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ADAIR COUNTY .NEWS
WILLIAM MacHARQEDWIN DALMER.
Illustrations by R.H.Ltvingstone
COPYRIGHT BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
CHAPTER I.-Gabrlel Warden, Seattle
capitalist, tells hts butler he Is expecting
a caller, to be admitted without question.
He informs his wife of danger that
threatens him If he pursues a course he
consfders the only honorable one. War
den leaves the house in his car and meets
a man whom he takes Into the machine.
When the car returns' home. Warden Is
found dead, murdered, and alone. The
caller, a young man, has been at War
den's house, but leaves unobserved.
CHAPTER IL Bob Connery. conductor,
receives orders to hold train for a party.
Five men and a: girl board the train.
The father of the girl, Mr. Dorne, Is the
person for whom the train was held.
Philip D. Eaton, a young man, also
boarded the train. Dorne tells his daugh
ter and his secretary, Don Avery, to find
out what they can concerning him.
CHAPTER III. The two make Eaton's
acquaintance. The train is stopped by
CHAPTER IV. Eaton receives a tele
Sram addressed to Lawrence Hillward,
which he claims. It warns him he Is
The Hand in the Aisle.
The man whose Interest in the pas
senger in Section Three of the last
sleeper was most definite and under
standable and, therefore, most openly
acute, was Conductor Oonnery. Con
nery had passed through the Pullman
several times during the morning, had
seen the hand which hung out into
the aisle from between the curtains;
but the only definite thought that
came to him was that Dorne was a
Nearly all the passengers had now
-breakfasted. Connery, therefore, took
a. seat in the diner, breakfasted lei
surely and after finishing, walked
back through the train. Dorne by
now must be up, and might wish to
jsee the conductor.
As Conner' entered the last sleeper
his gaze fell on the dial of pointers
-which, communicating with the push
buttons in the different berths, tell
the porter which section is calling him,
and he saw that while all the other
arrows were pointing upward, the ar
row marked "3" was pointing down.
Dorne was up, then for this was the
arrow denoting his berth or at least
was awake and had recently rung his
Connery looked in upon the porter,
-who was cleaning up the washroom.
1 Nj7Section Three's getting up?" he
"No, Mistah Connery not yet," the
"What did he ring for?" Connery
looked to the dial, and the porter
came out of the washroom and looked
at it also.
"Fo' the lan's sake. I didn't hear
no ring. Mistah Connery. Ir mus' have
been when I was out on the plat
form." "Answer it. then." Connery" directed.
As the n' no started to obey. Con
nery followed him Into the open car.
He could see over the negro's shoul
der the hand sticking out into the
aisle, and this time, at sight of it.
Connery started violently. If Dorne
had rung, he must have moved ; a man
who Is awake does not let his hand
hang out in the aisle. Yet the hand
had not moed. The long, sensitive
fingers fell in precisely the same posi
tion as before, stiffly separated a
little one from another; they had not
changed their position at all.
"Wait!" Connery seized the porter
by the .arm. "I'll answer it myself."
He dismissed the negro and waited
until he had gone. He looked about
and assured himself that the car, ex
cept for himself and the man lying
behind the curtains of Section Three,
wasi empty. Walking briskly as
though he were carelessly passing up
the aisle, he brushed hard against the
hand and looked back, exclaiming an
apology for his carelessness.
The hand fell back heavily, Inertly,
and resumed its former position and
hung as white and lifeless as before.
No response to the apology came from
behind the curtains; the man in the
berth had not roused. Connery rushed
back to the curtains and touched the
band with his fingers. It was cold!
He seized the hand and felt it all
,-over; then, gasping, he parted the cur
tains and looked Into the berth. He
stared; his breath whistled out; his
shoulders jerked, and he drew back,
Instinctively pressing his two clenched
hands ncnlnst his chest and tlianocket
which held President Jarvis' order. '
The man in the berth was lying on
his right side facing the aisle ; the left
aide, of his face was thus exposed;
and It had been crumbed In by a vio
lent blow from some heavy weapon
rwhlch, too blunf ""to cut the skin and
bring 'bloodbad fractured the cheek
bone and bludgeoned the temple. The
proof of murderous -violence was so
plain that the conductor, as he saw
the face- In the light, recoiled with
staring eyes, white with horror.
He looked tip and down' the aisle
to assure himself that no., one had
- entered the car during his examina-
f!07; tht he carefully drew the cnr-
the forward ena of the car,where he
had left the porter.-
"Lock the rear door of the car," he
commanded. "Then come back here."
He gave the negro the fceys, and
himself waited to prevent anyone
from entering the car at his end.
Looking through the glass of the door,
he saw the young man Eaton standing
in the vestibule of the car next ahead.
