of reasoning would be perfectly rational; but, being
Valda's father, the whole thing resolved itself mi..
about the most illogical and absurd nonsense to be
NO she must be} in all over again; and she did.
The two villain.-, then, had done everything she
sai<l they did; but without her father They had
signed his name to those telegrams, exactly as she,
had divined from the first. A woman's intuition is
a thousand times better than reason, anyway.
They had signed his name to the telegrams. They
had" in some way — it didn't make much difference
how — discovered the Spitfire's private cipher code.
They had used it as a blind. They had— < >h, wait !
That one tele-ram, in answer to her own, saying,
"Don't be an idiot. Do as I tell you," — that was just
a wee bit too intimate for forgery. It was not i
asignature.it was fact! Nasty . incontestable fact !
It implicated the old gentleman again; bu
there ought to be lots of ways to get him >u1 oi h
It was illogical ever to have put him in Ah! she
had it! How simple! Her father didn t know
about the robbery. H>- thought it was jusl
ordinary smuggling. She would admit smuggling,
because she had known him to do it twice; but
robbing a poor fellow of his belt— preposterous!
These- two men had deceived him! Lied to him!
And speaking of liars, George C. Brown— to revel
in slang for once— not only took the cake, but ate
it. every crumb! That man's sense of honor was
about the lowest, most contemptible thing she had
>ver dreamed of. To think of him spending his en
tire young life in deceiving simple hearted women
who "hadn't done a single thing but try to economize
and save a little duty on their own property. She
could understand perfectly how such frivolous,
weak minded creatures might be taken in by him.
because he was handsome, even if he did laugh a;
them afterward— which, by the by. was a most un
gentlemanly thing to d ■
No. there hadn't been any crime ai all! That
was the way of it! This liar had manufactured the
whole thing! When she thoughi of his bare faced
impudence, her cheeks burned with shame and
ra^'e When she thought how Ik- had wilfully cast
suspicion on her father's friends,— these two respect
able and almost entirely
honest gentlemen, — she
longed to box his >• >: -
hard. As for his disrepu
table pn ifessii m i if w- urn
ing secrets out of people
— well, it was simply
was his long suit, was it ?
He had expected to win
her over with his cr >co
dile tears and his da» ing
master bowings and
scrapings! Well, thank
goodness there was some
intelligence left in the
world, after all!
VALDA sighe 1 Yes,
it was the only s >lu
tiun, pitiful bul true
The man was a profes
sional scamp, — de< ci' ing
people for .1 salary. Bul .
oh! howcouldhe? Think
<.f his mother! No, his
mother was dead. She
wasn't ' That was a lie
too! Everything he said
was -,i lie! He was
nothing but a heartl
conceited, vain be
But if only he hadn'l
bowed like that! And ii
only his hair didn't
up, as it certainly did,
all over his perfectly
shaped head! It w 1
fair for a man's hair I •
curl by itself, anyway,
when a p >or woman had
t' > spend hours and h< >urs
and hours with hoi tongs
and a temper, or else d 1
ir up in papers which make you i > ■'. 1 perfe I fright
and arc so abominably lumpy to sleep in And, con
cerning lumps, how did Mr. Morson gel his lump, to
which he had referred so humorously a- Exhibit
A? She herself had noticed one of the tugboal men
with a coal shovel in his hands This might cer
tainly l>e a logical origin of the contusion, and—
But no! Mr. Morson's lump has stitches in it,—
stitches that must have hurl him frightfully No
wonder he had be •: c faini .-.Si- | 1 fellow!
Anybody bul .< very brave person would have
Valda started, her keen powers of perception re
ceiving a shock. Tin- weakest and most improbable
part of Morson's story had embraced the crazy in
cidents immediately attendant upon that lump;
yet now, in the cold, calm light of reason, it !•••• ame
the very strongest part of the torv — strongest be
cause of its simplicity of fact Given a head hit
hard enough, and thai head would bleed Results,
perfectly natural: Wound— doctor— stitches - pain
— dizziness— intelligence "ti pari of trained physi
cian — sedative relief sleep! And there you are!
It was all so clear now! Morson had told the
SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR JULY 5. 1908
truth. There had been a robbery! Ormoi
Tracy wen- unmitigated scoundrels! And fa
father — No, that wouldn't do at all! Wail
There had been a robbery; but nut of Mr Morson.
