Never Up—Never In!
C. W. STEPHENS
ON THE veranda of the Golf Club, overlooking the fair Canadian city of Ballater and the shimmering waters of Lake Ontario beyond, sat Mr. MacLatehie. He was just now as much at peace with the world as he was ever likely to be, for he was not the kind of man to be selected as the personification of pacificism.
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■nt of the Chorus Sues Millionaire - Heart Balm! Ardent letters! Million MacLatchie had read, tried to scoff, led: no need to tell him to watch his Wild horses would .not have dragged him into le with a lady, much as he loved golf, but to-day . rr--¿•med safe. Miss Fosdick, a visiting lady, - see fifty-five again, it signs were truthful, íe looked as if she could be trusted writh a defencead the kind of look that made Mactrink she might make him stay after school >arr : 'The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck.” as. he thought, the thinnest woman he had een; her lines were those of the homely ironing wr'r funny angles sticking out where you’d expert angles; nothing at all voluptuous about her^ kirt was short, revealing the thinnest legs Mace had ever looked upon in his limited experience table pipestems, the same size where they disced from view as at the ankles that threatened to poi mies through her stockings.
*"nH£ game was dull; it happened that Miss Fosdick * had a yard put for halved hole and match; she did her best, but the ball stopped six inches short of the hole, to the annoyance of MacLatchie. Got no legs. Ma’am! Got no legs!” he exclaimed petulantly. A pink flush came into Miss Fosdick’s cheeks, her eyes flashed fire. 'Sir!” she retorted, then the pipestems twinkled homeward. "What's wrong with her?” demanded MacLatchie. That was a nice remark to make to a lady,” said r - male adversary mischievously. “Maybe her legs are not much as legs, but they’re all the Lord gave her.” aid nothing about her legs,” protested the culprit. “I meant that the ball had no legs—you know the golf 3aying—‘Never Up, Never In’.” You'd best follow her. and explain that you didn’t slur her legs.” "Darned if I will,” replied the fiery MacLatchie. “No good ever came of a mixed foursome; I was a fool to join you.” At the club house MacLatchie saw his late partner preparing to drive away in a car at whose wheel was a large, red-faced man. A young lady occupied a seat in the luxuriously-upholstered tonneau. “A good game, Auntie?” MacLatchie heard the girl ask. The most unpleasant game of my life,” was the tart
response. Then the car moved off, out of MacLatchie’s hearing. “With whom were you playing?” asked the girl. “A creature named MacLatchie.” At the name the man at the wheel seemed strangely perturbed. “What’s that?” he demanded, nearly ditching the car. “I said the creature’s name was MacLatchie,” came the reply. “I’ll gamble it’s the old bottle thief,” said the man. “I know he lives out this way. What did he do?” “Never mind. Drive on!” “I won’t drive on. What had he to say about me?” “About you—what should he say about you?” “’Most anything. Look here, Mehitabel, what was it? I’m going to know if I have to drive back to find out,” said the persistent man. “It was something frightfully improper,” said thelady. “Out with it then. What—did—he—say?” “It was a rude remark about—about—about—well, my legs.” “Surely you are mistaken, Auntie?” said the girl. “Not at all. I’m neither deaf nor a fool; he said I had no legs.” “That’ll do! It makes no difference whether you’ve got legs or not, that’s no business of his. Hold fast while I swing the bus round.” “You will do no such thing, father,” said the young lady. “Just a couple of minutes, Ann, while I hand him one or two. I’ll buy you both hats and gowns—yes I’ll throw fur coats in for two little busy minutes,” the large man pleaded. “Hurry along, and don’t be a silly old duck,” said the girl. The large man succumbed seowlingly, and set the car in motion again. II
/YWEN TYSON was as near depression as one of his optimistic nature could be. He was an alert, well-set-up, smartly-dressed native of Ballater, one of the star salesmen of the MacLatchie Glass Bottle
Company, and was nearing Buffalo on his homeward way after three months on the road. In Buffalo , he had to meet Mr. MacLatchie, and anticipated the encounter with the zest of one about to have a leg amputated, without anaesthetics. From MacLatchie’s recent-letters Tyson knew that the old man meant to have an enjoyable time at his salesman’s expense. The fact was that Tyson’s trip had been rotten; the bottle towns had been arid as Sahara. If mankind had ceased to crave bottled refreshment and medicinal uplift in glass containers, the bottom of things was dropping out. He was mourning this when the train stopped at a station, passengers alighting and boarding. Suddenly - Tyson sat bolt upright and found interest in life. The girl entered like a radiant princess seeking her throne. The silver maple leaf at her throat indicated that she was Canadian, and Owen felt new pride in his country. He did not stop to analyse the beauty of the girl, but admired the whole girl, the finished work of creative genius. If he lingered on one par‘
