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Why let chilled fingers and a
blue nose spoil the buckwheats and a cup of good coffee? You can have a warm dining room - cer tainly you can. Your fire never goes out in Cole's Original Hot Blast Heater Even the cheapest grade of coal put in the night before will be a mass or glowing coke in the morning, and will heat, your rooms perfectly for two or three hours without a fresh supply. Burns anything-soft coal-hard coal -lignite or wood. It is guaranteed. COME IN AND SEE IT. See the name "Cole's" on the feed door of each stove. None genuine without it n ' Chambers. Now is the time to make money in Malta Real Estate. Town lots on easy terms HARRY COSNER THE VARIETY STORE We are preparing for a large Xmas this year 4 regardless of the cry of war. Our store will be * turned over to old ST. NICHOLAS in a few-days. T COME EARLY FOR IT'S THE EARLY BIRD THAT ALWAYS CATCHES THE WORM. If we can't supply your Xmas wishes we will order for you. THE VARIETY STORE NOTICE if If it is photographs you want,ILand of course W you do, have them taken before the holidays, as W the photo gallery will, in all probability, be closed during the hardest part of the winter. Do not wait till a day or two before Xmas as it will be im possible to finish photos in a hurry during the holiday rush of business. Diset's Studio IS THE PLACE. Malta Montana a 11-***-*:, lkieDetective of ketod Copyright, 1913. b~y ý ""liesketh Prichard PROLOGUE. One of the most interesting characters in fiction, November Joe, well deserves to take his place in the hall of fame along side his more famous prototype, Sherlock Holmes. In the woods Sherlock Holmes no doubt would have been of little value in ferret ing out criminals, because wood craft was not in his line. In the city, too, November Joe would not have compared in merit of achievement with Holmes, but in the woods every leaf and twig, stone and bit- of moss where it has been in contact with human beings or animals tells its story to the keen eyes and analytical mind of November Joe. - CHAPTER I. November Joe. IT happened that in the early au tumn of 1008 1, James Quaritch of Quebec, went down to Montreal. I was at the time much engaged in an important business transaction, which after long and complicated nego tiations appeared to be nearing a suc cessful issue. A few days after my ar rival I dined with Sir Andrew McLer rick, the celebrated nerve specialist I and lecturer at McGill university, who had been for many years my friend. On similar occasions I had usually remained for half an hour after the other guests had delarted, so that when he turned from saying his last goodby Sir Anriew found me choosing a fresh cigar. "I cannot call to mind, Jlames, that I invited you to help yourself to another smoke," he said. I laughed. "Don't mention it, Andrew; I am ac customed to your manners. All the same" Ie watched me light up. "Make the most of it, for it will be some time be fore you enjoy another." "I have felt your searching eye upon me more thanonce tonight. What is it?" "My dear James, the new mining amalgamation the papers are so full of, and of which I understand that you are the leading spirit, will no doubt be a great success, yet is it really worth the sacrifice of your excellent health?" "But I feel quite as usual." "Sleep as much as usual?" "Perhaps not," I admitted unwill ingly. '"Appetite as good as usual?" "Oh. I don't know." 'UU, I COBT KnOW.." "Tush, man, James! Stand up." Thereupon he began an examination which merged into a lecture, and the lecture in due course ended in my de cision to take a vacation immediately a long vacation, to be spent beyond reach of letter or telegram in the woods. "That's right! That's right!" com mented Sir Andrew. "What do the horns of that fellow with the big bell, which you have hanging in your office, measure?" "Fifty-nine inches." "Then go and shoot one with a spread of sixty." "I believe you are right," said 1, "but the worst of it is that my guide, Noel Tribonet, is laid up with rheumatism and will certainly not be fit to go with me just now. Indeed, 1 doubt if he will ever be much good in the woods again." "But what if I can recommend you a new man?" "Thanks, but I have had the trouble of training Noel already." "I can guarantee that you will not find it necessary to train November Joe." "November Joe?" "Yes, do you know him?" "Curiously enough, I do. He was with we as dishwasher when I was lap with Toip Todd some years ago in Maine. He vas a boy then. Once w1he ,W weie on the ian'eb and. were 'ovel'tpkpR. by a very;.bad uowet9,, the boy bad a differenge .ot opinion hs to the direction we should take." "Aid Joe was right?" "He' wa," said I." "Todd didn't like it et allt" "Tom' Todd' had quite a reputation, hadn't be? Naturally be would not