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The Newport plain talk. (Newport, Tenn.) 1909-1939, December 02, 1914, Image 7

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The Trey 0' Hearts
(Continued from page 2)
j They Found a Footing.
the canoe stared ' along the sights,
then lowered her weapon and, turn
ing, spoke indistinguishably to the
guide, who Instantly began to ply" a
brisk paddle.
The canoe sped on, vanished swiftly
round a bend,
After a long time, Alan voiced his
unmitigated amazement:
Why in the name of heaven!
HTl Oil
i" The girl said dully: "Don't you
know?" And when he shook his head.
"Her guide told mine you had saved
her life on the dam at Spirit Lake.
Now do you see?"
I . His countenance was blank with
Rose smiled wearily: "Not grati
tude alone, but something more ter
rible. . , . " She rofee and held
out her hand. "Not that I can blame
her. . . . But come; if we strike
through here we will, I think, pick up
a trail that will bring us to Black
Beaver settlement by dark."
j : CHAPTER IX.
1 ; Forewarned.
i. The thing was managed with an in
genuny mat Aian termed aevnisn it
was indisputably Machiavellian.
The lovers had come down from the
North In hot haste and the shadow of
death. Two days of steady traveling
by anoe, by woods trail, by lake
steamer forty-eight hours of fatigue
and strain eased by not one instant's
relaxation from , the high tension of
vigilance upon which their very lives
depended wore to av culmination
through this tedious afternoon on the
train from Moosehead a trap of phys
ical torment only made possible by
Alan's luck In securing, through sheer
accident, two parlor-car reservations
turned back at the last moment be
'fore leaving Kineo station. .
No matter the longest afternoon
must have its evening: the pokiest of
i. J- 4.1 1 A Ii
destination; In another hour or two
they would be In Portland free at
last to draw breath of ease in a land
of law, order and sane living.
' . As if in answer to this thought, the
train slowed down with whistling
hrnkps in tho Inst hlll-r.tntinTi and as
"the trucks groaned and moved ane'w,
a lout of a boy came galloping down
the aisle, brandishing two yellow en-
, veiupep tuiu uiaLung ute u. stray can.
"Mista Lawr! Mista Lawr! ' Tel'
grams for Mista Lawr!"
Alan had been expecting at every
station a prepaid reply to his wire for
reservations on the night express from
Portland to New York.
, But why two envelopes superscribed
"Mr. A. Law, Kineo train southbound,
Oakland Sta.?"
- He tore one open, unfolded the in
closure, and grunted disgust with Its
curt advice, opened the other and
caught his breath sharply as he with-drew-r-part
way only a playing card,
a trey of hearts.
Thrusting it back quickly, he clapped
both envelopes together, tore them
into a hundred fragments, and scat
tered them from the window. But
the fiendish . wind whisked one small
Bcrap back and only one! into'the
lap of the woman he loved.
Vainly he prayed that she might
be asleep. The silken lashes trembled
' on her cheeks and lifted slightly, dis
closing the dark glimmer of question-
of cardboard between thumb and fore
finger he bent forward and silently
took it from her one corner of the
trey of hearts, but Inevitably a corner
bearing the figure "3" above a heart
"The Pullman agent at Portland
wires no reservations available on any
New Tork train In the next thirty-six
hours," he said with lowered voice.
"Couldn't we possibly catch the New
Tork boat tonight?"
He shook a glum head. "No I
looked that up first It leaves before
,w get In." r :
Bhe sald "Tobadabstoacledli,
f 1 7rh
recfosed Fer "eyes Indapparentry
lapsed anew into semi-somnolence
but without deceiving him who could
well guess what poignant anxiety
gnawed at her heart
He could have ground his teeth In
exasperation the impish insolence of
that warning, timed so precisely to set
.their nerves on edge at the very .mo-
TOP
?x' If
He Could Have Ground Hit Teeth In
Exasperation.
ment when they were congratulating
themselves upon the approach of a
respite!
