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THE STORY THUS FAR: Adam Brace,
FBI operator, Inspector Tope and Mrs. Tope met in the Maine woods. Tope found a man murdered, who was at first Identified as Ledforge, head of New Eng land utilities. When a car believed to have been used in the murder was raised from the quarries it was found to contain the body of a murdered woman, Mrs. Kell. Her husband committed sui cide. doe Dane, assistant D.A., accusing Tope of bungling the case, took complete charge. Eberly met Ledforge to go on a fishing trip. When they got in the canoe, Ledforge upset the canoe. He knew that Eberly could not swim. When he saw that Eberly was not sinking he started toward him but was stopped by Tope. CHAPTER XIV Eberly said steadily: “He over turned the canoe, swam away. Then he looked back, expecting to see me drowning. He knew I couldn’t swim. But when he saw me still afloat—Mr. Tope had made me wear a life-pre server—he started back to finish me I” Ledforge, a bitter hurt in his tone, cried: “Nonsense! I came to help you. Carl!” "There was murder in his eyes,” Eberly insisted, not speaking di rectly to the other man at all. Ledforge whirled toward Tope, fu riously. “You put this idea into his head! Of course he’s shocked, doesn’t know what he’s saying!” “He had a blackjack on a thong on his wrist,” said Eberly. Ledforge wore a strap watch on his left wrist. He held it up. “Carl must have seen this,” he insisted; and he said sympathetically: “Gen tlemen, Mr. Eberly is hysterical. He has always been afraid of the water.” Tope, after a moment, spoke. “Well, you see, Mr. Ledforge,” he explained, almost apologetically, “there’s more to it than just this. The whole thing started with a man that left New York last Friday morning with Mr. Holdom, in Hol dom’s car, and with Holdom’s chauf feur driving. And the next time any body saw that man, he was dead under a bed in one of the cabins fit a roadside camp up here." The others—save young Adam Bruce—were watching Tope. Adam watched Ledforge. He saw the man’s pupils faintly dilate, saw his eyes become fixed in a concentrat ed attention. Tope paused, and in the instant of silence, Adam heard Mr. Eberly’s teeth chattering togeth er. And he had an impression of racing thoughts behind Ledforge’s outward calm. Then the man asked curtly: “What of it? What has that to do with me?” “Why, Miss Ledforge hasn’t seen him yet,” Tope explained. “But— the dead man looked mightily like you.” Ledforge cried, in quick horror: “Looked like me? Dead? Heavens, man, do you mean Christopher?” “Why, yes, dead,” Tope assented mildly. “I didn’t know his name was Christopher, but he looked enough like you to be your twin.” Ledforge nodded gravely. “Gentle men,” he said then, “we can’t stand here. Carl is freezing, and I’m cold myself. Suppose we go down to the house. I must hear the whole story.” Tope asked: “You know who the dead man was, then?” “Certainly,” Ledforge assented. His eyes clouded with grief. “You said he looked like my twin broth er. Well, gentlemen, he was.” At the house, Whitlock and Beal by Tope’s direction stayed outside. Eberly disappeared with a serving man, to drink hot grog and find dry clothes. Ledforge asked for Miss Ledforge; and the servant report ed: “She had a turn, sir, and is lying down. Two ladies are with her.” “Good,” said Ledforge. “Don’t disturb her.” Tope suggested: “You’ll want to get dry, yourself!” But Ledforge negatived this. “There’s a good fire on the hearth,” he pointed out. “I’ll be all right. Come in!” So they gathered in the big living room, richly paneled like a baronial hall; and Ledforge said: “Now then: My brother dead, and some one else too, you said?” “Mrs. Kell,” Tope told him. But Joe Dane :ould no longer en dure that Tope should dominate the scene. “And Kell too, Tope!” he cried. “Dead as a herring! And Holdom dying, so we’ll never get a word out of him.” Tope saw Ledforge’s eyes quicken in a sort of triumph, and the old man turned to Joe almost roughly. “Joe,” he said, “you’ve a real gift for talking out of turn. Mr. Led forge, here, can lie all he wants to now, knowing Kell and Holdom can’t contradict him.” Cumberland and Adam were si lent, strictly listening; even Joe did not for a while interrupt again. And Ledforge spoke, a little sadly. “It’s hard to speak openly about It,” he confessed. “We’ve kept it an absolute secret for so long that silence is a habit now.” And he said earnestly: “But you know, every