like belig put right by a boy. Well. I that must be ten years ago. and Joe's twenty-four now." "And a good iamn in the woo4s, you say?" "None better. The most capable on this continent. I verily believe. If .Joe is free and can go with you. yoiu will get your moose with the sixty inch horns. I understand that he has en tered into some sort of coutrpct -with the provincial police." "writh the police?" . epeated. "Yes. He is to help them in such cases as may lie within the scolie of his special experienca. He is. indeed, the very last person I should like to have upon my trail had I committed a murder. He is a most skilled,-ind minute observer, and you must. not for get that the speciality of a Sherlock Holmes is the everyvdy routipe of a woodsman. Observation anrd 6dduc tion are part and parcel of his daily existence. He literally reads as he runs. The floor of the forest isi his page. And when a crime is committed in the woods these facts are yery for tunate. There nature is the criminal's best ally. She seems to league herself with him in many ways.. Often she delays the discovery of his ill doing; she covers his deeds with her leaves and her snow; his track she washes away with her rain, and more than all she provides him with a vast area of refuge. over which she sends the appointed horns of darkness. during which he can travel fast and far." "All things considered, It is surpris ing that so many woods crimes are brought home to their perpetrators." "There you are forgetting one very important point. I have been present at many trials and the most dangerous witnesses that I have ever seen have been men of the November Joe type that is, practically illiterate woodsmen. Their evidence has a quality of terrible §implicity. They give minute but un ?nswerable details. All their experi ences are first hand. bhcy bring for ward naked facts with sledge hammer results. Where a town bred man would see nothing but a series of blur red footsteps in the morning dew, an ordinary dweller in the woods could learn something from them, but No vember Joe can often reconstruct the man who made them, sometimes in a manner and with an exactitude that has struck me as little short of mar velous." "I see he has interested you," said I, half smiling. "I confess he has. Looked at from a scientific standpoint I consider him the perfect product of his environ ment. There are few things I would enjoy more than to watch November using his experience and his super- 1 normal senses in the unraveling of t some crime of the woods." I threw the stump of my cigar into c the fire. C "You have persuaded me," I said. "I t will try to make a start by the end of the week. Where is Joe to be found?" "As to that, I believe you might get E into touch with him at Harding's farm, Silent Water, Beauce." "I'll write to him." "Not much use. He only calls for letters when be feels inclined." "Then I'll go to iarding's and ar range the trip by word of mouth." "That would certainly be the best plan, and, anyhow, the sooner you get into the woods the better. Besides, you will be more likely to secure Joe by doing that, as he is inclined to be shy of strangers." I rose and shook hands with my host. "Remember me to Joe," said he. "I like that young man. Goodby and good luck." * *f * * * * * Along the borders of Beauce and Maine, between the United States and Canada, lies a land of spruce forest and of hardwood ridges. Here little farms stand on the edge of the big timber, and far beyond them, in the depths of the woodlands, lie lumber camps and the wide flung paths of trappers and pelt hunters. I left the cars at Silent Water and rode of' at once to Harding's. the house of the Beance farmer where I meant to put up for the nlgh;. Mrs. Ritd ing tereeiyed a gaenhauly and placed an tieel eA4Rpper Ieore . te. Wtgll I wap eating 'It .*quq blew 9p 'with tbh fall of darknes. and. I ws glad enough to and myself in safe : Outside the wino was sa*i ni among the pines which incioledlthe farmhouse, when inside the telephbie bell rang, which odnneeted Us .ith St. George,. forty ntties distmnth *sng suddenly and Incongruously ; igh above thIe elassor of fhe tor Moises: Mrs. Usarding took up lI(e uler. and this Is what I heard. "My busband wsn't be home tonign. he's gone Into St. George. No, 1 hay no one to send. But how can I? Ther is no one here but me and tI e chil dren. Well, there's Mr. Quaritch, , sport, staying the night. No, I couldn. ask him." "Why not?" I itnquired. Mrs. Harding shook her head as she stood still holding the receiver. Shr was a matron of distinct comeliness and she cooked amazingly well. "You can ask me anything," I urged "They want some one to carry a message to November .loe." she ex plained. "It's the provincial police on the phone." "I'll go." "Joe made me promise not to send any sports