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~O. I i
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W atc lnspecto*r.u W.u FO S M "S.C.!R
TO THE TINES ()FFICE
* Copyright, 1902, by
Charles W. Ilooke -40
"THE DESIRE OF THE MOTR FOR THF.
%HE affair of the miser's hand
made a great stir. I never have
been able to trace the ways by
which it got into print, but
within thirty-six hours the newspapers
seemed to be full of it.
I should not have regretted very se
riously the publication of the exact
facts, but the controversy which re
sulted was somewhat annoying. Don
aId suffered, but he bore it well. He
was beset by interviewers and persons
with cameras; all sorts of absurd tests
were proposed to him; he received let
I ters from many serious minded inves
tigators and a multitude of cranks, and
there were several proposals from the
atrical managers who wished to exhibit
him. The photographers secured plen
ty of snapshots, but the Interviewers
were obliged to depend upon their own
imaginations, for Donald would not say
a word to any of them.
I All Tunbridge became a debating so
ciety, though there was far less skep
ticism than I should have expected.
My main concern is with the attitude
of two persons,-both of whom were
witnesses of the manifestations-I re
fer to Bunn and Kelvin.
The effect upon Jim Bunn was most
remarkable. I may truthfully say that
he was never the same man afterward.
He had been profoundly impressed.
Upon Kelvin the effect was peculiar.
I will wager all I possess that he had
no more doubt originally as to the gen
uineness of the manifestations than I
had. Upon that night he was shaken
to his very vitals by what he saw. Yet
upon the third day afterward he told
Isaac Thorndyke, an old resident of
Tunbridge, that it vas all mere trickery.
Thorndyke was the most notorious
babbler who ever existed. He never
kept a secret longer than the time re
quired to go from the person who gave
it into his keeping to the next with
whom he had a speaking acquaintance.
Kelvin, though a newcomer in the
town, could not have been ignorant of
this. There seemed no escape from
the conclusion that he had deliberately
selected the person most likely to
spread the story broadcast.
I was enraged at this, and I taxed
Kelvin with the slander. He showed
considerable backbone, saying that he
had only expressed a private opinion
to an acquaintance and blaming Thorn
dyke for repeating that which had been
told in confidence. The scene between
Kelvin and myself was very unpleas
ant, and I could not help feeling
throughout its duration that he was
secretly trying to make it worse.
In the end I said something quite
sharp. to the effect that he was an un
grateful brute who ought to be walk
1ng on four feet and that, moreover, he
was the last member of the animal
kingdom that had a right to accuse an
other of underhand devices and dis
honest trickery. This opened the breach
once nmore between the Kelvin family
and my own. Poor Donald! His boy
Ish love affair was progressing over a
very rough road.
There was some reason to regret this
quarrel which would embitter the war
for the control of the brtinch road.
Carl Archer had a talk with me upon
this point and suggested that it was
very unfortunate to involve Mr. Thorn
dyke in the quarrel, because he was a
stockholder in the branch. I perceived
the iniquity of the situation; but, hav
ing already given Thorndyke a piece
of my mind, I could hardly take it
back. However, I could not believe
that he would make this an excuse for
deserting our party, to which he had
pledged allegiance before the incident
"I think that Donald is carrying this
matter a little too far," said Carl. "It
is true that he doesn't seem to be doing
any harm, but we can't be sure that
he won't, because we don't knowv the
motive which has led him into all this
"Why don't you ask him?" said I.
"I wish that you would," he replied
very earnestly. "lie's outside. Call
"It won't do any good," said I.
"Try it," he rejoined.
He got up on a chair and looked
through the glass of the partition
which is between my room and the
main office. The glass part was once
movable, but I had it fastened perma
nently some years ago and even added
a double sash in order to exclude more
effectually the noises from the outer
office, where many people were em
"He's out there, talking with Tim
Healy," he said and called Donald's
name, but the partition- is so thorough
ly impervious to sound that he was
no' heard, although Hlealy's tall desk
is directly upon the other side of it.
"I'll go out and get him," said Carl,
"or you tell him when you go out.
Bun," he added to the old cashier,
who at that moment opened my door.
"Tell Donald that we want to see
Bunn laid a paper on my desk and
made some comment. As he turned
to go Donald entered.
