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OGTAT/Tz THANET \
SYNOPSIS. -torv opens at Harvard where Col. Th t Winter r. S. A., visiting, saw the Bl!p,e,ri ,V voung Mercer. He met Cary suicide }tl]1,r ,,f the dead student. Mercer, later. In Chicago. In 1906, Pr Whiter overheard Cary Mercer ap 430 »ntlv planning to kidnap Archie, the Panel’s ward, and to gain possession of r0 0? n. l,ec< a Winter’s millions. A Miss Soh-was mentioned, apparently as a 8n ninter Winter unexpectedly met a c0,n.? Mrs Millleent Melville, who ren him that his Aunt Rebecca. Archie t04 th, hitter's nurse. Miss Janet Smith, an,i leave far the west with the Ww,f] and Mrs. Melville. A great flnan tT1 ? ncrn.te was aboard the train on cla! h mi Winter met his Aunt ltebec ! w„h MivM Smith and Archie. He set ills ^ CSs„rlv ‘'Sergt. Haley, to watch over Cary «dr,,r Col Winter learned that the 5 SI,n magnate is Edwin S. Keatcham. i rSpprom hing Oary Mercer the colonel wS* snubbed Winter, aided hy Archie, -loerlv frustrated a hold-up on the fisin Jh took a great liking to Miss , i,-spite her alleged connection wUi til- kidnaping plot, which he had * 1 vet r,.v.-alcd to his rfflatives. Die nartv arrived in San Francisco. It was thought that there were big persons be hind the hold-up gang. Archie mysteri disappeared. Fruitless search was ronlucted for Archie. Flood In a near byroom at the hotel caused fears for the tAvs lif, No headway was made in the ■enrili f.-r Archie. Tlie lad’s voice was ov. r the telephone, however, and i minute later a woman’s voice-that of Miss Smith. Col. Winter and a detective « t out for the empty mansion, owned bv Arnold a Harvard graduate. They were met with a terrible detonation, indicat ! nn explosion within. The party rushed into the bouse. A few minutes later Meti er appeared, lie assured \\ in ter that Ar<• Hi* had been returned to Mrs. Rebecca Winter. The colonel saw a vision flitting from the supposedly haunt -d hou.-' It was Miss Janet Smith. Col. Winter to himself admitted that lie ho ed Miss Smith. Mercer told Winter that Archie ! overheard plans for a coup whirl' Mercer and Ids friends wanted to carrv out For that reason Areliie had been' kidnaped One of Mercer’s friends or. r**f irnintf tl h«»y to his mint hu»i h* • arrested for speeding and when he re turned f re 111 tie police station to his auto tl;.- I d was gone Mercer confessed he wis f.ir- i 1 •'' detaining Keatcham at Me “haunted house.•• Mercer told his life Ptor> relatin'- how Keatcham and Ids groundr- I se. retarv, Atkins, had ruined him. tie tdow killing his wife. I lespite tl.. 'fact that Mere, r was in Ke-itcham’s gprvu e, !;. was holding him prisoner in order that le could not get control of a railroad which was the pet project of the father of t is college friend, Endlcott Tracy. CHAPTER X.—Continued. •'He isn't a very confiding man. I didn't sec him often. My dealings were with Atkins. He didn’t know that I had found him out; he thought that he had only to explain his two names, and expected gratitude for his warning, as ho called it. He is slimy; but I was able to repay a little of my score with him. I was employed by more than Keatcham, and I saw a good many industrial back yards. .Inst chance. I came on a clew, and Kndy Tracy and I worked it up together. Atkins was selling information to Keatcham's enemies. We did not make out a complete case, but enough of one to make Keatcham suspect him. and at the right time. Hut that hap uenod later—you see, I don't know | how to tell a story even with so much at stake He pulled out his handker chief, and Winter caught the gleam of the beads on his sallow forehead. "It was this way." he went on. “At first I was only looking about for a safe chance to kill him, and to kill that snake of an Atkins; hut then It grew on me; it was all too easy a punish ment—just a quick death, when his victims had years of misery. 