Newspaper Page Text
. THK AHC7US SATURDAY, JULY 15, 1903.
and n!ght. Tbi? morning, as the man
was buried ami the investigation over
60 far as this room Is concerned we
thought tve could tidy op a bit. This
carpet jou it in not fastened
down, only just laid there. We hxul
occasion to ra:e it. We found"
"Yes? You found"
Holmes' face grew tcn.-o rith aux
"Well, I"m sure you would never
guess in a hundred yenrs what we lid
find. Yo'i see that Main on the ear
pet? Weil, u great deal 'must Lave
soaked through, must it lutV
"UndaubteJly it mut."
'Well, you will be surprised to bear
that there is no f-tai.i on the white
woodwork to correspond."
'No stain! Hut there must"
"Yes, no you would say. Hut the fact
remains that ther Hn't."
lie :jok the comer of the carpet in
his hand, and, turning it over, he show
ed that it was inW-d as he said.
"Hut the underside is as stained as
the tipper. It must have li ft a mark."
Icitr.Tle r-!u:k!el with delight at
having puzzled the famous expert.
"Now. I'll show you the explanation.
There is u second srain. but it does not
correspond with th' other. See for
yourself." .s he spoke be turned over
another jwvtion of the carpet, and
there, pure enough, was a great crim
on fplll upon the sipinre white facing
of the old fashioned floor. "What do
you IiniLc of Unit, Mr. Holmes?"
"Why. it is enough. The two
tstaiir did -'!-r'-'poud. ln. the carpet
has lwen turned round. As it was
square and unfastened it waa easily
"Tlie official police don't nee 1 you,
Mr. Holmes, to tell them that the car
pet must Ir.ive Ix-en turned round.
That's dear enough, for th struns lie
above each other- if you lay it over
this way. Hut what I want to know is.
.Who shifted the carpet, and why:'
I could see from Holmes rigid face
that be was vibrating with inward ex
citement. "Look here. Lestrade." said I.e. "has
that constib'c in the passage been in
charge of the place all the time':"
"Ye. l. has."
"Well, take my advice. Examine him
carefully. I'on't do it before us. We'll
wait here. You take him into the back
room. You'll be more likely to gi t a
confession out of him alone. Ak him
how be dared to admit people and leave
them alone in this room. I'on't a;k
him If he has done it. Take it for
granted. Tel! him you know some one
lias been here. I'ress 1cm. Tell him
that a full confession is his only chance
of forgiveness. exactly what I tell
"Ity fleorge. if lr knows I'll have it
out of him '." cried Lestra.de. He darted
Into the hall, and a few moments later
his bullying voice sounded from the
"Now. W.-'t-"). iiinv!'' cried Uo!uks
with frenzied e;igeri;'.ss. All the de
moniacal force of the man masked be
hind that listless manner burst out in
n paroxysm or energy. lie tyre the
drugget from the floor and In an In
stant was down on his hands and
knees clawing at each of the squares
of wood beneath it. One turned side-
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ways as be dug bis nails into tlie edge
of it. It hinged back like the lid of a
liox. A FCaall black cavity opened be
neath it. Holmes plunged bis eager
band Into it and drew it out with a
bitter suari of anger and disappoint
ment. It empty.
"Quick. Wat: 011. quick! Oct it back
again!" The wooden lid wa replaced,
and the drugget had only jut been
drawn straight when I.estrade' voice
was beard in the passage. lie found
II0I11 e.s leaning languidly against the
inani-:pi-c resigned and patient, en
deavoring to conceal his irrepressible
'Sorry to keep yon waiting. Mr.
II'Iiii.-s. I can s-e that you sire. loretl
to death with the whole affair. Well,
be has confessed, all right. I'onie in
here. Marl'hersoU. Let these geutle
niii hear of your most inexcusable
The big constable, very hot and pen
itent, sidled into the ruii.
"I meant nnbann, ir. I'm sure. The
young woman cauie to the loor last
evening; mistimk the house, sh did.
And then we g-; talking. It's line
some u hen you're on lutv here all
"Well, wlu t happened then?"
'"Sh" wanted to s-. where the crime
was done had read alout it in the pa-P-rs,
si!( s:'.id. She was a very re
fpectable. well sioken young woman,
sir. and I saw no harm in letting her
hate a j-ep. slie saw that mark
on the carjwt ! wn she dropped on the
f!.or and lay as if she were dead. I
ran t'j the back and got some water,
but I could not briiav her to. Then I
went round the corner to the Ivy I'laut
for o!!i brandy, jind by the time I had
brought it back the young woman bad
recovered tind was off-ashamed of
herself, I dare say, and dared nt face
"How alout moving that drugget?"
"Well, sir, it wjis a bit rumpled, cer
tainly, when I enme back. You see.
she fell on it. and it lies on a oIished
floor with nothing to keep it in place.
