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member me words to the leiter
Tour guns made a crowd out of thia
happy reunion. I've merely dispensed
with them; I call ye both to witness
that ye have neither of ye suffered.
Sure, I'm as peaceable as any lamb.
Sit down, sit ye down and take it like
little men. The situation's unchanged,
save that I've put temptation out o?
And as they wavered, plainly ol
two minds, O'Rourke clinched the ar
gument of his attitude. "I beg to call
your attention," he remarked, "to th?
fact that ye have left me own brace
of revolvers here at me feet, when ye
BO joyously turned me bag inside out.
I'm not touching them, mind ye, bul
mind ye further: I'll brook no non
sense. If ye make a move as if to at
tack me, I'll . . . There! That's
much better. Wise lads, ye are, both
of ye: graceful in defeat. Let me see:
We've a long ride together, though
ye did come uninvited. I trust ye
will help me beguile the tedium witt
society chatter, me friend," with a
twinkle at thr> discomfited vicomte
*Tm in danger ot forgetting me man
ners. Pardon me, I pray, but-but 1
trust your nose is convalescing?"
In high feather with himself,
CTRourke entertained his companions
with a running fire of pleasantries foi
the balance of the darkened hours
And he touched both more than once
with the rapier-point of his wit and
irony, and had the pleasure of seeing
both squirm in impotent rage. They
cut wretched figures, two against one,
yet failures, while he taunted them in
one breath, with the next declared
himself their captive. Toward the end
the reserve which the vicomte im
posed upon the Honorable Bertie was
worn down: the Englishman turned
with raw nerves upon his tormcntoi
"You damned ass!" he stammered,
all but incoherent. "You sit there
and-and gloat, damn you! When all
the time we've got the upper hand!"
"Be quiet!" interposed the vicomte,
"I won't!" raged the honorable. "He
thinks himself so infernally clever!
What 'dyou say, you Irish braggart, ll
I told you you'd never see the Pool
of Flame again?"
"I'd say," returned O'Rourke, "thai
you were either lying or a fool. In
either case a fool. If, as ye seem to
be trying to make me believe-which
I don't for one instant-ye have suc
ceeded in stealing the Pool of Flame,
I'll hunt the pair of ye to the ends ol
the earth, if need be."
He eyed them reflectively during a
moment or two made interesting by
Glynn's desperate attempts to blurt
out indiscretions against the prohibi
tion of the vicomte: something which
the older man enforced crudely by
clapping his hand across the English
man's mouth, as well as by whisper
ing savagely in his ear.
"But there'll be no need," continued
the Irishman, when Glynn was calm.
"Let's consider the matter dispassion
ately, presupposing that ye have the
stone. Well, what then? Ye dare not
attempt to sell it-'twould result In
instant detection. It would not pay
ye to have it secretly cut up into
smaller stones-the loss in value
would be stupendous, the whole not
worth your while, as I say. Ye can
not take the Pool of Flame (don't get
excited: I'm not going to tell yo
where) to claim the reward, for ye
don't know where to go. 'Tis a white
elephant lt would be on your hands."
"It dees not seem to strike mon
sieur that there aro other ways of
finding out who offers the reward,"
the vicomte suggested icily.
"I can sae ye wandering around ask
ing somebody please to relieve ye of
the. Pool of Flame and pay ye a com
mission. I wonder how long ye think
ye'd last. But 'tis no use trying to
hoodwink me: I don't believe one
word ye say. I'll Wait until I find out
the truth before I bother meself with
Their persistence in hinting that
they' had gained possession of the
ruby perplexed and discomfited him.
He. did not believe it; 'twas incon
ceivable: yet-he had known stranger
things to happen. Still, without a
due, to have stumbled upon the se
cret, to have made off with it from
fender the very nose of the Governor
General-! No; it was not reason
able to ask him to believe all that.
Nevertheless, when he arrived at
Algiers, bis anxiety had grown so
overpowering that he called a cab and
desired to be conveyed post-haste to
the Palace de la Government
It was high noon when O'Rourke
drove up before the Palace of the
Governor-General. Weary, dusty and
travel-stained as he was, he hesitated
ho instant about bonding in his name
?nd requesting an interview with the
representative of France's sovereign
Disappointment awaited him at the
very outset; disappointment in the
shape of word that his excellency was
away. But the name of O'Rourke was
gggjrgg and favorably known in the
province, and secured him an invita
tion to ascend to the Governor's office
and state his business-if he cared
to do so-to the gubernatorial secre
Upon consideration he accepted, and
a little later was seated in a broad,
low. cool room in the old Moorish
palace, the affable secretary- a
young, lively and engaging French
man-solicitously sounding him as to
It was obviously the office of a man
if great affairs, presenting an eminent
ly business-like look for all its Ori
ental setting. To one side, set in the
lolid masonry of the wall, was a mas
sive safe with doors ajar, exposing a
:avity well stocked with documents,
[t occurred to the adventurer that
luch a safe might easily have been
the plf.ce of security selected by the
Sovernor-General for anything he held
In trust He built upon it a theory
whilst he listened-nor lost a point-i
ind replied to the secretary.
