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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 28, 1902, Image 9

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note the passage of time as it went ¦low
ly on, minute by minute, as the beads of
a rosary move in the fingers of a praying
monk. But art last a small' metal clock
on the mantel struck 5. • . i
Carrismoyle's heart Jumped In response.
Now, the next few minutes mugt surely
prove whether he had been a fool or wise.
Mvn were beginning to come home to
Alberta street from their work. Outside
the window he could hear . their voices,
whistling, laughing or grumbling, while
weme'n or children answered. There were
many footsteps passing to and. fro. House
dcors slammed shut, voices died away.
But this house was still silent. The man
who sat waiting in the darkness felt a
weight of dread fall upon him lest he had
been cheated, lest Mrs. Dawson and
Berkeley had all along acted in collusion
and Berkeley would never come. He was
asking himself what he Had better do Iri,
case half past 5 came and still there were
no signs of the returning lodger, when his
blcod leaped at the sound .of a quick, im
patient rapping on the house door. He
had no means of informing himself
whether the hand that knocked 'was
Berkeley's or another's— still, the - sound
was welcome, for it meant hope, and he
waited, his heart beating thickly.
His Impulse was to rush out to the door,
but he knew that to do so might lose him
all he had gained, for Berkeley— if he
were there— would doubtless' turn and run
at sight of a strange man springing like
a Jack-in-the-box from the door of his
lodgings, and, as he presumably knew tha
neighborhood, it was far from sure that
a stranger would succeed in catching him.
Luckily, the watcher's patience was not
tried, for long. When the rapping was
not instantly answered, a key. was ap
t-lied to the lock and Carrlsmoyle heard
the sharp Bound with thanksgiving. Who
but ,Mrs. Dawson • and Mrs. Dawson s
lodger was likely to \ possess a latch key?
The door opened; there was a footfall
on the bare floor of the little passage,
then the door shut. ; '-._ ¦¦'.,.
, "Hallo, Mrs. Dawson !" exclaimed, a
voice, which . sounded : curiously different
in Carrismoyle's ears from any otber that
ho had ever heard. "This was not because
the voice was different in quality, but— if
the silent listener had analyzed his feel
ing—because it might be that of the man
who had villainously made himself mas
ter of Cecily Grant's fate. He was sur
prised, ¦ despite Mrs. Dawson's eulogiums
of her lodger,' to find that the mysterious
Mr. Berkeley's tones were unmistakably
those of a gentleman.
Silence fell heavily again as the unseen
man in the passage . paused for a reply.
When none came he repeated his call
more loudly than before, and then mut
tered something impatiently in too low a
tone for Carrismoyle to catch the words.
He heard, however, -the rasping noise. of
a match being scratched on the wall, and
he thought that he knew, what would hap
pen next. Nor" was he wrong In his sur
mise, for a second or two later the handle
of the door was seized from the other side
with a smart rattle and the door pushed
open. I
So forcibly was it thrown back that it
struck against the chair In which Carris
moyle had been : sitting. But he had risen
at the sound of the latch-key a few mo
ments before, and now stood still, a hand
upon the back of the rickety chair which
had been struck,' preventing it from fall
ing.
The fat, yellow flame of the wax~match
traveled slowly to the table, followed by
a black form ghostly Indistinct in the
darkness, so faintly broken- by the small,
flickering light.
of his strange hostess^ marched ;with his
own. ;Now that he. was -in the house, and
in her lodger's «itting-room— there being
no other .convenient place to put him— the
cowardly old woman was anxious to be
out of the way and [¦ avoid-', a. possible
storm.. If it were true, -as this Stranger
asserted, that when explanations had been
duly made Mr. Berkeley, would not be in
clined to, quarrel even with the" stratagem
which bad » brought him back, to town,
then there was nothing, to dread In the
future; while, in any event, she was; well
repaid fonjall she- might lose in. forfeiting
her lodger. But even her curiosity, ".usual-,
ly keen, was not vivid enough to keep her
in the house that she'' might behold that
first "meeting betweri the iwo' menJ She
lost no time, therefore,' iri. putting away
¦ her writing materials -and making herself ;
ready for the visit she planned to pay a
friend- Jn Peekham".'. '•,-•. .."'>.'•<
- • It was .4 o'clock -when- Mrs. Dawson j
went out. and Carrismoyle' had still an
hour to- wait-before- he:' could - expect to
ste Berkeley if the man kept to the time
of the appointment. */
Th£ one window; o*\ the . little Bitting
room'looked ¦uncompromisingly on the sor
did street, and whrfen the mistress of .the
house departed J Carrismoyle .thrust' -his
pocket-knife bo tightly' between the two
¦sashes, that the. windQW.'c6uld not easily .
