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The Roads We Take

Short Stories


A Bird of Bagdad

A Blackjack Bargainer

A Call Loan

A Chaparral Christmas Gift

A Chaparral Prince

A Comedy in Rubber

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

A Departmental Case

A Dinner at--------*

A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Fog in Santone

A Harlem Tragedy

A Lickpenny Lover

A Little Local Colour

A Little Talk about Mobs

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Matter of Mean Elevation

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Municipal Report

A Newspaper Story

A Night in New Arabia

A Philistine in Bohemia

A Poor Rule

A Ramble in Aphasia

A Retrieved Reformation

A Ruler of Men

A Sacrifice Hit

A Service of Love

A Snapshot at the President

A Strange Story

A Technical Error

A Tempered Wind

According to Their Lights

After Twenty Years

An Adjustment of Nature

An Afternoon Miracle

An Apology

An Unfinished Christmas Story

An Unfinished Story

Aristocracy Versus Hash

Art and the Bronco

At Arms With Morpheus

Babes in the Jungle


Between Rounds

Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Blind Man's Holiday

Brickdust Row

Buried Treasure

By Courier

Calloway's Code


Cherchez La Femme

Christmas by Injunction

Compliments of the Season

Confessions of a Humorist

Conscience in Art

Cupid a La Carte

Cupid's Exile Number Two


Dougherty's Eye-Opener

Elsie in New York

Extradited from Bohemia

Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled

Friends in San Rosario

From Each According to His Ability

From the Cabby's Seat

Georgia's Ruling


He Also Serves

Hearts and Crosses

Hearts and Hands

Helping the Other Fellow

Holding Up a Train

Hostages to Momus

Hygeia at the Solito

Innocents of Broadway

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

Law and Order

Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Little Speck in Garnered Fruit

Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Lost on Dress Parade

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

Makes the Whole World Kin

Mammon and the Archer

Man About Town

Masters of Arts

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog

Modern Rural Sports

Money Maze

Nemesis and the Candy Man

New York by Camp Fire Light

Next to Reading Matter

No Story

October and June

On Behalf of the Management

One Dollar's Worth

One Thousand Dollars

Out of Nazareth

Past One at Rooney's


Proof of the Pudding

Psyche and the Pskyscraper

Queries and Answers

Roads of Destiny

Roses, Ruses and Romance

Rouge et Noir

Round the Circle

Rus in Urbe

Schools and Schools

Seats of the Haughty

Shearing the Wolf



Sisters of the Golden Circle


Sociology in Serge and Straw

Sound and Fury

Springtime a La Carte

Squaring the Circle

Strictly Business

Strictly Business

Suite Homes and Their Romance

Telemachus, Friend

The Admiral

The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes

The Assessor of Success

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Badge of Policeman O'Roon

The Brief Debut of Tildy

The Buyer From Cactus City

The Caballero's Way

The Cactus

The Caliph and the Cad

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock

The Call of the Tame

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Champion of the Weather

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

The City of Dreadful Night

The Clarion Call

The Coming-Out of Maggie

The Complete Life of John Hopkins

The Cop and the Anthem

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

The Day Resurgent

The Day We Celebrate

The Defeat of the City

The Detective Detector

The Diamond of Kali

The Discounters of Money

The Dog and the Playlet

The Door of Unrest

The Dream

The Duel

The Duplicity of Hargraves

The Easter of the Soul

The Emancipation of Billy

The Enchanted Kiss

The Enchanted Profile

The Ethics of Pig

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Fifth Wheel

The Flag Paramount

The Fool-Killer

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Fourth in Salvador

The Friendly Call

The Furnished Room

The Gift of the Magi

The Girl and the Graft

The Girl and the Habit

The Gold That Glittered

The Greater Coney

The Green Door

The Guardian of the Accolade

The Guilty Party - An East Side Tragedy

The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss

The Hand that Riles the World

The Handbook of Hymen

The Harbinger

The Head-Hunter

The Hiding of Black Bill

The Higher Abdication

The Higher Pragmatism

The Hypotheses of Failure

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Lady Higher Up

The Last Leaf

The Last of the Troubadours

The Lonesome Road

The Lost Blend

The Lotus And The Bottle

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein

The Making of a New Yorker

The Man Higher Up

The Marionettes

The Marquis and Miss Sally

The Marry Month of May

The Memento

The Missing Chord

The Moment of Victory

The Octopus Marooned

The Passing of Black Eagle

The Pendulum

The Phonograph and the Graft

The Pimienta Pancakes

The Plutonian Fire

The Poet and the Peasant

The Pride of the Cities

The Princess and the Puma

The Prisoner of Zembla

The Proem

The Purple Dress

The Ransom of Mack

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Rathskeller and the Rose

The Red Roses of Tonia

The Reformation of Calliope

The Remnants of the Code

The Renaissance at Charleroi

The Roads We Take

The Robe of Peace

The Romance of a Busy Broker

The Rose of Dixie

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubber Plant's Story

The Shamrock and the Palm

The Shocks of Doom

The Skylight Room

The Sleuths

The Snow Man

The Social Triangle

The Song and the Sergeant

The Sparrows in Madison Square

The Sphinx Apple

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Theory and the Hound

The Thing's the Play

The Third Ingredient

The Trimmed Lamp

The Unknown Quantity

The Unprofitable Servant

The Venturers

The Vitagraphoscope

The Voice of the City

The Whirligig of Life

The World and the Door

Thimble, Thimble


To Him Who Waits

Tobin's Palm

Tommy's Burglar

Tracked to Doom

Transformation of Martin Burney

Transients in Arcadia

Two Recalls

Two Renegades

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Ulysses and the Dogman

Vanity and Some Sables

What You Want

While the Auto Waits

Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking

Witches' Loaves

Twenty miles west of Tucson, the "Sunset Express" stopped at a tank to
take on water. Besides the aqueous addition the engine of that famous
flyer acquired some other things that were not good for it.

While the fireman was lowering the feeding hose, Bob Tidball, "Shark"
Dodson and a quarter-bred Creek Indian called John Big Dog climbed on
the engine and showed the engineer three round orifices in pieces of
ordnance that they carried. These orifices so impressed the engineer
with their possibilities that he raised both hands in a gesture such
as accompanies the ejaculation "Do tell!"

At the crisp command of Shark Dodson, who was leader of the attacking
force the engineer descended to the ground and uncoupled the engine
and tender. Then John Big Dog, perched upon the coal, sportively held
two guns upon the engine driver and the fireman, and suggested that
they run the engine fifty yards away and there await further orders.

Shark Dodson and Bob Tidball, scorning to put such low-grade ore as
the passengers through the mill, struck out for the rich pocket of the
express car. They found the messenger serene in the belief that the
"Sunset Express" was taking on nothing more stimulating and dangerous
than aqua pura. While Bob was knocking this idea out of his head with
the butt-end of his six-shooter Shark Dodson was already dosing the
express-car safe with dynamite.

The safe exploded to the tune of $30,000, all gold and currency. The
passengers thrust their heads casually out of the windows to look for
the thunder-cloud. The conductor jerked at the bell-rope, which
sagged down loose and unresisting, at his tug. Shark Dodson and Bob
Tidball, with their booty in a stout canvas bag, tumbled out of the
express car and ran awkwardly in their high-heeled boots to the

The engineer, sullenly angry but wise, ran the engine, according to
orders, rapidly away from the inert train. But before this was
accomplished the express messenger, recovered from Bob Tidball's
persuader to neutrality, jumped out of his car with a Winchester rifle
and took a trick in the game. Mr. John Big Dog, sitting on the coal
tender, unwittingly made a wrong lead by giving an imitation of a
target, and the messenger trumped him. With a ball exactly between
his shoulder blades the Creek chevalier of industry rolled off to
the ground, thus increasing the share of his comrades in the loot by
one-sixth each.

Two miles from the tank the engineer was ordered to stop.

The robbers waved a defiant adieu and plunged down the steep slope
into the thick woods that lined the track. Five minutes of crashing
through a thicket of chaparral brought them to open woods, where three
horses were tied to low-hanging branches. One was waiting for John
Big Dog, who would never ride by night or day again. This animal the
robbers divested of saddle and bridle and set free. They mounted the
other two with the bag across one pommel, and rode fast and with
discretion through the forest and up a primeval, lonely gorge. Here
the animal that bore Bob Tidball slipped on a mossy boulder and broke
a foreleg. They shot him through the head at once and sat down to
hold a council of flight. Made secure for the present by the tortuous
trail they had travelled, the question of time was no longer so big.
Many miles and hours lay between them and the spryest posse that could
follow. Shark Dodson's horse, with trailing rope and dropped bridle,
panted and cropped thankfully of the grass along the stream in the
gorge. Bob Tidball opened the sack, drew out double handfuls of the
neat packages of currency and the one sack of gold and chuckled with
the glee of a child.

"Say, you old double-decked pirate," he called joyfully to Dodson,
"you said we could do it--you got a head for financing that knocks
the horns off of anything in Arizona."

"What are we going to do about a hoss for you, Bob? We ain't got long
to wait here. They'll be on our trail before daylight in the

"Oh, I guess that cayuse of yourn'll carry double for a while,"
answered the sanguine Bob. "We'll annex the first animal we come
across. By jingoes, we made a haul, didn't we? Accordin' to the
marks on this money there's $30,000--$15,000 apiece!"

"It's short of what I expected," said Shark Dodson, kicking softly at
the packages with the toe of his boot. And then he looked pensively at
the wet sides of his tired horse.

