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"Miss Smith" Her Voice Sank
The story opens at Harvard where
Col, Rupert Winter. U. 0. A., vis
iting, saw the suicide of young
Mercer. He met Cary Mercer, brother
ot the dead student. Three rears later.
In Chicago. In 1906. Col. Winter over
heard Cary Mercer apparently planning
to kidnap Archie, the colonel s ward, and
to gain possession ot Aunt Rebecca Win
ter's millions. A Mies Smith was men
tioned, apparently as a conspirator. Win
ter unexpectedly met a relative, Mrs.
Mllllccnt Melville, who told him that his
Aunt Itebecca, Archie and the lattcr's
nurse. Miss Janet Smith, were to leave
for the nest with the colonel and Mrs.
CHAPTER I. Continued.
"We've been worried a good deal,"
pursued Mrs. Melville, "about the way
Aunt Itebecca has acted. She wouldn't
stay in Falrport, where we could havo
some Influence over her. She was al
ways going south or going to the sea
shore 'or going somewhere. Sometimes
I suspect MUs Smith mado her, to
keep her away from us, you know."
"Well, as long as I have known
Aunt Rebecca anyhow, ever since
Undo Archibald died she has been
restless and flying about."
"Not as sho Is now. And -then she
only had her maid".
"Oh, yes, Randall; she's faithful as
they mako 'cm. What does she say
about Miss Smith?"
"Bertie, she's won over Randall.
Randall swears by her. Oh, she's's
"Seems to be. Dut excuse mo
what's your game, MilllcentT How do
you mean to protect our aged kins
woman and. Incidentally, of courso,
the Winter fortune?"
"I shall watch, Bertie; I shall bo on
my guard every waking hour. That
deluded old woman Is In more danger,
Jierliaps, than you dream."
"'Miss Smith" her voice sank por
tentously "was a trained nurse."
"What harm docs that do unless
you think sho would know too much
about poisons?" The colonel laughed.
"It's no laughing matter, Ilertle, Re
becca Is so rich and this other wom
an Is so poor, and, in my estimation,
ao ambitious. I mako no Insinuations,
I only say sho needs watching."
"You may bo right about that," said
the colonel thoughtfully. "There 1b
Haley and tfio boy for your bags!"
Tho boy picked up tho big dress
suit case, the smaller dress-suit caco
and the hat caso, ho grabbed the
bundle of cloaks, tho caso of umbrel
las, and the lizard-skin bag. Dubious
ly ho eyed the colonel's luggage, as he
tried to disengage a finger.
"Nlvor molnd, young fcllor," called
Haloy, peremptorily whisking away
tho nearest piece, "I'll help you a bit
with yours, Instead; you've a load,
Mrs. Melville explained In an under
tone: "I tako oil tho band-liiggago I
possibly earn UiJt overwelgh charge
jiro. wicked!" '
"Haley, they won't let you inside
without a ticket," objected thb colonel.
Hut Haley, unheeding, strodo oa ahead
f tho staggering youth.'
"I have an English5 Jjathtub, locked,
.cf joiiroo. and' vackedwlfh thltigsjl
Portentously "Wat a Trained .Nure."
but he has put that In the car," said
"Certainly," said tho colonel ab
sently; ho was thinking: Mrs. Win
tcr. the boy. Miss Smith how rldlcu-
lousiy compieio! Decidedly some
thing will bear watching.
No sooner was Mrs. Melvillo ushered
into her section than tho colonel went
through the train. He was not so
suspicious as he told himself he might
havo been, with such n dovetailing of
circumstances Into his accidentally
captured information; ho couldn't
yet read villainy on that college lad's
frank face. But no reason, therefore,
to neglect precautions. "Hope tho
best of men and prepare for tho
wprst," was the old campaigner's
A walk through tho cars showed
him no signs of the two men. It was
a tolerably complete Inspection, too.
There was only ono drawing-room or
stateroom of which ho did not manace
to get a glimpse the 'closed room be
ing the property of a very gTcat finan
cial magnate, whoso private car was
waiting for him In Denver. Ills door
was fast, and tho click of the. type
writer announced tho tireless Industry
of our rulers.
