The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on September 6, 1899 · Page 5
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 5

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 6, 1899
Page 5
Start Free Trial

THE CTPFEft MO1NES; ALGOMA, IOWA, WEDNESDAY SEPtEMBMt 6, 1899, 1 CHAPTER II—(Continued.) "You are Mr. Rowton's—er—broth- *f ?" she asked, without replying to my remark. "No," 1 answered; "I am his junior jartner." "He is 111, I believe?" "He has been 111, but is recovering. He was not able to come today." I added, with a shade of pique in my mind. Was she regretting that I had taken the place of Rowton, who was probably well known to her. "I am sorry—for his Illness," she •aid, "but glad that he—that—that—" stammering and sitting down suddenly—I think because she was trembling too much to stand. "Mr " "Fort," I suggested quietly. "Mr. Fort—I beg your pardon," she said, hurriedly; "but—the time is so ehort—I—am so anxious to say something to you. I hardly know how"— with increasing nervousness—"but I must say it. I"—raising her eyes once more to mine—"I think I may speak to you. You will not think it strange." "I shall be only too glad to be of use to you," I responded, with hardly-repressed eagerness. "Mr. Rowton," she said more calmly, "Is prejudiced, You—oh, I must say it plainly—have been sent for to make my dear uncle's will; we all know it—it Is no secret. Mr. Fort, I want to tell ,you that if—If he should wish to put me"—a sweet faint flush dawned over her pale cheeks—'In the place which should be my cousin's—Mr. Charles Branscombe's—I could never consent to wrong him—never! It seems dreadful to talk about It, I know, but there Is no other way. Will you say what you can for Charlie—Mr. Branscomba —and persuade my uncle not to do him this injustice? I know that lawyers can suggest a. great deal at such times —and you see"—wringing her hands in Nona Stanhope Branscombe, spinster, and her lawful heirs in perpetuity for ever, for her sole and separate use, and independent of the control of any husband she may hereafter take, and on the condition that such husband shall not be Charles Umphelby Branscombe." These were the words dictated to me In a firm but faint voice by the dying Colonel as I sat by the bedside to which I was hastily summoned early In the morning succeeding my arrival. "All and absolutely." There was no compromise in the words, no falter In the sick man's tone, only perhaps a sterner set of the pale lips as the fiat went forth, showing that the hope which had lingered so long in the faithful old heart had died at last. A silence followed, broken only b'y the sound of my pen as it traveled rap- Idly over the paper, and, in spite of my promise of the previous night, not a word of protest or amendment escaped my lips. Was I not doing the best I could for her? I was conscious of a little flutter at my heart as my hand traced the words, "Nona Stanhope Branscombe," and—for I was not yet sufficiently practiced in my profession to be hardened to such experiences—of an oppressive sense of awe and solemnity overshadowing the scene. It was indeed one of the most solemn I have ever witnessed, before or since. The first gleams of the summer dawn came through the open window and fell full upon the stately figure of the dying Colonel, as he lay propped up by pillows, on the large four-post bedstead. The rosy light touched, with a strange Incongruous levity, the noble features upon which was set the majestic seal of the King of Terrors. On one side of the Colonel's bed stood the grave physician, his finger on the ' f I t > I THE FIRST GLEAM OF DAWN FELL UPON THE STATELY FIGURE OF THE DYING COLONEL. agony of earnestness—"there is no oth- "> er chance. Charlie is not so—so unworthy as Mr. Rowton thinks—he is not, Indeed; and he has always believed that he would be my uncle's i heir. I—I could not take his place. It would be wicked and base. I could never hold up my head If such a thing were done." "It would not be your doing," I sug- 1 . gested gently. "You would be blame$ less. If Colonel Branscombe—" ,' "If he leaves the estate to me I l ,H shall simply hand it over at once to •^ my "cousin. You can tell my uncle so, ty Mr. Fort," she exclaimed vehemently; £ "then he will see how useless it would > V 0 *» j\f- D6. fig, ,$! Two or three suggestions occurred to ;,V me, but I had not the heart to put ' 1 them before her. If her intentions were announced to Colonel Branscombe he might find another heir, less scrupulous and disinterested, or he might so tie up the bequest to his niece as to stay her too generous hand. With the knowledge I had gained of Charlie, the latter course would certainly be my advice, if so unlikely a chance as being asked should occur. "You will do your best?" entreated Miss Branscombe. "Yes, I will do my best," 1 assented, not without