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Vol. 22. No. 19. - $Wuvdty??
Copyricut, 1923, By DAVID C, COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY, Etern, ILLINors.
ir Sy od Mothers Day Story,
ILY. were ‘you late?” called Paul
7" Craig to his chum, as he slipped
into ‘the mine cage just before the
~ gate closéd and the cage shot down to the
depths of the earth. ‘ Ilave a losing argu-
ment with the alarm clock? I waited for
‘you at the corner of Marden Street until
“[ had to hurry for fear of being late.”
. “No,” replied Steve Haynes; “I was
an early bird this morning, for I had a
little purchase to -make, Forgot it last
When the men filed out of the mine car,
Steve lingered long enough to pick up a
discarded tin can and fill it from the water
tank placed in the shaft as fire safety.
Then he and his conipanion started down
the main entry to the fifth heading and the
chamber in which they worked. To Paul's
query “about the old can, Steve put his
hand into his pocket and brought out a
“flower, carefully wrapped in oiled paper.
The other boy stared at what he saw. What
could Steve want .with a dainty white car-
nation in the murky depths of a coal mine?
“The florist on 17th Street had only a
few of these left. They'll be all sold out by
night, and I wanted to be sure of getting
‘one. That’s why I was late... Tomorrow,
you know, is Mother’s. Day,” explained
“You always had a sentimental strain
in you,” laughed Paul.
Steve made no answer as he put the stem
of the carnation into.the can, making sure
that the oiled paper was tight around the
Then he changed his mind about
leaving the treasure in the mine chamber
and decided that it would keep fresher
along the air pipes in the main entry,
“Back in a minute! Too bad I hadn't
time to fix this, at the shack above, but
the hoss wonldn't let the cage wait.”
_ “So touching,” giggled Paul, as the other
raced off with the flower.
- Steve was back shortly, and the two pro-
ceeded to their chamber ‘and. settled to
work ‘to fill the car with the coal that had
been blewn down the day previous,
Steve and Paul had come to Work in the
non-union coal mine when school was closed
a month early because of an epidemic of
contagious disease. ~ As the. boys’ fathers
were interested in the mine, they wished
their sons to learn mining from the depths
up. So, as men and coal were scarce, the
boys were gladly given work,
Thoy had hardly loaded one ear when
they heard the little mine locomotive com-
.make you feel so bad?”
JAMES J. DEEHAN
is ing: to take it away and leave another,
When the little engine shunted into their
chamber on the temporary tracks, the man
in charge stepped down and came towards
“Hello, Jim Jiminy!
today 7’. called Steve.-
“Ay, ay, vera fine.
Not so worse!
tling today?” -
The “little -man threw out his chest,
twirled- his ridiculous moustache. and
beamed on the boys. “I work hard today
because I feel like some happy boy. My
old mother, she come from the other side.
TIouse alla fix up! . Baba face wash! My
wife, she cook alla time! My old mother
eighty over, but she live plenty years yet!”
“T hope so, Jim Jiminy !’ declared Steve.
“Take care of her pa watch your joh]”
‘At the mention of his job, the man be-
came all activity. That money every Sat-
urday now had to buy comforts for the old
mother, besides supplying the many needs
: How do you feel
vera fine! Mow
Boss keeping you bus-
of his family. Soon the friendly little man_
had the locomotive pole reversed and was
off with the loaded car. .
“Cattle,” sniffed Paul. “ Such as he can
have no appreciation of the finer things in
life. DPlenty to eat and a warm place to
sleep; that’s.all he wants out of life.”
“What did you have for breakfast to
teased his com-
panion. “I know it was a shame that
school bad to close so there’ will be no
spring track meets and no medals or cups
to be won by Paul Craig.”
Paul was ready with a retort, but the
words died on his lips when there came a
terrific crash from somewhere in the mine,
The boys stared panic-stricken at each
other as a sweep of gas, like a strong wind,
came through the maze of coal chambers.
“CA cave-in !” cried Steve, “* We'd better
be thinking of moving!
The explosion had evidently been in the
main entry that led to the shaft. They
would have to brave the gas, if they dashed
for the hoist. Perhaps the air would
Perhaps they were in no danger.
exulted Paul, as
“The door is. open,”
he yentured out of the chamber,
shut it and keep out the afterdamp!
Paul and Steve both dashed for the Aloor
of the entry way.e The terrible afterdamp
already rolling down the heading.
slammed. shut the barrier to keep
what. good air they had inside.
Then a faint cry came from beyond.
Poor Jim.Jiminy, he must have gotten his!
