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I sent her away— for It wculd not be
well that we should be seen together — and when I had dressed for the street I went out I had eaten nothing. But Ag nes, who Is a tyrant, made me drink a cup of soup while I waited for the car riage. That brave English girl, trusted me. and I would not fall' her; but before my promise was kept there wan something else. to do— something else upon which de pended far more than my life— Maxime's honor, which I (deluding myself with the thought It was for his sake) had dared to risk. * As I drove, having told my coachman to take me to* the Foreign Office, thoughts, plans, hopes and fears beat in my bruin, like the fluttering wings of imprisoned birds. , . • . . How was I to make all right— If all "there was a paper— or rather a parch ment of some Importance to you, per haps " I darted at the girl and caught at her wrist, hardly knowing what I did. "For Heaven's sake," I gasped, "what do you know of the parchment?" "If I could get it for you " "What, you would bargain still, at such a moment? If you but guessed! Any thing—ask anything you like for the parchment. If it is yours to give, and you shall have It." "I ask ybu to tell the authorities that Noel Brent was here last night from twenty minutes past 12 until— until " "Until half-past 1," I finished, thought lessly; then I saw by the lightening of her face that, young as she was, child ishly innocent as she looked, she had all along been cleverer, more self-controlled than I in this matter, and had been lead ing me on. "You will tell the police that?" "I must. If you will sell me the parch ment at no less price. Yet, if I do what you ask it will spoil my life. The man I love will know, and he can never know the real truth." "Let me take him the diamonds and say to him that Noel Brent and I found them. That we were at your house last night. That would be true, for I was at the gate. I misjudged Noel as you say your lover may misjudge you, but I see more clearly now. And though I hadn't quite given him a promise before we quarreled, to make up to him for every thing, I would marry him as soon as he was free. It Is for you to help free him. Have I made it easier for you to do that?" , "A trifle," I said with a sigh. .'/I must risk it Anything for the parchment, for that may save me yet. Though how you can possibly have got It into your pos session I cannot imagine. Surely the po lice must have searched their prisoner be fore he " "No. not before he had time to save It. He hid it In the stove In the room where the man was murdered. When I went to him to-day— for I did go— he implored me quickly in Italian to find and bring It to you. And obi Mademoiselle de Nevers, he did not bid me sell It to you for a price. That was my thought. Yet you have promised now. And— Noel would not forgive me for this— I cannot let you have what I have gone through so much to get for nothing. It was awful— that room— the horror of it— the stains of blood, all the frightful disorder of . the death struggle; everything as It had been ex cept that the dead man lay there no long er. I had to buy my way In; it cost me a hundred pounds, which I had to borrow until to-morrow; but that was nothing. The terrible part was going Into the room. I was not there five minutes, but it seem ed an hour and there was the fear of be ing caught, of having the parchment seiz ed after I had unearthed It from among the ashes. And the concierge waiting outside the door, pale as death, his eyes big and his great white face damp. Oh, I have a right to set my own price upon the parchment." "I think that you have. You are a brave girl and a loyal one," I said. "The price I will pay. But trust me. For Heaven's sake don't keep back the parch ment until I have paid." "I do trust you," she answered. "And here Is the parchment." She whipped from her pocket the treaty— for I was sure of Its Identity at a glance— and put it Into my hand. To feel it in my fingers —to know It safe, after all I had suffered; to know, too. what Its blessed safety yet might mean for me. was almost too much of joy. I trembled at the touch of the folded parchment . "Do you know what this Is, Miss Revel stoke?" I asked. "No," she said. "It was your property or Noel's. Of course Z did not open It I tried to brush and shake the ashes away without that" She said the words with such pretty dig nity, such quaint primness, that I could have broken Into a shriek of hysterical laughter. She had tried to clean It— this thing worth nothing, yet worth millions — this Franco-Russian Treaty I I could have kissed her. But Instead I was going out to keep my word. Now that I had the parchment In my hand, ashes and all, I could do anything. But the danger was not half over yet I had the healing medicine In my grasp, yet I dared not think how many a slip might be between the cup and lip. "If there were still another Inducement to offer— to buy