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EL. PASO DAILY HERALD, SATURDAY, MARCH 30, - 1901.
PAGE ELEVEN. pt w x x w x : The Mystery of Agatha Webb. By Anna Katharine Green. Author of The Leavenworth Ca. "Loot Man'. Lane,- "Hand $ (Continued From Last Saturday) Finding the hall empty and tlio par lor door open, lie walked imnxilUtely into tb latter room. The sight that met Lis eyes never left his memory. Agnes, bis little Apues. wImiiii lie liatl always loved and whom he had vainly longed to call by the endearing name f daughter, eat with her face toward Mm. lookiu op at Knilerlck. That young gentleman had Just sokcn to her. or she had just ni-elved somothinc from his hand, for her own was held out. and her expression was one of jrratittide and acceptance. She was not a beautiful pirl. but she had a Iieaotlfut look, and at tills moment It was exalted by a feelinjr tlie old g-n-tlemao hail once longed, but now dreaded Inexpressibly, to sec titer. What could it mean? Why did she show Interest devotion, passion al most, at this especial moment of hr life, when In all the ynrs tbat had tone by. and when It was the dearest wish of bis heart to w th two united, she bad never It'riyt-tl In all Ihelr Intercourse anything bit dis'ruat. If not an uneasy dislik? It w one bt the contradictions of o-ir inynferloiis human nature, and at this crisis and In this moment of twr" henrtbrt'ot and miserable doubt lr maletJield enl rnaa shrink, with his Or', fating of actual despair. The nest moment Acnes lml risen, and they were both facing him. "Good evening. Agne." Mr. Sutherland forced himself to peak lightly. "Ah. Frederick, do I find you hereT The latter question had more of coo ttratnt in it. Frederick, with a slight flush suf fusing his cheek, which bad been only too pale until now. acknowledged bia father' greeting with a smile In which that father was surprised to see a raiat shade of relief if not of Joy. Then be backed toward the door. j "I was Just leaving." ssld he. "I was the bearer of a message to Miss Ha id ay." He had always called her Agnes before. Mr. Sutherland, who bad found his faculties confused by the expression be had surprised on the young girl's face, answered with a divided attention: "And I have a message to give yon. Wait outside on the porch for me. Frederick, till I exchange a word with our little friend here." Agnes, who bad thrust something she ' held Into a box tbat lay beside her on a table, turned, with a confused blush, to listen. Mr. Sutherland waited tilt Frederick bad stepped into the hall. Then be drew Agnes to one side and remorse lessly, persistently, raised. her face to ward him till she was forced to meet bis benevolent but searching regard. "Do yon know," be whispered In what be endeavored to make a banter ing tone, -bow very few days it la since tbat unhappy boy yonder con fessed bis love for a young lady whose name I cannot bring myself to utter In your presence?" The Intent was kind, but the effect was unexpectedly cruel. Witb a droop of ber head and a hurried gasp wbicb conveyed a mixtnre of entreaty and reproach Agnes drew back in a vague endeavor to hide her sudden uneasi ness. He saw his mistake and let bis bands drop. -Don't, my dear," be whispered. "I had no idea it would hurt you to bear this. You have always seemed Indif ferent, bard even, toward my scape grace son. And this was right, for for" What conld be say. how express one-tentb of that witb which bis breast was laboring? lie could not. he dared not. so ended, as we have Intimated, by a confused stammering. Agnes, who had never before seen this object of her lifelong admiration under any serious emotion, felt an im pulse of remorse, as if she herself had been guilty of occasioning him embar rassment, riuckiug up ber courage, she wistfully eyed him. -Did you imagine." she murmured, -that I needed any warning against Frederick, who lias never honored me witb his regard, as lie lias the youiiff lady you cannot mention? I'm afraid you don't know me. Mr. Sutherland, notwithstanding I have sat on your knee and sometimes plucked at your beard in my infantile insistence Ufton attention." -I am afraid I don't know you." be answered. "I teol that I know nobody now, not even my son." He had hoied she would look up at this, but she did not. "Will my little girl think me very cu rious and very Impertinent if 1 ask ber what my son Frederick was saying to her when I came into the room?" She looked up now and witb visible candor answered Dim Immediately and to the point. "Frederick Is In trouble. Mr. Suther land. He has felt the need of a friend who coold appreciate this, and he has asked me to be that friend, uesiues. he brought me a packet of letters whlcb he entreated me to keep for him. 1 took them. Mr. Sutherland, and l will keep them, as he asked me to do. safe from everybody's inspection, even my own." Ob. why had he questioned her? He - did not want to know of these letters; - 'ixv: