THE PORT OF
"By Me*ret>ith JVicholsojv.
Auther ?! "The Betase ?! s Thouatnai Candlea**
CO?VRIGHT. 1907. BY TME lOBlS-MERRILL COMPANY
he , ' . t ' -
In^- f r ?
unh:;-- - .
er ?.-???. !
r??at ; ? ?
er. a.'.-..-. ?
esr r -.
m.*-;. :? ^-,
tvc: ;:.?- f
"I .?: :
rult I ;.?!??:..?:
"it - - -t ;, ? ?- v. :'. : *: r, ?? a ,'. ! .?
no l!i:h ;;'? \ ;?. . ?,--.;? _? P;, .? .
is i:a: !, f:- r :'..-. s. r-. ia ;..?-'? ? ,:
Os-ar's I- !.?? V. .:-. p.,-.: ... [.-. . ..;... . r- ,
Z::.a! p at !... hand - a t: .- v ... a:, :
prepa. r.- 1 t-, aa :.
"A I...??:..?:.' ??: ; \. . , : ad.- "? . <??? ?-.
to l,e ln a |..:r. ;.?:...-'!.. a ' ; ;? ? ->
tha* hvii.gs \ ? u fa t !..? ..:-.. :.
"I l...\e la. ?::...- f. r \ ? ? ' - ? ? ~r . ? '. ' .
rVr\;an ? 1;. ?:.,.:.. ?' \~. \ '.. .;. ,.
blrns. If ii. i :?':??: ? !\ .-?.: 1 :.. a ; a .
hand on t! .- w.-,::.
"One v|i,.:i..l r...t ! .- ia t.... :a :
haste. c.anra.le." n:.il '>-.-.ar !!?? ;
Zmni La. k with his !i::a r ::;?
Tlu- man yi.-lile.) n:.d ria a f.-w sj, a
OUt 4,f the i|i!!ii|, ..f :n-c> aail - .,;
to es.-ape there lt \\a^ '..r to <.,.??
that Zmal was n.t aa\i,i;-. to p.a.o
trate closer to the ?'!.-?. lb<m-? hause.
whose gnrib-n estend.^l quite n.-ar.
He met Ztnal promptly and again
thrusst him l-a.-k.
"It is n ini's*age?yes?" ask.-d <K,-ar
"It ls my alTair." Idurted the big f.-.
low. "I mean no harm to y.m."
"lt was you that trieal the knlfe on
my tx*ly. lt ls much quieter than
Bhootiug. You have th<> knife?yes: '
Tbe little sol.ller whipped out. hls re
"In which pocket ls the business car
rled? A letter undnuhtedly. They d.?
not trust swine tocarry worda. Ah!"
Oscar dn.pped beluw the wall ns
Zmai struck at hlm. When he looki'd
np a tiiouient later the Servlan was
running ba<*k over tbe meadow toward
the abeepfold. Oacar. nngry at tbe
ease wltb which the Servlan had evail
ed him. leaj>ed the wall and set off
after the big fellow. He was qulte sure
that the man bore a written message
and equally wure that it must !>e 4,f im
portance to bis empUiyer. He clutebetl
hia revolver tight. I.rought up his el
bows for grenter ease in running nnd
sped after Zmal. now a biur on th.*
etarlighted sbeep pasture.
Tbe slope was graduul and 8 prett;.
feature of the landscape by day, but it
bTnn*leri*.l ia i.ot f*>n ing the waTT. lle !
was n:::i'i:a: t:;*hi'.l. with n gronp of j
sh??.i-?. jia.a'ar wail aial a uti'l steeper
?T:i*i t" vY-r ti.-ld !???>.ni.l. His l.n'k !
t-'"'l ???-.-. '.; !.!;::. n*; 1 l?*i.;ii(j *?,.,,, llt. '
h--ar! ?'..- .,??.. k tln.mp *>f iwsr'j feet
* :< '''' t'irj. The st.-irl.i.-'.t jcivw tliii: :
'a !' i'..-:.-': -ra. fs ..f w Y-e ?...,!; tlie '
-.?t' * ?? ?:' ;::.. [ ..siiia. was '-....^:i,>r t*>
Th?- '"? ?. a ?i.aa i t a ;*;?*a re.l t-> the ?'>**. A ''
?'?'???' '? .?:-?< '.a::....-!,** v ? ... \-i;-,> ?
