Newspaper Page Text
MILLION DOLLAR MYSTERT#M
- SIO,OOO FOR 100 WORDS. "The Million Dollar Mystery" story will run for twenty-two consecutive weeks in this paper. By an arrangement with the Thanhouscr Film company it has been made possible not only to read the story in this paper but also to see it each week in the various moving picture theaters. For the solution of this mystery story SIO,OOO will be given by the Thanhouser Film corporation, CONDITIONB GOVERNING THE CONTEST. The prist) of SIO,OOO will be won by the man, woman, or child who writes the most acceptable* solution of the mystery, from which the last two reels of motion picture drama will be made and the last tiro chapters of the story written by Harold MacGrath. Solutions may be sent to the Than housar Film corporation, either at Chicago or New York, any time up to midnight, Jan. l-i. This allows several weeks after the last chapter has been published. A board of three judges will determine which of the many solutions received is the most acceptable. The judges are to be Harold MacGrath, Lloyd Lonergan, and Miss Maa Tinee. The judgment of this board will be absolute and final. Nothing of a literary nature will be considered in the decision, nor given any preference m the selection of the winner of the SIO,OOO prize. The last tu o reels, which will give the most acceptable solution to the mys tery, will be presented in the theaters having this feature as soon as it is pos sible to produce the same. The storv corre sponding to these motion pictures will ap pear in the newspapers coincidentally, or as soon after the appearance of the pic tures as practicable. With the last two reels will be shown the pictures of the win ner, his or her homo, and other interesting features. It is understood that the news papers, so far as practicable, «» printing the last two chapters of the story by Har old MacGrath, will also show a picture of the successful contestant. Solutions to the mystery must not be more than 100 words long. Here arc some questions to be kept in mind in connection with the mystery as an aid to a solution: flo. I—What1 —What becomes of the millionaire? "So. B—What becomes of the $1,000,0001 No. 3 —Whom dors Florence marry t A'o. —What becomes of the Russian countess t Nobody connected either directly or in directly with " The Million Dollar Mys tery " will be considered as a contestant. STNOPSIS OP PREVIOU CHAPTERS. Stanley Hirgrrivr, millionaire, after a mlraculoiin escape from the den of the gang of brilliant thieve* known a* the Black Hundred, Uvea the life of a rr rlutr for eighteen years, Hargreave ac cidentally meets Bralne, leader of the Black Hundred. Knowing Bralne will try t* net him, he escape* from hi* owi home by a balloon. Before eacaplng he write* a letter to the girl*' *oho»l where eighteen year* before he myaterlonaly left on the dooratep hi* baby daughter, Florence Gray. That day Hargreave alno drawa $1,000,000 from the bank, but it 1* reported that this dropped Into the aea when the balloon he eacaped In waa pnnctnred. Florence arrive* from the girla' school. Conntesa Olga, Bralne'a companion, vis it* her and clalma to be a relative. Two bogua detective* call, bnt their plot la foiled by Norton, a newnpaper man. By bribing the captain of the Orient Norton laya a trap for Bralne and hi* gang, t'ounteaa Olga alao visits tbe Ori ent'* captain, and ahe eanily falls Into the reporter's snnre. Tbe plan proven abortive through llralne'a good lock and only hirelings fall Into the handa of the police. After falling in their first attempt the Black Hundred trap Florence. They ask her for money, but ahe c*capea, again foiling them. Norton and the counteaa call on Flor ence the next day, once more aafe at home. The visitor* having gone, Jonea remove* a section of flooring and from ■ cavity takes a box. Purnued by mem ber* of the Black Hundred, he ruahe* to the water front and aucceeda in drop ping the box into the aea. Counteaa Olga aucceeda In breaking the engagement exlatlng between Flor ence Hargreave and Norton. Accompllcea of Bralne aucceed In kid naping Florence while ahe la ahopplng and hurry her off to aea. She leap* Into the aea and la picked up In a dazed con dition by a party of flahermen. The Black Hundred locate her and Bralne, disguised aa her father, aucceeda In tak ing her back to aea with him. Floreaee aeta fire to the boat and la reacued by a •hip on