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c ^ ie Mardi Gras Mystery
By H. BEDFORD-JONES Copyright bp doubleday.pace and company * The tale of a carnival joke that led to grim reali ties. CHAPTER I. —1 Carnival. Jachin Fell pushed aside the glass curtains between tlie voluminous over draperies In the windows of the Chess and Checkers club, and gazed out upon m the riotous streets of New Orleans. Half an hour he had been waiting here in the lounge room for Dr. Cyril Ans ley, a middle-aged bachelor who had practiced in Opelousas for twenty years, and who had come to the city for the Mardi Gras festivities. An other man might have seemed irritated by the wait, but Jachin Fell was quite unruffled. He had much the air of a clerk. His features were thin and unremarkable; his pale eyes constantly wore an ex pression of wondering aloofness, as though he saw around him much that he vainly tried to understand. In his entire manner was a shy reticence. He was no clerk, however; this was evi dent from his attire. He was garbed from head to foot in soberly blending shades of gray whose richness was notable only at close view. One fan cied him a very precise sort of man, an old maid of the wrong sex. Doctor Ansley, an Inverness flung over his evening clothes, entered the lounge room, and Fell turned to him with a dry, toneless chuckle. "You're the limit ! Did you forget we were going to the Maillards' to night? However, we need not leave for fifteen minutes yet, at least." Doctor Ansley laid aside his cape, stick and hat and dropped into one of the comfortable big chairs. "You intend to mask for the Mall lards'?" Ansley cast his eye over the * gray business attire of the little man. "I never mask." Jachin Fell shook his head. "I'll get a domino and go as I am. Excuse me—I'll order a domino now. Back In a moment." Doctor Ansley followed the slight figure of the other man with specula tive eyes. Well as he knew Jachin Fell, he Invariably found the man a source of puzzled speculation. During many yenrs Jachin Fell had been a member of the most exclusive New Orleans clubs. He was even re ceived in the inner circles of Creole society, which in Itself was evidence su preme as to his position. At this par ticular club he was famed as a wizard master of chess. He never entered a tournament, yet he consistently defeat ed the champions in private matches— defeated them with a bewildering ease, a shy and apologetic ease, an ease which left the beholders Incredulous and aghast. With all this, Jachin Fell was very much of a mystery, even among his closest friends. Very little was known of him ; he was a lawyer, and certainly maintained offices in the Maison Blanche building, but he never ap peared in the courts and no case of his pleading was known. Ansley knew him as well as did most men, and Ansley knew of a few who could boast of having been a guest in Jachin Fell's home. There was a moth er, an invalid, of whom Fell sometimes spoke and to whom he appeared to de vote himself. The family, an old one in the city, promised to die out with Jachin Fell. Ansley puffed at his cigar and con sidered these things. Outside, In the New Orleans streets, was rocketing the mad mirth of carnival. The week preceding Mardi Gras was at Us close. Now, as ever, was Mardi Gras sym bolized by masques, the masquerade was not the pale and pitiful frolic of colder climes, where the occasion Is but one for display of jewels and costumes, and where actual concealment of Identity is a farce. Here in New Orleans were jewels and costumes in a profusion of splendor; but here was preserved the underlying idea of the masque itself—that in con cealment of identity lay the life of the In New Orleans thing ! When Jachin Fell returned and light ed his cigar he sank into one of the luxurious chairs beside Ansley and In dicated a newspaper lying across the latter's knee. Its flaring headlines standing out blackly. "What's that about the Midnight Masquer? He's not appeared again?" "What?" Ansley glanced nt him In surprise, heavens, man ! night at the Lapeyrouse dance, two minutes before midnight, as usual ! A detective had been engHged, but was afterward found locked in a closet, bound with his own handcuffs. The Masquer wore his usual costume—and went through the party famously, stripping everyone In sight. Then he backed through the doors and van ished." Fell pointed h!s cigar at the ceiling. "Ah, most interesting! -A Good "Yon've not heard? He showed up last and sighed. The loot was valued at about a hun dred thonsand?" "I thought you said you'd not heard of II r demanded Ansley. Fell laughed softly and shyly, didn't. T merely hazarded a guess." "I "Wizard !" The doctor laughed in unison. "Yes. about that amount." "Tlie Masquer Is a piker," observed Kell, in tils toneless voice. "Eh? A piker—when he can make a hundred-thousand-dollar haul V "Don't dream that those figures rep resent value. Doctor. They don't ! All the loot the Masquer has taken since he began work is worth little to him. Jewels are hard to sell. Of course, the crook has obtained a bit of money, but not enough to be worth the risk." "Yet