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Petersburg Press (Newspaper) - November 5, 1915, Petersburg, Indiana
The f it Rige by Francis Lynde illustrations by c. D. Rhodes by Charles Sendner s sons chapter i. At chaudiere s. It was at chaudiere s that Griswold had eaten his first breakfast in the Crescent City and it was at chaudiere s again that he was sharing a Farewell supper with Bainbridge of the Louisi Anian. Six weeks Lay Between that and this forty Odd Days of discouragement and failure super added non other similar Days and weeks and months. Without meaning to Bainbridge had been strewing the path with fresh thorns for the Defeated one. He had just been billeted to write up the banana Trade for his paper. Boys Fly jubilant Over the assignment he had dragged the new yorker around to chaudiere s to a Small parting feast. Not that it had required much persuasion. Griswold had fasted for 24 hours and if Bainbridge were not a Friend in a Purist s definition of the term he was at least a Friendly acquaintance. The Burden of the table talk fell upon Bainbridge and it occurred to the Host that his guest was less than usually responsive a fault not to be lightly condoned under the joyous circumstances. Wherefore he protested. Quot what s the matter with you to i alight Kenneth old Man you re More j than commonly Grumpy it seems to i 3ie and that s Griswold looked up with a smile that was almost ill natured and quoted cynically Quot Auto everyone that hath shall be Given and he shall have abundance but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath Quot Bainbridge s laugh was tolerant enough to take the Edge from his retort. Quot that s a pretty thing to fling at a a Nan who never knifed you or Pistole you or tried to Poison you an innocent bystander might say you envied Quot i do Quot rejoined Griswold gravely. Quot i envy any Man who can earn enough Money to pay for three meals a Day and a place to sleep Quot of cat s foot a anybody can do that Quot asserted Bainbridge with the air of one to whom the struggle for existence has been a Mere athlete s practice run. Quot i know that is your theory. But the facts disprove it. I can to for Griswold was a fair Man with Reddish hair and Beard and the Quick and sensitive skin of the Type. A red flush of anger crept up under the closely cropped Beard and his a eyes were Bright. Bainbridge scoffed openly but he was Good natured enough to make amends a it Hen he Sau that Griswold was moved. Quot i take it ail Back Quot he said. Quot i sup a Oose the Book Chicken has come Home a again to Roost and a returned manuscript accounts for anything. But a seriously Kenneth Jou ought to get Down to cd Rock facts. Nobody but a crazy phenomenon can find a publisher for Iii first Book nowadays unless he has had some sort of an introduction in the magazines or the Quot Quot newspapers. You Haven t had that so far As i know you Haven t tried . Quot of. Yes have tried and failed. It in t in me to do the scalable thing and there in t a Magazine editor in the country who does t know it by this time. I toil you Bainbridge the conditions Are All wrong when a Man with a vital to his kind can t get to deliver it to the people who want to hear Bainbridge ordered Hie Small cot fees and found his Cigar Case. Quot that is about what i he Coni Niento d i up it gently. Quot you could t Vici p your Peculiar views Muz led even when you were writing a bit of a pot boiler on sugar planting. Vou drop your fool socialistic iad and write a Book that a reputable publi.=her can bring out without committing commercial , and you la stand some Quot Call it what you please names Don t change facts. Listen Quot a Griswold leaned upon the table his eyes grew hard and the Blue in them became metallic Quot for More than a month i have tramped the Street s of this cursed City . That is the word begging for work of any kind that would suffice to Kee body and 30ul together and for More than Liaf of that time a a have lived on one meal a Daj. That is what to have come to we of the sgt emerged majority. And hat in t a. The wage worker himself when he is fortunate enough to find a Chance to earn Iii crust is but a serf a chattel among the other possessions of some fellow Man who has acquired him in the plutocratic redistribution of the Earth and the a fullness Bainbridge glanced at his w -.tch. Quot i must be going Quot to said. Quot the drops Down the River at eleven flow Are you fixed for the a present and what Are you going to do for the future Quot Olswold b smile was not pleasant to look at. I am fixed to run Twenty fou by Charles Sendner s sons hours longer thanks to your hospitality. For that length of time i presume i shall continue to conform to what we have been taught to believe is the immutable order of things. After that Quot he paused and Bainbridge put the question. Quot Well after that what then Quot Quot then if the Chance to earn is still denied me and i am sufficiently hungry i shall