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DESTINY Copyright SYNOPSIS. iPTER I Senor don Antonio de la cwio wealthy Spanish ranch owner on American side of the Mexican border, the.,fnrmed by his American attorney 1 technical error has been found in 0,81 m The eenor signs a new docu without reading it.. ru AFTER II Teresa, only grandchild K1'p nor. finds evidence of a struggle ? !hP iibrarv and her grandfather miss The belief is that the senor has been 1',ai across the border by Mexican reb i Hilly Stanway, Teresa's sweetheart, flups command of the situation and or ders the servants and vaqueros to arm themselves. rAFTER III Stanway, with twenty starts to pursuit of the rebels. They -pet Eduardo TRamon Torre, kinsman of Teresa who has been wounded, he claims,' by the escaping rebels. rT, aptER IV Stanway loses the reb- ic- trail and returns to the hacienda. Tviva shows him the copy of the new ..mi which she has found and which leaves all the property to Torre. CHAPTER V An emissary from the rebel" arrives with the news that the Unor is well and is being held for $20,000 ransom. Torre tries to assume authority as the heir, but Stanway takes command of the situation. CHAPTER VI Dempton, the senor's lawyer, is brought to the hacienda at Stanwav's order and is accused of having received pay from Torre for altering the senor's will. CHAPTER VII Torre, who has been detained under guard by Stanway, ad mits that he is responsible for the senor's disappearance. Ho demands $20,000 to re nounce all claim to the estate and to re turn the senor unharmed. Refusal will mean the senor's death within 24 hours. CHAPTER VIII The hacienda is at tacked in the night on a signal given by Torre from within. He is foiled in his attempt to escape. CHAPTER IX In the confusion, Teresa Is abducted and several of her attendants are found wounded. Torre admits he is responsible for Teresa's disappearance, and raises his demands to $50,000. Stan way etarte in search of Teresa. CHAPTER X. A Bold Game. Tob will know, Josefa, if there is anything missing from the master's room?" "Si, senor. I know each little thing. There has been no change for many years." The small, wrinkled, almost black f.ife of the little old Indian woman looked up curiously Into Stanway's. "Then come. Let us hurry." He led the way. They went through the drawing room, where dtae of the house servants was lighting the can d'es, where Torre was pacing back and forfh, his restlessness showing fcr the first time. Teresa de la Guerra's scream had fcnndf-il through the house early that morning at three o'clock. The long ,day had dragged, and now it was growing dark. Stttl Torre and Juarez were prison ers ; still Dempton fretted and fumed and sulked in the great library. Torre looked up quickly, his eyes eager, expectant. Stanway glanced at him, giving no satisfaction in the swift turning of his eyes. Torre frowned and bit at his lip. Juarez looked to his leader with both ques tion and criticism in his gaze. Josefa followed the rancher, and they passed on through the drawing roomf The door closed behind them. "Now, Josefa." Stanway threw open the door of the Senor de la Guerra's bedroom. Josefa, lifting, a very white handker chief to her very black eyes, 'crossed herw-lf and stepped over the thresh old. "Look. Josefa! Is there anything missing?" H had the key in his pocket; she h;.rj n;t seen it. He looked at her in a moment tense with expectant wait in?, not sure why he was so eager for the word she should say. Josef a's eves, showing again as she folded and smoothed her handkerchief, roved about Hie room. She shook her head slowly, and still her eye.s went upon their quest. "There is nothing missing," she said, upeaking thoughtfully- "Every thing " She broke off suddenly, her old fig tire growing rigid, her eyes brighten-'ng- Then she ran across the room to a far corner which was a bit in shadow as Stanway held his candle above hiss head. "It is gone!" she cried, amazement in her voice. "See where It has been for twenty years for more than twenty years! And it is gone!" "What, Josefa?" Stanway hurried to his side. "What is it that is gone?" "The key !" she whispered, her vife suddenly dropping. "See where t hunjc against the wall. See where 5t hung so long that it left its own Phane like a picture. But who could have taken it?" Stanway, peering above the old n.an'8 head, the candle held close to the wall, saw, dimly enough but j'ainly, the mark which the key, hngiDg from a little peg, had left. "What key was It?" he asked eharp- "The master's. He would allow no to touch it. He had it kept there alwayH, where h could see It In the morning at night when he went to Dp- And it is gonel" h."ut " "led Stanway Impatiently, w hand upon her arm, "what was it IOr' What did It open?" Joefa looked at him with wide K "But the master would be an V if he knew. He has had it there