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The Protector of Finance ♦ Talcs of Résilias Marvel, Guardian of Bank Treasure By WELDON J. COBB iITE GIRL WHO VANISHED Copyright, VV. O. Chapman j HSESH5Z5£5îi5S5cSHScirZScjES£S iSZSESZSÏb iîb liS-SZjZaZScS'ZSSEZîZîESZj F| I k »HEN Kesilius M arve 1. Î K'iirl of Vi / tiie United Baal; ;-*rs' j *r< » i « < : r i ive fl 1 association, cam e i Ij i\n our i ri stitutiou that m< •mil 4 IT. I IHM led that ln" made the rout ids - >1 t If* <: !li cors' desks more like a mat 1 of leisure than a person summon d 11:1 t ail urgt ■nt and important ease wie ■IV ! iis : !.. ■ n "St l-rof »•ssitiual skill woui «1 1 • n •quir Oil. As f --■-•rotary to the pr - -id .•nt and as his < iwti intimate friend aii ! nr<3 lent I id mirer, 1 was first to greet, him as he came past the railiuged space. I led i liim into the private office. "A single individual possesses only a limited scope," was his first re -1 mark; "he sees only as one mind. Several individuals with a multiplied scope see as several minds Hence a flitting word or two along the line, my friend, and some details from you, .which you always put intelligently " 'Thanks," I bowed, drawing to wards me an envelope marked "War ner Clay." "You see, all that." added Marvel, "may be resultant of a double check, for the mission of a bank and its aides is to seo that an asset may not lose what it possesses, and that it may find its right place." "Thirty thousand has found its wrong place just at present," I ob served. "So I understand. A forgery, I be lieve. Go on." Hesilius Marvel fixed his eye on ine and then upon the envelope which I had opened, out of which I drew a strip of paper. "This is check 953, dated May 28, drawn upon our bank and signed by "Warner Clay," I stated. "It is made out in favor of Miss Geraldine Farrar. Warner Clay is a wealthy man, 3 widower, a client of our bank for some years. Miss Farrar is, I believe, a distant relative and a sort of ward of his. She has lived at his home, has acted as his amanuensis and stenographer, and when he has been ill has attended to many details of bis business. She is known to the paying teller, A to G section, to whom she has presented checks as high in amount as $100,000. She has been the recognized accredited agent of Mr. Clay at all times. A week ago when she presented that check, it was cashed without the hesitation of a moment." Resilius Marvel turned the check over to scan the neat feminine in dorsement on the reverse side. "June 2, as is customary," I went on, "that check and all other May checks were mailed to Warner Clay, with a statement of his account to date, as to all other clients of the Institution. Yesterday Mr. Clay came to the bank in a condition of some excitement, and pronounced the check a forgery." Marvel arose rather summarily. "Show me the signature book," he directed. ■ We went to the cage where the registers were kept. He had retained possession of the check. I waited while Marvel compared the signa tures. I watched with interest as" h# employed his magnifying glass. I wondered as he felt gently with one forefinger, not only the front but also the reverse surface cf check and signature page alike. "What else?" I inquired, a 3 we strolled back to the private office. "A letter introducing me to Mr. Clay as the representative of the bank I must investigate that end. Oh, trust me to make no complica tions by giving offense to a good cus tomcr of the bank. I suppose his announcement that the check was a forgery was accepted by the bank with the usual urbane complacency?" "Of course. Our policy is to accept ilie word of a profitable client un equivocally. just as we correct a claimed shortage without a quibble. Mr. Clay was informed that 'the trilling irregularity' would be reme died according to our rule." • That is, after the formality of di rectorate sanction, the $304)00 would be re-credited to his account?" "Exactly." • Very fine—that gives us thirty days." "What for?" I asked in my blunt, stupid way—as I learned afterwards. • Oh. a number of reasons," re sponded Marvel lightly, but under the surface I detected the merest shadow of a smile, and again 1 noted how he caressed the space given to the signa ture of the check, as if that portion of it held some especial fascination for iiis keen sense of touch "In the first place, though—what does this Miss Farrar sav?" Oh, that's the trouble," I blurted out "Miss Geraldine Farrar is not to l*o found. Ah. indeed?" observed Marvel, vc y softly. "Thi 3 is getting inter esting." "Yes," I hurried