stretch Forth my hand and take what i Bainbridge fished in his pocket and took out a ten Dollar banknote. Quot do that first Quot he said offering Griswold the Money. The Prole tary smiled and Shook his head. The fruit Steamer Adela Tado outward bound was shuddering to the first slow revolutions of her propeller when Bainbridge turned the key in the door of the Stuffy Little stateroom to which he had been directed and went on deck. Quo Why hello. Brof in How Are you old Man where the Dickens did you drop from Quot it was the inevitable Steamer acquaintance who is always at hand to prove the trite narrowness of the Quot you could t keep your Peculiar views world and i ainu Rise kick ii a chair into co ii rarely place for him. , Liu avy bowed and clean Slyven save for a Ticic Mustache that hid the hard fitted Mouth replaced the chair to suit Iii Irilli and sat Down. In appearance he was a Cross Between a Steamboat Cai Iain on a vacation and an up River j Plantation overseer recovering from his annual pleasure trip to the City. But his reply to Bainbridge s query proved that he was neither. Quot i did t drop i walked. More than that i kept step with you All the Way from chaudiere s to the levee. You d be dead easy game for an Quot you la get yourself disliked the first tiling you know Quot said Bainbridge laughing. Quot can t you Ever forget that you Are Iti the Man Hunting business where Are you headed for. Boitin Quot the Man who Milit have passed for a Steamboat Captain or a Plantation overseer and was neither chuckled dryly. Quot you Don t my to give it to you and you a newspaper Man do you but 1 you can t get it on the wires. I m going Down to guat email her Quot the Cresci iut Bank defaulter by a love you be found him at last have you Quot the Date Civ nodded. Quot i be been two years off and on. Trying to locate Al Oriki ii and now that i be found him he is Liere lie can t be . All Trio same i la bet you five to one lie i Back with me in the next Steamer what Quot chapter ii. The right of might. Two Days after Ilie Suppf r at chaudiere s the a impetuous routine of the Quarter of new of leans was rudely by the Shock of a genuine sensation. To Slitter at a blow the most head venerable of the Louiie precedents the sensational thing chose for its col esses were All serious and whose Hobby was method or. Galbralth had established a custom of giving himself a quiet half hour of inviolable seclusion in which to read and consider his mail. During this sacred interval the stenographer standing guard in the outer of Bce had instructions to deny his chief to callers of any and every degree. Wherefore when at 20 minutes to 11, the door of the private office opened to admit a stranger the president was justly annoyed. Quot Well sir what now Quot he demanded impatiently taking the intruder s measure in a Swift glance shot from beneath his Bushy White eyebrows. The unannounced visitor was a Young Man of rather repossessing appearance a trifle tall for his breadth of shoulder fair with Blue eyes and a Curling Reddish Beard and Mustache the former trimmed to a Point. So much the president was Able to note in the appraise be glance and to remember afterwards. The caller made no reply to the Curt question. He had turned and was closing the door. There was a quiet insistence in the act that was like the flick of a whip to or. Galbraith s irritation. Quot if you have business with me you la have to me for a few minutes Quot he protested still More impatiently. Quot be Good enough to take a seat in the anteroom until i ring. Macfarland should have told the Young Man Drew up a chair and sat Down ignoring the request As if he had failed to hear it. Ordinarily or. Andrew Galbraith s temper was equable enough the age cooled temper of a methodical gentleman whose Long upper he was in itself an advertisement of self control. But such a deliberate infraction of his rules coupled with the Stony impudence of the visitor made him Spring up angrily to ring for the watchman. The intruder was too Quick for him. When his hand sought the Bell push lie found himself looking into the muzzle of a revolver and so was Fain to fall Back into his chair gasping Quot a he Quot he stammered. And when the words could be managed Quot so that s it is it a you re a robber Quot Quot no Quot said the invader of the presidential privacy calmly speaking for the first time since his incoming Quot i am not a robber save in your own very limited definition of the word. I am merely a poor Man or. Gal Braith one of the uncounted thousands and i want Money. If you Call for help i shall shoot you. It is merely a question of Money and if you Are amenable to reason Quot Quot if i my but i m of amenable to your reasons Quot blustered the president recovering a Little from the first Shock of terrified astound ment. Quot i re j fuse to listen to them. I la not have anything to do with you. Go away Quot j the Young Man s smile shoved his Teeth but it also proved that he