The Wanette Enterprise (Wanette, Okla.), Vol. 3, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 24, 1913 Page: 4 of 8
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William G de Millc's Play
JJIustrafcxl with Photo? fm fhoP/qy
and Druuimg? fiy If/.ftemcs
I the tight, you mid 1 haven't agreed
about politics. Hut I’ve stood with
Congn'Ksman Standish and the Woman, you, through and through. I've work-
believing themselves in love, spend 1
17l£ BOB5S-/1£K#!LL COftPAIfY
trial week a* man and wife in a hotel
In northern New York under assumed
mimes. The Woman awakens to the fact
that she does not love Standlsh and calls
their engagement off. Standish protests ______ _____
undying devotion. Wanda Kelly, tele- ! f ~
phone girl at tin* Hotel Keswick, Wash- ! * Jind we are wrong,
ington, Is loved by Tom Hlake. son of the
political bc#in of the house. He proposeo
marriage and is refused. She gives as
one of the reasons her determination to
ed hard for the party, because 1 felt
1 was working for you. Hut—well—
this time I’d rather be working for the
other side. Because I believe they’re
Well, then,” blazed his father, in a
j dry gust of unwonted wrath, "why
j don’t you work for the other side? Go
i ahead! It’s no great loss to us.'
“You know perfectly well why I
don’t. It's because you #re on this
side—the wrong side just now.
“Go over to them!” snapped Blake,
his rare anger still unspent. “They'd
get revenge on Jim Blake for ruining her
rather. Congressman Frank B. Kelly.
Congressman Standish, turned Insurgent,
is fighting the Mullins bill, a measure in
the Interests of the railroads. The ma- I
ohlne is seeking means to discredit Stand- [
ish In the hope of pushing the bill
through. Robertson, son-in-law of Jim
Blake and the latter's candidate for
speaker of the house, tries to win 8tand- ______. . __. _ ,
ish over, and failing, threatens to dig enough to get you. Not that
Into Ills past. Jltn Blake finds out about '
the episode of five years back at the
northern Now York hotel. He secures all
the facts except the name of the Woman
and proposes to use the story as a club
to force Standish to allow the Mullins bill
Then he paused. The rugged mask
of a face had not changed. But the
pupils of the half-shut eyes had sud-
denly contracted as though a blinding
light had been (lashed before them.
Yet, a second later, when Blake spoke
again, there was no trace of pain or
resentment in his dry drawling voice.
“Blackmail?” he said once more.
“How about the way Standish dragged
up that franchise affair of mine last
year? What was that but blackmail?”
“Well,” demanded Tom, In the stark
mercilessness of youth, “you were
stealing the franchise, weren’t you,
“Yes," asserted Blake with a de-
lightful absence of all false modesty,
"I sure was. And 1 was doing it neat-
you'd be worth a hoot iu hell to them
in actual value. But the fact that
you’re the worthy son of your un-
worthy blackmailing father would
make you welcome. Go ahead! Lord,
but 1 wonder what I ever did in the
old days to be punished by having a
canting reformer for a son! Well,
why don't you go over to them?”
"Just as you say,” answered Tom
with a philosophic shrug of the shoul-
ders. "Good night."
"Where are you off to, now?”
gruuted Blake indifferently, albeit
there was a glftit of wistfulness in the
half-shut, steely old eyes.
“To the club. To dinner," said Tom,
"To the club, hey?” growled Blake,
detaining him. “Huh! Afraid it’ll
hurt your spotless reputation to be
seen dining here with a ‘black-
"You have a positive genius for
choosing the rottenest, most disagree-
, . ... . , . ,, , ,,,, able thing to say,” remarked Tom;
P t°0'. N.ot “ r ?p e’ pot “ kick| 1111 I uud there was a note of hurt lu his
Standish butted In with his measly j voice that Bomehow reached the far.
reformers and queered the whole job
and cost us a half million dollars.