The sheer Insanity of the whole
damnable business !
The grim, wild absurdity of It! -.
To think that this was America, this
the twentieth century, the apex of the
highest form of civilization the world
had ever known and still a man
could be hunted from, pillar to post,
haunted with threats, harried with at
tempts at assassination in a hundred
forms and that by a slip of a girl
with the cunning of a madwoman, the
hear of a hug, the face of a charm;
ing child the face of the woman that
sat beside him- duplicating its every
perfect feature so nearly that even he
who loved the one could scarcely dis
tinguish her from the other but by In
stinct, intuition, blind guesswork. . . .
He nodded heavy-hearted confirma
tion of a surmise slowly settling into
conviction In bie mind, that such cuit
hing, liich purpose and pertinacity,
could not possibly spring from a mind
well balanced, that the woman, Judith
Trine, sister to the Rose he loved so
well, was as mad as that monomaniac,
bar father, who sat helpless. In bis
cell of silence, and shadows In New
"York, day after day, eating hie heart
out with impatience for the word that
his vengeance had been consummated
by the daughter whom he had inspired
to execute it.
An hour late, in dusk of evening,
the train lumbered into Portland suc
tion; and, heart in mouth, Alan helped
Rose from the steps, shouldered a way
for her through the crowd, and almost
lifted her into a taxicab.
"Best hotel in town," he demanded.
"And be quick about It for a double
tip."
He communicated his one despernte
scheme to the girl en route, receiving
her indorsement of it. So, having reg
istered for her and seen her safely to
the door of the best' available room in
the house within ready call of the pub
lic Jcbby and office, he" washed up,
gulped a hasty meal which Rose had
declined to share, pleading fatigue
and hurried away into the night with
only the negro driver of a public hack,
picked up haphazard at some distance
from the hotel, for his guide.'
CHAPTER X.
. . " - Fortuity. .
He wasted the better part of an
hour in fruitless and perhaps ill
advised inquiries; then his. luck, such
as it was, led him on suspicion down
a poorly lighted wharf, at the ex
treme end of which he discovered a
lonely young man perched atop a pile,
hands in pockets, gaze turned to a
tide whereon, now black night had
fallen, pallid wraiths of yachts swung
just visibly beneath' uneasy riding
lights. '
"Pardon me," 'Alan ventured, "but
perhaps you can help me out ' "
"You've come to the wrong shop, my
friend," the young man interposed
with morose civility; "I couldn't help
anybody out of anything the way I
am now." ,
"I'm sorry," said Alan, "but I
thought possibly you might know
where I could find a seaworthy boat
to charter."
The young man slipped smartly
down from his . perch. "If you don't
look sharp," he said ominously, "you'll
charter the Seaventure." He waved
his hand toward a vessel moored
alongside the wharf: "There she is,
and a better boat you won't find any
where schooner-rigged, fifty feet over
all, twenty-five horsepower, motor aux
iliary, two staterooms all ready for
as long a coastwise cruise as you care
to take. Come aboard."
He led briskly across the wharf,
down a gangplank, then aft along the
deck to a companlonway, by which the
two men gained a comfortable and
roomy cabin, bright with fresh white
enamel.
Here the light of the cabin lamp re
vealed to Alan's searching scrutiny a
person of sturdy build and Independent
carriage, with, a roughly .modeled.
good-humofed face reddish hair, and
steady though twinkling blue eyes.
"Name, Barcus," the young man in
troduced himself cheerfully; "chris
tened Thomas. Nativity, American.
State of life, flat broke. That's the
rub," he laughed, and shrugged, shame
faced. "I found myself hard up this
spring with this boat on my hands,
sunk every cent I had and then some
fitting out on in oral charter with
a moneyed blighter in New York, who
was to have met me here a fortnight
since. He didnt and here I am, in
pawn to the ship chandler, desperate
enough' for anything." ,
"How much -do you owe?"