The latter regretted excessively
that his excellency was absent: his
?xcellency would undoubtedly be deso
lated when he returned and found he
iad missed Colonel O'Rourke.
"He'll be back soon, monsieur?"
"Alas, no!" with a shrug. "He ia
Bn route for Paris-possibly arrived
?y this moment-on matters of state."
"And he left?"
"Several days since, monsieur."
"You know nothing of this package,
Indorsed with the name of Monsieur
To tho contrary: the secretary knew
lt very well. He could place his hand
apon it at any moment-monsieur
would appreciate that he durst not
lurrender it without the Governor's
O'Rourke drew a long sigh of relief
ind was abruptly conscious of fatigue
ind a desire to get away and rest. I
"I'm obliged to ye," he said slowly,
rising. Ill have to walt until the
Governor returns, I presume. . . .
By the way, are ye be any chance ac
juainted with Monsieur le Vicomte
But certainly; the vicomte was a
rreat friend of his excellency's. He
tiad dined with his excellency some
thing over a week since, just prior to
the latter's departure. I
"And I take it ye have seen nothing
pf the gentleman since?" i
"On the contrary, monsieur: the vl
;omte called here but two days ago." ]
lt appeared that he had desired some
A Frown of Bewilderment Clouded
the Secretary's Face.
trifling information, with which the
secretary had obliged him.
"Ye didn't happen to leave him
alone in this room?"
The secretary, plainly much per
plexed by this odd catechism, ad
mitted that such had been the case;
the pursuit of the desired data had
necessitated his absence from the Gov
ernor's room for a matter of some ten
"But ye say ye can put your hand
on this package?"
"But certainly, monsieur."
"Would ye mind making sure 'tis
safe. 'Twould save me a deal of
With alacrity and a smile that de
precated his visitor's anxiety over so
trifling a matter, the secretary rose,
went to the safe and confidently
enough thrust a hand into one of the
pigeon-holes. The hand came forth
empty. A frown of bewilderment
clouded the secretary's face. "It must
be here," he announced with convic
tion. "It was In plain sight and la
belled with the name of Monsieur
Chambret . . ." He turned. "If
Monsieur le Colonel will but return In
half arc hour, I undertake then to
show him the packet itself. I shall by
then have found it-but assuredly!"
"Ye are very courteous, monsieur.
I will return."
This he did-In two hours. The
packet had not been found; the sec
retary, In a flutter of nerves, confessed
that through some culpable negligence
it must have been misplaced. An ex
tended search was even then in
progress. It would surely com? ?a
agni Dt?l?fc evengy.
"Thank ye; I shan't he back," re
turned O'Rourke grimly;- and went
away, downcast! for the first time
since the inception of the adventure.
"Faith! and to think I would not be
lieve the truth when they slapped me
face with it! And all the time, belike,
'twas in the vlcomte's own pocket! .
. ." But he had no vocabulary<ade?
quate to the task of expressing his
Disconsolate, conceiving that he had
proven himself a blind, egregious fool,
he plodded with heavy steps and a
hanging head back to his hotel; where
the crowning stroke of the day was
presented to him in the shape of a
note, by the hand of a black Biskri
"Monsieur le Colonel Terence
O'Rourke. Be hand," he conned the
address. "Faith, and what's this?"
"If Monsieur le Colonel O'Rourke
will do Monsieur des Trebes the hon
or of dining with him, at seven or
seven-thirty this evening, at the Villa
d'Orl?ans, St. Eugene, an arrangement
satisfactory to both himself and M n
sieur le Vicomte may be consummat
"R. S. V. P.-The bearer waits."
A trap? A subterfuge? A trick to
throw him off the scent whilst the two
blackguards escaped with their booty?
The adventurer frowned darkly over
It, dubious. Then, in a flush of reck
lessness, he seized a sheet of paper
from a near-by desk, scrawled a
[ormal acceptance of the strange invi
tation, and handed it to the Biskri boy.
"All to gain, naught to lose," he sum
med up the state of mind which had
dictated his response; and at six
thirty, with brow and eye serene, he
left the hotel in a carriage bound for
the suburb of St. Eugene-and heaven
knew where besides!
The Villa d'Orl?ans proved to be a
aandsome house of white stone, situ
ated in extensive and well-groomed
grounds, on a height outside the town,
overlooking the Mediterranean. So
complete and elegant seemed the es
tablishment, indeed, viewed from with
out or within, that O'Rourke's suspic
ions were stimulated and his certainty
that he was being played with resolv
ed Into a pretty definite conviction,
as he waited in the broad hallway.
It was inconceivable that a man like
Des Trebes, so reduced as to be un
der the necessity of stealing-even of
stealing so considerable a sum as a
hundred thousand pounds-could main
tain so imposing an establishment.
