The Herald-Sentinel. (Cordell, Okla.), Vol. 22, No. 47, Ed. 1 Thursday, July 29, 1915 Page: 4 of 8
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THE CORDELL HERALD-SENTINEL
By FRANCIS LYNDE
Illustrations by C. D. RHODES
(Copyrignl by Ctiane SaiEnor's Sons)
It was at Chaudiere'a that Griswold
had eaten his first breakfast In the
Crescent city, and it was at Chau-
diere's again that he was sharing a
farewell supper with Bainbridge of the
Loulsianian. Six weeks lay between
that and this; forty-odd days of dis-
couragement and failure superadded
upon other similar days and weeks
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 ba-
nana trade for his paper. Boyishly ju-
bilant over the assignment, he had
dragged the New Yorker around to
Chaudiere's to a small parting feaBt.
Not that it had required much per-
suasion. Griswold hud fasted for 24
hours, and if Bainbridge were not a
friend In a purlBt's definition of the
term, he was at leaBt a friendly ac-
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 cir-
cumstances. Wherefore he protested.
"What's the matter with you to-
night, Kenneth, old man? You're more
than commonly grumpy, it seems to
mo; and that's needless."
Griswold looked up with a smile
that was almost ill-natured, and quot- i
ed cynically: " 'Unto everyone that
hath shall be given, and he shall have
abundance; but from him that lyith
not, shall be taken away even that
which he hath.' "
Bainbridge's laugh was tolerant
enough to take the edge from his re-
"That's a pretty thing to fling at a
man who never knifed you or pistoled
you or tried to poison you! An inno-
cent bystander might say you envied
"I do," rejoined Griswold gravely.
"I envy any man who can earn enough
money to pay for three meals a day
and a place to sleep in."
"Oh, cat's foot!—anybody can flo
that," asserted Bainbridge, with the
air of one to whom the struggle for
existence has been a mere athlete's
"I know; that is your theory. But
the facts disprove it. 1 can't, for one."
Griswold was a fair man, with red-
dish 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 1i!b eyes were
Bainbridge scofTed openly; but he
was good-natured enough to make
amendB when he saw that Griswold
i "I take it all back," he said. "I sup-
pose the book-chicken has come home
again to roost, and a returned manu-
script accounts for anything;. But,
seriously, Kenneth, you ought to get
down to bed-rock facts. Nobody but
a crazy phenomenon can find a pub-
lisher for his first book, nowadays,
unless he has had some sort of an
introduction in the magazines or the
newspapers. You haven't had that;
so far as 1 know, you haven't tried
"Oh, yes, I have—tried and failed.
It Isn't in me to do the salable thing,
and there isn't a magazine editor in
the country who doesn't know it by
this time. I tell you, Bainbridge, -the
conditions are all wrong when a ncn
with a vital message to his kind can't
get to deliver it to the people who
want to hear It."
Bainbridge ordered the small cof-
fees and found his cigar case.
"That is about what I suspected,"
he commented impatiently. "You
couldn't keep your peculiar views
muzzled even when you were writing
a bit of a pot boiler on sugar plant-
ing. You drop your fool socialistic
fad and write a book that a reputable
publisher can bring out without com-
mitting commercial suicide, and you'll
stand some show."
"Call it what you please; names
don't change facts. Listen"—Griswold
leaned upon the table; his eyes grew
hard and the blue in them became me-
tallic—"For more than a month I
have tramped the streets of this
cursed city begging—yes, that is the
word—begging for work of any kind
that would suffice to keep body and
soul together, and for more than half
of that time I have lived on one meal
a day. That is what we have come
to; we of the submerged majority
And that isn't all. The wage worker
himself, when he is fortunate enough
to find a chance to earn his 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
Bainbridge glanced at his watch.
"I must be going," he said. "The
Adelantado drops down the river at
eleven. How are you fixed for the
present, and what are you going tc do
for the future?"
Griswold's Bmile was not pleasant
to look at.
"I am 'fixed' to run twenty-four
hours longer, thanks to your hospital-
ity. For that length of time I pre-
sume I shall continue to conform to
what we have been taught to believe
is the immutable order of things.
He paused, and Bainbridge put the
question. "Well, after that; what
"Then, 1f the chance to earn is still
denied me, and I am sufficiently hun-
gry, I shall stretch forth my hand and
take what I need."
Bainbridge fished in his pocket and
took out a ten-dollar banknote. "Do
that first," he said, offering Griswold
The proletary smiled and shook his
• • • • • • *
The fruit steamer Adelantado, out-
ward bound, was shuddering to the
first slow revolutions of her propeller
when Bainbridge turned the key in
the door of the stufTy little stateroom
to which he had been directed, and
went on deck.