was not wholly devoid of the sense of humor. Quot keep your temper or. Galbraith Quot he advised coolly. Quot the moment is mine and i say you shall listen first and obey afterwards. Otherwise you die. Which is it to be choose quickly time is the president yielded the first Point that of the receptive ear but grudgingly and As one under strict compulsion. \ Quot Well Well then out with it. What have you to say for yourself Quot Quot this you Are Rich you represent j the existing order of things. I am poor and i stand for my necessity which is higher than any Man made Law or custom. You have More Money j than you can possibly use in any legitimate personal channels i have j not the Price of the next meal already Twenty four hours overdue. I came Here this morning with my life in my hand to invite you to share me a portion of that which is yours chiefly by the right of Possession if you do it Well and Good if not there will to a new president of the Bayou state Security. Do 1 make myself sufficiently explicit Quot Andrew Galbraith glanced furtively at the paper weight clock on his desk. It was nearly eleven and Macfarland would surely come in on the stroke of the hour. If he could Only fend off the c catastrophe for a few minutes until h do should come lie searched in his pockets and Drew Forth a handful of coins. The invader of Priva cies glanced at the clock in his turn and Shook his Quot but Man be re clean Daft do be think i have Quot in the midst of his vehement protests the stranger sprang out of his chair stepped Back a Pace and raised his weapon. Quot or. Galbraith you Are juggling with your life write a Check while there is yet time Quot the Hammer of the levelled pistol clicked. Andrew Galbraith shut his eyes and made a Blind grasp for pen and Check Book. His hands were shaking As with a palsy but the fear of death steadied them suddenly when he came to write. Quot endorse it Quot was the next command. The voice a had ceased beyond the partition and the dead silence was relieved Only by the Laboured strokes of the president s pen and the tap tap of the typewriter in the adjacent anteroom. The Check was written and endorsed and under the menace of the revolver Andrew Galbraith was trying to give it to the robber. But the robber would not take it. Quot no i Don t want your paper come with me to your paying Teller and get me the Money. Make what explanation you see fit but remember if he hesitates you they left the private office together the younger Man a Short half step in the rear with his pistol bearing hand thrust under his coat. The president did not despair. In the lobby there would be eyes to see and perhaps some that would understand. Or. Galbraith took a firmer hold upon his self Possession and trusted that some Happy Chance might yet intervene to save him. But Chance did not intervene. There a goodly number of customers in the space but not one of the half dozen or More who nodded to the president or passed the time of Day with him saw the Eye Appeal which was the Only one he dared to make. On the Short walk around to the paying Teller s window the robber kept even step with his victim and try As he would Andrew Galbraith could not summon the courage to forget the pistol muzzle menacing him in its coat covered ambush. At the paying wicket there Only one customer instead of the group the president had hoped to find a Sweet faced Young woman in a modest travelling hat and a Gray coat. She was getting a draft cashed and when she saw them she would have stood aside. It was the robber who anticipated her intention and forbade it with a courteous gesture Whereat she turned again to the window to con ii Iii her Small transaction with the Teller. The Tew moments which followed were terribly trying ones for the Gray haired president of the Bayou state Security. None the less his brain was Busy with the Chance Ful possibilities. Failing All else he Vas determined to give the Teller a warning signal come what might. It was a duty owed to society no less than to the Hank and to himself. But on the Quot How will you have it Quot he asked and it was the stranger at or. Galbraith s Elbow who answered Quot one thousand in fives tens and twenties Loose if you please the remainder in the largest denominations put up in a the Teller counted out the one thousand in Small notes quickly but he had to leave the Cage and go to the vault for the huge remainder. This was the crucial moment of peril for the robber and the president stealing a glance at the face of his persecutor saw the Blue eyes blazing with excitement. Quot it is your time to Pray or. Galbraith Quot said the spoiler in Low tones. Quot if you have Given your Man the signal Quot but the signal had not been Given. The Teller was re entering the Cage with a Bulky packet of Money paper. Quot you need t open it Quot said the Young Man at the l>re6ident 8 Elbow. Quot the Bank s count is Good enough for and when the window wicket had been unlatched and the Money