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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, April 11, 1909, Image 11

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The San , Francisco Sunday Call
THE BLACK BAG
CHAPTER XlX— Continued
In something less than half an hour
of this wild driving. Kirkwood roused
out of his reverie sufficiently "to become
sensible that the speed was slackening.
Incoherent enatches of sentences, frag
ments of words and phrases spoken by
Brentwick and the mechanician, were
fungr back past his ears by the rush-
Ing wind. Shielding his eyes he could
ree dimly that the mechanician was
tinkering (apparently) with the driv
ing gear. Then, their pace continuing
steadily to. abate, he heard Brentwick
Ring at the man a sharp toned and
juerulously Impatient question: -What
»as the trouble? His reply came in a
single word, not distinguishable.
The girl sat up, opening her eyes, s
disengaging her arm.
Klrkwood bent forward and touched
Brentwick on the shoulder; the latter
tura«(| to him a face lined with deep
concern.
"Trouble." he announced superflu
ously. "I fear we have blundered."
"What Is itr* asked Dorothy In a
troubled voice.
"Petrol eeems to be running low.
Charles here" (he referred to the mech
nidan) "says the tank must be leaking.
We'll go as best we can and try to
find an inn. Fortunately, most of the
Jnns nowadays keep supplies of petrol
for Just such emergencies."
"Are we — ? Do you think — T*
"Oh, no; not a bit of daSger of that,"
. returned Brentwick hastily. "They'll
not catch up with us this night.© That
.;s a very inferior car they have^ — to
Charles says, at least; nothing to com
pare with this. If I'm not In error,
there's the Crown and Miter Just ahead;
we'll make it, fill our tanks, and be off
again before they can make up half
their loss."
Dorothy looked anxiously to Kirk
wood, her lips forming an unuttered
query: What did he think?
"Don't worry; we'll have no trou
ble," he assured her stoutly; "the
chauffeur knows, undoubtedly."
None the less he was moved to stand
up in the tonneau, conscious of the
presence of the traveling bag, snug
at his feet, as -w^ll as of the weight
of Calendar's revolver in his pocket,
while he stared back along the road.
There was nothing to be seen of
their persecutors.
The car continued to crawL Five
minutes dragged out tediously. Grad
ually they drew abreast a tavern
standing back a distance from the
road, embowered in a grove V)f trees
between whose ancient boles the tap-*
room windows shone enticingly, aglow
\u25a0with comfortable light. A creaking
eign board, much worn by weather
end age, swinging from a roadside
post, confirmed the accuracy of Brent
wick's surmise, announcing that here
stood the Crown and Miter, house of
entertainment for man and beast.
Sluggishly the car rolled up before
it and came to a dead and silent halt.
Charles, the mechanician. Jumping out,
ran hastily up the path toward the inn
inn. In the car Brentwick turned
again, his eyes curiously bright in the
etartlght, his forehead quaintly fur
\u25a0 rowed, his voice apologetic
"It may take a few minutes," he said
unfiecidedly, plainly endeavoring to
cover up his own darjc doubts. "My
dear." to the girl, 'If I have brought
trouble upon you In this wise, I shall
never earn my own forgiveness."
KSrkwood stood up again, watchful,
attentive to the sounds of the night;
but the voice of the pursuing motor
.^car was not of their company. "I hear
' nothing," he announced.
"You will forgive me — won't you,
" my dear? — for causing you these few
moments of needless anxiety?" pleaded
• the old gentleman, his tone tremulous.
"As if you could be blamed!" pro
. tested the girl. "You mustn't think of
it In that way. Fancy, what we should
- have done without you!"
"I am afraid I have been very clum
sy." sighed Brentwick, "clumsy and
Impulsive. . .' . Klrkwood. do you
hear anything?"
"Perhaps." suggested Brentwick a
little later, "perhaps we had better
alight and go up to the inn. It \u25a0would
be more cozy there, especially If the
petrol proves hard to obtain, and we
have long to wait."
"I should like that," assented the
pirl decidedly..
Klrkwood nodded his approval, op
ened the door and Jumped out to assist
'her; then picked up the bag and fol
lowed the pair — Brentwick leading the
n-ay with Dorothy on his arm.
At the doorway of the Crown and
Miter. Charles met them evidently seri
ously disturbed. "No petrol to be had
here, eir," he announced reluctantly;
"but the landlord will send to the next
inn, a mile up the road, for some. You
will have to be patient, I'm afraid, esjr."
"Very well. Get some one to help
you push the car from the road," or
dered Brentwick: "we will be waiting
In one of the private parlors."
"Yes, elr; thank you, sir." The
mechanician touched the visor of his
cap and hurried off.
"Come. Kirkwood." Gently Brent
wick drew the girl in with him.
Kirkwood lingered momentarily on
the door step, to listen acutely. But
the wind was blowing into that quarter
whence they had come, and" he could
hear naught save the soughing, in* the
trees, together with an occasional
burst of rude rustic laughter front the
taproom. Lifting his shoulders in
dumb dismay, and. endeavoring to com
pose his features, he entered the
•tavern.
"The Diary of a Show GjjM" Begins on This Page Next Sunday
II — The Crown and filter
A rosy cheeked and beaming land
lady met him In the corridor and, all
bows and smiles, ushered him Into a
private parlor reserved for the party,'
Immediately bustling off In a desperate
flurry, to secure refreshments desired
by Brentwick."
