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" DARKEST RUSSIA
; : I BY n. GI 4tTT.tN DONNLLLL
. 1 ! Copyright 1800. by Street & Smith , All rights rcsor\'ctl.
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.4 , An Astonishing Discovery.
. With one glance around the apart-
ment , which gave no sign of being ten-
anted but a moment before by nearly
a score of people , Ivan bounded up
'the steps and , removing the oaken
barwhich had been carefully replaced
'i4 when the door was closed after Uda's
entrance , stood silently for a moment.
, " , "Without there ! " he asked. "What
do you want ? "
"Admittance ! " was the prompt reo
ply."Your object at this hour ? "
"Speech with you ! "
Ivan glanced once more about the
_ - Then with the single word "Enter ! "
he flung the door wide open.
; , , ! i A tall , soldierly figure stood in the
\ F doorway an instant , and then without
a moment's hesitation entered and ,
descending the steps , calmly surveyed
Ivanclosing the doordescended and
stood face to face with a stranger ,
. ' ; whom he surveyed with keenest inter-
i "Now , sir , the object of this visit ? "
asked Ivan as he pointed to a chair.
The stranger , ignoring the courtesy
and speaking in the unmistakably peremptory -
, emptory manner of a man accustomed
to command , after another glance
around the room , fixed his eyes upon
" Ivan. "I seek information of a young
t girl-a musician. "
Ivan could not repress "slight start
of surprise : but he managed with an
effort to control himself as he returned -
ed the fixed glance of the stranger.
"Her name ? "
"Ilda parosky ! " As he uttered the
words the stranger unbuttoned the
j. . great coat which enveloped him to
the throat , and displayed an officer's
' . uniform. Then with an easy indiffer-
once , he threw himself Into the chair
with the air of a man who had come
to take possession and was bent upon
something of a long stay.
"Why do you seek Uda BarosltY
here ? " asked Ivan.
"Becanse , " was the quick reply , "she
was seen to enter this house r nd has
not since left It. She is here. "
. "Seen " to enter It-b whom t"
( " ' servant I to
By my serv nt , whom ordered
follow her. "
Ivan's eyes fiashed. "May I ask by
I- - t-
) \ , ' what right an officer sends his servant
to play the spy upon a defenseless girl
because she happened to be alone and
unprotected. When an officer-a man
of rank-forces his attentions upon a
girl who , being a musician , Is presum-
ably of lower degree than himself , he
can have but one object In view-her
dishonor ! "
The stranger sprang to his feet , and ' .
halt-drnwlng his sword , said In a voice
of anger : "Stop , sir ! When you attribute -
tribute my visit here , or my actions ,
. . to a. dishonorable motive , you lie ! It
Is because I am a man or honor-be-
\ . . ; < man.
. ' . . .
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- - . ' . ' 't : ' . . . . . . . . , . . .
" 'h " 1 . .sv. . " , . . . .f. . " : " . " . ' " . . ' "
" "v.v - - - . . . . . . - . . . . .er . .
cause I respect the girl , that I am here
to-night. Summon her here ! "
Ivan stood motionless.
'Veil , sir ! " The stranger spoke
with some impatience.
"Here she comes not , " said Ivan
calmly. "I forbid It I "
It was now the stranger's turn to
"You forbid Itl" ! he exclaimed.
"And pray , sir , by what right do you
assume to decide for the girl ? "
"B ' the right of being her pro-
The stranger changed color. It was
as If be had received a blow that
stunned him. His voice-his whole
manner-changed In an Instant. He
spoke with an evident effort , painfully ,
hesitatingly , as If afraid to trust his
speech. . "You arenotherand
he paused. '
"I am her brother , " was the simple
The effect of this announcement on
the stranger amazed Ivan. The pained
and anxious expression of his face
changed to one of gratified relief ,
which in its way : gave place to a
look of astonishment and surprise.
"Her brother ! " and as the stranger
spoke he extended his hand. Ivan
It ! . "You
grasped involuntarily. sur-
prise me " said the visitor , "but since
you are her brother I have 110 right toI I
bject. I may leave a message for
her , may I not. "
Ivan bowed ' .
"Then say to her , " continued the
stranger , "that Alexis Nazlmoff- " I
"Alexis Nazlmof ! " Ivan Interrupted :
with a start , and then , with an eagerness . !
ness which astonished the stranger , he
repeated , "Alexis Nazlmoff ! Are you
Alexis Nazimoff ? "
It was now the : turn of Alexis to be
astonished at the Intense interest of
Ivan. "I am , " he replied.
