Canadian Valley Record (Canton, Okla.), Vol. 9, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 11, 1913 Page: 3 of 9
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CANADIAN VALLEY RECORD, CANTON, OKLAHOMA.
„ o • h3w1n • myers
horns In M«I k a Hamilton Gregory's
S l ut finds him absent;
F th®,choir at a camp meeting I
Ituiirh 3ialri3 thither in search of him'
S8 dAUJ^ ,1ervice and is asked t<J
* (COPVQIGHT 1912
leave a kk ?♦service and is asked td
Abbott Ashton, superintendent ot
W tT8 Frar' from the tent. He
Klvhefn,£re?0,ry. Is. a wealthy man,
Sr nf .Ie 'd,in charity work, and a
eriafiJ i church. Ashton becomes
fn Ib't interesfed in Fran and* while tak-
se5n h^6c u?r' holds her hand and is
ort ruy ®ap1hlra hinton, sister of Rob-
Ivair'intoh. chairman of the school board
r ran tolls rirocnn. _
irVorT' V .' ' Auai,", n or me scnool board,
with hi™ Gregory she wants a home
Grace Noir. Gregory's private
anrf tal5es a violent dislike to Fran
Vran M tes to s° away at once.
„.r?n hints at a twenty-year-old secret,
Gf*«ory lri agitation asks Grace to
If Ini n room. Fran relates the story
?JefffLr.Y married a young girl at
opringfleld while attending college and
then deserted her. Fran Is the child of
that marriage Gregory had married his
present wife three years before the death
mother- Fran takes a liking to
rs„ , G^gory. Gregory explains that
il®" ,'s the daughter of a very dear friend
wno Is dead. l-ran agrees to the story.
h^rn« Z?i*0rH lnsiKts on her making her
home wit i them and takes her to her
aJ"ms~ •'ran declares the secretary must
. .aceJ Resins nagging tactics In an
hnmi *Ye ?ran from the Gregory
« ^hile takinS a walk alone
wL u ? t' flnds Fran on a bridge tell-
!"f. .°.r /or'unf b>" cards. She tells Ab-
T7Vo« xt3 "he is the famous lion tamer.
Iran Nonpareil. She tired of circus life
i£k ™RJU a home" «race decides to ask
h™. p0" . po lo Springfield to Inves-
tigate Fran s story. Fran offers her
F^rvices to Gregory as secretary during
ihe temporary absence of Grace. The lat-
hearing of Fran's purpose, returns
and interrupts a touching scene between
father and daughter. Grace tells Gregory
she intends to marry Clinton and quit his
£'. He declares that he cannot con-
tinue his work without her. Carried awav
«ht' ,ak"3 her ln his arms,
i-ran walks In on thern, and declares that
Grace must leave the house at once. To
Gregory s consternation he learns of
C linton s mission to Springfield. Clinton
fIuu sPr'ngfi''ld and, at Fran's
request. Abbott urges him not to discuss
wnat he has I^arnod. On Abbott's assur-
ance that Grace will leave Gregorv at
once. Clinton agrees to keep silent. Driv-
en into a corner by the threat of ex-
r°rVZe- £regor7 i? forced "> dismiss
Wnf; ,is offered the job of hook-
Keeper in Clinton s grocery store. Greg-
ory s Infatuation loads him to seok Grace
at the grocery. He finds her alone and
tells her the story of his past. Grace
St! ! « out that as he married the pres-
ent Mrs. Gregory before the death of
ri?in VJ?othSr' .h,e 18 not now 'egally mar-
ried. They decide to flee at once. They
attempt to escape during the excitement
?u ai. s,reet fair and are forced to enter
the lion tent to avoid Clinton.
The show-girl was fastened in the
central cage. The clowns raised the
Inner doors, and the lions shot from
their cramped quarters swift as fawny
arrows. They were almost against
the slight figure, without 6eeming to
observe her. For the fourth time since
noon they stood erect, sniffing the air,
their bodies uticonfined by galling tim-
bers and chilling iron. For the fourth
time this day, they were to be jnit
through their tricks by force of fear.