The girl had seated herself on one
end, of an extremely comfortless lounge
and was making a palpable effort to
seem at ease. Brehtwlck stood at one
of the windows, shoulders rounded and
head bent, hands clasped behind his
back as he peered out Into the night.
Kirkwood dropped the traveling bag
beneath a chair the farthest removed
from the doorway, and took to pacing
the floor.
In the corner of the room a tall
grandfather's clock ticked off 10 Interm
inable minutes. < For some reason un
conscionably delaying, the landlady
did not reappear. Brentwick, abruptly
turning from the window, remarked
the fact querulously, then drew a chair
up to a marble topped table In the mid
dle of the floor. \u25a0
"My dear." he requested the girl
"will you oblige me by sitting over
here? And Philip, bring up a chair,
if you will. We must not permit our
selves to worry, and I have something
here which may, perhaps, engage your
interest for a while."
To humor him and alleviate his evi
dent distress of mind, they acceded.
Kirkwood found himself seated oppo
site Dorothy. Brentwick betwjeen them.
After some hesitation, made the more
notable by an air of uneasiness which
sat 'oddly on his shoulders, whose com
posure and confident mien had thereto
fore been so complete and so reassur
ing, the elder gentleman fumbled in
an Inner coat pocket and brought to
light a small black leather wallet.
He seemed to be on the point of open
ing it jsvhen hurried footfalls sounded
in the 'hallway. Brentwick placed the
\u25a0wallet, still with its secret intact, on
the table before him. as Charles burst
unceremoniously in, leaving the - door
wide open.
"Mr. Brentwick, sir", he cried gustily.
"That other car — "
With a smothered ejaculation Kirk
wood leaped to 'his feet, tugging at the
weapon in his pocket. In another in
stant he had the revolver exposed.
Tr.e girl's cry of alarm, Interrupting
the machinist, fixed Brentwick's atten
tion on the young man.. -He, too, stood
up, reaching over very quickly ;to
clamp strong supple fingers round
Kirkwood's wrist, while with the" other
hand he lalfl hold of the revolver and
by a single twist wrenched it away.
Klrkwood turned upon him in fury.
"So!" he cried, shaking with passion.
"This Is what your hospitality meant I
You're going to — "
, "My dear young friend," Interrupted
Brentwick with a flash of Impatience,
"remember that if I had designed to
betray you, I could have asked no
better opportunity than when you were
my guest under my own roof."
"But — hang it all, Brentwick!" ex
postulated Kirkwood, ashamed and con
trite, but worked upon by desperate
apprehension; "I didn't mean that,
but — «
"Would you have bullets flying when
she Is near?" demanded Brentwick
scathingly. Hastily he slipped the re
volver upon a little shelf beneath the
table top. "Sir!" he Informed Klrk
wood with some heat, "I love you. as
my own son, but you're a young fool!
. . . . . as I have been in my
time . . . and as I would to heaven
I might be again! Be advised, Philip —
be calm. Can't you see it's the only
way to save your treasure?"
"Hang the Jewels!" retorted Klrk
wo<sd warmly. "What — "
"Sir. who said anything about the
Jewels r* ,
As Brentwick spoke. Calendar's cor
pulent figure filled the doorway;
Stryker's weather worn features loom
ed over his shoulder, distorted In a
cheerful leer. ~
"As to the Jewels," announced . the
fat adventurer, "I've got a word to "say,,
if you put It to me that way." •
" He paused on the threshold, partly
for dramatic effect, partly for his own
satisfaction, his quick eyes darting
from face to face of the four people
whom he had caught so unexpectedly.
A shade of complacency colored his
expression, and he smiled evilly be
neath the coarse short thatch of \u25a0 his
gray mustache. In his, hand a revolver
appeared, poised for immediate use If
there were need, \u25a0•
There -was none. Brentwick, at his
primal! appearance, had . dropped a
peremptory hand on Kirkwood's shoul
der, forcing the young man back to
his seat; at the same time he resumed
his own. The girl had not stirred from
hers -since the«flrst alarm; she sat as
if transfixed with terror, leaning for
ward with her elbows on the table, her
hands tightly clasped, her face, a little
blanched, turned to the. door. But her
scarlet lips were set and firm with
inflexible purpose, and her brown eyes
met Calendar's with a look, levels and
unflinching. Beyond .this she gave no
Elgn of recognition.
Nearest of the four to the adventur
ers was Charles, the mechanician,
paused In affrighted astonishment at
sight of the revolver. Calendar, choos
ing to advance suddenly, poked the
muzzle of the weapon jocularly in the
man's ribs. "Beat It, Four-eyes'" he
snapped. "This is your cue to duck!
Get out of my way."
The mechanician Jumped as if shot,
then hastily retreated to the table, his
sallow features working beneath the
goggle mask which had excited the fat
adventurer's scorn.
"Come ' right in, Cap'n," Calendar
threw over one shoulder; "come In,
shut the door and lock.it/ Let's all be
sociable, and have a nice quiet time."
Stryker obeyed, with, a' - derisive
grimace for Kirkwood.
