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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, February 23, 1919, NATIONAL EDITION, American Weekly, Image 29

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(Continued from Preceding Page)
It was quite Impossible for any pursuit
, from Egypt to cross the Red Sea and
reach Arabia so soon as this. The capture
,, of the Sheykh Hassan on the river had
heen made by a small guard of British
. soldiers whom yon Hengel had had some
difficulty In eluding, but by good fortune
' camels had been few and those of his own
h caravan had been fast. But the fact re
gained that here was Alan Jessup, and
where the American had been able to come
i others could follow. A wireless to a Brit
ish war ship would bring her speedily to
In his heart he cursed the leisurely Has-
if, san Isar, who had insisted on remaining to
pray In the mosque at Asslut, when he
should have already been well upon his
way to the sea. But how had Alan Jessup
succeeded in getting On his trail so quickly
unless by a wireless from the British base
"at Cairo? And how unless in the Turkana?
.And if in the Turkana, were British sol-
diers with him?
In the few moments before von Hengel
"spoke Alan could see that he was deeply
puzzled and suspicious, but there was no
sign of anxiety in his easy, somewhat ban-
' tering tone.
My congratulations, Alan," he began
-with a laugh. "It's really too bad that
t your effort is to be wasted."
'"' Alan made no reply and only smiled In
"hls weary way.
"I suppose it must he fairly obviouB,"
jTon Hengel went on, "that your temerity
"has gotten you into a desperate situation.
I've done what I could for the moment,
though I can't tell how long in daylight I'll
""be able to keep these people at bay. But,
M'as you see, I have some influence with
nrthem and if you'll meet me only half way
fI think I can save your life."
"" As von Hengel paused, Alan drawled:
dQ 'Thanks, Conrad. Awfly good of you
Von Hengel examined his
captor keenly, now quite cer-
'tain of many months of mls-
" Judgment Alan was grinning
In a very genuine sort of way
7" as though fully aware of his
d captor's power to save him
and quite amenable to any
suggestion which would lead
CL ... .... .
to that eventuality, nut von
Hengel had learned to be-
...come wary of that grin. And
, be couldn't forget tnat ai-
1tiTieri Alan true Mb nrift-
oner, he was himself as help
less in his own mission as
'jAlan, If the captive didn't re
peal the whereabouts of the
HI .Black Stone. So he adopted
an je&sy tone, remlnescent of
..-. "It seems a poor return for
all your hoBpltallty, Alan, to
..be compelled to be your
jailer. It's very distasteful.
tpBut Kismet wills it bo. The
sonly thing is to try to let you
out as easily as I can."
.;, "Awf'ly good of you," mum-
tabled Alan again. "Awf'ly."
"But, or course, you've got
'to be reasonable. You have
-'the Kaba Stone, hut they,"
r'and he Indicated the multi-
- tude, "they've got you. And
they're bound to kill you If
you don't give It up."
"" "I haven't got the stone,"
9 6'said Alan, cheerfully enough.
1 "i couldn't have swallowed it,
you see.
' Von Hengel's brow drew
together for a moment.
" i advise you," he said
'"slowly, "that you're taking
the wrong course."
"Am I?"
r. ..j want t0 giVe you y0Ur
chance it's the only one
' 'you'll have, I can assure you.
Xdl lilt: nucic me na.ua. uiuut ia .
promise to let you go."
Alan laughed.
"Oh, I say. That's rather a large order,
'isn't it?"
"'" "What do you mean?"
"Merely that the beggars will kill me
J" "No," said the German positively. "I
J give you my word on it."
3T Alan remained silent a moment, think
ing deeply.
"What's the use, Conrad?" he asked.
Von Hengel started up.
"You mean that you won't agree?"
"Something like that," said the prisoner
rTeflectively. "You couldn't save me from
n these Johnnies even if you wanted to.
They're bound to kill me if I can't fetch
the Kaba Stone, and they'd have religious
scruples againBt letting me go if I did.
So what's the difference? I'm a goner any
Ijway you look at it But I'd rather be a
ogouer with the Kaba Stone than without
it That's what I came for, you know," he
"finished languidly.
