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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 20, 1907, Image 15

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me San Francisco Sunday CalL
CopTritJrt. IMS, by B« E. Bwh.
CHAPTER XVl— Continued
"TX~ S 6be hurried away she wondered
/ % dazedly why »ht had atayed to
y 1 H»ten so long. What a monster
the was!" His meaning was plain,
i always been so from the first day
laid eyes upon her. and he was utter-*
. conscienceless. She had known all
this; end yet. In her proud, youthful
confidence, and In her need, every hour
more desperate and urgent, to know the
truth, she had dared risk herself with
him. Withal, the man was shrewd and
observant and had divined her mental
condition with remarkable. uagacity. She
had failed with h!m: but the girl now
knew that she could never rest till «b*
found an answer to her questions. She
must kill this suspicion that at* into
her so. She thought tenderly of. her
uncle's goodness to her, dung with de
epalrlsg faith to the last of her kin.
The blood ties of the Chesters were
close and she felt Is dire need of that
lost brother who was somewhere In the
mysterious land — need of some one In
whom ran the strain that bound her to
the weak old man up yonder. There
was McXemara; but how could be help
her, how much did she know of him,'
this man who. was now within the dark
est shadow of her new suspicions?
Feeling almost Intolerably friendless
and alone, weakened both by her re
cent fright and by her encounter with
Struve, Helen considered as calmly as
her emotions would allow and decided
that this was no day In which pride
should figure. There were facts which
it -was Imperative she should know.
and Immediately; therefore, a few
minutes later, she knocked at the door
of Cherry Malotte. When the girl ap
peared, Helen was astonished to see
that she had been crying. Tears burn
hottest and leave plainest trace in eyes
wher« they come most seldom. The
younger girl could not guess the tumult
of emotion the other had undergone
during her absence, the utter depths of
self abasement ehe had fathomed, for
the sight of Helen and her fresh young
beauty had roused in the adventuress
a very tempest of bitterness and
.lealoucy. Whether Helen Chester were
guilty or innocent, how could Glenister
hesitate 1 etween them? Cherry had
asked herself. Now she stared at her
visitor inhospitably and without sign.
"Will you let me come in?" Helen
asked her. "I have something to say
to you."
When they were inside. Cherry Ma
lotte stood and gazed at her visitor
with inscrutable eyes and stony face.
P"lt Isn't easy for me to come back,"
lelen began, "but I felt that I had to.
f you can help me, I hope you wilL
You said you knew a great wrong was
being done. I have suspected it, but I
didn't know and I've been afraid to
doubt my own people. You eaid I had
a part In it — that I'd betrayed my
friends. Wait a moment," she hurried
on. at the other's cynical smile. "Won't
you tell me what you know and what
you think my part has been? Tve heard
and seen things that make me think —
oh. they make me afraid to think, and
yet I can't find the truth'- You see. In
a struggle like this, people will make
all sorts of allegations, but do they
know, have they any proof, that my
uncle has done wrong?"
"Is that all?"
"No. You said Struve told yon the
whole scheme. I went to him and tried
to cajole the story out of him. but — ••
She shivered at the memory.
"What success did you have?" In
quired the listener, oddly carious for
all her cold dislike.
"Don't asic me. I hate to think of
Cherry laughed cruelly. "So, falling
there, you came back to. me, back for
another favor from the waif. Well,
Miss Helen Chester. I don't believe a
\u25a0word you've said and nj tell you noth
ing. Go back to the uncle and the raw
boned lover who sent you and. Inform
them that I'll epeak when the time
comes. They think I know too much,
do they-— *o they've etnt you to epy?
Well, I'll make a compact. You play
your game and Til play mine. Leave
Glenister alone and I'll not tell on Mc-
Namara. Is It a bargain?"
"No, no. nol Can't you see? That's
not it. All I want Is the truth of this
'Then go back to Struve and get It
He'll tell you: I won't Drive your bar
gain with him — you're, able. You've
fooled better men— now, see what you
can do with him."
Helen left, realizing the futility of
further effort, though the felt that this
woman did not realty doubt her, but
was scourged by jealousy till, she delib
erately chose this attitude.
Reaching her own house, she wrote
two brief notes and called In her Jap
boy from the kitchen.
"Fred. I want you to hunt up Mr.
Glenister and give him this note. If
yon can't find him, then look for his
partner and t;lv* th« other to him."
Fred vanished, to return In an . hour
with the letter for Dextry still In his
band. -
"I don' catch dls feller," he explained.
"Young man says be gone, come back
mebbe one, two, "leven days."
"Did you deliver the on* to Mr. Glen
"Yes. ma'am."
"Was there an answer T*
"Yes, ma'am."
"Well, give It to ae."
The note read:
"Dear Miss Chester: — A discussion of
a matter so familiar to us both as the
Anvil creek controversy would be use
less. If your Inclination Is due to the
incidents of last night, pray don't trou
ble yourself. We don't want your pity.
I am, your servant,
As £he read the note Judge Stillman
entered, and It seemed to^the girl that
he had aged a* year for every hour in
the last 12. or else the yellow afternoon
light limned the sagging hollows and
haggard lines of . his face most piti
lessly. He showed In .voice and man
ner the nervous burden under which
be labored. .