ticular charm it was her red-gold hair. ‘ He would have lingered and admired still more but for an interruption. Usually he liked Jim Featherby; Jim had been a MacLatchie drummer in past time, before he married the widow who knew all about travelling salesmen, and kept Jim where she could lay her hand on him. - He entered the car like a large sunspot in eruption, and spied Tyson. “Well, well, Owen Tyson, or I’m the son of a gun!” was his greeting. He pounded down the aisle with a lot of “Sorry, Misters,” and “Excuse me, Ma’ams,” as he bumped chairs right and left. They talked bottle trade, and Jim was sympathetic; no use grouching, you’d got to take the lean with the fat, and so on. Then they talked MacLatchie, Owen telling of the pleasure awaiting him in Buffalo. ‘.‘He’s going to ride you, spurs and the rest of the dooflickers.” pronounced Jim. “Worst of it is he was a winner on the road; sell bottles when the rest were down to cornflakes for supper. Of course he thinks he was about nineteen times as good as he really was. Only one man ever pinned him squarely to the mat— chap called Fogarty. Say, Owen, here’s an inside tip. If he starts that ride a cock-horse stuff with you, just inquire politely if he’s seen Brother Fogarty lately.” “Fogarty?” mused Owen. “Yeah—Fogarty. He’s in the bottle line—heavy' buyer—big as a house—all the kinds of money there are; part Black Irish, part Johnny Bull, part Canadian Bluenose, all shook up in the mixer—the devil of a mixture too. Mac used to sell him bottles, and they went to the mat over three dollars and a quarter which Mac claimed and Fogarty’s be so and so if he’d pay. I’ll give Fogarty his due—he could be more insulting on a card than most men on a ream of paper. Well, Mac sues him for his three bucks odd and wins, then Fogarty sails back at him with a suit for damages— inferior goods, excessive breakages, damages to employees and general trade, and this time Fogarty won. Pinned old Mac like a butterfly on a piece of card. You can come and buy me a cigar for this valuable information. Say, some pippin up there at the end of the car. Don’t know as ever I saw a niftier little ginger-top.” Ginger-top! Empires have fallen for less. Jim left the train at the next stop, and Owen returned to the parlor car, taking a vacant seat across the aisle from the girl. The train did a shimmy on a curve, and the girl’s book fell to the floor.
Bump! It wasn’t a very hard knock when red-gold and brown heads met—
“Sorry—my stupid clumsiness,” apologized Owen.
“Not at all—thank you.” The girl replied, receiving the book.
Then the train pulled into the station, and a moment later the girl was swallowed up in the Buffalonian wilderness.
MacLatchie saw Owen as the latter entered the dining room, and nodded invitation, a leathery grin on his face.
“Darned old vulture!” muttered Owen disrespectfully.
“What’ll you have, Owen? Bring me crackers and milk.” This last to the waiter who, being a sturdy fellow, contrived not to faint.
The crackers and milk duly arrived, and MacLatchie attacked them, pausing presently to dwell on the sustaining virtues of his diet. If the slain by gluttony were tabulated, he said, it would make war’s mortality seem trivial. This with an eye on a formidable-looking man with bulldog visage who sat nearby and followed up broiled lobster with two-inch thick, sanguinary ■teak.
“Seventy last March,” shrilled MacLatchie. “If I’d formed that lobster and steak habit I’d have been where they broil human lobsters these twenty years back.”
The bulldog man scowled, then came a charming diversion. A girl approached the ogre’s table and sat down. She was the girl of the car—the red-gold girl. Then she addressed the ogre as “father.” Life was assuming more roseate hues. It was annoying that MacLatchie finished his mushy horror so quickly, and suggested a short conference before he took his departure Chicagowards. In a private sitting room Owen told his story, MacLatchie listening with an irritating grin on his face while his star road man related the abnormal state of the bottle trade. When Tyson finished, MacLatchie took up his parable.
Anybody could sell when selling was good. The young men of to-day lacked drive, and especially finishing punch; they weren’t aggressive enough; they didn’t p^t for the back of the hole, but dribbled up, and if the ball trickled in, well and good; that wasn’t golf or business.
“Go for the pin!” he said.
“Make your motto, Never Up —Never In! As a general thing, Owen, nothing in the world’s as unconvincing as an explanation. I’m not a boastful man, but I could sell bottles. I’d a way with me, and I never knew when I was licked; if I went to the mat with a man they weren’t my shoulders that were pinned there.”
Owen seemed to brood moodily, Featherby in mind.
