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Ing postsmaster had been found. As
walked up the street I could not help
thinking how dumfounded Davis would
be when ho returned from his fruit
less chase for Crandall and listened
to my tale of Crandall's actions. While
bhe had advised against my return to
the city, he would have to admit that.
it had not been without result.
As I entered the post-office I found'
that Miss Cox was still in charge.
Approaching the letter window, I bado
her good aftern!ocn and asked if there
.was any news of the missing postr.:s
ter, .It was late in tl3 afternoon and
the last mail fsr the day having been
Sdistributed, she sat crocheting. She
Jmotloned to me to come around to
:the rear door.
"How abctt it?" i asked as I en
-tared the oce, "has anything been
heard of Rouser?"
, She shook her head.
"That's about the eighty-ninth time
rye answered that question to-day.
Seems like the whole town was in
here wanting to know."
"Has the post-office inspector been
"He was In here this morning and
ade jtut Iho routine examination. He
s Anything Been Heard
not ask no questions, though I un
and he has been sleuthins bet
nd up to Widow Smith's, where and
" Rouser boards. If he's looking his
yt ing wrong with Charlie's ac- and
it'Q my prlvate opinion that he
Saidf It. I've been all he
the boo!:s twice today and there weo
anythring out of the way.
Have you any idca where all that' He
ney came from that we found be. He
the cash-drawer?" the
`N0, and I don't Eee that it's any of
affair. Eis books is right, and his Iho
ps and his stairpcd envelopes is
accountcd for. Maybe he made it
.Wall street, or maybe somcbidy thl
it there with him for safe-keep. W.
,ii recalled Davis' parting !nstruc. *"s
-S to me when I had first coma lii
to Ardway, I was more and more wi
prised that he had not inv.esatit uP
-;further at the post-office. Ec :'ad -
cd to think that the clue to ti l
hs mystery would be found there, in
be had particularly charged me r
Otnd out to whom Lock Box No. 117
[ibeen rented. I decided to as' tit
if she knew anything about it.
ee ;een has never been rented Ct
g as I have had anything to do an
%he office. It is away off there
corner where it is hard to see '
.,. Thtro's always been m0reo
ithan there was any call for. Not
in the lower row ever hs
ed, even in summer, when
i lot of city folks out here." N
' C ever remember of seeing
it addressed to that box?" F"
corked industriously at her t
g for a minute of two before i
and then, putting it aside, said t
fi.-ny that you should have s
I.;o't know that I've any buss.
iteping you," said Miss Cox, as. I
Mited with herself whether or
wee talking too much, "but I
su0!oul as anybody to find out
.lbe ome of Charlie Rouser, and
tIei've seen of you I guess
i: eight more likely to find h;m
D~ obbs, the constable If I
sure in my own mind that Char:
tlone nothing out of the way,
know as I'd even be tellingt
It. But since you've asked.
tated, studying my face as
to read there whether or not
harm to the. missing post
1 tried not to exhibit undue
though inwardly I felt quite
I was certain that I was on
of important revelations.
me see," she continued, "it was I
Vago Tuesday-no, it was Wed-.
for I went over to my sister's
and Mr. Rouser left word:
.and I found it waiting for me
.came back. He asked me to
xr and take the office for the
-.was surprised when I come
to open up to find him here,
jderstood that he was going
o all day. He explained that
!'have to go till after the mail
nd, he stayed herb and helped
There was a lot of mail
people rouiad here are great.
advertisements and get
r. Besides that, some of
chquick concerns have got
Iur telephone subscribers'
tiees always a lot of mn
tt There was no loss
the letters and I was handling th4 .S...om
second class and the papers. ' go driver
through with that and picked up thE a
last bundle of letters. In it was nc was a
less than six letters addressed to L.oc b s
Box 17. 'Seventeen's rented at last, buggwhich
says I, thinking it funny that I didn' hSC Dl
know the name on them, Henry Mal to he
colm Stewart. Who's got it? 'I'll tn!:h "To
[ charge of them,' says he, taking the 'T1
letters right out of my hand before o
had a chance to look at the postmarIk erins
or anything. I noticed, too, that hi Davis
didn't put them in the box, but jammed to his
1 them into his pocket along with a lo toh
1 of other letters he had. i couldn't
© say who the other letters was ad. I whi
Sdressed to, wor I didn't get a chance Th
to see thern. They might have been flung
. his own, for all I know. But I couldn't worn
a help thinking that the only reason he'd had
waited till the mail was distributed to qu
was to get hold of them Lock Box 17 to be
letters. As soon as he got .them ha
went away, and he didn't come bact ený
till after closing time." An
"Have you any idea where he went?' differ
"When I come over here that day I him
supposed he was going to the city, but and
a few minutes after he left the oft-co I mast
Ld saw him driving past in one of the arcu
livery rigs." moot
"Which direction did he go?" i his f
asked, feeling more and more sure I
that I had struck the right trail. In no, t
all probability this young fellow in the of b
post-office was merely ap innocent tool how
of Crandall. He had driven off some- post
where to meet Crandall and give him "
the Lock Box 1T letters, for I was con
vinced that Stewart was merely an "I k:
alias of the villain who had been send. kno
ing out the yellow letters. If I could that
learn where the postmaster had gone Di
on this visit, I might be able to find reac
him now, ing
"Every time Charlie Rouser goes ing.
