Farmers' Champion (Elgin, Okla.), Vol. 5, No. 19, Ed. 1, Wednesday, February 17, 1915 Page: 5 of 8
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ELGIN OKLA. FARMERS CHAMPION
OoprrliM br rrdr1ei A. Oo
Tlicro are two ways of doing battlo
against disgrace. You limy Hvo It
down; or you mny run nwny from It
and lildc. Tlio first method Is heart-
breaking but sure. The second enn-
not he relied upon becnuso of the un-
comfortable way dlegrnco has of turn-
ing up nt your heels Just when you
think you hnvo eluded her In tho last
town but one.
Ted Terrlll did not chooso tho first
method. He had It thrust ujkhi htm.
After Ted had served his term ho
caino back homo to visit Ills mother's
grave Intending to tako tho next trnln
out. He wore uono of tho prison pal-
lor that you read about In books be-
cause hu had been shortstop on tho
penitentiary all-star baseball team nnd
famed for the dexterity with which ho
could grab up red-hot grounders. Tho
storied lock step and the clipped hair
effect also were missing. Tho super-
intendent of Ted's prison had been ono
of the reform kind.
You never would hnvo picked Ted
for a criminal. He had none of thoso
Interesting phrenological bumps and
depressions that usually nro shown to
such frank ndvantago In tho llcrtlllon
photographs. Ted hnd been assistant
cashier In the Citizens' National bank.
In a mad moment he had attempted a
llttlo sleight-of-hand act In which cer-
tain Citizens' Nntlonal funds wcro to
bo transformed Into certain glittering
shares and back again so quickly that
tho examiners couldn't follow It with
their eyes. Hut Ted was unnccustomed
to these now-you-soe-lt-nnd-now-you-don't
feats and his hand slipped. Tho
trick dropped to tho floor with an
Ted had been a lovable young kid
six feet high and blond with a great
reputation as a dresser. Ho had tho
first yellow plush hat in our town. It
sat on his golden head llko a halo.
Tho women all liked Ted. Mrs. Dank-
worth the dashing widow (why will
widows persist in being dashing?)
said that ho was tho only man In our
town who know how to wear a dress
suit. The men were forever slap-
ping him on tho back and asking him
to have a little something. Ted's good
looks and his clever tonguo and a cer-
tain charming Irish way ho had with
him' caused him to bo taken up by tho
smart set. Now if you've never lived
in a small town you will bo much
amused at tho idea of Us boasting a
smart set. Which proves your Igno-
rance. The small town Btnaft set Is
deadly serious about its smartness.
It likes to tnko six-hour runs down to
the city to fit a pair of Bhoes and hear
Caruso. Its clothes are as welt mado
and Its scandals as crisp and Its paco
as haBty and Its golf club as dull as
the clothes and scandals and paco and
golf club of Its city cousins.
The hasty race killed Ted. Wo tried
to keep step In a set of young folks
whoso fathers had made our town.
And all tho time his pockctbook was
yejllng "Whoa!" The young pcoplo
ran largely to scarlet upholstered tour-
ing cars and country-club doings and
house parties ns small town younger
generations nro apt to. When Ted
went to high school half tho boys In
his llttlo clique spent their otter-school
hours dashing up and down Main
street In their big glittering cars sit-
ting slumped down on tho middle of
their spines In front of tho steering
wheel their sleeves rolled up their
hair combed a militant pompadour.
Ono or lli other of them always took
Ted along. It Is fearfally easy to de
Tec Saw Him Coming and
velop a taste for that kind of thing.
As he grew older the taste took root
and became a bablt
Ted came out after serving his term
still handsome spite of all that story
writers may havo taught to the con-
trary. Dut wo'Il make this concession
to the old tradition. There was a dif-
ference. His radiant blondeur was
dimmed tn some Intangible elusive
way. Birdie Callahan who had worked
In Ted's mother's kitchen for years
nnd who had gone back to her old Job
at the Haley house after her mistress'
death put it sadly thus:
"Ho was always th' han'somo dlvll.
I used to look forward to lronln' day
Just for tho plaonuro of prcssln his
fancy shirts for him. I'm that partial
to them swell blonds. Hut I dlnnnw
he's changed. Doln' time has taken
the edgo off his hair an' complexion.