be raised and pulled down the dingy yel
low and brown -.blind ¦•;' that Berkeley
should have no- chance of ' seeing that his
room had an -occupant until the i moment
when he should open. the door.- Daylight
still lingered' graylyv when, he took this
precaution; but in half- an hour it was
night in Alberta street.- „ ' . _-' .-. -
The details of .the < mean furniture and
the still meaner ornaments • were - blotted
out with shadow. .."Still Carrlgmoyle could
not avail -himself of the. cheap parafline
lamp which stood in/the' center of a moth
eaten worsted mat on the, tabled Berkeley
would be surprised, perhaps have his sus
picions ; aroused ;.if; be found- his room
lighted up In -his absence.', •¦ ; ¦'../.'..
At any moment • he might arrive now.
Carrismoyle's pulses "ticked like a watch
as he gat In a chair behind' the room
door (which ' would hide', him ¦ in opening)
listening to every sound* \ He ¦ could | not
"Yes, sir," the old woman responded.
**But I can't send till I hear again the
new address in France. She's going to
let me know as »oon as they're settled,
but che Bai<3 I , musn't worry If it wasn't
till after Christmas. Still, I thought as
I'd plenty of time on my hands Just now,
and not knowing quite what would hap
pen when Mr. Berkeley come back, I
might Just begin to thank her for the
for the present she sent. I'm a slow
writer."
"If that's her handwriting I should say
It wasn't so with your daughter," re
marked Carrismoyle, venturing to nod
towards tbe letter still grasped in the
knotty old fingers. .J-,'/"r
Mrs. Dawson did not seem displeased by
what she -took to be Intended as a com
pliment for her daughter, who was the
one being <?n earth she had ever genuine
ly loved. ¦
"My girPs clever with her pen," the old
woman announced. "This letter ain't writ
near so well as some I've 'ad from her.
The words don't run so free on the paper,
like. 'Tls as If shfe'd had a cramp in her
fingers, or her 'and had been too cold to
hold the pen comfortable compared to
most of 'em. And we 'ave had cold
weather. 1 dessay the new missus didn't
allow the poor gal a fire."
But Carrismoyle was hardly listening
toward the last. Mrs. Dawson's first
words had given him a new Idea, and
when the time came he would follow it up
to the end. But that time was not now.
He did not wish to detain her with fur
ther questions which could E^i asked later,
when the Berkeley affair had been set
tled. On the contrary, .' he was anxious
now to get her out of the house with
as little delay as need be.
Fortunately for Carrismoyle, the wishes
Tm fure Mr. Berkeley*wouldn*t object
to my making' use of his room to do a bit
cf wrltln' In when he's away," Mrs.
Dawsos said, apologetically. "But per
haps you mfght Just as well not men
tion it, ttr. If you don't mind. I meant to
'ave trot everything cleared away before
you coma, but you're that early" — and she
csucklsd a little uncomfortably— "you
caught me In the midst."
"I promise not to mention it, certainly,"
Carrlsmoyle assured, her, concillatingly.
••Were you answering your daughter's
letter?"
He allowed himself to glance at the
cb*ct of paper ch« held in her hand
which was covered with writing. He was
sur* that it could not be Mrs. Dawson's.
At t, however, he could no longer re
strain himself, and soon after he started
out. It was only half -past when the old
woman let him }nto her mean little house
for the thlrd''-;tlme In their brief and
strange acquaintance.
"Well, you arw a' gentleman to tak«
time by th» forelockl*' she exclaimed.
