"Is there any early history about here?" asked Helen, whose interest was unfailing in the story of her country.
"The French and Indian Wars were fought in part through this land," answered Mr. Emerson. "You remember the chief struggle for the continent lay between the English and the French. There were many reasons why the Indians sided with the French in Canada, and the result of the friendship was that; the natives were supplied with arms by the Europeans and the struggle was prolonged for about seventy-five years."
"Wasn't the attack on Deerfield during the French and Indian War?" asked Ethel Blue.
"Yes, and there were many other such attacks."
"The French insisted that all the country west of the Alleghenies belonged to them and they disputed the English possession at every point. When Washington was only twenty-one years old he was sent to beg the French not to interfere with the English, but he had a hard journey with no fortunate results. It was on this journey that he picked out a good position for a fort and started to build it. It was where Pittsburg now stands."
"That was a good position for a fort, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to make the Ohio," commended Roger.
"It was such a good position that the French drove off the English workmen and finished the work themselves. They called it Fort Duquesne and it became one of a string of sixty French forts extending from Quebec to New Orleans."
"Some builders!" commended Roger.
"Fort Duquesne was so valuable that the English sent one of their generals, Braddock, to capture it. Washington went with him on his staff, to show him the way."
"It must have been a long trip from the coast through all this hilly country."
"It was. They had to build roads and they were many weeks on the way."
"It was a different matter from the twentieth century transportation of soldiers by train and motor trucks and stages," reminded Mrs. Morton.
"When the British were very near Fort Duquesne," continued Mr. Emerson, "the French sent out a small band, mainly Indians, to meet them. The English general didn't understand Indian fighting and kept his men massed in the road where they were shot down in great numbers and he lost his own life. There's a town named after him, on the site of the battle."
"Here it is," and Helen pointed it out on the map in the railway folder. "It's about ten miles from Pittsburg."
"Washington took command after the death of Braddock, and this was his first real military experience. However, his heart was in the taking of Fort Duquesne and when General Forbes was sent out to make another attempt at capturing it Washington commanded one of the regiments of Virginia troops."
"Isn't there any poetry about it?" demanded Ethel Brown, who knew her grandfather's habit of collecting historical ballads.
"Certainly there is. There are some verses on 'Fort Duquesne' by Florus Plimpton written for the hundredth anniversary of the capture."
"Did they have a great old fight to take the fort?" asked Roger.
"No fight at all. Here's what Plimpton says:—
"So said: and each to sleep addressed his wearied limbs and mind, And all was hushed i' the forest, save the sobbing of the wind, And the tramp, tramp, tramp of the sentinel, who started oft in fright At the shadows wrought 'mid the giant trees by the fitful camp-fire light.
"Good Lord! what sudden glare is that that reddens all the sky, As though hell's legions rode the air and tossed their torches high! Up, men! the alarm drum beats to arms! and the solid ground seems riven By the shock of warring thunderbolts in the lurid depth of heaven!
"O, there was clattering of steel and mustering in array, And shouts and wild huzzas of men, impatient of delay, As came the scouts swift-footed in—'They fly! the foe! they fly! They've fired the powder magazine and blown it to the sky.'
"All the English had to do was to walk in, put out the fire, repair the fort and re-name it."
"What did they call it?"
"After the great statesman—Fort Pitt."
"That's where 'Pittsburg' got its name, then! I never thought about its being in honor of Pitt!" exclaimed Helen.
"It is 'Pitt's City,'" rejoined her grandfather. "And this street," he added somewhat later when they were speeding in a motor bus to a hotel near the park, "this street is Forbes Street, named after the British general. Somewhere there is a Bouquet Street, to commemorate another hero of the war."
"I saw 'Duquesne Way' marked on the map," announced Ethel Blue.
On the following morning they awakened to find themselves opposite a large and beautiful park with a mass of handsome buildings rising impressively at the entrance.
