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THE SOUANTON TRIBUNE-"WEDNESDAY MORNING, JUNE 23, 1897.
Cbc Rome Reading Circle
THE WHITE THREAD. I
Author of "Secrets of
-f CopyrlRliti 180H, by
"Pardon, M. J'Aml)asau'cur, but
:hcro la. a piece of thread on the back
)f your coat."
We were about to bo forth for a
itroll on the boulevards and I had Just
Helped his excellency on with his over
coat. As I bent forward to remove
the strand of white cotton which had
attracted my nttentlon, the ambas
sador turned his head with a startled
movement. I even fancied that he gave
a slight shiver ns I picked oft Ihe
thread and cast It away.
"A thotisand'thanks," he murmured,
mechanically, .glancing after the thread
with a strange" 'expression. But he re
alized that I'lmd observed his singu
lar agitation, for'he Immediately went
on to say:'
"You ask yourself, perhaps, what It
Is that has disturbed me so much In
this trivial circumstances? Do me the
Justice to believe, notwithstanding,
that I hiivo not been agitated with
out a rell-causp!"
"I shall be desolated If I have per
mitted myself to display any curios
ity," I responded.
He cut me short.
"I forbid you to make excuses. It Is
not for nothing that I have consented
to feel emotion. It Is because the ser
vice which you have just rendered me
has caused me to recall a tenlble ex
perience through which I once passed,
and the memory of which has never
been able to efface Itself from my
I was In doubt as to what reply to
make, and we walked on In silence for
a minute. Then tho ambassador re
sumed, speaking In a more familiar
'Hut I foresee that you will compel
mo to explain my allusions. Thete Is.
however, one restriction which 1 am
compelled to Impose on myself. It Is
on account of the character of tho
events which I shall relate to you,
some of the actors In which are by no
means without Influence at the pres
ent time. Do you constnt to my re
fraining from tho use of actual
I gave the required consent with
cheerfulness. The ambassador and I
understood one another.
"It was not long after the mysterious
affair which I have related to you, in
connection with tho death of Abdul
Aziz," began his excellency, "and I had
Just been promoted to the rank of
oharge-d'affalres. In this rapacity I
was intrusted with the French mission
to tho court of one of those barbarous
pilnclpallttes In the southeast of Ku
ope, which have hardly yet iccovered
from their centuries of vassalage to the
Turks In these unsettled societies acts
of lawlessness and violence ore render
ed possible at which more civilized
countiles would be dismayed.
"At the time of my arrival in the
principality to the couit of which I
had bten accredited, I found things in
a very dlboideiiy condition. As Is al
ways the cafce In these petty states in
the legion of the Danube, Hussia and
Austria were Intriguing for the pre
dominance and the whole population
was lent Into factions accoidlngly,
which pursued each other with the bit
ten ess of hatred.
"This rivalry between the two powers
I have named had even extended to the
palace, where the Austrian Inclinations
o' Oeorge, tho reigning prince, were
countei balanced by the Russophile
sympathies of his consoit, Catherine, a
pi liicesi of Russian extraction.
"While I was preparing to walk war
ily among the pitfalls, which surround
ed me, I was surprised one day shortly
after my arrival by a visit from the
Itussian minister, Baron Dourenskl.