"Upwards of a hundred,"
"Say I advanced that amount when
can we sail?" "
' The young man reflected briefly.
"There's something eo engagingly idi
otic about this proceeding," he ob
served wistfully. "I've got the strang
est kind of a hynch it's going to gc
through. Pay my bills, and we can be
off inside an hour. That is "
He checked with an exclamation of
dismay, chapfallen. ' may have some
trouble scaring up a crew at short
notice. I had two men engaged, but
last week they got tired doing noth
ing for nothing and left me flat."
"Then that's settled," Alan said. "I
know boats; I'll be your crew and the
better satisfied to have nobody else
aboard."
The eyes of Mr. Barcus cleuded.
"See here, my headlong friend, what's
your little game, anyway? I don't
mind playing the fool on the high seas,
but I'll be no party to a kidnaping
or" ' .
"It's an efopement," Alan interrupt
ed on inspiration. "We've simply got
to get clear of Portland by midnight."
"You're on!" Barcus agreed prompt
ly, his face clearing. "God only knows
why I believe you, but I do-and here'3
my hand!"
CHAPTER XI.
Blue Water.
Anxiety ate like an acid at Alan's
heart. If this shift to the sea might
be thought a desperate venture, be
was a weathered salt-water man and
undismayed; nothing would have been
more to his liking than a brisk coast
wise cruise in an. able boat under
auspices less forbidding! 1 V ,
But when he re-entered the hotel
one surprising thing happened that
gave him new heart momentarily . It
seemed almost as If his luck had
turned. For, as he paused by thj desk
of the cashier to demand his bill, the
elevator gate opened and Rose came
out eagerly to meet him with an eager
aix oJ pop? Jtat' masked measurably
the signs of fatigue.
"I worried so I couldn't rest," she
'told him guardedly as he drew her
aside; "so I arose and got ready, and
watched from the window till I saw
yon drive up."
He acquainted her briefly with his
fortune.
But she seemed unable to echo his
confidence or even to overcome the
heaviness of her spirits when their
cab, without misadventure, set them
down at the wharf.
Here, Alan had feared, was the cru
cial point of danger If the influence
of the trey of hearts was to bring
disaster upon theni it would be here,
in the hush and darkness of this de
serted water front. Aqd he bore him
self most warily as he helped the girl
from the car and to the gangplank of
tft$
'4
Lingered Watchfully on Deck.
the Seaventure. But nothing hap
pened; while Mr. Barcus was as good
as his word. Alan had barely set foot
on deck, following the girl, when the
gangplank came aboard with a clatter,
and the Seaventure swung away from
the wharf.
Until the distance was too great for
even a flying leap Alan lingered watch
fully on deck.
At length, satisfied that all was well,
he returned to the cabin.
"All right," he nodded; "we're clear
of that lot, apparently; nobody but the
three of us aboard. New you'd best
turn in. This Is evidently to be your
stateroom, this one to port and you'll
have a long night's sleep to make up
Tcr what you've gone through dear
est" He drew nearer, dropping his voice
tenderly. And of a sudden, with a
little low cry, the girl came Into his
arme and clung paslonately to him.
"But you?" she murmured. "Yon
need rest aa much as I! What about
yon?" .
lU
"Oh, no I don't", he contended. 'Be
sides I'll have plenty of time to rest
up once we're fairly at sea. Barcus
and I stand watch and ', watch, . of
course. There's nothing for you to
do but- be completely , at your ease.
But- -you must let me go."
Eye3 half-closed, her head thrown
back, she seemed to suffer his kiss
rather than to respond, then turned
hastily away to her stateroom leav
ing him staring with wonder at her
strangeness. . .
By midnight the Seaventure was
spinning swiftly south-southeast close
reefed to a snoring sou'west wind
the fixed white eye of Portland head
light fast falling astern.
CHAPTER XII.
Down the Cape.
