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THE DURHAM RECORDER.
BLACK i BAG I By Louis Joseph Vance CapyritfM. 1508. by tk. BcbbMerrill C. J Synopsis of IVeeetMlIng: Chapter CHAPTER I-In London Philip Kirk wood, a young American painter, learns that the San Francisco disaster lias cost aim his fortune ami decides to return tome to the stricken city. His elderly English friend, Brentwick, visits hitn. and he meets George B. Calendar, an American whom he believes to he an ad venturer. II Before leaving his hotel fur the boat train Kirkwood dines at the hotel, lu the dining room he sees Calen dar receive a note of warning from a fashionably dressed woman. He is then sked by the American, who admits with mat giving a reason that he fears arrest, to escort bis young and beautiful daugh ter home, i Kirk wood consents. Ill Kirk wood takes Dorothy Calendar to seemingly unoccupied house at No. 9 Frognall street, in shabhy-gentee! quarter of Lundun, where he leaves the jrirl at her request. IV Drawn back to the house by cu'iosity. Kirk ood sees the dour of the laik house ajar. He throws off a cockney who tries to detain Win, enters the house and bolts the door. On the staircase he his a tussle with a slender nmn in evening dress. Tbe latter is knocked unconscious by a fall downstairs. Kirk wood is then 're joined by Dorothy, who is Very glad to see him. butdoes not explain the mys tery of the gloomy house. Heavy rips t the front door startle the two. V Dorothy a id Ktrkwood, the latter ques tioning himself whether or not he h: iallen in love wit4' the girl, flee from the nrsterious house by the rear dotr. The girl takes with her a small black glad stone bag, which, she siys, she is to lake to her father. VI In" a cab Kirk wood escorts her to the huuse of a Mrs. Hallam in fashiouabie Ciaveu street, where, she declares, her father is to meet fter. Kirkwood leaves her in the cab and enters the house to learn whether Calendar is there. He meets Mrs. Hal lam and recognizes her as the woman wbo warned Calendar in the hotel. As Ktrkwood talks to her he he .rs a man tare the house. Together Mrs. Hallam and Kirk wood go to the door to call Dorothy in and find th.it the girl and the tab have vanished. VII Calendar ap pears at the Hallam bouse in search of Uorotay. Kirk wool accompanies him at his request to an unsavory locality on the Thames. VIII Calendar meet his daughter in the company of a man amed Mu'.rf a.ly, evidently his compan ion ia s me strange, nefarious enter prise. Mulready, it ec-HH, has tried to kidnap lortny in Kirfcwood cab Calender and Ma'realy quarrel, af;e' which the girl and two men row otf t kouti a vessel referred to as the Alethea. Kavmg Hrrwooi to nn I tus way ;u ' tab to St. P-ncra.t station, where he is to take the midnight '.rain forbisMcai:ir. He is now tnor-jnbiy in love with ur-rothv. IX ant X kiriwod just nibses hi train and find h.m-if alut arnmleM. After wandering afout for tmo hour he iaga;ti in I;rnga:ill s'rt. Be enter tae li'iuse to see nw jms:t:g tsrv a:id nnd the v'- man wh.i'n hr at kn'ickeil down tii jnconscious f fttr six hours. Kirkwo-ol's ministrations. to hi-n are interrupted by the t n'.ianee into the noue of a tvn?a in evening dress. XI and XII The woman i Mrs. Ila'.latn, and the . injured yourg man is her son. f lie teiis Ktrkwwd that Dorothy, Calendar and lfaired reengage! in a plot to steal family ji-wels leit t ber on by his relative, CtJonei liurgo ne. Calendar, l:e ays, isuh'.r late bu.4wnd cutnin. The jewel are in the black bag, Mrs. Hallam de clares. Kirkwood doitu her story and wt-ects that Dorothy is an innocent partaker in some tnvs'terious plot. He decides to defend the girl. XIII-Ti.e ett morning Kirkwood in a rowlnt. with two watermen, arches the Thames m vain for th Alethea. The Witw n take him to Woolwich on hi way to Sbeerness to intercept tbe Alethea. XIV On the train to Sbeefnes Kirkwood aaerts Mrs. Ila'Um, t-nt, like himself, a fading Calendar. She tries to get his aid, but be refuses. He elude ber at Sbeerness. XV la the distance he sees a efcet which he believes is the