Copyright, 1900, by Anna Katharine Green. inTTj - i he did want to know that Frederick possessed anything which he was ! afraid to retain in his own possession. "My son did wrong." said be. "to con ' fide anything to your tare wbicb be did not desire to retain in bis own Dome. I feel that I ought to see these letters, for If my son Is In trouble, as you say, I, bis father, ought to know It." "I am not sure about that," she smiled. "His trouble may be of a dif ferent nature from what you Imagine. Frederick has led a life that he regrets. I think bis chief source of suffering lies In the fact tbat It is so bard for him to make others believe that he means to di differently In the future." "Does he mean to do differently?" She flushed. "He says so. Mr. Suth erland. And I. for one. cannot help be lieving him. Don't you see that he be gins to look like another man?" Mr. Sutherland was taken aback. II had noticed this fact and had found It a bard one to understand. To ascer tain what her explanation of it might be be replied at once: "There Is a change In him a change that more than one has noticed. Wbat is the occasion of it? To what do you ! ascribe It. Agnes?" How breathlessly he waited for her answer! Had she any suspicion of the awful doubts which were so deeply agitating himself that night? She did not appear to have. "I hesitate." she faltered, "but not from any doubt of Frederick, to tell you Just what I think lies at the bot tom of the sodden change observable In him. Miss Page (you see, I can name her. If you cannot) has proved herself so unworthy of bis regard tbat the shock he baa received baa opened his eyes to certain feelings of bis own wbicb made bis weakness In ber re gard possible. I do not know of any thing else. Do you?" At this direct question, wbicb pierced to the very quick of bis trouble, breath ed though it was by tender lips and launched In ignorance of the barb wbicb carried it to bis beart. Mr. Suth erland recoiled and cast an anxious look upon the door; then, with forced composure, be quietly said. "If you do not. wbo are so much nearer her age. and, let me hope, bis sympathy, how abould I. wbo am his father, but bare never been bis confidant?" "Oh," she cried, boldiog out ber bands, such a good father! Some day be will ippreciate that fart as well as others. Believe it, Mr. Sutherland, believe it." And then, ashamed of her glowing In terest, wbicb was a little more pro nounced than fitted to ber simple atti tude of friend toward a man professed ly in love with another woman, she faltered a little and cast the shyest of Kwik nnorartl . f the Brand hut trou- bled face she had never seen turned '"'P, P 11 u""1 toward her with anything but kind- I' his fhcp for money advanced ness. "I have confidence in bis good " PT gambler's debt. I said I heart." she added, with something like meant to work. My first money earn dignity. i shall be offered to you. I" "Would God that I could share It!" J "Well? Well?" His father was hold was the only answer she received. Be- 1 Ing the document he had Just read fore she coold recover from the shock opened out Itefore his eyes, of these words Mr. Sutherland was i "Didn't you expect this?" he asked. COOe. 1 Agnes was a little troubled by this Interview, for after she bad heard tho gate click behind these two friends and bad carried that precious some thing away with her up stairs there was a lingering in the step witb wbicb she trod the little white embowered i i . i .-I I. .i-A-...- that hespake an overcharged heart, a I "Xo!" cried Frederick, bis eyes glued beart that, before she slept, found re- to the paper, bis whole face and form lier in these few words tbat she wliis- expressing something more akin to ter pered into the night air, laden with the ror than surprise. "Has she done this? sweetness of honeysuckles: i "Can it lie that he Is right? Did 1 ' "No. you hardly knew ber. And sne? need such a warning I wbo have hat- She hardly knew you; if she had. she ed this man and who thought tbat it would have abhorred rather than en was my hatred which made it Impossi- ' rithed you. Frederick. I had rather ble for me to think of anything or any- ' you were dead than staud before me body else since we parted f rora each the iu heritor of I'hileinon ami Agatha other last ntelit? Oh. me. if it Is so!" j Webb's bard earned savings." And from the great, wide world with- j "You are right; it would be better," out, tremulous witb moonlight, the murmured Frederick, hardly heeding echo seemed to come back: what he said. Thou, as he encounter- "Woe to thee. Agnes Halliday. if this ed bis father's eye resting upon him be so!" , witb implacable scrutiny, be added in i weak repetition: "But why give her CHAPTER XX. I n,OUPy to me7 What was 1 to her that aqatha's HEia. s,ia will me her fortune Y' Meanwhile Mr. Sutherland and Fred- i Ti1L. fa,i.,.r's limrer trembled to a cer- erlck stood facing each other In the former's library. Nothing had been said during their walk dowu the hill, and nothing seemed likely to proceed from Frederick now, though his father vailed with great and growing agita- tion for some explanation that would relieve the Immense strain on hi heart, , At last be himself sixike. dryly, as we all speak when the heart Is Tullest and we fear to reveal the depth of our emotions. "What palters were those you gave lnto Agnes llaliul.