driving," said Miss Cox, "he always grat
j roes that way," indicating the opposite tem
direction from the station. "I shouldn't "(
Sbe surprised in the least if he was cone
keeping company with some farmer's this
A sudden light came into her eyes tell
and a smile of satisfaction spread over Ri
her face. on
"Lznd alive, I never thought of it stoi
before," she exclaimed, "but I'd bet mai
anything he's gone off to get mar- had
"1tardly likely," said I. "He wouldn't, had
go off and leave the office unguarded hoc
of without telling any one. And he hoe
wouldn't leave five thousand dollars lett
lying there in the drawer." I r'
un' "That's just what he would do. I'I1l Crs
ling bet he had a windfall of some sort of'
iere and the minute he got the money in per
cing his hands he just couldn't wait to go me
ac- and tell the girl." ins
h;e "Somebody would have known it if ho'
all he got a horse at the livery stable, th<
lere would they not?" chi
"Oh, that's neither here nor thete. wa
that' He might have gone on his bicycle. wa
be He generally keeps it over there in col
the corner, and it ain't there now." m,
,y of "It might be up at his boarding- of
I h1s house." ad
as is "It might be," said Miss Cox. int
;e it It came to me that if Davis had Cc
body thought it worth while to go to the
ecp. W!dcw Smi:h's to make inq'iiries, it
might be worth my while, ton After
true' asking Miss C.x for directions, I told
cme liher I v.as going to see if Rou.ser
P whCl was missing, and made my way
igat up one of the side streets to the
:.ad b:ardi.ng-house. Davis' visit evidently
thI ha:d rufied the widow. I found her
here, in anything but a communicative
I me nrd.
,. "i f you're another of those detec
.as' tive men coming prying around here,"
ut it. rhe said, "you might just as well get
,toad Cut. I've said all I'm gcr, to say,
o do and that's all there is to it." .
there "fleaao don't mi-take me for a do
, se tcctive," I : said a plcarzantly as I
mare could. "I'm-a-friend of Misa Cox
. Not down to the post-office and we were
r has wondering whether Char!lIc had taken
when his bicycle when he went away, and"
, " ii s Cox thought you might know."
-eing "If you're a friend of Jennie Cox," i
rcid Mrs. Smith, "I guess I'd be 1kely
her to l:c': it, lcing her own cousin and
efore knowting, as well as I know my own
, said face that she h:snn't had a man friend 1
for l:;-en years, since Aicck Thomp
have son died. As for Charlie Rouser going
. way on his bicycle, I don't kno-
n:othing about it. All I know is his
bus, vho.'l ain't here, but he never: kept
It tore anyway. He.always kept it
x, as down to the pest-offlce."
ter or With that she slammed the door
utout in iry face, but I went away well sat
: out iacd. As I walked down the dusty
an p tf the s-calledd street toward
guess Ie. hel I r:vlewed all I had learned:
If I and v.r a delighted to t-alnk how
EIma:ntd Dav.s n-cull be when I pre
Chary snted wy facts gathered in the laEt
twal, twenty-four hours, which were these:
asked Hugh Crandall was aware that we
were on his trail.
Unable to learn anything from Lou
ae as ise over the telephone, he had dared
or not to go to the Farrish hocme.
post- He had so intimidated Louise thiit
undue she had asked me to withdraw at once
t quite from the inquiry.
was on Acting on her fears, hd had persuad
oas. ed her to accompany him to some
st Weda place in New Jersey.
Lock Box 17 was used,for the mail
sister's of some one who had takeln the alias
wor of Henry Malcolm Stewart.
for me All the mail that came to that ad
me to dress was taken care of by Charlie
Ior the Rouser, the postmaster,
I come Rouser was in the habit of goi1ig
Shgren at frequent intervals either on his
led that bicycle or in a buggy out on the road
e ma that led away from the s:tt:
he mail Rouser, when he disapiese.., e.
Shaiped doubtedly had gone away oln his bt.
