Newspaper Page Text
Count dAmbros Window
Continued from page twelve ■•come to be here this evening?" “She will not answer,” said Count d’Ambro. “It is my afTair. If her hus band demands an answer, I am pre pared to give it to him.” At that the dark eyes of Madame du Bartas flashed a danger signal; they blazed upon Count d’Ambro. “In this matter, monsieur, I shall please myself!” She turned to Trevvy. 1 “As you must know, in Henri's absence, 1 have been staying with my family not five miles from this house. Ambroise d’Ambro is my neighbor, and has been my friend — but per haps” — with a flash of her eyes in the direction of the Count — “not in the degree to which he aspired. Henri and I were living in Paris up to the time .that his regiment was ordered to •Africa. Now that he has settled down I am going to join him.” “I know,” said Trevvy, gravely, “how you have hated the separation.” “Hated it!” She raised her hands in a Gallic gesture. “Three months mar ried and then separated! Have I hated it! But here, with my family, I have found some little forgetfulness. Count d’Ambro has been kind — ” I am sure, Trevvy murmured, 1 'he would be kind to a pretty woman!” Madame du Bartas continued: “I am not a fool nor a child, Major de Treville; until to-night I accuse Ambroise of nothing, but I have not seen blind to his intentions. You know Henri, his Gascon temperament? I aeg you — I implore you to tell him lothing of what you have learned. He would return from Africa immediately, ic would desert his regiment — there would be death! It might mean — ” De Treville put his arm around her shoulders. He is the only handsome nan of my acquaintance who can do his without romantic implication. ‘My dear Madame du Bartas,” said I'revvy, “with every confidence you nay leave this matter in our hands. 3ut I must beg of you to tell me how tou come to be here this evening.” “An end of this!” cried Count l’Ambro, with a stamp of his foot. “An end of you!" cried Madame *lu Bartas in a sudden frenzy. “You lrove me to Savignac’s this afternoon, xcused yourself and went away. You ailed later offering to drive me back, it this deserted place, where there is inly a gardener or a caretaker, your ar broke down. Such an old story — »ut one that is sometimes true! We ame in, not by the front door but hrough a French window which you nlocked, so that you might telephone garage — ” “I understand the open window ow.” de Treville murmured. “It had een puzzling me.” I "And I, also, understand it, Major!” aid Madame du Bartas. “For not ven the caretaker knew we were here! if this fact. Monsieur d’Ambro, you aformed me! And in this room, at hat table, what did you propose to le? What liberties did you attempt?” “H’m,” Trevvy muttered. “Who turned the lights up?” “/ did!” Madame du Bartas re plied. “When footsteps were heard. Monsieur d’Ambro turned them out.” "And you hid yourself, thinking that your husband had followed you,” said Count d’Ambro coldly. “What else could I do? Should I be compromised? I had not deserved it.” Lightning flashed faintly. There was a distant roll of thunder. “Hello!” came a loud, cheery voice. "Glad I’ve rounded up my missing passengers! Found an open window and buzzed in! Hope I don’t intrude. Got the plane in order again — but we shall have to shove her round.” Gerry Marsh, oily but breezy, stepped in. Count d'Ambro drove Madame du Bartas and myself back to her family’s residence which, as she had said, was about five miles distant. I explained my existence in terms which had been prompted by Trevvy, made my duti ful observances to Madame’s charm ing mother, drank a glass of wine, and. sitting as a passenger in the back of the car, was driven back by Count d’Ambro to the empty house which had been the scene of this singular episode. Count d’Ambro’s driving, on the return journey, reduced me to a state of cold perspiration. Gerry and de Treville, assisted by a muscular and taciturn gardener, who had appeared from somewhere or an other, had succeeded in shoving the plane into a position from which Gerry could take the air. “It is interesting to know,” said Count d’Ambro, following us out to the meadow, “that there is a French officer of your rank” — he was ad dressing Trevvy — “who is at once a squire of dames and a man without personal honor.” Gerry, who was adjusting his equip ment, turned aside and grinned ex pectantly. The caretaker-gardener, who had received a substantial tip, stood agape. “I feel it my duty,” said de Treville, "to correct you in two particulars, Monsieur le Comte d’Ambro: First, I am not a French officer, although by descent a Frenchman; second, I do resent insult!” Only by the dropping of his eye glass, which now swung upon its rib bon, could one have anticipated what was to> follow. But on the last word, he launched that