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The Caldwell watchman. (Columbia, La.) 1885-1946, February 16, 1912, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064181/1912-02-16/ed-1/seq-5/

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SYNOPSIS.
The story opens with a scream from
IDorothy March in the opera box of Mrs.
Mi,;sioner, a wealthy widow. It is oc
casioned when Mrs. Missioner's necklace
breaks. scattering the diamonds all over
the floor. Curtis Griswold and Bruxton
Eands, society men in love with Mrs. Mis
sioner, gather up the gems. Griswold
steps on what Is supposed to be the cele
brated Maharanee and crushes it. A Hin
doo declares it was not the genuine. An
expert later pronounces all the stones
substitutes for the original. One of the
missing diamonds is found in the room
of Elinor Holcomb. confidential compan
ion of Mrs. Missioner. She is arrested,
notwithstanding Mrs. Missioner's belief
In her innocence. Meantime. in an up
town mansion, two Hindoos, who are in
America to recover the Maharanee, dis
cuss the arrest. Detective Britz takes
up the case. He asks the co-operation of
Dr. Fitch, Elinor's fiance, in running
down the real criminal. Brits learns that
duplicates of Mrs. Missioner's diamonds
were made in Paris on the order of
Elinor Holcomb. While walking Britz is
seized, bound and gagged by Hindoos. He
Is imprisoned in a deserted house, but
makes his escape. Brits discovers an in
sane diamond expert whom he believes
was employed by either Sands of Gris
wold to make counterfeits of the Mission
er gems. Griswold ,ntimatex that Sands
se on the verge of failure. Two Hindoos
burglarize the home of Sands and are
captured by Britz. On one of them he
Onds a note signed by "Millicent" and ad
dressed to "Curtis."
CHAPTER XIX. '
The Mysterious Millicent.
Britz streaked from Sands' apart
ment to a dingy little den of a shop
on the top floor of a downtown
business rookery--one of the sky
scrapers of a quarter-century before.
It was much more tedious to climb
the five flights of stairs to the sixth
story than to shoot in an express ele
vator to the summit of the Singer
Building. But Britz was too hot on
the scent to pay much attention to his
fatigue. He ran up the stairs lightly,
flung open a craze outer door that
creaked an announcement of his com
ing, and pushed a bit of paper toward
a young man of modern physique and
ancient visage who was working at a
bench. The paper was the note be
ginning "Curtis dear," and ending with
the first name of the mysterious Mil
licent. The anachronistic young man
looked at it inquiringly through steel
rimmed spectacles.
"Rush a hundred copies of this, Bur
len," said Britz. "I'll send for them in
a couple of hours."
The detective seated himself on a
stool behind the bench, and for several
minutes watched the photo engraver
at his work. His mind was not behind
hf'eyee,, heweyer,- He»wasbusy with.
the possibilities unfolded by the little
scrap of paper he had found in the
Hindoo burglar's possession. The
Headquarters man never was in a hur
ry to accept any clew at its face val
ue; nevertheless, he felt he had at
last something which, if not a direct
link between his knowledge and his
suppositions, would go far toward con
necting them. That the note was ad
dressed to Curtis Griswold he had
little doubt. It required small effort
of reasoning to conclude that the East
erners had gone to Sands' 'apartment
soon after visiting Griswold. But this
time, Brits had learned enough to
convince him that the Brahmin scholar
was as eager to get possession of the
Missioner necklace as he was-to get
the Maharanee diamond, anyway, if
not all the other gems belonging to
the famous string. By a patient,
patchwork process, Brits had pieced
together the tiniest details of the
Swami's movements. He knew all
about the scholar's presence in the
Metropolitan Opera House on the
night of the disappearance of the Jew
els, and he had' made himself ac
quainted with the system of espionage
maintained by the sage and his sub
ordinates ever since ~blat time. That
system, he was aware, covered every
one connected, however distantly,
with the mystery. It was apparent to
Btritz that be was working against
men who, while not trained detectives
in the Occidental sense, were fully as
persistent in their quest as himself.
