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At a private view nf the Chalworth
(personal estate, to be sold at auction, the
Crew Hoi mysteriously disappears. Hurry
-Cressy, who was resent, describee the
Tins to his fiancee, Klm-tt litlscy, nnd tier
x-hapernn. Mm. Clara Hrltton. in belli
iiK 11 heathen k). with a beautiful sap
phire set In the head. Klnra meets Mr.
Kerr, an KiiKllslinmn. In discussing: the
-disappearance of the Hint, the exploits of
an KiikIIsIi thief, Kurrell Waml, are. re
called. Kerr tellH Klora that he haa met
Harry si vewhcre, but cannot place him.
$1),0iHI reward In offered fur the return of
the rlnR. Hurry take Klora to a Chinese
nldsmlth'a to buy an cnKUKemcnt rlnif.
An exquisite sapphire net In a hoop of
brftHH Is selected. Hurry lU'KeH her not to
wear It until It la reset. Tim possession
of the rlna; aeems to rust a spell over
Klora. Bho becomes uneasy anil appre
hensive. Klora Is startled by the effect
on Kerr when he gets a allmpse nf t lie
apphlrti. The possibility that the stone
le part of the Crew Idol enuses Klora
much anxiety. I'nsecn, Klora discovers
Clara runsackliiK her dressing room.
Flora refuses to give or sell the stone to
Kerr, and suspects lilm of hcliiK the
thief. Blie decides to return the rlna- to
Harry, but lie tells her lo keep It fur a
day or two. K!lu Tluller tells Klora that
Clara Is setting her cap for her father.
Judge Huller. Klora believes Harry sus
pects Kerr and is waltlnu- to make sure
of the reward before unniuskliiK the thief.
Kerr and Clara confess their love for
-each other. Clara Is followed by a China-
CHAPTER XIX Continued.
"Well, for a foot, I know It Is
eitolen!" He loaned toward her; and
his arms, still flung out with the hands
open as argument had left them,
-seemed to her frightened eyes all
read? for her, ready with his last ar
gument, his strength.
She pressed back against the glass
until she felt It hard behind her.
"Harry," she whispered, "If you care
anything. If you ever want me for
yours, you'll take your hands away."
She meant It; she was sincere In that
moment, for all she shrank from him. !
Her body and mind would not have
"been too great a price to give him for
Then all at once she felt his arm
around her neck. 8he couldn't move
Iter body. She could only turn her
lead from his hot breath. Tor a mo
ment he held her, and yet another
moment; and then, terrified at what
this strange Immobility might mean,
he raised her eyes and saw he was
not looking at her. Though he held
Iter fast be was not conscious of hen
Straight over her head he looked,
through the window and down into
toe garden. Her eyes followed. It
lay beneath, the wonder of Its morn
ing aspect all blanched nnd dim. She
iiaw the silhouette of rose branches in
black on the sky, She saw the flowers
and bushes all one dull time. Hut In
the midst of them the oval of the path
-shone white; and there, as In the aft
ernoon, standing, looking upward, was
the dark figure of a man.
Her heart gave a great leap. Just
-so she'd been summoned once before
that day, but what Infernal freak had
fetched him back to repeat that dan
gerous sally, and brought him finally
into his enemy's grasp? She tried to
make a gesture to warn him, and lust
there Harry released her, dropped her
so that she half fell upon the window
seat, and made a dash across the
it All Her Household Wat Still
room for the light. In a moment they
were In darkness. In a moment, to
Flora pressed against the window, the
garden sprang clear, and on the form
less figure below the fine appeared,
white in the starlight looking up. She
cried out In wonder. It wus not Kerr.
It was the blue-eyed Chinaman.
After her haunted drive, after her
escape, after Bhlma'a search, he was
there, still Inexorably there; small, di
minished by the great facade of the
house, but looking up at It with his
calm eye, surveying It, measuring Its
height, numbering Its doors, trying Its
windows. Harry wns beside her
again. He was tugging frantically at
the window. It resisted. She saw
bis hands trembling while be wrestled
with It. Then It went shrieking up
and he leaned out.