"It is Schenley Park and the buildings house the Carnegie Institute. We'll go over them by and bye."
"It's a library," guessed Dicky, who was not too young to have the steelmaker's name associated with libraries in his youthful mind.
"It is a library and a fine one. There's also a Music Hall and an art museum and a natural history museum. You'll see more fossil ferns there, and the skeleton of a diplodocus—"
"A dip-what?" demanded Roger.
"Diplodocus, with the accent on the plod; one of the hugest animals that ever walked the earth. They found the bones of this monster almost complete in Colorado and wired them together so you can get an idea of what really 'big game' was like in the early geological days."
"How long is he?"
"If all the ten members of the U.S.C. were to take hold of hands and stretch along his length there would be space for four or five more to join the string."
"Where's my hat?" demanded Roger. "I want to go over and make that fellow's acquaintance instanter."
"When you go, notice the wall paintings," said his mother. "They show the manufacture and uses of steel and they are considered among the finest things of their kind in America. Alexander, the artist, did them. You've seen some of his work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York."
"Pittsburg has the good sense to have a city organist," Mr. Emerson continued. "Every Sunday afternoon he plays on the great organ in the auditorium and the audience drifts in from the park and drifts out to walk farther, and in all several thousand people hear some good music in the course of the afternoon."
"There seem to be some separate buildings behind the Institute."
"The Technical Schools, and beyond them is the Margaret Morrison School where girls may learn crafts and domestic science and so on."
"It's too bad it isn't a clear day," sighed Ethel Blue, as she rose from the table.
"This is a bright day, Miss," volunteered the waiter who handed her her unnecessary sunshade.
"You call this clear?" Mrs. Morton asked him.
"Yes, madam, this is a bright day for Pittsburg."
When they set forth they shook their heads over the townsman's idea of a clear day, for the sky was overcast and clouds of dense black smoke rolled together from the two sides of the city and met over their heads.
"It's from the steel mills," Mr. Emerson explained as he advised Ethel Brown to wipe off a smudge of soot that had settled on her cheek and warned his daughter that if she wanted to preserve the whiteness of her gloves she had better replace them by colored ones until she returned to a cleaner place.
They were to take the afternoon train up the Monongahela River to the town from which Stanley Clark had sent his wire telling his uncle that "Emily Leonard married a man named Smith," but there were several hours to devote to sightseeing before train time, and the party went over Schenley Park with thoroughness, investigated several of the "inclines" which carried passengers from the river level to the top of the heights above, motored among the handsome residences and ended, on the way to the station, with a flying visit to the old blockhouse which is all that is left of Port Pitt.
"So this is really a blockhouse," Helen said slowly as she looked at the little two story building with its heavy beams.
"There are the musket holes," Ethel Brown pointed out.
"This is really where soldiers fought before the Revolution!"
"It really is," her mother assured her. "It is in the care of one of the historical societies now; that's why it is in such good condition."
Roger had secured the tickets and had telephoned to the hotel at Brownsville for rooms so they took their places in the train with no misgivings as to possible discomfort at night. Their excitement was beginning to rise, however, for two reasons. In the first place they had been quite as disturbed as Dorothy and her mother over the difficulties attending the purchase of the field and the Fitz-James Woods, and the later developments in connection with the man, Hapgood. Now that they were approaching the place where they knew Stanley Clark was working out the clue they began to feel the thrill that comes over explorers on the eve of discovery.
The other reason for excitement lay in the fact that Mr. Emerson had promised them some wonderful sights before they reached their destination. He had not told them what they were, although he had mentioned something about fairyland that had started an abundant flow of questions from Dicky. Naturally they were all alert to find out what novelty their eyes were to see.
"I saw one novelty this afternoon," said Roger. "When I stepped into that little stationery shop to get a newspaper I noticed in the rear a queer tin thing with what looked like cotton wool sticking against its back wall. I asked the woman who sold the papers what it was."
"Trust Roger for not letting anything pass him," smiled Ethel Brown.