Alethea. After a struggle with a covetous boatman who steal bit watch and chain. Kirk wood knocks him oter1oard into bis itxj and sei.es hi rithoat to sail out to tbe Aletijea. X I Zvirkwood is neiriy 4rowtied when the cathoat rink and eches the Alethea only to l told by Captaio Stryker. a facetious ruffian, th-t the vessell carries no passengers. XVII Hrjk.tr badgers and robs kirkwood, wbo believe that Dorcthy and Calendar had ween al.ord th Alethea, but had Ml Tacr. XVIII Kirkwood find ia a rail way guide on the Alethea indications that the Ca'endar and Mnirtady, having saiiea tor fcnglHnn on a channel steamer. are waiting at Antwerp for Mrvker. He tirniujes from mark in tbe guide that iej are to b to Amsterdam on the fed train. 8 ryker set bim ashore with air hi clothing and three-pet:ce XIX i( XX In Aiitweqi, at evening, Kirk wood se Mr. HaliaTii watching a cheap kotel, (rem which emerge Calendar and If ol ready, l. nven by the two men. he follow them alxnr I ttie Alethea nd verb ears thetn disc is their tdots with Captain Mryker, Tiiev are planning to aoragtfie diamonds Into tbe Init-cl SUtr. Calendar mentions the fact that fee and Mulresdy are to receive (1 mm eacti from Mrs. milam if Dorotliv b art out of England sis weeks. Kirk wood determines to join the plMter in avdef to help Dorothy. As be walk to Ibecaliin Mulreadjr and Calendar quar tel. and tbe former ttie to shoot his sc. mrrplice, but Kirkwood enter and loot k lul,eady iiown. XXI and XXII Kirkwood outwits Calender and after ffcovtring hia properly from Striker teals the bU k big and take it a-liore He is pnriM d !f th"" coim liriM, lt etudu tlim and rincl b!ac t a hand big lie then So the wfl in wliub Dorothy i awuit'tu f ilr. K.ioi king at the atr. t-. .f route I by Mr. Hallam. XXIII- iMxothy is persuaded by Kirkw onl that Mrs. Hallam is ber enemy and accom panies the young man to a train for Brussels in order to escape the plorters. XXIV. On the train they are spied upon by Hobbs, mate of the Alethea, XXV- Dorothy tells Kirkwood her life story, and Kirkwood tells her her father is a swindle.'. Hobbs again appears. XXVI. Dorothy and Ktrkwood separate ti eluie Hobbs. XXVII Hobbs tries to stub Kirkwood. Evading pursuits, Dorothy and Kirkwood sail from Calais fur England, Hobbs, left behind, has taken Dorothy's bag, believing it to con tain the black bag. Kirkwood fears Calendar and the others are awaiting them in England. XXVIII Dorothy and Kirkwood in a cab are pursued t trough the streets of London by Calen d r and Stn ker. The chase ends at the house of Brentwick, where the girl and ibe young man find refuge, XXIX E-e:twick requisitions a friends auto mobile and chauffeur to take himself and Dorothy and Kirkwood to the house of the girl's friends at Chiltern. They re followed by Calendar and Stryker in another motor car. XXX They are overtaken by Calendar, anil Brentwick acts like a traitor. "Come right In, cap'n," Calendar threw over one shoulder. "Come In, shut the door and lock it Let's all be soc iable and bare a nice quiet time." Stryker obeyed, with a derisive grim ace for Kirkwood. Calendar, advancing Jauntily to a point within a yard of the table, stop ped, smiling affably down upon bis prospective victims and airily twirling his revolver. "Good evening, alir he saluted them blandly. "Dorothy, my child." with assumed concern, you're looking a trifle upset I'm afraid you've been keeping late hours. Little girls must be careful, you know, or they lose the bloom of roses in their cheeks. Mr. Kirkwood. It's a pleasure to meet you again. Permit me to paraphrase your most sound advice and remind you that pistol shots are apt to attract undesirable attention. It wouldn't be wise for you to bring the polk" about our ears. I believe that in substanc such was your sapient counsel to me in the cabin of the Alethea. was it not? And you. sir." fixing Brentwick with a cold, unfriendly eye, "you animated fossil, what might your name beT "It might be P.rentwlck." said thr.t gentleman placidly. "Brentwick. ear Well. I like a man of spirit But permit me to advise