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1 The Protector of Finance a ,,, a aies of Resilius Marvel, Guardian of Bank Treasure in " By WELDON J. COBB THE DEAD YEAR'S HARVEST Copyright, V> . G. t.najman |Z5'ESE5H52525H5H525H5H5R5E5H!^5HSHSE5É5ZSc!SE5H5?5E5?_5HSE5E5ï T in: RE was ;i quick call nt tin* telephone, and Résilias Marvel seized the receiver as though he had been expecting a message. J knew by the expression of his eyes that the first word imparted over the ■wire met ids anticipations. Then I Jieard him ask in rapid succession: " letters—numbers—-series?" lie penciled rapidly on ids shirt cuff as Hit- replies catne. ' Verify," were his final words: " E 296.701, Series of 1906.' Very well," and hung up the receiver and arose to bis feet. "Come with me." he add ed simply, and I knew that, the great head of the United Hankers' Protec tive association was started on an other "case." " 'E. 1906,' " I observed with a sud den shock of memory as we reached the street—"if that applies to a one hundred dollar treasury note—" ' It does,'" vouchsafed Marvel terse ly ' Then you probably have the man." "If instructions have been followed, yes," replied my friend. ' Who is it?" "The Centrai National." "That makes ten.'* "You keep good tab," complimented Marvel—"exactly ten. What an opti mist this original shover of the queer must be!" Briefly, within a week ten counter feit $100 notes had been passed upon the city banks. On a certain Monday morning a spruce, sprightly young man of about twenty-five had come into our institution and had presented himself at the paying teller's window with five $100 treasury notes. He asked to have them changed into bills of smaller denominations and was readily accommodated. The teller had noted they were comparatively new. that their serial numbers were consecutive. An expert glance satis fied him, however, that they were all right. They were placed with other hundreds to make up a package of twenty, or $1,000. aud nothing more was thought of it. Four mornings later Resilius Mar vel came into the bank with No. 296, 695 of the same series. Across its face was stamped the word "Counter feit" in broad red letters taking in the full front surface of the note. "Have you any of those?" he In quired, placing the bill before me. "f will find out," I replied, and then rather wonderingly scanned the note. It wpuld have passed muster with me, and I counted myself something of a specialist in my line. It took half an hour to go the rounds of the cages. It is almost sec ond nature for a teller to remember any bill he has handled, especially those of large denomination. The man who had changed the treasury j notes for a stranger soon had the five in question in evidence. Two more of the $100 notes turned \jp twenty-four hours later at another institution. Then two other banks each contributed like bills. In each case a smiling, easy-mannered young fellow had passed the notes. Marvel had named progress to me as it cul minated. Now a tenth note had turned up. I accompanied him to the Central National. The floor officer was waiting for Marvel, and knew him. There was a flutter of importance and excitement in his manner at being concerned in a professional transaction with the great head of the United Bankers' Protective association. He took us to the paying teller, saying nothing, but looking the part of au humble Instrument of justice who had co-op erated in "capturing a crook." The teller, looking wise and keen and in a suppressed way exultant, beckoned to us, and w 7 e went beyond the railing and around into an anteroom, where he joined us. "There is one of the hundred you flagged for us, Mr. Marvel," he said, and handed a $100 bill to my friend. Resilius Marvel nodded, gave the bill a close scrutiny, and returned it to the teller with the words: "Cancel It and preserve it for evidence. Where is the man?" The teller slipped the note into his coat pocket and took out a key. "This way," he directed, and we followed him down a narrow corridor. As be started to open a Bteel-Btudded door Marvel halted him. "One moment," he said—"tell me the circumstances of the matter." "Why, your warning had prepared us all, of course," explained the bank man. "When the fellow with his note presented it, I pretended to be called by my assistant in the next cage. I quietly pressed the call button, sig naling what I wanted to the chief clerk's desk. He and the floor officer came up quietly. The man at the ■window looked amazed and indignant as the officer seized his arm. He de manded to know what his arrest meant. When I told him that the bill was counterfeit, it seemed to me as if all of a sudden some frightful sug gestion drove his face colorless. He nearly fell to the floor. Now? Yes, Mr. Marvel," and the speaker un locked the door. He started back as he opened It, and stared blankly at a mao standing in the center of the place before a high desk with a table top. "Too bad!" spoke Marvel quickly, as he crowded past our guide and his eye swept the room iu his rapid, com prehensive way. I did not make out whal Marvel had taken in with that practised eye of his at a giance, until 1 had got nearly up to the desk, which 1 found was one used in sealing money en velopes. A strong gas jet was going. Near it were the steel dies, wax sticks and cord used in securing pack ages. The prisoner had evidently been busy during his brief period