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Newspaper Page Text
His back to him, a man wearing
the striped garb of a convict was put
ting on an old suit of clothes Vin
cent used when he worked around
the garden. On the table was half
a dry loaf of bread the intruder had
been eating, as if very hungry.
"Well, my friend, what does this
The stranger turned in a flash, fully
startled. Hope died out of his hag
"You've got me, and I suppose it's
tne ponce," ne said quietly, but drear
liy. "One thing, though, I haven't
touched and wouldn't touch any of
your valuables. I have escaped from
prisom I needed a disguise. I've
served eight out of ten years. I heard
my wife was stek. A chance came
to escape," and he proceeded with a
story that aroused interest and pity
in his auditor.
The upshot of the matter was that
generous-hearted Vincent Barrows
assisted the man to get out of town
and to his invalid wife. Then he
forgot all about the circumstance-,
mitigating his friendly offices Jn be
half of a fugitive from justice in the
belief that he had suffered sufficient
ly for his crimes and was in earnest
in his declaration of repentance and
It was a week later when Vincent
was surprised to receive a note from
Rood requesting him to call at his
home. When he complied, Leonie's
favored lover was fully astonished at
being pleasantly received. His host,
however, acted fidgety and unnatural.
To Vincent he conveyed the Impres
sion of a man whose intellect was
"I'm getting scared," observed
Rood, in a hollow tone. "You know
I always have a good deal in the way
of money or valuables in the house.
I believe burglars have tried twice'
to break in'
Vincent attempted to reassure
Rood. He believed this Idea was a
naseiess notion, grounded on ner-
watchman or keep a weapon handy.
Rood listlessly objected to having
anybody around. As to a weapon he
had only an old triggerless rifle.
"I'll loart you a revolver," accom
modatingly proffered Vincent, and
brought it the next day. He made '
several other calls. He felt it a duty -to
attempt to befriend and solace a
man who seemed to be fast losing
One evening he was called over the l
telephone by Rod. He found the lat
ter In a strange mood. The doleful
tragedy he was playing out was
reaching a dreadful climax. He raved '
Incoherently. Finally he sprang up, 1
the revolver Vincent had loaded for
him in his grasp. His eyes were1
bloodshot with a dreadful resolve. r
"You are doomed!" he hissed to Ms '
visitor, throwing over a chair with
a crash. Then aloud ne shouted atJ
the top of his voice: "Ah, Barrows'
you threaten me, eh? Hands off, '
you scoundrel would you murder '
BangJ Appalled, Vincent Barrows
thrilled as Rood placed the weaponVo '
his temple, pulled the trigger, and'
fell to the floor dead. '
An old woman servant rushed into !
the room, out of it again, with thef
"Barrows has shot my master!"
Within an hour Vincent Barrows
was the inmate of a prison cell. In'
vain his statement that his half
crazed rival had plotted with devilish '
ingenuity to bring him to his pres
ent straits his revolver, the testimo
ny of the housekeeper doomed him.
Vincent Barrows upon his trial
was found guilty of the murder of
Martin Rood and was sentenced by
the jury to suffer the extreme penalty t
of the law. '
It was the day before the execution
that the sheriff unlocked his cell door
and led him Into his office, A visitor
had called. At first glance Vincent
did not recognize him. The stranger
vous fear. He advised Rood to hire a 1 removed a false beard.