"Nothing vheard or seen of Mr. Berkeley
yet, and t. believe there will be.
whafs mor«i.tin the last minute. '.He
ain't such ion« for being prompt as you,
¦St." HiZL'HF- ' "¦ *&ki'li
Carrlcmeyla ' was relieved to hear this
and trusted that h* might believe the
tUUmeat
She ha/J a -letter In her h&nd when ehe
eame to -the door, and as She conducted
her visitor once more to Mr. Berkeley's
reom she gathered up pen and blotter and
Ink trora th* table.' which had been lit
tered with writing 1 materials.
It was no wonder that, with such "mag
gots in his brain," Carrismoyle could not
Bleep, despite the fact that he had scarce
ly closed his eyes for eight-and-forty
hours. Sometimes he Jumped up with tha
determination to go at once to Alberta
etreet, and again he sat down, telling
himself that he was a fool, and there was .
no reason to believe that Berkeley would"
have Bald 5 If he Intended to return at ,1
cr 2. If Carrlsmoyle was at the house by
4 it would certainly be soon enough, and
to present himself there hours before the
appointment would only fan Mrs. ' Daw r
son's suspicions, already smoldering, into
white heat. . .- ~ '.
Tt was maddening to think that this
might be. Perhaps the real Berkeley
vould not come to the house in Alberta
street this afternoon. While some im
postor took up Carrismoyle's time arid
put him off the track the man who
seemed to*e almost in his grasp might be
laughing at him for a fool, as he sped
further than ever out of the danger of
detection. Or it might be that Mrs. Daw
son had been true, but that Berkeley
would arrive in Alberta street hours ear
lier than he arranged to do with the In
tention of assuring himself of the wo
man's integrity. He might' frighten htr
Into telling all the truth, and by the time
tnat Caxrismoyle appeared for h:s coup
the wretch might long before have made
his escape. Then the amateur detective
would be punished for pitting himself
e gainst professionals who had worked at
the same business as many years, per
haps, as he had lived in the world.
CHAPTER VIII— CONTINUED.
Copyright, 1902, by the National Pre«B Agency.
from week to week and month to
month for chapters of a story, so ex
fcsperaiins; for those who try to follow'
the aerial story as it is generally
printed to. newspapers or magazines.
ThlM n*w departure in journalism
taken by The Call works a revolution
in the matter of giving the public the
best literature at a cost hardly worth
mentioning. By this method, for ten
er fifteen oents at the most, you have
th* opportunity of reading the best
rJrrtJqn that the book world of to-day
has to effer. Ifotice some of the books
that are to follow: First there will be
published, in two issues of The Sun
day Qall, ft splendid story of political
tad modal life of to-day by C. K. Lush
called *The Autocrats." Buy it at
the book stoi— ' and it will cost you
91.50— read It In The Call and it will
cost you but ten osnta. After this will
*ypmx in rapid* succession: "Alice of
Old Vtnoennes/' Maurice Thompson's
greatest work) "When Knighthood
Wu in Plover," the strongest story
Charles Majors ever wrote; "The
Leopard's Spots/' by Thomas Dixon
Jr., a book on the race problem that
has been the sensation of the season;
The Gentleman From Indiana," by
Sooth Tarklngton, the prettiest love
story ever written, etc., etc Remfiin
ber f the first half of "The Autocrats"
will appear in next Sunday's Call.
•-TpSIS tare.* of Um fcmday Call
I templates th* third aor«l in th«
» kxIm of Bt&ad&rd book* oi up
to-dat» fiction. Get The Call of last
6muday and that of to-day and yon
have the oomplete story of "The Mys
tery Box* 1 — one of the most Interest-
Ing books of the day. By fhi* method
cf publies-Uca there Is no waiting
It burnt down before the new-oomer •
succeeded in removing ' the globe and .
chimney from the lamp, and with a mut-.
tered oath as the flame burnt his fingers,
he flung the match on the floor, where It
lay, a crimson spark. Another match was
produced, and this time the lamp was
lighted. As the wick ignited. the room
was , uncertainly illumined. -Carrismoylo,
standing in shade, "looked eagerly out, and
found that he was. gazing at the back of:
a tall, broad-shouldered, hut slightly'
stooping figure, wearing -a hard, round.'