you"- "Gladly." nodded Brentwick. "Eh? Don't come a second time be tween father and daughter. Another man might not be as patient as I, Mr. Brentwick. There's a law in the land, if yu don't happen to know It" "I cor.rratulate you on your success In evading It" observed Brentwick. ur.disturljed. "And It was considerate cf you ct to employ it in this in stance." Then, with a aharp change of tone. "Cc-me. Birr be demanded. "You hnve unwarrantably iutruded In tW.i room, whkh I have engazed for my private use. Get through with vour business and be off with you." "All In cotd time, my antediluvian friend. When I've wound up my bus! rc-s her? Ill go not before. But. Jut to bli?e you. we'll gi t down to it. K!rkw.od. you have a revolver ot n.I:;e. Be good enough to reiurn It" "I have it here, under the table, intm-ii-fd Brentn-h k auavely. "Shall I 1.3 cd It to your "By the muzzle. If ycu please. Be very careful. Thla one's loaded, too apt to explode any minute. To ICirt wood's Intense dhguft Brent w.h k quietly slipped one hand beneath the table and. plaelng the revolver on Its top. dell.atWy with his Ccger tips shoved It toward' the farther edge. With a grunt of approval Calendar swept the weapon up and Into bl pocket "Any more ordnance?" be inquired briskly, e.-es moving alertly from face to face. "So matter. Vn wouldn't dare uc 'cm anyway. And I'm about done. Dorothy, try dear. It's high time you returned to your father's pro tection. Where's that Gladstone bag?" "In my traveling tag." tbe girl told bfm In a timeless voire. "Then you may bring It along. You may also say good night to the kind gentlemen." CHAPTER XXXL D' or.GTIIY did not mote, net pallor grew more intense, and Kirkwood saw ber knuckles tighten beneath tbe gloves; otherwise her month seemed to grow more straight and Lard. "Iiorothyr cried the adventurer, with t tourb of displeasure. "You beard me?" "I beard yon." she replied a little wearily, more than little contemptu ous!?. "Don't "ilnd him. please. Mr. KlrkwiKidT wltb an appealing ges ture, us Kirkwood. unable to contain himself, moved restlessly lu hia chair, tbrentetdng to rise. "Don't say sny thing. I hive no Intent loo whatever of going with Ibis man," Calendar's features twitched nerv ously. He chewed comer of bis mustache, fixing the girl wltb a black stare, "1 presnme." be remarked, aft er a moment, wltb slow deliberation. "you're aware that as your father I am In a position to compel you to ac company rue." "I shall not go wltb you." Iterated Iiomtby In a level tone, "ton may threaten me. but I shall not go. Mr. Brentvlck and Mr. Kirkwood art tak ing toe to-frlends. wbo will give me a borne until I can find a way to take rare of myself. That ia all I have to say to you." "Bravo, my dearP cried Brentwkk eitcouratfcgly. "Mind your business, sirT thundered Calendar, bis fact darkening, tbea to Dorothy, "You understand, 1 trust what this means?" ht demanded. "I oSf-r f t a borue, and a good out. Re fuse and you work for your tiring, my fc;ri: You'vt forfeited yottf leg acy"- . "I know, 1 know," she told him In cold disdain. "I am content Wont you be kind enough to leave mt alone?" . ;'',".. ;'. . For a breath Calendar glowered over ber. Then. "I presume," be observed, "that all these heroics are Inspired by that, whlpperanapper Kirkwood. ' Do you know that ha hasn't a brass far thing to bless himself with?" - "What baa that"- cried the girt In dignantly. "Why, it has everything to do wltb me, my child. As your doting parent I can't consent to your marrying noth ing a year, for I surmise you intend to marry this Mr. Kirkwood, don't your There followed a little interval ot silence, while the warm blood flamed In the girl's' face and tbe red lips trembled as she faced ber tormentor. Then, wltb a quaver that escaped her control, "If Mr. Kirkwood asks me 1 shall," she stated very simply. "That" interposed Kirkwood, "li completely understood.". His gnu sought her eyes, but she looked away. "You forget that 1 an: Jour father," sneered Calendar, "and that you are a minor. 