thJnht,weDty years much longer, I B"t' Josefa," Stanway hurried on. Can" ya thInk what door il Pens? Refa sness? I must know, Jo- tW senorI Not here" Josefa uq her head. "I should know, I ft , if I Jackson Gregory ' i then, l tmia, minor. . uiuev oc key to "some room in his "beloved Spain. It Isv for no room, upon the rancho. Of that I am sure, senor." What Is this, Josefa r-' Suddenly he had drawn the great, heavy key from his pocket, holding it before her eyes. She stared at it, then : with a little cry put out her shaking hands for it. "That is it, gracias a Dios!" she muttered. "We shall put it back so that the master will not be angry when he returns. Quick, senor! Let us pot it back. Maybe it's being gone brought the bad luck. Maybe when it Is on the wall once more good luck will .oi!e back to the rancho." It was not until he had again hung the key upon the peg that Stanwaj succeeded In getting the now delight ed Josefa to leave the room. When she had gone he closed the door, came back to the key, and took it again in his hands. "That opens the door .behind which he is a prisoner," he told himself half angrily. "He and perhaps Teresa. I have the key, and I can't tell where the door is. And it is getting dark. Teresa " Long and moodily he stared at the cumbersome' key. Its dull surface Stared at the Cumbersome Key. seemed to him to be hiding from him the things he wanted to . know. It seeemed to him that suddenly it had grown cold there In De la Guer ra's bedroom. He shivered, and, taking up his candle, went his way back through the drawing room, with no word to Torre, with no glance even, for he feared that now he could not let his eyes go to the handsome, evil face and keep his hand back, and at last to Pedro's bedside. Pedro, waiting for him impatiently, tried to lift himself upon an elbow, and falling in that turned his bright black eyes upon the American. "What did she say, Josefa?" he asked quickly. "It is the master's Key?" "Yes, Pedro," answered Stanway dispiritedly. "But what is the use? She does not know what door It opens." "But I know!" said Pedro brightly. "You know!" Stanway laid his hand on the wounded man's arm. Tell me. Quick!" "When the master was young be lived in Spain, where the old master. his father, sent him to go to school. In the home there, builded of stones like an old castle, senor, was a room where many times he was locked up by his tutor because he was wild and did not fall in love with his books. I have heard him laugh and tell about it to the padre from La Panza. When he came away he brought the key to that prison room with him. That is the key you have, senor!" Stanway looked at the man with swift suspicion. Pedro seemed ex cited over the key; a look of great shrewdness was in his eyes, and the key unlocked a door In Spain! If he was becoming delirious "I am not in a fever, senor," said Pedro quickly, seeing the thought in the American's eyes. "But that key tells me something. Every night be fore going to my bed I go to the mas ter's room to see If he wishes any thing, to take any commands for the next day. I went last night after il was late, just before I went to the senorita's door. It was habit, senor. I could not have gone to sleep unless I went there." "Well?" sharply. "I heard a little sound. It was th scratching of a window shade. 1 went, closed the window, and loekee It tightly. And while looking for tht sound I saw the key in its place. II was there at eleven o'clock last night senor." "You are sure, Pedro? Yon art very certain that this key was In th master's room at eleven o'clock?" "Very certain, eenor." "Then But it is Impossible, Pe dro! You say that you locked tht windows? All of them?" "All, senor." "And the door as you came out?" "I locked, senor. The key was un der my bed. I gave it to you Jusi now. And there is only one key upoi the rancho only one In the worlt which will unlock it!" "But then it is impossible!" Stanway, restless, upon his feet strode back and forth, frowning. B the key had been there last night, il door and windows had been locked if they had been locked when he wem to the room then how could one 01 the men who attacked Pedro hav had it in his hand at three o'clocl In the morning? "You mean," he said slowly, com Ing back to the bedside, "that the at tack upon you and Celestino was made by men who are among tb house servants or the De la Guern vaqueros?" "No, senor." There was no besi tation the voice was confident. "Th men wore handkerchiefs about tbobi faces, but I know that they were no , of our men. They were strangers t ! me." "But," cried Stanway, "how conic such a ng ? .How could Jhe: mi w ' sx--c-n ' so wiry- uariter o1 rwtn Then how coula , they have gotten t the senorita's room without .some om of our men seeing them And whj should they have brought-the key "The key is heavy, good to strike & hard blow," replied Pedro. "If