Y" ? ' - ;.!*!*??. \ . .-...I the *-??::. 1 .?.-?*.>...| \
fro ? .. N.::-,,,-.:. ??? ._. *.,.,..... ..., , ,...:.*. ]
<-*l ? -!
Y nt.. *.
Y_: for !:
? .--i t"W ? :
\ ? : i
X 1,. ? ; ?
1 . - ' ? ?*
t!.-o. , - M.-ni.v
h!-* j-:.*-::-a:.* f
with i..> r.-sait.
the *..ai.s m>t*ira- m pu.Yug the hat
close upon hia aiirs. and off tame tht?
hat an.l with U a Y..h1 stain.-d envel
ope. The last sheep in the ;..*a trooped
out and j;:i:...p<*.l toward its .-onira.les.
?>?*o:ir. inakiiiis' *>ff with the letter,
pliinued intt. tbe rear icnard of the
shea'p. fell, sturiihlrd t*? his feet and
confroi.ted ?'aptniu ("laiborne as that
K??utlfUa8n In woi.ed eveuin- dreas fum
b!?-d for his lantern and sw.?re at the
Hheep ln languaKe unbecuiulug an offl
cer aud a Ketith-ui-in. ?
"It ls she?4>- yeaV" and Oscar started
to bolt. I
The atithorlty of the tone rang fa- ]
milinrly in Oscnr's ears He had after
conslderal,:** tribulation learued to atop
hbort vtht'u nn offlcer spoke to him.
and tbe gentlemaa of tlie sheepfold
stood etraight la the starlight and!
?]>oke like an offlcer. I
"What are you doing her , and wbo
flred that shot?"
Oscar aaluted and summoned hia best
"It was an accident, 8lr.>'
"Why are you running acd why dld
you fire? Understand you are a tres
pnsser here, and I am golng to turn
you over to the constable.'
"There was a sheep stealer?yea?
He ls yonder by the pens, and we had
some little fightlng, but he ls not dead
At that moment Clalhorne's eyes
caught sight of a barly flgure rlslng
and thrasblng about by the broken
"That Is the sheep stealer." aald Os
car "We ahall catch hlni?yea?"
Zmai jieered toward them uncertaln
ly for a moment. then turned ahruptly
and ran toward the road. Oscar start?
ed to cut off his ivtreat. but Claibornc
caught the *erge*int by the shoulder
and flung him back.
"Oue of you at a tlme! Tbey can
turn tbe bonnds on tbe other rascal
Wbat's tbat you hava thereT Give It
"It'a a plece of wool"?
But Claiborne soatcned tba napar
from Oscar** band and cooamandaf*
fhe man to march ahead of him to the
house. So over tbe meadow and
through the pergola they went, acro-ea
the vernnda and luto tbe library. Tbe
p??wer of army discipline waa upon
Os<ar. If Clnlhorne bad not been an
o.hcer he would have run for lt ln the
gard.-n. As it was. he was taxing bis
ivlis t<> flnd si.me way out of his pre
die.tiii4 :it. He hiid not the slightest
Mea a-. to what the papa-r mij*!it be.
He bad rlske.l his iife to securu it. and
, i \ a
V, . t ' l I !
' I ?' :. t h- a. . :- I!.
\ 'a .-.- 1 Th.-- :?-.. a aa \
\\ h ?? w..-.- \...; ._-..?_? ;
? '- .~r _--:r:' .--I
' ir l . .... d ,. ?.,] .? .,..,? , . .._....
?'?? ?'? ? - . " a: ! ?? : :... ? v ,'.,:.,|
!?>? : .-.!? : Who 1- '...-a - ???
' ' ??" ?? '?- ?.-?! :-?? ?? ?- '.a v f: aa ll;
'?'??? da' a :; v
?'>; . ? '.. I < ., a.-ht th.-, i.
sh'-.a f- d I'.d \.,-: . \. ?:- -.,
- a r \ , ?: r '
? 1 ? '-? mi-- it ! ? 1 ha ?:.-! r. -. ..?