"Colonel AlexIs Nazlmoff ? " went on
Ivan eagerly , as If to maIm assurance I
"I am Colonel Alexis Nazlmoff. "
ThIs with a faint suggestion of a smile
at the other' : ; eagerness. "But why
"And the betrothed husband of I
Olga ! " I
Had a 'she11 sUddenly exploded beneath -
neath his feet , Alexis Nazimoff could
hardly have been more astounded.
With a look of profound amazement
at Ivan , and then a glance at his sur-
roundings he paused a moment be-
fore speaking , as If he hardly compre-
hended the inquiry.
"Mlle. Olga Karslcheff , " Alexis said ,
In a tone of more hauteur than he had
yet assumed , "and I have been betrothed .
ed for two years-but- the possible -
Bible sIgnificance of Ivan's words forced -
ed itself upon him-"who are you to
speak of Mlle. Karslcheff In such a
manner ? 1- "
He was again Interrupted by Ivan ,
now speaking with feverIsh haste , his
words flowing in a very torrent , to the
amazement of Alexis.
"Tell me , tell me , " ho exclaimed , as
he grasped Alexis' hand with a grip
of Iron , "tell me , do you love her , do
you worshlll her-Is she all In alt to
you-has she given you her heart-do
you possess her love-do you dare to
make her your wife ? " and he paused
out of breath by his Impassioned
string of questions.
Alexis gazed at him In wonder.
Then , as If speaking to himself , he
said , "This man Is Insane. "
"No , no ! " exclaimed Ivan , "I am nol
Insane. Listen to me-listen. for Goll'
sake-fOl' your happiness , mine the
happiness of Olga , depend Upr > : l your
words. Do you love Olga with all that
devotion , that depth of affection , that
would make you give up aU-Ufo It-
self if need be-for her happiness ?
Tell me-answer truly , for the dear
God'l' loye-would you force Olga to
an unwilling marriage ? would you drag
a helpless , frIendless girl to an un-
loved life with you If her heart were
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given to another ? Answer mo now ,
for Gmt's sake , for life and death hang
upon your words ! "
Alexis Nazlmoff gazed at the man
before him as if I b could scarce bj-
lieve his scnses. Jc tis mn.h.'lC1.c-ln '
this place , with these gloomy surroundings -
roundings , to talk thus 'of Olga Kar : -
sicheff-oC his betrothed wlfo-of the
daughter of the powerful minister of
Imlice. But Ivan's manner moved him.
"No , " was his reply , "I would never
marry an unwilling bride. "
Ivan dropped his head and sault oil
"Thanlt God , thank God , " was all
"Pardon me , " snlll Ivan at length ,
"I was somewhat overcome hy my
agitation In the first place , and by
the joy and hope which your words
gave to me , and will give to one who
Is dearer to me than life ItsoIt-Olga ! "
That name was again rellealed.
Alexis was anne 'ed.
"I must ask you to explain , ' he said ,
"by what right you speak of Mlle ICar-
slcheff , my betrothed wife , as 'Olga I' ! "
Ivan arose Ho took a hurried step
to the right-amI left-pause u. moment -
'ment , and then returned to AlexiA ,
.who sat following his movements with
Seating himself , he turned to Alexis
and said : "You are a man-a soldler-
can I trust you fully and freely ? Will
you give ; me your word of honor to
keep , as an Inviolable secret , what I I
am about to saY ? " I
Alexis paused before making reply , I
At length he spoke : "Yes , on the word
of honor of an officer and a gentleman ,
you may trust me. I will keep your
Ivan began his story He spoke In
a low and Impassioned voice , but
the earnestness and sincerity which
marked the tones went home to the
heart or Alexis , and left In his mind
no doubt of their truth. In a tow
words Ivan made known what the
reader has already learned of his early
life and that of his sister Ilda. Alexis
listened with Interest until Ivan began -
gan his story of his career In the
house of the Baroness van Ithirieberg
"It was here , " Ivan went on , "that I
first saw -Mlle. Karslchoff. She' and
the baroness were devotedly attached '
to each other and the baroness frequently -
quently brought her Into the librar ' .