"My boy," said I, "do you know
what your future father-in-!aw is say.
ing about you?"
"Yes," he replied cheerfully; "Mr.
Kelvin thinks I'm bogus. I hope he'll
be able to prove it, and then we shan't
have any more trouble."
At this Jim Bunn laughed nervously.
"What is the exact truth, Donald?"
"Well," he answered, smiling, "the
truth is that Mr. Kelvin would do
well to wait. lie has seen things that
were hard to explain; he will see oth
ers that are a thundering sight harder.
But I can't help It. I call you to wit
ness, Uncle John, that I was dragged
into this business by the heels. You
know how painful it is to me."
"Donald," said Carl kindly, "in our
presence and upon honor-all joking
aside-do you claim the possession of
any unusual power?"
'A minute or two ago,'' said Donald.
"you weren't so anxious about the
power. You wanted to know what the
motive was which had lcd me into all
Carl started and gripped. the arm or
"Your exact words," said I.
Jim Bunn put a hand to his forehead
as he looked from Donald to me. Then
he pointed to Archer.
a True Record and Explanatlon of the Seven
lysteries Now Associated With His Name in
the Pubc Mnd of an Eihth,
Which Is the Key of the Seven
By HOWARD FIELDING
lie acmanoeu. ana i responcea
thatl he had said it precisely.
"Tell us how you do it, Don?" said
"You press me unreasonably," an
swered Donald, with annoyance. "I do
it by means of a power of which I pos
sess a little, but there is some one In
Tunbridge who possesses a thousand
"You mean your father." said Bunn
"No, I don't mean my father," an
swered Donald, "and unless Uncle John
commands me I shall not say whom I
"I shall not command you, my boy,"
said I. "Indeed, it is not necessary.
And I won't have you cross questioned
an- more," I added, seeing how deeply
he was irritated. "I thank heaven that
you possass this power, and I verily be
lieve that It will be the salvation of
When Donald had gone, Bunn asked
me whether I could bring myself to be
lieve that Mrs. Donaldson was the
source of all these mysteries.
"I never doubted that she had the
power," said I, "but I am skeptical
about her having more of it than her
At this Carl Archer arose and waved
his arms around his head in a protest
that transcended speech.
"We have all gone crazy!" he cried
at last. "There is no such power.
There is not an atom of evidence in all
the world's history that any human
being ever exercised it. Donald is
merely traveling the way of all im
postors, and I think we ought to stop
"What do you think about it, Jim?"
Dunn had his hand upon the open
"I think that nobody will stop him,"
he replied. "He will go on to the end."
And the old man went away mutter
On the following day Donald came to
me with a remarkable request, and I
despair of making clear the reason why
I granted it. I can say no more than
that the boy had begun to exercise an
influence over me that was nearly ir
"You have noticed," said he, "that
my father is not very well. That is
why I come to you with this matter
and why I ask you not to bother him
about It. He has enough upon his mind
without being worried by my foolish
I asked him what the matter might be.
"My father has the papers in the old
Strobel correspondence," said he. "A
few weeks ago he got them together
and put them in his box in the vault
at the bank."
It Is not necessary here to explain
what the Strobel correspondence was
nor why Donaldson had taken charge
of it, as these things have no bearing
upon the case. I replied that the facts
were as the boy had stated them.
"I want you to' ask my father for
these papers," said Donald. "When
you go up to the house this noon, you
can stop at the bank with him and get
them. Jpon't let anybody else see you
take them, don't tell anybody that you
have them, and ask my father not to
mention the circumstance at all. Will
you do this?"
I saw no objection, and told him so.
Then I asked what I should do with
"Put them into that little handbag,"
said he, pointing to one which was be
side my desk. "Don't take them out
while you're at the house. Afterward
bring them down here and put them in
this safe. When you have done so,
change the combination."
Evidently he wanted me to have
them in a place where I could get them
handily and at any hour of the day, not
in a bank, which closed at 4 in the aft
ernoon, and in a box which nobody
but his father, then seemingly threat
ened with an illness, could open.
But what was the value of the pa
pers? As I now know that It iras noth
ing, I will not enlarge upon the ques
tion, though it bothered me at the time.
