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THE SUNDAY: CALL.
3 no man has been with you since, why did I see you at the gate, opening It your 6clf, and admitting a man?" I wonder that I kept myself from faint ing. He had seen that, and waited all this time to spring the mine upon me? There was nothing else to do. I Instant ly determined to deny it. and at every hazard stand by my own falsehood. "You could not have seen that, Maxlme." I eaid. very slowly and quiet ly, though my lips would scarcely form the words, "because it did not happen. Tell me exactly what you think you did eee. and then we shall, perhaps, be able to fathom the seeming mystery together. Meanwhile, I ask you to give me at least the benefit of the doubt You arrived at this house. You stood near the pate, in the street Is It not so? Well, what then?" "It Is so." Maxlme confessed. "I had to come. I could not keep away. I was on th« othfr side of the street, for I did not let my cab set me down before your house. I got out and walked a short dis tance, on the darker side. Just as I came to a standstill, or a minute later, a man came along, walking very fast I could not see his face, or even recognize his fig ure, but he was tall and well built. It might have been Ipanoff, though ho seemed to me slenderer. He rang the bell —not very loudly-and with scarcely any delay the gate was opened for him— opened so wide that I distinctly saw a woman's form 6ilhouetted against the light which streamed from the entrance hall of the house, thirty feet away." "A woman's form!" I caught him up quickly. "And are there no other women in this house but its mistress? vDId it not occur to you that I have a maid, who is young and pretty, and human enough for a flirtation?" The blood rushed up to Maxlme's fore bead. "I confess that I thought only of you," he said. "That is scarcely flattering, since you thought of me only to doubt me." "Then it was not you I saw at the gate? You did not open it and let some one In a Quarter of an hour ago?" "If you were so sure It was I why did you not try to prove your theory, right or wrong, by following the man you thought you saw me admit?" (It was sheer bravado to ask this question; but bravado was my line of defense.) "I was on the opposite side of the street and the gate was quickly shut Btill I would have crossed and tried the lock If there had been no one near. There was, howe\'er. a coupe in the street, which etopped in front of your gate. There were two women In it, and they appeared to be excitedly arguing some question. While they were there I would not attempt to enter, lest they were spies, and you should be compromised. I wait ed in the shadow until the coupe drove out of the street then I tried the gate, found It unlocked, and came in." "To accuse me of sins against you which I never dreamt of committing! Yet, if you still believe me guilty, I know not how to prove to you that I am Innocent Blessed were they who believed with- to resign myself to the knowledge that, for Juliette's sake, I must be helpless. And yet it was for her sake that I was Impatient to be off. My nerves prickled, an<L though it was a cool night I grew as hot in this close, airless room as if I had been in a Turk ish bath. The sweat started out on my face, and Irritably I searched for my handkerchief, which I was accustomed to wear tucked into my sleeve. It was not there, and I felt In my coat pockets, find ing It in a moment in one where I must have thrust it in a fit of absentminded ness. As I pulled it out something crisp was crushed into the cambric folds by my fingers; a small thing which to the. touch was not unlike a creased bank note. On this strange night of a strange day, rothing in the least unexpected was to be regarded as Insignificant. With a quick thought of this, I did not let the crisp thing fall to the floor, but with my left hand separated it from the folds of my handkerchief, and having secured it, ex amined into its nature as well as I could with the unaided sense of touch. As my fingers still tested the rough edge of the paper, I became aware that the excited murmur of voices had ceased in the next room. I even fancied that I had heard the opening of a door. For a moment I waited, and as the si lence remained unbroken, I told myself that Maxlme de Ribaumont 'had gone and my chance had come at last Then fol lowed a few seconds of Indecision, while I debated the wisdom of lingering. In the hope of a further explanation with Juli ette; by the time one could have counted twelve, however, I had made up my mind to run no more risks of delay, but to get out of the house while I could. I pushed up the squeaking window sash and dropped on to the grass, which, owing to an Incline, was 6ix or eight feet be low. Then I skirted round to the front of the house, moving cautiously lest De Ribaumont should not yet be out of the grounds; and it was fortunate that I did so, for as I came in sight of the front door I saw It standing open and two fig ures walking slowly along the path to the