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The Woman In
the Alcove. •y ANNA KATHARINE GREEN. Aatfcar a» 'TTu Millloutra Mr," "TW FUltrae Ball," "Tkc Ham )• tka Mist," "Tkc Aectlj* Bax," Etc I 1 «■Wright, 1906, The Bobbs-MerrlU Öo. ; 0 CHAPTER XX. |RE you satisfied? Have you got what you wanted?" asked Sweetwater when they were well away from the shore and the voice they had heard calling at in tervals from the chasm they had lgft. "Yes. You're a good fellow. It could not have been better managed." Then, after a pause too prolonged and thoughtful to please Sweetwater, who was burning with curiosity If not with some deeper feeling, "What was that light you burned—a match ?" Sweetwater did not answer. He dared not How speak of the electric torch he as a detective carried In his pocket? That would be to give himself away. He therefore let this question slip by and put In one of his own. "Are you ready to go back now, sir? Are we all done here?" This with his ear turned and his eye bent forward, for the adventure they had Interrupted was not at an end, whether their part In It was or not. Mr. Grey hesitated, his glances fol lowing those of Sweetwater. "Let us wait," said he in a tone ! which surprised Sweetwater. "If he is j meditating an escape, I must speak to ! him before he reaches the launch. At all hazards," he added after another moment's thought. "All right, sir. How do, you pro-1 pose"— His words were interrupted by a shrill whistle from the direction of the bank. Promptly and as If awaiting this signal the two men in the rowboat before them dipped their oars and pull ed for the shore, taking the direction of the manufactory. Sweetwater said nothing, but held himself in readiness. Mr. Grey was equally silent, but the lines of his face seemed to deepen in the moonlight as the boat, gliding rap idly through the water, passed them within a dozen boat lengths and slip ped into the opening under the manu factory building. "Now row!" he cried. "Make for the launch. We'll intercept them on their return." Sweetwater, glowing with anticipa- 1 tlon, bent to his work. The boat be neath them gave a bound, and in a few minutes they were far out on the Wa ters of the bay. "They're coming!" he whispered ea- j gerly as he saw Mr. Grey looking anx iously back. "How much farther shall I gor "Just within hailing distance of the launch," was Mr. Grey's reply. Sweetwater, gauging the distance with a glance, stopped at the proper point and rested on his oars. But his thoughts did not rest. He realized that be was about to witness an interview whose importance he easily recognized. How much of it would he hear? What would be the upshot and w hat was his full duty In the case? He knew that Ala man Wellgood was wanted by the New York police, but he was possessed with no authority to arrest him even if ! be had the power. "Something more than I bargained for," he inwardly commented. "But I wanted excitement, and now I have got It. If only I can keep my head j level, I may get something out of this. If not all I could wish." Meantime the second boat was very nearly on them. He could mark the three figures and pick out Wellgood's bead from among the rest. It had a resolute air. The face, on which, to bis evident discomfiture, the moon shone, wore a look which convinced the detective that tills was no patent med icine manufacturer, nor even a cater er's assistant, but a man of nerve and resources, the same, Indeed, whom he bad encountered in Mr. Falrbrother's bouse with such disastrous, almost fa tal, results to himself. The discovery, though an unexpected one, did not lessen his sense of the ex treme helplessness of his own posi tion. He coukl witness, but he could not act; follow Mr. Grey's orders, but Indulge In none of his own. The de tective must continue to be lost in the ▼alet, though It came hard and woke a tense of shame in his ambitious breast Meanwhile Wellgood had seen them nnd ordered his men to cease rowing. "Give way, there," he shouted. "We're for the launch and In a hurry." "There's some one here who wants to speak to you, Mr. Wellgood," Sweet water called out, as respectfully as he could. "Shall I mention your name?" be asked of Mr. Grey. "No, I will do that myself." And raising his voice, he accosted the oth er with these words: "I am the man, fPerdval Grey, of Dariingtwa Manor, Bngland. I should like to say a word to you before you embark." A change, quick as lightning and al most as dangerous, passed over the face Sweetwater was watching with mch painful anxiety, but as the other added nothing to his words and seemed hx be merely waiting, he shrugged his -«Boulders and muttered an order to his rowers to proceed. In another momeut the sterns of the two small craft swung together, but In such a way that, by dint of a little skillful manipulation on the part of Wellgood's men, the luttCr's back was toward the moon. Mr. Grey leaned toward Wellgood. #nd his face fell into shadow also. __"Bah!" thought the detective. "I ! I j I should have managed that myself. But if I cannot see I shall at least hear." But he deceived himself