The only indication I could get was
that Isaac Thorndyke had been con
cerned in the correspondence in ques
tion, though how the fact could be
used to influence his vote in the com
ing stockholders' meeting I was unable
to understaud. However, I did pre
cisely as Donald had asked me to do.
and by 2 in the afternoon the papers
reposed in my safe, the door of which
would answer only to violence or to
my own hand.
That evening Donald asked me very
particularly whether I had followed
his instructions, lie seemed to regard
the matter as extremely important,
and he took me into the library to
speak the more privately, though there
was no one about, for Donaldson had
gone to* his room and Dorothy and
Carl to a neighbor's house.
We sat together in a window looking
out at the moonlight which was flood
ing over the roof of the long, low
house and pouring down the slope of the
lawn beyond in a great white stream.
Suddenly I heard steps upon the
path that ran in the shadows below
the window, and a voice cried, "Doro
thy!" The tone was strange, and some
how it went to my heart.
"Carl and my little mother." said
Donald; "they're coming back."
He left the window and walked cut
of the room. I was vaguely glad that
he should go and was, indeed, prompt
ed to follow him, but somehow I could
not do so.
Carl and Dorothy had stopped below
the window. As the room was dark,
they could not have suspected that any
one was within hearing of their voices.
After the single word which I had
overheard there was silence for nearly
"Carl." said Dorothy, speaking as
one who has summoned up strength to
meet an emergency, "I won't have
this. It shall not be so."
"You refuse to listen to me," he re
sponded. "You will not let me spnak."
"I care nothing for that," she an
swered. "I can protect myself from
your addresses. What I won't have is
the fact! The thing shan't be true."
"I don't understand you," said he al
most in a whisper.
"You are spoiling something that is
too good to be spoiled," she answered.
"Look at our life here in this house.
See how this man, once loveless and
alone, has gathered around him those
we leaa under ms roor. Wny; Carl
you and I have played together as in.
nocently as If we were children. Hav4
you the heart to bring such commor
infamy as this into a scene so sweet?'
"It isn't infamy," he protested. "M3
love for you"
"Say blasphemy, if you prefer th(
word," she cried. "It seems to me liki
that when uttered in this little cornei
of the world that has been sacred a4
"We will not quarrel," said he sadly.
the very presence of God In his own
temple to me. Be sane and honest,
Carl. How can you deliberately sacri
fice the friendship of my husband and
of Mr. Harrington, to say nothing of
"As for you, Dorothy," he replied
with an emotion of which I would not
have thought him capable, "I cannot
be your friend. God knows that I have
"If God had known it," said she, "you
would not have failed. He would have
given you the strength to succeed. No;
you have not tried."
"I cannot be your friend," Insiated
Carl. "As for the friendship of the
others, do you fancy that I shall tell
"Do you fancy that I shan't?" retort
ed Dorothy, almost in tears from shame
and rage. "How dare you hint that I
would share a secret with you and ex
clude my husband? I wouldn't do it if
it were about a pint of peanuts, And
you should have found that out by this
I had a glimpse of Carl at this mo.
ment, and his face was so white that it
samed to shine.
"You will tell him," said he slowly.
"It is honorable. But upon the other
hand I was equally bound in honor tc
"You were bound in honor not tc
ave any such thing to tell," replied
Dorothy with spirit.
"We will not quarrel," said he sadly.
"I have only one word more to say,
The time must soon come when I shal)
offer you the deepest sympathy of my
heart. I cannot offer it to you in thi
name of friendship. I won't lie to you
That is why I tell you now that I love
"It seems to me that if you foreseE
trouble coming to me you have now
put it out of your power to help me
But what do you mean? Do you ex
pect harm to come to my husband?"
"Will you keep the secret?"
"Not from him," she answered firm
ly. "If there Is good reason, I will
keep it from everybody else."
"I cannot speak on such terms," saic
Carl. "Indeed, I would better not speal
'on any terms. I have lost your es
teem. I cannot count upon your help
You would distrust me. But, Dorothy
remember this: There is some one ver3
near and dear to you-much dearea
than he has any right to be-whom]
have honestly tried to save, but I havi
Dorothy was more bewildered thax
"I know that my husband has losi
money," she said. "Mr. Bunn has le(
him into a very foolish investment. Hi
may suffer heavily, but it. will be n<
such catastrophe as you imagine."
