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gram. Valeska tiptoed across, and looked at the
volume. It was Galton's "Finger Prints." a classi
fication of all the known capillary markings of the
digital tips. It was an hour before Astro put up
his work, much of which time had been spent merely
in sitting with half closed eyes, inert. Then he rose
'•Well, little girl, a bit of supper wouldn't go bad,
v. uld it?" he said gaily. ■"Afterward, you may sit
at my feet, and 1 shall tell you of my desire to meet
.. lady that takes snuff, whose left thumb shows
an invaded loop with two eyeleted rods; also, of
:.. interest in a gentleman that roils his own
smokes on a 'Motile .: Cigarettes' and gambles in
Valeska shook her head, puzzled.
•You heard what Calendon said, of courser
"Yes, I was in the cabinet all the time. But of
(< urse I haven't studied your evidence yet."
"Nor shall you this night, by Rameses! A crystal
gazer has to 'make his living on the curiosity of
women. Kindly let me enjoy your curiosity this
evening; and, that you may a t be a loser. I shall
explain to you the fallacies in Dr. Lasker's analysis
of the Ruy Lopez opening. Meanwhile, let us try
some of that new Assyrian jelly which I sent for
si long ago. If you wish to add anything more
substantial, I won't object, although I am a vegeta
rian, a Mahatma, an astrologer, cabalist, a student
. f Higher Space, and a thorough believer in the
doctrine that an ounce of mystery is worth v pound
: i mmonplace. Selah. I have spoken."'
During the meal, no one would have supposed,
I v his animation, that the occult seer was con
fronted by the most difficult problem his profession
had ever 'set for him. He joked like a young boy.
His pretty assistant was kept in rippling peals of
I. .lighter. " After dinner he produced a chessboard
with ivory men, and the girl puzzled with him over
innumerable variations of his favorite opening
They followed this by some of the regular chess
I roblems, ending with several of his own. The last,
finally, being too difficult, he left unfinished, sent
Valeska home in his hansom, and himself went to
THE next morning Astro looked, the first thing,
at "The Era" personals. Calendon's adver
tisement read as follows:
KR US: '97 Otog LKwcirt cclen atil opom S.O.C.
"I think."' he said thoughtfully, "th.it it will
hardly be dishonorable for me to plunge in Cos
mopolitan Electric, as long as
I'm not going to let Mr. Calen
<lc n pay me for this affair.
Let's see. Sold yesterday at
75. If I can get it at five points
margin, an investment of one
thousand •'.■•liars will bring me
in about eight hundred. I'll
1 c able to gel thai Egyptian
manuscript I have been want
ing so long. Now for Mr.
He took his telephone, and
was s" 1 'ii in communication
with his client. _ "What have
you found out:" hi- asked.
"Twelve ]>ersons boughi
Continental Zinc. " was the
answer. "< »f these seven were
legitimate investors. 1 have
the names of the other five."
•• Very good. Send your chief
of detectives up to me in a
hurry. There are some inves
tigations they can make while
I'm at work on a more impor
tani aspect of the case."
"Have you found out any
thing?" came the anxious in
■■ i am on the track. Have
courage, and follow instruc
tions. Tell Mrs. Calendon that
she will not be disappointed in
After his routine work that
day, Valeska came into the
studio, unable any longer to
c< ntrol her curiosity.
A tro drew out the evidei cc
in the ( ase and spread it before
her. "All life is made up of
little actions," he began.
"Everyone of them leaves its
little trace. Whether you are
tracking a bear by its footprints
through the forest, or a criminal
through his nefarious deeds, it
same thing. Both leave their spoor behind.
Now examine this letter and envelop carefully."
Valeska took the magnifying glass and scrutin
ized both; but was forced tO acknowledge her defeat.
tro took the envelop from h.-r and tilted it to
th< light. "Do you see a slight mark there?" he
asked. "It is the print of a thumb. It is not
generally known that a finger pressed on paper
v. lli leave an oily impression, especially when the
hand Ins recently been passed through the hair.