"What do you want?" he called,
and. though he used no name, Flora
saw he knew with whom he wa
peaking. The Chinaman stood Im
mobile, lifting his round, white face,
whose mouth seemed to gape a little.
Harry leaned far out and lowered his
"Go away, Joe! Don't come here;
never como here!" There was a quiv
er In his volt. Anger or apprehen
sion, or both, whatever his1 passion
was. for the moment It overwhelmed
him. nnd as the Chinaman stood un
moved,, unmovlng, at his commands,
Harry turned sharp from the window
nnd dashed out of the room. Flora
heard him running, running down the
stairs. She hung there breathless,
waiting to see him meet the motion
less figure; but while she looked and
waited that motionless figure sudden
ly took life. It moved, it turned, It
flitted, It mixed with shadows, became
a shadow; and then there was noth
In her turn she ran, up and up a
twisted side stair, shortest passage to
her own rooms. At least lock and key
could keep her safe for the next few
hours. After that she must think of
lly five o'clock In the morning she
was already moving softly to and fro,
so softly as not to rouse the sleeping
Marrlka. lly seven her lightest bag
was packed, herself was bathed.
bruHhed, dressed even to hat and
gloves, and standing at her window
with all the listening alert look of
one In a waiting room expecting a
train. She was watching for the city
to begin to stir; watching for enough
traffic below In the streets to make
her own movement there not too no
ticeable. Yet every moment she wait
ed she was In terror lest her fate
should tnke violent form at last and
assail her In the moment of escape.
She listened for a foot ascending to
her room with a message from Clara
demanding an audience. She listened
for the peal of the electric bell tinder
Harry's hasty hand Harry, arrived
even at this unwarranted hour with
heaven knew what representative of
law to force the Bapphlre from her.
Kut all her household was still un
stirrlng when at last nho went, soft
step after step, down the broad and
polished stair and across the empty
hall. She went quiet, direct, deter
mined, not at all as she had fled on
her other perilous enterprise only yes
terday. She shut the outer door after
Un stirring When i Last She Went
her without a sound and with great
relief breathed In the fresh and faint
ly smoky air of morning.
She walked quickly. It was a cross
town car bound for quite another lo
cality that Hhe climbed abonrd. It
was filled only with mechanics and
workmen with picks and shovels. She
sat crowded elbow to elbow among
odors of stule tobacco, stale garlic,
stale perspiration, and looking
straight before her through the car
window watched the aspect of the
city, still gray, grow less gleaming
and formal and Anally quite dirty, and
quite, quite dull.
This was all as she had Intended,
very much In the direction of ber er
rand, and Bare. Hut In Mnrket street
the car line ended, and she was
turned out again In this broad artery
of commerce where she was In dan
ger of meeting at any moment people
she knew. She made straight across
the thoroughfare to Its south tide,
turned down Eighteenth and In a mo
ment was hidden In Mission street.
It was ten o'clock In the morning,
three hours since she had left her
house and a most reasonable time
of daylight, when Flora turned out of
the flutness of "south of Market
street" and began to mount a slow-rising
As she neared the hilltop she
glanced at a card from her chatelaln,
consulting the address upon It. Then
anxiously she scanned the house
fronts. It was not this one, nor this;
but the square white mansion she
came to now stood so far retired at
the end of Its lawn that she could not
make out the number. As she peered
a young girl came down the steps be
tween the dark wings of the cypress
hedge, a slim, fair, even-golted crea
ture dressed for the street and draw
ing on her gloves. As she passed
Flora made sure she had seen her be
fore. ; There was something familiar
In the carriage of the girl's head and
hands; something also like a pale re
flection of another presence. Pale as
It was. It was enough to reassure her
that this was the house she wanted.
This appearance of the place began
to bring before Flora the full enormity
and Impertinence of ber errand, but
though her heart beat on her side as
loud as the brass knocker upon the
door, she had no mind for turning
A high, cool, darkly gleaming Inter
ior, mellow with that precious tint of
time which her own house so lacked,
received her. And here, as well as
out of doors, all' the while she sat
waiting she felt that protected peace
was still the deity of the place. To
Flora's eager heart time was stream
ing by, but the tall clock facing her
measured It out slowly. Its longest
golden finger had pointed out Ave niln
utes before the sweeping of a skirt
coming down the hall brought ber to
Mrs. Herrick came In batless, a
honeysuckle leaf caught In her gray
crown of hair, geraniums in her hand.