There was no question the Swami had
directed all the energies of the East
erners which the detective had follow
ed interestedly throughout their vari
ous manifestations. Brlt: was con
vinced that he had the Brahmin priest
to thank for his own kidnaping; and
he was equally certain that the same
little band of brothers had searched
the homes of Bruxton Sanids and Cur
tels Grlswold. He was not given to at
taching much weight to Intuition, re
larding that faculty as a pale and us
ually ineffective feminine reflection of
masculine logic.
But something told him he must be
stir himself even more vigorously than
be had done to date, if he was to trace
the Missioner diamonds before the
suave, asbtme men from the East could
find them and put them forever be
yond the reach of any . Westerner.
One thing was in his favor. Undoubt
edly he had broken the Swami's line
of communication by seizing the spies
before they could report the finding of
the Millicent note in Sande' apartment.
He had a vague sense that the scrap
of paper would be of immediate value
as a clue to the Brahmin-that it he
had not intercepted it, the scholar it
now would have been clbse upon the
discovery of the dlamonds, It remain
ed for Brits himself to ascertain the
Identity and whereaboutfs.of Millicent
before the Oriental prisoners could
tommunlcate with their chief. Those
1s-sners were safe enough for the
present in the Tenderloin Police Sta
tion; but, although it was in the de
tective's power to prevent their im
mediate arraignment in the Night
Cturt by a word to the precinct com
munder, he could not long keep them
in cells. They were entitled to a
speedy examination before the magis
trate, and he was certain that unless
their failure to report to the Swami
should alarm that gentleman sooner,
steps would be taken in the morning
to have the prisoners produced in
court. They were sure to be arraign
ed in Jefferson Market at next day's
afternoon session, if not earlier. Brits
felt that, once in their presence, the
Swami, though he might be separated
from them by the length of the room,
would find means to learn all they
knew, to the last microscopic detail.
He must find Millicent that night.
That done, he had little doubt he
would be close to the Missioner jew
els, and probably to the person who
had taken them from their snug har
bor in Mrs. Missioner's library.
"I'll send for the copies, Burlen,"
Britz said, as he slipped from the
stool and started to the door, "but
don't let the original leave your hands
until I call for it myself."
The detective was so absorbed in
his thoughts as he walked down flight
after flight of the dark stairs that he
did not see a pair of eyes gleaming
from one of the lower halls. Those
eyes were as black as the darkness
that formed their background, and the
Headquarters man would have been
even more than ordinarily on the alert
if he had seen them glistening in the
remote recess. As the detective passed
on toward the street, the eyes ad
vanced along the dusk of the hall, and
in the faint glow of a lowered gas-jet
at the foot of one of the higher flights
of stairs, there became visible behind
Ithem a man who, in most respects,
was a counterpart of the two Orientals
at that moment detained in the West
Thirtieth Street Station. The owner
of the eyes, while Britz walked down
stairs, as quickly and far more quietly
went up.
Britz turned his steps toward 300
Mulberry Street. In his own office,
after a glance into Manuing's room
that showed him it was empty, he call
ed Dr. Fitch on the telephone and
made an appointment to meet him in
two hours in the bar of the Holland
.House...
"It's one of the quietest places in
Manhattan," said the detective, "and
I want to talk to you very privately.
They are not likely to know me
there."
Britz pushed a button, and when a
Headquarters attendant appeared,
sent him for the Central Office man,
whom, next to himself, he trusted
most.
"Send down to Burlen's place in an
hour and a half, Rawson," said Brits
to the other detective. "He'll have a
hundred facsimiles of a letter signed
Millicent. Have as many men as pos
sible get busy among the hotels. I
want to trace the woman who wrote
that signature. They will have to look
through every register for a year past.
It's got to be done thoroughly, and I
want it done quickly. Here, I'll give
you a list," and he hastily scribbled
the names of a half-hundred hostelries
of a class such as he thought the fair
Millicent might patronize.
"What time will I see you?" asked
Rawson.
"If I'm not back in three hours, I'11
call you up," said the detective.