Son, every time 1 think of that, I want
to chase some one with an ax. 1 don't
Tile awake nights thinking how cun-
ning our friend Standish would look
with seaweed in his hair and sand un-
der his nails. But 1 keep that fran-
chise memory and a few others fresh
on the ice. And it sure doesn't bre;*ik
my heart to have a chance now of
getting back at him.”
“But," persisted Tom, “that was a
public matter. It doesn't justify you
in dragging his private life into the
“The deuce it doesn’t? Who told
"Oh! I thought maybe you might
have got the tip from some reliable
source. Go ahead, son. Doesn't justi-
fy me, hey?”
"No, dad, if you want truth, It
doesn't. It isn’t—clean!"
“Clean? Say, son, this is polities.
Not a prayer-meeting. You've got in
the wrong pew."
“If the right pew justifies dirty
work like that,” (lashed the boy, ' I'm
glad I have. And I want to stay there.
This business of making political cap-
ital of a man’s dead and-buried sins
is enough to turn the stomach of a
camel. A thousand times more so
when one considers the Woman. ’
“Well," queried Blake, iu high good
humor, as he always was when he
could stir up a quarrel between his
adored only son and himself. "What
"Everything. She made e fool of
herself. Presumably when she was
young. She has probably repented
it bitterly, teu thousand times. She
may have atoned for what she did.
She may even be a wife and mother,
now Respected, loved. All the world
ami Heaven, besides, to her husband
and children. And. just to pass a rot-
ten railroad bill, you are going to drag
her out into the glare of the newspa-
per world and crucify her! You are
going to strip from her her husband’s
love; you are going to make her
friends slrun her as an outcast; you're
throwing black shame on her innocent
children's name. You are—"
"Excuse me, son,” interrupted Blake.
Hut I tn not doing a single one of
those terribly dramatic things.
.Standish is doing it or, rather, he
lhas done it. Not I. Catch the idea?
.If Standish committed a murder and
1 found tile hotly, would you call me
a murderer? Hey? Well, (hat’s what
has happen, I tills time. W hen Stand-
ish took the l. :ly on that little left-
handed wedding trip, live years ago
in March, he remit red h*r liable to all
that and worse A man doesn't think
of such things at the time. Neither
Anes a woman. I guess. This one
eute didn’t, or she'd never have
thrown over her one hope of safety
by jilting him ’’
"Listen, dad," returned Tom, chok-
ing back a hot answer. “Ever since
vr." brought me here into the tb!ck of
hidden and tortuous recesses where
Jim Blake’s battered old heart wad
supposed to be.
“Well,” vouchsafed the father
grumpily, “maybe that was just a trifle
swift. Look here, lad," he went on, a
soft, almost tender tone creeping into
hfs dry voice, as he laid his hand on
Tom’s shoulder, “I’m the only father
you've got. And you may as well
make the best of it."
"You’re the only father I want, dad.
“There! There!’’ hastily admonish-
ed Blake. "Don't go spoiling It with
huts!’ You know what you are to me,
boy. I guess 1 don't need to get mush
headed and try to tell you. And—and,’
he repeated, hiding his momentary
tenderness under a cloud of made-to-
order impatience, "that’s why I hate
to see you loading up your alleged
brain with these fool ideas about—”
“Let it go at that, dad,” laughed
“Oh, all right. I will, if you like.
And you’ll stay to dinner?”
“Why, of course,” quickly assented
"That's better,” approved Blake.
"Now, run in and start with Mark.
I’ll be with you in a minute or two.
And—say—if Mark and I should get
to talking politics at dinner—”
"Don’t worry,” returned Tom, smil-
ing. "I'm getting quite used to iny
muzzle. But Mark won't be as likely
to be wrapped up in politics as he us-
ually is. Grace is coming down.”
"No!" cried Blake, his face alight
•vith pleasure. “Good for her! When?”
“At eight o'clock. Hut she didn't
botiier to mention whether it was
eight this evenitvg or eight to-
morrow morning. Mark was just go-
ing to call Ivor up on long distance to
find out, when we happened to meet
Standish. And I suppose the prospect
of a clash with Standish quite drove
a minor matter like his wife out of his
You're wrong there,” dissented
Blake. “There's nothing on earth
can drive Grace out of Mark Robert-
son 8 head. He's as crazy in love with
1m>t as lie was the day he* married
iter, li he didn’t telephone her before
lie went In to dinner It's a chinch he’ll
do it the minute he comes out. Queer
old Murk. Grace is the one thing that
makes him human. Chase on in, and
order for me.”
