So, as the little red station house at Grover faded into the distance, I asked him point blank what he knew about the murder of Lawrence O'Toole.
Rodgers took a long pull at his black-briar pipe as he answered me. I never told the story but once, and then it was to the Division Superintendent, and when I finished the old gentleman asked if I were a drinking man, and remarking that a fertile imagination was not a desirable quality in a raillroad employee, said it would be just as well if the story went no further. You see it's a grewsome tale, and someway we don't like to be reminded that there are more things in heaven and earth than our systems of philosophy can grapple with.
However, I should rather like to tell the story to a man who would look at it objectively and leave it in the domain of pure incident where it belongs.
grover always said a taste of the good life Manual
It would unburden my mind, and I'd like to get a scientific man's opinion on the yarn. But I suppose I'd better begin at the beginning, with the dance which preceded the tragedy, just as such things follow each other in a play. I notice that Destiny, who is a good deal of an artist in her way, frequently falls back upon that elementary principle of contrast to make things interesting for us. I had scarcely unlocked the door when I heard someone calling Cheyenne on the wire, and hurried over to the instrument to see what was wanted.
It was Lawrence O'Toole, at Grover, and he said he was coming up for the ball on the extra, due in Cheyenne at nine o'clock that night. He wanted me to go up to see Miss Masterson and ask her if she could go with him. He had had some trouble in getting leave of absence, as the last regular train for Cheyenne then left Grover at in the afternoon, and as there was an east-bound going through Grover at The dispatcher didn't want him away, in case there should be orders for the train.
So Larry had made no arrangement with Miss Masterson, as he was uncertain about getting up until he was notified about the extra. She replied that she had made an arrangement to go to the dance with Mr.
Grover Always Said
Freymark, but added laughingly that no other arrangement held when Larry could come. While he was hanging around, Larry called me up to tell me that Helen's flowers would be up from Denver on the Union Pacific passenger at five, and he asked me to have them sent up to her promptly and to call for her that evening in case the extra should be late.
Freymark, of course, listened to the message, and when the sounder stopped, he smiled in a slow, disagreeable way, and saying, 'Thank you. That's all I wanted to know,' left the office. I've knocked about a good deal since I cut loose from Princeton, and I've found that there are a great many good fellows in the world, but I've not found many better than Larry.
I think I can say, without stretching a point, that he was the most popular man on the Division. He had a faculty of making everyone like him that amounted to a sort of genius.
When he first went to working on the road, he was the agent's assistant down at Sterling, a mere kid fresh from Ireland, without a dollar in his pocket, and no sort of backing in the world but his quick wit and handsome face. It was a face that served him as a sight draft, good in all banks.
Eventually Freymark was discharged, and Larry was made cashier in his place. There was, after that, naturally, little love lost between them, and to make matters worse, Helen Masterson took a fancy to Larry, and Freymark had begun to consider himself pretty solid in that direction. I doubt whether Miss Masterson ever really liked the blackguard, but he was a queer fish, and she was a queer girl and she found him interesting. Masterson, her father, had been United States Senator from Wyoming, and Helen had been educated at Wellesley and had lived in Washington a good deal.
She found Cheyenne dull and had got into the Washington way of tolerating anything but stupidity, and Freymark certainly was not stupid.
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He passed as an Alsatian Jew, but he had lived a good deal in Paris and had been pretty much all over the world, and spoke the more general European languages fluently. He was a wiry, sallow, unwholesome looking man, slight and meagerly built, and he looked as though he had been dried through and through by the blistering heat of the tropics. His movements were as lithe and agile as those of a cat, and invested with a certain unusual, stealthy grace.
His eyes were small and black as bright jet beads; his hair very thick and coarse and straight, black with a sort of purple luster to it, and he always wore it correctly parted in the middle and brushed smoothly about his ears. He had a pair of the most impudent red lips that closed over white, regular teeth.
His hands, of which he took the greatest care, were the yellow, wrinkled hands of an old man, and shrivelled at the finger tips, though I don't think he could have been much over thirty. The long and short of it is that the fellow was uncanny.
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You somehow felt that there was that in his present, or in his past, or in his destiny which isolated him from other men. He dressed in excellent taste, was always accomodating, with the most polished manners and an address extravagantly deferential. He went into cattle after he lost his job with the company, and had an interest in a ranch ten miles out, though he spent most of his time in Cheyenne at the Capitol card rooms. He had an insatiable passion for gambling, and he was one of the few men who make it pay. We took Burns up to the club, and I noticed that he acted rather queerly when Freymark came in.
