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take the thing in his unworthy hands. life beyond the grave. They all looked Ranny patted its nickel barrel lovingly up into the fleecy clouds and tried to and sighted along it at some imaginary penetrate the mysteries of the universe. prey:
Sometimes they fell silent and gave "Oo! there's a bear!" he exclaimed. themselves up to long, long thought,
It was not exactly a bear, but it was there amid the hot, sedgy smells, while a sparrow which was hopping about, all the afternoon drov:sed itself away to the ignorant of the desperate character of sleepy droning of insects. Directly eastthese outlaws. Ranny did not know ward, with his feet propped against a that the gun was already cocked and tree, Link Weyman was learning from ready for use. When he pulled that trig- literature the value of thrift and honesty ger he had no designs upon that innocent to aspiring paying-tellers. Bud Hicks bird, which would have been in no was idly making a chain of dandedanger if he had. For Ranny to hit a lion stems. “Fatty” Hartman was demovable
an air-gun can manding from Tug Wiltshire the works only be put down to the long arm of co of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is doubtful incidence, aggravated by criminal care whether any venture in organized wicklessness on the part of the sparrow. edness, undertaken with equal earnest
"Oh, now look what you did!” cried ness and singleness of purpose, ever Clarence as the bird flopped to the failed more completely. ground.
Just in time Ranny remembered the Meanwhile the affairs of the juvenile character all had assumed for the after- delinquents had been taken in hand by noon. "I'm a dead shot. My name's the Higher Powers-more specifically, ol' Eagle Eye.”
Mrs. Raleigh and Mrs. Weyman, who All abandoned their more-or-less felo were sitting upon the veranda of the nious employments. Ted Blake shook Weyman residence doing embroidery off his apathy and got the dying bird; and praising each other's sons at the exClarence bitterly accused Ranny of get pense of the general average of boykind. ting the gun under false pretenses. Bud "I always feel safe about Clarence Hicks stopped being a Simon Legree and when he is with Link," said Mrs. Ralooked tenderly at the departed. Ran- leigh, who had left her own home to the ny's position was unbearable. Not only care of those two admirable characters. was he heartbroken at the accident, but "I'm afraid you must think that Link he had to keep up a pretense that it was is quite a barbarian," Mrs. Weyman no accident at all, but an example of the replied. “Clarence is so refined.” ruthlessness of his nature.
“Not at all,” said Mrs. Raleigh, ami"Mebbe it's better off now," said ably. “It must have been quite a shock Tom. “I s'pose sparrows goes
to Link to fall into the hands of those heaven. Don't they?”
rough boys down by the foundry." Ted Blake crushed this hope. “Rob "Oh, did he tell you about that?" ins do, but not sparrows.
“Yes, he spoke of it when he came “What do you know about heaven?" over to play with Clarence. I didn't Ranny demanded, hotly.
have time to listen to the whole story. After a decent interval the others went Something ought to be done about that back to their misdemeanors, but Tom butcher's boy. He is a bad influence and Ted and Clarence and the miserable among the children.' Ranny sat and talked about the de “Boys are such imitators,” Mrs. Weyparted.
man replied. "Ain't it funny,” said Tom, dolefully, After five minutes these good ladies "a little while ago he was hoppin' had convinced each other that young around, all happy an' everything. Willet would have to be suppressed.
“Aw, keep still, can't you?” said old “If you'll let me, I'll telephone to Eagle Eve.
Mr. Raleigh and have him speak to the They plunged rather deep into things city marshal,” Mrs. Raleigh concluded.
Ted Blake developed some hith She forthwith did her duty by the erto unsuspected sentiments about the community and Mr. Raleigh rather re
luctantly promised to look up the police asked White, whose compensation was force as soon as he could get away from on a per capita basis. the store and ask it to step around to “I have every reason to believe so, the foundry. Presently, during a lull but I don't anticipate much trouble." in business, he unfortunately remem Hi had a special manner of speech for bered his promise, which he had rather official business, though he remembered hoped to forget, and mentioned the mat it only part of the time. ter to Marshal Hiram Jenkins (known to the irreverent Jinks"), who was leisurely preserving the peace along the shady side of Main Street.