?:'?'? ?! 'aa Th ?-... ? ?-,; ^..v?. ,. . ;, ??
A: -1 -':.? -::: h 1 :i t < .-.-.:??
l'--k !"r. a ? .-d li.-rc.-'y ui.d r.-f.-rr.-d
Bg.lill t-> tlie pap.-r.
? ;:y i 1,
' lf ].,,
Is M. <'li.nn en?-t have y
to the ilai.
~ hot.-; or In Wasb
l->n'l know. lf we
I la-ard a sh .t
ln th.- sh.-. p pasture a hit au-> and ran
out t>. tind th:s fellow in u r..w w:ih
another man. who got away."
"1 heard tlie shot and the d.?gs from
my u in.l.iw. You seem to have Wou
In a fuss. too. from the l<?oks of y..iir
cloiln's." And Sliirlel* sat d?wu and
Mii"..th4>d ber glovea witb provoking
l?i.'k sent Oscar to tbe far end of the
library witb a g?*sture and held up the
uiessago for Shirley to read.
"Don't touch it!" he esclalmed, and
when sbe nodded ber head ln sign that
sbe bad read it be aald, speaking ear
nestly nnd rapidly:
"I suppose 1 have no right to hold
tbls message; I must send the man to
the botel telegraph offlce wltb lt, But
where is t'hauveuet? What ls hls busi
neaa in the valley? And what is tbe
llnk iK'tween Vlenns and these hills?"
"Don't you know what you are dolng
here7" wbe asked. and be flushed.
"I kn<?w what, but not why!" he
blurted irritably. "But thafs enough!"
"You ku.iw tbat Baron von Marbof
wants to ilnd Mr. John Armitage, but
you don't know
"I have my or?
ders aud I'm go?
lng to flnd him
lf lt takea ten
ded and clasped
her tingers to
getber. IIer el
bows reatlng on
'^ 6\lf/'y'llJ the hlgbarmaof
jf jj' her chair caused
yy ? her c 1 o a k to
??./? ^j. .. * flow oweeplngly
datrpcd her Jtngert . , . .
together. ^^ ehouldera. At
the end of tho
room. wltb bis back to tbe portlerea.
Btood Oscar, lmmovable. Claiborne re
examlned tbe meaaage and extondod lt
again to Shlrley.
"There'a no doabt of that belng Chan
venet'a writlng, ls there r*
"I thlnk not. Dick. I have had notee
from hlan now aad thaa la that hand.
Ho has taken pahne ta wrtte thlo wtth
Tha color talahtanad ta hor chaal
so did tbe cnrtaln back of ber. A lfay
tlme langnor had crept into tha heart
of AprU and all the wlndowa were
open. Tbe blnrred murmnrs of lnaects
stole into tbe bouse. Oscar, half for
gotten by bla captor. heard a aoond ln
the window behind blm and a hand
touched him through the curtaln.
Clniborne crumpled the paper lmpa
??Shirley, you nr.? agalnst mel I be?
lieve you have secti Armltage here.
nnd I want you lo tell me what you
know of him. lt is not like you to
bhiel.l n ecainp of an adventurer, an
uuknown. *qupstion:ible character. He
has f.dlowed you to thia valley and
wlll involve you ln his uffalrs without
the sllghtest compuuctlon lf he can
It's most infamous, outrageous, and
wli4*n 1 flnd him I'm golng to thrash
him withln an itich of his llfe before
I turn blm over to Marhof'."
Shirley laughed f*>r the Crst tlme ln
tln*:!- interview aal rose and plased her
h-itals on Iit hrother's slmuldcrs.
?I>" It. Di-ic: ll.as un.loubtedly n
wieked. a terrilly wi. ked and dunger
fltitl him." he said
ip his hands to hers
*<1 on his shouiders.
ki>*-a'..l him. nnd when
her si.U* the message
"I tell you T
wlaic they r.
She laughed :i:,l
h<*r harals fa-ll !
w -iv in (:er j;l<>\ ?