hat, and one of those long, tight-fitting
overcoats largely affected by -the racing : :
fraternity. ' . v -".." . "¦ - . .. :
-.Berkeley was no puny, wretch to be
lightly cowed by the superior strength
of his hidden enemy, when • the crucial';
moment should | come and the two be pit
ted one against '. another. > He was at least
as tall as " Carrismoyle ' himself, „. with , a
well-proportioned form which might easily
mean muscular agility. The man In the
shadow was glad of this as he stood wait
ing. And hs did not mean to wait much
longer now. ,
The lamp being lighted and fitted. with
chimney and globe once more, Berkeley
applied himself— still with his back unsus
piciously turned toward Carrlsmoyle
corner In a way that dumbly established
Mrs. Dawson's integrity— to . searching
among the few old papers on the table,
as if he expected to find something. He
then walked over ;to the mantelpiece.
"H'm! Old hag might have had the de
cency to leave a note If she was going
out," he mumbled. "Silly old ape, if she
hasn't stuck that purse . up there instead
of leaving-it for the fire! Fool!"
The Instant that Berkeley began to move
toward the mantelpiece Carrismoyle
stepped noiselessly from his corner behind
the door, and the almost simultaneous
sounds of Blamming it shut and turning
the key in the lock broke Into the midst
of the muttered soliloquy.
Quick as a flash the man at the mantel
wheeled round. Carrismoyle stood, with
his back to the door, quietly engaged In
slipping the key which he had snatched
from fts place Into his pocket.
The two stood | eying each other like a
couple of fencers, and Carrlsmoyle saw*
with a mingling thrill ot repulsion and
triumph that Mrs. Dawson's lodger ex- .
actly answered the description given by .
Miss Morley of the obnoxious person who
had stared at Cissy Grant on Bond street.
"Upon my word," remarked Berkeley,
"but you are a cool hand! I should tike
to know whether. I've to deal with a. bur- .
glar,for madman, or whether we're mere
ly .playing 'Box and Cox,' and our friend
Mrs. Dawson has let you this room in my
absence?"
"You must guess again." retorted Car
rismoyle, a dangerous light in his blue
•7«*. ;'.! -..'-. ' \
"What do you want with ine? And what
do you mean by your impudence?" went
on Berkeley, his sneering tone changing
suddenly to a menacing roughness, .'
. "I mean by my, impudence to have a
private talk with ; you," replied Carrls
moyle,. "and what I want" Is that you
should tell me, without any beating round
the bush— which ; won't be good for you —
what you have done with Miss Cecily
Grant."' ': -¦ "/¦'¦,.', . .... .,,...
"Hpe deep-set eyes narrowed In the : dark
face, with Its high, cheekbones and the
dissipated hollows underneath.: "So you
are a ' madman. ' after all,", Berkeley said
slowly. "I never heard of the lady whose
name you mention."; Now, wljl you- kindly
return the key to my door and leave my
room?". \ ' . ,
"No," exclaimed Carrlsmoyle, "I will
do neither until I've had th* truth,' and
the whole truth out of you. I mean to
have / It, either peaceably or by force, .
whichever you choose."; . r ,-' •. •
"It strikes me you want to get yourself
arrested, young sir," remarked Berkeley,
returning again to- sarcasm. "You secrete
yourself In a stranger's room, you blus
ter and threaten ". ,'¦ .- r
.."Nothing that I'm not ready to- per-'
form. I already know too much for your
safety, Mr. Berkeley. I fancy it won't be
for your good to call the police, though
you're free to do it the minute I've fin
ished with you. so far as I am concerned.'
Meanwhile, you may as well listen to me.
I'm aware that you, aided and abetted by
the daughter of the woman of this house,
have succeeded in kidnaping Miss Grant.
I am aware, also, that the villainous mes
sage sent to frighten that lady's father
was written In this room. I have; seen
and identified her purse' on your mantel. I
know that you sent a certain box to Sir
Redways Grant, no doubt in the" 'hope
that its contents would send him to. his
grave with horror. I have seen the body
which was buried in No Man's Cave on.
the . Devonshire coast, and ( then disin
terred and flung Into the sea, /Instead of
being identified as the bo'dy of Miss Grant,
as you intended, it has been satisfacto
rily proved not to be hers!'" Ail 'this is
known. The only ¦ thing-- that'- rerhalns- is .
to learn Where you have, pufher, andr that
I intend you shall ten me before.'-l Jeave
this room. I'm not a patient man, and I
don't Intend to stop here long." * -'_'/ ;¦/¦
The other gave utterance. to a harsh
laugh, but it hid a. growing nervousness". '.