1 can refuse my consent" "But you won't," Kirkwood' told him, with assurance. The adventurer stared. "No," h agreed after slight hesitation; "no, I shan't Interfere. Take ber, my boy, 11 you want her. and a father's blessing into tbe bargain, Tbe Lord knows IT troubles enough. A parent's lot Is not what it's cracked up to be." lie paused, leering. Ironic. "But" dellb erately, "there's still this other mat ter of tbe gladstone bag. I don't mind abandoning my parental authority when my child's happiness is concern ed, but as for my property" "It is not your property," interrupted the girl. "It was your mother's, dear cbUd It's now mine." "I dUpute that assertion, Kirkwood put in. "You may dispute it till the cowj come home, my boy. The fact will re main that I Intend to take my property with ' me when I leave this room, whether you like it or not Now, an you disposed to continue tbe argument, or may 1 count on yonr being sensible?- "You msy put away your revolver. 11 tbat's what you mean," said Kirkwood "We certainly shan't oppose you wltb violence, but I warn you that Scotland Yard"- "Oh, that be blowedr the adventur er snorted in disgust "I can aaO cy cles round sny tec that ever blew oul of Scotland Yard! Give me an bour'i start and you're free to do all the funny business you've a mind to wltb -Scotland Yardr "Then you admit" queried Brent wick civilly, "that you've no legal title to the Jewels in. dispute?" "Look here, my friend." chuckled Calendar; "when you catch me admit ting anything you write it down In your little book and tell tbe bobby on the corner. s Just at present I've got other business than to stand round admitting anything about anything. Cap'n. let's have that bag of my duti ful daughter's." "'Ere you are." Stryker spoke for the Erst time since entering the roore taking tbe valise fruci beneath tbe chair and depositing It on tbe table, "Well, we shan't take anything that doesn't belong to us," laughed Calen dar, fumbling with the catch, "not even so small a matter as my own child's traveling bag. A small-heavy gladstone bag." be grunted, ojieulnj tbe vall-e and plunging lu one greedy band, "will Just about-do for miner Wltb which be pnalured the article mentioned. "This f r the discard, cap'n." be laughed contentedly, push lng tbe girl's valUe aaide, and. rum bling with stentorian mirth, stood beaming benl'unnt)y over the asaein bled company. "Why." he exclaimed, "this moment is worth all It cost me! My children. I forgive you freely. Mr. Kirkwood. 1 felicitate you cordially on having secured a most expensive wife. Keally. d'you know. 1 feel ss if I ought to do a little something for you both." Tbe thick, mottled (Inzer tort nerv ouxly at tbe catch. Eventually be got the bag open. Those about tbe tablv bent forward, all qu!kened by the proflpect of for tbe flrrt time behold lng tbe treasure over which they bad fought for which tbey bad suffered so lung. A beady and luscious fragrance per faded tbe atmosphere, exhaling from the open mouth of the bag. A silence. Indefinitely sustained. Impressed Itaetf upon the little audience a breathless pause ended eventually by a sharp snsp of Calendar's teeth. "Mro-niT grunted the adventurer In bewilder meut He began to pant Abruptly bis heavy hands delved Into tbe contents of tbe tag, like the paws of a terrier dicing In earth. To Kirkwood tbe air seemed temporarily thkk wltb flying objects. Beneath bU astonished eyes a towel fell upon tbe table a crumpled, soiled towel bear ing on Irs dingy hem the Inscription in Indelible Ink. "Hotel do Commerrt, An ter." A tooth mug of substantial earthenware dropped to tbe floor wltb a crash. A slimy soap dish of tbe same manufacture slid across the tabic nd into Brentwlck's lap. A battered alarm clock wltb never a tick left in its abused carcass rang vacuously as It fell by tbe open bsg. Tbe remain der was oranges, a dozen or more small, round, golden globes of rips fruit perhaps a shade overripe, there fore the more aromatic. Tbe adventurer ripped out aa otth. "Mulreadyr be raged ia fury. Done tip. I swear! Done by that lofsr&al sneak me, blind as a batr He fell suddenly silent tbe blood