your help. If you will not give It." continued Miss Revelstoke, THE LAST HAND IN THE GREAT GAME. CHAPTER XIII. The girl was shaking like a leaf, and at my last words the tears sprang to her eyes. She held out her hands to me. "Thank you!" she exclaimed. But I did not take the hands. "I do this for him, not you," I said. "You have de served little from me; but for the sake of my loyal ' friend— your loyal lover— I forgive you. And now I have done all I can do. It is useless to ask more, for I cannot do It. If you canfe to plead with me. I am sorry that you must go away My eyes were still reading hers— and the language of changing red and white on her cheeks. "And— did you believe that we were lovers?" I demanded. "That is neither here nor there. I " "It is much. I will not let you go away making that mistake. I am engaged to a man whom I love more than ail the world besides. I would die for him. And he would kill me If he knew that Noel Brent was with me last night, though the busi ness we had together was all for ray fiance's advantage. He would never be lieve me. because he Is. a man; yet you will believe It, because you are a woman — and, I think now, the woman Noel Brent loves." Her color answered me. "Did he tell you so V she stammered. v"He told me that he loved a woman. I begin to understand. Last night was not the first time he had sacrificed himself for his chlvalrle idea of honor. I owe you nothing. Miss Revelstoke, and I believe you to have done me an Injustice of the sort women rarely forgive. But I owe Noel Brent much, and as far as I can re pay the debt I will. We have never been more than friends; we were never less to each other than when he came to me last night He could not tell you why he came, nor can I; but I at least have made no promise, which, perhaps, he did; and I will be Imprudent enough to admit to you that his business with me was of a political nature. More, he was sent from your father's house— not by your father, but by a colleague of his. Ask Sir Gor don Revelstoke from me If that be not the truth, and say I thought his daugh ter might be trusted with. the secret since it concerned the man who loved her." x The girl raised her head proudly. "You have nothing to fear from me as a rival. Mademoiselle de Nevers," ehe said. "Mr. Brent and I are friends no more." "For your sake," she put In, "he is brave and chivalrous. If you care for him at all it Is for you to speak. It Is the part of a true women." I gazed at her steadily. "If I care." I repeated. "I see now, It Is you who care for him." "It wasn't a question of daring," she re plied* simply. "I thought of him more than of you, perhaps; but I thought of you, too. I knew that If It were I, no matter how much harm I did to myself, I would tell that he had been with me. I couldn't let him suffer and keep silence for anything in the world." "There are reasons why I cannot well let It be known that he was here last night," I said, "though the visit was entirely one of business. Mr. Brent knows my reasons and approves them; therefore he has re mained silent." Strength came to me again as If with an electric shock of new vitality, and I rose confronting her. "You would dare?" I said. My heart had been soft to her, for her youth and beauty's sake, but now It hard ened. Miss Revelstoke! This girl, then, was the British Home Secretary's daugh ter. I knew, through a friend, that she had been told a story against me— a story which was not true, and had believed It, as butterflies of society are ready to be lieve such stories of actresses. "Is It possible that Mr. Brent has sent you?" I coldly asked. She did not answer Immediately. She was looking at me with a strange expres sion on her lovely face. Her eyes seemed to question me. "I wanted very much to see you." she said. I knew not If with the purpose of evasion or whether she had been too preoccupied with her own thoughts to hear my words. "I— saw Mr. Brent come to your house last night," she went on with an effort, the blood rushing up to her forehead. "It Is more honest to admit that In the . beginning. I did not dream of Bpylng upon— either of you. It Just happened— It can't interest you to know how. But when I had seen the papers to-day, at first I wanted to 'tell the police or somebody that he could not have committed the murder at the time it must have been done, because he was in this house." Ipanoff bowed, and, shuddering, I let him kiss my hand under Henri's placid eyes. When he had gone I. plunged the polluted fingers into the water which fill ed a bowl of roses, and had scarcely dried them fiercely on my handkerchief when Henri ushered in a girl whom I did not know, yet felt that I had seen be fore—a beautiful, tall girl. In a gray Eng lish tailor-made traveling dress. There was something so lovely and lovable about her, so true a light in the great long-lashed gray eyes under the shining yellow-brown hair, that the Eight of her was welcome to