piston-rod left which had won him the championship of the British Army from Lieutenant, the Master of Clanrae. Count d’Ambro passed into an oblivion in which his loves and hates alike were forgotten. Gerry made the air. We reached Croydon less than two hours late. Another adventure of Major de Treville will appear in the next issue of This Week. Tappan Valley Continued from page thirteen le any more. If a voice means some hing to you, it’s going to mean some hing to me. too. Let’s put on some iach records right now. Wait till I get couple more bottles of beer.” She put on some Bach. "I don’t mean that." he said. “I lon’t mean the sweet things that sing nd don’t make any trouble. I mean he hard ones that talk and wrangle.” She put on a concerto for two 'iolins. It made no sense to Ashton. Two voices were moving in different lirections and when they met they rgued upstairs and down until his lerves were raw and his lips com iressed to keep back what he thought. She put on other things. Then an un accompanied violin that would not nd. It had part after part, and the lamned violin squeaked and croaked nd groaned. “That’s interesting,” he aid when at last it ended. “Isn’t it?” said Mary. “It’s like a ird singing, and trying to find its full Bmut, and then finding it, and there I that glorious part . . .” She put on the glorious port and ahton had to listen. When he went to bed he said to himself that it was going to be hell, but it would be worth it. And he could deceive her. When he compressed his lips to keep from curs ing she thought he was being moved to the soul by the beauty of the music she loved. So the whole thipg would work out, with patience. Apd she had seemed to him more beautiful than in her girlhood. He wakened two or three times in the night to find himself shuddering with cold. He piled on blankets. But still the cold reached under the covers and laid icy fingertips on him. When at last the morning came he found himself staring at the gray light on the ceiling with something colder even than that Arctic night penetrat ing his soul, as though he had just wakened from a nightmare which still left its unhappy weight upon the spirit. But whatever it was that had depressed him during his last hours of sleep, it continued now alive about him and still weighting down his mind with the expectancy of disaster. His wife stepped into the doorway, her silhouette lost in a heavy coat. "Thirty minutes to train-time," she said. "I’ve left coffee and toast and orange juice ready in the kitchen . . . I’m going to take a bit of a walk and get the air. It’s unbelievably cold for this time of year.” She went out. He heard the door close with a strange finality; her foot fall crunched faintly on the gravel near the house and then was gone, dissolved in the icy stream of silence which was running through the uni verse. It was then that he understood what weight of expectation lay upon him and why. For the one music that was dear to him an4 that was his con tinual companion in the little country house, the softly talking voice of Tap pan Creek, was silent now. He could hardly believe it. some times a bitter February wind would numb the creek to the stones of its bottom, but there never before had been silence in the hollow in Decem ber. He bathed and dressed in a nerv ous haste. He swallowed a cup of coffee, munched a bit of toast and went out to the garage. The air there was warm compared with the invisible ice of the outdoors, but still the motor was very cold and he had to work for some time before the engine would start. At last he ran the car out and let it idle in front of the house, the ex haust streaming white and making a cloud that rose only slowly from the ground. It was ten minutes from train time, now, and there still was no sign of Mary returning! He started down the hill. Right at the bottom of the path, in a streak of hoarfrost, he saw the print of her small heels. He ran on past the ever green shrubbery where it seemed to him that a shadowy ghost of himself still stood at wait, and so he came around the edge of the hill to full view of the Tappan Valley. But there was no sight of Mary. The emptiness of the view struck him colder than the air. It was in credible that she should have come down here and then gone on up the other side of the hollow. He stared at the ice of the creek. It seemed, in fact, as though the water still were flowing; the whole body of the stream was clear, thick ice to the bottom but the very signs, of motion were present, here and there, as though the current had been thrilled to stillness in one • mighty stroke of the cold. He stared across the stream, and there, going straight up through a patch of the frost, he saw a trail of footmarks which were those of Mary. She had, then, gone on away from the house instead