North Carolina Newspapers

    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1935
Fine Srial
eeh) by a
Mechanically Ben made an effort
to rise, but could not manage, it.
"Must have hit on my head," he
mumbled thickly, and raised grop
ing fingers. Then he sat up. He
knew now that he had not fallen
into a pit.
"Where are they? What's hap
pened?" Betty was sobbing wildly; her
hair hung in a cascade about her
shoulders; she was clad only in her
nightdress, and it was soaked with
the water she had poured over
Ben to revive him.
Beside the open door to the hall
lay the wreck of a chair; two of
its legs were splintered, broken
off: Ben realized more clearly
now what it was that had crashed
down upon his head. With an ef
fort he scrambled dizzily to his
feet. Water was trickling into his
eyes and blinding him ; he brushed
it away, then discovered, to his
surprise, that it was not water at
all, but blood, his own blood. His
head felt twice its normal size his
brain did not function clearly and
his limbs refused to obey him.
Betty's voice came to him as if
from a long distance ; she was tell
ipg him something, trying to make
him understand that they were
alone in the house and that their
assailant had fled. When this be
came plain to Furkmg, he sat down.
It was some time before the girl
succeeded in stanching that flow of
blood wound, for she was scarcely
in condition to render help to any
body. By the time her task was
completed Beo had managed to get
a pretty clear idea of what had
happened. She had been awaken
ed by a sound and had realized
that somebody was in her room;
she had uttered a frightened chal
lenge, only to feel groping hands
upon her, to find herself in the
grasp of sosie unseen person. She
retained no very clear recollection
of anything after that; the rest
was a hideous nightmare. Not un
til the miscreant had bolted out of
the house and she had finally man
aged somehow to strike a- light
was she made aware of the reason
for hii flight. Then she had stum
bled over Ben- and had realized
that it was his voice she had heard
calling to her, that it was the
sound of his coming that had in
terrupted the attack. His flight
had done a good deal to bring her
back to herself, but now she
threatened to again abandon her
, self-control.
Furlong checked this by saying:
"Betty Durham! You've got noth
ing on but your nightie!"
It was some time later when the
girl emerged from her room, dress
ed after a fashion, to find her
deliverer waiting in the kitchen
with a scowl upon his face.
"You got a gun?" he inquired,
"No, Ben. Why?"
"I'm going to kill Maddox."
For a moment Betty stared at
the speaker; with shaking fingers
she plucked at her dress. It was
in a thin, reedy voice that she
said :
"It wasn't Maddox."
"How do you know?" '
"Oh, I know! It wasn't Mad
dox." .
"Are you sure?" The girl nod
ded, and Ben bowed his throbbing
head in his hands. ''I'm glad," he
groaned. "Providence certainly
brought me back. It wouldn't hap
pen that way once in a thousand
times. Whoever it was, I'll find
Both the man and the girl were
in wretched condition. The rest of
the night they sat together, watch
ing the clock and listening for a
possible return of the marauder,
waiting for the day to break.
It was shortly after thty had
finished breakfast that Furlong,
was surprised to discover signs of
activity, movements, gomgs-on at
the well which caused him to stare
fixedly, then to announce, incred
ulously: "
"Say! I believe Maddox is J fix
ing to shoot the well!"
Betty took her place at his I side.
"Why he can't ! He dassent V The
powder men won't be here till to-
FMim in m nw Inrm ThrM Fn Short Mane Ink tnur milalmmh
story-toller. .... laey!1 Re Beach at bi be. awRy Htf"
"All the same, he's doing some
thing queer. See those cans those
shiny things?"
"Yon coildn't hire Tiller to touch
nitroglycerine. He's scared of it "
Ben uttered an oath. "I tell you
he's filling those cartridges. He's
crazy! You've got to stop him!"
Betty turned white; she shook her
head. "I won't go near the place.
It's it's Aunt Mary's well."
"Then I'll stop him. Why, it's
ten to one he'll sear the rock, ruin
the whole job and Damned if I
don't believe he's trying to do that
very thing!"
Furlong started for the door, bat
Betty clung to him. When he
pushed on past her she followed
him. Together they hurried across
the field and took the path
H seiized Betty, whirled her around and yelled, "Run Get beck!"
through the mesquite. As they
went the girl continued to implore
him not to interfere.