a guilty consciousness of a mental reservation which would hardly have satisfied Miss Branscombe had she guessed at it. The opening of the door behind me and the rustling of silk put an end to the tete- a-tete. There entered a little old lady with white hair, and the same shadow pf dread and anxiety which pervaded t the house lurked in her soft dark 'gyes. "Mr. Fort—my cousin, Miss ' plmslie," said Miss Branscombe, doing honors with a quiet dignity which pvered her previous agitation. And It the same moment dinner was an- apunced. CHAPTER III. "My estates of Forest Lea and Iranscombe, moneys in funds, mort- Vges. etc., all and absolutely, with ae exception of the general legacies fOTemen.tipned, in trust for my niece, patient's pulse; on the other a spleniuu deerhound nestled his head against the master's cold hand. A group O f anxious domestics hung together at the end of the long room, out of earshot and watched with silent but eager zeal for the opportunity of rendering any of the little last services to their beloved master. The Colonel's voice broke the stillness as I raised my head, at the conclusion of my task. "This, my last will and testament," he said with emphasis, "remains in your charge, Mr. er—" "Fort," I interpolated quietly. "Mr. Fort," repeated the Colonel, "until the day of my funeral, when you will read It to those concerned." "I accept the charge," I said, and as I spoke the sense of awe and solemnity already upon me deepened, and made me feel the words to be a sacred pledge. Was it a foreshadowing of all which that trust was to Involve in the un- guessed future? "The signature," I was beginning, when a sign from the doctor stopped me. I saw that Colonel Branscombe's head had fallen back and that his eyes had closed. Had the end come, after all, before Forest Lea could be saved from the ruthless hands of Charlie Branscombe? It seemed so Indeed for the next few minutes; then the efforts of the skillful physician proved successful, and the ebbing life came slowly back again. The eyelids quivered, the pallid lips moved. Dr. Marshall beckoned me to his side. "He cannot sign yet," he whispered. Was he an adherent of Charlie's? "Keep near at hand. We will call you when he has rallied sufficiently for the effort." I retired—unwillingly, I must confess—and the long day dragged slowly on, without the summons which I was momentarily expecting. Miss Branscombe and Miss Elmslle appeared at the breakfast table and did the honors courteously but gravely. Evidently they knew of the Colonel's more critical state, and Miss Nona at least knew something of what had taken place in his room that morning. I could scarcely be mistaken In thinking that she made more than one attempt to speak to me alone. She lingered about, looking listlessly from the windows whilst Miss Elmslie gave me a long history of the Lea; and, when the latter settled herself finally at the writing table, with a pile of unanswered letters before her, I certainly detected a look of disappointment—even of vexation—on the fair face of her young cousin. Perhaps it was because of my unwonted idleness that I learned in ue course of those twelve hours to read every change of expression In those lovely features, and to know every one of them by heart. And had It not been that I had reasons of my own- cogent ones—for resisting the appeal in the wistful blue-gray eyes, I must have acceded to the invitation whloh I read only too plainly in them. CHAPTER IV. But how could I tell Miss Branscombe that things were going exactly contrary to her wishes, and that, too, without the faintest effort on my part to stay their course? How could I let her know that if only five minutes more of strength and power were given back to the nerveless hand of the old man upstairs, she would most assuredly supplant her cousin Charles and become the mistress of. Forest Lea and Branscombe, and "all the lauds, messuages, and tenements thereunto appertaining?" I was a coward, I know, but I could not bring myself to run all the risks of the disclosure or to change the confidence with which she had honored me into distrust and indignation. And there was something dangerously sweet in the secret understanding with this lovely young girl—the very embodiment of Innocence and purity, as she appeared to me—a very Una Indeed. I was thoroughly conversant with the ordinary type of "society" young ladles; I had flirted with a certain number of nineteenth-century young women; and although with, as I now knew, a large reserve-fund of genuine sentiment in my nature to draw upon, I had never yet been tempted to idealize one of the free- mannered sirens, who called me by appropriate nicknames, wrested five- pound notes from me with "stand and deliver" determination at bazaars, betted and won brooches and gloves at Hurlingham and Sandown. I had never been in