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cf Finano f3 laics of Résilias Marvel, Guardian of Eank "Treasure ta pi a By WELDON J. COBB Æ THE OR \ TALI ST 252525252 • - -SrsacgjCg;- cv ~ -- — —■ n*3 0 1 It auto had gone dead aider •n kina' a great loose pa vine : >rh. The chauffeur was busy ing him-elf getting the machine into •'hip si pi in. Résilias Marvel could I......k necessary delay, but it was hi» characteristic never tu sit. placidly by with haded hands. Hr had estimated a stoppage of some continuance, had leap d from 1 the vehicle, and ashed for my company with a brief glance. It was a quaint part of the great • iiy, remembered by old settlers only, «»nee the narrow winding street, ex tending only two blocks, had been res idential. Business had reached and swung over and fallen into the des uetude of rug warehouses and storage cellars. Some of the rickety old-fash ioned structures had gone to decay and disuse. We strolled along the stone walk, cracked and irregular, while my friend descanted on the gild ed past of those old tottering man sions. Ii was sudden, startling, tragic—the • ry. the call, the appeal that abruptly rang out upon that dull afternoon air. The near hum of business activity did ■ not soften or dash it otn. Marvel came 10 a sharp halt and I followed ins ex ample. Those keen eyes of his gave otn* comprehensive sweep of what lay opposite us. Mine followed the indi cation of his own, roved across the j gray house fronts and rested on the third story, where every sash was boarded up or out of place. "for the love of heaven—oh, some one come into the house!" Those were the wards, uttered m weird, thrilling accents. Time, place and the speaker, a fair young girl, har monized with a suggestion of the in tense and dramatic. She was framed vividly against the dark background «if the vacant room, one hand support ing her against the rutting window frame. She wavered as though she would full over the low reaching case ment into the street. Her face was white as marble, her eyes -stricken with some fearful emotion of horror or ex •itement. She saw us, and her cry was meaut for us. I noted Itesilius Marvel incline that shrewd face of his as though striving to peer into a mystery, his keen pro fessional instincts at once aroused. He was as a man before whom the etui of a puzzle iiad been cast, with a chal lenge for expert elucidation. His fea tures instantly assume«! a certain griiuness, as if he discerned menace in the situation, urgency, perchance peril. "Come," he said simply, quickly, and started to cross the street, but a shriek, ringing, far-cchoirg, curdling half halted him. Together we noted a sharp turn to the episode, blotting • »ut what had materialized so sudden ly. From behind the wavering girlish form a pair of arms extended. They were sinuous, though stalwart, and full silken vestments enclosed them. They encircled the shrieking girl and drew her back, one of them muffling her face in the folds of a fleecy, bil lowy scarf that, with the garb of the new actor in the momentary drama, cave an oriental tinge to the situation. There was blankness then where »here hud been animation. Travesty, drama or tragedy, the curtain was down and the act ended. I wondered xvliat Marvel would do next. His sure definite leap over the cob We stones en lightened me. He reached the oppo site pavement, made a rush, and as his powerful body came like u battering ram against the dosed «'our guarding ihe old wreck of a rookery, it flew from its hinges like a. barrier of straw. The dull afternoon light of day pen etrated a long passageway feebly, and beyond was gloom. There was a flash as we reached a shaking, uncertain stairway. My friend had brought out bis portable electric tube. 1 followed it and himself, guided by the shifting focus point that showed splintered » reads fast rotting away. We reached a binding. A frail door guarded the second flight. It was unlocked, how ever. and yielded to a touch. At the top of the stairway we came into a large room. It held the open window space at which the girl, now so mys teriously vanished, had appeared to mir vision for the space of a few mo ments. As Marvel pas .