« PreviousContinue »
Certainly it was true, by the magic for "Shall I ever see her again ?" which there is no accounting, that by the "Good bye," she answered him. “I suptime he had adjusted the last screw, each pose
may never see you again.” young heart felt it had known the other But she mentally determined that she for years. Loeb called for the wire chief; would see him again—some way. and as he stood a moment waiting, their Loeb's duties, which seemed to him so eyes met in a long, searching gaze. Loeb's easy as to be silly, and again so new that admiration showed so plainly, it would they were well-nigh impossible to him, have been strange if Louise had not kept him exceedingly busy for a week. secretly resolved to see him again. She Not a day passed, however, that he did was still bubbling over with the ludicrous- not hope to be called again to No. 382 ness of his entrance, and was full of the station, the home of Sigmund Schultze's spirit of adventure, for she was young daughter. and had found the world full of fun. Then the blow fell. He was called into
“Good bye!” he said gravely as he the office of the superintendent. A big, passed out the door. He was unaccount- florid man was seated there. ably depressed, whereas he might well "Loeb," began the superintendent, have felt elated by quick work in clear- "you repaired station No. 382, which is ing his first case of trouble. In his mind the residence of Sigmund Schultze, on ran the question :
the 17th ; and on that same day Miss
Louise Schultze lost a necklace of pearls “Landsman, you are honest as I am. which she laid on the hatrack a few min- Let us drop this." utes before you arrived. She, I believe, The superintendent was standing unopened the door. Now, Loeb, we do not easily on one foot and then the other, and believe you took that necklace, but you seemed immensely relieved. The facts were the only one who—”
were that Alderman Schultze was on Loeb broke in upon the superintendent the Council committee having the fate of with a roar of rage.
a certain ordinance renewing the tele“Does someone say I–Adolph Loeb— phone franchise, and it was exceedingly did steal? Do you? There was
-well-embarrassing, to have this matthreat in the question addressed to the ter come up in the superintendent's desuperintendent.
partment when the Company's officers "No, you do not say it, but who does?" were needing council votes.
Turning suddenly to the big, florid man “Do you wish me to resign?” Loeb sitting near the wall, Loeb shook his fist demanded of the superintendent, to whom under the florid nose, and bellowed : it was rather amusing to have a repair
“Who are you? Iss it you who say I man talk of "resigning" as though he steal? Tell me and I will tell you my held the portfolio of State. But the memanswer! I shall haf you prove it, and ory of Loeb's card with the degrees I shall make you eat your vords !"
came, and checked a smile. “This is Sigmund Schultze, Loeb, al- "No, you stay with us, Loeb,” he said. derman from the Eighteenth Ward," That was a practical form of vindicabroke in the superintendent, now alarmed tion which appealed to Loeb, and he and wholly surprised.
showed it. His first act was a grateful "I care not whether he is an alderman smile, the second a glance at Louise. or a mayor or a king! He shall not say Something evidently troubled Louise, 1-Adolph Loeb-steal, and live, if he iss for she rather winced when her father not able to prove it!"
and the superintendent expressed their Loeb was now pale, and his voice was
faith in Loeb. It was through design, in not loud, but calm and terrible in its earn- fact, that the meeting came about, but estness. Suddenly he glanced about, and she had no expectation that it would there in the doorway stood Louise frighten her so, or be so dramatic. It was Schultze, dressed very carefully and more an outcome of her determination that the beautiful than ever, but very pale and path of the splendid young telephone relooking very frightened.
pairman should again cross her path. She Loeb bowed stiffly.
had, in fact, lost her pearl necklace, but “Iss it you who say I did steal?" He had found it again, and simply had supasked it of Louise with punctilious cour- pressed the fact of its recovery in a vague tesy, but with a coldness which froze her. hope that by bringing Loeb into the mat
"No, I did not say so," she answered. ter she could amuse herself at his ex"I told of my loss, and when they asked pense and win his gratitude by exposing if anyone had been in, I mentioned your her "joke." fixing the telephone. And now-" Her But everything had turned out badly. lip trembled so she could not for a mo- Loeb had pointedly snubbed her, and had ment proceed.
not taken things at all as she had ex"I do not believe you took it,” she pected. She walked bravely up to him, added, after a pause.
however, and held out her hand, Loeb bowed again but did not relax his "Not until I have proved I am not a haughty coldness of disdain.
thief," said Loeb, bowing profoundly. “I wish now to prove my innocence," Louise left the room with her chin held he said.
high, but gave a dry, choking sob when She looked at him, not without a new the door was closed. admiration, but as if she were thinking: “I wish your tam pearls I had never "Now don't be horrid."
bought," sighed Schultze as they entered Sigmund Schultze, the big, florid man, their carriage. He was profoundly moved now arose heavily and with evident an- by the words of Loeb, and had shown his noyance,
conviction of the innocence of Loeb by times.
exacting a promise that he would come had won because Sigmund Schultze not to see him.
only had changed his vote but had made "Come and talk of our dear Father- a speech exhorting the others to do the land," he said. And Loeb went.
same. As he was ushered into the library by Frost had known that Loeb and the maid, he unexpectedly met Louise. Schultze had talked long and often of Both colored, but Loeb's was the self- late about telephone service; and when possession which best responded in the Schultze changed front, he told the presiemergency. He bowed, stood aside for dent it was due to Loeb, and told about her to pass, and bowed again. She went Loeb and his degrees..
down the hall in a sort of daze, and five "Can you do Loeb a favor ?" inquired . minutes later was in her room sobbing on the president. her bed, she knew not why.
