The New Era. (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 8, 1914 Page: 3 of 8
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The Ambition of MadtTruitt
HENRY RUSSELL MILLER
-THE MAN HIGHER UP." "HIS RISK
TO POWER," Etc.
(Copyright. 1913. by The Bobbs-Merrill Company)
Mark Trultt, encouraged by his sweet-
heart. Unity Martin, leaves Bethel, his
native town, to aeek his fortune. Simon
Trultt tells Mark that It Lor* has been
his dream to see a steel plant at Bethel
and asks the son to return and build
one if he ever gets rich. Mark applies to
Thomas Henley, head of the Quinby Iron
works, for a Job and is sent to the con-
struction gang. His success In that work
wins him a place as helper to Roman
Andxrejsskl, open-hearth furnaceman. He
becomes a boarder In Roman's home and
assists Plotr. Roman's son. in his studies.
Kaxla. an adopted daughter, shows her
gratitude In such a manner as to arouse
Mark's Interest In her. Heavy work In
the Intense heat of the furnace causes
Mark to collapse and Kaxla cares for
him Latsr Roman also succumbs and
Mark gets bis Job. Roman resents this
and tells Mark to find another boarding
«lace. Five years elapse during which
lark has advanced to the foremapshlp.
while his labor-saving devices have made
him Invaluable to the company. In the
meantime Kaxla has married one Jim
Whiting. Mark meets with an accident
which dooms him to be a cripple for life.
He returns to Bethel Intending to stay
there. He finds Unity about to marry an-
other man and wins her back. Unity
urges him to return to his work In the
city Mark rises rapidly to wealth and
power In the steel business, but the so-
cial ambitions of his wife make their mar-
ried life unhappy. Constant bickerings
wear out Mark's patience and he makes
threats of divorce.
In ths Mold.
Then began what promised to be-
come a rake's progress. Mark sought
out new companions and got himself
Invited to Join their revels. He tried
hard, at first recklessly, then deter-
minedly and then wistfully to enter
Into the spirit of dissipation. The at'
tempt was a flat failure. The thor-
oughgoing habit of mind that looked
unerringly for the last result saw
through at once to the dregs in the
cup. His companions privately laughed
at the spectacle of this hard serious
man awkwardly essaying the role of
devil of a fellow; but for the humor
he thus unwittingly provided they
would soon have got rid of him as
death's-head at their feasts. He suc-
ceeded only in still further Impairing
bis health, in acquiring a bad taste
In the mouth and relaxing all along
the line his habit of rigid abstemious-
After a few months he returned to
the old routine.
"I hear," Henley interrupted a con-
sultation one day to remark, "you've
been sowing wild oats. Got 'em all
Mark nodded, grinning sheepishly.
"Crop's in the barn—and for sale
cheap. 1 agree with the prophet that
*11 is vanity."
"What made you do it?"
"I don't know. To see what it's
like, I goess. But 1 didn't have the
knack of ti."
"Trouble at home," thought Henley
Aloud he said: "I imagine not. You'd
better stick to business, where you
"I sometimes think that's all vanity,
"At least we have something to be
vain over. And on the whole there's
more romance in making steel than in
helping to support the Tenderloin."
Mark made a gesture of disgust.
After a frowning pause, he answered:
"I don't know. Th« trouble is, I've
lost the romantic point of view. To
me the business is nothing but a
money-making machine now—and
something to do. 1 wonder why we
work bo hard to get money we don't
need. We get no good out of it Tim-
othy Woodhouse gets more pleasure
out cf his flying machines that won't
"Just wait," said Henley dryly, "un-
til somebody tries to take it away from
you. Nearly every man of unusual vi-
tality goes sooner or later through
the stage of questioning the existing
scheme of things. Things are, is all
the answer he gets. The sooner he
quits asking questions, the better for
his peace of mind."
