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*i'shaw! You have a bag fun of t
tricks. You can easily manae to put
him into an equivocal position out Of
which he cannot possibly squirm 90 1
far as the gir is concerned. A litt I
melodrama, arranged for the benefit
of Florence. Fa into Norton's arms
at the right moment, or something 1
"I suppose I could. But if I failed
"You're too damnably clever to fal
in your own particular work. Some
thing has got to be done to keep those
two apart. I've often thought of raid- I
ing the house boldly and carrying off
the whole family, Susan and all. But I
a wholesale afair like that would be
too noisy. Think It over, Olga; we
have gone too far to back down now. t
There's always Russia; and while rm
the boss over here they never cease I
to watch me. They'll make me an
swer for a falure like this."
She eyed him speculatively. 'You 1
"O, the money doesn't matter. It's
the game. It's t'he game of playing
fast and loose with society, of pilfer
Ing ith it with one hand and making
it kow-tow with thE other. It's the
sport of the thing. What was your
i "We could go away together, to
- "And tire of each other within' a
month," he retorted shrewdly. "No;
we are in the same boat. We could
not live but for this never ending ex.
citement. And, more than that,-We I
never could get far enough away from
the long arm of the First Ten. We'll
have to stick It out here. Can't YOU
"Yes, I can see."
But In her heart she knew that she
would have lived in a hut with this
man till the end of her days. She
abhorred the life, though she never,
by- the slighest word, let him become I
aware of it. There was always that
abiding fear that at the first sign of
weakness he would desert her. And t
she was wise in her deductions.
Braine was loyal to her because she
held his Interest. Once that failed.
he would be off and away.
The next afternoon the countess,
having matured her plans against the
happiness of the young girl who
trusted her, drew up before the Har
greave place and alighted. Her wel
come was the same as ever, and this
strengthened her confidence.
' The countess was always gesticu
lating. Her hands fluttered to empha
size her words. And the beautiful
diamond solitaire caught the girl's
eye. She seized the hand. Having an
affair of her own, It was natural that
she should be interested In that of
"I never saw that ring before."
tess assumed a shy air which would
have deceived St. Anthony. She
twisted the ring on her finger.
t "Tell me!" cried Florence. "Tou
I"No. Money should not matter when
your heart is involved."~
As this thought was In accord with
her own, Florence nodded her. bead
"it is nothing serious. Just a fancy'.
I shall never marry again. Men are
gay deceivers; they always have been
A.Llttie Melodrama Arranged for the'
Benefit of Florence.
and always will be. Perhaps I'm a bit
wicked; but I rather like to prove my
theory that almen are weak. If!I
had a daughter I'd rather have her be I
an old man's darling than a young t
man's drudge. I distrust every man I 4
know. I came to ask you and Susan
to go to the opera with me tonight.
You will come to my apartments first. I
You will come?"
"To be sure we will!"1
"Simple little fool!" thought the
Russian onthe way home. "She shalli
"I believe the countess Is engaged
to be married," said Florence to
' "Yes. I couldn't get anything deft
naite out of her, but she had a beauti
ful ring on her finger. She wants
Susan and me to go to the opera with
her tonight. Will that be all right?"1
Jones gazed abstractedly at the rug.
Whenever a problem bothered him he
seemed to find the so'ution in the deli
eate patterns of the Persian rugs. Fi
nally he nodded. "I see no reason
why you should not go. Only, watch
-Jones, there Is one thing that will
m,.~ake me brave and happy. Will you
Times. Get i
jS paid up, o
el me If you are i obect O=Um
dcation with my father?"
"Yes, Miss -Florence," he awered
romptly. "But do not breathe ts
o a single soul, neiter taee at
"I promise that. But, ah! hasten
he day when he em eem. to me
"That is my wish also."
"You need not call me mb. Why
"It might not be vise to. have any
ne hear me call you thus famliAy,"
ae objected gravely.
"Please yourself about that. Now I
ruet telepbone JIm."
