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Dresbach, Glenn W. (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Volume VIII, Number 3 (December 1910)

Ellsworth, Frances
Dutton,   pp. 19-24


Page 19


DUTTON
      Dutton
FRANCES ELLSWORTH
  After the meeting the directors of the
Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern
Railway lingered in groups about the room
with their hats on their heads, or before
them on the table, while they mechanically
puil'ld on their gloves. All were perplexed,
and one of the three or four nearest was
saving:
  "Yes, Dutton's the man to do it if it
can be done; but, frankly, it looks to me
if we'd have to pay neatly for running
that tippling engineer, McGuire, so long.
He ought to have been laid by some time
ago, only for the fact that he can handle
those fellows in the east and south wards
so well. We shouldn't have got that land
over there if it hadn't been for him."
  'Dutton's as hard as nails, but by
George! I don't see how he can win our
case this time. Her father, old Judge
Sheldon, was with her and saw the whole
business. I happened to be at the station,
too. McGuire stopped the train all right,
and the judge got down. His daughter
was just behind him on the steps, when in
some devilish way McGuire gave the train
a jerk and pitched the girl sideways in a
wicked fall; and to make things worse, her
foot caught. I leaped through the gate
and helped to get her loose.   The old
judge recognized me, and said some ami-
able things about our service. Damn me,
if I see our way out! But, as you say,
Dutton will pull it through if anyone
can.
  That evening the young lawyer reached
town, and in accordance with the direc-
tions of his telegram, appeared at the
private office of the president of the rail-
road. There he was told the facts noted
above, and asked to take the case.
  "We are willing to pay the surgical ex-
penses-glad to-if you can get rid of the
"ten thousand damage suit."
  Dutton's fine, keen eyes narrowed; and
looked at nothing; his high, bulging fore-
head wrinkled in thought. After a bit he
looked up and said:
  "Yes, I'll take it. She lives at Mt.
Vernon, you say? College town, isn't it?"
  '"Yes."
  "The case comes on in November."
  "And this is May     "
  ' Twelfth."
  "I shall leave tomorrow, and if you
write to me, use plain envelopes. I must
not appear to be connected with your case
in any way. I'll let you know if there is
anything worth while. I think I'll be able
to save you the biggest part of the dam-
ag ,s."
  "If you don't, it will be the first time
you've failed us. We'll make it worth your
time."
  May fifteenth found Dutton comfortably
settled as a student in a men's rooming
house, and making daily excursions to
the college law building. Though no one
ever saw him in class, one could have
noticed that he spent considerable time in
the library. He made no comment about
his work to his associates, and he was not
a man whom people would quiz. The fel-
lows all liked him in spite of his reticence,
for he was a good, all-round sportsman.
He could bowl and play ball that was
worthy of their admiration.
  One night several of the boys told him
that The Judge, as they called Judge
Sheldon, was having a social affair for the
law students up at his home, and they
told Dutton that he had better go with
them. This was the first party the Judge
had given since Alice was hurt-he had
been so broken up over it.
  "You've heard about it haven't yodu?
Railroad accident-blunder of some kind;
guess they can get pretty decent damages
all right."
  That evening Dutton met Judge Shel-
19


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