gate, bending down as If searching for something. The two walked to the gate, opened It passed out, and presently returned again. I now had cause to be thankful that I had not waited in the boudoir for Juliette to come along and let me out for she and her lover entered the house and closed the door. As they moved up the steps which led to it, I was not ten feet distant from them In my hiding-place, and heard Ju liette say aloud: "There Is witchcraft in it " With that they passed into the house and De Ribaumont's answer was lost to me. I could not help wondering what it was that they had searched for so eager ly, and whether their quest were in any strange way connected with the stolen treaty; but as far as I was concerned this last mystery must also remain un solved, since the one course for me was to put myself on the other side of the high wall which shut in that garden as soon as might be. ¦ The gate was still unlocked lit had probably been left so for De Ribaumont). therefore I could walk out without leav- to rejoice that our trouble was over at last : . S:<:^^t-:l. Gladly I would her* rone back to the house in the Rue d'Anjou with toy news; but as De Ribaumont was probably still there, I was sure that. ev«n in the elr cumstances, Juliette would thank me to keep away. I determined to make all speed to keep the offered appointment with "H. J.," not returning to my hotel until I had the treaty safe in my posses sion. If the detective were there he must wait or go, as he pleased. I could not stop to consider him now, and perhaps when the treaty was in my hands I might risk calling Juliette up in the small hours, for certainly there would be no sleep for her to-night . . I walked on through quiet street* for so far without seeing an empty cab that I gave up the Idea of looking for one at all, absorbed in thinking over the affair of the strang© exchange which had been made, and little dreaming what an amaz ing difference In events the simple matter of not taking a cab was to make. The thli.s which bothered me most was the effect likely to be produced upon "H. J." when he discovered that I could not hand him over the diamonds for the treaty. Of course, I did not believe for an instant his story about being a Jew eler's messenger, though possiMy I might have credited it had I not been acquaint ed by Juliette with the history of the diamonds and the loss. I had very little doubt that the rat of a man who had be trayed such panic terror in a railway carriage was the expert thief who had relieved Do Ribaumont of the Duches.se" s necklace on the way to Amsterdam. Fol lowing out the theory I thought It possi ble that the fellow bad had confederates, whom he contrived to dodge by traveling to London with a view of cheating them of their promised share In the spoil. Tri umphant in the thought that he had put them off the scent, yet too prudent to take chances, he had reserved a first-class car riage for himself as far as Dover; but, after all, he had been followed by his ex pals, who had provided themselves with a railway key in case of the very emer gency which had happened;, and If I had not chanced to be late and forced my way Into the same compartment "H. J., Juiller's Messenger," might have been found murdered when the train reached Dover. All this was only deduction, of course, as "H. J." did not explain the. nature of the peril he so much meared. and so far as I had seen, our two traveling com panions had not even attempted to accost him. Still, the theory accounted for everything which had seemed mysterious and made it plausible that a man should risk the honesty of a stranger rather than fall a victim to the revengeful greed of those he knew too welL I had resolved to put forth all my pow ers of diplomacy— my line of action to Be more or less decided by "H. J.'s" method of beginning— when I arrived in the Rue de la Tour, an ugly street of which one of the least attractive houses was No. 117. Not a light was to be seen, but a ring at the bell had the effect of causing -a liquid which lay. thick and greasy on the surface of uncarpeted boards. There seemed to be a good deal of It, for as I felt my way along I still found ' the floor wet and slippery, and In the : midst of the pool I stumbled against something .heavy and soft. As. I struck this object with my foot a queer thrill went creeping through my veins, as If the physical part of me had the first warn ing of what was to come. I stopped, and laid my hand on the thing which had checked my progress across the dark room. It was the body of a man. and my searching fingers bad descended upon his -. upturned face, which, though not yet Icy cold to tfie touch, was clammily chill: and wet with the sticky fluid which smeared my fin gers. . . ' . x . . I had a sudden queer sensation as if my heart had been squeezed hard and then freed again, so that it gave a great bound. I knew what the blackness hid now, as well as If I had the eyes of a cat to see In the dark. This thing that I had touched was the body of a dead man, and the blood