splendid man, and that you are
doing him a grave injustice."
"What do you mean, Father Carney?"
"That," said the priest, "is a question the
answer to which, as they say now-a-days, since
faith has gone out of fashion, is in the lap of the
gods. May we get the answer some day."
Father Carney paused a moment.
"But to return to our point. Don't you see
that this boy has gone through a process of
renunciation which has torn his very heart
strings? He lost Tom Temple ; lost Mose and
his wife; lost the couple conducting the Blue
Bird Inn, lost his boat, his dog, Matt Morris.
And now with a wrench which Brother Cyril
just glimpsed on Bob's first visit, he gives up
the Reades. All the same, he has through
these very hardships undergone a training of
heart which, I hope, will stand him in good
stead for life. The smile of God is upon
him ; but Bob has suffered keenlv, and his suf-
fering will, I hope, prove to be his greatest
'Father," said the brother, "I believe you
are right and I perceive that Brother Cyril
has put the boy through his paces."
"I've passed," cried Bob triumphantly, smil-
LUCKY BOB 241
ing upon his two critics, who had, it need
scarcely be said, discussed his story and himself
in lowered tones.
"He has," said Brother Cyril; "and passed
very well, too. In literature, he is unusually
excellent ; in grammar, good ; as to arithmetic,
I'm sure, with a little help, he'll get through."
"Father Carney, if you don't mind, I'll go
and tell Mr. Reade that I intend remaining.
It will be pretty hard. Anita will make an
awful row. Why are we always bidding our
friends good-by in this world anyhow?"
"Just to let us know, Bob," said Father Car-
ney, "that we are in a place of exile, in a place
which, if there were no separation, we might
love too well. By renunciation, my boy, by
such renunciation as you have made, and are
making, in giving up the Reades, you are learn-
ing the great lesson of loving wisely."
Bob was quite right in his conjecture as to
the way Anita would take the news. For a
time, she would not be consoled. Then her
father took her aside, and whispered into her
ear a most solemn secret, which he commis-
sioned her to impart to Lucille, who hearing
it dropped her grief like a mantle. Miss
Trainer, too, became a party to it.
Whenever Bob entered the room, he noticed
that the four, in earnest converse, would break
242 LUCKY BOB
off awkwardly, look mysterious, and show in
various ways that he was the subject of their
"I guess," thought Bob, "that they are
thinking up some scheme to get me back. But
they'll not succeed."
On Monday morning, Mr. Reade announced
that he was going to the city to make arrange-
ments for their departure.
"Pa, mayn't I go with you?" said Anita,
addressing her father, but eyeing Bob. "I
haven't been out since we came to the hospital."
"And I," said Lucille, "want to do a little
"If Anita goes," put in Miss Trainer, "I feel
it my duty to be with her."
"We'll all go," said Bob.
Anita looked embarrassed.
"I think," said Mr. Reade, "that Brother
Cyril, who after three weeks of rest cure is
quite himself, wants to have a little talk with
you before he leaves. You know, he goes
"And," added Anita, "the little boy with the
broken leg wants to know when you're coming
to the ward to play with him. I promised him
you'd be around this morning."
"There's a new patient, a boy of your age,
just arrived an hour ago," added t^e nurse,
LUCKY BOB 243
"and lie has heard about you, and has asked to
"And besides, Bob," Lucille said, "as I
won't be here, and can't visit rny sick friends,
I want you to take my place."
Clearly Bob was not wanted.
The party, accordingly, went off without
him, and returned in the afternoon. On Tues-
day, the day of their departure, the day, also,
of the opening of school, they went shopping
again. In the meantime, Anita grew more
mysterious, and the conspiracy seemed to grow
deeper. Bob did not present himself at St.
Xavier School on the opening day: he wanted
to give it entire to his dear friends.
Anita broke down once more at the hour of
parting. Bob gave her a box of candy, and
she still wept. Then the boy said he would
write her every week, and the tears in her eyes
became irresolute. To clinch matters, he sol-
emnly averred that he would think of her every
day, whereupon there occurred, upon Anita's
face, a terrific collision between smiles and
The train moved out ; and once more the op-
pressive feeling came upon Bob that he was
"Halloa, Bob," said a cheery voice; "we've
been waiting for you."
244 LUCKY BOB
It was Brother Cyril who spoke. With him
was Brother Winifrid.
