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Macon beacon. [volume] (Macon, Miss.) 1859-1995, February 07, 1913, Image 6

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At thi Caravan Was
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SYNOPSIS.
0oriM Perclval Algernon Jonee, vloe
wresldent of the Metropolitan Oriental
Hug oompany of New York, thlratlns; for
romance, la In Cairo on a business trip.
Horace Kyanne arrlvea at the hotel (n
Cairo with a carefully guarded bundle,
ftyann sells Jones the famous holy Yhl
, -eVtfea Wf which he admit having atolen
from a pasha at Baa-dad. Jonee meets
Major Callahan and later Is Introduced to
fortune Chedioye by a woman to whom
M had loaned 1R0 pounda at Monte Carlo
otue montha previously, and who turns
ut to be Fortune'! mother. Jonee takes
Mrs. Chrdinye and Fortune to a polo
fimt Fortune returns to Jonee the
money borrowed by her mother. Mrs.
Chedsove appears to engaged In aome
nyaierlous enlerprlite unknown to the
daughter. Kyunne Interests Jonea In the
United Romance, and Adventure, com
pany, a concern which for a price will
Arrange any kind of an adventure to or
Arr. Mr. Chedaoyo, her brother. Major
Callahan, Wnllnco and Ryanne, na the
United Romance nnd Adventure company,
flan a riaky enterprise Involving; Jonea.
iyanne makea known to Mra. Chedsoye
la Intention to marry Fortune. Mra.
Chertaoye derlnrca he will not permit It.
Flans are laid to prevent Jonea sailing
lor home. Kyanne steals Jonea' letters
Ad cable dispatches. Ha wires agent In
Iw York, In Jones' name, that ha Is
tvntlnf house In New York to some
friends. Mahomed, keeper of the holy
mrpet, la on Ryanne's trail. Ryanne
remises Fortune that he will sea that
Jonea cornea to no harm as a result of his
frarchaae of the rua Mahomed accosts
Ryanne and demand the Yhlordea rug.
Ryanne telle him Jonea has the rug and
tagfft the abduction of the New York
ifeierchant aa a means of securing Its re
turn. The rug disappears from Jones'
loom. Fortune quarrels with her mother
when the latter refuses to explain her
.wsterlous actions. Fortune gets a mes
age purporting to he from Ryanne ask
ing her to meet him In a secluded place
that evening. Jonee receives a message
.sutklng him to meet Kvnnne at the F.ngllan
JBar the same evening. Jones Is carried
Into the desert by Mahomed and his
SKrompllces after a desperate fight. He
discovers that Kyanne nnd Fortune also
re captives, the former la badly battered
svnd unconscious. Uynnne recovers con
ctouaness and the Bight of Fortune In
japtlvlty reveals to him tho fact that
Mahomed Intends to get vengeance on
him through the girl. Fortune acknowl
edges that she stole the rug from Jones'
room. Bhe offers to return It to Mahomed
if he will free all three of them. Ma
Bomed agrees to liberate Fortune and one
the men In return for the rug. A cour
ier la sent to Cairo for the rug, but re
turns with the Information that Mrs.
Chedsoye and her brother have sailed for
Jew York. Fortune spurns offered free
Corn which does not Include her two com
panions. CHAPTER XV. (Continued.)
When camp was made that night
tt found the captives untalkatlve. The
irl and the two men sat moodily
bout the fire. Fatigue had dulled
thetr bodies and hopelessness their
minds. The men were ragged now,
unkempt; a stubble of beard covered
their faces, gaunt yet burned. George
tsad lost his remaining pump, and as
tils stockings were now full of holes,
be bad, In the last flicker of personal
pride, wound about them some cast
off cloths he had found. There was
not enough water for ablutions; there
was scarcely enough to assuage thirst
By and by, Ryanne, without turning
ttis bead, spoke to George. "You say
.you questioned the courier?"
"Yes."
1 "He says he showed the note to no
wie?M
"Yes."
"And so no one will try to find us?"
"No."
Ryanne had asked these questions
dozen times and George had always
jglTen'tbe same answers.
TJpand away at dawn, for they must
rrach the well that night. It was a
terrible day for them all. Even the
beasts showed signs of distress. And
wont of It was, MahomeU wa
1
Paaalng She Screamed.
not quite sure of his route. Fortunate
ly, they found the well. They drank
like mad people.