"That's why I'm such a cyclopedia of accurate information, ma'am," Roger retorted. "She said it was a stove."
"With cotton wool for fuel?" laughed Ethel Blue.
"It seems they use natural gas here for heating as well as cooking, and the woolly stuff was asbestos. The gas is turned on at the foot of the back wall and the asbestos becomes heated and gives off warmth but doesn't burn."
"I stayed in Pittsburg once in a boarding house where the rooms were heated with natural gas," said Mr. Emerson. "It made a sufficient heat, but you had to be careful not to turn the burner low just before all the methodical Pittsburgers cooked dinner, for if you made it too low the flame might go out when the pressure was light."
"Did the opposite happen at night?"
"It did. In the short time I was there the newspapers noted several cases of fires caused by people leaving their stoves turned up high at night and the flames bursting into the room and setting fire to some inflammable thing near at hand when the pressure grew strong after the good Pittsburgers went to bed."
"It certainly is useful," commended Mrs. Morton. "A turn of the key and that's all."
"No coal to be shovelled—think of it!" exclaimed Roger, who took care of several furnaces in winter. "No ashes to be sifted and carried away! The thought causes me to burst into song," and he chanted ridicuously:—
"Given a tight tin stove, asbestos fluff, A match of wood, an iron key, and, puff, Thou, Natural Gas, wilt warm the Arctic wastes, And Arctic wastes are Paradise enough."
As the train drew out of the city the young people's expectations of fairyland were not fulfilled.
"I don't see anything but dirt and horridness, Grandfather," complained Ethel Brown.
Mr. Emerson looked out of the window thoughtfully for a moment.
"True," he answered, "it's not yet dark enough for the magic to work."
"No wonder everything is sooty and grimy with those chimneys all around us throwing out tons and tons of soft coal smoke to settle over everything. Don't they ever stop?"
"They're at it twenty-four hours a day," returned her grandfather. "But night will take all the ugliness into its arms and hide it; the sordidness and griminess will disappear and fairyland will come forth for a playground. The ugly smoke will turn into a thing of beauty. The queer point of it all is," he continued, shaking his head sadly, "fairyland is there all the time and always beautiful, only you can't see it."
Dicky's eyes opened wide and he gazed out of the window intent on peering into this mysterious invisible playground.
"Lots of things are like that," agreed Roger. "Don't you remember how those snowflakes we looked at under the magnifying glass on Ethel Blue's birthday burst into magnificent crystals? You wouldn't think a handful of earth—just plain dirt—was pretty, would you? But it is. Look at it through a microscope and see what happens."
"But, Grandfather, if the beauty is there right now why can't we see it?" insisted Ethel Brown.
Mr. Emerson stared out of the window for a moment.
"That was a pretty necklace of beads you strung for Ayleesabet."
"We all thought they were beauty beads."
"And that was a lovely string of pearls that Mrs. Schermerhorn wore at the reception for which you girls decorated her house."
There could be no disagreement from that opinion.
"Since Ayleesabet is provided with such beauties we shan't have to fret about getting her anything else when she goes to her coming-out party, shall we?"
"What are you saying, Grandfather!" exclaimed Helen. "Of course Ayleesabet's little string of beads can't be compared with a pearl necklace!"
"There you are!" retorted Mr. Emerson; "Helen has explained it. This fairyland we are going to see can't be compared with the glory of the sun any more than Ayleesabet's beads can be compared with Mrs. Schermerhorn's pearls. We don't even see the fairyland when the sun is shining but when the sun has set the other beauties become clear."
"O-o-o!" shouted Dicky, whose nose had been glued to the window in an effort to prove his grandfather's statement; "look at that funny umbrella!"
Everybody jumped to one window or another, and they saw in the gathering darkness a sudden blast of flame and white hot particles shooting into the air and spreading out like an umbrella of vast size.
"Look at it!" exclaimed the two Ethels, in a breath; "isn't that beautiful! What makes it?"
