Mrs. Mildred LYoungman,
: -5^6.60 TZ
^ / /
ALLAN LIFTED THE CHILD IN HIS ARMS.
THE VICTORY OF
A TALE OF THE MIDDLE WEST
FLORENCE RUTLEDGE WILDE
Copyright, 1910, by
THE H. K. FLY COMPANY.
JOSEPH NEWTON HALLOCK, D.D.,
THE CHRISTIAN WORK AND EVANGELIST,
WHOSE ENCOURAGEMENT AND ASSISTANCE
MADE THIS BOOK POSSIBLE
IN our American literature the wonderful Middle
West has been strangely neglected. Few books por-
tray the intensely interesting drama of life that is
being enacted on the fertile plains of the Mississippi
and Missouri Valleys.
My book is an humble contribution to the long and
noble list of American fiction which describes our
modern American life. My only claim to notice is
that I have endeavored to picture the throbbing life
of this world in the Middle West, where the nations
of Europe are mingling to form one of the grandest
types of humanity ever seen on the face of our globe.
This tale of the Middle West is the result of many
years of observation and grows out of vital personal
experiences as my own life is being lived in this fa-
vored part of the United States.
As a student, a business man, a minister, a pro-
fessor, and a lecturer, I have had wide opportunities
of knowing the varied experiences which go to make
up the common life of the corn-belt.
If my story shall be able to show, in part, at least,
the magnificent progress and the splendid possibilities
of the great Mississippi valley, I shall feel repaid for
all my labor in gathering the material and in writing
my "Tale of the Middle West."
L WELLINGTON'S TRAGEDY 11
II. THE NEW MINISTER ARRIVES 21
EL IN MARKLEY'S FACTORY 31
IV. A PUBLIC SALE ON AN IOWA FARM 45
V. GRACE MARKLEY 55
VI. THE BEGINNINGS OF OPPOSITION 68
VII. THE REVIVAL 77
VIII. FREDERICK MARKLEY CALLS ON MA-
BEL GRAYSON 86
IX. AFTER THE BATTLE 96
X. THE GAMBLING CLASS IN WELLING-
TON COLLEGE 105
XI. ALLAN STIRS UP A TEMPEST 116
XII. A LETTER FROM WELLINGTON 125
XIII. ON THE DES MOINES RIVER 134
XIV. THE STORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
AND ANN RUTLEDGE 143
XV. THE WELLINGTON CHAUTAUQUA 153
XVI. A MIDNIGHT ALARM 163
XVII. FREDERICK MARKLEY BEGINS TO
XVIII. ELDER MARKLEY AND HIS SON HAVE
AN INTERVIEW 185
XIX. PLOTTING A MINISTER'S DOWNFALL.... 194
XX. EVERY MAN'S SOUL A KINGDOM.. . 204
XXI. A FISHING TRIP 216
XXII. MISUNDERSTANDINGS 226
XXni. THE CHURCH CONVENTION HEARS
REV. ALLAN RUTLEDGE 236
XXIV. THE TRUSTEES OF WELLINGTON COL-
LEGE HAVE A HOUSE CLEANING. ... 248
XXV. THE HUSKING CONTEST 257
XXVI. FRANK ANTOL'S FATEFUL DISCOVERY 271
XXVII. THE WAGES OF SIN 282
XXVIII. BROKEN-HEARTED AND PENITENT 291
XXIX. AT THE LAKES OF KILLARNEY 303
XXX. THE VICTORY OF ALLAN RUTLEDGE... 314
"ALLAN LIFTED THE CHILD IN HIS ARMS"
"HOW CAN YE CHANT, YE LITTLE BIRDS, AND I
SAE WEARY, FIT O' CARE" 152
"GIVE ME A THOUSAND DOLLARS OR I WILL
MAKE RUTLEDGE A HERO!" 192
"CAN I EVER HOPE THAT YOU WILL BELONG
TO ME?" . ..307
"For God's sake, come quick, doctor!"
A boy of fifteen or sixteen years of age was
standing, bare-headed and breathless, one warm
July day, at the door of the parsonage in Welling-
ton, as he gasped out these words to Rev. Dr.
Anning. The white-haired pastor was at the door,
'having hurried from his study to answer the loud
rapping of the excited youth.
"What's the matter, Frank, what's the matter?"
hastily inquired the minister.
"Viola's dead. She's been killed," said the boy,
and, bursting into tears, he ran down the street
in the direction of his home near the railroad
"Dead !" echoed the minster, gazing in astonish-
ment after the fleeing form of the boy. "Dead!"
he repeated, and then he went on speaking to
himself: "Poor girl, I must hurry down to the
home. Alas! I fear the worst."