of forced retirement. A pair of small scissors and a safety razor lay on the table. Also, under the gas jet was quite a heap of fresh, warm cinders. The eyebrows of the captive were jagged and irregular, and his upper lip was rough and scraped "He has tried to disguise himself!" shouted the bank teller, instantly. "To disfigure himself, you mean," interpolated Marvel. "He has done more than that. He has been busy removing all identification marks— papers, clothing tags—hello! what's this?" From behind the man there sud denly sprang out a small lively dog. He was of the fox terrier breed, and barked at us lustily. "Oh, the animal was with him when he came Into the bank," explained the teller. "Followed him in here. Be longs to hlm, I suppose." ' 1 see," nodded my friend, thought fully. "Now, then, my man!" He fixed his eye sharply on the pris oner. The latter did not flinch under the cynosure. He must have been a handsome appearing young man be fore he had jabbed those scissors into his eyebrows. He was very pale, but | there was nothing of the cringing or alarmed culprit about him. "I see it is useless to ask you your name," observed Marvel. "We will make a search, but I fancy you have forestalled what you were shrewd, enough to suspect awaited you." i My friend was right. The man had I cut off even the laundry marks on his t linen, had removed every letter and j card from his pocketbook, and had burned them on the marble top of the sealing table. "You won't tell your name, of course," said Marvel. "Will you talk at all?" "I will make only one statement," came the cool, composed reply. "I shall be glad to receive it," re plied Marvel. "I did not know until half hour since that I was passing counterfeit money." "You know 7 it now?" "Yes," came the response, accom panied with a tremor of the finely ] chiseled lips. "I had ten $100 bills, and I have passed them all." "Where did you get them?" "I will answer that question and rest my case there," was the singular reply. "After that it is up to you to do what you choose; and after that I shall absolutely refuse to say one word—I found them." That was all—all at the start, all at the finish. Argument, menaces, ca jolery, sympathy—these went for nothing. Marvel studied the prisoner silently. Then he whispered to the teller. The latter retired, to reappear with the floor officer. Marvel gave this man some low-toned Instructions. The officer placed a come-along upon the wrist of the prisoner. "You can leave the dog," spoke Mar vel suddenly. The prisoner turned and his lips parted. He was evidently about to put in a plea for the continued com panionship of the little animal, whom he seemed to regard with fondness. With something of a sigh, he re pressed utterance, however, pulled his hat down over his eyes and stolid ly accompanied the officer from the place. "Get me a piece of stout cord," Mar vel directed the teller, and in another few minutes we were on our way to the offices of the United Bankers' Pro tective association. The little animal whined and worried, but trotted along, guided by Marvel. The latter turned the dog loose in an empty room and sat down in his own favor ite chair in his private office. "There is some thinking to do," he observed, "but I should like to have you back here about an hour before dusk." I was curious enough and interested enough to greet the invitation as a favor, and said so. "And by the way, my friend," he called after me as I reached the door, "that young man we have secured told the truth—he did not know the $100 bills were counterfeit until the teller at the Central National told him so." I wondered how Resilius Marvel had found this out, but I knew he was right. He usually treasured up his de ductions and discoveries until a case was ended. When he anticipated an announcement, I had found in the past, it was only when he was very sure of his ground. When I reached his office again it was well on towards evening. Marvel was ready with the little fox terrier under his arm. With tli• • animal, he led the way to an auto, and we pro ceeded back to the Central National. The city center streets were com paratively deserted, as the business crowds had gone homewards some time since. Marver carried the dog to tiie barred front of the bank, set the little animal on the pavement and returned to the machine "Just follow that dog," he ordered to the chauffeur, and fixed his eye closely upon the object of his interest The fox terrier crowded through the barred gate protecting the en trance to the bank, ran up to the great bronze doors and lifted its bead and howled. Then it sniffed around in a circle, came out to the pavement, threw its nose up in the air iu several directions aud trotted down the street on a bee line. There could be no doubt that the clever animal knew the wav home, for it proved never at fault, never hesitated, and buckled down sturdily as if knowing it had a long jaunt ahead. This proved true. It made only square turns at corners, and gradually left the business center for the better residence portion of the city. "Keep close," directed Marvel to the chauffeur as the animal reached a broad boulevard and increased its pace. "Follow," he ordered addition ally, as the dog suddenly diverged from its course and turned down a broad alley. Then, as our forerunner reached an iron fence inclosing a gar den and crowded through between two pickets, Marvel