"The grimy steel mills of the daytime make the fairyland of night," announced Mr. Emerson.
Across the river they noticed suddenly that the smoke pouring from a chimney had turned blood red with tongues of vivid flame shooting through it like pulsing veins. There was no longer any black smoke. It had changed to heavy masses of living fire of shifting shades. Great ingots of steel sent the observers a white hot greeting or glowed more coolly as the train shot by them. Huge piles of smoking slag that had gleamed dully behind the mills now were veined with vivid red, looking like miniature volcanoes streaked with lava.
It was sometimes too beautiful for words to describe it suitably, and sometimes too terrible for an exclamation to do it justice. It created an excitement that was wearying, and when the train pulled into Brownsville it was a tired party that found its way to the hotel.
As the children went off to bed Mr. Emerson called out "To-morrow all will be grime and dirt again; fairyland has gone."
"Never mind, Grandfather," cried Ethel Brown, "we won't forget that it is there just the same if only we could see it."
"And we'll think a little about the splendiferousness of the sun, too," called Helen from the elevator. "I never thought much about it before."
THE MISSING HEIRESS
Mr. Emerson's investigations proved that Stanley Clark had left Brownsville several days previously and had gone to Millsboro, farther up the Monongahela.
He had left that as his forwarding address, the hotel clerk said. This information necessitated a new move at once, so the next morning, bright and early, Mr. Emerson led his party to the river where they boarded a little steamer scarcely larger than a motor boat.
They were soon puffing away at a fair rate of speed against the sluggish current. The factories and huge steel plants had disappeared and the banks looked green and country-like as mile after mile slipped by. Suddenly Roger, who was sitting by the steersman's wheel, exclaimed, "Why, look! there's a waterfall in front of us."
So, indeed, there was, a wide fall stretching from shore to shore, but Roger, eyeing it suspiciously, added in an aggrieved tone, "But it's a dam. Must be a dam. Look how straight it is."
"How on earth," called Ethel Blue, "are we going to get over it?"
"Jump up it the way Grandpa told me the salmon fishes do," volunteered Dicky.
Everybody laughed, but Mr. Emerson declared that was just about what they were going to do. The boat headed in for one end of the dam and her passengers soon found themselves floating in a granite room, with huge wooden doors closed behind them. The water began to boil around them, and as it poured into the lock from unseen channels the boat rose slowly. In a little while the Ethels cried that they could see over the tops of the walls, and in a few minutes more another pair of big gates opened in front of them and they glided into another chamber and out into the river again, this time above the "falls."
"I feel as if I had been through the Panama Canal," declared Ethel Blue.
"That's just the way its huge locks work," said Mrs. Morton. "The next time your Uncle Roger has a furlough I hope it will be long enough for us to go down there and see it."
"I wonder," asked Roger, "if there are many more dams like this on the Monongahela."
"There's one about every ten miles," volunteered the steersman. "Until the government put them in only small boats could go up the river. Now good sized ones can go all the way to Wheeling, West Virginia. If you want to, you can go by boat all the way from Wheeling to the Gulf of Mexico."
"The Gulf of Mexico," echoed the two Ethels. Then they added, also together, "So you can!" and Ethel Brown said, "The Indians used to go from the upper end of Lake Chautauqua to the Gulf in their canoes? When they got to Fort Duquesne it was easy paddling."
"What is that high wharf with a building on it overhanging the river?" asked Helen.
"That's a coal tipple," said her grandfather. "Do you see on shore some low-lying houses and sheds? They are the various machinery plants and offices of the coal mine and that double row of small houses a quarter of a mile farther up is where the employes live."
As the boat continued up the river it passed many such tipples. They were now in the soft coal country, the steersman said, and in due time they arrived at Millsboro, a little town about ten miles above Brownsville.