From the first moment I loved Olga"
but It was not with . that hopeless passion . :
slon that a peas.lint might feel for a
pttncess-she was so far above me In !
rank , birth , station , everything
"But as time went on , and the bare
ness left us together-never dreaming
for a moment that the secretary would
dare to raise his eyes to one as exalt-
ed as l1l1e. Karslcheff-we became
more and more acquainted. There
were many tastes wo possessed In
common-music and literature and
art. Finally , at the baroness' solicita-
tion , I began to give Mlle. Karslcheff
lessons In English pronunciation , and
together we began to read the British
poets. You may Imagine the result.
One day I felt myself carried away
by my love for Olga , and there on my
knees , In one breath , I told her of my
adoration , and begged her forgive-
ness. I found that my love was re-
"Olga then told me of your betroth-
al. While you were away .n Asia there
was no Immediate peril , and for
months wo lived In n tl.'ol'g paradise.
'Ve both knew that the end must come
with your return , and that the secret
must be revealed. For weeks I have
begged and prayed Olga to fly with
me , but she has refused , preferrIng to
walt until the last hope was gone-
an appeal to you ! Now that you have
ret"ne , Olga was to have told you
: : l , but you came into my life tonight ,
and you know the at lOry. Now do you
wonder that I was so astonished when
you revealed your name-do you won-
der at my fervor and anxiety as I
asked you If you would make Olga an
unwilling bride ? "
Alexis sat spellbound.
han watched him with anxious
"What you say may be true , " at
length said. Alexis , "but I must have
. better proof than your slmllle worl.l. "
_ _ . . . . - . . . . . . . _ . . . . . , . . - - _ . . . . . . _ _ : - - _ . . rtawetM.wTw .
"You 8hall-'ou shall ! " eagerlyl
cried Ivan "You shall hear It from
the lips of Olga herself. "
"When and where ? " asked Alexis '
riding to his feet. : . I
uJwro grin where you stand within
an houl"s lime. "
.What ! Hero ! Man , are you mad !
Mlle. Karslchef hate ! Why , hut nn
hour ago she drove home with , her
mother and family , from the fete at
my futher's hOU80. "
"No ! By agreement with me she
went to the home ot the Baroness van
Rhineberg , and ! s there now. "
"Good Godly I : exclaimed Alexis. "Can
this bo true ? "
"It Is true , " replied Ivan. "Seo , " he
exclaimed , producing a key , uhero 18
the proof. This will admit me to the
Rhlneberg mansion and I can bring
2.t , . . " . . -
. . : 2v6:5J1l62" : ;
liar here. Shall we put It to the test ?
Will you hear the avowal of her love
for me from the lips of Olga herself ? "
"Yes ! Go ! " almost shouted Alexis
"We shall put It ! to the test. In God's
name go , and let me be convinced ,
and I swear that if Olga Karslchel'l'
enters that door to-night she shall
never bo my wIfe. "
"And I swear to you : she shall enter.
On that I stake '
hers ! " I
And now the great strain under
which Ivan had been since Alexis revealed
vealed hIs Identity began to tell upon
him and for a moment he leaned back
against the table.
By taking a drosky at the nearest
stand ho could reach the house of the
baroness and return In twenty-five or
thirty minutes. But Alexis here !
What if ho discovered the real char-
actel' of the place ! There was a rule ,
as Ivan well knew , that forbid the
members when concealed from coming
forth until a safety signal was given.
Even suppose one or them entered ,
Alexis could explain that he was 'Ivan's
As those thoughts , one after another ,
rushed through Ivan's mind , Alexis
sat regarding him with a searching
look. The Idea that Olga Karsichoff
daughter of the haughty countess
whose pride was so well known
should have descended to a misalliance .
lIance with this man-
Ills reveries were interrupted
Ivan. J i
"Hero ! You are a man and a soldier .
dier , and I have trusted you. Do mo
this one favor-will you trust me ? "
( To be continued. )
The Berlin chamber of commerce
has received the prospectus regard.
lug the railroads which It Is proposed
to build In Nicaragua. Detailed information .
formation Is being furnished those
desiring to submit tenders for mate.
rials or for excavating work.
Largest Pea Cannery.
It Is estimated that the factory at
Longmont , Cblo , cans more pens than
any other In the world The factory
has been enlarged this year , so 'that
Its capacity Is IGOOO cans an hour ,
which Axceeds all records.
f : .