me. Her presence in the room, after the agonizing scene I had gone through, was like a breath of fresh air when one has been half suffocated by some noxious gas. I was In no condition to give a conven tional greeting to a guest. I had dropped into my chair again in sheer exhaustion as Ipanoff left the room, and I could not rise, though I made a slight effort to do so. "Forgive me," I panted. "I am not well— I am not fit to see strangers. I would not be rude. But I confess you were admitted as an excuse to send away a— troublesome person. I— If we have met before ¦ " • * "We met once or twice In London," she broke In. In English, though I had ad dressed her In French. "We never spoke to each other. I am Miss Revelstoke, I am— a friend of Mr. Brent's." I will acknowledge to the police that I blundered. I know what to say to save you, and I will say It." "I would kill myself sooner than break with the Comte de Rlbaumont In such a way," I said. "If— I am to give him up, I must tell him with my own lips. This I will do to-morrow. If I find that In the meantime you have held your hand. You have given me your ultimatum. This is mine." We looked at each other for a long mo ment in silence. Then Ipanoff spoke. "You swear to break with him. then?" "If you have kept your bond." "I will wait. I can ray no more than that— I wait to test your word." "It has never been broken." "And afterward— when you are rid of that— entanglement, you will be mine— at last. To-morrow at this time I will come back. But understand this— I shall know whether you have kept the oath you have sworn now." As he finished old Henri appeared at the door. "Mademoiselle, a young lady to see you," he announced.- "She would not give her name, but eald her business was of Importance." My lips opened to answer that the lady, whoever she was, must go away without seeing me; but I checked myself In time. Here was a method of ridding myself of Ipanoff. "Her business is of importance," I echoed, as If I knew who my visitor was. '"When you have shown Count Ipan off to the door you may bring the lady In." "I am not afraid of you— for myself." I gasped. "And— there is nothing against him. He has done nothing— yet some plot of yours may make him seem guilty. And —and until I can explain to him I would not have Maxime hear my name coupled with that of Noel Brent. Give me till to morrow to decide. To-morrow, at this time. Do nothing till then. It Is not long." "No." answered Ipanoff. "I must have my answer now. I have been patient long enough. Give me a ring from your hand and a letter to take to De Ribaumont and not only will I bald my hand against him. but my. Influence shall be used to keep your name out of this murder case. I can do what I promise, for It was through me that the commissary of po lice caught you with Brent at his hotel. "That remains to be seen. And even so, he may have been tricked by a woman. Choose. Juliette. Shall he curse you as a traitress (If, as you say, he Is a true man), will you doom him to wear out his life on Devils Island or some such place, or will you let him believe you merely fickle? You can never be his wife. Will you be mine, and save yourself and him?" "Yet you Intimate that Monsieur Du l>!e«*ls has within the hour betrayed the confidence of his client." "Not at all. I called upon him as soon at I learned what had happened and ex- Pies^ed myself as extreme^ interested in the fate of that client, whose Intimate friends were ray friends. I even offered to serve him in any way consistent with ray position. Certainly. If I had not formerly acquired a good amount of ln ..uence with Monsieur Duplessls he might rot have trusted me even eo far as he did. But he told me nothlnjr that could b» u?<-d to Injure the accused man. even if my Intentions were malevolent, as my presence here would prove that they are r.rt— rather the contrary." "I do not read the proofs that way." 1 sneered. "But you have called here to tell rr.e certain things. It will save time— will <t not?— to come to the point." "In a word. then, the point is this: One of the most important questions asked by the Juge d'Instructlon. after hearing 'rom Mnr.ftleur Brent an explanation of a letter found upon him by the police — ah. you start! The thought of a docu ment being found upon the prisoner Is nnt arreenble to you?" I braced myself desperately to self-con trol under the cruel fox-eyes which watched me hungrily. "It may be that Mr. Brent had a letter from me," I an swered. "It is never agreeable to have one's name bandied about among stran gers, even If one Is— an actress." "Ah. only a letter! B»t the public Is your slave, it would forgive you any Indiscretion, especially If the romance of the situation Is to be Intensified by an other avowal ruch as was made to the commissary of police last night. There would be few%xceptlon«': yet there might be one or two. Comte de Rlbaurribnt, for Instance. He !