This, by tile way, was the first hint]
had received that Donaldson had goni
with Bunn into a certain wild drean
of finance which I will here describi
simply as the Harbrxook Land com
pany. I had earnestly advised Donald
son against it, and I supposed that hi
had heeded my warning. As for Bunn
I understood that he had drawn oui
with a marvelously small loss. My con
science had been dragging me awa3
from that window; now it dragged mi
"That is but a small part of th<
trouble," said Carl. And then sudden
ly: "Dorothy, don't disel~ose this. Yoi
will regret it. I have spoken to yot
from really good motives, even thougl
they may seem to be mistaken, and iI
the stztictest confidence"
"There can be no confidence of this
kind with a wife," said Dorothy, "i:
she really is one. But, Carl, I b..git
to see some sort of sineerity in you
and this is what I will do to reward it
I will tell my husband that you havi
spoken in a way to offend me, bu1
that I have forgiven you, and I wil
beg him not to ask me any questions
I will not say, unless directly asked
that you have spoken to me of his busi
ness difficulties, whidh I believe tha1
you greatly exaggerate. But I can taki
this course only if you promise me t<
change from the heart outward-to bi
to me in all your thoughts that whiel
you may honorably be, and no more
Will you do this?"
"How can I look at you"- he began
but she interrupted him crying:
"Carl, this is monstrous! I am ax
old woman. I am the mother of
grown man. I have lived my life, anc
It has been a wondrous and beautifu
life to live. I have had such love
such perfect love."
"You trifle with me," he said in a sud
den rage. "Your husband is as cold a!
the dead. He neglected you openly.
ie has no eye for your beauty, for thi!
living miracle of your unfading youtla
which has been bestowed upon you,
in my belief, that you might wait fox
a real love."
"I have not had to wait," said Dare
thy in a voice indescribably sweet
"And now," she added, "this is the end,
absolutely the end. I asked you for
promise. Give it to me and think upol)
whatever is most sacred to you while
."1 will think upon that which is masi
sacred to me," he said, looking straighi
into her face, "and for tihe sake of it)I
will either conquer my heart or sur
render it with all my mortal part tc
the dust of the earth-to the uncon
scious dust that cannot suffer."
This pledge struck me as somewhat
theatric, and yet it was spoken with
heartbreaking sincerity and seemed tc
have a considerable effect upon Doro
"The way to cease to desire some
hin" enii she "is to desire some
thing else. Find a right love, Carl. I ly
hope you may. There is a woman a
somewhere who is really young, who N
needs no miracle, who will not fade in
a year or two. Find her." s
She turned away and walked toward al
the front of the house. He remained o1
standing stock still for fully a minute u,
and then sank slowly forward upon his ti
knees and still lower. He seemed to f(
be kneeling upon the body of an ene
my. I could hear him mutter curses, f<
and he beat the turf beside the graY
eled path with his fists. hi
It was the most extraordinary spec- s<
tacle of the abandonment of self con- Ir
trol that ever I saw and was made t(
aven more remarkable by the sudden- el
noss with which it ceased. The man
arose and wiped his soiled hands with
his handkerchief; then he felt nervous- e;
ly in his pockets. He found a cigar
and crushed it in his fingers without m
realizing what he was doing. But a g
second was successfully lighted, and P
Carl strolled out into the moonlight 0
beyond the shadow of the house with P
his accustomed careless and graceful h
THE RETURN OF "A BAD PENNY." U
HERE was a great weight upon P
me as I left the library. My
heart echoed Dorothy's words
precisely. My protest, like
hers, was against any change in the
ways of our lives, which had seemed
so perfectly well ordered; not that I
fancied they could ever be the same
again. Upon the contrary, I perceived
clearly enough that Archer must be
sent away for his own sake and the
peace of all of us.
I blamed him bitterly. There was
never less excuse for any man's folly.
In the sixty years that I have been in
the world I have never seen a woman
whose heart could be read more eas
ily than Dorothy's nor a man whose
guilty thought had been hidden behind
a mask so impenetrable as that which
Carl had worn. If he had been mis
taken in her, he must be mad, but It
seemed to me that not even the myste
rious power which she had once pos
sessed could have warned her against
him. His manner toward her, as I
would have sworn from constant ob
servation, had always been perfect.