-»si 1 saw him »loop. It was to pick up a crumpled piece of paper. Then, his eyes tixed "u the floor, he traced a track in the aeeumulated dust <>f years, showing "here trailing garments had made a broad plain mark. There was an open door at the end of the long room, it tad «mt upon a platform which spanned an alley. Leading from the platform was a riek «•ty flight of narrow stairs. As we glanced nVer the railing w< saw a fe male form just leaping from the lower j •step. As she turned to run down the alley towards the next street »he Turned slightly. "The same girl," observed Marvel .-ententiously. "Yes," I assented, noting that her hand was held closely across her chest and that she tottered as she ran, evi dently on the verge of collapse from nervous excitement. I saw Marvel make a movement to «lash after her. Then be saw It was too late. At the month of the alley «to automobile, e* idectty -u wnUr ! ! J it ■ j . for tin the ,'iven h in not to hi> I lie machine a whisk, but had applied î ho words: 'Ton arc good at ligure- —rotncmbi r | -losd 1 ». Then senterttiousiy : "our v ork is here, if it is really our work." and crossed the platform. A lowered door guarded the structure facing on I ,ll, ' tiext street. It had . n iron handle, ; and a mere pressure np m this sent j : *ie metal barrier on pulley chains to j the ceiling. As we stepped across the ! grooved threshold of the door. ljustmerit of exhibitions of utterances in imperturbable now faced, how anti I noted plain glance frooni through some delicate weight, closed after us. I was not given to surprise <>r unguarded the presence of the Marvel. What vn • ver. astounded nn iy that lie shared tny «'motions. It was like a step from »quaior into splen dor, from gaunt barrent;. -ss into the gleam * if oriental graudeur. We bad entered a large room heavily Innig with tapestries, even to the ceiling, that must have «est t fortune. A heavy velvet carpet made our foot steps noiseless. In the center of the ! rooni was a raised dais. In front of ! this burned - varirotar-d lamp «-over-j J <-d with the precious nn tais and rare and costly jewels. \ -lulu giving out a .soft girasoie glow flooded the apart ment with a mysiie radiance, while iiie incense-laden air enhanced a t-er tain dreamy effect licit lulled the -ca ses and suggested the rare inner tem ple of some slirin«. of the Indus. The dais supported a throne, backed by a wondrous statue carved front ebony or iignuuivitiie, representing n goddess perfect of frame and feature, All around the room were cushions fashioned of rose silk, and before each was a prayer rug. "A translation to the antipodes." re marked Résilias Marvel, and for all the cautious subjugation of his tone, I traced tin» faint echo of a scoff. "Let us explore to a practical end. Tills layout had no legitimate promise in the heart of an American city. It is here with a purpose—we will And out what. With th<* audacity of a man not ua used to penetrating where he chose! "hen in the line of duly, my friend led the way across the apartment and pushed aside the heavy drapery at its far end. An autocorridor contin ued th«> suite. !l was as elaborately furnished as the main apartment we had just traversed. .No denizen of the slrange place hail as yet come into evi dence, but as we entered a third apart ment we came upon a man hastily rearranging a disordered attire. Judging from his flustered manner and the full sleeved silken robe he wore, he was ihe owner of the pair of arms that we had seen thrust back the girl from tin* window. Then, too, ( at his waist the man had stuffed into I his belt the fluffy veil or scarf which lie had used as a gag to silence that heart-stricken cry: "Oh. some one come into this house I" The man was dark as the ebony statue in the first room we had en tered. Instantly, as the shadow of Marvel fell across his range of vision, lie was erect, his arms folded, his at titude brash and challenging. M.v friend had kept straight on as if to pass the draperies behind this arbi trary sentinel. Before the apparent entrance to another apartment the lat ter sprang, his arm outstretched. "Banal—banal!" he croaked shrilly "—no !" "I