Sgreat "Everything, to my mind, pcIuted to
md get his having gone to meit ,Pra;d:ill.
some of How to account for the fet thnat
cive got Rouser had not returned e.':" still a
oerib poser' to me, but as 1 review' Cran.
of ln m- dril's connection with t.- ar; o
io l ieP3s~:: i:; -ssi:illS : t~t
not at all out of the range of posesi wouli
bility for Crandall to have made away own
with Rouser for fear of betrayal. From overly
all I had learned about the missing "W
postmaster, I was convinced that he "Y
was weak rather than vicious, and I Miss
felt that he probably was an innocent did 3
party to the nefarious plot of the yel- poL'tf
low letters. Davis' story that it was a
crime cf two persons, after all, was cried
only a theory. When the mystery was amus
cleared up I was positive that the only "
criminal who would be uncovered answ
would be Hugh Crandall. I shuddered edge
as i recalled that Louise even now was least
somewhere with" him, not exactly a lefi
alone, to be sure, for the car was the r
~ driven by her chauffeur, but still it "C
was a most disconcerting thought. exci,
ncI As I approached the hotel I saw a you?
st buggy stop before it, the occupants of this
In, which were Davis and the constable. start
al A Davis dismounacd I heard him say 1
to the constabile: d
"Tonight at eight." I
11 "I'll be on hand, you bet," said the Dodi
e 1 constable as he drove off. o'clo
r. i quickened my steps and overtook post
Davis just as he started up the stairs knoi
lo to his room. they
ln't "I've got sc'ne great news for you," witb
adi I whispered and went on up with him. goin
ncr The minute he got into the room he expi
on flung himself on the lbed, as if utterly nigI
ln't worn out, arad iighled a cigarette. I
ne'd had expected that he would be eager men
ted to question me but this did not seem
17 to be the case. He lay there with eyes was
-3 half closed as if unaware of my pres
Annoyed as I was at his seeming In
t?'" difference, I was sure that when I told
ty I him my amazing news about Crandall N
but and my diocoveries about the post
cl master he would be effectually me
the aroused. I took it for granted that his thr
mood was due to despondency over my'
, i his failure to find either of them. its
?ure "I have seen Hugh Crandall twice, noc
In no, three times, today," I said by way no
the of beginning, "and I have found out the
tool how Rouser went when he left the th
)me- post office." ch
him "Yes," he said absent-mindedly. je
con- "What's more," I cried impatiently, fac
an "I know who had Lock Box No. 17. I I
end. know what was done with the mail hac
ould that came to that address." lf0
,one Davis, without answering me,
find reached for another cigarette, light- eig
ing it from the butt he had been smok- the
goes ing. His nonchalant indifference a I
ways grated on my nerves and I lost my all
Idn't "Confound it, Kent," he said with
was considerable aspzerity, "I was so buoy ha
ner's thinking out sometning I really didn't
hear What you said. Sit down arid
eyes tell me all about it." -
over Mollified by his apology, I sat do.wn nsa
on the foot of the bed and told him the i,
of it story of my day, how I had sees! a
bet man going into the Farr!.:1 home and
mar- had recognized him later as Vu'h w'
Crandall, or at lcast as the man vio "
ldn't. had registered at the hotel as Coo; -
rded how I had been -barred from thle hou e;
I he how I had discovcrd another yhli~ow- lb
)liars letter suicide in the park; how, when c
I returned to the Farrish home aft er
I'I1l Crandall had left, Louise had told me
sort of the theft of the scrap of ycilow ra
cy in per from her des-k; hbw che had left cti
to go me to go cff in her autom;Cbile after ft
insisting that I drop the investigation; fc
it if how I had c:. h:r ag-In, crroi:.:_
table, the ferry wiiii Craidal!l i- the- .,a- L
chine; how I had returnd to Ar- ti
there. way and hIad lear.cd that L:ck Box 7 t7
cycle. was held in the name ot I-enry Mal- a
re in colm Stewart;.how ths missing p s
,, master himself had becn in the habit '
rding- of putting th:e mall that came to that
address into his own po:cket andl go
ing off with it, anrd finally, how Miss U
Shad Cox and I had do'crmnin-d that when .
... .ý i!ý,, lii;O l",S l',,q ? ýr l
1 The Minute He Gct Into the Room He
Flung Himncolt osi the Bed.
he disappeared hle had gone off on his s
"Frcrm all I have learned," I said in I
conclusion, "I am convinced that Rou- t
ser was the tool-in all probability the
innocent tool-of Hugh Crandall in.
carrying out his nefarious schemes.,
Crandall apparently had him take the:
Lock Box 17 mail to some agreed
mceting-place. It wcY:-u not surpriso
me in the least if Crandall, finding
himself in danger of exposure, had,
made away w;ih the postmaster. A
am convinced that Crandall is aware
that he is bring watched. In his des
peration he bad the hardihood to visit
the Farrish home and to abstract that
d fragment of tlhe yellow lctcer, lest it
should be used as evidence against
t him. I am c:nvhnccd, t'o, that he has
succeeded in te'rrrizi Louise by
the same methods that he used with
her sister, so that ~Ihe is trying to dis
suade me from pursuing Crandall.