a man had lost his knife and needed a weapon he might take it. No, senor." , "Bu how " Stanway broke off, his eyes ran from Pedro's face to sweep the room, a sudden light came into them, and the blood ran into his face. "My God," he cried,' "I see it !" "You are wiser than X, senor." Pe dro smiled contentedly and closed his eyes, looking very pale and weak. "You will let me have news when there Is anything, senor? I could get well quickly with good news." Stanway promised, took: Pedro's hand quickly, turned and hurried out of the room. His step was quick, his eyes very; bright "I understand now" Torre's signal on the window," he muttered as he went "And by heaven, how blind I was ! I know what he meant when he said he was taunting a man whom he did not like ! It's the boldest game a man ever played !" . i' CHAPTER XI. 1 "You Have Overplayed Your Hand. "I am afraid that I have been indis creet, Senor Stanway." Torre, with Ms old smile charged now with some thing of mockery and much of triumph, held out a little piece of white paper to Stamway, who, key in hand, had just come from Pedro on his way to the master's room. "But I think that I can plead an altogether unusual po sition as my excuse. You will pardon me, senor?" Stanway took the paper, guessing what it was, and read it swiftly : Ml Querido Senor Billy: To save papa grande, to save me from all that Is horrible, there is no way but to do what Torre asks. In grandfather's room, behind the great mahogany bed, there is a painting on the w&ll There is a spot in the woodwork, three feet from the floor, ten from the northwest corner, where you must press with your finger. It will disclose the banco. Give him the money for the sake of Your Teresa. "Yon will pardon my having read itT" again smilingly from Torre. "Where did you get this thing?" cried Stanway. Torre pointed to the window, whose panes he had broken just before three o'clock. v "There. On the floor. Some one threw It in on the floor while you were running so giddily across the border. You see this is very well planned, senor. Is it not? Even my lieuten ants " "If I do not do as she asks?" cut in Stanway, his low-lidded eyes sharp up on Torre's. Torre shrugged. "Who knows? Perhaps they will take the trouble to find a priest to give the senorita in holy matrimony to " In sudden rage Stanway, his nerves jangling, his rage reddening his face, leaped at the man, and as he leaped struck, struck hard his hard, clenched fist smashing into the evil smile, cut ting the lips so that the blood ran from them, sending Torre! reeling backward across the room. "Shut up !" he cried hoarsely. "You mention the senorita once more and " His teeth closed with a little omi nous click. Torre, wiping the blood from his lips, glared at him with a boundless, almost speechless, rage. t "Coward !" he sneered. "Since I am a prisoner, with a half dozen men ready to spring upon me, you attack me" itry i t ii a ct "Si, senor!" Gaucho's brown face brightening, his eyes looking happier than they had looked for two days. "Do not interfere. Do not let your men take hand, no matter what hap-' pens." Then he swung about upon; Torre. "Do you want to finish it now?" he said curtly. -J But Torre was once more himself,; smiling, at ease, only a fierce hatred in his eyes. "Gracias, seuor!" he returned. "I shall merely make you pay for that, blow in my own way. And now I ask another ten thousand dollars as ran som for the old man and the girl. Ten thousand dollars for a blow, senor! Do you care to strike again?" Stanway shrugged. . "You have overplayed your hand, Torre," he said quietly. "This note from the senorita makes me sure of what I was beginning to suspect) Gaucho, come with me." ! With no further word, leaving Torre's mystified face looking after! him, he went out, Gaucho at his heels.' "Gaucho," he said, speaking swiftly from beyond the closed door, "I want you to come to the master's room.; Bring some men with you six, ten I don't know how many we shall need.! Let two of them bring axes. Let all' carry side arms. Bring the picked, men, Gaucho; the hardest men on the; rancho. I think that there is going to be fighting this time." "The master?" cried Gaucho. "The senorita? You know" "I know nothing. But I think that they have never for a second left the house! Hurry, Gaucho!" ; Ant Gaucho hurried, his own face,' as mystified as Torre's. Stanway went, quickly to the bedroom. "Somewhere in these grait thick walls there is a passageway.