Connery hesitated; then Ire opened
the door and beckoned Eaton to him.
'"Will you go forward, please," he
requested, "and see if there isn't a
"You mean the man with red hair
In my car?" Eaton Inquired.
"That's the one."
Eaton started off without asking
any questions. The porter, having
locked the rear door of the. car, re
turned and gave Connery back the
keys. Connery still waited, until Ea
ton returned with the red-haired man.
He let them in and locked the door
"You are a doctor?" Connery ques
tioned the red-haired man.
"I am a surgeon; yes."
"Thai's what's wanted. Doctor "
"My name Is Sinclair. I am Doug
las Sinclair of Chicago."
Connery nodded. "I have heard of
you." He turned then to Eaton. "Do
you know where the gentleman Is who
belongs to Mr. Dome's party? Avery.
I believe his name is."
"He is in the observation car," Ea
"Will "you go and get him? The car
door is locked. The porter will let
you in and out. Something serious
has happened here to Mr. Dorne.
Get Mr. Avery, if you can! without
alarming Mr. Dome's daughter."
Eaton nodded understanding and
followed the porter, who, taking the
keys again from the conductor, let
him out at the rear door of the car
and reclosed the door behind him.
Eaton went on into the observation
Without alarming Harriet Dorne, he
got Avery away and out of the car.
"Is it something wrong with Mr.
Dorne?" Donald Avery demanded as
Eaton drew hack to let Avery pre
cede him into the open part of the car.
"So the conductor sajs."
Avery hurried forward toward the
berth where Connery was standing
beside the surgeon. Connery turned
"I sent for you, sir, because you are
the companion of the man who had
Avery pushed past him, and leaped
forward as he looked past the sur
geon. "What has happened to Mr.
"You see him as we found him, sir."
""c-,rf of the attack, robbery was nof one;
, YtYina'ar' haA nt-rnntr Tind ilnffA Tin mors
than 'reach In and deliver his mur
derous blow; then he had gone on.
Sinclair made first an examination
of the head; completing this, fie un
buttoned the pajamas upon the chest,
loosened them at the waist and pre
pared to make his examination of the
"How long has he been dead?" Con-
"He Is not dead yet. Life Is still
present," Sinclair answered guardedly.
"Whether he will live or ever regain
consciousness Is another question."
"One you can't answer?"
"The blow, as you can seert Sin
clair touched the man's face with his
deft finger-tips "fell mostly on the
cheek and temple. The cheekbone Is
fractured. He is in a complete state
of coma ; and there maj be some frac
ture of the skull. Of coursevthere Is
some concussion of th brain."
Any Inference to be drawn from this
as to the seriousness of the injuries
was plainly beyond Connery. "How
long ago was he struck?" he asked.
"Some hours. Since midnight, cer
tainly; and longer ago than five
o'clock this morning."
"Could" he have revived half an hour
ago say within the hour enough to
have pressed the button and rung the
bell from his berth?"
Sinclair straightened and gazed at
the conductor curiously. "No, cer
tainly not," he replied. "That is com
pletely impossible. Why did you ask?"
Connery avoided answer. But Avery
pushed forward. "What is that?
What's that?" he demanded.
"Will you go on with your exami
nation, Doctor?" Connery urged.
"You said the bell from this berth
rang recently!" Avery accused Con
ner'. "The pointer in the washroom, in
dicating a signal from this berth, was
turned down a minute ago," Connery
had to reply. "A few moments ear
lier all pointers had been set in the
position Indicating no vcall."
"That was before you found the
"That was why I went to the berth
yes," Connery replied; "that was
before I found the body."
"Then you mean you did not find
the body," Avery charged. "Someone,
passing through this car a minute or
so before you. must have found him 1"
Connery attended without replying.
"And evidently that man dared not
report it and could not wait longer
to know whether Mr. Mr. Dorne was
really dead; so he rang the bell!"
"Ought we keep Doctor Sinclair any
longer from the examination, sir?"
Connery now seized Avery's arm in
appeal. "The first thing for us to
know Is whether Mr. Dorne Is dying
Connerj cheeked himself; he had
won his appeal. Eaton, standing qui
etly watchful, observed that Avery's
eagerness to accuse now had been
replaced fty another Interest which
the conductor's words had recalled.
Whether the man in the berth was to
livje or die evidently that was mo
mentously to affect Donald Avery one
way or the other.
"Of course, by all means proceen
with your examination. Doctor,"
As Sinclair again bent over the
body Avery leaned over also; Eaton
gazed down, and Connery a little
paler than before and with lips right
Him as We
Connery stared down nervou'jy beside
Avery leaned inside ' the a curtains
and recoiled. "He's been mrdered!"
