The Okfuskee County News (Okemah, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 20, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 19, 1920 Page: 7 of 8

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the okfuskee! county news
PAGE SEVEN
!IOLM)IniY mi
CHAPTER I
In the beginning of things he was
merely a number but even that was
creditable because his ' number was
low enough to signify that he had re-
sponded pretty promptly to the rally-
ing call After that and with the
cataclysmic suddenness which marked
all changes of military status on the
western front he became one frosty
morning a Case and got himself
roughly classified (and tenderly han-
dled) as a Stretcher Case a Grand
Blesse and In consequence a proper
temporary Inmate of a field hospital
on the Belgian plains
There he was unofficially known as
Joyeaux or Joyous One not because
he displayed a very buoyant disposi-
tion— far from It I— but because he be-
longed to the Foreign legion and In
the course of another day or two be
was routine-ticketed as an Evacue
and provided with a lukewarm hot-
water bottle and a couple of evll-
smelllnf cigarettes to console him on
the road to the base hospital at Neu-
Illy ' At Neullly he became for th6 first
time since his enlistment an Individ-
ual and at the very outset he was dis-
tinguished by certain qualities which
had pqssed unnoticed In the frying pan
and fire of the trenches For one
thing he was obviously Immune to
kindness and for another be was ap-
parently Immune to hope Be was a
man of Inveterate silence not the
grim silence of fortitude In suffering
(which Is altogether too common a vir-
tue In base hospitals to earn any es-
pecial merit) but rather the dogged
reticence of black moods and chronic
bitterness To be sure speech was
physically difficult to him but other
men with similar misfortunes spoke
blessings with their eyes and gave
back gratitude In voiceless murmurs
Not so the Joyous One From the day
of his arrival he demanded nothing
desired nothing but to brood sullenly
- aloof and so when he became an In-
dividual he also became a mystery to
the nursing staff It was rumored that
he was an Implacable woman hater
and there seemed to be something In
it ' -
’ Regardless of the care of the Amer
ican nurses (all boveringly attentive
to one of their own nation who had
fought for France) his spirit remained
abysmal and clouded In gloom Only
twice In the Initial month of his con-
finement did he betray the weakness
of an ordinary emotion on each occa-
sjpn a gold-laced general had come to
salute in the name of the republic one
of the Individual's neighbors and to
deliver a bit of bronze which dangled
from a ribbon striped red and green
It was said (and doubted by those who
hadn't seen It) that at these ceremo-
nies the Individual had grown fever-
ish and let tears come to his eyes but
subsequently be bad relapsed Into
still greater depths of stoicism than
before his own bed-jacket was Inno-
cent of cross or medal and 'his depres-
sion was apparent and acute The
nurses arguing thnt perhaps his pride
was wounded as seriously as his flesh
offered quick condolence and got- them-
selves rebuffed with shrugs of the In-
dividual's shoulders nnd Inarticulate
sounds which had all the earmarks of
suppressed profanity He didn’t even
soften when Pierre Dutout a hard-hit
territorial In the next bed squandered
a day's supply of energy to lean across
and whisper sympathetically to him:
“Old man Vieux espece de choux-
croute I know bow It Is
and I haven't got any friends either
I want you to take my Croix de
Guerre When I go nowhere”
Even when speech returned to the
Individual he was a mnn of curt re-
sponses and stinging monosyllables —
a problem to the surgeons a problem
to the nurses and (If the expression In
his eyes meant anything) an over-
whelming problem to himself It ap-
peared that after all It wasn’t simply
women thnt he hated — It was the uni-
verse His military book Implied that he
had no purents no close relations no
friends to notify no fixed abode He
received no visitors no letters no
packages freighted with magical de-
light But to those who pitied him In
all his loneliness he was utterly con-
temptuous he even went so far as to
fillip sidelong to the floor a religious
post card tendered him by a deVout
and sentimental passer-by and he did
It In her presence unashamed Later
when a smiling orderly picked up thnt
post card and tucked it under his pil-
low he was no less contemptuous In
permitting It to remain But the one
stupendous fact which more than all
else combined made him an object of
bewildered curiosity was this — that of
the scores and scores of men with
head-wounds who were reborn at Neu-
Illy that spring and summer he was
the only one who had never asked for
a mirror
This of Itself wouldn’t have been
astonishing as long as he delayed In
the preliminary stages of recovery for
now nnd then a man with head-wounds
prpves to be super-sensitive but In
the second stage It was remarkable
and in the third stage It was unique
The staff held It to be extraordinary
from a social as well as from a path-