¦ eald not to be of a for giving disposition." I Cinched under this blow, but I trust not visibly. "You Interrupted yourself In speaking of the scene with the Juge d'In structlon," I remarked. Icily. "To be sure — since that Interests you more. The Important question which the Juge d'Instructlon sprang upon the ac cused murderer was In relation to a let ter found upon him. It was In English. ill-spelt, and made an appointment at the very address where the crime was com mitted. It was. In fact, a reauest from a person styling himself a Jeweler's as sistant or messenger, for the receiver of the letter to call and return a case con taining valuable jewels committed while traveling from London In very eccentric fashion to his care— Indeed, without his knowledge, another packet being ex changed for it— if I make my meaning clear. Monsieur Brent explained this let ter to the Juge d'Instruction by the sen sational rtatement that his pocket had been picked In the train of a letter-case containing papers entirely personal, *>f no value to any one but himself. " "What was In the case which the mur dered man slipped into your pockotr asked the Juge d'Instructlon. " 'A necklace,' answered Monsieur Brent. " 'A necklace of diamonds? " They looked like diamonds.' " 'Ah' Was this the necklace which you gave to Mile, de Nevers at the Elysee Palace Hotel last night?' was the nexi question fiung suddenly at Monsler "Am I to hear from your lips what fol lowed according to your informant?" Monsieur Brtnt attempted to convince the Juge d'Instruction that, if he had brought you a present. It had no connsc ticn whatever with the case in hand. 'Are you not Mile, de Nevers 1 lover?' de manded the Juge d'Instruction. 'I ad mire her m common with thousands of others.' was the answer. And now. ma<l ensoiselle. do yon understand what there Is In these questions and answers whlcu I have repeated to bring me here to you?" "No. I do not," I returned steadily. Yet I did begin to see what might be In that scheming mind of his. "Then I must speak dearly and, above all. frankly. Comte de Ribaumont Is your lover. You hope, perhaps, to marry him. But he Is a proud man. He will have all or nothing; and he would never take fcr bis wife a woman who accepted diamond* from another, boldly avowing them the gift of love." "He would not believe It of a woman he loved!" I cried, almost repeating my words of last night— as I remembered in uttering them now. "I know a way to make him. believe. Oh. I shall not tell him! He shall see all that passed between Monsieur Brent and the Juge d'Instructlon In writing un less^—" "Unless whatT" "Unless you give him vp and put In his place a man who adores you as he never has and never will— as no other man can." I sprang from my chair as Ipanoff flung me his ultimatum, and he also leaped to his feet. Would that the lightning in my eyes could have burnt his black heart! ••Tigress!" he exclaimed, under my look. "Beautiful tigress. You cannot kill me with your eyes. Would your Count de Rlbaumont love you If he knew you for wfcat you are? Yet I— I would love you if you were a murderess Instead of a spy." J "It Is yon who are a spy!" I panted. "Then, If I am, I have not spied in vain. Not only can I rein you with Rlbaumont, but I *•*" ruin him with the world.". "No— no!" I barely articulated. "You boast of what you cannot perform." "Not at the moment, perhaps. I had^ not proof enough at first of what I sus^ pected; but this affair of Brent has played zny game. Its complications are links for my chain. In one way be was distinctly unfortonate. Dubols, the detec tive, was the very man I had sent to England to watch the Foreign Secretary for a certain reason. He followed Brent to Paris en suspicion, and It was while he was actually preparing a report for me that Brent called to engage him In his own affair. ? strange coincidence, was It not?" "Nothing will be missing," I breathed. "Maxime de Rlbaaxnont U a man of honor. For a moment Maxime spoke In a low voice with a young man at the door., Then Instinctively my fingers tightened on the scrap of paper. I drew back hastily. Maxime pushed the door of the safe, shut and locked It, and when' he called "En trez!" I was at the other end of the room In a chair meant for visitors. My bag in which I had brought the treaty) was open, and I had In my hand a tiny mirror, before which I was adjusting my hair with a confused and coquettish look. This It Is to have been an actress half one's life! "Give It to m© then." "Ah! but that is not what I want to do. Oh! Maxime, be kind to me. Give me my own way, just this once, to atone for last night. It ¦will atone. Let me put the note I have written for you In your safe, among the great and Import ant state documents which you gave me a peep at the other day. Mine Is as im portant as they, I promise you; but I shall not believe you think it so unless you let me lay it there, not to be read until I have left you." • "Is the news good or bad?" he demand