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BLINDFOLDED A Mystery Story of San Francisco AY EARLC ASHLEY WALCOTT (I'opjTltf lit )V0, th llobb Merrill Co.) SYNOPSIS. GUch Dudley nrrlvnl in San Francisco to join hl rrJeml and distant relative Henry Wilton, whom lie was to assist In an Important and mysterious task, and who aecompanled Dudley on the ferry boat trip Into the city. The rc marlcablo resemblance of the two men N noted nnd coinmonted on by pnssen ners on the ferry. They see a man with snake eyes, which sends a thrill throiiKh Dudley. Wilton postpones an explanation of the straiiKe errand Dudley Is to per form, but occurrences cause him to know It Is one of no ordinary meaning. Wilton leaves Giles In their room, with Instruction to nwnlt his return and shoot, any one who tries to enter. Outside there Is heard shouts nnd curses and the'holso of a (pinrrel. Henry rushes in and nt his request the roommates quickly ex ehanjie clothes, and he hurries out iitfnln. Jlardly has ho pone than Giles is Htartled by n cry of "Help," and he runs out to find some one hcliiK assaulted by n half dozen men. lie summons a police man but they arc unable to find any trace of a crime. Giles returns to his room and hunts for some evidence that might explain his strange mission. Ho finds a map which ho endeavors to de cipher. Dudley Is summoned to the morgue and there finds the dead body of his friend, Henry Wilton. And thus Wilt on dies without ever explaining1 to Dud ley the puzzling work he was to perform In San Francisco. In order to discover the secret mission his friend had entrust ed to him. Dudley continues his disguise and permits himself to be known as Henry Wilton. Dudley, mistaken for Wilton. Is employed by Knapp to assist In a stock brokerage deal. "Dicky" takes the supposed Wilton to Mother Borton's. Mother Morton discovers that he Is not Wilton. The lights are turned out nnd a free for all tight follows. Giles Dudley ' llnds himself c'osoted In a room with Mother Morton who makes a confidant of him. He can learn nothing about the mysterious boy further than that It Is Tim Torrill nnd Darby Meeker who are after him. He Is told that "Dicky" Nahl is a traitor, playing both hands In the game. Giles tlnds himself locked In a room. He escapes through a window. CHAPTER VIII. (Continued). I moved slowly down, a step at a time, then from over-cautiousness tripped and came Cown the last three steps at once with the clatter of a four-horse team. But nobody stirred. Then I glanced throijgh the open door, and was stride en cold with astonishment. The room was empty! The chairs and tables that a few hours ago I had seen scattered about were gone. There was no sign that the place had been occupied in months. I stepped Into the room that I had seen crowded with eager friends and enemies, eating, drinking, ready for desperate deeds. My step echoed strangely with the echo of an unten anted house. The bar and the shelves behind it were swept clear of the hot ties and glasses that had filled them Bewildered and apprehensive, wondered whether, after all, the events of the night were not a fan tastic dream. There was, howevor, no time to waste in prying into this mystery. By my watch it was close on 9 o'clock, and Doddridge Knapp might even now be making his way to the ofllce where he had stationed me. The saloon's front doors wore locked fnst, but the side door that led from the stairway to the street was fastened only with a spring lock, and I swung it open and stopped to the sidewalk. A load left my spirits as the door closed behind mo. The fresh air of the morning was like wine after the close and musty atmosphere I had been breathing. I hurried along the streets with but a three-minute stop to swallow a cup of coffeo and a roll, and once more mounted the stairs to the ofllce and opened the door to Number 15. The place was in disorder. The books that had been arranged on the desk and shelves were now scattered about in confusion, as though they had been hurriedly examined and thrown aside in a fruitless search. This was a disturbing incident, and I was surprised to discover that tho door into the adjoining room was ajar. I pushed it wide open, and started back. Before mo stood Doddridge Knapp, his faco pale as the face of a corpse, and his eyes slating as though the dead Imd rlBen before him. CHAPTER IX. A Day In the Market. Tho King of the Street stood for a moment staring at mo with that strange and fearsome gaze. What was there in that dynamic glance that 6 truck a chill to my spirit as though tho very fountain of life had been at tacked? Was it tha manifestation of tho powerfu Will behind that mask? Was it terror )r anger that was to bo read in tho fiery eyes that gleamed from beneath those bushy brows, and in the piny of the cruel mouth, which from under that yellow-gray mustache gave back the sign of tho Wolf? "Have you any orders, sir?" I asked in as calm a voice as I could com mand. "Oh, It's you, Is It?" said the