I wonder why he didn't tell me--he never confides in me any more. I suppose it's Robert . . . anyway, he's gone. Cedric and Abner went with him, though not intentionally. They got carried off with him on the train by mistake.

FEBRUARY 9--No letter from Lum. Something's wrong. I know he'd have written.

FEBRUARY 10--At last--a letter. No wonder Lum didn't write. They lost all their money. But everything's all right now--Robert's turned up here in Pine Ridge and Dick's going to send them some money. It's just like Lum to be too proud to ask. I declare, diary, he is just about the finest man I ever met.

Lum, Cedric and Abner seeing New York.

FEBRUARY 14--Valentine's Day--and three Valentines. I hope Lum liked the one I sent.

FEBRUARY 18--Squire's up to his old tricks again. To pay back the money they borrowed from Dick Huddleston, Lum and Abner hired him to invent a contest. So he's going to offer a $50 prize for the best bushel of corn in the county. When they've collected the corn, he's going to sell it and collect enough money to pay Dick and himself and the prize and still have some left over. He's got a mortgage on the Jot 'Em Down Store to make sure his part will be paid. Doesn't sound right to me--and I don't think Lum will go through with it.

FEBRUARY 22--Just as I thought Lum's called the contest off because he and Dick felt it wouldn't be fair to the people. But there's still the mortgage. Squire wanted to foreclose but extended it with interest at $10 a month. I don't see how they'll ever pay it.

FEBRUARY 26--Something terrible has happened. Lum's going to fight a prize fighter called Cyclone Gordon, the Montana Mauler. If he can stay in the ring with him so many rounds he'll get a hundred dollar prize and be able to pay back Squire.

MARCH 6--Lum came to see me tonight. I've never seen him so downhearted. I couldn't cheer him up in the least. It's this fight with Cyclone Gordon, of course. Everyone thinks Lum is really keen about it, but he told me just the opposite. Poor Lum--he's really scared and I don't blame him. What does he know about fighting. If I had my way . . .

MARCH 9--Saw Lum in his boxing trunks today and if I wasn't so scared I would have laughed myself to death. No wonder people are complaining about him. I wonder what will happen. Dick Huddleston says Lum's coming on fine. He's knocked out Cedric with one hit, lifted Squire's piano all by himself and even knocked out Caleb Weehunt, the blacksmith.

MARCH 12--I declare, I'd like to get a hold of that Squire Skimp. He's been fooling Lum all along. Abner told me today that Squire had taken all the works out of that piano, and that Caleb Weehunt just pretended to be knocked out. That made Lum so mad he's going to fight anyway. But not if I can help it.

MARCH 16--Lum won--Lum won. I can hardly believe it. I heard the fight described by Abner over the party line, and Lum knocked out Cyclone in the second round. I'm so proud.

MARCH 18--So that was it. The fight was framed or whatever they call it. Cyclone just pretended to go down because he and his man­ager bet all their money on Lum. Oh Lum, why did they do it? Anyway, one good thing came of it because Squire bet on Cyclone, thinking he couldn't possibly lose, and lost everything. He's working at Walt Bates' saw­mill. Perhaps that'll teach him a lesson.

MARCH 26--Saw Abner driving the fire wagon down the street. Can that be the horse Lum wants to enter in the Kentucky derby because it runs so fast when it hears a fire bell? They must be crazy--I don't believe it could trot, let alone run.

MARCH 31--Been in bed three days now. Won't this cold ever go? Talked to Sister Simpson and she says that the new Pine Ridge news is all ready to send out and that they're going to give away with each copy a secret little badge of Granpap's which forecasts the weath­er; I wonder what it's like. Oh yes, and Abner's going to ride the fire horse in the Derby.

APRIL 8--This fire horse seems to have something after all. I watched him run a mile and a quarter today in almost record time.

Lum wins by knockout over Cyclone Gordon.

It's a question of getting enough money now to enter him in the Derby. I hope they keep Squire out of it this time.

APRIL 15--To the Spring dance tonight. Was Lum a little cool or was it my imagination? He didn't even kiss me goodnight. Sister Simpson says his mind's taken up with that horse of his.