" 'I have come,' he said, as soon as he
had taken a seat and exchanged the
usual compliments, 'to Inform you that
I am obliged to leave for ltussla In two
days' time. The business which re
quires my presence Is Important, and
will peihaus .detain me four or live
"I bowed, and murmured a polite ex
pression ofret:ret at the Idea of losing
the society of the minister for so long
" 'Tha.t 1? not all, however,' he pro
ceeded, to say. 'I have at the legation
no one whom I can trust to take my
place properly while I am away. Shall
1 be trespassing too much on your good
nature If I ask you to take charge of
the intei ests of ltussla for these few
"I was not altogether surprised by
this reauest. At these petty courts
where there nro no experienced secre
taries of legation to act during the ab
sensd of their chiefs. It Is not unusual
for diplomats to undertake these ser
vices for each other. It was moreover
a compliment to me to ask me to act
on behalf of a minister, whose rank
In the diplomatic body is above that of
a charge d'affalrs, ns you perhaps
"Yes, a minister ranks next to an
ambassador, does he not?" I said, as
his excellency appeared to pause for
"Rxactly. It Is only the greater
powers which are represented at each
other's courts by amlv vlors. As I
have said, Baron Dour )'s, proposal
Boft, White Hand with Bhapcly Nails, Luxu
riant Hair with Clean, Wholesome Scalp, pro
duced by CuticprA, B0A1-, tho moat cficctlvVi
ikin purifying and beautifying soap in tho
world, aa well as purest and sweetest, for
toilet, bath, ami nursery. Tho only pre cnth e
of Inflammation and clogging of tho 1'oiies.
EcurU .old throughout It. world. Pottse Dioo 1d
y"Uo to Purify ui UMUtuy tt slof Bcalg,
tat Utit," milled lrj
.BABY HUMORS KSSWV'SSi'iSS.fcS:
the Courts of Europe."
was nn tin al, and even gratifying. Nev
ertheless I did not at once give my con
sent. "'I am too much honored by the con
fidence you place In me,' I said; 'but
recollect, If you pleaee, my dear Dour
enskl, that I have only recently arrived
In this country, and know nothing of
tho political situation. Had you not
better apply to some colleague of older
standing, to Sir Graham, for Instance,
the Btitlshchnrgo d'affaires?'
"He made an emphatic gesture of
disapproval as I pronounced tho name.
"'Not for worlds, my dear fellow!
That man Is a mere tool of the Aus
trian minister's. No, I must have
some one whom I can trust, some one
of real Independence nnd Judgment.'
"Thus pressed I could find no excuse
for declining the honor which Dour
enskl proposed to confer on me. He
went on to add:
"'There Is one thing about which I
must ask you to preserve the strictest
secrecy. In the mbatl bag of the lega
tion you will from time to time find
letters nddressoil to M. Starovltch,
which you will without doubt llnd
means to transmit to him In a private
manner. If tho packages are some
times heavy that is merely because
they contain a little gold which It Is
necessary to distribute among our
"Used as I was to the tangled paths
of political intrigues, I could not alto
gether conceal my astonishment at
hearing him pronounce the name of
M. Starovltch. Thl3 was the prime min
ister, the head of the ptlnce's govern
ment, and although I had heard It
whispered that he was less favorable
to Vienna than his master, I was cer
tainly not prepared to llnd him In the
receipt of Itusslnn gold.
"Dourenskl smiled at my look of sur
prise. " 'The Premier Is a discreet man,' he
observed, cynically. 'Should any un
expected dllllculty arise while I nm
away, involving the interests of Rus
sia, you will not do badly to consult
"The matter was thus arranged. In
due course tho Russian handed over
tho care of his legation to me, and took
"Shortly after lie had left the capi
tal a 1 aniiuet was given at thc palace.
to which I received an invitation. The
afi'alr was not one of state, but a good
many (".Istingulsncd fuusMo iar j were
present. Including the Austrian minis
ter find M. Starovltc1).
".' -vas graciously received by T'rlnco
George, and with stttl more cordiality
by his 1 eautlful and distinguished con
sort. "When we sat down to dinner I
foi.nd myself on tho left of the prin
ces, vl.o bat between me and the
prince, while the prime minister was
nn my nlher side. The Austilan min
ister otruple'i the i)Oi.t of honor on
Prince George's right. I mention these
oe'a'ls for a reason which you will
' .' have said that ths banquet wai
not a state one. Neveitheless the pres
ent e ? so many high functionaries Im
parted to It i more or less political nlr.
As the cveii'r.g udvanced I ovn begin
i'. perceive something In t'.e utmos-
p"" which warned me that this
gathering l.ad sonvs ildden ,Mlfl
arrr. The prince, who was drinking
fi .ly. had hardly exchanged a word
with h'ls wife since we sat down, while
1h kj t lrc'ulglng In long, conn.lential
wit 'I'-rs with the Aiu'rlai minister.