"Why, hello, Broffln! How are you,
old man? Where the dickens did you
It was the inevitable steamer ac-
quaintance who is always at hand to
prove the trite narrowness of the
"You Couldn't Keep Your Peculiar
world, and Bainbridge kicked a chair
into comradely place for him.
Broffln, heavy browed and clean
shaven save for a thick mustache that
hid the hard-bitted mouth, replaced
the chair to suit himself and sat down.
In appearance he was a cross between
a steamboat captain on a vacation and
an up-river plantation overseer recov-
ering from his annual pleasure trip
to the city. But his reply to Bain-
bridge's query proved that he was nei-
"1 didn't drop; I walked. More than
that, I kept step with you all the way
from Chaudiere'a to the levee. You'd
be dead easy game for an amateur."
"You'll get yourself disliked, the
first thing you know," said Bainbridge,
laughing. "Can't you ever forget that
you are in the man-hunting business?
Where are you headed for, BroffliU"
The man who might have passed for
a steamboat captain or a plantation
overseer, and was neither, chuckled
"You don't expect me to give it away
to you, and you a newspaper man, do
you? But I will—seeing you can't gqt
it on the wires. I'm going down to
Guatemala after Mortsen."
"The Crescent bank defaulter? By
Jove! you've found him at last, have
The detective nodded. "I've been
two years, off and on, trying to locate
Mortsen; and now that I've found him,
he is where he can't be extradited.
All the same, I'll bet you five to one
he goes back with me in the next
steamer— what ?"
The Right of Might.
Two days after the supper at Chau-
diere's the unimpetuous routine of the
business quarter of New Orleans was
rudely disturbed by the shock of a
To shatter at a single blow the most
venerable of the routine precedents,
the sensational thing chose for its col-
liding point with orderly system one
of the oldest and most conservative
of the city's banks—the Bayou State
Security. At ten o'clock, following
the precise habit of half a lifetime.
Mr. Andrew Galbraith, president of
the Bayou State, entered his private
room in the rear of the main banking
apartment, opened his desk, and ad-
dressed himself to the business of the
day. At half-past the hour the presi-
dent was left alone to read his cor-
Being a man whose mental proc-
esses were all serious, and whose |
hobby was method, Mr. Galbraith had
established a custom of giving himself
a quiet half-hour of inviolable seclu-
sion in which to read and consider
his mail. During this sacred interval
the stenographer, standing guard in
the outer office, had instructions to
deny his chief to callers of any and
every degree. Wherefore, when, at
20 minutes to 11, the door of the pri-
vate office opened to admit a stranger,
the president was justly annoyed.
"Well, sir; what now?" he demand-
ed, 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 prepossessing ap-
pearance, 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 appraisive glance—and to re-
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 Mr. Galbralth's Irri-
"If you have business with me,
you'll have to excuse me for a few
minutes," he protested, still more im-
patiently. "Be good enough to take a
seat in the anteroom until I ring.
MacFarland should have told you."
The young man drew up a chair and
sat down, ignoring the request as if
he had failed to hear It. Ordinarily
Mr. Andrew Galbralth's temper was
equable enough; the age-cooled tem-
per of a methodical gentleman whose
long upper lip was In itself an adver-
tisement of Belf-control. But such a
deliberate Infraction of his rules,
coupled with the stony impudence of
the visitor, made him spring up an-
grily to ring for the watchman.
The intruder was too quick for him.
When his hand sought the bell push
he found himself looking into the
muzzle of a revolver, and so was fain
to fall back into his chair, gasping.
"Ah-h-h!" he stammered. And when
the words could be managed: "So
that's it, is it?—you're a robber!"
"No," said the Invader of the presi-
dential privacy calmly, speaking for
the first time since his incoming. "I
am not a robber, save in your own
very limited definition of the word. I
am merely a poor man, Mr. Gal-
braith—one of the uncounted thou-
sands—and I want money. If you call
for help, I shall shoot you. It la
merely a question of money, and If
you are amenable to reason—"
"If I'm—but I'm not amenable to
your reasons!" blustered the presi-
dent, recovering a little from the first
shock of terrified astoundment. "I re-
fuse to listen to them. I'll not have
anything to do with you. Go away!"
The young man's Bmile showed his
teeth, but it also proved that he was
not wholly devoid of the sense of
"Keep your temper, Mr. Galbraith,"
he advised coolly. "The moment is
mine, and I say you shall listen first
and obey afterward. Otherwise you
die. Which is it to be? Choose
quickly—time is precious."
The president yielded the first
point, that of the receptive ear; but
grudgingly and as one under strict
"Well, well, then; out with it. What
have you to say for yourself?"