“I guess you’re right,” he • said. “I’ve been wondering if I couldn’t do a little better nearer home. I got a line on a fellow out Peace Haven way—
Ontario, you know; his name was Fogarty, quite a bottle _ user.”
MacLatchie made no immediate reply, but eyed the stoical Tyson. -
"Give me one of those abominations,” he said, indicating Owen’s cigarette. “There is a man of that name at Peace Haven; he does quite a business, but—” he emitted a vast puff of smoke, “if there’s a hellion on this vast Continent it is that same Fogarty.”
“But—if he rates up right, and has business—” said Owen.
“He has no business for the MacLatchie firm,” came the positive reply. “You could sell heating plants in Hades as quick as you could sell MacLatchie bottles to Fogarty. I’ve to be on my way.”
MacLatchie gone, Buffalo seemed a much brighter city. Owen decided to wait for the evening train on the chance of seeing the red-gold girl again. He did see her and sat at the table next to the one at which she and her father were dining in the evening. Dinner progressed without notable interest until a waiter furnished a small diversion. He brought a bottle to the large man, inserted a corkscrew, and tugged with such vigor that the neck parted from the body of the bottle»
The bulldog man frowned, took the broken bottle
from the waiter, and examined the fractûre closely,' looking at Owen as if calling on him to note the outrage.
“Flawed!” suggested Tyson amiably.
“I could make a better bottle with a pipe and a bowl of soapsuds,” the ogre remarked. “That’s how they make bottles to-day.”
“Some of them are shocking,” sympathized Owen.
“A man risks his life when he handles ’em,” said the ogre. “I’d hang every bottle man in this country—and in Canada too. You Canadian or Yank?”
“Canadian,” replied Owen.
“Then let me tell you that the bottles made to-day are a disgrace to civilization. I know it, for I use ’em by the thousand gross. And if there’s one bottle maker I’d like to see strung up more than another, it’s—”
“Father!” the voice was sweet but decisive, and father stopped in his verbal tracks, swallowed a small brick of ice cream, washing it down with a pint of coffee, then rose and wordlessly departed with the girl.
If she recognized the man with whom she had bumped heads in the car she gave no intimation of this.
Half an hour later as Owen sat with cigar in the lobby he saw the two persons in whom he was interested pass through, accompanied by baggage-laden bellhops, and enter a taxi; a casual word let fall by the ogre intimated New York as their destination. It took impulsive Owen just three seconds to make up his mind; in a couple of minutes more he was paying his bill at the desk and was on his way to the station; en route he criticized his folly in not ascertaining the names of the two travellers from the hotel register. A trip through the cars did not furnish glimpse of the father and daughter, but a sable attendant said that they were aboard in a private section. While Owen was meditating matters the train pulled out. It seemed rather a silly thing to go to New York instead of Ballater, but he had a hunch, and—well “Never Up— Never In.” The ball should have a chance.
At the Terminal in the morning Owen failed to see the two, but the attendant of the night before consoled him.
“Yo’ parties, Suh, left the train at 125t’. Thank you kindly, Suh! Lovely mawnin’, Suh!” .
And so it was; she was in New York—He, Owen, was
in New York. True there were several millions on the spot beside them, but what were a few millions in such
case? Anyway the ball was rolling cupwards. God was in His Heaven—all was right with New York.
A FTER bath and breakfast in his uptown hotel, Owen F*considered the situation. On the face of things, he reflected, he might seem to be a fool; whereas by rights he should be in Toronto, or Ballater, he was in New York City. Why? Well, first of all there was the girl. Should
there be no place for romance, love's inconsequence, even in a bottle salesman’s life? Must he always be earthy, sordid, dollar-hunting? Did not the Wise Men follow the Star? Then, the big fellow had said he used bottles by the thousand gross. What ampler justification could man need for seeming eccentricities?
There was a double-header at the Polo Grounds, so thither Owen went; the big fellow might find pastime in hurling the nefarious bottle at an equally nefarious umpire. Back to the hotel he called up a girl he knew and took her out to dinner; later they dropped into a movie show and a roof garden. Usually his companion had been a vivacious girl, but this night either she or he was duller than usual.
“You’re lively as a last week’s newspaper, Owen,” said the girl as he left her at her door. He apologized for not being more recent, and took himself off. It was well after twelve o’clock, but he was disinclined for bed. Broadway, in the Seventies, was still brisk. A cosmopolitan throng surged along the street; he saw faces of women that reminded him of leafy balconies in an elder world, but none of them had the charm of the girl of the parlor car. He turned West, and on Riverside Drive sat on a bench overlooking the mist-veiled river.
