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Manchester Democrat. [volume] (Manchester, Iowa) 1875-1930, October 11, 1899, Image 7

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The skaters passed, flying like the
wind, along the stretch of perfect ice.
No one was in sight, either to the right
or the left, as, pushing aside the bushes,
Herbert Darrent and his companion
crept on their hands and knees from the
narrow causeway out on to the frozen
river, and the way of the escape of the
murderer of Josiah Marsden was solved.
Although the passage or tunnel by
which the murderer had in all proba
bility escaped from The Grange hud
now been discovered, Darrent was
obliged to own to himself as he stood
upon the frozen river that he waB real
ly no nearer learning the truth or solv
ing the mystery.
What had proved a mysterious, su
pernatural factor in the crime in the
eyes of the unsophisticated inhabitants
of Norcombe and had set their imagi
nations, such as they were, to work on
the wild ideas of haunted houses and
ghostly assassins had, after all, turned
out to be nothing.
Just what he had expected would be
the explanation from the moment the
Btory was related to him by the driver
of the dogcart had proved to be correct
—footsteps leading into the house and
no return—so that it seemed to Darrent
there was but one solution or rather
two—either the murderer was still in the
building, which was far from probable,
or had escaped by a secret passage, and
the latter had proved to be the case.
And yet, after ail, he mused, as he
made his way across the grounds back
to tho front of the house, it had proved
his theory that the murderer of old
Marsden was well acquainted with The
Grange. Who should know the ins and
outs of the premises better than the
dead man's son or ward, whichever he
Slowly and painfully they groped along
In the darkness.
was, the one whose name the dying
man had endeavored to write—Astray
Marsden Again all the circumstances
against Astray forced themselves upon
his mind. What if it should prove to
be no mystery at all Young Marsden
had returned, gone perhaps straight to
The Grange, quarreled openly with the
old man and in a paroxysm of rage
struck the blow which killed him.
Darrent took the paper from his
pocket again and closely scrutinized it
"I am dying, murdered by Astra"—
Astray had gone. Perhaps for fear of
blackmail, perhaps because he was
gnilty, but, whatever the reason, Dar
rent decided he must be stopped, and,
scribbling a few lines upon a form, he
dispatched Thompson to the telegraph
office, and again enterod the library.
60 far he had acted simply as a man
of caution, but without conviction. He
Intended to stop Astray's flight not be
cause he was assured of his guilt, but
because he might be gnilty.
As a detective who had earned fame
he suspected everybody but condemned
none until link by link ho had forged
the chain that was unbreakable.
As it was, so many incidents seemed
to point to Astray, and yet one thing
destroyed the whole theory—the stolen
If he could trace them, he felt he
would be
step nearer discovering the
murderer and with them the motive.
That was the great difficulty in this
case, the apparent absence of motive.
He was glad to be alone while from a
few fragments he endeavored to make
out what kind of man the murderer
was and to fix in his mind the style of
individual he had to look for.
Did the murder arise out of a sudden
quarrel, or was it premeditated and ac-
"Bam you discovered anything, sirt"
•complished in a few moments—the en
trance, the murder and then flight!
He began by supposing that it was
rthe outcome of a quurrel that the two
men had been in conversation before
the fatal blow was struck.
The old man probably sat in his chair
on the right hand side of the tire. Dar
lent took that chuir himself, and the
•visitor—where? Ho had the assurance
•of the officer thut nothing had been
moved. There was no chair convenient
ly placed for a visitor. It might have
lieen moved, or the stranger might have
•stood during the interview. That being
«o, he would have stood opposite Mars
•den, so Darrent rose and took the placo
of the supposed visitor and, as human
nature is so prone to loll, felt an incli
nation to rest his arm npon the high
He smiled a quiet smile of self satis
faction as he glanced at the shelf and
noticed the impression left in the dust
where an arm had recently rested. It
was a high shelf, too, and the impres
sion in the dust was that of an elbow
only. The man had stood with his chin
hand and his elbow on the shelf.