Dismissing his son with a slap on the
shoulder, Blake strode across to the
telephone alcove. Wanda Kelly look
ed up inquiringly from the novel she
was reading between telephone calls.
Miss Kelly,' said Jim, "will you
kindly connect me with the hotel of-
He sprawled into a vacant seat at
hei side, caught up the extra receiver
“That the office? Perry? Hello
Perry. This is pfake. Jim Blake!
^ es in two minutes 1 want you to
.'end word to Mr. Standish that he's
wanted on the phone here. Yes. Here.
Not in his room. Here at the phone
booths. Fix it any way you like. Only
get him here inside of five minutes.
No, no! Do as I say, I tell you. Good-
He hung up the receiver, rose and
stood lounging against the rail, look-
ing down at Wanda from between his
"Now, then, Miss Kelly,” he began
"Yes,” Mr. Blake?” she interrogated
as he paused.
For a moment Blake did not an-
swer. Nor could Wanda read anything
from his utterly expressionless face.
Then he said:
"Do you know why I did that?"
"Probably," replied Wanda gravely,
"because you wanted Mr. Standish to
He eyed her searchingly. But her
face gave no sign that her reply had
been intended as Impertinence.
“H’m!” he vouchsafed. "You're a
"Thank you, sir,” she replied de-
Again he glanced at her moveless
features In quick doubt. Then, evi-
dently making up his mind, he went
“You heard the story I was telling
those men over there? The story
about Standish and t'he Woman?”
“I—I happened to catch part of It.”
“You happened to catch every word
of It,” he corrected. "And now, why
do you suppose I told such an all-lm
portant secret loud enough for a tele-
phone girl to hear it?"
That’s just what I've been wonder-
ing,” she said frankly. “But I can’t
figure it out.”
“Then I’ll tell you,” retorted Blake,
nodding approval at her unembarrass-
ed candor. “What’s the one thing we
need to turn that story from a windy
piece of campaign gossip into the dead-
liest weapon ever forged in Washing-
The Woman's name,” replied Wan-
da, at once.
"Good!” applauded Blake. "You've
got a real brain under that metal re-
ceiver you wear. You seem to have’
•his situation worked out as clear as I
ave. Maybe, now, you can guess
what that Woman’s name is worth to
us. How about it?”
Wanda rolled her big eyes ceil-
iugward after the manner of a stupid
child who seeks in space the answer
Wo a teacher's question.
“Maybe—maybe a—a million dol-
lars," she hazarded timidly, at length.
Blake grinned appreciation of the
bit of acting, and was not in the very
least deceived by it—as Wanda had
perfectly well known he would not be.
“Nothing stingy about your Ideas,
young lady!” he commented. “Maybe
I'd better put them straight. Do you
want to make a hundred dollars^
“A hundred dollars?" she echoed In
a wide-eyed wonder of innocence that
Saint Cecelia at her best could not
possibly have equaled. “A whole hun-
dred dollars? Why, now could a poor
telephone operator like me make so
"Here's the idea,” replied Blake,
wearying of matching a cudgel against
p. hatpin, and coming straight to the
pith of the matter. ’Tve sent for
Standish to come here because I want
to have a talk with him. When I’m
through, I'll go away. And the chances
are that he'll go straight to the tele-
"Miss Kelly,” Said Jim, "Will You
Kindly Connect Me With the Hotel
phone and call up some one. ft's that
some one's' number 1 want.”
“Oh!” exclaimed Wanda, smiling
brightly at her own comprehension.
“And (hat’s worth n hundred dollars?"
