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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 24, 1936, Image 90

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1936-05-24/ed-1/seq-90/

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I
The Spider's Touch
Continued from page six
"I went to Hamburg,” he said with
growing agitation. "What became of
the man 1 was to meet? He couldn't
come to the hotel — he sent word that
he was waiting for me at some cafe
on the water-front. 1 remember taking
a taxi there, going upstairs, but after
that ...” He clasped his head in his
hands.
Patricia lifted a tear-stained face.
“Don't bother trying to think back,
Jimmy boy. Nothing matters, now
that I’ve found you again."
His bewildered air was clearing.
Now his eyes snapped angrily and he
squared his jaw, sticking out his
underlip in a way she remembered of
old. “But it does matter,” he retorted
obstinately. “I had to collect a packet
from this man — I'll get his name
in a minute — and bring it back to
London. It was most important, the
Ambassador told me.”
Patricia had run to the door and
opened it a fraction, listening. Now
she closed it hurriedly and came back.
"It would take too long to tell you
now," she said. “We haven't any time
— we’ve got to get out of here.”
Jimmy grabbed her wrist. "Not un
til I know what became of that
packet.”
“You were robbed. Jimmy."
"Robbed? By whom?"
“This girl of yours, Arlette Las
sagne; she was a spy.”
The boy's face was blank with con
sternation. “Arlette? It isn’t possible.
Why, she was with me only — ”
Violently he pulled his sister toward
him. "Is that why she ran away?"
And, Patricia remaining silent, he
went on. frowning, “It’s true, she was
the only one who knew I was going to
Hamburg. She followed me there —
she said her brother had been arrested
by the Nazis.” He glanced wildly
about him. “Where is she? They kept
on telling me they were taking me to
her.”
Patricia put her arms about him
again. "You must forget about her,
Jimmy.”
He shook her off. "Whose house is
this?”
“It belongs to a man named Grundt.
Arlette betrayed you to him."
“I've heard that name recently.
Wait!” He pressed his fingers to his
temples. “Is it a big man who's lame
and bawls at you?”
She gazed at him aghast. "Oh,
Jimmy! You’ve seen him?”
"He was up here with the doctor
chap this afternoon. He asked me a
lot of questions, but I can't think
what they were."
“It's he who has those plans you
were sent to fetch,” Patricia said,
watching her brother anxiously. "He
intends to sell them back to you — for
half a million dollars.”
“Half a mil- !” He broke off.
“Like hell he will. Where is he? Take
me to him — I’ve got to get that
packet.”
Patricia had returned to the door
and was listening again. Now she
stepped in front of him as he came
storming towards her. “Jimmy,” she
cried, clinging to him, “you don't
understand. We're prisoners here, you
and I, and the house is full of this
man's people. There’s someone mov
ing in the corridor outside now, but
once things quiet down, we’ll slip out
of this room of yours and hide some
where until we see a chance to escape.”
By this time young Fane had
thrown off his lassitude. “Escape,
nothing! I’m not leaving without that
packet.”
Patricia stamped her foot. “You’ve
got to do as I say. Help’s on the way.
I sent three men over from America
to find you. I believe that shooting we
heard just now means that they've
arrived ...”
The words died on her lips for, with
out warning, her brother had clapped
his hand over her mouth. The door
was softly opening; inch by inch it
gaped until an unkempt face was
visible, peering in. The next instant
the door was noiselessly shut and a
tatterdemalion apparition stood be
fore them.
The layer of dust and grime that
obscured his features, the gaping rent
in the sleeve of his jacket suggested a
tramp. But the eyes, cobalt blue in
the lean, dark face, and a certain,
panther-like swiftness as the newcomer
advanced were unmistakable. He was
hatless and a blood-stained ha'ndker
e...k., >*as ,1,-,., ,d
A smile wrinkled his face as he caught
sight of Patricia.
“It’s a regular fortress — 1 had
quite a job to get in.” he observed.
“Hut here I am!" His glance shifted
to Fane. “This ts your brother, isn't
it? He’s very like you.”
“Who’s this?” said Fane grutlly.
"It’s Robert Dallas — one of the
men I spoke of.” Patricia replied.