Wolf slowly, covering his fangs. If flashed on me that the attack in tho Borton den was of his planning, that Tenil was his tool, and that he had supposed me dead. It was thus that 1 could account for his startled gaze and evident discomposure. "Nino o'clock was the time, you said,"l suggested deferentially. "1 be Hove it's a minute or two past." "Oh, yes," said Doddridge Knapp, pulling himself together. "Como in here." He looked suspiciously at me as ho toofv a seat at his desk and motioned me to another. "I had a little turn," he said, eying me nervotrely; "a vertigo, I believe the doctor called it. Just reach my overcoat pocket there, will you? the left-hand side. Yes, bring me that flask. Ho poured out a small glass of liquor, and the rich odor of brandy roso through the room. Then he took a vial from an inside pocket, counted a few drops Into tho glass and drank It at a swallow. When he had cleared his throat of the fiery liquor, the Wolf turned to me with a more composed aud kindly expression. "And now to business," said my em ployer with decision. "Take down these orders." Tho King of the Street was himself once more, and I marveled again at the quickness and clearness of his directions. I was to buy one hundred shares of this stock, sell five hundred of that stock, buy one thousand of an other in blocks of one hundred, and sell the same in a single block at the last session. "Aud the last thing you do," he con tinued, "buy every share of Omega that is offered. There'll be a big block of it thrown on the market, and more In the afternoon. Buy it, what- ever the price. There's likely to be a big slump. Don't bid for it don't keep up tho price, you understand but get it." "If somebody else is snapping it up, do I understand that I'm not to bid over them?" "You're not to understand anything of the kind," he said, with a little dis gust in his tone. "You're to get the stock. You've bought and sold enough to know how to do that. But don't start a boom for tho price. Let her go down. Sabe?" I felt that there was deep water ahead. "Perfectly," I said. "I think I see the whole thing. The King of the Street looked at me with a grim smile. "Maybe you do, but all the same you'd better keep your money out of this little deal unless you can spare it as well as not. Well, get back to your room. You've got your check book all right?" Alone once more 1 was in despair of unraveling tho tangle in which 1 was involved. I felt convinced that Doddridge Knapp was the mover In the plots that sought my life. He had, I felt sure, believed me dead, and was startled Into fear at my unheralded ap pearance. Yet why should ho trust me with his business? I could not doubt that the buying and selling he had given to my care were important. I know nothing about the price of stocks, but I was sure that tho orders he had given mo involved many thou sands of dollars. Yet it might be the thought struck homo to me that the credit had not been provided for mo, and my checks on the Navada bank would serve only to land mo in jail. The disturbed condition of the books attracted my attention once more. Tho volumes were scattered over the desk and thrown about tho room as though somebody had been seeking for a mislaid document. I looked cu riously over them as I replaced them on the shelves. They were law-books, California Reports, and tho ordinary text-books and form-books of the at j torney. All bore on the fly-leaf the name of Horace II. Plymlro, but no paper or other Indication of ownership could I find. I wondered Idly who this Plymlro might be, and pictured to myself some old attorney who had fallen Into tho hands of Doddridge Knapp, and had, through misfortune, been forced to sell everything for tho moss of pottage to keqp life In . him. But there was small time for musing, nnd I went out to do Doddridge Knapp's bidding In the stock-gambling whirlpool of Pino street. It was easy to find Boeksteln and Eppner, and there could bo no mistak ing the prosperity of "the linn. The indifferenco of tho. clerks to my pres ence, and the evident contempt with which an order for a hundred shares of something was being taken from an apologetic old gentleman were enough to assure of that. Bockstein and Eppuer wore togeth er, evidently consulting over the busi ness to be done. Bockstein was tall and gray-haired, with a stubby gray beard. Eppner was short and a little stooped, with a blue-blnck mustache, snapping blue-black eyes and strong blue-black dots over his faco where his beard struggled vainly against tho devastlng razor. Both were strongly marked with the shrewd, ntonoy-get-ting visage. I set forth my business. "You wand to glf a larch order?" said Bockstein, looking over my mem oranda. "Do you haf references?" "Yes," echoed Eppner. "References are customary, you know." Ho spoko In a high-keyed voice that had Ir ritating suggestions In it. "Is there any reference better than cash?" I asked. The partners looked at each other. "Nong," they replied. "How