"Jim?" the butler murmured.
He caught the word whik ws not
mtended for his ears. Det for ones
'ones had been startled ott of hita
"Is it wrong for me to call Mr. Mor
on Jim?" she asked "with a t of
'"It Is not considered quite the prop
tr thing, Miss Florence, to eall a
'oung man by his first name unless
ou are engaged to marry him, or
w up with him from childhood."
ell, supposing I were engaged to
"That would be a very grave afair.
Vhat have you to prove that he may
tot wish to marry you for your
"Why, Jones, you know that I
taven't a penny in the world I can
al my own! There is nothing to
orove, except your word, that I am
Itanley Hsrgreaves daughter."
. "No, there ti nothing to prove that
ou are his daughter. But hasn't it
iver occurred to you that there might
e a purpose back of this? Might it
tot be of inestimable value that your
ather's enemies should be lef In
loubt? Might it not be a means of
olding them en the leash? There is
roof, ample proof, my child; and
rhen the time comes these wil be
hown you. But meantime put all
hought of marrying Mr. Norton out
of your mind."
"That I refuse to do," quietly. "I
am at least mistress of my heart;
.nd no one shall dictate to me whom
shall or shall not marry. I love Mr.
lorton and he loves me, knowing that
may not be an heiress after all. And
ome day I shall marry him."
Jones bowed., This seemed to ap
ear fnal to him, and nothing more
ms to be said.
Norton did not return to his rooms
III seven. He found the telephone
all and also a note In a handwriting
muamillar. He tore off the envelope
nd found the contents to be from the
"Call at eight tonight," he read. "I
ave an important news story for you.
en no one, as I cannot be Involved
rithe case. Cordially, Olga, Countess
Eumph! Norton twiddled the note
a his fingers and at length rolled It
ito a ball and threw it into the waste
lasket. He, too, made a mistake; he
hould have kept that note. He
tessed, dined, and hurried off to the
.partments of the countess.
He arrived ten minutes before Floe
soe and Susan.
And Jones did some rapid telephon
"How long, how long!" the butler
murmured. How long would this
:trange combat last? The strain was
errible. He slept but little during
he 4ights, for his ears were always
ratting for sounds. He had cast
he chest Into the sea, and it would
ake a dosen- expert divers to locate
t. And now, atop of all these wor
lea, the child must fall in love with
he first comer! It was heartbreak
rig. Norton. so far as he had learned,
as cool and brave, honest and rell
bie in a pinch; but as the husband
if Stanley Hargreave's daughter, that
was altogether a different matter. And
se must devise some means of putting
istop to it, but
But he was saved that trouble.
Mongoose and cobra, that was the
game being played; the cunning of
he one against the deadly venom of
he other. If he forced matters ha
would only lay himself open to the
trike of the snake. He must have
>atlence. Gradually they were break
ng the organization, lopping off a
>ranch here and there, but the peace
>f the future depended upon getting
a grip on the spine of the cobra him
The trick was simple. The count
ics had news; trust her for that. She
exhbted a cablegram. dated at Gib
-altar, In which the British authoui
les stated definitely that no such a
person as William Orts, aviator, had
,rrived at Gibraltar. And then, as he
'ose, she rose also and gently preeip
tated herself into his arms, fat at
he moment Florence appeared in the
Very simple, indeed. When a wem
in falls toward a man there Is noth
ng tor him to do but extend his arms
;o prevent her from falling. Outward
y, however, to the eye which saw
nly the picture and eomprehended
it the sause, It had all the hallmarks
>f an affectionate embrace.
Florence stood perfectly stIl te a
noment, then turned away.
"I beg your pardon," said the essa6
ss, "but a sudden fainting spellselsa
h y heart is a bit weak.*
't mention It," replied the gab.
ant Norton. He was as innocent as
a babe as to what had sea)1y tae
Mlorence weat baek hems. Bie
irote a brief note to Nortoa and is
losed the ring which she had seeret.