say. yes," observer Marvel con temptuously. and h<- placed his baud across the arm of the man and caught at the rich hanging. The entire drapery was suddenly wrenched out of his reach, the servitor fell to hands and knees muttering some cabalistic jargon and then crept out of the way. and wc saw—Nirvasa. We did not know lier then by that name; it came later; but 1 was awed and breathless as. like some splendid apparition, a being in the full bloom of lovely womanliness faced us. She stood near a gilt stand on which rest ed a crystal globe. She was peerless —in her dress purely oriental, a seem ing Indian princess. Slightly dark, her face had an indescribable glow, rather that of the richest rose than delicate ami clear. Her eyes were «taep set, but sparkling, enthralling, inviting. She smiled upon us. divesting her welcome of every tinge of awkward ness. her attributes of any effort to impress aud mystify. One flashing »hose intelligent eyes seemed to envelope and consume us. And then, to my sublime astonishment she said, with steely self pois«- and without a shade of hesitation: "Mr. Uesilitts Marvel, I am hon ored." If she had not made the recognition, less speedily would my expert frieud have pierced the travesty. If she knew him it was no necromatic p«> w - cr—she must be of the class who make it a study to know those whom they select as prey, those whom they fear v. master*. ! T hm! noticed that Marvel' liciisivo gliuiri* Jiad > w. - ; ii i Keenly. His .-yes . ,,, N ; e l ev ;i (.liar: behind the _ It was ;i complex , n ill, m. • ns ■rs and Mllt.ir**. 111. "A lit, • rjiiin." oh', g his !»• }»!;!<* -.Jill« «* I A •<*;, j ,] 1( l,.u .... lV !m);j >U ulu»' v • d M: 'lie d tic "Von are better i police, then," retorted my fri. ml it cisively. A pretty dismay wrinkled tin* for. head oi tin- woman, file made a expressive niuvemeni with her hand to express helplessness. Then thus liquid eyes look to their depths ; pretty, pleading power. "It is unfortunate tint so much on hearsay." sin "Von are the final. I good opinion. Will aceopt • said softly, h I had your let nn* try re no secrets j and gain it?—I would have i from you. I am no impost or. I com from the Himalayas, the seventh daughter of a seventh «laughter in verity. I profe-s to tell no fortunes, but some day, wiib time given. I may be able to show even ilc-Hhi* Marvel that there is a cohereiny and potency to some of my claims." My friend was silent. There was a slight curl of disbelief on his lip as j the lady placed lier dainty band on the crystal globe. "I have cxplor? d crystal reading." he said Anally. "! was more fortunate than «me of your clients—an old farin er who lost several thousands between here and his home." Nirvasa shrugged her graceful shoul ders and looked grieved and friend less. Tltett she swept aside the dra peries behind her. We entered a large square room. Again — :imux«*m«*rit. i ; ; | \ j j ! i ; j ; ' square — :imux«*m«*rit. betel made. "The voting Itulv V V if w /3 m i atari -I vV ( __- -- — - - —--------, - I ^ HAVE EXPLORED CRYSTAL READING'.'HE SAID FINALLY. There was a beaten circle ail around ! the rug covering ihe floor. A man, a Hindu, lightly garbed, thin to the point of attenuation, was slow ly, regularly turning somersaults. In the corner of the room seated before a blackboard was a Sepoy youth. H<* had a piece of chalk in bis bun«!, and at every overturn of tin* v.irv acrobat be would chalk a number on the board, obliterating its predecessor. There were five figures in t!n> chron icle, and he would name them in n drowsy, sing-song way each time he wrote a record. "Asoll Ben." explained our guide. "He is paying a penance to release the soul of a sinful father—one hun dred thousand somersaults. H was to have been along the Delhi road, hut he joined my party and is complet ing his eighty odd thousand evolution here on the path to clearing the score. "Aboti Hunted." she continued, lift ing a curtain and showing a conch covered with tig«'r skins upon which lay curled a small dwarfed man. "lie is of the highest theosophio circle— twice returned to earth. "The oldest man in the world— Djnhna." She had proceeded like some lectur er «'xhihiting