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Full text of "Lucky Bob"

NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES 



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LUCKY BOB 



FATHER FINN'S FAMOUS STORIES 

Each volume with a Frontispiece, 
net, $1.25. Postage lOc. 

CANDLES' BEAMS. Short Stories 

SUNSHINE AND FRECKLES 

LORD BOUNTIFUL 

ON THE RUN 

BOBBY IN MOVIELAND 

FACING DANGER 

His LUCKIEST YEAR. A Sequel to "Lucky Bob" 

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.'"- 
163. 



LUCKY BOB 



BY 

FRANCIS J. FINN, S.J. 

Author of "Percy Wynn," "Tom Playfair," 
"Harry Dee," etc. 




NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO 

BENZIGER BROTHERS 

Printers to the Holy Apostolic See 



COPYRIGHT. 1917,, BY BENZIGEB B8OTHJKBS 



THE NEW 

PUBLIC 



A? 
T'LDF. N. 



.,. . 



e 

l 

* * 



* 

* 



Printed in the United Stales of America. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I AGE 

Introducing an unkind father and an astounded son , 9 

CHAPTER II 

Introducing under rather extraordinary circumstances a 
literary tramp 19 

CHAPTER III 

Discovering a winding path, an open road, a savage dog, 
and dinner for two 35 

CHAPTER IV 

Wanderings through woods, down roads, and in litera- 
ture. Bob, captured by a band of children, escapes by 
turning into an angel nurse . 44 

CHAPTER V 

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 

CHAPTER VI 

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 

5 



6 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VII 

Introducing a doctor who puts service before money, and 
bidding farewell to the repentant Tom Temple and the 
once happy partnership, untimely dissolved 81 

CHAPTER VIII 

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 

CHAPTER IX 

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 

CHAPTER X 

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 

CHAPTER XI 

Fishing and bpatin^ ; -i day, o.n the 1 - riverj and farewell to 
the Reades . 149 



CHAPTER 

In which Bob makes fashionable: ,frJdnd, Hobo proves 
to be the hero of the tfay> 'and . ^- Wanderer passes to 
other hands 155 

CHAPTER XIII 

Discovering a new fairy island, and bringing Bob a new 
friend and a new manner of life . . . 171 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER XIV 

In which Bob goes into regular training with wonderful 
results, becomes a bird charmer, and spends three happy 
weeks in the woodlands 185 

CHAPTER XV 

In which the birds desert Bob, and Hobo, the noble dog, 
performs a supreme service for his beloved master . . 199 

CHAPTER XVI 

The Reade family again. Anita still insists on having 
her way, with the usual result 206 

CHAPTER XVII 

Showing that even a hospital may be a delightful place, 
and ending with a startling declaration from the mouth of 
Miss Trainer 218 

CHAPTER XVIII 

In which Bob discovers why he came to Cincinnati and 
enters upon a new and ordered life 228 



LUCKY 




CHAPTER I 

Introducing an unkind father and an 
astounded son. 




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 
) 9 



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 
up. 

"Now you needn't pretend you're hurt," 
cried the elder, harshly, as w r ith stiff awkward- 

4/ * 

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 
brow. 

"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 
Dubuque." 

"Not at all; you're not going back to 
Dubuque." 

"I'm not?" 

"Decidedly not." 

"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 
stay south." 

"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 
your name." 

"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 
live." 

"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 
then" 

"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 
stoutly. 

"You may keep the Bob, but you must drop 
the Evans." 

"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 
brow. 

"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- 
est name." 

"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 
boy. 

"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 
world?" 

"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- 
pant. 

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- 
board. 

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 
earth. 

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. 



CHAPTER II 

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 



ti 

19 



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 
remained open. 

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- 
tual. 



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- 
ing?" 

"I often wake up laughing, sir, if that's what 
you mean." 

"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 
banquet." 

"What?" 

"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." 

"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 
good." 

"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 

Bob Ryan." 

"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- 
self." 

"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 
strawberries. 

'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 
with it." 

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 

secret?" 

"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- 
ther." 

"As I was saying, I lived in Dubuque, and 

I was happy till last night; and then 

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- 
ther. 

"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- 
bered Bob. 

"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 
laugh " 

"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 
cackle." 