He seized his hat and walked rapidly toward
the little Bohemian settlement on the edge of
Wellington. Wellington was a typical city of the
Middle West, a county seat, with a mixed popu-
lation, including Americans from the Eastern
12 THE VICTORY OF,
States and foreigners from Sweden, Germany,
France and Bohemia.
Most of the Bohemians were utterly godless,
but one family, the Antols, had been reached by
the church of which Dr. Anning was pastor. The
two children, Viola and Frank, had been mem-
bers of the Sunday school for some years, and
Dr. Anning had often reflected that a start had
been made through this family in the Christian-
izing and Americanizing of these Bohemian immi-
grants. Viola was just past eighteen, a lovely girl
,of much promise. She was now a member of the
church choir as well as the Sunday school.
The word her brother had brought him of
Viola's violent death stunned the minister like a
blow. He had seen her pass that very morning
in the bloom of health. As he neared the Antol
cottage, it was evident something tragic had hap-
pened. A crowd was standing around, awe-struck
and silent. Cries of grief came from within the
The crowd, mostly Bohemians, silently made
way for the aged minister, whom all recognized.
Many of them had only curses for the church of
which Dr. Anning was pastor, and for the religion
which he professed, but all had a respect for this
good, white-haired man, who had shown himself a
friend to all in trouble for many years.
Dr. Anning knocked gently, and then opened the
door himself and entered.
The room was half full of weeping women, who
motioned him to the door of the bedroom.
Just as 'he reached the door, the doctor came
r ALLAN RUT LEDGE 13
out. "She's dead," said the physician to the min-
ister. "She has been dead over an hour. They
found her alongside the railroad track at the
bend in the woods, with a revolver at her side and
a bullet in her brain."
"Saviour, help me!" groaned the good man in
his heart, as he came in, and sat down quietly in a
vacant chair beside the bed.
The father, with bowed head, was moaning in
helpless agony. The mother sat gazing in stony
grief at the silent form that lay on the bed. The
doctor had just covered it with a sheet. Already
'a crimson stain over the face showed the dreadful
cause of all the grief and agony. On the floor lay
Frank, Viola's brother, his strong, young form
convulsed with sobs. Dr. Anning sat in silence
for a few moments, not knowing what it was best
for him to do.
Suddenly the mother gave a shriek and threw
herself on the bed, crying in the Bohemian tongue :
Viola, Viola, my child, Viola; come back, come
In the paroxysm of her grief she pulled the
sheet from her daughter's blood-stained face.
Tears flowed down Dr. Anning's cheeks, as he
gently raised the hapless mother from the bed and
led her to another room.
"Mr. Antol," he said to the stricken father, "go
and comfort your wife. Let us care for Viola."
The man rose as in a dream, and Dr. Anning
led him out also. A woman came in and took out
the sobbing boy.
When Dr. Anning returned to the bedroom, he
14 THE VICTORY OF.
stood for a moment gazing down at the beautiful
face of Viola, stained with her life-blood. He
drew up the sheet again, and murmured to him-
self: "My God is this all the church has done for
Viola?" What he meant only he himself under-
stood. The unutterable pain in his heart was not
simply because a young life had been taken out of
the world. A horrible feeling that it was associa-
tion with his church that was accountable for this
awful crime made him sick at heart.
The coroner soon arrived and made a hasty ex-
^We will hold an inquest this evening," he said
to the minister, in a matter-of-fact tone. "I shall
have the city physician, Dr. Lucas, make a com-
plete examination at once."
Dr. Lucas came, and after a half hour's exami-
nation of poor Viola's body he came out of the
room, looking very serious.
Dr. Anning, who had remained until now at the
home, put on his hat, and accompanied the physi-
cian down the street.
"Dr. Lucas," said the minister, "were there any
other wounds or bruises on the body?"
"No, Dr. Anning," said the doctor, who was a
close friend of the minister's and an officer of his
church. "No but something was wrong. I am
shocked beyond expression. I always thought
Viola was a good, pure girl, but evidently she went
Dr. Anning staggered and would have fallen,
had not his companion grasped his arm.
"I am afraid it was suicide," continued Dr. Lu-
r ALLAN RUTLEDGE 15
cas, thinking the minister had merely stumbled,
and not noticing the pallor of his face. "She could
not have hidden her shame much longer."
"It was not suicide!" exclaimed the aged minis-
ter, so fiercely that the doctor started. "It was not
suicide. That pure, innocent child has been be-
trayed and murdered."