Ly worn attached to a lile Eian
round her neck.
When Norton eamse the next day
she refused to see him. ft was all
aver. She nernr wished te se him
)W to The Tin
n the game ~
r you might b
(CONTINUED FROM LAST W
"He says there has been some cruel
mistake," said Jones.
"I saw him with the countess in his
ams. I do not see any cruel mis.
take in that. I saw him. Tell him so.
And add that I never wish to see him
Then she ran swiftly to her room,
where she broke down and erled bit
terly and would not be comforted by
"In heaven's name, what has hap.
pened?" demanded the frantic lover,
"what has happened?"
The comedy of the whole affair lay
In the fact that neither of the two
suspected the countess, who consoled
The Leap In the Darkt
So far as Jones was concerned, he
was rather pleased with the turn of
affairs. This was no time for love
making; no time for silly. innocuous
quarrels and bickerings, in which love
must Indulge or die. Florence no
"I Never Saw That Ring Before."
longer rode horseback, and Norton
returned to his accustomed haunts,
where no one made the slightest at
tempt upon his life. In his present
state of mind he would have welcomed
"What's the matter with Jim?
asked the night city editor, raisink his
"I don't know," answered the copy
"Goes around as if he'd been eating
dope; bumped into the boss a while
ago and never stopped to apologize."
"Perhaps he's mapping out the front
page for that Hargreave stuff,"
laughed the copy reader. "Between
you and me and the gate post, I don't
believe there ever was a man by the
name of Hargreave."
"Oh, there was a chap by that name,
all right. He's dead. A man can't
swim 300 miles In rough water, life
buoy or no. They ought to have
funeral services, and let it go at that."
"But what was the reason for that
fake cable from Gibraltar saying that
Orts was alive? I don't see any sense
"The man who pulled it off did. I
think, for my part, that both Orts and
Hargreave are dead, and that the man
picked up by the tramp steamer Orient
was riding some other balloon."
"You're wrong there. The descrip
tion of It proved that it was Orts' ma
chine. Oh, Jim probably has got a
man's size yarn up his sleeve, but he's
a long time in delivering the goods.
He's beginning to mope a good deal.
Woman back of It somewhere. Haven't
held down this copy job for twelve
years without being able to make some
tolerable guesses. Jim's a star man.
When he gets started nothing can stop
him. He covered the Chinese Boxer
rebellion better than any other corre
spondent there. I wonder how old he
"0, I should say about 'thirty-one or
two. Here he comes now. 'Lo, Jim!"
"Hello! Where's Ford? He gave
me a ticket to the theater tonight, and
I want to punch his head. What's
drama coming to, anyhow? Cigarettes
and booze and mismated couples.
Can't they find good enough things
out of doors? Oh, I know. They cater
to a lot of fools who believe that what
they see Is an expression of high life
In N~ew York and London. And it's
rot, plain rot. It's merely the scum
on the boiling pot. And any old house
wife would skim it off and chuck It
into the slops. Life? Piflel"
"What's the grouch?"
"Lgoking for the dramatic job?"
"No. I've just been wondering how
far these theatrical managers can go
without slitting the golden goose."
Norton sought his desk and began
rummaging the drawers. He was not
hunting for anything; he was merely
passing away the time. By and by,
when the pastime no longer served,
he pulled his chair over to the window
and sat down, staring at stars such
as Copernicus never dre-amed of. Ships
going down to sea, ferries swooping
diagonally hither and thither, the
clockwork signs; but he took no note
e these marvels of light.
"Not at home!" he muttered.
He had called, written, telephoned.
No use. The door remained shut,
Jones answered the telephone, and the
letters came back. He began to think
vry deeply concerning the Perigoff
woman. Had she played a trick? Had
that fainting spell been buncombe for
his benefit as well as Florence's? But
he had not a shadow of a proof. The
SIing that pussled him equally with
Ls, and get th4
ie Pastime will
nd win the $
e cut off in the
EEK-LOOK FOR NEXT ISSUJ
this was that all attempts against his
life had miraculously ceased; no safes
thundered down in front of him, and
no autos tried to crve him In two.
