tire, and I will fight for vindication as
long as I live." ,
Charlie, quivering with intensity of feel-
ing, sat down. In an Instant a. hurricane
of applause nlled the room. Through it all,
the Decker contingent remained silent and
When the applause had subsided. Mr.
Ilollister culled upon the proper commit-
tee for an interpretation of that article of
?the by-laws. This was duly rendered:
'1 "The reference to social and nnancial
tending was made to apply to only such
members had contracted scandalous
debts or fallen into bad odor in society.
1 It could not be found that the charge
;against Charles Del:-Lnd was in any man-
: ncr sustained."
: The vindication of Champion Charlie was
I received with great applause.
I: was a great triumph for the young
iskater, but the evil smile on Anthony
E Decker's face did not fade.
4 Clara. through all, had sat pale, and with
' Tears stood in her eyes us
' 7' Charlie made his manly defense.
“You havewon, Charlie," she said, “and
‘ you have too many friends to suffer defeat.
But we shall fall." '
“If you fall, then I'll fall with you,”
,‘said Charlie. resolv‘-5-ly. “If your father
is deposed from odice. I will leave the club
forever.’ . .
Decker now arose and made a motion
that the annual election he held. This was
Ballot clerks were appointed, and for 1
time there was much excitement. One by
> one the former odlcers were reinstated,
and then came the ballot for president.
There was 8. hush when the secretary
arose to announce the result. His voice
‘ i was constrained to a. painful degree, as he
-.<-arr:-.=$ ‘ . , ‘
“By a majority of twenty votes, Walton
Decker is elected president of this club.”
A e silence reigned.
Perhaps the strange expression of
mingled grief and pain which shot athwart
Benjamin Hol1ister‘s face was responsible
this In that company were the friends of
his long and useful life. He could only see
and only feel that they had deserted him
in the hour of his dark misfortune, and it
seemed because of that.
He arose slowly and looked down upon
the company. ' e figure seemed to
sway with his words: -
“Friends and fellow members: In leav-
ing myyodlce as president of this club, I
wish to be the Erst to extend warm con-
gratulations to my successor, ande-”
J v The words died upon his lips. A contor-
‘tion of anguish conrulsed his features, and
he went. down with a crash. Champion
Charlie was the first to bound to the plat-
,-‘form and reach his side.
A ('0l"VAlllILY mick.
Benjamin I-lollister was A man oi sensi-
tive mold and high spirit. The apparent
ingratitude, and what be regarded as the
2 disloyalty of his friends, had wounded him
beyond mental endurance.
, The physician who waited upon him and
5 ordered his removal to his home looked
stern and grave. '
“He may survive for a time,” he>sald,
"but Rlwnlexy in 9. man of his years usual-
ly can-have but one result."
There was something of a revulsion of
' sentiment when the deposed president was
taken from the club in a dying state. The
conscience of many A member smote him
; deeply. -
Even the Dockers had sulhclent discre-
tion of triumph. They had won, but, some-
how, the victory seemed tasteless.
All that night Clara. and Dick hovered
over the bedside of the sick parent.
When Charlie called at an early hour the
next morning, Dick met him at the door
with n grief-struck face. .
“I fear there is no hope for father, Char-
“ , it is a dark hour for us
and go down to Wall Street
every day to attend to his business, but
I fear for the worst." W
,.“Is there nothing I could do to assist
you?” pleaded Charlie.
' “Nothing at present.
again today, don‘t you?”
“I wish I could throw it up. But. you
know, it means a. thousand dollars, and we
need the money.”
“My prayers are with you.
will Win." .
‘ Charlie went away with a heavy heart.
He went down to the river to join Hagee.
The shrewd tminer could see What effect
d upon him, and strove to
You know that young Decker has got five
, thousand bet on Larony. He is
Charlie's face grew grim.
; . “Yes," he said. "He shall lose. I'll beat
- ; Larony as badly as I can." .
I hope you ‘
They began to climb the stairs to the
little room in the boathousc where Charlie
had his training quarters. Magoo Save an
exclamation of surprise.
The door was open. He was just in time
to see a man's llgure slip around the cor-
her of the hoathouse.
Magce was after him like a flash. Char-
lie followed. ‘
But when they reached the spot, he was
gone. He could not be ound. '
“Well, what can that mean?" cried the
trainer. “What's that skunk prowling
around here for. Let‘n go back and see."
They went back and found that the door
had been forced open, but that was all.
Nothing was missing. If the fellow
meant robbery, it would seem that he had
been frightened off before he had a chance
to carry anything away.
Magoo scowled and swore a little.
“It’s a pretty pass when we can't leave
things here over-night." he growled. “I'd
like to have caught that beggar."
“Well, I don't see that he has clone any
great harm," said Charlie.
"No, but he probably meant to. Well,
now ye want ter throw everything off yer
mind, and keep cool-till afteh the race. if
yer kin win this afternoon. than it's all
over.‘ If ye loss, then ye’ve got to make
:1. Iiztrder try to-marrow."
“I shall do my best this afternoon, I can
assure you,” said Charlie. “Have no fear
on that score.” “
They left the training quarters at little
later and went up into the clubhouse.