"I am grieved and shocked beyond measure,"
replied the physician, thinking the awful tragedy
had unnerved his pastor. Dr. Lucas was a faith-
ful member of the church and a devout Christian.
"Of course," he went on, "I know that, under the
surface of our quiet society in Wellington, much
evil exists, undreamt of by the world. My pro-
fession enables me to see constantly the downfall
of our young people through ignorance and un-
restrained passion, but Viola I never could have
suspected Viola she was so sincere, so gentle, so
The minister said no more. He could not trust
himself to speak. He was afraid he had said too
A little farther on they separated and Dr.
Anning walked slowly back to his parsonage. "I
knew it, I knew it," he said to himself. "That
cursed hypocrite is at the bottom of it all. But
I am helpless. I have no absolute proof. Even
if I had, it would wreck our church if I exposed
him. I must preserve the peace and harmony of
Christ's church. God forgive me!" he cried in his
agony, "is it Christ's church? But for our church
that girl would be alive and happy to-day."
Dr. Anning was not the only one who had sus-
16 THE VICTORY OF.
picions in regard to Viola's fate. A young man
had been paying some attention to her who was
believed by some to know something about the
tragedy. This young man was Frederick Mark-
ley, the leader of the church choir, and the son
of the leading officer in the Wellington church.
Young Markley's father, William Markley, had
been an officer in the church for over thirty years.
He was a hard, grasping, covetous man, and had
few friends, but he was a power in the Wellington
church. He was a pioneer in that part of Iowa,
and had used all his superior knowledge and educa-
tion to grind as much money as he could out of the
foreigners who had settled around Wellington.
These foreigners came from Germany, France,
Sweden, Bohemia, and other European countries.
They came in large numbers to find a new home
in the great Western land.
Markley looked on these immigrants, ignorant
of American customs, as his lawful prey, and he
had amassed a fortune through his dealings with
them. He used all kinds of methods. He was in
the land business; he loaned money; he had a
store. Lately, he had become a manufacturer and
employed many hands, nearly all foreigners.
His Christianity was shown in his attendance
at the morning service in the Wellington church
every Sunday, and in his contribution to the min-
ister's salary. Apart from these two things, he
might as soon have been judged a Mohammedan,
or Jew, or even an Atheist, as a Christian.
He was an officer in the church, but he ignored
the duties of this office until some attempt was
ALLAN RUT LEDGE 17
made to depart from the old formal, antiquated
methods of church work. Then he became active
long enough to effectually stop any such enter-
Dr. Anning had meekly submitted to Markley's
control, and so he had remained pastor of the
Wellington church for many years; but as a fac-
tor in promoting true Christianity no one knew
better than Dr. Anning that his church was a
That fatal afternoon he saw his church was
more than a failure. It was a moral cancer in the
community. Through association with his church
a pure, innocent, foreign girl had been betrayed
and murdered. Others might be suspicious, but
he knew the damning secret.
Although the community regarded Frederick
Markley as a fast young man, of loose morals, the
church accepted him as one of its youthful leaders.
He had charge of the choir. His influence over
the young people of the church was paramount.
Among the students of Wellington College he was
regarded as a hero.
Poor Dr. Anning knew that this influence of his
in the church and college was largely used to lead
the young people into doubtful habits. Markley
was an inveterate card player, and it was rumored
he gambled heavily. He arranged a dance at the
college every month, and often these dances were
reported to be altogether too free for a Christian
college. No one denied that he drank freely.
Dr. Anning often thought of making a protest
against this young man's leadership in the church,
18 THE VICTORY OF
but he knew such a protest would mean a war
with the senior Markley, and so, for the peace and
harmony of the church, he endured in silence.
Dr. Anning had seen young Markley's attentions
to the beautiful young Bohemian, and, knowing
Markley's character, he had trembled for Viola.
Just the week before, Dr. Anning happened to be
in the officers' room of the church one evening
after supper. It was choir practise night, but
fully an hour before the time when the choir as-
sembled. The minister was astonished, therefore,
to hear footsteps and voices in the church. He
recognized Viola's voice at once, with its slight
"Frederick," she was saying, "I am beginning to
think you are deceiving me. Unless you keep
your promise, I must, I will, tell Dr. Anning."
"If you do I will kill you," he heard Markley
It was Dr. Anning's first thought at the time to
open the door and confront the young people, and
how he wished he had done so, as he thought of
it all afterward. But he thought of the elder
Markley; he thought of the peace and harmony of
the church, and he kept still.
