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Owen Clancy's Happy Trail or, The Motor Wizard in California   By: (1866-1945)

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OWEN CLANCY'S HAPPY TRAIL; Or, THE MOTOR WIZARD IN CALIFORNIA.

By BURT L. STANDISH.

CHAPTER I.

ALMOST A RIOT.

No, it was not an earthquake that happened in the city of Los Angeles, California, on that beautiful sun shiny morning. It was just a tow headed, cross eyed youth shaking things up at the corner of Sixth and Main in an attempt to find his father.

And not one corner of the cross streets was involved, but all four corners. The upheaval that followed this search for a missing relative, extended in several directions, so that a very small cause led up to remarkably large results.

It was nine o'clock of a Saturday morning. That Saturday was some sort of a festal day for the Chinese, and at the hour mentioned, a dragon a block long, consisting of a hundred Celestials covered with papier mache, was twisting and writhing along Sixth Street.

On one corner, leaning against the side of a building, was a tall man in seedy clothes. A card on his breast bore the sad legend, "Help the Blind." The man's eyes were covered with large blue goggles, and in one hand he held his hat, and in the other a couple of dozen cheap lead pencils.

Across the street, on corner number two, was an Italian with a hand organ. The Italian's assistant was a monkey in a red cap.

Corner number three, among others, held a grocer's boy, carrying a basket with six dozens of eggs. He was very much absorbed in watching the Chinese dragon wriggle along the thoroughfare.

The fourth corner was reserved for Hiram Hill, the tow headed, cross eyed chap who was destined to cause all the commotion. While Hill stood on the walk, telling himself that the gaudily painted dragon looked very much like an overgrown centipede, he suddenly caught sight of a man in an automobile.

The auto was headed along Main Street, and was waiting for the dragon to clear the way so it could proceed. Hill looked at the machine across the papier mache spine of the chink monster, and he gave a yell of surprise when his gaze took account of the one man in the tonneau of the car.

Undoubtedly that man was Hiram Hill's father the parent who had been mysteriously missing ever since the first Klondike gold rush! Hiram's eyes were sharp, and to them the beetling brow, the one "squint eye," the very pronounced Roman nose, and the retreating chin which made the face resemble a bird's beak, were all very plain.

After that first yell of surprise, Hiram's astonishing good luck held him speechless. Following a year of a trying town to town canvas of the whole Southwest, he had at last come within hailing distance of his long lost parent.

Only one point remained to make assurance doubly sure. Had the "suspect" a brown mole on the back of his neck? Sharp as Hill's eyes were, they could not determine that.

"Who wants a pencil?" came feebly from the hapless person on the first corner. "Help the blind."

"Jocko," said the son of sunny Italy, on corner two, "maka da bow, taka da mon!"

The monkey lifted his hat and went through motions that passed for a bow. He also looked at his master and showed his teeth, not relishing the way his chain had been pulled.

"Pipe de chink wid de pigeon toes and de bow legs!" yelped the grocer's boy. "If he's goin' de way dem feet are pointed, foist t'ing yous know he'll be runnin' into himself."

The boy with the basket of eggs was very observing. As he shouted his remarks he leveled a finger at a pair of coolie legs supporting one of the vertebra of the passing dragon. The legs were badly sprung at the knees, but they ended in feet which the Chinaman had to step over as he walked.

"Dad!" whooped Hiram Hill; "I say, dad!"

Hiram recovered his speech, and all at once became as active as a swarm of bees after some one has kicked over the hive. He wanted to get to that automobile and give his father a filial embrace and he was in a hurry. The Chinese dragon was in the way, but Hiram didn't mind a little thing like that.

He jumped at the papier mache thing and hit it in the vicinity of the bow legged Chinaman... Continue reading book >>




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