There were I-znots of members here and
there, and the one subject of discussion was
the affair of the night before.
There was a division of sentiment among
the club members, and this led to much
acrld discussion.’ As Charlie and his train-
er walked through the room, they attracted
much attention. .
And Just then Anthony Decker, who was
the center 01’ the throng by the door, spied
them. The young reprohate's face lit up
with an expression of trlump .
“‘Tlie:'e‘ll be fair play to-day," he said,
loudly. “You'll see another story. There
will be no foul tripping."
Charlies face flushed as the unjust .ac-
Cll:“4’l.tl.OI1 reached his- ears. He half halted,
but Magoo said:
“Keep cool. lad. bet him blow until after
the race. Then spoil his face for him if
ye like." ' I
But Decker was bound not to let the op-
portunity pass. He flung out other jecring
“Any one could win a race on such a
foul. Tripping a man is hardly fair. But
everybody is on to it now, and there's got
to be fair play to-day.”
‘‘That‘s' a lie!” cried Charlie, hotly,
wheeling in his tracks. “Repeat that, An-
thony Decker, and I'll make you swallow
Declrer's right hand was in his pocket.
His fingers closed upon :1 set of brass
knuckles, with which he had provided him-
self. The opportunity for which he had
sought had arrived.
His greenish eyes glitfercd. If he could
deal Charlie a. blow with these, he might.
injure or cripple him, and he would be un-
in for the race. ' -
lllagee read the young villains purpose.
The trainer tried to draw Charlie away.
But the young skater was boiling over
with righteous indignation. As Decker
stepped out. he met him.
“See here!” blustered Decker,
going to have you call me a liar ,
“Well. that’s what you are and a scouri-
drel, too." ‘ .,
“Am I?” hissed Decker, making a. savage
blow at Charlie with the knuckles. “I’ll
take the oonceit out of you!"
Charlie pnrried the blow with his arm
and felt his muscles grow numb. lie saw
the knuckles and recognized the others
“You coward!" he cried. "You ca.n’t fight
Decker leaped forward and tried to reach
Charlie's head. But the young skater
dodged the blow.
Going under Declrer‘s guard. he gave him
a blow in the solar plexus. and then, as
Decker bent forward. crossed to his face.
The force of the low made the young
villain’s teeth rattle nndoseut him reeling
back among his friends. Then the crowd
separated the combatants.‘
"Did he hurt yo, la.d'.”' asked lllagee, anx-
my my arm!" replied Charlie. ‘He
had brass knuckles."
“lists 1 cowardly little wbelp. Pd like
I believe ye
that Charlie Deland was not the
stuff to trifle with. v
The affair created 1 little stir In the club
gem. But Charlie an Magee went back
on the previous day. throng
As 1 post
was in attendance. interest in the Inuit
was greater than ever. The excitement was
The feeling was intensely partisan. The
Higlicliif people were staking their money
on Champion Charlie. ,
But some sort of n,t:ulet up had been
givcn out that to-day Larony would be the
In fact, his own backers did not has!-
tate to plunge. Decker made large bets and
The interest was at fever Iielght. Who
would win? Surely it would be a great
As the hour drew near, far from feeling
nervous, Charlie grczv more confident than
He could see no reason why he should
not win. ' '
lie had felt out his man well the day be-
fore. It was no longer on ‘uncerta.lntY
which he was accepting.
He knew that Lnrony hnd done his best.
As for himself, he knew that he could
have done better. It was easy, therefore,
to assume that he could win, barring acci-
Magee looked carefully after him. Fi-
nally, Charlie put on his skates and went
out on the course.
The preliminary races had just been
Even as Charlie appeared, he saw Laruny
earning. The Katonab Lake man was look-
ing nne, and he seemed to hear an air of
“llello, Deland!" he said, as they met.
"me my race to-day."
“Do you think so?"
“Oh, yes! I had an off day yesterday,
but I am feeling all right to-day." p
‘‘I am glad you think so. Now, I think
I am going to win!"
“XVcll, you'll have
you did yesterday."
"Well. I can," replied Charlie.
‘'Is that so’! I say, just how fast can you
go, Deland‘.7" ,
“I'll show you today."
"Oh, you are going to beat me away off,
are on?" r
‘ shall beat you just as badly 35 I 03"-
Thcn if you fall, they can't say I tripped
to skate faster than
,“Do they say that?”
“Deck r declared so to-do)’-"
“Oh, he‘s :1 tool. I heard you gave him a
good one in the face." ‘
“I struck him after he assaulted me.
"Good enough! You ought to break
face. He is ri disgrace to the sport. .
“I share your opinion," said Charlie.
“You know yourself, Iiarony, I did not trip
“‘(1).f course you didn't. I never made the
accusation. But there 2:095 “"3 WM5‘-19-''-
Down to the line Went the W0 Skate”-
Thoy met with a roaring storm of ap-
plause. ' s
“Go in and win, Larony! .
"Beat him again, Champion Charlie!"