"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- 
ing " 

"And did he caution you not to squander 
it?" 

"What's that?" 

"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 
every day?" 

'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 
Tom. 



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 
got mad." 

'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 
dogs?" 

"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 
Confession." 

"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 
puzzled. 

"Any more friends?" 

"Oh, just shoals of them. Even the girls in 
our grade like me ; and they don't niind letting 
me know." 

"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." 

"Why 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 



cc 
c< 



me." 



C( 

(t 



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 



LUCKY BOB 

worth loving. As a poet you will one day love 
says: 

'He prayeth well who loveth well 
Both man and bird and beast.' 

"I'd like to read some more of that poet," 
said Bob. 

"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 
enthusiasm. 

"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 
southward." 



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 
pen. 






CHAPTER III 

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 
goes?" 

"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 

evening prayer; 
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 

V 

more: 

35 



LUCKY BOB 

'You tramp along its dusty way, beneath its 

shadowy trees, 
And hear beside you chattering birds or 

happy, booming bees, 
And all around you golden sounds, the green 

leaves' litanies.' 



"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 " 

"How's that?" 

"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 
prose." 

"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 
poetry. 

A few moments later the path took a sudden 
turn, disclosing to the two tramps "an ordered 
road." 

"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 
rear. 

"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 
head. 

"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 
proper place. 

"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 
him." 

"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 
grinned. 

"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 
learned." 

"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 
a day." 

'That's it. And I want you to see that we 
get it." 

"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 
fair!" 

"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 
cook." 



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." 

"You wiH!" 

"I won't." 

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 
please." 

"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- 
steak. 

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- 
steak dinner. 

Bob had engaged to do the "cleaning up." 
His work was simpler than he anticipated. 
When dinner was over there was nothing left 



CHAPTER IV 

Wanderings through woods, down roads, 
and in literature. Bob captured % a band of 
children, escapes by turning into an angel 
nurse. 

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 

44 



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 
slumber. 

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 
ensued. 

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 
farmer. 

'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 
host. 

'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- 
by." 

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 
woman. 

"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 
quite distraught. 

"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 
the sick." 

"Come on, my dear," said Jones. 

The woman looked in astonishment at the 



50 LUCKY BOB 

i 

rosy-cheeked cherub, and her husband followed 
her example. 

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 
smile imaginable. 

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- 
nounced. 



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- 
blingly. 

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* 
fection. 



CHAPTER V 

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- 
ple. 

"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 
hours." 

"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 
the situation. 

"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 
more. 

"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." 

"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 

you." 

"And have you found out what it all 
meant?" 

"Let me ask you a question. Have you 
ever signed any documents at your father's re- 
quest?" 

'Why, yes; I did twice. It was just a few 
weeks ago." 

"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 
Dubuque." 

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 
promise?" 

"Anything she wants I'll do," said Bob, ac- 



LUCKY BOB 57 

cepting the envelope and putting it in his 
pocket. 

"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- 
well. 

After their twelve o'clock meal, Bob took out 
the envelope and tore it open. 

"O look!" he exclaimed, waving a crisp 
twenty-dollar bill. 

"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 
scribbling." 

"Well, Cherub of Iowa," queried Tom Tem- 
ple half an hour later, "have you done your 
thinking?" 

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- 
ders." 

"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." 

"What 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 
feeling blue." 

"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 
scared." 

"My nerve is gone. Don't mind me, Bob. 
I'm sowing what I have " 

Just then the rain began to fall upon them 
torrentially. 

"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 
hasd." 

"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 
dog " 

"There are some mighty nice yellow dogs," 
interpolated Bob. 

"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- 
pathetic cherub. 

"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^ 
tion." 

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 
around here?" 

"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 
you?" 

"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 
ev'y nide." 

'That's fine," said Bob, at once enthusiastic 
and puzzled. "And she's strong and well, 
too?" 

"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 



comin', 



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 
and far. 

"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 
pointed skywards. 

"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 
welcome." 

"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?" 



LUCKY BOB 

"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 
bit deef." 

"Much obliged to you for telling me," 
roared Bob. 

"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 
new chapter. 



CHAPTER VI 

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 
anything else. 

Against the wall and beneath the window 
opposite the entry, a very old woman, with 
eyes of heavenly blue, was sitting full-dressed 

68 



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 
wet." 