VI shall certainly make no attempt to de
tain you." he sneered. • His black' eyes
turned toward the window, • then 'came
quickly back to Carrlsmoyle's face. *JOrice
for all, ; I tell you again," he went on, "JE
don't know what you are" driving. at. It
seems - to me that, you ¦ are • talking- gibber- .
. Ish, with your, ' Sir Redways. . and V your
Miss Grants and your ; caves, j You'^tj;
either mad or you- mistake" me for 'some,
one else. Anyhow, I'm jiot the man y«V
think."..; ¦ " :. - . ¦;-.. "¦¦•.;¦•'.- ' t E| ¦¦".- '¦_
"Pi'obably not. But you happen .to be'
the. man I want. And,' what's more, you'
happen to be the man I've got." % ¦
. Berkeley had been nervously unbutton
ing his overcoat during his last? speech,
and now with a swift, sudden movement
he flashed out from a pocket one of those
ugly weapons known across the sea as a
bowie-knife, j ; • ;., \ '" ¦ . ¦
"Oh, you've got' ¦ me, have you?" he
echoed. < "Two can play at .mob^ games,
my friend. I'm a peaceable fellow and
1 don't like rows, especially with I luna
tics, but the quarrel is forced upon me..
Get out of my room and out of this,house
without any more crazy -nonsense or I'll
have to turn doctor for the good of your
head and bleed you." ;. . '•• *• '*
"Yes, two-can, play at most .games,"
repeated Uarrismoyle: ' ¦ \ ' ' '.
He whipped out a* revolver, bought and
loaded that - morning, and took; afan as
' Berkeley a step toward, him.
F.linchin'g 'and paling' slightly, ihei man
suddenly checked himself.
your^ knife," Carrlsmoyle. said,
; •¦'.:;¦ ' . *" v '->; : , . % : Vi-t
• /Berkeley hardly winced, and he tlld not
"drop the knife. But. he, spoke, and his
Voice was not quite steady: ..-^
"You pretend,: to^ think '• that I have in-,
formation that you want tfo get," -he said.
"If you Ttill me, wouldn't it.be like killing
a' goose i that lays golden eggs?" - „
" "One golden" e"gg- was taken from the
body of. the goose after death," returned
his 1 enemy. " " t - , ¦'.-'¦ \ .
The retort^was a mere chance shot, but
for some reason the .shot told, and Car
. rismoyle/spraDgrto.lthe ., conclusion ¦ that
, Berkeley (or this, man called himself
Berkeley) carried ' v 'compromising papers
about hisrpersbn. He dropped, the knife,
which struck ; the floor noisily. ; ;
"Now* are you "contented,' madman?" he
demanded. '' '. ¦.•'-'••_ - ¦*., •* :¦-• v " v"; ¦ •' .
"I shall."-, be contented, when,! know
where ta'flnd ;'.Miss . Grant, '-not* before.
Where 4s:'-8he? VBe careful. 'Don't attempt
Vor..* arguments;' I w'on't stand
v either, 'if I'm a' desperate 'man, and I warn'
-you I'll stick • at "nothing/ I "give you whl^e
I count.ten to begini'.If you don't begin— ".
: -and to\ the- point--on. the, ifenth- count . I
: shall shoot. • ; I ;' see ..what'st. In j your mind.
But it's' no use shouting; fprhelp*. Befora
a 1 yell '.could - get ? anyJ: further than your
'lips you'd have a hole ' in ' your , lungs.
Now! One— twdj— three^— " ¦ /¦ ./ •¦
"Coward— murderer!" . 'd '' " .' - ¦
"I wouldn't bother, calling names.' Pour
— five— slx-U- "..».;; „""','¦ ;'-¦ • . ¦." v ...,-' : •'
"If . you put. away your revolver. I'll
speak out the little I know, entirely; an
outsider- — ""¦.'.;. - .! :• ¦¦¦¦-*. ..•
J "Seven— eight— nln^—" „• >• ., .** .-'. 4 " . j '.