after him." she said doubt fully. "They all want him now he's famous." "But November Joe Is rather a friend of mine. I hunted with him years ago when he lived on the Montmorency." "Is that so?" Her face relaxed a little. "Well, perhaps"- she conceded "Of course I'll carry the message.," "It's quite a way to his place. No vember doesn't care about strangers le's a solitary man. You must follow the tote road you were on today tif. teen miles. turn west at the deserted lumber camp. cross Charley's brook Joe lives about two acres up the far bank." She lifted the receiver. "Shall I say you'll CtO?" "By all means." A few seconds later I was at the phone taking my instructions. It ap peered that the speaker was the chief of police in Quebec, who was of course well known to me. I will let you havE his own words. "Very good of you, I'm sure, MIr. Quaritch. Yes, we want November Joe to be told that a man nanuey1 Henry Lyon has been 869t1p h9 s I airp down at Big Tree portige, on D.epbt river. The news came in just 'non. telephoned through by a lumberjack who found tre '15dy. Tell Joe, plheie, success means $50 to him. Yes, that's all. Much obliged. Yes, the sooner he hears about it the better. Good night." I hung up the receiver, turned to Mr's. Hntrdin: and told her the facts. "So Novenmbier is connected with po lice work nos?" "Didn't you read In the newspapers about the 'Long Island Murder?' I remembered the case at once; it had been a nlre days' wonder of' hend line and comment, and now I won dered how it was that I missed the mention of Jine's name. "November was the man who put to gether that puzzle for them down In New York," Mrs. Harding went on. "Ever since they have been wanting him to work for them. They offered him $100 a cionth to go to New York and take on detective jobs there." "Ab, and what had he to say to that?" "Said he wouldn't leave the woods for a thousand." 16"7.1l", "They otTered him the thousand." "With what result?" "He started out In the night for his shack. Came in here as he passed and told my husband he would rather be tied to a tree in the woods for the rest of his life than live on Fifth avenue. The lumberjacks and the guides here abouts think a lot of him. Now you'd best saddle Laura-that's the big gray mare you'll find in the near stall of the stable-and go right off. There'll be a moon when the storm blows itself out." By the help of the lantern I saddled Laura and stumbled away into the dark and the wind. For the chief part of the way I had to lead the Mare, and the dawn was gray in the open places before I reached the deserted lumber camp. and all the time my mind was busy with memories of November. Boy though he had been when I knew him, his personality had. Impressed itself upon me by reason of a certain ade quate quietness with which he fulfilled the duties, many and disagreeable. which bearded old Tom Todd took a delight in laying upon his young shoul ders. I remembered, too, the expression of humor and mocking tolerance which used to invade the boy's face whenever old Tom was overtaken by one of his habitual fits of talking big. Once when Tom spoke by the camp fire of some lake to which he desired to guide me and of which he stated that the shores had never been trodden by white man's foot Joe had to cover his mouth with his hand. When we were alone, Todd having departed to make some necessary repairs to the canoe, I asked Joe what he meant by laughing at his elders. "I suppose a boy's foot ain't a man's Snyways." remarked Joe innocently, and more he would not say. The sun was showing over the tree tops when I drew rein by the door of the shack, and at the same moment came in view of the slim but power ful figure of a young man who was busy rolling some gear Into a pack. He raised himself and, just as I was about to speak, drawled out: "tI i Mr. Quariteb, you! Who'd a' thought It?" The young woodsman came forward with a lazy stride and gave ie wel come , Witll a curi ,p .ge*tienepp that was one of- his . ersvctlias oR, but which left me in doubt as to its. geni ality. . I feel. that I shall never be able to describe Novemler. Suffice it to say that the loose kage bQ, I reuiePbered had developed Kito oie of the finest spectisp of ' h that ever grew up ahtbo 5 the bilsamn trees; near six feet tall, lithe and powertul, ,with, a neck like. g coluwn "0d P siraight tea. tured tfce the sheer' goo looks of thi son of the woods were" diii'binb. He was clearly also not only ;l product but the master of his~environment "Well, well, Mr. Quaritch, many's the time I've been thinking of the days we had with old Tom way up on the Itoustik." "They were good days, Joe, weren't they ?" "Sure, sure, they were!" "I hope we shall have some more together." "If it's hunting you want, I'm glad you're here. Mr. Quaritch. There's a line buck using