The Record. (Noble, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 5, 1902 Page: 7 of 12
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£ The Mountain of Transfiguration ^
5 By FREDERICK HALL. 2
^ Oopvrtfcht. UKB. Daily Story Pub. Co.
Dwight Van Wert was not deformed
in any way, and yet he was fearfully
and wonderfully made—there was no
denying that. His luxuriant crop of
flame-hued hair took on quite without
culture, indeed despite all culture, the
contour of a full-blown prize chrysan-
themum, from an archipelago of
freckles resembling a sepia map of
Oceanica. His nose rose like the
tower of Lebanon that looketh toward
Damascus. To right and left a spread-
ing ear flapped defiance to any threat-
ening head wind and this was but the
cupola, so to speak, for an assortment
of legs and arms that had apparently
been selected quite at random from a
pile of left-overs in some forgotten
corner of the creator's workshop. All
of which description is grossly exag-
gerated, of course, but in no way mis-
leading, for I found out long ago that
in portraying Van it was absolutely
necessary to exaggerate in order to
make one realize how far from beau-
tiful he was.
From the day he entered school he
was the legitimate prey of tease and
bully. I suppose it was hard on Van
at first, for at home his mother had
not called him Bricktop nor his father
taunted him with the upward tilt of
his nose, but he took it all with
stoical heroism, thrashed whom te
could, diverted whom he could, helped
some with their lessons and bribed
others by judicious outlay of his spend-
ing money until, at graduation, he was
as popular as any fellow in the class,
howbeit as far from handsome as when
a little tad of six.
At college he came out at the head
of his class. He took a year in Eu-
rope after that; then he came home,
went in with his father and fell in
love with Grace Sereno.
Of course, he fell in love with Grace.
Grace had a nose Phidias could not
have bettered, a complexion like the
blending of the wild rose and the lily-
of-the-valley, a figure that was the
glory of a tailor-made and the apo-
theosis of a ball gown, hair she could
let fall in lustrous billows to her feet,
eyes so big and brown and deep it
made you dizzy to look into them. It
was simply heartbreaking to contem-
plate, and all the more so when the
victim was a personal friend.
Van never took me into his confi-
dence, but I suspect Grace had figured
in his plans ever since his first day at
school, when she had asked to have
her seat changed "because it made her
feel so bad to look at that little Van
Wert boy." Anyway, In had always
done things for her; written to her,
mal cut to pieces. It is not a pleasant
sensation, but with some of us it came
to be almost chronic while we watched
Van's courtship drag out its sickening
He was such a good fellow and she
such a nice girl. To pour his soul out
in her service and yet never bore her
seemed to have become the purpose of
his life; to let him know the truth and
yet spare him all she could seemed to
Grace and her mother spent the sum-
mer at the lakes, and so did Van. In
the latter part of November she went
into the city on her aunt's invitation,
Van was far from beautiful.
sent her presents, and now he went 9t
it deliberately to pay her every cour-
taous attention affection could suggest
or money furnish means for.
If you have ever done anything in
vivisection, you remember how you
felt the first time you saw a live ani-
"Rod," he said, in a constrained voice,
"I would like to speak to you—pri-
vately—for a minute."
and immediately Van's business took
him in at least as often as once a week.
When she returned early in February,
and Van was as attentive as ever, I
knew that that blindness-of-love busi-
ness (man's love) is a true story, for
Van never seemed to realize that she
had been running away from him, and
the whole miserable thing was worse
tangled than ever, because we saw that
she had got to strike hard, which was
not going to be pleasant for her, and
Van was going to be cut up to Deat
It was up in my room one night fn
March that Ken and Trenchard and I
got to talking it over. We had heard
a rumor that Grace rnd her mother
were going to Europe, and we knew
that meant one of two things—either
Van would be reckless and get his
quietus right away or else, on some
cooked up excuse or other he would
"Of course," said Ken, as lie gave a
vicious pull at his cigar, "there's no
use kicking against the pricks. Van
has got to swing some day, and maybe
the sooner it's over the better."
"Of course," Trench admitted, "Van's
got to take his medicine, that's all
right, but—hang it!—he's such a no
end of a good fellow and it'll break
him all up and—Lord! I wish some-
body would chloroform him."
"Fellows," said Ken, "can't we do
something for Van to break his fall?
Hold a blanket for him or something."
I told Ken he was a fool, but that no
longer makes the impression on him
that it should.
"No—hang it!" he said, "I mean it.
Now, look here. We all know that
Van Isn't what you might call a tear-
ing beauty. And—great hat.! ther*1
are other girls, nice girls, slews of
girls, that would take him quick if
they could get him. Fellows with six-
figure bank accounts aren't at a dis-
count—not yet. Suppose we three
were to form a sort of benevolent con-
spiracy, get one of the girls into it,
Mamie Crane, maybe, and then pull
every wire we could—Beatrice Bene-
dick fashion—until we had him mar-
"No use," Interrupted Trenchard;
"we might break Mamie Crane's
heart, probably would, but that is 11
would ever come of it. Better leave
the whole thing alone."
I felt that I knew Van a little better
than either of the other fellows did.
and I thought I understood the situa-
tion, so now I spoke up.
"I tell you. fellows," 1 said, "there is
just one thing can ease the pressure.
You can't drive Van. you can't coax
him, and he is not trying to win on
his beauty, you can be mighty sure of
that, but he knows and cares a lot for
Grace; he knows he's got ability, he
knows he's got money and he thinks
he could make her happy enough so
that after a while that countenance of
his would be—forgotten, you know—
she'd get used to It. What you want
isn't another woman In the case—it's
another man. and if you were as smart
as Van, as rich as Van, as much in
love with Grace as Van, and hand-
some, I tell you Van would give him
a free field for her sake—only provid-
ing he were just as good a fellow as
Van, and Van would have to be the
judge, but he would judge fair."
