Newspaper Page Text
to naught. She knew a little
about motors. She threw on the
r er-er and headed straight toward the
?ov-boat. The men shouted at her,
but she did not alter her course. The
rowboat had its sides crushed in and
the men went piling into the water.
"Jim," she cried.
Norton suddenly 'ung off Braine and
began to swim madly for the motor
boat, which Florence had brought
about. Even then it was only by the
barest luck in the world that Norton
managed to catch the gunwale. The
rest of it was simple. When they
finally reached a haven, Florence, odd
ly enough, thought of the horse she
had left tethered nine miles from the
stables. She laughed hysterically.
"I guess he won't die. We can send
someone out for him. Now, for heav
en's sake, how .did you get into this?
The Magle Paper Was Her.
Where were you? What have you
been up to?" with tender brusqueness.
"I wanted to do a little detective
,rork of my own," she faltered.
"It looks as if you bad done It.
You Infant! -Will you never learn to
keep outside this muddle? lt's a
Florence, thoroughly weakened by
her long immersion in the water, be
gan to weep silently.
"You poor child. rm a brute!" And
be comforted her.
Later that day, at home, she re
membered the blank paper.
"I stole this from one of the men
In the cave., e said this blank pa
per would probably save father."
Jim took it. "Hm! Invisible ink.
and it's had a fine washing."
"But msaybe It Is waterprooV.
"Maybe it is. Anyhow, Miss Sher
lock, we'll show It to Jones and see
what he says."
CHAPTE R XX.
-.. Bralne Tries Another Weapon.
"What I want now," said Braine;
as be paced the living room of the
apartnent of the countess, "is re
venge. rye been checkmated enough,
Olga; they're playing with us."
"That is nothing new,",.she replied,'
shrugging. "&At the beginning I
-warned you. I never liked this affair
,after the figst two or three failure.
But you would have your way. You
wanted revenge at that early date;
but I cannot see that you've gone .for
ward.'~ Has it ever occurred to you
that the organization may be getting
-tired, too? They depend solely upon
your Invention, and each time your
'Me ta~r has resulted in touching
"O), rm not chtding you. I've failed,
"Are you turning against me?" he
"Do my actions point that way?"
she countered. "No. But the more I
view what has passed, the more dis
heartened I grow. It has been a series
of blind alleys, and all we have suc
ceeded In doing Is knocking our heads.
I can see now that all our failures
are due'to one mistake."
"An'd what the devil is that?" he
"We were in too much of a hurry
at the beginning. Hargreave prepared
himself for quick action on your part."
"And if I had not acted quickly he
would have started successfully on one
of his world tours again, and that
would have been the last of ~him, and
we should- never have learned of the
girl's existence. So there's your argu
"Perhaps you are right. But for
all that we have not played the game
'with any degree of finesse."
"Bah!" Braine lit a cigarette and
smoked nervously. "I can't even get
rid of that meddling reporter. He has
been as much to blame for our fail
ures as either Jones or Hargreave.
I admit that In his case I judged
hastily. I believed him to be -just an
ordinary newspaper man, and he was
clever enough to lull my suspicions.
But rm going to get him, Olga, even
if I have to resort to ordinary gun
man tricks. If there's any final reck
oning, by the Lord Harry, he shan't
get a chance In the witness stand."
"And I begin to think that that lit
tle chit of a girl has been hoodwink
ing me all along. By the way, did
you find out what that letter said?"
she asked after a pause.
"Letter? What letter?"
She sprang from her chair. "Do you
:nean to say that they have not told
you about that?" Olga became great
"Explain," he said.
"Why, I was at the garden day be
fore yesterday, and a man approached
I a subscribe
Year. We 3
and asked if I was Miss Hargreave.
Becoming at ce suspicious that
something very important was about
to happen, I signified that I was Miss
Hargreave. The man slipped a paper
into my hand and hurried off. I took
a quick glance at it and was dum
founded to find it utterly blank of
writing. At first I thought some joke
had been played on me, then I
chanced to remember the invisible ink
letters you always wrote me. Under
standing that you were to visit the
cave in the morning, I had one man
at the garden take the note. And
you never got it!"
"Some one shall pay for this care
lessness. I'll call up Vroon and Jack
son at once. Wait just a moment."
- He went to the telephone. A low
muttering conversation took place.
Olga could hear little or none of It.
When Braine put the receiver back
on the hook his face was not pleas
ant to see.