his murderers had made to flow, was on my fingers. Lit erally I had walked to the discovery* through blood; and though I have fought as a volunteer and been acclimated to horrors, the thought of what lay. before me unseen turned me sick.; . I km ashamed to say that my first Im pulse was to get away as quickly as I could, since I was not directly* concerned in this . bad business, and spare myself unnecessary dlsagreeableness. But the prompting voice was bidding to be still as soon as heard. I . had got to concern myself In the business, and duty , called upon me to face a task almost 'as grim as could be allotted to a man. I could hear myself breathing hard as I stood there rigidly upright in the dark ness. But instead of hurrying off to give the alarm or disappear, leaving the secret of the dark room to corns out in Its own time and way, I must stay at my post until I had discovered what was lost or given up all hope of it Setting my teeth to the task I avoided the grim obstacle on the floor and got to the mantelpiece. J There was a litter - mt things on' it, pipes and bottles and other miscellaneous debris, out of which I se lected at last a small jar containing matches. I struck one, and before turn ing round, lighted an end of candle stuck in its own grease on the mantelshelf. Then I found the thing that had to be faced. It was what I thought, and it lay in the midst of the ¦ wildest confusion. I had only missed catching sight of it and the disorder of the, room in. the first flashing glimpse afforded by, my own wax vesta because of ' the large table covered with a cloth which stood in the foreground near the door | and . had formed a screen for what lay between it and the stove on the opposite Bide of the room. There had . evidently been & struggle, for chairs were' upset and the wretched victim had apparently tried to escape by running round the table, as the doth was disarranged and a lamp was turned over coat sleeve wen over It, consoling myself with the. thought that after to-night I need never see these clothes again. Everywhere I looked among the scatter ed papers on the floor, and at last I could hardly restrain a cry of excitement when I came upon my letter-case lying half under a crumpled rug. When I had snatched It up, however. It was only to see it spread open and empty; but, fling ing back the rug, my eyes lighted upon a folded piece of parchment One glance showed me its nature, and with a sigh of lntensest relief I was about to thrust It into the very pocket whence it had been filched, when a groping noise outside the door seemed to strike violently at my consciousness like a box on the ear. What was to come I knew not, but my one thought at the instant was for the treaty, so dearly reclaimed. I was kneel ing on the floor, close to the stove, the candle in one hand, the folded parchment in the other. The aperture in the stove front for regulating the draught was open. Within was a gray blur of the dead ashes. On a quick Impulse I thrust the treaty through the hole as If I were post- Ing a letter in a pillar-box, pushing it so deeply that the cold ashes swallowed it up. leaving no visible trace of its pres ence. Then I turned my back to the stove, thus facing the door as it opened. . Told by Margaret Revelstoke, the Home Secretary's Daughter. >r~ v CHAPTER X. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. I am not a bit nervous, as a rule, and I should be ashamed to confess it if I had ever been silly enough to Indulge in hys terics; but I hadn't felt like myself since that day, and, when Noel Brent went out of the room at the Elysee Palace Hotel, leaving us to sit down to our late supper, the strangest feeling I ever had came over me. It was Just as If he were going out to meet some awful danger and some thing was forcing me to call him back. My blood seemed all going up to' my head and drumming In my ears, then It flowed back on my heart; and Instead of being warm, healthy blood any more, it turned to cold, heavy lead; and I felt sick and faint and was seized with the most unaccountable desire to burst out crying. "Why, Margot, what is the matter7" exclaimed my cousin, Marlon Bltgreaves. And I did think It would have been more tactful of her not to call every one's at tention to me, if I looked odd. But I sup pose she didn't stop to think. I had to struggle to control myself, just as I've struggled sometimes with a vicious or frightened horse when riding, and I managed to speak In quite a decent, natural sounding voice, though my lips were quivering. "Why, am I paler* I asked. And I laughed a little. "You're awfully white," Captain Men zies answered for her, looking at me as if he were immensely concerned. It made me so nervous I should have liked to say something cross to him, but I didn't "Poor child," said my dear, kind aunt. Lady Gawain; "I'm afraid the rough "Golng out?" I echoed In surprise "Why, Marlon, you can't. ; Do you realize it's after midnight?" "I can't help that," said she. "I'd go If it were the 'dark hour before dawn.' I tell you