Calendar, advancing - Jauntily to a*
point within a yard of. the table, stop
ped, smiling affably down .upon his
prospective victims* and airily twirl-
Ing his revolver. .-.'/.•
"Good evening, all!" he saluted them
blandly. . "Dorothy. ; my, /child," with
assumed concern, l"you're. looking a trf-"
fle.upset; I'm afraid you'ye'.been" keep
ing late hours. Little girls', must be
careful, you; know,.- or "they, lose the
bloom of roses in their cheeks. ...
Mr. Kirkwood, It's^a- pleasure to. meet
you again! Permit me to paraphrase"
your most sound advice, and remind
you that pistol" shots are apt to at
tract undesirable attention. It wouldn't
be wise for, you to -bring .r. r the: police
about our ears."' I believe that in sub-V
stance such 'was your sapient counsel
to me In the cabin of the Alethea; was
It n0t?...:,. . "And. you. sir!"— fixing
Brentwick /with 'a; cold unfriendly eye.
"You animated- fossil,; : what "d'ybu
mean" by; telling, me; to go ;to "the
devil? '.' . : But let, that 'pass; " I
hold no grudge; --] Wh*t might : your
name be?" ; -\u25a0-•;' - ; -;h X- ..' ---"•
"It might be Brentwick," said that
gentleman placidly.
"Brentwick, eh?- Well, I like a man
of spirit. But permit me to advise
you—"
"Gladly," nodded Brentwick.
"Eh? . . . Don't come a second
time between father and daughter;
another man might not be as patient
as I, Mister Brentwick. There's a law
In the land, if you don't"' happen to
know It." v
"I congratulate you on your success
In evading It," observed ', Brentwick,
undisturbed. "And it was considerate
of you not to' employ It iri'Ahls In
stance." Then, with a sharp change
of tone, "Come, sir!" he demanded.
"You have unwarrantably, Intruded Jn >
this room, which I : 'have 'engaged for
my private use. Get through with your
business and be off with you."
"All In good time, my antediluvian'
friend. When I've wound up 'my busl- ;
' lness here I'll go — not before, -f Brit,
Just to oblige you, we'll "get f down to
it.. . .-'-\u25a0. Klrkwood. you : have a" re
volver of mine. Be good enough to
return it." "^
"I. have it here — under- the table," :
Interrupted Brentwick * suavely. "Shall
I hand It to you?'
"By the muzzle. If you 'please. . Be
very /careful; this one's- loaded, too-^-*»'
apt to explode any, minute." \
To Kirkwood's intense disgust.Brent
wick quietly slipped one hand beneath
the table and, placing the. revolver on";
its top. delicately with his finger tips,
shoved It toward : the farther edge.
With a -grunt .of approval, -, Calendar
swept,' the weapon up. and into ;hls;
pocket.
"Any more - ordnance?" /he Inquired
briskly, eyes moving; alertly from face I
to., face. "*^o "^t** 31 "'" y°u*' wouldn't '.
dare usej'em any- way. > And I'm ; about
done. Dorothy, my dear.; it's high time >
jou returned to your' father's protect
tlon.v Where's; that gladstone ; bag?'.' ...
; "In my- traveling bag," the'; girl told
him in a toneless voice. / :. ;
"Then you' rnay bring It along. You'
may also say \u25a0 good- night to* the kind
gentlemen.". . -. -„
Dorothy did 'not move; her pallor
\u25a0grew'more lntense'and'Klrkwood^saw .
her, \u25a0•": knuckles .tighten beneath the
gloves! her • mouth seemed •
to " grow; more , straight hard. , ;
"Dorothr!" cried" thejadventurer with
a' touch'; of displeasure. ; ; "YouV heard :
mer:.' % : \u0084. , ./,..•;; X '- \u25a0, :, - '*-
"I heard you," she .replied -a little'
wearily, more ' than; a .little* contempt-:"
uously. ;- ."Don't, mind.'hlm, ..please, "MrC -
Kirkwood!"— with an ges
ture,! as /Klrkwood; to" contain;
himself,' moved T restlessly.-; in ;his ?chair h
as If to rise. /"Don't? say; anything. ;. I
have no I intention /whatever, of -going"
with this man." :-,,- ; - : *;, :^t.'
Calendar's '/features -- v twitched t-inerv.r ;
\u25a0ously ; ; he \ chewed a -corner of "his t mus- '\u25a0'.