“Yes, it is his highest ambition to be on Loeb found Schultze most agreeable, a switchboard." well read, and interested in electrical mat- "Fix it.” ters. He could not understand his host's So, when Loeb, with set face, entered insistence that he go into the details of his office, Frost shot the question at him the difference between telephone equip- casually: ment service and cost in Chicago, Berlin, "Would you care to help us out on one and other cities. Loeb was delighted to of the switchboards, Professor ?" find so willing a listener; and as he could Loeb stammered that he would be tell from practical or theoretical knowl- glad to live and die in switchboard work edge of the workings of many of them, -study, he called it. the average "time per call," the hours "All right, report to-morrow." when the “load of traffic" reached the Loeb did not answer, and Frost looked "peak," he talked interestingly and well. around for an explanation of the silence. “Wonderful," Schultze would say at Tears were trickling down Loeb's cheeks.
“I cannot accept such distinction while The shrewd German alderman had a the suspicion which I have not yet been purpose in his questions and his patient able to disprove is hanging over me,” he listening, for he was determined that his said at last. vote on the franchise would be based on Frost whistled his surprise. facts and justice.
"Why, man, I do not suspect you," he “Come again,” he told Loeb when they started to say. parted at the door about midnight.
Loeb then did a strange thing, for he And Loeb did go again ; and again he walked out of the office and straight off was permitted to ride his hobby unmo- to Sigmund Schultze's residence. He lested, and Schultze was told of the work sent his card to Louise. done by the departments of maintenance, She came in very much perturbed, in traffic, construction, installation, and of fact on the verge of hysterics. He the thousands of details which each day bowed. were cared for in the handling of mil- “Do you suspect I stole your necklace, lions of calls per month.
Miss Schultze? I can think of no way to “Ah, I shall be most happy if I can be prove that I did not.” This he blurted a switchboard expert,” Loeb sighed. The out as his greeting. “Do you think I spell still held him fascinated by the in- would steal anything ?” tricacies necessary to produce simplicity “Yes," she said. for telephoning
He started and clenched his fists. But A week later, Loeb was again sum- Louise was not in a mood to note his moned into Superintendent Frost's office. unconsciously heroic pose or the sadness He went with clenched teeth, recalling in his eyes. the events three months before when “Yes, Professor Loeb, I suspect you, Louise saw him confronted by a suspicion for I know you have done it. But you -her suspicion, he thought-of theft. did not take my necklace, and I never for He was wholly oblivious to the fact that a moment thought you did. No one did. a decisive vote had been had in the Coun- I lost it and afterward found it. But I cil the previous night, and the Company wanted you to come back some time."
Loeb's face was scarlet and white by remained a mystery, but that, his face turns.
radiant, he said aloud: "What, then, have you thought I have “But you stole my heart first, Meine stolen?"
Leibschen.” Louise answered him in a surprising Then he telephoned to Frost that his way, for she walked boldly up and threw innocence had been established, and he both arms about his neck; and what she would most gladly go to switchboard accused him of stealing would ever have work.
T is rather remarkable that made until the sighting ship reached in spite of varied and nov- port, maybe many days later, but now el forms which marine en- that wireless telegraphy is becoming an
terprise is assuming of late indispensable adjunct to marine progress, A hitherto been made
attempt has this drawback is partially overcome and
to will be less serious as the employment of grapple with the question of the salvage that agency grows. Already measures of derelicts on a systematic basis. Sea- are on foot for the inauguration of a board salvage has become a pursuit com- derelict-hunting enterprise by capitalists prehending vast possibilities; the treas- along the seaboard from New England ures of foundered galleons are being northward, with headquarters at St. wrested from the mud of centuries in John's, N. F., a strong impetus thereto Vigo Bay, and the costly fittings of the having been imparted by the case of the Armada from the sand of Tobermory; derelict tramp steamer Dunmore, which and the towage of a floating dry-dock was knocking about the western ocean from New York to Manila is the latest for more than three months last winter, expression of American genius in the sea- and eventually either foundered faring world. But the Seven Seas are drifted into the Sargasso Sea, the fabled dotted with masterless craft of every size haven of countless deep-sea wonders. and condition, derelict hulls of substantial
in marine records few value and cargoes rich in price—yet this counterparts of the case of this luckless field of endeavor continues unworked, vessel, which for that period was an aimthis harvest of the ocean unreaped. less errant, the worst menace to the safe
The chief difficulty in the way hereto- ty of life and property at sea in the refore has been the inability to locate these membrance of any living sailor who plies waifs, for no report of them could be his calling on the North Atlantic. Leav