on. trying to make amends, for my negligence in not ap prising him of this feature of the case at the start. "It was the dis tress of Mr. Clay when he appeared sit the hank to announce the forgery that caused us to conceal any doubt as to the justice of his claim. He was appalled at the fact that a trust ed and beloved relative could plan to rob him. He wab cdt to the heart, he said, to realize that the girl he had provided for through so J j years, t 0 wl ;om he had giv en a homo, j had so ung rat -•fully repudiated his) \ i almost fat h erl, y love. On the morn j ing of : day 28 Miss Farrar cashed the j $30,000 » hoc k. Mr. Clay lias not seen i her since, nor anyone else, so far as j we have been able to discover. AC j tho moment when the young lady j passed out of this bank she passed | into obscurity. Our floor detective J has made some casual investigation, i He has found no trace oi the inove ! ments of Miss Farrar later than 11 i a - ei > May 28 , no clew nor hint of a clew as to her present whereabouts. I She has vanished completely. "The lett*T 1 asked for," said Mar vel briefly, in his mandatory, decisive 1 way; and when I had prepared and delivered it he left the bank without j another word, his thoughts envelop- | ing him in a silent, ballling mood 1 knew his habits too well to intrude j upon. Th>,' joss of $39,000 was not much for àn institution of our financial in- * tegritv, and so far as he was person- ! ally concerned our president would J ordinarily have been content to charge it off to profit and loss ac count. However, when Resilius Mar vel entered a case he was certain to bring to light "the goods." or at least some development that express- ! ed lucidity and satisfaction. The bank was just closing that aft ernoon when my friend reappeared. As he came into the private office the president was just putting on his gloves preparatory to taking his au- - tomobile for the club. He paused with his usual genial nod to Marvel, and stepped within the room and lin- i gertd for a moment. "I presume it is a plain case, and the bank is $4,0,000 out?" he observed "Hardly," was the prompt response. "The case, however, calls- for some attention possibly several thousand miles from here." "Then there is a chance?" was sug gested hopefully. "I shall want the best man in the j bank and my good friend," replied Marvel, placing his hand on my shoul der. "That is foregone, since you say it," smiled our president. "It's the girl, I suppose—the forger?" "It is the girl, yes," assented Mar vel. "As to her being the forger— I doubt it." "What's that!" demanded the pres ident, with a start. You don't mean to say-" "I mean to quote from the commer cial agency patter: 'considerable con servation should be exercised in deal ings with—' "Warner Clay?" "Take It so." "Is that a warning?" "You might act on that basis until you hear again from me." said Mar vel. "You amaze me!" The president departed, thoughtful ly drawing on a glove, an awakened distrust in his bearing that indicat ed a shock. "Now, then, you and I will thrash this thing out," he began. "First, though, make your arrangements to j bear me company." "How far?" I inquired, sorting over my short and long distance traveling j satchels in my mind. "Galveston—first. You will have | time for preparations. The train \ leaves at 8 . I only want half an hour just now. That is Miss Farrar." He said, and drew a card photo from his pocket. "The young lady—" I ventured. "Is at Galveston, or thereabouts. , I saw- your esteemed bank client, this I Mr. Warner Clay. I found him as I had pictured him: an elfish, miserly | being with no thought outside of his ; money and getting more. The man is i a financial pervert and sly and shrewd as a fox. He positively wel comed me. Then he lied to me and I had him. I left him so well satis fied that his word was gold with the bank, and that my brief visit was a cursory and superficial bit of routine, that he will gloat over his fancied success for a week to come. When I stated that we wanted to go over his returned checks as a matter of business system, he landed them down on me with a frank willingness that was almost painful. 