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Margaret Medbury's Managers.

BY Mrs. H. A. STANLEY.

Cumlui/cJ. He was thinking faster iliau ho had ever thought -before, and while ho ■wanted to secure tin; books was fearful lest they iiii^ht. become a white elephant, on his own hands before he could place them in the hands of thvir owner. Through the window Ik; could sco Miss Elite pitting before the iireplace in wliich a hickory lire was blazing. '"I want a witness when I take those books." lie thought, and his mind reverted to Simmons, witli whom ho had made his appointment. He was hesitating as to what ho should do when he saw Arthur, who sat behind the sister, crook his thumb toward the fireplace and grin triumphantly. "They'll burn those books as soon as she goes to bed," ho thought, and they don't dare bring them in till sho retires. "I guess I've time to call {Simmons," and ho started on a, run down the middle of the street toward Simmons 1 residence. He arrived breathless, and found the old gentleman expecting him. His story told. Simmons nodded gravely and said: "Boy, this is about what I've been expecting. I haven't time to v;xijlaiu now, but will later. Wait till I secure some less valuable fuel," and snatching a scrapbook and an atla.s from the center table ho started toward the door. '•Come ou. We've no time to lose. We must get those books. They may save a fortune — that is, if twelve thou.-and dollars id one, and it is to me." Jack caught the old man's idea, and Snatching the books from him ran up street at a pace the bookkeeper could hardly equal. A3 the old man arrived he found Jack on his knees beside thesteps hastily unwrapping the precious volumes, and haste was necessary, for Miss Elite had gone tv her room, leaving the brothers alone. The bookkeeper saw Mr. Arthur arise and throw s-oin>- -more light wuod ou the lire, and whispering to Jack to make haste retreated across the street. Jack joined him just as the business manager came out the door, and they saw him soon reappear in the — >ni.u v bearing the bund].- in hid ui^iis. Bho goes. My, c/<vc : ". that [i.R-ka *v uiir though! That scriipbook wa> liejy>rit*V? and she'll miss ie within t\N»i^four hours.'" •'Hang the scrapbook!'' whimpered Jack, exultantly. "Or rather burn it." rejoined the old mail. "See ihoso two fools /stand there and watch it burn. I suppose- they think they are safe now.'' As Jack and Simmons prepared to depart they could see tin 1 brothers lighting up their cigars and sitting down before the tire for a smoke, happy in their supposed triumph. (CHAPTER V. Arrived at Simmons" home a comparison of notes followed, and at Jack's recital of the afternoon's interview and Margaret's spirited denial of the brothers 1 claim the old gentleman kept ex"I knew it! I thought as and seemed also to have a story ■f to tell. As he proceeded Jack under- ¥ stood the motive of the theft from the safe. "Yon f--ee." began Simmons, "while I have worked for Mr. Medbury many years, even before you came, I have only run the books about — let me think." "Eighteen months-,' 1 suggested Jack. "Yes: that's just about the time, I guess. You were then at the case, I think. I wasn't sure whether I took them while you were devil or not. At any rate, if Mr. Arthur hadn't been so ambitious to be a business manager and disliked bookkeeping so much, lie would probably have succeeded Mr. Perkins, and I would have been still out ou the road collecting and canvas.ving. "I used to envy Mr. Arthur at first, for I could see or thought I could that he was bound to secure Perkins" place sooner or later, leaving me. just where I was. He aimed higher than I thought, however, and his ambition was just what gave me the place. Coming from the local staff but a year or two before, he disphned more of an aptitude for securing advertising and for general management than he did for the position of helper to Perkins, and as a result I was worked in. Perkins liked it. best that way, too, and declared to Mr. Medbury that he had rather have, me and also praised Mr. Blite's capabilities as an advertising manager. It therefore happened that I was bookkeeper through Perkins" last sickness, being called in off the road . and my son was given my place. Meanwhile Mr. Blite kept gaining in favor and the balances showed that a. business inauager paid. He was therefore finally given almost entire control and had arrived at his present position about six months before Mr. Medbury 's death. I relate all this that you may know how it all came about, for you were in the business office very little and may have wondered why Blite was placed over all of us. The fact is I would rather today do clerical work and only hope some man will bo found to take Mr. Blite'.s place at once. I don't want the responsibility." "That's all settled, 1 suppose," said i * Jack, blushing, and the old man went ou. ; "Mr. Arthur was always very respect- j ful to me, but to the others, as you know, •; was at times very overbearing and disagreeable. I was somewhat surprised, therefore, when he came to lac one day