Winds sang softly through the trees; small craft flitted ghostlike up and down the stream—misty, moving shapes, with here and there a nodding light. A pair of lovers, reluctant to leave their queer Arcady, whispered in locked embrace; Tyson coughed, and they turned indignant eyes upon him; sympathetically he rose and left them to their bliss.
Back to Broadway he sauntered; the street by this time was soberly sedate as that of a small-town suburb. Was this the much vaunted White Way—the ranging ground of modern Haroun al Raschid? A calm, Sabbatic, was Over it. A cat languidly rubbed against the leg of a bored policeman, and—
Then suddenly the street leaped from slumber; came the sound of revelry, laughter, babel of excited tongues. They proceeded from a delicatessen shop, whose gaily
lighted windows were filled with browned turkeys and
other seductive dainties.. Through the window Owen saw a room jammed with people; a man brandishing a turkey’s leg laid down the law to the devourer of a sandwich; a pretty girl nibbled reflectively at a dill pickle, listening indifferently to an eager youth
who poured some story into her listless ear. Here was color, a note different from the ordinary pipings of life’s organ. Then swiftly the note changed to one. of protestation, bickering, wrath, and a confused mob of men and women tumbled out on to the sidewalk, among them white-coated assistants who were trying to eject an obstreperous man. At the door the object of wrath tripped and fell, rising again indomitably like stout Horatius from yellow Tiber. He stood—coat ripped, hat dented, tie awry, collar half-wrenched from moorings —a veritable Colossus of a man with bulldog face—dour, tusky, brow-wrinkled. The light of battle gleamed in his eye, the joy of it sat on his lips, and at sight of him Owen’s heart leaped joyfully. The battler was the Buffalonian stranger, who could make better bottles than those of the trade with pipe and soapsuds, the user of bottles by the thousand gross, the father of a delicious red-gold girl. In his mighty . right hand the gladiator waved the pinky half of a boiled ham, like Marmion at Flodden shaking the fragments of his blade.
His questing eyes ranged the ring and rested on Tyson.
“All up, Canada!” he roared in appeal to Owen.
~ '» - Had the grim Colossus been
isolated in Owen’s thought he would probably have been left to extricate himself from trouble as best he might, but he was not isolated, but very much related—as father of the red-gold girl, and as buyer of bottles. He had demanded support and he should have it—demanded it in the sacred name of Canada, twice over it should be supplied. Owen elbowed his way through the ring and was rewarded with tusky smile of welcome.
“You’ll find this handy,” whispered the belligerent, and Owen found himself clutching the neck of a bottle of pickles. “Guess you and me, Canada, can clean up this bunch of ham actors in two cat squints.”
Continued on page 55
Never U p—N ever In!
Continued, from page 19
Then appeared two policemen who demanded what it was all about. It seemed that some festive persons had decided to play baiting the bear, electing the large man to fill the rôle of bear. He had done so with enthusiasm, judging from the eyes and noses of some of the baiters.
“It was a misunderstanding,” interposed Tyson. “This gentleman is a friend of mine.” The certificate, however, carried little weight.
“Since yez are frinds, and fond, the wan av the other, it’s not the likes of us would separate yez. Give the Judge an earfull,” said the law.
The officer behind the desk was a man of insight, and but for the presence of a rainbow-eyed man from the store, who strained the quality of mercy, the affair might have been compromised amicably.
“Names!” said the lieutenant with a sigh. Owen realized at this point that his ally's name was unknown to him. He listened curiously.
“Fogarty! John Fogarty, of Peace Haven, Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada—wholesale bottler by trade,” the warrior responded boldly.
“Fogarty!” mused the officer. “Faith, ye’re a credit to the name,” and he cast another appraising glance at the fast darkening eye of the complainant.
As in blissful dream Owen walked to the barred boudoir. Fogarty stood revealed—the man who could make better bottles than those of commerce with pipe and soapsuds—the pinner of the shoulders of MacLatchie—the father of a glorious red-gold girl—the buyer of bottles by the thousand gross. Magnificent composite!
“You’re not fretting, son?” asked Mr. Fogarty solicitously, noting his ally’s emotion.
“Fretting! 'Say, Mr. Fogarty, I’m having the time of my giddy life, pinch me to see if I’ll wake up. Never up— Never in! I was up all right, and I’m pretty sure I’m in. Roll on, ball, roll!”
THE magistrate, a man of soql, fined and let them go
“Jailbirds!” piped a sophisticated small boy as the two emerged into the Sunday morning sunlight. Owen gave him a dollar for the diploma.
Nearing his hotel Mr. Fogarty began to display some anxiety about removing battle stains before meeting his daughter. As he might need support he insisted that Owen should breakfast with them. Ann. Fogarty recalled seeing Owen in the car and at the hotel; the world was small.