Halfway' to the drilling camp they
met the engineer hastening towards
the farmhouse, and the latter an
nounced, breathlessly: "Tiller's gone
plumb off his nut ! He's goin' to
shoot the well himself. You better
stay clear."
Furkmg dashed past the speaker
and emerged from the shelter of
the bushes in time to see Maddox
gingerly swing a long, cylindrical
tin over the well mouth and guide
it into the opening. A new manila
rope had been run through a block
on the derrick, and with this he
lowered the charge.
Ben yelled at him; he waved his
arms. Maddox glanced over his
shoulder, then let the line slide
smoothly through his hands.
'Take my tip an' don't go too
close," the engineer shouted. "He
ain't no powder man an' that well's
makin' gas. She blows off every
few minutes,"
Betty seconded this" warning in
frantic tones of appeal: "Let him
go, Ben. He knows what he's do-
ing. xou ve got no ngm stopping
him. Youll just make trouble
"It's none of my business," the
latter agreed, impatiently, but
there's something crooked' He
ceased speaking; then he seized
Bettv and whirled her around with
the, sharo command. "Run! Get
i 1 i
They were still perhaps a hun
dred yards from the well, but Fur
long's practiced eye had seen some
thing that suddenlyl raised the hair
upon his head. Thiat rope from
which was suspended the heavy
charge of liquid death no longer
hung vertically; it no longer ran
over the block and into the casing;
iastead it was falling in loops about
Maddox. It was coming up out of
the well!
Maddox himself was alive to
what had happened. That which
he most greatly feared had come
upon him, and he also turned to
flee. But the platform was slip
pery or else he tripped over the
rope and fell. The others heard his
crv of terror. He quickly regained
his feet, but to Furlong it seemed
as if his movements thereafter
were maddeningly slow and delib
The engineer's apprehensions had
been well grounded. Once again
gas had been released far down in
the earth, and now, like breath
forced from the lungs of some tor
tured giant, it rose, propelling the
smoothly fitting cartridge of .nitro
glycerine ahead of it as a pea is
propelled out of a pea-shooter. It
was a phenomenon by no means
unusual in a well as unstable in its
balance of forces as this one. In
fact, under like conditions
but a madman would have dared
to risk Maddox's maneuver.
The latter had not put fifty feet
behind him when up out of the
well mouth shot the gleaming tin
cylinder. Directly above and in its
path hung the massive forty-foot
steel bit suspended from its wire
What happened next the observ
ers were never able to agree upon,
but the world dissofved into an in
ferno of smoke and flame and the
suddenness of it rocked the sky,
upheaved the earth. The two came
together with a cataclysmic roar.
Furtong and Betty Durham were
tossed headlong, flung down like
straws. When they scrambled to
their feet, dazed, shaken, terrified,
it was to find themselves envelop
ed in a mighty dust cloud. The
eighty-foot tower of heavy timbers
was gone; in an instant it had
utterly vanished. Where it had
stood was a shallow, smoking crat
er. Splinters of planking, debris
of every sort, were scattered far
and wide; particles of earth and
gravel were raining from the heav
ens with the sound of a heavily
hailstorm; nothing in the neighbor-
'hood of the well remained except
the boiler and engine, and the for
mer lay upon its side. Even the
bushes had been whipped out, up
rooted, shaved off as by a sweep
ing scythe.
That afternoon Furlong's friend,
the engineer, came over to the
farmhouse with a considerable bun
dle in his arms.
"How's Betty" he inquired.
"She's all right, but pretty well
bruised, of course."
"Well, I guess there's nothing,
more us boys can do, so we're
goin in to town.
"Right: I'll stay here until Mrs.
Durham gets back."
"Here's all of Tiller's stuff that
we could find. I reckon you better
look after it."
"Anything besides clothes?"
"Not much. A few letters an'
things we found in his bunk. Miz'
Durham can keep 'em in case he's
cot relatives. There's one suit of
clothes that would fit me. No use
to throw 'em away. Say! It's
funny how scared he was of pow
der. It musta been a hunch."
Shortly after the engineer had
left, Ben came to Betty with a
queer light in his eyes. In his
hand he held a soiled sheet of
foolscap paper.
"Feel strong enough to stand an
other explosion?" he inquired with
an effort to suppress his agitation.