spoke one quick, imperative word: "Stop!" leaped out of. the machine and ran up to the fence. I could see beyond him. The dog had burst into a joyful bark, and al | i I t j sm ? '4*n>7Ktrs*".'» M /- s Thave come on an important and serious «' MI5SI0N IN BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT. MR BUCKINGHAM" HE ANNOUNCED. most instantly a stout woman, evi dently a servant, crossed my range of vision. She caressed and talked to the leaping animal and walked to the fence, as if expecting that the ani mal's arrival prefaced that of its ex pected master. She came directly up to Marvel, the fence between them. He spoke to her and she answered him, took a look down the al ley, and, turning, went back towards a pretentious appearing mansion facing the avenue. "Drive to the next street and wait for us," Marvel said to the chauffeur, and beckoned me to join him. "We will get around to the front of the house," he remarked, as we completed the length of the lane, and turned to carry out this plan. "That is the home of the dog. I asked the woman you saw if the dog belonged there." "And she said yes?" "With the addendum that its owrner was the nephew of her master, and she wondered why he did not come home with the animal, as he usually did." It was no task to locate the front of the lot where the dog had run to cover. It was an imposing stone structure. We halted in front of it, and my friend read aloud the name engraven on the broad old-style sil ver plate on one of the ornamental front doors: "Arnold Buckingham." Then Resilius Marvel looked at me, and my eyes meeting his expressive glance, full of wonder, reflected some what a manifest surprise, if not a positive shock in his own. There was not & better name at the banks than that of Arnold Bucking ham. ReslliuB Marvel knew it from hearsay, and I from practical knowl edge of a financial responsibility rated way up in the millions. There could not help but be a direct challenge in my face. My companion simply shrugged his shoulders. "Come," he said, his course of pro cedure boldly formulated In his mind within the space of a minute, and he led the way up the steps, rang the front door bell and stepped inside the vestibule. I wondered what strange freak of fate had led us to this lordly mansion, to the presence of a man retired from active business with a royal fortune, his honored record a syaoaytn for high business integrity, his name good for the entire reserve of our bank. 1 wondered, too. how my friend, skilled and all powerful as he was. would proceed in a case where the sure criminal trail led straight from the portals of a common prison : to this abode of luxury and wealth. A servant answered a question put by Marvel, and ushered him into a I majestic reception room, took bis card, and we both arose as a man aged, austere, dignified, came into the ; apartment with an easy, old-fashioned ! sense of courtesy that charmed me He had Marvel's card in his hand, and I fancied the name it bore had aroused him into curiosity or interest as to the personality it represented, j Marvel weighed Ills man in the scales of a mature judgment, and went to the heart of his subject forthwith "1 have con e on an important and serious mission in behalf of the gov ernment, Mr. Buckingham," ha an nounced "Of the—government?" Very slowly, as though difficult of utterance, Mr. Buckingham pro nounced that last word. I thought he quivered. I was sure his natffral ruddy color lessened. "You have a relativ®, a nephew, I understand," resumed Marvel; and then followed a rapid description of the young man who fiad passed the $100 counterfeits— pîus his denuded mustache—building up a portrait that I saw at once Was recoguizable by our host. "You are describing my nephew, Alan Dean " said Mr. Buckingham, steely cold, because he was controll ing hiifcelf. "What of him, sir?" "Just this, Mr. Buckingham: He is in my hands after passing ten coun terfeit $100 treasury notes on the city banks." The old man, his hands grasping the arms of the chair, tried to hold himself together. He directed one look at Marvel—reproachful, pleading, a lost look. His were the eyes of a man who saw a stranger enter his presence and bring a stately fabric into the midst of sudden devastation and ruin. "Where—w 7 here is my nephew?" his lips framed, rather than uttered. "How came he to find the notes—?" It was an admission, and I noted Marvel's lips settle grimly—a point bcored, a start made. "If you had the notes in this house," he ventured audaciously, "what of the plates from which they were print ed?" "You know all! Then It is—ruin!" broke in a despairing cry from the old man's lips. "Quick, call someone!" directed Marvel, as Buckingham fell to one side. A spasm convulsed his frame and he lay rigid and speechless. My friend had lifted him to un easier posi tion, while I hastened to the hall and advised the servant there of his mas ter's condition. We waited until after a physician had been called. He shook his head seriously while they placed the mil lionaire on a couch. Then he went to work on him. His attitude be came more reassuring as the patient recovered consciousness and looked about him in a bewildered way. Then as his eye fell on Marvel the old fright or fear, terror or apprehension, or whatever it was, came back into his face. "Take," he urged, "a blank signed check. Fill in for any amount, only save—save my family from