I should die if I stayed Indoors. Ob. don't be afraid that I mean to walk the streets of Paris. I'm going to have a closed carriage— a coupe— and drive and drive till I feel better, if it's till dooms day. The coupe's ordered already; they won't say anything about It to our peo ple. Of course, Lady Gawain would make a fuss, she's so conventional." "She isn't." I retorted, defending my favorite aunt. "But any one would make a fuss about such a plan. It's perfectly mad. Don't go. Marlon. What you need Is a draught to quiet your nerves." "The air will quiet them better than anything," she said, "and the bigness and darkness of the night. I know myself and what I need. I always was a sort of changeling. Calm people like you don't understand my moods." Calm! If Marlon really thought* me calm, either I must have better self-con trol than I'd fancied, or she be less ob servant. By this time she was putting en her hat. stabbing in the sparkling hatpins viciously. I had not taken mine off when we went to supper, but I took up my Jacket, which was hanging over a chair. "Very well, you are older than I am, and your own mistress." I said. "I can't prevent you from doing what you choose. But if you are determined to go for a drive se cretly, in Paris after midnight. I shall go with you. I'm sure that father would at least approve of that." I was afraid that Marion would object, as she is often very > contrary, but she didn't, and Judging from the expression of her face, which was less tense and drawn for a moment, one might even have thought this was the thing she had wished for. "All Tight, come along." she said. "It will do you a lot of good, Just as much as It will me, if you only knew It." "If Aunt Clem sees , us, of course she won't let us stir a step." I remarked, at the door. "She won't see us," returned Marlon, "They are all gobbling their supper as If they hadn't eaten anything for a week." This was very rude of her. but there was no good in telling her so. and I said nothing. . We went quietly down In the lift, did not meet any of our party, and we had not a minute to wait at the door before a very nice coupe drove up, almost a* private one. What the hotel people thought of us I don't know. Marion said that she had made a perfectly good excuse, but I felt so annoyed and nervous I wouldn't even ask her what it had been. She made me get in first, and gave some directions to the coachman in rather a low voice, so that I could not hear. I didn't know whether she had done this on purpose or not, but for awhile I wouldn't give her the satisfaction of being uues tioned. I sat leaning back against the cushions, pretending to be perfectly in different, and I don't think I did care very much. After awhile, though, it be pnn tn i!avn praHimllv ltnnn ttia that w. out seeing, Maxlme." "I do believe. I must believe!" he cried, flinging himself on his knees at my feet. With his lips on my hand my pulse gave a leap, for in the next room I heard, or fancied I heard, a sound. Noel Brent was there still: and If Maxlme' s cars should tell him what mine had told me I was lost. I hastened to co\'er the sound by rushing Into speech, saying the first thing that sprang into my head. I had not meant to mention the Duchess' necklace again to-night, but. to my own surprise, I heard myself speaking of it as though the voice belonged to some one else. "Then, if you believe in me, I will heap coals of fire on your bead by permitting you to look at the thing I save you in the theater— looking at it now, without waiting." Still on his knees, Maxime thrust his hand into the pocket where I bad seen him place the little silk bag. His quick obedience rose from a desire to please me. I knew, rather than curiosity, for there was no eagerness in his face, and his eves were on mine, asking forgive- ing suspicious traces or departure; and my first idea was to go straight back to my hotel, where Dubois might be wait ing. But by the time I was out of the Rue d'Anjou I had remembered the bit of paper which I'd dragged from my pocket with my handkerchief a short time ago. Curiosity prompted me to examine it without delay: and in the next street I stopped under a lamp and produced It from my pocket again. It was a leaf torn from a notebook, the paper being almost as thin as that which goes by the name of "Bible paptr." The light was strong enough to show me that the scrap was' covered on both sides with small writing;, so evenly done as to sug gest the work of a stylographic pen; but I could not make out the tiny, cramped words, liji'j Here was a new stone in the amazing puzzle-mosaic. Some one had slipped the paper into my pocket without my knowl edge! Why not the same somebody who had put into another the case of dia monds, and. presumably, removed the crossing had upset you. though you weren't 111 at the time. You're beginning to feel it now. and I half repent making you come. I know you didn't want to." "Oh! yes, I did," I conventionally pro tested, though I'm not sure whether I was telling the truth or not. Perhaps, after