When she finished breakfast she suggested Church; she wanted to hear the famous Dr. Slammer.
“Too late,” said Mr. Fogarty. “Place is a long way off, and will be packed as it always is when the folks expect him to pull rough stuff.” , -
“Ten minutes by taxi,” said Ann. “You’ve heard Dr. Slammer, Mr. Tyson?” Owen hadn’t, but wanted to; Fogarty scowled at him, but joined them.
The theme of the Doctor was the viciousness of New York City; it had Sodom, Nineveh, Babylon, and the rest faded to innocent shadows. He scored country visitors who, coming from rural innocence, behaved in Rome as the Romans did. If one were to visit the early morning courts a lesson would be learned of these nocturnal revellings. The left eye of Mr Fogarty, meeting Owen’s glance, drooped significantly.
“Fine sermon,” said Ann, as they walked away, and Owen agreed warmly.
“Mush!” disagreed Fogarty. “I like a parson to stick to the Old Book and not go ‘ rummaging in nasty corners. I’d like to know how he finds out about these places.” His companions rebuked the implied suggestion.
As they approached the place of the nocturnal engagement, a perverse Fate insisted that Ann should be drawn to the store, and she stopped before the window, one side of which was boarded up because' of damages.
“How beautifully it is arranged,” said Ann, viewing the dainties.
"Lunch time,” growled her parent.
“You poor, dear, famished thing! If it jS really hungry we’ll step in and give it teeny sandwich.” Without more ado she
entered the enemy stronghold, Tyson and dour Mr. Fogarty following. A tall, blond person, variegated of eye hues, approached; he trembled, paled visibly, bristled as to pompadour, but was resolute.
“You will take your patronage elsewhere,” he greeted Fogarty.
“What does he say?” demanded Ann, thinking her hearing at fault.
“He’ll be glad if we go some other place,” father explained. “Let’s go. Don’t know what you wanted to come into this beanery for.”
Ann eyed her father; there was a story back of it all, but she asked no questions. She saw his eyes linger lovingly on a large bowl of potato salad, with rich creamy dressing over it. Her father was abundantly capable of shampooing that bristly pompadour with it, so she beat a dignified retreat, driving her parent before her with silent skill. On the way home she asked no questions. Her composure amazed Owen.
After lunch Mr. Fogarty retired to slumber, a commendable custom in fathers of pretty girls. Naturally Ann and Owen went out to survey the world. It is astonishing what progress a man and a girl, sympathetically inclined, can make in ' three hours or so.
“Did she say anything about it?” whispered Mr. Fogarty, after Ann had withdrawn to dress for dinner.
“Not a word. You’ve heard the last of it,” assured Owen.
“Not on your immortal tintype,” said Fogarty. “When Ann doesn't talk, she thinks; she’ll hand it out to us when she’s good and ready.”
After dinner the three retired to the Fogarty sitting room, and Ann sent for an evening newspaper to read the announcements. Evidently something interested her in its columns; once she lowered the paper, eyed the two men deliberately, toen slowly raised it again. There sudden.• ly came into the atmosphere subtle change —electric, telepathic, spooky.
Fogarty rose and muttered something about buying a cigar, and went out. Tyson watched the paper screen as one fascinated. Then Ann laid it on the table, and, humming a tune, tore a slip from the sheet.
“Did you find what you were seeking?”; inquired Owen blandly.
“I found what I was not seeking,” she replied acidly. “Mr. Tyson, it is simply disgraceful. She handed him the news slip; thus it ran:—
RUS IN URBE
“The clock in the village belfry chimed One!—or would have done so had there been a village belfry with a clock in it. Broadway slumbered, lapt in native innocence—Sabbath had dawned! A half-_. moon rose argent ly over Central Park, silvering the sylvan solitudes. A large bird flew through the window of the delicatessen store, like a wild thing pining for freedom.
“Though stuffed and roasted, it took the air grandly. The proximate cause of the flight was a large man of the pacific name of John Fogarty, who hails from the Northern lands wherein the maple flourishes. With a half-ham as weapon he proceeded to clean up the establishment, aided by one Owen Tyson, who wielded a formidable pickle bottle.” And thus the legend ran through crisis, climax, denouement, winding up with the fine detail.
At this moment Fogarty reappeared and took in the situation; he produced a copy of the paper that he had been searching, and admitted facts.
“Somebody got fresh,” he explained.
-“Naturally I handed ’em a few.”
“It will look well if it gets into the Peace Haven paper, and it clips from New York,” observed Ann tartly.
“If Ed Sibley gets on to it he’ll have a picnic. He’s Liberal and I’m Conserva-* tive,” agreed Mr. Fogarty.
“It is disgusting!” and Ann. marched from the room in much dignity.