-he Rai.l, but
V ? .1 j?',.!!<: }> im i
^ ?'- I ar i'i t !...>.? ! !.::.-s. <\-ip
*?'??? ' ailMi-' i: it 1 ;..;, :,!-.,, lti :i
(.ria* hurrj. Wlat do \ * m want wi'!>
"V-a an- a r.^-ue. n :i Impi ist?>r" ?
?W'.* wi.. ^r.nt that" sni Ar*!i11?ir**
"\\ !?. :-.. is \,ar warra-it f r tnv ur
"'. !--'t w lil ha* f.n! .ai Ya f:.-'
et *a:h. I wa: ? y**'.! t-> i:* ? Yr^taa.a
tY.T 1 I :.\ .* ;, p.-r-.*r,al i-r.es.*!:,< .
:.-?"11: -! \ aj **
"It i?.*! f wai? i:*i*. .'..i\ ;:fr.-r t.ei,..
r.?w, t ?.:*,; *, fi.a.M.ra.. I w .il <*.,r.,
to \ *>u hen
*1 h\ l!i
?r in h.
or where\ .r y
s.pi>k*? w ;th
.-'ii that w.:>
?'!? a fm;-t:\ .*.
?1 unti! h.- f..
r of the r....in.
ef the I
ai saj on the
:.*?t the t.Hi**
As he spoke
l.a*.' tlie soljetl
S.'u- h^d wituesae.l
l.t-n nt tln
:u It had louch.-.l her humor
l>*-in a Juke *>n ln-r bmther. hut
t that the ni*it had hrought a
Sii.- -oultl not coutinue to shield
of v. aun she knew nothing save
? w s the olije.-t of a curlous
e!-:aa> I... eoup de theatre by which
Aru.!ta-_-e I. ul taken the place of his
s*r\ait ha i auiused her for a monirtit,
vexed and angry now that
had dar.-d come agaiu to the house.
"You are ander arrest, AJr. Armltage.
I inustdeta.n you here," said Clalborne
"In Auiiaiea?ln free Virginia?with?
out legal proceea?" aaked Armltage,
"V<?u ar.* a housebreaker, that ls
enough. t-airley, plt*ase go!"
"You w*:e uot detached from the
army to ta.d a housebreaker. Bat 1
will tunke vour work easy for you?
day after t.morrow I wlll present my
aelf to you wuerever you say. But
now-that .-able message which my
man found in your sheep pasture ls of
Importance. I must trouble you to
read it to me."
"No!" shouted Claiborne.
Armltage drew a step nearer.
"You inti*-: take my word for lt that
matters of importance, of farreachlng
conae*]uence. hang upon that message.
I must know what lt ls."
"You certalnly have rnagnlfleent
cheek! 1 arn going to take that paper
to Baron v..n Marhof at once."
"Do 8o--hut I must know flrst! Bar?
on von Marhof and I are on the aame
side in this buslness. but he doesn't
understand lt, and it ls clear you don't
?Give me the message."
He apoke commandingly, his volce
thrilllng with earnestnesa, and Jerked
out his last words wltb angry lmpa
tienee. At the aame moment he and
Clalbome stepped toward each other,
with thelr banda cllnched at thelr
"I don't Uke yonr tone, Ifr. Arml?
"1 don't like to oae that tone, *Cantaln
Shirley walked quickly to tha table
and put down tba meaaaa*. Than. go?
ing to the door, aha paused aa tbongb
by aa aftertbonght asd repaatad qulte
alowly the worda:
"Wlnkelrled?Vlenna?not latar than
"Shlrleyr roarad -Ctelbornoa
John Annttafs bowed to tha aJraadj
vacant door-raj, thaai booadad Into tha
ball oat opan tha Taranoaa aad raa
thinagh tha .aauvJaai to tha alda ?at%
whare Oaear wnttad.
THE PR180NKB AT TBB B*J!CGaUX>W.
jj great tl
deeds, my dear j
Aud- M. I>u
rnnd ndjusted the wlck |
of a smoking bruss,
lauip that hung i-uspcnded from tbe;
celling of a room of the Inn, store and
postotnVe st I^tfmar.