1 even got him to give me several samples of his handwriting. By the way. did veu ever notice his right hand forefinger and thumb?" Of course I had not. Perhaps the paying teller had, and I said so. "Sometime and somehow our Mr. Clay has slipped the upper joint of i that forefinger out of plumb," nar- j rated my informant. "It does not trouble him in eating, or cutting cou pons. or flipping over interest money, j Nor when he writes a screed with straight-going letters does ho expe -1 rience any difficulty. A lower loop, however, is his Nemesis." "Nemesis?" I repeated vaguely. "Not too strong, that, in this case. The lower loop is the pit 1 dug for him. and he fell into it. To be plain, when Warner Clay signs his name it is plain sailing. Even wlieii he makes that downward stroke to form the y in his last name, he is ail -tiglif: Where he comes to turn, however, call it 'looping the loop—that mis placed joint in his forefinger jars the nerve. If he let the pen have free play it would wander and scribble all over the paper. By study and train ing. however, he is enabled to in i stantly stop the pen by pressing down ! upon it. give his lame joint a rest i and a twist, get a new start and wind up the y quite creditably. Only " Kesilius Marvel drew from his pock et check 953, also a sheet of paper on which he had the recent handwriting samples from our client, also the re turned May checks, lie placed them ( before me. "Feel of those Signatur» s," he di- 1 retted. No, not that way-—catch the Signatur • space In *t Wir M-n ; cour thumb i and for •finger. I >G you notice any j protuber ance in th •• Id V. » r surfaci "N no. " I was fCl iree d to admit . and i called at tentiou to t he usu ul call >used j j j | J I 1 j | j * ! J ! - i condition of a bank man's finger tips. "Take tho magnifying glass then,''; ordered Marvel. "Now, then?'' I saw what ho intend'd 1 should see. Minute, scarcely porcoptible to tho naked eye, there was almost a hole through the chock surfaci wher ever the loop of the y in Clay was ; inspected, and on the reversed side, naturally, a tiny protuberance corre sponded "Nobody but Warner clay ever did that." declared Marvel. It is the test infallible. As on tho returned checks, so on the one claimed forged—the writer depressed the pen point to get a momentary staying power. Those Checks were signed by the hand of Warner Clay, all of thorn, 953 inchnl- , ed." ¥■ . - - * "In other words," 1 exclaimed, "our client is his own forger!" "You have it." assented Resilius Marvel, "precisely. We shall not j have to retraverse or fortify that con- j elusion, unless we are forced into I a court of law. The point of interest now is Geraldine Farrar." "The gir! cashed the check—why j was she given it? She left the city at once what impelled her? She went into obscurity, leaving no trace be hind her—why?" challenged Marvel. The man's rare humanity spoke out in his questioning, determined face. Viewed in a cold-blooded way, the bank's interest ceased at the diseov j j j rrnr i Hi n»t /Z WE WERE NOT MENACED, ONLY STARED AT AS WE PAN ASHORE. ery of a method of saving its money. A new strain had come into the case—mystery, maybe misery. Cun ning or foul play, Resilius Marvel, I saw, was determined to go to the bot tom of the proposition j j ; i "When I questioned Clay about his ! missing ward," resumed Marvel, "his sorrow was touching! He plainly In dicated that she had seized an oppor- j tunity to acquire a fortune at one deft j stroke of the pen. She had no friends, ; her writing desk. Nor did he see me j secure it. There it is." j It was ÿ. mere fragment of note i paper. Penciled upon it were these j figures; "$19.80," "$4.50," and this one ; word: "Separamos." I fancied this j no other relatives than himself, he j averred. She had seemed to share j his lonely life for the sake of com -1 fort and home. She had had some j very distant relatives once, he be- > lieved. in far western Canada. One , thing I noticed: he was sure in his ' mind that she could not be found. Circumstances or his ow n plans were j placing her at a sure distance. I in- j slsted on visiting her room. He did ; not demur. It was a miracle of good ' order. I found nothing to Inspire me \ in my search—he had prepared for • all that—nothing except a scrap of j crumpled-up paper lying where he j had not discovered it, half way under valueless., "That and concurrent discoveries gave me a new focal point," explain ed my companion. "It is Greek to me," I acknowledged helplessly. "The word is Spanish." said Mar vel. "It means 'separate,' or 'separa tion,' or something of that sort. Clay had tried to divert me north.' For j that reason my mind was fixed south j I analyzed '$19.80' and '$4.50' and 1 1 made up my mind it appertained to , some meditated personal investment. ;F fixed upon the girl's calculation as j to railroad fare. I found that a first- ; class railway ticket to Galveston is I exactly $19 80. and the tleeper tariff exactly $4.50. I did not arrive at this decision until I had gone over a good many time tables, and then confirmed my selection at the railway ticket office. I was not sure of my ground even then, vint il I had got a line on the letter carrier who delivered mail at th-- ('lay home. The information he gave mu was very agreeable to my course of reasoning Miss Farrar imd only one correspondent that he knew of. .'bout every six weeks regulnrl>* sie received a letter, and its post mark invariably was Galveston I leane d also from a stray remark of Clay that on<v she had gone to Texts for six weeks, settling some land bu ines s for him. The > letters were di reef ed in a nias •ulin e hand A lover? At 1 cast, and : ; on« « < bill - — toil, t »11 Un s o'clock tra in. Be ready." it was late in f ho afternoon of our ; , * j j I j third day at Galveston, and 1 was read ing a newspaper in the lobby of the hotel, when Marvel'entered'on the jump. "Wait for nothing," he advised me. and simply kept on going hack to the street, myself following, brisk and willing and hopeful I had a lively time of it keeping Up with Marvel. Every time he consult ed his watch he took a new spurt. We finally reached a wharf where a steamer advertised for a run to Ha vana was just getting ready to cast away. Marvel drew partly within the shadow of a pile of freight, and I un obtrusively took my position behind j lilttt. My companion was put watch- j ing the passengers' as they went j aboard, but 1 soon discovered that he Was watching a man who was This latter stood by the gangplank i He was a lithe, swarthy, keen-eyed fellow, suggesting the South Amer ican. He would scan every person who went aboard, and then, as he evi dently found not what he sought, would take an eager sweeping survey of the wharf, and even beyond it, at pedestrians and vehicles as though bi a torment of expectation and sus pense. Finally the last bell rang. Some belated passengers got hurriedly aboard, the gangplank was dropped, and the little dark man stood in pro* found dejection, evidently suffering under the weight of a severe disap- J pointment. "The lady is still in Galveston. She ■ was to have gone on that steamer," j Marvel advised me. "We should have j gone with her. As it Is—" Just then the wiry foreigner gave a start, a jump. He ran forward, his eyes fixed on an automobile that had come up to the wharf. And then my j own glance was riveted upon the ma- j chine as well. The chauffeur had j evidently just learned that they were j three minutes too late for the steam- i er. His passengers looked sorely j disturbed. They were two; a tall j dark man with great mustaehios and ; a scarred warrior-like face, and a j voting lady. This was Miss Geraldino Farraf, ; and 1 knew her at a glance. There I was a change in her manner since 1 had last seen her, and in her face as well, as compared with the photo-, graph Marvel carried in his pocket. Her eyes expressed animation, her whole pose was one of energy. Her face was deliciously flushed with ex citement. She spoke rapidly to her dignified escort, and then to the chutif four. The latter received some hur ried instructions. He seized the wheel and at once the machine sped away from ihe wharf. The wiry foreigner who had seem ingly been watching for just this ar rival ran forward, looked about for another auto, found none for hire, and sped on the trail of the speeding ma chine at a gait worthy of a crack pro fessional sprinter. "This way!" spoke Marvel, seizing my arm and directing a swift dash cab. "Keep that machine in he ordered the driver—"double for a view," pay." It was a wild rush, this triple race, j_The auto did not make towards tho city center, but along the wharves, Suddenly, at a spot wher° a trim yacht was getting ready to lea. e [-rest ■nt. convoy < >f Miss l 'arrai a sta k-- from t lu bottom 0 f tin dealt ll i 111 a blow and sent him back into the wai ter. that It v.as done s 1 quickly fifcore, tho automobil« ramo to an ab rupt ' stop Miss Farrar jumped gracefully i<> Mm ground Her austere escort followed her. He carried two satchels. She taking one of these, they ran to the yucht and clambered unceremoniously aboard There seemed to be some dlsrusalou " *> * 1 the one man in charge Then he went about bis duties and Hu* pretty rralt made for the offing. We were getting so near now that I could read the name of the yacht in gilt letters at her stern: "The Ar row ' The little pursuer of the auto mobile leaped toward the yacht as sie pushed off. but Colonel Aloa Gaspard, a revolutionary South American, and t In