Yet it is true, of course, that those who
stand nearest to such tragedies of the
home are often most blind to their be
ginnings. Mrs. Kelvin's hint about
Donald recurred to me, and I wonder- v
ed with K shudder whether he had b
looked Into Archer's heart If that t
were true, it could have been only to e
hate the man, never to fear him.
When I came out upon the veranda, p
Dorothy was sitting !n a big chair with v
her son upon the arm of it. I saw them
against the brightest of the moonlight, s
and this made Donald loom dark, like t
a great statue of bronze.
"Where is your father, Don?" she t
was asking him as I stepped out. e
"In his room, writing," he answered. t
"Shall I call him?"
She answered "No;" that she would
"I'll carry you," said he, and in an
instant he had lifted her with his right
arm alone by a peculiar knack whicht
I had never seen the like of before. It
was very easy and graceful, and Doro- I
thy was perched upon his arm like a
bird on a bough:c
"Oh, Donald," she cried, steadying i
herself with a hand upon his bare c
head, "I'm too heavy! I'll topple you i
"I have a pond lily in my buttonhole 1
on the other side," said he. "I'm bal
.And he strode away with her into t
I waited there a long time for Carl,
but he did not appear, and at last I
made up my mind not to speak to him t
of my plan for sending him away until a
I had had more time to mature it. No s
immediate action was necessary, for t
upon the following day Carl went to d
visit a friend of his who lived In a fine t
country house about half way between
Tunbridge and the Junction. He had ,
made such visits before, and If I had
not had the wretched fortune to play s
eavesdropper I should not have felt
the need of any explanation of his de- b
A day or two later~ Donaldson laid a
the whole case before me in a manner y
most delicate and most affecting. He
spoke as if I had been his father. t
Archer had come to him, he said, in
such an attitude of mind as to alter '
his own feeling materially. He was b
inclined to believe that the man had
been greatly overwrought by the ex- t
igencies of our common business af- *
"He believes," said Donaldson, "that v
Kelvin will win In this fight and that I
it will be the beginning of the end, so
far as this business is concerned. He ~
has brooded over It and gone sleepless,
as he tells me, and I know what I
strange things, contrary to his own
real nature, a man may do when sub -
fet to such a strain. It is a weak jus. ~
tification, but one can't look at him
and feel that there Is nothing In It
He has been beside himself for weeks.
I think his attitude toward Don has
been the result of pure nervousness.
At any rate, acting under Dorothy's C
advice, I am unwilling to do anything
that may cut Carl off from the benefit
of your influence. I know how strong
an affection you have for him"
"That's the central fact, isn't it?" I
interrupted. "You want to please me.
Well, then, let's wait Let's trust a bit
to him. We will not hastily condemn
a man who seems to be struggling to
Now that my attention was thus di- ~
rectly called to it I perceived that Carl
had not been himself of late, and I was
weakly anxious to make the best pos
sible plea for him. He was my dead
sister's son and had been dear to me.
I thought It might be well to have a
long talk with him, and one day when 1
~came into my office after luncheon 1
and found him there alone I was upon
the point of burdening him with much s
useless advice, but he turned my mind s
Iinto another channel.
"Who do you think has been here?" s
saId he. "The last man you'd expect to t
see, upon my word."
"Not Kelvin?" I queried, for a call n
from him at that juncture would in- e
deed have been unexpected. e
"Severn," answered Carl, "the first
I was amazed at the impudence of
this visit. I.
"Hie wouldn't tell me what he want- I,
ed," said Carl "He Inquired for you ta
and promised to come back." s
"His reception will be more lively
than cordial," I responded.g
It was about half an hour later when
the man appeared. His looks had r
greatly changed, but whether he was in a
disguise then or had been so before I
could not have decided. He had an1s
official and solemn air as he entered the
office, and he laid a card upon the leaf
of my desk without having spoken a
word In the meantime. The card con- t
eyed to my mind the information that
[r. Frank Gillespie was a special oper
tor for the Dorn Detective agency of
"You lost some money awhile ago,"
Lid Mr. Gillespie. "Well, sir, our
Iency keeps its eyes on little matters
that kind, and when they're partic
arly interesting we sometimes inves
gate on our own account without of
,ring our services in the regularway."
"Was that why you came here be
re?" I demanded.