They returned to the matter In hand,
which was the fleecing of Timothy
No one would have been more sur-
prised than Timothy to learn that he
had any fleece worthy of the atten-
tion of such shearers as Henley and
Truitt. B^t years before a lxicMnvar
had come out of the West with stock
to sell in the Iroquois Iron Ore Min-
ing, Development & Transportation
company. He had a gifted tongue, lie
departed for his own place, a richer
and doubtless a wiser mat^ having
received a proiitable lesson In the
credulity of his fellows. Later Inspec-
tion revealed that the long'named
company's properties consisted of an
immense field of admittedly good ore,
but its development work only of the
extraction of the sample bo proudly
exhibited br the promoter and its
transportation facilities of a franchise
to build a railroad through 300 miles
of wiWerness. In those days tjie buMfl
lng of railroads was .not lightly under-
taken. The investment seemed to fall
short of I-ochinvar'a prospectus
"Nhtujally!" Timothy oaoe said rue-
fully. ''Since I Invested."
Hut * time had come when makers
of it«e4 began to operate on a larger
ing up blocks of stock in Lochinvar's
company; it could be bought for the
proverbial song. But Henley got wind
of it. He, too, began buying stock,
secretly and swiftly, also for a song.
By the time the MacGregor company
learned of his rivalry, he needed but
thousand shares to own control of
the company, its properties and fran-
"And I know just where those
shares are to be had," Henley told
Mark. "Do you know one Timothy
"I bought my house from him. And
he wants me to lend him money to
build his new flying machine. He
came to me," Mark chuckled, "as one
Inventor to another."
"Get that stock," Henley com-
manded. "Act quick and you can get
It cheap. We can't build that rail-
road. Or rather, we won't. 'Let the
other fellow blaxe the path!'" This
sneering quotation was from the il-
lustrious but cautious Quinby. "That's
what comes from working with a cow-
"I'll Give You," Proposed Timothy Ea-
gerly, "a Half Interest in the Ma-
ard. But that's no reason why we
shouldn't turn an honest dollar at the
expense of MacGregor, is it?"
It is not, however, true, as alleged
in the bill in equity Timothy was after-
ward induced by MacGregor agents to
file against Mark, that "the said Truitt
falsely and fraudulently and with In-
tent to deceive and defraud, repre-
sented to the said Woodhouse that
said stock was of no value whatsoever,
the while knowing that said stock had
the value hereinbefore set forth."
Mark, who prided himself on his hon-
esty, was always careful not to lay
his projects open to legal interference.
In this case, that special Providence
which seems to guide the schemes of
men of such honesty, graciously ren-
dered legal fraud unnecessary.
"By George!" he exclaimed when at
their next meeting Timothy, with the
model before them, had explained his
plans for the new machine. "By
George! It may be—it may Just be—
that you've bit it. It sounds plausible,
"I prize your opinion," said Timothy
gratefully, "the more because you've
done something mechanically yourself.
I meet so much skepticism. Do you
think you'd care to finance this?"
"Well," Mark returned to caution,
"after all, aerial navigation is hardly
in my line. I really ought to have
some security, don't you think?"
"I'll give you," proposed Timothy
eagerly, "a half Interest in the ma-
Mark seemed to be fighting down an
impulse. But he shook his head. "You
see, its value would be scientific
rather than commercial. And I'm just
a plain money-grubber, you know."
Timothy sighed. "That ends it, I
guess. All I've got is mortgaged to
the limit now. I'm disappointed,
"Still," Mark went on slowly, "I'd
"Oh, no! I'm satisfied with ray bar-
"But," Timothy explained Innocently,
"I have discovered that it has a value
in excesB—very much in excess—of
what you paid me for it."
"The less reason then," Mark smiled,
"why I should Bell it back to you."
"But." Timothy swallowed hard and
down went pride, "you don't under-
stand. It would be a great favor to
me. I have been careless—I may as
well speak out and say that I am a
very poor business man. I have lost
almost everything I inherited. What
is left is mortgaged almost to full
value, except this stock which I now
find I can sell for enough to clean up
my obligations and give me a new
"And which Is now mine."
"Which is now yours, through a hard
bargain—an Inadvertently hard bar-
gain, of course," Timothy added hast-
ily. The troubled look in his eyes
deepened. "And now 1 come to you
as one gentleman to another, to ask
you to release me from it."
