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of =5 The Mystery of the Silver Dagger By RANDAU PARRISH Author of "The Strange Case of Cavendish" to Illustrations by A. Weil CHAPTER XI A Venture of Peril. I must have remained unconscious for an hour or more. I never really knew how long, for my watch disap peared, yet it was still night when I again painfully opened my eyes and endeavored to perceive my surround ings. Memory of the blow which ended the struggle caused me to lift a hand to my head; the scalp was bruised and broken, the hair matted with clotted blood, yet I could not be lieve the injury was a serious one. I could use my limbs. Satisfied on this point, and assured that I was alone, I braced myself on one arm, and, in a sitting posture, endeavored to survey my surroundings. I was resting on the floor of a bare room of ordinary sise, containing no vestige of furniture. The place was cold, with that indescribable chill pecu liar to unused apartments, and through the one window, which was unshaded by a curtain, poured the direct light of an almost full moon. In this silvery light every bit of that Interior stood revealed in lta hldeous'bareness, the roughly finished walls, the patches of plaster scaled off, the dirty floor, the single door and window, the rags amid which I rested. It was a hopeless scene. I staggered to my feet reeling a moment like a drunken man, and then finally found my way along the side wall to the window. My strength in creased as I advanced, and courage was born with it—I was not dead; I might baffle those villains yet. They must have felt that I was safe enough in this place; that, even If I regained consciousness, no escape was possible, for they had left no guard. A glance without revealed the reason for such confidence. I was four stories up, a sheer brick wall below, and, at the bottom, a concrete wnlk. There was nothing between to cling to unless It might be the narrow coping of stone Just beneath the window sill. I stared at this, almost hopefully, for an ln * * * stnnt; then turned my eyes away with a shudder ; it was scarcely as broad as the sole of my shoe and to think of creeping along there was merely the dream of a madman. The bright moonlight flooded everything about, yet I saw nothing familiar; I was evi dently at the back end of a house, with others closely set on either side, and an alley beyond a small, enclosed of ' y/A r 1 m >r ' MW * |T\V \H jm |m ül \\WV / V' 1/ \' \ £3 * s' ... 1 Wa« Four 8torie» Up. This latter was littered with yard. dead weeds and rubbish of every tfe scripUon, and a small shed of some kind extended across the rear. Three stories below, but to the right, a nar row porch protected the back door. There was no movement visible any where, no gleam of light from the windows below me. I listened In vain for any sound; the night was as still as death, not even the echo of a dis tant street-car reaching my ear. I was somewhere within the limits of the city; of that I felt assured, but be yond this could determine nothing. I stole as silently as possible across to the door. It was securely locked, of course, and could be forced open, If at all. only by creating considerable I stood, staring helplessly alarm. about, feeling the impossibility of • escape. I could only wait for my Jail to appear. Impotent to aid myself After all. that ere In any way—or her. last thought was the most impelling. That they suspected Marie Gessler of being Implicated in both murder and robbery was clearly evident; indeed, they not only suspebted, but were con vinced that she had done the deed. I was secretly obliged to adroit that they had some reason to so believe ; that they even possessed proof which would probably convict her In court of the crime. This gave them a ter : rlble advantage over the gfrl. once they had her bodily In their posses- ! Guilty or not guilty, she could I not establish her Innocence; under! I torture and threat, such as they would ! go doubtless use In their money lust. | there was no knowing what might happen. Alone, helpless In the grasp of these unscrupulous crooks, her fate might be death, disgrace. Certainly it would be foul Insult, and, If she failed slon. he it I to yield, the desire for revenge might even drive those cowards to a secret denouncement of her to the police. This, however, would be their last re sort ; they would exhaust all other efTorts first. And no one else knew of her danger ; no one else was In position to aid her; she must face this gang absolutely alone unless 1 could effect an escape. It was not merely my own life at stake; hers was also In the balance a in I a the was It ln And the time In which to act