“Yes. And if you can hear what he
says on the phbne I'll make it two
For an instant the innocent wonder-
ing smile again illumined Wanda’s up-
turned face. Thert, like Blake, she
evidently wearied of futile word fenc-
ing, for she said, incisively: t v
1 see. I've got the idea. You'll
spring this story of the Woman on
him. You'll make him think you've
almost got her In your net. You’ll try
to scare him into hustling to the near-
est telephone and warning her. He’ll
know you’re having him watched. So
he won’t dare to go to her in person
with his warning or send her a letter.
He’s got too much sense for that. And
a telegram would be too risky. ■ So
nothing’s left but the phone. He’ll
call her up. You’ll get the number.
And then it’ll be a cinch for your men
to find the Woman's name in no time,
and all about her. The full' story—
names and all—can be circulated on
the floor as soon as the house aits, to-
night. And good-by then to Mr.
“Say!” drawled Blake In genuine ad-
miration. “You’ve sure got a brain.
We’ll have to get you in the secret
service. Or, If you want a job In my
office at double what you're getting
here—but we can talk about all that
“You’re sure the number will gi*ve
you the clue to the Woman?"
“And don't you think one little hun-
dred dollars is a pretty cheap price
to pay for information that will bring
Sheer innocence had reached Its
towering acme—the summit whereon
rests pure wisdom. Blake regarded
the girl from under his bushy brows.
"Well?" he demanded, “If a ’whole
hundred dollars’ has shrunk so quick-
ly into a Tittle hundred dollars,’ what
price strikes you as fair?”
“Let’s see!” pondered innocence's
fair apostle, “how about ten thousand
“Ten thousand dollars!” repeated
Blake. “Rot! Ten thousand dollars
for—for one measly telephone num-
"No!" contradicted Wanda, and her
voice and face were like chilled steel,
“for a victory that saves your leader-
ship of the machine, that puts your
son-in-law In the speaker’s chair, that
smashes your enemy an(l that means
millions of dollars to you! That's
what the telephone number means to
you, Mr. Blake. That and a man’s
career—a woman’s shame—a girl’s
self-respect. Throw all that into the
balanqe and the price won’t look so
“My dear young lady,” counseled
Blake with his most fatherly air, "be-
lieve me when I warn you that there
is such a thing as being just a trifle
too ambitious. Still, there’s no time to
argue. Standish ought to be here by
now. Shall we say a thousand dol-
“I—I”ll have to think It over,” said
Wanda confusedly. “And, anyway,”
she added, “there’s no use making a
price till I’ve got what you want, Is
there? Besides,’’ with an easy lapse
into sweet Innocence, “Mr. Standish
seems to be such a nice man. It’s a
“Oh, he’s a nice man,” laughed
Blake. "Hell’s full of ‘nice men.' But
there’s no time, now, to haggle about
prices. You get that number for me,
and you won’t lose by it. And every
word you can overhear is worth a
three-earat diamond. Steady there!
He’s coming.” ^
Standish came toward the switch
board, from the dining-room whither
a page had at last tracked him. He
saw a most unruffled telephone girl
absorbed in a novel. Jim Blake was
leaning negligently against the switch-
board rail, looking with dreamy half-
shut eyes along the nearly deserted
corridor. Standish hurried across to
“Some one wants me on the phone?”
he asked. •
"tfo,” drawled Blake, before the
girl could reply. “Some one wants
you over there in the amen corner for
a minute or two, if you can spare the
time. 1 took the liberty of sending
that message about your being wanted
on the phone, because," leading the
way to the amen corner, “I have a mat-
ter of private business to talk over
"Private business?” echoed the pt»-
zled Standish, instinctively following
Blake to the corner. “Private busi-
ness? Between you and me?”
Blake looked at him with gentle
pity, then shook his head.
“My boy," said he, “the game is up.
The whole show is over. We’ve found
out all about that pretty little affair
of five years ago.”
“What affair?” asked Standish, un-
moved. "Please explain. My time is
"If you're referring to your time in
politics, it is. It ends tonight. There!
There! Don’t get huffy. You’ve got
nerve all right. I grant you that.