"That would hardly be business-
"But this Is not business. I said, as
one gentleman to another." Timothy
was guiltless of humorous intent. "For
myself I shouldn't think of disturbing
any advantage your interest in my
work might accidentally give you. But
to my wife and daughter, who are
entirely dependent upoh me, this would
"Un't it a little late, after wasting
your substance in riotous invention, to^
begin thinking of them? Besides,"
Mark looked at his watch pointedly,
"I hardly see your right to ask me
to give them the consideration you've
never given them."
Timothy flushed painfully, rising.
"You refuse, then?"
"Then you had this stock In mind
"If you'd made aB shrewd a guess
before—" Mark grinned.
"I was told you are apt to do this
sort of thing."
"The loser in a deal," Mark re-
minded him coldly, "always finds
something to criticize. If there's noth-
ing else I can do for you—good day,
"So this is what you call a deal?
should choose another term. I shall
take enough of your time to give you
my view of it. You came to me to
get that stock, but you did not come
frankly. You resorted to subterfuge
You flattered me. You took advantage
of your Inside knowledge of Its value
and of the fact that I'm rather a fool
in such matters to get it absurdly
cheap. But I suppose one need hardly
expect particularity of conduct from
Mark sneered. "At least you felt
no obligation to particularity of con-
duct when you thought you were get-
ting a good round sum for something
of no value at all."
"That," said Timothy with dignity,
"I supposed and you pretended was
practically a gift to science. I shall
keep you no longer, sir."
And Timothy stalked away. For sev-
eral days Mark's famlliarB observed
in him an unusual irritability of tem-
Steel had come into its own. It was
the first principality of industry.
Swiftly as the sun seeks its zenith,
its leaders were rising to power and
prestige, doing big things in a big,
bold, precedent-defying fashion that
stirred the world to a just admiration.
And above the others—in the estima-
tion of all who did not march with
the army of steel—towered that giant
MacGregor, and in his shadow but too
big to be obscured wholly. Jeremiah
Quinby, their names and fame known
wherever the stout fabric was used.
After many years Quinby's project
was a fact, the more splendid for the
delay. It stood just across the street
from MacGregor's library. This prox-
imity called for a comparison, by
which the Institute of Paleontology
suffered no whit. Somehow its nobl«
lines and masses, in exact copy of
the Parthenon, seemed to suggest in
its founder a simple majesty of char-
acter not shared by the author of the
MacGregor could not have believed
that a comparison was intended, since
he accepted an Invitation to share with
Quinby himself and an ex-president of
the United States the honors on the
occasion of the dedication. He, as did
the ex-prestaent, made a speech, in
which he paid a high tribute to his
"brother in the great work of distrib-
uting surplus wealth." This tribute
Quinby, when his turn came, formally
assigned to "the thousands of obscurely
faithful" who had "given their
strength, their courage, their patience
and talent, nay, oft their very lives,
tense of affection, by an ill-disguised
His reflections were interrupted by
a hand on his shoulder. Henley sat
down beside him.
"Taking it in?"
"As the stars by the sun. Do you
"No!" snarled Henley, in a tone that
gave his wordB the lie. Mark repressed
another Bneer. Here was Henley, the
man of magnificent achievements, of
real genius, jealous as a woman over
Quinby's hollow glory!
"He seems," Mark nodded toward
the resplendent Quinby, "to attract the
"It's mutual. As I happen to know."
"So? I'd have classed him with
the vestal virgins. Isn't he a little old
for the woman game now, though?"
"He's in his fifties," Henley said,
"and well preserved. And the man
who has nothing to do but to idle
around the globe and spend the money
others make Is always easy picking
for the Delllahs."
'Quinby doesn't Just meet my no-
tion of a Samson."
"Samson," returned Henley, who felt
the better for his outburst, "was a
L*ter, Henley and Mark left their
refuge and sauntered through the
crowd. It chanced that Quinby espied
them. He deserted an admiring group
to greet them paternally.
"A lifelong dream haB been realized,
thnks partly to you"—he placed a
hand on Henley's shoulder —"com-
mander in the field. And to you he
laid the other hand on Mark —"his
It was a striking tableau. Quinby,
modestly unaware of the many eyes
upon them, held it a moment, then
"My commander In the field!
sneered Henley. "Drunk! Blind drunk
"How much better are we?"