The only thing that kept him active
was the daily call of Jones by wire.
Miss Florence was well ;that was all
Jones was permitted to say.
Restlessly Norton spurned his chair
and walked over to the. telephone
booth. It was midnight He might or
might not be able to get Jones. But
almost instantly a voice said, "What
"Yes. Who is itr"
"Why, you called me up not ten
"It was your voice, as plain as day."
"What did I want?" keen all at once.
The reply did not come Immediately.
"You are certain it was not you?"
"Wait a moment and I'll call the
editor. He will prove to you that I've
been here for an hour, and that this
is the first call I've made. Some one
has been imposing on you. What did
they ask you to do?"
"You asked me to come down to the
office at once, and I requested you
to come to the house, and you said you
could not. I declined to stir."
"What did you think?"
"Exactly what you're thinking-that
they have come to life again."
"Jones, is Miss Florence awake?"
"Do you think there is any hope of
having her understand what really
"I am here only to guard her. I can
not undertake to read her thoughts."
"You're not quite in favor of a reoe
"Oh, yes, if it went no further.
Young people are young people the
"What does that mean?"
"That they would not create imagi
r.ative heartaches if, they were not
young. Better let things remain ex
actly as they are. When all these
troubles are settled finally, the lesser
trouble may be talked over sensibly.
But this is not the time. Thcre is no
Norton returned to his schair, gloom
ler than ?ver. With his feet upon the
window sill he stared and stared and
dreamed and dreamed till a hand fell
upon his shoulder. It belonged to one
of the office boys.
"Note f'r you, sir."
Norton read it and tore It Into little
pieces. Then he rose and distributed
the pieces in the several yawning
waste baskets which strewed the aisle
leading to the city desk.
"I'm not wanted for anything?" he
"No. Clear out!" laughed the night
city editor. "The sight of you is put.
ting everybody In the gloom ward."
Norton went down to the street. At
the left of the entrance he was quietly
joined by a man whose arm was car
ried in a sling. He motioned Norton
to get into the taxicab. They were
dropped In a deserted spot In Rivdr
dale. On foot th-ey went forward to
their destination, which proved to be
the deserted hangar of the aviator',
"I want you to tell Jones that a tug
and several divers are at work on the
spot where he threw the chest. That's
all. Now, doctor, rewind this arm of
The amateur surgeon made a very
good job of it; not for nothing had he
followded fighting armled to the front.
"Did they find anything?"
"Not up to date. But we might if
we cared to. They have left a buo34
ver the spot they're exploring. But
just now it floats a quarter of a
mile to the east of the spot."
"Who were the men in the motor
boat that chased Jones."
"Only Jones can tell you. Queer old
"A bit stubborn. He wants to handle
it without police assietance."
"And he's right. We are not aiming
to arrest anyone," sinisterly. "There
can't be any draw to this game. Here,
no smoking. Too much gas afloat."
Norton put the cigarettes back into
his pocket. "What's the real news?"
he demanded. "You would not bring
me out here just to rebandage that
arm. It really did not need it. Come,
out with it."
"I'm paid to be sharp."
"I've found where the Black Hun
dred holds its sessions."
"By George, that's news!"
"The room above is vacant. A little
hole in the ceiling, and who knows
what might happen?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"Tell Jones. When the next meet,
ig come around I'll advise you. I've
stumbled upon a dissatisfied member.
So, buck up, as they say. We've got
two ends of the net down, and with
a little care we'll have them all. Now
let me have a hundred."
Norton drew out a packet of bills
and counted off five twenties.
"Why don't you draw the cash your
"It happens to be in your name,
"I forgot." said Norton. "But whiat
a chance for me! Nearly five thou
sand, all mine for a ticket to Algiers!"