’What affair,’ hey? Why, the affah-
with the Woman whom you registered
as your wife, under the name of
Fowler, at a country hotel up in New
York state. That’s all. Hardly-worth
As he had talked, Blake had let
his gaze wander over the ceiling, the
walls—anywhere except at Matthew
Standish. Yet he had missed not one
detail of the younger man s expretv
sion There was nothing, however, to
be read in that expression. Standish's
hea>'y face was mask-like, blaqfc, save
for a faint tinge of polite bewilder
But Blake was fat too wise a reader
of men to go by the sign in a face. He
let his mildly wandering glance shift,
as If by*accident, to Standish’s hands.
They were tight-clenched. So tight
that the knuckles showed white from
the convulsive pressure.
"Another campaign yarn,” smiled
Standish, and his voice was as inex-
pressive as his face. "Isn’t it rather
old-fashioned to spring lies of that
sort? The public doesn't stand for
them nowadays. Proofs are needed.”
"Really?” drawled Blake. “Why,
Standish, sometimes your knowledge
of up-to-date conditions simply daz-
zles me. That's what it does. Daz-
"And now—” pursued Standish,
turning to go.
“And now,” echoed Blake, “we’ve
got you with the goods. Don’t bluff,
man. No bluff ever won a penny after
the cards were laid face upward. And
they’re face upward now. You know
what I mean. And you know we’ve
got you dead to rights. Five years
ago you spent a week with a woman at
a hotel whose proprietor can and will
identify you. Any expert can swear
that the registered name, ‘Fowler,’ is
in your handwriting. It was in March.
Congress was still in session. But
.you gave out word that you'd gone to
the mountains to rest. We’ve got the
dates. We’ve got ever fact proved.
Man, can’t you see I'm trying to help
you? Give me a chance to.”
Standish, his face still a mask, was
staring at the floor. At last he raised
‘You’re Sure the Number Will Give
You the Clue to the Woman?”
his eyes—the dark tired eyes in whose
.depths Self and Love and Happiness
had so long ago burned out. And turn-
ing to Blake, he said evenly:
"So you have dug all that up, have
yoq? I might hava expected it. In
fact I have expected it. But it hasn’t
worried me. Because you can’t harm
me with such a Story.’’
“No?” asked Blake, with real inter-
est. “Why not?’.’
“You know perfectly well why not,”
answered Standish, The story won’t
Amount to the paper you would print
it on unless you can supply the name
of the Woman. And you can’t do
"What makes you think we can't
supply the Woman’s name?” demand-
ed Blake. "What makes you think
we haven’t found her?"
“Because,” began Standish; then he
checked himself and said somewhat
lamely, “because—I have good rea-
sons for knowing you haven't.”
“H’m! Still keep as close in touch
with her as all that? Mark's detectives
must be foolish-house graduates. Well,
I’ll admit we haven't found her—yet.
But we will before midnight. You left
some pretty easy clues and they’re be-
ing followed. That's the trouble with
a man who has something to hide.
He’ll lock and double-bar nine doors
to discovery; and leave the tenth wide
open with a ‘Welcome’ sign over it.
And that’s just what you did. Why,
son," he went on, noting Standish's
half-smile of incredulity, “if I wasn't
dead sure of getting her, would I be
such a fool as to tell you all this? And
whatever else Jim Blake’s been called,
no one's yet tied ‘fool’ to his name. 1
tell you once more, we'll have her
name by midnight at the very latest.
Of course she doesn’t know we’re
tracking her," he continued, chuckling
as at his own shrewdness. ‘Tve seen
to it that she hasn’t the slightest sus-
picion. And that makes our work all
tt>o easier. She doesn’t know. And
there's no one to warn her. It’s a
His voice trailed off into a self-satis-
fied laugh. Nor was the laugh wholly
assumed. For he saw Standish's
hands slowly clench again. And a few
beads of sweat were beginning to
show themselves upon the insurgents
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
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Brewer, L. E. The Wanette Enterprise (Wanette, Okla.), Vol. 3, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 24, 1913, newspaper, October 24, 1913; Wanette, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc853879/m1/4/?rotate=180: accessed May 24, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.