The young people passed on to the choir room,
and Dr. Anning was left with an awful secret on
Through a little hole the interior of a vast build-
ing can be easily seen. By one small act a man's
character can be disclosed. So, through these few
sentences Dr. Anning saw, clear as day, the
tragedy of Viola's life.
'ALLAN RUT LEDGE 19
After coming from the sight of Viola's mur-
dered body Dr. Anning felt he must speak out.
What Dr. Lucas told him about the unfortunate
girl made him grind his teeth in rage. But again
he thought of the peace of the church. Again he
resolved to be silent.
At the inquest, which was short, few new facts'
were elicited. None had seen anyone accompany
the girl down the track. The revolver belonged
to Mr. Antol, although he declared he had not seen
it in the house for some months. A verdict of
suicide while temporarily insane was given, and
the incident was closed.
At the funeral many noticed how strangely Dr.
Anning acted. He did not seem himself. At first
it was thought that his grief for the sad fate of
one of his young church members had unnerved
him. But, as the days and weeks went by, it was
apparent to all that Dr. Anning was a broken man.
In his pulpit he was like a man in a dream, and
sometimes his utterances were almost unintelligi-
His guilty silence kept the church in peace and
harmony, but it kept his soul in awful turmoil day
and night. Sleep fled. His reason faltered. A
few weeks after Viola's funeral Dr. Anning tot-
tered into his grave, bearing his awful secret with
Some of the community suspected young Mark-
ley knew something of Viola's tragic end, but no
one had any proof, and the talk about him died
out. Viola was forgotten. Her wrongs were un-
avenged. Frederick Markley became more dissi-
20 THE VICTORY OF ALLAN RUTLEDGE
pated than ever. The young people of Welling-
ton became more reckless.
But One above knew well the secret that Dr.
Anning had refused to disclose, and strange things
were yet to happen in Wellington.
THE NEW MINISTER ARRIVES.
Three months after Dr. Arming's death the fast
train was rushing along through Illinois from Chi-
cago to Omaha. These two mighty cities of the
Middle West are united by a number of trunk lines
which rush passengers from one city to the other
during the daylight of a summer's day. There is
no richer country in the world than these fertile
prairies of Illinois and Iowa.
A young man sat in the luxurious palace car of
the Limited and gazed out on the passing scenes.
The fields were laden with the golden corn, for
which the Middle West is famed. The modern
farmhouses flew by. The train roared through lit-
tle villages, without even hesitating. But the
young man was not interested in the passing pan-
orama. He was lost in deep meditation. A
noble-looking youth, his age seemed about twenty-
five, and with his coal-black hair, dark, piercing
eyes and ruddy cheeks, he was a picture of health
and strength. His brow was smooth and high.
His appearance would have attracted attention ip*
"Why, Mr. Rutledge, I thought it was you. Do
you remember me?"
22 THE VICTORY OF
The young man started out of his day dream
and came back quickly to earth. As he turned
toward the aisle of the car to see who owned the
sweet, musical voice which had addressed him,
he gazed into the fair young face of a beautiful
girl, with light flaxen hair and lustrous blue eyes.
She was dressed in a brown traveling suit, in ex-
quiste taste, and she had the carriage of a true
young American woman.
"I am glad to see you again," responded the
young man, after the first glance.
Rising from his seat, he shook her hand warmly.
"Sit down, Miss Grayson/' he continued. "Let
me see? It is over four years since we last met
in Des Moines. How did you remember me?"
"How did you remember me?" asked the young
lady, in return.
"I could never forget you," said Allan Rutledge,
for this was the young man's name.
Mabel Grayson blushed at Allan's earnest re-
mark, and as the rosy hue of her cheeks deepened,
and her blue eyes sparkled, she made a lovely pic-
"Where have you been all this time since your
graduation?" she asked.
While these young people are renewing their
acquaintance in this way, let us go back in their
history a few years.
Four and a half years previous Allan Rutledge
had graduated at Des Moines College. The lad
was Iowa born and bred and he was proud of his
native State. His parents had been pioneers and
their home was on a large farm on the banks of
r ALLAN RUTLEDGE 23
the Des Moines River. Allan had received all his
general education in the Hawkeye State, as the
natives term Iowa. On the morning of his grad-
uation from college in Des Moines, Iowa's capital
city, an event occurred that had an influence on
Allan's entire career. He was approaching the
hall in which the graduating exercises were to be
held. A number of carriages and automobiles
were concentrating on this same hall, bringing the
college trustees and patrons to the exercises.