1 wanted him to wade through the hell I had to wade through. I wanted him to know win he was condemned. Then it was I began to collect just the cases 1 knew about—just one little section of the horrible swath of agony and bn j tnuiaimn and poverty and sin ho and : his crowd had made*—the one I knew ; every bm< of, because I’d gone* over I it even night I wasn’t so dead tired 1 had to sloop. God! do you know what it is u have the* people who used to he running out of their houses just to sa> howd> to you, curse you for a swindler or a fool or turn out of one s,:v' t ami (|..wn the other not to pass Jon Did you ever have* a little wom ai1 "i m: i d to give you frosted cake "’In n you wore a boy push her crape veil oil •• y gray hair and hand you th** envelope with her stock, with your handwriting on the envelope, and beg you—trying so hard not to cry, ’twas worse than if she had—beg you to lend her jin * half her interest money—and you couldn't do it? Did you—-never mind. | said I waded through hell. 1 did! Not l alone—that was the Worst—ail the people that had trusted me! And just that some rich men Hh°uld ho richer. Why should they have the lion’s share? The lion’s Shan* belongs to the lion. They are Hothinn but jackals. They're meaner than jackals, for the jackals take what file bon leaves, and these fellows steal 'he Hi n meat away from him. We made honest money; we paid honest "■iRi folks had more paint on their h°l‘s *; and more meat In their store h 'us's. and wore better clothes Sun da>. and there were more schooihouscs •uni tower saloons, and tin* negroes "eio !< anting a trade Instead of loaf mu. The whole county was the better ofl for our prosperity, and there isn’t a mill in the outfit—and I know what 111 talking about—there Isn't a shop 01 *• mine that's as well run or makes «s big ;m output now as it did when 'he old crowd was In. You find It that ^ay everywhere; and that’s what is *<> break things down. We saw “ a11 the little affairs; they were our analrs, don’t you know? Hut Kcatch s now men draw their sularies and let things slide. Yet Keatcham is a great man ger if he would only take the time; only he's too busy stealing iO develop his businesses; there’s more money in stealing a railway than in building one up. Oh. he isn't a fool; if I could once get him where he would have to listen, I know I could make him understand. He's pretty cold blooded. and he doesn’t realize. He only sees straight ahead, not all around, like all these superhumanly clever thieves; they have mighty stu pid streaks. Well, I’ve got him now, and it is kill or cure for him. He can't make a riffle. I knew I couldn’t do anything alone; I had to wait. 1 had to have stronger men than I am to help. By and by they tried their jack al business on a real lion—on Tracy. They wanted to steal his road. I got on to them first. I see a heap of peo ple in a heap of different businesses— the little people who talk. They no tice all right, but they can see only their own little patch. I was the fel low riding round and seeing the town ship. I pieced together the plot and I told Endy Tracy. He wouldn't believe me at first, because his father had given Keatcham his first start and done a hundred things for him. To be sure, his father has been obliged as an honorable man to oppose Keatcham lately, but Keatcham couldn’t mean to burn him out that way. Hut he soon found that was precisely what Keatch am did mean. Then he was glad enough to help me save his father. The old man doesn't know a thiug; we don’t mean he ever shall know. We let hint put up t'ae best sort or a fight a man can with his hands tied while the other fellow is free. My hands are free, too. I don't respect the. damned imbecile laws that let me be plundered any more than they do; and since my poor mother died last sum mer I am not afraid of anything; they are; that's where I have the choice of weapons. I tell you, suh, nobody is big enough to oppress a desperate man! Keatcham had one advantage— he had unlimited money. But Aunt Rebecca helped us out there. Colonel, I want you to know 1 didn’t ask her for more than the hare grub-stake; it was she herself that planned our stock deal." "She is a dead game sport,” the colonel chuckled. "1 believe you." “And I hope you don't allow that I was willing to have her mix herself in our risks. She would come; she said she wanted to see the fun—” ' I helievt you again,” the colonel as sured him. and lie remembered the odd sentence which his aunt had used the first night of their journey, when she expressed her hankering to match her wits against those of a first-class crim inal. "We didn't reckon or, your turning up, or the complication with Archie. I wish to God