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The story opens at Monte Carlo with C.ol. Terence O'Rourke, a military free lance and something of a gambler,' in his •hotel. Leaning on the balcony he sees a beautiful girl who suddenly enters the ^levator and passes from sight. At the gaming table O'Rourke notices two men •watching him. One Is the Hon. Bertie Glynn, while his. companion is Viscount Des Trebes, a duelist. The viscount tells him the French government has" directed him to O'Rourke as a man who would undertake a secret mission. At his apart ment O'Rourke, who had agreed to un dertake the mission, finds a mysterious letter. The viscount arrives, hands a sealed package to O'Rourke, who Is not to open it until on the ocean. A pair of dainty slippers are seen protruding from under a doorway curtain. The Irishman finds the owner of the mysterious feet to be his wife, Beatrix, from whom he had run away a year previous. CHAPTER IV.—(Continued.) She shook her head sadly, wistful ly. "How do I know? How can I tell? Surely, dear, no two people were ever happier than we—yet within a year from our wedding you you left me, ran away from me. Why?" "Well ye know why, dearest, and well ye know 'twas love of ye alone that drove me from ye. Could I let it be said ye had a husband who was Incapable of supporting ye? Could I let it be said that your husband lived like a leech upon your fortunes? Faith, didn't I have to go for your sake?" "No," she dissented with a second weary shake of her pretty head "I think it was love of yourself, a little, Terence—that and your pride. Why should any of our world have guessed you were not the rich man you fancied yourself when we were married? Who would have told them that your landed heritage in Ireland had turned out profitless? Not 1, my dear." "1 know that," he contended stub bornly, "but 1 know, too, sooner or later it would have come out, and they would have said: 'There she goes with her fortune-hunter, the ad venturer who married her for her money—'" "And if so? What earthly differ ence could it make to us, sweetheart? What, can gossip matter to us—if you love me?" "If!" he cried, almost angrily. "If! Ah, but no, darling! 'tis your self knows there is no 'if' about it, that I'm sick with love of ye this very minute—sick and mad for ye ." "Then," she pleaded, with a desper ate little break in her incomparable voice and again held out her arms to him—"then have pity on me, oh, my dearest one—have pity on me if only for a little while." And suddenly he had caught her to him, and she lay in his arms, her young strong body molded to his, her lips to his, her eyes half-veiled, the sweet fragrance of her—too well re membered—intoxicating him lay su pine in his embrace, yet held him 6trongly to her, and trembled in sym pathy with the deep, hurried pounding is he a In the south the horizon flamed livid to the zenith, revealing a great, .black wall of cloud that had stolen up out of Africa beneath it the sea Bhone momentarily with a sickly silk en luster. Then the dense blackness of the night reigned again, as pro found as though impenetrable, eternal. Later a dull growl of thunder rolled in across the waste. With it came the first fitful warnings of the impending wind storm. 'Twas ye who sang to me, dear est?" "Who else, you great silly boy? And when you followed me to the door, making as much noise as a young elephant, Terence—I was mind ed to punish you a little, a very littlte, my dear. So I merely opened mine and closed it sharply." "There was a woman in the hall—" "I saw her, dear, and laughed, think ing how puzzled you would be. Was I cruel, my heart? But I did not mean to be. I'd planned this surprise, you know, from the minute I found our rooms adjoined." "And this letter"—O'Rourke fumbled in his pocket and got it out—"ye brought it to me?" "It came to me in London, dear, two weeks ago we were together—Clara Plinlimmon and I—at the Carlton, waiting for her yacht to be put Into commission. Meanwhile she was mak ing up the party for this Mediter ranean trip. ... I had no idea where to send you the letter. Have you read it?" "Have I had time, sweetheart of mine?" There was an interlude. In the distance the thunder rolled and rumbled. Resolutely the young woman dis engaged herself and withdrew to. a lit tle distance. IS.. by LODIS JOSEPH VAN IlLUSTRATIONS^BY BIXSWO^H^OIINC^^ COPYRIGHT 1909 By ^UI^joSBpH ^JVANgE ''Read, monsieur," she insisted, per