love—sometimes I believed I never should be. I will not say that I had not sometimes beneath the light, frothy surface a regretful hankering after the supreme experience missing from my thirty year» of life. Miss Nona Branscombe came upon me as a revelation—a thing apart from all my exemplars of her sex. She dwelt In a shrine of her own, the saint already of my deepest devotion. Towards evening an answer to a telegram I had dispatched to the office was put into my hands. It was from Mr. James Rowton, our second in command, who had returned unexpectedly from the Continent. He bade me remain at Forest Lea until the business on which I had been summoned was satisfactorily concluded. This relieved me of all responsibility or anxiety as to my absence from town, and I was glad. I was curious, I said to myself, to see the play played out—nothing more. It was a matter of professional interest and experience; not personal by any means. Miss Branscombe watched me as I read the message, her face pale to the lips. She was in that state of nervous excitement when everything alarms. I hastened to explain. "My partner has come back from Germany," I said. "It is a relief to know that he is in London again. I had not expected him so soon; and Mr. Rowton, senior, is still confined to his room." (To be continued.) • ODD BITS Of Change Left by Customers Help Oat the Cashier's Salary. ' Philadelphia Inquirer: Odd bits of change thoughtlessly left by customers form no inconsiderable part of the income of cashiers In certain business establishments, notably restaurants, saloons, cigar stores and similar places where, during many hours of each day, there is a steady .rush of patrons, "I get $15 a week salary," said a cashier, "and I always count on an additional $3, or 50 cents per day, through forgotten change. I do not consider that I am doing anything dishonest, either, because I always make an effort to attract the customer's attention to the fact that he is leaving his change behind. Nine cases out of ten I succeed, even if I have to send a waiter to follow the man clear out into the street. But there are enough of the tenth cases to make my receipts foot up all of the sum weekly I have named. The majority of them are' people in a hurry to catch a train or car or to keep an appointment, and they haven't the time to return, even if they did discover their loss a square or so away. The next day they don't care, or at least a majority of them do not,to speak about such a small matter, the overlooked change seldom 'being more than five or ten cents, and I am just so much ahead. The proprietor get it? Certainly not. It doesn't belong to him, and just so the money in the cash drawer balances with the register he is satisfied." The presiding geniuses of theatrical box offices are also occasionally in pocket through the carelessness of ticket purchasers, but with box office transactions the change, if any, Is usually in such, large, amounts their opportunities are fewer and tber between, TALMAGE'B 8EBMON. BUSINESS LIPE, LAST SUNDAY'S SUBJECt. A IiCotox* In Common Honesty—"Not Slothful In Baginett; Fervent In Splrltt Serving: the lord"—Rom. 18:11. (Copyright 1899 by Louis Klopsoh.) Industry, devoutness and Christian service—all commended in that short text. What! is it possible that they shall be conjoined? Oh, yes. There Is no war between religion and business, between ledgers and Bibles, between churches and country houses. On the contrary, religion accelerates business, sharpens men's wits, sweetens acerbity of disposition, fillips the blood of phlegmatics, and throws more velocity into the wheels of hard work. It gives better balancing to the judgment, more strength to the will, more muscle to industry, and throws into enthusiasm a more consecrated fire. You cannot in all the circle of the world show me a man whose honest business has been despoiled by religion. The industrial classes nre divided Into three groups: producers, manufacturers, traders. Producers, such as farmers and miners, Manufacturers, such as those who turn corn into food, and wool and flax into apparel. Traders, such as make profit out of the transfer and exchange of all that which is produced and manufactured. A business man may belong to any one or all of these classes, and not one is independent of any other. When the Prince Imperial of Franco fell on the Zulu battlefield because the strap fastening the stirrup to the saddle broke as he clung to it, his comrades all escaping, but he falling under the lances of the savages, a great many people blamed the Empress for allowing her son to go forth into that battlefield, and other blamed the English government for accepting the sacrifice, and other blamed the Zulus for their barbarism. The one most to blame was the harnessmaker who fashioned that strap of the stirrup out of shoddy and Imperfect