ed. "Jf it is bad. I will not wait in sus pense. I will hear It now from you." "It Is good v " I said. "Then It can wait, for I have you now — that is enough of good at one time." "But it cannot wait to be put in the post-box," I cried, pushing him away when he would have taken me In his arms, and laughing nervously. "Am I to have my way?" "There need be no great difficulty in that," laughed Maxime, "since you are you. and I know that I could trust you with my soul." ~ Oh, how the words hurt— though I loved him for them I He opened the safe from which I had stolen the treaty with a quickness which would have seemed to him— If he had known— sleight of hand. But now I was trembling all over and terribly afraid of bungling at the last. His loving eyes hurt my face. I laid one' band over them. "Don't look at me like that," X whispered, "or I shall tell you and spoil my plan." With my palm softly pressing down his eyelids, as he held open the door of the safe, I kissed him full upon his lips with a long, long kiss. And kissing him I laid the treaty where I had found it. So great was the relief when It left my fingers that I could have fallen Into weeping. But I only sighed as I kissed my lover, and was In the act of dropping the twice folded note I had written in the carriage Into the safe, where Maxime would be sure to see it, when there was a knock at the door. -^V V; "It was only to say that I have no news of the necklace, though I have done all that I can. I do not deserve to see you after my hateful conduct last night and my brutal carelessness, which is costing us both so much. Yet I was going to ask If I might come to you after the theater to-night. 6hall I send your telegram for you, and then we can go to the office, since you are so good, so exquisitely for giving?" Send the telegram! Lightning shot through me at the thought, yet I forced a 6mile. "No, I thank you, dear one," I said quietly, "since it concerns a surprise for you, I do not wish to have It spoiled." (Which was true, If ever I spoke the truth.) - * I drove him back to the Foreign Office — lt;was not five minutes' drive— and for tunately because! looked pale and my eyes showed sleeplessness, Maxime for got In his loving anxiety for my well being to ask what brought me to him. I wished to leave the explanation until we had arrived, t*-at I might try my plan. As soon as we were In Maxime's office, and alone together, I said: "Have you no curiosity as to why I came?" "I hoped it was because you longed to see me a hundredth part as much, per haps, as I to see you," he answered. "It was partly that, and partly some thing else," I returned, smiling at him with eyes full of love and longing— long- Ing for the happy calm which might be ours after storms If only— only all went well within the next hour. "I have news for you," I went on. "I want you to learn it In a certain way, not from my lips, but from something I have written." "You have written me a letter?" he asked. "A very little one," "I went to you at the office," I said, my voice trembling a little. "You were not there, so I came to send a wire. Now, if you will, we can go back together. You shall tell me what you were mean- Ing to telegraph. That will be better." I dreaded to learn my fate. "Was the Comte de Rlbaumont In?" I asked. He was not— and down went my heart. But he was expected back again, as he had an appointment a little later. In ten min utes, perhaps, he would return. There was still hope for to-day, then! I would not wait, but left word that I also in ten minutes would be back for a word with the Comte de Ribaumont. There was another card now to be played, since the ace must wait. I drove to the nearest telegraph office, and had written out the message which I wished to send, when a voice well known and loved spoke close behind me. •'Juliette!" exclaimed Maxime. "I had Just come to 'telegraph to you. And now I find you!" I turned with a start, laying my hand over the telegraph form on which Count Ipanoff's name and address were written, also these words: "I have changed my mind. You need wait no longer. All stands as before. Do what you choose.— J. de N." My purse has a notebook attachment, with a tiny gold pencil held by a ribbon loop. I wrote a few lines— shakily, as the wheels traveled fast—tore out the leaf, folded into a tiny square, and slipped It Into my glove. Three minutes later my carriage drew up before the Foreign Of fice. Suddenly, however, an Inspiration came to roe— a plan by which I might Induce Mm to unlock the safe door for me. The fear of finding him gone was so absorbing that I could scarcely collect my thoughts; but I must think, and clearly. I had got the treaty in the first place by a ruse; but what excuse could I make to-day to wheedle Maxime again Into opening the safe from which I purloined It? Even a lover would scarcely be so good-naturedly reckless of his trust for a second time. could yet be right? Could I cave