Flora had never Been her so informal
and so gay.
Flora apologized. "I knew If I came
at t'..:s hour I should Interrupt you,
but really there was no help for It."
She glunced down at her satchel. "1
had to go this morning, and before I
went I had to see you about the house.
I'm going down to look at It and and
to'stop a while. ' i
MrB. Herrick hesitated, deprecated.
"Hut you know Mrs. Brltton wasn't
satisfied with the price I asked."
"Oh," said Flora promptly, "but I
shall be perfectly satistled with it, and
I want to take possession at once."
The positive manner In which she
waved Clara out of her way brought
up In Mrs. Derrick's face a faint
flash of surprise; but It was gone In
an Instant, supplanted by her ques
tioning, puzzled consideration of the
"Oh, I hope you haven't como to tell
me you want It changed," she pro
tested. "You know It's quite absurd
in places quite terrible indeed. It's
1870 straight through, and French at
that; but even such whims acquire a
dignity If they've been long cherished,
You couldn't put tn or take out one
thing without spoiling the whole char
"Hut I don't want to change It, I
want It just as It Is," Flora explained.
"It isn't about the house itself I've
come, it's about going down there.
You see there are some people, some
friends of mine. I haven't promised
them to show the house, but I have quite
promised myself to show it to them,
and they are only here for a few days
more. They are going Immediately.
She was looking at Mrs. Herrick all
the while she was telling her wretch
ed lie, and now she even managed to
smile at her. "I thought how lovely
it would be if you could go there with
me. I should like so very much to be
in It first with you, to have you go
over It with me and tell me how to
take care of it, as it's always been
done. I should bate to do it any dis
respect." Her hostess smiled with ready an
swer. "Of course I will go down. I
should be glad, but It must be in a
day or two. Indeed, perhaps It would
be better for you to have your people
first, and I can come down, say Mon
day afternoon or Tuesday."
Flora faced this unexpected turn of
the matter a little blankly. "Ah, but
the trouble la I can't go down alone.1
- It was Mrs. Herrlck's turn to look
blank. "But Mrs. Brltton?"
"Mrs. Brltton isn't going with me;
"I see." Mrs. Herrick with a long,
soft scrutiny seemed to be taking In
more than Flora's mere worda repre
sented. "And you wouldn't put it off
until s!ie can?"
"I couldn't put it off a moment,"
Flora ended with a little breathless
laugh. "I do so wish you would come
down with me this morning, for I
must go, and you see I can't go alone."
Mrs. Herrick, sitting there, com
posed, In her cool, flowing, white and
violet gown with the red flowers In
her lap, still looked at Flora' Inquir
ingly. "Hut aren't there some wom
en In your party old enough to make
It possible and young enough to take
pleasure In It?"
Flora shook her bead. "Oh, no,"
she said. Her bouse of cards was tot
tering. She could not keep up her
brave Bmlllng. She knew ber distress
must be plain. Indeed, as she looked
at Mrs. Herrick she saw the effect
Her heart sank. If only she had
told the truth even so much of It as
to say there was something she could
not tell. Whnt she had said was un
worthy not only of herself but of the
end she was so desperately balding
out for. Now In the lucid gate con
fronting her she knew all her Inten
tions were taking on a dubious color,
stained false, like her words, under
the dark cloud of her own misrepre
sentation. Yet they were not false,
she knew. Her motives, the end she
was struggling for, were as austere as
truth ltseir. She could not give up
without one bold stroke to clear them
of this accusation.
"Do you think there's anything
queer about It?" she faltered.
"Queer?" To Flora's ears that
sounded the coldest word she hnd ever
beard. "I hardly think I understand
what you mean."
"I mean Is It that you think there's
more In what I'm asking of you than
I have said?" The two looked at each
other and before that flut question
Mrs. Herrick drew back a little In her
"I have no right to think about It at
all." she said.
"Well, there Is," Flora Insisted.
