Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Buried Bones
by [?]

When Mr. Gubb went to the house of Mr. Jonas Medderbrook to pay him the money he had received for solving the mystery of Henry, the Educated Pig, he found the house closed, locked and deserted, and on the door was pinned a card that said simply, and in a neat handwriting:–

Gone to Patagonia. Will be back in one hundred years. Please wait.

This was signed “Jonas Medderbrook,” but not until the next day did Mr. Gubb learn from the “Riverbank Eagle” that Mr. Medderbrook had decamped after selling his friends and neighbors an immense amount of stock in the Utterly Hopeless Gold-Mine, of which Mr. Gubb had a very large and entirely worthless quantity.

The departure of Mr. Medderbrook was a great shock to Mr. Gubb, as it seemed to indicate that serious complications in his wooing of Syrilla might result from it, especially as he had only heard from Syrilla through Mr. Medderbrook, but, disturbed as he was by this fear, he was even more upset by a telegram that came to him direct that afternoon. It was from Syrilla herself–

Alas! [it read], the worst has happened. Weighed myself this morning and weighed only one hundred pounds. Later discovered scales were one hundred and five pounds out of balance, registering one hundred and five pounds too much. I cannot marry you, now or ever, Gubby dear, as cannot permit your faithful heart to wed one who weighs five pounds less than nothing. Good-bye forever.

SYRILLA.

The blow was a severe one to Mr. Gubb, as it would have been to any lover who loved a half-ton of beauty only to have her shrink to five pounds less than nothing. For several days he remained locked in his office, hardly touching food, and then, with a sad heart he resumed his customary occupations. He would never have learned the truth about Syrilla had it not been for a tramp called Chi Foxy.

Chi Foxy made the long walk from Derlingport, and night found him on the outskirts of Riverbank. He begged a hand-out from one of the small houses and hunted a place to spend the night. He found it underneath a tool-house alongside the railway tracks, and that it had been used as sleeping-quarters by other tramps was shown by the heap of crushed straw, the bread-crusts, and the remnants of a small fire.

Chi Foxy crawled in and stretched himself out for a comfortable night. He lighted his pipe, loosened the laces of his shoes, and settled back for a comfortable smoke.

Just outside the rear of his sleeping quarters ran the wire right-of-way fence, which was also the back fence of a small piece of property on which stood a rickety old house. The house was devoid of paint, but it was a cheerful sight from where Chi Foxy reclined. He had a clear view of the kitchen window, from which the light came in a yellow glow, and he could see a woman cooking something in a frying-pan on a kitchen stove. A man sat beside the stove, his elbows on his knees, waiting for supper.

Chi Foxy almost decided to climb the fence and knock at the door of the kitchen at the moment the woman took the frying-pan off the stove, but he was feeling well filled and comfortable, and he decided to wait and to use the house as his breakfasting-place. This required no little strength of character, for the perfume of fried veal chops was wafted to his nostrils, but he held himself in hand, and when he had burned his pipeful of tobacco he curled down and went to sleep.

He was awakened by the sound of voices near at hand, and peered out between the ties. The night was not dark. The voices had come from a man and a woman, and as Chi Foxy watched them the man began digging in the sandy soil with a spade. He made quite a hole in the soil and turned to the woman.