"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 
the cotton. 

"Anna!" put in the ancient fisherman, "de 
t'under he am gone down de river. Trow de 
cotton away." 

"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 
Tom. 

"What?" shouted the woman, looking at 
,Temple's lips. 

"I said, ma'am, that I noticed it; but it's 
not going." 

"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 
about it." 

"Wood! Dere is tree log behin' de stove," 
remonstrated Mose sweetly and with raised 
forefinger. 

"Go on!" yelled the old lady waving her 
pipe wildly. 'We want more." 

"The genteelman sore! Dey are not 
sore." 

"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 
with whiskey. 

"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- 
ceptible eagerness. 

"Child," continued the old lady, "will you 
take a little?" 

"The stove is good enough for me, thank 

you." 

"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. 

v 

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 
smoke." 

"Drat this weather," said the wife. "It al- 
ways makes Mose deafer when it rains and 
thunders." 

"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 
than fiction." 

"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* 
uratively. 

"That's fine!" he said, catching his breath. 

Mose carefully replaced the bottle and the 
plank, pumped up some water and filled a 
glass. 

"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 
all herselve." 

"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 
prudence. 

"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 
for myself." 

"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 
Bob. 

"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 
good taste." 

"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 
fool." 

"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 
boy. 

"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 
Mississippi fish." 

"And mighty good fish it is, Mrs. Mose, 
and a mighty good cook you are," yelled 
the Cherub, very red faced from exer- 
tion. 

"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- 
nival. 

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* 
panion. 

Taking his arm, Tom Temple led him to the 
river bank. 

"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- 
ing." 

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 
loose. 

"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 
that!" 

But before Bob could reach him, Tom 
plunged into the river, and sank at once. 



CHAPTER VII 

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! 
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 

81 



82 LUCKY BOB 

of a minute; and when they arose, Bob, who 
had swallowed much water, was quke ex- 
hausted. 

"Here! Catch hoi' I" cried a voice from the 
shore. 

Bob's despairing eyes turned and perceived 
a long stick within easy reach. He caught it 
at once. 

"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 
down. 

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. 

"Yes!" 

"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 
unknown. 

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 
gone." 

"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 
did." 

"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 
nauseous medicine. 

"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- 
ment. 

"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 
the elbow. 

"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 
out longer. 

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, 
found him. 

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- 
ket?" 

"The fines' blanket you ever see," answered 
Mose. 

"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 
invalid. 

Bob looked as though he were about to 
weep. 

"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 
were extraordinary." 

"Thank you, sir," said Bob, smiling 
brightly. "And you'll be sure to tell him that, 
won't you?" 

"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- 
pital, doctor?" 

"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?" 

"Fifty-nine dollars." 

"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 
your money." 

"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 
piety. 

"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 
machine." 

"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 
baton. 

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 

OJ> 

going? 



"South, ma'am." 

"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 
Mahometan." 



- 




CHAPTER VIII 

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- 
erman. 

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 
law." 

"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- 
tured." 

93 



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- 
pital." 

"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 
him." 

"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- 
wards." 

"Good-by, officaire." 

"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 
anything wrong." 

"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 
it better." 

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 
plight ! 

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 
Bob warmly. 

"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 

you." 

"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 
his legs." 

"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 
brick-dust coloring. 

"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 
seven." 

"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- 



ing 



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 
time. 

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- 
ton." 

"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 
sprinter. 

"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- 
peared, crying 

"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 
ancient. 

"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 
paddles. 

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- 
a-way." 

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 
just started. 

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 
known him. 

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- 
nine. 

"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 : 

"Han's up!" 

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 
face. 

"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 
paddle alone." 



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- 
coaches ?" 

"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- 
selve." 

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, 
Bob." 

"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 
the minuet. 

"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 
get it." 

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 
every Sunday?" 

"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. 

"Why certainly." 

"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 
Church." 

Bob was correct in his opinion. The fields 
are still white for the harvest ; the laborers still 
too few. 

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 
wonder. 



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 
to shore. 

"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 
saint." 

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 
more speech. 

"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 



me.' 



His paddle was about to fall, when Bob 
shouted : 



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 
wet eyes. 



