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fre WHthiin gilg gagle: jitutdai IPxrnmtg, HfctueTx 16, 1890.
le StirkbridgB Mystery.
By A. SHEEWDOD.
was a small vil
lage in one of the
ties It was a
quiet, old fash
ioned place, look
ing clean and pic
turesque with its
b 1 y causeways,
quaint old church
and long stretch
es of green sward bordering the road
upon which it stood. Half a ruilo be
yond it was a email though thickly set
wood, belonging, an did the village it
self, to Mr. Robert Brotherton, of The
Mr. Brotherton was not popular in the
village. He was rarely at home in the
large'houso with the high tower, from
which tbo country could be seen for
miles around, situated at one end of
Stirkbrifige, and which was his nominal
residence, and when he did occasionally,
for a few weeks, occupy The Towers, his
haughty manner to the villagers and the
indifference he displayed to the small
grievances in which they sometimes
wisJiod to interest him, as tlieir land
lord, did not prepossess them in his fa
vor. For twenty years Mr. Brotherton, hav
ing succeeded his father at the ago of S3,
had owned The Towers and the estate
belonging to it, unwedded; and he had
come to bo regarded as a confirmed
bachelor. When at length it became
known that at the ripe age of 33 ho was
about to-marry, a considerable amount of
surprise and curiosity was manifested,
especially as the bride was rumored to bo
a young foreign lady of great lieauty.
The marriRge never came off. On the
morning preceding the day on which Mr.
Brotherton should have proceeded from
Stirkbridge to London to claim his bride
he was found dead in Stirkbrzdge wood.
The sleepy old village was roused to a
ferment of excitement, especially when
day after day passed without bringing
tlie discovery of any clew to the murderer.
That the act had not been suicidal was
proved by the fact that the wound which
Lad been the cause of the death was such
as could not have been self inflicted. In
spite of the unpopularity of the victim,
the utmost interest was evinced in the
steps taken by the authorities for the de
tection and capture of the perpetrator of
the crime. But he remained at large,
unpunished, his crime one of thoi,e
mysterious deeds which now and again
bailie the most strenuous efforts of the
police, and by and by Stirkbridge, be
coming unable to extract fresh matter
for discussiou from the subject, let it
drop, relapsing into its former condition
of bucolic tranquillity.
Twent years passed, bringing vith
them few changes to the village. The
owner of The Towers now was a nephew
of the late Mr Brotherton, who had in
herited the whole of his uncle's proper
ty. He never resided at The Towers,
disliking a country life, and, unlike Mr.
Brotherton, he was acc'istomed to let
the house. The hist tenant, who had
now been in possession moro than five
j-ears, had uiken the place on a long
lease. Ho was not an Englishman no
one knew exactly what his nationality
was, some saying Spanish, some, Italian
but his English was tolerably well
spoken, he having in bo3Thood lived
much in EuglanL ne vab, in appear
ance, except for the remarkable brillian
cy of his dark, deep set eyes, an old man,
gray haired, hollow cheeked, wrinkled
and bent in form. His manner of IiTing
was plain in the extreme. The Towers
was a large house, and during its occu
pation by other tenants it had posseesed
a large staff of servants, but Mr. Straugh
nessy eaiploj'ed only three a house
keeper, a housemaid and a page, with
occasional help from a village gardener.
He lived in almost hermit like se- '
elusion, never, except for an infre-
quent early morning ramble through I
the wood, or when upon certain
stated occasions he loft Stirkbridge j
for the day, being seen outside his
grounds, and refusing admittance Ho all
visitors. He was considered odd, eccen- (
trie, "a bit touched," by the villagers, j
though Mrs. Driffield, his housekeeper, !
6aid he seemed sane enough, a little per- J
haps because of the strictness with which
he preserved his seclusion, but chiefly be- ,
cause of a strange habit they had learnt 1
from his servants he indulged in. J
The" largest room ia The Towers wes a
long, low Apartment, from which a nar- I
row winding staircaM? led to the tower,
, . , , ,i , .lw .. f '
wmcii nau uxu uuiil 10 kiuw v u uuu i
of okl Mr. Brotherton's, the murdered
man's father. In this room Mr. Slraugh
nessy 8ent the greater part of his. time,
and since his occupation of the house no
one but himself had been allowed -within
it, he locking the door both upon onter
ing aud leaving it. Such a proceeding
could scarcely tail to arouse some curi
osity, particttlaiTy in a place like Stirk
bridge, where small tilings were hugely
magnified by gossiping tongues, and
where the dearth of larger interests made
even the most trivial doings of its inhabi
tants established and ooutimious subjects
for conversation, and Mr. Straughnessy
and his mysterious chamber came to be
looked upon by home of his, .humbler
neighbors with a certain amount of awe.