much will secure you on the order?" They named a heavy margin, and the sum total took my heart Into my month. How large a balance I could draw against I had not the faintest Idea. Possibly this was it trap to throw me Into jail as a common swindler attempting to pass worthless checks. But there was no time to hesitate. I drow a check for tho amount, signed Henry Wilton's name and tossed It over to Bockstein. "All rldt," said tho senlpr partner. "Zhust talk It ofer vlt Mistier Eppner He goes on dor floor." I knew well enough what was wanted. My financial standing was to be tested by the head of tho firm, while the junior partner kept me amused. Eppner was quick to take my ideas A few words of explanation and he understood perfectly what 1 wanted. "You have not bought before?" It was an Interrogation, not an assertion "Oh, yes," 1 said carelessly, "but not through you, I believe." "No, no, I think not. I should have remembered you." 1 thought this might be a favorable opportunity to glean a little Informa tlon of what was going on In the mar ket. "Are there any good deals in pros pect?" I ventured. I could see in tho blue-black depths of his eyes that an unfavorable opln Ion he had conceived of my judgment was deepened by this question. There was doubtless In it tho flavor of the amateur. "We never advise our customers," was the highkeyed reply. "Certainly not," I replied. "I don't want advice merely to know what Is going on." "Excuse me, but I never gossip. It is a rule I make." "It might interfere with your op portunities to pick up a good bargain now and then," I suggested, as tho blue-black man seemed at a loss for words. "We never Invest In stocks," was tho curt reply. "Excellent idea," said I, "for those who know too much or too little." Eppner failed to smile, nnd could think of nothing to say. I was a little abashed, notwithstanding the tone of haughty indifference I took. I began to feel very young before this ma chine-like impersonation of the mar ket. Bockstein relieved tho embarrass ment of tho situation by coming in out of breath, with a bravo pretense of having been merely consulting a cus tomer in the next room. "You haf exblained to Mlsder Epp nor?" he inquired. ' Don all is done Here is a card to dor Hoard Room. If orders you haf to glf. Eppnor vlll (lake dem on dor floor. Zhust glf him dor check for margin, and all Is veil." At the end of this harangue I found myself outside tho olllce, with Bock stein's back waddling toward tho private room wlioro tho partners were to have their last consultation before going to tho Board. My check had been honored, thou, and Bockstein had assured himself of my solvency. In the rebound from anxiety, I swelled with the prldo of a capitalist on Doddridge Knapp's money. In the Board Room of the big Ex change tho uproar had given mo a suggestion that tho business of buy lug tind selling stocks was carried on In traomowhat less conventional man nor than the trade In groceries. But It had not quite prepared me for tho scene In the Exchange. After a little I wns nblo to discover that the shouts and yelln and screams, the shaking of lists, and tho waving of arms were merely a moro or toss energetic method of bidding for stocks; that the ringing of gongs and the bellow of the big man who smiled on tho bcar-gardon from tho high desk were merely the audlblo signs that' tinrithor stock wns bolng called; an?l that tho brazen-voiced reading of a roll was merely tho official an nouncement of tho record of bargain and sale that had been going on be fore me. It was my good fortune to make out so much before the purchase of the stocks on my order list was com pleted. Tho crisis was at hand In which I must have my wits about me, and bo ready to act for myself. Eppner rushed up nnd reported tho bargains made, handing mo n slip with the figures ho had paid for the stocks. "Any moro orders?" he gasped. Ho was trembling with excitement and suppressed engerness for tho fray. "Yes," I shouted above the roar about me. "I want to buy Omega." Ho gave a look that might have been a warning, If I could have read it; but It was gouo with a shrug as though ho would say, "Well, It's no business of mine." "How much?" he asked. "Walt!" Ho started away at a scream from the front, but returned In a moment. Ho had bought or sold something, but I had not tho least idea what it was, or which ho had done. "It's coming!" he yelled In my ear. The gong rang. There was a con fused cry from tho man at tho big desk. And pandemonium lot loose. "Omega opens at sixty-live," shouted Eppner. "Bid sixty," I shoulcd In reply, "but get all you can, even It you havo to pay sixty-five." Eppner gave a bellow, and skated into a group of fat men, gesticulating violently. The roar Increased, If such a thing were possible. In a minute Eppner was back, pers piring, and 1 fancied a trifle worried. "They're dropping It on me," ho gasped In my ear. "Five hundred at sixty-two and one thousand at sixty. Small lots coming fast