Ryanne, who had discovered a pack
of cards in his pocket, played patience
upon a spot smoothed level with his
hand. He became absorbed In the
game; and the boys gathered round
him curiously. Whenever he succeed
ed In turning out the fifty-two cards,
he would smile and rub his hands to
gether. The boys at length consid
ered him unbalanced mentally, and In
consequence looked upon him as a
near-holy man.
Between Fortune and George con
versation dwindled down to a query
and an answer.
"Can I do anything for you?"
"No, thanks; I am getting along
nicely."
To-night she retired early, and
George Joined Ryanne's audience.
"It averages about nine cards to the
play," he commented.
Ryanne turned over an ace. Ten or
fifteen minutes went by. In the sev
eral attempts he had failed to score
the full complement
George laughed.
"What's in your mind?" cried Ry
anne peevishly. "If lfs anything
worth telling, shoot it out. shoot It
out!"
"I was thinking what I'd do to a
club steak Just about now."
Ryanne stared beyond the fire. "A
club-steak. Grilled mushrooms."
"Sauce Bordelalse. Artichokes."
"No. Asparagus, vinaigrette."
"What's the matter with endives?"
"That's so. Well, asparagus with
butter-sauce."
"Grilled sweets, coffee, Benedictine,
and cigars."
"And a magnum of '1900' to start off
with!" Ryanne, with a sudden change
of mood, scooped up the cards and
flung them at George's head. "Do you
want us both to become gibbering
idiots?"
George ducked. He and the boys
gathered in the fluttering paste-boards.
"You're right, Perclval," Ryanne ad
mitted humbly. "It will not hurt us
to talk out loud, and we are all brood
ing too much. I am crasy for the want
of tobacco. I'd trade the bes dinner
ever cooked for a decent cigar."
George put a hand reluctantly into
his pocket He brought forth, with ex
treme gentleness, a cigar, the wrapper
of which was broken in many plaoes.
"I've saved this for days," he said.
With his pen-knife he sawed It deli
cately into two parts, and gave one to
Ryanne.
"You're a good fellow, Jones, and
I've turned you a shabby trick. I
shan't forget this bit of tobacco."
"It's the last we've got The boys,
you know, refuse a pull at the water
pipe; defiles 'em, they say. Funny
beggars! And If they gave us tobacco,
we shouldn't have paper or pipes."
"I always carry a pipe, but I lost It
in the shuffle. I never looked upon
smoking as a bad habit. I suppose
It's because I was never caught before
without It And it 1b a bad habit,
since it knocks up a chap this way
for the lack of It Where do you get
your club-steaks in old N. Y.?"
And for an hour or more they sol
emnly discussed the cooking here and
I merv itpwn ui iawe wa vuw wu,
HAROLD
Avifkor of HEARTS AND rtASKS
Oto MAN Ort THE BOX ct&.
Illustrations by M.G.Kettmer-
COPYRIGHT 1911 by BOBB3 - .MERRILL COMPANY
By Judicious inquiries George ascer
tained that the trip to Bagdad, barr
ing accidents, would take fully thirty
five days. The daily Journeys pro
ceeded uneventfully. Mahomed main
tained a taciturn grimness. If he
aimed at Ryanne at all. It was In
trifling annoyances, such as forget
ting to give him his rations unless he
asked for them, or walking over the
cards spread out upon the sand.
Ryanne carried himself very well. Had
he been alone, he would have broken
loose against Mahomed; but be
thought of the others, and restrained
himself some consideration was due
them.
But into the blood of the two men
there crept a petty Irritability. They
answered one another sharply, and
often did not speak. Fortune alone
seemed mild and gentle. Mahomed,
since that night she had braved him,
let her go and come as she pleased,
nor once disturbed her. Had she
shown weakness when most she need
ed courage, Mahomed might not have
altered bis plans. Admiration of cour
age Is inherent in all people. 80,
without appreciating It, that moment
had been a precious one, saving them
all much unpleasantness.
By the twentieth day, the caravan
was far Into the Arabian desert, and
early in the afternoon, they came up
on a beautiful oasis, nestling like an
emerald in a plaque of gold. So many
days had passed since the beloved
green of growing things had soothed
their Inflamed eyes, that the sight of
this haven cheered them all mightily.
