SRTaggatf ' Wi yfiSSpffi7ra'15
'. rtAh," yes," nodded Tie "professor
encouragingly, who was the victim of
all the lads "in the vicinity who had
rareties or specimens to sell.
"Well, I've found something new."
"What is it now?" queried the pro
fessor. "A funny rock with la 'scription."
"Inscription, you mean?"
"Yes, sir prescription on it. Come
on and I'll show it to you."
The erudite antiquary eagerly ac
companied the boy. In the midst of a
dense growth of underbrush the boy
halted at a spot where a flat stone
lay imbedded in the earth.
"See, there's marks on it," he sub
mitted to his companion.
"I declare so there is;"- assented
the professor, adjusting- his glasses.
"Glyphics, aren't they?" inquired
"Hieroglyphics," corrected the pro
fessor. "Why, what is this?" and he
carefully scrutinized three lines of
letters, evidently scratched on the
surface of the rock "with some sharp
pointed instrument. "S-p-i-d, ah!
that sounds Gaelic. E-r-b-, an Arabic
similtude to that. R-o-vf-n suggests
the Aztec at least archaic as to
form. Um! spid-erb-rown. I must
Btudy this. Here, my boy, thanks
for your valuable discovery," and the
professor pressed a silver coin on the
lad. About to make off, the latter,
with a fresh stare at the mystic in
scription, suddenly uttered a whoop
"Oh, say!" he shouted, "I see what
it is. It's a name. Look, read it right
along and it says 'Spider Brown,' and
off bolted the urchin. Rubbing his
head thoughtfully the professor saw
his hope of scientific discovery go to
"Ah-hum!" he cogitated, v"Just the
vagrant mark of some idle loiterer.
And, idle for the nonce, the protes
tor casually poked with his cane
about the side of the imbedded rock.
The name "Spider Brown" caused
him grope in his memory.
"Why," he broke out suddenly, "I
remember now." '
Yes, Spider Brown was suggestive,
as the professor abruptly recalled.
Six months previously the village
bank had been broken into and some
cash and a box of bonds secured. The
police had traced the burglar. His
name was Spider Brown, the crime
was proved against him and he was
sent to the penitentiary.
Later, the pre ssor recollected,
it became current news that while a
part of the stolen money had been re
covered, the box of bonds could not
be found. Spider Brown had admit
ted that the bonds in questions had
been a part of his plunder. He had,
however, demanded a pardon and
enough money to take him out of the
community and a few thousands be
sides, as the price for turning up the
The bank people had offered a lib
eral reward for the recovery of the
bonds, but they were not willing to
reward crime, and thus, as the pro
fessor now remarked, the situation
All this ran through his mind as he
carelessly prodded at the soil about
the rock. Undoubtedly, while wait
ing to consummate the burglary or
to hide after its commission, Spider
Brown had scrawled his name on the
"Oh, dear me!" exclaimed the pro
fessor, stepping back a trifle as the
stone gave a tilt. His prodding had
revealed the fact that there was loose
dirt underneath it. And then he sow
a gutter, a gleam. He pushed the
A tin box! The tin box! It's clasp
was wrenched off. He lifted it from
its hiding place. He timidly pushed
back the cover.
"Bonds!" he uttered, big-eyed and
thoughtful. "Can it bepossible that
I have been fortunate enough to dis
cover that missing prpperty of the
The professor brushed the dirt
from the box. He placed it under his
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