They hated these tricks, aa they hated
the small cages in which they could
not lash their tails. They hated the
"baby carriage" In which one was
presently to sit, while the other
pushed him over the floor, his sullen
majesty sport for the rabble. They
hated the board upon which they must
see saw, while the woman stood ln the
middle, preserving equilibrium.
But greater than the lion's hatred,
was their fear of the woman; and
greater than their fear of her was
their terror of that long Berpent which,
no matter how far it might dart
through space, remained always in the
woman's hand. They well knew its
venomous bite, and as they slunk from
side to side, their eyes were upon
Its coiling black tongue.
"I met Fran on the street," mur-
mured Abbott, as he watched, unblink-
lngly. "She said she was going to
visit a sick friend. When did you see
Fran last, Simon?"
"Don't know," Simon said, discour-
agingly. "Now they're going to see-
saw. The black-maned one is the
hardest to manage. I reckon, one day.
he'll just naturally jump afoul of her,
and tear her to pieces. Look at him!
I don't believe this girl is going to
make him get up on top of that board.
My! how he is showing his teeth at
her. Say! This is a pretty good
Show, hey? Glad you came, uh? Say!
Look at his teeth!"
In truth, the black-maned Hon
opened his mouth to a frightful extent,
making, however, not the slightest
sound. He refused to Jjudgo.
Samson!" cried the woman, im-
pellingly. The other lion was patient-
ly standing on his end of the board,
waiting. He seemed fast asleep. Sam-
eon, however, was wide awake and
every cruel tooth was exposed as he
Btretched his 'mouth. In his amber
eyes was the glow of molten copper.
Suddenly Samson wheeled about,
I and made a rush for tyg end of the
| see-saw. He stepped upon it. He was
conquered. His haste to obey, evi-
dently the result of fear and hatred,
produced a ripple of laughter. The
other lion, feeling the sudden tremor
of Samson's weight, opened his eyes
suddenly and twitched his tail. He
was not asleep, after all.
Abbott found himself intensely nerv-
ous. He longed to have it all over,
anxious, above all, to prove his [ears
groundless. Yet how were so many
coincidences to be explained away?
Fran had been a show-girl, a trainer of
lions, and Abbott distinctly remem-
bered that she had spoken of a "Sam-
son." Fran had just these movements
and this height. He missed Fran's
mellow voice, but voices may be dis-
guised; and the hands now raised to-
ward the audience may have been
stained dark. Who was that "sick
friend" that Fran had possibly men-
tioned only as an excuse for escaping?
Was that a subterfuge? And why this
red mask which, according to Simon
Jefferson, was an innovation?
At every trick, the black-maned lion
When the time came for the clown
to hand the woman her violin he was
afraid, and withdrew his arm with
marvelous rapidity. His grotesque dis-
guise could not hide his genuine un-
easiness. The members of the band,
too, played their notes with unusual
care, lest the slightest deviation from
routine work bring catastrophe. Noth-
ing had gone right but the see-sawing
act; but of all this, the crowd was ig-
After the violin playing—"Now," Si-
mon Jefferson announced, gleefully,
'there's only one more act, but it's a
corker, let me tell you—that's why
she's resting a minute. La Goni2etti
gets astride of Samson—the one that*
mad—and grabs his mane, and pre-
tends to ride like a cowboy. Calls her-
self a rough rider. Makes Samson
get on top of that table, then she gets
on top of him."
"But this isn't La Gonizetti," Abbott
protested, shuddering again.
"Now you've said something. That's
right. But it looks like she's game—
she'll trjr it—we'd better stand a little
A hand was laid upon Abbotfs arm.
"Abbott," said the voice of Robert
Clinton, harsh from smothered excite-
ment, "You went to Gregory s house
—did you see him?"