Onco under the shade of the palms,
the trio picked up heart. Fortune sang
a little, George told a funny story, and
Ryanne wanted to know If they
wouldn't take a hand at euchre. In
deed, that oasis was the turning-point
of the crisis. Another week upon the
dreary, profitless sands, and their spir
its would have gone under completely.
This oasis was close to the regular
camel-way, there being a larger oasts
some twenty-odd miles to the north.
But Mahomed felt safe at this distance,
and decided to freshen up the caravan
by a two-days' rest .
George immediately began to show
Fortune little attentions. He fixed her
saddle-bags, spread out her blanket,
brought her some ripe dates of his
own picking, insisted upon going to
the well and drawing the water she
was to drink. And oh! how sweet and
cool that water was, after the gritty
flat liquid they had been drinking!
Just before sundown, he and Fortune
set out upon a voyage of discovery;
and Ryanne paused in his game of pa
tience to watch them. There was
more self-abnegation than bitterness
in his eyes. Why not? If Fortune re
turned to her mother, sooner or later
the thunderbolt would fall. Far better
that she should fall In love with Jones
than to go back to the overhanging
shadow. A smile lifted the corners of
his Hps, a sad smile. Perclval didn't
look the part of a hero. His coat was
variously split under the arms and
across the shoulders; his trousers
were ragged, and he walked In his
cloth pads like a man who had gout
in both feet. A beard covered his
face, and the bare spots were blistered
and peeling. But there was youth In
Percival's eyes and youth In his heart,
and surely the youth In hers must
some day respond. She would know
this young man; she would know that
adversity could not crush him; that
the promise of safety could not make
a coward of him; that he was loyal
and brave and honest. She would
know In twenty days what It takes the
average woman twenty years to learn,
the manner of man who professed to
love her. Ryanne left the game unfin
ished, stretched himself upon the
ground. Oh, the bitter cup, the bitter
cup!
Round the fire that night, the camel-
boys got out their tom-toms and reeds,
and the eerie music affected the white
people hauntingly and mysteriously.
For thousands of years, the high and
low notes of the drums (hollow earth
en-Jars or large gourds covered with
goat-skin at one end) and the thin, me
tallic wall of the reeds had echoed
across the deserts, unchanged.
Fortune always remembered that
night. Wrapped in her blanket, she
had lain down Just outside the circle,
and had fallen into a doze. When the
music stopped and the boys left the
prisoners to themselves, George and
Ryanne talked.
"I never forget faces," began
George.
"No? That's a gift."
"And I have never forgotten yours.
I was in doubt at first, but not now."
"I never met you till that night at
the hotel."
"That's true. But you are Horace
Wadsworth, all the same, the son of
the millionaire-banker, the man I used
to admire In the field."
"You still think I'm that chap?"
"I am sure of It. The first morning
you gave yourself away.
"What did I say?" anxiously.
-You mumbled foot-ball phrases-'
MACGRAIH
"Ah!" Ryanne was vastly relieved.
He seemed to be thinking.
"Do you persist in denying It?"
"I might deny it but I shan't I'm
Horace Wadsworth, all right. Fortune
know,s something about that chapter,
but not all. Strikes you odd, eh?" con
tinued Ryanne, iron In his voice.
"Every opportunity in the world; and
yet, here I am. How much do you
know, I wonder?"
"You took some money from the
bank, I think they said."
"Right-0 ! Wine, Perclval; cards,
wine and other things. Advice and
warning went into one ear and out of
the other. Always so, eh? You have
heard of my brother, I dare say. Well,
he wouldn't lend me two stamps were
I to write for the undertaker fc come
and collect my remains. Beacllful his
tory I I've been doing some tall think
ing these lonely nights. Only the
straight and narrow way pays. Be
good, even If you are lonesome. When
I get back, if I ever do, lt'a a new leaf
for mine. Neither wine nor cards nor
women."
Silence. The fire no longer blazed;
It glowed.
"Who is Mrs. Chedsoye?" George
finally began anew.
"First, how did you chance to make
her acquaintance?"
"Some years ago, at Monte Carlo."