The occasions upon w Inch Mr. JJtraugh
neesy was accustomed to leave Stirk
bridge were wlien, once a quarter, he
went to Berrichester, a manufacturing
town fifty miles distant. What was the
purpose of his visits to Berrichester was
not known, but regularly, with one ex
ception, since his coming to Stirkbridge
had lie, the first week in January, April,
July and October, made his excursions
thither. The one exceittiou had been
when nearly a week f soaking wet
-weather had oome one October, only one
day, Friday, being tolerably fine: aud
Mr. Straughnessy among ltis other peculi
arities ws intensely bttoersrttious. be
ievi8 Friday to "bo an unlucky day, &nd
being unwilling to travel ijon it, he had
put off his journey until the week fol
lowing. - Oct. 1, 18- was a fine bright day, the
sky but sparsely flecked with clouds, the
atmosphere warmer than is usual for
that time of year. About noon, ssvoral
people were in Stirkbridgo station, wait
ins: for a counts of trains which were
shortly duo within a few minutes of each
other. They stared hard when Mr.
Straughnessy's bent figure slowly mean
dered on to the platform, but no one
ventured to address him, and to none
did he vouchsafe a greeting. He stood
looking aimlessly down the line ia the
direction from -which his train was ex
pected, apparently oblivious of all around
him, until he was startled from his ab
straction by the approach of a gentleman
a short, stout, good tempered looking
man in clergyman's garb who had just
entered the station, and who in hearty
genial tones accosted him.
"Good morning. Mr Straughnessy,"
he said, holding out his hand, into which
Mr. Straughnessy very reluctantly placed
his own. "Glad to see you out a ne
morning like this. Better for you if
you took a littlo trip somewhere more
often. Eh I Don't you think so? By
the way," with a jovial laugh, "I have a
commission to perform in which you
are concerned a special message to you
from a lady."
A suspicious frown from the old man
rewarded this sally, and bending his
shaggy browed visage close to the smooth
face of the reverend gentleman, he shot
upon him a glance, v? threatening, so
uncanny, so malicious, 2 to cause him
involuntarily to shrink back In a mo
ment, however, the good natiw yd parson
recovered his usual equanimity.
"Poor old fellow!" he thought. "If
he continues in his unhealthy secluded
style of living he will go from bad to
worse from a little queerness to dan
gerous madness. Nothing like moping
for unhinging the brain." Aloud he
continued: "My wife declares she
is thoroughly offended. You have
refused to see us twice lately when
we have called at The Towers. You have
refused to visit us. And she wants you
to atone by attending our bazar next
week. What do you say? Will you
Mr. Straughnessy advanced still closer
to his interlocutor, aud his thin lip3
mrred in a repulsive grin, revealing his
gleaming teeth, as in peculiar guttural
tones he enunciated the following ex
"A death's head at a feast. A skele
ton upon the hearth. A madman at a
bazar. Ah! Ah! Ah!" the end of the
peal rising almost to a shriek, and caus
ing several persons near to regard him
with redoubled attention.
"Good heavens!" thought the vicar.
"He's worse, fifty times worse, than he
was three months ago. He's simply
frightful, beyond the reach of any influ
ence of mine, I'm afraid." And with
the hasty remark, "Ah, my train, I see-,
good morning," the Rev. John Barristaw
As near an approach to a smile as was
ever to be seen on Mr. Straughnessy's
grim countenance now momentarily
played upon it.
"I think I've settled him at last," he
muttered. "Confound him. He's taken
a vast amount of time learning his les
son of leaving me alone. Year after
year has he pestered me in this way.
While his lady wife, with her airs, aud
her graces, and her subscription lists,
hanging about my doors, has driven me
nearly mad nearly made mo the old
lunatic the intelligent villagers imagine
me to be. Well, well; I think I've set
tled the Rev. John Barristaw now "
And, still mumbling to himself, he climb
ed into his train and was carried away.
One morning, a month after the oc
currence of this littlo episode, as Mrs.
Driffield, after receiving her master's or
ders for the day, was about to retire
from the dining room, where her daily
audience with him usually took place,
he called her back, saying he had some
pleasant news for her.
"I am going to give you a little holi
day, Mrs. Driffield," he said; "you and
the other servants as well. I want a
few repairs doing to the house, and a
few little alterations that I think it
would bo more convenient to have done
while it was empty. They will not take
long to do, perhaps a week, or a fort
night and I am going to give you a
"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir," said Mrs.
Driffield. "But some one will bo want
ed just to look after the place a bit, sir,
won't there?" see respectfully inquired.
"I shall do that," replied Mr. Straugh
nessy. "I am not going away myself.
I wish to superintend the workmen. I
shall have my meals brought from
the Red Lion, and I dare say some
woman from the village can bo got to
attend here an hour or so a day."
"Yes, sir, no doubt," agreed Mrs. Drif
field, trying to prevent the surprise she
was feeling expressing itself upon her
face. Mr. Straughnessy was reveising
the order of things to which she had
l)een accustomed. At her other situa
tions repairs had been conducted, along
with painting, etc., during the family's
absence, the servants remaining bphind.
"And when are wo to go, please, sir?"
"The sooner the better," replied Mr.