At four o'clock, or shortly after,
Alan was awakened by boot-heels
pounding imperatively overhead, and
went on deck again, to stand both dog
watchessaw the sun lift up smiling
over a world of tumbled blue water,
crossed the wake of a Cunard liner in
bound for Boston, raised and over
hauled a graceful but businesslike fish
erman (from Gloucester, Barcus
opined when called to stand his trick
at eight) and saw, it a mile or two
astern when still aching with fatigue
he was free to return to his berth
tor another four-hour rest
This time misguided consideration
induced Barcus to let his crew sleep
through the first afternoon watch. Six
bells were ringing when, in drowsy ap-
prehension that something had gone
suddenly ' and radically wrong, Alan
waked.
' He was on deck again almost before
he rubbed the sleepiness from his
eyes, emerging abruptly from the half
light, ct the cabin to a dazzle of sun
lig!.t thr.t filled the cup of day with
rarefied gold, even ashe passed from
conviction of security to realization of
immediate and extraordinary peril.
His first glance discovered the wheel
deserted, the woman with back to him
standing at the taffrail, Barcus no
where to be seen. The second con
firmed his stff niisc that the Seaventure
had comeujf lajto the wind, and now
was yawing off wildly Into the trough
of a stiff if not iieavf 00a. A third
showed him, to his amazement, the
Gloucester fisherman overhauled
with such ease that morning and now,
by tights, well down the northern hori
zonnot two miles distant, and stand
ing squarely for the smaller vessel.
pewlldered, he darted to the girl's
side, with a shout, demanding to,
know what was the matter. She
turned to him a face he hardly reco-'
nized but stilf be didn't understand.
The inevitable inference seemed a
thing unthinkable; hie brain faltered
when asked to credit it Only when
he saw her tearing frantically at the
painter, striving to Cast it off and with
It the dory towing a hundred feet or.
so astern, and when another wonder-1
ing glance had discovered the head,
and shoulders of Mr. Barcus rising
over the stern of the dory as he strove,
to lift himself out of the watei" only
then did Alan begin to appreciate
what had happened. 1
Even so, it was with the feeling that
all the world and himself as well had
gone stark, raving mad, that he seized
the girl and, despite her struggles, tore
her away from the rail before she had
succeeded in unknotting the painter.
'.'Rose!" he cried stupidly. "Rose!
What's the matter with you? Don't
you see what you're doing?"
Defiance inflamed her countenance
and accents. "Can't you ever say any
thing but 'Rose! Rose! Rose!' Is
there no other name that means any
thing to you? Can't you understand
how intolerable it is to me? I love
you bo less than she belter than she;
ever dreamed of loving you because
I hate you, too! I What is love that
is no more than love? Can't you un
derstand?" "Judith" he cried in a voice of stu
pefaction. "But Good Lord! how
did you get aboard? Where's Rose?"
- "Where you'll not find her easily
again," the woman angrily retorted.
"Trust me for that!"
"What do you mean ?" Illumination
came in a blinding flash. "Do you
mean it was you you whom I brought
aboard last night?"
"Who else?"
"You waylaid her there in the hotel,
substituted yourself or her, deceived
me into thinking you !"
"Of course," she said simply. "Why
not? ""hen I saw her sleeping there
the mirror of myself, completely at
my mercy what else should I think
of than to take her place with the' man
I loved? I knew you'd never know the
difference at least I was fool enough
for the moment to believe I could
stand being loved by you In her name!
It was. only today, when I'd had time
to think, that I realized how impos
sible that was!"
. A sudden slap of the mainsail boom
athwartships and a simultaneous cry
from over the stern roused Alan from
his consternation to fresh appreciation
of the emergency. With scant consid
eration be hustled the woman to the
companlonway and below, slammed Its
doors and closed her in with the slid
ing hatch all In a breath then
sprang to the taffrail, just In time to
lead a helping hand sorely wanted by
Mr. Barcus in his efforts to climb
aboard, 'after he had pulled the dory
up under the stern by its painter.
He came over the rail in a towering
?3nner.
(To be continued)
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