"Well, the queerest thing ! This
farm doesn't belong to your aunt
Mary, after all; it belongs to
tt n t 1 i J
your ine gin gaspea; sne voicea
some breathless query, but Ben
ran on: "Your uncle Joe left it
to you, just as he promised. He
left everything to you, except a
thousand dollars to her. This- is
his will and Maddox had it. I
guess it's a good will, even though
your uncle wrote it Himself. Any
how it's witnessed by two people
Maddox and another. From the
date I figure it must have been
signed just a day or so before he
was killed."
k "Where did it come from? How
did Maddox?"
I've figured that out, too. Mr.
Durham must have had it in his
pocket when Maddox found him.
That would explain everything
how he made your aunt do just
what he wanted and why she didn't
dare to fire him."
"Thai's whv ihr sairl VA have to
. . ' , . ' ..,
rmarry mm! mats wny un, cen;
Betty rose suddenly and clutched
Furlong. "I knew she was a mean,
selfish old thing, but 1 .never
thought she was so wicked. This
oil is a curse to poor people. 1 hate
"Why, Betty!" Furlong exclaim
ed. "You're the wicked one to
quarrel "
"She's the only kin I've got left
and I tried my best to love her.
But she was so greedy for quick
money that nothing mattered. Mad
dox, too! It made beasts of them.
I almost wish we'd never heard of
ml." After a moment the speaker
continued, more quietly: "I lied
to you last night. It was Tiller
who came here."
Furlong's body stiffened, he
breathed a(n oath, then he mutter
ed: "I thought so! Why didn't
you tell me ?"
"What's more, she knew he was
coming! They arranged it. She
as good as sent (him! That's how
he got the kitchen, key."
This announcement the man
greeted with the growl of an ani
mal. He began to pace about the
room; his face had grown black
and threatening; his fingers were
working as he stormed:
"Wait! Wait till she gets back
here !"
"You can't lay your hands on a
woman "
"Can't J?" he breattied.
Betty shook her head ; a moment,
then a new expression slowly crept
into her eye; her chin set itself
firmly. "No!" she declared. "But
you can lay 'erti on her trunk and
tirag it out here where I can pack
"I sure can," Ben agreed. "And
what's more, when you get it
packed I can lug it out to the
gate where it will be nice and
handy for her." As he finished
speaking his frown disappeared; it
was replaced by a grin and he
"Say, Betty ! What d'you
think? I'm going to
heiress, after all."
marry an
Jhe Swttlelt SufforlmSoU
JW m ' SM0KE A l
Wild Animal Collector
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Swine Specialist Advises
Farmers To Grow
More Pork
With the current trend of pork
prices, North Carolina farmers are
again finding a profitable source of
income in the production of hogs.
Growers raising hogs for market
should breed their sows about No
vember 1 and May 1 each year,
said W. W. Shay, swine specialist
at State College.
By following this schedule, two
litters can be produced each year
so that they will be, ready for
marketing in September and April
respectively, when prices are us
ually highest.
The ideal marketing weight fbr
a hog is around 200 pounds, Shay
Growers raising hogs for home
consumption may vary the breed
ing date, but if they plan to sell
some of their hogs, Shay said it
will pay them to follow the recom
mended schedule.
Where pigs were farrowed in.
September, they should be weaned
in October and early November.
The weaning process should start
by giving the pigs access to corn
and fish meal or tankage. After
about four weeks they should be
taken completely away from the
Castrate the male pigs before
they are completely weaned. Shay
A self-feeder, in which feed may
be kept before the pigs at all times,
will hasten their growth. Direc
tions for building self feeders may
be obtained free from the agricul
tural editor at State College, Ral
eigh, N. C.
Give the pigs an abundant sup
ply of pasturage on a lot that is
not contaminated with worms. If
worms once get into the pigs, they
are usually there to stay, Shay
The Seine end the Rhine
Paris isn't on the Seine, and the
Rhine never reaches the sea. Geo
graphers point out that Seine is
only one of the minor tributaries
rather than the main branch of the
river that flows through Paris.
The Rhine breaks up into a num
ber of rivers as it enters Holland.
None is called the Rhine.
Shark la Productive
No other living creature on earth
gives birth to as many living young
at a time as the shark. Fishermen
along Great Barrier Reef off the
coast of Australia have captured
females that contained as many as
70 unborn babies all of which were
from two to three feet long.
Elizabeth Harben

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