Rouser, when he left the post office,
it went away on his wheel on the road
that leads from the station. If you fol.
low that reaid with me, perhapn we ca
d- find him. Pretty gcct for cue day'si
. work, don't you think(" "
T"Not bad,' aid D:.vis, "if only yo
would not persist in mistaking youii hopiig
own deductions for facts; but you m:- tile
overlooked the most important fact." "Whi
"What do you mean?" er?" I
"You didn't happen to find out from "The
i Miss Cox or from the Widow Smith, of corn
t did you, whether or not the missing "WhI
postmaster was left-handed?" "I'm
"What's that got to do with it?" I said Da
s cried, convinced ,that as usual he' was postma
s amusing himself at lay expense. other I
y "Much more than you think," he "Wht
i answered gravely. "It was the knowl- is Hug
d edge that the criminal must, or at He v
s least one of the pair, must have been answer
y a left-handed man that gave me one of tion ii
s the most important clues in this case." wrong
It "Confound you and your clues!" I consid
exclaimed. "Where have they led heard
a you? What more do you know about surpris
f this chain of crime than when we where
<. started?" He
y Hie listened unrumed to my tirade road a,
ahd as I finished remarked calmly: till we
"I only know this much: Constable platea
e Dodds and I are going out at eight "Sto
o'clock tonight to arrest the missing tativel
pk ostmaster and his accomplice. I "T:
rs lknow where they both are, or where mile f
they will be tonight. You may come stable.
with us if you wish. And now I am "WE
going to get a couple of hours' sleep. I canno
1e expect we will have a rather busy being
ly night of it." "Do
I As he concluded his amazing state
er ment he rolled over on his side and
m closed his eyes, and in a few seconds
es was apparently fast asleep.
s" CHAPTER XII.
The Ride in the Dark,
all Not since my early boyhood has the
st- terrible fear of darkness come over
il me as it did that night at eight as the
,is three of us set out from Ardway. The
er mystery of the journey, too, added to
its terrors. I had not seen Davis after
his startling announcement of- his
V nocturnal mission until he carne into
,t the hotel dining-room for supper. All
he through the meal he had laughed and
chatted on all sorts of immaterial sub
jects, influenced undoubtedly by the
fact that there were several others
s (eated at the table with us. There
all had been no opportunity for private
conversation between us before we
left the.hotel together a little before
;ht- eight for a side street where Dodds,
ok- the constable; was waiting for us with
ice a vehicle.
my We had lingered at the table until
all the others had left. Just as we
ith got up, Davis turned to me and in a
;th hhrdly perceptible tone asked: tene
L "Have you got that revolver I gave ing
n't ou?" of t
S "Its upstairs," I answered, in the tern
same understone. "Do you want it?" guis
then "No," he said significantly, touching "t
the his hip pocket, "but you may.'" y ou
nd I hastened up-stairs -to get the "I
nh w.eapon and when I returned he was the
• v ;o waiting for me at the door and hurried whi
,.. me around .the cor::er and into the "Do
1'-' buck-board. With Dodds crowded in "I
Sbetween us we drove along the street nee
,r leading away from the statiou a..d a
ct-r soon struck what is locally known as I
'.he Piea!, Eccd, rIirting a chain of 1 the
rCa- bills which the residcnts dignify by Da
tthe name of mountains. So precipit- of
fter cus and rocky are these that little ef- ea
n fort had been made to cultivate t.;r. r:u
inn; and the habitations are few and far the
rd- tically-po travel at night. We encoun- Ihai
S17 teed c!y 'one vehicle Cf any sort, so
Mal- and that was about two miles out fre aom :
A- rdway, when we heard an automobile
bit in the distance behind ius. tag
that "Turn out," wh!spered Davis to
1 go- Dcdds, "and atop until it has passed ele
Miss us." st
,hen The constable drew in under the a
nhade of some trees., It was pitch
dark, the cnly light coming from an dr'
ancient lantern hubng over the dash- us
board. As the automobile came near- we
er- Davis unhooked the lantern and w
Sholding it down between his legs bil
shielded it with the folds of a long ex
Sraincoat he was wear!ing. The auto
i mobile dashed by us, apparently un- ed
aware of our presence. mi
"~"l rfight,' said Pavtls, as soon as oc
it had vanished in the distance, "go m
Dodds drove on-in.silence for per-l K
Shaps two miles farther. We passed a li
little stone cottage nestling in a clear
t ing under the hill. ",
I "It's just beyond here?" said Davis,
ia note of inquiry:in his voice. p:
"Yep,' said the constable, "Miller's
Lane, they call it."'