material as it was found to have been afterward. If the strap had held, the Prince Imperial would probably have been alive today. But the strap broke. No prince independent of a harnessmaker! High, low, wise, ignorant, you in one occupation, I in another, all bound together. So that there must bo one continuous line of sympathy with each other's work. But whatever your vocation, if you have a multiplicity of engagements, if into your life there come losses and annoyances and perturbations as well as percentages and dividends, if you are pursued from Monday morning until Saturday night, and from January to January by inexorable obligation and duty, then you are a business man, or you are a business woman, and my subject is appropriate to your case. * * * Traders in grain come to know something about foreign harvests; traders in fruit come to know something about the prospects of tropical production; manufacturers of American goods come to understand the tariff on imported articles; publishers of books must come to understand the new law of copyright; owners of ships must come to know winds and shoals and navigation; and every bale of cotton, and every raisin cask, and every tea box and every cluster of bananas is so much literature for a business man. Now, my brother, what are you going to do with the intelligence? Do you suppose God put you in this school of information merely that you might be sharper in a trade, that you might be more successful as a worldling? Oh, no; it was that you might take that useful information and use it for Jesus Christ. Can it be that you have been dealing with foreign lands and never had the missionary spirit, wishing the salvation of foreign people? Can it be that you have become acquainted with all the outrages inflicted in business life and that you have never tried to bring to bear that Gospel which is to extirpate all evil and correct all wrongs and illumine all darkness and lift up all wretchedness and save men for this world and the world to come? Can it be that understanding all the intricacies of business you know nothing about those things which will last after all bills of exchange and consignments and invoices and rent rolls shall have crumpled up and been consumed in the fires of the last great day? Can It be that a man will be wise for time and a fool for eternity? I remark, also, that business life is A school for Integrity. No mar: knows what he will do until he is tempted.. There are thousands of men who have kept their integrity merely because they never have been tested. A man was elected treasurer of the State of Maine some years ago. He was distinguished for his honesty, usefulness and uprightness, but before one year had passed he had taken of the public funds for his own private iise, and was hurled out of office in disgrace. Distinguished for.virtue before. Distinguished for crime after. You can call over the names of men just like that, in whose honesty you had complete confidence, but placed in certain crises of temptation they went overboard. Never so many temptations to scoun- drelism as now. Not a law on the statute book but has some back door through which a miscreant can escape. Ah! how many deceptions in the fabric of goods; so much plundering In commercial life that Jf a man talk about livings life of complete commercial integrity there are those who as* cribe it to greenness ao4 lapk o£ taot, More need of honesty pow than , trjed jMMwgty, compete, esty, more than in those times -when business was a plain affair and -woolens were woolens, and silks were silks and men were men. How many men do yon suppose there are In commercial life who could say truthfully, "In all the sales I have ever made 1 have never overstated the value of goods; in all the sales I have ever made I have never covered up an imperfection in the fabric; of all the thousands of dollars 1 have ever made I have not taken one dishonest farthing?" There are men, however, who can say It, hundreds who can say It, thousands who can say It. They are more honest than when they sold their first tierce of rice, or their first firkin of butter, because their honesty and integrity have been tested, tried and come out triumphant. But they remember a time when they could have robbed a partner, or have absconded with the funds of a bank, or sprung a snap judgment, or made a false assignment, or borrowed illlmit- ably without any efforts at payment, or got a man Into a sharp corner and fleeced him. But they never took one step on that pathway of hell fire. They can say their prayers without hearing the chink of dishonest dollars. They can read their Bible without thinking of the time when with a lie on their soul In the custom house they kissed the book. They can think of death and the judgment that comes after It without any flinching—that day when all charlatans and