"Why, how's this ?" cried the boy. "I didn't
expect to meet you here."
4 You didn't? There are always surprises
in this world," said his new teacher. "Where
did you propose to go now?"
'To Pioneer Street. I've got the address
in my pocket."
"Well," said Brother Winifrid, "we've come
down to see you safe there. We have inter-
viewed the lady of the house, and she has
agreed to take you for $3.50 a week."
"I thought it would be five."
'The price she makes you is special; and
you're not to talk about it."
Brother Cyril did not feel free to state that
Mr. Reade was secretly to make up the differ-
"That means," said Bob, "that I'll have
pocket money, and won't have to worry at all."
On their walk through the heart of the city.
Brother Cyril kept Bob busy puzzling out co-
nundrums, in such wise that the boy forgot his
loss of friends and laughed and chattered as
though he never had a care.
In due course they reached Bob's future
home on Pioneer Street, and, warmly
LUCKY BOB 245
corned by the kind woman of the house, were
led upstairs to the second floor front.
When they entered, Bob gave a gasp of
delight. It was a large airy room, with win-
dows opening south and west. It was, in fact,
a very big room for a small boy. But it was
not the size of the apartment which elicited
Bob's gasp of delight. The room was in fit-
tings and appointments a thing of beauty.
Everything was spick and span and new.
There was a brass bed shining in the electric
light. There was a dresser made to delight the
heart of a boy. There was a trunk with "B.
R." stamped upon its side; there was a hand-
bag. Flowers were on the mantel, flowers on
a dainty table; flowers over an artistic book-
case. About the mantel hung a pair of swords
and of boxing gloves; beneath these, dumb-
bells and Indian clubs. On the walls were fine
copies of masterpieces, and, over the bed a
beautiful photograph of little Anita.
"By George !" cried the boy, and he gasped
"Look," said Brother Winifrid, throwing
open the trunk.
Bob did so. There were clothes of all de-
'What does it mean?" said the boy, running
246 LUCKY BOB
through the contents. "There's enough there
to last me the whole year."
"Head the card tagged on," suggested
Bob read: "To Bob Ryan in gratitude
from John S. Reade."
"Look," said Brother Cyril, standing at the
"Why there's all of Dickens, and a lot of
nice books I've just heard of," said Bob.
"Notice the bottom shelf; all the text-books
for the 8th grade. Here's the tag for this."
"To Bob from Lucille," Bob read aloud.
"Well, I'll be switched," he added.
"Look," said the lady of the house, pointing
to a mahogany roll-top desk.
"JSly!" exclaimed Bob, throwing up the
There was an open note on the desk.
This is your desk to write me a letter every
week. Look x x x x x x one thousand of them.
It was full half an hour before Bob had done
with admiring the perfect appointments of his
new home. He considered it, after the inspect
tion, a sort of kidoor Fairyland.
LUCKY BOB 247
"To-morrow, Bob," said Brother Cyril, "I
expect you in our class. We have thirty-four
boys already, and they are just the kind I
"I'll be there," said Bob gaily; "and I'm
going to work ; and to try to forget for a while
the one thing that troubles me."
"And what's that?"
"My father's sending me off in that strange
way. There's something behind it; at least I
feel that way."
"Pray daily, and put it all in the hands of
our Blessed Lady," said Brother Winifrid.
"Throw your trouble upon the Lord," added
Brother Cyril, "and He will take care of you.
He has done it all these weeks you have wan-
dered. Trust Him for this, too."
How far right Brother Cyril was will be
shown in a future account of Bob's adventures.
"Well, Bob," said the head brother, taking
the boy's hand, "it's getting late. So good
night, and pleasant dreams."
"Good night, Bob," added Brother Cyril.
"You're starting out with two friends, and to-
morrow you'll have a classroom full. I really
hate to leave this beautiful room with its fit-
tings and flowers. What do you think of it,
Bob paused, placed one hand under his chin,
248 LUCKY BOB
supporting its elbow with the other, and said:
"It's it's Love!"
Then they left him; and Bob, taking one
more eager look about the room, knelt at the
prie-dieu and picked up the beautiful crucifix
Miss Trainer's gift and gazing upon the
thorn-crowned figure cried out once more :
"It's Love; it's Love!"
<n HAL CIRCULATION
PQDSTED BY BEXZIGEB BROTHERS, NEW YOKE
JUL 13 1948