Though in my City eyes there was e
no sign of a.road, Dodds, about three h
hundred yards beyond the cottage, o
pulled the horse sharply to the. right n
and we began ascending a rocky lane n
that led almost straight up the hill.
m He "Wait a minute," said Davis, and v
m Hethe constable checked the horse. f
' Jumping oit quickly the inlpectoz/n
on his seized the lantern and dropping back i
a few paces began making what ap- s
said in' peared to be a minute exam!nation of
t Rou- the road. ,
ity the '"Taint much of a road," the con- I
:all in' stable whispered to me while we wait
hemea. ed. "It's only usod for l~Egging, though
ke the when we come.up here thi9 afternoon
agreed there was automobile tracks both go
urpriso ing 'and coming.".
finding "Any idea who -made them?" I
, had, asked.
ter. i "Nope, but I guess he knows," with
aware a gesture in the dirqctien of the lan
is des- tern light.
to visit Just then Davis rejo!ned us, hang-1
lot that; lng the lantern over the dazhboard
lest it again. Instead of resuming'his seat,
againet he knelt on the floor of thie buckboard,
he has peering down at the road as it was
ise by dimly revealed by the lantern.
ed with "Go ahead slowly," he ordered.
:to dis- As Dodds clucked to the horse I
Irandall. leaned 'down beside Davis and asked:
;t office, "What did you find?"
he road "Just what I expected. The auto
.you fol. mobile is Somewhere ahead of. us."
Swe cae. "Whore s is i?". i
ie day'sc "I - .i't know yet.
.,1, curioE!ty 'ould. e o denied no
ml y you Inn: Sre itterto I h.d : ,ut sikit,
hoping that LavIG would confide ml
m:- the object cf our stranlge journey
"Whomr are we con ing out here aft
er?" I asked. -
"The postmaster .and his accomplice,
"Who is his accomplice?"
"I'm afraid i misstated the case," 1
said Davis with a grim chuckle. "The
postmaster is the accomplice. The
other is the master criminal."
"Who is the other?" I persisted. "Is
is Hugh Crandall?"
He was silent for a moment before
answering. I attributed it to hesita
tion in admitting that he had been
wrong and I right. and it was with
considerable satisfatcticn that I finally
heard him answer: "I should not be
surprised. if we found Crandall some
where in the vicinity."
He continued to peer down into the
read as the horse struggled up the hill
till we came to a comparatively level
"Stop here," he called out authori
"T': dc cered ccttage is at least ,a
mile farther on," volunteered the con
I "We'll wa!k it," said Davis. "\We
E cannot take any chances of the wheels
"Dodds pulled off the road and fas
;'·I~ ,:"~s.- ' ··'"" i~,- 4
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j~ ~~ t.Ji·:;·: L".
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Li ____ý'ý" t fe;? =h.Yý- ' II 11','',f;
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.4·il i~ 4'. d
aI "htDid You Find?"
tened the horse to a tree. Again tak- appa
ing the lantern Davis made a search whic
of the road,' finally returning the lan- lead&
tern to its place, lifter carefully extin- AM
guishing it. snar
"Come on this ,ay, as quietly as twig
you can," ihe irecte.t TI
"I've got this," I said, showing him cam
3 the little pocket clectric l~l-ht with a hr
I which I had xPslored the poet oiice. I tu
a "Do you want it?" he,
' "Keep it in ycur pocket. i'We r:: ing
t need it, but it is ibetter not to s:Bo heal
; a light if w e can avoid It.' to E
s I put it bbk:, in mty pocket and took, con,
the precaution of pl.-cing the revolver poeo
y Davis had given iti in the side-pipoc:t felt
of 'my coat where it would be mare ing
a- ea iy. available. Davis moved off A
a souundl ý'ly through the clear:;g with to
the constable, I co.e at hta ,cids quli
ri c -theo- -sart o .ý.t z:ý i he tf?: r:-a -buT
1- bad bcen on the shaded road, but oven lug
t, so we could ee :hardly twenty feet foe
S hea::d of us. vis
ic "This ain't hec direction of the cot- abc
tage," mwhicpc.i: :cd.. I
to "I know. I want to find someth'irg anm
:d elke first," aviC exj;lain' , ! -:Ceing Ind
straight on through the darkness, like like
ie a hound on a fresh scent. for
h He moved rapidly forward for a hun- ent
tn dred and fifty yards and then brou!ht thi
h- us up short with a sharp "Hist." As wa
r- we strained our eyes into blackness J
ad we made out the shape of an automo- hu'
gs bile just ahead. Its lights had been vie
ag extinguishEd and its engine was dead, soi
to- "Wait here," Davis again command- no:
,n- ed as he crept silently toward it to: ab
make sure that the tonneau was un- no
as occupied. I-He was back with us in a ot]
go minute. pa
"Let me have that lamp of yours,
er- Kent," he whispered, at the same time th
a lighting a cigarette.
ar- "Is that safe?" I exclaimed in sur- w]
prise, amazed that he would dare to e,
,is, smoke when be had been taking such at
Sprecautions against our being discov- pt
r's ered. s
"Sure," he replied laconically. "Who- a!