ological viewpoint that a man so ter-
ribly disfigured should have no Inter-
est — not even a morbid Interest — In
his own appearance And It wasn’t
that the Individual was simply Indif-
ferent to the mirror on the contrary
his aversion to It was active and ener-
getic he flinched and motioned It
frantically away as though the mere
conception of seeing himself as others
saw him was too repellant and too
unthinkable t6 endure
There came a day In April when a
photograph was requested of him
Surely he knew where there was a
likeness of himself didn’t be? His
old passport photograph which had
mysteriously disappeared or —
The Individual glanced up from his
present task the wound In his arm
was still annoying and he was ab-
sorbed In learning to write with his
left hand
“What for?” he muttered
"Why" said the nurse cheerfully
“for a model To help the surgeons
They’ll take your picture for a guide
and make you look almost exactly the
way you did before” '
The Individual from America sat up
straight so that the nurse was startled
by his animation which was without
a parallel In his local history
“What!” he said
“Certainly!” The nurse spoke In
the tone one uses to an ailing child
“You’ve known that haven’t you?”
The Individual’s voice was queerly
unmanageable and strained “You
mean to say they’re going to make me
look the way Could they do that?
Could they? Even now?”
IVby of course!’ she assured him
“You never told me thatl" he sold
passionately “Why didn't you? Why
couldn’t you have told mel And here
I've been ” He put his hands to
his bandaged face and seemed to
shrink within himself Then all at once
he burst out: “Well there’s nothing
to prevent Then they could make
me not look like It If they wanted to 1
Isn’t that so?” ’
She regarded him In vast perplexity
hnd thought of summoning a surgeon
for the man had begun to quiver as
though from shell shock — which he
hadn't undergone
“Why I don't understand what you
mean” she said soothingly “But If
you'll Just be calm and — ”
The Individual gestured with fierce
Impatience
“If they can do what you say and
make me look like any old thing they
choose to then what In the devil are
they asking for a photograph for?”
“Why to go by” she said helplessly
“You want to look like your old self
don’t you?”
“No I don't!”
The nurse gasped His tone had been
churlish but the echo oj It vaguely
suggested triumph and relief His
IWs j LtZJ — '
“Let Them Make Me Look Like That”
symptoms had subsided could
It be that he actually was relieved?
Dumfounded she made another effort
to convince him
“But you want to look just as near-
ly like—"
"Don't you suppose I know what 1
want?” he Interrupted rudely
“But haven’t you a photograph any-
way that I can—”
“No I haven’t I” he snapped “1
haven’t" It was a He the passport
photograph was In the lining of a cer-
tain wallet and he had hid It there
for reasons of his own But now that
on great danger was definitely paatj
and a still further bulwark of protec-
tion offered if -the nurse spoke truth
the Individual could afford to come
out from atnhush “And I don't want
to look the wny I did before and
what’s more I never did I But If your
doctors are half as smart as they
think they are let ’em make mo look
like that! Or anything else either—
I don't give a d n 1”
Shocked and horrified she was gaz-
ing at a picture postcard he had
snatched from under his pillow and
thrust upon her It was a reproduc-
tion of a religious painting by Retn-
brnmft It was the radiant face of tlic
Christ
CHAPTER II
Nine o’clock on a night In June — not
a June evening heavy-starred on vel-
vet but a furious June night with
Styglnn blackness looping overhend
and Styglnn water battering and boil-
ing against the hull plates The ship
was dark as the night Itself blind
dark without a single ray to play the
traitor- On deck a solitary venturer
hugged the rail and apathetically
watched the waves tear past
Out of the warmth nnd cheer and
the vitiated atmosphere of the union-
ing room came Martin Harmon big
florid exuberant A heaving lift of
the deck sent him lurching sidewise:
he saved his balance by struggling
toward the rail when suddenly the
slope was reversed and he slipped
and slid to the barrier of safety
clutched It and found himself at arm's
length from the lonely watcher who
hadn't stirred or even turned his
head
"Hello!” said Harmon his surprise
tinctured with easy familiarity "Some
night 1”
“Yes It Is” The tone of the re
aponse was curt so curt that Harmon
Instinctively lenned forward to dis-
cover what expression of countenance
went with It The night was so black
that he might as well have tried to
penetrate a curtain of solid fabric
“Seen any U-boats yet?” he asked
humorously
‘ “Not yet" The taciturn one moved
a trifle away a man less thin-skinned
and less dined nnd wined than Har-
mon would probably have taken the
hint And removed himself but Har-
mon's was an Inquisitive disposition
nnd he never attempted to curb It—
he was the sort of traveling compan-
ion who tnnkes Christians refleo up-
on the definition of justifiable y ml-
clde "Whnt Is your line?” he ImJ Ired
after a pause
The other mnn laughed queer1-!