Then, having arrived at a pause in
the pursuit of the Jewels, he hastened
to a Turkish bath, where, being a lit
tle weary from much metropolitan
Journeying and muscle-bound from loss
of sleep, he had hlinself baked, steam
ed, chilled, kneaded, and pounded into
shape.
The great detective's indulgence in
that luxury all unknowingly gave to
the other side an advantage in the
race for the Missioner jewels that well
might prove fatal to his success. Long
before Brits reached the hot-air room
of the bath, the man with the glisten
ing eyes who had passed him in the
hall of the tumble-down loft building
was at the door of Burlen's workshop,
straining the angle of his vision to fol
low the photo-engraver at work. Those
glittering eyes forcused their gaze
through the keyhole on a piece of pa
per which Burlen had fastened with
thumbtacks to a board, and which, in
the glare of an are lamp, confronted a
big camera with a powerful lens. Al
though the eyes followed Burlen as
well as they could about the room,
their owner was not so much interest
ed in the artisan's activity as he was
in the small white sheet of paper on
which he could discern lines traced in
a woman's hand. Patiently waited the
owner of the eyes. He was of a race
that had cultivated patience through
the centuries. Soon or late, undoubt
edly, the man inside would go frdm
the benich beside that great white
light to another part of the room. A
few yards would suffmce for the man
with the eyes, and even while Brits
still was talking to Rawson in Police
Headquarters, Burlen briskly covered
those dozen or so feet to get a chem
ical in the row of bottles in the rack
at the far end of the shop. The man
outside, crouching until he was little
higher than an upreared cobra of his
f o '
"llC ý U .
OOQQ,

native land, slipped through the door
way, crawled across the intervening
space between the threshold and the
t camera, whisked the Millicent note
from the board, and as silently made
his escape before Burlen had replaced
the cork in the bottle. By the time
Detective-Lieutenant Britz was en
veloped in the fog of the steam room,
that little note was in the possession
of the Swami and Prince Kananda,
and those worthies were studying it
so swiftly and so profitably that ere
Britz took his cold plunge, the sage
and the Maharajah's son made a
swifter, deeper dive toward the heart
of the Missioner mystery. It was as
a result of what they learned from
Millicent's missive that the Swami
and the Prince went separately to the
ballroom of Doris Missioner's most
fashionable friend. It was also in
consequence of the information glean
ed from those petulant feminine lines
that the Swami found Mrs. Missioner's
society so interesting, and that the
Prince, before and after that tete-a
tete, experienced keen curiosity con
cerning the doings, characteristics,
and state of mind of Curtis Griswold.
The third result of Millicent's little
letter and the Easterners' joint visit
to the Fifth Avenue ballroom, was
their dash in separate cabs to a bach
elor apartment in a side street just
off Central Park, where, shortly after
their several arrivals, they were in
1 n r
I 3.

Ua
SCi t l
Y,4
vi
!I t,
Wal a Counterpart of the Two Orlen talle
close consultation for an hour or more
with All, the supposedly devoted re
tainer of the rich Mrs. Missioner.
For the second note to Curtis Gris
wold that' fell into the hands of the
Hindoos-the one Prince Kananda in
tercepted at the door of the.Fifth Ave
nue mansion in which the great ball
was held-was written on a letterhead
that revealed to Nandy and the
Swami an address they very much de
sired to know. Had that address found
its way to Detective-Lieutenant Brits
as soon, it would have saved him
much delay, and would have spared a
large part of the city's detective force
the necessity of a laborious search
through Manhattan's hotel registers.
Burlen was one of the most aston
ished young men in lower Manhattan
when, turning from his row of bottles,
he found the note entrusted to him by
Brits had vanished. At first he as
sumed he had fastened it carelessly
and that it had fallen to the floor. A
quick hunt showed him he was wrong.