Not changi- his color do yuh ml1
but dulled It like a gold ring or the
like that has tnrnlshed."
Ted was seated In tho smoker with
n chip on his shoulder nnd n sick hor-
ror of encountering someone ho knew
In his heart when Jo Haley of tho
Haley house got on at V'estport
homeward bound. Jo Haley Is tho
moBt eligible bachelor In our town
and tho slipperiest. Ho Iior mado the
Haley houso a gem so that traveling
men will cut half n dozen towns to
Sunday there. If he should say "Jump
through this!" to any girl In our town
Jo Haley strolled leisurely up the
car alslo toward Ted Ted saw him
coming nnd snt very still waiting.
"Hello Ted! How's Ted?" said Jo
Haley crsually.. And dropped Into t! c
ndjolnlng Bent without any more fuss
Ted wet his lips slightly nnd tried
to sny something. Hu had been a
breezy talker. Hut tho words would
not come. Jo Hnlcy mado no effort
to cover tho situation with a rush of
cnnvcrsntlon. Ho did not seem to
renllzo that there was any situation to
cover. He champed tho nnd of his
cigar and handed ono to fed.
"Well you've taken your llckln.
kid. What you going to do now?"
Tho rawness of It mado Ted wince.
"Oh I don't know" ho Btnmmered.
"I'vo got a Job halt promised In Chi-
cago." "What doing?"
Ted laughed n short ugly laugh.
"Driving a brewery auto truck."
Jo Haley tossed his cigar dexterous-
ly to tho opposite orner of his mouth
nnd Bqulnted thoughtfully along Its
"Homcmbor thnt Wcnzel girl that's
kept books for me for tho la3t six
years? She's leaving In n couple of
months to marry n New York guy thnt
travels for ladles' cloaks nnd Suits.
Af i she go It's nix with tho lady
booi.t eepers lor mo. Not thnt Minnie
Isn't n good straight girl nnd honest
but no girl can keep books with one
eyo on a column of figures and the
other on a traveling man In a brown
jult nnd n red necktie unless she's
cross eyed nnd you bet Mlnnlo Isn't.
Tho Job's yours if you want It. Eighty
a month to start on and board."
"I can't Jo. Thanks Just tho
Bnmo I'm going to try to begin all
over again somewhero else whero no-
body knows me."
"Oh yes" said Jo. "I know n fellow
that did that. After he came out ho
grew a beard and woro eyeglasses and
changed his name. Had a quick crisp
way of talkln. nnd ho cultivated n
drawl and went west and started in
business. Ileal estate I think. Any-
way tho second momh he was there
in walks a fool ho used to know nnd
bellows: 'Why. If It ain't Hill! Hello
Hill! I thought you was doing time
yet.' Thnt was enough. Ted you can
black your faco and dye your hair and
squint and some fine day sooner or
lator somobody'll como along and blob
the wholo thing. And say tho older It
goto tbo worso it sounds when it does
como out. Stick around hero whom
you grow up Ted."
Ted clasped and unclnsped his
hands uncomfortably. "I can't figuro
out why you should caro how I finish."
"No reason" answered Jo. "Not n
darned one. I wasn't ever In lovo with
your ma llko tho guy on tho stage;
nnd I never owed your pa a cent. So
It ain't a guilty conscience. I guess
It's Just puro cussedness nnd a ban-
tterln' for a now Investment. I'm curi-
ous to know how'll you turn out.
You'vo got tho makln's o what tho
nowspapers call a leading citizen even
If you did fall down once. If I'd over
had tlmo to get married which I neer
will have n Ilrst-clnss hotel heln'
moro worry and cxjhmiso thnn n Pitts-
burgh steel magnnto's whole harem
lu hnvo wanted somebody to do tho
fat Vary Still Waiting.
"Dretsesl Well Her Golng-Away
same for my Kid. That sounds slushy
but It's straight."
"I don't econi to know how to thank
you" began Ted n little husky as to
"Cnll around tomorrow morning" In-
terrupted Jo Haley briskly "nnd Min-
nie Weuzel will show you tho ropes.