Dallas nodded coolly to Fane.
“You’ve had a rough time,” he said
to him. “I'm glad it’s no worse. How
do you feel?”
“I’m all right.” was the rather un
gracious reply.
"His memory has come back.” the
girl explained in an aside to Dallas.
"Hut he must take it easy. We must
get him out of here.”
Fane overheard her. “I’ve told my
sister,” he broke in. “I’m not going
until I’ve recovered that packet that
was stolen from me.”
Dallas laughed drily. "Don’t let
that worry you. It was hard enough
getting in; but it's going to be the
devil’s own business getting out.”
The girl was staring at Dallas’ hand.
"You’re wounded— they’ve shot
you?” she exclaimed.
"I'm all right. It's only my hand,’’
he answered. “I nicked it on the
broken glass, shinning over that in
fernal wall. Hut they got poor Ned,
I’m afraid.”
She clasped her hands tightly to
gether. “The Major? You don’t mean
he’s ...”
“I’m afraid so. They opened fire on
him from a window as he was hammer
ing at the door. 1 left Wolf to look
after him and made a dash for the
back. Poor old Ned!” He paused.
"Has Grundt talked to you yet?"
Patricia bowed her head. "He wants
halt a million for the plans.” She told
briefly of the interview.
Dallas nodded. “I think Grundt’s
getting ready to bolt. Down at the
private airfield in the grounds here,
three men are tuning up that plane of
yours. Grundt himself went down af
ter the shooting, to hurry them up —
that's how 1 managed to slip upstairs
after getting in through a window in
the basement. With these three assis
tant murderers away at the air-field,
so far as I know only Grundt and Dr.
Keller are left in the house — oh, and
an old woman I had to dodge in the
kitchen."
“Frau Schratt." Patricia explained.
"She’s my jailer. She stole iny pocket
book with all my money.”
Fane had swung to Dallas. “And
you think that you and I can’t lake on
a couple of ‘heinies’ and an old woman,
is that it?" he demanded truculently.
Swiftly the other turned on him.
"All that matters to you is to recover
that packet and complete your mis
sion. You can’t do that if you git shot.
And I don't suppose you’re anxious to
cough up half a million dollars, either.
Very well then! You keep out of this
and leave it to your sister and me.”
The young man Hushed angrily.
“You can't give me orders.”
Dallas glanced at Patricia. ‘‘You
haven't told him — about the Feds?"
She shook her head and the Fnglish
man spoke to Fane again. “You don't
realize it." he said quietly, "hut you’re
in a mess. The State Department be
lieves you sold those plans totlrundt."
With lists clenched Fane sprang at
him. “It's a filthy lie!”
"We know it’s a lie, hut the fact re
mains that IJ. S. secret service men
are at Salzburg, only a matter of •
twenty-live miles from here, look
ing for you to arrest you."
“To arrest me? You're kidding!”
The boy was aghast.
"What we have to do is to get you,
anil those plans away before these
men nab you. We'll run you hack to
London where you can hand those'
plans over to your Chief. Now, will
you kindly shut up!”
Dallas turned to the door. Patricia
quailed at his grave look as he came
back. Fane had flung hitnself full
length on the bed. Dallas said
to the girl. “Cirundt hasn't finished
with you yet, you realize that?"
She ntxided her head. "I know.”
"He's bound toreturn to the charge.
When he does, temporize. If the worst
comes to the worst, give him his ct>de
word, but not the right one. I believe
he's planning to take you and your
brother away with him in your plan£
to Paris to keep you as hostages there
until the money's paid over. Well, he
mustn't — you'll have to try and hold
him.”
“What tire you going to do?”
"Get those plans before Grundt
sends for you again.”
“Alone?"
Dallas shrugged "It depends on
what the situation is downstairs.”
"You're crazy, lie's raging.”
He nodded. "I know, lie's tasted
blood.” He paused. "Arlette l.as
sagne ...”
"It’s true, then?” Her voice trem
bled. "He told me, but I couldn't
helieve it. it was so horrible — I
thought he was trying to scare me.”