He extended his search to every part
of the room, and it was not until he
had disturbed the dust of ages that
he realized the scrap of paper actually
was gone. His sensations following
that realization were not of the pleas
antest. Brits was one of his best cus
tomers, and he knew from the detec
tive's earnestness the note was of ex
ceptional importance. It solaced him
only in part to find on taking the plate
from the camera and putting it
through a developing process that the
lens had done its work more faithfully
than he. He held in his hand a perfect
duplicate of the letter. That would
not satisfy Brits, of course, but it was
better than it would have been if the
note had disappeared before the photo
graphing was complete. Burlen hast
ened to subject the little plate of cop
per to the acid bath, and as the minute
points of the halftone came out with
gratifying distinctness, the young man
rejoiced that he at least was able to
produce the facalmiles the Headguw'
ters man had ordered. Remorse
spurred him so effectively that all the
hundred impressions were ready when
Rawson sent for them. Half an hour
afterward, as many detectives were
comparing the halftone prints with
the signatures of all the Millicents in
the registers of New York's more
fashionable hotels.
Brits, as fit as a fiddle after his par
boiling, walked briskly to the marble
lobby of the Holland House and join
ed Fitch in the bar. That hotel is not
patronized by the Bright Light set,
one reason being that it sturdily re
pels all attempts at such patronage.
Half a dozen men of undoubted fash
ion were in the cafe when Britz and
Fitch draped themselves over one end
of the bar, and began absorbing long,
cold drinks In punctuation of their In
terested talk.
"We're getting warm, as the young
steras say," said Britz, and he told
him Of all that had haplpened since
their last meeting. "Your young lady
won't have to stay in the Tombs much
longer, I'm thinking, unless we have
a stroke of bad luck. I'm puzzled on
one point, however, and that's what I
wanted to see you about. What do
you know about Bruxton Sands?"
"I know he's all right," Fitch re
plied "One of the best ever."
"IMiown him long?"
"Several years. I was fortunate in
the Case of a brother of his, and that
made me pretty solid with the whole
family. Bruxton has done me several
good turns."
"You think that square look of his
is not a front, then?" inquired the de
tective.
"No," said the doctor, who talked
mire at his ease with the detective
than he would have dreamed of doing
with any of his fashionable patients.
"He's 'the goods.'"
"Well," rejoined the sleuth, "I'm
glad to hear you say so. I don't mind
telling you he made me a little sus
picious this evening. I must say that
for an honest man his attitude was a
little queer."
"In what way?"
;,"Well," said Brits, "he wouldn't let
um see a bit of paper that might have
helped me a whole lot in this matter;
and just for a moment I began to won
der whether he was as eager to have
the Missioner mystery solved as he
pretended to be."
. "There's no pretense about Bruxton
Sahds," said Fitch very positively.
"He does want this thing straightened
Out, and he wouldn't do anything in
any way, if he could help it, to hinder
you."
Brits then told the physician more
fully 'how stubborn Sands had been
in regard to the note the millionaire
himself had taken from one of the
I'Hadoo burglars.
S"I'll admit it seemed strange," said
Fitch. "But if you go on the assump
tIton there is anything wrong behind
it you'll lose your point. Sands is as
square as they make 'em."
"You don't think, then," asked the
detective, "it is possible his infatua
tion for Mrs. Missioner would lead
hin to do anything to queer his riv
ý"Most assuredly not," replied Fitch.
"In the first place, he is not infatuat
I Bruxton Sands is genuinely in
loe with D6ris Missioner, and he is
the ldnd of man who knows the sort
i woman he wants. In the next
U
ýa; K cºi d
c~cuca
place he wouldn't dream of doing any- 1
thing underhand, even if he saw that c
the other fellow was undoubtedly win- i
ning out. He always plays the game." c
"Well, maybe he does," said Britz; r
"but, from what I've observed in my t
journey through life, this love game v
is one that is played without any e
rules. I've known men who would take t
a million if it were handed to them on o
a platter, yet who'd go pretty close to
a mix-up with the Grand Jury to cut
out a fellow who was after the same c
girl."
"You talk as if your experience in
the heart line were all second-hand,"
said Fitch, smiling.
"Never been in love in my life and i
never expect to be," said Britz. "But
I have eyes in my head and ears be
hind them. I also know what women
can do to a man's common sense even
when they don't know they're doing
it. The lady who gets the loot isn't
always a party to the crime."
