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Newspaper Page Text
Thorpe, a hunter he proclaimed him
self, but not averse to assisting bor
der smugglers at times. He was a
surly, unsociable old fellow but with
one great redeeming feature in his
warped nature he idolized Elsa as
he had loved her dead mother. She
seemed to feel it a duty to remain
with the lonely, bereaved old man.
In her presence all his rudeness
seemed to disappear. Poor, obscure
as they were, the girl had grown up
communing only with nature, ar
dently fond of books. These had re
fined her nature and these her step
father had always provided, no mat
ter how poorly his desultory avoca
tion paid him.
For a month Dacre was laid up at
the humble cottage home of Elsa,
near a little town named Clyde. The
purity and freshness of his faithful
nurse had enraptured 'him. He made
an honest, earnest declaration of
iove. Elsa had blushed and trem
bled. Her stepfather, coming in,
flew into a passion. He drove
Dacre forcibly from the place. The
next morning Dacre found the little
hut deserted. Elsa and Thorpe had
For a month he sought them with
out avail. Now he had come to me,
believing that his presence in the dis
trict would cause Thorpe to remain
in concealment. t
Twice Thorpe has been seen in the
last week once in a range of hills
near the coast, once running out in
the lake but at a distance and speed
ing to cover when hailed.
These facts I verified within a few
hours after my arrival at Clyde.
Dacre had searched the hills in vain.
I wasted no time in that direction. It
was the man who had seen Thorpe in
the launch to whom I paid the most
attention. He was a fisherman and
he was positive of his identification
of the man I was after.
"You see," he observed to me,
"there are one or two charges against
Thorpe for violating the game laws,
and of course he is under cover to
evade arrest With a steam craft,
though, you can make up your mind
he won't take much to over-country
"That looks reasonable," I acceded.
"Where did he disappear to when you
hailed him the other day?"
"Between Point of Rocks and the
Bay, as we call it There's a mile
stretch. Somewhere along there he
disappeared. Cave or a secret path
up those steep cliffs I don't know,
but when I ran in shore there was no
sign or either craft or man."
"You are sure it was Thorpe?"
"Humph! I guess it That yellow'
sweater and red fez of his are not to
be mistaken," was the confident re
ply. I secured a small row boat and
spent the better part of two succeed
ing days on the lake. I particularly
hovered about the points of location
It was late in the afternoon and I
was midway between Point of Rocks
and the Bay, when I saw a light gaso
Ijne. launch making from the open
water for short. I saw, too, the man
in charge yellow sweater, red fez.
I was on my way to Clyde, for the
sky had become overcast and a sud
den stiff breeze threatened.
"My man, Reuben Thorpe, sure as
fate!" I breathed.
I steadied the yawl as best I could.
The little launch was leaded for shore
straight as an arrow. I sat spell
bound. It was curdling. At full speed
it seemed to crash into a great mass
of grim gray rock and disappear!
Particularly had I noticed a promi
nent chalky line in the rock directly
where the launch had vanished. I
doubted not that I could keep it in
sight and took up my oars to start di
rect for the spot I was off in my cal
culations. A tempest of wind drove
one oar from my grasp. The same
fierce source drove me landwards
with incredible rapidity.
As I neared the frowning wall of
rock, I prepared to jump to evade
bemg dashed against it To my in-i