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The Broken Coin
4 Story of By EMERSON HOUG3 Mster and ysteFrom the Scenario by Adventure Grace Cunard (Copyright. 29 6. by Wright A. Ptteurs) SYNOPSIS. bre inft v GraY, nePwpa;per woman, finds in hal s ctd shop h,lf ~ f a broken coin, the the d insrip'tir n on which arouses ScriositY and l,lds her, at the order OD( pcr r anagilg dlt' r. to go to the prin , Grbtz,.z.n to piece out the d -g..' .st ed bv It,, inscription. She is thc e:or nd on arrival in Gretzhoffen Iw adventures" hilhe cehasing the secret d h broken ,ntrb bfgIn. Cu EIGHTH INSTALLMENT iy. pr( CHAPTER XXIX. I eff King Cortislaw. het So you find it convenient to enter for sy room once more unasked?" Kit. kir ,t'a eyes flashed in genuine indigna- lee t as she faced Count Sachio. ."It Is not your room, mademoiselle, Wi botours. We pay for It and have con- de' b'ol of It." co "So there was some definite pur- an l e in secreting me here away from .y friends?" W1 "Assuredly. a purpose very definite, lib mid one from which w e do not intend sit to be swerved. n;ademoiselle." ha "What then do you purpose doing ha with me?" re "We plan taking you b( fore the ng--not the king of Gretzhoffen, but W( or own king, ('ortislaw of Grahoffen. µ' Be wishes to see you. mademoiselle." Kitty turned back ,into the room ka and Sachio. irritated at the delay, Swattso far as to take her by the arm cl il induce her to leave the room with ol0 ilm She resisted him so vigorously sb that for the tim.e he stood back non glo Qd. ce Bit at length the girl's powers th pIred no match for those brought to agapst her. She was forced from the an 'eu toward the front of the build- m bg. Once more Kitty adopted the pol- ht icy of Roleau himself-she ceased to s-rggle when she found struggling la uenless, and lay back to wait until a sl thie when resistance might be more ge elective. Li "Very, well, then, gentlemen," said sc dhe "Do as. you like. I am weaker th than yourselves. Since you are men sad gentlemen, naturally you are n( stong." Count Sachio made no answer to her biting words. In truth, matters had G tot gone so well with him as he would hhfe liked, lie had been ordered to re report to his own king, and now must 1 soon make that report. and certainly I he could not tell of the unqualified h; soccess which he had so confidently tl hoped. 11 The insignificant distance which separated these two kingdoms w\s n d ]s d to h l. 0 h -- Tries to Make rapitads o t trhen ws brought before King Corts Sthis is to Mhke womaFriends With themand what hours desirenat to knthe." hint lookitt, schooled in the distanhe held ins of heris hand. Kitty tvd In the aof ititt was the halfen, Sallowedhich she had onctime possessed arrange toilad been taken from hater buthe Sbyf these mene. 'Evidently preCousently chad turnabbed irrit over forthwitable. Sas she estd befor e him. "o this Is the womanid he "tellmand The same ys.our majesty. Shcrpton ican It says, The inscription Ii broken. I wish to know it all. I am tir informed that you have seen both ab halves of this coin. and therefore know wl the entire message. Read it to me at PE once." 'he Kitty took the coinin her hand as' be though to study it, but swiftly put her in own hand behind her back as she clutched it. "It is my property." said she stout- se ly. "Not even a king can take away kr property without course of law." Even a king was astonished at the th effrontery of the young girl-who held m her possession until two sturdy guards r forced the coin from her hand. The sc king smiled at her, a somewhat tooth . less smile. ye "So you value it? Many do. We are willing to pay for what we have, ma- y demoiselle-and the message of this th coin we mean to have. Give it to us, at and you shall be set free." cc "Your majesty is liberal'-you offer what is already mine-the right to cc liberty. But what you ask is impos- is j sible for me. True, I have seen each n' half of the coin-even I saw both bi g halves at one time-but never have I read the entire inscription." sl a "But you have seen both halves." et t went on Cortislaw. "Tell nie, what 64 L. was on the other half." "Your majesty, I cannot-I do not i n know." "By the saints of our fathers," ex a claimed (ortislaw, "if this were in the b olden days the torture chamber should y show you something. But now-" ". The torture could wring only de ception from rine, your majesty, and a that deception would be of no service . ,t to you. I have told you ,the truth e and that alone can serve you. Give p I. me my liberty again-and then per- ( haps I might learn more of the other ]. half of the coin." o "The girl argues well," said Cortis g law. "I am not sure whether or not a she speaks truth, but her argument ,e goes to the same thing in either case. Let her go under guard-perhaps d something may arise to give us fur !r ther insight into this. n "As for you, Count Sachio, you have 'e not yet suceeded in what was asked of you-you have not yet taught us wr where lies the hidden