all. in my heart I had been a lit tle glad of the excuse to come to Paris, where Noel was to be with another woman— a woman he had vowed he "wouldn't go across the street to see"— though I shouldn't have confessed that anything but good nature had brought me If Marlon had asked. "I wanted to come with you. of course. Aunt Clem, but I certainly do feel queer; and If you won't mind, I think I'd like to go up to my room. I couldn't eat anything, and— no, please, I don't want any one to come up with me. I'd rather be alone; and I know I shall be all right In the morning." "Very well, dear, you shan't be bother ed," said Aunt Clem, who is an old love, and always understands. But Captain Menzies would go with me to the .lift, and I really believe he was stupid enough were not being driven aimlessly, but as if with an object; and I remarked It to Marion. "We seem to be going to some place in particular, not Just driving about, and we're driving fast," I said. "I suddenly thought of a place it would be Interesting to go to," Marlon replied, with a kind of sharp dryness. "Oh. you needn't look frightened; I don't mean to go In, but only to watch the people mov ing In and out." - Her mood was to very queer that I asked no more questions, and supposed that she had told the coachman to drive near some place of amusement which closed very late; though why she should be amused by watching the audience I could not see, especially as she had said her longing was for fresh air and great dark spaces. My knowledge of Paris Is mostly con fined to the hotels, shops and theaters and drives In the Bols de Boulogne: and Ma rion's is exactly the same, as she has never been to Paris without me, at all events since she was a little child. I thought she had made some mistake in ness. But suddenly a look of blank amazement dawned In them. "It's gone!" Told by Noel Brent. CHAPTER IX. WHAT I FOUND AT THE HOUSE IN THE RUE DE LA TOUR. Never had I been caught in a situation more repulsive than finding myself locked Into Juliette de Nevers' boudoir^ iu the hour after midnight, while In the next room she assured her lover that no man was there. I had never been 1» the same bouse be fore, end. In trying to discover another door or a window in a dark room ab solutely strange to me, I ran great risk of betraying my presence by stumbling against the furniture or knocking down an ornament. I dared not strike a match for fear of the noise, and even If I could have found an electric lamp and switched it on I would not have. ventured to do so, lest the light should be seen through the crack of the locked door. - Juliette, I knew well, was praying for me to be out of the house, and I was certainly far from wishing to linger. I moved slowly, and with infinite cau tion, despite the pressing need of haste, and even so only saved myself over and over again from upsetting one of those useless little silver-loaded tables that women love— a tall jar of flowers or a light chair. At last I found a window and believed for a moment that the worst of my trou bles was over, for the boudoir, being on the ground floor, though rather high above the level of the garden, I could easily let myself down. But when I had clipped In behind the heavy satin curtains (which were drawn, as I had guessed) it was only to encounter a new difficulty. The window, unlike most windows in France, was of the kind with sashes that push up- and downr A careful servant had doted and locked it for the night, evidently not expecting the room to be In use again; and when I had pressed back the * fastening which held the two sashes in place I discovered that the cord which lifted the lower one was broken. As the window was very large, each sash containing one huge pane of plate-glass. It could only be opened by the exertion of considerable strength, and, as my first cautious essay proved, also with a tell tale squeaking noise that was not to be avoided. After one such rasping squeak I stopped, my forehead growing damp at the thought of the effect It might already have produced in the adjoining room. But after standing motionless for two or three minutes I was convinced by the continuance of the conversation beyond the locked door that no harm had been done. I then began a further tedious ex amination of the walls, my only guide the knife blade of yellow light under the door through which I had been thrust itito this place of darkness. As I expected, the time occupied In the Eearch was lost: and still the voices in the next room talked on. Therefore I had letter-case with the treaty? Keyed now to a high pitch of excitement, I took out my matchbox, lighted a wax vesta and protecting the flame as well as I could, proceeded to study the hanud writing. "On Bord the Fome," were the three ill-spelled words at the top of the first page. And the Foam was the name of the boat in which I had crossed the Channel. "I'm taking big: risks," were the next words which I eagerly read, "but needs must when one is drove to it. I am drove to what I've Just done, for it's