"I've had no complaints,” said Hi, “but I'll look into it right away.”
Thereupon he repaired, not to the scene of the crime, but to the livery-stable where Lem White usually occupied a chair against an occasional job of driving. Lem was a firm believer in law nd order and in the dollar allowed by the city for assisting the more regular police force in making an arrest. He was not in the liverystable, but the resourceful marshal readily found
Strohmann him at the hose-house, where he was playing checkers with Sim Coley.
"Come on, Lem," said Marshal Jenkins. "I got a little job for you. I
“NO VIOLENCE, UNLESS IT'S NECESSARY," SAID THE MARSHAL don't know as it will amount to anything."
Thus “deputized,” Lem left his pleas There was no trouble-neither, for ure-loving companion and accompanied that matter, was there any “Butch.” the chief of police upon his stern errand. Though it showed signs of recent occuHi wore nothing by way of uniform pancy, the place was deserted and conexcept a helmet of antiquarian interest tained nothing of a criminal nature. and a star bearing the words, “Lake “Mebbe they moved,” said the depuville City Marshal.” He wore this badge ty. “Le's saunter around a little and upon his coat, during the coat season, make inquiries." but in the summer months upon his They sauntered eastward and made suspender.
inquiries. Nobody had seen "Butch” “I got information," said Hi, “that Willet or any of his abandoned comWillet's boy has got a hangout back of panions, but finally an elderly man of the old foundry. We'll see what they're nervous temperament reported that
some sort of riotous living was going on “Quite a number of them kids?” down at the eastern edge of the marsh.
“More'n likely that's them,” said Hi. paid for their time,” replied the promi
As they neared the place indicated nent checker-player. the desperate nature of the gathering “We'll divide 'em up,” said Hi. “You became clear because of the unseason take the Raleigh and Weyman boys-it able fire.
would be a kind of a favor. 1-you live “We won't use no violence unless it's over that way, anyhow," he finished, necessary," said the marshal by way of with a dash. final instructions as they plunged To save the raid from being an utter through the thicket and down among failure, the officers of the law destroyed the lower orders of society.
the building and burned up the objec“Here! what's going on here?” asked tionable playing-cards and book. The the official as he burst upon the scene culprits were then shown to their homes. of riotous reading, abandoned authors- Ranny was delivered by Marshal Jenplaying, and theological discussion. The kins himself, together with a harrowing offenders were too astonished to reply. tale to mother of the carryings-on dis
Lem White was doing what is known covered at the edge of the marsh. The in theatrical circles as “counting up the officer made it clear that only his perhouse”; the result looked like a pretty sonal esteem for this otherwise respectagood day's work. But the responsible ble family had saved the boy from arrest officer had no such pleasant reactions. —though he did not specify upon what
"Say,” he asked the miscreant with charge he would have haled Ranny into the "aren't you Raleigh's boy?” court-perhaps under the ancient anti
"Ye-yes, sir; my name is Clarence dumping act. Raleigh,” replied the accused.
To Ranny's surprise, mother took a The marshal stroked his sparsest defensive attitude. “I don't see that whisker in embarrassment while his eye these boys did anything so dreadful,” fell upon a youth who was trying to sit she said. “Who made the complaint?" upon some damaging evidence in the “Mrs. Raleigh sent in the word, way of reading matter.
ma'am," said the official, backing away ***Are you the son of Treasurer Wey- from the door. "She and Mrs. Wey man?”
Hi saw that his talent for Link, thus cornered, admitted this sociability was rapidly getting him into charge.
trouble. “Well, I got to be going. Hot The marshal looked around the circle, day, isn't it?" identifying the descendants of more or Ranny was greatly touched by mothless prominent citizens and taxpayers- er’s loyalty to him in this crisis. “That people of influence in the town's affairs, oľ marshal thinks he's smart,” he said, and members of the correct political when the law was safely out of hearing. party. His face took on a hunted look. Here, however, he received his second
"Lookee here, Lem," he said, “this surprise. It seemed that mother had here ain't the right gang. Nobody's one standard of conduct for the
presence made complaints against these here of the police force and another for the boys. We'll just send 'em home and say privacy of the home. nothing, eh?"