"Alec has told ro* \u25a0 about your en-.
s;agement, and -It lifts a terrible load
from me. I'm mighty glad you're go
ing to marry him. He's a wonderful
man and he's th* oily on* who can
save us."
"What Ao you.roeaa by that? What
are ,w* la . daager of 7" sh* .. Inquired,
avoiding discussion . of IfeNamara's an
~Wtxy, that mob, : of - course. They'll
coma back. They said; so. Bat -Alec
can handle th* commanding officer at
th* pest, and, thanks t* him, wtfil
have soldiers guarding tSe house here
"Why — they won't hurt us—" .
"Tut, tut! I know what I'm talking
about . We're in worse danger now
than ever, and if we don't break up
those vigilantes there'll be bloodshed —
that's what Ther*re ;a ' menace, and
they're trying to force me off the:bench
so they can take the law into their
own hands again. That's what I want
to ccc you about They're planning to
kill Alec and^ me — so he says — and
we've got' to act quick to prevent mtir- -
der. Now, this young Glenister is one
of them, and he knows who the rest
are. Do you think you could get him.
to talk?" -
"I don't think I quite understand
you." said the girl, through whitening
"Oh, yes, you do. I want the names
of the ringleaders, so that I can jail
them. You can worm It but of that
fellow Jf you try."
Helen looked at the old .man In a
horror that at first was dumb. "You
ask this^of ma?" she demanded, hoarse
ly, at last .
"Nonsense," he said. Irritably. "This
Isn'f any tlm* for | silly scruples. It's
life or death for me, maybe, and for
Alec too." He said the last craftily,
but she stormed at him: '
"It's Infamous! You're asking me to
betray th* very , man who saved us
not 12 hours ego. Ha risked his life
for us."
"It Isn't treachery at all. If s pro
tection. If we don't ret them, they'll
get us. I wouldn't punish that young
fellow, but I want the others: Come,
now, you've got to do If-/.::
. Eat she said "No" firmly, and quietly
went to her own room, where, behind
the locked door, she 'sat for a long
time staring with unseeing eyes, her
hands tight clenched In ' her lap. At
last she whispered:
"I'm afraid It's true. I'm afraid if s
true." '
She remained bidden during the din
ner hour, and pleaded a headache when
McNamara called In the early evening.
Although she had not seen him since
be left her the night before, bearing
her tacit promise to wed him,- yet how
could she meet him now with the con
viction growing on her hourly that he.
was a master rogue? She wrestled
with the thought that he and her uncle,
her own uncle who stood In the place
of a father, were conspirators. And
yet, at memory of the judge's cold
blooded request that she should turn
traitress, her whole being was revolted.
If he could ask a thing like that, what
other heartless, selfish act might he
not be capable of? All the long, soli
tary evening she kept her v room. but at
last feeling faint, slipped downstairs
In search of Fred, for she had eaten
nothing since her late breakfast
Voices reached her from the parlor .
and as she came to the last step she
froze there In an attitude of listening
The first sentence she heard through
the close drawn curtains banished , all
qualms at eavesdropping. She stood
for many breathless minutes drinking
In the plot that came to her plainly
from within, then turned, gathered up
her skirts -<and tiptoed back to her
room. Here she made haste madly,
tearing off her house clothes and don
ning others.
She pressed her face to the window,
and rioted that the night was like a \u25a0
close hung velvet pall, without a star
in sight Nevertheless, *"he wound a
heavy veil about her hat and face be
fore she extinguished the light and
stepped Into the hall. Hearing Mc-
Kamara'g "Good night" at the front',
door, she retreated again while her
uncle slowly mounted the stairs and
paused before her chamber. He called
her name softly, but when she did not
answer continued on to his own room.
When he was safely within she de
scended quietly, went out and locked
the front door behind her, placing the
key In her bosom. She hurried now,
feeling her way through the thick
gloom in a panic, while In her mind
was but on* frightened thought: ,
'TH be too late, ril be too late."
The Drip of Water In the Dark
EVEN after Helen had been out for
some time she could barely see
sufficiently to avoid collisions.
The air weighted by a low hung
roof of clouds was surcharged with the
electric suspense of sn Impending
storm, and seemed to sigh and trem- .
ble at the hint of power in leash. It
was that pause before the conflict
wherein the night laid finger upon Its
lips. 5
As the girl near«d Glenlster's cabin
she was disappointed at seeing no light
there. She stumbled toward the door,
only to utter a half strangled cry as
two men stepped out of the gloom and
seized her roughly. Something cold and
hard was thrust violently against her
cheek, forcing her head back and
bruising her. Sao struggled and cried
out 'v
"Hold on — It's a woman!" ejaculated
the man who had pinioned her arms,
loosing his hold till only a hand re
mained on her shoulder. The other
lowered the weapon he had jammed to
her face and peered closely. .
"Why, Miss Chester," he said. "What
are you doing here?. You came near
getting hurt"
"I am bound for*. the Wilsons*, but I
must have lost my way In the dark-.
ness. I think you have cut my race."