Darrent was a well proportioned man
and tried the position. It was not one
«t oaafort For eat* h* would have
whple uttjgg IqgNt
A Detective Story
»fi Of Chicago Suburb. The
Murder it The Grange and How
Its Mystery Was Solved by
Darrent, the Amer
ican Lecoq.
Copyright, 1899, by the American Press Association.
the shelf and rested his shoulder against
it. The wiiu bad stood there was
taller tlmn he and clu upon if not over
si* feet in height. So far, he thought,
so good. The search was narrowing.
Surely to trace a man of six feet in
that little town would not be difficult.
He wondered liow tall young Marsden
was then, Betting to work again, drop
ped on liin knees and cjirefally examined
the fireplace.
No papers lind boen burned. Only the
dead uslios remained on the hearth and
something he had ulmost overlooked,
but now caught up with an excited ex
clamation and carried to the window—
a plug of half burned tobacco that had
been cut out of a pipe, because it had
been rammed in too tightly, and dis
carded, dug out with the blade of a
knife, it was obvious, for a dainty
shred of meerschaum adhered to the
Another step—another clew I The
murderer was not a tramp who had be
guiled the old man to let him stay the
night. Tramps were not so wasteful of
their tobacco and did not smoke meer
Six feet high—smoked a meerschaum
pipe! Darrent folt he was moving.
A quarter of an hour afterward,
when Policeman Thompson returned to
Tho Grange, he found Herbert Darrent
sitting in the library writing at top
most speed in his notebook, with
Darrent quietly nodded his head and
closed the book.
"Listen to me," he said, "and tell
me if you know any one who answers
to this description: Appearance, very
tall—say a good six feet—and broad in
proportion, bronzed and bearded, strong
as an ox temper very passionate
dress of homespun cloth soft hat
smokes a meerschaum pipe lately re
turned from somewhere abroad, prob
ably South Africa."
Thompson, with his eyes wide open,
gazed in astonishment at the detective
and shifted uneasily from foot to foot.
"He wears a heavy gold signet ring
on the little finger of the left hand and
has recently cut the forefinger of the
right. Do you know him?"
"No, indeed, sir I You've made a
mistake. He wouldn't do it. He could
"Ah! Then my description fits some
one I"
"It is Astray Marsden to the life, air,
but he didn't commit the murder."
"That is to be proved. He was at
this house on the night of the murder.
You met him on that night."
"I, sir?"
"Yes, you, Thompson. You've got to
do your duty, whether it is palatable
to you or not. Astray Marsden left the
town nearly two years ago, came back
here the night of the murder and left
next morning. If you did not meet him
that night, you would not know he an
swered to my description. A man does
not look the same and certainly doe*
not dress the same after an absence
abroad of two years. Where did yon
meet him?" flsgsss
"Near the Palace hoteL
"What ttnot"
"A littaa after 2 o'clock in the morn
"Was it snowing?" Spsi
"No, sir it had stopped." fefcs
"What did ho say Did he seem ex
"He did seem rather rattled. He said
that he'd come back to try and be
friends with old Marsden, but no one
conld be, and he was off again."
"Very well then one thing is cer
tain, and that is that Astray Marsden
was in this room on the night of the
murder. It will rest for him to dear
himself or for the law to bring the
charge home to him. Marsden himself
opened the door, and the two men en
terod this room. Marsden sat in his
chair there, the chessboard was on that
small table beside him, and he was un
doubtedly working out a problem when
he was interrupted. It needs only a
glance at the bookcase to show his hob
by. Old Mardsen sat there, the board
beside him. The young man stood here"
—Darrent took up his position by the
fender again—"his elbow npon the
mantelpiece—so. You can see where
the elbow rested. He must be a tall
man who stands so, Thompson. That
gave me an idea as to his height this
thread of wool, the texture of his
olothes. He smoked as he talked—
smoked a coarse cut ship's tobacco, not
the sort that a man of hiB breeding
would smoko unless he had been down
in the world, knocking about from one
conntry to another, and therefore
bronzed, and, as a man does not take
particular care of his appearance at
Buch times and certainly does not give
ten minutes every day to shaving,
bearded. You see, Thompson, things
are very clear when we look carefully."