tache,' fixing:, the" girl with ;a black "stare/"
Vl ' presume,',' ihe I rernarkedTaf ter) aTriio- -
nient, with^ slow.-'deliberation, 1 "? "you're
aware '. that,'- as • your " father, -I* am in a
position to - compel 'you ?to -- accompany -
me.":/ \u0084•-\u25a0'*\u25a0;\u25a0; :r-.'::: r -.':: 7 ' tf' ' .'-.vi< -••-'=\u25a0' *,"\u25a0 vs "p \u25a0
' "I . shall . not ;. go ; wlth ;, you." • iterated
Dorothy! in /a ! level- tone, f /."You* may'
threaten fine. . but--^I ;shall ? not i go. W Mr. 1
Brentwick and ; Mr.'j Kirkwood^ areitak-"
ing me\to— friends,^ who/ will | give me^
~B.'. horned until? I " can 'find aTway^ to' take
care sof I myself. - : Thatj: is '.< all >I • have %to j
say,.to;you."^ : '-" *jC~l'£t£ '."."'->.:\u25a0';.-*,•, /\u25a0\u25a0 C
'--\u25a0- fßravo."-. my/ dear!" - cried Brentwick \
'encouragingly. ";'~]:M \u25a0. \u25a0' ' ' . '-\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 ; '\u25a0'• •\u25a0;:\u25a0:
"Mind your business, sir I" , thundered
Calendar, his face darkening. : Then,
,to . Dorothy, ."You . understand;-! trust,
what this \ means?" he' demanded. * "I
offer you a home^ — and a good one. Re-»
fuse, and you work for -your living, my
girl! You've forfeited', your' legacy—"
"I ; know, - 1 . know," she f told him jln
cold' disdain. " I anv content.* Won't'
you be kind enough toleave me aloneT'.
For a breath, Calendar glowered over
her; "then, "I /presume," , he observed,
"that all" these; heroics are inspired by j
that whipper-snapper, iKirkwood. Do
youknow that he hasn't a- brass farth
ing to bless himself with?" ". -' .
\"Whaf has .that— ?" cried the girl -
Indignantly.";'- f|, .
iy-' r \Vhy,\ it has everything .to :do . with
me,; my child. As your \ doting, parent,
I can't consent to .your, marrying,' noth- .
: ing-a-year. .... . -For- 1; surmise you '
Intend .to;" marry this : Mr. £ Klrkwood,
-don't yyo u V:\u25a0* :\u25a0 { \u25a0',; ''\u25a0..\u25a0 : ;
There followed a little Interval, of
silence,; while the warm blood, flamed
In the girl's face and the ; red lips;:
trembled as she •; faced her^ v torm_entor. I
Then, with a{ quaver I. that escaped \ her ''•!
control. "If Mr. Kirkwood asks me, ;
shall," she stated ; ; very, simply.' •' "
""That," interpbsedv'r Klrkwood,
completely understood.":" His gaze
sought i her eyes, but che looked away.
"You forget that I" am ; your ; father,"
\u25a0sneered, Calendar: ''and: that you- are a
minor." I : can refuse 'my; consent." ,
; . "But you- won't," '\u25a0•; Kirkwood .told him.
with assurance. . .... .•' V- r .'\u25a0.""-'-
The ; adventurer v stared. -^ ''No,*', he
, agreed,* after^sllght; hesitation; : '"no, ;l
shan't: Interfere. , Take' her, ; my, boy,
if you want 'her— -and a father's" blessf
Ing Into the j bargain. B The ; Lord knows y
: I've troubles ; enough; a parent's- lot Is
•' not * what It's 'V cracked :, up ' to; be." : >• He ;
paused, leering, •'»-ironia?-''But"^7-dellb-':
: erately, % "there's ; still \u25a0', this ' other - mat- •
' ter of the gladstone.bag.v I don't -mind ,
abandoning r? my^ parental *£ authority, '
when my, child's happiness is concerned,
but as for^my- property--".-:
"It Is -riot 'your property," inter
rupted the "girl. :
•- "It " was ';' y our dear child. ;
It's -now mine." • :
V "I dispute that assertion": Klrkwood
puf.ln. .\u25a0'":. :\u25a0:"£ :'<• -, ' : '\u25a0\u25a0 "\u25a0 \u25a0 - ":•-\u25a0\u25a0 .--.
- ."You may dispute", it till "the- cows
come home, my ; boy:, the fact: will, re- ,
, main that I intend to take my property
\u25a0: wl th * nie .. \u25a0 when -- 1 ">, leave -i- this '" \u25a0 room,"'.'
\u25a0: whether. , you^ like It or f. not.' y Now \u25a0 are ;
you disposed to "continue the argument;
' or; may ; I count on your : being sen-
Bible?*'/, J ; . "' r "\u25a0 ' --".;- ' \u25a0 > \u25a0\u25a0'
' \u0084'; "You .."may , put . away/ your .r- revolver, 0 ';
If /that's f.what: you \ mean,"-, said > Kirk- -f
-woodl? C.TWe - certainly 'shan't .'oppose
'yoir.wlth/Vlolence,' but;l*wam you that V
' Scotland *-Tar4^-".j - '. . : . ; /, . ; .-.,
* '"Oh/that l be blowed!"-the?adventurer
: snorted iin ? dls&ust> i^l. can : sail; circles ! ;
\u25a0 rounds any \ tec. .that^ ever jblew .[ out , of *j
. Scotland VYard'^Glve.'ine. an" bourns start Jl
to'J do • alii the >' funny
business . you've ; a^mlnd k to, 'jWlthi-Scot-v'
"LandCYard!""^-,- \u25a0'-''" '\u25a0\u25a0';. . v"'. ' "\u25a0'-' "\ ;.; ''}.