It was of somebody else!' Ah! that was the way of
it — at last! What a glorious thing was the power
of reason! It was just like flying! She could see
the whole simple thing, as in a glass. Mr. Brown
was Mr. Brown: but whal of that? He was i
following out his splendid principles of duty u
tracking down Ormond, Tracy, and Gir — V\Lv.
oh why, should this stupid, idiotic logic pet
singling out her dear old innocent father
everyone else, no matter how clearly culpable was
lefi icotfree? It was so unreasonable and mean!
Anyway, she didn't care 1 Marcus Girard had
nothing to do with it whatever, and she defied the
whole conspiring w nd up and p
■ thing by silly, disgr
Hut one thing was certain George C. Brown
was solely and directly responsible for the whole
business, and deserved to wear the
costume of a common seaman and cks f c
the rest of his despicable life
AT this juncture, Valda,
tini >n finally, turned her fair young back ■:. ti ■
powers of reason and gazed dreanr.lv out I
There was a hole in the moonlight, and
right through it. away into the far off land of I
She had been there once herself; so the pt
was easy, and far more pleasant than racking one's
brains with mad deductions. Egypt,
restful sort of place, if one chose to take fife easj :
c did not trouble herself to hunt up pyi
and camels and. Bedouins and things No, she was
watching the building of an iron road
Now on this iron road there were lots of people.—
lazy, good for nothing people who had t
and driven to their work And a brown
man was doing it. — a very brown young
with a streak of white just under his hat brim And
beside him sto. l another man, a beautiful
iust exactly like the other one. only he was thinner
and older, and his hair was gray. And the t-. 1
worked with their anus round each other's shoulders
This was probably an unorthodox
method of railroad construction; but
then, you know. Egypt is a
country, and maybe things are done
differently down there.
Then there was a different
and it was in a house, -a very different
soil of house, for there weren't any
wails to it. only poles so that the
breezes might come in, and there was
matting on the floor, and queei
iriL, r water iut;s hung up by strings.
And there was a woman in that
house, a foreign woman, becau
wore bangles which clinked when her
brown hands wandered feverishly,
and the elder of the men was rather
nice to her. The younger man was
there too He walked softly up and
down, up and down, and earned
little brown baby in his am ll
was a funny little baby, so I
and cute, with delickmsly comic little
features which became all wrinkly
when it howled And the
jounced it Up and down and .vi:..
tender things to it. S> Valda
how, grew intensely interested m the
baby. As for the two men. thai was
a matter of perfect indifference to her
- perfect! And then a sheik ot
thing came along and t 'id them he
was very much obliged to them, and
that they must either accept i large
fortune or have a l.ince run through
their livers. And thei
y.\1.1).\ / sai i Auni Mar; ' Mr.
* Tracy, I regret to >tate. i> .t very
\ ulgar pers »n
■ !>> he?" asked V.t'. ':.; absently •.:. I
Aunt Mary seemed surprised.
■Ve-. " she reiterated, 'he i>'
gh I hesitate in criti i
friend of my brother Marcus, this Tracy ;■■
cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, !>e
characterized by the ultracomprehensive name oi
"How do you mean?" asked Valda. draj
herself all the way back from Egypt for the
sake of politeness; and Auni Mar] proceeded t i
Because/ averred the placid one, in placidl)
regretful tones, "he displays it in little t!un^> Do
you know, my dear, he actually tucks the cornel
of his napkin in hi-, shut collar! Thmk of it! Be
sides, he snorts when partaking of has food, while
his manner of drinking after dinner coffee with the
spoon in hi. cup well, Mesa me!" The dignified
champion of good breeding paused for an adequate
expression of disapproval, and resumed
"I suspected this lack of cultivation on
observing the character of his neckwear, all! pTOVed
it later by a lew of his conversational remarks
For example, while discussing literature with Mr
Ormond, I asked it random it In- was familiar
with Keats Mr Ormond made quite an appropri
ate quotation which proved his taste; but that
Tracy person spoke v? with an affirmation that.
to me, I confess, is utterly incomprehensible."
"What did he say?" asked Polly. "I heard t
at the time: but — but 1 wasn't listening."
"He said." replied Aunt Mary, while a puzzled
expression ridged her placid brow, — "' he said. "No,
ma'am, ie don't know Keats personaSy, as you
might say, but we saw him once in ■<■
with Patsy McCue of Brooklyn." "
Valda wanted to laugh. She wanted to do so
very much indeed: yet, being more rerined thaa
the Tracy person, she choked and said nothicj.
Aunt Mary went on. as placidly as r>e!>>re:
"I have been wondering ever sir.cc what the
creature possibly could mean: and Mr. "," ; " :
also was astonished, if not mortided: for I dis
tinctly detected him in the act <>: kicking Mr.