shame." "And the plates?" gently but firm ly persisted Marvel, waving back the proffered check. "Come—come—" the tortured tones grew more feeble, "when I—I send for you." We saw that he was going into an other sinking spell. Marvel hastily summoned the physician, and we passed down the hall and out of the house. Silently my friend led the way to the machine awaiting us at the corner of the next street, reached his office, dismissed the chauffeur and nodded a casual adieu to myself. I could not reeist an impulse of in tense curiosity and impatience to drop in upon him op ray way to the bank the next morning. I found him xx ith a newspaper folded across his knee and his eyes regarding it with a vexed expression. "Did you see it?" he inquired. I guessed what, and told him so. and ran hurriedly over an item an nouncing that a new $100 treasury ! note counterfeit—the particulars con i SVrning which, even to the approxi ' mate serial numbers, were given— ( had appeared on the market. "Some one has babbled," scolded my friend "It may make a compli cation." I did not see how, just then. I knew better—later. Marvel had noth ing to Impart to me of progress or importance in the case, but late that afternoon there came a hurry call for me from him. I closed my desk and was soon in his company. He handed me a card which he took from an envelope. It read sim ply, in pencil scrawl: "1 must see you.—A. B." "I may need you," observed my friend, and after a half hour's spin we arrived at the home of the mil lionaire. The servant who answered the sum mons at the door seemed to know we were expected. She led us down the hall to a sort of library, saying that Mr. Buckingham was engaged, hut that she would announce our pres ence shortly. Then she left us alone in the room, half darkened by the ap proaching shadows of eventide. I caught some rapid words from a room beyond the heavy draperies, ev idently a smoking apartment off the library. I noted, however, that Mar vel heard them quicker than I, for he moved from his seat to a chair closer to the masked doorway. The words, not in the tones of Mr. Buckingham, were rapid, insistent, almost menac ing: "The plates—the plates!" There was an utterance akin to a groan, and It proceeded from the Ups of the millionaire, I readily traced. Then the former voice, only clacking, wheedling and menacing at the same time, spoke again: "Mr. Buckingham, I am here In the interests of a client who has one proposition to make to you. My prom ise ends with a distinct and final neg ative or affirmative. It places me in a regrettable and unfortunate posi tion to be the representative of men who are dangerous criminals, but— I am a lawyer. Shall I briefly state the case?" There was no reply, at least none audible to us. The speaker contin ued: "Some years ago, your son Perclval Buckingham, chief engraver for the government, was taken ill and re moved to a sanitarium while you were absent in Europe. Too close ap plication to delicate expert work had blighted his mind. He escaped from the sanitarium, and three men I will not name, but once known as the most finished shovers of the queer In the world, got hold of him. They saw their opportunity and improved it. They were shrewd, capable men and made no blunders. What they did you will now 7 learn for the first time. "Those men secured the upper floor of a lonely, secluded house. They fitted it up as nearly as possible like one of the work rooms in the treasury department. They took your deluded 6on there, and made him believe that he was producing new 1906 series $100 plates for the government. For nearly a year that was his home. His mind did not refuse to act me chanically along the line eye aud skill had directed for so many years. In brief, he made two plates, so perfect that they were almost duplicates of the original government plates. Twelve impressions were made, and two of these were tested by being placed in circulation. Today they are somewhere in existence, their valid ity never doubted. Within that week it must have been, while unguarded and alone, your son had a flash of his old mentality. At all events, when his three captors returned they found him gone, and with him the two treas ury plates and the ten printed $100 bills. "Now for your end of the story, as I understand it: Your son appeared at this home, suddenly, unexpectedly. He must have brought the plates and the notes. You believed him a coun terfeiter, for before he could explain to you, his insane mood returned. You at once removed him to a private asylum. Later you sent him with a relative, Alan Dean, to Paris. He re gained his reason. Today he occupies a studio in the French capital, patron ized by devotees of high art. Happily married, all that year of mental dark ness forgotten, restored to his right mind, he is a wonderful producer of art etchings, a man of fame, and mar velously prosperous. You have been content to keep him out of the coun try. You never sought to enlighten him as to that lost year In his life." "I know all this—why go over It!" came in muffled toneB of suffering from the millionaire. "So that the matter may be clearly understood between us," was the prompt response. "Within a week after your son's escape from the coun terfeiters, one of their number came to see you. He caused you to believe that yo\ir son had deliberately left the government service to go into a scheme to secure millions by using his professional skill as a counter feiter. You told him a lie. You led him to believe that your son had de stroyed the ten treasury notes and the two plates. The man, however, threat ened to find the son you had hidden away, to denounce him to the police as a dangerous counterfeiter. To si lence this man, you paid-$50,000, and that ended the matter for the time being." ! 