I straightened it out afterward." '
"It s a lesson to you that you can't
penny the worse for what might bare
been a very ugly incident."
My mind filled ivitb admiration for
this extraordinary man.
"You bare solved it?' I cried.
"Hardly that. Watson. There are
-me ioints which are as dark as erer.
Iiut we bare so much that it will be
our own fault if we cannot get the
rest. We will go straight to White
hall terrace and bring the matter to a
Wben we arrived at the residence of
the Euroean secretary it was for
Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope that Sher
lock Holmes inquired. We were shown
into the morning room.
"Mr. Holmes," said the lady, and ber
face was pink with ber indignation,
"this is surely most unfair and ungen
erous upon your part. I desired, as
have explained, to keen my visit to
vou a secret lest my husband should
think that I was intruding into bis af
fairs, and yet you compromise me by
coming here and so showing that there
are business relations between us."
"I nfortunattly. maslam, I had no
possible alternative. I have been com
missioned to recover this immensely
important paper. I must therefore
ask you, madam, to l kind enough to
place it in my bauds."
Tlie lady sprang to ber feet, witb
the color aS dashed in an instant from
ber beautiful face. Her eyes glazed
She tottered. I thought that she would
faint. Then, with a grand effort, she
rallied from the shock, and a supreme
astonishment and indignation chased
every other expression from ber fea
"You you insult me, Mr. Holmes."
"Come. come, madam. It is useless.
Give up the letter."
t he darted to the bell.
"The butler shall show you out."
"Do not ring, Lady Hilda. If you
io. then all my earnest efforts to avoid
a scandal will be frustrated. ;ive up
the letter and all will be set right. If
you will work with me I can arrange
everything. If you work against me I
must expose you."
She stood grandly defiant, a queenly
figure, her eyes fixed upon bis us if
Copyright by Culiier'g Wk.ly.
TIIEItK, SI.'KK KNOTI
CRIMSON SPILL, I'I'ON"
deceive inc. Constable Macl'herson."
said Lestrade. with dignity. "No doubt
you thought that your breach of dutj
could never be discovered, and yet a
mere glance nt that drugget was
enough to convince me that some one
had been admitted to tlie room. It's
lucky for you, my man. that nothing
is missing, or you would tind yourself
in iuecr street. I'm sorry to have
called you down over such a ietty
business, Mr. Holmes, but I thought
the point of the second stain not cor
responding with the first would inter
"Certainly, it was most interesting.
Has this woman only been here once,
"Yes, sir; only once."
"Who was she?"
"Don't know the name, sir. Was an
swering un advertisement about type
writing and came to the wrong nutn
lier very pleasant, genteel young wo
"Yes, sir; she was a well frrown
young woman. I suppose you might
say she was handsome. I'erhaps some
would say she was very handsome. 'Oh,
officer, do let me have a peep! says
she. She had pretty, coaxing ways, as
you might say. and I thought there was
no barm in letting ber just put ber
head through the door."
"How was she dressed?"
"VJuiet. sir a long mantle down to
"What time was it?"
"It was Just growing dusk at the
time. They were lighting Ihe lamps as
I came ba k with the brandy."
"Very good." said Holmes. ''Come,
Watson, I think that we bare more Im
portant work elsewhere."
As we left the house Lestrade re
mained in the front room, while the re
Iet'tant constable opened the door to
let us out. Holmes turned on tlie step
and held up something In his band. The
constable stared intently.
"Uo.-wl Lord, sir!" he cried, with
amazement on bis face. Holmes put
bis finger on bis lip, replaced his band
In b'.s breast pocket and burst out
laughing as we turned down the street.
"Excellent : said be. 'Come, Friend
Watson, the curtflin rings up for the
last act. You will w relieved to hear
that there will le no war. that the
Right Hon. Trelawney Hope will suf
fer no setback in Lis br:l?:snt career,
that tlie indiscreet sovereign will re
ceive no punishment for his indiscre
tion. tLat the prime minister will have
no European complication to dn! with
find that with a little t t and iranare
ceit uj-on our pjrt nobode will be a
she would read bis verv soul. Her
hand was on the bell, but she h:id for
borne to ring it.
" 1 mi are trying to frighten me. It
is not a very manly thing. Mr. Holmes,
to come here and browbeat a woman.
You say that you know something.
What is it that you know?"
"1'ray sit down, madam. You will
hurt yourself there if you fall. I will
not speak until you sit down. Thank
"I give you fire minutes, Mr,
"One is enough. Lady Hilda. I know
of your visit to Eduardo Lucas, of
your giving him this document, of your
ingenious return to the room last night
and of the manner in which you took
the letter from the hiding place under
She stared at him with an ashen face
and gulped twice before she could
"You are mad, Mr. Holmes you are
mad!" she cried at last.