- he whis pered to himself. "It runp from this room throughout the house and to the east wing where Teresa's rooms are. "Somewhere, down below oernaps. there is a room, a dungeon I thick that it Is just under the drawtac room ; I think that that is where De la Qoerra Is; that many of the things whScb Torre said were meant to be heard by the old san that they might taunt and mock him ; I think that Torre's men down there heard the crashing glass, the words which went with it. I think that we are going to find De la Guerra and Teresa there." He studied the walls. There was nothing to hint at a secret door. He moved out the bed, found the spot which Teresa's note told of, set his thumb to It, end saw a panel drop down, shelf wise, showing a great iron j.4 . . ?Ha iwrm il The safe was Itic. I tiuutttLH Dat4 l , fct-?atifcTH CITY, locked, .the key missing. But he knew that he had found De la Guerra's bank. He closed the panel swiftly as Gaucho and his men came, to the door. - "Que es, senor?" Gaucho asked quickly. And the black eyes of the dark-faced men thronging behind him eager, expectant told as well as words that Gaucho had -whispered to his men that the Americano had apian, that' hope lay -behind it. "Come in, Gaucho. Shut the door. How many men?" . They entered as he spoke. He count ed as the last man closed the door be hind him. "Ten, senor. Five , more are com ing." nAnd" sternly "you can vouch for them, for all of them? You can trust every man to the uttermost, Gaucho V "To the uttermost, senor," as stern ly. "To the. death in the service of the master and" his voice breaking a little "the senorita." "And the other fiver .. "Jhe same." "Good! This is my plan. Come close, all of you." He addressed them in Spanish, speaking swiftly, his voice lowered so thatt the men must crane their necks and lean forward to hear. He told them of his hope that those they sought had never been taken out of the hacienda. "Now," he ended, "there is no doubt a passageway running from here to the senorita's rooms. If we find this end of it and attack they may escape at the other end. So we must be ready. "Gaucho, send two men into the senorita's rooms. Let them be ready, armed and watchful. Send two more .to the stairway. Let Torre and Juarez he bomd and watched over, by one man only, a hian whom you can trust and who will blow their brains out be fore he lets them escape." "Let every other man in the house be armed and ready. Tfien " "Then, senor?" eagerly. "Then" with quiet determination "we shall find where fhe passage is if we have to tear down the walls. Hurry, Gaucho !" Gaucho ran upon his errand, calling by name the men he wished to go with him. Stanway, bidding those with him to be very silent, not knowing what means the men he sought might have of overhearing what happened In the room, began a silent search for some sign of a passageway in the thick walls. And now at last fate and the quick eyes of a vaquero aided him. There was a little scratch on the redwood o the wall just opposite the door through which they had entered, a fresh white scratch. It was Mendbz a young Mexican, who saw it; it was Mendoz who found a mark of a greusv thumb upon the same panel, some f oui feet from the floor. "Aqui, esja!" he muttered. "Senor, look !" Stanway's heart beat wildly when he saw what Mendoz had found. "The door of the passageway!" he whispered. "Sh! Be still! Even take off your boots, companeros. , We are going to give them no warning. But first, Mendoz, bring Dempton here, quick! I think he is going to talk now." Mendoz hurried, and presently came back, he and the immense Vidal, walk ing at Dempton'srTght and left "Dempton," whispered Stanway, meeting him, "make no sound. If he cries out" to VWal and Mendoz "if he makes a sound choke the life out of him. Do you understand, Dempton?" Dempton's pale lips opened, but no words came forth. A little shiver ran through him. "We have learned everything, Demp ton," Stanway went on in his whis pering voice. "Even to the hiding place. There is the door." He point ed to the panel with the thumb-print upon Jt. "I think that we can send you to the penitentiary for a long time with very little trouble. Will you talk now, Dempton?" De-mpton hesitated, denial upon his lips, growing fear in his eyes. "What do you want to know?" he asked in a shaking whisper. "I Oh, my God! This has gone further al ready " "I want to know how many men are with Torre in this thing?" "There there is Juarez and and "Don't be a fool as well as a cow ard, Dempton!" muttered Stanway. "You are such a petty little thief, that nobody is going to want to prosecute you if you help us now. There is Torre and Juarez and you. Who else?" "I I don't know." Dempton licked his dry lips and swayed between Vidal and Mendoz as though he were going to fall. "Oh, I was a fool" "Granted. But tell what you know while you have the chance. How many?" "Seven, I think," chattered Demp ton. "Seven besides Torre and Juarez. Five inside, two outside with the horses." 