"It seems she had been out horse
back riding that morning. She had
seen one of the boys cross the field
and suddenly disappear; and she was
curious to learn what had become of
him. With her usual luck she stum
bled on the method of opening the
door of the cave and went in. She
must have been nosing about. -She
didn't have much time, though, as the
boys carre up to await me. Evidently
she crawled into that old chest and in
some inexplicable manner purloined
the letter from Jackson's pocket. They
left to reconnoiter; and it was then
that Jackson discovered his loss.
When Florence heard them returning
she jumped into the well. And lived
through that tunnel! The devil is In
"Or out of it, since we consider him
"And I had her in my hands, note
"But with all that water there will
not be any writing left on the letter."
"Invisible ink is generally indelible
and impervious to the action of wat
er; at least the kind I use is. I'd
givo a thousand for a sight of that
"And it might be worth a million,"
"Not the least doubt of It in my
mind. Olga, old girl, it does look as if
my star was growing dim. We'll never
get our hands on that million. I feel
it in my bones. So let's settle down
to a campaign of revenge, without any
furbelows. I want to twist Har
greave's heart before the game winds
"You wish really to injure her?"
"I do not wish to injure her. Far
from it," he replied, smilin evilly.
"You want her . . . dead?"
whispered Olga, paling.
"Exactly. I want her dead. And
so If all my efforts here come to noth
ing, so shall Hargreave's. His mil
lions will become waste paper to him.
That's revenge. The Persian peach
"Poison? You shall not! You shall
not kill her!" vehemently. -
"No. If I must in the end go to
prison, so be it; but I refuse to die in
"Very well, then. We shan't kill
her, but we'll make her wish she was
dead. I was only trying to see how
far you would go. The basket of
peaches is in the hallway. Every
peach is poisoned. No man in the
Just Power Enough to Keep Herself
country knows more about subtle poi
sons than I do. Have I not written
books on the subjeCt?" ironically.
"And they will trace it back to you
in a straight line," she warned. "I
will not have it!"
"I can go elsewhere," he replied
"You would leave me?"
"The moment you cross my will,"
It became her turn to pace. Torn
between her love of the man and the
danger which stared her in the face,
she was for the time being distracted.
All the time he watched her with
maeolent curiosity, knowing that in
the end she would concur with his
"Very well," she said finally. "But
listen; we shall be found out. Never
doubt that Your revenge will cost us
both our lives. I feel it."
"Bah! The law will have no hand
in my end. I always carry a pellet;
and that ring of yours would suffice a
regiment. She will not die. She will
merly become a kind of paralytic;
the kind that can move a little but
not enough; always wheeled about in
a ehair. I'll bring in the peaches;
ur Job Work
All work gum
r, now is the V
(CONTINUED.FROM LAST "
rosy and downy. One bite, after a
given time, will do the trick. If they
suspect and throw them out we have
lost nothing but the peaches. A
trusted messenger will carry them to
the Hargreave house. And then we'll
sit down and wait."
Meantime, in the library of the Har
greave house, Florence and Jim were
puzzling over the blank sheet of pa
'Tll wager," said Jim, "the water
washed all the writing away. The
fire does u-t seem to do any good.
We'll turn it over to Jones. Jones'll
find a way to solve it. Trust him."
"What are you two chattering
about?" asked Susan, who was arrang
ing.some flowers on the table.
"Secrets," said Jim, smiling.
Susan puttered about for a few min
utes longer, then crossed to the recep
He Went to the Telephone.
tion room, intending to go upstairs.
At that moment the maid was ad
mitting a messenger with a basket of
"For Miss Hargreave," said he. He
gave the basket to the maid, touched
his cap awkwardly, and swung on his
heel, closing the door behind him. He
was in a hurry to deliver another
"0, what lovely fruit!" cried Susan,
pausing. "I'm going to steal one,"
she laughed. She selected a peach
and began eating It on the way up to
The maid passed on into the library.
"What's this?" inquired Florence, as
the maid held out the basket. She
selected a peach and was about to set
her white teeth Into it when Jim in
"Walt a moment, dear." Florence
lowered the peach. Jim turned to the
maid. "Who sent It?"
"I don't know, sir. A messenger
brought It, saying It was for Miss
"Let me see if there Is a card."
But Jim searched in vain for the card
of the donor. At once all his suspi
cions arose. "Don't touch them. Bet
ter let the maid throw them out.
Fruit from unknown persons might
not be the healthiest thing in the
"What do you think?"