-/"Then* you •admit," .queried . Brent- "
. wick* civilly, ithat you*:ve no legal title
to"therjewels^ln-;dispute?" f ; V -;,.; t - ; - : y, r ,\
;:"' '.Tiobk ~ here,"i,'myis friend,", chuckled' :
! Calendar^ -V'when 1 you i catch \ me l 'admit-' V
.jtjn^ r janytelng.^ypu?' I write'tlt'-:dbwn«lriy
*your?little f book^and jtelC the; bobby on
"corrierT'i"' Just"; at? present; l've; got v
\u25a0 other I ; « business s than tj standing; «j;'roundtf
admittlnsfif anything si about -anything. '
\u25a0.>\u25a0:/.'/. . i Cap'nr?s laf s• , have J that * bag
of^my?dutiful^dauehter's." -\u25a0< t* .-.-C ; r\u25a0\u25a0../;•r \u25a0\u25a0../;•
Louis Joseph Vance
\u25a0• ; " .'Ere you are." . Stryker. spoke for
the first time since entering. the. room,
taking the valise J4 from ' beneath"" the
chair and depositing It on : the table."
; "Well, we shan't take anything that
doesn't : belong to us," laughed Calen
dar, fumbling with the catch; "not even
so; small a. matter as my own child's
traveling bag. A small— heavy — glad
stone bag," he grunted, opening the
valise and , plunging in .one greedy
hand, "will— Just— about— do for mine!"
; With which he "produced the article
mentioned. "This. for. the discard,
Cap'n," 'he 'laughed, contentedly. push-
Ing the girl's valise aside; and,' rumb
ling with stentorian mirth, stood beam
ing benignantly over the assembled
company.
\u25a0 "Why." , he exclaimed, "this moment
Is worth all -it cost me! My children,
I. forgive you freely. Mr. Kirkwoo'd,
I felicitate you most cordially on hav
ing secured a most expensive wife.
Really— d'you know? — -I feel . as if I
ought to" do a little' something for you
both." Gurgling with delight he smote
his fat palms together. "I Just . tell
you what," he resumed, "no one yet
ever called Georgie Calendar a tight
wad. , I Just believe I am going to make
you kids a handsome wedding present.
:.' . . The. good Lord knows there's
enough of this for a fellow to be a
little generous and never miss It!"
The thick mottled .fingers tore nerv
ously at -the. catch; eventually he got
.the . bag \ open. Those i about the table
bent forward, ..all quickened by "the
- prospect x of •; for the first- time behold
ing, the treasure over which they had
: fought,- for which they had suffered,
so long. . •*. . " I
| • A heady and luscious fragrance per
vaded the atmosphere, exhaling from
the open. mouth ofthe bag. .A silence.
Indefinitely sustained. Impressed It
self upon the little audience— a breath
less pause ended eventually ' by a' sharp
snap .of Calendar's teeth. "Mmm!"
grunted the adventurer/ In bewilder
ment. He began to pant
Abruptly, his heavy hands delved Into
the contents of the bag, like the paws
of a terrier "digging In the earth.
To ;Kirkwood the air- seemed tempor
arily thick, with, flying . objects. Be
neath; his astonished eyes atowel fell
, upon the. table-^a crumpled, soiled
towel, bearing on '\u25a0 Its; dingy hem .the
' Inscription in Indelible ink: "Hotel dv
Commerce, Anvers.'.V A tooth mug of
. substantial ./earthenware dropped- to
; the ; floor with a crash. A slimy soap
dish of the; same" .manufacture slid
across "the^ table; and* Into Brentwick's
lap. ; ; A' battered alarm clock u with never
\u25a0 a tick left in its -abused carcass rang
vacuously as it . fell ; by ; . the open
bag. if. . . The; remainder was—or
anges: a dozen or 1 more small,, round,
;. golden globes . of : : ripe fruit, ' perhaps a
shade v overripe, therefore the more
aromatic -,- .. :. x
-The .adventurer' ripped out an oath.
"Mulready, by the- living God!": he
;raged -In. fury. "Done up, I swear!
Done by that infernal sneak— me, blind
as a "bat!" »
.He fell -suddenly . silent, the blood
congesting in- his -face; : as suddenly
broke forth again, haranguing the
company. .. .
' ."That's 'why. he went out and bought
thosedamnedforanges.ls it? Think v of
It— me sittingln" the hotel in 1 " Antwerp
arid^ him plugging : in -oranges; by: the
-bagful 'because ' he : was \ fond of : frultl
' Wheni did -he do^itt How.'do "'. l ; know?
If 1 knew, .would I be here and him the
': devil;' knows' wherei tbia " minute? 1
,When ray >back was turned, 7of ' course,*
the damned j snake! .That's why^; he was
; so s hot about picking.a > fight \ on the
boat,' hey? r Wanted- to get 'thrown 1 off
and | take -I to':" the 'woodsy-leaving i me
v with this! -% And that's iwhy- he felt so
awful' done up he, r wouldn't Itake >; a
hand I at ; hunting you two down, hey?
.-Well— by-f the-rEternal! . I'll! camp^ on
his trail for. the rest of his natural born
; days ! - I'll have his _eye teeth for ' this,"
I'll— " :•\u25a0\u25a0•-\u25a0 •/ ' : J \u25a0 ''•:'\u25a0' \u25a0;\u25a0- ; / :
-.He swayed, gibbering with rage, . his
countenance ; frightfully i contorted, his
I fat hands shaking " as • he struggled' for
expression.* \u25a0.;>": ''f y ;-^" -j . •.-: r:>: - ;
,v;i And'- then,. .while. yet their: own, as-.
