Fearnot and Olcott at Freedonia.
Fearnot and Olcott remained in Wall
Street after the great excitement occasioned, by Fred’s
sudden change of front, when he turned from a bull
to a bear in the market, quietly waiting for another
chance to make a deal.
All the brokers in the Street had
nothing else to talk about for the time being but
that singular event, and it became well known that
the brokers who had been attempting to crush him the
second time narrowly escaped being themselves completely
Although Fred and Terry didn’t
reap the benefit of the change as much as they expected,
they made a neat little sum, and Broker Bellamy, who
had been Fred’s most persistent enemy, was so
badly crippled that many brokers thought he was completely
His two nephews, thinking that Fred
had been too harsh with their uncle, hired a couple
of thugs to give him a good beating, but the news of
their intention having reached Fred’s ears, Terry
kept inside the typewriter’s room an hour after
the close of business for some time.
One afternoon the thugs entered the
room and the leader fell into Fred’s terrible
grip, and he squeezed his ribs so fiercely that several
of them were broken. The wounded slugger’s
pal was roundly thrashed, too, by Terry, who couldn’t
resist the temptation to take a hand in it, but he
was permitted to take his friend out to the hospital.
The building was so nearly deserted
at the time that the news did not get out.
The two young nephews of Broker Bellamy
on learning of the failure of their hired assassins,
immediately sailed from New York for parts unknown,
and all Wall Street became interested in the question
of what had become of them, where they had gone and
why they had left the city between sunset and sunrise.
Fred and Terry believed that they
knew just why they had gone away, but, of course,
had no idea where they had gone.
Broker Bellamy, who was very fond
of his two stalwart nephews, intimated that he believed
that Fred and Terry knew what had become of them, and,
from that, the gossips began saying that the old broker
had charged Fred and Terry with making way with his
two nephews. At first Fred and Terry laughed
at it, and so did all Wall Street. Nobody believed
it except their enemies, who were willing to believe
anything to their discredit.
Terry finally called up Broker Bellamy
and took him to task for starting such a report that
they had had some hand in making way with his nephews,
but the old man, of course, denied the charge, whereupon
Terry told him of the hired sluggers who had attacked
Fred in his office, and how their attack had proved
an absolute failure.
One of the sluggers had died from
being shot by a crook after making confession to one
of the surgeons that he had been hired by the two
Bellamy boys, and that therefore he ought to understand
why his nephews had absconded from the city.
The old fellow was dumfounded, and
it was probably true when he denied that he knew anything
about the attack on Fearnot, and so he refused to
make any retraction whatever.
Then Terry wrote an account of the
whole incident and had it published in one of the
big dailies. This was a shock to the entire city.
Terry obtained an affidavit from one
of the surgeons who had treated the wounded man in
the hospital and one also from the other thug who had
witnessed and taken part in the attack corroborating
the charge that Terry had made.
It came very near ruining the old
broker, who already had many enemies in the Street,
and it gradually forced him to retire.
After that Fred and Terry took part
in several more little deals, some of which panned
out pretty well, while others profited them little
or nothing; but in the aggregate they had gathered
in a pretty good sum during the season, and they decided
that they were pretty well paid for their return to
Wall Street; so they finally decided to go back down
into Texas to look after their new ranch and try to
add another thousand head of cattle to their herd.
They wrote Jack that they were going
to return south, and as soon as Jack received their
letter he promptly wired back to them to stay there
until he joined them, as he intended to come up after
his mother and to marry Katy Malone, who was still
working in the office with Louise Crane.
“Great Scott, Terry!”
said Fred. “Jack has finished his house
by this time, and now he is in a hurry to get his
mother and sweetheart down there with him.”
“Well, I don’t blame him,
Fred. Katy is a sweet girl and dead in love with him,
while his mother wants her along as a companion.”
“Very true; but, Terry, I fear
that he is making a mistake.”
“Don’t say anything about
that, Fred,” advised Terry, “for it would
hurt both his and her feelings, and probably his mother’s.
I don’t see how it is possible that his house
can be finished ready for occupancy in such a short
“Neither do I, and I’m
going to wire to him and ask him if the house is finished,
and if it isn’t I’ll just advise him to
postpone his trip North until it is.” So
he wired to Crabtree, and the dispatch was sent down
the road by the operator to him.
Jack promptly answered the question
by saying that the house was not yet finished, and
would not be for several months yet, but that his mother
and Katy could find comfortable quarters in one of
the other houses.
Fred immediately wired back:
“Take my advice, Jack, and wait
until the house is finished and furnished.”