CHAPTER IX 

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 
the story. 

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 

114 



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 
Inn." 

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 
said. 

"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 
fully good." 

"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 
wash?" 

"Thank vou; I surely do." 

\j * / 

The innkeeper led the smiling lad, who was 
wonderfully quick to react to kindness, into a 
small compartment. 

"There you are," he said; "soap, towels, 
bath, hot and cold water all at your serv- 



ice.' 



"Gee!" said Bob, 'I'd like to be an inn- 
keeper like you !" 

The man departed, leaving in his path a trail 
of laughter. 

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 
real appetite?" 

"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 
him. 

"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 
speaker. 



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 
hour." 

"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 
'to me." 

"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 
it." 

"Hey, Earl Berter," called the innkeeper, 
"come over here." 

The young boat owner approached slouch- 
ingly. 

'Would you mind showing your boat to 
this boy?" pursued the host. 

'What! do you want to buy?" gasped the 
youth. 

"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- 



ing. 

"And I want cash." 



LUCKY BOB Itl 

"I understand." 

"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 
boat." 

"Do those things go with the boat for the 
price?" 

"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- 
structions." 

"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 
the fifty." 

"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 

v 

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 
stern?" 

"Yes." 

"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- 
posely." 

"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 
is yours." 



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 
hampers. 

"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 
woman. 

Bob interrupted his caresses to greet the inn- 
keeper's wife. 

"Here, Jack," she said, after returning 
Bob's hearty salutations, "put those hampers 
aboard." 

"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 
days." 

"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 
railroads." 

"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 
love you." 

"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 

<tf 

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." 

"But where?" 

"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 
meet expenses?" 

"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 
appended. 

"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, 
Mose." 

"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 
whine. 

'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 
friend.' " 

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- 
by!" 

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. 
Symmes. 

"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 
of grief. 

"Take the dog; he wants you," said Mrs. 
Symmes. "It's most extraordinary that he 
should take to you the way he does. Call 
him." 

"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 
tongue. 

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 
the motor. 

"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. 



CHAPTER X 

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 
over night. 



"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- 

132 



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 

*> v 

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 
happy. 

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- 



LUCKY BOB 

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 
day. 

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 
little ride?" 

"Oh, I should just love it!" said the older 
girl. 

"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 
again. 

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 
enthusiastic. 

"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 
Alice. 

"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 
Hobo objects!" 

Then everybody began to talk to Bob, whose 



LUCKY BOB 

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," 
warned Tom. 

"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 
Bob. 



140 LUCKY BOB 



"Anita, I'm sorry; and I won't never do it 
no more." 

Whereupon, from her throne on high, Anita 
leaned down and kissed her offending brother, 

" 'Oh, blessings on the falling out,' " quoted 
Tom, 

" '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 

ftp 5) 

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- 
lably delighted. 

"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 master. 

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 
you want?" 

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 
afraid?" 

"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 
him. 

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 
their mother. 

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 
world. 

"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 
night." 

At this all the little ones began to talk at 
once. 



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 
him." 

"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 
eyes. 

"Of course." 



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 
heart." 

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- 
morrow." 

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 
stream. 

For the first time in several weeks Bob spent 
the night surrounded by all the comforts of 
civilization. 



CHAPTER XI 

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 
awake. 

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 

149 



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 
marry me." 

"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 
senior. 

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 
eye. 

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- 
colored eye. 

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 
and deceit. 

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- 
ther's house. 

"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 
them. 

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 
dock. 

Then after a hearty supper came the sweet 
sorrow of parting. One would have thought 
that Bob and the Reade family had grown up 
together. 



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. 



CHAPTER XII 

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 

V 

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 
it is. 

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- 

/ r 

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 

155 



156 LUCKY BOB 

water. "Would any of you like to take a little 
ride?" 

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 
of superioritjr. 

"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 
trv it." 

V 

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, 
Roydon." 

"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 
river. 

"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 
shoes. 

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. 
"I'm afraid!" 

"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 
down-stream. 

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- 
der. 

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- 
tomime. 

"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 
smiled again. 

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 
inquiiy. 

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 
the dog. 

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 
Roydon. 

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 
heart pulsation. 

"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 
eyes. 

"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 
staying power. 

"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 
The Wanderer. 