"Stay here with your brother,” said
Dallas. “Don't let him do anything
sniy. The house is buzzing with them,
for all we know. If I get the plans. I'll
try and come back here and the three
of us will have to make a dash for that
plane of yours. Meanwhile, if you do
see Grundt — play for time!”
A linger to Ins lips, he opened the
elixir, holding it slightly ajar. From
somewhere close at hand, a shambling
footfall came to their strained ears.
Patricia caught his arm. "Frau
Schrntt!” she whispered in dismay.
Dallas did not close the dix>r but set
his ft Hit against it. bracing it by the
handle. The shuffling hxitstcp came
nearer, its faint rustle mingled now
with the chink of crockery.
urunat sent ner to tctcn me some
food." Patricia whispered to Dallas.
■'She'll go to my ruont on the floor
above this and lind me missing.”
I le laughed noiselessly. "So much
the better if she has to hunt for you.
Give us more time."
"Stay here with us!” she pleaded.
"It's insane to take this risk. Wait till
the others show up!”
Me shook his head. "I’ve got to get
those plans.” Inch by inch he moved
the door towards him. peeped out
Patricia's agitation was growing
“This man’s a monster. If you fell into
his hands...." She looked desperately
alxiut her. "When I think of Major
Ned — ” she broke off. "I’ll give him
the indicator word he can have his
ransom. It’s a lot of money, hut I can
afford it, I guess.”
Dallas stared at her in horror.
"Never!”
"Money isn’t everything. If any
■ s . ;-.re ' oi yon. I should never
forgive myself."
(Continued on page 15)
You Have Been Warned
by FOUGASSE and MCCULLOUGH
•WHOA!"
Since the early days of motoring
there have been many changes in
the apparatus designed to keep
drivers posted as to any sensational
developments under the hood. In the
first cars there was little or none of
this form of affectation. If you smelt
burning you suspected that the engine
might be too hot and when your feet
burst into (lames your impressions
were confirmed.
The temperature of the water in
inv radiator was a parallel case. Steam
coming out of the radiator indicated
that the water was boiling, and a
radiator that slowly became incandes
cent showed that it had finished doing
so. That was about all there was to
go on.
In those days motorists were motor
ists. Nowadays things are made so
easy for them that they cavil at hav
ing to carry out the simplest roadside
repair, such as slipping in a new crank
shaft or even removing the body to
fit a new dash-light.
The history ot the dashboard is
interesting. From its humble begin
ning as the thing that kept the two
sides of the car from falling apart, it
rapidly became the center ot interest.
This encouraged the experts to per
severe until they had evolved every
instrument that could possibly convey
any sort of anxiety to the mind ot the
driver.
As a help to the driver, we now give
in simple language a general guide to a
few of the various complications that
he may from time to time discover in
or near the instrument board.
1. Oil Gauge. . . This is a little
clock with only one hand, which moons
vaguely about. A sudden return to
zero can mean a hundred different
things to the expert, but never more
than one to the beginner, who won’t
have noticed anything anyway.
2. Speedometer. . . . This is another
and slightly larger clock, also with one
hand. It is linked up with the wheels
in some way. and the original idea
was that when you were doing 40 miles
naiiu
Nowadays speeds have increased so
much that when the hand points to 80
you are doing 60, and when it points
to 10 you are probably in reverse.
3. Radiator Temperature. ... A
great many cars have got a little
device which tells you if the water
in your radiator is too hot. If it keeps
on pointing to boiling, you need a new
fan belt, or a new radiator, or a new
engine, or else a new little device.
4. Ammeter. . . . This is for measur
ing electricity and is easily recognized,
being the only dial that has nought in
the middle, and scores both above ana
below the line. It is the most pictur
esque means of knowing if your bat
tery is discharging — but not the most
usual.
5. Rev. Counter. . . . This, in spite
oi its name, is a purely secular instru
ment. It tells you how last your engine
is going, and. if you watch it carefully
enough, you can change gear abso
lutely noiselessly — apart from the
tinkling of glass as you drive through a
shop window in the process.
6. Clock. . . . This is just the same
as any ordinary clock, except that it
always points to ten past seven.
Just Before the Crash j
! "As a matter of fact, I drive i
! better when I've had a couple." >
SORRY. BUT I'M A STRANGER
HERE."

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