She controlled her fright firmly.
"That's too bad," one said. "We mis
took you for— "And the other broke in
sharply, "You'd, better run along. We're
waiting for some one."
Helen hastened back by the route she
had come, knowing that there was still,
time and that as yet her uncle's emis
saries bad not laid hands upon Glenis
ter. She. bad overheard the judge and
McNamara plotting to drag the town
with'a force of deputies, seizing not*
only her two friends, but every man
suspected of ; being \ a vigilante. .; The
victims were to be jailed .without bond,
without reason, without -justice,, while
the mechanism of the, court was to be
Juggled In order to hold them until fall
if necessary. They had eaid that the
officers were already busy, so haste
was a crying thing. She sped down the
dark streets toward the house of Cher
ry Malotte. but found no light > nor !
answer to her knock. She was , dls- ; ;
tract«d now and knew not where to
seek next among ; the thousand spots '
which might hide the man she wanted. : (
What chance had she against the posse
sweeping the town from, end to end? !
There was only one; he might be at
the Northern, theater. Even so, aha
could not reach him, for she dared not .
go there herself. She .thought of Fred, "
her Jap boy, but there was no time; ,
Wasted moments meant failure.
Roy-had once.told, her that he never ;j
gave up what he undertook. Very well, •
she would ' sho w ; that f even a * girl may j
possess determination. This was no :
time for/ modesty - or, shrinking . Inded- ,
sion, so she pulled the, veil more closely \u25a0
about her face and took her good name •
into her hands.' „ She * made rapidly . to- \u25a0
ward \u25a0 the - lighted streets, which - cast a
skyward glare, and from which through •
tha breathless calm arose the, sound of ;
carousals. . , . Swiftly "she ' threaded , the /1/ 1
narrow alleys is search of the theater's <
rear entrance, for sh* dared not ap
proach from the front In this way
she came Into a part of the camp which
had lain hidden from ' her | until now
and of the existence of which she had
never dreamed. .
" The T vices of a city, however, horrible,
are at least draped scantily by the
I mantle of convention, but In a great
• mining camp they stand naked and
without concealment Here there were
rows upon rows of cfiblike houses clus
tered over tortuous, ill , lighted lanes,
like blow flies swarming to an. unclean
feast From within came the noise of
ribaldry and debauch: V Shrill laughter
mingled with' coarse, maudlin songs,
till the clinging night reeked with,
abominable revelry. The girl saw paint-/
ed creatures of every nationality lean-
Ing from windows or* beckoning from
doorways, while drunken men collided
with her, barred her course, challenged
her, \u25a0 and again ' and , again she was
forced to slip from their embraces. \u25a0 At
last the high bulk of the theater build
ing loomed a short distance ahead.
Panting and . frightened, she tried th*
door with weak hands, to find It locked.
From behind it rose the blare of brass
and the sound of singing. She accosted .
a man who her through the
narrow alley, but he had cruise*d from
the charted course in search of advea- ,
ture and was not minded to go In quest
of doormen;. rather, he chose to sing a
chantey, to the : bibulous measures .of
which he ; invited , her to dance with
Him, so she slipped away till he had .
teetered past. He -was some longshore
man In that particular epoch of his In
ebriety where life had no burden save
the dissipation of wages.
Returning, she pounded om the door,
possessed of the sense that the man she
sought was hero, till at last It was
flung open, framing the silhouette of a
shirt sleeved, thick set youth, ' who
shouted: ; -
"What *n 'ell do you, want to butt In
for while the show's on? g Go", round
front" She caught a glimpse of dis
orde#ed scenery, and,vbefore he. could '"
slam the door In her face ithrust a"
silver dollar into his hand, \at the
same time wedging \u25a0 herself; Into the |
opening. He pocketed '1 the coin and ;
the door clicked to behind her. \u25a0
"Well, speak .-up. The act's clos in'."
Evidently he was the directing genius
of . the performance, for. at that ; moment 9
the chorus broke Unto full "cry^. and he
said, hurriedly: ; •
"Wait a minute. ; There goes/the,
finally," and dashed away to; tend , his
drops and switches. V., When th* curtain -
was down and the principals had
sought their dressing rooms he re
turned. « ; ..
"Do you know Mr. Glenister?" she
asked. ; V'; . ; /
"Sure.". I seen him , tonight ; Come
here." He led^her toward . the footlights,,
•and pulling back! the ; edge of = the .cur
tain allowed her to peep past -him -out >
into the dance hall/.; She" ; had ' . never i
pictured a place like this; and iiri'splte
of her agitation, was astonished at ltst
gaudy elegance/. The '\u25a0-\u25a0;\u25a0, gallery was
formed of a continuous ; : row : : of \ com- '\u25a0'\u25a0
partments with* curtained
which men and women "were > talking, * \u25a0
drinking, singlng.v ;The£ seats on : the
lower fioor;were disappearing and the
canvas cover' was; rolling ; back, show
ing the polished ; hardwood cunderneathi;
while out . through " the /.wide : . folding,
doors that led\to ; the r main gambling v
room she ; heard, a; brass y lunged' 1 ' man/
calling the y commencement / of?' the
dance. Couples ;: glided ;into: motion 1 ?