we'd taken the boy’s own word! Hut. now you know all about it, will you keep your hands off ? That's all wo ask." “Well,"—the colonel examined his finger nails, rubbing his hands softly, the bark of one over the palm of the other—"well, you haven't quite told me all. Don't, unless you are prepared to have it used against you, as the po licemen ray before the sweat-box. What did you do to Keatcham to get him to go witlt you so like Mary's lit tle lamb?" • i learned of a little device that looks like a tiny curry-comb and is so flat and small you can bind it on a man's arm just over an artery. Just pn ss on the spring and give the least scratch, and the man falls down | in convulsions. 1 showed him a rat i I had had fetched me, and killed it like a Hash. He had his choice of walking out quiet 1\ with me—I had my hand on his arm or dropping down dead. He went quietly enough." • That was the meaning of his look j at me. was it'.’" Winter thought. He said only: “Did Kndieott Tracy know about that?" Of com o not." Mercer denied. "Do you reckon 1 want to mix the boy up in this more than 1 have? And Arnold only knew I was trying some kind of bluff game." “I will lay odd a, though," the colo nel ventured, in his gentlest tone, tone, “that Mr. Samurai, as Haley calls him, knew more. Hut when did you get rid of Atkins?” "Mr. Keatchr.m discharged him at Denver, i met Mr. Keatcham here; it was arranged on the train. We had it planned out. If tlicit plan had failed 1 had another." “X, at. Very neat. And then you became the secretary?" Mercer Hushed in an unexpected fashion. "Certainly not!" he said, with emphasis. "Do you think I would take bis wages and not do the work faithfully? No. sub. 1 assumed to he bis secretary in the office; that gave me a chance to arrange everything. Hut I did it to oblige him. 1 never touched a cent of his money. I paid, in fact, for our hoard out of our own money. It would have burned my fin gers, sub!” “And the valet? Was he In your plot? Don’t answer if you—” "He was, suh,” replied Cary Mercer. “He is a right worthy fellow, and he “For If You Find Him, You Will Find Him Dead.” thought, after he had seen to the tick ets—which he did very carefully—and given them to me, he could go off on the little vacation which came to him by his master through me.” “That’s a little bit evasive. How ever, I haven’t the right to ask you to give away your partners, anyhow,” He was peering at Mercer’s face be hind his glasses, but the pallid, tired features returned him no clew to the thoughts in the head above them. “What have you done with Mr. Keatch am?" he concluded, suddenly. The question brought no change of expression, and Mercer answered read ily: “'I put him off by himself, where he sees no one and hears nothing. I read a good deal about prisons and the most effectual way of taming men, and solitary confinement is recom mended by all the authorities. His meals are handed to him by—by a me chanical device. He has electric light some of the time, turned on from the outside. He has a comfortable room and his own shower-bath. He has comfortable meals. And he is supplied with reading.” “ Reading?" repeated the colonel, his surprise in his voice. For the first time he saw Mercer smile, but it was hardly a pleasant smile. “ Yes, suh, reading." he said. "1 have had type written copies made of all the cases which I discovered in regard to his stealing our company. 1 reasoned that when he would get ab solutely tired of himself and his own thoughts he would just naturally be oblighed to read, and that would be ready for him. He tore up one copy." “Hmn—I can’t say I wonder. What did you do? “I sent him another. I expected lie would do that way. After a while he will go back to it, because it will draw him. He’ll hate it, but he will want to know them all. I know his nature, you see.” “What are you going to do with him?” “Let him go, after he does what we want and promises never to molest any of us." "Rut ctin you trust him?” “He never breaks his word,” replied Mercer, indifferently, "and besides, he knows he will be killed if he should. He isn't given to being scared, but he’s scared of me, all right.” “What do you want him to do?” "Promise to be a decenter man and ,o let Mr. Tracy alone in future; mean while. to send a wire in his secret code saying he has changed his mind. Jt will not surprise his crowd. He never confides in them, and he expects them to obey blindly anything in that code language. 