"Sometimes," Henley Bald coldly,
"you talk like a fool." He strode
Mark, left alone, began to pick his
path gingerly around trailing gowns
and chattering groups, in Bearch of
fresh air and quiet. But once, aB he
was passing a group of men, a remark
arrested his attention. He did not
know the speaker, but he halted
sharply and addressed him.
"Who was that you said committed
The man looked at him strangely a
moment before answering.
"Timothy Woodhouse. It was prac-
tically suicide. He insisted on going
up in his new flying machine. Broke
his neck, of course."
Mark passed on quickly. Not bo
quickly but that he overheard an ex-
"The man that skinned Woodhouse."
Stuff of Dreams.
When his spirit for it was dying,
Mark's campaign of conquest came to
its grand climax—he became a stock-
holder in the Quinby Steel company,
one of the "young partners" of whom
Quinby, In ail things abreast of his
great rival, was wont to speak with
such paternal enthusiasm. Up to this
time he had been merely an employe,
handsomely paid but finding his chief
reward from Henley's profitable
When, through Henley, Mark laid the
matter of partnership informally be-
fore Quinby, he was allowed to see
through the philanthropist to—Quinby.
At first Quinby unctuously but firmly
an excuse to be silent?"
"Nothing. Unless," Timothy ven-
tured timidly, "you could call Iroquois
Iron an excuse."
Mark grinned broadly. "I've heard
of that bubble."
Timothy, too, grinned, though un-
happily. "Bubble, I'm afraid, expresses
Mark spent a minute in frowning
study of the model. "It would be
something," he admitted at last, "to
contribute even money to what might
turn out to be the Invention of the
age. I heReve—I believe I'll take the
excuse." He made a sudden reckless
pasture. 'Til do better. I'll go the
whole hog and buy thfe stock. Mr.
Woodhouse, you would talk the birds
out pf the treesJ"
Itwas ridiculously easy.
But the event had a sequel. Scarcely
scali and to io«* far aheftd Into the 1 a week passed when Timothy returned,
future. The MacGregor company con- | Timothy was evidently excited.
calved ttie pnojeet of bpytag thafr ore "Have you discovered sqme new lm-
heid and building that ilroad. It j portast principle of your machine?"
commenced secretly and leisurely pick- | Mark inquired.
like to do It. Haven't you anything
that would give business instinct even to upbuilding the Industry which made
this project possible." Some of his
hearers interpreted this merely as the
too great modesty of superlative, tri-
umphant genius But when, expand-
ing thiB text, he thus brought his pero-
ration to a close:: "Let labor and
capital, the Siamese twins of uroduc-
tion, dwell together in unity, In amity.
In the forbearance that springs from
love!" the audience applauded enthusi-
astically; reckleBB of damage to aew
That evening, In the cella of the In-
stitute, was held a great rec< ptton.
The Trultts were there-—as who that
counted w'aB not?—but together only
until they had reached the end of the
receiving line. Mark betook himself
to a chair In a corner occupied by iftv
skeleton of some prehistoric monster
and there watched the crowd.
He caught a glimpse of Unity, a
beaming happy Unity, th$ centor of a
laughing group, and scowled angrily.
. . Though their life had been super-
ficially unchanged, he had had his
freedom. It bad been a partial use-
Hand on Henley's Shoul-
refused his assent, turning arguments
asWe by the simple expedient of lg-
■oring them. When Henley, at whose
suggestion Mark had demanded the
right to purchase stock, Insisted with
rising anger, Quinby donned a frigid
"Do yon want the company to lose
Truitt?" Henley demanded
"I can not conceive," Quinby an-
swered coldly, "that any man who
owes a« much to my company as Trultt
does could be so lacking in loyalty
and all fine sensibilities as to desert
That," said Henley curtly, "Is
damned nonsense. The company owes
more to Trultt than the stock we ask
Quinby's face was a study.
"And," Henley continued, "you can
let him have this stock or lose Trultt
Thereupon Henley wrote out and
gave to Quinby his - isignation from
the chairmanship. There was a tense
silence while Quinby studied the
"Very well," he said at last. He
tore the resignation Into little bits.
But it was a graceful surrender.
During the pause Quinby had regained
his polBe. He was once more the
gracious patron, apparently blind to
Henley's show of dislike.