1 I ! ; "i know not how,' continued the lawyer, "but my client, when today he saw the announcement in the newspapers that certain counterfeit $100 treasury notes of a certain series were in circulation, at. once was forced to an Irresistible conclusion. Those notes came from this house— they could come from nowhere else. Your nephew, only recently arrived from Paris, where your son is living, is missing from your home since yes terday. A man answering his descrip tion passed the notes. Putting this aud that together, my client reasons that you have also the plates. He must have them." Again a groan from the lips of the tortured man We heard a tottering step cross the floor. Marvel was at my side as the draperies were agitated He reached me in a swift glide and drew me be side him to a curtained alcove In the library as Arnold Buckingham entered and turned on a light. The old man's lips were trembling and he was whispering hoarsely to himself. His eyes were those of a man on the verge of losing his senses. He produced a key. opened a strong box safe, and from some inner recess drew out two oblong pieces of metal. In a flash Marvel was at his 6ide. On your life, not a word!" he ab jured the shrinking, well-nigh stricken millionaire. "I will deal with the wretches who seek to blackmail you " I pressed to the side of Buckingham and supported him, or he would have fallen I saw Marvel hold the plates toward the light. He drew a magni fying glass from his pocket and looked them over. What waB the significance of the quick, momentary smile that crossed his lips, I knew not then Before I could even conjecture a cause, he had parted the draperies, and I heard the lawyer's metallic voice exclaim: "Resilius Marvel!" "You know 7 me," was the stern re ply. "And I you, Israel Craft, dis barred attorney, fence, go-between and agent of the hunted and lost. You do well to strain the limit of justice to the danger point." "1 am within the law," crackled from the mean, servile lips. "Admitted. What I wish to know is—have you the affidavits you boast ed of to Mr. Arnold Buckingham a minute since?" "I have." 4 "Will you add a statement of your knowledge of this unfortunate busi ness?" "For the plates—yes." Marvel led the man into the libra ry. He pointed to an open desk, and said simply: "Write." It was at the end of ten minutes that I saw Resilius Marvel receive into his hands four documents. He scrutinized them closely. Then he said: "There are the plates. Now your men and my men are—quits." I was amazed—more than that, petrified I saw Marvel accompany ing the lawyer tc the door. Then, returning, he drew Buckingham aside. He conversed with him in low tones. At the end of ten minutes I saw hope and courage come into the face of the old man. It was the relief and grati tude of a person drawn from the edge of a fearsome precipice. "The nephew who passed those notes, and who recently came from the son in Paris," explained Marvel as we left the mansion, "was told by Percy Buckingham that he might have what he found in his old home room. He stumbled across those counterfeit notes. The son is In hap py ignorance of that blighted year In his life. The father need bear no further anxiety. He will reimburse the banks gladly, the affair must be hushed up, aud the man who gets tha plates—" He paused In an impressive way. Then Resilius Marvel laughed— a low, strange laugh of intense satisfaction. "But they have them! I do not understand,'' I floundered. "They have them, yes," assented Marvel, "and so much worthless trumpery they are" "I do not yet comprehend you." "They bear a sure record, that In his lucid awakening the night of his escape, Percy Buckingham placed upon them," said Marvel. "They are as useless as old metal." "You mean—?" "When these knaves come to print their issue, they will find that, finely but plainly engraven across front and back plate, is one warning word" "You mean?" " 'Counterfeit.' " An Educational Garden. The educational garden of Dr. J. B. Hurry, a horticulturist of Reading, England, Is a novelty as a private en terprise. Useful plants of varions kinds are grouped In several special plots. Among plants employed in medi cine are eucalyptus, belladonna, aco nite, stramonium, gentian, liquorice, podophyllln, asafetida, valerian, hea bane, castor oil, cinchona, and opium poppy; foods include such plants as maize, millet, sugar, rice, bananas, ar rowroot, ginger, pepper, chicory, olive, and carnaraon ; plants supplying cloth ing and textile materials embrace flax, hemp, cotton. Jute, ramie, and nettle; and there are such plants yielding dyes as woad, indigo, madder, dyers weed, turmeric, annatto, and nlkanet. Con servatories display tea, coffee, soya beans, monkey-nuts, guava, chick pea, cinnamon, and camphor. In the gar den Is also a museum, and in this nu merous Industrial products are shown, with labels referring to the plants from which they are derived. On cer tain days the public, Including the old er school children, is given free admi* sion to the garden.