Straughnessy. "As scon as you can
manace to tret readv. How long would
that be, do vou think?'
or threo days would bo long
enough, sir; just timo enough to writo
and let our friends know when to expect
us and to get ready for us. We're none
of us Stirkbridge folks, you see, sir; so
we have just to let"
"Then we will say three days from
now; that will be Thursday," interrupted
Mr. Straughnessy. "That will do quite
well for me. "
The servants were well pleased at tho
prospect of a holiday, but their pleasure
did not prevent them experiencing and
expressing souio wonder as to the mo
tive for which their master thus bent
them off. They did not accept his rea
son as the correct one. They liad heard
no previous mention of alterations and
there was little repairing needed. Their
suspicions namrally jumped to the con
jsion mat tiie mysterious cio&eo cnanv
her had something to do with Mr.
Straughnessy's desire to be rid of
them, but whether their conjecture
was well founded or not they had no
means of judging, and when Thursday
came round they departed, Mrs. Driffield
and the boy, who was her nephew, to
visit soieh friends at Berrichester; the
housemaid to her home in a neighboring
Upon the morning of the Monday fol
lowing Mr. Straughnessy left by train
for Berrteheeter, returning in the after
noon accompanied by a couple of work
meu and some luggage. For several
days the men remained, sleeping at The
Towers their meals served along with
Mr. Straughnessy s from the Red Lion,
and a woman from the village attending
ror an hour or two a day. After their
departure Mr. Straughnessy continued as
before until the le&um of his servants.
Mrs. Driftield was curious to notice
whether the alterations mentioned, but
not specified by Mr. Straughnessy, had
been carried out; but, so far as she could
see, the interior of The Towers was the
same as when she had left it a fortnight
ac:o. Those portions of the house that
"The sooner the better," replied Mr.
had seemed'' most in need of im
provement were unchanged, and she
came to tho conclusion that the work
done had been, as she had anticipated,
within the mysterious chamber.
It was a raw November night. Fog,
with a tendency to a drizzling rain, liad
prevailed throughout the day, and the
roads of Stirkbridge were saturated and
tho cobbles darkened with moisture. It
was 9 o'clock, and with the exception of
a solitary figure hurrying along the
high street, no one seemed to be abroad.
The lights of lamp and fire were shining
Irom many a cottage window, and the
sotmd of loud laughter and of tho clink
ing of glasses came through the doors of
the Red Lion.
Tlie solitary wayfarer was the page
boy from The Towers, and, judging from
the alarmed expression of his face and
the speed with which ho came dashing
up tho street, without overcoat or um
brella, his errand was an urgent one.
About tlie middle of the village was the
koiidG of Dr. Loton, tho Stirkbridge med
ical practitioner, and is was onf his door
fatep tho boy paused.
Ho rang the bell, inquired for Dr.
Loton, and was told the doctor was
"The master's been taken ill," he
gasped, his breath coming quick and
short, "very ilk They think 'e's poisoned
"Good gracious!" ejaculated the man
who had answered the door. "Well, I
for one am not surprised. Ho was a
queer un, was Mr. Straughnessy. I'll
tell the doctor at once. Lucky 'o 'ap
pens to be in."
Dr. Loton was informed his services
were in immediate request at The Tow
ers, and drawing on his topcoat ho at
once proceeded thitherwards, in com
pany with the boy. Swiftly striding
along, he questioned his companion as to
tho circumstances surrounding the case.
He elicited tho facts that the poison tauen
wa3 laudanum, and that Mr. Straugh
nessy had been accustomed to induce
sleep by its means, though never, as
upon this occasion, before retiring for tho
night. Arriving at The Tow crs he was
met at tho door by Mrs. Driffield, who,
pale and discomposed, ushered him up
stairs to Mr. Straughnessy's bedchamber,
tho room in which he had been found,
laying back in an easy chair, motionless
and rigid, with an empty bottlo labeled
"Poison" lying by his side. Huddled up
iu the chair, his lips apart, his eyes closed,
one arm thrown over the back of the
chair, his fact giay and pinched, ho was
a ghastly sight.
The doctor took the nerveles3 hand
hanging over the chair in his. After a
while, "He is dead," he said quietly.
"Dead!" repeated tho housekeeper.
"That was what I feared."
"When did you last see him alive?" the
"I saw him just after dinner today,
"Did you notice anything strange in
his demeanor? Did ho seem in his usual
spirits not depressed at all?"
Mrs. Driffield considered a moment be
fore replying, her fingers nervously
twisting tho fringe of her black silk
"He was very quiet, sir," sho said at
length, "but that he often was. He
wasn't one to talk much to his servants.
Now I think of it, though," slowly, "he
did look graver than ordinary."
Dr. Loton meditatively rubbed his chin
with his hand, a Habit of his when
thinking. He rememb-red how many
times he liad heard Mr. Straughnessy
snoken of as not being in the full posses
sion of his mental faculties, though Mr.