him— and myself for him? I had in my hand the ace of trumps for that desperate game in which I had staked Maxime's honor and my happi ness. Miss Revelstoke held another high trump for me (strange that they should both come back through her!), but all the other trumps, and many a good card besides, were still the enemy's. Every thing depended now on, the way the next hand was played, and it was I who must lay down the first card. I had ordered my coachman to drive fast, for if I missed Maxime It would be too late to replace the treaty In the safe to-day, while who could tell what to morrow might bring forth? and I might, too, easily miss him at this hour. It was but a chance that he/ might still be at the office. "Not even to get back the Jewels, whose loss was the beginning of all our misfor tune. Noel Brent would not wish me to sacrifice myself. His silence shows that— and It shall not have been in vain. He must be saved without me." "Something— yes." •Then you know, perhaps, that It Is of great value. Can you give him informa tion which would help him to find it?" "I might give you the Information. But for a reward. A finder Is always entitled to a reward. That which I ask for Is your promise to save Noel Brent." "I tell you I cannot," I cried. "You— surely you do not demand a bribe?" "A reward. I know where the thing Is which was lost and to-morrow it can be In your hands, if you will do what I Im plore. Tell the police that Noel Brent was here at the time when the doctors esy the murder was without doubt com mitted." disappointed. But I am tired and 111. It would be better for us both to part now." "I came for more than to plead," the girl persisted. "That was only the begin ning. I won't keep you long. But there are two things I must say before I go. You yourself would wish it. For one— that photograph In the frame of brilliants —Is it a friend of yours V * She was pointing to a photograph of Maxima which stood on my writing desk. "Yes," I answered— for I saw no reason to hide the truth from her. "A deer friend. One for whom— If necessary— I would sacrifice all others." "Pardon me for asking," said Miss Rev elstoke. "It was because he lost some thing last night." - "And you know something of it?" I caught her up quickly, taking a step to ward her. As he clasped me the world outside faded away. I forgot that I had been all my life a woman who dared. Z was now— I am now— only a woman who loves, and has more than she deserves. (THE END.) "I have listened to Ipanoff for the last time," said Maxime. "That dogl He had better not speak evil of you!" "I hope he will see that It is useless," I answered. "I am so tired of storms. I want love— and peace— and you." "You shall have all— and for always." said Maxime. But the necklace " I breathed. "You will be glad to have It again? A lovely girl will give It to you to-morrow. 8he Is to marry my old friend Noel Brent who Is accused of murder here in Paris. She was here last night, and her lover, too; they found the necklace which Noel Brent himself had got back from the thief, who was murdered, but not by him. She will explain: I could not have told you. as It was not a conventional proceeding for her. No one knows but myself, and now you and one other, Ipanoff- If he ever tries to make you believe lies of me and Noel Brent, you will understand now how little truth there Is In them, since he adores another woman, almost— but not Quite— as I adore you." The traitor Ipanoff had managed that trick somehow. He must have meant all along to win over my promise and de ceive me. ruining Maxime; though he would have vowed. If anything in the safe had been missing and Maxime disgraced, that he had had nothing to do with it. The fear of the terrible man, who had so nearly checkmated me, came over me again. "You mean that, thank heaYeo. you were too late, don't you?" he corrected me. He was thinking of the note; I was thinking of something elsel But when I heard his Innocent remark I gratefully assented. "Thank heaven that I was not too later* I had cried out before I knew what I was saying. "That tiresome fallow who parted ns!" he exclaimed, when I was In his arms. "He was gone In fifteen minutes. But— it Is Just as well you were prevented from putting your precious little note about the finding of the necklace Into the safe ac cording to your whim, for the man came with an order from the President to copy a cltCuse In the Franco-Russian treaty, which is kept there. It would have been rather awkward when I opened the safe to take out the treaty If your note had tumbled out. It wouldn't have looked exactly official r* this Comte de Ribaumont was announced. I was obliged to force Mr. BTent to con ceal himself In my boudoir, which he re luctantly did; and I can prove to you by one of my servants, if you do not care to take my word alone, that he was not able to escape until nearly half-past 1. He could not have called twice in the Rue de la Tour, as