"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 



LUCKY BOB 

Kyan! Tell me honestly, do you need any 
money?" 

"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 

V ' 

of me." 

"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 
The Wanderer. 

"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- 
enty-five dollars." 

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- 
tude. 

"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 
debtor." 

"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 
him?" 

"Hobo! Hobo!" cried Bob. "Come here!" 

With two eager leaps, the dog was beside 
his master. "Now, Mr. Spain, call him to 
you." 

"Hobo, Hobo!" cried the man. "Come, 



come !" 

61 



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." 



CHAPTER XIII 

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- 
lated sadly. 

Hobo, considering that the remark was ad- 

171 



172 LUCKY BOB 

dressed to him, placed his fore feet upon his 
master's shoulder. 

"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 
creation." 

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 
water: 

Campion will shine to-night, 

Campion will shine! 
Campion will shine to-night, 

Campion will shine! 
When the sun goes down and the moon 
goes up, 

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 
and winked. 



174 LUCKY BOB 



"Good morning!" cried Bob, "I like your 
canoe." 

"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 
Reade." 

"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 
stroke !" 

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 
canoe. 

"And your dog what's his name?" 

"Hobo." 

"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 
Tom Reade." 

"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. 

I. 

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? 

II. 

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. 

III. 

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. 

"Why?" 

"Because he's my friend." 

'You are lucky to have such a friend. By 
the way, my name is Matt Morris; what's 
yours?" 

"Bob Ryan." 



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." 

"Why?" 

"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 
old Hobo." 

"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, 
too." 

"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- 
tures." 

Into a cozy little cove, Matt Morris steered 



LUCKY BOB 

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 
cottonwood. 

"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 
the path. 

"Is this the way to fairyland?" ejaculated 
Bob. 

"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- 
ing. 

'This is fairyland," ejaculated Bob, glowing 
with delight. 

"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! 
what's this?" 

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 
few minutes." 

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- 
terest. 

"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 
story." 

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 
him." 

'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 
corporated. 



CHAPTER XIV 

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- 
terpolated Bob. 

"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." 

"You were?" 

"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 



185 



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- 
tion," 

'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 

V 

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 
o'clock Mass." 

"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 
every day." 

' 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?" 

"What?" 

"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. 

V 

"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 
ways better." 

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- 
pensed with. 

"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 
memory forever. 

/ 

On Monday there came letters from Tom 
Temple and from Anita, Tom wrote as fol- 
lows: 

"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 
night. 

'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. 
Write again. 

'Your devoted debtor, 

TOM TEMPLE. 



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 
labor. 



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. 

"YOUR ANITA." 

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- 
lete. 



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 
minstrelsy. 

"Evidently," said Matt, "that bird was once 
somebody's darling." 

"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. 

mf C? 

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 
the master. 

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 
stayed?" 

"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 
last!" 

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. 



CHAPTER XV 

In which the birds desert Bob, and Hobo, the 
noble dog, performs a supreme service for his 
beloved master. 

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- 
tered nervously. 

"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- 
thetically pleading. 

"Go!" shouted Bob sternly. He was cruel, 
as he thought, only to be kind. 

Then, in utter desolation, the dog obeyed the 

199 



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 
here." 

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 
ground. 

"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 
more trouble." 

"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 
something." 

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 
neck. 

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 
dog alive." 

"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- 
utes." 

"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 
our Master." 

"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 



sense.' 



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. 



CHAPTER XVI 

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 
favor." 

"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 
too." 

"You are!" 

"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." 

"Hobo, that splendid dog? Tell me about 
it." 

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 
universe." 

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- 
bracing sense. 



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 
than words. 

"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 

his. 

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 
child's sickness. 

"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- 
ence. 

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 
and cents. 

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 
with deference. 

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 



me in.' 



"Bob," said Anita when the two were alone,, 
"am I very sick?" 

"What makes you ask that?" asked Bob 
evasively. 

"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. 
Bob?" 

"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 
head?" 

'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 
Lucille. 

"Mr. Reade," he said, "our little girl there 
wants to be a Catholic." 

Mr. Reade looked startled, then puzzled, 
then pleased. 

"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 
child. 

"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 
growing worse?" 