You nnd her can work together for a
couple of mouths. After then she's
leiulng to make her underwear and
that. I should think shu'd havo a halo
of It by this time llcen embroidering
them shimmy things and lunch cloths
tinck of tho desk when sho thought I
wasn't lookln' for the last six months."
Ted camo down next morning at
eight o'clock with his nerve between
his teeth and tho chip still balanced
lightly on his shoulder. Five minutes
later Minnie Wcnzel knocked Jt off.
When Jo Haley Introduced the two
Jocularly knowing that they had origi-
nally met In tho First Header room
Miss Wenzel acknowledged tho Intro-
duction Icily by lifting her left eye-
brow slightly and drawing down tho
corners of her mouth. Her air of hau-
teur was a triumph considering that
sho was handicapped by black sateen
I wonder how ono could best de-
scribe Miss Wenzel? Thero Is ono of
her in every small town. Let mo
think (business of hand on brow).
Well sho always paid eight dollars
for her corsets when most girls In a
similar position got theirs for 59 cents
In tho basement. Naturo bad been
kind to her. Tbo hair that had been
a muddy brown In Mlnnle'a schoolgirl
days It had touched with n magic red-
gold wand. Iilrdlo Callahan always
said that Mlnnlo was working only to
wear out her old clothes.
After tho introduction Miss Wenzel
followed Jo Haley Into tho lobby. Sho
took no pains to lower her voice.
"Well 1 must say Mr. Haley you've
got a fine nerve! If my gentleman
friend was to hear of my working with
an ex-con I wouldn't bo surprised if
he'a break off tho engagement. I
should think you'd havo gomo respect
for tho feelings of a lady with a namo
to keep up nnd engaged to a swell fel-
low llko Mr. SchwnrU."
"Sny listen m' girl" replied Jo Ha-
ley. "Tho law don't cover all tho
tricks. Hut If Btulllng nn order was a
criminal offenso I'll bet your swell
traveling man would be doing n llfo
Ted worked thnt day with his teeth
set so that his Jaws nched next morn-
ing. Mlnnlo Wenzel spoke to him only
when nccesary and then In terms of
dollars and cents. When dinner tlmo
came sho divested herself of tho black
sateen sleevelets wriggled from tho
Blxmlders down u In Pntrlcla O'Hrlen
produced n chamois skin nnd disap-
peared In tho direction of tho wnHh-room-
Ted waited until tho dlalng-
zoom wns almost deserted Then ho
went In to dinner nlone Somcano In
whlto wearing an absurd llttlo pocket
handkerchief of nn apron iud him to
n sent In o far corner of the big room.
Ted did not lift his eyes higher than
tho snowy square of tho apron. Tho
Apron drew out a clwlr shoved It un-
der Ted's knees tn the wn." Aprons
have and thrust a printed menu at
"Honst beef medium" said Ted
without looking up.
"Hless your heart yuh nln'i changed
a bit. I rememfcor how yuh used to
Jaw when It was too well done" said
tho Apron fondly
Ted's heart camo up with a Jerk.
"So yuh will cut yer old friends Is
It?" grinned Hlrdle Callahan. "If this
wasn't a publia dining-room maybe
yuh'd shake bands with a poor but
-proud workln' glrrul. iter as good
Quit Alone Come:
lookln' n dlvll as ever. Mister Ted."
Ted's hand Bhot ont nnd grasped
hers. "Hlrdlo! I could weep on your
apron! 1 never was so glad to seo
anyono In my life. Just to look at you
makes mo homesick. What In Sam
Hill nro you doing here?"
"Waltln'. After ycr ma died sccmod
like I didn't care t' work fer no prl-
vlt fnm'ly so I came hack hero on my
old Job. I'll bet I'm tho homeliest
head waitress In cepthity."
Ted's nervous fingers wero plaiting
tho tablecloth. His voice Bank to a
whisper. "Hlrdle tell tho God's truth.
Did those three years cause her
"Nlver!" lied Hlrdle. "I was with
her to tho end. It started with a cold
on th chest. Havo somo French fried
with yer beef Mr. Teddy. They're
Hlrdlo glided off to tho kitchen. Au-
thors nro fond of tho word "glide."