“Chilly for the time of the year,” grinned Fogarty. “She's right, Ed Sibley will make a splash of it.”
“They read that paper, too, in the Ballater Library. If old MacLatchie gets his eye on it—!” said Owen.
“MacLatchie!” and Fogarty was all spines and bristles.
“I’m on the roàd for MacLatchie,”. explained Owen. For several moments Mr. Fogarty eyed him fixedly, his brows wrinkled.
“And I thought you were an honest man. Good day!” and he departed.
Thoughtfully Owen walked away; he was not discouraged. Despite the summariness of his leaving the Fogarty hostelry he felt that he ought to pay a bread and butter visit in the morning, and thus resolved, he went to bed and slept.
HE FOUND Mr. Fogarty in the lobby looking much fresher than paint. His hat was tilted sideways in rakish fashion, a rose graced his buttonhole, he smoked a cigar long enough to demand a forecaddy.
“I never expected to see you again,” he hospitably greeted Owen. “Some folks’ consciences are pretty tough. I was advised to keep off strangers in this burg —Keep Off was right.”
“You’re a nice kind of man—a firstrate pal—I don’t think!” declared the exasperated Owen. “I stood by you, and you threw me down.”
“Sure I did—had to. A man like me’s got a reputation to keep up; you haven’t a daughter,” replied Fogarty coolly. “When you have a girl like Ann you’ll begin to know beans.”
“Next time they get you at your murderings I hope they hang you,” said Owen. “That is after they’ve kept you ten years in jail.”
“It isn’t the jail I mind,” observed Mr. Fogarty calmly. “It’s thinking I had a MacLatchie man with me; I’d sooner have been killed by actors.”
“Next time you’ll die, for all I care,” snapped Owen. “Good-bye, I’m off to Ballater, next train.”
“What’s your hurry? Have a cigar,” and Mr. Fogarty thrust a miniature tentpole into Owen’s fingers. “How do you get to Coney?”
“Yeah. I plan a trip there; Ann says its lowbrow, but from what I’ve heard it should suit me all right. If you weren’t off to Ballater so soon I don’t know as I mightn’t take another chance with you— you’re young.”
“Nothing doing. You’ll murder'a man, and help the electrician to turn the juice on to the electric chair, with me in it,” said Owen. Thereupon Fogarty lapsed into deep thought, presently rousing.
“Guess you think I’m pretty sore over MacLatchie, and so I am,” he resumed. “He’s a rotten bottle maker, but I don’t, hold that against hirri too much, because I took a ten thousand dollar bit of skin from his hide.
“What would you do with a man who made insulting remarks about the legs of a female relative of yours—real improper remarks?”
“Her legs?” exclaimed Owen puzzled. “That’s what I said. Whether she’s got good legs or not so good ain’t the point; you wouldn’t like to have the legs of your female relatives sneered at on a golf course, would you, as man to man?” “What’s that got to do with MacLatchie?”
“Everything. He’s the man.” “Nonsense!” answered Owen.
“Listen!” and Mr. Fogarty told the whole story as it had come to him. “I’ve got witnesses,” he added. “And how can you tell what these sly old bachelor nuts will do and say? Ain’t the papers telling us every day—old codgers you’d think would be fixing terms with the undertaker carrying on with chorus ladies and the like? I tell you, Owen, you don’t know your brother these days, and I wouldn’t bank on a Bishop. If MacLatchie were younger I’d go up and lick him, but as it is, I’ll sue him.”
“What for?” asked Owen.
“Slander—defamation—I don’t know, but the lawyers will fix all that for a bit of kale; I’ll let the world know just what kind of a man he is; I’ll start in with the ten thousand I took out of his jeans, and when that’s used up, there’ll be more.”
“I don’t believe it,” asserted Owen again. “That isn’t MacLatchie.”
“If you don’t believe it, ask him yourself when you get home, or ask the folks who heard him. I’ll sue him, to do right by Mehitabel, no matter what kind of legs she’s got. And—what about Coney? I’ll forgive you for Saturday night, and you can go home on the night sleeper.” Owen pondered—he wanted to see Ann again in the hope of conciliation; If Fogarty was in friendly mood there might be chance of business—remote, but still chance. Never up—Never i»!
“All right,” he agreed, and away thev went. It svas a spacious day, but they kept out of jail. Ann was cordial again when they returned in good order, so Owen decided to stay in town over-night. She accepted his invitation to see “The Pink Monkey”—a theatrical performance that was the thing-thespian of the moment. Mr. Fogarty declined an invitation, saying he saw enough pink monkeys running loose without coughing up good money to look at them.
After the show Ann and Owen walked homeward; nearing the hotel they made a slight detour to look on the river and the lighted shore beyond.