j last weelt and informed me that, whttehts ! brother would have full charge of the I editorial force as heretofore, he (Mr. Arthur) would manage the business end, : and warned me not to have ro much to say to the men. 1 knew that this charge was so unfounded it must be for ji purpose, and sr pecting that lie was seeking some pretense to discharge mo kept perfectly quid. 1 only wanted to hold my position long enough to .see him go, and I guess I shall — maybe to .state's prison. Only day before yesterday he came in and found me looking over the enshbook he stole tonight. 1 was looking up an old account claimed to have been paid, but lie gave me no chance to explain, for he walked up, banged the book together, and in his overbearing wav said I was imt to -study ancient history, but to go on with my work.' 1 could see by his manner that he was suspicion:; of me. and as a result I became at once suspicions of him. "What he was afraid of I don't know for certain, but I have a theory." "So have I." said Jack, "and I've had it since I heard rh;:fc interview this afternoon. If l"d been Mi.-s Margaret I shouldn't have l'j.-t my temper .so easy, but would have seen tho>o books before I went home." "That's Hie very thing," agreed biminons. "Those notes are forgeries, and he knows the oa>hbook, which shows the receipt and expenditure of every cent. would give him away. You see, I knew nothing about thenoiedodge, and while I was suspicious of theft should have been on the wrong track till too late. You say. then, he produces; notes for

twelvo thousand dollar.-'.'

"77/" f row.'* 'tiit!" 1 < .rrlfiiirt"! Shnhi<>n:->. ••Yes. Mi-s Margaret mys there ;ire three of them. Tiny are for four thousand dollars each. ;'nd bear (late of October first, eigh 1 .. ; i hundred and ei.^ht y-h've. January lir.-i a:i-l .\ pril iirsl , eighteen hundred ami fi;.;hty-si.\-. The MUtc,s called on lier at ihe house Thursother DiattersViieAUvV had some papers this afternoon. They claim iiOXs "ftlW the. notes -were giveu the time the new dre>s and big stereotype press were purchased, but I recollect, now it's brought to mv mind, of Mr. 3ledbury telling Major Beuton near my ease one afternoon that lie paid cash down for both." "Well, lie might have done that und .still borrowed the money, but 1 don't believe be borrowed a cent. If he had, why should lie have borrowed of the Blites? They never had the reputation of capitalists, so fiir as 1 l;iiuw. Wliai'rf the use of conjecturing, however? "We have the cashbook. Let's look it over." Drawing the curtains tlu-y brought the cashbook out and proceeded to examine it. A volume of five hundred pages, it "was a continuous record from January first, eighteen hundred and eighty-five, to December thirty-first, eightei ; hundred and eighty-six. The balance brought from a former book was three thousand dollars, and this had increased as the months rolled by about fifteen hundred dollars per month till September twelfth, eighteen hundred ainUighty-five. when a balance of fifteen thousand ei.:_;ht hundred do]]ai\s was reduced to fivo thousand three hundred dollars by the payment of ten thousand five hundred dollars for a stereotype press and outfit. About thirty days later (October fifteenth) the balance, which had again increased to six thousand seven hundred and iift}' dollars, was again reduced to four thousand eight hundred dollars and forty cents by the payment of one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine dollars and sixty cents for a new news dress and a large quatitity of job type. The journal agreed with the cashbook. "That corks "em!" exclaimed Simmons triumphantly. '''There's a record of every cent the office received and of all it paid out. I tell you a man's cashbook, if it's kept ri^'ht, i.s a key to his business, no matter whether he lives or dies. I don't wonder the Blites wanted to destroy this one. It's lucky we saved it from the fire." '•But," intei-posed Jack, "Miss Margaret says these notes are in her father's own handwriting — bod}', signatures and all. They are not on a regular printed blank." "The d-d-deuce you say!" gasped Simmons. "Why, I never knew Medbury to draw up any paper himself. He always referred such jobs as. that to the bookkeeper and attached his own signature afterward. He was not an easy penman, but did all his writing with a big soft lead pencil." "Yes, his copy used to look like lampblack put on witli a brush." "Well, do you know 1 never saw him eit down and write with a pen but once, and that was — let me think. Why it was in the office the day lie gave me my fountain pen. Say, do you know what kind of paper those notes are on?*' "Yes. That's the thing that struck Miss Margaret as 'funny,' as she expressed it. Those notes are written on a ruled, cheap yellow paper, such as they iised to send up 'ads.' on, as near as I. can understand from her description." "Jack," cried Simmons excitedly. "I've got the key to the whole busines

