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Newspaper Page Text
By George Elmer Cobb.
(Copyright by W- G. Chapman.)
I' was about at the end of my re
sources, infact, stranded in Paris
with if ew friends,, and my art educa
tion, not yet completed. .Up to a few
months a benevolent half uncle in
New- York 3iad financed me. He had
died and t had- no further dependence
on that source as his estate had gone
I sat in my very humble room in
the student's quarter one chilly win-
"I .Was on My Guard in a Moment.'
trv evening calculating my slimtunds
and-prospects. There seemed no way
open for me except to give up a cher
ished proposition for a traae ana re
tnrn'to mv native soil. There came
a tap at the door. .
"It is Adrian Morse, the artist? '' in
quired, a man fairly well dressed, ex
tremely courteous but possessed or a
searching, sinister eye that ! did not
like. I bowed at his query.
"I have come on a matter of busi
ness," continued my visitor, Dut ne
did not explain how he had heard of
me or if he had been directed to me.
His next words, however, showed that
he knew of my forlorn condition, for
"I understand that you need work,
and I promise you a rich fee if you
will pack up a few of your utensils
and accompany me briefly.
"To paint a picture?" I inquired
"No, to repair and touch up a dam
aged canvas," he replied. "It is not
far and I have a cab in waiting."
Of course I went. I made up, my
palette, some colors and tools info a
small package and was ready for him
As he crowded into the vehicle be
side me I heard him give a low voiced
order to the driver to. proceed to a
certain street. I had never been in
that thoroughfare, but I had .heard of
the locality, the most notorious and
dangerous in Paris, in fact a favorite
rendezvous of the Parisian bandits.
I do not know why, but instantly
my suspicions were aroused. I was
a poor specimen to select for plunder,
yet the man might be drawing me in
to some complication of peril and
crime and my fears took the alarm
"I have changed my mind I will
not accompany you," I declared'
sharply, and I reached my hand to
seize the strap and signal the driver
to stop. The hand of my companion
shot forward to deter me. As it graz
ed my own I felt some, thin, sharp
metal point pierce my hand.
"Ah! You were so precipitate you
have wounded yourself on the edge
of my sleeve button," spoke my com
panion. "I wished to explain um'm
um'm " His words faded into a
droning, meaningless mutter, and a
black veil seemed to cross my eyes.
I did not realize it then, but I knew
later that this man had used upon me
one of those tiny poison needles, a