that or worse. You saved my life and a lot more to-day, though yem didn't know it, and I'd bet my last qu&* that you're a gent'l man and an honest man. I am a julller's messenger, sir. trusted with a thing worth many thousands, and from my first start I knew I was in terrible danger. Just before I seen you I thot I was done for, but you saved me, and the only way is to make you save me agen without your knowing, for there's reesons why I ean.'t epeak to you in private or make sines. On this bote I'm safe, but when I get to Paris it's worse than before, so what I done was this: I'm a bit of a ven trlloklst, and I throw my voise as if it come from somewhere else on the gang wax, so, making a disturbance, and in that way by stumbling agenst you, I managed to slip a cigar case. In which V I carried valable Julls for my master, iir your pocket. But, In t=o doing. I was obliged to take out a case which you had there, or you would at once have felt the thickness, and pulled out what was there, and then my fat would have bin in the fire. Besides, you would have bin in dainger, which was not fare. But hanged if I'll look in your case, which may have letters from your sweetheart for all I know. You can have it agen by giving me what you have of mine, which is fare exchange. I can't call on you, for the reeson I don't know ware you are going, and dare not hang round to see on ac count of the terible dainger I run. "My hope Is to get as quick as I can to a place where I expect to find a great friend who will help me to keep it off, and I must try to reach It without axi dents. The best I can do is to slip this note into your pocket like I did the julls, and that I shall manage In the raleway station, for I am clever in- those kind of things. You see how I depend on you to bring back my master's valable propetty, like the gent'lman you are; and there was no other way for me> I have no time, to explane why. Come as soon as you can when you have read this to the back room on the left-hand side of the passage, top floor. No. 117, Rue de la Ture, Boolvard St. Michel. I'll be there all right and I hope my friend; and there are no words to.expres my gratltood in ad vance.—Yours trustingly, H. J., Juillers Messenger. P. S.— for heaven's sake don't fale. and ask the conserge for the name of Polsson." * "By Jove!" I Involuntarily exclaimed aloud as I finished reading this extraor dinary communication, and so furious •was I at not having discovered it before, thus saving desperate anxiety for Juliette and myself, that I hardly remembered Blight "click" that meant the opening of the door. I passed Into a dim entrance, to be challenged by a sleepy voice. pro ceeding from the concierge's box. A head showed itself behind the grating, and monsieur the stranger was requested to state which resident of- the house , he wished to see at an hour so late. I replied that my object was to call upon Monsieur Polsson, who occupied the back room at the left, on the top floor, and if he were not at home I would con tent myself with the society of his guest, a gentleman from England who had ar rived that night. "Ah, yes, monsieur has been 'here be fore already," remarked the sleepy con cierge. "He now returns, as he said he might do?" I reflected for the fraction of a second, then decided that It would be wise not to correct this impression. It would be simpler to let the man suppose me to be this person with an evident right to ad mittance, rather than run the risk of Inquiries or a row. It is upon such trifles as these that the issues of a life hang, but It is a lesson never learned even by experience. "Quite right," I assured the. somnolent guardian of the house, and pressed on up the stairs, ascending flight after flight, and meeting no one. The upper story, which was the sixth, was In darkness, though dim lights had burned In the '• passage below. I had -to resort once more to my wax vestas before I could be quite sure of the door. When I was sure I knocked, but there was no answer. I knocked again and for response had only-silence— a silence that .got on my nerves. I pounded once more, very hard, and then when no sound from within fol lowed I tried the door. Somewhat to my surprise. It was not locked. • I opened it. , and crossed the threshold, stepping from' darkness Into darkness and smelling a strong odor of paraffin. I lighted another vesta— my last —and had just time to peer about, gaining a vague idea of the arrangement of a bare, disorderly and shabby room, when a draught of air, evidently from an open window, blew out the little flame and slammed the door which shut behind me at the same instant. My glance around had not .assured me whether or no the room were occupied; but if there were an occupant he must be a sound sleeper not to have been awakened by my entrance and the strik ing of a match. I stood still and called out in English: "Hullo! is any one here?" No answer came, and I determined to find my way as best I could to the man tel, where I might hope to come across some matches. . I struck out