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Tracy Park

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'To Mr. Frank Tracy, Tracy Park, Shannondale.

'I arrived in the Scotia this morning, and shall take the train for Shannondale at 3 p.m. Send someone to the station to meet us.


This was the telegram which the clerk in the Shannonville office wrote out one October morning, and despatched to the Hon. Frank Tracy, of Tracy Park, in the quiet town of Shannondale, where our story opens.

Mr. Frank Tracy, who, since his election to the State Legislature for two successive terms, had done nothing except to attend political meetings and make speeches on all public occasions, had an office in town, where he usually spent his mornings, smoking, reading the papers and talking to Mr. Colvin, his business agent and lawyer, for, though born in one of the humblest of New England houses, where the slanting roof almost touched the ground in the rear, and he could scarcely stand upright in the chamber where he slept, Mr. Frank Tracy was a great man now, and as he dashed along the turnpike behind his blooded bays, with his driver beside him, people looked admiringly after him, and pointed him out to strangers as the Hon. Mr. Tracy, of Tracy Park, one of the finest places in the county. It is true it did not belong to him, but he had lived there so long that he had come to look upon it as his, while his neighbors, too, seemed to have forgotten that there was across the ocean a Mr. Arthur Tracy, who might at any time come home to claim his own, and demand an account of his brother's stewardship. And it was this very Arthur Tracy, whose telegram announcing his return from Europe was read by his brother with mingled feelings of surprise and consternation.

'Not that everything isn't fair and above-board, and he is welcome to look into matters as much as he likes,' Frank said over and over to himself, as he sat stating blankly at the telegram, while the cold chills ran up and down his back and arms. 'Yes, he can examine all Colvin's books and he will find them straight as a string, for didn't he tell me to use what I needed as remuneration for looking after his property while he was gallivanting over the world; and if he objects that I have paid myself too much, why, I can at once transfer those investments in my name to him. No, it is not that which affects me so, it is the suddenness of the thing, coming without warning and to-night of all nights, when the house will be full of carousing and champagne. What will Dolly say! Hysterics of course, if not a sick headache. I don't believe I can face her till she has had a little time to get over it. Here, boy, I want, you!' and he rapped at the window at a young lad who happened to be passing with a basket on his arm. 'I want you to do an errand for me,' he continued, as the boy entered the office, and, removing his cap, stood respectfully before him 'Take this telegram to Mrs. Tracy, and here is a dime for you.'

'Thank you, but I don't care for the money,' the boy said 'I was going to the park anyway to tell Mrs....