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The shabby old man was lost to sight, "Not often, lads, on the road of life
Will you get a surprise like this;
But, wherever you go, you may surely know With his round and smiling face.
These never can come amiss: “Now, isn't this pretty good luck?”laughed he, A friendly word and a kindly deed, “You did n't expect to be meeting me!" And a helping hand in a time of need!"
By ADAIR ALDON
SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS INSTALMENT In the small town of Ely, in the Rocky Mountains, Beatrice Deems, her sister Nancy, and her invalid aunt have settled down for the summer, ostensibly for Aunt Anna's health, although the girls begin to surmise that there may have been another reason for their coming. On the mountain-side above the town is a tract of land and a cabin which belong to Beatrice, given her by her father. They find the town full of foreign workmen, employed by the construction company that is completing an irrigation project for the valley. Beatrice rides up the mountain to explore her possessions. On the way back she meets and makes friends with Christina Jensen, a Finnish woman, whose brother Thorvik is an agitator among the workingmen. That same night rioting breaks out among the men, buildings are set on fire, shots are heard, and soon after, there is a violent knocking at their outer door.
been fighting with the irrigation company's
watchmen. With this wind, the whole town THE DEPARTURE OF JOE LING
may catch, and they don't care. You and For a moment, Beatrice paused on the land- your aunt must get away as quickly as you ing to consider who it might be who knocked
There is a train goes through in an at the door.
hour, so you must hurry. We could n't find “Was it Christina?” she wondered; "or Dan, but Sam has hitched up and will take had some of those shouting men
you down.” She was startled by a sound within the “We will go at once,” Beatrice agreed. house—the noise of a door opening and clos- She turned back to the living-room to gather ing softly. She had turned on the light up such essential possessions as could be put above her head and could see, in the shaft together for hasty packing. In the midst of brightness which it dropped through the of her wild preparations, however, Aunt window, that some one had slipped out from Anna, with Nancy, came slowly down the the side entrance just below. The stealthy
The stealthy stair, looking very white and frightened. figure of Joe Ling, the cook, with a pole bal- “What are you doing?” she questioned; anced over his shoulder, and at each end of it and from the combined explanations of a heavy basket, was slipping away into the Christina, Sam, and her nieces, she seemed dark with that short-stepping trot of a somehow to divine what had happened. hurried Chinaman. He had brought those
“You may take the girls to the station,” same baskets, containing his varied posses- she said to Sam. “They can travel back sions, to their house three days before. It alone, but I am not going.” was plain that he not only considered his “But you must!" cried Nancy. “You term of employment with them at an end, won't be safe. You can never get well in a but that he was about to shake the dust of tumult like this.” Ely from his silent, Chinese-slippered feet. Aunt Anna hesitated. She was growing
“And we ought to go, too,” Beatrice pon- whiter every moment. dered, staring fascinated at this ominous “I did not come here to get well," she said portent; “but how?”
at last. “I came for something very differShe called softly before she dared draw the ent. And I am not going back.” bolt of the front door, and was inexpressibly She swayed and caught at the railing, too relieved to hear the sound of a woman's ill to argue further. Nancy Aung her arms voice. On the threshold stood Christina Jen- about her while she still strove to speak. sen, and with her was Sam, Dan O'Leary's She sent Beatrice a desperate, imploring helper at the livery-stable.
glance when no words would come. “This boy here seemed like to wake the "You must make her go,” Christina indead with his knocking,” the woman said, sisted. “Sam can lift her on the train. “but we could n't be sure we were heard She will thank you in the end." above all this noise." There was no need Beatrice shook her head. for explanations, with that red flare light- "I don't understand why she wants to ing the whole village. “Things have broken stay," she said, “but stay she shall. There loose quicker than we thought; the men have is only one other thing to do. We will go to set fire to one of the warehouses and have the cabin up on the mountain. Sam, can
you get the keys from Dan O'Leary's house? but warmed to his narrative as he went on. The place has been used lately and it is safe "We were both working with the ditching from this fire, at least. Nancy, get Aunt gang, out along the river. We liked Dan Anna's things and I will pack up the rest. O'Leary, but we did n't much fancy the We can't start too soon.”
Bohunks that we had to work with. Olaf Half an hour later the rickety old carriage was always telling them that they would do was groaning and lurching up the mountain anything for money and nothing without road. Very little was said as they climbed it, and he was about right. I had gone to steadily up and up through the dark. town this day, but Dan told me afterward Beatrice, looking back, could see the red
what happened. It was a hot, clear mornflames still leaping madly, could hear, though ing, and Olaf suddenly straightened up and faintly, the shouts of the men as they ran pointed over to a high rock beyond the river, here and there to bring fresh fuel to the fire. Mason's Bluff, a place well known to be She turned at last to Sam, beside whom she dangerous. There seemed to be a
. sat in the front seat, and fell to asking hanging by a rope half-way down the face of questions.
the cliff, not able, so it looked like, to get up "Will the strike last long, do you think?” or down. The laborers did n't take much she began.
interest; said any one was a fool to tackle Sam chuckled. “It's not a strike—that 's such a climb, and they would n't, one of just where the pinch is. While they were them, budge an inch to go and help him. holding their meeting and arguing about Then Olaf said, just kind of casual, 'it must how soon they should quit, there comes word be that scientist fellow that was in the camp from the company that the work is shut yesterday.
yesterday. Do you remember that rich down until further notice. The men had all tenderfoot that went around spending money just been paid, but something has gone and tapping rocks? Every man dropped
' wrong with the money end of the business, his tools at that, for if there is a chance for a people say, and there's nothing to go on with. reward, these fellows are on the job at once. Anyway, there's no strike; the men higher They all went scurrying down to the river, up beat them to it, and the Bohunks are in a getting across any way they could, and runChristina is right, the city of Ely, ning like rabbits through the brush, each one
, just now, is no place for ladies."
bound to be first on the spot.” "And this Thorvik was the man who "And did they save him?” Nancy, who wanted the strike?'' Beatrice asked.
was listening from behind, leaned over to “Yes, ma'am. Dan O'Leary used to be put the breathless question. the one the men looked up to—heis foreman of “The first ones were within a hundred one of the ditching gangs. Dan owns the yards when the man fell.” livery-stable and one of the stores, so being a The two girls gasped, but Sam went on property-holder makes him more careful with a dry chuckle: “They went nearer to than the rest. He's hot-headed enough, pick him up and found he was a dummy man, but things were n't so bad until this fellow stuffed with straw. Then they remembered out of Russia came to town. He's an ugly how Olaf had been laughing at them for customer and there's no knowing what he wanting money for whatever they did, and won't stir up.”
they came back in a pretty ugly temper, but Beatrice's mind was going back over the Olaf was gone. Probably he meant to go help Christina had given them and the odd anyway, and wanted to have a last fling." circumstances of that first meeting. She Sam drew up his horses, for they had come had one more question to ask.
into the shadow of the pines and had reached “Did you know Christina Jensen's son the gate. In the stillness, following the upOlaf, who went away a year ago?”
roar below, they could hear the weird yapping "Sure I did!” responded Sam, with enthus- of a coyote somewhere in the hills. iasm; "he was the best friend I ever had. I'm wishing," he added with a sigh, “that
CHAPTER IV things were so he could come home again."
NEIGHBORS "But why can't he?”
"There's Thorvik, that he hates; and be- “Do you remember," said Nancy, as she and sides, Olaf got into a a little trouble down Beatrice viewed each other across a wilderin the construction camp before he went ness of overflowing trunks, half-unpacked away." Sam began somewhat cautiously, boxes of bedding, baskets of china, and