“You may go to bed,” she decreed. But Lem was greatly depressed at the “Father will attend to your case when degenerate tendencies of these modern he comes home.” times. “They're an awful tough crowd,' “We wasn't doing anything." he said—“shootin' birds and playin' “What about shooting birds? Who cards an' everything. It's time an ex did that?" ample was made."
"They was hardly any shooting, Hi went into executive session by Ranny replied, but the subject was one speaking confidentially through the side he did not care to dwell upon, so he of his mouth. “We'll just escort 'em withdrew himself from the picture and to their parents—I'll see that something went to his punitive bed. is done for you, if I have to pay it
Before long there were sounds indiown self.”
cating that father had come home and “Well, of course a person ought to be with too great promptness he was at the
bedside. Father, with a skill in
If Ranny could have heard the conquestioning born of long practice, soon
versation which took place at the supperlaid the history of the afternoon pretty
table, he would not have been so sure bare. Ranny admitted everything, in of the success of his venture into crime. cluding the death of the unoffending “I've been taking up the matter bird and the abandoned theological dis with our son pretty thoroughly,” said cussion.
father, using words designed to soar over “I guess I been pretty bad,” said the head of the child Lucy, "and I find Ranny. Here a phrase which he had that his crowd, with the worst intentions often heard in Sunday-school popped in the world, did not succeed in being conveniently into his mind. “But I'm very bad. They had the desire to be going to try to lead a better life.” criminals without the training or equip
"Well”-father was apparently hav ment." A faint, reminiscent smile ing difficulty in controlling his emotions crossed his face as he recalled something -"I'm glad you stopped before it was in his own desperate past.
He put his hand over his “I can't understand," said mother, face and started for the door. “I'll see "why Mrs. Raleigh put the marshal on —what mother thinks of sending in a them—her own boy among them, and little supper.
Link Weyman.” “No, I don't think I'd better have "That's the joke of it,” said fatherany supper,” said Ranny. "I don't “it's all over town. She started Jenkins s'pose I deserve any."
after young Willet's crew down at the Father disappeared abruptly, leaving foundry. He took Lem White as a bodyRanny to the luxury of repentance. He guard. They didn't find anybody there, was convinced now that he was a brand so they went and broke
of plucked from the burning, and there Ranny's"-father was now enjoying was, surprisingly, a lot of satisfaction in himself thoroughly—“including her own the thought. When mother brought in precious boy and the son of our county a tray of supper he thought that he was treasurer. I saw Raleigh coming out of getting more than his deserts—but the Bulletin office as I came home. He nevertheless he ate the supper.
assured me that there wouldn't be any
thing in the paper-heavy advertiser, safely continue to devote myself to the
manufacture of wagons. “Where do you suppose the Willet Jesting with mother was always apt boy went? Why didn't they find him?" to be a dangerous occupation.
"It is the best belief in the financial “Did you belong to such a criminal district," said father, chuckling, “that gang
you were a boy?” the Willet crowd had tired of a life of "Well-yes—in a way,” father adcrime and gone fishing.”
mitted. “Yes.” Father summed it all up thus:
"It's my opinion”—mother ostensibly “I have come to the conclusion that addressed young Lucy, who was trying the moral training of our son Randolph
to swallow a spoon
that this house is is in fairly good hands, and that I can not a suitable place for ladies."
The Open Path
BY CLARA PLATT MEADOW CROFT
THE shadows ripple on the waving grass;
The upward paths are open and they pass.
Here stand the living—soon the newly dead:
And here, too, still alert, still unaware,
Their feet still pause, their looks still backward range,
The gates stand wide. between the quick and dead:
So close—they surely hear our evening bells,
Light feet upon the wind, light ripples o’er the grass,