he has got quite a bit," re turned Ansley thoughtfully. "All the men have money, naturally; we don't want to find ourselves bare at some of a it gay carnival moment! I'd warrant you've a hundred or so In your pocket right now!" "Not 1," rejoined Fell calmly. "One ten-dollar bill. Afio I left my watch at home. And I'm not dressed ; I don't care to lose iny pearl studs." "Eh?" Ansley frowned. "What do you mean?" Jachin took a folded paper from his pocket and handed it to the physician. "1 met Maillard at the bank this morning. He called me into his office and handed me this—he had just re ceived It in the mail." Doctor Ansley opened tlie folded pa per; an exclamation broke from him I, 1 III ; Mb % F MjJIT , & . ¥ WWW iSwii/ — yi*» 'Eh? A Piker—When He Can Make a Hundred Thousand Dollar Haul?" he read the note, which was ad dressed to their host of the evening. "Joseph Maillard, President, "Exeter National Bank, City. "I thunk you for the masque that you are giving tonight. I shall be pres ent. Please see that Mrs. M. wears her diamonds—I need them. "THE MIDNIGHT MASQCEK." as Ansley glanced up. "What's this— some hoax? Some carnival Jest?" "Maillard pretended to think so." Fell shrugged his shoulders as he re pocketed the note. "But he was nerv He'll have a brace of detectives ous. inside the house tonight, and others outside." Ever since the first ball of the year by the Twelfth Night club this Mid night Masquer, as he was termed, had held New Orleans gripped in terror, fascination and vivid interest. During the past month he appeared at least week, now at some private ball, at some restaurant banquet, but once a now always in the same garb: the helmet, huge goggles and mask, and leathern clothes of a service aviator. On these occasions the throbbing roar of an air plane motor had been reported, so that it was popular gossip that he landed the roof of his designated victims and made his getaway In the same manner—by airplane, had ever been seen, and the theory believed by some, hooted et by on No machine was others. Doctor Ansley glanced at his watch, and deposited his cigar In an ash tray. "We'd best be moving. Feil, want a domino?" "I ordered one. You'll It'll be here in a minute. "Do you seriously think that note is genuine?" Fell shrugged lightly. "Who knows? I'm not worried, to be robbed.' 1 "You're a Maillard can afford - calm one!" Ansley chuckled. "Oh, I believe the prince Is be there tonight. You've met him, I suppose?" ••No. Heard something about him, though. An American, isn't he? They he's become quite popular In to say town." Ansley nodded. "Quite a fine chap. His mother was an American—she married the prince de Gramont ; an in ternational affair of the past genera te,*. ne Grnmont led her a dog's life, I henr, until he was killed In a duel. She lived In Parte with the boy, sent him to school here at home, and he nt Tale when the war broke out. He was technically a French subject, he went back to serve his time. "Still, he's an American now. Calls, himself Henry Gramont, and would was BO "I drop the prince stuff altogether if these French people around here would let him." A page brought the domino. Fell, discarding the mask, threw the domino about his shoulders, and the two men left the club in company. They sought their destination afoot —the home of the banker Joseph Mall lard. The streets were riotous, filled with an eddying, laughing crowd of masquers and merrymakers of all ages and s«X%s; confetti twirled through the air, horns were deafening, and laughing voices rose into sharp screams of unrestrained delight. At last gaining St. Charles avenue, with the Maillard residence a half dozen blocks distant, the two compan ions found themselves well away from the main carnival throngs. As they walked along they were sud denly aware of a lithe figure approach ing from the rear; with a running leap and an exclamation of delight the fig ure forced Itself In between them, grasping an arm of either man, and a bantering voice broke In upon their trajn of talk. "Forfeit !" It cried. "Forfeit—where are your masks, sober gentlemen? This grave physician may be pardoned, but not a domino who refuses to mask ! And for forfeit you shall be my escort and take me whither you are going." Laughing, the two fell* into step, glancing at the gay figure between them. A Columbine, she was both cloaked and masked. Encircling her hair was a magnificent scarf shot with metal designs of solid gold—a most unusual thing. Also, from her words it was evident that she had recognized them. "Willingly, fair Columbine," respond ed Fell in his dry and unimpassioned tone of voice. "We shall be most happy indeed to protect and take you with us—" "So far as the door, at least," Inter rupted Ansley, with evident caution. But Fell drily laughed aside this wary limitation. "Nay. good physician, farther !" went on Fell. "Our Columbine has an excel lent passport, I assure you. This gauzy scarf about her raven tresses was woven for the good Queen Hortense, and I would venture a random guess that, clasped about her slender throat, lies the queen's collar of star sap phires—" "Oh !" From the Columbine broke a cry of warning and swift dismay. "Don't you dare speak my name, sir— don't yon dare!" Fell assented with a chuckle, and subsided. Ansley regarded his two companions with sidelong curiosity. He could not recognize Columbine, and he could not tell whether Fell was speaking of the scarf end jewels in jest or earnest. Such historic things were not uncom mon in New Orleans, yet Ansley never heard of these particular treasures. However, it seemed that Fell knew their companion, and accepted her as a fellow guest at the Maillard house. "What are you doing out on the streets alone?" demanded Fell, sud denly. "Haven't you any friends or relatives to take care of you?" Columbine's laughter peeled out, and she pressed Fell's arm confidingly. "Have I not some little rights In the world, monsieur?" she said In French. "I have been mingling with the dear crowds and enjoying them, before 1 go to be burled In the dull splendors of the rich man's house. Tell me, do you think that the Midnight Masquer will make an appearance tonight?" "I have every reason to believe that he will." said Jachin Fell, gravely. Columbine put one hand to her throat, and shivered a trifle. "You—you really think so? You are not trying to frighten me?" Her voice was no longer gay. "But—the jewels— if they are taken by the Masquer—'' "In that case," said Fell, "let the blame be mine entirely. If they are lost, little Columbine, others will be lost with them, fear not! I think that this party would be a rich haul for the Masquer, eh? Take the rich man and his friends—they could bear plucking, that crowd! Bogues ail." "Confound you, Fell!" exclaimed Ansley, uneasily. "If the bandit does show up there would be the very devil to pay !" Some thrills await you in the next ln*tallment. - ITO BE CONTINUED.) Peps'* Good-by te Cardinal Gibbon*. I cannot help recalling an Instance where a lady, a guest at the White House at luncheou, asked the late Car dinal Gibbons whether he really be lieved that the pope was Infallible In all he sold. The cardinal smiled and I can only respond to answered : that, madame, by saying that when the pope bade me good-by the last time he said, 'Addlo, Cardinale Jib bones !' "—Maurice Francis Egan in the Review of Reviews. Circular Slide Rule. A circular slide rule that can be carried in a coat pocket is the inven tion of a San Francisco man, n mag nifying glass aiding In reading it. ART TREASURES NOT INSURED For One Reason, No Amount of Money Could Replace Those in Brit i&h Storehouses. The great national storehouses of art treasures are not insured, writes a correspondent of the London Daily Mail. No compensation would be forthcoming In case of Öre or theft. The reason is that the premiums on the millions of pounds' worth of pic tures in the National gallery, antiqui ties in the British museum, and exhib its in the Victoria and Albert muse um, for instance, would amount to a very large sum. "If art galleries and museums in sured they would have to pay out far larger sums than they receive in ad mittance charges," said an official of Ihe National Portrait gallery, "The latest apparatus for preventing and detecting tire is employed, and night watchmen are present." An official of the British museum said: "We have very thorough sys tems of patrolling, and special äratuen of our own. who formerly served in tlie London fire brigade. ' a A Little Shy on History. "What is tlie charge, officer?" "Keekless driving and exceeding the speed limit, your honor. When I ar rested him lie told me his name was Paul Itevere, and he was duplicating a famous ride." "I'mph ! He must have been jok in "It's my opinion, your honor," said the policeman, in confidential tones, "that lie was trying to give me an alias. There's ro such name in the city directory."—Birmingham Age-Iler ald. i Pattern for Husbands. "Young women nowadays," remarks at. ornithologist in the employ of the government, "take too light u view of marriage. While in the West last sum mer i was induced to lecture to a sum mer school. During tlie course of this lecture I chanced to remark : '"The ostrich sees very little ; on the other hand, it digests everything.' "Whereupon a girl on the front bench exclaimed, sotto voce, to Iter neighbor: 'Gee! What an ideal hus band an ostrich must make !' " Cinderella. "Let's go." "But you don't know how this play is going to end." "Tlie dickens I don't ! Didn't the heroine appear In tlie first act in a shabby gown and didn't a lot of dis agreeable people impose on her and order her around in a way that almost made your blood boil?" "Y es." "She'll be a fine lady in the last act."