S. it will on glass or any polished surface Let
i^ develop this prim The ink will ding tO the
paper except where these oily lines have been in
contact with it. An ordinary tbumbprint would
SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR JULY 5. 1908
show the lines of the ridges; this will show those
of the channels between the ridges."
Dipping a large brash in ink. he swept i* ovei
the paper. The ink flowed away from a patch
where a little system of concentric lines appeared.
"Lo: the Invaded Loop!" he announced "It
is a woman's thumb. I saw it yesterday, and
copied its fundament .1 diagram and its core. Now
look at the mucilage on the Map. Do you sec I
tiny grains? Snuff, as I proved by my microscope.
The postage stamp is awry, and half on, and also
shows tiny traces of snuff. The woman was in a
hurry. The corners of her mouth were Si
with' the result of her filthy practice. X<
the paper surrounding the toe. Let me smooth it
out. Do you see the foldings and indentations that
were there before it was used for this
The marks are unmistakable, and by their geometric
extension, to anyone who has studied stereotomy and
the development of surfaces, it shows unmistakably
what that object was. See. parallel lines, a t
rumpled area, and here the traces of the milling ol a
small wheel. A small cigarette machine, such as
one buys on the Rue de la Paix, in Paris. This is
a long shot, to be sure; but sometimes it is the long
shot that brings down the eagle. If I hit the mark
this time, I'll never be afraid of making a risky
guess again. We shall see."
HE was interrupted by the bell. Valeska left him.
to introduce a neat and dapper younf
who entered, with a self satisfied smile, with the
report from the detective offices of Nally & Co.
Of the five purchasers of Continental Zinc, most
bad bought from the curb market, and had been
traced with some difficulty. A man had r een
assigned to each buyer, and these had followed the
instructions given Nally that morning.
Abraham Fraser. retired Jewish merchant: the
purchaser of twenty shares: smoked thick, black
H. V. Linwood, a young clubman and &
favorite; insisted on a special brand of Russian
cigarette^, costing four dollars a hundred.
William Rartlett Smith, a Westerner staying at
the Waldorf Astoria; smoked a French briar pipe
with granulated tobacco.
Lambert F. Owens, a race track bookie. living in
South Orange. New Jersey; could not be traced;
but information in regard to him was momentarily
'"The fifth man, Paul Stacey. I saw- myself,"
said the detective. "I acted as a newspaper re
The Couple Were Fearfully Distraught.
porter. He's fairly well known on the Street; but
yet I could find out little about him. Nobody knew
much; but what they did let out was not very
favorable. But I talked to him, and he smokes
incessantly. Rolls his own cigarettes with a little
nickel plated machine. Keeps Turkish tobacco
loose in bis right hand coat pocket, the instrument
in his left. While I was near him he threw aw.iv
a stub, and I brought it to show you. Here it is. 1 '
" Very good," said Astro, squinting at the cigar
ette butt. "You needn't bother about Owens.
Now I want you to shadow this man Stacey wherever
he goes. Use as many men for relays as you think
necessary; but don't let him give you the slip as
you value your reputation. Yoi: understand ths
importance "of this, and hoy.- fast we must work if
the boy is to be saved."
As the young man left. Astro ricked up a
evening paper and turned to the reports of ti
stock market. His eyes ran down the column •:
figures swiftly, until he came to the line:
;cco Cosmopolitan ] • 7° J* 1
"Rameses the Great!" he ejaculated. "T"s
will teach me a lesson not to take advantage c:
my inside information. My margin's wiped cs
already. Pity I didn't stay wit my good inte:-^
tions!' And I an Astrologer of the Fourth Circi:
I hope nobody will find that out. Yaleska. what
ever you do.'don't gamble." For v rnoir.es::;
stood contemplating the sheet before him. and the
he turned to her with a strange expression.
"Mercy!" he cried. "I forgot. C.iVndon'stipfal
gone wrong again! What will hat ;en next.' I:>
HE was interrupted by a long ring at the ekctrc
bell, and, when Yaleska answered it. Calendca
plunged into the room, holding a : .^kage in ca
hand. The muscles of his hand were twitching 3
a frenzy of agony.