around by Widdeney pond. Maybe we will get a look at him come sunset, for he 'most always moves out of the thick bush about dark." Then humor lit a spark in his splendid gray eyes as he looked up at me. "But we'll have a cup o' tea first" November Joe's (by the way, I ought to mention that his birth in the month. of November had given him his name), as I say, November Joe's weakness for tea had in the old days been a target upon which I had often exer cised my faculty for irony and banter. The weakness was evidently still alive. "I had hoped to have a hunt with you, November," said I. "Indeed, that is what I came for, and there's nothing I'd like better than to, try for your red deer buck tonight, but while I was at Harding's there was a ringup on the phone, and the provincial police sent through a message for you. It appears that a man named Henry Lyon has been shot in his cahp at' Big Tree portage. A lumberman found him and phoned the news into Quebec. The chief of police wants you to take on the case,. He told me to say that Suc cess would mean $50." "Thait's too bad," said Joe. "I'd. sooner hunt a deer than a man any day. Makes a. fellow feel less badlike when he comes up with him. Well, Mr. QuaritchlI - must be, getting off, but you'll be wanting another guide. There's Charley Paul, down to St. Amiel.". "Look here, November, I don't want Charley Pdial br any other guifde but you. The fact of the matter is that Sir Andrew McLerrick, the great doc tor who was out with you Jast fall, has told me that I have been overdoing it and must come into the woods for rest. I've three months to put in, and from all I hear of you you won't take three months finding out. who murdered Lyon." Joe looked grave. "I may take more than that," said he, "for maybe I'll never find out at all. But I'm right pleased, Mr. Quaritch, to hear you can stay so long. There's plenty of grub. in my shack, and I dare say that I shan't he many days gone." "How far is it to Big Tree portage?" "Five miles to the river and eight up it." "I'd like to go with you." He gave me one of his quick smiles. "Then I guess you'll have to wait for your breakfast till we are in the canoe. Turn the mare loose. She'll make Harding's by afternoon." Joe entered the shack and came out again with one or two articles. In five minutes h@w had put together a tent, my sleeping things, food, ammu nition and all necessaries. The whole bundle he secured with his packing strap, lifted it and set out through the woods, CHAPTER II. The Crime at Big Tree Portage. HAVE sometimes wondered wheth er he was not irked at the pros pect of my proffered companion ship and whether he did not at first intend to shake me off by obvious and primitive methods. I had my work, and more than my work, cut out for me in keeping up with November, who, al though he was carrying a pack while I was unloaded, traveled through the woods at an astonishing pace. He moved from the thighs. bending a little forward. However thick the un derbrush and the trees, he never once halted or even wavered, but passed on ward with neither check nor pause. Meanwhile, I blundered in his tracks until at last. when we came out on the bank of a strong and swiftly flowing river. I was fairly done and felt that had the journey continued much longer I must have been forced to give in. November threw down his pack and signed to mae to remain beside it, while he walked oif downstream, only to re appear with a canoe. The rustle of the water as it hissed against our stemn and the wind in the birches and junipers on the banks soon lulled rae. I was only awakened by the canoe touching the bank at Big Tree. Big Tree portage is a recognized camping place situated between the great main lumber camp of Briston and Harpur and the settlement of St. Amiel, and it lies about equidistant from both. A small shelter of boughs stood beneath the spreading branches of a large fir; the ground all about was strewn with tins and debris. On a bare space in front of the shelter, beside the charred logs of a campfire, a patcb.of blue caught my eye. This, as my sight grew accustomed to the light, resolved itself into the shape of a huge man. fle lay upon his face, and the wind tint tered the blue blouse which he was wearing. It came upon me with a shock that I was looking at the body of AIeliy Lyon, the anurdered man. Noevonber, ptvadp: up ituthecasqe. a wood, pieture n .fir buekl a librt and Jeaq ur qd the1 I si died up and dow., star-tatt'the baIk. A J Its i f b 1n " : l # asbore. I 4I qa istaQ In ,tie eailo. i ewisb ic I 'wied the mnove.mets ot my do( paublei. First bie went to the body and examined it with' minute care; next be disappeared wi tbi* 'tb,4bitet, :dame' out and stood for a'dWilaute staaidtg toward the riv er; finally,. be called to spe to come ashore. ( To Be Continued.