treasure of .d Gretzhoffen!" d "Your majesty," replied the count, to reddening, "It is but inadvertence, st which shall be amended. In my zeal ly I fancied your majesty would rather >d have this young woman than to have ly the other half of the coin. To secure that may require yet more time." Ii The king fixed on him the cold smile ,s which his courtiers had learned to dread. yet he could not fail to see the shrewdness of Sachio's reply.' "At least guard her, then," said he dryly. "She shall be our guest until we learn more of what she knows. It means too much to forego the full reading of that coin these days. I mean to have it. I trust all my officers will realize that fact." "Mademoiselle," said Sachio to Kit: ty, later, when she had been with drawn to quarters which virtually were to prove a prison to her, "You have heard what the king has said- he will allow you to return to your own country unharmed if you but help him to the meaning of that inscription. What is it to you? It is only idle curi osity brings you hither. With us it may mead the life or death of our country." Kitty gave herself up to certain re flections at the time. As to war be tween the two kingdoms, if it came, why should she aid Grahoffen against the country with which she had be come ,more familiar? Neither had done her much courtesy, true, but for some strangereason her sympathies were not with the country governed by this irascible and unlovely king. "Think well, mademoiselle," went on Sachio, "It is a long way from here to your country. The coin can mean but little to you at best." "It may mean much to me." broke out Kitty suddenly. "Listen. This coin is not the property of your king :he or of that other king. It is the prop erty of the people of these countries. Ihe t seeks to tell them its story-not to be any king for his selfish purposes-but it seeks to make known its appeal for , justice and liberty. What, think you e the people will forever' be content to he remain a shuttlecock between you tly two?" tli- A moment later and he had left her once more to her own devices. ele CHAPTER XXX. ir King Michael of Gretzhoffen. I nd- Meantime in Oretahoffen town the bly people remained irresolute, uncertain, making no further overt attempt at can the long-pending revolution. And as they waited their king amused him me- self after such fashions as had long itty been his own. Continually he changed, talf sometimes hoping, again dreading; sed and as often as he changed he sent but for Count Frederick, on whom he unt leaned in fatuous confidence. wlth "But, my dear count," he re proached that gentleman one day, e. "you have left one errand uncom Is pleted. You have brought us our coin back again, that Is true, but the th young lady who we fancied would gr come after it still remains absent to from our court. There has been no word from her for many days." tn º "True, your majesty, she has dis ,appeared, it seems. I do not, myself, to know where she is." at "'You have made inquiry at her bE usual place of residence-some hotel, al was it not? An absurd thing, for such a yc woman as herself to live in a hotel." ki "At her hotel," replied Count Fred- in erick, "they know nothing. They tell al me that she comes and goes at all hours, and leaves no word as to her I return. Nearly two weeks ago she E left, and has not yet returned." fr "There may be many reasons," con tinued the count, "for her continued bi absence. Perhaps the business upon K which she came is not yet completed. gi Perhaps her employers have called I tl 'her away. Perhaps she may have ni Ibeen intimidated by certain obstacles il in her way?" k , "Bly whom, Count Frederick?" "Well, she has seemed curious her- tl self regarding the coin. Perhaps she w (knew somewhat of it-" ti "So she also has studied this trinket a J that we gave her? Very well-we fi I meant it to prove of interest." "Doubtless. Put regarding the coin ti so many threats have been made-" a "Threats? What threats? What do ti you know of any?" I e "Many things come to my ears, fi your majesty, but I strive to keep b them from your own ears so much h as may be when . find them unwel- e come." r "The most unwelcome thing that g could come to us. my dear Frederick, . is the absence of this young woman n h now. Where, think you, she may ' h be?" I "I could not guess, unless perhaps N she may have returned to her own v 'country-in which case we shall never I t see her again, your majesty. Ve can make examination of the passenger t lists of all sailings within the last two weeks. I will look into that. If she . has not gone back to her own coun try, she either remains in this some- I d 'here, or in some other near by." "You do not mean Grahoffen?" I Count Frederick nodded. "That d is what I do mean. In truth, your i majesty, there are Grahoffen spies in 1 .this city-they were even at your ball. ,Perhaps they concern themselves with r. this young lady. Why not? If they I "w I ~.................................: r ýl -14 ... . +.. ii rt, Kity