while she watched.- ; ;\u25a0;';._,. "... -
"I don't * see . him," . said '\u25a0• her, ' -"jguid *.'\u25a0;•
"You ; better,^ walk tout front t- and ;, help ' ':\u25a0
yourself." * He .Indicated -*;th*-"c stairs
which led up :to "1 tho i galleriod I boxes
arid the . steps leading . down ; on . to ithel
main' floor,' but she handed htm another
coin, begging him to find Glenister and
bring him •to her." ; "Hurry; •; hurry I", sh* '
Implored, v 1;v 1 ; V.-;.-";.:. . "" •"- \u25a0; _ : -^'.' .
The 'i stage ; manager- gazed ••'\u0084 at -. her
curiously, ; remarking: I'Mrt ",; You spend .
your "money : like ; had ? been l*fti to
you. You're ,; aY; regular^ pi* i check ; for*
me. Come around . any itlm*." /•\u25a0 ;
She ; withdrew4to ?^a £ dark; corner ; and
waited interminably^! till? her; messenger \
appeared r: at i the; headTof "the V gallery^
stairs and - b eckoned to % her/ ,V As * sha 3
drew near h* said, "I told him there
was a thousand dollar filly fiaggin' him
from the stage- door, but . he's " got a
grouch an' , won't stir. He's In No. ; 7."
She hesitated, at which sh* said, "Oo
on— -you're In right"; then continued,
reassuringly, !'Say.^ pal. If h*'s - your^
white haired lad, you . needn't start no
roughhouse, 'cause h* don't flirt wit*/
these dames "none whatever. - Naw!
Take It from me." •7 >
. She entered. the door her counselor
Indicated to find Roy lounging hack
watching the. danoers. He turned in
quiringly—then, as \ she raised her veil,
leaped to his feet and jerked the'our
talns to. '' -' -v ; ' . ' '\u25a0'.:\u25a0 /- - .
(What are you doing here?"
: "You must go away quickly," sh*
gasped. "They're : . trying to arrest
i you." - - .' \u25a0 . ' . " • ' . - . •. . ;
,: "They! Who? Arrest me for what?"
TToorhees . and his men— for riot, or
something about: last night."
"Nonsense," h* said. "I had no part
In.it. You know . that". ; >;i* \u25a0 ;,
v "Tea, ,y*s-— but % your* a vigilante,
and they're^ after you and all -your
friends. • Your | house Is guarded | and
the . town Is alive with deputies. They've
planned to jail you on some pretext
or other, and hold yon \u25a0• Indefinitely.
• Pleas c go . before If s too . late." \u25a0 : ,
r ;"How do you know this V he asked,
; , •' ' \ ' \u25a0-\u0084 iX. > :\u25a0- \u25a0-
."I. overheard them plotting." .
•"Who?".;- \u25a0"- \u25a0":\u25a0. -\u25a0\u25a0- \u25a0 \u25a0 •- . '.. \u25a0 .y.
"Unele^ Arthur : and Mr. McNamara."
She faced him squarely as she said
It, and therefore saw the light flam*
up in his eyes as he; cried:
"And ;you.. came here . to save me—
came her* at # the risk of your good
name?" '_\..y '.-:.': -_ -. ; - ; " .--."~;"
"Of course. I would have done the
same I for Dextry." The gladness g died
away, leaving ; him listless. * -'V; : "•
"Well, let them come. I'm done, I
guess. \1 heard from. Wheaton tonight
He's down ? and out, too— some | trouble
with : the Frisco; courts about jurisdic
tion over; these cases. I don't :know
that its-W orthw hile to fight any
'\u25a0\u25a0 "';' "Listen,"i she said. "You must gol I
ani sure there is a terrible .wrong being
done,: and you and I;- must, stop lit" ' I
have seen the truth at last, and you're
right Please hide for a, time at
leaat":.:. 1 ' \u25a0: : <7':.' .•\u25a0•\u25a0""''\u25a0 \u25a0-'\u25a0' '•- .;-',,'-.. .; \u25a0
. "Very well. If you have- taken sides*
with.us there's some hope left v.Thank
you for .the risk J you" ran' In warning '-.
me." ; :':..; - : "w. •': '. ' \u25a0.'.\u25a0.. \ :. ..,\u25a0-.,. ~t -j:r.-~l
| She had moved to the front . of the
compartment and was peering forth'be
tween the draperies when, she stifled
'*l'crT.-'iA;> ; .:-,.:" V' ; - -. \u0084: \u25a0 \u25a0 ;'. : ::'">.;'
v.Too.latel* Too late!. There they-are.
Don't part the curtains. I see
you." ::''['.-'.',' ."•.- '=•\u25a0'.' ; : ",\u25a0"\u25a0.'..':.'; \u25a0\u25a0• ---.." ' //
Pushing through^ the gambling hall
were Voorhees and four, others, seem
ingly in quest of : some one. . - .