"That in all probability they are poi
soned. But there's no need trying to
prove my theory right or wrong. Ask
Jones. He'll tell you to throw them
"Horrible!" Florence shuddered.
"But they do not want to poison me.
I'm too valuable. They want me
"Who can say?" returned Jim
gloomily. "They may have learned
that they cannot beat us, no matter
what card they turn up. I may be
wrong, but take my advice and throw
them away. . . . Good Lord, what's
"Some one cried!"
"0, Miss Florence!" exclaimed the
maid, terror stricken as she recalled
Susan's act. "Miss Susan took a
peach from the basket and was eating
it on the way -to her room!"
"Good heavens!" gasped Jim. "I
was right.. The fruit was poisoned."
Jim had head enough to send for a
specialist he knew. The specialist ar
rived about twenty minutes after Sus
an's first cry. To his keen eye it
looked like a certain poison which had
for its basis the venom of the cobra.
"Will she live?"
"0, yes. But she'll be a wreck for
some months. Send her to the hos
pital where I can visit her frequently.
And I'll take that peach along for
analysis. No police affair?"
"No. We dare not call them in,"
"That's your affair. I'll send down
the ambulance. Keep her quiet. She'll
have a species of paralysis; but that'll
work off under the treatment. A
"So it is," agreed Jim grimly.
Florence knelt beside her friend's
bed and cried softly.
"You called me just in time. An
hour later, nothing would have saved
her. She would have been paralyzed
Jim accompanied the doctor to the
door and went in search of Jones. He
found the taciturn butler eying the
fruit basket, his face gray and drawn,
though his eyes blazed with fury.
"A pretty bad poison, too," said Jim.
"We can't do anything. We've just
to THE TIMEE
me to send in
v a Merry Xn
!EEK-LOOK FOR NEXT ISSUE
got to sit still. But in the end we'll
get them. That she devil
"No, my friend; that he devil. The
woman is mad over him and would
commit any crime at his bidding. But
this is his work. We want him. HO.
wasn't without courage to send this
fruit, knowing that I would instantly
suspect the sender. Yet, I have no
definite proof. I could not hold him
in court in law. He will have bought
the fruit piece by piece, the basket in
a basket shop. He will have injected
the poison himself when alone. Poor.
Susan! That messenger was without
doubt some one over whom he holds
the threat of the death chair. That's
the- way he works." -
Jim tramped the room while Jones
carried the fruit to the kitchen. The
.butler returned after a while.
"What about that blank sheet of pa
"It has to be dipped into a solution;
after that you can read It by heating.
I have already dipped it into the solu
tion. The moment the heat leaves the
sheet the writing disappears again.
The ink Is waterproof. I'll show you."
Jones got a candle from the mantle,
lit it, and held the sheet of paper very
close to the flame. Gradually, almost
imperceptibly, letters began to form on
the blank sheet. At length the mes
sage was complete.
"Dear Hargreave-The Russian min
ister of police is at the Blank hotel
under the name of Henri Servan. He
is investigating the work of the Black
Hundred in this country and can free
you from their vengeance if you sup
ply the evidence needed."
"Now, what evidence can he want?"
"Such as will prove Braine an unde
- "And then."
"Quietly pack him off to Russia,
where he is badly wanted."
"Who sent this message?"
"One of our mysterious friends. We
have a few, as you already know. But
I'll go and make this man Servan a
visit. I have seen the real minister,
and if this man is the same one, some
thing oi importance may turi up. I
shall want you somewhere - about.
Here, I'll let you have this letter. Re
member, heat brings it out and cold
air makes it vanish. Now I'll go up
for a moment to see how that poor
girl is getting along. We are lucky;
there's no gainsaying that."
"You're a clever man, Jones," said:
Jones turned upon him, his faoe
grave. The two men looked steadily
into each o~iher's eyes. Jones was
first to turn aside his glance, as he
had something to conceal and Jimmad
When the ambulance took the tor.
tured Susan away, Jones addressed
"I am going out and so is Mr. Nor
ton. Do not leave the house; not:
even if you have a telephone call from :
me or Norton. Both of us will return;
so don't let an'ything bother or con
"I promise," said -Flor'ence, s~ig
gling with a sob.
Jones went downstairs again, paused
by a window as if cogitating, and sud
denly threw it up and looked abroad.