his menagerie. As she swept aside a final drap« i ry the last and most remarkable disclosure greet «'<] us. In the «'enter of a room res-embling a laboratory was a balloon-shaped globe ■ if glass. If was about tan fe«*f high and broad enough to contain inside a chair, a table ami a man. From sev eral iron tanks there ran rubber pip«>s to this giant retort. "The oldest man in the world," Nir vana had said—ami if seemed possible. Inside the glass globe, rei-iining and engrossed in a time-worn tone hound in ivory, was the strangest human being I had ever seen. Ilis skin was | like yellow parchment. His frame j seemed ossified. He had hair and a beard of fade«! white sweeping to his waist. Ills hands were like claws, his face beak-like. Only his eyes were alive—they gleamed like two sparks of electric Are. "He is DJ&lma Khi, the alchemist, and nearly oat hundred and fifty year* eld." mrred 'I inirred. -le in \: the tiny phial. • his sole «lis. Brahmaput r. it in. HuIIIr She moved al plate, turned on ami .surrounded il drum. There was She turned « of a pair of rin* xt a !',",.m ■r of I'oitr aero-' a met aeet\ baie jet. with a metal lis-lng sound, iff tile gas, with tile aid tongxs immersed the cru cible in a jar of water, and poured out upon a marble slab a jagged nugget. "Accept as a souvenir. Mr. Marvel," »lie said in a low, winning tone. "You will find it of superfine quality." "Houbtless," acceded my friend dry ly. "1 see your plan—the genuine ar tunes in equipment tu mystery—loving clients a new religious lad to accessories? I am no ! «lid not com«' as a se tie revelations. 1 came by an «•ustomed way—the rear, and Iutc to team tin* occasion of an ; tragic outburst from th- ; .c::,g tv Im was remove«! so suddenly fiv servitor." roll, yes." smiled Xirva-n. as quillv as if the simplest, tine «iinary statement in the world betel made. "The voting Itulv ■r to your I suppose, dll all the •rested, as after mys quieted nml sent home. She is one of those impressionable beings who go easily into hysterics—you had an ex hibiiion of it." "And something more." implied Mar-1 via sternly—"the number of the auto mobile that conveyed her away from here." I saw Nirvasa wince. For a mo-1 ! ment her audacity was daunted. But ! only for a moment. "I do not know her name," she said. "but I can help you further, Mr. Mar \ I. Sin* lives at the Gh-miale apart ments." "Thunk you," said Itesilius Marvel, if surprised not showing it. and my lady led us through an Intricate va riety of corridors and apartments uti-1 I il we readied the front of the building and turned us over to a tawny-skinned servitor in costume. Still smiling, still radiantly beautiful, still unruffled. Nirvasa bowed—as from that remark abb* haunt of mystery. From the manner of the high priest ess of what I considered to be a tem pl<> of chicanery, and the way in which Marvel treated the proposition. I was satisfied in my own inind that the woman Nirvasa was one of the many clairvoyants and mystics who made it a business to catch tin* unwary and credulous. We regained our machine without Marvel saying a word. He was silent and thoughtful until we reached the office of the t'oit ers' Protective association. He waved me to a »«"at. went to a bookcase, se lected a scrapbook, opened it at u certain page, placed til«* volume before me and went to the telephone. Wirten live minutes ! had perused several old newspaper articles telling of Nirvasa. Sin* was a shrewd dven ture's, successful amid oriental occult surroundings. She had been mixed up in several cases where her clair d Bank voyaney had gained the confidence of citent««, and she had induced them to invest in worthless stocks atul bonds owned by outside confederates. The Oldest Man in the World was really a patriarchal individual, and had once been one of the living curiosities of u big traveling circus outfit. Nirvasa was a grade above the average for tune teil er. 8ha really possessed a ! fa then w i U—Iliu- VI irvd I »ru ; V •!. | •r la , io-t in Ainsi, ■« i iy neu; y*u know them?" asked Mar ow the account well." I replie«! surprise and augury; "I know I »ruse bv sight. 