Here Mr. Emerson made immediate inquiries about Stanley Clark, and found that he had gone on, leaving "Uniontown, Fayette County," as his forwarding address. "That's the county seat where Hapgood says he copied his records," said Mr. Emerson. "I hope we shall catch young Clark there and get that matter straightened out."
As there was no train to Uniontown until the afternoon, Mr. Emerson engaged a motor car to take them to a large mine whose tipple they had passed on the way up. The Superintendent was a friend of the driver of the car and he willingly agreed to show them through. Before entering the mine he pointed out to them samples of coal which he had collected. Some had fern leaves plainly visible upon their surfaces and others showed leaves of trees and shrubs.
"Fairy pencilings, a quaint design, Veinings, leafage, fibers clear and fine,"
quoted Ethel Blue softly, as she looked at them.
Mrs. Morton stopped before a huge block of coal weighing several tons and said to her son, "Here's a lump for your furnace, Roger."
"Phew," said Roger. "Think of a furnace large enough to fit that lump! Do you get many of them?" he asked of the Superintendent.
"We keep that," said the Superintendent, "because it's the largest single lump of coal ever brought out of this mine. Of course, we could get them if we tried to, but it's easier to handle it in smaller pieces."
"What'th in that little houthe over there?" asked Dicky. "Theems to me I thee something whithing round."
"That's the fan that blows fresh air into the mine so that the miners can breathe, and drives out the poisonous and dangerous gases."
"What would happen if the fan stopped running?" asked Ethel Brown.
"Many things might happen," said the Superintendent gravely. "Men might suffocate for lack of air, or an explosion might follow from the collection of the dreaded 'fire damp' ignited by some miner's lamp."
"Fire damp?" repeated Mrs. Morton. "That is really natural gas, isn't it?"
"Yes, they're both 'marsh gas' caused by the decay of the huge ferns and plants of the carboniferous age. Some of them hardened into coal and others rotted when they were buried, and the gas was caught in huge pockets. It is gas from these great pockets that people use for heating and cooking all about here and even up into Canada."
Ethel Brown had been listening and the words "some of them hardened into coal" caught her ear. She went close to her grandfather's side.
"Tell me," she said, "exactly what is coal and how did it get here?"
"What I want to know," retorted Mr. Emerson, "is what brand of curiosity you have in your cranium, and how did it get there? Answer me that."
Ethel Brown laughed.
"Let's have a lecture," she urged, "and," handing her grandfather a small lump of coal, "here's your text."
Mr. Emerson turned the bit of coal over and over.
"When I look at this little piece of black stone," he said, "I seem to see dense forests filled with luxuriant foliage and shrubbery and mammoth trees under which move sluggish streams draining the swampy ground. The air is damp and heavy and warm."
"What about the animals?"
"There are few animals. Most of them are water creatures, though there are a few that can live on land and in the water, too, and in the latter part of the coal-making period enormous reptiles crawled over the wet floor of the forest. Life is easy in all this leafy splendor and so is death, but no eye of man is there to look upon it, no birds brighten the dense green of the trees, and the ferns and shrubs have no flowers as we know them. The air is heavy with carbon."
"Where was the coal?"
"The coal wasn't made yet. You know how the soil of the West Woods at home is deep with decayed leaves? Just imagine what soil would be if it were made by the decay of these huge trees and ferns! It became yards and yards deep and silt and water pressed it down and crushed from it almost all the elements except the carbon, and it was transformed into a mineral, and that mineral is coal."
"Coal? Our coal?"
"Our coal. See the point of a fern leaf on this bit?" and he held out the piece of coal he had been holding. "That fern grew millions of years ago."
"Isn't it delicate and pretty!" exclaimed Ethel Blue, as it reached her in passing from hand to hand, "and also not as clean as it once was!" she added ruefully, looking at her fingers.
By way of preparation for their descent into the mine each member of the party was given a cap on which was fastened a small open wick oil lamp. They did not light them, however, until they had all been carried a hundred feet down into the earth in a huge elevator. Here they needed the illumination of the tiny lamps whose flicker made dancing shadows on the walls.
