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Santa Claus lives in the Laughing Valley, where stands the big, rambling castle in which his toys are manufactured. His workmen, selected from the ryls, knooks, pixies and fairies, live with him, and every one is as busy as can be from one year's end to another. It is called the Laughing Valley because everything there is happy and gay. The brook chuckles to itself as it leaps rollicking between its green banks; the wind whistles merrily in the... more...

THE BOX OF ROBBERS No one intended to leave Martha alone that afternoon, but it happened that everyone was called away, for one reason or another. Mrs. McFarland was attending the weekly card party held by the Women's Anti-Gambling League. Sister Nell's young man had called quite unexpectedly to take her for a long drive. Papa was at the office, as usual. It was Mary Ann's day out. As for Emeline, she certainly should have stayed in the house... more...

CHAPTER I. BETH RECEIVES AN INVITATION. Professor De Graf was sorting the mail at the breakfast table. "Here's a letter for you, Beth," said he, and tossed it across the cloth to where his daughter sat. The girl raised her eyebrows, expressing surprise. It was something unusual for her to receive a letter. She picked up the square envelope between a finger and thumb and carefully read the inscription, "Miss Elizabeth De Graf, Cloverton,... more...

CHAPTER I THE DOYLES ARE ASTONISHED It was Sunday afternoon in Miss Patricia Doyle's pretty flat at 3708 Willing Square. In the small drawing room Patricia—or Patsy, as she preferred to be called—was seated at the piano softly playing the one "piece" the music teacher had succeeded in drilling into her flighty head by virtue of much patience and perseverance. In a thick cushioned morris-chair reclined the motionless form of Uncle... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCING "MUMBLES" Major Gregory Doyle paced nervously up and down the floor of the cosy sitting room. "Something's surely happened to our Patsy!" he exclaimed. A little man with a calm face and a bald head, who was seated near the fire, continued to read his newspaper and paid no attention to the outburst. "Something has happened to Patsy!" repeated the Major, "Patsy" meaning his own and only daughter Patricia. "Something is... more...


CHAPTER I. UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. "How did I happen to own a farm?" asked Uncle John, interrupting his soup long enough to fix an inquiring glance upon Major Doyle, who sat opposite. "By virtue of circumstance, my dear sir," replied the Major, composedly. "It's a part of my duty, in attending to those affairs you won't look afther yourself, to lend certain sums of your money to needy and ambitious young men who want a start in life." "Oh, Uncle!... more...

CHAPTER I MISS DOYLE INTERFERES "Daddy," said Patricia Doyle at the breakfast table in her cosy New York apartment, "here is something that will make you sit up and take notice." "My dear Patsy," was the reply, "it's already sitting up I am, an' taking waffles. If anything at all would make me take notice it's your own pretty phiz." "Major," remarked Uncle John, helping himself to waffles from a fresh plate Nora brought in, "you Irish are... more...

CHAPTER I THE ARRIVAL OF THE BOY "What's the news, Uncle?" asked Miss Patricia Doyle, as she entered the cosy breakfast room of a suite of apartments in Willing Square. Even as she spoke she pecked a little kiss on the forehead of the chubby man addressed as "Uncle"—none other, if you please, than the famous and eccentric multi-millionaire known in Wall Street as John Merrick—and sat down to pour the coffee. There was energy in her... more...

CHAPTER I THE HOBO AT CHAZY JUNCTION Mr. Judkins, the station agent at Chazy Junction, came out of his little house at daybreak, shivered a bit in the chill morning air and gave an involuntary start as he saw a private car on the sidetrack. There were two private cars, to be exact—a sleeper and a baggage car—and Mr. Judkins knew the three o'clock train must have left them as it passed through. "Ah," said he aloud; "the nabobs hev... more...

THE EARTHQUAKE   HE train from 'Frisco was very late. It should have arrived at Hugson's siding at midnight, but it was already five o'clock and the gray dawn was breaking in the east when the little train slowly rumbled up to the open shed that served for the station-house. As it came to a stop the conductor called out in a loud voice: "Hugson's Siding!" At once a little girl rose from her seat and walked to the door of the car,... more...