"Well," responded Fitch, "I won't
undertake to pit my experience
against yours; but there's nothing of
that sort in this case. Sands loves
Mrs. Missioner about as much as a
man can. He was fond of her before her
marriage, and most of us thought he'd
win her then. I don't know why he
didn't, but I do know that from the
day he learned of her husband's
death, he had been twice as attentive
to her as before, and even. in the days
when she was the star bud of Auntie
Paran's beauty show, his fondness for
her was pretty noticeable. I remem
ber particularly one Patriarchs' Ball
when he grabbed every dance on her
card and got her to sit out most of
them."
"But he knows Griswold is trying
to win her, too," said Britz, "and if he
has any reason to think the other fel
low has a good chance he might be
tempted to put him down and out,
even if he had to go to such lengths
as taking the Missioner diamonds, and
then throwing suspicion on Gris
wold?"
Brits raised his glass and drank
slowly, meditatively, until the ice
chilled his nose. Then he sat the
tumbler firmly down on the bar, faced
Fitch, and said with an air of finality:
"If that's the case, Griswold's the
man! He may have had assistance
from Blodgett, but I doubt it. He's
too foxy to trust his neck to a serv
ant As for All, I thought he might
have turned the trick, but he didn't,
because itf he had, he and all the rest
of that Calcutta bunch would be well
on their way toward their heathen
temples by this time. There is now
only Mr. Curtis Griswold to consider."
Fitch looked at him with a per
plexed air,
"What causes you to suspect him?"
he asked.
"I've had my eyes on that young
man for some time," Britz said.
"There were two or three things con
nected with the arrest of Miss Hol
comb that didn't please me a little bit.
I didn't like the satisfaction he show
ed when suspicion was directed to
ward her."
"Did he seem pleased?" -inquired
Fitch.
"More than pleased--he seemed re
lieved," answered the detective.
"Maybe Donnelly and Carson did
some real work, after all, without
knowing it. If they hadn't arrested
Miss Holcomb, Griswold mightn't have
shown his hand so easily."
"Have you any other evidence?"
asked the doctor. He appeared to be
gratified by the trend of the detect
ive's thoughts.
"Several things," said Britz. "One
of our Wall Street men tells me half
a dozen inquiries about Griswold have
been sent to the financial agencies
lately. I had that end worked up, and
I found out Griswold had been bump
ed by a bear raid."
"Hurt much?"
"Pretty badly. He tried hard to
sell a block of suburban real estate
soon after that"
"These things are only straws, how
ever," said the doctor. "Of course,
we'll have to have much more sub
stantial evidence before we can do
anything."
"Well, for one thing," returned
Brits, "I expect to know in a few
hours just where the diamonds are.
At any rate, how they were taken out
of the city, if they are not In New
York. I've got a hundred men work
ing the hotels to find out, and if you'll
come down to Headquarters with me
in a little while you can see the e
suit."
The detective stopped short in his
words as Curtis Griswold entered the
bar. The clubman went to the cigar
counter, lighted a cigarette, and by
the impatient gesture with which he
snatched it from his lips and threw
it to the floor, he betrayed the fact
that he had applied the flame to the
cork tip. His manner was nervous,
his face slightly drawn, and his hand
trembled as he took another cigarette
from the case and once more puffed
at it in his staccato fashion. He did
not see Brlts and Fitch, as they were
at the other end of the bar.
"Get me a messenger!" Griswold
said to the bartender, and as the man
pulled the crank of a call box, the
clubman took a card from his pocket
and wrote a few lined hastily upon it
Then he called for an envelope, and
when the messenger came, he handed.
it to him with a bank note, with a few,
words spoken in a low tone. The
messenger gone, Griswold called for a
brandy-and-soda, gulped it down in a
way that showed his state of nervous
excitement and, still without seeing
the doctor or the detective, hurried
out of the barroom.
Britz gripped the doctor's arm.
"Go after that boy!" he said. "Find.
out where he is going, and join me at
Headquarters. Make it quick, doc!"