Following the Superintendent their first visit was to the stable.
"What is a stable doing down here?" wondered Ethel Brown.
"Mules pull the small cars into which the miners toss the coal as they cut it out. These fellows probably will never see the light of day again," and their leader stroked the nose of the animal nearest him which seemed startled at his touch.
"He's almost blind, you see," the Superintendent explained. "His eyes have adjusted themselves to the darkness and even these feeble lights dazzle him."
The girls felt the tears very near their eyelids as they thought of the fate of these poor beasts, doomed never to see the sun again or to feel the grass under their feet.
"I once knew a mule who was so fond of music that he used to poke his head into the window near which his master's daughter was playing on the piano," said the Superintendent, who noticed their agitation and wanted to amuse them. "We might get up band concerts for these fellows."
"Poor old things, I believe they would like it!" exclaimed Helen.
"This is a regular underground village," commented Mrs. Morton, as they walked for a long distance through narrow passages until they found themselves at the heading of a drift where the men were working.
"Is there any gas here?" asked the Superintendent, and when the miners said "Yes," he lifted his hand light, which was encased in wire gauze, and thrust it upwards toward the roof and gave a grunt as it flickered near the top.
There it was, the dreaded fire-damp, in a layer above their heads. One touch of an open flame and there would be a terrible explosion, yet the miners were working undisturbed just beneath it with unprotected lamps on their caps. The visitors felt suddenly like recruits under fire—they were far from enjoying the situation but they did not want to seem alarmed. No one made any protest, but neither did any one protest when the Superintendent led the way to a section of the mine where there was no gas that they might see a sight which he assured them was without doubt wonderful.
They were glad that they had been assured that there was no fire-damp here, for their leader lifted his lamp close to the roof. Ethel Blue made the beginning of an exclamation as she saw his arm rising, but she smothered her cry for her good sense told her that this experienced man would not endanger the lives of himself or his guests. The coal had been taken out very cleanly, and above them they saw not coal but shale.
"What is shale?" inquired Helen.
"Hardened clay," replied the Superintendent. "There were no men until long after the carboniferous period when coal was formed, but just in this spot it must have happened that the soil that had gathered above the deposits of coal was very light for some reason or other. Above the coal there was only a thin layer of soft clay. One day a hunter tramped this way and left his autograph behind."
He held his lamp steadily upward, and there in the roof were the unmistakable prints of the soles of a man's feet, walking.
"It surely does look mightily as if your explanation was correct," exclaimed Mr. Emerson, as he gazed at the three prints, in line and spaced as a walker's would be. Their guide said that there had been six, but the other three had fallen after being exposed to the air.
"I wish it hadn't been such a muddy day," sighed Ethel Blue. "The mud squeezed around so that his toe marks were filled right up."
"It certainly was a muddy day," agreed Roger, "but I'm glad it was. If he had been walking on rocks we never should have known that he had passed this way a million or so years ago."
They were all so filled with interest that they were almost unwilling to go on in the afternoon, although Mr. Emerson promised them other sights around Uniontown, quite different from any they had seen yet.
It was late in the afternoon when they ferried across the river in a boat running on a chain, and took the train for the seat of Fayette County. As the daylight waned they found themselves travelling through a country lighted by a glare that seemed to spread through the atmosphere and to be reflected back from the clouds and sky.
"What is it?" Dicky almost whimpered, as he snuggled closer to his mother.
"Ask Grandfather," returned Mrs. Morton.
"It's the glare from the coke ovens," answered Mr. Emerson. "Do you see those long rows of bee-hives? Those are ovens in which soft coal is being burned so that a certain ingredient called bitumen may be driven off from it. What is left after that is done is a substance that looks somewhat like a dry, sponge if that were gray and hard. It burns with a very hot flame and is invaluable in the smelting of iron and the making of steel."