was short. If I escaped at all, it must be accomplished before my Jailers re turned, before they dreamed that I had aroused from unconsciousness, or had strength enough to make the Yet what possible way attempt. suggested Itself? I felt In my pockets; they were utterly empty, except for a single overlooked bill. There was no means of egress other than the win dow and that seemed hopeless. Yet In desperation I crossed over once more, and again looked out. Could I—dare I—attempt to cling to that slight ledge in my stocking feet, even for the one or two steps necessary to reach the next window? The very conception of such a feat made my head reel giddily and my stomach rise In protest. Besides, even If I made It by some miracle, what If that other window should be closed and locked? How could I ever move backward to regain safety? Yet wait: there was a way, danger ous enough to be sure, yet possible If I possessed the necessary nerve. There were opened blinds at each window; they would help some as grasping spots for the hands. The one within reach appeared solid enough, firmly anchored to the ensement, and secured to the brick wall by means of an iron book. be traversed was not wide ; a single stride on the ground beneath would bridge the distance, thing to cling to above—anything that would keep me upright—I might hold my footing on the narrow stone and make the passage slowly. It was a daring, deadly venture, hut possible. But what could I hope to utilize as n support? The hare room offered but single suggestion—the dirty coverlet which hnd been thrown over me. Torn apart from twisted into the form of it rope, It ought to safely sustain my entire weight in ease a foot slipped, started to tear with m.v teeth, nnd thus succeeded In ripping the thing from Between the two the space to If I had some B corner to corner, nnd T R was scarcely long end to end. enough for the purpose, which com pelled me to make the noose corre spondingly small. However, with this Improvised lasso gripped in my right hand, I took position astride the sill of the window, In an endeaver to pro Ject the loosened end over some pro tuberance of the blind beyond, holding tight to the frame with my left hand, the right wus left free, and I was enabled to lean out far enough to obtain a clear toss, was little the noose could catcl and continued failure left me listless and discouraged, kept at It, and finally, to my surprise, the ring of the cloth settled over an Iron projection of the hinge, nnd clung there, extending straight across from window to window, breathe as I drew the thing taut and tested the firmness with which It was held at the id her end. closed down tightly about the Iron staple, and resisted every effort at re lease. To all seeming it was ns safely anchored as though I hud placed It there by hand. Somehow the very knowledge that this lmd been accom plished. that the .way wus open, brought with It a renewal of the feel ing of horror with which I had first contemplated the possibility of such an accomplishment. Would I ever dare the attempt? My head swam as gazed downward, and then across, and I shrank back absolutely terrified at tlie very I hought. Yet my nerve returned, and i found myself cool and determined, no pleasant Job, to he sure, and was compelled to steel myself to tin attempt, yet I no longer held back para lysed by fear. I easily found a secure fastening for the strip of bed-spread at my own window, and then, satisfied that It was taut and securely held at both ends, lowered my body cautiously over the sill, until my stockinged feet nervously gripped the narrow of the coping, or permit my mind to . dwell for an instant on wtiat was below. Slowly I straightened up. until my entire weight was upheld by this precarious foot-hold. To advance step by step was Impossible ; all I could ho;*, to accomplish in locomotion stealthily advance one foot a Inches, sliding it along the stone, ever retaining contact, and then, as care fully drawing the other after until they met, toe and heel. It was the slow progress of a snail, yet the slight est effort at hurrying would mean a certain fall. a I : By Tli ere on, I lost hope, yet I hardly dared The noose I It was stone I dare not look down WUS to fe>w. ; This was not unduly perilous, how ever. so long as I retained firm hold on the sill, or eCen could grip my fingers over the lower frame of the open blind, as I was enabled thus to partially sustain my weight, and. even If a foot slipped, the feel of the solid wood yield*-,! confidence. But finally my hand reached out and grasped only ■ " riff) twisted Into sotof sern - or ing of blanee of a rope. and. as It gave slck enlngly to