Hut you enn tnko It lltcrolly this tlmo.
Hlrdlo had a face that looked llko
a hugo mistake but she walked like
a panther and they're said to bo the
last cry ns gliders. Sho walked with
her chin up and her hips firm. That
comes from Juggling trays. You havo
to -wialk like that to keep your nose
out of tho soup. After n while tho
walk becomes a habit. Any seasoned
dlnlng-ro"m girl could give ltBsons In
walking to the Delsarto teacher of an
Eastern finishing school.
From tho day that Hlrdlo Callahan
served Ted with roast beef medium
and the elegant French fried she ap-
pointed herself monitor over his food
nnd clotbfcs and morals. I wish I could
find words to descrlbo his bitter lone-
liness. Ho did not seek companion-
ship. The men although not directly-
avoiding him seemed somehow to
have pressing business whenever they
happened In his vicinity. The women
Ignored htm. Mrs. Dankworth still
dashing and still widowed passed Ted
ono day nnd looked fixedly at n point
ono Inch nbovo his head. In a town
llko ours tho Haley houso Is llko a
big hospltablo club houso. Tho men
drop In there tho first thing in tho
morning nnd tho IobI thing nt night
to hear tho gossip and buy a cigar and
Jolly tho girl at tho cJgnr counter. Ted
spoke to them when they spoko to
him. Ho began to develop n certain
grim lino about tho mouth. Jo Haley
wntched him from nfnr and tho longer
ho wntched tlio kinder nnd more spec-
ulative grow tho look In IiIh mi. Ami
slowly nnd surely thero grew In tho
hi arts of our townspeople u certain
now respect nnd ndnilrntlon for this
boy who wns fighting his fight.
Ted got Into tho habit of taking his
meals late so that Hlrdlo Callahan
could tnko tlio tlmo to talk to him.
"Hlrdle" ho said pno day when sho
brought his Boup "do you know thnt
you'ro tho only decent woman who'll
tnlk to me7 Do you know whnt I
mean when I say that I'd glvu tho
rest of my llfo It I could Juet put my
head In my mother's lap nnd havo her
miiBs up my hnlr and call mo foolish
Hlrdlo Callahan cleared her throat
nnd said abruptly: "I was notlcln' yes-
terday your gray pants needs presto'
had Ilrlnk 'em down tomorrow morn-
In' nnd I'll glvo 'em th' elegant crcaHC
in me laundry."
So tho first weeks went by and tho
two months of Miss Wcnzel's stay
camo to nn end. Ted thanked bis God
and tried hard not to wish that she
was a man so that he could punch her
The day before the limn nnnnlrilr.il
for her departure she wbb closeted
wim jo iiaioy ror a long long time
When finally sho amerced a helllmv
lounged uji to Ted with a message I
"Wonwl ssys th' old man wants t'
seo you. '8 In his office. Say Mr.
Terrlll do yuh think they can play
today? It's pretty wet"
Jo Haley was sunk In the depth of
his big leather chair. Ho did not look
up as Ted entered. "Sit down" he
said. Ted sat down and waited
"As a wizard at figures" mused Jo
Hnlcy at last softly as though to him-
self "I'm a frost. A column of figures
on paper makes my head swim Hut I
can carry a wholo regiment of 'em In
my head. I know every time tho bnr-
keeper draws one In tho dark. I'vo
been wntchln' this thing for the Inst
two weeks hopln' you'd quit nnd como
nnd tell me." Ho turned suddenly and
faced Ted. "Ted old kid" ho said
sadly "what'n'cll made you do It
"What's tho Joke?" aBkcd Ted.
"Now Ted." remonstrate.! Jo Ha-
ley "that way of tnlkln' won't help
mntters nono. As I snld. I'm rotten nt
ilgures. Hut you'ro tho first Invest-
ment thnt ever turned nlit hnd nod let
mo tell ou I've handled Bomo mighty
bad smelling ones. Why kid If you
hnd Just come to mo on tho quiet nnd
nsked for tho lonn of a hundred or
so why "
"What's tho Joke Jo?" said Ted
"This nln't my notion of a Jokf "
camo tho terso answer. "Wo're tlir o
Tho Inst flicker of Ted Ten-Ill's old-
tlmo radiance seemed to flicker nnd
die lenvlng him ashen nnd old.
