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Newspaper Page Text
THE LOST WORD
By Victor Radcliffe
"The word, sir?"
"Ha hum! I declare!"
The challenge, sharp and suspi
cious, came through a tiny slot in a
door that seemed to guard a lodge
room, or some like secret place of
convocation. The embarrassed re
sponse was from Prof. Achilles Dab
ney, savant and student of antiquity.
Any one scanning his pleasant, in
nocent face would have thought him
the last man in the world likely to
attempt deception or subterfuge.
The sentinel beyond the challenging
door, however, had his definite in
structions, and invariably heeded
them. His orders were to admit no
one, member or visitor, who could
not give the portal password.
"Well, sir?" he spoke again.
"I how awkward! You see dear
me! how could I forget so readily? I
have lost the word."
Snap! went the jealously guarded
slot cover, but the professor beat
hastily and peremptorily on the door,
and, to him, the evil eye again ap
peared at the orifice.
"I have come nearly five hundred
miles," fluttered the professor ex
citedly and with eagerness. "I am
Professor Achilles Dabney. Surely
you have heard of me? I am deeply
interested in the discovery of the
great connecting link your illustrious
society has on exhibition."
"Sorry, sir, but only to members of
the Anthropological Assembly, or
those accredited by some officer of
the same, is admission granted, pro
vided they have the password."
"But I am accredited!" persisted
and protested the professor. "Listen,
sir, your president, Professor Emilius
Lefebre, was my guest only last
week at my home. He invited me.
He gave me the password. Can you
not take my word for it?"
"If you could reach Professor Le
Jebre ixt any way ''
"Why he is on the ocean, headed
for the darkest spot in darkest
Africa!" exclaimed the professor.
"Let me 'in and I will explain to the
"Sorry, sir, but impossible" snap !
again the secret shutter, and again
the disappointed professor rubbed
his head in all uncertain and bewil
"I declare!" he murmured. "Abel
Bertram Carlos David it was a
Fairly Rushed From-the Place. '
name. No, running it alphabetically
won't bring it. It was an odd name
Alexander, Benjamin, Caesar,
Dimitri no use! Shut out from the
most notable scientific discovery of
the age! Too bad!"
Professor Dabney groaned audibly
as he left the place. All his thoughts
were bent upon devising some way of
getting in among the scientists. He
racked his brain for a suggestion of
some method of encompassing the