“The first If it male so
much difference to you” -
“Beg pardon? 1 don’t quite get you
You sold ”
“I said the first line I meant the
first-line trenches I’ve been In -It"
Harmon Jerked his head upward In
comprehension
'“Oh I see! You mean the war!
And you’ve been right on thA spot
where the fighting Is? Pretty j'iel
up there Isn’t It? Something sff king
most all the time?” ’
“I Imagine so" The other tjafl’s
accent was amazingly diffident' and
Harmon peered at him Incredulous
“Good Lord don’t you know?”
“Not a great deal I happened to
get hit the first day I was In the
trenches”
"But you got In It again afterward
I suppose? I’ll bet you did 1"
“No"
“What I You never got back at all?
Just one day and you’re through?”
“Yes After I was discharged from
hospital I was discharged from the
army too Permanently unfit"
“English army?" -’’d !
“No— French"
“Well that’s some record!” said
Harmon appreciatively “That cer-
tainly Is some record ! Not to say
tough luck — the toughest kind Going
back home I take It?”
“Looks that way doesn’t It?”
Harmon Ignored the sarcasm
“Back to work eh? What did you
say your line Is?”
“I didn’t say I haven’t any Just
now”
Harmon pondered a second
“Oh ! Gentleman of leisure? Sol-
djer of fortune- eh? Well I wouldn’t
worry If I were yoq You're disap-
pointed that’s natural but the
world hasn’t come to an end yet Of
course It Is something of a come-down
to leave the army and get Into harness
again but after all there’s plenty of
excitement right In the United States
Big work to be done sonl Big money
to mnke And It helps the -war along
too I tell you there never was a big-
ger opportunity to mnke money than
there Is right this minute The hard
Job Isn't to find the scheme It's to find
the men to run It Don’t you worry
' you’ll land something right off
the bnt!”
“Thanks for the compliment!”
“Oh It’s no compliment! Anybody
can mnke money these days It’s a
plain statement of fact Say
let’s go In nnd have something - Come
In nnd be sociable Whnt you want’s
a drink Am I right or am I wrong?”
“Well—”
"And that’s whnt the doctor or-
dered 1 Come on ! It’s on me”
The other man hesitated and nt
last succumbed out of sheer uncon-
cern to a companionship he realized
In advance would be distasteful
“All right” he consented briefly
and together arm In arm they stum-
bled and tacked across the treacherous
deck nnd presently crossed the thresh-
old Into the hazy light of the smoking
room Harmon smiling broadly wiped
the brine from his smarting eyes
“Now then” he said “what particu-
lar brand of poison do you—” And
broke off short and stared fascinated
at the extraordinary young man In
front of him
- — LL32
He was anywhere from twenty-flvs
to forty this American from the dis-
tant trenches and his age wus as hard
to guess as a clever woman’s there
uus something about him peculiar to
youth and yet when his face was In
repose he might easily hove claimed
two score of years und gone undis-
puted It was a face which sugges'ed
both the fire of Immaturity anil the
drain of experience the’re was brenth
taking gravity about It a bint of the
d'gnlty of marble of ngejess pertna
nence It was a slightly thin face
scarred by a heavy line or two and
't:'!y stamped with the evidence
of Inlehse thought and In’vurd suffer-
ing lut it lacked the hollows which
nt the first glance' should have sup
rorled the evidence It was n thin and
oval face with a month of large nnd
sympathetic sweetness a forehead
white nnd high a prominent (lellente
nose nnd Irises of clear luminous
gray It wasn’t altogether an Anglo-
Saxon type of countenance nor wa
It definitely European It seemed
rather to have taken all the better
qualities from several races It was
a face to inspire Immediate trust Rtiri
confidence nnd respect nnd Harmon
despite h!s lack of practice In all three
of these reactions was evidently at
trncted by It
“Vrchy-Celestlns for me” said the
old-young man Indifferently
“I'll I guess I'll have vlchy
too” said Harmon relaxing “If It
wasn't for something I can't Just de-
scribe -I’d say well never
mind Er whnt business have
you been In by the way?”