the pressure, the old fear swept over me In a torrent of agony, I could never make it—never! I would go swirling, crashing down to that death below, It was but a step, to step and I could reach he sure; the firmness of the other blind; but. oh, the step—the speechless horror of it Î Yet there was no going backward : I tried this, only to realise at once Its Impossibility, and the perspiration burst out from every pore, as the full situation suddenly or : horror of my flashed over me. 1 must go on, trust ing to that thin, unstable cord, balanc ing myself above the gulf. There was no other way. no retreat, no means of I do not know now how the escape. act was accomplished ; It is hardly a memory, except as some wild delirium of sleep haunts one when they awake. Inch by Inch I crept, hand encroach ing on hand, foot pressing against foot, every slightest movement an in expressible agony—then I gripped the support of wood once more, and clung to It as with the grasp of death. I clung there until my mind came back, until I felt the return of strength to my body, and I could look down through the moonlight without reeling dizzily. The blind was strong, firmly braced, and I felt safe In Its protêt tlon. But what about the window beyond? Suppose It should be locked? or the room into which I opened, occupied? I could not continue to cling there In uncertainty : I must learn the truth—assure myself that I had not passed through all this tense agony in vain. I moved slowly, barely an inch at a time, each advancing foot feeling for support, but more confident now because of the grasp of my fingers on the upper wood, closed, but dark and grimy looking, as though the room within had been long unoccupied. Its very appearance gave me courage. I balanced myself on the precarious footing of the stone, clinging tenaciously with my left hand to the Iron hinge of the blind, while my right endeavored to raise the sash. At first I believed the window firmly fnstened down—the suspicion leaving me numb with despair. But reckless tugging loosened jts hold, and enabled me to shove up the sash little by little, until finally the open ing became sufficient for me to squeeze through. I felt ns though I had re turned from the dead, the nervous re action so great that I lay for a moment the floor where I had fallen, un able to move. I knew I was alone, the spnee untenanted, the walls as bare ns In that other room from which I had fled. 1 knew this, and in tny exhaustion eared to know no more. Then I staggered to my knees, and, with opened eyes stared curiously about, gathering my wits together. There was nothing to see but the four walls, I tried the door, and it opened silently, permitting me to The window was It on T and glance out Into a narrow dark hall I could dimly uncarpeted. way, discern the top of a flight of stairs leading down to the story below, slipped out, and closed the door softly behind me, being plunged Instantly Into 1 funereal blackness. I groped a way forward toward the stairs, guided by a hand against the wall, until the touch of the upper roll assured me of my position. A narrow strip of carpeting—rag I took It to be from the feeling—extended down the center of the stairs, sufficient to muffle any footsteps, and I paused a moment listening for the slightest noise amid the darkness beneath. All remained still and mysterious; so that I drew forth my shoes from a coat pocket and slipped them on. Twice the boards creaked ominously under my tread, sounding terrific In thnt silence, and causing me to hang In suspense over the banister rail, holding my breath In fear of discovery. At last I attained the wider space at the bottom, and sought blindly to ex plore my surroundings. But for the carpet underfoot, and a small sofa encountered in a recess, I would have believed myself In à deserted house. 1 knew 1 wus on the third floor, yet there was no curve In the banisters, showing a way to the next flight of stairs, nor could I locate them by any effort. As the result of blindly groping | about, I lost all sense of direction and J must have wandered Into a side room I through an undraped recess, for I suddenly brought up against a table, littered with papers and books. Sturtled by this encounter Into a realization thut I was lost In a strange house at an unholy hour of the morn ing, and that the slightest misstep In that darkness might result In an alarm to awaken every sleeper, for a few minutes I did not venture to move In any direction. Yet manifestly I could not remain there Indefinitely, and so, blindly choosing a course, I set forth, feeling a way cautiously forward until I first ran Into a chair, and then struck one hand