Abbott did not hear. The refractory
lion, knowing that his time had come
to be ridden, was asserting his inde-
pendence. He would not leap upon
the table. The other lion stood watch-
ing sleepily Jo see if he would obey.
"That you, Clinton?" Simon's
greeting was tense with enjoyment.
"Got here for the best of it didn't
you! Seems to me I saw Gregory
somewhere not long ago, but I wasn't
thinking about him."
"Hercules!" the masked woman ad-
dressed the gentler of the lions. "Go.
to your place. Hercules—go to your
Hercules turned to his blue box,
and seated himself upon It, leaving his
tail to take care of itself.
The show-girl was fiercely address-
ing the black-maned Hon. "Now! Ndw!
To the table! To the table!''
Samson did not budge. Facing the
woman of the mask, he opened his
mouth, revealing the red cave of his
throat—past the Ivory sentinels that
not only stood guard, but threatened
one could look down and down. This'
was no yawn of weariness, but a sign
of rebellion—a sort of noiseless roar
The trainer retreated to the farther
side of the cage, then made a forward
rush, waving her whip, and shouting
clangorously, "Up. Samson, up Sam-
son, up!" She did not pause in her
course till close to his face.
Again he opened his mouth, baring
every tooth, voiceless, but uncon-
Hercules, finding that affairs had
come to a halt, slowly descended from
his box, keeping his half-opened eyes
upon the woman. Restlessly he be-
gan to pace before the outer door.
The slight figure withdrew several
steps, then smote the rebellious lion a
sharp blow across the mouth He
snapped at the lash. It slipped away
from between hia teeth. Having res-J
cued her whip, she shouted to the oth-]
er lion: "Back to your place, Hercules.
Hercules—back to your place!"
She stood pointing sternly toward
the box, but Hercules stretched him-
self across the place of exit and lay
watching her covertly.
The faces of the band boys had be-
come of a yellowish paleness.
Froi^ behind the mask came the
voice so loud that it sounded as a
scream—"Up, Samson, up, Samson—
Then it was that Samson found his
voice. A mighty roar shook the loose-
ly-set bars of the central cage—they
vibrated visibly. The roar did not
come as one short sharp note of de-
fiance; it rose and fell, then rose anew,
varying in the inflections of the voice
of a slave who dares to threaten, fears
even while he threatens, and gathers
passion from his fear.
At that fearful reverberation, the
audience started up, panic-stricken.
Hitherto, the last act had been regard-
ed as a badly-played comedy; now
tragedy was in the air.
Gregory and Grace Nolr at that in-
stant, became alive to their surround-
ings. Hitherto, despising the show, re-
bellions at the destiny which had
forced them to attend It, they had
been wholly absorbed in their efforts
to escape observation. The roaring of
the lion startled them to a perception
of the general alarm.
Grace clung to Gregory. "Oh, save
me!" she panted hysterically.
The voice of the woman behind the
bars rang throughout the tent—"Sit
down!" The voice was not loud, now,
but singularly penetrating. "Sit down,
all of you, and remain absolutely mo-
tionless, or I am lost."
Grace Nolr, her eyes closed, her
cheeks pallid, leaned her head upon
Gregory's shoulder, quivering convul-
"There, there," Gregory whispered
in Jier ear, soothingly, "everything
will be all right."
The masked woman for the second
time addressed the terrified audience,
still not venturing to turn her head in
their direction: "Whoever moves, or
speaks, or cries aloud, will be my mur-
derer. I have only one hope left, and
I'm going to try it now. I ask you
people out there to give me just this
"Samson, Up! Samson, Up! Samson,
one chance for my life. Keep absolute-'
Again Samson uttered his terrible
roar. It alone was audible. Tier above
tier, faces rose to the tent-roof, white
and set. The audience was like one
huge block of stone In which only
faces have been carved.
The penetrating voice addressed th«
band boys: "Don't play. He can tell
The agitated music ceased.