Barristaw 'had oft-n asserted he was
merely a little odd nothing more. Even
the vicar, however, had latterly run with
the popular verdict, giving as his reason
for tho changing of Ins opinion an ac
count of his last interview with the old
mas. when he had been both shocked
ma btAialea oy the wilunet ot his man
ner and words. He (the doctor) was
strongly inclined to suspect Mr. Straugh
nessy's death had not been caused by an
accidental overdose as the housekeeper
upon first seeing him liad suggested
but that it was a case of suicide suicide
while iu an unsound state of mind.
The tenor of his thoughts was here in
terrupted by a succession of loud pierc
ing shrieks, in which was a sharp tone
of terror. Coming as tliey did with
such startling suddenness, breaking the
before uudisturbed quiet of the house,
and following closely upon her introduc
tion to the idea the plainly saw Dr. Lo
ton entertained, and which had not pre
sented itself to her mind before, that Mr.
Straughnessy's death was suicidal and
not the result of an accident they com
pletely threw Mrs. DrifSeld off her bal
ance. She sank trembling into the sear
est chair utterly unnerved, while even
Dr. Loton experienced an unpleasant
qualm, remembering that strange stories:
had been circulated through the village
concerning the man who now kiy so stiff
and still, iacapable alike of committing
good or ill.
Meanwhile the hoBsezaaid and the
page had been sitting together by the
kitchen fire. They had been discussing
their master's sudden illness, his strange
f ways, the mysterious locked room, and
i bv and bv thouzh the was not in con
nection with Mr. Straughnessy, save a
one weird topic leads to another of Hk-
kind the murder in Stirkhcttge Wood,
j For some time they had sat thus, titan
Msrr. remetnberfas there were certain
duties she 'fiad forgotten in the flurry
consequent upon the discovery of Mr
Straughnessy's condition to perform in
Mrs. Driffield's room and her own, rose
and left the kitchen for the purpose of
attending to her neglected work.
She ascended to the rooms, which were
near together, by the back or servants"
staircase; but after completing her task,
she found that her candle, which she had
carelessly snatched up from the kitchen
table without remarking its shortness,
was burning so low that the movement
of carrying it downstairs would be likely
to extinguish it. The back staircase was
in darkness, but the front stairs, leading
past the closed room, were faintly lit by
a lamp shining from one of the landings,
so she determined to return to the kitchen
by the latter way.
Blowing out her candle, she ran down
a short flight of steps connecting the
landing on which was her Toom with the
front staircase, and arrived opposite the
mysterious chamber. Great was her
astonishment at seeing that the hitherto
jealously locked door was ajar.
She stood fascinated by a desire, now
that the opportunity lay before her, of
mastering the secret hitherto hidden,
but repelled by a certain sense of awe
fetaring with wide open eyes at tlie door.
She longed, yet dreaded, to approach it,
and after a while after a good deal of
hesitation she did draw near to the
room, and pushing the door further back
looked in. It was the terrified screams
she emitted upon seeing what the inte
rior contained that had so startled Mrs.
Drifneld and the doctor.
Uttering shriek after shriek sho fled
away down tho stairs to the room in
which she believed Mrs. Driffield still
was, bursting in with an affrighted crv
of "Oh, sir! Oh, Mrs. Driffield! Oil,
"What is the matter? What has alarm
ed you?" asked the doctor in quiet, sooth
"Oh, sir!" she again ejaculated.
"What is it, Mary?" said Mrs. Driffield.
"Try and tell us, there's a good girl."
"I've seen a ghost," said the girl, with
a convulsive shudder and a glance of ap
prehension towards the door, as if in ex
pectance of the appearance of the cause
of her fright. "Mr. Brotherton's ghost.
Him as was murdered. I couldn't be
mistaken," she continued, vehemently,
seeing a faint smile curl the doctor's lips.
"I knew Mr. Brotherton by sight when
I was a girl. I remember him as plain
as ever. It was him or his ghost I saw
up in the master's room, I could take
my dying oath of it, sir."
"Nonsense," replied the doctor. "You
foolish girl, you ha 3 let your imagina
tion run away with you." And he
turned towards Mrs. Driffield. "You
must assist me to place the body on the
bed, please, Mrs. Drifneld," he said. "It
will be better there. And Mary, you
mav be required to lend us a helping
Mrs. Driffield did as she was request
ed, but Mary, shaking with nervous
fright, was unable to render any assist
ance whatever. The body removed, Dr.
Loton was about to leave, when Mrs.
Dx-iffield stopped him with a question.
"Will there bo an inquest?" sho asked
"I don't seo how it can be avoided,"
replied tho doctor. "It is tolerably clear
he died from an overdose of laudanum.