He drew a small piece of cardboard
from his iocket. It was the face of a
woman cut out of a portrait.
"I have carried this because I
thought it might be useful." said he.
"The policeman has recognized it."
She gave a gasp, and ber bead drop
ped back iu the chair.
"Come. Lady Hilda, i ou hare the
letter. The matter may still be ad
justed. I have no desire to bring trou
ble to you. My duty ends wben I have
returned the ot letter to your hus
band. .Take my advice and be frank
with me. it is your only chance."
Her courage was admirable. Even
now she would not own defeat.
"I tell you again, Mr. Holmes, that
you are under some absurd illusion."
Holmes rose from his chair.
"I am sorry for you. Iady Hilda. I
have done my lest for you. I can see
that it is all in vain."
lie rang the bell. The butler entered.
"Is Mr. Trclawnev Hone at home?"
"He will be home, sir. at a quarter
Holmes glanced at his watch.
"Still a quarter of an hour." said he.
"Very good; I tbali wait."
The butler had hardly closed the door
behind him when I.ady Hilda was
down on her knees at Holmes feet,
her hands outstretched, ber beautiful
face upturned and wet with ber tears.
"Oh. spare me. Mr. Holmes! Spare
Die! she pleaded in a frenzy of sup
plication. "For bearen's sake, don't
teli bin:! I lire him so! I wuiiid not
bring one shadow on bis life, and this
I know w ould break hid noble heart."
Holmes raised the lady. "I am
thankful, madam, that you have come
to your senses even at this last mo
ment! There is not an instant to lose.
M'here is the letter T
She darted across to a writing desk,
unlocked it and drew out. a long blue
"Here it Is, Mr. Holmes. Would to
heaven I had never seen it!"
"How can we return, it?" Holmes
muttered. "Quick, quick, we must
think of some way! Where is the
"Still iu his bedroom."
"What a stroke of luck! Quick,
aiadaui, bring it here!"
A moment biter she had appeared
with a red, tlat box in ber hand.
"liow did you open it before? You
Lave a duplicate key? Yes, of course
you have. Oieu it!"
From out of her bosom Lady Hilda
had drawn a small key. The box flew
pen. It was stuffed with papers.
Holmes tbru-st the blue envelope deep
down into the heart of them, between
the leaves of some other document.
The box was shut, locked and returned
to the bdroouL
"Now we are ready for hiiu." sakl
Holmes. Ye have still ten minutes.
I am going far to screen you. Lady
Hilda. In return you will spend the
time iu telling me frankly the real
meauing of this extraordinary affair."
"Mr. Holmes, I will tell you every
tbing." cried the lady. "Ob, Mr.
Holmes. I would cut off my right band
before I a;ave him a moiveut of sor
row! There is no woman iu all Lou
don who loves her husband as I do.
and yet if he knew how I have acted
bow 1 have been compelled to act he
would never forgive me, for his own
honor stands so high that be could not
forget or pardon a lapse In another.
Help me, Mr. Holmes! My happiness,
his happiness, our very lives, are ut
"Quick, madam; the time grows
"It was a letter of mine, Mr. ilolmes,
an indiscreet letter written before my
marriage a foolish letter, a letter of
an impulsive, loving girl. I meant no
barm, and yet he would have thought
it criminal, lfad be read that letter
bis confidence would have been forever
destroyed. It is years since I wrote
it. 1 had thought that the whole mat
ter was forgotten. Then at last I
beard from this man Lucas that it had
passed into his bauds and that he
would lay it before my husband. I
implored bis mercy. He said that he
would return my letter If I would bring
him a certain document which he de
scribed in my husband's dispatch box.
He bad some spy in the office who had
told him of Its existence. He assured
me that no harm could come to my
husband. Put yourself In my posi
tion. Mr. Holmes! What was I to do?"
"Take your husband into your confi
dence." "I could not, Mr. Holmes, 1 could
uol! On the one side seemed certain
ruin; on the other, terrible as it seem
ed, to take my husband's paper; still in
a matter of politics I could not un
aerstaud tlie consequences, while In a
matter of love and trust they were ou-
ly too clear to me. I did it, Mr.
Holmes! I took an impression of his
key. This man Lucas furnished a
duplicate. I opened his dispatch box.
took the paper and conveyed it to
"What happened there, madam?"
"I tapped at the door as agreed. Lu
cas opened It. 1 followed him into bis
room, leaving the hall door ajar behind
me, for I feared to be alone with the
man. I remember that there was a
woman outside as I entered. Our busi
ness was soon done. He had my let
ter on his desk. I handed him the doc
umeiit. He gave me the letter. At thla
instant there was a sound at the door,
There were steps in the passage. Lu
cas quickly turned back the drugget.
thrust the do iiiuent into some hiding
place there and covered it over.