against a side wall, lowed this latter as best . I could, Inspired iiy the thought that If 1 con tinued this course long enough I must attain the opening through which I had entered the room. On the way my hands feit the outlines of a closed door, and, in aimlessly groping about, encountered a key In the lock, was so inserted as to lie extracted at the touch of my fingers and Instant : ly a tiny ray of light shot forth through the vacated hole. It wa« such a relief in the heart of that darkness as to cause me to quickly bend down and endeaver to view the It was evidently a chamlter of some aize, and well furnished, rather dimly illuminated by a single shaded electric globe, a handsome green rug on the floor, and numerous picture« hung about the walls. I could perceive the outli.ne* of a bed at one *!<!e. barely I I fol It - ■ene within. or face the greater danger of attempt- not ing to take her with -1 The fmmer move Involved exposure of her whole connection w ith the afTair, and 1 was j afrnUI to take upon myself the ns sponslbillty. I knew not who she was, why she had become Involved In this mesh of crime. I feared Harris' knowledge, the evidence he might dis close, and what his passion for revenge might drive him to do, if he once found his game decisively blocked. It would be better for me to tell her all first and then act at her direction. I reinserted the key In the lock noiselessly, shot back the bolt and opened the door, stepping quickly within to instantly shut out the glare of light. It seemed to me this was then return to her rescue with helft? or , . . .the accomplished in utter silence, but. ns d| the door latched behind me, she wus upon her feet, plainly startled by the J intrusion. If thrity, we are assured, we can make good, In twelve years, the total destruction of the great European con fUct Only by thrift, we are warned, can we get the abundant capital which means permanently easy money and | credit; permanently prosperous bust -1 ness and national welfare. | The opportunity for thrift Is here. The cost of living has gone down 30 to 40 per cent—certainly one-third—in the last year. The man who lived through war tlines, and still Is In business, may now save a part of his Income—If he wishes. He may buy the same things he bought a year ago, and at the end of the month have a surplus to put in the bank. Or, he may buy more things than he bought a year ago, and at the end of the month have nothing but re coipted bills. It Is his choice. How is he choosing? Often sensl bly; that is one reason why there are some signs of business Improvement; sometimes foolishly; that is one reason | The lesson of thrift Is siill to be teachers, RESTORATION OF PROSPERITY DEPENDS ON NATION'S THRIFT n Noted Financial Authority Says We Can Make Bark War Losses In Twelve Years. Chicago.—We are advised dally by the economies that by thrift we must restore the capital destroyed by the war. why the improvement is not-more gen eral. learned in many cases. For example: Tabulations of house hold budgets, family expenditures, come to hand every week. From read ing them, one often gets the impres sion that such things as potroast, leg of mutton, side meat, spare ribs and hens are us much out of style as cab bage and kings, and that only sliced ham at 60 cents a pound, porterhouse steak, rib chops, rib roaBtB and holl ers are fit food for any American family. Even government statistics seem to hold thlB point of view, figure out health and decency "stand ards," which one must spend $2,600 or $3,000 a year to live up to, and which would condemn four-fifths of the bead and hand workers in the United States -ministers doctors and They still 1 f Everything for QUALITY^ nothing for show HAT'S OUR IDEA in making CAMELS—the Quality Cigarette. T Why, just buy Camels and look at the package 1 It's the best packing science has devised to keep cigarettes fresh and full flavored for your taste. Heavy paper outside—secure foil wrapping inside and the revenue stamp over the end to seal the pack age and keep it air-tight. And note this! There's nothing flashy about the Camel package. No extra wrappings that do not improve the smoke. Not a cent of needless expense that must come out of the quality of the tobacco. Camels wonderful and exclusive Quality wins on merit alone. Because, men smoke Camels who want the taste and fragrance of the finest tobaccos, expertly blended. Men smoke Camels for Camels smooth, refreshing mildness and their freedom from ciga retty aftertaste. Camels are made for men who think for them* selves. . A Jr amel w : tchk: ■ ri ?i^po ttmc P 1 R. J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY, Win.ton-S.Ua, N. C, the »26. ing among others—to an indecent life, and not distant death, ^ not hayf tQ r ,, ad ^ or clr . culars to ftnd theni A y woman earning $25 a week, ^ $ , g for a [iair of , uede »hoes shops, There are thousands like her and oo suchshoes still stand at $18 In the of of day Is 29. Its T. 18 A man pays $16 for a pair of shoes, although by walking a few blocks he can get equally good ones for $9. And so. with the raw materials for shoes costing less than ten years ago. the $16 shoe is still priced, and sold as readily to some men. as In 1918. A few miles from Chicago, the pro prietor of a medium priced motor car; he owns .the business. His delivery •'boy" also d| . We)| H car w iileh, new. cost only a [hundred dollars less than the pro prietor's. drug store drives a The other evening a seven-passenger motor car drove up to a house where the writer was to dine. A young wo got out, who afterward appeared in the dining room as a waitress. Her father, who was not overpaid as a small town employee, hnd brought her In hts machine to do her bit of work and he called for her later when the bit was done. Very good, lucky father and for tunate daughter; perhaps It is captious to mention It—only, If motor cars, cord tires and gasoline to conthaue to be necessary to the health and decency standard of living. - adjustment is certainly complicated. and the reconstruction will have to be notably snd prolonged | How many persons have heard the expression from unemployed men of | late, "I'd starve before I'd work for $5 a day?" Plenty of them, If they have kept their ears open. But why multiply cases? Now, If it were possible, most of us would bo gratified to see all delivery boys ride In touring carsj waitresses motor to their appointments, all the men and women walk down the bule vard in $18 suedes snd $16 calfskins, and everybody employed at wages that would mnke $6 a day look like star vation. Only it Is not possible; there isn t money enough In the United States; even in the flush times of war, there was not money enough. If nil Ilia in comes above $25,000 s year had then | been taken away from their possessors and had been distributed among the rest of us, we should have received an Increase of less than a dollar a week. each. What Is the lesson? Simply that a lot more of us should sober up, reckon with things as they wero—or, perhaps, with things a sthey were—or, perhups, should be and do our purl in accumu lating by thrift the savings, the sur plus. the capital, that Is to replace the surplus, the capital, that Is to replace losses of war and float business again Into the deep and smooth waters of general welfare and permanent pros perity. The Savings Division of the Treus Department has been preaching the gospel of Thrift and Savings con stantly since the signing of the Armis tice. The government Is seeking to induce everyone to save and Invest their savings in Governing Savings securities, such as the 26-cent Thrift n an to or ury Stamp, the $1 Treasury Savings Stamp, the $5 War Savings Stamp, and the »26. $100 and $1.000 Treasury Saving» Certificates. This would release bank ing resources for commercial enter prices. These securities are on sale eontimtously at post offices and most banks. NOTICE. Notice is hereby gl'-en by flic Board of Trustees of ScVol District No. 18 of Power County. Idaho, that a special election will be hol' 1 upon the ISth day of August. 1921 the purpose for which the said election Is to be held Is to vote to move *hc following school houses from their present site to the following described sliest The Wash ington school from its rrcsent site to 29. The Prosperity school house from Its present site to NRI4 NES4 Sec. T1 T. 6 R. 29. It is undoi stood by thta special election tha until the vote shows that each and everyone of these school houses are to be removed, that none of them are to be moved. Election is to be held at the Wash ington School House In District No. 18 of Power Countv, Idaho. Dated this 3rd dav ol August, 1921. GODFRIBD PUNK, Chairman of Board of Trustees. RUDOLPH RAST, y *v t a of to The Secretary. ADOLF StBTUTZ, Clerk. 8-5 8-12 11 k /• ■ywi r M i / fü ÆÊ The Menace of Fire hands over your factory, store, or home every day in the year. Rising costs make its threat con stantly more dangerous. Insure sufficiently with the Hart ford Fire Insurance Company and let this agency help you to do everything possible to prevent fire. Thus you will be doubly protected. If fire comes, you will be promptly reimbursed, does not come, you will have tin t feeling of security thnt only de pendable insurance gives. Vm is the Hartford local agency. If it Myers & French American Falls, Idaho.