"Short?" hu repented. Then "My
Oodl" In a strangely colorless voice
"My God!" He looked down nt his
lingers Impcrsotinlly ns though they
belonged to Bomeono else. Then his
liiind clutched Jo Haley's nrm with tho
grip of fenr. "Jo! Jo! That's tlio
thing thnt has haunted mo day nnd
night till my nerves nro raw. Tho
fenr of doing It ngnln. Don't laugh
nt me will you? I uswl to llo nwnko
nights going over thnt cursed business
of tho hank over nnd over till tho
cold sweat would break out ngnln 8tep
by step until Jo could n man stenl
nnd hot know It? Could thinking of a
thing like that drive a man crazy? He-
cntiso if it could If It could then "
"I don't know" said Jo Haley "hut
It sounds darned fishy." Ho laid a
hand on Ted's shaking shoulder nnd
was looking Into thu white drawn
face. "I had great plans for you Ted.
But Mlnnlo Wcnzel's got it nil down
on slips of paer. I might ns well
cnll her In ngnln nnd we'll hnvo tho
whole blamed thing out."
Mlnnlo Wenzel came. In her hnnd
wero slips of paper and books with
figures in them and Ted looked and
saw things written In his own hand
that should not have been there. And
ho covered his sliamo! faoa with his
two hands and gavo thanks that his
mother was dr-ad.
Thero came threo sharp raps at tho
office door. The tense figures within
"Keep out!" called Jo Haloy "who-
ever you are." Whereupon tho door
opened and Hlrdlo Callahan breezed In.
"Get out Dlrdlo Callahan" roared
Jo. "You're In tho wrong pew."
Dlrdlo closed tho door behind her
composedly and came farfher Into tho
room. "Pete th' paBtry cook. Just tells
mo that Mlnnlo Wenzel told th' day
clerk who told thb barkeep who told
th' Janitor who told th' chof who told
Pet that Minnie hnd caught Ted
st V.ln somo three hundred dollars"
Ted took a quick step forward.
"Hlrdle for heaven's sake keep out of
this. You can't niako thlnps any bet-
ter. You mny believe in me but "
"Where's tho money?" asked Hlrdle.
Ted stared at her a moment his
mouth open ludicrously
"Why I don't know" be articu-
lated painfully. "I never thought of
Hlrdle snorted defiantly. "I thought
so. D'ye know" sociably "I was vis-
ltln' with my aunt Mis' Mulcahy last
Thero was a quick rustle of silks
from Minnie Wcnzel's direction.
"Say look here" began Jo Haley
"Shut up Jo Haley" snapped Dlrdlo.
"As 1 wns soyln' I wns visltln' with
my aunt Mis' Mulcahy. She does
fancy vashln' nn' lronln' for the swells.
An' Mlnnlo Wenzel there beln' nono
swcller hires her t6 do up her wcddln'
linens. Such smears av hand em-
brldcry nn' Irish crochet sho never
seo th' llkca. Mis Mulcnuy says nnd
she's seen n lot. And ns a special
trent to tho poor owld soul why Mln-
nlo Wenzel lets her see somo av her
wcddln' clo'es. Thero nuver yet wns
a woman who cud resist show la' her
wcddln' things to every other woman
"lists Your Heart Yuh
r J3Sl J e . XmmWl
she end lay hands on. Well Mia'Sltnt .
cahy she see that grand trewsow anal
sho said she never saw th beat.
Dresses! Well her golng-away suit
alone comes to eighty dollars for It's
beln' made by Molkowsky the little
Polish tailor. An' her wcddln' dress la
satin do yuh mind! Oh It was a
real treat for my aunt Mis' Mul-
cahy." Hlrdlo walked over to whore Minnie
Wenzel snt very whlto and still and
pointed a stubby rod finger In hor
face. " 'TIs the grand manager ye are.
Miss Wonzcl gottln' satins an' tailor
modes on ycr salary. It takes a
woman Mlnnlo Wenzel to see through
a woman's thrlcks."