-iy s Keeping r .any thing which we could not have more safely, not to say discreetly, harbored in our own house?" Frederick, taken aback, fur he had not realized that his father had seen these paers. hesitated for a moment; then he Itolilly said: "They were letters old letters which I felt to be better out of this house than In it. I could not destroy them. so I gave them into the guardianship of tho most conscientious tcrson 1 know. I hope yon won't deuiaud to see those letters. Indeed, sir, I hote yo'j won't demand to see them. They were not written for your eye. and I x xxxi and Bin," Etc, Etc 1 would rather rest under j-our aispieas- ure than have them in any way made public." j Frederick showed such earnestness at her than fear that Mr. Sutherland was astonished. I "When were these letters written?" he asked. "Ijitely or before You say they are oKL How old?" Frederick's breath came easier. "Some of tbem were written years ago most of them. In fact. It is a per sonal matter. Every man has such. 1 wish I could have destroyed tbem. You will leave them with Agnes, sir?" "You astonish me," said Mr. Suther land, relieved that be could at least hoK! that these letters were In nowise connected with the subject of his own frightful suspicious. "A young girl to whom you certainly were most Indif ferent a week ago is a curious guar dian of letters you decline to show your father." "1 know It." was Frederick's sole re Pljr. Somehow the humility with which this was ottered touched Mr. Suther land and roused bopes he bad supposed dead. He looked his son for the first time directly In the eye and with a beating beart said: "Your secrets. If you have such, might better be intrusted to your fa ther. You have no better friend." And there be stopped with a horrified, de spairing feeliug of Inward weakness. If Frederick had committed a crime, anything would be better than know log It. Turning partially aside, be fin gered the papers on the desk before which be was standing. A large en velope, containing some legal docu ment, lay Itefore, him. Taking It up mechanically, he opened It. Frederick as mechanically watched bira. "1 know." said the latter, "that I hare no better friend. You have been too good, too indulgent. Wbat Is It, j father? You change color, look ML . Wbat is there in that paper?" Mr Sutherland straightened himself; i there was a great reserve of strength In this broken down man yet. Fixing ' Frederick witb a gaze more penetrat ing tbon any be had yet bestowed upon blm. he folded bis bands behind him. with the document held tightly between tbem. and remarked: "When you Itorrowed that money from me. you did It like a man who expected to repay it.' Why? Whence did "you expect to receive the money with which to repay me? Answer. Frederick; this is your hour for con fession." Frederick turned so pale his father dropped his eyes in mercy. "Confess?" he repeated. "What should I confess? My sins? Tbey are too many. As for that money. 1 t'tuu l yon kuvn iuai iuai " an. that wretchefliy muraereu, roost unhappy woman, whose death the whole town mourns, had made you her heir? That by the terms of this docu ment seen by me here and now for the first time. I am made executor aud you the inheritor of the $100,000 or mrkf-o left ti v Arnthe. Webb?" Why should she? I hardly knew ner. tain line in the document, wbicb seem ed to offer some explanation of this, bu Frederick did uot follow it. He had seen I hat his father was expecting a reply to the question ue uau pre Ti(ls ,., nn,i h(, waa ,.astlnz about Jn U1M niiU(, ,lf)W lo augwer it. vi.n did you know of tills will?" Mr Sutherland now repeated. "For kuou. of it y,,,, .j j,ofore ,.0u came to mt, for raollpJ Fiedcrk-k summoned up his full eou,,, an,j c,iirrouU..d his father res- olutely. "No." said he. "I did not know of It. It is as much of a surprise to me as it Is to you." He lied. Mr. Sutherland knew that he did and Frederick knew tbat be knew it. A shadow fell between them, which the older, with tbat unspeakable fear upon him rotised by Sweetwater's whispered suspicion, dared no longer to attempt to lift. After a few minutes, in which Fred erick seemed to see his father ago be fore his eyes, Mr. Sutherland coldly remarked: "Dr. Talbot must know of this will It has beeu sent here to me from Ilos- ton by a lawyer wbo drew it up two years ago. The coroner may not as yet have beard of it. Will you accom pany me to his office tomorrow? I should like to have him see that we wish to be open witb him in an affair of such importance." "I