Calendon Kidnapping Case
Astro the Seer Versus a Gang of Archplotters
By ALAN BRAGHAMPTON
. - -v K.r'. Amicn n
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■ ■■ Master is at preseni
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caution, then, he slowly un
folded the paper It was a
For a few minutes not a
sound was heard in the studio,
save Mrs. Calendon's choking
sobs, and the intake of her
husband's deep breaths as he
endeavored to master his
emotion. Astro put aside
the gruesome object with
its wrappings, and then ex
tended his hand and grasped
Calendon's with a strong,
' Mr. Calendon," he said,
simply, " 1 am at your service.
I thank God that I have had
some success in tracking down
worse crimes than this, and
what ! can do in this matter
shall be done without reward,
Cheer up, Mr. Calendon I
an help you! Madam; pray
accept my sympathy; but
master yourself, for I must
hear the whole story."
CALEXDOX moistened his
lips, pulled himself to
gether, and looked gratefully
at the slender, poetic figure
before him. "I'll tell you
the rest of the story now,
and I pray to God that you
can help!" He turned to his
wife, and after she was calmer
" It's devilishly ingenious.
sir. What they are holding
the boy for is in order to get
tips on the market. That's
their price. I got from them
the third day a typewritten;
unsigned letter telling me
that if 1 valued the life of my
boy, 1 should give them inside information of the
stock market. They furnished me with a cipher. —
an easy one that simply reads backward, and by
means of it 1 communicate with them every morn
ing in the personal column of 'The Era.' lam not
a stock gambler, sir, although I have a fair knowl
edge of current Wall Street probabilities, and I soon
exhausted what information I had, and it became
harder and harder to deliver the goods You know
how these things go: a big deal isn't pulled off every
day, and. not being on the inside, I had to get down
on my knees to get news from the men on the Street
who were able to help me. A few have interested
themselves in my misfortune and assisted me; but
they're a cold blooded set as a rule. But for a week
I kept these bloodsuckers posted as well as 1 could,
and I had good luck with my predictions. They
must have made thousands; but still they wouldn't
give up the boy. Why should they? They have a
good thing, and intend to work it for all it's worth.
"But yesterday — great God! — yesterday I ad
vertised in good faith to buy Continental Zinc It
was selling at 31. and I had figured on a big divi
dend being declared, — so my advice had it, — but
instead the dire* tors voted to pass it, and the stock
fell six points. It rallied later, on the mine re
ports; but the rise came too late."
He stopped to draw a typewritten slip from his
pocket. "Here's what came in the box." he said
brokenly, and hid his face in hi hands. Mrs
Calendon began weeping afresh.
Astro took the note and read it :
This is what we'll ■: ■ ever}' time you ■- •] u-. He sharp!
For sometime Astro gazed at the sheet of paper,
then rose and put it away with the other relics.
"Have you the other letter here?"
Calendon took an envelop from his inside pocket
and handed it to the palmist.
Astro held the envelop to the light, smelt of it.
looked at the flap for a minute with his lens, then
placed it on a side table. At last he rose and
walked quietly over to a cupl«.ard, from which he
took a large crystal ball. This he placed on a
black velvet cushion. He gazed into the sphere
long and earnestly.
The seer finally drew his long slim hand across his
forehead and nodded his head "There is 110 one you
sus]»ect? No woman!'" he asked deliberately.
Calendon sh'»ok his head in silence.
"My nurse girl has been completely prostrated
Valeska Prepared v> Awaken the Master from Hi> P»ychic Trance
by Lhe -':.■■■ k." Mrs I alendon volunte •: ■I. "We
are both sure she is innocent."
"There is a « >man concerned in this, neverthe
less. N<»w tell me vvhai the police have done. They
have tried to trace the buyers of the stocks j »v
t i i > i m-- < i oil. I presume ' "
"Certainly We have tried to find what persons,
il any, have profite 1 by all the tips; but have i
unsuccessful. I shall have i List, to-night probably,
of all the buyers of Continental Zinc, eliminating,
of ■ mi ;e, the names of those who have bought for
investment. The criminals are undoubtedly spe< u
latii so there's little use looking up the re< >:■■!:>
oi the t ransfer office."
"You have your tip for to-morrow all ready t->i
tlie newspaper ' " ...
" Yes, and thi i tii . ■ I'm sure it s sate
"Wry well, then, proceed as usual \ou have, I
suppose, your own detectives working on the i ase?'
■■ \'es " < in ■'■■■ ■'• • anything for you?"
"I'll telephone you early in the morning,' said
Astro, rising "To-nighl I shall be busy. I shall
cast the child's horos. >pe. and find out the besi
path to pursue Kindly give me the exact hour of
He wrote it down solemnly, then pressed an
electri bell Valeska appeared in the doorway;
iitors followed her int i the waiting room to the
outer do< »r
Before she left, Mrs Calendon took the girl s
hand "Oh. he's a wonderful man!" she < : laii ed
"Somehow I have i great faith in him I'mstrength
ened alre id} !!•■ «ems to know cci I thing. Sui h
Hei hu iband ;h -,;. his head skepticaUy, and went
thoul i :•■ >rd
ASI k ( • meanwhile had turned eagerl; I > the things
had been broughi him, the lines of his
olive fai c et and determined From the in
to the man "I pra< tical anal;, tic mind, the
ti m ition had l>een in I in) in< >v All
nov dropped Hi in pe< lion wa ■ - i ■
: not !.■.:;■ c Val< ka' enti mi c She di 1n •
: ijeak, therefore, and *it bed him a he prep >re I
the envelop, then ai the oiled papei ■ i ipp i
the horrid reli< II ilf an hour went by, during
■.•hi. h the palmi I ro* ieveral time I < pa< c up
and down the length "1 the dim studio Once he
took down a book from his shelves and ran hur
,,,.,11. thr mgh - ping to mai 1. a dia-
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