"Run: down/; the?; back /stairs,", sh***
breathed, • and pushed ; him ; through the
door/j :\ He i caught and ; held : her - hand
; wlthTa ', last'/ word ... gratitude. - . Then "
he was -, gone. " She ' drew! down ; her i veil f
and was; about, to follow^ when the door,
opened -f arid : he \u25a0:. ; reappeared.
/,"No/. { use,"/ ; he 4 remarked, quietly.
'There fare three : more, waiting . a€ the :
foot" :; ; He. looked f out ,to : find*, that ? the \u25a0
; officers \u25a0 had 1: searched i< the j crowd t and I
were turning toward ; tb« i front "stairs. :
thus? cutting: off! his retreat -There
were but ,' two , ways "t downY from? the^
gallery .: and*! no ;\u25a0 outside * windows t, from V
which j to? leap/; \v As c they ~ had made no";
armed Jdisplay;^ the :l presence i of :\u25a0 the .
officers ? had 'not i interrupted th* dance. .
:?: Glenister^ drew^! bis? revolver,^whil*/
Into his I eyes Vcame^th*^ dancing; glitter :
that;He!en;had;seen befor*. cold as th« I
glint .".winter^ sunlight \
fj "?fo,r not ;i that— -for; God's? sake!*! sh*
shuddered; \u25a0 clasping j him i arm.
must ; t or I your , sake, or . they'll • find *r
you i here,"? and \u25a0. that* s iworse z than >* ruin.*.
I'll ; fight it ; out , ln the corridors^ so that
you can 'escape ; in . the , confusion. "> Walt c
till Sth*" firing jstopst an<T n th*>V crowd : t
gathers/; : His ; hand was on > th*^ knob
when she "tor* -it loos*, whispering ;
hoarsely: i : "- : *--\u25a0 - \u25a0> .'~'^, : : ": ! r:- '"\u25a0:: :v^ (\u25a0:
••Theyfll kill you. There's
a better ; way. : I Jump.7 '•\u25a0 " rf Sh* 'i dragged j
him tOithejf ront^of ;the box and pulled
asldejth* curtalnaT s VIt) Isn't ; high i and I
they* won't i se* i you^ tai It's , too i late, '\u25a0"
Th*a you caa. ran through th* crowd."
Rex E.
Ha grasped her Idea, and, slipping
his weapon into Its holster, laid hold
of the ledge before' him and lowered
' himself down over the \ dancers. He
swung out unhesitatingly, and almost
before he had been observed had
dropped: Into their midst.; The gal
lery was i but .twice l the height of a
man's head from the floor, so ,he
landed on his feet and had drawn his
Colt's even while the men at the stairs
-were shouting at him to halt. -. .
At sight of the naked, weapons there
was confusion, wherein the commands
of s the deputies mingled with the
I shrieks of the women, the crash of
overturned chairs, and the sound of
tramping feet, as the crowd divided be
fore .Glenister and swept back against
the wall in the same ominous way that
a crowd in the street had once divide*!
on the morning of Helen's arrival.' The
trombone player; who had sunk low. in ;
his chair with closed: eyes, looked out
suddenly .at the disturbance, and his
alarm was blown through the horn In :
a startled squawk. 7 A large - wo-nan )
whimpered, "Don't shoot." and : thrust
her: palms to her ears, closing her eyes
tightly. - '
.y Olenlster covered the deputies, from
whose vicinity the bystanders surged as
though; from .the presence of lepers.
"Hands i up!" he cried, sharply, and
they froze Into motionless attitudes, one
poised on the lowest step of the stairs,
the other a pace forward. Voorhees ap
peared at '3 the head ; of the flight and
rushed down a, few steps only to come
abruptly into range and to assume a
like rigidity,, for the young man's aim
shifted; to him. .;.
i "I have* a warrant for you," the offi
cer cried, his voice loud in the hush. \ •:.
' ."Keep; it," said Glenister, showing his
teeth In a smile in which there was no
mirth/0 He backed diagonally across the
hall.' his boot heels clicking in the si
lence, his eyes shifting rapidly up and
down the stairs where the danger lay..
:\u25a0 From her station Helen could see the
whole tableau, all but the men on the
stairs, where her vision was cut ;off.
She .saw the dance , girls crouched be
hind ' their ; partners or . leaning far out ',
from the wall with parted lips, the men
eager yet fearful, the bar tender with a
half polished glass poised 2 high. Then
a quick movement across the hall sud
denly diverted her. absorbed attention.""
She saw a man rip aside the drapery of
the:, box "'opposite and lean so far -out :
that ihe seemed Jin:; peril 'of i falling. ' He '
.undertook , to j sight : a weapon at \ Glen
ister, "who \ was just passing from \u25a0 his ,
view. At her, first glance Helen gasped
—her heart : gave one fierce lunge and
she cried out.