But if he did not find the coltego
boy or the man with the moles he did
get a surprise for his walk; namely.
the sight ot tho family of Haley, and
Haley himself beside their trig, bat
tered luggage, in a section of tho car
next his own. Ms. Haley turned a
guilty red, while Haley essayed a
"What does this mean?" demanded
"Haley felt he would have to go
with you, colonel," replied Mrs. Haley,
who had tljnld, wide, bluo eyes and
the volco of a bird, but a courage un
der her panic, as birds have, too,
when their nests are in peril. "We've
rlnted the house to a good man with
grown-up children, and Haley can get
a Job If you won't want him."
"Yls, sor," mumbled Haley. Ho was
standing at attention, as was his wife,
tho toddling Nora being held In tho
posturo ot respect on tho plush seat.
"And 1 supposo you took tho furni
ture money to buy tickets?"
"And you're bound to go with rae?"
"Yls, sor," said Haley.
"You ought ta bo ashamed of your
self, sergeant," said the colonel; but
ho was glad at the heart ot him for
this mutinous loyalty,
"Yes. sor,' said Haloy.
"Well, silica you aro here, I cngago
you from to-day, you understand."
"Yls, sor," said Haley. Mrs, Haley
whimpered a blessing; but tbo only
chango In tho soldier was that his mili
tary stojldlty bgcnino natural and real
instead of forced.
"Sit down on this seat ovor here with
mo and .I'll tell you what I want.
You fraud, letting mo say good by to
"I, dldn'l want to taketho liberty,
or, but you made mo shake hands: 1
a weight off mo molnd, sor."
"I daro say. You always have your
way with me, you old mnlo. Now lis
ten; I want you to bo on tho watch
for two men" thereupon tho colonel
described his men, laying special
stress on tho moles on tho fnco ot one,
nnd tho other's dimple.
Having set Haley his tasks, ho went
back to his car In better spirits.
, By this time tho train was moving.
Ho had seen his kinswoman and her
party enter; nnd ho found tho object
of Mrs. Mclvlllo's darksome warnings
sitting with a slender lad In tho main
body ot tho car. Aunt Rebecca was in
tho drawing-room, her maid with her.
Mrs. Melville, who had already re
vealed her presence, sat across tho
aisle. Sho presented tho colonel at
Miss Smith did not look formidable;
sho looked "nlco" thought tho colonel.
Sho was ot medium height; sho was
obviously plump, although woll pro
portioned; her presenco had an effect
of radiant cleanliness, her eyes wore
so luminous nnd her tcclh so flno nnd
her white shirt waist so Immaculate.
There was about her a certain soft Il
lumination of cheerfulness, and at the
same time a restful repose; she moved
In a leisurely fashion and she sat per
fectly still. "I never saw any ono who
looked less of an adventuress," Win
ter was thinking, as he bowed. Then
swiftly his glance went to tho lad. a
pale young fellow with hazel eyes and
a long, slim hand which felt cold.
The boy mado a Httlo Inarticulate
sound In his throat and blushed when
Col. Winter addressed him. But ho
looked the brighter for the blush. It
was not n plain face; rather an In
teresting one In splto ot Its llstlcsincss
and Its clckly pallor; Its oval was
purely cut. tne dclicato mouth was
closed firmly onough, and tho hazel
eyes with their long lashes would bo
beautiful were Uiey not so veiled.
"He has tho Winter mouth, at least,"
noted tho colonel. Ho felt a throb at
bis heart. Had his own boy lived, the
baby that died when It was born, he
would be only a year older than Archie.
At least, this boy was of his own blood,
Without father or mother, but not
alone In the world; and. If any danger
menaced, not without defondcrs. Tho
depression which had enveloped him
lifted as mist before tho sun, burned
away by tho, mere thought, of,, pos'lblo
difficulties.' 'iWc will sea If' any one
swindles you out of your share," said
Rupert Winter, compressing the Win
ter mouth ruoro firmly, "or If those
gentlemanly kidnapers mean you."
His ebbing suspicion of tbo boy's
companion revived; he would be on his
guard, all right.
"Aunt Rebecca wants to see you,"
Mrs. Melvillo suggested. . "Sho Is in
tho drawing-room with her solitaire."
"Still playing Pcnolopo's Web?"
"Oh, she always comes back to It.