ras ever was in that automobile is at least fe
ree half a mile away by now.' The glass in
ge, on the front lamps 'is nearly cold. I pi
ebt want to see the number, though. We
ne may find it useful." 'l
1. Taking my little electric lamp he ad- D
md vanced toward the machine again, F
flashing the light for a second on the v:
:tor number, and then peering by its light in
ack into the tonneau, exclaiming as he i,
ap- straightened up: "I thought so." a
1 of If it was safe for him to smoke, the o
constable and I felt that it was safe
on- for us, too, to relax our precautions, b
gait- and together we had advanced until 1:
ugh we were beside him. h
.on ."What did you find?" I asked, won- v
go- deririg at his exclamation. t
"What I expected," he replied en- t
I Igmatically. I
The manner of his answer provoked t
with me and I determined then and there
lan- to have it out with him. i
"Look here, Davis," I said; "I
ang- brought you into this case and I do not
oard like the way you have acted about it. ,
sEat, I have freely told you everything I
ard, have discovered and have aided you
was in every way I can. Before I go a step
farther on.this trip I want to know
more about it."
ie I "What is it you wish to know?" he
ked: asked. The constable edged nearer
Sfor fear he might miss something of
auto u our cnversration.
S." "First, 1wheCre are we going?"
"To) wht is k:nown n the d:Eerted
cottage, abut a half miile farIl he; on,
d no at the - oi:a of thi. c!orin:;g, a ,c
ier. fat v.io buit for n ,hcl-'r for !u,
baeoh or quarry:mn1--whleh was it, tor and ,
'- hui orte : .......:! by t'oth'r," I raw a
the con-ist-able re-piic1, "but 'tain't bcnn path, I
. c&ld by eithce, so far as 1 x:c.:, for "Louise,
a dc-z-l years." you hurl
"Eow do you know the missing post- There
r ma;ier is there?" persuad&
"a Traced him." my ncr"
S"e'.; ?" and the
"'Bicycle tracks," he answered with en me
s a chuckle. "You were not the only an's shi
person who discovered that Rouser, phantas
'3 when he disappeared, went on bicycle, the fige
th In fact, Kent, you are a little slow as path, d6
a a detective. By the time you had as- ing its r
h c-»rtained that much, I ascertained where a
y lwhere the bicycle tracks led to and At th
e Lad even gone so far as to have Dodds me. I
e get warrants for Rouser and his ac- ground
complice." him ber
' " still do not see how you got evi- on the
i1 dente enough to get a warrant for spot he
el CrandIll. Did you find him out here ed it to
with the missing postmaster?" I saw t
-i- "I didn't say I had a warrant for paren!l
Crandall," replied the inspector sharp- ise.
a ly. "Did you ever hear of a John Dec Over
nI- warrant?" morse,
"How do you know they are out here treatin;
'e' now?" I asked. man si
s "We'll soon find out. Come on," he "Dor
answered, starting across the clearing "She h
s-. almost at a dog-trot. "She
There were many more questions I "I shol
wanted to put to him, but there was "I te
no opportunity, and, besides, I doubted cried a
much if he would have answered them. there i
At first he made little effort to move Tog<
quietly, but after we had gone a gently
quarter of a mile or more he called where
bi back in a whisper, "Quietly now." surged
We had come to a path which led that s
us through a short thick gr;owth of un- was n
derbru h. As noiselessly as Indians the w:
following a trail we felt our way along, was na
the silence broken now and then by But
y the sound of a bough bent back, or a were
rustling leaf. Scon the path brought sight
us out on some rising ground. Not fifty ling d
yards ahead of us appeared the de- mobile
serted cottage. "Ii
"That's it," whispered Dodds. cried,
"Ssh!" answered Davis. "Wait anew.
We stopped there just at the edge dall c
of the underbrush, peering into the the ti
I darkness, straining our eyes to see "It':
and our ears to hear. From the one with
window in the side of the one-story Act
log hut a dim light shone, proving that denin
the place was either occupied or had its a
been very recently. As we became Whil<
more and more accustomed to the was
darkness I co:id see that there were woun
tak- apparently two paths, the one on in m
Lrch which we. were standing and another than
lan- leading off at about right angle. right,
:tin- As we looked and listened I heard a woulh
sharp crack, like the breaking of a Sh,
as twig that had been stepped on. us it
The sound, so far as I could judge, '"
him came from the other path, appuently feebl
'ith a hundred feet away from the cottage. with
ilce. I turned toward Davis and saw that Fo
he, too, had heard it. He was stand- Wha
ing with his whole body tenie, his was
::o'! head bent forward a little as if ready if th
to spring at any instant. Almost un- solvy
took consciously my hand went into my thor
;ler pocket and brought out my revolver. I from
.c:ct felt that affairs were rapidly approach- loveO
.cr. ing a crisis.