\u25a0 tonlshment \u25a0 held ,"- Dorothy, Klrkwood.
Brentwick *{ and -.-.;. Stryker.; speechless,',
? the ~ mechanician, < moved \u25a0 sud-'
denly/ upon -the, ad venturer.' ;*\ "
• i There \u25a0 followed -two metallic i- clicks.
. Calendar's ravings '? were^abrupted as if
his, tongue, had ;» been ;, paralyzed.; He
fell I back ; a* pace,*', flabby; Jowls "i pale and
'shaking, v* ponderous^ jaw, - dropping j on
his ,; .breast, ; mouthy -wide r and i eyes
-crazed;' as V he ',' shook \ violently : before
him;' his r, thick * fleshy wrists— securely
\u25a0" . / '........'.
' v Simultaneously •",. the- '-^mechanician
r whirled ? about, jboundedleagerly" across
Ithe j fioor.Jand 'caught ' : Stryker 3at \u25a0 the
/door.'i his .dexterous .flngersjtwistingr; ln
' the I captain's Tcollari as :. he Jerked him
-b'ackrand'itrlppedjAlin.-.-"" - " " ..
;'v?-' < Mr.\'i : KlrkwoodT/:,' he ." cried.. .t^Here,;
J please— one moment. .Take \ this man's
*gun 'fromxhlmnwill'ybur', i; ' -- .
''\ Kirkwo'od • sprang .« to'* his ; assistance,
.'and^without'encbuntering much .trouble,
; succeeded'^ ln :, wresting ; a Webley * from
; Strykerfslllmp,^ flaccid 'fingrers.-;;:,. - -.
<*sßoughlys ßoughly the i mechanician 'i shook \ the .
• man.'i dragging him \ toj his ; t eet.' .},!rNow.**.,
Ihe ordered | sternly, "you march " to . that '
" cxJrner, *4tick :> your.j nose • in • It and p: ; be ;
good! You can't get away if you try.,
rye got other men outside, waiting for
you to come'out.. Understand?"
-Trembling like a whipped cur. Stry
ker meekly - obeyed" his Instructions J.e
the letter. . W58BB8&B&*
* The \u25a0 mechanician, with a contemptu
ous'laughj leaving him, strode back to
Calendar," meanwhile whipping; offt his
goggles; '"and: clapped a hearty hand
upon » the adventurer's quaking shoul-"
ders. : ' ,
TWell!" he cried. "And are you still
sailing circles round the men from Scot
land Yard. ' Simmons, or Bellows, or
Sanderson, or Calendar. 6r Crumbstone,
or whatever • name you prefer to sail
under?" /
Calender glared at him aghast: then
heaved; a profound sigh, shrugged'hls
fat . shoulders, and bent his head •In •
thought. An instant later he looked up.
"You can't do" lt,"-he informed the de
tective'vehemently: "you haven't got a
shred of evidence against' met. "What's
there? A pile of oranges and a peck of
trash! What of It? . .'.' . Besides."
he threatened, "if you pinch me, you'll
have to take the girl In. too. I'll not be
trapped this way by her and let her off
without a squeaL; Take me— take her;
d'yqu hear?" .- -
"I think." put in the clear, bland ac
cents of Brentwick, "we can consider
that t matter settled. I have here, my
man"— nodding to the adventurer as he
took up : the' black leather wallet— "l
have here a little matter which may
clear up . any lingering doubts as to
your standing, which you may be dis
posed at present to entertain."
He extracted a slip of cardboard and.
at arm's length, ] laid It on . the table
edge beneath the adventurer's eyes. The
latter, bewildered, bent over It for a
moment, breathing heavily: then
straightened back. shook .hlmse.lf.
laughed shortly with a. mirthless note,
and faced the detective!'
. "It's come with you now. I guess V
he suggested very quietly.
"The warrant Is still out
for -. you," returned . the man. ""' "That'll
be' enough to hold you on till extra
dition "papers arrive from the states." ;
"Oh, Til waive those: and I won't
glveyou.any trouble, either. % .'\u25a0.. I
reckon." : mused the adventurer. Jing
ling his manacles thoughtfully, "I'm a
back ' number any 'way. Whan a- half
grown girl, 'a half baked boy, a dub
like Mulready— damn his eyes! — and a
club footed- snipe from Scotland Yard
can put it. over, me this way .'.. .
tvhy, I guess it's up to me to go home
and retire to my country place up the
Hudson." He sighed wearily. "Yep:
time to cut It out. But I would like
to be free long enough to get In one
good lick at that mutt. Mulready. My
friend, you get your hands on him and
I'll squeal on him till. I'm blue in the
face. That's a promise."
"You'll have the chance before long."
replied the detective. "We received
a telegram from the Amsterdam po
lice late this afternoon, saying they'd
picked, up Mr. Mulready with a woman
named Hallam. and were holding them
on suspicion.^ It seems." — turning to
Brentwick. — "they were opening nego
tiations for the sale of a lot of stones,
and seemed in such a precious hurry
that the diamond merchant's suspicion
were aroused. We're sending ovor for
them. Miss Calendar, so you can make
your .'. mind easy, about your Jewels;
you'll have them back In a few days."