"Yes, sir," the officer meohanically
replied, gazing at Darrent, bewildered.
"The young man stood here, and they
talked. Perhaps young Marsden wanted
money—they generally do—and the old
man refused, taunted him. Sou know
old men can taunt, Thompson. The
words got higher and higher, the yonng
man's temper hotter and hotter, and
then he lannched into a furious out
burst, emphasizing each point by bring
ing his fist down npon the oak mantel
shelf. Three times ho did that, Thomp
son. You see three marks made by the
concussion as his ring strnob the wood.
The strength in that blow would kill a
man, so be careful if you ever have to
deal with young Marsden. The old man
was frightened and faint and over
turned the board with the pieces npon
it as he started to hiB feet, and Astray
gave him some brandy in that little
glass from the decanter on the side
board. Ashe handed it to him he placed
his hand upon the mantelshelf, this
time the right hand. Yon
by the
impression the forefinger was bound up.
Dust is a very valuable thing, Thomp
son don't forget that. Then yonng
Marsden collected the ohessmen and
placed them in the box again."
"The old man might have done that,"
Thompson exclaimed, anxions to test
the skill with which the pazzle was be
ing put together.
"The young man did it, Thompson.
One had rolled under the sideboard.
Old Marsden would never have shut up
the box and put it away with one miss
ing. The chessmen are put away, the
old man besom** mare and
thw titUwuaoU.
to offer young llarsden a" cigar. You
see one has boon taken from this box, a
new box, which young Marsden opened
with hi« clasp knife—you know the
ugly kind of knife, Thompson. Tlio
murder was committed with the same
weapon. Ho opens the box, takes out a
cigar and lights it, then puts the knife
here by his side and sits on the edge of
the table.
"Again they talk, again the old man
taunts, and again the young man loses
his temper and crashes his hand down
upon the table. His fingers touch that
awful knife, and iu a second it is over.
For a luon ent ho is paralyzed with fear
and, rushing to the sideboard, pours
out a glass of the brandy, for himself
this time, spilling it upon the wood
work and the carpet, and then stands
and hesitates. Ho dare not loave by the
front door in case he is seen. Suddenly
he remembers the passage through the
rockery on to tho rivor. No doubt the
water at the bottom of the tunnel would
be frozen, and he could escape that
way. With one glance over his shoulder
he leaves the library, rushes across the
hall through the opposite room and the
conservatory, then out into the grounds
along the covered walk and by the tun
nel on to the frozen river.
"Old Marsden, kio for dead, comes
slowly back to semiconsciousness. Ho is
dying, and ho knows it, but ho swears
the guilty shall not cscape, and oven
with his failing strength he will de
nounce the murderer.''
Darrent finished his dramatic word
picture and then, taking the slip of pa
per from his pocket, held it before the
face of his comrade.
"I am dying, murdered by Astray,'*
gasped Thompson.
"And Astray has skipped," Darrent
Thompson could only stolidly nod in
acquiescence. Loath as he was to be
lieve that Astray Marsden, whom he
remembered in years back always had
a kindly word for every one, was a mur
derer, he had been led away by Dar
rent's dramatic recital, and the paper
written by the dying man seemed to
clinch the rnattor. Yes, thero could be
no question about it now. Astray must
have done it.
"It looks rather black against young
Marsden," he said, at last finding his
"You suspect himf"
fragment of thread, a plug of tobacco,
a scrap of ivory, a carved ivory chess
man and a few matches spread out on
a sheet of paper before him.
"Have you discovered anything, sir
he ventured to ask as Darrent continued
to fill sheet after sheet as if unaware of
his presence.
Thompson nodded moodily.
"Well, look here, Thompson," sud
denly snapped Darrent. "Don't you be
in such a confounded hurry to jump at
conclusions. Now, if we find presently
that Astray Marsden can prove an ab
solute alibi, what becomes of these de
ductions, eh? Astray Marsden is not
tho only man in the world who stands
six feet high, wears a rough homespun
suit, carries a Norwegian knife and
likos to have his signet ring on the lit
tle finger of his left hand."