"Mennwblle. thls l?elug but Wednes
dny, we have our work to do."
"Which is not so slinple. sftcr ail. as
one f-tudies the sltuatlou. Mr. Armitage
Is bere. qulte within reach. We sus
poct him of belng a person of distlne
tion. Heevim-ed unusual lnterest ln a
certaln doomicnt that was once in
"Our own hands, If you would l?e ae
"Von aro eaptloiis. V.nt, irranteil so,
we must >:et them back. The gentle
nian is ilwinllng in a bun^ai.nv 4111 the
?nountain side f?>r ur.-ater convenlence
i'l \\ atchitii: ev4-nts and w-aoing the
lady of his lieart's -ies-re. We a-nploy
etl a 4 !n:i.s> ch.wn to put liitn out of
th- u "-d. but he ,!:. s hard. and no-v
'-' ?? h ??* >? ???<?' h? ::? ! i ai o| him. But it'
il" '...- a't ?:..- pa;., -s ,,;. p-< ,'.,M,,.S tinn
?'Trvr rep i
?1 ?:-., qu,'.
I I a\e la
\, ?' .-? ., v.
' o , ; a | -.'
-e t'.. a
:t T ,
-- ? ? ' -:?: r> f..- n -..- Zai,
-' ' ??: ' -..? !?'.-.! ..-:.? -;,;?: , a at !!??
>'?" ta.-:: d -J,.r 4 .,-?!? > . i- at t :ie hot.-i
1 ????:?? ' ?? ~. iai\e '..a ? a -;- ,. , 1 4 . . I
' '???'?!? ? .- 1 ?; t 'i?' .,-?:: 'T t '.,-! a. I ?,?:,:
h'-* 1 .-> ,% . r L'iatit in :st pass Armi
tML:.- s bo->,- "
"TruM him t.? pnss lt. Hls encnin
?crH witb Armitage have not bveu to
Ihe t\\o m.n won' iln-sseal In rough
cloth. ? , as f.,r an ..iirin:'. aiul ln spi
of tlie lalblJil.i; trirl:-:^' |o:ie of tlu-ir
ta'k ih.-y \v..r4' a se:;,i;s alr. I >u
lala'.s ,?_.. os iiniic.il V. i'il I'Xfltenietlt.
aud !..? twisted his nrasta.-lie nervous
''>? i'aam.-net Iih.1 gone to Washltig
-"?? to la.et iMirand. to ^.-t froin hlm
t '-'-is , ,f ii,,. progn-ss of the cnspirncy
i:. ^ aaaii aad. n,,f hatst. to herate hlm
ior . :-..sv;;;u. ,!.? Ataintic "1 do not
r< tp.liv vat.-hlng, my dear Durand."
he bad sal.l.
"A man ::i lov4*. dearest Jnles. snmo
tiin.s f..r-,is.-' p.wt they had g.me
in'o the Vji-giula lr.::s amhahly and
weie iplar ter-d wi'li ihe postmast.-r
They \\a:!.-d nov for Zmal. whom
they had s,.nt t0 the Spntiirs with a
i:ios*.au'e nnd to get t'hau\ .-net's mall
AniiK.ij.', they had li-arn.-d. used the
I.an.ar t.-le-raph otll.v. and they hnd
ib'< i.led to 4-arry tbelr business el*4'
While they walted In the bare upper
room of the lnn for Zmal the big S.-r
vlan traii!p4'd up the mountaln alde
with an achiug head and a heart beavy
witii dread ihe horse he had left tied
ln a thh-ket when be plunged down
through the Claiborne place had bro
ken free and run away, so tbat he
must m>w trudge back Hfoa>t to rep4>rt
to hls masters. He had made a m?-ss
of his errntnls and nearly loat hls llfe
beshles. The bullet frorn Oscar* s re?
volver had cut a neat furrow ln bis
acalp. wblcb was growing sore aml
stiiT as lt ceased bleeding. Ile would
uudoubtediy be dealt with barshly by
Cbauvenet and Durand. but be knew
that the aooner be reported bla calaml
tles tbe better, ao he 8tumbled toward
Latnar. pausing at times to clasp hls
small head ln hls great hands. When
he passed the wild tangle tbat hld
Armitage's bungalow be pansed and
"Lost/ Lost/ They arm Icetr
earsod the two occopanta la hls own
dlalect with a flerce, vUo toaguo. It
waa near mldnlght when ba reached
the tavern and cllmbed tho rtckety
Btalrway to tho room where tha two
Chaovenet opened tho door at hla ap>
proach. and they erlod alood aa tho
great flgaro appearod before them aad
tha Ump llght fell apoa hVo dark, blood
"Tha tetterar anappod Chaavoaot.
