PAGE FOUR THE FRANKLIN PRESS mi THE HIGHLANDS MACON IAN THURSDAY, OCTOBER it, IMS eX Fine Serial Fiction in IN FOUR INSTALMENTS SYNOPSIS: Ben Furlong, a young but practical oil man and driller from the Pennsylvania field, drifted into the Texas oil country, broke arid looking for work. Fin ally he fetched up at the Durham home where lived an elderly aunt, shortly widowed by the explosion of a powder wagon, and her neice, pretty Betty Durham. . . . Per haps because of his smile, Betty cooks some food for Ben and while he eats he learns the aunt, in town on business, has an oil man, Tiller Maddox, sinking an oil well for her. ... A short 6 inch bolt worked loose from the rigging and is in the bottom of the well. Work has been suspended for days as the crew "fish" for the bolt and op erating funds dwindle away. . . Furlong offers to give a hand but Maddox objects. . . . Betty in sists and overrules Maddox so Furlong fashions a tool which he has just lowered into the well, hop ing to fish out the bolt. . . . NOW GO ON WITH THE STORY. SECOND INSTALMENT Furlong himself handled the rig during this operation, and even Maddox could find no fault with the way he did it. When, after what seemed an interminable time, the wire cable began to stream up out of the depths and wind it self in smooth, black layers upon the drum, the two women pressed in upon the derrick floor. Out of the well-mouth finally slid the fishing tdol; it stopped, hung motionless with the lower end at the level of their eyes. The teeth had been bent inward, jaihmed together by the blows from above; inside the basket thus formed and tightly bitten between two of those prongs was a batter ed six-inch piece of steel. When Furlong had finished wash ing up he found Betty Durham waiting for him. "Come over to the house," she said. "You must be tired." "I told you I was lucky," the young man declared, with a grin. "Lucky, nothing. You've got sense." "Simple, wasn't it? I wonder Maddox never thought of it." Betty stirred; impatiently she ex claimed: "Oh, he's too busy think ing about something ! Say ! We've got an extra room, but Aunt Mary says it wouldn't look right for you to sleep there. Don't that make you sick?" "How about the barn?" "That's what she proposed. Come on. We'll fix it somehow." It was dark; the trail through the cactus and the mesquite was dim, but Betty knew it by heart, and where its meanderings were in distinguishable she took Furlong's hand and guided him "I suppose you think Aunt Mary's crazy, risking all her money like this," she said. "I sure do," the man admitted. "This thing will show you the chances she's taking. Suppose that bolt had been something else, something we couldn't get hold of? There's a thousand things can happen to a well." "I know. But she's greedy. She always was. Tiller talked her into it after Uncle Joe died, and she wouldn't listen to me." "It's a lot safer to let the big companies do the drilling, and be satisfied with a royalty." "Some people can't be satisfied," the girl said, quietly. Then after a moment. "Uncle Joe never in tended to leave the whole farm to her. They didn't hitch very well. He said he was going to leave part of it to me, but I guess he never got around to it. I'll bet Aunt Mary's sorry by this time that she listened to Tiller; there's so many things a driller can do to a well." "Pshaw! Js he that kind of a man?" "What kind of a man? Men are all alike, aren't they when they've got reason to be?" "She better fire him." "I guess she can't, or dassent. . . . Funny my talking this way to you and not knowing you only a few hours. I'd better mind my own business. Here we are. You wait while 1 get a light." They had arrived at the house, Beach tntis, a new form Three Prize Short Stone (of four instalments each) by a matter itory-teller. .... They're Re Reach at hla b t tbtWUif and the girl left her companion outside. She reappeared in a few minutes with a lantern and a couple of patchwork comforters. These latter she surrendered to' Ben, then led the way to the barn. Like most farms in the oil coun try, this one had been allowed to run down, and with the exception of some chickens and a few dis pirited cattle there was no live stock left upon it. There still re mained, however, some old fodder; it was dusty and musty, but suit able enough for a bed, and Fur long announced that he was de lighted with these sleeping arrange ments. He set the lantern down Before he knew whet he was doing and walked to the door with Bet ty. There he said: "You've been mighty nice to me. I wish that fishing job had been harder." "Why ?" "It would have taken longer." The girl's face was dimly illumin ated as she smiled up at Furlong. She was the prettiest girl he had ever known and he felt a great liking, a great sympathy for her. The clasp of her warm hand as she had guided him along the dark trail had affected him in an unaccountable manner, and now it affected him again in the same way when she laid it in his. A sudden recklessness overwhelmed him and before he knew what he was doing he had bent forward and kissed her. The girl was startled, but she did not recoil. Curiously she inquired: "Why did you do that?" "I don't know. I I couldn't, help it, I guess. I didn't intend to, but" Ben floundered; he felt his face burning hotly. "Tiller tried that and I slapped him. I've known him a long time, too!" Miss Durham shook her head, apparently more perplexed at her own lack of resentment than surprised at Furlong's boldness. "I must like you pretty well." "I wish you would did. I think you're wonderful." "Queer!" Betty turfled to go. A moment later she called back through the gloom, "I'll call you when breakfast is ready." Furlong was not altogether sur prised when, on the following morning, Tiller Maddox offered him a job. Maddox, it was plain, was acting upon orders, and he took no pains to conceal his dislike for the new hand; nevertheless, Ben accepted the proffer. Aside from the fact that he needed work, his interest in Betty Durham was now sufficient to make almost any sacrifice worth while. In the days thereafter he tried to fathom the peculiar relation ship existing between Maddox and the two women, but he did not succeed very well. The driller, it was evident, had his heart set up on Betty, and in his attempt to win her Mrs. Durham was his ally; nevertheless, for some unknown reason the aunt disliked and dis trusted the man. About all that Ben could make sure of was the fact that in some manner not read AlS. ily apparent the oil well was be ing used by Maddox as a weapon; that somehow it had become the stake in a three-cornered game. Furlong and Betty meanwhile managed to see a good deal of each other, but they met clandes tinely. Neither of them openly referred to this fact, and, although the girl pretended that it was her aunt whom she feared, Ben very well knew that it was Maddox. No longer, by the way, did he apologize when he kissed her, and their stolen moments together had become very sweet. Work on the well progressed as rapidly as could be expected. Inch he had bent forward and kUsed her by inch, foot by foot, the heavy steel bits cut through the rock; length after length was added to the casing, and as it neared the level of the oil-bearing structure "indications" became evident; oc casional sighs and gurgles issued from the well mouth as gas gather ed and released itself. Its odor was at times quite strong. It was at this time that Maddox and Furlong clashed. Some new tackle was being slung and Ben had been sent up aloft while the foreman issued directions from below. It was heavy work. Ben was forced to cling to the derrick timbers or to balance him self upon a narrow plank, and his progress at times did not suit the elder man. Maddox was in a sur ly mood, anyhow, and he became profane. Furlong was hot and ir-' ritable. He answered back, where upon the man below flared out angrily : "You do like I tell you an' don't argue, or I'll come up there an' give you a dam' good beating!" The rigging was finally secured in place and Maddox was occupy ing himself with something else when he felt a hand upon his shoulder. He turned to find Fur long at his side. The tatter's eyes were blazing. In a voice ominous ly harsh and vibrant with fury he said : "I came down to get that beat ing. I want it now." The other members of the crew froze in various attitudes of startl ed suspense. The two men stared at earn other. Furlong was a burly, thick-necked youth: he was as hard as iron and in his gaze at this moment was an evil quality quite unex pected. His enmity for the drill er had finally foamed over. In proximity to this flaming passion Maddox's smoldering dislike gave off no heat; nor at short notice could he fan its embers into a blaze. After a brief survey, preg nant with possibilities, he turned his head and winked at the other men. In a feeble effort at joc ularity he said: "I told you I'd come up there and give it to you. I never ast you to come down here an' get it." He guffawed loudly