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He's been proved to be a faker, so all the Hempstead claims are worthless. Lum's the sole owner of the paper, whatever good that will do him.
JUNE 25--Was called over to Cedric's place today--he'd been taken suddenly ill. When I got there I found that Abner and Lum had decided that the writing on the paper was a formula of some kind or other, and had made up a liquid out of it. Of course, Cedric drank some--and that's why he was ill. It's not serious, though, and I think he'll be up soon.
Lum takes Horse Liniment by mistake.
JULY 1--They're still trying to find out what the formula's for. Up to now they've tried it as a hair tonic, a medicine and a dye, and now Elizabeth Peabody has discovered it kills potato bugs. That gave Lum an idea that it might also kill boll weevils in the cotton, so he's going to try that now.
JULY 4--Independence Day--and the big annual picnic. I wore my new hat and dress and Lum said I looked right pretty. But he didn't go any further. Sometimes I almost wish I had the courage to take advantage of this being Leap Year . . .
JULY 9--The formula works--kills off boll weevil like nothing else could. Everybody wants some and Lum and Abner have already had an order for ten thousand gallons of it. Ten thousand gallons . . .
JULY 15--Everybody's riding bikes these days--you can't look around without seeing one--and it's all thanks to Granpappy Spears. With some of the money they made out of their formula, Lum and Abner started him off in a bicycle rental shop . . . and now he's got everyone doing it. Sister Simpson tells me he's going to put on a six day bike race to advertise his place--and I've never known her to be wrong yet. I only hope Lum doesn't think of entering--it might be dangerous.
JULY 17--The worst has happened. Lum and Abner are going to enter Granpappy's race as the Pine Ridge team. He'll be killed just as sure as anything.
JULY 18--Good news--the McMillan boys want to represent Pine Ridge instead of Lum and Abner so they're going to have a trial race. I don't know which to cheer for because I don't want Lum to be in the race, yet I'd hate to see him beaten by those two McMillan boys. Why do they have to think up these things . . .
JULY 20--Well, that settles it. Lum and Abner are going to represent Pine Ridge after all. There wasn't much glory attached to their victory, though. Lum beat the McMillan boys purely by accident when Gomer Watkins' dog chased him for five miles down the street.
JULY 21--The race started this morning with Pine Ridge competing against three other teams from Mount Ida, Board Camp and Cherry Hill, and I'm too scared even to listen in on the party line. I do hope Lum will be all right.
JULY 24--I dreamed last night that Lum had a terrible crash. His bike hit a tree and threw him over the handlebars, spinning him over and over in the air. Then everything seemed to go black and I was falling, falling into a huge bottomless pit and as I fell I kept seeing Lum's face flashing past me, spinning . . . spinning. It was awful. Dreams are such funny things--I wonder what causes them.
JULY 26--They've won--Lum and Abner have won. I can hardly believe it, but it's true. I only hope they never do it again. I don't think I'll ever quite forget that dream I had. Sometimes I'm afraid to go to sleep for fear I'll fall into that pit again and see Lum spinning like a helpless top caught in a whirlpool.
JULY 29--At last it's come true--tomorrow I leave on my vacation. Two whole weeks in the hills. Look after Lum, diary. I'm leaving you here in Pine Ridge to keep an eye on him.
AUGUST 15--Home again--and so many things have happened. Just after I left an investigator came to visit Pine Ridge to find out how good the boll weevil spray was.
Abner and Grandpappy learn about dynamite.
When he saw how excellent the local crops were he asked Lum to lend him the formula so that he could take it back East and study it. Lum trusted him with it (Lum certainly does need someone to look after him) and the next thing they knew they were offered $10,000 for it. At about the same time, however, another firm wrote them that the formula was a copy of one already being used. But everything turned out all right in the end and they finally sold it to the first man for $15,000. Now that Lum's so rich, I wonder if he'll still be the same towards me.
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