The next morning he received a reply from Jack, saying:
“All right, sir, I’ll wait.”
“Terry, that boy is no fool,”
Fred remarked, as he showed him the dispatch.
“Now, Terry,” said Fred,
“let’s see if we can’t persuade Evelyn
and Mary to go back with us down there. We can
keep them at the hotel in Crabtree, supply them with
a carriage and a pair of horses, and you know it is
not absolutely necessary for us to live out on the
ranch entirely yet. Then, too, we are well enough
supplied with money now to entertain them in good
style, as well as to add another thousand head of cattle
to our herd.”
“Fred, that would suit you all
right, for I have no doubt but that Evelyn would be
glad to go, but I am afraid that Mrs. Hamilton will
refuse to give her consent to Mary’s going out
there, and I am sure, too, that she will never consent
to our marriage if I intend to bring her down here
to live. She seems to have a holy horror of Texas;
for that state has the name, you know, all over this
part of the country as being a place for which all
law-breakers leave when the sheriff gets after them.
We had that idea, too, until we stayed down there among
them for a few months; but there are no better people
in the world, on an average, than we have found the
citizens of Texas to be.”
“Well, Terry, let’s take
a run up to Fredonia and have a talk with the girls
and their mothers. We may be able to persuade
Mrs. Hamilton to our way of thinking.”
So a few days later they took the train up to Fredonia,
without having notified the girls of their intention
of doing so.
It so happened that on that very day
Evelyn and Mary took a ride over on Main street, and
when they had finished their little shopping Evelyn
suggested that they drive up to the depot and see the
They did so, and were never more surprised
in their lives than when they saw Fred and Terry emerge
from the cars.
“Oh, Mary!” exclaimed
Evelyn, “there are Fred and brother!”
“Where? Where?” Mary questioned.
“Why, don’t you see them
coming there with their valises in their hands?”
and the two girls threw their arms around each other’s
necks and kissed each other in their great joy at
seeing their sweethearts.
Fred and Terry saw the carriage and
at once left the station platform and started toward
Evelyn sprang out of the carriage,
ran to Terry, threw her arms around his neck and kissed
him only as a loving sister can.
Fred dropped his valise, and, catching
her in his arms, kissed her on both cheeks, while
probably a score of spectators stood looking on; but
then neither of them cared for that, for every man,
woman and child in Fredonia knew of their engagement.
“Dear,” said Fred, “how
did you know that we were coming up?”
“Fred, I really can’t
say. Mary and I were down on Main street shopping.
Suddenly the thought of you and brother came into my
head and my heart suggested that we come up here,
although both of us were ignorant that you boys were
coming up on that train.”
“Well, bless that dear heart,”
said Fred, as he assisted her into the carriage.
Of course, the Olcott and Hamilton
families were greatly surprised.
Fred explained to Evelyn that he and
Terry had succeeded in their deals down in Wall Street
and had almost recovered from their losses caused by
failure of the Texas bank, and that they were thinking
of going back down to Texas to look after their new
ranch and to try to add another thousand head of cattle
to their herd.
“And you came up to tell us good-by, eh?”
“Well, we came up to see you girls, but about
that I’ll tell you later.”
Neither of the boys went over into
town during that day. They were satisfied to
remain with their sweethearts, and their sweethearts
were more than pleased to have them do so. Both
the girls were highly pleased with the report they
made as to their financial success in Wall Street.
“Fred,” said Evelyn, “why
not defer your return to Texas until cold weather,
when I would be glad to go down with you and brother
and spend the winter there, for I enjoyed myself splendidly
last winter. The people were kind and sociable.”
“Yes, indeed, we have found
them so. When we left there, as I told you when
we first came up, we were loaded down with loving messages
for you from the best society people there at Crabtree,
but I never saw Wall Street so dull in my life.
I’ve had my revenge over the worst enemy I ever
had there; but you know all about that, for you were
down at the office at the time I changed front and
got the best of Broker Bellamy and his syndicate.”
“Yes, and I actually felt sorry
for the old rascal. I don’t enjoy other
people’s distress, Fred.”
“No I know that; but I tell
you that sometimes revenge is sweet. We didn’t
make as much out of that deal as we expected to, but
still we have no right to complain. We have not
only saved ourselves from financial embarrassment,
but have money enough left to add another thousand
head of cattle to the ranch and to build any kind of
a house that would suit you.”
“Suit me!” said she.
“Are you expecting to make that your future home,
“I’ll leave that with
you, dear. If you insist upon it we can live
elsewhere and do as we did on the Colorado ranch, leaving
faithful men to manage it for us.”
