The farmer shrugged his shoulders and, cursing
under his breath, yielded to the serucanl's arguments.
That worthy organized a strict watch, distributed the
HJfOtheri Ooussot and the lads from the village under
In men's eyes, made sine that the ladders were locked
away, and established his headquarters in the dining
room, where he and fanner Ooussot sat and nodded
over S decanter of old brandy.
The night passed quietly. I _very two hours, the
sergeant wenl his •rounds and inspected the posts.
There were no alarms. Old Traiuard did not budge
from his hole.
At break of day, the thirteen acres of land within
the walls were searched, explored, gone over in every
direction by a score of men who beat the bushes with
sticks, trampled over the tall grass, rummaged in the
hollows of the trees and scattered the heaps of dry
leaves. Hut old Trainard remained invisible.
"Beats me altogether," declared the sergeant.
And, indeed, there was no explaining the phe
nomenon, for, after all, apart from a few old clumps
of laurels and spindle-trees, which were thoroughly
beaten, all Ihe trees were bare. There was no build
ing, no shed, no stack —- nothing, in short, that could
serve as a hiding-place.
As for the wall, a careful Inspection convinced
even the sergeant thai it was physically impossible
to scale it.
In the afternoon, the investigations were begun all
over again in the presence of the examining magis
trate and the public prosecutor's deputy. The results
were no more successful. Nay, worse, the officials
looked upon the matter as so suspicious that they
could not restrain their ill-humor and asked:
with anger. "Did she see double when the scamp
, id, her by the throat? Go and look at the marks,
f well. Hut then, where is the thief?"
•ear I '11 lay hands on him. true as I stand
thouted Farmer Goussot. "Tt shall not be said
re been robbed of six thousand francs. Yes.
isand! There were three cows 1 sold; and
c wheat crop and the apples. Six thousand
otes, which I was just going to take to the
sh you luck." said the examining magistrate,
i-ent away, followed by the deputy and the
neighbors also walked off; and. by the end
fternoon, none remained but the Ooussots and
Joussot proceeded to explain his plan. Hy day.
■re to search. At night, they were to keep a
t watch. It would last as long as it had to.
ainard was a man like other
ud men have to eat and drink.
ainard must needs, therefore,
ul of his earth to eat and to
"At most," said Ooussot, "he can
have a few crusts of bread in his
pocket. He might even pull up a
root or two at night; but how will
he get water to drink/ There's only
the spring; and he '11 he a clever dog
if he gets near that."
They kept watch for fourteen con
secutive nights. And for fourteen
days, while two of the men and
Mother Goussot remained on guard,
the five others explored the Heber
ville grounds. There had been no
sign of Traiuard.
The farmer stormed. He sent for
a retired detective inspector wdio
lived in the neighboring town. The
inspector stayed with him for a
whole week. He found neither old
Traiuard nor the least clew of his
Shocking days passed. Farmer
Ooussot could no longer sleep, but
lay shivering with fever. The sons
became morose and quarrelsome and
never let their guns out of their
reporters came from the assize-town, from Paris it
self; they were rudely shown the door by Farmer
Old Traiuard had now been hidden within the
walls of Heberville for something like four weeks.
THE SEMI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE SECTION
.-.!- 1.,,,..... *.. t___ ••....( in tin,III
again uegau to take loot in tlieni.
One line morning, at about ten o'clock, an automo
bile, crossing the village square at full speed, broke
down and came to a dead stop.
The driver, alter a careful inspection, declared
that the repairs would take some little time; where
upon, the owner of the car
resolved to wait at the inn
and to lunch. He was a.
gentleman on the right side
of forty, with close
cropped side-w'tuskers and
himself at home with the
Of course, they told him
He had not heard it before,
as he had been abroad; but
il seemed to interest him
greatly. He made them give
linn all the details, raised
objections, discussed vari
ous theories with a number
of people who were eating
at t lie same table and ended
of this sort of thing. And,
if I were on the prem-
Ooussot was in one of those
frames of mind when we
are little disposed to protest against outside
interference. His wife, at any rate, was very
"Let the gentleman come, if he wants to."
The gentleman paid his bill and instructed his
driver to test the car on the high-road as soon as
the repairs were finished:
"I shall want an hour," he said, "no more. Be
ready in an hour's time."
Then he went to Farmer Goussot's.
He did not say much at the farm. Old Goussot,
hoping against hope, was lavish with information.
The stranger produced the straw that he had picked up
He took his visitor along the walls down to the little
door opening on the fields, produced the key and
gave minute details of all the searches that had been
made so far.
Oddly enough, the stranger seemed not to be lis
tening. He merely stared, with a rather vacant gaze.
When they had been round the estate, old Goussot
"Well ?" v
1 lien, lie saici.
"There 'a only one thing that inter-
Snd done, was free at night and able
to feed on what he could pick up. But
"Out of the question!" shouted the
farmer. "Quite out of the question!
Scraw.'cd with a piece of chalk on the
ran through it, slow and clear.
"The water's not more than a foot deep, is it?"
In order to measure it, he picked up from the
grass a straw which he dipped into the pool. But,
as he was stooping, he suddenly broke off and looked
"Oh, how funny!" he said, bursting into a peal
"Why, what's the matter?" spluttered old Goussot,
rushing toward the pool, as if he thought a man
could have lain hidden between those narrow boards.
The stranger produced the straw
that he had picked up:
"There, here's the straw that he used to get his
long drink. You will see, there 's more of it than
usual: in fact, it is made of three si raws stuck into
one another. That was the first thing I noticed, those
three straws fastened together. The proof is con
"But, hang it all, the proof of what?" cried Farmer
"Is there enough pressure
to bring it into the pool of
"And where does the
water go, when it runs out
of the pool?"
"Into this pipe here,
wdiich goes under ground
and carries it to the house,
for use in the kitchen.
There's no way he could
have got water."
"Has n't it rained during
the last four weeks.'"'
"Not once: I 'ye told you
The stranger went to the
spring and examined it.
The trough was formed out
of a few boards of wood
joined together just above
the Ground: and the water
"He's neither in the pool nor
under it," replied the stranger, who
was still laughing.
He made for the house, eagerly
followed by the farmer, the old
woman and the four sons. The inn
keeper was there, also, as were the
people from the inn who had been
watching the stranger's movements.
There was a dead silence, while they
waited for the extraordinary dis
"It's as I thought," he said, with
an amused expression. "The old
chap had to quench his thirst some■
■ where; and, as there was only the
spring. . ."
"Oh, but look here," growled
Farmer Goussot, "we should have
"It was at night."
"We should have heard him. . .
and seen him, too, as we were close
"So was he."
"And he drank the water from
the pool?" gasped Goussot.
(Continued on Page 9 )
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