1 reckon other telegrams are just for show, and they don't no tice them much." The colonel took a turn around the room to pack away this Information in tin orderly fashion in his mind. Mer cer waited patiently; he had said truly that he was used to waiting. Per haps he supposed that Winter was try ing the case in his own mind; but in reality Rupert was seeking only one clew, as little diverted from his pur pose as a bloodhound. He began to understand the man whose fixed pur pose had his own quality, but sharp ened by wrong and suffering. This man had not harmed Archie; as much as his warped and fevered soul could feel softer emotions, he was kindly intentioned toward the lad. Who had carried him away, then? Or was he off on his own account, really, this time? Or suppose Atkins, the missing secretary discharged at Denver, com ing back for another appeal to his em ployer, finding Keatcham gone, but, let one say, stumbling on some trace of mystery in his departure; suppose him to consider the chance of his hav ing his past condoned and a rosy fu ture given him if his suspicions should prove true and he should release the captive—wouldn’t such a prospect spur on a man who was as cunning as he was unprincipled? Mightn’t he have watched all possible clews, and might n't he have heard about Archie and plotted to capture the child, thinking he would be easily pumped? That would presuppose that Atkins knew that Archie was at the Arnolds’ or— no, he might only have seen the boy on the street; he knew him by sight; the colonel remembered that several times Archie bad been wttb nun m Keatcham’s car. It was worth con sidering, anyhow. He spoke out of his thoughts: "Do you think Keatch am could have told the truth, and that code of his he lost or stolen? Why couldn’t Atkins have stolen it? He had the chance, and he isn't hampered by principle, you say.” Mercer frowned; it was plain the possibility had its argument for him. "He might.” ho conceded, “but 1 doubt it. Why hasn't he done something with it? He hasn’t. They wouldn't have postponed that meeting if he had wired his proxy and his directions in the code. He'd have voted his em ployer’s stock. He's got too much at stake. 1 happen to know he thought it a sure tip to sell short, and he has put almost all he has on it. You see, Keatchani was banking on that; he knew It. He thought Atkins wouldn’t dare give any of his secrets away or go against him in this deal, because they were in the same boat.” "Still, I reckon I’ll have to see Keatcham.” Mercer shook his head, gently hut with decision. ”1 hate to refuse you, colonel, but unless you promise not to interfere, it is impossible, lint i'll gladiy go with you to see if we can ' And any trace of Archie. I’ll risk that much. And if you will promise—" “Such a promise would be impos sible to an officer and a gentleman,” the colonel urged lightly, smiling. "He sides, don't you see 1 have all the cards? I have only to call in my men. I’d hate to do it, but if you force me. you would have no chance resisting.” “We shouldn’t resist, colonel, no, suh; your force is overwhelming. Hut it would do no good; you couldn’t find him.” "We could try; and we may be bet tor sleuths than you imagine.” "Then it would be the worse for him; for if you find him, you will find him dead.” IZ*L,CretTKACTI01sr<&? s--24TVEIL COf*y>fi.lout, /SOT ■ ■ AO0BJ-/*£AG./£./_ m There was something so chilling in his level tones that Winter broke out sharply: “Are you fooling with me? Have you been such an incredible mad man as to kill him already?” Mercer’s faint smile made the colo nel feel boyish and impetuous. “Of course not, suh,” he answered. “I told you he was alive, myself. 