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God will have vengeance. What are -we that we should hope
to avert it by any act or at any cost?" The major, with his eyes fixed piercingly on this miser able man, replied with one pregnant sentence. -Then you forced your wife to suicide?" "No," he began but before another word could follow, Miss Tuttle, resplendent in beauty and beaming with new life, broke in with the fervid cry: "You wrong him and you wrong her by such a sugges tion. It was not her husband but her conscience that forced her to this retributive act. What Mr. Jeffrey might have done had she proved obdurate and blind to the enor mity of her own guilt, 1 do not know. But that he is inno cent of so influencing her is proved by the shock he suffered at finding she had taken her punishment into her own hands." "Mr. Jeffrey will please answer the question," insisted the major. Whereupon the latter, with great effort, but with the first appearance of real candor yet seen in his, said earnestly: "I did nothing to influence her. I was in no condition to do so. I was benumbeddead. When first she told me it was in some words muttered in her sleepI thought she was laboring under some fearful nightmare but when she persisted, and I questioned her, and found the horror true, I was like a man turned instantly into stone, save for one intolerable throb within. I am still so everything passes by me like a dream. She was so young, seemingly so inno cent and light-hearted. I loved her! Gentlemen, you have thought me guilty of my wife's deaththis young, fairy-like creature to whom I ascribed all the virtues! and I was will ing, willing that you should think so, willing even to face the distrust and opprobrium of the whole worldand so was her sister, the noble woman whom you see before yourather than that the full horror of her crime should be known and a name so dear be given up to execration. We thought we could keep the secretwe felt that we must keep the secret we took an oathin Frenchir the carriagewith the detectives opposite us. She kept itGod bless her! I kept it. But it was all uselessa tiny bit of lace is found hang ing to a lifeless splinter, and all our efforts, all the hopes and agony of weeks are gone for naught. The world will soon know of her awful deedand 1^-" He still loved her! That was apparent in every look, in every word he uttered. We marveled in awkward silence, and were glad when the major said: "The deed, as I take it, was an unpremeditated one op her part. Is that why Rer honor was dearer to you than your own, and why you could risk the reputation if not the life of the woman who you say sacrificed herself to it?" "Yea, it was unpremeditated she hardly realized her act. If you must know her heart thru all this dreadful business, we have her words to show youwords which she spent the last miserable day of her life in writing. The few lines which I showed the captain and which have been published to the world was an inclosure meant for the pub lic eye. The real letter," telling the whole terrible truth, I kept for myself and for the sister who already knew her sin. Oh! we did everything we could!" And again he moaned: "But it was in vain quite in vain." There were no signs of subterfuge in him now, and we all, unless I except Durbm, began to yield him credence. Durbin never gives credence to anybody whose name he has ,pnce heard associated-with crime. "And this Pfeiffer was contracted to her? 'A man she had secretly married while a school-girl and who at this very critical instant had found his way to the house " "You shall read her letter. It was meant for me, for me onlybut you shall see it. I cannot talk, of him or of her crime. It isenough that I have been unable to think of anything else since first those dreadful words fell from her lips in sleep, thirty-six hours before she died." Then with the inconsistency of great anguish he suddenly broke fourth Into the details he shrank from and cried: "She muttered,1 THE MnnSfEAPOUS JOTTBSAL SUJOSEB MICTION SUPPI^MEHTSATURDAY, JULY 11, 1903. lying there, that she was no bigamist. That she had killed one husband before she married the Other. Killed him 1n the old house and by the method her ancestors had taught her. And I, risen on my elbow, list ened, with the sweat oozing from my forehead, but not be lieving her, any more than any of you would believe such words uttered in a dream by the darling of your heart. But when, with a long-drawn sigh, she murmured, 'mur derer!' and raised her fiststiny fists, hands which I had kissed a thousand timesand shook them in the air, an aw ful terror seized me, and I sought to grasp them and hold them down, but was hindered by some nameless inner recoil under which I could not speak, nor gasp, nor m_ove. Of course, it was some dream-horror she was laboring under, a nightmare of unimaginable acts and thoughts, but it was one to hold me back and when she lay quiet again and her face resumed its old sweetness in the moonlight, I found myself staring at her almost as if it were truewhat she had saidthat wordthat