"That's why they make so much here," guessed Ethel Brown, who had been counting the ovens and was well up in the hundreds with plenty more in sight. "Here is where they make most of the iron and steel in the United States and they have to have coke for it."
"And you notice how conveniently the coal beds lie to the iron mines? Nature followed an efficiency program, didn't she?" laughed Roger.
"They turn out about twenty million tons of coke a year just around here," Helen read from her guidebook, "and it is one of the two greatest coke burning regions of the world!"
"Where's the other?"
"In the neighborhood of Durham, England."
"It is a wonderful sight!" exclaimed Ethel Blue. "I never knew fire could be so wonderful and so different!"
Mr. Emerson's search for Stanley Clark seemed to be a stern chase and consequently a long one. Here again the hotel clerk told him that Mr. Clark had gone on, this time to Washington, the seat of Washington County. He was fairly sure that he was still there because he had received a letter from him just the day before asking that something he had left behind should be sent him to that point, which was done.
As soon as the Record Office was open in the morning Mr. Emerson and Roger went there.
"We might as well check up on Hapgood's investigations," said Mr. Emerson. "They may be all right, and he may be honestly mistaken in thinking that his Emily is the Clarks' Emily; or he may have faked some of his records. It won't take us long to find out. Mr. Clark let me take his copy of Hapgood's papers."
It was not a long matter to prove that Hapgood's copy of the records was correct. Emily Leonard had married Edward Smith; their son, Jabez, had married a Hapgood and Mary was their child. Where Hapgood's copy had been deficient was in his failing to record that this Emily Leonard was the daughter of George and Sabina Leonard, whereas the Clarks' Emily was the daughter of Peter and Judith Leonard.
"There's Hapgood's whole story knocked silly," remarked Mr. Emerson complacently.
"But it leaves us just where we were about the person the Clarks' Emily married."
"Stanley wouldn't have telegraphed that she married a Smith if he hadn't been sure. He sent that wire from Millsboro, you know. He must have found something in that vicinity."
"I'm going to try to get him on the telephone to-night, and then we can join him in Washington tomorrow if he'll condescend to stay in one spot for a few hours and not keep us chasing over the country after him."
"That's Jabez Smith over there now," the clerk, who had been interested in their search, informed them.
"Jabez Smith!" repeated Roger, his jaw dropped.
"Jabez Smith!" repeated Mr. Emerson. "Why, he's dead!"
"Jabez Smith? The Hapgood woman's husband? Father of Mary Smith? He isn't dead. He's alive and drunk almost every day."
He indicated a man leaning against the wall of the corridor and Mr. Emerson and Roger approached him.
"Don't you know the Miss Clarks said they thought that Mary said her father was alive but her uncle interrupted her loudly and said she was 'an orphan, poor kid'?" Roger reminded his grandfather.
"She's half an orphan; her mother really is dead, the clerk says."
Jabez Smith acknowledged his identity and received news of his brother-in-law and his daughter with no signs of pleasure.
"What scheming is Hapgood up to now?" he muttered crossly.
"Do you remember what your grandfather and grandmother Leonards' names were," asked Mr. Emerson.
The man looked at him dully, as if he wondered what trick there might be in the inquiry, but evidently he came to the conclusion that his new acquaintance was testing his memory, so he pulled himself together and after some mental searching answered, "George Leonard; Sabina Leonard."
His hearers were satisfied, and left him still supporting the Court House wall with his person instead of his taxes.
Stanley, the long pursued, was caught on the wire, and hailed their coming with delight. He said that he thought he had all the information he needed and that he had been planning to go home the next day, so they were just in time.
"That's delightful; he can go with us," exclaimed Ethel Brown, and Helen and Roger looked especially pleased.
The few hours that passed before they met in Washington were filled with guesses as to whether Stanley had built up the family tree of his cousin Emily so firmly that it could not be shaken.