important man needs a double. Did that ever occur to you? Imagine how much easier it would be for the President, for instance. It he were twins. With one twin to •ttend to the business of the office, IHfi other to handle the social side, attend banquets, make speeches, display himself.” He continued: “But it was more chance than anything else that led us into it. Some years ago the heavy demands upon my time and my energy began to weary me. 1 had something like a nervous collapse, and I went away quietly to my boy hood home—a remote little town in Manitoba—for a vacation. “Christopher lived there. He was a doctor—surgeon and doctor, too, as small town practitioners must be; and he took me in hand, cured me. But he reproached me for overwork ing; and he suggested that a man as busy as I ought to have a per sonal physician to watch over his health. I persuaded him to come back with me in that capacity. He suggested also that I ought to have a social secretary or an assistant, to whom I might delegate some less important activities; and the fact, which we discovered before we left home, that not even our intimate friends would distinguish one of us from the other, led naturally to the arrangement which has contin ued till now.” He looked from one to another. “It was very simple,” he said, “once “But you know, every important man needs a double.” we began. A little attention to such details as clothes, haircuts, and so on. . . . Christopher, ever since, be sides taking care of my health, has lived the social side of my life, leav ing me free to attend to business without distraction.” Tope wagged his head. “I declare, that’s a queer one,” he admitted. “I don’t suppose many people knew about this thing?” “Not a living soul,” Ledforge de clared confidently, “except my sis ter Alice—and even she can’t tell us apart to this day.” “How about servants and all that?” “It was simply a matter of never appearing anywhere together,” Led forge assured them. “One of us always stayed out of sight when the other was to be—visible. Of course, we used some simple disguises at times, to give the one who for the moment did not exist a little free dom of movement.” And he said suddenly: “But now it’s my turn to ask ques tions. Who told you the dead man, Christopher, looked like me?” “Mrs. Tope had seen you—or your brother—at a stockholders’ meeting once.” “Probably she saw Christopher,” Ledforge suggested. “But tell me what happened? Where is Christo pher? How was he killed?” Tope said gravely: “Why—all right, Mr. Ledforge. I’ll tell you: I found your brother under a bed in a cabin called Faraway, at a roadside camp called Dewain’s Mill, up above here. He was dead when I found him. “He had on an old sweater and a pair of overalls. His hands and feet were tied with wire. He was gagged and blindfolded with tape. His hands and feet and head were muffled in pieces of blanket. “He’d been alive when he was put there. He died of a ruptured appendix. “He’d been brought there in a coupe belonging to Holdom, by a man and a woman. I found their tracks. Afterward the man killed the woman—it was Mrs. Kell—and left her in the car and ran the car into an old quarry up in the hills. We found the man’s tracks there.” Ledforge made an explosive ges ture. “Hideous!” he cried. “Incred ible!" “Pretty bad,” Tope assented; he added implacably: “And my notion ia that you did it, Ledforge." Ledforge shook his head abstract edly. He seemed not to resent this accusation. “Wait a minute, please,” he said. “Of course, I know noth ing of what happened up here; but MIDLAND JOURNAL, RISING SUN, MD. I can make a guess. Let me think a minute.” Tope nodded, and waited, and calmly filled and lighted his straight black pipe; at last Ledforge lifted his head. “It’s part guess and part certainty,” he confessed. “But I think I see the answer.” The fire had burned low. “I’ll take off this wet coat,” he remarked, and stood before them in flannel shirt, vest, khaki trousers and light woods shoes with rubber soles; a spare, gray, small old man. “It was Holdom,” he began then. “I can see what was in his mind, ; what he tried to do.” And he explained: “A week ago, I would have been as mystified as you, because I had always trusted Holdom. But I know now that he was a thief and a rascal. I learned last Monday that he had been using my collateral to trade in an account under my name, to sell my own 'stocks short. I have already report ed the matter to the Exchange au