Then the woman walked to the far-
therest side of the inclosure. In do-
ing so Ehe was obliged to pass the
crouching form of Hercules, but she
pretended not to know he was there;
she moved sTowly backward, always
At last the vertical bars prevented
farther retreat. Then she lifted her
hand slowly, steadily, and drew off her
crimson mask. It dropped at her feet.
Despite the muffied street-noises that
never ceased to rumble from afar, the
whispering sound of the silken mask,
as it struck the plank floor of the
cage, was distinctly audible.
"Grace!" Gregory whispered in hor-
Grace started from his embrace at
the name and glared down upon the
stage. She sat erect, unsupported,
Gregory's brow was moistened with
a chilled dew. "It's Fran," he mum-
bled, "it's Fran! Grace—pray for her!"
Fran looked Samson steadily in the
eyes, and Samson glared back fixedly.
For a few moments, this quiver be-
tween life and death remained at the
breaking point. Had a stranger at
that moment looked under the tent-
entrance,, he might have thought every-
body asleep. There was neither sound
Grace whispered—"It is the hand of
Her tone was almost inaudible, but
Gregory shrank as from a mortal
blow; its sinister meaning was unmis-
takable. Swiftly he turned to stare at
In Grace's eyes was a wild and om-
inous glare akin to that of the threat-
ening lion. It was a savage conviction
that Fran was at last confronted by
the justice of heaven.
Suddenly Fran crouched forward till
her head was almost on a level with
her waist, in so much that it was a
physical exertion to hold her face up-
lifted. In this sinuous position she
was the embodiment of power. If she
felt misgivings concerning this last,
resource, there was no look to betray
it. Straight toward Samson she
rushed, her body lithe and serpentine,
her direction unerring.
To the beast, Fran had become one
of those mysterious flying serpents
which bite from afar. He felt the
sting of her terrible eyes and his gaze
grew shifty. It wandered away, and,
on returning, found her teeth bared,
as if feeling for his heart.
Rushing up to his very face—"Sam-
son!" she cried, impellingly.
Again he seemed to feel the lash
upon his tawny skin.
"Samson. Up, Samson, up, Samson
Suddenly Samson wheeled about,
and leaped upon the table.
Fran stamped her foot at the other
lion. "Go to your place, Hercules!"
she cried, with something like con
Hercules slowly rose, stretched him-
self, then marched to his box. He
looked^from Fran to the immovable
Sams'on waiting upon the table, then
mounted to his place, and seemed to
And now, at last, Fran looked at the
spectators. Stepping lightly to the
bars, she threw kisses this way and
that, smiling radiantly. "Oh!" she
cried, with vibrating earnestness,
"you people out there—you can't think
how I love you! You've saved my life.
You are perfect heroes. Now make all
the noise you please."
"May we move?" called a cautious
voice from a few feet away. It was
Abbott Ashton, with eyes like stars.
Fran looked at him, wondering at
his thoughts. She answered by an up-
ward movement of her hand.
As though by a carefully rehearsed
arrangement, the audience rose to its
feet, band boys and all. Such a shout!
Such waving of hats and handker-
chiefs! Such unabashed sobs! Such
inarticulateness—such graspings of
neighboring hands! The spectators
had gone mad with joyful relief.
Fran leaped upon the table, and
"Now. I'm a rough rider!" she
shouted, burying her hands in the
mane, and lying along the lion's back
in true cowboy fashion. She plunged,
she shouted loudly, but Samson only
closed his eyes and seemed to sleep.
After that, making the lions return
to their cramped side cages was a
mere detail. The show was ended.
Fran, remaining in the empty cage,
stood at the front, projecting her hand
through the bars to receive the greet-
ings of the crowd. Almost every one
wanted to shake hands with her.
"Look, look!" Simon Jefferson sud-
denly grasped Robert Clinton's hand,
and pointed toward the tent-rrcf.
"There they are!"
Something very strange-ha<J hap
pened up there, but it was Tost to
Clinton's keen jealous gaze—one of
those happenings in the soul, which,
I however momentous, passes unob-
served in the midst of the thr®ng.