But she plays bridge, too; Rupert, I
hear your gamo Is n wonder. Archie's
been learning, so he could play with
'Good for Archie!" he shot a
glanco and a smllo at tho lad's redden
ing face "wo'll have a game."
'Lord, I wish ho didn't look'qulto so
ladylike," he was grumbling within,
as ho dutifully mado his way to his
aunt s presence.
Tho electric lights flooded the
flimsy railway table on which wero
spread rows ot small-sized cards. An
elderly lady of quality was' musing
over tho pasteboard rows. A lady of
quality that was distinctly tho phrase
to catch ones fancy at tho first
gllmpso of Mrs. Winter. Not an aged
lady, either, for even nt 80, that elo.
gantly molded, slim figure, that abun-1
uanco ot silvery nair parted In tho
middle and growing thickly on each
side In nature's own fashion, which art
can not counterfeit, as well as softly
puffed and massed above that ex.
qulsltely colored and textured skin,
strangely smooth for her years, with
tiny wrinkles of humor, to bo sure,
about tho eyes, but with checks and
skin unmarrcd; that fine, firmly carved
profile, thoso black oyebrows and
lashes and still brilliant dark eyes;
most ot all that erect, alert, dainty
carrlago, gave no Impression ot ago;
but they nil', 'and their accessories of
toilet and manner, and a Httlo prim
touch of &n older, morn reticent day
In both dress and bearing, recalled tho
last century phrase.
A soft gray bunch ot chinchilla fur
lay whero sho had slipped it on her
soft gray skirts; one hand rested In
tho fur her left hand and on the
third finger were tho only rings which
she woro, a band of gold, worn by GO
years, and a wonderful ruby, wherein
(at least such was Rupert's phantasy)
a writhing flamo was held captivo by
Its guard of diamond icicles. Tho
sanio rings admired by her nephow
over slnco ho was a cadet Just the
samo smiling, inscrutable, hlghbrod.
unchanging old damo!
'Good evening. Aunt Rebecca; not
a day older!" said tho colonel.
"Good ovonlng, Ilertle, returned Iho
lady, extending a hand over tho curds:
r'uxeue niy not rising to greet vou:
'.ImlBbt, Jogglp tho cards. Of course,
'I'm not u dar older: I don't dare to
was afraid you'd catch on, sor
grow older nt my ago! Bit down. I'm
extremely glnd to see you; I'yu a heap
to talk to you about. Do you mind If
I run this game through first?"
The colonel didn't mind. He raised
tho proffered hand to his lips; such
hemago seemed quite tho most natural
set In tho world wllh Mrs. Wlntor
And ho unobtrusively edged his own
lean and wiry person Into the vacant
sent opposite hor.
'ilow far nro you going?" said she.
after n fow mores of tho cards.
"My ticket says I.os Angeles; but
It had to say something, so I chose
I.01 Angeles for luck; I'm an Irre
sponsible tramp now, you know; and I
may drop off almost anywhere. You
are for southern California, aren't
'Kventually; but we shall stop nt
Ran Francisco for two or three
' Do you mind If I stop oft with you?
I want to get acquainted with my
ward," said the colonel.
"That's a good Idea, Bertie."
"He seems rather out of sorts; you
aren't worried about well, tubercu
losls or that sort of thing?"
"I am worried about Just that sort
of thing; although the doctor says
nothing organic at all is tho matter
with him: but ho Is too melancholy
for a boy; ho needs rousing. losing
his father nnd mother In one year, you
know, and ho was devoted to them. I
can't qulto make him out, Bertie; he
hasn't tho Winter temperament. I
supposo ho has a legal right to his
mother's nature; but It Is very nnnoy
ing It makes him so much harder
to understand not that she wnsn't n
good woman who mado Tom happy .
but sho wasn't a Winter However.
Janet has brightened him up consider
nbly-you'vo seen Janet Miss Smith"
What do you think of her?"
Winter said honestly that she was
very nlco-looking and that sho looked
right cnpablc; ho fell Into tho Idiom
of bis youth sometimes when with a
"She Is," said Aunt Robecca.
"Whero did you find her?" asked
tho colonel carelessly. Inspecting tho
Aunt Rebecca smiled. "I thought
Mllllccnt would havo given you all
tho particulars. Sho was nurse, secre
tary, companion and diet cook to
Cousin Angela Nelson: when sho died
t got her. I.ucky for me."