off As we listened, another sound camp ning
v.ith to our ears. At first indistinct, it chas
eeis quickly took the rhythm of footsteps "L
hro -burrying- along-thae patth--aitmt: walk- ;aW
oven ing rapidly, I decided. The hurrying 'n
feet footsteps came nearer and nearer. Da- "
vis now was crourching like a runner ous;,
cot- about'to make a hundred-yard dash. ther
It was only a minute of suspense per
thirg andl yet the effect on my nerves was "I
cping indescribable. I wanted to scream
like like a hysterical girl;. I wanted to run, BWe
forward or back, it made no differ- ovel
hun- once; I wanted to do something, any- in
oh!:t thing-anything but stand there and Did
As wait in the darkness.
kness All of a sudden the form of a man
tomo- hurrying along the other path became
been vis'ible. He seemed to be carrying
dead, something. Davis tcck two or three
rand- noiseless steps forward and stopped
it to abruptly. From the shadows, from
is un- nowhere it seemed, the figure of an
in a other man appeared directly in the
path of the oncomcr.
yours, "Hold on here!" it said, or some
Stime thing like that.
With a curse the first man droppedi
a sur- whatever he was carrying and start
are to ed to run. The second man started
such after him. With not more than ten
liscov-, paces between them the pursued man
1· suddenly wheeled. A revolver flashed
"Who- and the pursuer with a muttered curse
t least fell headlong in the path. The hunted
glass man turned and, with headlong speed,:
old, I plunged down the path.
i. We At the revolver shot Davis had:
leaped forward, and, needless to Esay,
he ad- Dodda and I were not far behind him. i
again, Fast as the fugitive was vanishing Da
n 'the vis was even faster. With the move
s light ment of a trained runner he, the wiry
as he Inspector, 'lutckly outdistanced Dodds ,,
o." and myself and was close on the heels
ke, the of his man.
is safe As I ran breathless behind him, '"I
utions, hoping to arrive in time to help him, p
d until in his capture, I saw the man ahead ti
halt and turn. Instinctively I knew he Hi
d, won- was about to shoot again, and, raising \\
the revolver I had been carrying all m
led en- the while, without even trying to aim,
I fired in his direction just as I saW sat
evoked the flash from his revolver. is
d there There was hardly a second between
the two reports and then- a:
id; "I A woman shrieked.
I do not I turned sick with horror. There -
thout it. could be no mistaking it.
thing I It was the voice of Louise Fm'rish. f
led you With overwhelming dismay it came Ii
oa step to me that I had shot thiwb woman I t
o know loved. Too stunned to mat I stood
there. My whole bety seemed turned
ow?" he to stone. My arms hung helpless at.
nearer my sides. My legs refused to move.
thing of My mouth was fever-dry and my
tongue lay lifeless. Yet my vision, i 1
?" recall, seemed clear and strong, pone- <
c.Iserted trating the darkness as if it ihad been 1
I h:& on, broad day. I seemed to ec, as if the (
a sl ack s!ght bclznged to some one else, some
for ]hm.- oe'..3 outs!de myself. I ,saw the irrlpe
tor and constaible, both apparently un
hurt by thie slts, dash on in pursuit.
I Eaw a man'~s ifure rise up from the
path. I seemed to hear him call out:
"Louise, Louise, where are you? Are
There was no answer. Almost I had
persuadkd myself that the strain on
my nerves, the horror of the night
and the shock of the shooting had giv
en me a hallucination, that the wom
an's shriek I had heard was but a
phantasm of a fevered brain, when
the figure I had seen rise from the
path, d.ashed into the thicket, repeat
ing its agonized cry of "Louise, Louise,
where are you?"
At the sound, life came again into
me. I dashed my revolver to the
ground and sprang after him. I found
him bending over an unconscious form
on the ground. Just as I reached the
spot he had lighted a match. He lift
ed it to see my face, and as he did so
I saw that the woman lying there ap
parently lifeless was indeed my Lou
Overwhelmed with anguish and, re
morse, I flung myself beside her, en
treating her forgiveness. The other'
man shoved me roughly aside.
"Don't be a fool," he exclaimed.
"She has only fainted."
"She's shot! She's killed!" I cried. '
"I shot her!"
"I tell you she has only fainted," he,
I cried angrily. "Help me carry her over
there by the window."
3 Together we lifted her and bore her
a gently to the side of the cottage,.
Swhere we laid her on the ground. Joy
surged in my heart as I saw and heard
I that she was still breathing, joy that
- was not even abated when I saw by
a the window light that my companion
, as none other than Hugh Crandall.
y But just then all other thoughts
were driven out of my head by the
ýt sight of a thin stream of blood trick
y ling down the sleeve of Louise's auto
. mobile coat.