I Raw those notes written, and it was my fountain pen that did it. Those notes were written in blank, so far as the figures were concerned, by Mr. Medbury himself. and on my desk. It was while Perkins was alive. I lent Medbury my fountain pen one day, so that he could pmvha.se one like it for Miss Margaret or her mother, 1 don't know which. 1 went out on the road, and when I came back he'd lost it. He was somewhat plagued about it, and went out and bought me another. He came over to my desk, and throwing it down on the pad s;iid. 'Here's a better pen than you hiid. Simmons,' and he dashed off thoso three notes on that pad. "! remember how he tore off the sheet and laid it aside while 1 tried the pen on tin; pad. I remember ho used Mr. Charles' name, but used no figures. The 'dollar ngn v.-:i.s made, but only a dash whore the face of the note should have been, and I've found out bince that there was a peculiarity about ihe ink in that pen. This peculiarity will give those rasoallv Dlitc-s a\\ ay, oven if the cashbook did noi. 1 tell ye, the hand of God is in it, and those men will never be allowed to rob Medbury \s estate. In the daytime that ink is a bluish black, but in the nighttime, under any ordinary light, it's green as grass." "Simmons, old man, we'll make the teeth of those two rascals chatter yet," and Jack fairly danced for joy. It was late that night before our worthy friends finally slept the sleep of the just, and the next day at church the minister's homily seemed unusually dull. CHAPTER VI.

"I'll 'five you Juxt tin s< i-oiids iv <jcl outside I}iut door." "(lond morning, Mr. Hazeley," was Mr. Charles Blite's polite greeting on the following Monday as at eight o'clock ho found Jack peated iv the business manager's chair in the business office looking over the morning's mail, which Simmons was busily opening up fur his inspection. "What does this mean.-" Mr. CharleA demanded as lie, took in the situation,^ ni|i\ J,v,\..s.t rodo over to the desk, his coat on, Mr. B. Doii \J'i>l .fearful to becomes your brother, and 1 want himqpP hear what 1 have to say." As Mr. Arthur came in Jack arose from his chair, buttoned his coat tightly archil him, and raising his voice a triflolmiuounced, "It means, gentlemen, that by the authority vested in me by Miss Margaret Medbury 1 am in possession of this office in the capacity of business manager, and that you two gentlemen are not wanted here iv any capacity whatever." Brother Charles 1 heavy fact.- becamo actually gray with pas.-iun, and as ho shook his clinched list toward Jack lie snarled like a wounded wolf in impotent fury. Finally getting his voice lie began: "It does, eh? We'll see, I'm named as executor of the will <;f Mr. Medbury. That will conies up for probafo foday, and we'll see who has charge of this office and property. Besides all this, my brother ard I have certain claims that may make the property or a portion of it ours." "Until you get before the surrogate and. substantiate your claims, however," said Jack, "I am in possession here. I'll give you just ten seconds to get outside that door and stay out. If you don't go peaceably I'll throw you both clear over that curb." As he advanced the brothers retreated, and waiting not on the order of their going went. "You forgot to tell me how they secured possession of those notes, Simmons," he remarked as he settled down to work again. "So I did, and to tell the truth I don't know. Tho last 1 saw of them they were in Mr. Medbury's hand as he stepped on the elevator to go up to his office. I presume he laid them carelessly down with his exchanges, where they were found later by Mr. Charles. Maybe he didn't find them till lie moved in after Mr. Medbury "s death." "Very likely. Let's see. We appear before the surrogate today at nine, do we? I believe I'll send a carriage for Miss Margaret." CHAPTER VII.

"Hold one of these votes up where the Wjht will not fall directly on it." "The provisions of this will command me to issue letters testamentary to Mr. Charles Blite, who is here present. I