Whether the laudanum was adminis
tered with suicidal intention or not, is
not at all clear; but either way, an in
quest would be held. As I saw him
first, I think you say, was as you found
"Yes, sir; exactly like that. His sup
per had been laid and the gong sounded
ho kept very old fashioned hours, din
ner at 12, supper at 8 but lie hadn't
come down; so, after waiting nearly half
an hnur, I came up to his room. I
knocked, but there was no reply. I
knocked several times, and at last, be
ing afraid something was wrong, I
opened the door and came in. The blind
was drawn down, the lamp lit and lie
was lying in tlie chair just as you saw
him, sir. I spoke to him, and touched
him, because I thought at first ho was
asleep; but when 1 bent down I am
rather short sighted, sir and looked
closer, aud saw what his face was like,
and noticed the bottle, that in the morn
ing had been nearly full, empty, I
thought he was ill had perhaps taken
too much laudanum, as I'd heard of
people doing, and I sent Tom for you at
"You did quite right," replied the doc
tor. "Well," with a last look, before
leaving, at the pale face on the bed, "I
think there is nothing further I can do
in the matter at present, so 1 will wish
you good night, Mrs. Driffield. Come,
come, my girl," he added to Mary, see
ing she was stiLin a great state of terror;
"don't be so foolish. Tako my word for
it.'ghosts don't exist out of any one's im
agination." "But I saw it, sir," sho insisted, "with
ray own eyes. It was no fancy. I wasn't
thinking anything about ghosts, nor noth
ing like them, until I saw it all shining
like out of the darkness at the end of the
room. It was Mr. Brotherton, or his
ghost. And I must laave the house. I
wouldn't stay another night in it for
"What! Will you leave Mrs. Driffield
all alone here except for the boy? Surely
you cannot be eo selfish so silly. Coma,
take me with you to the room you speak
of, and see if I don't show you your sup
posed ghost is all mooBshule.",
"Oh, I daren't go there again, sir. 1
daren't if I was killed for not going, "
cried Mary emphatically.
"Tell me how I can find it, then." he
said. He thought that perhaps if he in
spected the apartment and found the
cause of the girl's fright some trifling
tiling he had no doubt but that it would
prove to be be might be able to set ber
fears at rest. It would, he knew, be ex
tremely inconvenient to Mrs. DriJfieM
for Mary to leave her ju3t then, and he
wished, if possible, to induce ler to re
main. "I can ?how you the way, jr."aaid
Mrs. Driffield, "if you really wfcb to go.
It b not far from here on the next
landing. Bnt do you think it is well to
So? You have not lived in the same
house with Mr. Straaghnfssy liks w
have, and yon don't know what strange
ways he had. I haven't much faith in
ghosts and scch Mke myeelf; hot tiL"
shaking her head, "the master was a
qtieer man, and there's w knowing what
he may have had in a room that a or
none of as, aajrray has beea la tai
hut many a year."
"Pooh! poihr said Dr Latoa. wttn
s.m!e. "You are a sensible vrostan. Mm
lrir5eW; sroly jow a w afraid. 1
dare ay joo wffl have Iw&rd of &te
vtrane tricks istmdkam&tm aoaaesnwt
I oiays even tfce fctrasstat of t 3fxrr fcad
oeen a little upset by the suddenness or
Mr. Straughnessy's death, and so became
an easy prev to hallucinations. That is
He went out into the passage, followed
by Mrs. Driffield, and at a distance by
Mary, who preferred comparative near
ness to the scene of her fright, in com
pany, to remaining in the. death chamber
alone. Directed by the housekeeper, he
ascended the stairs at the end of the pas
sage, to the landing above, and with
quick, firm steps approached the large
apartment, from which a narrow wind
ing staircase led up to the tower. He
was a tolerably brave man, but a chill of
if not exactly fear, some feeling akin
to it passed over him as he looked
through the door half open, as Mary had
left it and beheld what was within,
wliile Mrs. Driffield, who was close be
hind him, drew back with a slight cry.
The room, save for a faint haze at the
further end, wa3 in darkness: and from
out the darkness two figures seemed to
shine as if containing light in themselves
and being independent of the darkness
around them. One of them Dr. Loton
recognized at once as the former owner
of The Towers the man murdered in
Stirkbridge Wood. The other was a
stranger to him a handsome youth,
with a dark, foreign looking face, glow
ing black eyes, and strongly marked
brows. They appeared to be stand
ing upon the spot upon which the
body had. been found there were tlie
two larch trees, with the little mossy
path running between them and there
was fierce anger depicted upon both
faces, but especially upon that of the
younger man, one of whose hands was
in the act of drawing a knife, that had
apparently been concealed on his person,
from beneath his coat Liko a flash
came the conviction to Dr. Loton's mind
that what he saw was the scene of the
murder, and that the olive complexioned
man with tlie knife was the long sought
murderer. He did not wonder at Mary's
fright There stood tho exact image of
Mr. Brotherton, lifelike, and yet with
an inanimation and a curious haze about
him, unlifelike, and shining out from
the darkness in an unlifelike manner.
Dr. Loton did not stand long think
ing thus. He advanced into the room,
close to the figures. He had never
seen a picture thrown into artificial
prominence by means of lights placed
behind it; but he had heard of them,
and he believed this was one now beforo
him. As he saw the figures mora dis
tinctly he perceived that the wooden
ness tho rigidity characterizing thein
was due to tho fact that they were in
deed nothing more alarming, moro for
midable, than representations on can
vas, drawn and painted by a masterly
hand, and at a distance remarkably life
like, but upon nearer inspection some
what crude and unfinished.
