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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."




CHAPTER XVII


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 employés 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."


THE END











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