"Old Bolivar's mighty nigh played out," he said, slowly. "I wish that
sorrel of yours hadn't got hurt."

"So do I," said Bob, heartily, "but it can't be helped. Bolivar's got
plenty of bottom--he'll get us both far enough to get fresh mounts.
Dang it, Shark, I can't help thinkin' how funny it is that an
Easterner like you can come out here and give us Western fellows cards
and spades in the desperado business. What part of the East was you
from, anyway?"

"New York State," said Shark Dodson, sitting down on a boulder and
chewing a twig. "I was born on a farm in Ulster County. I ran away
from home when I was seventeen. It was an accident my coming West. I
was walkin' along the road with my clothes in a bundle, makin' for New
York City. I had an idea of goin' there and makin' lots of money. I
always felt like I could do it. I came to a place one evenin' where
the road forked and I didn't know which fork to take. I studied about
it for half an hour, and then I took the left-hand. That night I run
into the camp of a Wild West show that was travellin' among the little
towns, and I went West with it. I've often wondered if I wouldn't
have turned out different if I'd took the other road."

"Oh, I reckon you'd have ended up about the same," said Bob Tidball,
cheerfully philosophical. "It ain't the roads we take; it's what's
inside of us that makes us turn out the way we do."

Shark Dodson got up and leaned against a tree.

"I'd a good deal rather that sorrel of yourn hadn't hurt himself,
Bob," he said again, almost pathetically.

"Same here," agreed Bob; "he was sure a first-rate kind of a crowbait.
But Bolivar, he'll pull us through all right. Reckon we'd better be
movin' on, hadn't we, Shark? I'll bag this boodle ag'in and we'll hit
the trail for higher timber."

Bob Tidball replaced the spoil in the bag and tied the mouth of it
tightly with a cord. When he looked up the most prominent object that
he saw was the muzzle of Shark Dodson's .45 held upon him without a

"Stop your funnin'," said Bob, with a grin. "We got to be hittin' the

"Set still," said Shark. "You ain't goin' to hit no breeze, Bob. I
hate to tell you, but there ain't any chance for but one of us.
Bolivar, he's plenty tired, and he can't carry double."

"We been pards, me and you, Shark Dodson, for three year," Bob said
quietly. "We've risked our lives together time and again. I've
always give you a square deal, and I thought you was a man. I've
heard some queer stories about you shootin' one or two men in a
peculiar way, but I never believed 'em. Now if you're just havin' a
little fun with me, Shark, put your gun up, and we'll get on Bolivar
and vamose. If you mean to shoot--shoot, you blackhearted son of a

Shark Dodson's face bore a deeply sorrowful look. "You don't know how
bad I feel," he sighed, "about that sorrel of yourn breakin' his leg,

The expression on Dodson's face changed in an instant to one of cold
ferocity mingled with inexorable cupidity. The soul of the man showed
itself for a moment like an evil face in the window of a reputable

Truly Bob Tidball was never to "hit the breeze" again. The deadly .45
of the false friend cracked and filled the gorge with a roar that the
walls hurled back with indignant echoes. And Bolivar, unconscious
accomplice, swiftly bore away the last of the holders-up of the
"Sunset Express," not put to the stress of "carrying double."

But as "Shark" Dodson galloped away the woods seemed to fade from his
view; the revolver in his right hand turned to the curved arm of a
mahogany chair; his saddle was strangely upholstered, and he opened
his eyes and saw his feet, not in stirrups, but resting quietly on the
edge of a quartered-oak desk.

I am telling you that Dodson, of the firm of Dodson & Decker, Wall
Street brokers, opened his eyes. Peabody, the confidential clerk, was
standing by his chair, hesitating to speak. There was a confused hum
of wheels below, and the sedative buzz of an electric fan.

"Ahem! Peabody," said Dodson, blinking. "I must have fallen asleep.
I had a most remarkable dream. What is it, Peabody?"

"Mr. Williams, sir, of Tracy & Williams, is outside. He has come to
settle his deal in X. Y. Z. The market caught him short, sir, if you

"Yes, I remember. What is X. Y. Z. quoted at to-day, Peabody?"

"One eighty-five, sir."

"Then that's his price."

"Excuse me," said Peabody, rather nervously "for speaking of it, but
I've been talking to Williams. He's an old friend of yours, Mr.
Dodson, and you practically have a corner in X. Y. Z. I thought you
might--that is, I thought you might not remember that he sold you
the stock at 98. If he settles at the market price it will take every
cent he has in the world and his home too to deliver the shares."

The expression on Dodson's face changed in an instant to one of cold
ferocity mingled with inexorable cupidity. The soul of the man showed
itself for a moment like an evil face in the window of a reputable

"He will settle at one eighty-five," said Dodson. "Bolivar cannot
carry double."

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