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low, and Darrall between them as they slept.
A poor precaution. If he had desired his liberty lie might easily have secured it so heavy was their sleep from the fatigue of travel, that they were soon oblivious to all mundane things. The gravity of the charge against him, was sufficient to keep Wallace wakeful during the early hours, and though the handkerchief, with the infinitesimal drop of blood upon it actually had no bearing whatever upon it, he realized that in the inflamed state of public opinion it might nerve as an important circumstance linked •with whatever proofs they might succeed in bringing against him—of political antagonism. Since it was the only tangible evidence which could be presented before the jury as a clue to the mystery of Steale's death, connecting him with it, it might serve to hold him for trial and detain liini from Marguerite's side. After thinking the matter over carefully, lie decided in his own mind—since it had no real bearing on the case—that for his own preser vation there would be nothing wrong in poss essing himself of this supposed clue in order to prevent its being brought into court. It was a hazardous undertaking, yet succes^g ful. so deep was the slumber of the officers Rising cautiously from the bed ho quietly secured this bit of evidence and throwing it upon the glowing coals watched it burn to ashes then returning to his bed. he was himself soon lost in the deep sleep of exhausted nature. At daylight he was aroused by the deputy and after a substantial breakfast they again took the road. Darrall composed and cheerful no incident: occuring to delay their progress toward tin? Capital. *5 Luckily the handkerchief was never missed, until nearing their journey's end, the deputy, making an inventory of his pockets discovered its loss. No suspicion arose in his mind as to what, hail become of it. He took it for granted that it was dropped from his pocket, as such things often nre. He regarded it himself as of but little value •as evidence, since the origin ibeen so readily accounted for and his wife, separately and "other, without the slightest collusion. "You see," extending his hand to the latter. "I am likely to have a need for your services of which neither of us thought when we spoke together. "Yes. No words I feel are necessary to assure you of my willingness to serve you again." of the stain bad by both Darra?! apart from each opportunity To A serious disturbance, however, arose when the loss was reported, and the officer was compelled to make the journey over the same road the .^following day in a fruitless search for it. "rL Upon their arrival in Frankfort, Darrall im mediately summoned his friends, Judge Randolph and Sothern. By this time Judge Randolph had arrived Creeting his young friend cordially he expressed a deep sympathy with him, in the unfortunate situation which had been developed. Both Randolph and Sothern seemed greatly impressed with the gravity of the case. Knowing as much as they did of the issue of the challenge upon which Steale's death followed so quickly, they were keenly apprehensive of the danger to Darrall if that circumstance should become known—whether he were innocent or guilty of the charge-- particularly just at this time while the excitement was still so intense over party issues. "His own wo'ds replying to your challenged" an acknowledgment of the justice of your cause —taken in conn etion with what I already knew of the man. gave me some hint of course how the matter stood. 1 am prepared to serve you, trust ing implieity in the truth of whatever you may confide to me," said Sothern. "You remember I told you the. day of his death, that old story of his youth? When you asked me •g his object in using a false name, 1 only hinted to you of the rumors rife at the time because I had too deej) a regard for the young girl, whom he was said to have wronged to say anything that would keep alive that old story of the past. Knowing then the character of the man, I thought I could guess the probable cause of your grievance." "You can testify to this in court, sir, of own knowledge?" asked the Judge. "I can, with further details if necessary and believe I can bring others to prove it." "But my friends." answered Darrall. "The case can never come to court.. At the inquest Sill you will find that they have not a scrap of ev idence against me." S a a a a it is if answered the. Judge. "That fact, until this moment, was known oiiVy to you. that man, my wife, and myself. He could never have confided it to another for his own sake." "The Challenge?" asked the Judge. "lie refused," answered Sothern, "his excuse, as I said before of such a nature that I do not believe he could have confided in another at least within the few hours intervening between my visit and bis death. Besides, he was out of town the next day, 1 have, learned, and the ban quet following so close, 1 hardly think he