"The princess, on her part, was evi
dently not at her ease. Whether or
not she suspected that something con
tiary to her wishes was on foot, 1 am
unable to say. But she continually
glanced at the prince with an anxious
air, and then turned and conversed
with me In a light tone, which was
"1 had not long to wait for the key
to all this. As soon as the dessert was
placed befoie us Prince George rose to
his ftet with an abrupt air, and, lining
his class to the brim, called out, with
" 'Ladles and gentlemen, I ask you
to drink to the health of my very good
liiend and cousin, the Emperor Fran
"It was a demonstration. It was
Impossible to mistake the slgnitlcance
of these words. They meant that
Priiico George had arrived at an un
derstanding with the court of Vienna,
and that the friends of Russia in the
principality were crushed.
"I turned from the exultant face of
tho Austrian envoy, who saw this tri
umph of his diplomacy, to Princess
Cutherine. She had turned fit dly pale
as she rose from her seat In compliance
with the prince's examDle.and slowly
lifted her glass to her lips, as If each
drop that It contained were the most
"The prime minister managed to
conceal his chagrin with forced skill.
He diank the toast as though It weve
a meaningless ceremony, and nultely
lesumcd his seat bv my side. But as
soon as the attention of those near us
wus diverted for a moment, he whls
peied softlv In my car:
" 'Baron Dourenskl Is a prudent man.
Hip absence has been well timed.'
"This was the first suggestion to me
that any hidden strategy underlay
Dourenskl's departure. I began to
feel slightly uncomfortable, and to wish
that this astute Russian had not made
me tho channel of his suspicious re
mittances to the prime minister.
"My uneaslnes was not removed by
Stnrovltch's nxt words, uttered In the
same low tone:
" 'Tliero are certain precautions
which the baron foresaw might be
come necessary, In tho event of any
thing of this kind taking place. The
necessity having now arisen, I am
compelled to ask you, ns his represen
tative, to come to my assistance, I
have In my jwieket at this moment an
envelope containing certain papers of
the highest Importance, which It is en
scnttal I should Intrust to your care
for a time.'
"I could not restrain a look of an
noyance at this suggestion.
"You may bring tho packet you
speak of to my residence tomorrow, If
you please,' I answered, coldly, 'I will
put It In a place of safety till my col
"M. Storovltch gave a slight frown.
" 'I dare not wait till tomorrow, he
- H - v - H
returned, quickly, 'I must beg you to
let me pass this envelope to you now,
under tho shelter of the table. We do
not know who may be observing us.'
"Much annoyed at being asked to
take part In these paltry maneuvers, I
was nevertheless obliged to glvo my
consent. Thereupon Starovltch pre
gage In conversation with lilt) left
tended to turn his back on me and en
hand neighbor, while I saw his hand
slowly creeping towards tho pocket of
"Following his example, I also turned
nnd made a show of paying renewed
attention to tho princess. But the
prince, who had perhaps remarked
my whispered conference with his min
ister, now neglected the Australian en
voy nnd commenced to engage me In
a friendly discussion, In which tho
princess also took part.
"While I was endeavoring to give my
attention to their highness I became
conscious of a light touch on my knee.
Affecting to play with my serviette, I
gradually allowed my left hand to de
scend out of sight beneath the table,
and my Angers at. once came In contact
with the envelope of which Starovltch
had spoken. I carefully took hold of
It, and, seizing the first moment when
tho prince's eyes were turned away, I
managed to get the packet up under
my coat and Into my breast pocket.
"Shoitly afterwaids his highness
gave the signal to rise, and, giving his
arm to his consort, led the company
Into tho drawing room.