awful word which no woman could use with reeard to herself, even in dreams, unless something, an echo from the discordant choir in our two weeks' married life, rose like the confirmation of a doubt In my shocked and rebellious breast. Prom that hour till dawn nothing in that slowly brightening room seemed real, not her face lying buried in its youthful locks upon the pillow, not the objects well-known and prized by which we were surroundednot myselfmost of all, not myself, unless the icy dew oozing from the roots of my lifted hair was real, unless that shape, fearsome, vague, but persistent, which hovered in the shadows above us, drawing a line of eternal separation between me and my wife, was a thing which eould be caught and strangled andOh! I rave! I chatter like a madman but I did not rave that night. Nor did I rave when, in the bright, broad sunlight, her eyes slowly unclosed and she started to see me bending so near her, but not with my usual kiss or glad good morning. I could not question her then I dared not. The smile which slowly rose to her lips was too piteousit showed confidence. I waited till after breakfast. Then, while she was seated where she could not see my face, I whispered the ques tion: 'Do you know that you have had a horrible dream?' She shrieked and turned. I saw her face and knew that what she had uttered in her sleep was true. "I have no remembrance of what I said to her. She tried to tell me" how she had been tempted and how she had not realized her own act, till the moment I bent down to kiss her lips as her husband. But I did not stop to listen I could not. I flew immediately to Miss Tuttle with the vio lent demand as to whether she knew that her sister was already a wife when she married me, and when she cried out 'No!' and showed great dismay, I broke forth with the dreadful tale and cowered, in unmanly anguish at her feet, and went mad and lost myself for a little while. Then I went back to my wretched wife and asked her how the awful deed had been done. She told me, and again I did not be lieve her, and began to look upon it all as some wild dream or the distempered fancies of a disordered brain. This thought calmed me and I spoke gently to her and even tried to take her hand. But she herself was raving now, and clung about my knees, murmuring words of such anguish and contrition that my worst fears returned and, only stopping to take the key of the Moore house from my bureau, I left the house and wandered madlyI know not where. "I did not go back that day. I could not face*ner again till I knew how much of her confession was fancy and how much was fact. I roamed the streets, carrying that key from one end of the city to the other, and at night I used it to open the house which she had declared contained so dread ful a secret. "I had bought candles on my way there but, forgetting to take them from the store, I had no light with which to penetrate the horrible place that even the moon refused to illumine. I realized this when once in, but would not go back. All I have told about using matches to light me to the southwest chamber is true, also my coming upon the old candelabrum there, with a candle in one of its sockets. This candle I lit, my sole reason for seeking this room be ing my desire to examine the antique sketch for the words which she said could be found there. "I had failed to bring a magnifying glass with me, but my eyes are phenomenally sharp. Knowing where to look, I was able to pick out enough words here and there in the lines composing the hair, to feel quite sure that my wife had neither deceived me nor been deceived' as to certain directions being embodied there in writing. Shaken in my last lingering hope, but not yet quite convinced that these words pointed to outrageous crime, I flew next to the closet and drew out tne fatal drawer. "You have been there and know what the place is, but no one but myself can realize what it was for me, still lov ing, still clinging to a wild inconsequent belief in my wife, to grope in that mouth of hell for the spring she had chat tered about in her sleep, to find it, press it, and then to hear down in the dark of that fearsome recess, the sound of something1 deadly strike against what I took to be the cush ions of the old settle standing at the edge of the library hearthstone. "I think I must have fainted. For when I found my self possessed of sufficient consciousness to withdraw from that hole of death, the candle in the candelabrum was shorter by an inch than when I first thrust my head into the gap made by the removed drawers. In putting back the drawers I hit the candelabrum with my foot, upsetting it and throwing out the burning candle. As the flames began to lick the worm-eaten boarding of the floor a momentary im pulse seized me to rush away and leave the whole place to burn. But I did not. With a sudden frenzy, I stamped out the flame, and then finding myself in" darkness, groped my way downstairs and out. If I entered the library I do not remember it. Some lapses must be pardoned a man in volved as I was." "But the fact which you dismiss so lightly is an impor tant one," insisted the major. "We must know positively whether you entered this room or not." 1 have no recollection of doing so." 