A grunt was the only reply.
"I want yeu to tell me about the
"I know only one thing-that Brr-ne
Is there every night."
"The orders are for you to play the
game just as you are playing it. When
we strike, it must be the last blow.
All this hide-and-seek business may
look foolish to you. It's like that Jap
anese game called 'jo.' It looks sim
lie, but chess is a tyro's game be
a wonderful st<
L show each chi
10,000. Be su
midst of the s1
side it. Can you find your way back
"Well, you'd better be going. That's
all the light I have, in this torch here.
Got a lot to do tomorrow and need
Norton stole away with great cau
tiem. His first intention was to pro
ceed straight to the city, but de
spite his resolution he found himself
within a quarter of an hour gazing
up at the windows of the Hargreave
house. "Not at home!"
Quite unconscious of the fact, he
was as close to death as any mortal
man might care to be. The police
man suddenly looming up under the
arc lamp proved to be his savior.
The lull made Jones doubly alert.
Be was positive that they were pre
paring to strike again. But from what
direction and in what manner? He
had not met the gift of clairvoyance,
so he had to wait; and waiting is a
terrible game when perhaps death is
balancing the scales. It Is always
easier to make an assault than to
await it; and it is a good general who
always finds himself prepared.
But it made his heart ache to watch
the child. She went about cheerfully
-when any one was in the room with
her. Many a time, however, he had
stolen to the door of her bedroom and
heard the heart-rending sobs, a vain
attempt being made to stifle them
among the pillows. She was only
eighteen; it was first love; and first
loves are pale, evanescent attach
ments. It hurt now; but she would
get over it presently. Youth forgets.
Time, like water, smooths away the
The countess called regularly. She
was, of course, dreadfully sorry over
what had happened. She had heard
something about his character; news
paper men weren't always the best.
This one was a mere fortune hunter;
a two faced one, at that. She was
never more surprised in her life when
he threw his arms around her. And
so on, and so forth, half lies and half
truths, till the patient Jones felt like
wringing her neck.
From his vantage point the butler
smiled ironically. He could read the
heart of this Perigoff woman as he
could read the page of a book. The
effrontery! Ad all the Wfle he
must gravely admit her and pretend
when the blood rioted in his veins at
the sight of her. But he dared not
swerve a single inch from the plans
laid down. It was a cup of bliter gall,
and there was no way of avoiding the
putting of it to his lips. She ema
nated poison as nightshade emanates
It, the upas tree. And he must bow
when she entered and bow when she
left! Still, she had done him an in
direct favor in breaking up this love
One afternoon Braine summoned his
runabout and called up two physicians.
When hie was ushered into the desert
It Had All the Hallmarks of an Affec
ed office of the first he sent his card
in. The doctor replied in person. His
face was pale and his hands shook.
"Good afternoon," said Braine, smil
The doctor eyed him like a man
hypnotized. "You . . . you wished
to see me on some particular busi
"Very particular," dryly. "My car
is outside. Will you be so good as
to accompany me?"
The doctor slowly went into the
hal for hishat and coat. Hleleft the
house and got into the ear with never
a word of protest.
"Thinking?" said Braine.
"I am always thinking whenever I
see your evil face. What dev'ilment
do you require of me this time?"
"A mere stroke of the pen."
"Where are we going?"
"To call on andther physician of
your standing." significantly. "It is a
great thing to have friends like you
two. Always ready to serve us, for
the mere love of It."
"There's no need of using that kind
of talk to me. You have me in the
>ry, 'The Mi]
apter as it api
re that your
hollow of yout hand. Why should I
bother to deny It? I have broke thi
law. I broka it bwnse I was stArf.
"It is better to starve itfreedom
than to eat fat Joints up the river.
Today it is a question of daity."
"And you want me to assit in sign
ing away the liberty of some person
who is-perfectly sane?'
"The nail on the head" urbandy.
"You're a fine scoundrel!"
"Not so loud!" wainingly.