"This: You are rich; you represent
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
than you can possibly use in any le-
gitimate personal channels; I have
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 with 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
be a new president of the Bayou State
Security. Do I make myself sufficient-
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 catastrophe for a few minutes,
until help should come. He searched
In his pockets and drew forth a hand-
ful of coins.
The invader of privacies glanced at
the clock In his turn and shook his
"You are merely trying to gain time,
and you know It, Mr. Galbraith. My
stake in this game is much more than
a handful of charity silver; and I
don't do you the injustice to believe
that you hold your life so cheaply;
you who have so much money and,
at best, so few years to live."
The president put the little heap
of coins on the desk, but he did not
abandon the struggle for delay.
"What's your price, then?" he de-
manded, as one who may possibly
consider a compromise.
"One hundred thousand dollars—Is
"But man! ye're clean daft! Do ye
think I have—"
In the midst of his vehement pro
tests the stranger sprang out of his
chair, stepped back a pace and raised
"Mr. Galbraith, you are juggling
with your life! Write a check while
there is yet time!"
The hammer of the lieveled pistol
clicked. Andrew Galbraith shut his
eyes and made a blind grasp for pen
and checkbook. His hands were shak-
ing as with a palsy, but the fear of
death steadied them suddenly when he
came to write.
"Indorse it!" was the next com-
mand. The voices had ceased beyond
the partition, and the dead silence was
relieved only by the labored strokes
of the president's pen and the tap-tap
of the typewriter in the adjacent
The check was written and indorsed,
and under the menace of the revolver
Andrew Galbraith was trying to give
it to the robber. But the robber would
not take it.
"No, I don't want your paper; come
with me to your paying teller and get
me the money. Make what explana-
tion you Bee fit; but remember—if he
hesitates, you die."
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 public lobby
there would be eyes to see, and per-
haps some that would understand. Mr.
Galbraith took a firmer hold upon his
self-possession and trusted that some
happy chance might yet intervene! to
But chance did not intervene. There
was a goodly number of customers in
the public 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 pay-
ing 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
At the paying wicket there was
only one customer, instead of the
group the president had hoped to find;
a sweet-faced young woman in a mod-
est traveling hat and a gray coat. She
was getting a draft cashed, and when
she saw them she would have stool!
aside. It was the robber who antici-
pated her intention and forbade it
with a courteous gesture; whereat she
turned again to the window to con-
clude her small transaction with the
The few 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 chanceful possi-
bilities. Failing all else, he was deter-
mined to give the teller a warning
signal, come what might. It was a
duty owed to society no less than to
the bank and to himself. But on the
The Hammer of the Leveled Pistol
pinnacle of resolution, at the instant
when, with the robber at his elbow,
he stepped to the window and pre-
sented the 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
So it came about that the fine reso-
lution had quite evaporated when he
said, with what composure there was
In him: "You'll please give me cur-
rency for that. Johnson."
The teller glanced at the check and
then at his superior; not too inquisi-
tively, since it was not his business
to question the president's com-
"How will you have it?" he asked;
and it was the stranger at Mr. Gal-
bralth's elbow who answered.
"One thousand in fives, tens and
twenties, loose, if you please; the re-
mainder in the largest denominations,
put up in a package."
The teller counted out the one thou-
sand 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 wtth ex-
"It is your time to pray, Mr. Gal-
braith," said the spoiler in low tones.
"If you have given your man the sig-
But the signal had not been given.
The teller was re-entering the cage
with a bulky packet of money paper.
"You needn't open It," said the
young man at the president's elbow.
"The bank's count Is good enough for
me." 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, nod-
ded to the president, backed swiftly
to the street door and vanished.
Then it was that Mr. Andrew Gal-
braith suddenly found speech, opening
his thin lips and pouring forth a tor-
rent of incoherence which presently
got Itself translated into a vengeful
hue and cry; and New Orleans the un-
impetuous had its sensation ready-
Once safely in the street, Kenneth
Griswold, with a thousand dollars in
his pocket and the packet of bank-
notes 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 all—
one bold stroke; a tussle, happily
bloodless, with the plutocratic dragon
whose hold upon his treasure was so
easily broken; and presto! the hungry
proletary had become himself a power
in the world, strong to do good or
evil, as the gods might direct.
This was the prompting to exulta-
tion 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 think-
ing 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
Since hunger Is a lusty special
pleader, making itself heard above
any pulpit drum of the higher facul-
ties, It is quite probable that Gris-
wold 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 Incurious, 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 M'sieu' so desired. "M'sieu' "
said breakfast first, by all means, and
Information afterward. 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 sen-
It was very evident tnat the pluto-
cratic dragon did not intend to accept
defeat without a struggle, and Gris-
wold set his wits at work upon the
problem of escape.