emptorily. "I've better things to do, me dear," he retorted with composure. "You'll find it interesting." "I find me wife more interesting than— How d'ye know I will?" "Perhaps I have read it." O'Rourke turned the letter over In his hand and noted what had thereto fore escaped his attention—the fact that the envelope, badly frayed on the edges through much handling, was open at the top. "So ye may," he admitted. "It was that way when I received it. And I have read it. How could I help it?" "Then ye've saved me the bother." He prepared to rise and capture her. She retreated briskly. "Read!" she commanded. "Read about the Pool of Flame!" He stopped short, thunderstruck. "The Pool of Flame?" he reiterated slowly. "What d'ye know about that?" "What the letter tells me—no more. What has become of it?" But he had already withdrawn the enclosure and tossed the envelope aside, and was reading—absorbed, ex cited, oblivious to all save that con veyed to his intelligence by the writ ing beneath his eyes. It was a singularly curt, dry and business-like document for one that was destined to mold the romance of his life—strangely terse and tritely phrased for one that was to exert so far-reaching an influence over the lives of so many men and women. Upon a single sheet of paper bearing their let terhead, Messrs. Secretan and Sypher, solicitors, of Rangoon, Burmah, had caused to be typed a communication to Colonel Terence O'Rourke, inform ing him that on behalf of a client who preferred to preserve his incognito they were prepared to offer a reward of one hundred thousand pounds ster ling for the return, intact and ,un marred, of the ruby known as the Pcol of Flame. The said ruby was, when last heard of, in the possession of the said Colonel O'Rourke, who would receive the reward upon the delivery of the said stone to the un dersigned at their offices in Rangoon within six months from date. Said delivery might be made either in per son or by proxy. With which Messrs. Secretan and Sypher begged to re maiu respectfully his. The Irishman read it once and again, memorizing, its Import then deliber ately shredded it into minute parti cles. "So it's come," he said heavily, "just as the O'Mahoney foretold It would!" He sank back in his chair, and his wife went to him and perched herself upon the arm of it, imprisoning his head with her arms and laying her cheek against his. "What has come, my heart?" She Flung Herself Upon Him, Sobbing. "One hundred thousand pounds," he said. "Treble its worth, double what the O'Mahoney expect "Who. Is the O'Mahoney, dear?" He roused. "An old friend, Beatrix —an old comrade. He died some years back, on the banks of the Tugela, fighting with a Boer commando. He was a lonely man, without kith or kin or many friends beside meself. That, 1 presume, is how he came to leave the Pool of Flame with me." He wound an arm round her and held her close. "Hearken, dear, and I'll be telling ye the story of it." Behind them the infernal glare lit up the portentous skies. Thunder echoed between clouds and sea like heavy cannoning. The wife shrank close to her beloved. "I am not at all afraid," she declared, when her voice could be heard—"with you. Tell me about the Pool of Flame." "The O'Mahoney left it with me when he went to South Africa," ex plained O'Rourke. 'Twas a paste board box the size of me fist, wrapped in brown paper and tied with a bit of string, that he brought me one even ing, saying he was about to leave, and would I care for it in his absence. I knew no more of .it than that 'twas something he valued highly, but I put it away in a safe-deposit vault—which he might've done if he hadn't been a scatterbrain—an Irishman "Then he wrote me a letter—I got it weeks after his death—saying he felt he was about to go out, and that the Pool of Flame was mine. He went on to explain that the box con tained a monstrous big ruby and gave me its history, as far as he knew it. "It seems that there's a certain highly respectable temple in one of the Shan States of Burmah ('tis me self forgets the name of it) and in that temple there's an idol, a Buddha of pure gold, 'tis said. It would be a perfectly good Buddha, only that it lacks an eye there's an empty socket in its forehead, and 'tis there the Pool of Flame belongs—or come from. In the old days the natives called this stone the Luck of the State, and maybe they were right for when it disappeared the state became a Brit ish possession. "In the war of 