"As loud as I please. I am not for
getting that you need me. I'm no
coward. I recognize that you hold the
whip hand. But you can send me to
the chair before I'll crawl to you. Now,
leave me alone for a while."
The other physician had no such
qualms of conscience. He was ready
at all times for the generops, emolu
ments whieh accrued from his dealings
with the man Brains.
The Countess Perigoff was Indis
posed; so It was quite in the order of
things that she should summon phy
There Is a law in the state of New
York-just or unjust, whichever, you
please-that reads that any, person
may be adjudged insane If the signa
Florence and Susan Went ,Shopplng,
tures of two registered physicians are
affixed to the document. It ot
say that these physicians . e
been proved reputable.
There were, bealdes the
a motherly looking woman an man
of benign countenance. Th faces
were valuable assets. To gain an
other person's confidence Is, perhaps,
among the greatest human acbleve.
ments. A confidence man and woman
in the real sense of the word. In your
mind's eye you could see this man
carrying dhe contribution plate dofra
the aisle on Sunday mornings, and his
wife Kate putting her mite on the
plate for the benefit of some poor, un
On Tuesday of the following week
Florence and Susan went shopping.
The chauffeur was a strong young fel
low whom Jones relied upon. If you
pay a man well and 'hold out fine
promises, you generally can trust him.
As their car left the corner another
followed leisurely. This second auto
mobile contained Thomas Wendt and
his wife Kate. The two young women
stopped at the great dry goods shop
near the public library, and for the
time being naturally forgot everything
but the marvels which had come from
all parts of the world. It is asnatural
for a woman to buy as It Is for a man
In some manner or other Florence
became separated from ,Susan. She
hunted through aisle after aisle, but
could not find her; for the simple rea
son that Susan was hunting for her. It
occurred to the girl that Susan might
have wisely concluded the best place
to wait would be in the taxicab. And
so Florence hurried out into the street,
into the arms of the Wendt family,
who were patiently awaiting her.
The trusted chauffeuir had been sent
around to the side entrance by the
major dome. The young lady had so
requested, so he said.
Florence struggled and called for
the polIceman, who came running up,
followed by the usual idle, curious
"The poor young woman Is insane,"
said the motherly Kate, tears in het'
efs The benign Thomas looked s't
heaven. 'We are her keepers."
"It is not true!" cried Florence des
"She has the hallucination that she
is the daughter of the millionaime
Stanley Hargreave." And Thomas ex
hibited his document, which was per
fectly legal, so far as appearances
"Hurry up gnd get her of the walk.
I can't have the crowd growing any
larger," said the policeman, convinced.
So, despite her cries and prptesta
tions, Florence was hustled into the
automobile, even the policeman lend
ing a hand.
'Poor young thing!" he'said to the
crowd. "Come, now, move on. I can't
have the walk blocked tip. Get a gait
He was congratulatin'g himself upon
the orderliness of the afair when a
ILa n-eyed young man in tife garb a'a
chauffeur touched his shoulder.
"What's this I hear about- an insane.
woman?" he demanded.
"She was insane, all righ~ They had
papers to prove it. She ~pt erygn
that she was Stanley l-argreav~e's
"My God!" The young man struck
.As forehead in despair. "You asjs, uthe
was Sta,nley Hargreave's daughter,
>ears in The
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The Bank of Marinmg
Y Thr Spring Needs
We Have The Goods For Xou
P'orobh Rockers, Swings, and Lawn Goods. We
~ae tue Celebrated White Mountain Refrigerators
Sand Freezers; Coolers. Side Walk Sulkeys, Go-Carts,
Hoosier Kitchen Cabinets, Oil stoves, Screen Door and
SWindows, Ranges and Stoves. In fact, we have the
Smost complete stock of
ever opened in Samter. Drop in to see us when you
come to SumIer. Cash or Csedit. "-The Store Accomn
V I. SKILLY & SON,
ki rent of the Postoffice, Sumter, S, C.