His uneasy* conjectures were inter
rupted when the vicomte appeared to
welcome his guest. Suave, dressed
properly for the occasion, showing
traces neither of fatigue nor of his
antipathy for O'Rourke, blandly Ignor
ing the. peculiarities of the situation
which his own inexplicable invitation
had created, he presented himself in
the guise of a gracious host_.
"Monsieur," he declared, bowing to
O'Rourke (but with a' care not to
offer his hand), "overpowers me with
his condescension and punctuality. I
can only regret"-with a significant
glance at the bulge of the adventur
er's coat-"that he thought lt wise to
" 'Tis a habit I find it hard to break
meself of." O'Rourke offered the In
adequate explanation in a dry and
"It was unnecessary, I assure mon
"Faith, I'm convinced 'twill prove
Tactfully the vicomte digressed
from the unpleasant topic. "I have
asked you here, monsieur," he said
with an air of deprecation, "to confer
with me on business after we have
dined. I trust the arrangement suits
'Tm content, monsieur."
"I regret that circumstances pre
vent me from receiving you under
my own roof-tree. The Villa d'Orl?ans
Is the property of a dear friend,
merely loaned me during my stay in
"Ye're fortunate in your choice of
Over his next remark Des Trebes
faltered a trifle, with a curious smile
that O'Rourke failed to fathom. "Mon
sieur Glynn," he said, "is-ah-a trifle
indisposed-the sun. Nevertheless, I
believe he will join us during dinner,
if you will be so kind as to excuse
"I could do very well without him."
The vicomte caught the eye of a
servant, and, "Dinner is announced,"
ha said. "Do me the honor to ac
company me to the table."
In the course of time, as the vicomte
had predicted, the Honorable Bertie
joined them; and on sight O'Rourke
diagnosed the "indisposition" as plain
Intoxication. The Englishman was
deep In his cups, far too deep to ape
the urbanity of his host. He favored
O'Rourke with a curt nod and a surly
look, then slumped limply into a chair
and called for champagne, which he
drank greedily and with a sullen air,
avoiding the vlcomte's eye. Before
dessert was served he passed into a
black humor, and sat mutely glower
ing at his glass (what time he was
not unsteadily filling lt) without re
gard for either of his companions.
When the cloth was cleared and
the servants had withdrawn, Des Tre
bes definitely cast aside pretence. A
cigarette between his lips, he lounged
in his chair, eyelids drooping over
eyes that never left his guest's whi)e
either spoke. A cynical smile pre
faced his first words.
"So," he said, "the farce is over.
Some regard for the conventions was
necessary before the servants of my
friend, the owner of this villa. Now,
we can be natural, Monsieur le Colo
' (Continued On Next Page)
We have in stock
a full assortment of
different stvles of
such as side springs,
handy tops, side
spring Moyer de
sign, side spring
Wood Bar construction,
These buggies have beei
failed to give satisfactior
we have no hesitation in
the market today. Try
word we say and even rr
mind tnat the big store fl
hides just as cheaply as
Drop in and le
We have all oj
est and nobbie
cut shoes. N<
in the popular
* We now have on r
foi mixing. We rej
extend to our custon
Mixed goods of e
Royster, Georgia C
motto is the best go
Every gardener in Edgefield
oounty knows what Buist's seed
are. We have them fresh from this
celebrated farm, and can furnish
you with anything you want. Buist's
seed never fail to germinate under
Penn & Holstein.
also in end spring full Ele]
i thoroughly tested in this F
i. Taking into consideration I
saying that the Hackney bug
ene of them and you will b
tore is true of the Hackney t
it Ouztsville sells Hackney bu<
any place in the country.
& J. T. Ou
p. o. I
t us fit you with a
f the popular leathe
st lasts. Also spring
ew spring hats for i
shades and latest I
gefield Mercantile C
tand a full line of fertilizers ar
cresent the best manufacturen
ters the best service and goods
teed Meal, Sod
very formula made by the mo
, Swift, American Agricult
hemical works and other well
ods on the market.
500 Suits, 200 Overcoats and
500 pair of Trousers to be closed
out at bargain prices. See F. G.
MERTINS, Augusta, Ga.
200 Boys' Suits, 100 Overcoats,
and 500 pairs of pants, to be sold to
make room for my spring goodn.
We will save you money. F. G.
MERTINS, Augusta, Ga.
)tic style oval pattern,
ection^ and have never
the very reasonable price
jgy is without a peer on
e convinced that every
5u?gy- Always bear in
?gies and all other ve
[irksey, S. C.
pair of stylish
irs in the new
X styles in high
nen and boys
id fertilizer material
3 and will be glad to
> on the market.
st regutab?e manu
:ural Chemical Co.,
known goods. Our
We always carry a full supply of
Glenn Springs and Harris Lithia
Penn &? Holstein.
For Sale: One lot of good cedar
posts will be 'delivered in Edgefield
for ten cents each.
H. Ernest Quarles.
Cold Spring, S. C.