"There's a great deal more. I am sor
ry. I should have told you, but I was
afraid. I don't know why I was afraid
of you, except that In this matter I've
grown afraid of every one. It's true
that there may be peoplo going down
at least, a person. But It Isn't, as I
let you think It, a house party at all.
It's for something, something that 1
can't do any other way something,"
she had a sudden flash of Insight,
"that, If I could tell you, you would
believe In, too."
Mrs. Herrlck's look had faded to a
mere concentrated attention. "You
mean that there Is something you
wish to do for whoever Is going
"Oh, something I must do," Flora
Mrs. Herrick considered a moment.
"Why can't he do It for himself?" she
threw out suddenly.
It made Flora start, but she met It
gallantly. "Because he won't. I shall
have to make him."
"You!" For a moment Flora knew
that she was preposterous In Mrs.
Herrlck's eyes and then that she was
pathetic. Her companion was looking
at her with a sad sort of humor. "My
dear, are you sure that that is your re
sponsibility?" Flora's answering smile was faint.
"It seems as- strange to me as It
seems absurd to you, hut I think I
have done something already."
"Are you sure, or has he only let
you think bo? We have all at some
time longed, or even thought It was
our duty, to adJuRt something when
It would have been safer to have kept
our hands off," Mrs. Herrick went on
"Ob, safer," Flora breathed. "Oh,
yes; Indeed, I know. Hut If something
had been put Into your hands without
your choice; If all the life of some
one that you cared about depended on
you, would yeu think of being safe?"
Flora, leaning forward, chin In hand,
with shining eyes, seemed fairly, to
Impart a reflection of her own pas
sionate concentration to the woman
Mrs. Herrick, so calm In her re
poseful attitude, calm as the old por
trait on the wall behind her, none the
less began to show a curious sparkle
of excitement In her face. "If I were
sure that person's life did depend on
me," she measured out her words de
liberately. "But that so seldom hap
pens, and It Is so hard to tell."
"But If you were sure, sure, sure!'
Flora rang It out certainly.
Mrs. Herrick In her turn leaned for
ward. "Ah, even then It would de
pend on him. And do you think you
can make a man do otherwise than
Flora answered with a stare of mis
ery. "I know what you must be think
ing what yon can not help thinking,"
she said,-'tbat the whole thing is un
heard of outrageous especially for a
girl so soon to to be " She caught
her breath with a sob, for the words
she could not speak. "But there is
nothing in this disloyal to my engage
ment, even though I cannot speak of
It to Harry Cressy; and nothing I
hope to gain for myself by doing what
I am trying to do. If I succeed it will
only mean I shall never see him the
other one again."
Mrs. Herrick rose. In her turn be
seeching. "Oh, I can't help you go
Into it! It 1b too dubious. My dear,
I know so much better than you what
the end may mean." -
"I know what the end may mean,
and I can't keep out of it."
"But I cannot go with you." There
was a stern note In Mrs. Herrlck's
"I'm afraid I didn't quite realize
how much I was asking of you. Yon
have been very good even to listen to
me. It's right, I suppose, that I should
Mrs. Herrick looked at her In dis
may. "Rut that Is Impossible!" Then,
as Flora turned away, she kept her
hand. "Think, think," she urged, "how
you will be misunderstood."
"Oh, I shnll have to bear that from
the people who don't know."
"Yes, and even from the one for
whom you are spending yourself!"
Flora gave her head a quick shake.
"He understands," she said.
"My dear, he Is not worth It."
Flora turned on her with anger.
"You don't know what be is worth to
. Mrs. Herrick looked steadily at this
unanswerable argument. Her hold on
Flora's hand relaxed, but she did not
release It. Her brows drew together.
"You are quite sure you must go?"
Flora nodded. She was speechless.
"Did Mrs. Brltton know you' were
coming to me?"
"No. She doesn't even know that
I am going out or (own. She must
not," Flora protested. '
"Indeed she must. You must not
place yourself In such a false position.
Write her and tell her you are going
to Snn Mateo with me."
"Oh, If you would!" Tears sprang
to Flora's eyes, "nut will you, even
If 1 can't tell you anything?"