scpe From th Paac. : : suspect that she had part of the coin 1i -and it was easily seen by any that g once she did have that part-might a they not undertake to make trouble p for their own purposes with her?" o "But what good would come of ti that?" r Count Frederick saw that his v argument had gone too far for his ii own purposes. He did not care to t tell the, king all he knew, yet his zeal for Kitty had led him far. "Much good might come to Grahoff- a en's war department, your majesty, if they knew our secrets. Perhaps v they thought she could give some in. c formation." "But you do not predict trouble be- t tween us and our neighbor-you do I not mean war?" f "Your majesty, I predict nothing these days, but always it is well to i be prepared." "You disturb me sorely-do not I speak to me of war-I cannot endure the thought--I do not wish to hear I of it." As it chanced, much of this conver- I sation came to the ear of one of Sachio's agents, the spy Bartel, still hanging about the city of Gretzhoffen. He overheard enough in his passing 1 by at the time of this conversation to be advised that the king of Gretz hotffn intended to make search for the missing American. Not hesitat ing, he himself now sped off for his employer to communicate this news that he had learned. He found Sachio aloof and discon tented, out of favor in the court, and somewhat at a loss what next to do. At the thought of a definite demand on the part of King Michael-or rath er on the part of Count Frederick r upon their kingdom for the person of 1the young girl, aheblo grew somewhat Y grave. "This," said he, "is a matter be for the king." But the king was in no too good bu- i i mor over all these failures. "What, Sachio," said he, "you, come to me once more with these old wom an's tales? If your time is so short before your secret is discovered, then all the more reason for diligence on th your part. It is not the business of I at kings to accept reasons for failure in performance. The girl is still avail- as able-complete your errand with her tb -bring to me the reading of the coin. lo I know well. enough that if Count Li Frederick comes he will be 'different st from his king." hi Therefore once more Sachlo went bi back to his bootless interviews with Kitty, once more pleading with her to he give him all knowledge she had ofI i the coin. And once more Kitty could n o0 Sno more than reassure him of her own s ignorance of what he wished to tl know. U She heard odds and, ends of informa tion which taught her which way the tl wind sat at Grahoffen capital. Some- i times she heard Sachio, again Bartel, again this or that man, speaking d freely of the plans at hand. d "I told the king," said Bartel one - i time, speaking to Count Sachio, "that all is ripe for the shaking of the tl tree. 1 told him that we have full tl plans of all their fortifications and de- I fenses-that their resistance will be t but nominal. Once we get the Gretz- c 1 hoffen coffers opened, times .will be a easier in our country." - "Yes, once you do," rejoined Sachio I t grimly. "But tell us how!" Kitty, really owing allegiance to i neither of these kingdoms, both of ' y which had done her such repeated in justice, hardly stopped to ask herself s why she found her own leanings to n wards Gretzhoffen, the scene of r most of the indignities she had met. a She must escape for every reason- 1 r so she assured herself. But how? o From the windows she had a full e view of the well-kept grounds of the L- palace and of the boulevards sur rounding it. She stood alone one day staring out on scenes grown familiar to her. But all at once her gaze grew t more intent, fixed upon some object r not far away. A car was standing at n the curb. She did not remember toi 1. have seen it there regularly. h The two giant grenadiers to whom y had been assigned the duty of watch ing after her in her wanderings re a garded her as little more than a child, o and they smiled as now she pushed a past them through the door which led out to the gardens. She walked out to the car which stood at the curb, regarding it curiously, as though it were the first car she had ever seen in her life-something very far from true. f What the guards, who smilingly re- C garded her through the windows, e saw was a swift leap of the girl to the driver's seat, her rapid movements with the controlling levers as she cut on the spark, gave the car gas, threw in the clutch, threw open the throt tie, and drove away, the cut-out muf tier roaring her own defiance to pur suit. Hue and cry now through all the halls of Grahoffen palace, and gen eral uproar. Count Sachio, never too far away, was promptly on the spot. When he saw what had happened he cursed the two grenadiers with all his ardent soul. Even the king, him self, aroused from his midday slum bers, joined in these scenes of excite ment. "What has happened-what is all this about?" he demanded. The trembling guards scarcely dared tell him the truth. "What, she has escaped-that pris oner! She