—Birmingham Age-Herald. A Stranger to Her. "You'll never be able to sell antiqui ties." "Why not?" "You told that woman the chair she was looking at formerly belonged to Mme. de Pompadour. I told you to say Du Barry." "It didn't matter. She asked if Pompadour wasn't that 'dreadful Ey talllin' woman who was always spread ing poison around." It Would Be But a Pittance. "I used to think I could be perfectly happy." she said, "if my husband had a million." "Wouldn't you be satisfied with that much now?" her friend asked. "Goodness, no ! Nearly every man in our neighborhood was a war profi teer." Household Diplomacy. Jimmy—"Yer ma won't let yer do that." Freddy—"She will if I can get pa ter say I can't." Money doesn't make a fool of a man. It merely gives him an opiiortunity to display his natural talents. The Old Carriage Maker Had an Important Truth ! : i SC i .i ■ riîYff tnii! iV A I • 2E J'J! «2 TO make each part as strong as the rest," was his way of "building a wonderful, one-horse chaise that wouldn't wear out till judgment day This illustrates a fact that is keeping many doctors busy these days —human bodies, like chaises, break down because some part isn't as strong as the others. Very often it's because of ill-balanced food, lacking in some impor tant element of nutrition. This is especially true of ills developed in childhood, and carried on through life. Grape-Nuts, that world-famous, ready-to-eat cereal, brings the plan of building each part as strong as the rest—to serve human need. Grape Nuts contains all the nutriment of those best of the field grains, wheat and barley, including the vital mineral elements, and it is a wonderful food for building and sustaining health and strength. The delicious flavor and crispness of Grape-Nuts make it a wel come dish whenever you're hungry. l* ~ ; Grape=Nuts THE BODY BUILDER "There's a Reason Made by Postum Cereal Co., Ino., Bettle Creek, Mich.' 1 AN EXAMPLE OF GOODYEAR VALUE I Xj % A The 30 x Z l /2 Goodyear Cross Rib Tire shown here alongside its companion, the 30 x zy 2 Goodyear All-Weather Tread Clincher, is a conspicuous example of Goodyear value. The Goodyear Cross Rib has in it the same high grade Egyptian cotton fabric that goes into the All-Weather Tread Goodyear. It has a differently designed but long wearing tread, and it sells for considerably less money. In the past five years more than 5,000,000 of these Goodyear Cross Rib Tires have been sold. They have everywhere given remarkable service. Their fine performance and known value have convinced thousands of motorists of the folly of buying unknown and unguar anteed tires of lower price. Ask your Goodyear Service Station Dealer to explain their advantages. 1 i i ti Trade* for Went Made Wester Damages for Grief. Measuring human emotions in dol lars and cents is the newest problem confronting French juries as a result of a decision of the Paris courts of appeals, promising to revolutionize French procedure in damage cases. Hitherto, for example, in tlie case of a person killed In an accident the survivor was allotted damages* only upon the basis of actual material loss, such as the depreciation of the family income, but henceforward juries will be asked to grant a supplemental al lowance covering grief and physical wear and tear. Eventually, Why Not Now. Mandy and Itastus had become en gaged, but Mand.v still had misgivings. "Big boy," she murmured one eve ning. "Ah knows yo' love me, but liuccum you comes roun' wantin' to marry me so soon after yo' loses yo' job ?" "Sho, Mandy," he replied reassur ingly, "what's de difference does Ah quit work and marry yo', or marry yo an' quit work?" Looking Forward. Mothers take an all-suffering pride in their offspring—want to see their children second K. no others in the world. A young matron was massag ing her little girl's knees when a friend inquired tlie reason for that seeming extraordinary care. "Oh, the girls are showing their : knees more and more these days, and when Alice is older I want hers to be as pretty as any." Of the Clan. "He doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain." "Evidently a golf player." People are often willing to share bread. It is tlie butter and jam that they are stingy about. UP AGAINST TOUGH PROBLEM Small Jane's Scruples Prevented Her From Eating the Candy That Had Been "Lent," Little Jane's mother brought home u box of candy given to her by an Episcopal friend shortly before Eas ter, and passed around some of its contents to her children, explaining that Mrs. Cox's children had given up eating candy until after Easter, "so they cannot eat any now, as it is Lem." Little Jane's brothers promptly ate their pieces, but she stood looking at the candy in her hand with a puzzled air. "Why don't you eat it, Jane?" her mother asked. "Because," she explained, "then how could I give it back if it's just lent?" A Youthful Logician. Margaret Is only seven years old, but sometimes quite naughty. On one of these occasions her mother, hoping to be particularly impressive, said: "Don't you know that if you keep on doing so many naughty things your children will be naughty, too?" Margaret dimpled, and cried tri umphantly: "Oh, mother, now yon have given yourself away!"—Harper's Magazine. According to Circumstance*. "I understand your wife is a fine parliamentarian." "She is." replied Mr. Meekton, "when there is a large assemblage. But as between Henrietta and myself, there don't seem to be any rules of debate whatever." When 1 said I would die a bachelor I did not think I should live till I wer« mu rried.—Sh akespeare. East or west, home Is best.