'This is—fair i j | jlllOIit ives us plain i] Marvd ir I have ! Nirvasa ailing for a bit." in bis businesslike en busy at the tele told the truth: the girl we saw, or at least one answering to her description, lives at the Hlendah* apartments, and iter name Is Harnet I »ruse." "That is the sister of Ainslee 1 »rti.s«*," 1 volunteered. "If you will give me ten minutes I may be able to dig up something at the bank." "On ahead." said Marvel simply. I eanie back with some real infor mation. The I »ruses, ter. were children of I »ruse, now abroad, two family accounts, name of Ainslee I »rii-s« eon, drawn down in brother and sis the lion. Amos We had carrie«! One was in the >. originally $ !<», solid amounig throttgh sixty days, and a last «'heck presented two «lays previous, thrown out—"X. S. 1 "N«»t sufficient funds, eh?" translat ed .Marvel. "And the other account?" "Joint checks honored only on de posit of Amos I>ru»e wlicn bearing sig nature of both brother and sister." "Good for the face of that cheek?" "Yes, and four times over." ! re plie«!. "There is .something queer dont I his affair," I submitted. "The paving teller says the withdrawal of ■-'Ut'h substantial amounts caused him to notice Ainslee Druse. He knows him slightly in a social way. Says In* has been hurried, excited, dopy by turns when he cam«* to draw money of late." "We will go to flic Glendale apart ments," announced m.v friend abruptly. It was only through determined per sistency that Marvel was able to at last prevail upon Miss Garnet Druse, through her maid, to admit us. Every thing bespoke refinement as we en lered a room where sat a frail delicate girl whose face and manner bespoke wistful gentleness that appeared to both of us. Her face was paie, her bosom heaving, ln*r eyes expressed a hunted dread. .She had not yet re covered from the great strain of the episode to which we had been a wit "Miss Druse," spoke my friend, "I am liesilius Marvel of the United Bankers' Protective association. This gentleman, ' and lu* indicated myself, "is tin* private secretary of the bank upon which that check is drawn. Our mission is confidential and we ask an explanation that will lie entirely help ul to you." Lit a moment the fair young cren turc gazed at us ns if lier tongue was glued to tlie roof of lier mouth and fin* life currents turned to in*. Then her head sank upon her arms outstretched on tin* table before lier. She uttered two despairing, heart-rending words: "Save us !" | j j ! . ! j j j j ; j Î | j "Save us !" I noted :lu* humane, sympathetic j face of my friend soften. He made a j quick motion to me which I under | stood and l passed into the next room, i leaving the two alone. As 1 stood at : tin* windows looking out into the j street I could catch the echo of the j tones of Marvel—low, persuasive, al ! most fatherly. Finally, broken, sob j hing intonations mingled, the current of words became more steady. At the ''ltd of half an hour uln a my friend rejoined me, I knew that master mind j of his had prevailed over the shrink ing, fearsome mood of the beautiful girl, stricken with the weight of some dread secret, and laid conquered the clouded situation. Now it was clear as crystal. Ainslee Druse, sanguine, lightly balanced, invested with liberal wealth for the first tine* in his life, had stray ed to the seance chamber of th,. Nir vasa. Her fascination, it appeared, had less to do with bis constant visits than her specious influence in making him believe that through a Judicious investment in* could assist The «»blest Man in the World p. develop and mature his ability to manufacture gold from waste substances. Nirvasa bad eviib utly seeretl given him some sale tie elixir under the guise of a rare In «iian wine that had completed hi sub jugution. lie had revelled in a fool s | l ' : part hi radis«*. Hi- si-t« r bad infatuation. She him that day t«> the hot ««• « to -«a* him give the ch-ck i> an upon which ln*r mm«.* v. She hud brok-n in up-n tl, is* « >v «*r< «1 III bud follow«*«! 111. sei, e.l her wild the eh««k. ami Hu* cm! flight we knew. "Miss Drus- '.V «I! strive t . tin,) t„., brother through fri-'. .