for this landmark, but was not sure whether I- kept my sense. of di rection . clear or not a'fter. I ; had bumped against a table, and something ' else,' which proved to be a chair, turned over on the bare floor. Once I caught my foot In a rug which had got twis ted up in a heap, and hardly had I extricated myself from. this when I slipped and almost lost my balance by stepping in tome spilled in the center, the globe and chimney both broken in pieces and the spilled oil giv ing forth the strong odor ¦ of paraffin which I had detected on opening the door. But the struggle for life did not account for all the confusion. The pockets of the murdered man had been pulled wrong side out, his waistcoat had been torn open, I showing the gay blue ' and pink checked shirt- which I remembered no ticing In the morning, deeply dyed now with blood. Papers were scattered ever the floor, some spotted red, some half concealed under tangled rugs which had been roughly kicked out of the way. The drawers of an escritoire had been. jerked " out and their contents thrown here and there: a wardrobe stood wide open, and various garments flung on the floor with the pockets in the same condition as those of the corpse. A chest of drawers . had also' been ransacked in a fury of haste, and even the cot-bed had been vio lently dismantled. ...The whole, room looked as if a whirlwind had swept through it; and I, being in the dead man's secret, needed no explanation of motive for the deed that' had been done, or the search which had followed. All the cun ning of the. poor wretch, who- lay "with glazed eyes staring up to the ceiling, . a grin of terror on the lips from . which . blood had oozed, had proved in vain. He had saved the diamonds for another man himself, and lost his life while triumphing in the expedient that had preserved them. The glimmer of the candle, which I had dislodged from its saucer of grease to hold in my hand, threw grotesque fllck erings over, the ghastly .face, making the features live again in a leer so.disquiet ing that . I threw the - Illumination else where, turning it by chance upon the door, and discovering that the bolt which evidently had fastened it hung half off. This threw a light upon the past hour of mystery, enabling me to reconstruct the scene. , . • ¦ • I imagined the arrival of the fugitive, hoping, praying that he had succeeded in . dodging his pursuers; his disappointment in finding his friend away; bis precautions against being disturbed; his ignorance of the stealthy work being deftly done out side the bolted door; his start at the sud den, horrifying sound of Its opening; his choked protests that he had not the Jew els with him; his wild struggle to escape, and then— the end. ' It was a hateful picture for the imagin ation, so luridly vivid here on the spot where the drama had been enacted that I resolutely shut my eyes upon It and con centrated my. thoughts on the work before me. . '.') The state of the room did not promise much for my purpose, since the murderer or murderers had gone ; through every thing in their hunt for the diamonds; - still, ; it was not ¦ impossible \ that' In their mad ; haste for the one thing, they had passed the treaty.; over ' as : of no ; import ance. - ¦ ¦-' - ¦ . V..'* .'¦ :"..". ' • • I moved about the room with the flaring candle: end,; avoiding the pool of ; blood into which I'd blundered In the dark, and ' disgusted . at seeing the '¦* horrid ' signs of "contact on my feet and the hand .which •, had .touched; the corpse." Even -ray shirt ; cuff was smeared; i but ¦¦_ I ,. hid . the red smudge from my own eyes by putting my to murmur pretty things on the way, though I heardly heard them. I was thankful to be in my own room; but when I was there I didn't begin to undress, or even sit down to rest, though I was still rather shaky. I went to one of the windows, opened It wide, and stood looking out. c ' - Down there somewhere, under the sky turned black by the electric lights that glared up at It, was Noel Brent, who at this very hour last night had been tell ing me, at our dance, that he loved me more than the whole world— that I was, had been, and ever would be, the one woman on earth for him. Here was I re membering every. word he had said, hear ing the very sound of his voice; down there was he*, going to keep a midnight appointment with that other woman, for whose sake he had broken with me. With what a strange sorcery she must have bewitched him! I thought with a sad bitterness. It was almost Impossible not to believe that he had meant what he looked and said last night; yet a few hours later at a call from her he forgot me, enmeshed by the old fascination. The only grace left in him now had caused him to flush and stammer a little as un der my eyes he refused Lord Gawain's invitation to stop with us, making an an nouncement of a prior engagement, which he must have known to my ears virtually amounted to a confession. I was still at the window when at the door between my room and the next I heard a knocking, which was accompa nied by the voice of Marlon. "Dearest, please let me in," she said. "I want very much to see you." .