;\u25a0 \u25a0 The • distance across ; the pit was soX
short that she saw his every line and
lineament clearly: It was the brother
she • had ' sought - these years and years. *
Before she ; knew or. could . check it the '.-;
blood ; call i leaped forth. ,
"Druryr; she cried,; aloud, at which
he - whipped •• his. ;:' head; -\u25a0: about, while"
amazement and "somer.other emotion
she could : not ; gauge . .; spread :" slowly -
over, his i features. -J For a long moment
he: stared! at i her i without movement or "'
sign while the drama beneath went oh,
then* he;-drewri back^into^Bis retreat;
wltfa^ the dazed j look "> of -\u25a0 one : doubtin g '
bis senses, yet fearful; of. putting them
to the test'oForv her part" she saw
nothing i except her . brother vanishing
slowly, > L into •> the ; v shadows :as though
stricken 'at ':'[\u25a0 her , glance. % the curtains i
closing before his livid fac« — and. then
pandemonium , broke . loose at ,her feet. "
t^Glenlster, I holding ; his enemies at
bay,* bad I retreated v ; to , the doubl e doors '\u25a0
leading to Ith*; theater.";:; His coup '_ had
been executed bo quickly,: and with such 1
lack of turmoil ; that th« throng outside
knew .^.nothing/:! of Jit .till they saw
a* £ man -walk ;.«. backward -'\u25a0 through -the
door. \u25a0'*:;']* As : ~< he. did -•;:": so >* be ,\u25a0>" reached
forth-;_and: slammed Che, wide wings .
shut before hi» '_ face, then turned and
dashed Into the press/; lnside the dance '
hall ; loud sounds arose as the officers
clattered ;- ; Aoyrn fj the f • tai rs *: and \u25a0 ' made
s>fter ; their \u25a0 quarry. v.^They l tore ;the bar-",
rier^apart jin [.time ; to N see, '• far,; down the t
saloon, an : eddying V rwirl ;-, as i: though ],'\u25a0.
some j great flsh were t lashing j through
the I Illy; pads of a pond, and th an the
swinging, doors closed behind Glenister,
v Helen made her way, from th* theater
M »c» had come, unobs erred aad unob
serving but she .• walked- In ft dream.
Emotion's; had .'.chased each other too
closely tonlghjyto be dlstlogulehable,
so she went mechanically t hrou gh the
narrow alley to Front street and thence
to her home. ••. \u25a0' ;
Olenlster, meanwhile, had been swal
lowed up by the. darkness, the night
enfolding ;blm without sign or trace.
As - he .. ran •ho considered what course
to, follow— whether to carry the call to
his comrades In town or to make for
the- 1 Creek and, Dextry. The vigilantes
might still distrust him, and yet he
owed them warning/ . McN'amara'i men
were moving so swiftly that action"
must be speedy to forestall them. An
other hour and-the net would be closed,
while it seemed tha^^whichever coarse
he chose they would snare one ort ho
other — either the friends who remained
in town, or* Dex-'rnd Slapjack out in
the hills. With daylight those two
would return and walk unheeding into
the trap, white if ha bore the word to
them . first,:. then the vigilantes would
be Jailed before dawn. As he drew
near Cherry Malotte's house he saw a
light through the drawn curtains. A
heavy raindrop plashed upon his face,
another followed, and then he heard the
patter of falling water Increasing
swiftly. Before he could gain tho door
the storm had broken. It swept op th«
street" with tropical violence, while a
breath sighed out of the night, lifting
the litter from underfoot and pelting
him with- flying particles. Over the
roofs tho wind rushed with the rising
moan' of a, hurricane, while tho night
grew suddenly noisy ahead of tho tem
pest. '
.He entered the door without knock
ing, to find, the girl removing her coat
Her face gladdened at sight of him, but
he checked her with quick and cautious
words, his speech almost drowned by
the roar outside. *" ;
* "Are you alone?" She nodded, and
he slipped the bolt behind him, saying:
"The \u25a0 marshals are after me. W*
just had a 'run in' at the Northern,
and I'm on-the go. No — nothing serious
yet, but they want the vigilantes, and
I, must get them word. "Will 1 you help
me?" He rapidly recounted tho row of
the last 10 minutes while she nodded
her quick understanding.
"You're safe here for a little while."
she told him, "for the storm will check
: them. If they should come, there's a
back door leading out from the kitchen
and a side entrance yonder. In my
room you'll find a French window. They
can't corner you very well." '
. "Slapjack and Dcx are oat at the
shaft house— you know — that quartz
claim on the mountain above the Mi
das." He hesitated. "Will you lend
me your saddle horse? It's * black
night and I may kill him."
"What about- these men in town?"
'Til warn them first, then hit for
the hills." ,
She shook her head. "You can't do
it. . You can't - get #ut there before
daylight if you wait to rouse these peo
ple, and MeNamara has probably
telephoned the mines to send a party
up to the quartz claim after Dex.
He, knows where the old man Is as well
as you do, and they'll raid him before
' "I'm afraid so, but It's all I can offer.
Will you give me the horse T*
"Not He's only a pony, and you'd
founder him in the tundra. The mud Is
knee deep. I'll go myself."
"Good heavens, girl, in such a nlghtt
Why, it's worth your life! Listen to it!
The creeks will be up,. and you'll have
to swim. No, I can't let you."