"I shall not ask you anything. Now
write her Immediately. You can do It
here while I am getting ready."
She had take authoritative command
of the details of their expedition, and
Flora willingly obeyed her. She was
still trembling from the stress of their
Interview, and she blinked back tears
before she was able to see what she
It had all been brought about more
quickly and completely than she had
hoped, but It was In her mind all the
while she Indited her message, to
Clara, that Kerr, for whom It had
been accomplished, was not yet In
formed of the existence of the scheme,
or the part of guest he was to play.
Yet she was sure that If she asked he
would be promptly there. Shu wrote
to him briefly:
At flan Mateo, at the Herrlcks'. J want
ynu there to-night. I have made up my
As she was sealing It she started at
a step approaching in the hall. She
hud wanted to conceal that betraying
letter before Mrs. Herrick came back.
She glanced quickly behind her, and
saw standing between the balf-open
folding doors, the slim figure of a girl
slimmer, younger even than the one
who hnd passed her at the gate but
like her, with the same large eyes,
the same small Indeterminate chin.
Just at the chin the likeness to Mrs.
Herrick failed with the strength of
her last generation but the eyes were
perfect; and they, gazed- at Flora
wondering. With the sixth sense of
youth they recognized the enactment
of something strange and thrilling.
Another Instant and Mrs. Derrick's
presence dawned behind her daugh
ter and her voice "Why, child, what
are you doing there?" and her hands
seemed apprehensive In their haste to
hurry the child away, as If, truly, In
this drawing-room, for the first time,
something was dangerous.
"Oh, I'm Afraid I Shall," Flora
CHAPTER XXI, j
The House of Quiet.
The day which had dawned so still
nnd gloomy was wakening to some
thing like wlldness, threatening,
brightening, gusty, when they stepped
out of the train upon the platform of
the San Mateo station. Clouds were
piling gray and castle-like from the
east up toward the tenlth, and dark
fragments kept tearing off the edges
and spinning away across the sky. But
between them the bright face of the
sun flashed out with double splendor,
and the thinned atmosphere made the
sky seem high and far, and all form
beneath It clarified and Intense ' ;r
There upon the narrow platforni
Mrs. Herrick hesitated a moment,
looking at Flora. "What train do you
want to meet?" she asked. "'
Mora stood perplexed, "I hardly
know. You see I can't tell how soon
my letter would reach would be re
"Then we would better meet tbern
all," the elder woman decided.
They drove away Into the face ofr
the wet. freBh wind and flying dropat
of rain. Flora, loaning back In tha
carriage, looked out through the win
dow with quiet eyes. The splrltedf
movement of, the sky, the racing oft -Its
shadows on the grass, tbo rolling:
fttllnge of the trees, ssen tempestuous
agninst flying cloud, were alike to her
consoling and Inspiring. She bad'
never felt so free as now, driving
through the fitful weather, nor so safe
as with this companion who was site
ting silent by her side. She was driv
ing away from all her complications.
The house, when finally It loomed',
upon them, with Its Irregular roof s
topped by curious square turrets,.'
with its deep upper and lower ver
andas, looked out upon by a multlude
of long French windows, seemed too
large, too strangely Imposing for a
structure of wood. Hut whatever of
original ugliness had been there was
hidden now under a splendid tapestry
of vines, and Flora, looking up at the
rose and honeysuckle that panoplied
Its front, felt her throat swell for
For a moment after tbey had left
the carriage they stood together In the
porte-cochere, looking around them,.
Then half wistfully, half humorously,
Mrs. Herrick turned to Flora. "I dsv
hope you won't want to buy it!"
"Oh, I'm afraid I "shall,"- Flora mur
mured, "that Is, if" She left her sen-.
tence hanging, as one who would have
said "if I come out of this alive," and'
Mrs. Herrick, with a quick start ofi
protection, laid her hand on Flora's
"If you must," she said lightly, "Ifr
you do buy It, then at least I shall)
know It is in good hands."
(TO BH CONTINUED.)
"Were the colors fast on the neer
goods you bought?"
"Fast? My dear, they fairly ran int
one another, they were that fast."
Murmured; That Is If-