" Von Hengel concealed his anger with
"'difficulty, aware that Alan was Just the
sort of fatuous Idiot to carry the thing
"''through to the end. But he had to admit
' that .his reasoning was excellent
"Haven't I said that I would help you
to get away? Tell me what I want to know
and I'll loosen your bonds so that you can
slip away when my back is turned."
"I'd rather not, thanks.1
Von Hengel's face grew darker In the
moonlight and he flicked his cigarette
furiously away.
"That's final?" he asked.
"I should say bo, unless" Alan
"Unless what?"
Alan tried to settle himself more com
fortably in his bonds. "Unless you'll trade
with me even."
"Trade with you? What?"
"The parchments the KarraB of the
Mosque of Hasaneyn."
Alan noted the slight involuntary move
ment of the Prussian's fingers toward
the front of his kamis and found out
what he wanted to knpw. He had
them there! Not AH Agha, but von
Hengel had them in his shirt.
The German laughed. "And what
would you do with them?"
"Take them aboard the Turkana and
give you the Kaba Stone."
The look on von Hengel's face grew
keen, then cleared quickly.
"Ah, yes, the 'Turk
ana. Of course. Ana
where is she now?"
"In the harbor at
Damghah, not fifteen
miles from here."
"The Turkana of
course and what else?"
Alan's face wore a
look of Inquiry.
"What else?"
"A BrltlBh destroyer,
perhaps or a man-of-
Alan laughed. "A
Brtish destroyer! Oh,
I say!"
"It's quite possible."
"Then she has come
in since I left the
"She clung to his shoulders,
weeping silently, and he
bent over and kissed her
on the brow."
"She is coming?"
"I'm sure I don't know. I'm not in the
confidence of the Admiralty."
Von Hengel glanced westward and then
peered for a long moment toward the mass
of rock at the head of the gorge.
"You're speaking the truth?" he asked
Alan smiled.
4Did you ever know me to do anything
Von Hengel sank lower upon his
haunches, his eyes searching Alan's face.
Its expression had not changed and its
eyes returned the German's eager look
with calmness.
"Who took the Kaba Stone to the Tur
HI didn't say any one had taken it there,
did I?"
"You said"
"Merely that I would give you the Kaba
Stone if you gave me the Karras.""
Von Hengel turned away again to search
the dim vistas of the desert. And then he
smiled quietly.
"You'll pardon me, Alan, If I say that I
don't believe you."
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"That's your privilege.'
The calmness of his prisoner now an
gered him.
"You" think," he said, with growing
warmth, "that I will not kill you because
in your death all trace of the Kaba Stone
will be lost. But I'm in no position to
stand on ceremony just now. You've pro
voked me more than once, and I'm getting
to the end of my patience"
"And your tether?" put in Alan sweetly.
Von Hengel swore a round German oath
under his breath and rose.
"You snail see. I think I folly under-
stand your game. But you haven't enough
men, my friend. The chance of a roscue Is
small." He broke off and gazed out over
the desert in the direction of the sea. "If
that's the plan, we'll prepare for it."
And with a final glanco at Alan he looked
about him, peering up at the rocky prom
ontory which dominated the gorge above
and the desert beyond. Then he went over
to the camp fire of the Sheykh. where he
aroused one of them and gave him some
instructions, pointing to the prisoner and
then toward the desert below. Alan saw
the man come toward him while von Hen
qel, moving majestically away in the char
acter of Omar Hilal, climbed among the
shrubbery at the foot of the cliff.
Perhaps Alan had said too much. Von
Hengel was going to climb up to have a
look around to view Damghah harbor at a
distance and perhaps to discover the ap
proach of Alan's men, who by this time
could not be far away. If they came on in
a body their white abas and burnuses
would be as distinct as if in the sunlight
from the top of this high crag. And what
had been intended as a surprise attack
might very well become an ambuscade
with the tables turned.
Copyright, 1919. by Star Company?