"He's a good . little horse and he'll
take me, through." Then coming close
she continued: "Oh, boy! Can't you see
that I want to help? Can't you see that
.1 — I'd die for you if it would do any
good?". He gazed gravely into her wide
blue eyes and said, awkwardly: ' "Yes,
I know. I'm ; sorry things are — as they
are— but you wouldn't have me He to
you, : little woman?"
• "No. You're the only true man I ever
knew. I guess that's why I love you.
And I 'do /love you; oh, so much! I
want to be good- and worthy to love
you,' too."
She laid her face against his arm and
caressed him with clinging tenderness,
while/ the. wind yelled loudly about the
eaves and the windows drummed be
neath the rain. His heavy brows knit
themselves together as she whispered:
!1 love you! I love you! I love you!"
with such an agony of longing In her"
voice that her sharp accents were
sharply distinguishable above the tur
moil. The growing wlldness attmed a
part of the woman's " passion, which
whipped and harried her like a willow
in a blast.
"Things {are fearfully jumbled,**- he
said, finally,' "and this is a bad time to
talk about them. I wish they might be
different.. No other girl would do what
you have. offered tonight."
."Then why do you think of that wo
man 7' she broke in fiercely. "She's
bad and false. She betrayed you once;
she's in the play now; you've. told me
so yourself. Why don!t you be a man
and' forget her." =.„ '"\u25a0
VI can't,"; he said, simply. "You're
wrong,- though, when you think she's
bad. | I found tonight that's,* she good
and brave and . honest. .The part she
played was played innocently;. I'm sure
of that, in spite of the fact that she'll
marry^ McNamara.. : It .wm she who
overheard them plotting and risked
her reputation to warn me."
, ,- Cherry's . face whitened, while the
shadowy eagerness that had rested
there died utterly. "She came into that
dive alone? I She did that?" He nodded,
at which ' she stood thinking for , some
.time, then continued: -;\u25a0 "You're honest
with me, Roy, and I'll be the same with
you.', I'm .tired of . deceit; tired of
everything. I tried to make you think
she was bad, but In ray heart I knew
differently all the time.. She came here
today . and humbled herself to get the
truth; humbled herself to me, and I
sent her away.' She suspected, but* she
didn't know, and when she asked for
information I. lnsulted her. That's the
kind of creature I am.- I sent her back
to Struve, who"' offered to tell her the
whole story.". "
"What does that renegade want?"
."Can'tyou guess?"
_ "Why,. l'd rather— " The young "man
ground, his teeth, , but Cherry hastened.
r "You needn't worry;' she won't see
him again. She loathes the ground he
walks on."
'."And yet he's no worse than that
other scoundrel.' Come, girl, we. have
work to ,do;- we must act, and act
qulckly.'V He gave her his message to
Dextry,, then she .went to her room and
slipped into a riding habit. .When she
came out he asked: "Where Is your rain
ceat?> You'll be drenched In no time." •
f ' "I can't ride with it. I'll be thrown,
anyway,' and? I don't want, to be "all
bound up. : Water won't hurt me." ' ,
r*ShV thrust her: tiny revolver into her
dressrbut he. took It and upon examina
tion shook his head.
"If you need a gun you'll need a good
one." \u0084He iremoved the belt from . his
own waist and buckled his Colts about
her; ; \u25a0\u25a0-\u25a0 ;; .\ ' ' ;'- ;
"But , yout" she objected.
.; .'Til getjEnotherin 10 minutes." Then,
asthey^were leaving, he i said: "One oth
er request; Cherry." I'll be in hiding for
a'i time,, and L must 1 get/word to" Miss,
Chester to keep watch of her uncle, for
the big light is on at last and the boys
will s hang him sure If ; they, catch-hi ml
I owe her this last* warning. Will you
•end It to herr*- .
•*Tll doi t for your sake, not for her— •
no. no;" I don't mean that. I'll do thr
right thing all round. Leave it here
and I'll see that she gets It tomorrow.
And — Roy — be careful of yourself." Her
eyes were starry and in their depths
lurked neither selfishness nor jealousy
now, only that mysterious glory of a
woman who makes sacrifice.
Together they scurried back to the
stable, and yet in that short distance
she would have been swept from her
feet had he not seized her. They blew
in through the barn door, streaming
and soaked by the blinding sheets that
drove scythelike ahead of the wind. Ha
struck a light, and the pony whinnied
at recognition of his mistress. She
stroked the little fellow's muzzle while-
Glenister cinched on her saddle. Then,
when she was at last mounted, sho
leaned forward:
"Will you kiss me once, Boy. for the
last timer*
. He took her rain wet face between
his hands and kissed her upon the lips
as he would have saluted a little maid.
As he did so, unseen by both of them,
a face was pressed for an Instant
against the pane of glass In the stable
"You're & brave gtrl and may. God
bless you," he said, extinguishing: the
light. He Sung the door wide and she
rode out Into the storm. Locking the
portal, he plunged back toward the
house to write his hurried note, for
there was much to do and scant tlzna
for Its accomplishment, despite the
helping hand of the hurricane. He
beard the voice of Bering as it thun
dered on the golden sands, and knew
that the first great storm of the fall
had come. Henceforth he saw that the
violence of men would rival the rising
elements, for the deeds of this night
would stir their passions as Aeolus was
rousing the bate of the sea.