Judge Grayson, president of the board of trus-
tees of the college, and his young daughter, Mabel,
were approaching in a carriage. The driver was
new and awkward and the horses high-spirited
and excited. An automobile dashed past, the
chauffeur tooting his horn wildly. The horses be-
came frightened and began to back and rear. The
coachman lost his self-control and pulled violently
on the reins, only increasing the fright of the met-
tled steeds. An accident seemed imminent.
Like a flash the young graduate was in the road,
and, leaping up, had grasped both horses by the
bridles. It was a dangerous attempt, but in a
trice the youth was master of the situation. He
pulled the frightened animals to the ground, spoke
gently to them and, at his word and touch, the
panic left them.
Lifting his hat to Judge Grayson and his daugh-
ter, 'he disappeared in the crowd.
During the graduation exercises Allan sat on the
platform with the rest of the class. He caught
the eye of Miss Grayson, seated beside her father
near the front, as he rose to deliver his oration.
24 THE VICTORY OF
His subject was "Self-mastery." He began with
a quotation from Tennyson: "Self-reverence, self-
knowledge, self-control, these three alone, lead life
to sovereign power." His oration was a noble
effort and held the vast audience spellbound. He
closed with a quotation from Walter Foss:
"I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men that press on with the ardor of hope
And the men that are faint in the strife.
'And I turn not away from their smiles or their
Both parts of an infinite plan.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
And be a friend to man."
As he sat down, a hush crept over the audience
for a brief second. Then a deafening roar of ap-
plause showed that Allan was the hero of the day.
Mabel Grayson whispered to her father: "That
is the young man who caught our horses. I rec-
ognized him at once."
Thus it happened that at the close of the gradua-
tion exercises on that eventful day Allan almost
lost his own self-mastery when Mabel Grayson
came forward and said simply:
"Thank you, very much, Mr. Rutledge, for sav-
ing us from an accident this morning, and I want
to congratulate you on your oration. It was
Allan blushed and stammered, as he answered,
"Thank you, Miss Grayson. I did nothing. I am
glad you were pleased with my oration."
'ALLAN RUT LEDGE 25
The Judge also warmly thanked him and praised
his oration as a masterpiece.
Allan Rutledge and Mabel Grayson had not met
again until this morning, as both were journeying
on the Limited Express from Chicago.
During these four years Allan had been prepar-
ing himself for his lifework as a minister of the
Gospel by a three years' course at a Boston theo-
logical institution and a year's study in Germany.
He had just received a unanimous call to the
Wellington church in Iowa, and he was on his way
to Wellington that morning. Naturally he had
been absorbed in deep thought, as it meant the
real beginning of his lifework.
Mabel Grayson had also completed her studies,
graduating from an Eastern college.
As Allan conversed with the happy, vivacious,
cultured daughter of Judge Grayson, he threw off
his heavy weight of care and his sense of coming
responsibility. He did not mention Wellington to
her at all. He told her of his European trip, of
the places of interest which he had visited, and of
the famous men he had met. Miss Grayson was
delighted to hear of his travels, and sincerely in-
terested in his studies for his sacred profession, as
she was an earnest Christian girl.
The time passed rapidly. The great Mississippi.,
father of waters, was crossed, and the train rolled
into the grand old State of Iowa.
"I am glad to be back in Iowa," said Allan, as
he watched the cornfields fly past. "I have seen
no land like it in all Europe."
"It is a grand State," said Miss Grayson. "I
26 THE VICTORY OF.
was never ashamed at Mount Holyoke to tell the
girls I was a native of Iowa."
"Yes," continued Allan, "I am anxious to make
Iowa my home the rest of my life. My old home
on the Des Moines River surpasses to me any pal-
ace I ever saw in the Old World."
"I am going to stop at Wellington to-day," said
Miss Grayson. "I am to visit there for a few
weeks with the Markleys, who are distant relatives
of my father's."
"Wellington !" exclaimed Allan. "I am going to
Wellington, too. I expect to live there awhile."
"To live there," said Mabel Grayson, in aston-
ishment. "What do you mean?"
"I have been invited to become pastor of the
Wellington Church and I have accepted," an-
"I congratulate you most sincerely," said the
girl. "It is a splendid church. I knew Dr. Anning
very well. He was often in our home in Des
Moines. Poor man," she added, with a sigh, "he
broke down suddenly. How glad papa will be to
know you are his successor. He has often spoken
of your graduating oration. He said you were a
born 'friend to man.' "
"At least," answered Allan gallantly, "I am a