passed out he stuffed the Loose Bills carelessly into his pocket put the package containing the ninety nine thousand dollars under his Arm nodded to the president backed swiftly to the Street door and vanished. Then it was that or. Andrew Galbraith suddenly found speech opening his thin lips and pouring Forth a torrent of incoherence which presently got itself translated into a vengeful Hue and cry and new Orleans the in impetuous had its sensation ready made. Quot you Are merely trying to gain time and you know it or. Galbraith. My living Point with orderly one j stake in this game is much More than of the oldest and most a handful of Charity Silver and i of the City s Banks the state Don t do you the injustice to believe Security. Quot at ten o clock following that you hold your life so cheaply precise habit of half a lifetime you who have so much Money and or. Andrew Galbraith president of at Best so few years to the Bayou state a nth Rod his private j the president put the Little Heap room in the rear of the main banking j of coins on the desk but he do not apartment opened his , and and i abandon the Gle for delay. Dressed himself to the business of the Day. At half past the hour the president was left alone to read his correspondence. Being a Man Whoso mental proo Quot what s your Price then Quot he demanded As one who May consider a Compromise. Quot one Hundred thousand dollars in the Hammer of the levelled pistol clicked. Pinnacle of Resolution at the instant when with the robber at his Elbow he stepped to the window and presented tiie Check Andrew Galbraith Felt the gentle pressure of the pistol muzzle against his Side nay More he fancied he could feel the cold chill of the Metal strike through and to rough him. So it came about that the Fine Resolution had quite evaporated when to said with what composure there was in him Quot you la please give me currency for that. Johnson Quot the Teller glanced at the Check and then at his Superior not too inquisitively since it was not his business to question the a resident s triumphed once safely in the Street Kenneth Griswold with a thousand dollars in his pocket and the packet of banknotes under his Arm was seized by an impulse to do some extravagant thing to celebrate his Success. It had proved to be such a simple matter after ally one bold stroke a tussle happily bloodless with the plutocratic dragon whose hold upon his treasure was so easily broken and Presto the hungry Prole tary had become himself a Power in the world Strong to do Good or evil As the gods might direct. This was the prompting to exultation As it might have been set in words but in Griswold s thought it was but a Swift suggestion followed instantly by another which was much More to the immediate purpose. He was hungry there was a restaurant next door to the Bank. Without thinking overmuch of the risk he ran and perhaps not at All of the audacious subtlety of such an expedient at such a critical moment he went in sat Down at one of the Small Marble topped tables and calmly ordered breakfast. Since hunger is a Lusty special pleader making itself heard above any pulpit drum of the higher faculties it is quite probable that Griswold dwelt less upon what he had done than upon what he was about to eat until the Hue and cry in the Street reminded him that the Chase was begun. But at this not to appear suspiciously injurious he put on the mask of indifferent interest and asked the waiter concerning the uproar. The serving Man did not know what had happened but he would go and find out if i Sieu so desired. Quot a Sieu Quot said breakfast first by All Means and information afterwards. Both came in due season and the hungry one ate while he listened. Transmuted into the broken English of the Gascon serving Man the Story of the robbery lost nothing in its sensational features. It was very evident that the plutocratic dragon did not intend to accept defeat without a struggle and Griswold set his wits at work upon the problem of escape. Quot it s a Little queer that i had t thought of that part of it before Quot he mused sipping his Coffee As one who need not hasten until the race is actually begun. "1 suppose the other Fel Lov the real robber would have figured himself safely out of it or would have thought lie had before he made the break. Since i did not i be got to do it now and there in t much time to throw away. Let me see Quot he shut ills eyes and went into the inventive trance of the literary craftsman Quot the keynote must be originality i must do that which the other fellow would never think of on the strength of that decision he ventured to order a third cup of Coffee and before it had cooled he had outlined a plan Basing it upon a Cross questioning of the Gascon waiter. There had been but one Man concerned in the robbery and the sidewalk gossip was beginning to describe him with discomforting accuracy. Griswold paid his score and went out boldly and with studied nonchalance. To reasoned