Burns went down to Grover to spend a day with Larry, and on Saturday Larry wired me to come down and spend Sunday with him, as he had important news for me. He was, indeed, from Paris, but there was not a drop of Jewish blood in his veins, and he dated from farther back than Israel. He had entered the civil service and held several subordinate offices in the capital, where his son was educated. The boy, socially ambitious and extremely sensitive about his Asiatic blood, after having been blackballed at a club, had left and lived by an exceedingly questionable traffic in London, assuming a Jewish patronymic to account for his oriental complexion and traits of feature.
That explained everything. That explained why Freymark's hands were those of a centenarian. In his veins crept the sluggish amphibious blood of a race that was already old when Jacob tended the flocks of Laban upon the hills of Padan-Aram, a race that was in its mort cloth before Europe's swaddling clothes were made. Cheyenne clubs are not exclusive, but a Chinaman who had been engaged in Freymark's peculiarly unsavory traffic would be disbarred in almost any region outside of Whitechapel. One thing was sure; Miss Masterson must be informed of the matter at once. It will have to be done easy like, not to hurt her self-respect too much.
Like as not I'll go off my head the first time I see him and call him rat-eater to his face. They must change because their parents can't or won't.
THE TWENTY-SECOND AND TWENTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT
The counselors at Camp Padua try hard. They're earnest young people who want to help. They have degrees in adolescent psychology and know all the latest jargon. They even throw in a bit of Christian theology, apparently figuring that it can't hurt and might help. If some of them have their own scars, they keep them well hidden until a crisis brings everything out into the open. They try to provide a warm, accepting atmosphere complete with "share-apy" sessions designed to encourage the teens to discuss their feelings and deal with them.
The teens DO confide their secrets, but to each other of course Like all teens in every society at every time, they see adults as the enemy, people to be called on only as a last resort. The life of the camp goes on, with the teens forming alliances and love affairs of which the counselors know nothing.
It's a tribute to the human survival instinct, but some of the kids do become stronger and happier. While the counselors are preaching the value of self-knowledge and teamwork and trust and courage and perseverance and hope, the kids are leaning those qualities from each other. The counselors look at the campers and see only broken children needing to be healed.
The teens look at their friends and see the strength and endurance that kept them going through hard times. Everything about Grover Cleveland is odd, from his name to his penetrating questions and his obsession with statistics. He's the polar opposite of Zander's popular, athletic boyfriend, but he's alive to himself and others in a way that breaks down Zander's emotional defenses. Everything about Cassie is abrasive and offensive, from her foul mouth and constant insults to her life-threatening eating disorder and her habit of hiding pills.
She doesn't look like BFF material, but she arouses a protective instinct in Zander that sweeps away the passivity and turns her into a Warrior Queen. This is not a YA book, although it will resonate with teens. It's a book about growing up, which is easy for a few, difficult for most, and horrific for many.
It's a book about families and the harm we do to each other in the name of love.
You could argue that the ending is unrealistic, but I'm not so sure. When a kid needs help, some people look the other way, but others step up to the plate and sometimes it's the last person you would expect. The writing is fine and the characters are charmingly eccentric. There's profanity and lots of talk about sex, but IMHO the dialogue between the teens is believable.
Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. It's a story that carries you along to the end. Glad I picked this one. Jul 03, Book Concierge rated it did not like it Shelves: romance , young-adult , concierge , mental-illness , library , michigan. But her parents insist that she get out of her head — and her home state — and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.
Zander has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. My reactions Okay, I knew this was a YA novel about a summer camp for at-risk teens, going into it. I knew from the title and cover art that some sort of summer romance would come into play. But I am so over the teen angst phase of my life, that I find it overly dramatic and cliched. Populating the novel with these kids was just a bit too over-the-top for me to enjoy it. The crisis that results in some break throughs is somewhat believable given the emotional and mental difficulties these kids face.
But the way in which this is resolved is totally unbelievable. GRADE: D Zander is sent to a horribly run therapeutic camp because her parents "made her go", unlike the other teens who have real problems. The cast of characters include angry anorexic Cassie, the future schizophrenic Grover Cleveland Jr. Over the next five weeks they will become friends and confront their problems.
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It fails miserably with unrealistic charac GRADE: D Zander is sent to a horribly run therapeutic camp because her parents "made her go", unlike the other teens who have real problems. It fails miserably with unrealistic characters, plot and dialogue. Rebekah Crane couldn't have done any research except perhaps Dr Google on the psychiatric disorders and treatment of her main characters. Not one iota of progress seems to happen at the "share"-apy groups, yet someone all of the participants have more ability to help each other than the counselor.
The characters are interesting and unique, but their problems are stereotypical. The plot has strong points, particularly the letters home at the beginning of the chapters and the slow unfolding of Zander's issues. The ending was just plain cheesy and somewhat predictable. I enjoyed Zander's narration. Writing wise, the dialogue was awful, unlike any teenager you'll encounter.