"Thank -you," said the girl with an
effort.
; ."Well , M the adventurer. delivered his
peroration. "I certainly am blame" glad
to hear It. "Twouldn't "ye been a
square. deal. any. other way." ".'H •
V- He paused.* looking his erstwhile
dupes over with a melancholy* eve; then,
with an uncertain nod comprehending
the girl. Klrkwood and Brentwick, "So
lcngl" . he , said' thickly; and turned,
with -' the detective's hand under his
arm and, accompanied by the thorough
ly cowed Stryker, waddled out of the
room.''
Ill — JOCRXEPS EXD
.Klrkwood. .following the exodus,
closed,; the door with elaborate care
and slowly, deep in thought, returned
to theMable. . •
Dorothy seemed not to have moved,
save to place her elbows on the marble
slab and rest her cheeks between hands
4hat remained clenched, as they had
been In the greatest stress of her emo
tion. The color had returned to her
face, with a slightly enhanced depth
of hue to the credit of her excitement.
Her cheeks were hot, her eyes starllke
beneath the woven, massy sunlight of
her : hair. * Temporarily unconscious of
her surroundings she stared steadfastly
before her, thoughts astray in the Iri
descent glamour of the dreams that
were to come.. »
~~ Brentwick had slipped down in his
chair, restlntr his silvered head upon
its back, and was smiling serenely up
at the low yellow ceiling. Before him
on the table his long whlt-3 fingers
were -drumming an Inaudible tune.
Presently rousing he caught Klrk
v/ood's eye and smiled sheepishly, like
a child caught, in. lnnocent mischief.
The younger man grinned broadly.
"And" you -were responsible for all
that!" he commented, infinitely amused.
'-, Brentwick </ nodded, twinkling self
satisfaction.! "I: contrived it all", he
said ;V"neat. I call.lt. too." His old eyes
brightened with reminiscent enjoyment.
"Inspiration!"' he, crowed "softly. "In
spiration.:" pure and . simple. I'd b^en
worrying my. wits for fully five minutes
before . Wotton settled the matter by
telling me about the captain's, hir
ing.- of the . , motor, car.' Then, In' a
flash; I had it. ... I talked with
.Charles by ",. telephone— his name is
really Charles, \- by the by— overcame
his - conscientious : scruples ' about play
ing his fish when they were already all
but landed, and settled the artistic de
tails." : v <^"
' He chuckled delightedly. "It's the in
stinct.", he . declared . emphatically, "the
instinct for 'adventure. I knew It was
in me , latent' somewhere, but never till
this day did it get ''the opportunity to
assert Itself. "A bora adventurer —
that's- what ? l am! •/ • • You see.
It /was essential that they should .be
lieve w«7 were ; frightened and running -
from "them;' that way, they* would ' be
sure : to i run r after: us./ Why, we might
i have,-: baited ; a dozen ; traps , and failed
to lure I them > into my house, * after that
stout scoundrel ' knew you'd had the
chance 7. to :' tell /me .the whole yarn.
./:.. ••;• .-Oddr *;"-.- :..-.. . . :/\u25a0„ \u25a0 : \u25a0 ;\ /-;. .
"Weren't you taking, chances.' you
and J; Charles?" -asked i Klrkwood curi
ously. :_: _ :
•"Precious ifew..-' There was another
motor 4 from _: Scotland Yard trailing
.Captain Stry ker*s. '. If \ they " had '.; run
past, or turned aside, they would have*
been 'overhauled In < short order.'*
'?\u25a0 ;He' - relapsed' Into his whimsical
reverie; . the wistful . look returned , to
.his eyes; replacing the glow of ; triumph
and ~; pleasure. 'And he sighed a little -.
regretfully. { 4|9BflHE9sߣd69&9
-'J'What. IV:, don't j. understand," con
tended; Xl r kwood. w "is ':'• how -you ' co n- * :
vinced ) Calendar * that . he ; get \u25a0
revenge by pressing his coarse against
Miss Calendar— Dorothy."'- - ' * : --< : '-- -;
\u25a0I" "Oh-hY'^ Mr.^ Brentwick elevated bis
fine white eyebrows and sat up briskly. .
"Mr dear boy, that was the most
delectable dish on the entire menu. I
have been reserving It. I don't mind
owning*, that I might better enjoy the
full relish of IL ... I may an
swer you best, perhaps, by ask ins you
to scan what I offered to the fat scoun
drel's respectful consideration, my dear
sir." \_^
He leveled a fofeflnger at the card.
. At first glance It conveyed nothing to
the younger man's benighted Intelli
gence. He puzzled over It, twisting
his, brows out of alignment. An or
dinary oblong slip of thin white card
board. It was engraved In fine script
as follows: v
MR. GEORGE BTJRGQTNE CALEXDAK
31. Aspen Villa*, s. W.
"Oh!" exclaimed Kirkwood at length,
standing up, his face bright with un
derstanding. "You— r
"I." laconically assented the elder
man.
Impulsively Klrkwood leaned across
the table. "Dorothy." he said tender
ly; and when the girl's happy eyes met
his. quietly drew her attention toltho
card. v
Then' he rose hastily and went over
to stand by the window, staring mistily
Into the blank face of night beyond its
unseen panes.