1 reck oned you knew when a man is lying and when he is telling the solemn truth. You know I have told you the truth and treated you on the square. But, just the same, if you try to take that man away, you'll only have his dead body. He can't do any more harm then, and a dead man can’t vote.” The colonel, who had taken out his cigarette case, opened it and medita tively fingered the rubber band. "Do you reckon,” he suggested, in his most amiable voice, “do you reckon young Arnold and Endicott Tracy will stand for such frills in warfare as assassi nation?” “I do not, suh,” replied Mercer, gravely, and as he spoke he pushed back the heavy tapestry hiding a win dow opposite the colonel's head, “but they can both prove an alibi. Mr. Ar nold is in Pasadena, and there goes Mr. Tracy now in his machine—to try to find Archie. Do you see?” The colonel saw. He inclined his head, at the same time proffering his case. “I rather think, Mr. Mercer, that 1 was wrong. You have the last trump.” CHAPTER XI. The Charm of Jade. It was no false lure to di tract pur suit, that hurried sente"re of Ran dall's which had met the colonel's angry appeal for information. The woman was not only repeating Mrs. Winter’s message; the message itself described a fact. As she stood at her room telephone, Aunt Rebecca had happened to glance at Randall, supple menting the perfunctory dusting of the hotel maid with her own sanitary, damped, clean cloth; Randall's eyes suddenly glazed and bulged in such startling transformation that, instead of questioning her, Mrs. Winter stepped swiftly to the window where she was at work to seek the cause of her agitation. “Oh, Lord! Oh, Mrs. Winter!” gasped Randall. “Ain't that Master Archie?” Mrs. Winter saw for herself; the face at a cab window, the waving of a slim hand—Archie’s face, Archie’s hand. Tirief as was the space of his passing (for the two horses in the cab were trotting smartly), she was sure of both. “Give me my bonnet,” she command, “any bonnet, any gloves! And my bag with some money!” It was as she flung through the door that she threw her message to the colonel back exactly as Randall had submitted it. Miss Smith was coming along the loggia. "Don’t stop me!” said Mrs. Winter, sternly. "I’ve seen Archie; I'm after him.” “Stop!” cried Miss Smith—but it was to the elevator boy who was whiz zing below them in his cage, not to her employer; and she boarded the eleva tor with the older woman. "I'll go with you,” she said. There was no vibration in her even tones, although a bright red flickered up in her cheek. But Rebecca Winter caught savagely at her breath, which was coming fast. “It is not with the running; you needn't think it, Janet,” she panted, sharply, in a second. “It was the sight of his face—so suddenly; I never ex pected any face would make my heart, pump like that again. All of which shows”—she was speaking quite natur ally and placidly again—“that women may grow too old for men to make fools of them, but never for children. Come; It was a shabby sort of hack he was in, drawn by two horses with auburn tails. Here’s the office floor.” Not a word did Janet Smith say; she was not a woman of words in any case. Moreover, the pace which Mrs. Winter struck was too rapid for com ments or questions; it swept them both past the palm-shaded patio into the side hall, out on the noisy, daz zling, swaying street. Looking before her, Miss Smith could see the dusty body of hack a block away. Mrs. Winter had stepped up to a huge crimson motor car, in the front scat j of which lounged the chauffeur, his forehead and e>os hunched under his leather visor. The machine was puff ing, with the engine working, ready to leap forward at a touch of the lever. “Twenty dollars an hour if you let me get in now!” said Mrs. Winter, lightly mounting bj his side as she spoke. "Hey, me? what!” gurgled the chauffeur, plucked out of a half-doze. “Oh, say, beg your pardon, lady, hut this is hired, it belorgs—” “I don’t care to whom it belongs, 1 have to have it," announced Mrs. W in ter, calmly. “Whoever hired it can get another. I'll make it all right. Von start, on and catch that back with the auburn-tailed horses—” “I'll make it right with your fare!” Miss Smith cut in before the chauffeur could answer. “It’s a cas6 of kidnap ing. You catch that cab!’