"It looks so, Mr. Avery, i Yes; If
he's dead, he's certainly bfen mur
dered," Connery agreed. 'TiTou can
tell" Connery avoided mention of
President Jarvis' name "telj anyone
who asks you, Mr. Avery, that you
saw him just as he was found."
He looked down again at the form
In the berth, and Avery's gaze -.followed
his; then, abruptly, it "turned
away. Avery stood clinging, to the
curtain, his eyes darting from one to
another of the three men. 4
"Will you start your examination
now. Doctor Sinclair?1 Qovmerr, sug
gested. The surgeon, 'before exnmfaing the
man In the berth more closely, lifted
the shades from the windows! tEvery--thlng
about the berth -was In place,
undisturbed; except for-the mark of
the savage -blow on the side of the
anyh!rijf ufuiair' irivnelevjdent , as h continued Ms" examination. Con-
4f 4afna together jjnin, -and hurried to' -that whaVver hp-lieen -tUaVraotlve? v nery touched the surgeon on tb.e arm.
"Isn't This Basil Santoine?"
The surgeon, having finished lot3--ening
the pajamas, pulled open and
carefully removed the jacket part,
leaving the upper part of the body of
the man In the berth exposed. Con
ductor Connery turned to Avery.
"You have no objection to my tak
ing a list of the articles in the berth?"
Avery seemed to oppose; then, ap
parently, he recognized that this was
an obvious part of the conductor's
duty. "None at all," he replied.
Connery gathered up the clothing,
the glasses, the watch and purse, and
laid them on the seat across the aisle.
Sitting down. then, opposite them, he
examined them, and, taking every
thing from the pockets of the clothes,
he began to catalogue them before
Avery. He counted over the gold and
banknotes in the purse and entered
the amount upon his list.
"You know about what he had with
him?" he asked.
"Very closely. That Is correct.
Nothing is missing," Avery answered.
The conductor opened the watch.
"The crystal is missing."
Avery nodded. "Yes; it always
that is, It was missing yesterday."
Connery looked up at him, as
though slightly puzzled by the manner
of the reply; then, having finished his
list, he rejoined the surgeon.
Sinclair was still bending over the
naked torso. It had been a strong,
healthy body ; Sinclair guessed its age
at fifty. As a boy, the man might
have been an athlete a college track
runner or oarsman and he had kept
himself In condition through middle
age. There was no mark or bruise
upon the body, except that on the
right side and just below the ribs
tnere now snoweu a scar aDout an
Inch and a half long and of peculiar
crescent shape. It was evidently a
surgical scar and had
Sinclair scrutinized this carefully
and then looked up to AVery. "He
was operated on recently?"
"About two years ago," ,
"It was some operation on the gall
- "Performed., by, Kuno Garrt?'V
- Avery hesitated.' , "I believe so."
He -watched Sinclair more closely
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''What musf he done, Doctor?" And
where and when do you want to do
Sinclair, however, it appeared, had
not yet finished his oxamlnation.
"Will you pull down the window cur
tains?" he directed.
As Connery, reaching across the
body, complied, the surgeon took a
"He Waa Operated On Recently?'-
matchbox from his pocket, and glanc
ing about at the three others as
though to select frdm them the one
one most likely to be an efficient aid,
he handed it to Eaton. "Will you
help me, please? Strike "a light and
hold it as I direct then draw It away
He lifted the partly closed eyelid
from one of the eyes of the uncon
scious man and nodded to Eaton:
"Hold the light in front of the pupil."
Eaton obeyed, drawing the light
slowly away as Sinclair had directed,
and the surgeon dropped the eyelid
and exposed the other pupil.
"What's that for?" Avery now
"I was trying to determine the se
riousness of the injury to the brain.
I was looking to see whether light
could cause the pupil to contract.
There was no reaction."
Avery started to speak, checked
hims'elf and then he said:. "There
could be no reaction. I believe, Doctor
"What do you mean?" -
"His optic nerve is destroyed."
"Ahj He was blind?" ,
"Yes, he was blind.1' Avery admit
ted. "Blind !" Sinclair ejaculated. "Blind,
and operated upon within two years
by Kuno Garrt!" Kuno Gartt operat
ed only upon the all-rich and powerful
or upon the completely powerless and
poor.; the unconscious man In the
berth could belong only to the first
class of Gartt's clientele. The' sur
geon's gaze again searched the fea
tures In the berth; The"nTt shifted Yo
the men gathered about him in the
'Who did you say this was?" he de
manded of Avery.
"I said his name was Nathan
Dorne." Avery evaded.
"No, no:" Sinclair jerked out Im
patiently. "Isn't this" He hesi
tated, and finished in a voice suddenly
lowered: "Kn't this Basil Santoine?"