These were the cries. The two skaters
crouched on the line, waiting for the start-
It was a. moment of suspense. Chnrlio
waited,3vcry nerve upon the alert. Even
as he heard the word spoken, he was go-
Off they went like meteors. Out over
the ice they spedlike greyhounds.
as a race in deadly earnest.
All was at sta
If Charlie won,
get mother try at l.
on and an they went, Larony a trifle in
the Such n contest had never been
seen on the Hudson before.
Of the two. as before, It seemed as if
Champion Charlie was skating the easiest.
he had the silver cup and
Larony must win
booming up from the crowd.
greatest of ease, Champion Charlie forged
Desperately, lArony fought for the ad-
Two feet of space showed between them.
This grew to four. than to six, and then
Every moment Charlie was draw-
A map of
"Did you ever see the beat of that?"
"He's a. wonder.‘
"He can beat Luony easy!"
It seemed most astounding. Anthony
Decker, chewing I cigarette, walked lrp and
down‘ and seemed extremely nervous He
passed a dark, squat-figured man uni
"You made 1 fizzle of that, Parlrerl"
“Don't yo believe Ill” returned Lilo fel-
“Ile can‘: go the whole course with
skate. Ah, there yo :0!"
The crowd gave 8 Err-It. throbbing gasp.
They vdtuessed n thrilling lvectnoln
an ion he lifted and
Illd for many
amazement went up from the
hum he the lee, where he
yards and lay motionless.
Lnrony passed him and went on to the
Thin a roar like that of a. horde of wild
animals went up on the frosty air as the
crowd scattered over the ice. All sorts of
theories were heard. -
“Just like Larony's accident."
“lie tripped and fell."
“llo couldn't hold the speed." ‘
lilagec was the first to reach Charlie. llut
even as he bent over the young skater,
Charlie sat up and rubbed his shoulder.
lie was white, but seemed unhurt.
“What happened, my boy?" cried ‘
"Ye was going easye"
“I don't know," replied Charlie. “I think
the skate gave way."
“The skate-why the runner is bmktn in
two!" cried lllngee, as he glanced at Char-
lie's left foot. Then a. strange A-loud‘ vzuno
over his face. .
Hnstily he examined the steel shoe of the
Ila knew that he had curcfull)‘ c.V.1ll‘ilIlcd
them the day before.
brokvii right in
two. But Magee's practised eye saw that
it was not a break due to a ilcrv In the
lie examined the break critl:-ally. There
was the unmistakable sign of fcul play.
The saw marks were plain. V
The skate iron but] been partly screwed.
so that as the weight was placed upon it
at a. certain angle, it was sure to break.
This had thrown Champion Cliarlie, and,
lost Llm the second heat of the race for the‘
and tho trainer excliangcd
g lloth understood.
"Say nothing!" whispered liugce.
“'11 was sawed?”
“The fellow that we saw at the training
“Yes, no doubt."
Charlie extrlr-ated him-:L-if from the ox-
cltcd crowd and with lllagee returner‘. to
his quarters. The judge licziilng no pro-
test, awarded the heat to Lerony.
The affair was the talk of the town. The
general verdict seemed to be:
“D<-laud skated over himself. lie is fast.
but he can't hold the clip.“
Decker was jubilant and won much mon--
ey on the outtcnie. Champion Charlie and
Magoo kept their own counsel.
hey were now on the alert. New
skates were procured, and Charlie slept
with them under his pillow. There should
he no mistake next time. . ‘
A user scm r
Charlie and his trainer bell er‘. that they
were pursuing the wisest course in refrain-
ing from exposing the cowardly game or
making ll. protest.
“Go in to-niorrcw and beat him. Char-
lie," said l‘.i:t3ce, “Whrr. the race is ovcr,
we will tell the story."
‘(hen Charlie went home that night, he
told the story to Mrs. Vmncy. She “as
"Be sure that
it," she ea‘. .
"I had thought of that," said Charlie.
"Yes, you may be sure of that. No ono
else could have had a motive."
"lie will yet expose his hand said Chen
lie, confidently, “and thou ll..:li'.:liff phonic.
will learn the truth."
The news w:-.3 received by Dick llollister
and Clara with something like dismay.
Dick was able to leave his fathers bod-
slde just long enough to run down to Chah
.Decl<eris at the bottom of
“How did It happen?" he asked, brtaih-
“ obody but Magoo and I know It," said
Charlie, "but some one trcachcrously sawed
my skate-runner partly In two."
Dirk stared at his chuni. Then be ex-
“A cowardly trick. Be sure Der-kcr on
at the bottom of IL"
“I believe so myself, but there will be no
"I hope not. Charlie. By the way, we
have 3 gloom of hope National Rubber is
declining steadily, and if we can hold on to
our steel stock another week, Decker may
have to sacrifice his controlling interest to
cover himself on Rubber."
"Oh, I pray that that may come to pass!‘
"No doubt It will. The broken: L1! 53:
so. But our resources are low, and if our
loans are called in before that time, we are
“ t least. Dick. there is an honest living
for us all somewhere. ,
"Oh. that true. Charlie For myself,
I do not care. I In and ght
my guy. But it would nu father to loan
“All is not lost yet."
‘Let us continue to have. then," cried
ruins’: wheel is always turn-