the papers say that the concierge believed, for he was in my bou doir. How he found the address of the man he suspected as the thief I cannot tell you " "We already know that. It was through a letter." "Ah!" (I made the exclamation Inno cently as if I did not remember all I had heard from Count Ipanoff.) "Now, you see why he went to the house. It was to get my letters which he hoped to find there. And you see also why he has kept my name out of the affair, refusing to compromise me even to save himself great trouble, perhaps danger. How could he ruin my happiness when he knew that 1 had lied to the Comte de Rlbaumont. say ing: that I was alone?" "It see. And I applaud his chivalry." said the chief of police. "You are the man to understand it. Now that I have humiliated myself, will he be released? It is clear— Is It not? that the murder must have been dom. long before the time when he could have reached the Rue de la Tour after leaving my house at 1:30." "That is clear. There are still certain formalities to be gone through before the accused man can be released; but I may as well Inform you, dear mademoiselle, that not ten minutes before you came in I received news of the arrest of two men — one an Englishman— who are believed to be concerned in this strange affair. They certainly traveled with the murdered man from England yesterday, and a friend of his named Poisson, Just returned from Marseilles (It was In Poisson's room the murder was committed), haj given Infor mation regarding these two persons and their late association as partners with the deceased, which throws grave suspicion on them. If the man Jackson who has been murdered stole the necklace you speak of from the Comte de Rlbaumont. with this pair as his accomplices, and afterward endeavored to cheat them out of their share of the booty a motive for the crime Is easily evident. You have helped Monsieur Brent bravely. Made moiselle de Nevers, and I hope that In a day or two he himself may be able to thank you. You have supplied all the missing links." "I am glad— glad!" I exclaimed. "And must I suffer for what I have done for him with the man I love?" "No. dear mademoiselle; I will see that you do not. The Comte de Rlbaumont need never know the circumstances as you have to!d them to me. or that the Englishman's alibi has been proved by you. The arrest of these others will make It easy for the police to keep the secret. Now, will that assurance render your heart lighter on the stage to-night?" "You shall see, if you will accept a box," I said. And I let him press my hand. Then I drove home. Hardly had I reached there when Maxime came. "He came under another name." "Because, It arrears, he Is engaged to be married also within the last few days, and wished to keep his meeting with me a 6ecret- I only learned that last night." "He came to you after calling at the house of the British Home Secretary In London. He was seen to enter there by a private detective, and though he cer tainly was not seen coming out, he must have done so, as he was In Paris in the evening." "But It Is to the daughter of the British Home Secretary that he Is engaged; and Bhe, too, is in Parts now. She came, I think, a little later, and with friends, so that the situation was dangerous for him. You say you know what happened at the hotel, but I will explain the Inner mean ing of It. Mr. Brent was to have brought me my letters. He gave me a letter case, saying they were In it; at that instant the lights went out. whether by design or accident I don't know." "It was not design on the part of the police," the chief interrupted. "It hap pened, it appears, all over the % hoteL" "When the case was opened by the commissary of police, and I saw the dia monds, I was much surprised; the more so as they had been stolen from the Comte Rlbaumont a few days ago. Again I confide In you as a man of honor. They were the property of a dear friend, an elderly lady well known In Paris, who Is an inveterate gambler, but a charming woman. "She dared not tell her husband of her losses, but begged Maxime to sell the jewels for her In Amsterdam and have them replaced with paste. On his way there to carry out this mission the neck lace was stolen from him. You can Im agine his state of mind and my surprise on seeing It reappear In io extraordinary a way. I believed that somehow Noel Brent had recovered It; and it wu only to keep my letters (which I had not yet received) out of the affair, and also the Comte de Rlbaumont's name In connec tion with the diamonds, that I told the commissary of i police that the necklace was a gift from my lover. The Instant I had spoken the words I regretted them, for fear of consequences, but lt.wu then too late. ' "When the police had gone I asked Mr. Brent for my letters. He said he thought he had given them to me; and he knew no more of the diamonds than I did— far less, indeed. "I was In despair at discovering . that my letters were