-.¦•' Now, I had never liked Marion less in my life than I had to-day, though really I think she bad meant to serve me. But always when she has irritated me, and I have, nearly been cross, I feel so remorse ful that I try to be nicer to her than be fore, for I am very sorry for Marion, who Is not quite like other girls In her looks, and Is besides so delicate that almost anything she does ought to be excusable. I didn't want at all to see her, but I went to the door/ which separated her room from mine and let her in. She thanked me and flung herself down on a sofa. "I don't feel very well, either," she said, "and I couldn't eat, so I thought I. would come upstairs too." With this she Jumped off the sofa and began walking up and down. "I'm so restless I feel as if I should die," she exclaimed. "It's just as if the air were full of electricity. Don't you feel it so?" "Yes, I do." I answered. "I suppose it's the change." - : vi j "No," said Marion, looking' eerie and haggard as a witch. "It's because some thing's going to happen." This was really, curious, for it appeared that she had exactly the sensation I was trying to control. '.'I'm superstitious," she went on; "more so to-night than I ever was. . It's just as if a voice were calling me— somewhere; and I'd got to obey it I know now how the sailors felt when the sirens _ lured them. Do you guess why I came to your room? It was because when we washed our. faces before going In to supper I left my hat here. I'm going out, Margot." giving her orders to the cabman, there fore, when at last he drew up In a dull little street, with hardly a light In any of the houses, and began to walk his horse very slowly. "What are we doinsr here?" I exclaimed. "This Is where I want to see the Inter esting people go In and out." said Ma rlon, In a defiant sort of way. "Why. what street is It?" I asked. ' "It is the Rue d'Anjou." she answered, but the name suggested nothing to me. "I don't think it looks very promising," said I. • "Don't you? Walt a few minute* and you may change your mind. Ah I " she thrust her head from the window with a whispered ejaculation of such excitement that I peered curiously over her shoulder. A closed carriage was driving into the street. It stopped before a gate set In an ugly high wall, and our coupe was in such a position on the opposite elde of the way that we could see a groom Jump down, open the door and help a woman in a long white evening coat to get out. The street was rather dark, but there was enough light from a lamp near by to give us a glimpse of a beautiful profile and shining waves of heavy auburn hair. I drew back as if I had been struck* "Marlon," I exclaimed, "what does this mean? That was Juliette de Nevers!" "Yes. that Is her house. I read an In terview with her in a paper not long ago which spoke about It and described it. I remembered the name of the street." an swered Marlon, as calmly as If she had been talking of the weather. Her manner and the trick she had played upon me made me so angry that my heart beat very fast and my breatS came quickly. "I don't know why you earn* here," X said; "but I do know that I'm not going to stay another moment— spying upon a person whose movements can't possibly concern me." Suddenly, to my surprise, from being defiant Marion became pleading. "Oh, Margot darling," . she implored, "for my sake and your own rake don't go. It is entirely for you that I came, but I dared not let you guess what was In my mind, for I knew you wouldn't listen to my persuasions. All day I have been feeling horribly guilty lest It was my fault that you were giving up Noel Brent. I did what I thought right this morning, and I still believe it was right. But suppose it were all a plot of Juliette de Never* to get Noel away from you— how should I feel if I ever found out I had been play ing into her hands and spoiled your lifer* "You need not reproach yourself," I said. "I* heard all that was necessary from his own lips at Charing Cross." "But if there were a misunderstanding and he was' too honorable to defend him self at that woman's expense? One never can be quite sure till one* sees with one's own eyes. He may merely have seen her at the theater— perhaps, bound by a prom ise which he'd forgotten, till she remind ed him of it. It may be all over and done with now. Very likely that appointment he spoke of at the hotel was not with her. Can't you understand how my part in this affair has been on my conscience? I couldn't bear It I bad to bring you •¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦• ¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦• f MOST AUDACIOUS BOOK OF THE YEAR \ f -^ The Spenders j ¦ _ r BY : flARRY LEON; WILSON. ... ¦ # This clever and extremely down-to-datc storyr—a - daring: study 5 ¦ . ' in contrast—the "West against the ; East - : H 2 «»begins In the*. q j I NEXT: SUNDAY CAIXi | •¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦•¦o