Mr. Gillespie gravely inclined his
ead. I asked him why he hadn't said
> like an honest man, and I received
return the information that the de
ctive business sometimes involved an
ement of deception.
"Now, Mr. Harrington," said he,
what is there in it if I find that mon
I was strongly indisposed to deal
ith this man, yet I would have been
lad of the money, and I could not sup
se that he had come to see me a sec
d time without having some very
romising clew. So I asked him what
e would think right
"Ten per cent of what I find," said
a promptly and added, "I'm suspicious
vat the amount may be a trifle short."
I was more than suspicious that it
fight be so, supposing that Mr. Gilles
ie should find it when no one was
"How do you do, Mr. GiUespd"
ratching him. However, I agreed to
is terms, with the proviso that more
ban half the money should be reover
d and the crime fully exposed.
"Well, sir," said he, "I think rm pre
ared to do it, but I warn you that it
rill be considerable of a shock to you."
"It will be a good. deal more of a
hock to the thief," said L "I guess
bat I can stand it if he can."
With the crude caution appropriate
his trade, Gillespie dragged h chair
loser to mine, and with an eye upon
he door and his lips close to my ear
"It's your man Donaldson who turn
d this trick."
"No, sir," said I; "that won't go."
"Wait a bit," said he, laying a hand
pon my arm.
"I. won't listen to this charge except
a Mr. Donaldson's presence," said I.
You don't inspire me with very much
onfidence, to be frank with you. But
' you have the stamina to make this
harge to Mr. Donaldson's face, that
ril give you a sort of standing."
"Very well," said he, spreading out
I touched a button that rings a bell
a the outer office, and when a boy en
ered in response to It I said:
"Ask Mr. Donaldson to step this
It happened that Donald had entered
he outer office within a few minutes,
nd the boy thought that it was the
on and not the father whom I wished
o see. To my surprise, therefore, the
oor presently opened, and Donald en
He closed the door slowly and stood
rith his back against It
"How do you do, Mr. Gillespie?' he
The detective was taken by surprise,
ut he masked it fairly well.
"You have just made a serious charge
ganst my father," said Donald. "Have
ou any proof of it?"
"I'll produce~ my proofs at the proper
me," answered Gillespie.
"This Is the proper time," said I.
Produce the evidence now or forever
old your peace."
"I say that he took the money," pro
sted Gillespie. "He changed the pack
ges on your desk. That I knew at the
tart, but It took me a long while to
york down to what he'd done with the
"Well," said Donald, "have you work
d down to It?"
"I have," responded Gillespie, with
recision. "He played the same trick
wice. He put the money into another
ackage and dropped It in his box at
"Can you describe that package?' de
"Well enough," answered Gillespie.
nd he gave details, adding, "I saw
im take that package to the bank at a
ertain day and hour."
And he named the day and the hour,
hereby I knew for certain that itwas
be Strobel correspondence to which he
"Your case falls, Mr. Gillespie," said
,"Mr. Donaldson gave me that pack
ge of papers. It Is now In this safe."
Gillespie was staggered. He darted
keen glance at me and read clearly in
iy face that the facts were as stated.
"He gave them to you?' said he.
How did he happen to do It?"
"I asked him for them," I replied.
"Well, If you asked him for them he
ad to give them to you, didn't he?'
aid Gillespie. "He couldn't refuse.
e had to give them to you and tare
i chances of getting the money after
yard. Let's see the package."
I was already busy unlocking the
afe. Gillespie had hard work to re
train himself during this process, and
hen the safe was open I expected to
ee him dive into It, but he managed
o stick to his clgair. I took the pack
ge out and opened it upon the leaf of
iy desk. The various documents roll.
d apart There was no money what
ver in the package.
"Who had the combination of that
afe?" demanded Gillespie.
"Myself alone," said I. "I changed
on the day when I put the package
i there. It Is an unquestionable cer
lnty that nobody has opened the safe
Gillespie began to walk the floor,
nawing his lips.
"Well, sir,"- said I. "If you are
eady to make your charge. I will call
ild Mr. Gillespie slowly.
"Can you produce the money?"
"Not this afternoon," he replied;
not this afternoon. I may have some
aing t'o say about It tomorrow."
rrntinued on next nace.]
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