"Ta tho maaaaaa aafar
?Xoatl LoatI ThajBjaaoatl I laat:
ZtnaX Chauvenet flung open the door
and bawled through the bouse for the
MHoraes! 8a*ddle our two borsesqolck.
and get another lf you have to steal
ltr* he sci-eamed. Then be turned Into
tbe room to curse ZmaL while Durand
with a towel and water sought to ease
tbe acbe ln the bjg fellow'g head and
cleanse his face.
"So that beggarly little servant dld
it did he? He Ptole that paper I had
gfven you. did he? Wbat do you im
aglne I hrought you to this country
for lf you are to let two stupid fools
play with you as tbough you were a
The Servian. on his knees before
Durnnd. sufTered the torrent of abuse
meekly. He was a scoundrel, hlr?*d to
do murder. nnd his villfl. ation by an
angered employer d!d not greatly trou
ble him. particulariy since h? under
stoxl little of Chauvenet's rapid 4,'er
In half an hour t'haiivenct was
asrain in a fury. I.arninc at Lnmar
that the opcrator had ?_-'::.* do'VTi the
road twpntv miies to a ilatn'e an.l
wotiid n*>t l*e ba*'k until m.?riiiriir.
The imperturbal.!** I'ura.n.| sliivered
I;i th** nk'ht air and i-r-..Ih-.l Chauve
Iiet w ;:h i:..n;e-5.
"We have no time t-. l.-se. That
im-'i-.-',' mt'-! *.-?> to*!i*_-?it Y-**i ii.-!.-.
I*e x*:re M. An 11 :!:*::.- wi'l n. >t -.anl it
f"~ n-a I'o-i'..-. u<*\.- -??? tn ^-o tio.\:i
aw.av in jh
il .:, I,
"We arrlve qulte w here Mr. Artnlta*^*
chooM'-t to land us. He is a geutlemau
of ivniiiin-cs; he has money: he lauch
chei-rlu.ly at inlsad vent urcs; he l.a
ha.l y*i. wat.hed hy tl.e shrew.l. :
e\es ia lair*.;..-. an.l v.e.i a re consitlei.-.!
a har.i man n* ket p ira.-k t>f. my ti.-ar
luif.ind. And not least iiaportant. h**
has tt.io?:lit Miat.he?l away that 1:!*!.
eahlegram that was the Mgnal to \\".n
kelrii.l t<> p. nhead. He ls n vcr\ an
iio\ ta,' an.l vc.\ntioii* |*er>.iu. tl.;- Ar
11111:i-j;av ll: -n Zimit, whov,. knlf.' taa ie
hiai a Jerr.*r in Servia. seems unal'W* t.*
t.ipt* with him."
"And the fair daughter of the \a!
?'Fii-.h' We nre imt dNeusslny t!n
"1 >ain un.'.erstand h.?w unpN-avat:*
the Mii .;,.?, X. must ln* to you, my "l*-:r
Js:.*'*.. What .I*. you lma *4ini* she l.n.o.\ s
of M. Aruiitag*-'.' If he is the man w.
think he is. and n p.-ssihle he'.r to a
great throne. It would l*? lmp.i-s.Y.
for her to marry him."
?"His tastes atv detnocratle. ln M..n
tana he is tjulte popular."