Avery, if he still wished to do o,
found it impossible to deny.
"Basil Santoine !" Connery breathed.
To the conductor alone, among the
four men standing by the berth, the
name seemed to have come with the
Siharp shock of a surprise; with it had
come an added sense of responsibility
and horror over what had happened
ro tlu passenger who had been con
fided to his care, which made him
whiten as lie once more repeated the
nana to himself and stared down at
the man in the berth.
Conductor Connery knew Basil San
toine only in the way that Santoine
was known to great numbers of other
people that is, by name but not by
Basil Santoine at twenty-two han
been graduated from Harvard, though
blind. His connections the family
was of well-to-do southern stock his
possession of enough money for his
own support, made it possible for him
to live idly If he wished ; but Santoine
had not chosen to make his blindness
an excuse for doing this. He had
at once settled himself to his chosen
profession, which was law. He had
not found It easy to get a start In
this, and he had succeeded only after
great effort in getting a place with a
small and unimportant firm. Within
a short time, well within two years,
men had begun to recognize that in
this struggling law firm there was a
powerful, clear, compelling mind.
Santoine, a youth living In darkness,
unable to see the men with whom he
talked or the documents and books
which must be read to him, was be
ginning to put the stamp of his per
sonality on the firm's affairs. A year
later his name appeared with others
of the firm; at twenty-eight his was
the leading name. He had begun to
specialize long before that time, in
corporation law; he married shortly
after this. At thirty the firm name
represented to those who knew its
particulars only one personality, the
Sersonallty of Santoine; andatthirty
ve though his indifference to money
was proverbial he was many times a
millionaire. But except among the
small and powerful group of men who
had learned to consult him, Santoine
himself at that time was utterly un
known. Consulted continually by men con
cerned in great projects, immersed
day apd night in vast affairs, capable
of living completely as he wished he
,had been, at the age of forty-six, great
but not famous, powerful" but not pub
licly known. At, that time-an event
had occurred which had forced the
blind man otft unwillingly from his
This evejit had., been thE.Wncde',ot-
the great western financier, Matthew
Latron. There had been nothing In
this affair which had In any way
shadowed dishonor upon Santoine. So
much as In his role of a mind without
personality Santoine ever fought, he
had fought Tigainst Latron ; but his
fight had been not against the man
but against methods. There had nme
then a time of uncertainty and un
rest; public consciousness was in
the process of awakening to the
knowledge that strange things, ap
proaching close to the likeness ot
what men call crlm. had been being
done under the unassuming na?ue of
business. Scandal financial s.-andal
breathed more strongly agaiur La
tron than perhaps against any of the
other western mon. He had been
among their I -t; he had his ene
mies, of whom impersonally Santoine
might have been counted one, and he
had his friends, both in high pla.es;
he was a world figure. Then, all of
a sudden, the man had been struck
down killed, because of some priate
quarrel, men whispered, by an obscure
and till then unheard-of man.
The trembling wires and -ables,
which should have carried to the walk
ing world the expected news of La1
tron's conviction, carried Instead the
news of Latron's death; and disorder
followed. The first public concern
had been, of course, for the stocks and
bonds of the great Latron properties;
and Latron's bigness had seemed only
further evidenced by the stanchnes3
with which the Latron banks, the La
tron railroads and mines and public
utilities stood firm even against the
shock of their builder's death. As
sured of this, public interest had shift
ed to the trial, conviction and sen
tence of Latron's murderer; and it
was during this trial that Santoine'a
name had become more publicly
known. Not that the blind man was
suspected of any knowledge much
less of any complicity in the crime;
the murder had been because of a
purely private matter; but in the ea
ger questioning into Latron's circum
stances and surroundings previous to
the crime. Santoine was summoned
Into court as a witness.
The blind man, led into the court,
sitting sightless in the witness chair,
revealing himself by his spoken, and
even more by his withheld, replies as
one of the unknown guiders of the
destiny of the Continent and as coun
selor 'n the most powerful himself
till then hardly heard -of but plainly
one of the nation's "uncrowned rulers"
had caught the public sense. The
fate of the murderer, .the crime, even
Latron himself, lost temnorarilv their
Interest in the public curiosity over
the personality of Santoine.
It had Seen reported for somefllays
that Santoine had come to Seattle di
rectly after Wan'ra death; but
when this, nus nUn.ittert his associ
ates had-ala.va been careful to add
that SantcHwe, lttiving been a rlose
personal frb-nd of Gabriel Warden,
had come pftrrfy In 'a 'personal rapac
ity, and Hie iweon-yas given that
Santoine h.T . r fried oule&y some
CONi 1 MiON PA.dK a
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