"And she borrowed a hundred, and
fifty pounds of you."
"Who told you that?" quickly.
"She did. She paid you back."
"Yes."
"And she hadn't intended to. You
poor Innocent!"
"Why do you call me that?"
"To lend money at Monte Carlo to a
woman whose name you did not know
at the time! Green, green as a paddy
field! I'll tell you who she Is, because
you're bound to learn sooner or later.
She Is one of the most adroit smug
glers of the age; Jewels and rare laces.
And never once has the secret-service
been able to touch her. Her brother,
the Major, assists her when he Isn't
fleecing tender lambs at all known
games of chance. He's a card-sharp,
one of the best of them. He tried to
teach me, but I never could cheat a
man at cards. Never makes any false
moves, but waits for the quarry to of
fer itself. That poor child has always
been wondering and wondering, but
she never succeeded In finding out the
truth. Brother and sister have made
a handsome living, and many a time I
have helped them out There; you
have me in the ring, too. But who
cares? The father, so I understand,
married Fortune's mother for love;
she married him for his money, and
he hadn't any. Drink and despair dis
patched him quickly enough. She Is a
remarkable woman, and If she had a
heart, she would be the greatest of
them all. She has as much heart as
this beetle," as he flipped the green Iri
descent shell Into the fire. "But, after
all, she's lucky. It's a bad thing to
have a heart, Perclval, a bad thing.
Some one is sure to come along and
wring It, to Jab It and stab It."
"The poor little girl!"
"Perclval, I'm no fool. I've been
watching you. Go in and win her; and
God bless you both. She's not for me,
she's not for me!"
"But what place have I In all this?"
evasively.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Why did Mrs. Chedsoye pay me
back, when her original Intention had
been not to pay me?"
"You'll find all that written In the
book of fate, as Mahomed would say.
More, I cannot tell you." I
"Will not?"
"Well, that phrase expresses It."
They both heard the Bound. For
tune, her face white and drawn,
stood Immediately behind them.
CHAPTER XVI.
Mahomed Rides Alone.
It was as if the stillness of the des
ert Itself had encompassed the two
men. In their ears the slither of the
brittle palm-leaves against one an
other and the crackle of the fire were
no longer sounds. They stared at
Fortune with that speechless wonder
of men who had come unexpectedly
upon a wraith. What with the faint
glow of the fire upon one side of her
and the pallor of moonshine upon the
other, she did Indeed resemble man's
conception of the spiritual.
Ryanne was first to pull himself to
gether. "Fortune, I am sorry; God knows
I am. I'd have cut out my tongue
rather than have hurt you. I thought
you were asleep la the tent"
"Is It true?"
"Yes." Ryanne looked away.
"I had not quite expected this: the
daughter of a thief."
"Oh, come now? don't .look at It
that way. Smuggling is altogether a
different thing," protested Ryanne.
(Women were uncertain; here she
was, apparently the least agitated of
the three.) "Why, hundreds of men
and women who regularly gli to
church, think nothing of beating
Uncle Sam out of a few dollars. Here's
Jones, for Instance; he would have
tried to smuggle in that rug. Isn't
that right. Jones?"
"Of course!" cried George eagerly,
though scarcely knowing what he
said. "I'd have done it."
"And you wouldn't call Perclval a
thief," with a forced laugh. "It's like
this, Fortune. Uncle Sam wants al
together too much rake-off. He doesn't
give us a sr.-are deal; and so we even
up the matter by trying to beat him.
Scruples? Rot!" ,
"It Is stealing," with quiet convic
tion. ,
"It irn't, either. Listen to me. Sup
pose I purchase a pearl necklace In
Rome, and pay five-thousand for it.
Uncle Sam will boost up the value
more than one-half. And what for?
To protect infant industries? Bally
rot I We don't make pearls in the
States; our oysters aren't educated up
to It." His flippan.-y found no re
sponse In her. "Well, suppose I get
that necklace through the customs
without paying the duty. I make
twenty-five hundred or so. And no
body Is turt That's all your mother
does."
"It Is stealing," she reiterated.
How wan she looked! thought
George.
"How can you make that stealing?"
Ryanne was provoked.
"The law puts a duty upon such
things; if you do not pay it, you steal.
