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Newspaper Page Text
THE EERIE CALL
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
"How eerie!" shuddered Constance
"Worse than that!" growled her
father. "We would be doing some
thing else beside grubbing along as
we are if the man who owns or
owned that rickety old place played
"I have heard mother hint at some
thing of that sort," said Constance,
"but she never vent into details."
"No, it is a tabooed subject," re
sponded her father. "Sorry it has
come up now. You ought to know as
much as we do, though, so"you can
join us in hating the Russell family."
"Oh, papa! It is wicked to hate
"Not old Jim Russell!" declared
her father. "You must know that
the specious old scoundrel got into
my confidence. I had just inherited
$10,000. He induced me to trust the
funds with him. He said he had
$20,000 to put with it and buy a piece
of city property at a great bargain
that he could later turn for fifty. I
trusted him. I was dazzled. Within
a week, he and his family, son and
wife, disappeared, bag and baggage
and have never been heard of since.
We found out later that his old
house here was mortgaged to the
limit, so much so that the mortgagee
has just let it stand there and rot
away, for no one would buy it."
"They say it is haunted," suggest
ed Constance. .
"John Russell ought to be, if he has
any conscience!" retorted Mr. Mer
rill bitterly. "He spoiled my life!"
Russell's place had stood unoccu
pied for five years. It was on a side
road and out of the regular course
of travel. Constance had not seen
it half a dozen times in her life. Now,
having heard its story, she was in
terested. She took occasion to ask
an older friend about it.
"There was a mystery," the latter
informed her. "I felt sorry for Mrs.
Russell. She was a lovely woman.
Her husband was a reserved sort of
a man, but had an anxious, hunted
look about him, not the shrewd, cun
ning look some people tell of. I felt
sorry for the son. He was just about
your age and was doing well in col
lege when the break came. I've often
A Creepy, Awesome Sensation Held
Her in Momentary Thrall
wondered what the rights of the af
fair was their leaving so suddenly."
Romance, mystery, perhaps trag
edy Constance dreamed over the
intricate situation. One day she and
a friend strolled in the direction of
the Russell place. They ventured
into the overgrown garden and final
ly upon the broken-down porch.
"Why, the door is off its hinges,"
discovered Constance. "I would like
to have a peep inside. Sylvia, there