which Norton baa been ahang haled. Norton and Florence, aafely ashore and with no longer any mlsunderatand ing between thnm, take the train for home. The train ia wrecked and waiting members of the Black Hundred carry the injured Florence to a deserted hut. Norton, who trlea to reacue her, la tied to the railroad tracka. Florence aavea him and finally Jonea cornea to the rea cue of both. [Copyright: 1914: By Harold WaeGrath.] CHAPTER XII. ADIPSY-CHANTY, if you please; of sailormen in jerseys »nd tarry caps, of rolling gaits, strong tobacco and di verse profanity ; of cutters, and blunt nose schooners, and tramps, canvas and steam, some of them honest, some of them shady, and some of them pimtes of the first water who did not find it necessary to hoist aloft the skull and bones. The seas are dotted with them. They remiud you of the once pros perous merchant, run down at the heel, who slinks along the side streets, ashamed to meet those he knew in the past. You never hear them mentioned in the maritime news, which ia the society column of the ships; you know of their existence only by the bleached bones of them, strewn along the coast. You who crave adventures on high seas, you purchase a ticket, a steamer chair, and a couple of popular novels, go on board to the blare of a very indifferent brass hand, and believe you are adventuring; when, as a mat ter o 1 fact, yon are about to spend a dull week nr.fortnight on a water hotel, where the most exciting thing is th<> bugle's call to meals or thf di»co»ery of a card sharp in the smok ing room. Take a real ship, go as supercargo. *t> the South seas; take the Bide streets of th« ocean, and learn what it can do with hurri canes, typhoons, blistering calms, and men's souls. There will be adventure enough then. If you are a weakling, either you are made strong, or you die. An honest ship, but run down at the heel,, rode at anchor in the sound, a fourth-rater of the hooker breed: that is, her principal line of business was hauling barges up and down the coast. When she could not pick up enough barges to make it pay, why, she'd go galavant tng down to Cuba for bales of tobacco or over to the Bermudas for tne heaven smelling onion. Today she was an onion ship; which precludes any idea of adventure. She was about 4,000 tons, and her engines were stem ward and not amidship. She carried two nrnsts and a half dozen hoist booms, and the only visible sign of anything new on her was her bowsprit. This was new doubtless because she had poked her nose too far into her last slip. Her crew was orderly and tractable. There were shore drunks, to be sure, because they were sailors; but they were a peaceful lot witbal. At this moment they were at work. They moved about briskly, for they were on the point oi sailing for the Bahamas- —perhaps for more onions. Presently the windlass creaked and shrilled, and the blobby links, much in need of tar paint, red as fish gills, clattered down into the bow. Sometimes they painted the chain as it came over; but paint was costly, and this was done only when the anchor threatened to stay on the bottom. There was & sailor among this crew, and he went by the name of Steve Blossom; and he was one of his kind. A grimy dime novel protruded rakishly from bis hip pocket, and his right cheek' was swollen as with the tooth ache, due, probably, to a generous "chaw " of Seaman's Delight. He was a real tobacco cbewer, for he rarely spat. He was as peace ful as a backwater bay in summer: non argumentative and passive, he stood his watch in fair weather and foul. No one gnve the anchor any more atten tion after it came to 'rest. The great city over the way was fairy-like in its haziness and transparity. It was the poetry of angles, of shafts and spars of stone; and Steve Blossom, having a moment to himself, leaned ©gainst the rail and Btared regretfully. He had been generously drunk the night before, and it was a pleasant recollection. Chance led big glance to trail down the cutwater. His neck stretched from his collar like a turtle's from its shell. " Well, I'll be hornswoggled! " he mur mured, shifting his cud from starboard to port Caught on the fluke of the anchor was th« t-trangest looking box he had ever hid eyes on. There was leather and steel bands and dia mond-shaped ivory and mother of pearl, and it hong jauntily on the point of the rusty fluke. Anybody would be hornswoggled to glimpse