"But the paper?"
"Well, what of that? 'I am dying,
murdered by Astra'— The
ing, and you jump to the conclusion it
must be Astray. Now, suppose, Thomp
son, that the mystery has a deeper root
that it concerns Astray all the same,
but not as a murderer. Suppose old
Marsden intended, for example, to write
'murdered by Astray's brother'or any
other relative, and died before he could
write the last word. What becomes of
your evidence then?"
And, having calmly and deliberately
demolished the structure that he had so
carefully and elaborately constructed,
Darrent took a cigarette from his case
and, lighting it, strolled over to the
"I told you," He said between the
whiffs, "that the man stood with his
elbow on the mantelshelf. Well, so be
did. That's obvious. And then I showed
you three dents that looked compara
tively fresh, and I said that they had
been made by the ring on the little
finger of the man's hand. Well, perhaps
they were, and perhaps they were done
weeks ago by old Marsden himself.
Perhaps the man's elbow never rested
on the shelf, but old Marsden had put
something there and afterward removed
it. I shouldn't like to swear to any oi
it. I've put a lot of little things togeth
er, but they may be all wrong, every
one of them. What do you think, eh?"
"I think thoy all fit too well."
"They fit well enough, but they prove
nothing, absolutely nothing. To be a
successful detective one must bo ready
not only to forge chains, but to set to
work directly afterward and break
them, if they can be broken, test every
link and if there's a flaw find it. One
must not persuade himself, because a
few circumstances fit, that that, and
that only, must be the truth. Why, 1
have made many as good a chain of cir
cumstantial evidence before, and every
link has been faulty, the whole thing
worse than worthless."
"But, Darrent, the papers say that
you are"—
"The American Lecoq, precisely, but
I am very much afraid that their
knowledge of M. Lecoq has only been
derived from French sensational novels,
according to which he never erred, was
absolutely infallible. I thiuk M. Lecoq
himself would tell a very different story.
We have followed one set of circum
stances closely and—well, with the re
sult that it brands Astray Marsden ae
the murderer. Very well now we'll
Darrent took a cigarette from his case.
forget all about that and go on an en
tirely different track. What is the mys
tery connected with the set of Indian
chessmen? Let us look at this question
a little.
"(1) Why have they been stolen, and
by whom
"(2) If Astray murdered old Marsden
to obtain any secret connected with the
chessmen, why did he leave them be
"(3) If Astray murdered old Marsden
and only discovered afterward the hid
den value of the chessmen, where is the
motive of the murder
"(4) If Astray did not commit the
murder, who did?
"Once find the secret of the chess
men, and you'll find the murderer.
Now, what have we got as our clew—
the one piece here, a pawn, missing
from the sot (there cannot be many
sets like this one, Thompson), and a
chip from another piece? Still, wo cun
not go into everybody's house and ex
amine curiosities and bric-a-brac to dis
cover if they have the vet we are in
search ot. Now, clew the second is
more valuable, and that is the knife.
You see it is of JIU ordinary Norwegian
pattern, with a spring blade, but the
letler 'A' is bivimk'd into the yellow
wood of tho h.iiitilt'. Find to whom it
belongs-—if 'A' means Astray, if young
Marsden over owned this knife—and
wo shall he nearer the hand that struck
the blow. Now, then, Thompson, who
do you think committed the murder?"
"Well, I don't know, sir. The way)
yon put it, it might be any ono." I
"So it might," Darrent replied. "It
might be any one, aud perhaps we
haven't got within a thousand miles ot
tho right one yet. S'.iii, done aii I
can till I get news from Chicago, and
I'm going for a skate on the river. I'm
not a sleuthhound longing for blco.l,
but I've been longing to get on that
stretch of ice ever since I've been iu
Give the Children a Drink.
called Urain-O. It is a delicious, appe
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liked by all who have used it because
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is not a stimulant but a health builder
and children, as well as adults, can
drink it with great benefit. Costs about
\i as much as coffee. 15 and 25c.
A Tart Old I.ady.