in this. The two men spoke in such low whispers that only their intensity was manifest. Not a word came to Sweetwater's aars. "Bah!" he thought again, "this is bad." But be had to swallow his disappoint ment and more. For presently the two men, so different in culture, station and appearance, came, as it seemed, to an understanding, and Wellgood, tak ing bis hand from his breast, fumbled in one of bis pockets and drew out something which be handed to Mr. Grey. This made Sweetwater start and peer with still greater anxiety at ev ery movement, when to his surprise both bent forward, each over his own knee, doing something so mysterious he could get no clew to its nature till they again stretched forth their hands to each other, and be caught the gleam of paper and realized that they were exchanging memoranda or notes. These must have been important, for each made an immediate endeavor to read his slip by turning It toward the moon's rays. That both were satisfied was shown by their after movements. Wellgood put his slip into his pocket and without further word to Mr. Grey motioned his men to row away. They did so with a will, leaving a line of sliver In their wake. Mr. Grey, on the contrary, gave no orders. He still held his slip and seemed to be dreaming. But his eye was on the shore, and he did not even turn when sounds from the launch denoted that she was un der way. Sweetwater, looking at this morsel of paper with greedy eyes, dipped his oars and began pulling softly toward that portion of the beach where small and twinkling light defined the boathouse. He hoped Mr. Grey would speak; hoped that in some way, by some means, he might obtain a clew to his patron's thoughts. But the Eng lish gentleman sat like an Image and did not move till a slight but sudden breeze, blowing in shore, seized the paper in his hand and carried it away, past Sweetwater, who vainly sought to catch it as it went fluttering by Into the water ahead, where It shone for a moment, then softly disappeared. Sweetwater uttered a cry; so did Mr. Grey. "Is it anything you wanted?" called out the former, leaning over the bow of the boat and making a dive at the paper with his oar. "Yes; but If it's gone, it's gone," re turned the other with some feeling. "Careless of me, very careless, but I was thinking of"— He stopped. He was greatly agitat ed, but he did not encourage Sweetwa ter in any further attempts to recover the lost memorandum. Indeed, such an effort would have been fruitless. The paper was gone, and there was nothing left for them but to continue their way. As they did so It would have been hard to tell In which breast chagrin mounted higher. Sweetwater had lost a clew In a thousand, and Mr. Grey—well, no one knew what he bad lost. He said nothing and plainly showed by his changed manner that he was in haste to land now and be done with this doubtful adventure. When they readied the boathouse Mr. Grey left Sweetwater to pay for the boat and started at once for the hotel. The man In charge had the bow of the boat In band, preparatory to pull rl <I«*E He picked off a small piece of paper from the dripping keel. lng it up on the boards. As Sweet water turned toward t)lm be caught sight of the side of the boat, shining brightly In the moonlight. He gave a start and, with a muttered ejacula tion, darted forward and picked off a small piece of paper from the dripping keel. It separated in his hand and part of It escaped him, but the rest he managed to keep by secreting It in hta palm, where it still clung, wet and pos sibly illegible, when be came upon Mr. Grey again In the hotel office. "Here's your pay," said that gentle man, giving him a bill. "I am very glad I met you. You have served me remarkably well." There was ac anxiety In his face and a hurry In his movements which ! struck Sweetwater. "Does this mean that you ate I through with me?" asked Sweetwater, j "That you have no further call for my I service^" »"Quite so," said the gentleman. "I j ; am going to take the train tonight, find that I still have time." Sweetwater began to look alive. Uttering hasty thanks, he rushed away to his own room and, turning on the gas, peeled off the morsel of paper which had begun to dry on his hand. If it should prove to he the blank end! If the written part were the one which had floated off! Such disappointments had fallen to his lot! He was not un used to them. But he was destined to better luck this time. The written end had indeed disappeared, Taut there was one word left, which he had no sooner read than he gave a low cry and prepared to leave for New York on the same train as Mr. Grey. The word was—diamond. CHAPTER XXI. INDULGED in some very seri ous thoughts after Mr. Grey's departure. A fact was borne In upon me to which I had hitherto closed my prejudiced eyes, but which 1 could no longer Ignore, what ever confusion It brought or however It caused me to change my mind on a subject which had formed one of the strongest bases to the argument by which I had sought to save Mr. Du rand. Miss Grey cherished no such distrust of her father as I in my ig norance of