such a droll jest of fate. On the fluke or" the old mudhook, by a hair, yoru might say. In a!' the wild sea yarns he had ever read or heard there was nothing to match this. Treasure! And Steve was destined never to be passive again. His first impulse was to call his com panions; his second impulse was to say noth i ig at all, and wait for an opportunity to get the box to bis bunk without being detected. Trtfisure! Diamonds and rubies and pearls aud old Spanish gold; all hanging to the fluke of the anchor. " Hornswoggled ! " in a kind of awesome whisper this time. " An' we a-headin' for th' Bahamas! " For under his feet he could hear the rhythm of the engines. " Wl.at'll I do? If I leave it. some one else'U see it." He scratched his chin perplexedly ; and the cud went back to starboard. " I got it! " HP took off his coat and carefully dropped it down over the mysterious box. It was growing darker and darker all the time, and shortly neither coat nor anchor would be vis ible without close scrutiny. Treasure: creed, cupidity, crime. Steve saw'only the treasure and not ita camp followers. What did they call them? —doubloons and pieces-of-eight? He ate his supper with his messmates, and he ate heartily as usual. It would have taken something more vital than mere treasure to disiurb Steve Blossom's appetite. He was one of those enviable individuals whose imagi nation and gastric juices work at the same time. And while he ate he planned. In the first place, he would buy that home at Bed ford ; then he would take over the Oilson house and live like a lord. If he wanted a drink, all he would have to do would b; to turn the spigot or tip a bottle; and more than that, he'd have a bartender to do it. Onicns! He swore he would not have an onion within a mile of the Gilson house. " Onions! " Quite unconsciously he spoke tli is word aloud. "Huh? Well, if ye don't like onions, find a hooker that packs violets in her hold," was the cheerful advice of the man at Steve'a elbow. "Who's talkin' t' yon?" grunted Steve. " Wha* did I say? " " Onions, ye lubber! Don't we know whut onions is? Ain't we smelt 'em so long that y.; could stick yer nose in th' starboard light an' never smell no kerosene? Onions! I'ass th' cawffy." Steve helped himself first. The man who spoke bunked over him, and they were not on the best of terms. There was no real reason for this frank antagonism; simply, they did net splice any more effectually than cotton ropp and hemp spliee. Sailors are moody and superstitious; at least they generally are on hookers of the " Captain Manners" breed. Steve was superstitious and Jim Dunkers was moody and had no thumb on his left hand. Steve hated the sight of that red nubbin. He was <juite certain that it had been a whole thumb once, on the way to gouge out some body's eye. and had inadvertently connected with somebody's teeth THE TELEGRAPH, riARRISBURG, PA.. SEPTEMBER 1914. "YOU IEMME BY!" BREATHED STEVE. •r- "—* \\ *V% i 'fJ '%raf * "* s£m | SL-.,;;. '••• ■.. '£;<<£ 1 . ; r - r . ;; ;'. * >:•: .:' flßßtr A * ■ ■ ~ AND THW e WHY THE ORIGINAL BOH «i*S ABLE TO BE HJISDEH ONCE #s#+-. Spanish doubloons and pearls and diamonds and rubies! It was'mighty hard not to say these words out loud, too: blare them into the sullen faces grouped about the table. He was iff watch till midnight; and he was won dering if he could get the box without attract ing the attention of the lookout, who had a devilish keen eye for everything that stirred on deck or on water. Well, he would have to risk it; but he would wait till full darkness had fallen over the sea and the lookout would bo compelled to keep his eyes off the deck. The boys wanted him to play cards. " Not for me. Busted. Mow long d' y' think S4O 'll last in New York, anyhow?" And he stalked out of the forecnstle and went down into the waist to enjoy his evening pipe, all the while keeping a weather eye forward, at the latty old pilot house. It was 10 o'clock, land time, when he rammed his cutty into a pocket and resolute ly walked forward. If any one watched him they would think he was only looking down the cutwater. The thought of money and the pleasures it will buy makes cunning the stu pidest of dolts; and Steve was ordinarily a dolt. But tonight his brain was keen enough for all purposes. It was a hazardous job to get the box off the fluke without letting it slip back into the sea. Steve, however, accom plished