"Well I'll be dinged!" exploded Jo
"Yuh'd better bo!" retorted Hlrdld
Mlnnlo Wenzel stood up her lira
caught between her teeth.
"Am " i' erotam! Js I'nloy that
you darn -ccuso mo of taking yout
filthy money lnstend of thai miser-
abln ex-con thero who has done tlmo?"
"That'll do Minnie" said Jo Haley
gently. "That's n-plcnty."
"Provo It." went on Minnie nnd then
looked as though she wished sho
"A business college edjlcntlon Is o
grand folno tiling" observed Hlrdlo.
"Miss Wenzel is a graduate nv wan.
J'hoy tench you everything from
draw In' birds with tall feathers to
plain nnd fancy penmanship. In fnct
they teach everything In tho wrltin'
lino except forgery an' I ain't so
suro they haven't a coorso In that."
"I don't enre" whimpered Mlnnlo
Wenzel suddenly sinking In n limp
henp on tho floor. "I had to do It. I'm
marrying a swell fellow and a girl's
got to hnvo some clothes that don't
look llko a lllnl Center dressmaker's
work.. Ho's got three sisters. I saw
their pictures and they'ro coming to
tho wedding. They're tho kind that
wear low-necked dresses in tho eve-
ning nnd hnvo their hair and nails
dono down town I haven't got a thing
but my looks. Could -I go to New
York dressed llko a rube? On the
squnro Jo I worked hero six yeuri
nnd never took a sou. Hut things got
nwny from me. Tho tailor wouldn't
finish my suit units 1 paid him fifty
dollars down. 1 only took fifty at
first Intending to pay It back. Honest
to goodness Jo 1 did."
'''u it out" snid Jo Haley "and get
up. I waB going to glvo you a check;
for your wedding though I hadn't
counted on no threo hundred. We'll
cnll it square. And I hope you'll be
happy but I don't gamble on It. You'll
bo goln' through your man's pockets
beforo you'ro married a venr. Yon
can tnko your hat and fnde. I'd like
to know how I'm ever going to square
this thing with Ted and Birdie."
"An' mo standln' here gassln' while
them fool girls In the dlnln'-rooaa
can't sot a table decent and dinner
in less than ten minutes' cried Hlrdle
rushing off. Ted mumbled somethlag)
unintelligible and was after her.
"Hlrdlo I I want to talk to you."
"Say it quick then" aald Birdie
over hor shoulder. The doors open la
"I can't toll you bow grateful I am.
This Is no placo to talk to you. Will
you let me walk home with you to-
night after your work'a done?"
"Will I?" said Dlrdlo turning to face
him. "I will not Th' swell mob haa
shook you an' a good thing It la. Yota
was travelln' with a bunch of racers
when you was only built for medium
speed. Now you're got your chance to
a fresh start and dont you ever think
I'm going to be the one to let yutt
spoil It by boglnnln' to walk out with
a dlnln'-room Utile like me."
"Don't say that Birdie" Ted put In.
"It's the truth" affirmed Birdie.
"Not that I ain't a perfectly respect-
able glrrul and ye know It. I'm a
good slob but folks would be tickled
for the chance to say that you bad
nobody to go with but the likes av
me. If I was to let you walk horn
with me tonight yuh might be askla'
to call next week. Inside half a year.
If yuh was lonesome enough yuh'd ask
me to marry yuh. And b'gorra." she
said softly looking down at her un-
lovely red hands "I'm dead scared
I'd do it. Get back to work Ted Ter-
rlll and hold ycr head up high and
when yuh say your prayors tonight
thank your lucky stars I ain't a hussy.'
Tramp I'm willing to work boss If
I could get tho Job 1 want.
Gentlemnn (sarcastically) And that
Is being lineman on a wireless tele
graph 1 suppose?
Tramp No boss nothln' absurd
llko that. Colorln' meerschaum pipes.
Ain't Changs a lt"
M.gM . v-tt i?i$!ttj "i& Vv&fc;.-
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Farmers' Champion (Elgin, Okla.), Vol. 5, No. 19, Ed. 1, Wednesday, February 17, 1915, newspaper, February 17, 1915; Elgin, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc69596/m1/5/: accessed July 3, 2022), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.