was of more importance than any held here in our own re membrance. You shall all be held to account for this. How now, Count -achio, did we not give her into your I immediate charge?' "Your majesty, you did. I dare no I explanation of her escape. Only---sbe is gone." "And with her our only hope of suc i cess in t b ambitions of this kingdom. You V eek to explain that to me? After port her, dullard, and bring her back in tl twenty-four hours-or else do not re- mri turn. You guess my meaning, Sachlo!" the . boy CHAPTER XXXI. It Sack Again in Gletzhoffen. alibi Pursuit? Kitty laughed at the now thought as she felt under her the rejol strong pulse of the great machine. othe She had taken the driver's seat, and know as the car was of left-hand drive, for Am the time she hbd no opportunity to menl look into the tonneau, had she liked., and Listening to the swift purr of the of C smooth motor, she did not at first si hear the sound of a chuckling laugh as t back of her in the car-a chuckle agal which at length broke out into a mor hearty gust of laughter. upol She turned her eyes swiftly at risk of capsizing the car-and found her self gazing directly into the face of the man whom of all others she would most have preferred to see. Even now he came crawling across e the top of the seat to join her in the front of the car. "Roleau!" she exclaimed, "Is it in 9 deed you? Are you always to be the deus ex maehina in all my difficulties e -literally you are that now!" ,t "I do not know what you mean by e that, excellency," said Roleau, as he I took the steering wheel from her, "but I have been in this machine for some e time. I was satisfied that did you es " cape from the palace you would need e a means of getting away. All I need ed to do was to wait patiently. So you 0 have come. As soon as I could make my own escape I secured this car-a 0 good one-and I followed. It was very f simple, as you see." " "At least a near squeak this time, If Roleau," said Kitty. "They never D- meant for me to escape." * "They do not mean it now, excel lency," said Roleau, nodding behind - him, where he knew pursuit even now was beginning. "I will drive now as 11 I have never driven before. 'Tis a e sweet engine, and it rides well. They r- will drive fast who follow us." Sa y All of which was so literally true r that before long the desert miles once W more had sped beneath them and Kit Ct ty found herself again in the city di ashe was more than ever disposed to as o call her home. They found entrance al to the Ritz hotel at the rear door, in m view of their own travel-stained con- oi h- dition. , lii "Excellency," said the grieved and bhi pained clerk, when at length she made dE her way to the desk, "I was on the w point of removing your belongings and di making other arrangements for your w apartments." flu "By what right?" demanded Kitty. "They are paid for in advance-why pi should they not be ready for pe when w I come?" hi "But we did not hear when you - would return." hý "There are .many things one does hi not hear-perhaps you may hear very hi lHttle of my own business and my ml *plans. I pay for service here. Please r4 care for me, therefore, and my man- w we both are tired." w . "You have been inquired for in your ec absence, excellency. The Count Fred erick of Gretzhoffen-" lii "Indecd, and what could he want?" h, "He has been here twice, excellency. C: but yesterday he came the last time. i He said he came on message of the ly king-which gave me warrant for what w he asked." A "And what was that?'" al S"Access to your apartments. He ne said it was the command of the king." ca "And you dared give him such ac "We dared not do less, excellency. m He was most courteous in one way- h asked many questions regarding your-. 5 self; but as to search of your apart- h ments he made none, or next to none. ol He seemed to care for nothing that he saw, save one little piture, a portrait." it Kitty remained but, briefly in her own rooms. She took a swift glance about. Everything seemed In place, n much as she had left It-no search ap Sparently had been made of any of the n cabinets or drawers. There had been r' re a little picture-one of herself-left 5 ld, on the dressing table. It was gone! I 'e She missed nothing else. led - r out CHAPTER XXXII. irb, - it in the Name of the King. I een It was plain enough to Count Sachlo om which way Kitty would head in her flight. Her car was little more than re- out of sight on the Gretzhoffen road, ws, ere Sachio himself was in pursuit. thes 'Count Sachio himself was no blun-1 nts derer, and no common thief chaser, but cut a courtier and a man of ointelligence. I rew He knew it woild be. futile to make rot- a direct demand of the hotel manage u- ment regarding the whereabouts of ur- the young American. Therefore, while t She himself approached the hotel desk I Sto engage the clerks in conversation. t en- he sent two of his own men-one of Sthem Bartel, the spy, who had been Sestablished here so long-by way of hi a rear stairway to find Kitty's room Sand report to him what they learned. I im- He stood for some time making po* im- lite speeches with the desk men and the porters, asking for certain infor. 