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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 20, 1912, Image 17

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vulsion of terror, and before I was con
scious of what w. a happening be bad
squirmed under my band, and in an up
ward lunge of liis body be had buried
the Made in his neck just below the ear.
•'There wasn't much blood. It was
: all over iii a moment; for the tension of
Klein's muscles seemed suddenly to re
lax, and be lay quite still.
"For several moments, I could hot
briny myself to admit tin- tragedy that
had occurred. It seemed impossible that
I could have inflicted upon this boy any
real bodily harm; for I had never bar
! bored a thought of enmity against him.
1 worked over him for a few moments,
and when I found that I could not rouse
him I rushed to the 'phone. As sonn as
I I lifted the receiver from the honk and
heard Central call 'Hello! ' the full reali
sation that I was in a room of dreadful
tragedy seemed to Sweep over me and my
voice stopped at my lips. I could not
make a sound. This is the explanation
of the receiver being Off the hook; it
was nut Klein's effort to summon help,
as has been thought.
"I went bark to the bed and tried to
discover the pulse of the figure crumpled
there. I soon learned what had happened.
I had killed a man!
"The thought of flight*and of eaeape
i surged over me. With the primal instinct
of preserving thai life which only a few
days ago I bad deemed worthless, I rea
| soned that no one had seen me get off
the train; no one had seen me at Frank's
apartment; no one even knew of my pres
ence in this part of the country.
H Without stopping to remove the blood
: from my hands I jumped through the
window, and pulling my hat far down
oyer my face, I hurried back to Frank's
apartment house. I went immediately to
Prank's rooms and turned the door knob,
I expecting to go in and tell him all that
had occurred. The door was locked. I
did not knock; for in an instant I de
cided that it would be better to keep the
awful secret to myself. 1 slipped noise
lessly down the stairs, seized my suitcase
in the office and hurried to the station.
A freight train was on the siding wail
ing for the east bound passenger to pass.
1 tried several box cars and. at last, found
I one that was empty. In this 1 rode until
six o'clock in the morning, when I reached
Wayside, and took a train that landed
line in Chicago the next night. 111 the
: evening papers I read the account of the
arrest of Frank on suspicion of having
murdered his young rival. And the most
damnable part of it all was, that aside
from the alleged motive, the only clews
Connecting him with the crime were those
T had furnished — that a man of Prank's
size hail been seen by a policeman turning
a corner near Klein's house a few moments
after the murder was committed, the time
having been fixed by the removal of the
receiver from the telephone hook; that
the janitor had stepped out of the base
ment of Frank's apartment just before
I entered upon my return visit, and he
had described me as the same type of man
seen by the policeman; but, worst of all,
that human blood stains had been found
on the door knob of Frank's apartment,
twenty-four hours later, after suspicion
had begun to center upon him.
"I telegraphed Frank that I was on
my way to him. When I arrived he told
me all that he knew of the case. His only
hope lay in the knowledge of his own in
nocence. He had no alibi; for he had
come home early that evening and had
read until midnight, before going to bed.
He had seen no one between 10 P. m.
and the next morning.
"Still, 1 thought I could clear my
friend without involving myself. I ex
acted from him a promise that he should
have no other counsel than me; that he
should rest his case completely in my
hands, and that he should not demur at
any move 1 might make. This was es
sential to me, because in the defense it
was necessary that 1 should not develop
any clews that might involve the real
1 ' I have fought hard to save not only
my client's life, but my own. But I have
felt from the very beginning that this
moment must come. \ have waited and
'l'<i [iHtroni/i- Ails aHrilfMM in tv NtiiliillHle enterprise.
(Continued from Pane <S )
hoped in vain that something would occur
that would remove this bitter cup of
Confession from my lips. Hut now, the
end is here, and I am glad. If your honor
please, I am ready. My only prayer is
that my friend here be released without
further ignominy or suspicion. 1 have
done him a great wrong, but one that is
not irreparable.
"And at any rate, although the end has
not justified the accidental yet tragic
means. I have accomplished that which I
set out to do; 1 will not leave the world
without having done something to unite
the lives of those who were meant for
each other.''
As Clark finished there was a hush
throughout the court room; except for the
convulsive sobs of young Kenner, who
sat with his head buried in his arms. The
girl in black clasped one of his hands
closely in both of hers. All through the
trial she had come each day, buoying him
up with her faith and her love — this man
charged with the murder of one whom she
was to have married.
"The jury is discharged; the case of
the State against John Henner is dis
missed. The sheriff will take into custody
Wilton Clark. The Court stands ad
journed. Clear the room!" The quick,
sharp orders from the judge followed the
conclusion of the remarkable confession.
Clark was hurried into an anteroom to
prevent a demonstration, and to this room
tied also Kenner and the girl, in order to
escape the crowds that pushed and strug
gled to be near the man who had come so
close to death.
When the three were alone with the
sheriff, and Clark's hands were manacled,
the young lawyer turned to the girl.
" ESsther, am I to be forgiven for hay
ing caused you these weeks of awful suf
fering ami anxiety.' Say that you forgive
me. rjear, and I shall be content. My
motive was yours and John's happiness
in the beginning.
"Wilton. Wilton! You must —" But
kenner's hysterical cry was stopped by
one commanding glance from the grave
faced lawyer.
"I want to have a word of forgiveness
from Kenner alone, now, Bather, if you
and the sheriff will let me." lie held out
his hands and the girl, at first hesitating
ly and then with a sudden impulse, took
them. After that, burying her face in her
ami, she turned and walked hurriedly
from the room, followed by the sheriff,
an amiable but lax official who ostenta
tiously locked the door behind him,
"Steady, steady, Frank boy!" whis
pered Clark as Kenner threw his arms
convulsively about the shoulders of the
lawyer. "Remember, your word! We both
love her, Frank. Yes, I too. You had
never guessed it ? That was why I went
to Chicago the first time. She did not
care for me, and besides I knew that
even were 1 to win her it was useless to
plead with her family. Life was a drab
waste for me. She loves you and you love
her. Together, you can both find happi
ness, and in this knowledge is the only
joy that the world holds for me. There
need be no cloud over your lives. This
trial has drawn you both so close that all
the prejudice of all the races in the world
can not keep you apart now. Her loyalty
to you has been the one great test she
needed to set herself free from her own
family. You are her all now.
"There is nothing to be remembered
about Klein. That accident must not sad
den both your lives. And as for me —
well, boy, that part of the confession
about leaving life, yes, that was mine
even if all the rest was yours. It 's a
glorious thought to carry with me into the
Valley — that I have made Esther happy.
Sh! Here comes the sheriff! "
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