"Bring me a light," he shouted to tho
! 'Mia f0MWi '
"Bring me a light" he shouted to tho
women. "You need not bo afraid. It
is nothing but a picture,"
Marv still could not bo persuaded to
enter the tartment, but Sfrs. Driffield
brought the lamp from Mr. Straugh
nessy's bed chamber, and handed it to
the doctor. By it3 light the picture
could bo plainly seen, even at a dis
tance, to be but a picture
Deeply interested. Dr. Loton examined
it, making an important discovery. Be
neath the figure of tho young man was
written, with whito paint, the date of
tho murder, and the name Antonio
Straughnessy. He dre.v Mrs. Driffield's
attention to thi fact, asking her if shp
could detect any resemblance in tho dark
handsome face to that of old Mr. Straugh
nessy. She .studied the features atten
tively, then said:
"The eyes are something like Mr.
Straughnessy's were, I think, sir. He
had very bright eye; they used to look
almost as though they were on Are,
sometimes, and yee, there is something
like Mr. Straughnessy's about it. Bnt
what does it ail mean, sir?"
"It means. I think, that Mr. Strang!)
nesey was Mr. Brotherton's murderer,"
replied Dr. Loton. "Though why the
truth should be revealed in this strange
fashion is a riddle I cannot guess."
"Bnt Mr. Scraagbnessy must bare
been a middle aged nttm when the mur
der took place, and th man hve it
quite young," objected Mrs. Driffield,
who wag a quick witted woman.
"Dissipation, remorse, the restless
workings of a bad conscience, some
times ages people in a wonderfully short
time," eaid Uw doctor. "Howerer, I
bad forgotten the murder wae ooramtt
ted so recently about twenty years ago,
was it not? I wonder,' musingly, "if
he had a son who could bar been tte
"I don't know, sir," said tit hooeo
keeper. "He never spofe to me of eaa;
but, as I said before, a never talked
much about aaythtcir to his servant. "
"Mr. Brothertoa's tfkenea. so far at I
remember Mm, .teems to be an extremely
good one. I wonder how that was dona. "
"There a portrait of Mr. fSrotherSoa
in the bouse, sir," said Mrs. Driffield.
"It's hong in the brae room aver since
he had it painted. Mr. Straognnaasy
tsibt have copied from thai."
"Ah yes, very UkarT, said Dr. Lome,
ranting awav. "WeTL I tai&k one thing
f at least appears tAmx-. U Mr. Strang-
nesey had not intended eocamitSing sui
cide, he would not have toft tee door of
this room unlocked. Bat whether or no
1 be was scad when h took we fatal ,
j it ought b hard to drtermiae.'
At ta mqueat nfed r,-ver Um body
Mr. Stiasgnwaarr, uttie farther ttfor
Mattaa wa fticiud that aright haw
served to iatlgeeece a apMo as a
wnetner tne deceased Had committed,
suicide, or whether his death had been
the result of an accidental overdose.
Neither was anything more, likely to
settle the question as to whether Mr.
Straughnessy had been Mr. Brotherton's
murderer, disclosed; the picture, with
its significant date and signature, how
ever, seeming, to the minds of some, to
point unmistakably to his guilt. Tlie
full facts of the case were never known
in Stirkbridge, but briefly they were as
Mr. Straughnessy wa? an Italian, the
ton of Italian p3asants. As a lad he w as
remarkably handsome, and bis good
looks struck the fancy of a wealthy
Englishman traveling in Italy. Ho was
brought to England by the Englishman,
and here sent to school. During the
progress of his education he gave evi
dence of artistic talents of such high
order as to induce his perron to change
his original intention of taking him as
page or valet, and put within his reach
instead the advantages of an artistic
Tlie Englishman did not live, however,
to see whether his protege would justify
the hopes he entertained of his winning
a high position in tho world of art. and.
dying child leas, left a yearly income to
the young Italian, on condition that ha
should change his Italian patronymic to
that of his patron Straughnessy a
name the old man fondly behaved the
lad would make famous.
After the death of his patron young
Straughnessy as I will henceforth call
him proceeded to Rome, where he stud
ied in the studio of a celebrated Italian
painter. Here, at tlie age of 20, he met
and loved a beautiful girl a country
woman of his own, of tho name of Teresa
Pallisca whose portrait was iiemg
i painted by the artist under whom ha
was studying, and whom he saw in the
studio. Sho returned his affection with
fervor, but being the child of a proud.
t though not wealthy family, slie know
the suit of an unknown and compara
tively poor artist would be rejected by
her mother and brother, and her meet
ings with him were clandestine con
ducted with the utmost secrecy.
Upon the completion of tho portrait
Teresa and her family, consisting of tho
mother and brother before mentioned,
left Rome on a visit to Monte Carlo.
Straughnessy, loving with all the ardor
of his hot southern nature, completely
absorbed and carried away by his pas
sion, could think of nothing but Teresa.
He determined to follow her. A week
after the forming of this decision found
him at Monte Carlo.