that notwithstanding the growing accuracy of the Street report he was still in no immediate danger so inn As he remained in such close proximity to the Bank. It was Safe to assume that this was one of the things the professional Quot Strong Arm Man Quot would not do. But it was also evident that he must speedily lose his identity if he hoped to escape and the lost identity must leave no Cave to itself. Griswold smiled when he remembered How in fiction of the Felon catching sort and in real life for that matter the Law breaker always did leave a clue for the pursuers. Thereupon arose a determination to demonstrate practically that it was quite As Pok Siblo to create an inerrant fugitive As to conceive an infallible detective. Joining the Passera by on the sidewalk to made his Way Leisum by to cd Nal Street and thence diagonally through the old French Quarter i War the French Market. In a narrow Alley giving upon the if Evee he finally found what he was looking for a Dingy Salk ors Barber s shop. The Barber was a negro fat unctuous and sleepy look ing and he was alone. Quot yes Sah shave Boss Quot asked the negro bowing and scraping a foot when Griswold entered. Quot no a hair the customer produced a Silver half Dollar. Quot go somewhere and get me a Cigar to smoke while you Are doing it get a Good one if you have to go to canal Street Quot he added climbing into the rickety chair. The fat negro shushed out scenting tips. The moment he was out of sight Griswold took up the scissors and began to Hack awkwardly at his Beard and Mustache awkwardly but swiftly and with Well considered purpose. The result was a fairly Complete metamorphosis easily wrought in place of the trim Beard and Curling Mustache there was a rough stubble stiff and uneven like that on the face of a Man who had neglected to shave for a week or two. Quot there i think that will answer Quot he told himself standing Back before the cracked looking Glass to get the general effect. Quot and it is decently original. The professional cracks Man would probably have shaved whereupon the first Amateur detective he Griswold went out smiling Between his Teeth. Met would reconstruct the Beard on the sunburned lines. Now for a pawnbroker and the More avaricious he happens to be the better he will Servo the he vent to the door and looked up and Down the Alley. The negro was not yet in sight and Griswold walked rapidly away in the direction opposite to that taken by the obliging Barber. A pawnbroker s shop of the kind required was not far to seek in that locality and when it was found Griswold drove a hard bargain with the portuguese jew behind the counter. The pledge he offered Vas the suit to was wearing and the bargain Iii concluded in an Exchange of the still serviceable business suit for a pair of Butternut trousers a second hand coat too Short in the sleeves a flannel shirt a Cap and a red handkerchief these and a sum of ready Money the Small Ness of which he deplored piteously before he would consent to accept it. The effect of the haggling was exactly what Griswold had prefigured. The portuguese most suspicious of his tribe suspecting everything but the truth flatly accused his customer of having stolen the pledge. And when Griswold departed without denying the charge suspicion became conviction and the pledged clothing which might otherwise have Given the police the needed clue was carefully hidden away against a time when Tho jew s apprehensions should be quieted. Having thus disguised himself Griswold made the transformation artistically Complete by walking a few squares in the dust of a loaded Cotton float on the levee. Then he made a tramp s bundle of the manuscript of Tho moribund Book the pistol and the Money in Tho red handkerchief and having surveyed himself with some satisfaction in the bar Mirror of a Riverside pot House a daring impulse to test his disguise by going Back to the restaurant where he had breakfasted seized and bore him Uptown. The Experiment was an unqualified Success. Tho proprietor of the a Ink neighbouring cafe not Only failed to recognize him he was driven Foith with reviling in idiomatic French and broken English. Quot Bete go Back on a Leve i v Ere you belong to go. I la been Kip Iii. Dis cafe for Ghent Lorenl a Elcrat go Quot Griswold went out smiling Between his Teeth. Quot that settles Tho question of identification and present Safi to Quot he assured himself exult Antly. Alien Quot i believe i could walk into the you state Security and not be re of As before the daring impulse Wii , and he gave Jilaine to it on the Pur of the in Omchit. L i Ili is a five Dollar Bill in the mud of the Gutter he ent boldly into the Bank and asked the paying Teller to give Hin Silver for it. The Teshu sniffed at the Money scowled at the Liuigi Ami tier nod Back to his Ca Ili Book without a word. Griswold s smile grew to an inward laugh when he reached this Street to be Conan Ltd i. I
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