A rustle among the lilacs caused a
smile to flit across his face. So they
had sent some one to learn the'effect
Iof the poison? Or 'to follow him
Ishould he leave the house? He re-'
tired to the kitchen and gave some
ILetters Began to Form on the Blank
explicit orders to the chef, orders
which did not in any way refer to
cooking. Then Jones and the reporter
left the house, each quite aware that
they were being followed. Near the
Blank hotel they separated in order
to confuse the stalker. He might dod
der and follow the wrong man. B ut
It was evident that this time he had
been directed to follow Jones; for he
entered the hotel a minute after
Meantime a second spy, whom Jones
had not'seen, had observed the trans
fer of the invisible writing and had
Immediately Informed Braine, who
Iwas not far away. That his poisoned
fruit had stricken down an outsider
troubled him none at all. But that
mysterious message he meant to have; I
it might be a life and death affair, it
might be a clue to the treasure, or
teweebouts of Hargreave.
Ths whe only one man followed
Jones, several kept a far eye on Jim.
Jones scribbled his name on a blank
card and had It taken to the Russian's I
room. The page eyed that card curl- I
ously. .lt was different from anything
he had ever seen before. In one cor
ner were written three or four words
which resembled a cross between Hie
brew and Greek.
"Humph!" muttered the boy.
"Whadda y' know about that? Chick
en scratches; but I guess the bell
. We can do
the prices rea
your name an
mas and a pros1
rings Roosian. On your way, Hor
tense," he cried to the hall maid, who
wanted a look at the card. "Up t' th'
room, sir. He'll see yuh!" The boy
kept the silver salver extended ex
pectantly, but Jones went past with
out apparently noticing the hint.
The Russian was standing by a win
dow when Jones knocked and was
bidden to enter.
"You are not Hargreave."
"Neither are you the Russian min
ister of police," urbanely.
"Who are you?"
"I am Hargreave's confidential man,
The two men eyed each other cau
"You speak Russian?"
"No. I am able to scribble a few
words; that Is all."
The Russian Ut a cigarette and
smoked leisurely. He was In no hur
"No, I am not. the minister; but I
am his accredited agent. I am em
powered to bring back to Rdssia a
man who is known here by the name
of Briine, .another by the name of
Jones Paused by a Window.
ro on, and a woman who calls her
self a countess and unfortunately is
ne. All I desire is some damaging
proof against them that they are out
Laws in this country. The rest will
"They have all three taken out nat
The Russian waved his hand airily.
"Once they are in Russia those docu
ments will khever come to light. This
man Braine, it has been learned, has
Long been in the pay of Prussia, and
ias given the general stafl' of that.
ountry many plans of our frontier i
6ritfications. I do not know what any
mie of the three looks like. That is
why I sought Hargreave."
"I will gladly pcint them out to
you," said Jones, rubbing his hands'
together, a sign that he was greatly
"That will be very good of you, I'm
ure," in a rumbling 'but perfectly
"And suddenly they all three will
"Suddenly; and you may believe me
that from that time on they'll be heard
>f never more."
"All this sounds extremely agree
able to me. Mr. Hargreave will be
iappy to hear that his long enforced
iidng will soon come to an end."
"All you have to do, sir. Is to point
.hem out to me."
"It may take a week or ten days."
"My government has waited for ten
iars to gather in this- delectable trio.
A month, If you like."
"The sooner the better. I shall call
his evening after dinner. We shall
3egin with Mr. Braine; and generally
where he Is is the woman. Vroon
ill be the most difficult."
"After dinner, then, since you know
some of his haunts. There is a re
Jones laughed shortly. "Keep it
fourself, sir. Mr. Hargreave would
willingly double whatever this reward
a to eliminate these despicable crea
ures from his affairs."
While this conversation was taking.
lace Norton idled about; and feeling
he cravings for a cigarette, prepared'
:o roll one, only to find that he hadn't
.he "makings." So fate urged him to
tep into the nearest tobacconist's.
Ele asked for his favorite brand and
>assed over the silver.
Braine and his comipanions saw Nor
;on enter the shop. It agreed with
heir plans perfectly. The toba'econist1
iappened to be afiiliated with the or-:;
er. So they hurried into the shop.
im Instantly realized that he was in'
"How can I get out of here?" he
'hispered to the tobacconist.
The latter' smiled. "I have to obey
hese gentlemen. I don't know what
hey want you for; but if I made a
nove to help you. I should find my
wn throat cut without saving yours."
Jim made a dash for the rear door,
o find it locked. Even as he fumbled
rith the key, Braine and his com
anions flung themselves upon the re
orter and overpowered him.
