THE GODDESS OF DEATH
The colonel's brother was of
ficially adjudged to have lied
from natural causes, and the fu
neral was over. The colonel was
seated in his smoking room with
Inspector James of' the Indian de
partment of Scotland Yard.
"You say the jury was wrong,
and that my "brother was mur
dered,", said the colonel mourn
fully. "I won't dispute your
word. But don't you say a word
against my man. L brought him
from India five years, ago, and
he's absolutely honest and de
voted to me."
"Religious sentiments are
stronger than duty," said the in
spector thoughtfully. "But sup
pose you show me the idol."
The colonel led the way into
his study at the far end of the
house. It was an ordinary room
except for the hideous, leering
figure that occupied a niche in the
wall at the side opposite the
"It has a history of murder?"
"Kalish, is the Indian god
dess of. murder," answered the
colonel, t "Tdiis statue comes from
a famous temple in Benares,
where thousands bowed before it
ori every feast day, and each time
some half dozen would drop dead
where they stood. -Heart disease
and auto-suggestion, of course. I
don't believe in any supernatural
rubbish. There was so much
rioting that the government un
officially expressed the wish. to
and so well, here it is now."
"The priests suspected?"
"The damned rascals followed
me to England, sir. Tried to .
break into my house twice. Only
last month I caught one right in
this room, and he's now awaiting
trial for burglary. They said my
man was a confederate, but noth
ing will convince me of that.
Well, sir, I loaned the goddess to
the British museum, and every
time an East Indiaman arrived in
port those black ruffians would
hurry there and worship it. Three
men Englishmen dropped
dead in front of it. That scared
the authorities, and they sent it
back to me with their compli
ments. And now my brother
drops dead in his tracks when he
comes in to look at it."
The colonel's voice lroke He
started from his seat and began
pacing the floor.- James stooped
suddenly, and in rising .knocked
into the colonel. Both fell to the
"I really "beg pardon, sir," said
Jamesi "I'm afraid I hurt you."
He helped him to rise. "Please
sit down while I send for your
"All right," gasped the colonel,
somewhat shaken, "but no bully
Inspector James crossed, the,
room and took his place beside
the goddess. Presently, the In
dian servant entered. He came
forward and halted, looking at
the inspector queerly.
"Come here, please," said the
The servant stepped "to the-
ing tharsomebod)7wouid steal it,
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