"It's" come again, oh God!" he cried._
boy ! What in Heaven's name car. v.c !o? " Hewer:
up" to the palmist fiercely. "See hen.-.' you prem
ised me your help! You even gave me encoursg:
mem! See what has happened .-.iready! a* ■
long must this thing go on?" , .
"Have you opened the package?" Astro ■"■**
quietly. f ...,
Calendon shuddered. "No. I ■.■^t. .
"Leave it with me. then. You • ■■•:-t wait, J*--.
Calendon. I am hard at work. I -p certain M
succeed Already I have the m^r. : : -r.l its*
essary to prove it. One can't r.sv ; : .rystal vises
as evidence in a court of law, yon know. f
"Who is the scoundrel?" Oak::!:! deir.acueu
"By Heaven! 11l tear him limb from limb, a
kin him! Til — "
Astro put a restraining hand '-•:;_ the^ directed
arm. "Calm yourself. Mr. Culcn.ii n. he
soothingly. It is not by such means that «j
get the boy. In your present frame ot
dare not trust you with the man's name. X >'-
make a move now. you may even jeopardize y e
bo} 'a life. He must on no account know tn» a
is suspected. No. play the game. Mr. £f tex ®*
according to the rules the kidnappers ha\e p
scribed, and I'll guarantee that soon they nDepgj
ing it according to your own ideas < : :'--^' l<x -^l
your tip and advertise as usual. You will oocc^»
have better luck to-morrow." .
"To-morrow." said Calendon sadly "lm^J
to throw all my holdings in the Fotmtainet W^
pan;, into the ' market and bear the stocK i""|
enough for these devils to get their sh.i: ie! ul F™^
can't bear to receive another package. « Fr2
ruin for me; but I'll not care if the ■>' is sa.-*
TT was fortunate for Astro that at that timete^j
*■ also interested in the astonishing I '.:rglar:es
Glebe House; lor it filled in a tedious ' olt^ : %*
hours of waiting with considerable c xciterr.e--
Valeska could see that the Master was 9™®*?*% I
interested in the tragic fate of the voting k°>\~\
that it bad enlisted all his deepest >vmpat~»*
What little leisure they had was occupied :«»
set of chess problems which Astro was worloEg
for relaxation. , „,
It was a great relief, therefore, v.h- :•. me >'^ ;
detective from N'ally's put in his aj ; earao« ■
days later, and made his report. . j §
"We've been hot on Stacey's trail ever ' . $
left you; but with nothing doing of any °?ESf|h| I
whatever until late yesterday afterm «<?..
took a train to Antwerp, New Jersey, n^
met at the station by a carryall c<>:t " ;i: V r '^i.^, I
women. He rode about H>r an h<u;r v.ith t*-
not stopping anywhere at all. and was ( - r^ v^ r \.."y
to the station, "and took the six-twelye aC i eaS
New York, and went direct to his rooms at tee oc^*
Rivage Apartments." .
"He saw no one else? Not even a man in d-*
with a black tie?"
"Absolutely no one."
"And who are the women?"
"One is a Mrs. Elizabeth Cutter, widow. Jj v^,
small hou^e on the outskirts of the village : the .°* *
a Miss Easting, lives a mile away. Both bye i"c
"Di you get into either house?" .-<.
"I tried to; but couldn't make it.
to be very suspicious of strangers. MiiS
turned the dog i i: me." „<£
" l>i.i you notice that either of these women .
"One of them looked it. She was &*»**z£d
seemed to have smears of brown in the corce
" Which one was it I "
"Mrs. Cutter." -jyj
"Yerv good. That is all. Thank you for
you've done. Ijihal day. rc 33
In a flash Astro had sprung to a xnesM.-n^.- c n'*
on the wall and pressed down the handle. 1 ,.
scribbled a message on a telegraph blank.
handed it to Valeska. It read as follows:
Come immediately to the Beau Kivage. Import- 111
"Give that to the boy when he conies. "**
CensrueJ in pcf* i 3