Steve started for the doorway. He had
a great deal of admiration for the little
man to whom he had given the absurd
name.‘because he couldn’t say the real one.
“No, friend! None of that!” aul
shored the other back. “ Better one lost
than two. Wait a bit; they'll get the fans
going. Or the Bohunk may make the door,
and we can-slip him in!”
With a fierceness of purpose Steve strug-
gled in the direction of the door, but the
other’s arm was long, and his strength was
much greater.. He drew Steve back and
kept him there. . 1
“Now, Steve, save yourself, You'll use
all your strength, and you won’t have it
a need itt”
“Tt isn’t fair,” cried Steve, when he
realized that Paul had him blocked. ‘* The
poor fellow was so happy to have his moth-
er with him. It’s not right! Let me
alone—.” The,sentence trailed ‘into noth-
ing, as a stupor seized the boy.
‘Then, with a frightened ery, Paul noticed
a curl of the afterdamp winding through
a crevice of the door. A faint yell from
just outside the chamber, and a thump
against the door set Paul thinking. Had
Jim Jiminy reached the heading? Was
there any way to stop that in-seep of choke
damp? Was this the end? Ob, what an
end! <A slow torture of suffocation! - Paul
As Steve staggered in with a heavy burden, Paut took the weight from his comrade.
May 12, 1923.
became frantic as these thoughts filled his
He helped Steve to the far corner of the
chamber, where the air was purer; then
he returned to. the center and, with shud-
dering fascination, watched the door. Dare
he open that door? The man outside was
too far gone, perhaps, to, be saved. But
that last cry had touched Paul's heart; he
couldn't help being drawn slowly to the
Ilowever, the boy behind” Paul was
quicker than he. | Steve’s faintness had
passed with the breath of purer air, and -
he now dashed past his hesitant chum,
flung open the door, and stumbled out. As
he came staggering-in with a heavy burden,
Paul took the weight from his comrade,
permitting him to slam the door shut.
the smoke and the throat-gripping air had
piled through the opened door,
e boys found that it was Jim Jiminy
whom they had dragged into the chamber,
and together they worked over him in the
hope that his lungs were not. fatally
poisoned. Soon he began to mutter in the
language of his homeland. The words
were a lullaby, a croon. Was Jim Jiminy
thinking of his youth and his mother? It
was a pity. thought I’aul, to awaken a man
to die. Still he and Steve worked resolute-
ly and had the reward of seeing the man
open bleary eyes. He smiled, as his strength
“We gotta go other place quick, or after
long time they carry us out. and we know
nothing. My old mother not come long way
to see me dead. near fresh air when I
tink of you boys here alone. Come back to
tell you something, We go now, or some
one get our job!”
hen the boys understood what the man
was saying. Jim Jiminy had nearly made
safety: then he had thought of them and
had come all the way back to tell them to
make a dash for the hoist.
“Cattle!’’ Paul spoke the word softly.
Tle wondered why he had used that word a
little while back.
Jim Jiminy got to his feet. stumbled
across the chamber, and flung open the
door. “Tight. you beys!" Then he disap-
peared, followed by the boys.
It was hard going. very hard! <A faint-
ness overwhelmed them. and a dizziness
begged them to stop. When they came to
a rock heap, Steve floundered over it and
on, but Paul ran against it and stumbled.
He tried to regain his balance, failed, and
went down. Ah, the choking. the foul
breath, the rebellion of the lungs. Was
there anyyuse going on?
“Paul!” . The voice cut the murk with
At Steve's call Paul struggled up, only
to trip again. A hand passed across his
face; then a fist wlescended with the full
weight of Steve’s right arm. “ Fight,”
came a voice, but it was Weaker than be-
Paul shook his head at (xe sting of the
blow, Steve couldn't cot him mad! Why,
by this time Jim Jiminy had made the hoist
and was on his way to see his mother,
Steve, too, had his mother! But he, Paul,
had no one; he was an orphan, with—
What a_ relief! Something soothingly
cool and deliciously sweet touched his neck.
Paul felt as exhilerated as though-he had
. dived into a pool of spring water on a
July day. We jumped up and made his
way over \the pile of rock..-There were
voices ahead. On, on, on, he stumbled, fol-
lowing a moving shadow that was probably
Steve. Dizzy and choking, but he was not
quitting, not while “that delicious feeling
Suddenly the air cleared, and “Paul real-
ized that he had. passed the eighth head-
ing. Two more’ remained and then the
hoist. Cn and on be- pounded, regardless
of tortured lungs, until he
eame to the .