Fitch hastened in pursuit of the
messenger boy. Britz walked with
quick strides to the subway, where he
boarded a local or Bleeker street.
The physician s pursuit of the dis
trict messenger who had carried the
note from Griswold ended at the
Thirty-third Street station of the Sixth
avenue elevated railway. All Fitch
wanted to know was the destination
of the note. Fitch, though an ama
teur, had acquired so much skill from
association with the famous Head
quarters man in efforts to free his
sweetheart that it required no
prompting to look over the boy's
shoulder as he stopped to buy a
ticket. While fishing in his pocket
for a grubby nickel, the messenger
momentarily held the envelope in such
a position that Fitch was able to read
both name and address. The doctor
hastily jotted both on the margin of
a newspaper, and then he crossed to
the downtown station, and in 20 min
utes knocked at the door of the do
tective's room in Police Headquarters.
"This must be the woman," he
heard Britz say to Rawson, as he en
tered after a sharp "Come in!" i
"Hello, doe!" said Brits. "I guess
we've found her. These are the full
names of all the Millicents registered
in New York hotels, and my man rF
ports this signature is exactly like
the name attached to the note I found
in the Indian's clothes."
"What's the name?" asked Fitch.
"Millicent Delaroche," answered the
detective.
"That's the lady," answered the
i physician. "The same name is on that
envelope Griswold gave the messen
ger. She lives in the-"
e "Hotel Renaissance," said Britz do
s cisively. 'Doctor, I tell you we're get.
r. ting 'warm. As the kids say, 'We're
t burning up!'"
A conference followed, in the course
it of Which Brits, Fitch and Rawson
I elaborated a plan to ascertain whether
n the Jewels Millicent Delaroche men
r tioned in her note to Griswold were
the original Missioner diamonds, or
merely gems the clubman had bought
for her. To learn that fact was not
so easy as it sounded. With weeks
at his command, Brits could have
gained the knowledge in a roundabout
way, but he had no such time. There
were not even days to spare; ther
were not even hours to waste. Brits
knew as well as if he saw it in black
and white that the Orientals, both of
high and low caste, were centering all
their subtlety, skill and ingenuity
upon the possession of Mrs. Mission.
er's jewels-anyway, the Maharanee
diamond-and he sensed the impor
tance of anticipating them before the
night was over. That realization was
based on the assumption that th'
contents of the Millicent note as yet
were unknown to the more, important
of the Hindoos. Britz knew the men
he had caught in Bruxton Sands' room
could not get word to the Swami nor
to Prince Kanjnda before the morn
ing. He had 'aken care to prevent
that by rushing a note to the captain
of the Tenderloin precinct, requesting
that the prisoners, instead of being
taken to the night court, should be
held at least for the morning session
in Jefferson Market His zeal led him
to lose no time in heading off the Or*
entals, even with the burglars bottled
up for twelve hours or so. Had be
guessed he himself had helped to con
vey the letter from the Hindoo cap
tires to their Brahmin master, he
would have been twice as zealous,
though it is doubtful he could have
worked more rapidly than he did after
his talk with Fitch and Rawson 1I
the seclusion of his own office.
In pursuance of the plan arranged
in that conference, Rawson went to
the Renaissance and got from the
management all that was known there
concerning Millicent Delaroche. She
was Mrs. Delaroche, whether witf
widow or divorcee the management
could not tell. She had been in the
hotel several months; she had one of
the most luxurious suites in the big
building, and she seemed to be boun.
tifully supplied with money. Her
gowns were gorgeous, and when she
went out, it was in an electric brougfr
am she kept in the hotel's garage.
Mrs. Delaroche had few visitors.
SThe most frequent was a man about
town who sent many roses and huge
I boxes of bonbons to Madam's apart
ment. Did the management know
I him? Oh, yes. If his name was of
I any real importance to the interro
Sgator, the manager did not mind tell*
lng it. What was it? Why, it was
I Mr. Griswold-Curtis Griswold, secro
tary of the Iroquois Trust company,
I and a leading member of the Stuyve
Sant club.
(TO BE CONTLNUBIU

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