I>ur.ind flung away his cigaretto and
"Ilas it <H-t-urred to you that thi**
whole nffalr ls decltb-dly amuslngV
Here we are ln one of the free Ameri
can states about to turn n card that
will dothroijjp a king if we are lueky
And h**re Is a man we are trylng to get
out <>f the way?a man we might make
klng If he were not a fool! In Ameri
ea! It touches my sens*. of humor. my
An enlumatlon from Zmnl nrrcsted
them. The Servian Jerked up his horse
aud they were Instantly at his aide
They had reached a point near the
bunting preserve ln the maln hlghway
It was about half past 1 o'clock. an
hour at which Virginia mountaln
roads are u??ually free of travelers.
and they had been sendlug their horsea
along as briakly aa the uneven roads
and the pace of Zmal's laggard beast
The beat of a horse's boofs could be
heard qalte dlstlnctly ln the road
ahead of them. The road tended
downward. and tbe straln of the as
cent was markad ln the approachlng
animal's walk. In a moment tbe three
men heard tha horse's qulck snort of
satiafaction aa lt reached leveler
ground. Then. scentlng tbe other anl
mals. lt threw up Its head and nelgbed
In the dusk of atarllght Durand saw
Zmal dismount and felt the Servlans
blg. rougb hand toucb his ln passlng
the brldle of hia norse.
"Walt!- said the Servian.
The horse of tbe unknown paused.
nelghad agaln and refused to go far
ther. A man'a deep volce encouraged
blm la low tonea. Tbe borses of
Cbauvenct'a party dancad about rest
leasly. raaponal ra to tba nervousness
of tba atraaga beaat bef ora them.
"Who goaa there 7"
Tba strangor's horse waa qulet for
an lnstant and tha rtder had forced
him ao near that tha beaafa uprelned
baad and tha erect ahooldara of tbe
horaaman were qoite clearly dedoed.
"Wbo goaa there r shouted tha rtder
whlla Chaovenet and Durand bent
thelr eyea toward him, thelr hand*
ttght on their brtdlea, and Utteaed
wnttJag f or Zasat They heard a and
??? *??* * *???* *?? tamcl Nt Ui
ftaa< andy aa ha 9mm biaaa
brtdlo of tho artranger*a Kotaa. TBe
iMkneoaan stragglod la SIbbI'b s-reat
anas. aad bla beaat ptaafatf wildly.
No worda paaoed. The titlor had fclck
ed bis feet ont ot* tb* otlrrovo and
grlpped tbe horae hard wltb bla legs
IIIs arms were flaug ap ta protect his
head.' over which Zmal tried to force*
"Tbe knlfer* bawled the ServlsaL
"Nor* snswered Chsuveuet.
"Tbe devil!" yelled the rlder. and
dug hia spurs luto tbe rearlng beast's
Cbauvenet held on vallsntly with
both hands to the horse's hend. Once
the frigbtened beast swung hlm clear
of tbe ground. A few yards dlstaut
Durand sat on his own horse and held
tbe brldles of tbe othera. He soothedl
the restless nnlmals ln low tones. tbe
ligbt of hls cignrette sbaklng oddly In
tbe dark witb tbe movement of hls
The horse ceased to plun.rre. Zmi:
held Its rlder erect with bis left nnn
while the ri-zht drew the sack dow:>
over the bt-ad nu<l suoulders of tha:
'?'IV him." said Cbnuvonet. aml Zmai
b'j4-k!e?l a strap about the man's arms
an.l boiind them titrht.
The dust l:i tlie bag caused the man
ii.sile t,> cough. but save for the onr
I'X.a.naatioii he had n?>t spokeu
? 'h,n\enet an.l Durand <-??n ferre-1 in
!"? t'-i.-s wlble /aa.ii drew out a
T.-tla- s..-:,., ::!:d sn.-ipj.e.l It P> tho eur??
b't of th- e.lp- \-e's hot-M'.
"'i'a- f-'",,'.v livs ;t pr.-rty i ipi"v_''
re- :?:-..-! I ? V md. Iiu'htam a f'-.-sh ,-i
??'"' "'? ' WY. t .,;??? y.?U LT-.'a-,' to do
' '." ia'-..- !,:?:) r . hs ihv? p'aoe -
f :????'. e,, i x ;|a- |.-i:,.-i s o-it ot'
'???M \\ . ?": !'-::,! ; [-., ;, , . ;,;; }
"' ' ;? I ? i- a s:a :,-,. :a I't.-r "
1 a ?:? !? ,1 i a.i u \ .--I. : tho r.'vi'! v,-r
take.i ffo-;. tl." -i'-a-t man o*?