Ah! my Sear Tom," he shook his
head smilingly, "that was hardly fair.
You played upon my affection. You
know there is no sacrifice 1 would
not make rather than lose you."
'Humph!" grunted Henley. "This is
"Of course," the philanthropist went
on, "Trultt takes under our agree-
And this launched another long ar-
gument. For under the Quinby com-
pany agreement—borrowed, Indeed,
from his friend and rival, MacGregor
—any stockholder, upon written de-
mand by three-fourths of the stock-
holders owning three-fourths of the
outstanding shares, could be compelled
to surrender his stock at its "book
value;" a provision from the threat
of which Quinby, owning the majority
of the stock, alone was exempt. Had
his own Interest not been so deeply
concerned Mark might have relished
the spectacle of the tremendous arro-
gant Henley hurling himself In vain
against the paternal Quinby. Mark did
not deceive himself as to Henley's
real purpose, which was not to Berve
him but to set up a precedent to
upBet the agreement.
"It isn't fair to Truitt," Henley pro-
tested vehemently. "It isn't fair to
any one but you. How can he, bow
can 1, how can any of us, know when
you're going to make a deal with the
others to kick him out and cheat him
out of the real value of his stock?"
Tact was the one weapon Henley
knew not how to wield. Quinby gava
him a pained glance.
"You know I'm not a hard man. And
you know that Is a contingency not
likely to happen."
"It happened to Cauler and Stebblns
"Ah! But they," Quinby reminded
him, "got an exaggerated Idea of their
importance to the company."
Henley glared. Quinby Bmiled.
The mellifluous voice flowed on.
"You should know that men in my
position may not consider their pri-
vate impulses. Our wealth Is a trust
—a sacred trust." He paused, perhaps
to control the rising emotion inspired
by thought. "The secret of my suc-
cess has been harmony in my organ-
ization. Harmony I must have—I will
have. And so 1 muBt reserve the right
and means to oust any who seek to
disturb It. The work to which I have
given myself—the projects you, I fear,
hold so lightly—depends too closely on
my business success to allow me to
violate successful precedents. Even,"
he beamed on Mark, "even for the
sake of your brilliant young friend
Even for you."
Quinby's face had not put off Its
smiling benevolent mask. His voice
had not rfsen nor lost by so much as
a note its wonted musical stately
cadence. But Mark, a silent and al-
most forgotten listener, knew that In
the last words menace spoke as clear
and venomous as In the hiss of a
snake. He could Interpret the men-
ace; Henley had rested too securely
in his importance to the company; he
now had his warning; like Damocles'
sword the power of Quinby's contract
rested heavy overhead.
If he had not known from Quinby's
voice, Mark would have understood
from him to whom the menace had
been spoken. Henley's hands, resting
on the desk, clenched until the nallB
bit into the palms. The ugly imperi-
ous face was deathly white. His black
eyes blazed. Mark thought for a mo-
ment he was about to spring upon
Quinby and Inflict physical injury, or
at least hurl at the vain shallow poseur
the splendid defiance of the man of
real worth, of Invincible and unpur-
chasable Bplrit. Because he had a pro-
found respect and a sort of love for
Henley, he wanted to see and hear
that defiance. He forgot his own In-
terest In the scene.
Henley reached again convulsively,
for pen and paper. Quinby Rised a
hand—a beautiful, soft, perfectly man-
icured member—in humorous protest.
"My dear Tom!" How the purring
paternal phrase, addressed to Henley,
stung! Mark felt the hot blood rise,
resentful for his master. "If you are
about to resign again, I beg of you,
consider. I have made one concession
to that threat. But if you make It
again, 1 shall be obliged to break off a
relation that haB been both pleasant
and profitable. It will cost me some-
thing, perhaps, but—it will cost you
"Now!" muttered Mark.
Now was the time to hurl defiance,
to overwhelm Quinby and Quinby's
power under manly scorn. . . . Quin-
by, outwardly serene as midsummer's
skies, smiled on. Henley was silent.
The blazing anger In his eyes dl«U
down to a smoldering, sullen, futile
rage. The pen dropped from hfs hand.