of back to it? This strange event joined the silence in the air and laid chill fingers on his heart. Out of the distance the train whistled. He would be late for the office. He would get the devil from old Town send again. Perhaps Townsend would, in fact, wash his hands of him? And yet his feet took him a stride or two onto the ice in the direction of Mary’s trail, and that was how he happened to come directly above the picture in Tappan Creek. A yard be neath the surface the body of New berry lay with his face turned up and the great wound still visible, still red upon it. The overcoat, huddled about, the shoulders as though to keep out the cold, was dragged out to one side where the cloth had snagged over a bit of sharp stone. The long, fine hair was adrift in the ice as though in the flowing of the current and entangled in the hair was the revolver, more dimly visible. Mirror glass could not have been clearer. The eyes of Ashton, lifting from the dead man, wandered up the farther slope, taking one by one the little dark footsteps which vanished over the edge of the hill; then the silence, greater than the cold, pressed in upon him until he was listening to his own breathing and seeing the vapor of it whiten in the air, like a fine symbol of life. Tin End Star Dust Continued from pago ton shocked brother and her widowed sister-in-law and added, “And of course ye ken that I’ll have to tak’ car-re of Miss Ethel.” He signed her up finally at eighty thousand a year. Well — you all saw “Scotch Plaid” and you know how she panicked ’em. That personal triumph seldom comes to a woman who is fifty-two years old. She went right on living with Ethel in the bungalow and she said to Ben, “It’s a pity we have to get in help, for-r I wouldna’ live differ-rent if I’d time for-r the wor-rk aboot th’ house. Why should I spend what I mak’ on fr-rivolities?” But perhaps you don’t know the rest of the story. I was continuing to wonder how Ethel was taking it, when Ben dispatched me a somewhat shy telegram — the first trace of shyness I’d ever observed in him — to break the Big News. He urged me most cordially to come to their wedding, but I didn’t seem to want to. I was too fond of Harry and I realty like Ben. So I haven’t been out there to spy on their honeymoon, but I’m sure Ethel’s enjoying Ben’s share of the net of Prodigious Produc tions, though it’s vulgar to think about money. Annie’s still in the bun galow, rehearsing her third picture, “The Campbells Are Coming!” — Annie stunts on the bagpipes — and a niece has come to live with her, a plain, sensible girl. But Ethel made Ben buy a larger, more princely estate than his old one — which was princely enough Heaven knows!—high up on the Hollywood hills. It seems too bad that Harry had to kill himself to bring all this about. With Nevada in the Union, it might all have been managed while he was still alive. No one would have been more enter tained than he to see Annie McPherson a glittering star in the Hollywood galaxy. When 1 saw “Scotch Plaid,” I could hear the rich roar of his laughter in the darkness beside me. He was, after all, her first press agent. I wonder if Ethel ever misses that laughter. I dare say she doesn’t. She heard it so seldom. When Solly Eisen bloom last passed through town, he said Ben Bienstein had kind of sobered down. Solly didn’t blame Ethel. Ben Bienstein’s consort is a power in Hollywood. I could see he was hoping that I had forgotten his former gossip. He said Ethel’s parties were simply a wow. Tht End SLEEP or COUGH TONI6HT? Modern-Formula PISO'S Relieves Couchs Oue lo Colds in 2 Delinile Ways Tonight - - don’t lie awake coughing. Have Piso's handy - - to give you both local and internal relief. LOCALLY. Piso’s soothing in gredients cling to your throat, quickly soothe and relax irritated membranes that bring on cough ing spells. . . . . INTERNALLY. Piso’s stimu lates flow of normal throat secre tions * - loosens tight phlegm. For coughs due to colds of both children and adults, ask your druggist ,rm for a bottle llwf 35t ;;.epjo°s)s JriMI 5 cot IQKBoylj How Grand 1 Feel “MOW I know there 1” IS a difference in the way laxatives work since 1 used the ALL-VEGETABLE Laxative. Nature's Remedy (NRTablets). One NR Tablet con vinced me... so mild, thorough, refreshing and invigorating." Dependable relief for sick headaches, bil ious spells and that tired-out feeling, when caused by or associated with constipation. tltilliAiit Diet tr> NR Get a 25c Wllllvlll RIM box from any drug gist. Use for one week, then if you are not more than pleased, return box and we will refund the purchase price^ That s corr. sassy, ifcsfemaatag; Read THIS WEEK every week Keep "Ben-Gay" handy, too, for head aches. backaches, rheumatic and neuralgic pains, and colds. Its soothing warmth brings quick relief.