"It's a little queer that I hadn't
thought of that part of it before," he
mused, sipping his coffee as one who
need not hasten until the race is actu-
ally begun. "I suppose the other fel-
low, the real robber, would have fig-
ured himself safely out of it—or would
have thought he had—before he made
the break. Since I did not, I've got to
do it now, and there isn't much time
to throw away. Let me see—" he shut
his eyes and went into the inventive
trance of the literary craftsman—"the
keynote must be originality; I must
do that which the other fellow would
never think of doing."
On the strength of that decision he
ventured to order a third cup of cof-
fee, 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 con-
cerned* in the robbery, and the side-
walk gossip was beginning to describe
him with discomforting accuracy.
Griswold paid his score and went
out boldly and with studied noncha-
lance. He reasoned that, notwith-
standing the growing accuracy of the
street report, he was still in no imme-
diate danger so long as he remained
in such close proximity to the bank.
It was safe to assume that this was
one of the things the professional
"strong-arm man" would not do. But
it was also evident that he must
speedily lose his identity if be hoped
to escape; and the lost identity must
leave no clue to itself.
Griswold smiled when he remem-
bered how, In fiction of the felon-catch-
ing sort, and in real life, for that mat-
ter, the law-breaker always did leave
a clue for tho pursuers. Thereupon
arose a determination to demonstrate
practically that It was quite as pos-
sible to create an Inerrant fugitive as
to conceive an infallible detective.
Joining the passers-by on the side-
walk, he made his way leisurely to
Canal street, and thence diagonally
through the old French quarter toward
the French market. In a narrow alley
giving upon the levee he finally found
what he was looking for; a dingy sail-
ors' barber's shop. The barber was
a negro, fat, unctuous and sleepy look-
ing, and he was alone.
"Yes, sah; shave, boss?" asked the
negro, bowing and scraping a foot
when Griswold entered.
"No; a hair cut." The customer
produced a silver half-dollar. "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," he added, climbing into the
The fat negro shuffled 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 pur-
pose. The result was a fairly com-
plete 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.
"There, I think that will answer,"
he told himself, standing back before
the cracked looking-glass to get the
general effect. "And it is decently
original. The professional cracksman
would probably have shaved, where-
upon the first amateur detective he
Griswold Went Out Smiling Between
met would reconstruct the beard on
the sunburned lines. Now for a pawn-
broker; and the more avaricious he
happens to be, the better he will serve*
He went 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 re-
quired was not far to seek in that lo-
cality, and when It was found, Gris-
wold drove a hard bargain with the
Portuguese Jew behind the counter.
The pledge he offered was the suit he-
was wearing, and the bargaining con-
cluded in an exchange of the still serv-
iceable business suit for a pair of but-
ternut 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 ex-
actly what Griswold had prefigured.
The Portuguese, most suspicious ot
his tribe, suspecting everything but
the truth, flatly accused his customer
of having stolen the pledge. And
when Griswold departed without deny-
ing the charge, suspicion became con-
viction, and the pledged clothing,,
which might otherwise have given the
police the needed clue, was carefully
hidden away against a time when the
Jew's apprehensions should be quieted.
Having thus disguised himself, Gris-
wold made the transformation artisti-
cally 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
the moribund book, the pistol, and
the money in the red handkerchief;
and having surveyed himself with
some satisfaction in the bar mirror
of a riverside pot-house, a daring im-
pulse to test his disguise by going
back to the restaurant where he had
breakfasted seized and bore him up-
The experiment was an unqualified
success. The proprietor of the bank-
neighboring cafe not only failed to rec-
ognize him; he was driven forth with
revllings in idiomatic French and brok-
"Bete! Go back on da levee w'ere
you belong to go. I'll been kipping dia
cafe for zhentlemen! Scelerat! Go!"
GriBwold went out, smiling between
"That settles the question of iden-
tification and present safety," he as-
sured himself exultantly. Then: "I
believe I could walk into the Bayou
State Security and not be recognized."
As before, the daring impulse was
Irresistible, and he gave place to It
on the spur of the moment. Fouling
a five-dollar bill In the mud of the gut-
ter, he went boldly into the bank and
asked the paying teller to give him
silver for It. The teller Bniffed at the
money, Bcowled at the man, and turned
back to his cash book without a word.
Griswold's smile grew to an Inward
laugh when he reached the street
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
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Gunsenhouser, M. H. The Herald-Sentinel. (Cordell, Okla.), Vol. 22, No. 47, Ed. 1 Thursday, July 29, 1915, newspaper, July 29, 1915; (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc168570/m1/4/: accessed October 21, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.