the feat, climbed back on the rail and sat down, waiting. A quarter of an hour passed. No one had seen him. With his coat securely wrapped about his precious find he made for the forecastle. His mates, save those who were doing their watch, were all in their bunks. An oil lamp dimly illuminated the forward partition. Steve's bunk was almost in darkness. Very deftly he rolled back the bedding and secreted the box under his pil lows, and then stretched himself out with the pretense of snoozing till the bell called him to duty. He wis rich ; and the moment a mail has money he has troubles: there is always some one who wants to take 't away from you. His bunk was on the port, side, and there was plenty ox" hiding space between the iron plates Bnd the wooden partition. He intended to loosen three or four planks, and then when the time came, slip the box behind them. Some time during the morning the foree.istle would be empty, and then would be his time. Rut he suffered the agonies of damnation during his four hours' watch. Supposing some fool should go rummaging about his bunk and discover the box? Suppose . . . Rut he dared not suppose. There was nothing to do but wait. If he created any curiosity on the part of his mates he was lost. He would lmve to divide with them all, from the captain down to the cook's boy. It was a heart-rending thought. From being the most open and frank man aboard, he became the most cunning. From being a man without enemies, he saw an enemy even in his shndosv. At 4 o'clock he turned in and slept like a log. Ir the morning he found his opportunity. For half an hour the forecastle was empty of all save himself. Feverishly he pried back the boards, found the brace beam, and gently tail the box there. It was a mighty curious look ing box. Once he had stoked up the Chinese coast from the Philippines, and he judged it to be Chinese in origin. He tried to pry open the cover and feast his eyes upon the treasure ; hut under the leather and ivory and mother or pearl was impervious steel. It would take an ax or a crowbar to stir that lid. He sighed. He replaced the boards, and became to all appearances his stolid self again. But all the way down to the Bahamas he was moody, and when he answered tiny ques tion it was with words spoken testily and jerkily. " I know whut's th' matter," said Dunkers. " He's in love." " Shut your mouth! " " Didn't I tell yuh?" laughed the tantalizer, dancing toward the companionwny. " Steve's in love, 'r he didn't git drunk enough on shore t' satisfy his whale's belly! " A boot thudded spitefully Against the door jamb. " You fellahs let me alone, 'r I'll hash in a couple o' heads! " "O. yuh will, will yuh?" cried Dunkera from the deek. "If yuh want a little exer cise. yuh can begin on me. yuh moonsick swab: Whut'g th' matter with yuh, anyhow? Whare'd yuh fit this grouch ? Whot've w« done t'yuh? Huh?" " You keep out o' my way, that's all. IV mindin' my watches, an' don't ask no odds of you duffers. What if I have a grouch? Is it any o' your blame business? All right. When we step ashore at th' Bahams, Mister Jim Dnnkers, I'll tear the ropes out o' your pulley blocks. But till we git there, you t' th' upper bunk an' me t' mine." " Leave th' ol' grouch alone, .Tim. Th' mate won't stand for no scrappin' aboard. We'll have th' thing done right in th' custom sheds. We'll have a finish fight, Queensberry rules, an' may th' best man win." " I'm willin'," said Jim. " So'm I," agreed Steve. But his intentions were not honorable. He proposed to desert before any fight took place. Not that he was physically afraid: no; he wanted to dig his hands deep into those doubloons and pieoes-of eight. So the four days down passed otherwise un eventfully, amid paint pots and iron rust and three meals n day of pork, onion soup, pota toes, and strong, bitter coffee. The winds be came light and balmy and the sea blue and gentle. The men went about in their under shirts and dungarees, barefooted. Of course the coming fight was the main topic of conver sation. It promised to be a rattling good scrap, for both men were evenly matched, tind both had a " kick " in either hand. Even the captain took a mild interest in the affair. He was an old sailor. He knew that there was no Bijch word as arbitration in a sailor's vocab ulary j his disputes could be settled only in one manner, by his calloused fists. When the old mudhook (and