"Ah, my friend Braine!" he said.
"My friend Norton!" feered the vie
"And what do you want; some
"A paper, my friend, a little secret
f paper with invisible wrIting on It.
from the sma
sonable. If y
i start off wii
?,rous New Y
We promise to give you something in
exchange for it."
"What?" asked Jim with as much
nonchalance as he could assume.
"Search," said Jim. "You won't ob
ject to my smoking?" He began to
roll a cigarette while they passed over
him. He struck a match; the pleas
ant aroma of tobacco floated about his
"He's got it on him somewhere. I
saw him take it. He's got his nerve
The cigarette glowed. Jim smoked
Through every pocket they went.
The contents of his wallet lay scat
tered at his feet; his watch dangled
from the chain. The cigarette grew
shorter and shorter. Suddenly one of
the men stretched out a hand and
whisked the cigarette from Jim's lips.
He threw it to the floor and stamped
out the coal.
"I thought so!" he exclaimed, hold
ing out the scrap of burnt paper to
The words "Dear Hargreave" were
all that remained of the message. With
a snarl of rage Bralne whipped out his
"I will give you one minute to tell
me what that paper contained."
"And after that minute is up?"
"A bullet in your stomach."
Quick as a flash Jim's hand shot
out, caught the loosely held revolver,
gave it a wrench, and brought it down
savagely upon Braine's head. Then
he reversed it and backed toward the
"Au revoir, till we meet again, gen
A Packet of Papers.
Jim said nothing at first about his
adventure to Jones, whom he met
half an hour later.
"Was it necessary to keep that in
visible letter?" he asked.
"No," said Jones.
"Would it have given our affairs a
serious turn If it had fallen into alien
"Decidedly," answered Jones. "It
would mean flight for the Elack Hun
dred or a long time under cover, if
our friend Braine learned that Russia
was now taking an active interest in
the doings of the Black Hundred. And
eventually all ~our work would have
to be done over again."
"You look a bit mussed up. Any
thing happened?" asked the k'een-eyed
"Nothing much. I made a cigarette
out of the letter and smoked it."
Jones chuckled. "I see that you
have had an adventure of some sort;
but it can wait."
"Because I want you to pack off to
"Yes. I want you to interview
those officials who are most familiar
with the extradition laws."
"A new kink?"
"What I wish to learn is this: Can
a man, formerly undesirable, take out
naturalization papers and hold to the
protection of the United States gov
ernment? That is to say, a poisoner,
menaced by Siberia, becomes an Am
erican citizen. He is abducted and
carried back to Russia. Could he look
to this ' government ,for protection?
That is what I want you to find out."
"That will be easy. When shall I
"As soon as you can pack you
"That's always packed," replied the
reporter. "You see, I'm ~eternally
shunted hither and yon, at a moment's
notice, so I always have an extra grip
packed for quick travel."
"The Russian agent wants Braine,
Vroon, and the countess; and tonight'
I'm going to try to point them out to
him. It would satisfy me more than
anything I know to eliminate this
precious trio in Russian fashion. It's
thorough; and once accomplished,
good-day to the Black Hundred in Am
erica. The organization in Russia
has still some political significance,
but on this side of the water it is
merely an aggregation of mercilesS
"I'll take the first train out. But
you will tell Florence?"
"And take care of your own heels.
You were watched at the hotel."
"I know it; but the watcher could
learn nothing. Henri Servan as a name
will suggest nothing to the fool who
followed me. Besides, we both knewj
that he was trying to peek through
the keyhole. That hotel, you know,
still retains the old-fashioned key
"To keep the maids in good humor,
I suppose," laughed Jim. "Well, I must
be on my way to make that flyer."
The two shook hands and Jim hur
ried off. The butler watched him -till
he disappeared down the subway.
"He's a good lad," he murmured,
"and a brave lad; and money is only
an incident in human affairs after all.
I'll be a good angel and let the two
be happy, since they love each other
and have proved it in a thousand
Meanwhile the Russian agent settled
down before his writing portfolio; and
once or twice as he wrote he thought
he heard a sound outside the door.
No doubt this butler of Hargreave's
had been watched and followed. By
and by he rose, drew his revolver, and
tiptoed to the door obliquely so that
aware of his approach. Swiftly he
swung back the door and the member
of the Black Hundred stumbled into
the room. Almost instantly the Run
sian caught him by the collar
held him up.
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