had mentioned the challenge." "The blood., stained handkerchief?" ftsked the Jud "Has been destroyed the little stain upon it came from the scratch of a rose thorn upon my finger," showing them the sear. "Believing I was doing no wrens*, I secured it and watched it ?lnirn to ashes. Tliev think it lost upon the road I 'They found him la th! shrubbery to one side your" and have sent the deputy to scour the country in search of it," answered Darrall. "That is well," said the Judge. "The burden will rest upon them to connect me with his death, without one tangible clue so far as 1 can learn. They cannot do it and if by any possible chance—from the causes you have mentioned—they hold me for a trial, it will be from these circumstances alone, out of which they could scarcely make a case." "And these circumstances," said Judge Ran dolph—evidently weighing them all carefully in his own mind. "These circumstances if proven, as I believe they can be from what you and Sothern tell me—and there are others no doubt, of which you have not yet informed me—would furnish the most powerful motive for the deed, known to the human heart. A motive my boy, strong enough to prove any man guilty, perhaps, but at the same time so strong as to acquit any man before any jury in this state." "Well then my friends, if it should come to that, I'd sooner die." "1 do not think it will come to that." q' interposed Sothern. "Rather than take chance of opening up this dead man's pas show him to the world in his true colors, they find they have nothing substantial which to rest the case, I believe the investi will be dropped." "The fact of the arrest being made up slight a clue as the handkerchief is rathe quieting. It locks to me as if someone bad all, acquainted with the old story and your riage, has taken a long .chance in havinj arrested, hoping—if no other clues are fo to urge political grounds for your quarre they can succeed in picturing Steale a mar his political views, and efforts to bring to the people, ground down to the earth and dened with debt, they will be ready to tur rend you. If they charge that, this is ini beginning of an effort of the Anti Relief to rid themselves of the whole administrat as they are beginning to assert, I am told iiiv boy, innocent or guilty it will go hard you." "I have thought of it all, and if it com that issue, I'd sooner die, myself a martj that cause than any other." The Judge shook his head. "A noble iiuent. 1 understand--but for an innocent in idie—" "Oh, worse my friends than death. believe me, there Think of a man hold up his head to walk erect among his fe The clo nen to look the world square in the facissassin, fwould be my case if, to save myself—I flood-staii ihis story to appear as an explanation of° ... challenge, and so divert attention anif the trs sympathy of the public to my wife51 screen myself. No! Life at that ,'0' betwee ditical si bitten me acuti Judge •r well, eale's 'lerite, h: one otive to Knowing •lew of arch for town lowledge 'arrall's ained hr lost fc beiug is home, itli the might All of le coron ef men jsolved his reA larrall, scret of the in ne chalU ire had 1 unab'Ould not un le nc then woul(,L nftt^J^^X-pirth tin?' /ere cvei The kn ad prol aid, in Luck to 1 a gen is no iflictilt ti the r: lie infer ad cross be see "I did challenge this When he refused, I soug force a challenge from did seek to compass his because lie had wrongei and either he or I mus I a sassin. Whenever it be necessary in the managi of my case, I will furnis' with all the partii-uln: far as know them. W' nwait the inquest. Only lood up otel lial nd his osed ev prodi ufficient assinati landed mas® CHAPTER XVI. between lawyers—in those days as now— often to blows after court, and controversie the streets. Steale's animus toward him, Darrall had "Thai to iv an understand the true reason) had been quicl resent. Such disagreements alone were no'f(|] sufficient importance to hold a man, like Darj suspected of such a deed. should With the calling of the last witness an eler Qppn of real danger was brought into the case. In Steale's Secretary then sworn, Sothern ognized Steale's friend the man who was 'ijt him that day at the country post-office whet unmasked him. He knew Steale's secret, wf he keep it? His testimony was long drawn out, cove the friendly relations between Darrall and Si until within the past year, of the eAmlty Cruel elief th vents ,-hat tin eople iascd, ief and The inquest hold upo liody of Col. Steale, soo veloped the political cam and its issues as the 11 The well known est ment of Darrell and S formerly fast friends sustaining to each othe relation of tutor and was dwelt upon. Severa nesses were brought foi to swear to heated pel controversies, between th men in the court roc iatt. Steale, having In pri ircumst ews fr messe be en oor sti A lett hat thi ook to "Poor 'Since ed. S ze no in(] (]al (i j'sj UV Iu .j wag S j]enc'ei Altc very re nbout cleared FAOE MAGAZINE SECTION PA