"I tell you she is shot. See," I
cried, all my anguish coming back:
With trembling hands I helped Cran
e dall cut away her sleeve, dreading all.
ie the time to see and know the worst
o "It's only a scratch," said Crandall,.
ee with a sigh of relief.
y Across her rounded arm was a red
at dening gash where the bullet had cut
d its way through the tender flesh.
le While my head told me that Crandall
he was right, that it was only a flesh
re wound and not in the least dangerous,
n in my heart I still felt little better,
er than a murderer. Three inches to the
right, and the bullet from my revolver
a would have stilled her heart for ever.
a She opened her eyes and stared at
us in a puzzled way.
e "Why, Harding, dear," she said in.
ly feeble surprise, "are you here-hero'
pe. with Mr. Crandall?"
at For answer I bent and kissed her..
2d- What mattered it if. Hugh Crandall'
his was the criminal? What mattered it
iy if the chain of mystery was still un
n- solved? What mattered it if the au
ay thor of the yellow letters had escaped.
Sr. from the inspector? Louise lived! Sho
1I- loved me!l
jDavis and the constable e run
ning up the path, panting from 'lheir"
it chase, but empty-handed. -
"Is she hurt?" asked Davis as he ,
ik- Saw the threa of us grouped under thm- -.-----.::
Da- "A flesh wound, not at all danger
n ous," Crandall answered, while I knelt
e there caressing Louise's hair and whis,
foe poring softly to her.
as "How about you?" asked Davis.
asm- "He didn't hit me," Crandall an
nm swered with a &hort laugh. "I tumbled
e over the bucket of milk he was carry
ny- ing and dropped when he saw me.
and Didn't you get him?"
" "He's safe," answered the Inspector.
a- ýit 1,ý
s "A Flesh Wound, Not at All Dange-.
Is cus," Crandall Answered. A
n, "He ran plump over the edge of a.
m precipice in the dark. We heard the
id thud of his body on the rocks below.
he HIe mpstl have been instantly killed.
ag We'll get the body in the morning. He
All must have fallen two hundred feet."
i, "A g:'d two hundred," the con
LW stable added as Davis turned to prr
in the 'window of the hut.
en "And inside there," said the inrspector'
after a minu'.c's eurvey of the interior,
"is the other one, the master criminal
lre -sufe cncu-h for the present."
"Why," eaid t:e constable, who had
i. foov:'d tLc insp -tcr's examplf: in.
ae looking through the window, "why%.
II that's Aleck Ycung."
ied " CHAPTE, XIII.
ve. The Strarnge Vigil.
my Dawn found Inspector Davis and me
1, keepi g "t'. vi.il in the deserted
ne- cottage. Louise .ve gone. Crandall.
aen was gone. Contabb- Dodd was ryoe.
the Only the t°.o of . weree there, and on
m e l t: i! t de crnl',',itlu t, US
Mrs. Hen'peck (to her pet dog)-"Go
and lie down tLere!" Her Husband
(comring hastily)--"What did you wish,
my srcet little wife!"--Fliegende Blat.
One - tct dcubt the optimi n of
the hn.'ru- who, 'e acre h. starlT for
the \-oo, , bvrr:lows etLg mon'y. :
pay foir 2=;i'i n .. d d3 ho , b . .i.
, . - ,e .. .. ..
A lady suffering from a severo cold i
directed her maid to procure two Pen- to
nyworth of ammoniated tiscturoe of n
quinine. .Great was her amusemcnt -
on the return of the. mai';, who, ex- fo
pressed her inability to obtain he b ti
two animated potu es .of Qu" r
Anne. -London Teep 1 .i
The way Qt th-e tase o t i c> - ;c
.)Writtenuup., R0I7 Joul:(e:i;J
pMarking Arrival of Ag:.
Vet i I get. . o be old i .in't gon'
to ftlrd it out by countin' up to see,
i nor by my w;hikers , nor by my gunrs,
nor nclne of thiem sign. They'il ail
fool you. No!, sir! But o:C of thlse
:times I'il 't tbrowed down, tdn I
iwo n-'t : o, ner .-:;. T+,n'. I .h- 1 n :
raky r4.. at ku? we & 10 ca
he 'rtp- Id b A d t ever 4
.: : ." . i is i'.. 'l .(; +,+t,
; .. . . + . + . e . .+. ;- ++.ý -'. --: -, + v . . .: , +..-ý '.'-r (- ,; . :,:. 1 , pi +. - ': "<ý:: ,:4`ýS ,,r
Caliing Down the Nurse.
Little Frank's nurse. when flndin.
him in mischief was in the habit cr•
exclaiming: "What in the narme of e
'common seinae are you doing?" One c
o ni:iTng, while she was bathing him,
hIe es,-ed: "What in the name of co
c: - cents do you mean by getting soea,
S.ta iay Cyes?"
:=:':U~c -.: : e~dn: or.'.itO(! 'e.~
Onc Prci r Fmr o Prideadly
Prie ie cre of t h: e vn d adiY
sin; but It can, iot - the prido of a
n-otiher irn her children, for that i. e
compound of two cardinal virt!::--
faith and hoe.--Chliartr DIc..
Mrs. WaYP-' th: ,, ,