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The thought that
lie had thrown his
men Into a danger
perhaps needlessly
was to Alan- more
torturing than the
pain of his wrists as
the thongs ate into
his raw flesh. He
struggled quietly as
the Sheykh who was
to guard him ap
proached, but he
could not budge
them. The way that
tnoy were fastened was an excel
lent example of efficiency. And
as the Sheykh approached him
and sat a few paces away Alan
desisted and lay quiet.
The Arab was a tall man, the
tallest and most villainous look
ing of the crowd that a while
ago had surrounded him; and he
fingered his dagger with -an unction which
was very suggestive of unpleasantness to
come. The man wanted his hooreeyehs it
Paradise and he wanted many of them. To
be the Jailer of such a prisoner as this
was an honor not to be lishtiy considered.
The Sheykh Omar was soft hearted. Death
swift and sudden should be the fate ol
such a desecrator such a dog of an unbe
liever as this. "Seventy-two wives of the
girls of Paradise" and thousands of
weleeds they should be his, if he killed.
He half unsheathed his dagger, then
very slowly returned it. . . . Alas!
Perhaps the Sheykh Omar knew best. He
would await what was to happen. But
even then it would be his own jambiyah
which should deal the fatal blow. In the
meanwhile, If the desecrator and blas
phemer so much as moved a hair's
breadth or struggled to release himself
that would be enough of an excuse.
All of these thoughts Alan read or
thought he read in the man's eyes, and he
took pains to remain perfectly still in
order that he might be alive as long as
possible. The Sheykh was mumbling
. i the while, watching the horizon and
Great Britain Rights Reserved.
making the most hideous faces for the
mere satanic pleasure to be derived from
the captive's discomfort.
Alan, having satisfied himself that so
long as he remained quiet he was in no
Immediate danger from his guard, com
posed his features and seemed to close his
eyes. But through his eyelashes he was
still keenly observant He saw that the
setting moon was paling Just at the edge
of the rocks upon the opposite side of the
Wadi, and that the east was lightening.
Less than an hour to dawn. He still had
a chance, a faint one, if the tall rascal near
him didn't suddenly change his mind and
dispatch him in a sudden fit of religious
He tried to plan what he would do at the
sound of the first shots struggle to a sit
ting posture, leaping free of the crag that
bound him and hurling himself like a cata
pult at the Sheykh, hoping to throw him
over the edge of the cliff near which he
sat. The thing seemed impossible, and yet
he meant to try it. He might as well be
killed for a sheep as a lamb.
Slowly he watched the pale rim of the
moon descend against the ragged edge of
the rocks and then suddenly drop out of
sight Except for the camp fires, which
glowed here and there, the Wadi was In
darkness. And confident that the hour of
the Subh would deliver the prisoner into
their hands, the pilgrims had relaxed into
attitudes of repose all. indeed, but Alan's
guard, who still sat intently regarding him
'hit brows thatched, his keen eyes blazing
with watchfulness and resentment Alan
under lowered lids tried to peer upward
toward the mas; of roeks von Hengel had
climbed, but could see no sign of him.
The grayness in the east now brought
Into silhouette the Ions flank of Jebel
Radhwah. Amneh's mountains of Paradise.
Poor little thing! She had seen him cap
tured and had possibly slunk away in ter
ror at the calamitous results of his ven
ture. He only hoped that she would gel
back some way. And Daoud. What on
earth had happened to Daoud? They hadn'i
caught him, Alan was sure of that Per
haps Alan closed his eyes for a moment, and
then for Borne reason Instantly opened
them. Behind the sitting Sheykh a shadov
was rising from the gully a dim, unrea
bulk, absolutely noiseless, which presently
resolved itself Into a head, shoulders and a
pair of arms, groping upward. With an
effort Alan closed his eyes again, trying
not to look, but beneath his lashes saw
that the Sheykh still leaned forward, star
ing and mumbling, oblivious of the grim
shapes that encompassed him; saw the
groping arms and hands Suddenly close
around the Sheykh's throat and mouth,
garrotting him silently and dragging him
backward by sheer strength to the edge of
the abyss, over which the two figures slid
and vanished.
The occurrence was almost Uncanny.
Alan listened for the sound of falling
bodies, but only heard a kind of choking
cough and after that silence. Less than a
hundred feet away the sheykhs by the
embers of their fire still lay in slumber.