some day Steve was going to buy it and hang it over the en trance of the Gilson house) slithered down into the smiling waters of the hay, Steve con cluded that discretion was the better part of vnlor. He would steal ashore on the quaran tine tug which lay alongside. He was willing to fight under ordinary circumstances, but he must get his treasure in safety first They could call him a welcher if they wanted to; devil a bit did he care. So he pried back the boards of his bunk wall, took out the box, eyed it fondly, and noted for the first time the lettering on it: STANLEY HARGREAVE. He wrinkled his brow in the effort to recall a pirate by this name, but was unsuccessful. No matter. He hugged the box under his coat and made for the gangway, and inadvertently ran into bis enemy. Dunkers caught a bit of the box peeping out from under the coat. "What 'a' yuh got there?" he demanded truculently. " None o' your damn business You lemme by ; hear ma} *! " Ain't none o' my business, huh? Wbere'd yuh git a box like that? Steal it? By cripea, I'm goin' t' have a look at that box, my hearty. It don't smell like honest onions." " You lemme by! " breathed Steve, with murder in his heart Suddenly the two men closed, surged back and forth, one determined to take and the other to hold this mysterious box. Dunkera struggled to uphold his word: not that he really wanted the box but to prove that he was strong enough to take it if he wanted to. The name on the box flashed and disappeared. It was a kind of shock to him. He and Blos som went battering against the rail. Dnnk ers' grip slipped and so did Blossom's. The result was that the box was catapulted into the sea. With an agonizing cry, Blnosom leaned far over. He saw the box oscillate for g moment, then sink gracefully in a zigzag course, down through the bine waters. Fainter and fainter it. grew, and at last vanished. " I'm sorry, Steve; but yuh wouldn't let me look at it," said Dnnkers, contritely. " Damn you; I'm goin't' kill y' for that! " It became a real fight this time, fist and foot, tooth and nail; one mad with the lust to kill and the other desperately intent on liv ing. It wns one of those contests in which honor and fair play have no part. But for the timely arrival of the captain and some of the crew Dunkers would have been badly in jured, perhaps fatally. They hauled back Blossom, roaring out his oaths at the top of his lungs. It took half an hour's arguing to calm him down. Then the captain demanded to know what it was all about. And blubber ing, Steve told him. " Six hundred feet of water, if I've got my reckoning right. The anchor lies in sixty feet, hut the starboard side drops sheer six hun dred. You swab! Why didn't you bring the box to me? A man baa a right to what he finds. I'd have taken care of it for you till we got back to port. I know; you were greedy ; you thought I might want to stick my fist into your treasure. And youll never find it in 600 feet of water and tangled, porous coral. That's what you get for being a blamed hog. As for you," and the captain turned to Dunkers, " get your dunnage and your pay and hunt for another boat back. I won't have no mnrder on board ' Captain Manners.' And the Booner you go, the better." " I*ll go, sir." said Dunkers, readily enough. Had the misfortune happened to him and had Blossom been the aggressor, he would want hi.t life. He understood. Like the valet in " Olivette," it was the time for disappearing. " An' keep rmt o' my way. Til git y* ye\" growled Blossom. " Keep .vour mouth shut," said the msta, * o« I'll hare you put la Irons, you pig!" " All right, sir. I've said all I'm goi®* Bay t'day " ; and Blossom strode off. " What was the box like I" asked the cap tain of Hunkers. "Chinese contraption, sir; leastwise It looked that way to me. Didn't look as if it'd been in th' wnter long, sir. Somethin' lost overboard by some private yacht, t' my thinkin'. I'll keep out o' Steve's way. IH lay low on shore, sir." And though Steve made a perfect range of the spot, he never came back to find the mys terious box, never saw the Gilson bouse back home, nor did he ever see Hunkers again. On the voyage home he brooded continually, and was frequently found blnhhering; and one night he skipped his watch and went to Davy, Jones' locker. Dnnkers had not told alout the name he had seen on the box ; and Blossom had not thought to. The name Hargreave had