time we came to th craft had been moored she was lost in : dim sea mists, and the wiry for-| j j _____ j over the uncertain shape affairs had taken. He kept, busy in his own way. 1 knew he did a lot of cabling i and even used the wireless. The sec t h _____ eigm r stood rubbing his aching head ; Marvel gave me a quiet direction to return to the hotel and took tile Strang | er in tow. When lie put in an ap pearance at our rooms several hours later he briefly stated: "The man who got the ducking was ■ a Venezuelan spy, who it seems has been watching Gaspard and our young lady for a week, and, learning this, he was rny selected pilot, with the de nouncement as you have seen. Again he asserts that those two satchels carried by the parties who have skip ped us contained dynamite. Marvel did not seem to worry any oud morning he ushered into our room . a stranger. j "This is the gentleman who took charge of our friends on his yacht, j 'The Arrow.'" explained Marvel. We, bowed, and I saw that the man was a gentleman. "The promised story, my friend," intimated Marvel in his effective way. , "Why, when that young lady and lier military escort bounced aboard my boat two evenings ago," stated ] the man, "I had just taken a queer! commission from the police authori- ■ ties of Galveston. Know me as Adam Butler, unsuccessful business man. : n- j valid of good repute and mild habits, combining the quest of health with a moderate income easily earned through running a pleasure yacht, J and you will discern that nothing ; could be so far fetched as piracy, or police Interference, or affiliation with anything criminal or revolutionary, j And yet you will soon see that unwill- | ingly I was made an agent in a stir- J ring episode that may turn out san guinary, sensational and fairly inter national In its scope." The speaker chose good language, and was clear and direct in his nar rative. j j j j j i j j ; j ; I "The sky was dull and lowering, the bay chopping and streaked with yellow splotches, when a flat boat came creeping along the shore In a way that told me she was crippled in some part of her running gear. This was the afternoon of the day you gentlemen saw me. There were four men In police uniform aboard. One of them I observed wore a captaincy button, and as the unwieldy craft came nearer I recognized him. " 'Hello.' he hailed. T know you,' and he smiled and waved his hand in a friendly fashion. 'Remember?* "'Captain Discoll, I believe.' " 'Father of the bride whose party you took down the coast last week,' added the official. 'You not only know your business, my friend, but you take such good care of your pas sengers that they have none but the pleasantest memories. By the way—' "A sudden idea seemed suggested to my official friend as his eye rested on my trim and natty craft. He spoke some words to his companion and the police boat was soon alongside. " 'See here. Mr. Butler,' he said to me, drawing me to one side, 'you would guess a long time before you fixed on what we've got in the hold of that old tub.' "'Yes?' "T think so. Contraband expresses it, in a way. We have four big boxes loaded to the brim with fire arms, weapons and burglar tools confiscated from prisoners. Once a year we load them on a boat, run out a few miles and sink them. We started today, hut the boat has gone afoul. Again, we are ordered past the ten-mile lim it this time, as some of the plunder has been fished up in the past.' " T see,' I observed. "'It would be a speedy job for you. What do you say—would you let us transfer the rubbish to The Arrow and take our task off our hands—for a consideration, of course?' " 'Gladly,' I answered. " T know I can trust you. Just at tend to it right and come to head quarters tomorrow with your bill and I'll O. K. it.' To make a long story short, I was all ready to start on my cruise when that man and girl came aboard. Her escort offered me $500 to make a di rect run for a point in the Caribbean. It was a temptation, and I agreed. We reached destination on a fast run, foul as the weather was. When we landed the man made another offer— $5.000 for the yacht. I was so dazzled with all that money that he was in command and away with the craft and the girl before I realized what I had left aboard of the yacht. That is all except that I do not intend to send in any bill to the Galveston po lice department." "There is a trifle more to add," re marked Marvel, after the man had left. "The two satchels those people had were swept overboard. From what the yachtsman learned they were bound for Separation Island—a reminder of that word penci' ! ud the slip of paper—remember?