and big ones on tho way." "Good! Bid fifty-five, and then fifty, but get them." With a roar he rushed Into tho midst of a whirling throng. I saw twenty brokers about him, shouting and threatening. Ono In his eagerness jumped upon tho shoulders of a fat man In front of him, and shook a paper under his nose. I could make out nothing of what was going on, except that the excite ment was tremendous. Twice Eppner roported to me. Tho stock was being hammered down down stroke by stroke. There was a rush to soil. Fifty-five flfty-throo fifty, came tho price than by leaps to forty-five and forty. It was a panic. At last the gong sounded, and tho scene was over. Eppner reported at the end of tho call. He had bought for me twelve thousand live hundred shares, ovor ten thousand of them below fifty. Tho total was frightful. There was half a million dollars to pay when tho tlmo for settlement came. It was folly to suppose that my credit at tho Nevada was of this size. But I put a bold faco on It, gave a check for the figure that Eppner named, and rose. "Any moro orders?" he asked. "Not till afternoon." As I passed Into the street I was aB tonished at the swift transformation that had come over it. Tho block about tho Exchange was crowded with a tossing throng, hundreds upon hun dreds pushing toward Its fateful doors. But where clieorfulness and hope had ruled, fear and gloom now vibrated in electric waves before me. Tho facos turned to tho pitiless, polished granlto front of tho groat gambllng-hall wero white and drawn, and on them sat Ruin and Despair. (TO UP. rONTIN'UiaD.) Alligators in Ecuador. A new minor industry that Is devel oping in Ecuador is the killing and skinning of alligators. This Industry was launched In 1903 by an American, who went to Guayaquil for the pur pose of hunting down the myriads of alligators which abound In tho Rlvor G nay a.s and Its tributaries. He was markedly successful. Tho buslnoss was temporarily interrupted in tho early part of lOOfi by tho untimely death of tho American, who had start ed the fun, but It lias recently boon resumed. Tho total valtto of tho alli gator skins exported during tho yoars 1!)0:5, 1901, 1905 and 190G was $35,000. Tho skins shipped from Ecuador to this country last your weighed 57,000 pounds, and wero valued tit $4,873. N. O. Times-Democrat. Married in Sackcloth. In order not to lose a legacy of $25,000 left to her by an eccentric aunt, a young lady was, in Franco, somo little tlmo ngo, married wear ing a wedding dross which, though of fashionable cut, was made f .sackcloth. An All-Hound look. Tho book agent had spent a d!a couraglng morning, and whon ho had Rn opportunity to scan tho faco of Eli Hobbs at close range, he folt that there was small chance of making a Balo. Howover, he had moro than one method of suggestion. "Sitting out hero on the piazza after noons with ycur wife, this would bo tho vory book to read aloud," ho said, Ingratiatingly, to Mr. Hobbs, faking tho other rocking chair and opening tho large red-covered volume. "I don't read and I haven't any wife," replied Mr. Hobbs, dryly. "Dear mo!" said the book agent. "Well, If your wlfo Is dead, perhaps there ore children. Now, chlldron find this book" 'There are no children," Interrupted Mr. Hobbs. "There's nobody but my self and my cat." "Well," said tho book agont, "don't you over wnnt a good heavy book to throw nt her, Just to ease your feel Ings?" Youth's Companion. How It Works. Once there wm a struggling youna author who was blest with many friends, all of whom told him that. h was the coming great writer of tha country. So one day a bright thought struck him. Ho snld: "I will publish my book, aud all my frlands who admlro It so much will buy my book, and I will be rich." So he printed his book. And all of his friends waited for him to send them autographed coplei of his book. And so his books were sold as junk. And over after he didn't have any friends. Success, No Lou, Fint Doctor Wo are afraid that young Mr. SIHIboy, the society pa tient, is losing his mind. Second Ditto Well, keep It quiet and nobody will know the difference. Lewis Jungle Hinder cigar richest, most satisfying miinke on the market. Your dealer or LcwiV Factory, Peoria. HI. - - . . Humility adds to tho measure of true greatness; prldo detracts from it. Thorold. TOILET ANTISEPTIC Keeps the breath, teeth, mouth and body antiseptically clean and free from ua healthy germ-life and disagreeable odors, which water, soap and tooth preparations lone cannot do. A germicidal, disin footing and deodor ising toilet requisite of exceptional ex cellence and econ omy. Invaluable for inflamed eyes, throat and nasal and uterine catarrh. At drug and toilet stores, 50 cents, or by mail postpaid. 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For pamphlet, "LaHt U'HtWeHt,"piirtl(!ularHWHtoraii's,routes, beut time to i;o and where to locate, apply to W. V. BENNETT, 801 New York Life Building, 0mba, Nebraifcs. W, N. U., LINCOLN, NO. 25, 1908.