"So I should Judge." commented tho
"I presume Mllllccnt has told you
that she Is nn adventuress and after
my money and a heap nioro stuff. If
she hasn't sho will. Get a notion
once In Mllllccnt's head and a surgical
operation Is necessary to dislodge It!
Janet Is tho only mortal person who
could live with poor Cousin Angela,
who had enough real diseases to kill
her und enough Imaginary ones to
kltl anybody who lived with hor!
Janet mado her comfortable, would
not stand everything on earth from
her though sho did stand a heap
nnd really cared for hor. When she
died Cousin Angela left her somo
money; not very much, but a fow thou
sands. Sho would havo loft her more,
but Janet wouldn't let her. Sho loft
somo to somo old servants, who sure
ly deserved It for living with her. some
to charities nnd the rest to her sis
ters, who hadn't put a foot Insldo the
house, for 15 years, but naturally re
sented her not giving them every
thing. I reckon they filled Mllllccnt
up with their notions." She pushed
tho outspread cards together.
"You had several moves left," said
"Four. But thon, I was finished.
Bertie, you play bridge, of courso; and
I used to hear of your whist triumphs;
how did you happen to tako to whist?"
"To flit up the time, I reckon. I be
gan It years ago. Now a soldier') llfo
Is a great deal mora varied, hecauso a
roan will bo shitted around and get a
slfow of tho different kinds of service.
And thero aro tho exams., und tho
Philippines oh, plenty of diversions.
But In tho old days a man In the lino
was billed for mi awfully stupid time.
I didn't caro to tako to drink; and I
couldn't rend as you do It j'd had
books, which I hadn't, so I took to
playing cards. I played skat and
poker and whist, and of late years I've
played bridge. Mllllccnt plays?"
"Mllllccnt Is n celebrated player.
Sho was a great dupllcato-whlst play
er, you know. To seo Mllllcenl In her
glory, ono should play duplicate with
her. I'm only a chump player; ray
solo object Is to win tricks."
"What clso Bhould It bo?"
Aunt Rebecca smiled upon him. "To
glvo Information to your partner. Tho
main object of tho celebrated American-leads
Bystem Is signaling Informa
tion to your partner. Incidentally, ono
tells tho adversaries, na well us one's
partner, which, howovr, doesn't
count really as much us you might
think; for most people don't notlco
what, their partners pluy-very much,
and ijon't nptlco what their, adver
saries play at all. Mllllccnt Is al
ways bo busy Indicating things to her
partner and watching for his. slgnalu
and his Indications that you can run a
cross ruff la, on (hor without her bus-
She Answered After a Pause; "There
peeling. Sho asked mo once It ah
didn't play an intelligent game, nnd I
told her sho did: n babe In arms
could understand It. She didn't teem
"How nbout Archie? Can ho play a
"Very fair for n boy of It; he was
fond of whist until his troubles
came." said Mrs. Winter, with a faint
clouding of her keen gaze. "Since
then ho hain't takon much Interest In
anything. Junet has brightened, him
up more than anyone; and when ho
heard you wero coming that did rouse
him. You am one of his heroes. Ho's
that sort of n boy," sho dded. with a
tinge of Impatience In her soft south
ern volco. As If to divert her thoughts,
she began daftly 'moving tho cards
before her. Her hands showed tbo
bluo veins nioro prominently thnn thoy
show In young hands. This waa their
only surrender to time, they wero
shapely and white, and the ullin fin
gers wero as straight as when tho
beaux of Fairfax county would havo
ridden all duy for a chanco to kl
The colonel watched the great ruby
wink and glow. Tho ruby was a part
of his memories of his aunt; she had
always worn It. Ho rcmombercd It,
when sho used to como and visit him
at tho hold nt West Point, dazzling
Impartially ameers, professors, cadets
and hotel waiters. Was that almost
10 years ago? Well, 31 nnyhow! Sho
had been very good, very generous to
all the young Winters, then. Indeed,
although sho never qulto forgave hint
for not marrying tho wlfo of her sc
lectlng, she had always been kind and
generous to Rupert; yet, somehow,
while ho had admired and found
humorous Joy in his Aunt Rebecca, ho
wondorcd If ho had ever loved her.