The younger mnn’s reply was tardy
and not particularly grnclous
“Why the longest time I ever pu
In at any one business was selling In-
surance The Inst thing I did was to
sell bonds Why?”
Harmon stiffened “A snlesmnn
Good Lord! That's the last thing In
the world I'd have but say!
You 'must have been a whirlwind
Why a man with a presence like your
would hardly have toopen his mouth!
You’ve got a sort of I’ll be
hanged If I know whnt to call It’
but 1 a kind of feeling If you know
what I mean Salesman I Why all
you need Is an Introduction and a dot-
ted line!’'
The young man laughed rather for-
lornly and sipped his vlchy
“Just at’ present I haven’t either”
Harmon’s gaze was unfaltering and
his Interest and admiration bounded
higher Mechanically In accordance
-vlth Ids habits he was striving to dis-
cover how tills new acquaintance
might be put to practical u-o “Was
I right or was I wrong? Playing In
hard luck don’t strengthen a man’s
courage much even If he tries to bluff
himself Into thinking ft does Cut out
the regret stuff that’s my advice and
you can tnk It or leave If Forget
all that tough luck you hnd over here
nnd get busy figuring nut how you’re
going to cash In on all your experi-
ence America's full of chauces—
you'll land something big In no time
Can’t help It If you try Salesman!
Son you’re carrying your best recom-'
mendntion right on top of your own
shoulders !”
The young man gave him back a wry
smile and finished his vlchy
“I only hope It comes true” he said
Harmon looked at him steadily and
falling under the spell of those radiant
features stared and stared until he
came to himself and all at once
brought his fist down on the table so
that the glasses rang again
"Well why shouldn’t It? As a mat-
ter of fact why shouldn't It?”
The younger man’s expression hadn't
changed “Meaning what?”
“Meaning” said Harmon deliberate-
ly “that the first thing I’ve got to do
“Meaning What?"
when I get home Is to hunt up a couple
of good salesmen myself- Are you
hunting for a good Job or aren't you?”
“Aaen’t you a little husty?” The
young man's Intonation was sardonic
“I've cleaned up most of my money”
sold Harmon very slowly to the cell-
ing “by making quick decisions I
make up my mind pretty fast If you
can Interest me on short notice you
can Interest other people’ Mind you
we’re Just discussing this — sort of
thinking out loud No obligation on
either side Doesn’t do any barm to
talk about It does It?”
“Then suppose" said the young man
placidly “you define your Idea of a
good job I'm rather particular”
"But you admit you’re out of luck
and — ”
“But you admit I’m a whirlwind"
The young man smiled with falut
amusement
"I said you ought to be — with train-
ing” The young man's mouth turned up
ward at the corners
“Go nheud and describe the Job”
"Well my idea of a pretty sweet Job
for a man of your age Is — to start Jf
course — about twenty a week and
commissions”
“Yes? What ppr cent commission?"
“Oh eight to ten per cent"
The young mau glanced at Harmon
and laughed quietly
“You’re a broker of course but that
doesn't sound much like conservative
Investment securities to me What
Is It — Industrials?”