congesting in bis face; as suddenly broke forth again, haranguing tbe company. ."Tbst'e why be we ntput and bought ; those oranges, Is RTBnk" of it me sitting in the hotel In Antwerp and him lugging ia oranges by the bagful because be was Jfond of fruitl When did be do it? How do I know? If I knew, would I be here, and him tbe devil knows where this minute? When my back was turned, of course! Tbaf s why be was so hot about picking a fight on tbe boat eh? Wanted to get thrown off and take to tbe woods, leaving me wltb this! And tbaf s why be felt so awful done up wouldn't take a band at hunting you two down, bey? I'll camp on bis trail for tbe rest of his natural born days! I'll have his eyeteeth for this! I'U"- He swayed, gibbering with rage, bis countenance frightfully contorted, bis fat bands shaking as be struggled for expression. , , And then, while yet their own aston ishment held Dorothy, Kirkwood, Brentwick and Stryker speechless, Charles, tbe mechanician, moved sud denly upon tbe adventurer. There followed two metallic clicks. Calendar's ravings were abrupted aa if his tongue had been paralyzed. He fell back a pace, flabby Jowls pale and shaking, ponderous Jaw dropping on bis breast mouth wide and eyes crazed as be shook violently before him his thick, fleshy wrists, securely handcuffed. Simultaneously the bold mechanician whirled about bounded eagerly across the floor snd caught Stryker at the door, bis dexterous fingers twisting in the captain's collar ss be Jerked him back and tripped him. "Mr. Kirkwood," he cried, "here, please, one moment! Take this man's gun from him, will your Kirkwood sprang to bis assistance and without encountering much trou ble succeeded in wresting a revolver from Stryker1 limp, flaccid Angers. Roughly the mechanician shook the man. dragg'lng hitn to hia feet "Now," be ordered sternly, "you march to that corner, stick your nose in it and be good! You can't get away if you try. I've got other men outside waiting for you to come out TJnderstsnd?" Trembling like a whipped cur. Stry ker meekly obeyed his Instructions to the letter. The mechanician, with a contemptu ous laugh, leaving him. strode back to Calendar, meanwhile whipping off bis mij 1 ,1 1 N o -Philip, I tneanl it, every unrdl" goggles, and clapped a hearty band upon tbe adventurer's qusklng shoul ders. "Well." he cried, "and are you atlll sailing circles round the men from Scotland Yard. SImmona or Bellows or Sanderson or Calendar or Crumbs tone, or whatever name you prefer to sail under?" Calendar glared at biru aghast then beared a profound sigh, shrugged bis fst shoulders and bent but head In thought An instant later be looked up. "Yon can't do It" be Informed tbe detective vehemently. "Yon haven't got a shred of evidence s gainst me! What's there? A pile of oranges and a peck of trash! What of it? Be sides," be threatened, "If you plncb me you'll have to take the girl In too. I swear that whatever stealing wss done she did it I'll not be trapped this wsy by ber and let ber off with out a squesL Tske me take ber, d'you bear?" "I think." put in tbe clear, bland ac cents of Brentwick, "wt ctn consider that matter settled. 1 hsvt here, my man," nodding to tbe adventurer aa he took up tbe black leather wallet "I have here a little matter which may clear up any lingering doubts as to your standing which you may be dis posed st present to entertain." He extracted a slip of cardboard and at arm's length laid It 00 the table edge beneath tbe adventurer's eyes. The latter, bewildered, bent over it for a moment breathing heavily, then straightened back, shook himself. laughed shortly wltb a mirthless note and faced tbe detective. "It's com with you. now, I guess?" be suggested very quietly. "Tbe Bannister warrant la still out for you," returned the man. "That'll be enough to bold you on tin extradl tlon papers arrive from the States." "Oh. Ill wslve those, and t won't give you any trouble either, I reckon,' mused tbe adventurer, Jingling his manacles thoughtfully, "I'm a back bumber anyway. 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