at his own humor and walked away. Furlong stood shaking in his tracks. That evening Maddox went over to the farmhouse. Evenings in this WASHINGTON ... The after math of the meeting of Republican party leaders held here hut week, is that the " strong -man " today in directing party affairs is Hani sob E. Spangler (above), of Iowa, recent grass-roots conference chair man Some observers are of the opinion that he may be the next Chairman of the National Republican Committee. thirsty land, like evenings upon the desert, were cool, refreshing, beautiful. The brazen sky cooled, a blessed breeze played through the scrubby bush and brought faint fragrances unnoticed at other hours; the harsh outlines of un lovely objects were softened; birds twittered; Nature filled her lungs and took on new vigor. Mrs. Durham was rocking upon the little front porch, and of her the man inquired: "Where's Betty?" "Her and Ben have gone to town." . Maddox scowled. "I allowed they had." "He's gone in to buy himself some clothes and she took the car" "He won't need no more clothes than he's got, on this job," as serted the driller. "He's all through an' washed up." "What's happened, Tiller?" "We had a row. I was a fool to put him on, in the first place, but his week's up Friday." Mrs. Durham ceased rocking; her sallow face became more yel low. With an effort she said: "He's a right smart hand, Tiller. I'd ruther you didn't fire him." "The hell you'd ruther!" Maddox exclaimed angrily. "What you got to say about it?" "Why, it's my prop'ty, my well " "Is it?" "Y You know what I mean. He's smart, 1 tell you. Didn't he fish that bolt?" "Sure! An' didn't you hire him straight off, so's to spy on me?" 'Tiller ! It's no such thing. Why should I spy on you? What you been doin' that you need spyin' ?" "Shut up an' listen to me. He's fired Friday night an' he gets off this place the next mornin'. tSo that's that! Saturday, sometime, the powder wagon'U be here an' early Monday the men are comin' to shoot the well. We got a big one; I'll bet my life on that. I can tell! Why, she's makin' gas an' trying her best to let go, but" the speaker paused, then finished slowly, distinctly "there ain't agoin' to be no well whatever until I'm took care of." The widow's colorless eyes fixed themselves hypnotiically upon the swarthy face of the man before her. He continued: "I wasn't gettin' along any too good with Betty before this feller showed up, but since he came she won't have nothin to do with me." "I did the best I could," Mrs. Durham declared, nervously, "but she says she won't marry you. She goes hog wild every time I talk about it." "There's ways to make a girl ewA jjJeov n marry. You got to make her mar ry me before that well comes in, or it's just like I said it ain't comin' in !" 'Tiller!" gasped the woman. "You dassent do anything to it. Not now!" "Oh, dassent I? Who'll stop me? You won't. That little old. bolt made a lot of trouble, didn't it? Well, that's nothin.' It just shows how easy it is to." Continued next week) Out of the Picture 'Wonder what causes indigesr tion ?" "The inability of a round stom ach to adjust itself tova -square meal." Proud Father I want our Wil lie to be a politician. Friend Why? Father He's so big and strong I'd hate to have him ruin his physique by working. Lawyer All right. I'll take your case. I feel sure that I can get you justice. Client Why, you little nitwit, it ain't justice I want. You've got to get me off. HAVE YOU TRIED Pay-and-Take-It COFFEE RECENTLY? If you have you know it's extra good if you haven't yjou are muting nome thing. It's PURE RIO the Strongest Coffee that grows. Now 15c per Lb. PAY-AND-TAKE-IT Located on .the Square Next Door to Press Office DO you suffer burning, scanty or too frequent urination; backache, headache, dizziness, swollen feet and ankles? Are you tired, nervous feel all unstrung and don't know whet is wrong? Then give some thought to your kidneys. Be sure they function proper ly, for functional kidney disorder par raits excess waste to stay in the blood, and to poison and upset the whole system. Use Dean's Pills. Dean's are for the kidneys only. They are recommended the world over. You can get the gen uine, time-tested Doan's at any drug store. w8 I --ralBnBnfl mm a Successful old in PREVENTING Colds At the first nasal irritation or sniffle, apply Vicks Va-tro-nol just a few drops. Used in time, it helps to avoid many colds entirely. (Two sizes: 30& 500.) IhJ w mm

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