"Let me sit down— I. can't stand much
more of this— I'm not - as- young -< as
-••Ten — -" ..'¦¦;-.'¦"."•• ¦¦''.'-. :.^' ¦: : V '^-\z : 1-- '¦
"Great heavens, I'm going to speak! -'¦ I
do know something. of what- you want to
find out. But you'll have t,o waitia min
ute, If -you expect me to go on.\ I must
sit down." " '. "" , : ; ';!.' '
He dropped into a chair by the table
¦ where a couple of hours ago' Mrs. Dawson
had sat writing; "Now I must have- ago
of brandy. My heart's weak. I'm played
out. The liquorta in my • pocket." • : •
. Carrismoyle had offered no opposition so"
far. 'He. even let Berkeley's hand go. to
his breast pocket, for he knew that,' as
the man's heart was covered by his re
volver, .before > any 'concealed" weapon
could be drawn and aimed he would have
time to fire.- But it was nothing more nor
less than a brandy' flask: that/was . pr6r
duced. - Unscrewing, the metal top Berke
ley put his mouth eagerly to his lips. His
hand shook. He split some brandy, which
trickled over his tie and soiled his shirt
front. - • Carrismoy le ; guessed \ that . ' I he
"feigned at least as much nervousness as
he felt, and that he -was desp«ra,t«l7 tarr
ing to gain time. ."•.¦-.: -
"Take your drink and have don* with
It," -the younger man said, sternly. Til
•wait no longer." - :
He took half a step nearer the occupant
of the chair, who gave a great start, as
if In fear of what was - to happen next.
The flask fell from his hand, and, as If
mechanically, he stooped down to retrieve
it.'
For an instant's space Carrlsmoyle was
off his guard; but it was an instant too
long for him, and the trick which Berke
ley had all along been planning and now
had carried out achieved success.
Quick as lightning "he sprang at his en
emy, leaping up under the arm hand
which held the revolver, so suddenly and
with such force as to loosen Carrismoyle':*
grip. At the same time, with a peculiar
twist, he wound his leg round Carria
n.oyle's ankle, causing him to stagger.
Then, as the hand wK.» the revolver wa*
thrown up, a tigerish blow -sent the wea
pon flying. \
CHAPTER DC
A GAME PLAYEI> BY TWO.
In nine cases out of ten. a revolver at
full 'cock would have gone off as it fell
and struck the floor. But this was the
exceptional tenth case. The weapon con
trived to fall without striking th» trigger.
With no explosion and only the muffled
sound of metal coming In sudden contact
with carpet-covered wood it disappeared
in a dark corner, finding lodgment under
a dilapidated chest of drawers. It was
lost to both men equally, for the moment
at least, like the dropped knife, and In this
struggle wherein they clenched, grappling
together for- supremacy, strength and
skill and endurancoyalone would decide
the end. , •. : .
The revolver was out of sight: but the
lamplight touched the steel of the bowie
knife and sent up an alluring flash. Slow
ly—as they wrestled together, each one
striving to free himself from the grasp of
the other-rCarrismoyle managed to draw
Berkeley nearer and nearer to the thing
that glittered on the floor.
He had righted himself after stagger
ing back for that single instant, though
too late to defeat his enemy's principal ob
ject, which had been to even matters be
tween them by depriving him of his
weapon. - ' . .
"it was useless at present" for either one
to think of the revolver, since there was
no hope of making a sudden dart to re
trieve. It from under the chest of drawers.
But each man determined that he would
be the one to obtain the knife. .
- Carrtsmoyle would have had, in ordinary
circumstances, many advantages over his
jcpponent. He was years younger; be" was
an athlete who did not neglect to keep up
with' athletic sports; he had - never pois- "
oned .his blood,. as the other had. by over
indulgence in- alcohol. Butjtt was not
¦many vinonths;- since he .had returned in
valided, frqm. South .Africa,; i££ had hardly
yet regained, his *uli strength, perhaps;
and he was additionally handicaoDed by
-.the fact that he was exhausted from lack
.of food and sleep. After "aril, if he had
listened to Robert. Lester's advice, he
might have been wiser, and though it
was too late to' profit 'by thinking of this,
he 'did thifffc' of Tt' as he- was gradually
forced to acknowledge himself not nearly
Jas much She'enemy's superior. In physical
stamina as he had believed.