Alan struggled desperately to release
himself. Who had done this thing? Net
Amneh. Daoud? He had worked his thong
clear of the rock when he felt his hands
suddenly become free, then his ankles,
and rolling over silently, heard a whisper
at his elbow just at the edge of the chasm.
He could distinguish nothing of the dim
figure before him sliding down upon the
ledge below, but he followed as quickly as
his stiffened limbs would allow, reaching
a group near the prostrate figure of the
Sheykh, who lay very still.
"There's no time to spare, Mr. Jessvp,
Bir," whispered a familiar voice. "It'l a
terrible chance you took, if it hadn't beam
for Miss Amneh here, sir
Amneh! Alongside of him, clinging des
perately to his arm, the fingers of her
other hand still clutching the knife thatt
had released him, she huddled against the
rock, her face pallid as the dawn it re
"1 had to, Monsieur Alan," she gasped,
"they would have killed you."
"I found her, sir," whispered Dawson,
"down the Wadi, cryln' her eyes out and
she brought me up here. Be careful, sir.
The ledge Just below Is slippery. So, now.
Miss, while -I lift you down "
Still bewildered, but realizing that every
moment counted, Alan descended quickly,
helping Amneh down, carrying her part of
the way In his arms while she clung to
him In terror, murmuring strange foreign
words at his ear, while Dawson followed
noiselessly, an automatic In his hand,
guarding against pursuit Now that vie
tory, at least a temporary one, had perched
so suddenly, so surprisingly upon his ban
ners, Alan planned what he should do next
A moment ago he would have given all
he possessed for the very chance of escape
that had been offered him, but when he
reached the bottom of the ravine and jio
sound yet came from the cliff which they
had descended he gazed up the line of the
gully toward the rocks at Its end, which
seemed a part of the bulk of the cliff
which guarded the upper gorge. The spot
where they stood was deep tar shadow, car
peted with soft sand In which small trees
and clumps of vegetation were striving for
"The men are coming, Dawson?" Alan
"Soon, sir, I should say. I was ahead
with Captain Hoagland. He's waiting for
them in the village."
"There may be time to head them off." '
"Head 'em off, sir?"
"Captain von Hengel has Just climbed
Those rocks to watch. If he sees them"
"Oh, I understand, sir."
Alan looked down the shadows of the
"Where doe3 this gully lead, Dawson?"
he asked. "
"Into the desert, sir, about half a mile
above the caravan road."
"Then you can get Miss Amneh out
"I should say so, sir, unless they slip
"Then go at once. Lose no time and
warn Hoagland. They'll be about our ears
like hornets In a minute."
"And you, Monsieur Alan?" whispered
Amneh, terrified.
Alan smiled down at her gayly.
"I'll come soon. Go with Dawson. YouTe
the bravest girl in the world."
"You will venture again?"
"There's something I've got to do, Am
neh. I'll come through safely don't
"They will kill you this time."
"Not while my legs hold out Tve
learned prudence. I shall run."
"O, God!" She clung to his shoulders,
weeping silently, and he bent over and
kissed her on the brow and handed-her
gently to Dawson, who stood watching his
"If I might be so bold, Mr. Jessup, sir, I
think you'd better be coming along with
us. Miss Constance Is there"
Constance! Alan paused a moment In
indecision and then firmly:
"I can't, Dawson, not just yet."
"If you'll pardon me, sir, there's such a
thing as trusting luck too far.
Alan caught his man by the hand joy
ously. "Good old Dawson! Don't worry. I'll
be back all right Go! please that's a
good chap."
But Dawson still hesitated.
"It's him you're after? If I might it
iMiss Amneh could slip down alone"
But Alan wouldn't hear of It and with
a final word which was almost In tones of
command to them both Alan watched
them slowly move away down the ravine
among the underbrush. And then, listen
ing intently for the slightest sound on the
rocks above him, he moved quickly up the
ravine toward the mass of rocks which
loomed above him.
Copyright. 1019. by Star Oorapanj.
(To Be Continued Next Sunday.)

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