Behind him there was a confusion of
little noises; the sound of a chair
pushed hurriedly aside, a rustle of
skirts, a happy sob or two, low voices
Intermingling; sighs. . . . Out of It
finally came the father's accents.
"There, there, my dear! My dearest
dear!" protested the old gentleman.
"Positively I don't deserve a tithe of
this. I—"I — " The young old voice quav
ered and broke In a happy laugh.
. . . "You must understand," he con
tinued more soberly, "that no con
sideration of any sort is due me.
. . . "When we married I was too old
for your mother, child; we both knew
It, both believed It would never matter.
But it did. By her wish I went back
to America; we were to see what sep
aration would do to heal the wounds
dissension had caused. It was a very
foolish experiment. Your mother died
before I could return."*
There fell a silence, again broken by
the father. "After that X was In no
haste to return. But some years ago I
came to London to live. I communi
cated with the old colonel, asking per
mission to see you. It was refused in
a manner which precluded the subject
being reopened by me: I was Informed
that if I persisted In attempting' to
tee you you would be disinherited.
. . . He was very angry with me—
Justly. I admit. . . . One must grow
old before one can see how unfor
givably one was wrong In youth.
. . . So I settled down to a quiet
old age. determined not to disturb you
in your happiness. ... Ah — Klrk
wood!"
The old gentleman was standing, hla
arm round his daughter's shoulders,
when Klrkwood turned.
"Come here. Philip; I'm explaining
to Dorothy, but you should hear.
.-• . . The evening I called on you.
dear boy. at' the Pless. returning home
I received a message from my solici
tors, whom I had instructed to keep an
eye on Dorothy's welfare. They in
formed me that she had disappeared.
Naturally I canceled my plans to go to
Munich, and stayed, employing detec
tives. One of the first things they dis
covered was that Dorothy had run oC
with an elderly person calling himself
George Burgoyne Calendar — the nanw
I had discarded when I found that to
acknowledge me would imperil my
daughter's fortune. . . . The in
vestigations went deeper; Charles
let us continue to ' call him—
had been to see me only thla
afternoon to inform me of the plot
they had discovered. This Hallam
woman and her son — It seerms that they
were legitimately In the line of In»
heritance. Dorothy out of the way. But
the woman was — alv — a bad lot. Some
how she got Into communication with
this fat rogue and together they
plotted It out. Charles doesn't believe
that the Hallam woman expected to
enjoy the Burgoyne estates for very
many days. Her plan was to step in
when Dorothy stepped out,' gather up
what she could, realize on it, and de
camp. That is why there was so much
excitement about the Jewels; naturally
the most valuable item on her list, the
most easy to convert Into cash. . . .
The man Mulready we do not place; he
seems to have been a shad^ character
the fat rogue picked up lomewhere.
The tetter's ordinary Una of business
was diamond smuggling, though he
would condescend to almost anything
In order to turn a"~dlshonest penny.
"That see^na to exhaust the subject.
But one word more. . . '. Dorothy,
I am old enough and have suffered
enough to know the wisdom of seizing
one's happiness when one may. My
dear, a little while ago. you did a
very brave deed. Under, fire you said
a most courageous, womanly, creditable
thing. And Philip's rejoinder was only
second in nobility to yours. . . . I
do hope to goodness that you two
blessed youngsters won't let any ad
dlepated scruples stand between your
selves and — the prlzo of Romance, your
Inalienable inheritance!"
Abruptly Brentwick. who was no
longer Brentwick. but the actual Cal
endar, released the girl from his em
brace and hopped nimbly toward the
door. "Really. I must see about that
petrol!" he cried. "While It's perfectly
true that Charles lied about It's run
ning out. we must be getting on. I*ll
call you when we're ready to start."
And the door-^rashed to behind him.
Between them was the table. Be
yond it the girl stood with hea4 erect,
dim tears glimmering on the lashes of
those eyes with which she met Phillp'3
steady gaze so fearlessly.
Singing about them, the silence,
deepened. . Fascinated,- though his heart
was .faint; with longing, Klrkwood
faltered on the threshold of his king
dom. I
"Dorothy! . . l You did mean !:.
Inn I.JIWIi iPIIH
She - laughed, a little, low, sobbing
laugh that i had Its source deep In the
hidden sanctuary "of her heart of a
child.
"Umeant It, ray dearest. . ... If
you'll have a girl so. bold and forward,
who can't wait till- she's asked but
throws herself Into the arms of the
man _. she loves^— Philip, *I meant it.
every! word! ...-.'*";"
And as he .went to her swiftly, round
the table, she turned to meet him. arms
uplifted, her scarlet lips a-tremble. the
brown: and bewitching lashes drooping
over "her wondrou3ly_, lighted eyes.
After a time Philip Klrkwood laughed
aloud.
- And ,' there .was that quality In the
ring "of * his ' laughter that caused the
Shade of Care, which had . for the last
10 minutes been uneasily luffing and
filling in the offing and.; on the -whole.*
steadily/ diminishing and becoming,
more pale and -wan* and emaciated and
indistinct— there was that in the laugh
ter of /Philip 'Kirkwood. I say, which'
caused : the* Shade of Care to utter a
hollow croak of. despair .as, inconti
nently. It vanished out of his Ufa. *
THE END

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