their relations had imputed to her In the early hoars of my minis trations. This you have already seen In my account of their parting. What ever his dread, fear or remorse, there was no evidence that she felt toward him anything bat love and confidence. But love and confidence from her to him were in direct contradiction to the doubts I bad believed her to have ex pressed in the half written note handed to Mrs. Falrbrother in the alcove. Had I been wrong, then, in attributing this scrawl to her? It began to look so. Though forbidden to allow her to speak on the one tabooed subject, I had wit enough to know that nothing would keep her from it if the fate of Mrs. Falrbrother occupied any real place in her thoughts. Yet when the opportunity was given me one morning of settling this fact beyond all doubt I own that my main feeling was one of dread. I feared to see this article in my creed destroyed, lest I should lose confidence in the ! whole. Yet conscience bade me face | the matter boldly, for had I not boast ed to myself that my one desire was. the truth? I allude to the disposition which Miss Grey showed on the morning of the third day to do a little surreptitious ; writing. You remember that a sped-1 men of her handwriting bad been ! asked for by the inspector, and once had been earnestly desired by myself. Now I seemed likely to have It, if I did not open my eyes too widely to the meaning of ber seemingly chance re quests. A little pencil dangled at the end of my watch chain. Would I let ber see It, let her bold it In her band for a minute? It was so like one she used to have. Of course I took it off. of course I let her retain it a little while in her hand. But the pencil was not enough. A few minutes later she asked for a book to look at—I some times let her look at pictures. But the book bothered ber—sbe would look at It later; would I give ber something to mark the place—that postal over there. I gave her the postal. She pnt It In the book and I, who understood her thoroughly, wondered what excuse Bhe would now find for sending me into the other room. She found one very soon, and with a heavily beating heart I left her with that pencil and postal. A soft laugh from her lips drew me back. She was holding up the postal. "See! I bave written a line to him! Oh, you good, good nurse, to let toe! You needn't look so alarmed. It hasn't hurt me one bit" I knew that It had not; knew that such an exertion was likely to be more beneficial than hurtful to her, or I should have found some excuse for de terring her. I endeavored to make my face more natural. As she seemed to want me to take the postal in my hand I drew near and took It. "The address looks very shaky," she laughed. "I think you will have to put It in an envelope." I looked at It—I could not help It— her eye was on me, and I could not even prepare my mind for the shock of seeing It like or totally unlike the writing of the warning. It was totally unlike; bo distinctly unlike that it was no longer possible to attribute those lines to her which, according to Mr. Durand's story, had caused Mrs. Fair brother to take off her diamond. "Why, why!" she cried. "You actual ly look pale. Are you afraid the doctor will scold us? It hasn't hurt me near ly so mach as lying here and knowing what he would give for one word from me." "You are right, and I am foolish," I answered with all the spirit left in me. "I should be glad—I am glad that you have written these words. I will copy the address on an envelope and send it out In the first mall." "Thank you," she murmured, giving me hack my pencil with a sly smile. "Now I can sleep. I must have roses In my cheeks when papa comes home " And she bade fair to have ruddier roses than myself, for conscience was working havoc In my breast. The theory I had built up with such care, the theorv I had persisted In urging upon the inspector in spite of his re buke, was slowly crumbling to pieces in my mind with the falling of one of Its main pillars. With the warning un accounted for in the manner i have stated, there was a weakness iu my argument which nothing could make good. How could I tell the lnsi»ector. If ever I should be so happy or so mis erable as to meet his eye again. Hu miliated to the dust, I could see no worth now in any of the arguments I had advanced. I flew' from one ex treme to the other, and was imputing perfect probity to Mr. Grey and an a I a a j honorable if mysterious reason for all ; his acts, when the door opened and be came in. Instautiy my last doubt van ished. I had not expected him to re turn so soon. He was glad to be back; that I could see, but there was no other glad ness In him. I had looked for some change in his manner and appearance —that Is. If he returned at all—but the one I saw was not a cheerful one. even after he had approached his daughter's bedside and found her greatly Im proved. She noticed this and scrutin ized him strangely. He dropped his eyes an« turned to leave fEe room, but was stopped by her loving cry; he came back and leaned over he "What is It, father? You are fa tigued, worried"— "No, no; quite