instantly hrought back to Dnnkers' mind the newspaper stories he had recently read. There was no doubt in the world that this box belonged to the missing millionaire, who had drawn a mil lion from his banks and vanished; and, more over, there was no doubt in Dnnkers' mind that this million lay in the Bahamas waters* It had been drawn np from the bottom of the sound, trader the path of the balloon. Ha proceeded, then, to take a most minute rang*. It would require money and partners; bat half a loaf wonld be far better than no loai at all; and he was determined to return to New York to find backing. Finding is keeping, on i««* or sea. Now It happened that Ms htwurit* grog Whop was a cheap saloon across the way frntn the besdqnarteiw of The Black Hundred; ami Vroon occasionally dropped hi, for ha often picked lip a valuable bit of maritime uml. Hunkers was mi old friend of the barkeeper, and be proceeded to poiir and guzzle down hta throat a very poor substitute for whisky. Ha become communicative. He bragged. He knew where there waa a million, and all he needed was a first clam diving hell. A year from now he would not be drinking cheap whisky; he'd he steering a coarse np and down Broad way and baying wine when he was thirsty. He wis no miser. Bat he had to have a div ing bell; and where the blue devil could ha get cme with sl2 and an IngersoQ watch i* his pocket? From his table Vroon made a sign which the bartender understood. Then he rose approached Dankera. " I own a pretty good diving apparatus." he said. "If you've got the goods, IH take a chance on a fifty-fifty basis." Vroon did not believe there was anything back of this talk ; but it always paid to dig deep enough to find out. " Have a drink; and. Bill, give ns a real whisky and none of your soap-lye. Now, let's hear your jnrn." " I dont know yah," Mid Dnnkers. with drunken caution. " How is it, Bill? " turning to the bartender. " He's the goods, Jim. You've heard of Wyant & Co.?" "Sore r*r« beard •* them. Beat dlrta* app'ratus they is." " Well, this gent here h Mr. Brooks, go* eral manager far Wyant ft Co. I can (X K» him." Vrwm threw an appredtettre glanta at (M bartender. He was not affiliated wftb Tin Black Hundred, but be had often aided TMOM in minor affairs. " All right, if yuh say ao, BOX. knA| th' yarn." And when he had dam, Ywa naM ly without speaking. "Don't yuh believe HT" ikniskd Danht ere, truculently. " But 600 feet of water, tn a eacal and no way of telling just when ft fell «vi board. That's a tough proposition." "O, it is, is it ? Pm a sailor. I<n kx ray hand right over th' spot. I>» yah flftak I'd be fool enough f hunt for it without a perfect range?" Dunkera tapped Ha eoat pocket suggestively. And Vroon knew that the one thing M wanted was there, a plan or a drawing of Ike range. So there was another mam shanghaied that night, and his destination was Cape Town, twenty-two days' voyage by the oks dar. % Vmon ntrrlwl hta inftmiiaflcm to tV orgaa imtvm that ram* night. "Hwy would start ft* expedition at once, and till thin was ac complished. H«nrr*»T*> daughter «a ta ha immune from attacks. Roriira, ft mail gtie Hargreave (wherever he wsi) and On othaa the idea that The Black Hundred had <xm duded to give op the chase. Above, with his ear to a small hole, nfcfl" fnllj bored through the cejßng wilbmU pw» mitting the piaster to fall, knelt a man wttk a bandaged an. He oonld never see aas faces; no one erer took off a mask la this sinister chamber. Bnt there were voices, and he was never going to forget some of theak ™ After the meeting came to an end, be waited an hour after, and then stole down into tfcla street try the aid of the fire escape. Later, ha entered a telephone booth and called op Jones. Then, one leathern and steel box, dotted with bits of ivory and mother-of-pearl, became two; and the second one was soaked in mod and salt water for two weeks till yon oooM not have told it from the original. And that is why Jones was able, some weeks later, to hide once more the original box. As for tfca snbstitnt*. jnat as Braine was aboat to use a mallet and chisel upon it, the lights went oat. There was a wild scramble, a chair or twa was overturned. " The door, the door!" shouted Braine, fu rious. It slammed the moment the words left hto lips. And as suddenly as the; had gone oat the lights sprang up. The box was ROIM. There were evidently traitor* mmoim TV Black Hundred.