'Then you cannot tell us whether the little table was standing there, with the candelabrum upon it or " "I can tell you nothing about it." The major, after a long look at this suffering man, turned toward Miss Tuttle. "You must have loved your sister very much," he sen tentiously remarked. She flushed, and for the first time her eyes fell from their resting place on Mr. Jeffrey's face. "I loved her reputation," was her quiet answer, "and " The rest died in her throat. But we allsuch of us, I mean, who were possessed of the least sensibility or insight, knew how that sentence sounded as finished in her heart"and I loved him who asked this sacrifice of me." Yet her conduct was not quite clear. ' "And to save that reputation you tied the pistol to her wrist?" insinuated the major. "No," was her vehement reply. "I never knew what I was tying to her. My testimony in that regard was absolute ly true. She held the pistol concealed in the folds of her dress. I did not dreamI could notthat she was contem plating any such end to her atrocious crime to which she had confessed. Her manner was too light, too airy and too frivolousa manner adopted, as I now see. to forestall all questions and hold back all expressions of feeling on my part. 'Tie these hanging ends of ribbon to my wrist,' were her words. 'Tie them tight a knot under and a bow on top. I am going out There, don't say anything What you want to talk about will keep till to-morrow. For one night more I am going to make merrytoto enjoy myself.' She was laughing. I thought her horribly callous and trembled with such an unspeakable repulsion that I had difficulty in making the knot. To speak at all would have been impossi ble. Neither did I dare to look in her face. I was touch ing the hand thatand she kept on laughingsuch a hol low laugh covering up such an awful resolve!( When she turned to give me that last injunction about the note, this resolve glared still in her eyes." "And you never suspected?" "Not for an instant. I did not do justice either to her misery or her conscience. I fear that I have never done her justice in any way. I thought her light, pleasure-loving. I did not know that it was assumed to hide a terrible secret." "Then you had no knowledge of the contract she had entered into while a school-girl?" "Not in the least Another woman, and not myself, had been her confidante a woman who has since died. No intimation of her first unfortunate marriage had ever reached me till Mr. Jeffrey rushed in on me that Tuesday morning with her dreadful confession on his lips." The district attorney, who did not seem quite satisfied on a certain point, passed over by the major, now took the op portunity of saying: "You assure us that you had no idea that this once light-hearted sister of yours meditated suicide when she left you?" "And I repeat it, sir." "Then why did you immediately go to Mr. Jeffrey's drawer, where you could have no business, unless it was to see if she had taken his pistol with "her?" Miss Tuttle'shead fell and a soft flush broke thru the pallor of her cheek. "Because I was thinking of him. Because I was terri fied for him. He had left the house the morning before in a half-maddened condition and had not come back to sleep or eat since. I did not know what a man so outraged in every sacred feeling of love and honor might be tempted to to do. I thought of suicide. I remembered the old house and how he had said, 'I don't believe her. I don't believe-she ever did so cold-bloded an act, or that any such dreadful machinery is in that house. I shall never believe it till I have seen and handled it myself. It is a nightmare, Cora. We are insane! I thought of this, sirs, and when I went into her room to change the place of the little note in the hook, I went to his bureau drawer, not to look for the pistolI did not think of that thenbut to see if the keys of the Moors house were still there. I knew they were kept in this draw er, for I had been present in the room when they were brought in after the wedding-. I had also been short-sighted enough to conclude that if they were gone it was he who had taken them. They were gone, and that was why I flew immediately from the house to the old place in Waverley, avenue. I was concerned for Mr. Jeffrey! I feared to find him there, demented or dead." "But you had no key." "No. Mr. Jeffrey had taken one of them and my sister the other. But the lack of a key or even of a lightfor the missing candles were not taken by me*could not keep me at home after I was once convinced that he had gone to this dreadful house. If I could not get in I could at least ham mer at the door or rouse the neighbors. Something must be done. I did not think what I merely flew." "Did you know that the house had two keys?" "Not then." - "But your sister did?" "Probably." "And finding the only key, as you supposed, gone, you flew to the Moore house?" "And now what else?" "I found the door unlocked." "That was done by Mrs. Jeffrey?" "Yes but I did not think of her then." "And you went in?" "Yes it was all dark, but I felt iriy way till I came ta the gilded pillars." "Why did you go there?" "Because I feltI knewif he were anywhere in that house he would be there'" "And why did you stop?" 