Oh, Horace, don't waste your time
in specious arguments." She made a
gesture, weariness personified. "It is
stealing; all the arguments In the
world can not change it into anything
else. And how about my uncle who
fleeces tho Iambs at cards, and how
about my mother who knows and per
mits it?"
Ryanne had no plausible argument
to offer against these queries.
"Is not my uncle a thief, and is not
my mother an abettor? I do not know
of anything so vile." Her figure grew
less erect. To George's eyes, dimmed
by the reflecting misery in hers, she
drooped, as a flower exposed to sud
den cold. "I think the thief In the
night much honester than one who
cheats at cards. A card-sharp; did
you not call It that? Don't lie, Hor
ace; It will only make me sad."
"I shan't lie any more, Fortune. All
that you believe Is true; and I would
to God that It were otherwise. And
"8he Is One of the Most Adroit Smuggler of the Age."
I've been a partner In many of their
exploits. But not at cards, Fortune;
not at cards. I'm not that kind of a
cheat."
"Thank you. I should have known
some time, and perhaps only half a
truth. Now I know all there Is to
know." She held her bands out be
fore her and studied them. "I shall
never go back."
"Good Lord! Fortune, you must
You'd be as helpless as a babe. What
could you do without money and com
fort?" "I can become a clerk In a shop. It
will be honest Bread at Mentone
would choke me;" and she choked a
little then as she spoke.
"My dear Fortune," said Ryanne,
calling Into life that persuasive
sweetness which upon occasions he
could put Into his tones, "have you
ever thought how beautiful you are?
No, I don't believe you have. Bom
ancestor of your father's haa been re
Incarnated in you. You are without
vanity and dishonesty; and I hav
found that these usually go together
Well, at Mentone you had a little ex
perience with men. You were under
protection then; protection It waa of
a sort. If you go out Into the world
alone, there will be no protection; and
you will find that men are wolves)
generally, and that the sport of ths)
chase is a woman. Must I make It
plainer?"
"I understand," her chin onoe mors)
resolute. "I shall become a clerk la
a shop. Perhaps I can teach, or be
come a nurse. Whatever I do, I shall
never go back to Mentone. And all
men are not bad. You're not all bad
yourself, Horace; and so far aa I am
concerned, I believe I might trust yom
anywhere."
"And God knows you could!" geno
inely. "But I can't help you. If I
had a Bister or a woman relative, I
could send you to her. But I have no
one but my brother, and he's a worse
scoundrel than I am. I at least work
out In the open. He transact hla
villainies behind closed doom."
George listened, sitting as motion
less as a Buddhist Idol. Why couldnt
he think of something? Why couldn't
he come to the aid of the woman he
loved in this her hour of trial? A fln
lover, forsooth! To sit there like a
yokel, stupidly! Could he offer to
lend her money? A thousand times,
no! And he could not ask her to
marry him; it would not have been
fair to either. She would have mis
understood; she would have seen not
love but pity, and refused him. NK
ther she nor Ryanne suffered more la
spirit than he did at that moment
"Jones, for God's sake, wake up and
suggest something! You know lota
of decent people. Can't you think of
some one?"
But for this call George might hr
continued to grope In darkness. In
stantly he saw a way. He Jumped to
his feet and seized her by the bands
boyishly.
"Fortune, Ryanne Is right Vy
found a way. Mr. Mortimer, the pres
ident of my firm, Is an old man, kindly
and lovable. He and his wife are
childless. They'll take you. Why, lf
as easy as talking."
She leaned back against the draw
ing of his hands. She was afraid that
in his eagerness he was going to take
her in his aims. She wondered whd;
of a sudden, she had become so weak,
"I'll cable the moment we read!
port," he said, as If reaching port un
der the existing conditions was a
thing quite possible. "Will you go to
them? Why, they will give you ev
ery care In the world. And they win
love you as ... as you ought to
be loved!"
Ryanne turned away his bead.
Fortune was too deeply absorbed by
her misery to note how near George
had come to committing himself,
"Thank you, Mr. Jones; thank you.
I am going to the tent I am tired.
And I am not so brave as you think
I am."
"But will you?"
'1 shall tell you when we reasft
port." And with that she fled to
teat i'
(TO Bl CONTHfOaUi

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