"As soon as she had got rid of the
Austrian I saw her highness fix her
eyes upon me with a look which plainly
intimated that she had something of
importance to say to me. Presently
she came and addressed me In these
" 'Pardon me, monsieur, but If you
have unythlng which' you wish to put
away In safety, do not remain hero an
"I was overwhelmed, ns you mny
Imagine, at this proof of her acquaint
ance with tho transaction at the din
ner table, and It was with dllllculty
that I restrained myself rom allowing
my dismay to be visible. At the samo
time the serious character of the. warn
ing which she had given me served to
Increase the uneasiness which I had la
bored under for some time. I bowed
gravely to show that I understood what
to do, und after allowing a short time
to elapse, so as to prevent remark, I
made my way to where Prince George
was standing and asked permission to
"The prince was engaged at the mo
ment In talking to Stnrovltch himself.
It was, of course, a breach of etiquette
for me to leave before his highness
himself withdrew, but he graciously
accepted the excuse which I had pre
pared and made no effort to detain me.
"I fancied that I caught a look in
the prime minister's eye as If he would
have liked to accompany mo but It
was, of course, Impossible for him to
make the suggestion, and I went out
of the room, escorted by an equerry.
"In tho vestibule of the palace I
paused to put on an overcoat. It was
a cold night one of those nights In
that pait of the world remind one of
Ovid's description of the frozen Dan
ubedoubtless you arc familiar with
"I have forgotten them, but It Is not
of the lea-st consequence. You can re
peat them to me when you have con
cluded your story."
The ambassador smiled at my Im
patience, with which it was easy to see
that he was not displeased.
"As I was drawing on my overcoat,"
he continued, "the equerry who had
followed me rondo the remark almost
In the same words which you have used
" 'Pardon, baron, but there Is a white
thread on the back of your coat.'
"I thanked him, and turned the coat
over to look for It. On the back I
found a long piece of cotton. It was or
dinary enough In appearance, but when
in. 17. nr 1A
t ' a
. AVI A W W X A
I took hold, of ono end to removo It,
I found to my surprise that It wns
firmly attached to the material of the
" 'My tailor must -be a very careless
fellow," I muttered, as I broke It off
short. 'It must have come through
from tho lining.'
"I drew tho coat nn ngaln, thinking
no moro of this trivial incident, said
good 'night to tho equerry, and started
to walk home by myself. Tliero was a
bright moon, but tho streets were de
serted, unusually so, considering that
the hour was by no means' a lato one.
"When I had proceeded some dis
tance, however, 1 perceived In front of
mo a miserable-looking creature on
crutches, with a bandage over ono eye,
who boldly stopped me, and begnn to
beg for ulms. I gave him a stern re
fusal, for I never encourage these pests,
nevertheless he continued to plnnt him
self In my path and renew his demands.
"While I wan trying to shake lilm
off, another man camo up from be
hind. He paused a moment, as If to
ascertain what waa the matter, where
upon the beggar left mo, and com
menced to assail the newcomer. 1
seized the opportunity to make my
escape, and reached my house without
"But the events of the night were
not over. As soon as I got in, I went
straight to my safe, nnd locked awny
the mysterious packet which had been
confided to ms by M. Starovltch. As I
did so Iobserved that th'o envelope was
sealed with yellow wax, bearlns tho
Russian Imperial arms. I then sat
down to a quiet game of chess with my
attache, to tranqulllze my nerves be
fore going to bed.
"We had been playing for some time,
and I was Just developing my llnal at
tack on his position, when we were
disturbed by a loud commotion In the
street outside. I cannot explain why
It was, but this noise caused mo the
most dreadful shock. I sprang to my
feet, pushing away the board, and
commanded the attache to go and as
certain the meaning of the disturb
ance. "Ho came back in a minute or two,
looking as white as tho chessmen he
had been playing with.
" ' Sir,' he cried, hoarsely, M. Saro-
vltcli has Just "been assassinated! They
are carrying the body home.'
"A groan of horror escaped my lips.
Hardly conscious of what I was doing
I snatched up my hat and coat and
began to put them on.
" 'Where are you going?' demanded
Montalcmbert, In surplse. Montalem
bert was the young man's name.