What a shattering of Idols was
there! Mark turned away that be
might not see
His glance fell upon Quinby. The
mask of benevolence had been pulled
aside. Ugly triumph and still uglier
li&te shone. In that moment Quinby's
revenge for a thousand Bnaers and the
open contempt of years was taken.
"It seems to be Hobson's choice."
Quinby rose and took Mark's right
band In both of his.
"Let me be the first to welcome you
into the company. I'm sure we shall
"I oan see," Mark answered with a
shrug, "that harmony pays."
Quinby was gone. Mark, sickened
and saddened, watched a man, for the
moment mad, belatedly giving voice
to his rage. He paced swiftly back
and forth across the room, like the
wild beast he had become. He cursed
Incoherently the departed Quinby,
pouring forth a flood of coarse blas-
phemies. He flung his arms about,
smote and kicked chairs and desk as
though they had lives to be taken.
This, with Quinby present, would have
Btruck a responsive chord in Mark's
barbaric soul. But this, with Quinby
gone, from the man who had sat silent
under threats, called forth only con-
"My success! My company! My
work!" Henley stopped, panting and
glaring, before Mark. "My God! Did
you hear him? Fool—fool—fool!"
Mark shrugged his shoulders. "Your
mistake was in thinking him a fool."
"And I—I had to sit there and take
his oily threats—"
"At least, you took them."
"—I, who made this company—I.
who gave him the money to advertise
himself around the world—I—I I'm
can ever repaji, more than to any other I Mark hated him
man—with one exception." After a long heavy silence Quinby
Henley Glared. Quinby 8mlled.
the fool. You're the fool. We're ail
fools, working our lives out to build
up this business while he, who does
nothing, gallivants about spending mil-
lions on his accursed institutes—never
knowing when he'll close in on us
and rip us out of our jobs and rightful
"I used to think that about you.
when I was in the mills. 1 suppose the
men think that about us now." Mark's
laugh was a sneer.
Henley turned on him. "And you,"
he snarled. "I made vou, too. And
I suppose, when Quinby cracks his
whip, you, too, will fall into line and
help to rob me of the stock I've made
valuable. You, with your 'Harmonjr
An hour before Mark might have
quailed before Henley's wrath. Now
he did not quail.
"See here!" he said sharply, pushing
away the fist under his nose. "Prob-
ably you're right. Probably I'll fall
Into line. I hope not—for my own
sake. But you can talk to me like
that when I give you the excuse. And
now you," he added coldly, "had better
pull yourself together. There are clerks
Henley dropped heavily Into a chair.
Slowly the paroxysm subsided. In si-
lence Mark watched the white, still
It was Henley who spoke first, and
surprisingly. "What are you think-
"I'm wondering, does money make
cowards of ub all?"
Henley stared hard. For a moment
Mark thought that again a match had
been touched to the magazine of his
rage. Then the red of shame crept
into the older man's countenance. He
made a gesture of dejection.
"You're a witness that It does."
Mark limped slowly away from the
Now, by all the rules of the game
he played, was the time to exult. The
monster was tamed, or at least for-
ever baffled; it need not, looking upon
him, lick its slobbering chops. Whether
or not the partnership—final trophy
of Eldorado's conquest—survived
Quinby's treacherous caprice, the ad-
venturer would never again know the
haunting fear that lashed the crowd.
He had no need to catch Its hurrying
Yet he did not exult. He had what
be had set out to win, and he had it
not. His triumph was fact. But the
sense of it. the swelling of soul, the
surging passionate pride he had fore-
lasted In his young dreams, were not.
Success was but figures on a balance
He had succeeded In a life in which
sentiment, brotherly kindness, mercy,
were the badges of failure; yet the
thought of a weak Timothy Wood-
house, dead In au hour of recklessness
bred by a cheat, could drive sleep
from his pillow.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
Found In Sing Sing Prison.
Found, a photqgraph, a tintype of
a young girl. Owner may secure It
by applying to the edltor-ln-chlef.—"
Sing Sing Star of Hops.
Here’s what’s next.
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Tryon, W. M. The New Era. (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 8, 1914, newspaper, October 8, 1914; Davenport, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc109964/m1/3/: accessed October 23, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.