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Newspaper Page Text
him that Miss Brooks was in a state
of great distress and could not see
him. Bruce, however, dwelt upon the
importance of his business mission.
"Please tell Miss Brooks that all
there is to do is to acknowledge her
signature," he exclaimed. A minute
later the object of his call came into
($ the room. Despite her tear-stained
face, its deathly pallor and her mani
fest agitation, to Bruce Thomas she
appeared as the fairest creature he
had ever beheld. .
In a sadly subdued way Nella went
through the formalities of the busi
ness on hand. Young Thomas lin
gered. Something he could not resist
in the forlorn appearance of his lone
ly client .apealedirresistibly to his in
terest and sympathy.
"You will pardon me, Miss
Brooks," he spoke, "but you seem in
"I am, indeed," she answered brok
enly. "Oh, sir! If I made a confidant
of you, would you try and help me?"
The prompt responsive glow in the
eyes of her visitor convinced Nella
that she could indeed trust in this
. man. She told him of Basil Worden.
"About a month since," she went
on, "to my amazement this man in
truded upon me in the garden. I shud
dered when I saw him. To think that
we had once been friends! He was
bold, defiant, vicious. He spoke of his
old-time affection. He asked me to
wed him. When I coldly turned from
him he threatened to be revenged.
Five days ago my dear little cousin,
Otho, disappeared mysteriously."
"He was kidnaped?" surmised
( "Yes, and by this man Worden. He
wrote me a letter stating that Otho
was safe and sound in his charge. He
threatened if I made the fact public
to instantly kill Otho. He said I
should hear from him again in a
month. If then I would become his
wife Otho should be spared and
here the poor, distressed girl ended
her recital in a storm of sobs and
There could be but one response
on the part of the chivalrous Bruce
to the appeal of the anxious Nella.
Whatever was done must be accom
plished secretly, cautiously, for he
too believed that the desperate Wor
den would not hesitate to sacrifice
little Otho if he found out that he
was being hunted down. For the time
being Bruce ceased to be a lawyer
and became a detective.
"I will find the child if diligence
and effort can bring it about," he
pledged Nella, and the grateful look
in her eyes was sufficient reward for
his unselfish determination.
Nella had a photograph of Worden
taken some years previous. Bruce
was also given one of little Otho by
Nella. The preliminary stages of his
unusual quest gave him a rugged,
baffling experience he had not appre
hended. But there came a final re
ward for his diligence and courage.
"At last!" he breathed with intense
satisfaction at the end of a gloomy,
rainy day, as he penetrated the bleak
corridors of a still more gloomy tene
Thither he had traced his man and
a confederate. Through the transom
of an unoccupied apartment adjoin
ing Bruce viewed the pair in earnest
"Man, rich, let's the dog run loose
and all that?" Worden was asking.
"Yes," assented his companion.
"All right, then you take the boy
past the place. Make a big outcry,
grab the boy up in your arms and
claim that the dog has bit him in a
dozen places. Get the names of some
of the crowd around. Then I'll fix the
kid up so that when we bring a suit
for damages the rich owner of the
dog will settle for a small fortune.
This does it, see?" and the speaker
fiendishly brandished a metal instru
ment in the air.
"What is it?" asked his confrere.
"I call it my dog bite machine,"
was the chuckling reply, "and it is a
true curiosity. I give it a twist and
it makes a lot of holes, just like the