thorities.” He paused, but no one spoke. So he went on: “Holdom did not know, you under stand, that there were two of us; Christopher and I. “Now gentlemen, Christopher was sick. Being a doctor, he of course knew that he had a bad appendix; but he was devoted to me. For him to go to a New York hospital would have been to risk the discovery of our duality. He was willing to take some risk to avoid that, so he de cided to come up to Holdom’s home here for the operation. Mrs. Kell had been a trained nurse. Dr. Na son would come from Boston to do the operation, in the rooms above Holdom’s garage. “Christopher himself, pretending to be me, made all these arrange ments with Holdom; so Holdom would naturally suppose that I was about to be incapacitated for a week or ten days. Perhaps he thought I was likely to die. Perhaps he al ready intended my death. At any | rate, before leaving New York—and trading in my name—he sold my stocks short.” He hesitated, then continued: “So they left New York on Friday morn ing, Christopher and Holdom, and Kell driving. I protested, but Chris topher assured me the drive would do him no harm. Before starting, he took a sedative in order to sleep, to escape the pain.” Tope prompted him. “And you say you can figure what happened?” “I can guess,” Ledforge agreed. “When Christopher fell asleep in the car—Kell was Holdom’s man, of course—they laid Christopher on the floor, and Holdom too got down out of sight, so no one saw them as Kell drove past the house to the garage. “Holdom was completely unscru pulous. He dressed Christopher in that old gray sweater and overalls, gagged him, swaddled his hands and feet and head in pieces of the dog blanket so that he could make no noise, and stuffed him into the rum ble of the coupe. “He sent Kell away with orders to meet him later at some agreed spot; then Holdom put on a pair of | Kell’s shoes. Their prints would be easily recognized because of the heel-plates. He knew that when Christopher’s body was identified as me, Vade—because of his threat ening letters to me, and because he lived there at the Mill—would be at first suspected; but if Vade were exonerated and Kell’s footprints found, then Kell would be the next suspect. “So then Holdom and Mrs. Kell— she was his mistress—drove to De wain’s Mill, in the coupe, with Christopher hidden in the rumble.” He looked at them all, challenging ly. “Doesn’t that fit the facts?” he demanded. “Well, so far,” Tope agreed. “But —go on!” “They took a cabin for the night, and Holdom hid Christopher where you found him. But Mrs. Kell must have protested at the inhumanity of leaving him there alive, till Holdom, in rage or desperation, strangled her!” He hesitated, and the color for an instant left his cheeks as though that word had shocked and fright ened him. “It’s sickening!” he ex claimed then, hurriedly. “But—aft er that, Holdom would go on to dis pose of the car, and of Mrs. Kell’s body, and meet Kell, and make Kell give him a rap on the head and leave him to be found beside the road. As an alibi!” And he said in a low furious tone: “It is incredible; and yet something like that must be the truth!” He finished, and Joe Dane started to speak, but Adam touched his arm and hushed him. Tope rapped his pipe on his heel, chucked the ashes on the hearth. “We showed Kell the dead man,” he remarked. “He said it wasn’t you!” “Kell would lie, of course. To save I himself.” “Yes, I figured that,” Tope as sented; but he said then in a sort of irritation: “Shucks, Mr. Ledforge, all that’s too complicated for me. Holdom was in it, sure; but my idea has been, right along, that what ever Holdom did, he did because you told him to.” “I?” Ledforge cried angrily. “Why should I tell Holdom—” (TO BE CONTINUED) * UNIFORM INTERNATIONAL SUNDAY I School Lesson By HAROLD t. LUNDQUIST. D D Of rhe Moody Bibl? Institute of Chicago. Released by Western Newspaper Union. Lesson for March 31 Lesson subjects and Scripture texts se lected and copyrighted by Interrtnti'*nal Council of Religious Education; used by permission. A NATION DEMANDS A KINO LESSON TEXT—I Samuel : 10-22. MEMORT SELECTION Blessed Is the nation whose God Is the Lord.