-- Jt-p* aminos.' " Iteslllus .Marvel was a quiet: t ,k er and never slow in act on ! '■ :<1 day, a m llll t he very next laute di nt our «lisp - barge who knew a I».. ok. It ■ silius Marvel lieell what Im wat the cruise iinaiur rutin Ing into. Sei»; on-' of those innum wate r north of V--. an ; ippiirtenance 0 1 im-' H ced'd to a sold had to Individuals been a boa" of 1 ari il claimants now. 1 as wi « think I shall seen -• that greeted ing we nailed the island, ran up into a hold i was a natural form s. Ti: (1er of the island, fain- us ; deposits of a silica natun commercial value, was . Grouped on that portion in th I liant sunlight was a sm.»ll a; . if about one hundred men. neared them we stared and , Never was a coterie of ap,» warriors so equipped. There s scarcely a man who had nor. -it his belt half a dozen weapons. Th - car ried knives, daggers, still, tt-; 3 - tols. revolvers, sawed-off guns T l n I guessed what had happen.-d— ! i.ey had discovered that fearful arms--at aboard The Arrow and had utilized it to the limit. We were not menaced, only Fared at as we ran ashore. The first n :»n to greet us officially was Colonel Aloa Caspar^}. When he knew that we knew of The Arrow and of its contraband load, he was open, smiling and friend ly. He was about to do some labori ous explaining, when a gun boomed from the promontory and a white flag was waved from that natural rock battlement. "It is all settled—ah! the dread af ray of our troops, veritably armed to the teeth, did it! That, and the cash." declared one host. "Gentlemen your missions and you shall be seen to grandly by Senor Rodney Vincent, who will soon be at your service." And just then the mysterious one, "the girl who had vanished," ap peared. "1 have come to see Miss Geraldine Farrar," explained Resilius Marvel, and her wondering eyes were soon gazing inquiringly into his reassuring ones. A plain man, Resilius Marvel told a plain story, to witness incredulity, then horror, then grief steal over the expressive face of the young girl. She was white truth itself, as she explained that Warner Clay had been her guardian for an estate in the south. A month before the present time she had attained her majority. The estate was worth over $ 100 , 000 , but could not be readily turned into cash. "I needed money," she confessed— blushingly. "I was engaged to Mr. Rodney Vincent, who owns this is land, who has Just been negotiating with a false claimant who stole all our weapons and preserved posses sion of the fortress. Mr. Clay paid me $30,000 cash for my property. The deed on record In Baldwin county, Alabama, will verify that fact. He knew that I would be practically out of the world on this lonely island, and trusted to the impulse of greed to cover my name with a crime, think ing I would not be located." Me found Mr. Rodney Vincent a most estimable young man who wor shiped the ground that Miss Geral dine Farrar trod on—the fair young girl who had brought her fortune to his rescue. The dynamite was a thought of the sanguinary Colonel Gaspard, who wanted to blow the In truders clear off the island. I have pleasant memories yet of the sight of celebration we passed on Separation Island. We went north tho next day. prepared to clear tho fair name of Warner Clay's ward of all reproach. When Resilius Marvel, arrived at home, went to confront our bank client with the evidences of his per fidy, I never saw a man turn so craven—nor so yellow. Tho man left tho city as soon as he could sell his property—"flagged" to every bank within the clearing house. Never Turned a Hair. "Well?" "I have here," began the traveler, patent electric hair brush—" "Can't you see I'm bald as an egi snapped the man at the door. "A mir wife, perhaps, might—" "My wife wears a wig. She is bald as I am." "Possibly you have a child v,h<> "I have. Two months old, and « bald." "Ah—but maybe you have a dog. can recommend this brush equally man and beast." "Look here, my good man, ours i Mexican hairless dog. Good day." The traveler gently replaced t •'rush in his bag, and fumbled in ; other corner of it. "Permit me," he murmured, in le eyed accents, "to show you the lat thing in lly-l:illers." Getting His Money's Worth. "What scents to be the matter \ you?" asked the eminent specialis "Look here, doc," replied the pati "Ilci'.v much do you charge for a - saltation and examination?" "Five dollars." "Well, if I must pay you that ; of money you've got to earn it by ! ing out all by yourself what's the 1 ter with me."