There were several meetings between
the lovers, strengthening, if that had
been possible, their mutual love.
While tho heart of the beautiful Teresa
had been filled with tlio passion of love,
thoso of her mother and brother had
been filled with tho passion for play.
Night after night they sat late at tho
crowded gambling tables, eagerly watch
ing their luck.
Fortune turned against them. Their
losses grew deeper and deeper. They
went too far. They beggared them
selves aud Teresa, .d only tho intoiiposi
tion of a gentlem i with whom they
had become acquainted at Monte Carlo
saved them from utter pecuniary disas
ter. He lent them money, advising them
to endeavor to retrieve their losses by
further play. They lost again. And
when tho gentleman an Englishman
of the name of Brotherton asked in
lieu of payment of what they owed him
the hand of Teresa in marriage, possessing
a3 they did no other means of repaying
him, they saw no way out of the difficulty.
wnen Teresa was informed of their
decision she was overwhelmed with grief,
but, true to thomannerof her rearing,
she did not question the right of her
mother to dispose of her in marriage.
Besides, tho family honor was at stake,
and she, proud of her noble blood, could
not willingly allow it to bo smirched. It
was her fate that sho should marry this
ugly, middle aged, prosaic Englishman,
and do her best to forget the handnomo
Italian, with his dark eyes glowing with
love's fire and his sof tdeep voice vibrating
with love's tenderness, and she uturt re
sign herself. Nevertheless, her trouble
was real and great, and her lover, seeing
how she suffered, felt his own suffering
at the prospect of losing her redoubled,
refusing to accept tlie doctrine of resig
nation she preached to him.
When the Balliscas, accompanied by
Mr. Brotherton, left Monte Carlo for
England, Straughnessy followed them,
and in London, even while tho bridal
robes were in process of preparation,
found occasion to me and speak with
Teresa alone. A couple of days before
that fixed for the wedding, vbey met,
and in a wild burst of grief, forgetting
her lesson of resignation, Teresa con
fessed how full of loathing was her
heart at the thought of her mar
riage, how life with Mr. Brotherton
seemed to offer her nothing but a dull
wretchedness, and how her mind was
torn with crief at the thought of parting
Straughneesy bad learnt from Teresa
the name and residence of Mr. Brother
ton, and with tome but half formed pur
pose hi view of seeking a interview with
him to beg and imptere bun te reJaeee
Teresa, even at the last moment, from ber
engagement, without allowing the fam
ily honor to suffer; of offering, himself,
to pay by degrees, even if it should cost
him all be possessed, the turn for which
Teresa's relatives were indebted to him,
be proceeded to Stirkbridge. Early on
the morning preceding that Axed for the
wedding, wandering in the Stirkbridgv
Wood, be encountered him, recegjusaag
him from a portrait Tra had shown
htm. He made a pawaouate appeal Co
ham, imploring hun to set Teresa free.
Aa might have been expected by any one
acquainted with the owner of The Tow
ers, his unsophisticated pleadings met
with a cynical, half amused, half coo
temptuous refusal. Stogfcsgy s tem
per row. His eoneataea wereehaaged
to curwa. and. in a mad ftt td anger, at
hi riral raraed to leave ban, he drew a
knife he wan in the habit of carrying,
and htfttcted the mwderoae blew.
Immediately afterwards be Jeft Stirk
bridge. walking to a tom seta mile
distant, and from thenc he wets by
train to Lewloa. m route for Paris. Hie
rehttfame with Teresa bad beea a secret
hetwixt h hwtra thamsalvta; be bad
mm bees eapedsBy restarted by way
one ia Scirimridtje, and noawmiHon that
b was a any way co&act-d wha the
murder was etrtarisiiml h? any save
Tut herself. and sherewnwd aethiag
I mssnnsMtlj escaped without pm
sut. and be retaaiiwd in Parts, uaXtae
Isalffif. tor wverml var.
Sejewamert t&u. a esse- reatan
ous illness. Recovering, he again, coor
tinned in his vickraacareer, endeavoring
to drown his misery and folly, and again
was takeailL From the latter illness ha
rose with, wrinkled face and gray hair,
his eppearance that of an. old mas.
He would have again sought to deaden,
feeling in dissipation, but for something
that happened during his convalescence.
While he slept ono night ho bad a curi
ous dream. He thought tho detectives
were on his track, that down a Ionj
white road they were pursuing him. He
was footsore and weary, and, exert him
self as he might, tbej were gaining on,
him. Desperately lie struggled on, but
in vain, tliey were ckee upon him. A
few yards further pursuit and they would
have secured htm, bad not intervention
come in the person of his lost love, Te
resa. By aotno mysterious power she
caused his ptxr.mera to pass on, kaTing
him unharmed, and after they had goue
she talked with him. She urged him to
confess bis crime aud die. and sinetb 5
in her words sujrjts:d the iden that l.e
should use the hu;h artistic talents he
had never properlv developed, in tuo
co&fesskm that itarmld be hvthe shapo
of a picture repreen.ing the coramitul
of the de?L
The idea gerxmtiatfd m his brain. Ho
wa?. as I hav atad ij superstitious;
he had imbibed from r.e mother all tl 9
superstitions current among the Italian
peasantry, and his sal'seG.ut.-nt education
liad not destroyed his Uruef in them, and
it seemed to him his dream was an ome:i,
a warning, and that if he disobeyed it
injunction, it would be hi fhto to bo
handed over to the hands of justice to
suffer the penalty of death by hanging.