cheats, and Jockeys and frauds shall be doubly damned. It does not make their knees knock together, and it does not make their teeth chatter to read "as the partridge sltteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteh riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool." What a school of Integrity business life is! If you have ever been tempted to let your integrity cringe before present advantage, if you have ever wakened up In some embarrassment, and said: 'Now, I will step a little aside from the right path and no one will know It, and I will come all right again, it is only once. That only once has ruined tens of thousands of men for this life and blasted their souls for eternity. A merchant in Liverpool got a five- pound Bank of England note, and, holding it up toward the light, he saw some interlineations in what seemed red ink. He finally deciphered the letters, and found out that the writing had been made by a slave in Algiers, saying in substance: 'Whoever gets this bank note will please to inform my brother, John Dean, living near Carlisle, that I am a slave of the Bey of Algiers." The merchant sent word, employed government officers and found who this man was spoken of in this bank bill. After awhile the man was rescued, who for eleven years had been a slave of the Bey of Algiers. He was immediately emancipated, but was so worn out by hardship and exposure' he soon after died. Oh, if some of the bank bills that come through your hands could tell all the scones through which they have passed, It would be a tragedy eclipsing any drama of Shakespeare, mightier than King Lear or Macbeth! As I go on in this subject, I am Impressed with the importance of our having more sympathy with business men. Is it not a shame that we in our pulpits do not oftener preach about their struggles, their trials, and their temptations? Men who toil with the hand are not apt to be very sympathetic with those who toil with the brain. The farmers who raise the corn and oats and the wheat sometimes are tempted to think that grain merchants have an easy time, and get their profits without giving any equivalent. Plato and Aristotle were so opposed to merchandise that they declared commerce to be the curse of the nation, and they advised that cities be built at least ten miles from the sea coast. But you and I know that there are no more industrious or high minded men than those who move in the world of traffic. Some of them carry burdens heavier than hods of brick, and are exposed to sharper things than the east wind, and climb mountains higher than the Alps or Himalaya, and if they are faithful Christ will at last say to them: "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." We talk about the martyrs of the Piedmont valley, and the martyrs among the .Scotch highlands, and the martyrs at Oxford. There are just as certainly martyrs of Wall street and State street, martyrs of Fulton street and Broadway, martyrs of ' Atlantic street and Chestnut street, going through hotter fires, or having their necks under sharper axes. Then it behooves us to banish all fretfulness from our lives, if this subject be true. We look back to the time when we we're at school, and we remember the rod, and we remember the hard tasks, and we complained grievously; but now we see it was for the best. Business life Is a school, and the tasks are hard, and the chastisements sometimes are very grievous; but do not complain. The hotter the fire the better the refininig. There are men before the throne of God this day in triumph who on earth were cheated out of everything but their coffin. They were sued, they were imprisoned for debt, they were throttled by constables with a whole pack of writs, they were sold out by the sheriffs, they had to compromise with their creditors, they had to make assignments. Their dying hours were annoyed by the sharp ringing of the door bell by some impetuous creditor who thought it was outrageous and Impudent that a man should dare to die before he paid the last half dollar. I had a |r}end who bad many mis* fortunes. Everything went against- hjnj, He feuJ'gQQd b sod was 91 $a fewt a* was one of those men such as you have sometimes seen, for whom everything seems to go wrong. His life became to hiffl ft plague. When I heard he was dead, I said: "Good—got rid of the sheriffs!" Who are those lustrous souls before the throne? When the question is asked, "Who are they?" the angels standing on the sea of glass respond: "These are they who came out of great business trouble and had thelf robes washed and made white in th» blood of the Lamb." A man arose in Fulton street prayer meeting and said: "1 wish publicly to acknowledge the goodness of God. I was In business trouble. 