Harmon gri ringed
“Yes I’m a broker” He set down
his glass and fumbled for a card
"There! But I was thinking more
about stocks than bonds Some new
Montnna properties — copper and zinc
Metals are the big noise these days
I guess you realize that don’t you?
Munition work”
The younger man glanced at the
curd "My name Is Hilliard Weil-
ls competition so keen you can afford
to pay that high for business or Is
the stuff Just hard to sell?"
Harmon who hud begun to nod as-
sent to the first question looked rather
blank at the second but rallied
quickly
“Competition But th era's money In
It and you’ll get your share of It too—
believe mef I've got a sneaking sus-
picion that you and I can do business
together Wnnt to consider It?”
“All this on such short acquaint-
ance? Aren’t you taking a fearful
chance?"
Harmon saw that the young man’s
Irises were extremely luminous' and
clear he leaned forward seriously
“I’m pimply backing my hunch son In
the long run It pays me — pays me
well I’ve sort of taken a fancy to
you As for as I know you may be
the rottenest salesman In the whole
United States I wouldn’t hire your
experience without some references
and maybe a surety company back of
you but I'd hire that face of yours
and your manner and your voice off-
hand I’d hire your front — not your
past! And let me tell you right now
son I never mode a trade as fast as
this before In my life But there's
something about you that Well?”
The young man waa thoughtful- and
unblinking
“You’r'e actually making me a prop
osltlon are you?”
“Absolutely” — Harmon’s tfst on the
table provided the exclamation point
“Here — I don't know ypu and you
don’t know me but If you’re hunting
for a Job you've found It It’s
your next move”
The young map's lips parted In
grave good humor Harmon was spell-
bound at the effect
“I’ll try not to keep yotf waiting
This speed of yours mther entices me
Besides If my face is my fortune’ I’d
better find it out as soon as possible
This organization of yours is In New
York city Isn’t it?"
“My headquarters are but I’d want
you to work outside I've got one spe-
cial town In mind — up the state That’s
where this list Is It's always been
one of our hardest markets and It's
got money to burn Can’t swing It
somehow— they don’t respond to any
ordinary selling tulk they’re too hide-
bound ' conservative You know the
kind' Government-bond crowd And
for a year or so they’ve been making
war profits till you can’t see ’em foi
dust Manufacturing town And I'd
like tulghty well to ship you up there
for a month or two give you time
enough to get your bearings and tuir
you loose You ought to do great work
In a place like that They need a chap
like you— confound It!" He halted
abruptly and shook his head In greaf
bewilderment “I can’t make It out
at all! You've got the appearance ot
a well a Sort of a strait-laced
youngster If you know what I mean
and yet the way you say things I — "
The young mau gestured blandly
“And the toivn you have In mind?’
"It’s Syracuse New York"
"Syracuse?” The young man’s chin
was squared by a ruler and notleeablj
thrust forward
“Yes know anybody there?”
Hllllnrd laughed unpleasantly an
resumed h'3 former attitude
“Vtiiy It so happens” he said bit-
ing the wolds off sharply '“that I wai
born and brought up In Syracuse and
If there’s any one plnce In the worlc
I care less about than any other placi
that’s the one I'm sorry bm
I’m afraid we’re at cross purposes
from here on”-
Harmon showed his vexation
"What’s the matter? Haven’t you kepi
on good terms with your old friends?’
“No”
Harmon frowned
“Well Is It so bad you couldn’t dc
any business there? How do they re
member you?”
The young man regarded him ston
lly for an Instant then gradually a
far-away expression crept Into his
eyes he started and caught his
breath
“I’ll let you Judge for -yourself” lie
brought out a fiat leather wallet from
wlifeh he extracted a tiny photograph
'torn from an old passport “What dc
you think of that?”
Harmon scanned It superficially
“Nice-looking bay Who Is he?”