He neglected to bolt the house door
as he entered, but flung off his drlppins;
coat and seizing pad and pencil scrawled
his message. The wind screamed about
the cabin, the lamp flared smokily and
Glenister felt a draft suck past him
as though from an open door at his
back as he wrote:
"I can't do anything more. The end
has come, and it has brought the hatred
and bloodshed that I have been trying
to prevent. I played the game accord-
Ing to your rules, but they forced ma
back to first principles in spits of my
self, and now I don't know what. the
finish will be. Tomorrow will telL Take
care of your uncle, and If you should
wish to communicate with me go to
Cherry Malotte. She U a friend to both
of us. Always your servant,
As. he sealed this he paused, whila
he felt the hair on his neck rise and
bristle and a chlH race up his spine.
His heart fluttered, then pounded on
ward till the blood thumped audibly at
his ear drums and he found himself
swaying In rhythm to Its beat. Tha
muscles of his back cringed and rip
pled at the proximity of some hovertaff
peril, and yet an Irresistible feeling
forbade him to turn. A sound came *
from close behind his chair- — the drip.
drip, drip of water. It was not from
the eaves, nor yet from a faulty shin
gle. HI» back was to th© kitchen door,
through which he had come, and al
though there were- no mirrors befora
him, he felt a menacing presence as
surely as though It had touched him.
His ears were tuned to the finest pin
pricks of sound, so that he heard tha
faint, sighing "squish" of a sodden
shoe upon which a weight had shifted.
Still something chained him to his
seat. It was as though his soul laid
a restraining hand upon his body,
waiting for the instant.
He let his hand seek his hip care
lessly, but remembered where his gun
was. Mechanically he addressed tha
note in shaking characters, while be
hind him sounded the constant drip,
drip, drip that he knew came from
saturated garments. For a long mo
ment he sat till he heard the stealthy
click of a gun lock muffled by finger
pressure. Then he set his face and slowly
turned to find the Bronco Kid standing
behind him as though risen from tha
sea. his light clothes wet and clinging,
his feet centered In a spreading puddle.
The dim light showed the convulsive
fury of bis features above the leveled
weapon, whose hammer was curled
• back like the head of a striking ad
der, his eyes gleaming with frenzy.
Glenlster's mouth was powder dry. but
his mind was leaping riotously Ilka
dust before a gale, for he divined him
self to be In the deadliest peril of h!3
life. When he spoke the calmness of
his voice surprised himself.
"What's the matter. Bronco?" Tha
Kid made no reply, and Roy repeated*
"What do you want?"
"That's " & hell of a question." tha
gambler said, hoarsely. "I want you.
of course, and I've got you."
"Hold up! I am unarmed.' This Is
your third try, and I want to know
whafs back of It."
"Damn the talk!" cried the faro
dealer, moving closer till tha light
shone on his features, which com
menced to twitch. He raised tha re
volver he had half lowered. "There's
reason enough, and you know It."
Glenister looked him fairly between
the leyes. gripping himself with firm '
hands to stop the tremor ho felt In
his bones. "You can't kill me." ha
said. "I am too good a man to murder.
You might shoot a crook, but you can't
kill. a brave man when he's unarmed.
You're no assassin." He remained
rigid In his chair, however, moving
nothing but his lips, meeting tha
other's look unflinchingly. The Kid
hesitated an Instant, while his eyes.
which had been fixed with tha glara
of hatred, wavered a moment, betray
ing the faintest sign of Indecision.
Glenister cried out. exultantly:
"Ha! I knew It. "Your neck cords
The gambler grimaced. "I can't do
It. If I could. I'd have shot you befora
you turned. But you'll have to fight,
you dog. Get up and draw."
Rojr refused. "I gave Cherry my
"Yes, and more, too," tha maa
gritted. "I saw it all."
Even . yet Glenister had made no
slightest move, realizing that a feath
er's : weight might snap the gambler's
nervous tension and bring the In
voluntary twitch that would put him
out swifter than a whip is cracked.
\u2666 "I have tried it before, but murder
Isn't my game." The Kid's eye caught
the glint of Cherry's revolver where sha
had discarded it. "There's a gun — get
"It's no good. You'd carry the six
bullets and never feel them. I don't
know what this is all about, but I'll
fight. you whenever I'm "heeled right."
"Oh, you black hearted hound."
snarled the Kid. "I want to shoot, but
Tm afraid. I used. to be a 'gentleman
and I haven't lost it all. I guess. But
I won't wait the next time. I'll down
you on sight, so you'd better, get Ironed
.-In a hurry." He backed out of the roora
into the semidarkness of the kitchen,
watching* with lynxlike closeness the
mau who sat so quietly .. under th*
shaded light. He felt behind him for
the outer doorknob and turned it to let
In a white sheet of rain, then vanished
like a storm wraith.: leaving a parched
lipped man and a zigzag trail of water,
which gleamed in the lamplight Ilk* «
\u25a0 pool of blood.
(To Be Continued.)

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