At 9 o’clock in the evening one descended to the sidewalk whom Ulster County would have foresworn. Bright tan were his shoes; his hat the latest block. His light gray trousers were deeply creased; a gay blue silk handkerchief flapped from the breast pocket of his elegant English walking coat. His collar might have graced a laundry window; his blond hair was trimmed close; the wisp of hay was gone.
For an instant he stood, resplendent, with the leisurely air of a boulevardier concocting in his mind the route for his evening pleasures. And then he turned down the gay, bright street with the easy and graceful tread of a millionaire.
But in the instant that he had paused the wisest and keenest eyes in the city had enveloped him in their field of vision. A stout man with gray eyes picked two of his friends with a lift of his eyebrows from the row of loungers in front of the hotel.
“The juiciest jay I’ve seen in six months,” said the man with gray eyes. “Come along.”
It was half-past eleven when a man galloped into the West Forty-seventh Street Police Station with the story of his wrongs.
“Nine hundred and fifty dollars,” he gasped, “all my share of grandmother’s farm.”
The desk sergeant wrung from him the name Jabez Bulltongue, of Locust Valley farm, Ulster County, and then began to take descriptions of the strong-arm gentlemen.
When Conant went to see the editor about the fate of his poem, he was received over the head of the office boy into the inner office that is decorated with the statuettes by Rodin and J. G. Brown.
“When I read the first line of ‘The Doe and the Brook,’” said the editor, “I knew it to be the work of one whose life has been heart to heart with Nature. The finished art of the line did not blind me to that fact. To use a somewhat homely comparison, it was as if a wild, free child of the woods and fields were to don the garb of fashion and walk down Broadway. Beneath the apparel the man would show.”
“Thanks,” said Conant. “I suppose the check will be round on Thursday, as usual.”
The morals of this story have somehow gotten mixed. You can take your choice of “Stay on the Farm” or “Don’t Write Poetry.”
THE ROBE OF PEACE
Mysteries follow one another so closely in a great city that the reading public and the friends of Johnny Bellchambers have ceased to marvel at his sudden and unexplained disappearance nearly a year ago. This particular mystery has now been cleared up, but the solution is so strange and incredible to the mind of the average man that only a select few who were in close touch with Bellchambers will give it full credence.
Johnny Bellchambers, as is well known, belonged to the intrinsically inner circle of the elite. Without any of the ostentation of the fashionable ones who endeavor to attract notice by eccentric display of wealth and show he still was au fait in everything that gave deserved lustre to his high position in the ranks of society.