well," he hastily as sured her. "But you—are you as well as you seem ?" "Indeed yes. I am gaining every day. See, see! 1 shall soon be able to sit up. Yesterday I read a few words." He started, with a side glance at me which took In a table near by on which a little book was lying. "Oh, a book!" "Yes, and—and Arthur's letters." The father flushed, lifted himself, patt«! her arm tenderly and hastened Into another room. Miss Grey's eyes followed him long ingly, and I heard her give utterance to a soft sigh. A few hours before this would have conveyed to my suspicious mind deep and mysterious meanings, but I was seeing everything now In a different light, and I found myself no longer inclined either to exaggerate or to misinterpret these little marks of filial solicitude. Trying to rejoice over the present condition of my mind, I was searching in the hidden depths of my nature for the patience of which I stood ln such need when every thought and feeling were again thrown Into confusion by the receipt of another communication from the inspector in which he stated that something hnd occurred to bring the authorities round to my way of thinking and that the test with the stiletto was to'he made at once. Could the irony of fate go further? I dropped the letter half read, querying If It Were tny duty to let the Inspector know of the flaw I had discovered in my own theory before I proceeded with the attempt I had suggested when I believed in its complete soundness. 1 had not settled the question when I took the letter up again. Rereading Its opening sentence, I was caught by the word "something." It was a very in definite one, yet was capable of cover ing a large field. It must cover a large field or It could not have produced such a change In the minds of these men, conservative from principle and in this Instance from diseption. I would be satisfied with that word "something" and quit further thinking. I was weary of It. The Inspector was now taking the initiative, and I was satisfied to be his simple Instrument^and no more. (To Be Continued.) Duly Warned. A tourist while sojourning at a rising Scottish seaside resort was one morn ing almost drowned through rushing Into the sea to recover bis hat that had been blown off by a gale of wind. He was, however, gallantly rescued by a passerby; but to his astonishment, he was seized by a constable as be was being dragged ashore and conveyed to the police station, where he was charged with disregarding a bylaw which enacted that any one found In the water after S a. m. should be prosecuted as the law directs. The presiding bailie animadverted severely on the beinousness of such a flagrant breach of the bylaw, remark ing: "Eh, man, an' so ye are doin' all ye can to drive nwa' trade and frighten awa' sightseers from the toon. It's a shame, after we ha'e spent so much money to mnk' the toon attractive. I ha'e a great mind to mak' ye pay a heavy fine for yer thoughtless con duct" "But, bailie." pleaded the rescued one, "I"— "Silence!" roared that functionary. "Silence! Ye cam' here an' get droon'd; that gi'es the toon a bad name, and casts a gloom over everything, fright ens awa' visitors and upsets all our arrangements for the entire season. Now awa' the noo, and remember ye maun be carefu' for the future."—Dun dee Advertiser. The American's Gambling Ways. In a letter from "A German In Amer ica," published In a Berlin newspaper, the writer dwells at length on the "American's fondness for gambling and his proficiency In the art" "His business methods," says the writer, "are speculative and not conservative, like ours, and he takes great risks to j reach the coveted goal of riches. At school he plays games with the small copper coin of the country, and when he reaches college he plsys poker. He gambles on the outcome of the athletic contests in bis and rival educational in stitutions, and when driven to the wall in argument no matter what the sub ject may be, the final and usually ef fective weapon Is a bet. From school he goes Into business. If this happens to be In the 'financial' line, there is no Interruption of the gambling habits ac quired at school. If he goes Into com merce and can resist the temptations of the men who dangle before his eyes visions of fortunes made by speculat ing in stocks, he may be saved. But usually be succumbs and is worse off than the financial gambler, because be becomes a speculator in his own busi ness and In the stock market also. It must be a dreadful strain on the men, but they seem to thrive on it and to grow fat and rich as well, and only we who won y about them remain poor." «•ngroalt y Sava Him Away. NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 21.—Th, mysterious disappearance of two packages containing $7,820.70 from the Southern Express company was ex plained today by the arrest of J. L. Smith, a mechanic, who confessed to taking the packages while making re pairs In the cars. He Is a church member, whose liberal contributions attracted the attention of the detec tives. Century Printing Co. 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