Miss Trainer, who, taking advantage of 
Bob's vigil, had been sleeping quietly in an 
armchair, arose, felt the child's pulse, and took 
her temperature. 



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- 
dren's diseases." 

"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 
once." 

"Do what?" 

"Baptize her." 

'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- 



ness. 

Cfi 



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- 
come easy. 

"I think," remarked the priest with joy on 
his face, "that there'll be no need to give Anita 
Extreme Unction." 

"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, 

"Good night." 



& 

cc 

it 



CHAPTER XVII 

Showing that even a hospital may be a de- 
lightful place, and ending with a startling dec- 
laration from the mouth of Miss Trainer. 
i 

/ 

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- 

218 



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 
jealousy. 

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 
next Sunday." 



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 
two." 

"Why, Lucille?" asked the boy. 

"Because you belong to the Church I have 
loved since my first days at St. Mary's Con- 
vent." 

"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 

m 

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- 
cille. 

"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 
mail. 

"O listen," he said presently. "Here's a 
letter from Mrs. Mose. Do you want to hear 
it?" 



LUCKY BOB 223 

There was enthusiastic and unanimous as- 
sent. 

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 

Yours truly, 

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. 

ANNA. 



'We'll have to visit Mose some day," said 
Mr. Reade. 

"I love him," said Anita. "He is Bob's 
friend." 

"O goodness!" Bob suddenly exclaimed, 
'just look at this !" And Bob held up a money 
order. 

'What! More money, Bob?" exclaimed 
Mr. Reade. 

"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- 
nocently. 

"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: 

"Dear Bob: 

"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 
Bob. 

"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 
lost awhile." 

"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, 

"TOM TEMPLE." 

"I'll pray for Tom Temple every day," said 
Anita. 

"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." 



CHAPTER XVIII 

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 
him." 

Mr. Reade drew from his coat pocket a 
cigar-case. 

"There!" he said. "It's full: and I want 

228 



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 
I ask." 

"Come in," said a cheery voice, as Bob 
knocked at D 18. 

Bob entered. 

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 
all embarrassing. 

"Say, when you grow up, the world is going 
to lose a great Center Rush." 

Bob chuckled. 

"I never played football in my life," he 
said. 

"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 
class." 

'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 
a match. 

"He's the teacher of our eighth grade," said 
Joe proudly, "and it's the best eighth grade in 
the city." 

"Joe," said the man laughing, "you're preju- 
diced." 

"No, I'm not: it is the best." 

'The eighth grade," gasped Bob, changing 
color. 

"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 
anxiously. 

"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." 

* 7 

"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 
again." 

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. 
Reade kindly. 

"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 
this evening." 

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 



ever seen.' 



"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 
Winifrid. 

"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 
confused." 

"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 
wish" 



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 
unusual story. 

"Did you notice," commented Brother Win- 
ifrid, "how lucky Bob has been?" 

"No; I can't say I did," answered Father 
Carney. 

"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 
lucky." 

"Luck for Mose yes. He's saved that old 

^ 

fellow's soul and made him and his wife very 

mi 

happy." 

'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 
you." 

"It was Opportunity knocking at Bob's 
door, and lucky Bob opened and welcomed his 
guest." 

"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- 
ney?" 

"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 
man, indeed!" 

'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 
blessing." 

'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 
discussions. 

"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 
shopping." 

"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 
to-day." 

"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 
see you." 

"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 
tears. 

The train moved out ; and once more the op- 
pressive feeling came upon Bob that he was 
alone. 

"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- 
ence. 

"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 

<j 

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 
again. 

"Look," said Brother Winifrid, throwing 
open the trunk. 

Bob did so. There were clothes of all de- 
scriptions. 

'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 
Brother Winifrid. 

Bob read: "To Bob Ryan in gratitude 
from John S. Reade." 

"Look," said Brother Cyril, standing at the 
book-case. 

"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 
cover. 

There was an open note on the desk. 

Dear Bob: 

This is your desk to write me a letter every 
week. Look x x x x x x one thousand of them. 

Your loving, 

Anita. 

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 
want." 

"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?" 

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!" 



THE END, 



<n HAL CIRCULATION 

CHILDREN'S ROOM 

PQDSTED BY BEXZIGEB BROTHERS, NEW YOKE 






JUL 13 1948