"Not so fast!" Grace cautioned
Gregory. "We must wait up here till
the very last—don't you see Mr-Clin-
ton? And Simon Jefferson is now
pointing us out. We can't go dowo
"We!" Gregory harshly echoed.
We! I have nothing to do with you,
Grace Noir. Go to him, if you will."
Grace turned ashen pale. "What do
you mean?" the stammered. "You tell
me to go to Mr. Clinton?"
"I tell you to go where you please.
That girl yonder is my daughter, do
you understand? Don't hold me back!
I shall go to her and proclaim her as
my child to the world. Do you hear
me? That's my Fran!"
Grace shrank back in the suspicion
that Hamilton Gregory had gone mad
like the rest of the crowd. "Do you
mean that you never want to see me
again? Do you mean that you want
me to marry Mr. Clinton?"
"I do not care what you do," he
said, still more roughly.
"You do not care?" she stammered,
bewildered. "What has happened?
You do not care—for me?"
She looked deep into his eyes, but
found no incense burning there. Tho
shrine was cold.
"Mr. Gregory! And after all that
has passed between us? After I have
given you my—myself—"
Gregory seized her arm. as if to hold
her off. His eyes were burning dan-
gerously: "I saw murder In your heart
while you were watching Fr?n," ha
whispered fiercely. "That's my daugh-
ter, do you understand? I know you
now, I know you now. . . ."
Grace stared after him with blood-
less cheeks and smoldering 'eyes.
Clearly, she decided, the sight of
Fran's fearful danger had unbalanced
his mind. But how could he care so
much about that Fran? And how
could he leave her, knowing that Rob-
ert Clinton was beginning to climb
upward with eyes fastened upoi. her
But It was not the sight of Fran's
danger that had for ever alienated
Gregory from Grate Noir. In an in-
stant, she had stood revealed to him
as an unlovely monster. His sensitive
nature, always abnormally alive to out-
ward impressions, had thrilled re-
sponsively to the exultation o'f the au-
dience. He had endured the agony of
suspense, he had shared the universal
enthusiasm. If, in a sense, he was a
series of moods, each the result of
blind impulse, it so happened that
Grace's hiss—"It's the hand of God,"
turned his love to aversion; she was
appealing as a justification of person-
al hatred, to the God they were both
Grace began to tremble as she
watched Robert Clinton coming up,
and Hamilton Gregory descending!
She had trusted foolishly to a broken
reed, but it was not too late to pre-
serve the good name she had been
about to besmirch. The furnace-heat
in which rash resolves are forged, was
cooled. Gregory had deserted Fran'8
mother; he was false to Mrs. Gregory;
he would perhaps have betrayed Grace
in the end; but Clinton was at hand,
and his adoration would endure.
In the meantime, the voice of Fran
was to be heard above that of the
happy crowd: "I love you all. You
helped me do it. I should certainly
have been mangled but for you per-
fect heroes. Yes, thank you. . .
Yes, I feel fine. . . . And. oh, men
and women, I could just feel your
spirits holding mine up till I was so
high—1 was in the clouds. That's what
subdued Samson. He knew I wasn't
afraid. He knew it! And I wanted to
win out for your sakes as well as my
own—yes I did! Thank you men.
. . . Thank you, wopien. .
Well, if here aren't the children, too—
bless your brave hearts! . . . And
is that your baby? My goodness, and
what a baby it is! . . . x0, Tin not
a bit tired—"
She stopped suddenly, on feeling a
crushing grip. She looked down, a
frown forming on her brow, but the
sun shone clear when she saw Abbott
Ashton. She gave him a swift look, as
if to penerate his inmost thought*.
(TO 3E CONTINUED.)
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Canadian Valley Record (Canton, Okla.), Vol. 9, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 11, 1913, newspaper, December 11, 1913; Canton, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc175958/m1/3/: accessed September 20, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.