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Newspaper Page Text
control the estate to which she is
Ashley had come to Rockton at
once. A slow fever had set in.
Before Birt could carry out his
plans to bring the separated wife
and husband together, the boy
Harry mysteriously disappeared.
Harry slept in the room ad
joining that of his father at the
hotel. In the morning he was
found missing. He had apparent
ly been carried down the fire es
cape of an inner court. The only
clew was the discovery that a
covered wagon had left the town,
headed south, at midnight. AH
that showed the visit to the room
was the disturbed bed, .a taint of
chloroform in the air and a lot of
gilt spangles covering the rug.
"I am going to find your boy
for you," declared Birt.
"I can never go to Lucia unless
he is with me," said Ashley.
Four hours later Birt was rest
ing under a tree nearthe beach
of a little lake about ten miles
from Rockton. He had followed
the clew of the midnight wagon
and had lost the traiC As he now
sat thinking pver the affair, he
confessed to himself that the "in
tuition" that most detectives talk
ed about was slow in coming to
Only one thing am 1 certain
of," he told himself. 'T)unbar is
behind this kidnaping."
The speaker just then noticed
a little red toy balloon sailing out
over the lake. A second followed,
a third, and then a's many more
Then boyish cries attracted his
attention. A group of lads came
into view, chdsing another of the
red spheres. One venturesome,
urchin ran into the water, grgb$
bed it, exploded it; and waded to
the shore holding the wreck of his
Birt watched the crowd gather1
curiously around the object- Then,
another balloon was espied, andr
they put off for it.
Birt arose and strolled aimless
ly down the beach. As .he passed
the flattened Out balloon tie no
ticed that a string ran from it to
which a card was attached. He
picked it Up.
"Why, hello !"he exclaimed.
Walter had oblitered some pen
ciled words on the blank siHe of
the card. The front bofe.Jfs own
mean. . h.
"One of my business cards," he
soliguized in a wqnderrng way.
"That's queer' "
"Shoot shoot I' he heard a
boyish voice call just then, and
came upon a. second group of lads
chasing another- of the toy bal
loons. , J
One of the boysfiad a bow and
arrow. He aimed aloft. The
shaft sped from the bow, pierced
the balloon, and the deflated globfj
came to the ground. There was a,
scramble over it.
"Here, I'U pay you for that," hi
said, extending a cjffn to the boy"
who had rescued the object. Then"
eagerly he inspected the card. Tt
was another of his own. It hadj
however, got trampled 'in the
mud. He made out these words
In a liQn's cage send word1
Ashley hotel Rockroni"