'eighty-five, says the O'Mahoney, a small detachment of British troops out of touch with their command, happened upon this temple we're speaking of and took it, dispos sessing priests and populace without so much as a day's notice. The officer In command happened to see this eye In the Buddha's forehead, pried it out and put it in his pocket. In less than an hour the natives surrounded the temple and attacked In force. The British stood them off for three days and then were relieved but in the meantime the officer had been killed and the Pool of Flame had vanished. For several years it stayed quiet, so far as is known. Then the curse of the thing began to work, and it came to the surface in a drunken brawl in the slums of Port Said. The police, breaking into some dive to stop a row, found nobody in the place but a dead Greek they say 'twas a shambles. One of the police found the big ruby^ in the dead man's fist and before his companions guessed what was up slipped away with the stone. He was murdered some months later in a Genoese bagnio, by a French girl, who got away with it somehow. The O'Mahoney came across the thing in Algeria, when he was serving with the Foreign Legion. He was in Sidi Bel Abbas one night, off duty, and wandering about, when he heard a man cry out for help in one of the narrow black alleys of the place. He thought he recognized a comrade's voice, and surely enough, when he ran down to aid him, he found a Dutchman, a man Of his own regiment, fighting with half a dozen natives. He was about done for, the Dutchman, when the O'Mahoney came up, and so were three of the Arabs. The O'Mahoney took care of the rest of them, and left seven dead men be hind him when he went away—the six natives and the Dutchman, who had died in his arms and given him the Pool of Flame with his last whis per. "That's how it came to me," said O'Rourke. "And where is it now?" "Back in Algeria, if I'm not mistak en. ... Ye remember Chambret he was with us in the desert and wanted ye to marry 'him afterwards? He has it—the dear man I love him like a brother. He sickened of Europe when he found his case with you was hopeless, and went to Al giers, joining the Foreign Legion." "But how—?" "Well, we were fond of each other, Chambret and I. 1 helped him out of some tight corners and he helped me along when me money ran short —as it always did, and will, I'm thinking. After a while I got to won dering how much I owed the man and figured it up the sum total frightened the life out of me, and I made him take the ruby by way of se curity—and never was able to redeem it, for 'twas only a little after that that I came into me enormous patri mony and squandered it riotously get ting married to the most beautiful woman living. "He warfied me to hold the stone, the O'Mahoney did, saying that the time would come when some native prince would offer to redeem the Luck of the State as an act of piety and pa triotism. He prophesied a reward of at least fifty thousand pounds. And now it's come—twice over!" "And now what can you do?" "Do?" cried O'Rourke. "Faith, what would I be doing? D'ye realize what this means to me, dear heart? It means you—independence, a little fortune, the right to claim my wife!" He drew her to him. "Do? Sure, and by the first train and boat I'll go to Algeria, find Chambret, get him to give me the stone, take it to Rangoon, claim the reward, repay Chambret and—" "And what, my paladin?" "Dare ye ask me that, m^dame? Say, will ye wait for me?" She laughed softly. "Have I not waited, Ulysses?" "Tell me," he demanded, "have ye talked with anyone about this letter?" "Only to Clara Plinlimmon!" "Good Lord!" groaned the Irishman. "Only to her! Could ye not have printed broadsides, the better to make the matter public?" "Did I do wrong?" 'Twas indiscreet—and that's put ting it mildly, me dear. D'ye know the woman's a walking newspaper? How much did ye tell her? Did ye show her the letter?" "No." She answered his last ques tion first. "And I told her very little —only about this reward for a ruby I didn't know you owned. We were wondering where to find you." "And she told no one—or who do you think?" The woman looked a little fright ened. "She told—she must have told that man—Monsieur des Trebes." "That blackguard!" "He was with us on the yacht, one of Clara's guests." "She has a pretty taste for com pany—my word! How d'ye know, she told him? He asked you about it?" "The letter? Yes. He wanted to know