I Btippose?" announced Judge Baxter at the surrogate's office an hour later, "and ; I 6isppose this to be tho only document ''■ and the latest under the hand of the late Samuel Medlmry." As he paused in a professional way he gazed over his spectacles at a group of a dozen, among whom were Margaret, Jack, Simmons, the Blites aiul several court loungers, including the sheriff. There was a momentary pause, and the surrogate had already motioned for his clerk to come forward when Jack's steady tones broke the silence: "There arc some papers which bear on the issue of letters, your honor, and as a. representative of the .sole heir at law 1 demand that the court see them before their holder is appointed executor and auditor of his own claims against Samuel Medbury's estate. 1 refer to three notes aggregating *l:.\ 000." Mr. Charles, who looked somewhat uneasy, stepped forward. •'1 suppose," he ventured, "1 am not obliged to show these at present, but inasmuch as Miss Margaret has seen fit to question their validity, and to discharge, or rather attempt to discharge, my brother and myself for daring to announce our possession of them, I herewith present them for your honor's inspection. Are not both of these signatures those of the decedent in this case'r" The surrogate looked at them critically and announced, "Not only are the signatures in the handwriting of the late Samuel Medlmry, but the body of the notes as well.'' "Has your honor a dark room near by?"' was Jack's next question. The surrogate looked surprised. "Certainly, Mr. Hazeley. Why do you ask?'' "For the reason that I wish to call your honor's attention to a certain peculiarity about these alleged notes." "How do you know of any peculiarity about t hem, you presuming puppy? You never saw them in" — — "Silence!" thundered the surrogate. ••Mr. Arthur Blite, I want you to distinctly understand that 1 never allow such language in these chambers." Turning, he ordered his clerk to lead the way to the great vaults below, in which were tiled all tlio county records of tho surrogate's office. Jack and bijunions brought up the procession. Iv Simmons' anus were the cashbook and journal, which, as they turned about to survey the crowd, the brothers recognized as the volumes they supposed they had burned the Saturday evening previous. The gas had been lighted, aiid by the glare of it tho faces of tho two guilty wretches looked ghastly indeed. Were ever two knaves in closer quarters 1 ! The proof of one attempted crime before their eyes, and the proof of another, greater, and the primary crime of the lot, pi unused, and they in the presenco of their accusers in an iron vault and with a stalwart sheriff, at tho door! "Your honor will please hold one of | these notes up where the light will not S fall directly on it — so," said Jack. The judge did as requested, and an exclamation of wonder escaped every perexcept Jack und Simmons notes iii the hanu^w TTiG) iG foniier were '•Sheriff, stop those two nith,'" eT/iiJ 1 manded Jack, and that oirteial made a significant motion which brought the Blites to a stand. "You will notice," continued Jack, "that while the body and signatures of those notes are here green tho sums or faces and the dates are a decided blue. Mr. Simmons, please tell the court your story." Simmons did so, and the sheriff as he listened got out his brae-lets. The surrogale listened attentively, and at the conclusion of Simmons' tale, which Jack had supplemented from time to time, said, "1 must say that 1 have never known of a case similar to this, and my duty is hardly clear to me at this moment.'' "You will pardon the suggestion, your honor," interposed Jack, "but in behalf of my employer, Miss Medbury, allow me to say she- has no desire to punish these wretched servants further than by the discharge they received Saturday. Lf they will leave the city she will decline to prosecute." "1 do not know that 1 have a right to allow them to go. Technically they are not guilty of forgery, but they are of fraud, and of an attempt to utter fraudulent paper. They have raised these otherwise harmless blanks, however, and the law can and will handle them severely for it if 1 do my duty." "1 most earnestly request that they be allowed to go," said Margaret, here breaking iv. "No one can Jose by their freedom but myself, and I have not the least desire for vengeance.'' "Granted," exclaimed the judge, "and if all employers were an lenient as you rascality would be more plentiful and lawyers would have less business.' 1 He nodded to the sheriff, who stepped to one side and allowed the precious pair to hurry out and down the street. They were not heard of for more than a year afterward, and then only by a brief news dispatch announcing the death of Charles and the serious wounding of Arthur by a western farmer whose name they had secured to an innocent looking order for a patent right. The order proved a note, and the farmer went gunning for them. He refused payment, saving his money to defend himself with. Ho was acquitted by a jury of his neighbors. It was a merry and thankful company that assembled at the Medbury house that evening after the hearing before tho surrogate, and when Mr. and Mrs. Simmons and John Hazeley left at a late hour the office problem had been settled satisfactorily to all concerned. Jack was to be btisiness manager and dictate the editorial policy of the paper, for Simmons and Margaret seemed confident lie could make no mistake. During the afternoon an arrangement had been made by wire whereby a talented editorial writer from a neighboring city had been secured and placed in the position made vacant by Ruggles, the associate editor, who was pi-oinoted to the position made vacant by Mr. Blite's dismissal.

As for Mr. Simmons, all he wanted was "the books," and he got them. It remsiins but to be said that Jack's ! policy was vigoi'ous and wise, and that I The Herald took an active part iv the ; last political campaign, doing much for its party candidates. Always an obi server and a student, Jack has im- | proved vastly, rising equal to every eineri geticy. The year eighteen hundred and I ninety-one was the most prosperous The ! Herald hud ever known. In fact both | the paper and its manager are so popuj lar as to have influence even among opponents. Jack i.s mentioned for congress, and will without doubt go there in three years. It was recently announced that lie was to marry the lady by whom he is employed, which proves conclusively how she appreciates his managei inent. : THB LND.