Tracy beneath the table on one of his limbs."
Valda ate a chocolate from a box that lay 12
her lap. but offered no solution of the problem
then, while Polly and Aunt Mary discussed it a
all its lights, she turned v> the hole ir. the moon
light and hurried back to Egypt, without evea
checking her trunks.
•"PHIS time she hunted for the two men. brazenly,
1 and found them D rather an odd place. It was
a sort of hut pi ice, on a river bank, and it was hot
and close. One of the brown men lay in a buni.
though he wasn't brown any longer, but white.
and very still, and the other man -at beside ha
and held his hand. It was in the night time too:
but not the night time either, exactly, but verr
early in the morning, for the desert •■', .-. gray, and
a hot, red smudge was burning in the east Aw
smells came up from the river and made one Ion?
to run away; but the brown man st.iye d and hea
his father's" hand. li was a frightfully hot speJ.—
horrible!— and there was no wind, no ice. and an
other red day was coming fast. The:: the broxs
man stooped' and kissed the other gently onU'
mouth: and Valda knew — although she c ou ldat *
conLin't. 100k — that a man was dea I. But tee
brown one sat there.— sat till the morning came.—
_..:; i his face was pale and drawn an ! grim. And
VALDA." said Miss Polly with startling sudden
v ness, "did you notice how his h ir curls a?
over his left ear?" "■' '
"Who?" asked Valda sharply, rat:.. --politely:
and Polly answered with a pardonab : dash .<*
'•Why. Captain Joe. of coarse! *V 1 r.i did jwt
think 1 meant?" . .
Now. whatever were really Valda ; thought,
concerning the owner of the ear and hair, her re?i»
was quite as remarkable as the Tracy ; erson s com
ment on the poet Keats. Verbally, it was not™*
Dramatically, it was much. She sprang froffl cer
seat, cast the box of chocolates to an onappreaatt™
sea, went bum to her state room, and ; '--".;
the door. (Next morning the carpenter came v?
and mended it. )
"Goodness!" exclaimed Aunt Mary. ttoodnes*
me! Polly, my dear. I verily believe th ! "J^V*
about to become a sufferer from mat d ' •■ r -
But Valda was not seasick. She was just paw
heartsick. — which is worse, for there 1- v -thing W
take for it: but Valda tried. Unlike the kragb»«
old who always buckled up for a doughty deed. sK
unbuckled. That is to say. she unhooked, unlace*
untied, undid; but mainly. like millions of *****
ter sufferers. Miss Valda Girard unpince L Then.
when lightly garbed and ready for the fray, >he F K '
pared to make her beautiful face nnbeautifol by a
long and lovely, delicious cry.
She did it for twenty-seven minute-. V ithottt :«
inconvenience of "sob restrictors" — meaning tnere
by, corsets. Then she sat up and observed n9^
in a mirror. They were not flattering. She tow
herself that she was simply, absolutely hideous^-*
which, by the way. was the' biggest rib she badtQW
yet. and she knew it. Still, she had looked niacn
letter twenty-seven .minutes before: so no*
proceeded to obliterate the wreck of * « ''>' "T
application of coll cream and nine other unctuou*
articles, rubbed on and in and over and >•:: (»' Pl"P l "
tient. intricate art. the while she criticized creatio..
generally and adversely.
" And to think." she muttered, among c ;
things, "of Polly Thurman being such a shaineu^
silly little fool as to notice whether a mans ~«
curls up over one ear or not!"
It was simply, perfectly, positively n .1:«.-.iiou>- >
"And besides.^ she told her pathetic grg
streaked image in the glass, "his hair curls up J-^*
exactly the same ov. ■ K>th ears!"
VIII. Aunt Mary's Mutiny
NEXT morning— for two distinct r«.M>-r.>— M-^
Girard got up very early. In the first !**■*•.„
had not slept a wink; in the second, she \v.m«a |
observe for herself how Mr. Morson- Brown Iwkedia
the degrading costume of a common seaman. ,
As for the cause of this condition, she had «*?*"£*
the whole thing out after she went to bed. he
SOned it out in nineteen entirely new ways. l>Ut j
variably pooi old Marcus Girard bobbed up an
butted into trouble, so to speak. I 'her.-: ■--•
daughter reasoned herself into a state Ol !r ' c "
hysteria; then finally hit upon the sensible and <■
rect solution :n.: n .
On Wall Street, she had heard, there was one _»
fallible method employed in the purchase or sa.e
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