1 had money to pay, and I had ho means to pay It, and I was In utter despair of all human help, and 1 laid this matter before the Lord, and this morning I went down among some old business friends I had not seen in many years just to make a call, and one said to me, "Why, I am so glad to see you! Walk In. We have some money on our books due you a good while, but we didn't know where you we«e, and therefore not having your address we could not send it. We are very glad you have come?" And the man stand- Ing In Fulton street prayer meeting said: "The amount they paid me was six times what I owed." You say it only happened so? You are unbelieving. God answered that man's prayer. Oh, you want business grace. Commercial ethics, business honor, laws of trade are all Very good In their place, but there are times when you want something more than this world will give you. You want God. For the lack of Him some that you have known have consented to forge, and to maltreat their friends, and to curse their enemies, and their names have been bulletined among scoundrels, and they have been ground to powder; while other men you have known have gone through the very same stress of circumstances triumphant. There are men here today who fought the battle and gained the victory. People come out of that man's store, and they say: "Well, If there ever was a Christian trader, that is one." Integrity kept the books and waited on the customers. Light from the eternal world flashed through the show windows. Love to God and love to man presided in that storehouse. Some day people going through the street notice that the shutters of the window are not down. The bar of that store door has not been removed.. People say, "What is the matter?" You go up a little closer, and you see written on the card of that window: "Closed on account of the death of one of the firm." That day all through the circles of business there Is talk about 'how a good man has gone. Boards of trade pass reso- • lutlons of sympathy, and churches oS Christ pray, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth." He has made his last bargain, he has suffered his last loss, he has ached with the last fatigue, His children will get the result of his Industry, or, if through misfortune there be no dollars left, they will have an estate of prayer and Chvistian example which will be everlasting. Heavenly rewards for earthly discipline. There "the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest." PREVENTING ELECTROLYSIS. A I'UBglblo Method of Rendering Va- KTiiut Eleutrio Currents Harmless. The amount of damage done to water and gas pipes by electricity that has escaped from trolley lines on its way back to the power house is almost incalculable. The evil is not so serious nowadays as it was several years ago. Modern methods of providing for the return of the current have lessened its vagrant disposition. Nevertheless the trouble continues to some extent. A suggestion that bears on the subject was made by the Engineering News a few days ago. In St. John, N. B., it has been the practice for nearly half a century to close the joints In city water pipes, not with melted lead, aa In most places, but with pine plugs. The experiment was tried in 1851 and again in 1857. On both occasions it worked so well that the same policy was pursued two years ago. The object in view was merely to secure economy. But mention of the fact reminds the Engineering News of the insulating qualities of wood and of the proposition made last year that two or more lengths of wooden pipe be introduced into the mains in every district where trouble was to be anticipated. Electricity will not enter a line of pipe If it cannot get out again. An obstacle which would prove effectual at any given point along a system of metallic conductors would dissuade a current from going into it in the first place. Hence, if the wooden plugs interfered with the conductivity of the pipes It is hard to see why they would not protect them from invasion. And if the currents would not attempt to travel along the pipe at all no electrolysis or corrosion would ensue. I'laluirmua's I'arailise. The record just published of a fishing expedition in Lapland should be good reading for anglers. The party \vas one of two rods, with followers. They fished for eleven days and secured a total of 282 salmon and 115 grilse, weighing in all nearly 5,000 pounds. The best day's catch for one rod WLJ thirty-three salmon and twenty-two grilse, or a total weight of 553 pounds. It should be added that the fishing party had to wait their opportunity, for when they arrived at their destination the river was frozen, and when the thaw came there was al firsrt too much water for fishing.—London Globe. A Chicago rascal who called himself "Hone" secured from II to $10 apiepe from' poor people, out ,Q| " '

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,200+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free