What happened after that Is like
some fearful dream. I have a vision of
a dark, frantic face, of a woman's
voice, which screamed in French: 'My
waiting is not iu vain. At last, at last.
I have found you with her!' There was
a savage struggle. I saw him with a
chair lu his hand; a knife gleamed in
hers. I rushed from the horrible scene.
ran from the bouse, and only next
morning in the paper did I learn the
dreadful result That night I was
happy, for I had my letter, and I had
not seen yet what the future would
It was the next morning that I real
ized that I had only exchanged one
trouble for another. My husband's an
guish at the loss of his paper went to
my heart. I could hardly prevent my
self from there and then kneeling dow n
at his feet and telling him what I had
doiie. But that again would mean a
confession of the past. I came to you
that morning in order to understand
the full enormity of my offeuse. From
the Instant that I grasped it my whole
mind was turned to the one thought of
getting back my husband's paper. It
must still be where Lucas had placed
It, for it was concealed before this
dreadful woman entered the room. If
It bad not been for her coming. I
sbxild not have known where his bid
ing place was. How was I to get into
the room? For two days I watched the
place, but the door was never left
open. I.ast night I made a last attempt.
What I did and how I succeeded you
have already learned. I brought the
pajer back with me and thought of de
stroying it, since I could see no way of
returning it without confessing my
guilt to my husband. Heavens, I bear
bis step upon the stair!"
The Europe"1 secretary burst excit
edly into the room.
"Any news, Mr. Holmes, any news?"
I hare some hopes."
' Ah, thank heaven!" His face be- I
i : - - . .,TI.. 1 , . . . '
iiu rj'ji-un. jlc in;u min.scer IS
lunching with we. May he stars yocr i
hopes? He haa n4rve3 of steel, aad yet
I know t at be has hardly slept since
tbia terrible event. Jacobs, will you
ask the prime minister to come up? As
to you. dear. I fear that this is a matter
of politics. We will join you iu a few
minutes In the dining room."
The prime minister's manner was
subdued, but I could see by the gleam
of his eyes and the twitching of his
bony hands that he shared the excite
ment of his young colleague;
"I understand that you hare some
thing to report, Mr. Holmes?"
"Purely negative as yet," my friend
answered. "I have Inquired nt every
point where it might !, and I am sure
that there in no danger to Ikj appre
hended." "lut thrt is not enough. Mr. Holmes.
We cannot live forever on such a vol
cano. We must have something defi
nite." "I am in hopes of getting it. That is
why I iuu here. The more I think of
the matter the more convinced I n:n
that the letter has never left this
"If It had it would certainly have
been public by now ."
"P.ut wliv should any one take it in
order to keep it In this bouse?"
I am not convinced that any one
did take it."
"Then bow could it leave the dis
"I am ii't convinced that it ever did
leave the dispatch box."
"Mr. Holmes, this Joking is very ill
timed. You have mv assurance that it
left the box."
"Have you examined the box since
"No. It was not necessary."
"You may conceivably have overlook
"Impossible, I say."
"Hut I am not convinced of ft. I
have known such things to happen. I
presume there are other papers there.
Well, it may have got ruixed with
"It was on the top."
"Some one may hare shaken the box
"X. no: 1 had everything out.
"Surely it is easily derided, Hope,'
said the premier. "Let us have the
dispatch lox brought In."
The sivretnry rang the bell.
Mi cobs, bring down my dispatch
bo. This is a farcical waste of time.
but still, if nothing else will satisfy
you, it shall be done. Thank you, Ja
cobs; put It here. I have always had
the key on mv watch chain. Here are
the papers, you see letter from Lord
Merrow, report from Sir Charles Har
dy, memorandum from Belgrade, note
on the Itusso-German grain taxes, let
ter from Madrid, note from Lord Flow
ers 4'iuul tir'A v,-iis Wlint ts tlila'
Lord IMJinger! Lord Bellinger!"
The premier snatched the blue
velope from bis hand.
"Ye;, it is it and the letter is
tact. Hope, I congratulate you."
'I nam; you: ll:anl; you; What a
weight from my heart! But this Is In
conceivable impossible. Mr. Holmes,
you are a wizard, a sorcerer! How did
you know it was there?"
"Because I knew it was nowhere
"I cannot believe my eyes!" He ran
wlldlj- to the door. Where is mv
wife? I must tell her that all Is well.
Hilda! Hilda!" we beard bis voice
on the stairs.
The premier looked at Holmes with
"Come, sir." said he. "There is more
in this than meets the eve. How came
the letter back in the box?"
Holmes turned away smiling from
the keen scrutiny of those wonderful
"We also have our diplomatic s
erets," said he, and. picking up his hat,
he turned to the door.
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Invites Subscriptions to its 93d series of stock as a testimonial of
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Our conservative plan Is to limit loans to small amounts, with 30
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