His horror at the thought of ending lus
life thus was great, but he was too
wretched to can to iiv? long, could he
quietly and pauil---. ' vnd his existenco,
and he deiermincu t.iat the length of
time lie shMild take to paint tlie picture
should be ius last on earth. It seetnou.
a kind of poetical justice that his no
blest gifts should be tuns brought into
requisition for a purpose which, if it did
not lead to his legal punfehmont, would
at least serve to blacken lift namo for
ever. How he carried out his supersti
tious, half mad idea lias been told. The
reason why he dismissed his servants for
a fortnight, was thut he wished to ro
move tho tell talo picture from Its usual
resting place ai the locked chamber,
pendiug certain arrangements to bo ef
fected by tho workmen for the light
ing up of ho picture, ami feared thai
with the women in the houso I14
would fin I it a difficult matter to re
move so large a canvas withont their
knowledge; oue of them might liava
come upon him in the act, recognized
Mr. Brotherton's features, and discov
ered, or suspected, his secret beforo he
was willing it should be disclosed,
ill Nuxie VTu4 WIU lam.
"What are yoa doing there, daughter I It
timo for breakfast," called a, congressman to
his only child a sho stood by tho front win
dow in patient waiting.
"ItV all right, pnpu ; I'm only waiting for
the BUI to ioi6," hbo replied awrotly, and the
f athor called thu roll ami tbn bcflCt&wtk aa
proceeded to tlie business of tie morning
hour. Washington Post.
A SUO oked Generation Atlc for a Sir"
nw she no pride- no !f respect! How
can she pormtt that flk to rmofce whUa they
are proraanndi-ii on tb htsou!
"Oh, that's CwrhV Van Xinny, and tht
afraid people wouldn't know rt was a roan.
He Meant tr f Owllant.
Tber te a young nMtptar of diptornatlo
corps in thfc city who ia elspoMd to be poht,
bat wbo J not atwsva jaiitctoes. He wai
conremiuj- with a Uuty wao oombta lntt
JcettMd ad pkyiical irraeea with a eoatlder
ikb dagrco of nmturtty
"I bav mjd talaia wlta jou vary
mock," he mU. "It ten pinunre le be In tL
society of mm on ife be observed ti
"But, Mr. ron-a," ah add. Uoghiaj-ly,
Mjteraf I m not m aid m I took."
"I wm always mum f that," a rettrad,
wnh all tee KftUaatry at mnnr tbat be
wadd muster. Wiuanngtsa Fa
Why Th7 I1v-d Itira.
Suburbia lUttway OnVSal SraroUac Ii
ecx. oa ate ewa liaw Taer mr there oai
bean - mmm fault found wtta the lamp oa
taest train Do you M-yduat; -rrrj
Psiaagur He, afar Oa taw eeatrarr. uy
ar ao(ly the kiwi of lest sir 1 Us to s
ated ia ears.
Bj OaVeOArerr eWW-I pro.
lime roa e a urfaaiiniial aoiJ
-Tea, sir. I aa aa osaBuC-Mr-
His Uadmio TesrVs " BtSKh-g It, yz
teas mm bum m awKMaetet a
aW-Bet -w bav- a leisure eta
fib LpreaMp fceipl Jiisslj1) 1 aavmt st
tfcMto. Wa are rJwyi
Hb-Our eiaaeaars aad aaswqeaer her.
Me CueSrf $ tf .
"I swear by yea ssaseV etoarfc-i. "Vore
MUf yoa 7 sever ieeed aortal auea.
Herttfewd her wUh tm sathese-at-c grar,
rsuiJiue, ia a -wheat sewry awy t
I. derfcea;. eaa amy the mom of t&
-ftjte aedee! auejSe4eate
We Clark I aneles essae f fa brrl
of -eyie are awwted X. and ssuvt Z. Are
tee- i-ltfc nil toudaf
Deskr . mmm Uarf. hat e3areetfy
ptraed haw -aetftreiiri aa tMurt
oaaMd at -a aotaess aed mmm at the --,
SW Tom Wr-asy.
M ueav f-wa.
Caeeiwf I!: f. 'he ewa a thtaei te txj
rmmUf arttfaB Wa-ttv, Xfca
, yee 'Mgaahai m eC a ee-rt
a-waaaaatatr fet Why.acarl
laaeisy I,iaas Way, jm. anea.body
0al H- -.
Hse yea mad Ssnahtf au6r
"Why. yea tat iu pmr sjwAV- aa--
a auS saw?.
- Wt. r & fight aaah- - "