'¦'.: There wa» something catlike In the
fierce, desperate way 'that the elder man
clung to him. and twisted routed, him, not
according to any rules of wrestling which
obtain in so-called civilized countries, but
with the stealthy, untutored; ferocity of
some half-savage son .of :the !east.
\ So, silently, inch ~by inch, they moved
toward thel knife, which turned the keen
point of its blade toward them.^ The eyes
of each held those of the other in as close
an. embrace as that of their .-arms on ona
. another's body. Yet, somehow, they had
seen the knife. They knew where It lay*,
even, to that part cf the. figure In the old
and faded carpet which It covered.
At last they were close "upon it. Carris
moyle could have pushed it further away
• with his foot, thus depriving Berkeley of
the chance he wanted. If he had not want- •
ed the sa me" chance himself and been bent
upon snatching it .if possible. If, Berke
ley got the knife, now. that his blood was
up, he- would kill Carrtsmoyle if he could,
and trust to luck- or his own cleverness—^
which was undisputed— to hide the crime
as perhaps he had succeeded in hiding
others. If, on the contrary, Carrlsmoyle
' was the fortunate one,! Berkeleyhad much
to hope for. As he had said, he was, the
goose with !tbe golden eggs, and, despite
'the other's threat.it would hardly be worth
while ; to " kill him for the sake ' of . one,
when by ¦ sparing his life more might be
obtained. ..•• ¦*,.¦,; .' .. *J*-; -.-
Carrismoyle knew\ that he had every
thing^ to . gain and everything to- lose in
this game that was being played so even
ly. "And he fought for the. .girl he loved
more ', than for. himself. ', Her beauty
seemed to rise before him. and shut out
that '. dark face, congested now with rage,
so hatef ully : near his own.' Still' for" her.
he pat out all the strength! that was in
him, with a sudden effort to lift the other
man' and throw him. ' . . , ''i.' Z.
For , a moment they ; struggled and
strained In each other's" grasp, then Berk
eley's relaxed, as If, at .the turn of his for
; tune's tide. " It w^sym'Carrtsznoyle's mind
¥ \o ¦. fling ' the catlike; 'clinging body*'. off ,
f and,v while, he was helpless, sejxe f.the
knife. Then he could make his own terras
again, ,But, .even as ; Berkeley fell; 'Tie
caught the younger man round both. legs
and tripped him « up-, also. They cams
crashing down together', Berkeley under
neath". This was the one time out of a
thousand, . However, when the advantage
was with the -under man. for as Berke-.)
.ley's '.back' -touched the floor, so;did : hls I
hand .touch the knife, '.i : :.'". ]+
lV But.it was. the blade., not the handle he j
grasped. The fraction of a second passed I
before he could, use the. advantage he, had )
gained, and in that fraction ; Caixismoyls
wasr " up.- He saw tfcen-^wbat he had . not -
seeV. before— that BerkiVy had the knife,
•and quick as lightning he' raized* a chair.
swinging It into the air and down orif the .
lifted right arm of ' the man who • wa «
leaping at him with the bowte-kn<f« J ¦
.'.The blow struck Berkeley 'to hia kne>*.
and ' the weapon [ flew ' out -'at his : hand
far away;' but instead of springing af tef
it, Carrismoyle used 'the time- which the
enemy must take to* recover— though it
were but long enough to count . three—
• for another. purpose. .With- two great
strides he had reached the chest of draw- .
ers in the corner, and just as Berkeley
had retrieved . his knife and was ' stag- .;
gering to his feet. Carrlsmoyle faced him \
with th * recovered revolver. - ;¦ ; .> '•
'He- was panting and near to exhaus- "
'tlon,*\e^ he laughed out In the Joyous
excitement of ., his . triumph/ "Now." he
.said, breathing quickly, ."we'll begin" our
a conversation . again— where we left off.
: And, by 'the way, I'll trouble you to lay
•your knife cm the table.".. ,
¦'¦; Berkeley obeyed, glaring at the man
who had beaten him at his own came,
with fierce, bloodshot eyes, llk» tho*t ot
a chained bulldog that boys hav» baited.
! "I give In." he said, hoarsely, as tu
THE MYSTERY BOX
PART II

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