Out in Indiana a good many years ago
a certain old lady, summoned aB a wit
ness, came Into court wuariug a large
poke bonnet, such as was then muoh af
fected by rural folks. Her answers to
tho questions put to her beiugratber in
distinct, tho court requested her to
speak louder, though without muoh suc
"Tb® court cannot hear a word you
say, my good woman," said tho judge.
"Please to take off that huge bonnet of
"Sir," she said composedly and dis
tinctly enough this time, "the oourt
has a perfect right to bid a gentleman
take off his hat, but it has no ri^ht to
make a lady remove her bonnet."
"Madam," replied the judge, "you
seem BO well acquainted with the law
that I thiuk you had better come up and
take a seat with us on the bench."
"I thank your honor kindly," she re
sponded, dropping a low courtesy to the
court, "but there are old women enough
there already."—Law Notes.
is miss­
^now that wher
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Murk Tivalti and Hid Pyjamsa,
Mark Twain has an intense dislike
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would remain in his pyjamas day in
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BO he cats breakfast iu them, receives
his friouds and works iu them. His fa
vorite modo of writing is to lie flat on
the floor on his stomach iu his pyjamas,
with a pipe in hw mouth. When on leo
ture tours, ho never gats out of his
sleeping clothes uutil it is time to go to
hall or opera house. When the fit
strikes him, he likos to exercise, aud
theu with his customary shamble will
sbufiie along for miles aud exhaust his
most athlotio companion. But he feeh
far more at home in his pyjamas than
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in them he remains us great a parfcOf
the day as Mrs. Clomons will allow
him. —Ladies' Home Journal.
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A Uniiu« Collection.
A Philadelphia man owns a most
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paper, collected by his father, who was
long an official of the White How^
eaoh of whioh bears, reversed, the sig
nature of a president from General Har
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the most highly prized of the lot, the
last official letter signed by President
Liucolu was blotted before he was as
sassinated by Booth.
The Banner File Cure.
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No Complaint*,
Horse Dealer—Well, John, how about
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Undertaker—Woll, sir, he did give
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up in their grief, but we've pnt him in
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It Saved Her Iiife.
Kv. writes:
My little sister had the Croup very
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Honey and Tar and she was instantly
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Britain's "Tribute Money."
Several years ago a large sum of mon
ey was sent out to China from England
in relief of an appalling famine. Bnt
Dr. Wenyon of the Wesleyan mission
related in a recent speeoh that he bad
discovered in Shangtung a commemora
tive column, erected by the govern
ments' authority, ou which this British
contribution waB calmly set down aa
"tribute money."—Fenang Gazette.
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It was also shown that the assaulted
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The Jury ilwlckil that they'd have
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the tltOit-
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5 i*' *4
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Choice Farm for Sale.
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Annual Convention W. C. U.
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nailed free for 90
lion heads and
2-cent stamp. The
celebrated Inger
soil" watch stem
wound and stem
set durable nickel
plated case each
watch accompan
ied by guarantee
of the maker. A re
liable time-keeper.
Ladles' Pocket-Book.
Large size and
latest shape. Black
seal-grain leather,
with five separate
tuck-pocket wita
flap to hold visiting
enras secure.
Olven for 25 lioa
heads from Lioa
Coffee wrappers
and a 2c. stamp.
ois lining nickeled
frame, with strong snap
Ladles' Pen-Knife.
£?.rt-!f. H""
he,d" cu«
from I
Rood ma-
terial nicely decorated
and assorted colors.
Table Cover.
including fancy fringed bilrrigr
free for 28 lion heads and a 2c.
The Latest, The Best,!
The Most Complete,
On the
areconstantly comingup every
day inliterature.art andscience
which you wish you knew, but
Make up your
mind that you
|are not going to
be caught this
way very often.
W a
yj new subject is
to it and learn
a a
about it. The
Britannica is
the reliable source
from which clergymen, profes
sional men and women, schol
ars and educators eveiy-'here
draw information quickly. It
has been the standard for over
a hundred years. You should
not miss the opportunity of
securing the
for One Dollar
and the balance in small monthly
The entire Thirty (30)
olumes with a Guide and an ele
gant Oak Book Case will be deliv
ered when the firstpayment is made.