1 "Outside?" queried Stanway. "Yes. To ride away, leading extra horses, so that it would sound like a number of riders were racing for the border. To leave the trail which you followed south. The other five to do the work inside." m "And .De la Guerra wa9 never to be taken from the house?" "No. It seemed safer this way." "There was every hazard in It "Simply because you happened to be at the rancho," returned Dempton with a little flash of bitterness. "Had there been only the senorita, it would have been easy to have worked on her love for her grandfather." "And Torre?" "Killed a man a month ago in San Antonio Is running away from the gallows. With the money he expected to make from this he could buy the silence of the one man who can iden tify him as the murderer. It was his bnly chance." "Juarez?" ' "Is actually a rebel captain. " Torre was to give him his share. Then Torre was to have a commission in the rebel army. He looked to distinguished fa vors when the rebels fought their way Into power. Now f J, - I ,"Nowf if . he goes Into. Mexico the rebels will shoot him : as a; traitor. That was another chance he was tak ing. He was to give five thousand dol lars to the cause. For that they let him have Juarez -and the other men. He was to give his life If. he lied to them, if he tricked them or if h failed. He could never get across the border without their , spies finding him." Then Gaucho returned with word that everything was ready. Vidal, ai He Turned a Corner. Stanway's command, bound Dempton securely once more, hand and foot, and tossed him to the bed as one might toss a sack of wheat. The men had kicked off their shoes and boots, and stood eager and expectant. Stanway, his revolver in his right hand, pressed with the left thumb upon the spot In the paneling where anothet thumb had pressed. There was a little click, and the pan el slid back into the wall, showing a narrow doorway, a narrow passageway beyond. There were candles burning there, their steady flames casting a clear, yellow light. "Each man keep three feet behind the man In front of him," whispered Stanway. "We must have room. Vidal. Gaucho, come just behind me." lie stepptMl through the door into the two-foot wide hallway which ran along inside the wall, its trend east ward and downward. There were no steps, but the slant led quickly under the foundations of the great adobe buildings Stanway passed the first candle set into a niche in the rough wood wall Already he felt that he must be below the level of the floor when he came to the second candle. Here the flame was less steady, a little breath of air playing with it. He turned a corner, the hallway opened up suddenly into a small, rough-walled room some eight or ten feet square. s Across the room was a heavy barred door; In the center of the floor was a couch, and- on the couch a man -was lying upon his back, his hands clasped betiind his head, a cigarette between his lips. Stanway was in the room, noiseless in his stockinged feet, Vidal at his side. Gaucho was entering when the man heard, turned quickly, and savv them. He sprang to his feet. But the cry rising to his lips was choked back in his throat by the hard hands of the rancher. The struggle ended almost as soon as it began. But some sound of the brief scuffle must have penetrated to the other side of the oak door. Before the rest of the vaqueros could crowd into the lit tle room the door had been jerked open, a dark, bearded face showed nt the crack. There was a snarled curse, the door slammed shut, and there was the sound of other bars lifted across it upon the other side. "Your axes!" shouted Stanway, leaping to one side to make room. "Vidal, you take one. Get it down, quick!" But, even to the attack of the great arms of Vidal and another of the cow boys, the great thick door stood defiant as the swift seconds fled by. From the other side came the sound of quick, snappier voices, of scurrying feet, the sound of a cry. which tingled through Stanway's blood and sent Vidal with redoubled vigor to the onslaught' on the door. At last the door fell. Stanway and Vidal, side by side, leaped through. There was another hall, wider than the first, shorter. At the end of the hall another door, studded with nails, barred upon the farther side. Evidently there had been a second guard here, evidently In the next room were the prisoners. "De la Guerra 1" shouted Stanway. "Teresa !" There was no answer, no sound. "Smash in the door!' he yelled. "Quick ! Gaucho, go upstairs. Tell them what has happened. Let them watch out. Order the first man who appears to be shot if he makes a move toward a gun or to escape. Run, Gaucho !" Before Gaucho had turned to obey, before Stanway's echoing words sank into silence, there came from beyond the door an exclamation of terror, a sudden cry, and khe reverberating crack of a revolver. Then brief silence again for a mo ment which seemed long, and the blows of two axes, ripping and tearing at the oak planks of the door. (TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK Nemesis. Nemesis was a goddess of justice and retribution. 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