“Friday to Monday,” mused Owen. “I never dreamed a week-end could hold so much sheer bliss.”
“Unusual name for a jail sojourn,” commented Arm.
“I thought I’d been forgiven.”
“So_ you have,” she ánswered with frank impulsiveness, laying a hand lightly, with patting movement, on his sleeve.
“I may come to see you at Peace Haven?”
“Father will be glad—considering the tie that binds.”
“I always try to be polite to father’s guests,” she replied.
MR. MACLATCHIE looked up when the prodigal entered his office.
“Walk from Buffalo?” he asked.
“Went round by New York City,” Tyson replied.
“I heard you paid the fine. Haven’t seen the paper yet, but it’s all over Ballater—you and somebody else shooting up Broadway. Must have cut quite a swathe. Who was your partner in infamy?”
“His name is Fogarty—Fogarty of Peace Haven. Said he knew you.”
“He’s a liar! Never met him in my life that I know of; we had some doings one time; I think I named him to you in Buffalo as a hellion— the name’s right.” “You saw him in Buffalo—the man who ate the lobster and steak.”
“What, the man with the red-headed daughter?”
“Not red-headed—red-gold,” Owen corrected firmly.
“Have it your own way, but—do you realize we’re running a business here, not shooting up Broadway or tracking red—red—red-gold girls round the Continent?” demanded MacLatchie grimly.
“I know it, and might have got back earlier but had your interests at heart,” said Owen.
“Humph! Never knew my interests ran jailwards.”
“You never can tell,” responded Owen cryptically. “Those we think safest on their feet trip up at times. Legs not as good as they think they are.” MacLatchie looked up at the emphasis on the word “legs.”
“What drivel’s this?” he asked.
“It had an ugly sound, and Fogarty’s an ugly enemy.”
“There I’m with you—about Fogarty, but what’s this you’re hinting?”
“About a golf foursome, some time back, on Ballater links; there was a lady in the case, a Miss Fosdick. You may remember?” said Owen.
“I dó.” Mr. MacLatchie sat bolt upright. “Being a foursome there were two impartial witnesses present, beside caddies.”
“Too bad; had it been a single you might have got. away with it.”
“Got away with what?” demanded MacLatchie.
“Miss F.osdick is the sister-in-law of John Fogarty of Peace Haven,” replied Owen. “I’ve always been sorry, in a way, for wealthy old men who got mixed up with ladies, had their pictures in the papers, and their love talk printed.” “What are you driving at?” asked MacLatchie, clearly agitated.
“They take some words, that might be innocent, or they mightn’t, and make all kinds of meanings out of them, with damages in mind. It’s noneof my business, but those remarks about Miss Fosdick’s legs—! Sounds a bit off, you know.”
“I said nothing about ber legs. Think of my business and church connections; my reputation should stand for me,” said Mr. MacLatchie.
“They’re mostly big business men or church members,” answered Owen.
“I was speaking of the ball, not her; it was the ball had no legs; you know how we speak of a ball that doesn’t get up to the pin.”
“Sounds plausible, but these doublemeaning expressions don’t give a man much chance, and the jury is always on the woman’s side,” said Owen.
“Jury!” exclaimed MacLatchie, “what do you mean?”
“Fogarty swears he’ll push the case as far as he can go, no matter what he spends on it; he wants the world to know the man you are, he says.”
“And I’ll match him—dollar for dollar,” was the hot response.
“How? This isn’t matter of bottles, but legs—a blameless lady’s legs. You haven’t one to stand on. What will the funny men in the papers have to say about it? One reason I’ve been keeping close to Fogarty is my interest in the MacLatchie good name. I may have been wrong.”
“No, I think you were right,” said MacLatchie. “But do you think Fogarty would push so outrageous a case?”
“You know Fogarty.”
“I do; he is capable of any enormity,” conceded MacLatchie.
“If my good offices—in a diplomatic way—could be of use,” suggested Owen. “I might pull a wire or two.”
“Do it then; if it was a fighting case I’d fight, but this is just blackmail. Get me out of this mess, Owen, if you can, and it will hasten what I’ve had in mind this while back. I’ve ear-marked a bundle of stock for you, to be paid for in an easy way. You’ll come off the road, and take over the management; if you fancy to settle down with a red-gold girl there’s nothing to bar you, as far as I can see. But get this other affair settled—if it’s money they’re after, I’ll pay it. There’s no safety for a man in this country, short of the grave.”
ANN FOGARTY, tending her flowers, - looked up as the car approached. Her smile was even more winsome than Owen had pictured it, and her welcome was cordial.
“It is nice of you to call so soon,” she said, ushering him into the pleasant arbor. “We have only been back a few days; I'll call father.”