The Complete Set (Thirty Large
Oou.vo Volumes):
No. 1. New Style Buckram Cloth, Marbled
Edges, Extra Quality High Machine Fin*
sh Book Paper.
First payment. One Dollar ($1.00) and Three
Dollars ($3.00) per month thereafter.
No. 9. Half Morocco. Marbled Edees, Extra
Quality High Machine Finish Book
First payment. Two Dollars
Pair of Lace Handkerchiefs.
Two extra fine
cambric hand
kerchiefs, with
beautiful im
ported lace me
dallion inser
tions in the cor
ners. Half-inch
hem, machine
stylish and dur
able. A pair of
these handker*
chiefs given for 18 lion heads cut from
Uon Coffee wrappers and a 2c* stamp
Children's Picture Book.
artistic tailor,
Shop In Masonic Blk,
over C. O. D. Grocery
and Four
Dollars ($4.00) per month thereafter.
No. }. Sheep, Tan Color. Marbled Edges,
Extra Quality High Machine Finish Book
First payment. Three Dollars (Sj.oo) and
Five Dollars
per month thereafter.
A reduction of io per cent. Is granted by
paying cash within $o,d«ys after the receipt
of the work.
Manchester, Iowa.
Best Coffee for the Money!
Try LION COFFEE and you will never use 1
any other. It is absolutely pure
Coffee and nothing but Coffee.
Fancy Gold Ring.
Given for 10 Hon
heads and a 2*ccnt
stamp. Sixteen
large pages of Mo
ther loose Melodies
illusimted aud with
niculy lithographed
W a
dilTerent books, so
yon can get as as
Century Cook-Book.
358 pages of valu
able cooking re
ceipts, also treatise
on ttie labor of the
it he in in
room, laundry, sick
room. and remedies
for the more com
mon diseus'.'s.
Oiven for 15 Hon
heads and 2-cent
that will
82 inches
Senalne BabySctttaa
Cold Rlna.
For 28 lion _____
head* and
plate, having the exact
old, and guaranteed by
ordinary usage. New
To Detiraine the Size.
"trip of thick paper so that the ends will
exactly meet when drawn ttgKUy arouud second
lointofthe finger. Lay one end on this diagram
at the 0, and order the number the other end
Art Picturc, "Easter
Olven lor I
lion heads cut
from Uon Cot*
A highly
artistic picture,
background of
royal dark-blue
contrast to the
Httle girl and
her white East
or lilies. Size.
14x28 inches.
For 10 lion heads
and 9 cents we
will sead It tinned ready for hanging
Flower Picture.
For 8 lion heads and a 2c. stamp.
American Beauty Roses and Lines-of
the-Valley. Site, 11x24 inches. Bright
aud artistic coloring.
Boys' Pocket-Knife.
The "Easy
stroug, sharp
For 12 Don heads and a 2c. stamp.
The Dancing Lesson
The green grass and trees, the little
brown kitten and the girl's snow-white
dreas form a pleasing combination of col
ore. Bite, 15x21 inches, nailed free for
lien heads and a 2-cent stamp.
isn't a
yoar ur
WOOLSON SHOE OO., Toledo, Ohio. I
Artistic Taioring
MY FALL Suitings have arrived and those desiring stylish and
handsome suits should not fail to call and examine my stock. have
the latest patterns in overcoating and pants that will catch your eve
at a glance. I also have a choice selection of fabric that I am mak
ing up at a reasonable price and I would like to take your order at
onco. MY high grade custom work speaks for itself. You get the
latest style and fit and best ot workmanship at A. L. Severtson, the
A. L. Severtson,
It's a store for everybody* It's a
a placo whore tho poor man's dollat
will buy the biggest one hundred
cent's worth ho ever saw and where
the stylish man's money will pur
chase the latest styles. Needn't take
our word for it. Look around and con
vince yourself.
New Fall Hats
are here in the greatest variety.
A Stout.
Postofflce Bl'k., Franklin St,
Largest stock of clothing be
tween Dubuque and Waterloo

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