* She was standinjr on the curb, and even as she spoke an elderly man and his wife came out of the shop. They stared from her to the automobile, and In their gaze was a proprietary Irrita tion. This was instantly transfused by a more vivid emotion The woman looked shocked and compassionate. “Oh, pa!" she gasped, "did you hear that?” I he man was a country banker from Iowa. He had a very quick, keen eyo; it flashed. "Case of kidnaping, hey?” snapped he, instantly grasping the character of the speakers and Jumping at the situation. "Take the auto, madam. Get a move on you, Mr. Chauffeur!" “Oh, I'm moving, all right,” called the chauffeur, as he skillfully dived his lower wheels under the projecting load of a great wagon and obliquely bumped over the edge of a street car fender, pursued by the motorman's curses. "I see’ cm, lady; I see the red tails; I’ll catch ’em!” His boast most likely had been made good (since for another block they bore straight on their course) but for an orange wagon which had been over turned. There was a rush of pursuit of tlie golden Hal Is from the sidewalk; a policeman came to the rescue of traffic and ordered everything to halt until the cart was righted. The boys and girls in the street chased back to the sidewalk. The episode took barely a couple of minutes, but on the edge of the last minute the cab turned a corner. The motor car turned the same corner, but saw no guiding ori flamme of waving red horsehair. The cross street next was equally bare. They were obliged to explore two ad jacent highways before they came upon the hack again. This time it was in distant perspective, foreshortened to a blur of black and a swish of red. And even as they caught sight of it the horses swung round into profile and turned another corner. In the turn a man wearing a black derby hat stuck his arm and head out of the wlndctw in order to give some direction to tlM^ driver. Then he turned half around. It was almost as If he looked back at his pursuers; yet this, Mrs. Winter argued, hardly could be, since he had not expected pursuit, and anyhow, the chances were he could not know her by sight. It was a mean street, narrow and noisome, but full of shipping traffic and barred by tramways—a heart breaking street for a chase. The chauf feur was a master of his art; he 0 jumped his great craft at every va cant arm’s length; lie steered it through incredibly narrow lanes; he progressed sometimes by luffs, like a boat under sail when the forward passage much be reached in such in direct fashion; but the crowd of un gainly vehicles, loaded dizzily above bis head, made the superior speed of the motor of no avail. In spite of him they could see the red tails lessening. Again and yet again, the hack turned; again, but each time with a loss, the motor struck its trail. By now the street was changed; the dingy two story buildings lining it were bright ened by the gold leaf and vermilion; oriental arms and garbs and embroid ery spangled the windows and oriental faces looked inscrutably out of door ways. There rose the blended odors of spice, sandalwood and uncleanli ness that announce the east, reeking up out of gratings and puffing out of shops. “Ah.” said Mrs. Winter, softly to herself, “Chinese quarter, Is It? Well." Her eyes changed; they softened In a fashion that would have amazed one who only knew the sur face of Mrs. Winter, the eccentric so ciety potentate. She looked past the squalid, garish scene, past the shin ing sandhills and the redwood trees, beyond into a stranger landscape glow ing under a blinder glare of sun. Half mechanically she lifted a tiny gold chain that had slipped down her throat under the gray gown. Raising the yel low thread and the craven jade orna ment depending therefrom, she let it lie outside amid the white lace and cWffon. “We’re making good now." called the chauffeur. "Will I run alongs'de and hall ’em, or what?” She told him quietly to run along side. lint her lips twitched, and when she put up her hand to press them still, she smiled to discover that her hand was bare. She had forgotten to pull on her glove. She began to pull it on now. ' The road Is narrow.” said she. "Run ahead of the back and block its way. You can do it without hitting the horses, can't you?” • Well, I guess,” returned the chauf feur. Instantly accomplishing the maneuver in fine style. ,TO HI-: CONTINUED.) Idaho Ahead of Egypt. America has now triumphed over Egypt and India in holding what will soon bo the largest irrigated tract of desert land in the world. This is what is known as the Twin Falls county In the state of Idaho. The ultimate area under Irrigation, when the entire Twin Falls project shall have been complet ed. will be 1.350,000 acree.-Harper • Weekly.