“It was taken two years ago” said
Hilliard resting his elbows on ths
table “You wanted to know how they
remember me so Tm showing you
That's a photograph of me taken twe
years ago” 1
“Impossible !” Harmon snorted It
"That doesn’t look any more like you
than than I do I Let’s omit
the comedy I'm talking business I”
The young man’s mouth curled
“Don’t be mistaken Mr Harmon—
there's very little Joking la me whs
I ever mentjon Syracuse” Harmon
shivered at the tone but waved the
photograph In scoffing accusation
“You’re not trying to sit there and
tell me—”
“I told you I was In hospital for
nearly a year I believe” said Hilliard
Icily “It was shrapnel — across the
face As a matter of fact I didn’t
have much of any face left But the
surgeons — they’re pretty clever Yee—
they’re clever!” Hilliard’s- eyes were
needle points “They make a man over
from Ids own photograph In my owa
case I preferred It differently So
when they asked me for something to
use as a pattern In remodeling me I
gave ’em this!” He tossed out a pic-
ture postcard soiled and frayed
“Well that’s where the trouble began
They cursed me up and down for a
still that part of It won’t Interest
you !” Ills eyes were nlazing now and
his voice shook with passion “Natu-
rally I hadn’t meant It as d— -r-1
literal as all that but they hn3
me under ether before I could help
myself and they went tlwough
with It und cursed me some
more afterward They couldn't
copy It exactly of course but they did
the best they could - 'Gloated
over It! Took Infinite pains to make
It perfect and sneered at me
while they did It! Sneered— and
laughed Well you’ve got the
results In front of you That’s what
I was— and that’s what I am! What’s
your opinion now?” The last sentence
came snarling through set teeth
The broker's pupils bad dilated
grossly his eyes wandered vacantly
from the photograph to the postcard
and back to Hilliard’s face His whole
Imagination was pinned down and
crushed he swore softly under bis
breath and wet his lips '
“It's a a miracle 1” be stam-
mered “A miracle! ”
“The photograph” said Hilliard
harshly “Is the way they remember
me up In Syracuse Do you think
they’d ever recognize me now?”
"It’s a miracle t It's paralyz-
ing! ” Harmon ‘swallowed hard
and looked down almost fearfully at
the time-worn postcard “There’s so
much difference nobody’d ever
think of It without knowing
but when you see the original !
It It knocks me all In a heap 1
It's staggering! And they did that to
you I Just to think they could do that
to you! I’ve got to have a
drink 1”
Hilliard motioned Impatiently but
bis fit of rage was slowly going down
“There’s no miracle about It at a'l
It was good plastic surgery If they’d
sent me out looking as I used to you
wouldn’t call It a miracle would you?
No It's only what they did do that
makes It staggering But It’s clever—
oh yes— clever ! And you can see for
yourself how few marks of It there
are” He drew a long breath and man-
aged to smile again but the effect was
shocking for while his features were
composed and kindly his eyes were
venomous “Wpll I certainly never
Intended to go to Syracuse again for
pleasure but If there's enough com-
pensation to pay for the risk I'm not
afraid to try It on business”
His accent sent cold chills coursing
down Harmon’s spine "In fact now
that 1 think of It It ought to be
rather amusing !”
The broker was striving to pull him-
self together
“But why on earth didn’t you have
'em use your own picture for a copy
“But Why on Earth Didn’t You Hava
Them Use Your Own Picture?”
If they’re as clever as
Oh !’’ He stopped short and his chin
dropped "Oh 1 Is that the answer?”
“Yes” sold Hllllnrd reclaiming the
two photographs “That’s the answer
I didn't mind starting over again
only — ” He sighed and Inhaled might-
ily "Only take my advice Mr Har-
mon and don’t lose your temper Just
before an operation”
Harmon breqthed more freely but
he was still In violent Intellectual dis-
tress He round face wras vapid with
awe and he was tonguelng his lips In
constant nervousness for the complete
possibility of the situation was creep-
lng over him
“If that’s the case" he ventured
"why they surely needn’t rec-
ognize your name either Mr Hilliard
need they? I mean If you had any
Idea of going back to your home town
Incognito afe It were—”
“They wouldn’t recognize anything
about' me” said Hilliard dryly His
teeth showing at the moment were
white and regular as a young wolfs -“We
won’t discuss that side of It Just
(Continued next week) J
A sh— J

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The Okfuskee County News (Okemah, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 20, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 19, 1920, newspaper, February 19, 1920; Okemah, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1713569/m1/7/ocr/: accessed May 16, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

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