—Psalm 33:12. A major crisis has come in the life of a nation when it is ready to change its form of government. That was especially true in the case of Israel, for they were about to throw off the direct rule of God and de mand a king. There were good reasons for their desire. Samuel was old. His sons who were to succeed him were not honest (I Sam. 8:3). But there were other motives not so good; for ex ample, their desire to have the pomp of a kingly ruler and a wish to be like other peoples (v. 20). Their request was made known to Samuel (I Sam. 8:6). He was grieved, but the Lord showed him that it wks not His rule they were rejecting, but God’s rule (v. 7). The matter came to a crisis as Samuel was sent to reason with them (v. 9). I. Prophetic Words (vv. 10-18). There is always a price to pay if we are eager to follow the styles of this world. Israel wanted to have a king with an attractive court and a mighty army like their neighbors, the other nations, but they had not realized that such things are not provided out of the king’s pocket. A word of warning may be in place here for Christians who have fallen for the temptation to keep pace with their ungodly neighbors— to “keep up with the Joneses,” as it is sometimes put. Government has a right to call on the governed for its support, but j who will deny that the tremendous military establishments which the rulers of the earth have maintained have been both burdensome and provocative of war. We live in a sinful world, and we may as well face the necessity of protecting ourselves and policing the unruly, but think how much bet ter would be our lot if we like Is rael could have been under the direct rule of God. They did not want it. Are men any better today when they reject the beneficent rule of the Son of God over their lives? 11. Persistent Wills (vv. 19, 20). The people refused to hearken. Their stubborn reply was, “Nay, but we will have a king over us,” and one can almost hear the emphasis on the word will. One might have expected that the leaders of the people would have sensed the folly of their plan and asked God to continue to rule over them forever, but the stubbornness of the willful human heart is al most beyond belief. When its deter mination is coupled with pride and unbelief it becomes an even more appalling barrier to the blessing of God. Therein lies the outstanding lesson of these verses. Let us beware that we do not sin like Israel; yes, sin even worse than they did. Joseph Parker in the People’s Bible (vol. 6, p. 287) makes this acute applica tion of the truth: “Do we condemn them? Let us not be ready with re proach; nor urgent in condemna tion. We are doing a deadlier thing it may be than the elders of Israel did in this case. We are told that God is angry with the wicked every day; that the wicked shall be driven into hell, and ali the nations that forget God. We are told that the liar shall have his portion in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, that no drunkard shall enter the kingdom of heaven, that anything unclean, defiled or corrupt shall not pass into the city of God’s light; we are told that nothing re maineth for the sinner but a fear ful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. “What is the result? Men can go immediately from the hearing or reading of the most terrific state ments concerning the future of the wicked and can throw themselves with unbridled license into all the diabolical enjoyments which stimu late but never satisfy the corrupt soul.” 111. Providential Willingness (vv. 21, 22). Reluctantly, but inevitably, comes the divine expression of willingness to let man go the way he wants to go. Israel shall have a king, says God. In fact He had prophesied this day long before (see Deut. 17: 14- 20). So it true (to quote Parker again) thiat “we can force our way through all solemn warning, all path etip entreaty, all earnest persuasive ness . . . We can go to hell if we will . . . There is nothing before you but love, grace, mercy, tenderness, God. That is all. There is a cross— hew it down! There is away around it, away through it, away over it —you can get there!” May we, neither as individuals nor ! as a nation, thus thwart God’s love and reject His warnings, and go on I our own stubborn way into sin and i sorrow. i SEWING CIRCLE PATTERNS (dasify lf}f]ade Pfay <2)mSd for dJol (dap - ddhirtwaist ddroch Tot’s Play Dress. HERE is a perky little play dress your tiny tot will adore. Self ruffles form the brief sleeves, the bottom is cut all in one piece. So easily and quickly made you’ll want to run up several in gay checks, plaids or floral prints for fun in the sun. • • • Pattern No. 8991 comes in sizes 1, 2. 3, 4. 5 and 6 years. 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