1a mation as to routes and distances, but all the time burning with Impatience I Sthat he heard no report from his mes-, sengers. As he stood, there came Snews of them-startling news enough,. pri- There came shrieking down the stairs, e incoherent, babbling, a maid who d ocalled out to the clerk, or to any who nt would hear her! ou "A man," she cried-"A man-killed yu in her room-the young AmerJean's e no room-murdered-it is murder, I tell -she Iea The oeidals of the hotel took suc- prompt etedlo. r . "Close all the doors," ordered the I porter. "Clear the eorridors at aon1 in the king's name. 'Apprehend the murderer whoever it may be. Have the gendarmes come at once. You, boy-run I say." It was hue and cry 'nce more, and Sachio was glad enough that his own alibi yas plain, for he knew not what now might happee. One of his men rejoined him-the spy Bartel. The other remained behind-his fate un known as yet. As for Kitty, she wab at this mo ment once more away from her hotel and once more in the stately palace of Count Frederick. She entered softly, leaving Roleau as usual somewhat remote, to guard against any sudden intrusion. Once more she cast about a searching gaze upon the details of the place. All its e te e s t 1 a I iW 1 a Sachio Takes Advantage of Kltty'. ne Helplessness, But is Interrupted By* :e a Guard. it. ty disorder had been removed. Spick to and span in military neatness the ce apartment lay before' her, in Upon the dresser, in full view, n- openly displayed, was a picture in s,.. little frame-a frame of silver set in od brilliant gems. She looked at it sad. r de denly-it was the portrait of hrselt~::: he which oncehad stood on her '~W i nd dressing table in her hotel! Now it; J ur was here. Why? Kitty felta strangL': flush come to her face. I: ty. Something, now arrerted her--ahe hy paused, reluctant to redume a searth " en which ever had been disthateful to her. No, she would not touch a thin ou -had he not done as much for het-.~ had he not been more respectful th ~ les herself of another's privacy? If h ry had taken anything from her aphrttu i dny ments it was but-this. And ap pa*: se rently he had cherished it. Non shie - would not search for'the coin. S. i would leave this country dlsapp~ " ur ed, if nct-d be. ed- But there lay. just at the foot of thi; little portrait, an object which caughts . ? her eye. It wa~ the halft coin of cy. Gretzhoffen! oe. - Yes, here it was in full view, oper t he ly displayed, that any might see it. " iat who liked, who chanced;to be there. i Apparently Count Frederick felt that all purlult of the coin h .l ended-that le no longer could any intruder gain so g." cess to his palace. ac- Kitty hesitated or a moment. Tbi" appeal of the coin came to her oenfC. cy. l more. She took it up, held It ca~ h .- hand, gazed at it--and onc i more '' ur. so often had been the caseE-dh fO irt. 'herself surprised at the very mo.m:! ne. of her success. , he She heard Count Fredericlk's? it." footsteps, his calm voice behlledi hr'( . her "Mademoiselle, agaln!" I. ocee The count stood ther ,ce her. ap "Evidently, mademoiselle, you i the not realize' that these reN)eated - sen rendered necessary the instaililtl Ofni· left an electric system of my own d ; ne! ing-you see, Lknew of yeour p ue a'nd as you see, i have tome. rang. Of what servie can I bS*% I mademoiselle?": "Leave me alone," panted Ktty, biu Iface hot, tears almost in her eyea -: hate you! I hate you!" , .- her "I grieve at that, mademoisellI hr said Count Frederick evenly, "~1f*1 hanI could say the same of you uit I ' cannot. With every reason to lt 's you-I cannot. Continually we crp: un- s;words, do we nott And - but easy to deceive this ttime. see-y9 Irce. are trapped as simply as a bidw.l ' ake steps into its cage without belwtio . ge- "Will you not give me back moyl of mademoiselle?' Will you not add ittboi' bile the other? Will you not assist mie *' esk reading the message of the conla, s' ion, that we may make an end of alL tbl; s of -so that we may not continually aeril een swords with one another?" of . In answer Kitty darted paot. bml, 0om found her way into the, hail Mreai e ked. knew not where. Before her layi I po- li httle narrow stairway, and she spran :: and up it, hoping to finad ,egress seO. for. j where. Alas! the door that. elosed the but head of the stair was uloked. Sh.": ce b heard his low laugh as ian hau grille us* ab apped across the opening, c-t1'•i ome escape. o ui4 bh. "Won't you give it me now--y :im, coin?" he asked. who Silence reigned in the great whtite who marble palace of Count redericLk of SGretshoffen. illed Add now, far off in other part of an's the city, where men abagt eni. ho Stell had done a crime, tthea 4ri _ streets the;sound of huiyI teeV. took1 with the warning cry, "In th nae the kin!" tho (To Be Ct'alttne.). .