“Fred, I could live contentedly
anywhere in the world where you are satisfied and
can make money.
“Mrs. Hamilton, however,”
she continued, “is horrified at the idea of
Mary living so far from her. She has a great fear
of the climate of Texas, and she thinks the people,
too, down there are nearly half savages.”
“Well, can’t you tell her better than
“I have told her all about how
I found the people down there at Crabtree, but she
says I was there at a hotel where only people of refinement
live, and that I know nothing about the people out
in the country. I laughed at her and asked her
if she knew anything about them herself, and she retorted
that everybody who read newspapers knew what sort
of people lived down there.”
“Well, dear, Terry and I have
come up to see if we could persuade you and Mary to
go down there with us and spend the fall and winter.”
“Fred, I am perfectly willing
to go anywhere that brother goes along with us, and
I will do my best to get Mrs. Hamilton’s consent
for Mary to go, for she has never been down in that
section of the country.”
“Well, you go, anyhow,”
suggested Fred. “I want you to see the new
ranch. I wouldn’t think of making a home
at the ranch we looked at when we went down to Crabtree.
The one that we afterwards bought as an investment
is the one I mean. I believe that we can, eventually,
build up a little place of resort about that big,
bold mineral spring just a mile from the railroad
track, and I intend to have the water analyzed.
The physicians claim down there that it has been partially
analyzed and is said to be the finest water in the
South, but I am going to send a bottle of the water
to a chemist in New York or Philadelphia who has an
established reputation and have him analyze it.
“I do hope, though,” he
added, “that you will plead with Mrs. Hamilton
for her consent to let Mary go down and see the country.”
That evening the two boys spent with
their sweethearts at their respective homes.
Terry then told Mary what he wanted
her to do, saying that Evelyn was going down with
him and Fred to see their Texas ranch, and he wanted
her to go, too.
“Mary,” said he, “it
is the richest ranch I ever saw in my life. We
thought the one in Colorado was a grand one, and so
it was, but the grass there was never so abundant
or so nutritious as at our new ranch. It grows
much taller, keeps fresh and green longer, and the
soil itself is several degrees richer than the Colorado
ranch. You never so many quail in your life as
you can see there every day in the week all the year
round. There are prairie chickens, and there are
ten jack-rabbits there to one in Colorado.”
“But, Terry, last winter you
wrote me about some bad Mexican and American cowboys
who had made trouble for you.”
“Yes, but didn’t we have
the same trouble out in Colorado? Didn’t
I point out to you several times in Colorado the graves
of horse thieves and cattle thieves whom our cowboys
had shot to prevent them from plundering our ranch?
Are not murders committed right here in New York City
often, and don’t you read of them in the papers?
Why, there is no place in the country where bad men
don’t live, and bad women, too, for that matter;
and by this time those cowboys have found out that
Fred and I, as well as Jack, are deadshots and not
afraid to pull a trigger on a bad character, so you
can’t say anything against that locality any
more than you can any other in the West.”
“Terry, is Evelyn going back with you?”
“Yes she has said that she would, but she wants
you to go, too.”
“Terry, I’m afraid that mother will never
“By George, Mary, she must consent,”
said Terry. “I’m not going to let
her destroy my happiness.”
“Well, Terry, you will have to talk with her
“That’s just what Fred
and I came up to do, dear. Of course, we couldn’t
take you against her consent until after you and I
are married, and if she won’t consent to your
accompanying Evelyn down there, why I’ll hurry
back as soon as I can get the home ready for you, marry
you and away we’ll go to just where we darn
The next day Fred and Terry made a
combined attack on Mrs. Hamilton trying to gain her
consent for Mary to go down and spend the fall and
winter in Texas with Evelyn, but she was firm in her
refusal, saying that Mary had spent “nearly
half her time for several years away from home, and
that she was opposed to her going so far south, anyway.”
Both Fred and Terry had to finally
give it up in despair. Evelyn said that she would
go down with them, as she had never enjoyed herself
more, even up at New Era, than she had at Crabtree.
She said, too, that she had never
met up with more refined people than she had there.
Mary, of course, cried herself sick and begged piteously
for permission to accompany Evelyn. Mrs. Hamilton,
though, put up all sorts of excuses. When she
mentioned the matter of expense Evelyn said that Mary
could go as her guest, and that she need not spend
one nickel for anything.
“Besides, mother,” pleaded
Mary, “I have money of my own, you know, and
surely, as I am of age, I should be permitted to spend
some of it just as I please.”