" 'I must go around there at once,
and find nut how thlsMiapponed,' I an
swered, distractedly. 'I shall be obliged
if you will come with me; the streets
may not be safe.'
"He gave me an Incredulous look.
"'At all events they will do well to
remember that wo are members of the
diplomatic body,' he protested, draw
ing himself up with' the pride of an
"I made no reply, and he quickly pre
pared h'lmself. Wo left the house arm
In arm. and ten minutes' walk brought
us to the prime minister's official resi
dence. "The street outside the building was
blocked by an Immense crowd which
broke out every moment Into tierce
groans. As I came nearer I could
make out that one part of the crowd
was groaning for Austria, while the
other was groaning for Russia. On one
point they were evidently agreed,
namely, the political significance to be
attached to the crime which had just
"This circumstance Increased my de
termination to force my way In, nnd
t? speak with the unfortunate victim
If he had not yet expired.
"The police on guard at the entrance
v ere at first reluctant to let me pass,
without consulting their chief, who
had not yet arrived. But I knew tho
character of these men, and a handful
of roubles soon gained me admittance.
"Iftslde the spacious entrance hall I
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VX. WtT M M. M AAA A U. A J M. 1UW IJULWl L J 1 I tl HIM f
- . - .
encountered a frightful spectacle. On
tho floor, In the center of a crowd of
attendants, lay tho man who had sat
at tho dinner table with mo an hour
I v'foro, still extended on the shutter on
which ho must have been brought there
from tho scene of tho crime, nnd lit
erally weltering In his blood. Some of
his clothes had been removed and flung
Into a corner, when I arrived, and a
doctor who must have preceded me by
barely a minute was turning over the
body of tho unconscious man, In his
Ecarch for tho fatal wound.
"I was Just In time to see It a hide
ous pit In the back, Into which I could
have thrust my two fingers, and from
which the thick, black blood began to
oozo afresh as tho doctor shifted the
position of tho victim.
"I turned my eyes away with a feel
ing of sickness, while the doctor be
gan to call for lint and warm water. A
child could have seen that no remedies
were destined to bo of the slightest
avail. As my gaze wandered nround
the hall It was arrested by tho tillc
of clothing which I have already men
tioned. "Something which I could not un
derstand drew mo towards these blood
stained garments with a horrible fas
cination. Tho overcoat, coat and
waistcoat of tho murdered man had
apparently been stripped oft together
and lay on the floor nt the foot of tho
stairs In a confused heap. I stepped
towards the spot slowly and looked
round. No ono wns observing my
movements; every eye was turned on
the dying man. With my foot I soft
ly turned over the clothes, till I came
to tho overcoat. As I did so I sudden
ly caught sight of something which
caused mo to gasp and reel back as if
I had been struck a blow.
"There, on the back, within an Inch
of the bloody rent made by the as
sassin's knife, was a long, white
thread, Identical In every respect with
the ono which I had found on my
coat within tho very hour!
"Urged by a terrible suspicion I bent
down hastily and snatched at tho
thread. It was firmly fastened to the
"My first Impulse was that which
was natural to a man accustomed to
live In a civilized society, I turned
round to look for tho chief of the po
lice with a view to communicating my
discovery. But the chief was still on
his way, and the time for reflection
thus nfforded mo convinced me that It
would be more prudent to say nothing
for the present.
"In tho meantime a commotion had
arisen among those who were sur
rounding the body. I pressed through
the ring, and saw that poor Starovltch
had at lenjjth unclosed his eyes. The
next moment his glance fell on me,
and he showed unmistakably his anx
iety to address me.
"I 'stepped last!ly to his side, and
knelt down to catch the faintest whis
" 'Can you speak?' I asked. 'If so,
tell me how this happened?'
"He made a feeble movement ns
though to rise. I bent over him with
my ear close to his lips.
" 'The cripple tho papers,' ho
gasped, and ceased.