We were all silent, and just at that
moment there was a tap at the door.
"Come in," I called.
The door opened and—it was Dwight
We must have looked like a trio of
detected counterfeits, but Van never
"Rod," he said, in a constrained, un-
natural voice, "may I ask the boys to
excuse you—I—I would like to speak
to you—privately—for a moment."
I knew it must mean his death sen-
tence, and I followed him, like a Iamb
to the slaughter. Van closed the door
softly, took my arm and led me across
to where the great hall lamp shed its
red light down upon us both.
"Rod, old man," he said, "I have
come to tell you that I am engaged to
be married. You know to whom—the
best girl and dearest in the world—
and 1 wanted you to be the first to
congratulate me. It will be in a couple
of months, here, and on the 5th of
June we sail for Europe on the Cam-
He gave my hand a numbing pres-
sure, then gripped me by the shoul-
ders and held me off at arm's length.
And I looked at him—at his rubricated
hair, his tip tilted nose, his lavish
wealth of freckles, his wind-break ears
and his eyes, in which was shining
the glory of the New Jerusalem—and—
by Jove! Dwight Van Wert was the
handsomest fellow I ever saw.
CONTENDING FOR A PRINCIPLE
Good Kxuinple of Oulh l*« That Prevail
In l^cul Practice.
An English writer gives a good ex-
ample of those quibbles in legal prac-
tice that have a sort of fascination for
certain minds. Some years ago, while
traveling on the continent, he met the
principal lawyer for the government
of one of the principalities, who told
him of a curious legal question. It
had reference to a railway station at
the boundary between two principali-
Someone standing outside the win-
dow of the ticket office had put his
hand through and robbed the till in-
side. The boundary line lay between
where the thief stood and the till, so
that he was actually in one territory
while the crime was committed in an-
other. Here was a nice nut for the
gentlemen learned in the law to crack.
Which of the principalities should un-
dertake the prosecution of the cnmi-
na 1 ?
At it they went in good earnest, and
the arguments on either side were
long and vehement, till the whole case
was embalmed in many volumes. At
last one side yielded so far as to say:
"We will permit you, as an act of
courtesy, to prosecute, while at the
same time reserving all our sovereign
At this point of the recital 1 asked,
"And how did the prosecution end?"
"Ah! That is quite another mat-
ter," said my friend. "There was no
prosecution; we were only arranging
what we should do when we caught
the robber; but we never caught him."
CHILDREN WITH ORIGINAL IDEAS
Youngsters Give Tableau of 'Garden of
Eden, "in Costume."
This story is told by a Philadel-
"My friends in Santa Barbara, Cal-
ifornia, that land of perpetual sun-
shine, have three most interesting and
originally minded children, one girl
and two boys. They were quite accus-
tomed to roaming around their fath-
er's place very scantily clad, so we
were not much surprised, upon re-
turning from a drive one very warm
morning, to find all three, clothed only
in Nature's garb, at play in the or-
chard back of the house. The two
younger children, Walter and Kath-
erine, were seated under the branches
of a tree—totally naked—looking like
Raphael's cherubs, while a few yards
away, the eldest boy, George, a man of
about seven years, stalked solemnly
up and down with an old high silk hat
of his father's perched on his cuily
head. Calling Walter to her, the
"What are you playing, darling?"
"Oh, this is the Garden of Eden,"
responded 5-year-old Walter. "I'm
Adam and Kathy's Eve."
"But what on earth is George doing
with his father's hat on?" questioned
the mother, too well accustomed to
the children's mode of illustrating Bib-
lical truth to be very much surprised
at anything. But even her composure
was shaken when, with a most solemn
look on his cherubic face Walter re-
sponded. he's God."
BABYLONIAN EDICTS DISCOVERED
tain I.aWt Down l>y Kinjf Contemporary
Prof. Morgan, the archaeologist, has
succeeded in deciphering the laws of
King Kammouradi of Babylonia, a
contemporary of Father Abraham.
The law books written on clay were
discovered by the French exploration
party digging up the ancient city of
Suza, and will be the principal at-
traction at the Grand Palais to be
opened May 1.
The parts of the code deciphered by
the professor deal with criminal, civil
and commercial law. Here are ex
tracts from the fundamental laws of
the ancient Babylonian Kingdom:
"The man who robs a house afire
shall be thrown into the fire."
"The burglar discovered in the act
has forfeited his life if lie carries
weapons on his body. He shall bo
buried on the spot where he entered
"He who destroys a fruit tree shall
be fined ten silver pieces."
"He who drives another man's ox to
death shall give ox for ox."
'He who injures an animal shall be
fined half the worth of the animal."
"A woman inheriting a house, field,
or orchard from her husband must not
be molested in her possessions, which
she shall be free to leave to her favor-
ite son. Her husband's children shall
not be entitled to fight the testament."
"He who enters into a contract with-
out witnesses or without any instru-
ment in writing shall not bo allowed
to carry his case before the courts."
Speed of Englnea.
Within a few years the accuracy in
the production of both fiat and round
surfaces has been so increased that
the speed of engines has been multi-
plied by three. With the accurate
bearings of the present the tripled
speed gives less trouble from heating
and cutting than did the slow speed
of former years.
Kecord Trip of 15alloon.
Teisserene de Bort, the French aero-
naut, has secured the lowest tempera-
ture mark on record—72 degrees cen-
tigrade, or 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The reading was registered on a ther-
mometer in a trial balloon sent up
recently, which rose to a height oJ
Men come before measures.
Here’s what’s next.
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Everton, H. G. The Record. (Noble, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 5, 1902, newspaper, June 5, 1902; Noble, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc106229/m1/7/: accessed September 21, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.