?'! a :a ready ." he rep ?* f.-d
"<:" -h. i '. v... f .'!..?.?. " And they
?ta:ed t,,\v.;r,l th.- b : ti-a!. >\\ . Zmal
rMi:il: beside the captlve nnd holdlnc
f.;s. to i!ie led h.?rse Where tlu- r.?a<l
\\a- >??....it| th"\ sellt tl," hor*es f.?r
v a:-,'. .".? a - ::...;??, ta*. lP:t tl.4' cap
tae a,-. . p'.-.I the jja.t. II.? follit.l the
Ma:a,',s aaan aad sa; his sad.Ih'
.-Mai-at lb- aon^'iie.l now .'llld tlieil.
ba- ? '..- h"!,.;. -:??;. v as sii'lh-iont;^
p? ? -a- t" ;_?, > o h. ai a u:' '?? air. A-.
',' ' '? :".|,. ?>:'! Ins ^!i-:i! sii bni issjot .
caa -.-.'. | eii-aiid f :|v|,.
"Ai. >.>ii suiv of the man. my ?b-ar
??I nd- aibt. d'y. I .lida't ir--? n s.|uai.>
!.?..'. a! I:nn. but b.-'s ;i geiit h-inati by
the . j i;; i ' ly of his , |o| hes. He ls t ht?
sa.lae l.nial. lt ls llot !l plow horse.
gt.irtnl. Zmal rl-.llng hcsUU ttte
but a thor..ughbred l.e's rhling. Tbe
genth-men of tbe \al!ey are in their
beals long ago."
"W.ui'.il that we were ln ours! Tho
spriiig tiigbti are cold lu these hills!"
?"The work U nearly alone. Tbe littie
ri4.ldi.r- ls yi-t to reckon witb. But we
are three. aml Zmal did qulte well
with the potato sack."
Chauvt'uot roale ahead and addressed
a few words to Zmal.
"Tho littie uian must be found lie
fore we tlnisb. Tbere muat be no mls
take about It."
They exerolsed greater cautlon as
they drew nearer tbe wood that con
eealed tbe bungalow, and Cbauvenet
dismounted, opened the gate aud set a
stone against lt to lnsure a ready
egress. Tben they walked thelr horses
up the drlveway.
Admoulshed by Cbaurenet, Durand
threw away hls clgarette with a slgh.
"You are convlnced thls ls the wlae
course, deareat Jules?"
"Be qulet and keep your eyea open.
There's the house."
He hslted the party, dlsmountod and
crept forward to the bungalow. He
circled the veranda, found the bllnds
open and peered Into the long lounglng
room, where a few embera smoldered
ln the broad flreplace and an oll lamp
Bhed a falut Ught One man they beld
captlve; the other was not ln algbt
Chauvenet's coursge roae at tbe pros
pect of easy rictory. He trled the door,
found lt unfnstened and, wltb hla re?
volver ready ln hla hand, threw lt open.
Theu he walked slowly toward the ta
ble, turned the wlck of the lamp hlgb
and surveyed the room carofuily. Tbe
doora of tho rooms that opened from
the apartment stood ajar. He followed
the wall cautlously, klcked them open.
peered Into tbe room where Armitage'*
thlngs were scattered about and found
hla iron bed empty. Then he walked
qolckly to tha veranda aad summoaed
"Brlng blm lar* ha aald withoat tak
Ing bla eyea frotn tho room.
A mocneat later Zmal had llftad tha
ofleat rtder to tho veranda aad ffong
hlm acroas tha tbraebold. Durand. now
aroaaad. f astoned tha hocaaB to tha ve?
Chanvenet canght ap aotaa _
froaa tha taaaaa) aad llgbted thooa.
"Opasj tha trvafca l? thoaa
ho ojaiek. I artt fotm yoa ta ?
???*." Aad aa Darand taraaa
Ajranltaaja^ roosa Chowvi
xml | txt