"That was all. I was destined to
hear no more. Corpses make no con
fessions." The ambassador allowed a decent In
terval to pass, as If to proclaim his re
spect for the memory of tho murdered
statesman. Then he resumed:
"Poor Starovltch had hardly drawn
his last breath when the chief of police
rushed In at the head of a staff of offi
cers. Ho frowned when his glance en
countered me there by the side of the
dead man, but instantly softening his
expression he advanced respectfully
and said to me:
" 'I perceive that I have arrived too
lato. Perhaps, M. 1c Baron, your
friend was able to give you some hint
as to tho author of this abominable
"I looked him steadily In the face,
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and replied with the most perfect cool
ness: " 'No, unfortunately M. Starovltch
expired, on the contrary, Just as he
was on the point of commencing a de
claration.' "The truth of this assertion 'was con
firmed by the doctor and the other per
sons who had been present during the
" 'In that case,' said the chief, pre
serving his composure, 'I must proceed
to make an Investigation from the
clews which are already in my posses
sion.' "I bowed in silence and took my
departure, returning home with Mont-
11IIILII l.lllli III II.
alcmbort, to, whom I said nothing
about tho anxieties which were tor
turing me. '
"Tho moment I had reached my own
house, however, I trat down and wroto
nn order to a certain manufacturer In
Vienna with whom I had formerly had
dealings, to forward mo without do
lay ono of those- shirts composed of
tteel links which are sometimes worn
by officers engage In wnrfaro among
"You have no doubt already per
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been forced to arrive?" His excel
lency turned nn Inquiring look at ma
as he uttered theso words, but con
tinued without giving me time to re
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tended According to Balances nnd
3 Per Cent. Interest Allowed on
WJI. CONNELL, President.
HENRY BKLLV, Jr., Vice Prcs.
WILLIAU II. PECK, Cashier.
THE MURRAY HILL
MURRAY HILL PARK,
The best located and best
furnished hotel ou the St.
Lawrence river. Accommo
dations for 300 guests.
Opens June 25th, 1 897.
F. R. WHITE, Prop.
Glen Mountain House.
WATKINH, HCIIUYI.KIl COUNTY, N. V.
On Seueai I.nke. On line of Now York (.'en
trill. l'eiuiHylviinla. nml Lehigh Vnlley Itull
roiuts. a, 100 feet above Beit. No mnlnrlu.
New water wcirkB, supplying mountain
spring atcr. Sanitary plumbing. Kntlrely
new management. Hplcndld llshlng. 000
acre", Including Mm liimouR Vatklnn Glon.
Popular prices. Special ratoi for excursion
parties. J. 11. KKKNAN, formerly Hotel
Chamberlain, JIgr. Address W. li HOUIN
Manufacturers of the Celebrates
100,000 Barrels per AcMum
THE QPBAT 30th
produce! the above remit, ln'30 iluya. It icU
powerfully ind quickly. Curr when ill other f til
xou'-g men will regain tb.tr loet niinbood.andcU
men will recover tbelr youthful vigor by uleg
HISVIVO. It quickly uid eurelr reatorei Nervoo.
Beta, Lott Vitality, Imrotency, Mlgbtly EjuImIom,
Loet I'ower, Filling Memory, Vutlnit Dieeieei.ud
til effects of seU-iinuo or eicetttod lndl.cr.tlca,
trbicti untttt one f or study, butlneta or tntrriigt. If
not only currt by starting it tbe tut of d.etu.bul
In great nervetonlo tud blood builder, bring-,
leg back tbo pink glow to rale checks and re
storing tbs (Ire of youth. It wtrda off Insanity
tnd Consumption. Insist on having Hi: VIVO, D
other. It can bo carrlod In vest pocket. Dy mall,'
1.00 per package, or all for 85.00, with posH
tlve written guarantee to cure or refund
the money. Circular free. Address
ROYAL MFDICINE CO.. 63 River St., CHICA0O. IIK
tat Sale by MATTHEWS BUOi, Urufti
stst Oorautou, Pa4
B 111 B
i mi Mi mat Ulh
"f r t i'r a . ito