“Presently,” he smiled.
Ann told her further adventures in New York, and expressed her delight to be at home again.
“Father missed you,” she added. “It is not often he takes a fancy to a young man, but you seemed to be birds of a feather; mind, I didn’t say Jailbirds.”
“I’m glad he likes me, that makes things pleasanter. I wanted to tell you of luck that’s come my way. I’m to be manager of MacLatchie’s, and they’re letting me in on stock. Mr. MacLatchie wants me to leave the road, and suggested marriage.”
“How delightful! I congratulate you on both business advance and prospective marriage,” she responded smilingly.
“There’s no prospective marriage, except as seen by the mental eye,” he said. “I know the girl and—I wonder how long a man should know a girl before it’s right to tell her that he loves her?”
“I haven’t the least idea,” she answered gravely. “How long do you think?”
“Well, suppose he’s known her from Saturday to Monday?”
“It isn’t very long, is it?” she mused, chin in cupped hand. “Still, that would be up to the girl, wouldn’t it?”
It is not necessary to follow further the progress of the debate; suffice it to say that it ended with a red-gold head reclining on an accommodating shoulder. Time evidently, had not been the essence of the deal.
Mr. Fogarty’s welcome, at the office, was boisterously cordial. He proposed to call Ann up right away and tell her.
“No need,” said Owen. “I’ve just left her. While I came down to see you; I wanted to know what you’d think of me as son-in-law.”
“Huh?” was the belligerent response. Owen repeated.
“You had your nerve with you,” commented Mr. Fogarty. “Told Ann?” “Certainly.”
“What right has a drummer on the road, and a MacLatchie man at that, to talk to my Ann about marriage?”
“I’m not a drummer, but general manager and prospective stockholder,” said Owen. “I can keep my wife without papa’s help.”
“Needn’t get snippy about it, then,” «napped Fogarty. “You’ve got your nerve with you when you ask for my Ann.”
“I know it,” said Owen. “But that’s how things stand; I love Ann, and will do my best to make her a good husband and —well, Ann’s ready to take a chance with me.”
“Well, what use of me to kick? You won’t take her far away and you’ll be mighty good to her?—she’s all I’ve got, and money don’t count, with her in the other scale.” And the giant looked out of the window with troubled eyes. Owen’s heart warmed to the man pleasantly.
“There’s only one thing that hurts, and that’s your being with MacLatchie,” mused Fogarty regretfully. “It’ll be tough having to pass up my own folks giving out orders, but no dealings with MacLatchie, except with club or law-paper.”
“It won’t be MacLatchie now, but me,” replied Owen. -“Of course I’m keen to make good, but I can paddle my own canoe with Ann at the other end of the craft. I don’t expect your business, MacLatchie always says that I can’t get it; he couldn’t get it so he said that nobody else could.”
“Then he’s a liar again,” roared Fogarty. “You’ve got it; you can take an order back with you, and wave it under his nose.” Taking out a sheet of paper Mr. Fogarty wrote a substantial order, merely questioning Owen as to prices, then signed it with magnificent flourish.
“Here you are; now come on and let’s see Ann,”
“One minute/’ interposed Owen. “I may meet Miss Fosdick up at your place; I may as well tell you I’m jealous of my aunts. I’d hate to have my Aunt Fosdick’s legs made matter of court investiga-
tions, to have would-be smart Alecs, lawyers and reporters making jokes about them.”
“Something in that,” conceded Fogarty. “You think we’d better let MacLatchie off?”
“Miss Fosdick and Ann would insist on it,” replied Owen. “You see MacLatchie didn’t mean to be insulting, he may have made some bad bottles at times, but he never insulted a lady. He was speaking of a golf ball that didn’t roll far enough toward the pin on the putting green; when a ball stops short they say that it hasn’t legs, and that was what MacLatchie was talking about.”
“Maybe he was,” conceded Mr. Fogarty generously. “We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt this time.”
Mr. MacLatchie looked up rather wearily to greet Owen.
“I’m going to get married as you suggested,” said Tyson. “Ann Fogarty of Peace Haven is the lady.”
“A very fine girl, in spite of her father,” MacLatchie replied.
“I have ended that fuss about Aunt Fosdick’s legs; no aunt of miñe shall have her legs discussed by any court, if I can help it; then I made it clear that your words had been misinterpreted.”
“I’ll admit it would have been annoying to me—the case, I mean,” said MacLatchie.
“Cast your eye over this paper,” and Owen put the order slip down.
“Very gratifying,” commented MacLatchie, reading it. “I couldn’t have done much better myself in my palmiest days; it’s as I told yo.u, Never Up—Never In.”