A l*i opli«*<;y of Thackeray's. So far as knighthood is to be regarded ' as a mark of eminence in literature, ' science or art, Iho result appears pretty much the same as that which Thackeray describes in one of his "Roundabout Papers" as likely to have eusued if George 111 had instituted the Order of Merit, which he once hud in serious contemplation. That order was to have been dedicated to Minerva, and Dr. Johnson himself was to have been the first president or grand cross or grand owl of the society. The members were to be adorned with a star of sixteen points and a yellow ribbon, and all tho recognized luminaries of the literary, scientific and artistic worlds were to be enrolled among 1 hem. But how. Thackeray asks, when they had all of them been admitted, could the door be shut against inferior claimants? How could you have excluded Sir Alexis Sover, Sir Alessandro, Tamburini, Sir Agostino Velluti, Sir Antonio Paganini (violinist), bir Sandy M'Gofrog (piper to the most honorable the Maniuio of Farintosh), Sir Alcide Flicflac (premier danseur of her majesty's theater), Sir Harley Quin and Sir Joseph Grimaldi (from Covent Garden )? "They," he adds, "liavo all the yellow ribbon, Th< y are all honorable, clever and distinguished artists. Let us elbow through tlie rooms, make a bow to the lady of I lie liun.se, give a nod to Sir George Thrum, who is leading the orchesira, and go in and get some champagne and seltzer water from Sir Richard, who is presiding at the buffet." This was intended to bo a caricature when Thackeray wrote it. But it certainly reads a great deal more like a prophecy now. — London World. Acc«'j»te<l tlii< OflVr. ■'Ono of the greatest performances I ever heard of," said an actor, "was that of Ed Thome. Ho had been playing on the western circuit and had not been nniking money very steadily wiih a piece called, I think, 'The Missing Witness,' In one scene, where the hero is posted on the wall of an inn as a murderer, he has to come on, read tho bill and exclaim, 'Ten thousand dollars for the missing witness to prove my inno[i(!"\VC\.. or something liko that. The day at a matinee Tie" '$\.JP r s y uw time audience ami saw his understusy- dO'Tald part. When they came to this scene and tho inn was shoved on — same inn that does for Macbeth's castle and Juliet's chaniber, y\>n know — the hen) for the afternoon came in, took his cloak down from his face long enough to say, 'Ten thousand dollars for the missing witness,' when Thome calmly arose in the audience and walked to the .si age. 'Done,' said he. 'Here are the baud parts, prompt copy, lines, stan'e plans and everything. All for leu ilioii>aiid.' L presume the man on iho stage was pretty well broken up about then." — New York Sun. Ucti'clivi-s of Tiliie '^jilli's v t <ier<-r. All newspaper readers will remember the celebrated Tillie Smith murder in l«*ew .Jersey. Tillie Smith, a young servant H'irl, was killed in defending herself against si. me man whom tlie police L;ave up all hope of discovering. James Creelman, of The World, and (.'. W. Tyler, of The Sun, worked together as detectives on the case. They convicted Titus, tho janitor of the institution where Tillie Smith lived. IJe was >enteneed to be haiigf-d, lml the .-i-:iteneu was, afterward commuted to imprisonment for life. In addition to the good defective work which tli'se two brilliant reporters did they wrote such simple, louching, .straightforward accoiinls of the girl's heroic deJVij.se and atrocious death that the tearful public subscribed plenty of money to erect a monument to Tillio Smith's memory. This was probably tlie lir.-t money ever put up in honor of a murdered servant yirl. It. was certainly a credit able monument to human sympathy. — New York World. YVlmt. OuUU>;«n<l Is. The reason a person sinks in quicksand is because tin; latter is composed eliieHy of small particles of mica, mixed largely with water. Tho mica is so smooth that the fragments slip upon each other with the greatest facility, so that any heavy body which displaces them will sink and continue to sink until a solid hot loin is reached. When particles of sandare ragged and angular ; ny weigi.t pressing on them will crowd them together until they are compacted into a solid mass. A sand composed of mica or soaps tone when mixed willi suflicient water seems incapable of s'.icli consolidation. — Detroit Free Press. (<oiii£ Down Wlic;i llhlhiy; I p. Speaking of up and down in England, it may be added that so far is the practice carried nnd so wonted have the English become to it that they talk even of going down from London to Windsor, say, when they actually get on a boat on the Thames and ride up the river. Nor do they see the slightest inconsistency in so doing.— Cor. New York Tribune.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/BH18941214.2.39.18

Bibliographic details

Margaret Medbury's Managers., Bruce Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 2638, 14 December 1894, Supplement

Word Count
4,531

Margaret Medbury's Managers. Bruce Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 2638, 14 December 1894, Supplement

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