the name of the solicitors and their address. I wouldn't tell him. I —disliked him." "Had ye told Lady Plinlimmon'" "No ." "Praises be for that!" "Why?" "Because ." O'Rourke paaused, vague suspicions taking shape in his mind. "Why did he ask about Cham bret?" he demanded. "How could he have learned that the jewel was with him?" He jumped up and began to pace the floor. His wife rose, grave with conster nation. "What," she faltered—"what makes you think, suspect—?" "Because the fellow lied to me about you this very night Ye were with Lady Plinlimmon in the Casino, were ye not? Faith, and didn't I see ye? I was in chase of ye when the man stopped me with his rigmarole about representing the French government and having a secret commission tor me. Ye heard him just now. And when I asked him was he of your party, he denied knowing Lady Plin limmon. He made a l^ter ap pointment with me here, to talk things over. I'm thinking he only wanted time to think up a scheme for getting me out of the way. Also, he wanted to find out where Chambret was. D'ye not see through his little game? To get me away from Monte Carlo by the first morning train, that we might not meet to get me on the first Atlantic liner, that I might not interfere with his plot, against Cham bret. For what other reason would he give me sealed orders? Sealed or ders!" O'Rourke laughed curtly, tak ing the long envelope from his pocket and tearing it open. "Behold his sealed orders, if ye please!" He shuffled rapidly through his fin gers six sheets of folded letter paper, guiltless of a single pen-scratch, crumpled them into a wad and threw it from him. "What more do I need to prove that he's conspiring to steal the Pool of Flame and claim for himself the re ward? ... A bankrupt, discred ited, with nothing but his title and his fame as a duelist to give him standing is it wonderful that he's grasping at any chance to recoup his fortunes?" He took a swift stride to ward the door, halted, turned. "And young Glynn?" he demanded. "Was he with you, and was he thick with this precious rogue of a vicomte?" "They were much together." "Faith, then it's clear as window glass that the two of them, both broke, have figured out this thing be tween them. Well and good! I want no more than a hint of warn in He was interrupted by a knocking. With a start and a muttered exclama tion he remembered Van Einem, and stepped to the door and out into a cor ridor, shutting the woman in. She remained where he had left her, her pretty brows knitted with thought, for a time abstractedly con scious of a murmur of voices in the hallway. These presently ceased as the speakers moved away. She turned to one of the windows, leaning against its frame and staring at the ominous flicker and flare of sheet-lightning which lent the night a ghastly lumin osity. A cool breeze sprang up, bellying the curtains. The woman expanded to it, reviving in its fresh breath from the enervating influence of the even ing's still heat. Her intuitive facul ties began to work more vivaciously she began to divine that which had been mysterious to her ere now. The lightning grew more intense and incessant, the thunder beating the long roll of the charge. A heavy gust of air chill as death made her shiver. She shrank sway from the windows, a little awed, wishing for O'Rourke's return, wondering what had made him leave her so abruptly. Then suddenly she knew. She could have screamed with hor ror. Almost simultaneously the door slammed her husband had returned. With a little cry she flung hersdf upon him, clinging to him, panting, sobbing. "Tell me," she demanded, "what you intend to do? Do you mean to fight him—Des Trebes?" "in the morning," he answered lightly, holding her tight and comfort ing her. 'Tis unavoidable I pro voked bis challenge. He was obliged to fight. But don't let that .worry ye—" "Oh, my dear, my dear!" She sobbed convulsively upon his breast 'Twill be nothing—hardly that an annoyance—no more. Believe me, dear." "What can you mean—?" (TO BE CONTINUED.) Getting Back at Her. She—I wouldn't marry you it you were the only man on earth. He—Well, considering that in such a case I would have a large number of stunners to select from, I don't think you would. jtfe. •*.» YOUNG WIFE SAVED FROM HOSPITAL TelU How Sick She Wat And What Saved Her From An Operation. Upper Sandusky,Ohio.—"Three yean ago 1 was married and went to house keeping. 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