"We proved this morning that Hapgood's story was a mixture of truth and lies," Mr. Emerson said, "but we haven't anything to replace it. Our evidence is all negative."
"Stanley seems sure," Roger reminded him.
When Stanley met them at the station in Washington he seemed both sure and happy. He shook hands with them all.
"It is perfectly great to have you people here," he said to Helen.
"Have you caught Emily?" she replied, dimpling with excitement.
"I have Emily traced backwards and forwards. Let's go into the writing room of the hotel and you shall see right off how she stands."
They gathered around the large table and listened to the account of the young lawyer's adventures. He had had a lead that took him to Millsboro soon after he reached western Pennsylvania, but he missed the trail there and spent some time in hunting in surrounding towns before he came on the record in the Uniontown courthouse.
"I certainly thought I had caught her then," he confessed. "I thought so until I compared the ages of the two Emilies. I found that our Emily would have been only ten years old at the time the Uniontown Emily married Edward Smith."
"Mr. Clark wired you to find out just that point."
"Did he? I never received the despatch. Hadn't I told him the date of our Emily's birth?
"He has a crow to pick with you over that."
"Too bad. Well, I moseyed around some more, and the trail led me back to Millsboro again, where I ought to have found the solution in the first place if I had been more persevering. I came across an old woman in Millsboro who had been Emily Leonard's bridesmaid when she married Julian Smith. That sent me off to the county seat and there I found it all set down in black and white;—Emily Leonard, adopted daughter of Asa Wentworth and daughter of Peter and Judith (Clark) Leonard. There was everything I wanted."
"You knew she had been adopted by a Wentworth?"
"I found that out before I left Nebraska."
"What was the date of the marriage?"
"1868. She was eighteen. Two years later her only child, a son, Leonard, was born, and she died—"
"Her son Leonard! Leonard Smith!" exclaimed Mrs. Morton suddenly. "Do you suppose—" she hesitated, looking at her father.
He raised his eyebrows doubtfully, then turning to Stanley he inquired:
"You didn't find out what became of this Leonard Smith, did you?"
"I didn't find any record of his marriage, but I met several men who used to know him. They said he became quite a distinguished musician, and that he married a Philadelphia woman."
"Did they know her name?" asked Mrs. Morton, leaning forward eagerly.
"One of them said he thought it was Martin. Smith never came back here to live after he set forth to make his fortune, so they were a little hazy about his marriage and they didn't know whether he was still alive."
"The name wasn't Morton, was it?"
The girls looked curiously at their mother, for she was crimson with excitement. Stanley could take them no farther, however.
"Father," Mrs. Morton said to Mr. Emerson, as the young people chattered over Stanley's discoveries, "I think I'd better send a telegram to Louise and ask her what her husband's parents' names were. Wouldn't it be too strange if he should be the son of the lost Emily?"
Mr. Emerson hurried to the telegraph office and sent an immediate wire to "Mrs. Leonard Smith, Rosemont, N.J. Wire names of your husband's parents," it read.
The answer came back before morning;—"Julian and Emily Leonard Smith."
"Now why in the wide world didn't she remember that when we've done nothing but talk about Emily Leonard for weeks!" cried Mrs. Smith's sister-in-law impatiently.
"I dare say she never gave them a thought; Leonard Smith's mother died when he was born, Stanley says. How about the father, Stanley?"
"Julian Smith? He died years ago. I saw his death record this morning."
"Then I don't see but you've traced the missing heir right to your own next door neighbor, Stanley."
"It looks to me as if that was just what had happened," laughed the young lawyer. "Isn't that jolly! It's Dorothy whose guardian's signature is lacking to make the deed of the field valid when we sell it to her mother!"
"It's Dorothy who is a part owner of Fitz-James's woods already!" cried the Ethels.
Another telegram went to Rosemont at once. This one was addressed to "Miss Dorothy Smith." It said, "Stanley welcomes you into family. Congratulations from all on your good fortune," and it was signed "The Travellers."