Sho waa both beautiful and brilliant
when sho was young, a southern belle,
a northern socloty leader; her llfo was
full of conquests; her footsteps,
which had wandered over tho world,
had left a phosphorescent wako of ad
miration. She had always been u per
sonage. She was a power In Washing
ton after tho war; they had found her
uniquely delightful In royal courts
long before Americans were tho
fashion; sho had been of Importance
In New York, and they had loved her
epigrams In Boston; now, In hor old
age, she held n veritable Httlo court of
her own In tho provincial western city
which had been her husband's home.
Ho wont to congress from Kulrjidrt;
ho had mado n fortuuo thero, nnd
whon ho died, many years ago, In
I'gypt, back to his western home, with
dogged determination and lavish ex
penditures of both money nnd wit, his
widow had brought him to rest. Tho
roost Intense nnd solemn experience
ot a woman she had missed, for no
children had coins to thcin, but hor
husband had been her lover so lonit
as he lived, and uho had loved him.
HIiq had known great men; sho had
lived through wonderful events; and
ottiu her hand had been, oa Uioso
Was Gen. Philemon Mercer Co
She had been In tragedies, I' sa !
vlolabto coolness ot head, pc trj U
heart, had shielded her from r t ci
them. Tho husband of her rzv'b tie
nearest of her blood, the trWzh d
her middle llfo all had yne Ir'atie
dark; yet hero she sat, w"h tfi
smooth skin and her ' 1 ! ; a
eyes and her fragrant hanis isJj
smiling over her solitaire Tfc? cJ
onrl wondered If ho could ctt rrt
cllo himself with such rh!,ts.-;vT t:
his own narrowed and ec'.cl L'r
she was older than he yet lbs e:.!i
still find a zest In existence A3 tk
great passions gono, all the t's 'f
eats; and still her deter c .1 u
working, happy, possibly, la 1"J cit
exercise, disdaining the at- 5
who had had ovory succrsi Wa1 '
vitality! Ho looked at he r"--3
Her complexity bcwlhle 4 t'a,
not being of a complex us'-' e I
As ho looked, suddenly he 1 :1 1 a
self questioning why h r Iter i H
revival of youthrnl smoo'tst:!
tint, recalled somo other fir" tck'-Ji
ft... - It-at 1 v:1
an absolutely different ci.r:s
boring tho same dcllraar:.. '"-c
the samo oval contour 't? tii
brows who? who'qucrkJt'.'c- :d
Then ho nodded. Of '' u
tho man with tho moles, tto t :'-f
Ho looked enough like M J W ''
bo her kinsman. At one" t i - '
guess to tho test "Aunt "J
he. "havo you any kin Ida. k-i
"I reckon not. 1 m an aw'
less old party." said she t'i ' 1
wna a Wlntor, born as c.l u i cir
rl1 sml an vnu and Mel arl A:
aro double kin to me I : m,1-"
child, so I haven't air 'hl-s c-"
than third or fourth ecu t ' "
Virginia and Boston
"Havo you. by chanco a-r e::!
near or far, namod Mercer'
Resting hor fingertips on
Annt Rcbfcca seemed ta let c" c "
search amid Virginian anJ '-',
setts genealogical tables '
talnly," sho answered a " 8 f- ,
"thoro was Gen. Pbllnr.'T M" '
confederate army, you knew ani
son, Sam Nelson, Phil
cousin and Sam Nelson rJ!.V,:,
nnd Sam Nelson's sons w?'-!J
third, wouldn't they I'M J !
aro both dead, and "
daughter, Is dead, and loor It
grandson, you know r fc l
.hne him.rtir while at lizard l
hla brother Cory la 1TC.
(TO UK CONTIMI0'
Sells 8tatue to Frane. rf
Mmo. MauclU. Tlnayr ';! t
"l.a Rubollo" nnd U tf4
J'echc," la among tho ii-'
chovallors of tho Legion cf "
Mmo. (labrlollo Uuim -"' r,',.t
stntuo eutltlcd "Tr Ibc, t ' - ;:o,
haa been bought hy tho ITcucft t
and will bo put In tho I 'J.
present tho works of or,ir 80
sculptors are ronrwau