'Her voice rose above its usual pitch in shrill protest: "You know! you know! I heard a pistol shot from within, then a fall. I don't remember anything else. They say I went wandering about town. Perhaps I did it is all a blank to meeverything is a blank till the policeman said my sister was dead and I learned for the first time that the shot I had heard in the Moore house was not the signal of his death, but hers. Had I been myself when at that library door," she added, after a moment of silence, "I would have rushed in at the sound of that shot and have received my sister's dying breath." "Cora!" The cry was from Mr. Jeffrey, and seemed to be quite involuntary. "In the weeks during which we have been kept from speaking together I have turned all these events over in my mind till I longed for any respite, even that of the grave. But in all my thinking I never attributed this motive to your visit. Will you forgive me?" There was a new tone in his voice, a tone which ne woman could hear without emotion. . "You had other things to think of," she said, and her lips trembled. Never have I seen on the human face a more beautiful expression than I saw on hers at that moment nor do I think Mr. Jeffrey had either, for as he marked it his own regard softened almost to tenderness. The major had no time for sentimentalities. Turning te Mr. Jeffrey, he said: ^ "One more question before we send for the letter which you say will give us full insight into your wife's crime. De you remember the bridge at Georgetown just before you came into town that night?" He shook his head. , u s . .,(. ''Did you meet any one there?" , , ... , "I do not know." "Can you remember the state of your mind?" "I was facing the future." "And*what did you see in the future?" "Death. Death for her and death for me! A on her soul and she must die, and if she, then knew no other course I could not summon the police, point out my bride of a fortnight and, with the declaration that she had been betrayed into killing a man, coldly deliver her up to justice. Neither could I live at her side knowing the guilty secret which parted us or live anywhere in the world under this same consciousness. Therefore, I meant to kill myself before another sun arose. But she was more deeply stricken with a sense of her own guilt than I realized. When I returned home for the pistol which was to end our common misery I found that she had taken her punishment into her own hands. This strangely affected me, but when I found that, in doing this, she had remembered that I should have to face the world after she was gone, and so left a few lines for me to show in explanation of her act, my revolt against her received a check which the reading of her letter only increased. But the lines she thus wrote and left were not true lines. Al her heart was mine, and if it was a wicked heart she had atoned " He paused, quite overcome. Others amongst us were overcome, too, but only for a moment The following remark from the district attorney soon recalled us to the practical aspects of the case. We afterwards found that these candles were never delivered at tbf house at all: th t tbov had been placed in the wrong basket aad left in a neighboring kitchen. To be continued Monday. A TeacherProphet Who Went Wrong. When R. K. Munkittrick, the editor of Judge, was at school he did not pay the strictest attention to his studies. It was a boy named McFadden that always stood highest in the class ,and one day the teacher sarcastically remarked that these boys would grow up and become bankers. "But," said he, "McFadden will be the president of a national bank and Munkittrick will be at the head of a sandbank."4- Not long ago a friend of the acrobat of joke and jingle told the latter that he had mentioned his name to a com panion down at Coney island, and that a stranger volun teered the information that he once went to school with him. "Ask him if he remembers McFadden up at the Astoria school," said the stranger. 'And what was he driving at?" asked Munkittrick anx iously "did he say?" "He didn't have to,' replied the informant, "as he was the waiter who brought me the beer." " * A Remarkable Straw Hat. According to a French paper there is a man in London who possesses a remarkable straw hat. For years past he has followed the king about at foreign watering places, and wherever he saw the Prince of Wales, as the King was then, drinking anything through a straw, he pounced down upon the straws and added them to his collection. " - ' - Last year this strange collector had gathered such a bundle of straws that he had a hat made of them, and is now1 the proud possessor of a head covering which he claims, and probably with justice, is absolutely unique. - fj crime was myself. I . *"*.