will accompany yon gladly." said Frederick, and. seeing tbat bis father neither wished nor was able to say anything further, be bowed with dis tant ceremony as to a stranger and quietly withdrew. Bnt when the door bad closed between them and only the memory of his father's changed coun tenance remained to trouble him, he paused and laid bis band again on the knob, as If tempted to return. But he left without doing so. only to turn again at the end of the hall and gaza wistfully back. Yet be went on. As be opened bis own door and dis appeared within be said balf audibly: "Easy to destroy me now, Amabel One word and I am lost!" CHAPTER XXI. HAT) BATSY LIVED. It was the last day of the Inquest, and to many It bade fair to be the least Interesting. AH the witnesses) wbo had anything to say had long ago given In their testimony, and when at or near noon Sweetwater slid into the Inconspicuous seat he had succeeded in obtaining near the coroner It was to find In two faces only any signs of eagerness and expectancy tbat filled his own breast to suffocation. But as these faces were those of Agnes Halli day and Amabel Page be soon recog nized that his own Judgment was not at fault and that notwithstanding out ward appearances and the languid in terest shown in the now lagging pro ceedings the moment presaged an event full of unseen but vital consequence. Frederick was not visible In the great hall; but that he was near at hand soon became evident from the change Sweetwater now saw in Ama bel; for, while she had hitherto sat un der the universal gaze with only the faint smile of conscious beauty on her Inscrutable features, she roused as the hands of the clock moved toward noon and glanced at the great door of en trance with an evil expectancy that startled even Sweetwater, so little had he really understood the nature of the passions laboring in that venomous breast. Next moment the door opened, and Frederick and his father came in. The air of triumphant satisfaction with which Amabel sank back into her seat was as marked in its character as her previous suspense. What did it mean? Sweetwater, noting it and the vivid contrast it offered to Frederick's air of depression, felt tbat his return had been well timed. Mr. Sutherland was looking very fee vble. As be took the chair' offered him the change in his appearance was ap parent to all who knew him, and there were few there who did not know him. And startled by these evidences of suf fering which they could not understand and feared to interpret, even to them selves, more than one devoted friend stole uneasy glances at Frederick to see if he. too. were under the cloud which seemed to envelop his father al most beyond recognition. But Frederick was looking at Ama bel, and his erect head and determined aspect made him a conspicuous figure In the room. She who had called up this exftression aud alone comprehend ed it full', smiled, as she met his eye. witb tbat curious slow dipping of ber dimples which had more than once con founded the coroner and rendered her at once the admiration and abhorrence of the crowd wbo for so long a time had had the opportunity of watching ber. Frederick, to whom this smile con veyed a hLst hope as well as a last threat. looked away as soon as possi ble, but not before her eyes bad fallen In their old. inquiring way to bis hands, from which he had removed the ring which up to this hoar he bad invari ably worn on his third finger. In this glance of hers aud this action of his began the struggle that was to make tbat day memorable in many hearts. After the nrst stir occasioned by the entrance of two such important per sons and possible witnesses the crowd settled back into its old quietude under the coroner's hand. A tedious witness was having his slow say. and to him a full attention was being given in the hope that some real enlightenment would come at last to settle the ques tions which had been raised by Ama bel's incomplete and unsatisfactory tes timony. But no man can furnish what he does not possess, and the few final minutes before noon passed by with out any addition to the facts which had already been presented for general sideration. (To be Continued Next Saturday.) BIRDS AND WILD ANIMALS. Parrots. German Canaries. Gold Fish and Mexican Song Birds. We imoort our seeds direct and guarantee them fresh. Sunflower seed for par rots. Bird and dog medicine. Furs and fur rugs. Horned toads alive and mounted. THE ZOO. 610 San Antonio St. LA UNION CIGAR FACTORY. The best grade ot Mexican Cigars. The Victoria Colon a specialty. We do a strictly wholesale business. Mail orders promptly filled. A. ALVAREZ. Prop., 204 Mesa Avenue, El Paso, Tex. There Is always danger In using counterfeits of DeWitt's Witch Hazel Salve. The original is safe and cer tain cure for pnes. It Is a toothing and healing 6alve for sores and all skin diseases. Fred Schaefer, drug gist. 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