gone, though I was thankful, for the Comte de Rlbaumont's sake, to have the necklace, which since I have given to ~*m. Mr. Brent believed that the letters must have been stolen from him In the train, though he could not account for the presence of the jewels in his pocket: but as he suspected a man who had traveled with him, he determined to try and find him, promising to bring news to my house after the theater at 12 o'clock. "He came a little later, having been de tained with friends at the hotel till mid night. One of these friends was Miss Revelstoke. He had employed a private detective named Dubols, but had learned nothing yet and, while he was telling me "In England I had what might be called a slight flirtation with Noel Brent, who la popular In society. We exchanged letters, which were a little foolish— nothing more. Yet when I became engaged to the Comte de Rlbaumont, only a short time ago (It was to have remained a secret until next year, on account of my professional en gagement), I was distressed that such let ters should be In another man's posses sion. I would not be satisfied with being told that they were burnt, at my request. I wrote and asked Mr. Brent to bring me the letters and I would meet him at the Elysee Palace Hotel to take them from him." "You say he could not possibly have committed It, dear mademoiselle T' smiled the chief. "You are a stanch partisan." "But Mr. Brent was at my house when the murder was committed." I said quick ly, it Is hard for me to come and tell you this, because If the Comte de Rlbau mont, to whom I am engaged, should come to know it, he would not easily for give me. Monsieur Blanchard. if I tell you the whole truth frankly, cannot you save me from exposure, yet at the same time free the man whose Innocence I can prove to you? It would kill me to break with the Comte de Rlbaumont," "Dear mademoiselle, trust me to do the best for you." said the chief, moved al ready, as I could see, by the tears In my eyes and the touch of my hand on bis arm. "You have been frank. I will be equally so. I should have communicated with you on the subject of the accused Eugllshman, as I was aware of what took place between you at the hotel, but I re ceived a reauest from a very high quar ter Indeed to hold my hand for the mo ment. How comes It, If you are engaged to the Comte de Ribaumont, that you made the statement you did at the Elysee Palace concerning this Monsieur Brent?" "It Is that which I have come to tell you— that, and much besides," I answer ed. "I'll throw myself upon your mercy. \ou shall have all my confidence: A gallant man is the chief of police I His first words to me were In congratu lation upon my success It the new play last night. This gave me the cue I wished for. It was well. I said, that I had not to act the part for the first time to-night, or I should fear to dis grace myself, so much anxiety had I suffered since seeing the papers and reading what had happened to a friend of mine who was accused of a murder which he could not possibly have com mitted. My brain was clearer now— now that the treaty was In the safe at the Foreign Office— and I could think. On my way to the chief of police I devised a story which should render one of the enemy's trump cards useless. It would depart but little from the truth; and, thanks to the revelations made to me In malice by Ipanoff, it would exactly fit In with the tale which Noel Brent had told to the Juge d'Instructlon. It would. In fact, supplement his. I was sure of an audience with the chief of police, who Is a gentleman and a patron of the theater— when he finds time. the young man went away, and In an In stant returned to usher Into the room an elderly, official-looking personage. If only 1 could have escaped two min utes sooner! But there was no actual In discretion In my being here, with my car riage waiting at the door. I rose, bade Maxime adieu in a formal manner and slipped Into his hand the note which I had intended to put into the safe. "At 7, then, Monsieur le Comte," I added, as If I reminded him of an. ap pointment; and I knew that he would take it so. He would come to my house, and I should see him for a few minutes before leaving for the theater. Then I .would tell him what I had hoped to tell him now — about the beautiful English girl who had called upon me— the fiancee of my friend Noel Brent. That would pave the way for Miss Revelstoke, and help me to make him believe in me If Count Ipanoff tried to take such re venge as lay still In his power. Then I had to go— there was nothing else for me to do. And at last I had time to keep my promise to Miss Revel stoke. THE SUNDAY CALL. 5 AT>u k. A't'iRTTTW '^ DR. CHARLES FLESH FOOD For the Form and Complexion* .i-^ffS^ Has beea « uceets- gf&t&iU&L. folly used *>7 lead. XSr *W/*» la * actress**, sis*. /jptgr &L * n * nd w »»a of M6Ja flan f-thion for xaor* Ugg •" than 23 year*. 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