- t«,night ami semi us word tomorrow." . xphntu-d Marvel. "She lets begged t m t< « allow 1er to mala* tlii- «ff« «ri. vvlibli -.he hopes will sueeee«!, so tnal no scan «lai may result." A hurry cal! reached nm al lit«- '.auk just after the directors' i.i«-«-:iii*g tiu uext morning. It was from Itasitlus Marvel and requested my Imtii.'tlbit«. presence. I was at his olli, «> in *» r,*w minutes. I noticed in his inner ottlec the flutter of a white handkerchief. My I 1 m a of over S' !» Ml.« 1 Ml. ! - !y the properly were missing. I >in tal for Iiis mad Ainslee 1 »ruse had They were ilotlhtle t lie possession I •! 11 "I have had two tiers at the seance sin evening." report« 1 «! Marx along toward our « 1 • ■ - 1 i i is my man now." he ad ing the front of the lui so strangely visited the a prim, severe-faced in heme men to tile - ide ot tb, Il 1 ; ! ( •bine. "We have «let 1 tin* lady," re port ed this ally nf ! Ite-ilius Vo . i "At mi« hiigdit we Sii w the crowd i e ala rut and w cf: open <■!•«!«* *st judgment." mu lue ad- off. i-tied roo!: a-ss end le earned :is l\ e entered •ry briefly. very Stef united a 1 knowiedge a tlu or v 1 tin it-'l M. \'i m abouts of Ains "I do not k: dealings have elusiv ely." "Some valuable diamond' ur . s ing." proceeded Marvel. "They must he restored—must; do you under stand? As to your deposit in a local bank, an embargo lias been phieeil upon that until you have accounted 1 »jailli.î lave of which you latest dupe." know a g .....! deal," with h-r serpentine for tin* $40.1100 divested in your "You seem to said the woman, smile. "I know enough to detain you at leisure for a long time," staled Mar vel with sternness. "Come, I wish to see this Djaitna Kid." "It is useless." "And why?" "He is dead. In arranging to re move him one of the men tipped a piece of furniture against the glass globe. The supply of gas was <*ui off. lie died within the hour. We stepped into the next room. Xir vasa had spoken the truth. The great glass case lay in brittle ruins on rim Itiinr of tin* room. Two of tlu* -«*rvi lors were lifting the poor remains of The Oldest Man In Tin* World int«> a ior.g cedar box. "I have only one request to make. Mr. Marvel, spoke the woman gravely. "And what ta that?" demanded Mar vel. 'Mott jeer ai tny calling and it- ue <•«•.«sorb's, but at least this old man was genuine and consistent. I am Hindu enough to respect a -acred pledge, whatever charge you may bring against ni«*. I will stand ilu* penalty. A- to the Victim of an unfortunate :ic • ideiu, poor Djalnia. I a-k you to let his remains be -hipped t,, :t relative ot tiis who i- a member of a Hindu «■olonv in the east. They will send bis body back to hi- nativ« d.v responsibility they revere." lid Marvel, steadily woman's eyes—"after fam ilial "I Vrliaps," looking into ib an inquest." Nirvasa started ns if :t »crpion had l*«>mny. ................... ■ letnil wer.* evinecil in her features. Sh« 1 I.ii her lip and tr.-mbbal with -up pressial rage. "Siam! aside " .«rib-ivd Marvel to the two -«tv i lors. Me pus...... î hem away. 1 «tiw him grope within Hi,, ••«■dar ''"•-I iiiul hi- hand- m,«\ «• all about lb,* wasted body „( Djalma Khi. "• I bought se," be observe«! • b avv Im; t rmn «in, 1er Hu.«nil r,H«,. ,,f pi, 1 h«' " «»rlil i lu 11 "M ti«*ii 1 have •»«• -'«itl«l I«. Mm, 111 quietly the black, -ilk,*!! «»blest Man « fiatm.i- hag, Tltieil tli.-e Jewel«." " "ami th«* S|ii«xtt> ami Ainslee Druse hay, in m. V I'll Ullll V • »"••' ''»• •• I- m i. m io llv It v and » . 'I «• I» a««'«! \ , t « —I • It v vv her« I hi ««•tit him t,, ■ j ,| ami I«, « t, i,- t| ' w ! 11 »filling s uuitei'iuti/ed. •otnplii bit-in, ■II! teliailt. V field ■ ' quit v" ' I '"'!««* lu u m ar •am.- woman hit«! "I him tv hü,. ..h« « "t Hi ««men made ' '»«tight fier ftv«' " "ii. \ si,,, had >mfi. who dl l' i ii h ««l Inin ii Xir o: ! hi» i-m it,., 1 a, iiln « Mai : il lit • v r. i*ui d oi In I I \\ . 1 let III* Illves III III •'»ot... live ...... ........ h «'ii if felt grain qd Mte one fair element ''"N '"•'»'••'«1 "tt to new ...... I" l»te «'«pert profe.sbmal i lQ g ^ I en ted "»an. Hu* aul, ' '• t' ! ce,| his Ml- , ' 1 ' ' »»■• >1 The t ltd "Id iiiiioi, g i!„. s , w " ' nit, ,! Bankers' •I'PI.'.I the ot Harriet Druse nn • n the gnieioini emb'HVors duly.